After the updates that Hubs made to my blog on Sunday night, things are a little different on my end. And by different, I mean I have to hunt all over the place now for the button that says ADD NEW BLOG POST, because it used to be FRONT AND CENTER, but now it’s sort of off to the side, kind of like Australia is. Not that I mind too much, because I do like Australia, if I can work my way past the fact that THEIR BEACHES HAVE GREAT WHITE SHARKS and THEIR OUTBACK HAS DEADLY SNAKES!SNAKES!SNAKES! I’m never very good with change.
But what has changed around here is my beverage of choice. I’ll still list a Starbucks grande, no-water, no-whip, please-and-thank-you chai latte as my most favorite drink ever, but that isn’t sustaining me these days, because the caffeine content in a chai is limited. Now days, I’m drinking coffee like a wild cowboy out amongst the sagebrush and mustangs, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to appreciate it in its blackest state yet. No, ma’am. Like the Pioneer Woman adds butter to every recipe she cooks for that extra color and flavor, I am all about adding sugar to my coffee. I think it’s safe to say that I could pretty much just pick the sugar cane plant straight out of the dirt and cram it directly into my mug. And then I add a ton of half-and-half. And somewhere between all the sweet and all the cream, the caffeine hits me and explodes like a decent firework in my bloodstream, and I have what it takes to survive in the Sleep Deprivation Study Program.
(The SDSP is a program for trained participants only. Please do not attempt this at home. Participants are kept in a controlled environment and are monitored for oxygen saturation levels and how many times they use the phrase WHAT WAS I JUST TALKING ABOUT? in everyday polite conversation.)
(As long as we’re on the subject, I ask people WHAT WAS I JUST TALKING ABOUT? approximately nine times per half-hour visit. It’s because sometimes my mind just blanks itself out while I’m talking, and I remember the precious olden days when I just suffered from insomnia and had at least four luxurious hours of sleep every single night.)
I know that it’s already Tuesday evening, and who really cares about last weekend now, because THE PRESENT! Folks tend to enjoy living in the present, and last weekend is already old news, like Tim Tebow being traded.
(Don’t get me started. Televised football brings my ADD levels to altitudes normally only achieved by the United States Air Force, but that nice little Christian quarterback helped me focus on actually watching a game now and then with Hubs and trying to understand Quarterback Sneaks and how on earth the guys with the ten-yards-long, bright orange measuring tape held together with giant pylons know EXACTLY where to measure, when they yank the football out from beneath a dog pile, and you KNOW that the guy on the bottom shoved the football as far forward as his arm would go, which renders the measuring to see if ten yards was, in fact, achieved, pointless, because it was ten yards PLUS THE LENGTH OF NUMBER SEVENTY-TWO’S ARM. And now, well, the only NFL star who gave me a desire to watch Denver play ball is now in New York, and we don’t watch any team other than the blue-and-the-orange one around here, which has been documented in some premarital ordinance instated by Hubs.)
(For the record, I hope Tim Tebow wins the next Super Bowl and that Mr. Manning is forced to watch from a giant sky box and admit, “I could have learned a lot from that little quarterback!”)
This is not one of those blogs where we talk about football, politics or underwear.
This last weekend was very possibly the busiest weekend we have had as adults.
The boy, you see, is very possibly the smartest little pumpkin in the patch, and he never fails to amaze me with how easily he solves enormous problems and how quickly he can figure out percentages in his head at the tender age of eleven, when I still have to say to myself, “Okay. Half of 100 is 50, so half is 50%. And half of 50 is 25, so a fourth would be 25%.” I sort of have to work my way through the percentages in slow motion and use all ten of my fingers to figure things out, when the boy simply says, “Train A left the station at 10:05 AM and traveled due East at 133 mph. Train B left a station 704 miles South of Train A’s station and the wind was blowing out of the North at 12 knots, so the answer is 76%.”
(And yes, he can figure stuff like that out in his head, but he can’t remember to pick his lunchbox up off the kitchen counter every morning and take it to school with him.)
Because of the brainpower that the boy has, he joined a little Destination Imagination group this year at school with his buddies, Enzo and Patrick, as well as another 5th grade fellow from a different school. They spent a good chunk of their practice time working on a task of creating a small skit around a challenge of developing two different products (Product A and Product B), and taking said products from the raw material to the factory. From the factory, they took their product to the warehouse, and then it was fake-shipped to people all over the globe who supposedly ordered these two products online.
Don’t worry about understanding all of that. The first time I saw the skit in action, the boys lost me at HELLO.
The amazing news is that a local high school team had taken the EXACT SAME CHALLENGE this school year, and they decided at the last minute that it was entirely too hard, and they PLUM QUIT. Our little band of 5th graders took the challenge, worked their tail ends off, had a small mental break down on WOW! WE HAVE BEEN CLIMBING TREES TOO MUCH DURING PRACTICES AND NOT DOING OUR WORK AND NOW WE HAVE TO KICK IT INTO SUPERHERO MODE TO FINISH, and then took their skit and Products A and B to state competition on Saturday in Fairly Big Town, which is two hours from Small Town.
