Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows?

Good Luck: old water heater did not blow up
Bad Luck: new water heater for the low, low price of $1000

Good Luck: we do not have termites
Bad Luck: we do have a wood eating fungus

Maybe we should have known better than to call the plumber and the pest folks while Mercury was in retrograde? (At least we didn't call the electrician!)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mayhem In The Middle

Mayhem is 12 - and not only is he in the middle of the birth order of the five kids, but he's also almost always in the middle of everything. He's very social and it's hard to get a picture of him alone. I snapped this one this morning before he was too awake to do anything about it. His bookbag weighs more than he does.

By looking at him, you'd think we don't feed the boy, but I promise, he eats more than almost any two of the others put together. He loves being in the kitchen, chatting, sneaking bits of whatever I'm making for supper and hanging out. His favorite chore is doing the dishes.

These are his new glasses. Actually, they are his second pair of new glasses. The first ones he broke the second day he had them when he was showing off how flexible the frames were. I'm glad I have a picture of him in these because it's possible he's lost them. He *thinks* they might be at his dad's. Sigh.

Mayhem is a very good big brother. He and Havoc share a room and bicker a bit, but are close and generally kind to each other. Mayhem is a good people person. If there's a job out there that involves making friends and not keeping up with things then Mayhem will be at the top of the field. I guarantee it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Day In The Life Of Havoc

At eight, Havoc can be anyone he wants to be at any time. I'd love it if that ease of being could stick around a while. Eight is one of my very favorite boy ages.

New etnies + knitted cap = Instant skater boy.

First pretty day + crayons and homework folder = Studious boy.

Pinewood Derby car (in the shape of a toaster) + fun uniform = Cute Cub Scout boy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday Tidbits

The wireless router went into mourning when Sweet Hubby left for a weeklong business trip. I tried to explain to it that thanks to the asshats at JetBlue who canceled his Sunday flight, we had gotten an extra day with him. The wireless router did not cheer up. Or reconnect itself to the internet. I decided that perhaps it felt vulnerable lying on the floor in the hallway where just anyone (and their dog) could step on it. I moved the router back to it's hidey hole under SH's desk. Only I couldn't get it plugged back in and when I decided to plug it into the power strip instead of the outlet I inadvertently pulled four other connections out. I gave up and went to bed.

This morning (no longer exhausted from taking four of my children on a six hour excursion to see Bridge to Terabithia) I realized that the reason I couldn't plug the router in last night is because it's a sideways plug. Doh! Pouting over with and plugs all connected correctly, I am happy to report that we are back online. And just in time to share with you the following:

  1. Did you know that Google could be set to have your home language be "Elmer Fudd"? Look.
  2. I think teeth wipes are weird.
  3. I had a dream I was being chased by a Sleestak last night. Remember them? I had recurring nightmares of being chased by weird things (like Sleestaks and weasels and Irish setters) when I was a child. The Irish setters made sense because when I was five I did, in fact, get chased by a pack of them - but Sleestaks and weasels? Why were they scary? I have no idea but they were! They were sooooooooo scary back then. Not so much anymore. Why, then, as an adult do I occasionally dream of being chased by a no-longer scary (and incredibly slow moving) tv monster from the 70's?
  4. This guy (as I may have mentioned before) is completely odd. And yet? I delve into the archives and laugh at the dressed up vacuum cleaners. (There are worse ways to celebrate your wireless routers return to life. Just saying.)
Last, but not least is the news that St. Ann is in the hospital having that baby today!!! Yay! And Happy Tuesday to all. ***Amended - he's here! St. Ann says he's lovely (well, really, she says, "he looks like a troll"), he weighs 8 and 1/2 pounds (!!), he's already nursed, and he was named after a singer she quoted on her profile which led to her meeting her hubby - so it's all good! Congratulations to St. Ann and John the Magnificent (and baby Z's four big brothers and sisters!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Crack Sugarcane

