Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another fun conversation Daddy missed

As we drove home talking about the girls cleaning Josh's and Nick's rooms, I asked the girls if they found anything interesting in their drawers. The girls giggled and said they found something Brooke explained was a jock strap. I asked if they knew what a jock strap was and they giggled again.

Brooke said it was something boys wore when they played sports. They asked me why boys wore it. I had the fun task of explaining about jock straps, cups and other things males use to protect their private parts while playing sports.

It wasn't enough for the girls to understand why these private parts needed to be protected, they wanted to talk about why boys private parts are different from girls. They wanted to talk about why girls don't have jock straps to protect their private parts. At some point they tired of the conversation and changed the topic.

I always tell the girls they can ask us anything, but just once in a while I wish Daddy would be in the car for one of these conversations. I'd love his perspective on these topics.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ironic cleaning

The girls spent the night at Aunt Sue-Sue's house. It was a crazy night with a total of nine children from toddler to twenties. Somewhere along the way our girls and their friend Brooke started cleaning Josh's closet.

They went through his drawers to organize his clothes. They opened his closet and organized his clothing by type and color. They even cleaned his closet floor. When they were done with Josh's closet, they went to Nick's. They spent two hours cleaning closets.

As they told the story, I looked at the brunette twin and said, "Do you know what ironic means?" She said she wasn't entirely sure. I said, "Let me explain it this way. You won't clean your closet. Your drawers are such a mess that I try not to open them. Still, you spent two hours cleaning Josh's and Nick's dressers and closets for fun."

She said, "Oh, so it's ironic that I don't clean my stuff, but I will clean theirs." Then she laughed. I don't think she'll start cleaning her stuff, but at least the definition of ironic is seared in her memory.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The unofficial end of summer

When we put all the girls' summer activities on the calendar a few months ago, I wondered how we'd get through some weeks. There were so many fun activities from camp to outdoor movies to parties. Sometimes there was more than one activity in a day. Sometimes there were multiple activities every day. More than once I wondered what we were thinking -- even as I realized I created the problem trying to get as many fun activities into a short timeframe.

Today, I waited for the girls to come out of camp when I realized this was their last day of camp. It didn't seem real. They went to Girl Scout camp and horseback riding camp. Every day they came home filthy, sweaty and happy. They went to summer camp at the local community college, which offered them opportunities to explore their individual interests. They took Greek Mythology and Creative Writing together. The blond twin took Leadership, while the brunette twin explored Math in Architecture. They took golf lessons, played a few rounds with Daddy and went to the driving range.

I realize summer isn't over yet. We still have lots of plans from an outdoor movie next week with their friends to a trip to the Wisconsin State Fair. If the weather cooperates, the girls will swim a bit more. Tonight they have friends spending the night, and are already planning other sleepovers.

There is something final about the last summer camp pick-up. It does mean that summer is coming to an end, even if some fun remains. Now we're on the countdown to back-to-school, which will be here much too soon.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Game 2 yields a double play

The blond twin played her second softball game tonight. Daddy arrived just in time to see her catch the ball and tag third base. He looked at me and said, “She just mad a double-play all by herself.”
I admit it took a minute before I realized what he said. She caught the ball, making her first out. The second out came when she tagged the base. I was so excited that she tagged the base I didn’t realize the she caught the ball. I thought it bounced before she caught it.
We were all so excited. She came off the field beaming. We talked about it the whole way home and after we walked into the house. She was taking off her shoes when I asked, “Can I write this on the blog?” She said, “Yes. You better.”
Given the way she’s taken to softball, it probably won’t be her last double-play. Of course, the first one is the best, so we’ll talk about it for a long time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

First meeting planning failure

The girls’ Junior Girl Scout troop leader decided she couldn’t be the troop leader for this year. Our girls still wanted to be Girl Scouts so I stepped up to take over the troop. Another mom offered to be my co-leader.
We’re a small troop with five girls from four involved families. We decided to have summer meetings to finish a couple of badges. This would free up our fall meetings to work on the Bronze Award, which is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn.
Our first meeting was today. Our plan was to go on a nature walk, talk about animal communication and write fun facts about animals.
We arrived at the Little Red Schoolhouse to find yellow construction tape everywhere. We went into the beautiful, new learning center to be told that the main path was closed. The forest preserve district was paving it.
I have to admit that in all our summer meeting planning it never occurred to me that I needed to call the nature center to make sure we could walk the path. I realize the forest preserve district needs to do some work, but in the summer?
There were dozens of other people standing in the learning center building annoyed that they couldn’t walk the path. As one woman said, “Do you know what it took to sunscreen and bug spray all these kids?”
We managed to fulfill our badge requirements by walking through the learning center, talking about the animals on display and taking notes. The afternoon wasn’t a complete waste of time.
In the future, though, I will call to make sure we can do what we plan to do – even if it is a free, public activity.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Loopholes provide a winning edge

The girls play this game where you say, “my Mom went to the store and she bought….” You have to say an item in alphabetical order. Each time you have to repeat the entire list and then add to it. One night driving home from a rained-out park concert, our list sounded like this:

My Mom went to the store and she bought

Baba ganoush



Hush puppies
Ice Cream

Jerk chicken

Munster cheese


Peanut butter jelly time

Shiitake mushrooms

Ugli fruit
The blond twin got stuck at X. We all tried to help her as no one could think of a food that started with X. It was kind of a competition to figure out the X word first. We had a mini-game going on within our car game. We started talking about random words starting with X like x-ray and xylophone.
The brunette twin said, “Did we say the Mom had to be at the grocery store?” We stopped and realized she was right. The Mom could shop anywhere. We never discussed where the Mom shopped. We just focused on food so we could add fun words like baba ganoush and rutabaga. The brunette twin made it musical when she started rapping "peanut butter jelly time." If we really thought about it, we realized the Mom could have bought a toy xylophone at a grocery store or groceries at a department store.
The blond twin triumphantly said the entire list, adding xylophone at the end. Yellow onion and zucchini were the last two words in the game.
The next time we play we’ll have to close the loopholes. It seems the brunette twin is getting better and better at figuring out ways to use those to her advantage.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

New family secrets

Overheard at our house…

Blond twin (picks up Daddy’s mobile device): “What’s your password?”

Daddy: “I’m not telling you.”

Blond twin: “You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.”

Daddy smiles and takes his smart phone.
Mommy makes a mental note to be sure she has all the girls' passwords.