Monday, June 30, 2008

Anyone for chocolate pudding wrestling?!

First, with the title I just gave this post, I hope I don't get some really weird hits. Oh well! So we went camping this past weekend with another couple and their kids in Merrimac, WI. It's the second time we've been to this campsite and it just keeps getting management has really spruced up the place. There's still those seasonal campers who, for the most part, seem to have a budweiser or miller product crazy glued to their hand. And the campers who have the huge RVs with all the amenities (which, with each passing year look more appealing to me). I wonder what people say about our motley crew. Overall though, this campsite is top notch.

The new owners have basically made the campsite a dream come true for kids - there's a huge swimming pond with all kinds of blow up toys. And a wonderful thing called the jumping pillow which is basically a huge inflatable trampoline that the kids jump on and on and on - that thing was never without at least 10 kids on it. I hope you're getting a good picture of the serene wilderness that we partake in when on our camping trips - yeah right! At least we still have a tent, start a camp fire, and make smores - that's gotta count for something.

So, the chocolate pudding. Well, it was chocolate week in Merrimac so there had to be a chocolate pudding wrestling event! At 6:30 on Saturday night, campers gathered around a huge blow-up pool filled to the brim with chocolate pudding...I think it was still warm as I saw steam rising up. All of a sudden this big guy is standing by the pool with a megaphone in hand. The camp ground owner. He yelled out the rules of pudding wrestling (basically wrestle at your own risk, and the you win when you hold your opponent down - what fun!) Then, the first two entered the pool. The whistle blew and pudding started flying - this was serious! Pudding, if you didn't know, is quite slippery when used to wrestle and these kids, and a few adults, were just slip-sliding around, as the first row of onlookers got good and chocolaty too! The wrestling matches went on for about an hour and the crowd never left. With each new contestant, the pudding got dirtier and I'm sure slimier...I was mesmerized!

It was the highlight of our camping trip. And that night, as we all bit into our chocolaty smores, I know we all felt so lucky to have been witness to the Merrimac chocolate pudding event. We'll be back...and maybe next year, I'll do a little pudding wrestling!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ah, sweet chocolate

I knew where it was and avoided that particular cupboard all morning...which isn't hard to do as there's nothing in there that I would ever's a junk cupboard. Then around 10am I found myself reaching up to open to cupboard door and grab it...but nothing more - just to bring it upstairs. Good self-control, I thought. I don't even want it, it's a new day, I don't need it. 10:30, I'm staring at it...think to myself, I don't even want it...just leave it there for husband or kids to find - what a treat! 10:33...screw it. Open up the wrapper and inhale curly wurly candy bar (it's from england and oh so good). well, I think to myself - I made it til mid morning - it's my morning snack.

Who am I kidding - I have no self-control with food! And I know you've heard it all before...I just love chocolate and sweets. So, here's what I'm going to try...just enjoy eating the food I do and stop beating myself up for what I eat! If I'm going to have the candy bar, I may as well savor it! I mean, my body must want the yummy foods I'm choosing!

For any of you who struggle with eating right, not eating right, and on and on...practice just enjoying what you're eating no matter what it is. Otherwise, what's the point!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Camp highlights

How do I sum up the suzuki music camp in a way that captures all these memories...

The oblivious mom and dad who need a little wake-up call (when your child is thrown out of a class, chances are your kid may not be perfect)
The mother who was there, alone, with her four kids and was the most laid back person I've ever met
The over bearing mother who couldn't let her daughter enjoy one moment of a dance class because she had to perfect every move,
The blind sister and brother who performed an amazing piece - one on piano and one using an electronic bag pipe?
The crazy teachers who were just so passionate about music
The friendships the kids made in a matter of moments.

It was an adventure...
Moments when hubbie and I could barely keep our rising giggles from overflowing to me from keeping tears of amazement from topping over (yes, I can be ridiculously sentimental).
Our cute, little pre-fab cabin with a great fire pit and a family of determined black carpenter ant from the wall.
Mediocre food...the iceburg lettuce salad bar...who doesn't love some good iceburg, surprise taco meat...but luckily supplemented with a stash of goodies back at our cabin.

