Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Suddenly Summer

After a rather cold spring, we are suddenly thrust into summer. Temperatures reached the 90's today (and Sunday, too, with yesterday not far behind). Given that last week I was complaining that it was rainy and rather cold, this is rather a shock to the system.

There's very little shade - the trees have only just begun to leaf out.

I had to dig in the closet for my summer clothes - we were still wearing long sleeves and the occasional sweater.

Flowers and shrubs are suddenly BLOOMING, with a "whoa, wait, did I miss something?" sort of feel about them.

But not to worry, it's dropping back down below normal temperatures tomorrow. With possible rain, of course - it's Wednesday. Time for William to have soccer practice rained out once again.

Attention Deficit Disorder

My cats both suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), to varying degrees. This is not the same as human ADD, although cats are even more easily distracted, and not meant as a slight to those who suffer from ADD in its many forms (we have friends who struggle with this, and it is a struggle).

But it occured to me yesterday that Sheba showed definite signs. While I was eating my breakfast, she hopped onto my lap. Repeatedly. Not content to just sit in my lap, she had to be rubbing herself against me, including rubbing her head on my chin. You might imagine that this interefered with my breakfast a smidge. After she finally got tired of me removing her from my lap, she turned her attention to John and Rachel. First one lap, then the other, then, eventually, she lay down on BOTH their laps - at the same time. Clearly she was hoping for loving from both ends (John wasn't so obliging).

Given that this is not unusual behavior for her, in fact, at the moment it's unusual that she's NOT on my lap or in my face, I diagnosed ADD. Clearly, she feels there's a deficit in the attention that is paid to her.

George has it too, but he's a little more polite about it. Usually.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rained Out

William had a soccer practice scheduled for tonight - fields are closed because we had heavy rain last night.

JC had a roller hockey game scheduled for tonight - we just got the notice that it's been rained out (even though it's not actually raining right here, right now).

I've got mixed feelings about this. William's practice was for 6pm, which makes it tough to get dinner on and eaten, so I'm rather glad we didn't have to do that. Although this makes 3 practices in a row that have been rained out - welcome to April, I guess.

JC's game was for 7:30, so we had eaten dinner and were getting ready to go. Even though this game was at the rink that has no seating, I'm a little disappointed. JC seemed to really enjoy playing in his game on Sunday (helps that they won), so this is a bit of a letdown.

However, given that it's gotten a little chilly and there's a good chance we would have gotten rained on, it is rather pleasant to get to stay home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

While The Cat's Away

The mice will go to Red Lobster. John is allergic to seafood, so any sea-themed restaurant is not on our usual list. But he's gone this week...

I've been jonesing for crab legs - I think it has something to do with watching the "Deadliest Catch" marathon on the Discovery Channel. And JC is always up for shrimp in any form. It used to be that Rachel and William were the weak links. Neither liked the chicken nuggets at Red Lobster, and neither would try anything else on the menu. But last time we went, William had popcorn shrimp and Rachel had a steak and grilled shrimp combo. Happiness at last! So when I suggested we could go out to dinner on Friday, seafood was a unanimous choice.

And everyone was happy. I got my crab legs, mmmmm. JC had crab legs and shrimp, and everyone was happy.

I will say, I understand why crab is so expensive, having watched so many episodes of "Deadliest Catch" now. But now I can justify that I'm helping the guys make money, right?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coincidence? I think not.

There is a conspiracy to drive me crazy. For the second year in a row, the opening day of the spring soccer season coincides with John's annual trip to the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. And yes, for the second year in a row, Rachel and William both have soccer games at THE EXACT SAME TIME, at locations across town from each other.

What is up with this? Games are scheduled from 8:30 am until 2:45 pm. Do they deliberately stack the 1st grade and 5th grade games at the same time, figuring nobody has two children those ages? They seemed to do the same thing last year with kindergarten and 4th - we had a ton of games that overlapped.

I suppose the good news is that we'll get soccer done with early in the day. Both games are at 8:30 am. But I am again going to have to find a ride for Rachel, and miss her first game. Sigh...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Been A Quiet Week in Lake Wobegone...

Well, not really. My kids have just finished their Spring Break. We decided that rather than just sit around the house and play video games for a week, we would actually DO something this year. So we drove up to Boston last Sunday night, and stayed until Wednesday afternoon. John and I both went to school in Boston, and we hadn't been back for 10 years, so it seemed like a good short trip. That also meant we had 4 days at home to veg out and catch up on stuff, so it was a "best of both worlds" Spring Break.