Warning - this toffee is easy, cheap, and insanely yummy.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Report On The Week

The homemade chicken soup experiment - meh
Having to collect yet another sick child from school - arrgghh
A friend finding TWO OPENED jars of recalled PB - eeeeeek
Having made it to FRIDAY of my 1st week of triathlon training - YAY

HOLD THE FREAKING PHONE!!!!! This whole week I've been blithely making mediocre soup, nursing flu-like virus-ridden children and examining peanut butter jar lids when I should have been making evacuation plans in case the dam just upriver bursts?!! Maybe I should watch the LOCAL news once in a while, eh? I mean, holy batshit! I do NOT like words such as "catastrophic flooding" being applied to the area where my children are. And excuse me, but they're putting grout in to stop the leak? I sure hope the Army Corps of Engineer's grout works better than the grout that is currently hurling itself out from between my bathroom tiles. The solid concrete foundation isn't holding but hey, let's stick a billion dollars worth of grout in there. Yeah, yeah. That's the ticket! Um, pray for us?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Feel The Love And Taste The Soup

Happy Valentine's Day all!
After my last (rather grumpy) post (sorry!) I have been in a great mood. GREAT! I don't actually (<--that word was for you Richard) know why. There are lots of reasons I could still be grumpy: flu like virus has applied for resident status, cold rain turned into snow, it's still February. On the flip side, the tide has turned and here are my guesses why: the days are getting longer, I have no stress, I am EXCITED about my training. And? Mr. Tapioca Head let me know there was a show featuring building with cob on last night. How decent was that? It's a little known fact about me, but I'm a cob fanatic. Of the armchair variety. I haven't had the chance to work with it yet but it is in my future. I know it. I know it the way you just know some things about yourself.

In other news, I am in the middle of making homemade chicken soup for the first time ever. I buy canned chicken stock and cook with it all the time. Seriously, like four times a week. Yet last week when I went to the store, the labels on the cans were all different and I didn't see the one I usually buy. I resorted to reading the labels to decide which to get. (<--That, by the way, only confused me more as they all seemed more or less the same. In the end, it was the price stickers, not the labels that decided me.) One label got me thinking. It bragged "Voted #1 Most Like Homemade". You know, I'm not sure that I would have been qualified to participate in that voting. I can't think that I've ever had homemade chicken soup! Not to bust on my mom or anything. She is a great cook and makes delicious soups from scratch. She just happens to make things like potato-leek soup and gazpacho. Not chicken. Maybe my aunt has made some that I've eaten? I don't know. I do know that I've never made it before.

Unlike my secret cob enthusiasm, it's a well known fact that I have issues with chicken. Particularly with the gross bits - like the bones and the cartilege and the stringy vein things and even like chicken breasts in the form of slimy raw slabs on my cutting board. BLECK. I don't eat drumsticks or wings or thighs. Ever. Many have been the days when I have done all the dinner prep but have been unable to force myself to cut the gooey chicken breasts. Luckily for the children who like more than salad for supper, SH and VBGF are not nearly so squeamish and one or the other has stepped in to do the cutting. VBGF has even taught me the trick of cutting chicken breasts while they're still partly frozen. This is brilliant! Chicken is way less disgusting when it is semi-frozen. Which brings us back to the crazy idea of me making chicken soup. From scratch. Well, at least from grocery store scratch. It's not like I killed the chicken and plucked its feathers out or anything. Store bought ingredients are close enough to scratch for me!

