Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here we go again!

Here we go again. Eli has his first day of 2nd grade. 2nd grade!!! What happened to kindergarten? E was excited for school to start. A class of 27 (way too big!), 17 are boys! There were many joyous reunions that morning. Friends he saw only 2 days previous greeting each other like it had been 2 years. I don't know how bones did not get broken.

We are still trying to find our groove, but my expectations for that are not high. I don't think that we ever found our groove last year - when to do homework, when to veg, when to play and when to eat.

It is weird not to have him around all day. We all miss him. Not that he is ever around long - he is a social butterfly.

So far so good. He likes his teacher, likes what he is learning and loves to be with all his pals.

How can you not love this 2nd grader face?

Caroline began a new dance program. She calls it her "temporary" dance. Contemporary. She asked how she was supposed to keep up her ballet and tap skills if she would be going to dance with bare feet from now on. I don't know. I mean, what if SYTYCD 2022 doesn't think she has good enough technique? But she loved it her new dance.

She is also beginning soccer. She is so excited and has practiced every day. It is her fallback to SYTYCD, I guess she can always try out for the USA Women's Soccer team.

We bought some soccer cleats with pink in them but there were too big. I asked her to try on Eli's old shoes and she said, "That is a good idea and if they fit we won't have to buy new shoes!" What? This coming from a kid who threw a HUGE fit in Target that day over something ridiculous that I would not buy.

She was showing me her jumping skills. Who knew that cleats helped you jump? Joey came out in E's cleats and had to get in the jump action. He actually has an impressive vertical for a tiny sport.

Many of you know about Caroline's lack of pants and short wearing. She hasn't worn them in 2 1/2 years - excluding leggings that go under dresses. Thus the skirt at soccer practice. I asked her if we needed to go shopping for a black skirt or if she would wear soccer shorts. She said she would only wear Eli's old soccer shorts and only for soccer practice and games. She also asked that I don't ask her to wear shorts or pants any other time.

btw - I have new plaques that are about to go up in my shop. If you want to take a look, go to we chirp.

Monday, August 17, 2009

He would have laughed at blogs

Lindsey and I were talking the other day and she started laughing at the thought of what Joe would think of blogs. We both agreed he would kindly mock them. I've been meaning to call her all day so that we could laugh and inevitably end up crying over the anniversary that is today. What do you do with a day like today? I'm ok. I know what comes next and what I have to do to be there. He's with us every day.

He is in little things my kids do. He is in their simple kindnesses to each other. We say his name, which has become my son's, many times a day and it is like a million little sparkles in the air. Sometimes my kids do things and I think, Joe taught you that in Heaven, he knew it would bug me so he did it to tease me. Or he knew something would make me happy, so he taught them that too. I love that, because then I think of him. He knows I need to lighten up. I want my kids to be like him in a million different ways. I love that E loves snowboarding and seems to be a natural at it. Now, if only someone could teach him, Caroline and Joey how to skateboard... Caroline might be the best at that. Dave and he would have been good friends.

I miss him. He was happy and kind. He was happy and thoughtful. He was happy and fun. The kid was the best. Is the best. He was a great example to all of us of how to treat others. He wasn't perfect but he was good.

We went up to his grave today. I have never thought he was there. I used to pour Dr. Pepper on it, just for him. My kids know about him, but what do they really know? It is such an abstract thing to young kids. But they know that they love him and they know he loves them. Is it morbid to show his headstone? I think it is beautiful.

He had a lot of favorites. He liked music. Did you know that he loved Michael Jackson? Loved him when he was little. He loved chocolate rice crispy treats and made them better than anyone, even Grandma. He loved his family, all of us. He would love playing with his nieces and nephews. He loved his friends and spent time doing who knows what with them. I remember he would skate up on the U campus a lot with them. He would love where they are now. He had many friends but then there are those really close ones that I am grateful for. They are a part of my family, you know who you are. He was always having fun. He had the goofiest grin. He was working on his six pack, slow to lose his baby chub. He loved his accidental sideburns. I think he thought he was related to St. Nick. He loved his cousins. Especially Ben and Bry. He'd be proud of them. He loved skateboarding and snowboarding. He loved "Bo Knows Bo" so much he read it every year for 7 and wrote a report on it each year, lazy bum - I don't think he loved reading. He loved back-to-school clothes shopping. He loved Mexican Pizzas. He loved his Saab. He loved that his eyes changed colors with whatever color he had on. He loved O-town. He always had something cooking, some big plan. Or little plan. Or mischievous idea. He had friends every where we went because he was good to everyone.

I love when people tell me stories about him. I knew a lot of his comings and goings and his adventures but not everything and don't remember everything. Did I ever tell you that he thought his name was spelled G.I. Joe when he was little? Or that he made a collar of cardboard and named himself Spike, telling us this was his new name? Or that he had my mom make him and his friends fleece hats that he designed that were all spiky and shapey for snowboarding? I think there are pieces of him everywhere, for everyone.

Love you Joe.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friends, Romans, Texters, lend me your ear...

There is this place, oh it is beautiful. It is a place that seems like a dream or somewhere long ago This place is a place of color, of laughter and hellos. There are words, actual words. Not just letters like "u", "r" and whatever else can be shortened to represent an actual word. People actually spelled out words and took advantage of Spell Check to make sure that they were spelled correctly.

It is a place with proper nouns like Ben and Liz, Seattle, and Chuck E Cheese. People used capital letters for them, no matter where it is placed in a sentence! And complete thoughts - so hard to come by these days. Now it is all staccato and thoughts cut down to the barest form. Whatever you do, don't. use. words. unless. you. absolutely. have. to. Don't.

And punctuation. Remember that? . , ! ; and so on. They doesn't always get used properly (especially here) but they get used. They help break up thoughts, run on sentences and random ideas that should probably be placed in separate sentences, maybe even paragraphs. It takes years to learn how to use them properly, and even then people with the best intentions (me) who used to use punctuation properly (me) still have trouble - but at least they (me) try.

It's this place where people actually carry on conversations. Conversations with laughter - that you can hear - actual laughter, not LOL and not haha or hehe. Where you can hear someone smile as they talk because their voice changes its tone, and you don't have to see ;). You can actually tell if someone is serious or kidding because of their voice or the way they say their words, not just by a simple JK. Ah, those were the days. You can tell if someone really isn't having a great day because - - - wait for it - - - you can hear it in their voice.

Texting isn't all bad (and I include Im'ing in this). I'm sure I would love it if I did it more. It is the way that I contact most of my sitters. Oddly, it is rare that I get a response to my phone call, but text them and within minutes I have my answer. And now that I think of it, texting is at fault for that, too. Kids would rather text than speak. It's true. Another positive? I know a friend who has a quick question for a husband who is in a meeting and so she texts and he subtly responds. And sometimes you don't have the time for a full conversation but would like a quick answer to something. I get it. There are positives.

There are things about it that just don't sell it for me. The decline in good grammar habits, spelling habits, conversational skills, etiquette. I went to lunch the other day with some gals and both of them kept checking their phones and responding in just a quick sec to the text that they had received. Why is that acceptable? I find it a bit rude. And don't get me started on texting and driving. But maybe I am just back in LaLa Land. And this just IMHO, but what do I know?

***post edit: I don't hate texting/im'ing. I love the convenience, I just dislike the decline of actual human interaction and the whole grammar thing get under my skin a bit. I think that we are doing amazing things on the communication front, but those achy thumbs come at a price.