Boston was lovely, although rather wet on Monday (buckets of rain in the afternoon) and cold and windy the next two days. But as that's typical of New England in the spring, we rolled with it. Monday morning we tried to do the whole Freedom Trail - we finished 75% of it before the rain started, looked at the outside of Paul Revere's house from under the umbrellas, and went back to Quincy Market for lunch. We ended up getting Duck Tour tickets that left from the Constitution Dock, so drove over there (in the pouring rain), spent 30 minutes in the Constitution museum, then got on the Tour (in the pouring rain). That was fun, although our bus had been left under some heaters and the roof had warped, which meant there were massive leaks along one side of the boat. But there were only about 10 of us on board, so it was very casual and our guides were ex-fisherman with the thickest Boston accents I've ever heard, so it was still fun. Yes, we did get to go out in the Harbor, but it was raining so hard and the windows fogged up so we didn't actually SEE much.

We never got to the Old North Church or the graveyard, so there's still a little Freedom Trail to finish.

Tuesday we spent the entire day at the Museum of Science - we got there at 10am and stayed until closing at 5pm. And there was still more we didn't get to! Then we dragged the kids over to the MIT campus and actually found on-street parking! We walked around campus and showed the kids all our old stomping grounds (well, some of our old stomping grounds). There were many things the same, many changes (JC described the Stata Center as "concepty"), and while it was fun, I was feeling kind of old. Since it was cold and windy, we decided against trying to find parking in Harvard Square, or taking the T somewhere (and then walking). We went out to the Hilltop Steak House, in Saugus, which is not someplace we went often, but is sort of iconic on the MIT campus. At least when we were there.

Wednesday morning we packed up. We'd made arrangements to go out to a friend's house, but not until 2:30 because her kids had their regular schedule. So we drove over to Harvard Square, and the parking gods smiled upon us once again. I don't know what I've done to make my kids so paranoid, but our only plan was to wander around Harvard Square, maybe with some shopping. "What are we doing? When do we have to put more money in the meter? When do we have to leave?" They have no faith in their parents. But we took them to the Harvard Coop, and while we struck out on MIT shirts for Rachel, we did find a (large) stack of books, something for everyone, I think. Maybe except for John. William picked up a book called Tough Chicks, which he read to himself. I haven't looked hard at it yet, but it looked hysterical.

Except for William walking into a parking meter (object lesson in looking where you're going), and it being rather cold and windy (see: Boston in spring), we had fun, and we lunched at our FAVORITE restaurant from college. The Border Cafe - Tex-Mex, cheap, good. What more do you want? Then a quick stop at the MIT Coop (bookstore, for you more conventional types) to find a t-shirt for Rachel. I'll have to take a picture of it, I don't think I can do it justice just by typing. And we picked up a Maxwell's Equations shirt for JC. I'll take a picture of that, too, for non-MIT readers.

Then we were off. An uneventful trip to Jill's, although punctuated by "wow, I didn't know that's where (fill in the blank) was!" This is what happens when you drive through an area that you have only known by public transportation, especially subway. You don't know how anything is geographically related! We had a lovely short visit with Jill's family, including her fabulous chocolate cupcakes. REALLY, they are fabulous. And her kids are adorable.

And then 5 hours in the car. Ugh. With McDonald's for dinner. Ugh. And a stop at the world's slowest gas pump. Seriously, it took 20 minutes to put $20 in the tank, at which point I gave up. But then we got to sleep in our own beds. Yay!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Spring is here, tra la, Spring is here,..."

"Life is skittles and life is beer."
(extra credit for naming the song).

The forsythia are blooming. That means it REALLY is Spring now. Even crocus and snowdrops will come up in the snow, but if the forsythia have started, well, it's really getting there. 'Bout time!
My lovely sister has had her beautiful baby boy. Yay! There is much happiness and cooing over pictures in my house - my children adore babies. Even the teenage boy (especially the teenage boy?). And I finally managed to send them the knitted gift for the baby, which arrived the day after the baby did, so, perfect!

I made him Sheldon. Turns out the baby is a "him", which we didn't know ahead of time, so it worked out well (figured Sheldon would be good for a girl, as well. We try not to be stereotypical.) He was a fun knit (Sheldon, not the baby) and really went very quickly. I had finished one sock first, so had a little experience with the double pointed needles, but he was pretty straightforward. There's lots of increases and decreases, but they were all on www.knittinghelp.com so really quite fun!
So now I'm all excited to try baby booties, but I haven't cast on or even chosen a pattern yet. It's the perfect start to spring!
However, spring also means soccer practice, so I need to go get dinner moving so we can celebrate THAT particular Spring ritual.