It sounds easy. The main ingredient is a 3-4 pound chicken cut up into 8 or 9 pieces. How hard can it be to buy a chicken? Let me tell you! I looked through the entire poultry section at the grocery and no joy. I saw all the parts separately. I saw chicken breasts stuffed and ready to grill. I saw seasoned chicken wings ready to heat. I saw whole chicken "roasters" with pop up thermometers imbedded in the frozen chicken flesh. I saw already cooked rotisserie chickens. I saw not one plain old, raw, whole chicken. I felt foolish asking the butcher about it, but I needn't have. They didn't have any out. He said that he'd just had to throw away a bunch that had gone past their sell dates. He seemed miffed that here it was cold and flu season and no one was buying his whole chickens. "Perfect for making soup with," he said to me. "Fantastic, because that's what I'm doing, for the first time ever." I said to him. He was more than happy to go get me a fresh one that had just arrived and he even offered to cut it up into 8 or 9 pieces for me. That was nice and all, but I have to say that the package was completely slimy when he handed it to me. I almost abandoned the whole project then and there. The project was even more imperiled when I got home.

I wasn't sure I could touch the chicken. I could barely stand to look at it as I opened the package. I did, in fact, turn my head as I dumped the styrofoam package into the pot. (This bit of information is important in a minute.) I added cold water and chunked up veggies (including a parsnip - because I LOVE parsnips). I didn't see the instruction to add the "cleaned" chicken to the pot until later. I have no idea what cleaning a chicken involves. Is it part of the chopping process? Is it just a matter of rinsing? Surely there's no soap involved. Be that as it may, I inadvertently skipped this step in my anxiety over how to get the 8-9 pieces into the pot without touching or looking at them. Still, we bubbled along for the rest of the afternoon. The kitchen smelled heavenly. The children literally SHOUTED at me from the garage. "That smells GREAT! Is that dinner?!" (No, we had clam sauce spaghetti - from scratch, no bones - last night. The soup is for Thursday.)

I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I don't have any fancy way to separate the fat out of the soup so I followed the instruction about putting the whole pot into the fridge overnight. This morning Sweet Hubby went to work late. (It is, after all, Valentine's Day and we have lots of children who stay awake longer than I do, but who are handily all in school by 8:30 am.) As he was leaving, I was getting ready for Homemade Chicken Soup - Day 2. He admired my efforts thus far and offered to help with the next steps. THANK GOD! I am really trying to get over being so easily squicked out, but there were bones and globby bits and lumps of chicken skin roiling around in the pot. Intellectually, I have no issue with these things. I'm not even close to a vegetarian. You might could get me sad about the plight of veal in its baby cow days, but chickens? Have you seen live chickens? Have you smelled them? I have no guilt over eating them or problems with the fact that the disgusting bits are the very bits that make the soup taste delicious. However, it's those bits bubbling about that make me gag uncontrollably. Don't you wish you could cook with ME?

"My" first chicken soup is a joint project. As Sweet Hubby was separating out the ooky parts, he asked me how I had handled the little paper package with the unmentionables like the heart and gizzard*. I told him that this chicken didn't come with that. "Uh huh," he says, "Well, here's the thing. You know those parts are very good for the flavoring, right?" Yes, yes, yes. I explained the part where it's not my brain but my tummy that objects to those parts and I probably would have put them in they'd been there (and if I could have done so without throwing up). "The reason I ask is, I just took some of them out. Now I'm wondering about the paper." Oh hey, it doesn't tell you so in the recipe, but take it from me that you should LOOK at those 8-9 chicken pieces as you dump them in the pot otherwise you might end up with bonus cellulose.

Anyone want to join us at table tomorrow night for homemade chicken and paper soup?

**Gizzards. When I was a little girl, you could get gizzards on Tuesdays from Kentucky Fried Chicken. You may be surprised to learn that this was a huge treat for me and my little sister. My father (who loves all vegetables without exception and eats weird foods in general) does not eat fast food or desserts. He'll have second helpings of collard greens; he'll fight you for the last escargot on the plate; and he can tell the difference between brands of capers - but he will not go through a drive thru. Not for money or love. Only he used to - for gizzards. On Tuesdays. On the premise of getting "treats" for Tidget and me. I don't know when they stopped selling them and I don't know if I'd be game for having them again if they made a surprise comeback at KFC, but I have fond memories of gizzard night with my dad. What's the weirdest food you've ever eaten?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tapioca - A Minor Flare Up

