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Wednesday
Jul302014

Chasing Rainbows

I wasn't kidding when I said I'm failing at feeding all of the people in this house. It seems like every time I feed one, another one complains of hunger. It's as if they need to eat more than once per week or something.

That situation being what it is, carry out is A Very Important Thing these days. It was definitely very important a few nights ago when 8:00 rolled around and dinner hadn't happened. I figured a quick run to pick up pizza would do the trick, so Alexis and I jumped in the car and headed out.

Just as we pulled into the parking lot to get ice cream (What? You don't stop for ice cream on your way to pick up pizza? You totally should.), it started to rain. By the time we got back in the car, it was pouring.

The good news: It wasn't a sharknado.

The bad news: Parking for the pizza place is half a block from the shop.

I wasn't really looking forward to imitating a drowned rat, but we headed for the pizza place anyway. As I drove, Alexis commented on the weather. She noticed that there were sunny pockets amidst the rain clouds, so she started hunting for rainbows.

She hit the jackpot.

"Mom! Look! A rainbow!" she proclaimed as she pointed in the exact direction we needed to go.

I'd like to say I'm all sorts of cool about things like rainbows, but I'm not. I was just as excited as Alexis. There was nobody else on the road, so I stopped to take a quick photo.

The rainbow looked crazy close, so I jokingly commented that we should see if we could find where it started. I didn't think about the fact that Alexis doesn't always get sarcasm, so the next thing I knew, I really was driving towards the rainbow in search of its start.

The further we drove, the further away the rainbow seemed to be. Alexis noticed the optical illusion and urged me to drive faster. "Hurry before it goes away!" she said. She continued on, "Maybe there are leprechauns there."

She thought about her statement for a minute and then decided to recant it. "Not that I believe in leprechauns or that sort of thing. I know they're pretend."

I don't know what "that sort of thing" means, but Santa will be investigating that claim in a few months.

Just as I was running out of real estate to continue the fake pursuit, the rainbow disappeared. It was as if the universe understood how badly I wanted that pizza. So we drove to the pizza place, parked, and started to walk in. Fortunately, the rain had stopped, but then Alexis noticed some dark clouds off to the north. "Look!" she said as she pointed.

"MOM! THERE'S ANOTHER RAINBOW!" she yelled as she tugged on my arm.

"OK, but we need to get the pizza before we chase it," I said.

"MOOOOOOM." She stretched the word to four syllables before saying "But we have to get the pot of gold!"

I promised to hurry as I drug Alexis into the pizza place to pick up dinner. She stood next to me urging me to rush the entire time, at one point saying, "But, moooooom! What's more important, food or money?"

That's a touch question right there. Fortunately, Alexis knew the answer.

"Money is more important, mom! You can always buy food if you have money," she declared.

She had a point. Too bad we never managed to find where the rainbows started. We could have purchased dinner for the entire week.

Tuesday
Jul292014

Keeping Capri Sun Courtside

Every year when the weather breaks, I wonder the same thing -- what ever happened to playing outside? I grew up thinking there was no other option. If it was sunny and above freezing, I darted out the door early in the day and didn't return until the streets lights started to come on that evening.

Thankfully, Alexis is starting to figure out that I'm going to kick her outside to play if she doesn't self-motivate and find herself there. She has a zillion things she can do. Everything from swimming in the pool, riding her bike, playing on her swing set, tumbling in the grass, drawing with chalk, and the thing that she is doing more than anything so far this summer -- shooting hoops.

There are no words that can describe how fantastic it is to see her doing something that I enjoyed as a kid. She's a few years ahead of me as I didn't discover a love for driving down the lane until fourth grade, but still. Alexis is out in the driveway playing basketball hours every day.

And, of course, I'm joining in whenever I can.

Mila is our spectator, hanging out in a swing nearby, as Alexis challenges me to dribble contests and games of Horse. She has discovered that she can't beat me at a one-on-one game yet (key word: YET), but if she isolates either dribbling or shooting, she stands a chance. Mind you, I'm pretty sure Mila is helping her because every time I call time out to tend to the Tiny Human, the score magically changes. I can't even get mad because ever since Mila was born, it has been "every man for himself" around here.

Want a snack? Go find one.

Dinner? Hahahahaha!

Need something to drink? You know where the fridge is.

The good news is that I did prepare for this "every man for himself" phase. The fridge is stocked with tons of healthy snacks and convenient drinks like Capri Sun. Capri Sun Berry 100% Juice is Alexis' current beverage of choice, which is fine because it doesn't contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. She gets a break from water yet I don't have to worry about her drinking something that will make me twitch.

It's a win-win, even if I can't manage to beat an 8-year old at a game of Horse.

Capri Sun recently changed their packaging and now has a clear bottom on every pouch. That means you can see what's inside with just a tip of your hand. What are your favorite family summertime activities?

Monday
Jul282014

Remembering The Good For When I'll Need It

Cheer season is in full swing, which means I spend a significant amount of time waiting for Alexis to finish shooting school spirit out of her every pore. There's a big difference this year, though. I have company while I sit around and wait.

She really is the best. I tell her as much daily, right after I'm done whispering "cheerleading is dumb" 5000 times in her ear.

What?

I've paid my dues. I'm allowed to subtly try to steer one kid in another direction.

Recently Mila and I were hanging out in a picnic pavilion waiting for cheer practice to end when we were joined by a group of teen girls. They gathered around a table right behind us, completely oblivious to our existence.

Mila's current vocabulary is limited to "goo," "oooh," and something that sounds EXACTLY like "hi." It's all highly entertaining, but with only those few sounds and words, we often run out of chatter pretty quickly. Thus, we were sitting in a bubble of silence when the teens sat down. That meant we heard every word they said.

The conversation was exactly what you would expect from the high school girl sect. They were cattily discussing a party and who was invited and who better not show up. I now know that Kate is soooooooo annoying, Logan is a loser, and Liam better be at the party because OMG SO CUTE.

It's kind of pitiful how much those sorts of conversations sound the same as they did 20 years ago.

But then the conversation turned to the topic of mothers. The five girls were debating which one of them had the best mom versus the worst mom. One mom is "soooo mean" because she never lets her daughter do anything.

That sounds valid. Yup.

Another girl said her mom is "fine." She didn't elaborate, but the other girls seemed to agree.

Then came the winner of the mom lottery. The girls all agreed on the criteria and the results. The best mom was the mom who, "doesn't care what Bella does, like EVER."

As the whole conversation continued, Mila and I watched Alexis run across the field. Practice was over and she was ready to turn the page to the rest of the day. When she arrived, she leaned over and kissed Mila on the cheek. "Hi, mom!" she said.

"Here's your water bottle," I said.

"You are the best, mom!" she cheerily replied.

I bottled up that moment in my head. I'm going to need it in a few years when she thinks I'm the worst.