Yes, it was an experience. And will we go back? Well the kids wanted to stay and would go back in a heart beat. I think we may go back...for me, it was more about having some family time in a remote place, and to throw some music in, why not. Although I've heard there's some other family camp vacations that are a little more up my alley...get this - you don't actually have to do everything with your that's some good family time!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

One time, at band camp

We just returned from the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp...and I do feel like I have many stories to tell that all start time, at suzuki camp! We had fun and I realize that we're not the typical family that listens or, for that matter, practices music every day. We're the bad seeds in the suzuki family. But, what family doesn't need a bad seed? I'll tell more later...just wanted you to know that we're back!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Miniature golf adventure

Driving along Western Ave on what seems to be an incredibly busy car day. It's Sunday so I should expect more traffic...but then I see the reason why - good old German fest in Lincoln Square. One we drive, turning onto Lincoln Ave. to our destination Novelty Golf for my son's 6th bday party. A total of 8 boys will spend the next two hours scaring my husband half to death as they putt putt their little hearts out.

For those of you who know my hubbie, you must be wondering, how can that get nervous around a bunch of boys...he's so laid back! Well, let me tell you - it was a little fun to watch as he tried to corral the boys to maintain order. You see, my hubbie loves miniature golf and now, so does my son. The first time he went, I got many evil eyes as I played at the speed of the kids. Pick that ball up, sure, onto the next hole, why not, skip this hole, sure. Hubbie wanted to keep score and savor each green - whether it be the Empire State Building or a very large mermaid. It's kind of cute, in that naive kind of way!
Anyway - on the day of the party - the boys were like a pack of wolves being told by the father wolf that they had to wait before feasting on their catch - sorry for that image - but it was a little like that! They had their clubs on hand...and didn't want to wait for anything. I do have to say - the party was great and for the most part all the kids were really well behaved. I digress....

Looking back, the issue was that a girlfriend of mine - one of the boys moms, was staying to help out. So for the first 8 holes, we were chatting and lagging behind. When I finally caught hubbies glare, we both stepped up and helped out...a little too late though! Hubbie definitely took one for the team - saved daughter from a number of possible head contusions, and protected the boys from each other. And that was just on the first 18!

Needless to say - after all was said and done - we had a great time . The ride home was a quiet one as the kids in the back reflected on their day at golf course! But if you want the real scoop, you'll have to ask my hubbie!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Taking Action

I think about me and my life, and the kids, and my husband, and basically my little life too much! Today, it hit me that there is too much going on outside of our cozy life, or the worries I create, that if I just put some energy on that, then I'd probably think less, worry less, let go more, etc. That's my thought anyway!

This came about as I was at physical therapy this morning and realized that even though I'm in constant pain (just wrote that so you feel a little sad for me!) my life could be a whole lot harder, more complicated, etc. And instead of just dwelling on what's not working, I need to focus on something outside of just me and my family.

So, here's a couple of thoughts. First...I really need to get a new job! I know, that's still thinking about me...but here's the logic. For those of you who chat with me, you know I'm not enjoying my work at all. So I really need to step up and start looking for a new job. I'm scared...I start thinking about money, working outside of the home, that I'd have to shower every day and wear something other than sweatpants, what job would I do, etc. But, the scaredness I'm feeling has to outweigh this feeling I have now of really starting to hate my job. So for any of you out there who can help me get a job - I basically want to make a difference! Figure that one out.

Second - I need to start volunteering. That will definitely get me out of just focusing on my immediate family and our issues. So, I'm not sure what yet, but have found some ideas. At least I'm taking some action.

It's all about action again - I'm finally doing some things to move forward, versus just doing the same thing over and over again in the hopes that something will change - isn't that the definition of crazy!

Wish me luck...and for any of you out there that have been thinking about something for awhile...what would it take for you to take a tiny step towards doing it? Good luck.