Because the boy has himself some mad DRIVING SKILLZ, he was the driver in their skit, who drove the cart from production to assembly to delivery to shipment. I think it’s because the boy was the only team member who could drive the car while pulling the trailer behind him and not knock their stacks of products over.
(The boy can drive, people. When he was 3 years old, he had a battery-operated Jeep that he drove everywhere, and he would beg Hubs to park our two vehicles in the driveway with JUSTENOUGH! room between the two of them for the boy to practice parallel parking his Jeep.)
(When we bought his new four-wheeler, the boy begged Hubs to set folding chairs up in a parking lot so he could practice parallel parking his all-terrain recreational vehicle.)
(I have asked my dad to set up practice courses for parallel parking exactly zero-point-zero times.)
(I also drove my Suburban into the automatic car wash last year and fell off of the tire clamp. Thank goodness I’m cute.)
Also? Look at Enzo in the background. Does the little gray mustachioed man from the game of Monopoly come to mind?
The team all dressed as factory workers and gave up shaving for the event.
Enzo’s original brown ‘stache lost some stickiness, so when the time came to present their challenge in front of the judges, he swapped to the gray one. Patrick looks like the new sheriff in town. The boy’s ‘stache leans a little, so that it’s a bit thicker on one side than the other.
After months of hard work and three weeks of INCREDIBLY INSANE HARD WORK, the boys managed to pull off the second place medals FOR THE ENTIRE STATE during competition. Our little band of parents in the bleachers clapped like crazy people when they were called up during the closing ceremonies to receive their award.
I probably clapped the hardest, because the first place winners of this state Destination Imagination competition get to board a plane in May and head to the global competition, which will be held in Knoxville. Second place turned out to be a fantastic honor, and it saved me the cost of airline tickets. I applauded with great joy in my heart!
Hubs and I also guessed that there were approximately five hundred children who had participated in DI on Saturday, which meant that the closing ceremonies had enough brain power sitting on the gym floor to put a man on Neptune before the season finale of Modern Family takes place.
We also got to watch the boy’s good friend, Ben, compete in DI this weekend. His skit involved freezing cavemen who had constructed a structure which could hold 245 pounds of body-building weights off of someone’s Nautilus machine. Their structure was made out of wood and glue, as the rules stated.
Well, we like to keep things going. Those two little rugrats started pre-kindergarten in the fall of 2005 as only children in their families. Single little boys, with no brothers or sisters. Ben’s mom, Bridget, and I both assumed that Ben and the boy would be it for us.
Ben has a little brother named Isaac now, who is SERIOUSLY the cutest baby boy born in 2011.
So here’s the VERY FIRST snapshot of Isaac and Thing 2 together. They are just seven months apart in age… they’ll be in the same grade when school starts… and Bridget and I have already decided that they’ll be Best Friends.
Like typical boys, neither of them cared about looking at the camera. Thing 2 slept through the picture, while Isaac was yelling, “I want my pacifier back!” But really? That is a whole lot of cuteness for one photograph!
Of course there was quite a bit of down time during Saturday’s ALL! DAY! LONG! competition, too. Thing 2 hung out with us all day, and the little man was an absolute trooper. He never fussed or whined or anything. He spent most of his day looking exactly like this:
As luck would have it, I remembered to bring the baby and the diaper bag to the closing ceremonies, but I completely forgot my camera. I snapped a picture of the boys receiving their second place medals (SECOND PLACE! IN THE ENTIRE STATE!) with my iPhone, but my phone and my computer are not speaking to one another right now.
I hope my IT guy can deal with that.
By 9:30 PM, we were home on Saturday. We were exhausted and happy, and Hubs and I were incredibly proud of the boy and his team’s grand finish.
On Sunday, we went to church.
And then we drove twenty miles out to Small Mountain Town, where we had brunch with Hubs’ parents and the boy’s seven-year-old cousin, Miss A. Miss A begged me to take pictures of her holding Thing 2, and I did.
With my iPhone.
My iPhone that is not speaking to my Big Mac right now.
Sorry, Miss A. Thankfully, I can improvise. On Sunday, Miss A looked a whole lot like she did the first time she held Thing 2. The only difference is that Thing 2 now has a pot belly from all the Similac, which he didn’t have that very first time his cousin snuggled him.
I’m not going to lie to you: I didn’t like it, based on principle. And morals. And whatever. The acting was well-done. The storyline is good. The characters were great. But let’s not put a shadow over the fact that LISTEN, PEOPLE! It was a book about a battle where kids kill other kids. I couldn’t get my brain past that. I sobbed when little Rue was shot with an arrow. I sobbed when some of the kids banded together to help one another, and then they were picked off, one by one. This movie yanked my emotions all over the spectrum of WOW! GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY! to OH MY GOSH! THAT LITTLE GIRL WAS HIT WITH AN ARROW!
The boy loved the movie, but what he loved is what all the boys his age loved about it: It’s high-action, with great adventure, survival tactics in the woods, and incredibly fancy weapons. Those three things are the trifecta of boy enjoyment.
After the movie, I came home with the grandmother of all migraines, and our weekend was over.
And THAT, people, was almost 2400 words. Y’all should receive medals of your own if you finished reading it all.
Happy Tuesday evening.