Remember the shirt? The one at the wrestling tournament that said, "Hold my headgear while I kiss your girlfriend?" The one I object to on principle but find particularly inappropriate to be selling to a crowd of second graders like Havoc? That's the shirt Havoc came home in this morning. It was Mr. Tapioca Head's weekend and he took Havoc to Saturday's wrestling meet. Apparently he didn't see anything objectionable about that shirt. In fact, he had it personalized by getting Havoc's weight class printed on the sleeve. It might as well say, "Under 65 pounds and already being indoctrinated with macho bullshit!" Along with that stellar wardrobe addition, all three boys came home wearing "dog tags" stamped with their name and my ex's address and phone number.

I could be snarky and say that it's probably a good idea as the boys have given up memorizing Mr. Tapioca's info since it changes so often. Except that I'm trying not to be snarky. I'm also trying to pretend it doesn't bug to me when he does weird stuff like this. My mother says (incredibly unhelpful) things like, "Don't let him get to you. You give him too much of your energy when you let him get to you." Ok, fine. Pretend, pretend, pretend. NOT WORKING! I hate the empty gestures he makes - the one upsmanship and the strange ways he has of trying to co-opt me into agreeing with his unhealthy parenting philosophies. He has a way of calling me to tell me things I already know about the boys - things any parent not smoking crack would know about their children. He thinks I don't know some of the things he's saying? He wants to "prove" to me that he knows them too? What? I don't understand. It's like he forgets who he is talking to sometimes. For instance, right after court he suggested we go BACK to mediation to work out the things that were in the parenting plans that didn't get heard (because my lawyer is an asshat.) He said, "This time I'll keep an open mind and make an honest effort. It's for the boys' sake." Excuse me? That's what you were supposed to do last time, nimrod.

Even when we agree on things he makes me nuts. I agreed three separate times to his request that we each have the children on our birthdays. It wasn't in our original agreement and I feel perfectly comfortable celebrating with the kids on a day other than my actual birthday but he seems to feel strongly about it, so fine. I have never objected to this change. Not once. I agreed to this in mediation in June (although I didn't get to have the kids for my July birthday because he had already made plans to take them out of town during that time); I agreed to this in October (when I submitted my proposed parenting plan - it was written to include his request); I agreed to it a-freakin-gain talking to him after court in January. His birthday in February fell on the Sunday in "my" weekend. I assumed (incorrectly as it turns out) that he would want to come get the boys on Saturday night and have them on his birthday as we agreed. But no. He made plans to go out of town. He told me that since he didn't have it in writing he hadn't wanted count on it. Riiiight. Then he said, "I don't want anyone to think I don't want to spend time with my children. I think about being a dad 24/7 and 365 days a year. Not an hour goes by when I don't think of my children." Somebody please get that man a gold star for parenting.

There you have it, my children came home slimed with Tapioca this morning and there's just not a darn thing I can do about it but whine on the internet.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Armageddon As Family Fun Night

We have this tradition of "Family Fun Night" where we do something fun all together - like play a board game or go for a walk or go to the arcade etc. It doesn't have to be a big thing. The point is to be together and be playful. It was much easier to pull off when the kids were little because pretty much any night could be family fun night. Now (because of chorus and wrestling and karate and scouts and game) we're limited to Monday nights or the one Friday a month when we have everyone. And those nights often get preempted by homework or the kids wanting to go out with friends instead of hanging out with the family. Once in a while, I wonder to myself if maybe I should let go of family fun night - let it slip away the way other early childhood traditions have done. After all, we eat dinner together regularly, we talk to our kids and they talk to us. We know their friends and their friends parents, at least by sight if not to have over for cocktails. <-- Um, I meant the parents there, not the kids. We're somewhat non-conformist but not to the point that we'd invite teenagers over for drinks for heaven's sake! But even if family fun night doesn't happen every week, I have been reluctant to let it go. After this past Monday, I realized I was silly to even think about letting it go.

Very Best Girl Friend (VBGF) was here for the Superbowl and it was our weekend to have the kids - so in a sense we'd had family fun for days and days. As much fun as we'd had though, the activities had been in smaller groups: me taking Havoc to the wrestling meet, Sweet Hubby (SH) and the bigger kids meeting us later and then them going out to eat while I went to check on VBGF; Nurse Nice coming out to hang with us for the afternoon; VBGF taking Chaos to a memorial service for the father of one of his friends; the kids playing miniatures; VBGF, Havoc and I watching the Superbowl with SH wandering in and out (the other kids weren't interested because their teams weren't in it). We hadn't done anything all together. VBGF didn't have to go back until Tuesday so on Monday, she and I ended up making a terrific hamburger soup. The house smelled good and we all sat down for supper together. I think SH is the one who suggested a movie for FFN and the kids jumped on it. Granted, they originally wanted to watch "The Pacifier" and had to be talked into "Armageddon" instead - but they were excited about it in the end. "Armageddon" was new on our HD movie list - and I voted for it because I remembered liking it more than I had expected to in the theater years ago. Until it started, I did not remember exactly how many years ago it had been! One of the opening scenes showed the New York City skyline - with the twin towers. What a gut punch. I gulped and VBGF and SH both said, "Wow" at the same time. We paused the movie for a second and talked about it. Havoc didn't quite understand until we explained to him what those two buildings were - after all, he wasn't quite three on September 11th, 2001. A few minutes later, when small pieces of asteroid are streaking through the city there is a scene in a cab with some tourists who want to go shopping and don't know why the taxi has stopped. The cabbie shouts back that they're in a traffic jam and no one is going anywhere. He explains that this is New York City - it could be a terrorist attack or a something or a something. I'm sorry I can't remember what the something's were because my mind was completely stuck on the fact that the first thing he said was it could be a terrorist attack. It is not uncommon for NYC or at least parts of it to get obliterated in disaster movies - but it was HARD to see the towers both burning - one with a chunk out of the side of it a few minutes later. To be fair, the top of the Empire State building comes crashing to the ground too - and that had little or no impact on me. Clearly the first time I saw the movie, the images of the towers had so little impact on me that I didn't even remember that happening at all - but man, oh man it brought tears to my eyes this time.

The rest of the movie played out and we all enjoyed it. We talked a little about disaster movies with tornadoes and volcanoes and how this one had come out to counter "Deep Impact". We talked a bit about the theme of everyday people being the ones called up to save the world. We chatted about Bruce Willis and "Fifth Element" (a family favorite) and "Lucky Number Slevin" (a grownups only family favorite). We chased the kids to bed (with Mayhem already coming down with a fever - yikes). It was a great FFN and each one of the kids said thank you and gave out extra hugs.

That, in and of itself, would have recommitted me to keeping this family tradition alive - but it's been the smaller conversations later this week that have clenched it for me. Havoc wanted me to tell him more about the morning of September 11th - about how a friend had called and I'd turned on the news a minute before the second tower was struck. He wanted to hear about how I held him and cried and then went to get the other kids from school. He wanted to hear about how his Aunt Deb had looked out of her window in the Newsweek publishing building and saw it all. He wanted to hear about how when I was 11, I'd taken a tour and gone to the top of the one of the World Trade Towers. The Ninja Princessa had wandered in - and she commented that I'd done that when I was exactly her age now. Havoc slipped off to play with Legos in his room, but the Princessa and I talked about how the world changes and what it might be like when she has kids that are 11. When all the other kids were at school on Tuesday, Mayhem - all pathetic and pale in his bed - asked me about what we'd do if an asteroid really was headed for the earth. I asked him if he worried about that. He said no, but then he also said that it would be better probably for all life to end because of an asteroid that we couldn't help than because of people hurting each other with nuclear bombs. I sat with him for quite a while as he told me about the kinds of things he does worry about. I don't quite know what to say in those situations. He's thinks about some big things for a little guy - although at 12, almost 13, I suppose he's not that little anymore. I did reassure him about the things I could - and he ended up reassuring himself about some things just by talking about them out loud. He told me he liked talking to me and also, could he have an extra big lunch because he was really hungry. We had lunch and the conversation morphed into things he's looking forward to. Later, Chaos talked to me about third grade. He didn't quite talk about September 11th - but he started in that time frame for himself and he ended up asking me about military things. He wants to get his ears pierced but he also knows that he can't have that in the military. He wanted to know if he would just have to take the jewelry out while in uniform or if he would have to let the holes close all the way up. Then, he asked about North Korea and where I saw things in Iraq being in 5 years. He asked if I thought the world would be around by the time he grew up. Wow. That ended up being a great conversation - we talked about how people had felt that sense of doom at different times in history. We talked about the Cuban Missile Crisis and about eclipses and tsunamis. I told him that I had great faith in humanity. He told me he wanted to be part of the group that made things better. I had to squash (hard) the urge to tell him that I didn't think the military would be that group - having joined the Navy myself, 20 years ago for the same reasons he was telling me about now. I did let myself say that I thought there were lots and lots of groups working for solutions - scientists, pastors, health care providers, volunteers of all sorts all over the world, not just here in the States. Then he started naming some groups he thought were working hard too that I'd left off the list - teachers and the Red Cross and even film makers who made people think. Yeah, all in all, I have to say that Family Fun Night is here to stay.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Flu Shots

A couple of months ago, I took the kids out of school for an afternoon to get them flu shots and ice cream afterwards. Good family fun, no? I hate taking them out of school, but the shots are only available between 11 and 2 on weekdays, so what else can you do? I reasoned that one afternoon out for the shot was better than a week out with the flu. Good reasoning, no?
And am I glad I went through the hassle! Fighting with the schools to have that time officially excused so the kids could be allowed to make up their work/tests, fighting with the insurance company about flu shots not being "elective" and "voluntary" (i.e. not covered) but rather medically necessary (i.e. paid for by them!) for a family with three asthmatic kids, and putting up with sad, cranky kids (and ice cream spills in my car) - boy was that worth it - because we don't have the flu. No, what we have is a "flu-like virus". Yeah. Life is good here. You?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Crazy Blog Dog

The other day we were flipping channels and happened upon the canine version of extreme sports. Wasabi ran to the tv. He barked. When one of the dogs ran off the side of the screen, Wasabi lunged into the space beside the TV to see where he went.

I'm not sure what was different about this show. He's never shown any interest in what was on TV before - even the dog food commercials. He has barked at doorbells or knocks on a door on TV before but those are all audio. He's never given any indication that he connected the images with real life at all - until now.

He was hilarious. The trainers on the show would hold up a toy and Wasabi would rock up on his back legs like he was going to catch it. I was laughing too hard to get a picture of it, but the funniest moment was when Wasabi got right up the TV and tried to sniff the butt of a dog onscreen.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Go Colts!!!!!!!!!!

Does it get better than this?? Yay Peyton!!! (And Don Shula - the winningest coach EVAH bringing out the trophy! VBGF is from Miami and is a Dolphins fan first and foremost. Just FYI.)
The only - absolutely the ONLY bad thing about the Superbowl is that it means no more football until August!! Go Colts! (God we love football.)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Let's Wrassle

Havoc wrestled today for the first time - and today, for the first time, I was a wrestling mom. Havoc, as the youngest of five, is not often the first kid to do something. He was pretty proud of himself. And? He was a little nervous. (I, on the other hand, was ridiculously, insanely, and unbelievably nervous. Good thing I wasn't the one giving the pep talk!) The first pictures are of Havoc listening intently to the coach.

Havoc was very focused. There were probably a hundred people milling around - the bigger clubs were doing drills about two feet away - and there were hordes of little guys running around playing tag trying to work off some nervous energy. Havoc wasn't distracted by any of it. He zeroed in on his coach. I was trying to listen too - because Havoc's was the very first "bout" of the whole meet! There was a very detailed bracket sheet delineating over 170 bouts in a stair-step form that led to the championship bout. There was a screen with mat numbers and bout numbers that changed every five minutes. Havoc wrestled against 8 and 9 year olds only and they were all divided by weight. He weighed 64 pounds this morning so he wrestled in the 65 lb group. The nine year old boy next to us in the stands weighed 133lbs. YIKES! (He wrestled in the 112lb+ division.) I'd never been to a wrestling match before. It is SUCH a boy sport. Yes, there's one girl (who is about 14) in the club that Havoc wrestles with - but she is very much the exception. (I can't even imagine why she would want to. I promise you that when I was fourteen that I would have eaten glass before I would have participated in a sport that required weighing in, wearing a lycra singlet, having your weight written in sharpie on your hand for all to see, not to mention gripping and grabbing boys. No way.) Remember the part of my story where I grew up in an all female house and went to an all girls school? Yeah - boy stuff still freaks me out which is probably why the universe saw fit to make sure I had four boys! We were watching one bout that had to be stopped because one of the boys got a bloody nose. Like seriously bloody. Like give the boy an ice pack and someone grab a bucket and a rag for the mat, please! You know what they did? The continued the bout! They did wipe up the floor but then they just stuck something that looked like a marshmallow (but was probably an earplug) up the boy's nose and blew the whistle to keep wrestling! (He won, by the way.) In another match one boy's arm looked like it had been wrenched out of the socket. Another boy got a forearm pressed against his larynx and was gasping too hard to cry. I was literally shaking by the time Havoc had his second bout. Havoc's nervousness had completely disappeared though.
He's the one on the top in this picture. This is his very first bout of his very first meet. He won. It was amazing. He was totally jazzed. It was a double elimination tournament - and he lost his next two bouts and was out. But the first boy he lost to went on to be the champion of the whole division. That boy was fantastic. He about gave me a heart attack wrapping my son up like a pretzel. At one point Mr. Future Champion had Havoc upside down with his neck bent at a terrible angle. Sweet Hubby had to pry my fingernails out of his arm. The second bout Havoc lost was much more even. He tied the boy in points for the first of the three one-minute rounds. By the third round, the other boy had Havoc on points but he didn't pin him. Afterwards that boy told us it was his fifth year wrestling. Go Havoc for holding your own against that kind of competition! I learned a lot too. Mostly I learned that wrestling culture is weird. And the weirdness is contagious. I heard other parents shout things like, "Find your base!" and "Crank it up!" I shouted those things too. I'm not sure they helped as I have no idea what they mean. I asked Havoc if he knew how to find his base and he said, "What base?" My thought exactly. They were selling t-shirts that said, "How 'bout you hold my headgear while I kiss your girlfriend!" Eh? I mean, it's not just me is it? Don't you think that's a weird slogan for an eight year old's shirt? Me thinks, perhaps, the wrestling world is just a wee bit defensive about those singlets and overcompensates with misplaced machoness. Weirdness aside, Havoc loves his new sport. Considering he had to leave the house at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday to go get slammed into a mat and twisted into a spandex covered knot - I thought he had a great attitude. He said, "Know what I think is awesome about wrestling? It's an adventure AND I get to eat a power bar and drink gatorade." There you go, Havoc's formula for happiness is adventure + electrolytes. Headgear optional.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Glasses

And a scary picture - but hey when you're taking your own mug shot it's hit or miss. (How do you manage to look normal when you do this, Deb??) Anyway after breaking two pairs of glasses in seven months when I'd never broken a pair of glasses in my life before- grrrrrrr - I decided not ever, ever, ever to go to Wal-Mart again and also to get these crazy frames from a great little shop. What do you think?