Wednesday, April 22, 2015

13

Yesterday, Satchel became a teenager. He's been acting like one for quite a while, but now it's official.

On Saturday, we had an early celebration. He wanted to invite his three best buds over, eat a bunch of crap, play soccer at the Kroc, have a FIFA tournament at my place and then have everyone spend the night.

At Kroger, I let him pick out his supplies.

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We actually had to procure the Takis at Mapco. They were essential as the loser of the FIFA tournament was going to have to snort a crushed one. (I wasn't going to let that actually happen.)

Then, he insisted that I make the pasta that my friend, Mary, gave me as a gag gift on my birthday.

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After we picked everyone up, we came to my apartment and I served it up.

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Within thirty seconds there was intense giggling, and everyone but Jack ate it. (Later they all asked for more.)

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Around 6:00pm they headed over to the Kroc to play soccer. Jiro and I were chilling at the apartment thinking we had a nice two hours to relax. At 6:30pm, I got a teary phone call from Satchel. "I think I dislocated my wrist," he said. "Can you come pick me up?"

Satchel is the king of minor injuries, so I was pretty calm. On my way out, Jiro said, "He might be pranking you."

I pulled in front of the Kroc expecting them all to be lined up and ready to play Xbox, but no one was there. I parked and went inside to discover a very pale and teary Satchel hunched over on a bench icing his wrist. I could tell it was serious, so I instructed the other boys to stay and continue playing while I took him to Minor Med. If we were lucky we could be in and out before the Kroc closed and continue with the party.

Thanks to the awesome people at Minor Med, my plan basically worked. The boys walked back to the apartment and a newly splinted & medicated Satchel and I met them there shortly after with pizza.

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The party continued with Satchel mostly spectating. (After awhile he did attempt to play one handed.)

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The FIFA tournament was anti-climactic since Satchel didn't win. Jack, who lost, ended up taking a sip of some gross drink the boys made from almond milk, sriracha, cheese, soy sauce and who knows what else, instead of snorting a Taki.

Around midnight I got the boys to turn on a movie, and Satchel was soon sacked out from his meds. That allwoed Jiro, who was originally supposed to lock himself in my room all night, to hang with the big dogs. I finally got them to sleep by 3:30am. Then, they were back at it by 8:30am.

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I was sent for donuts, then I took everyone home. Satchel immediately started negotiating for a "do over" once he got his cast off, but I told him that 4 boys was too many to have at my place and to talk to his dad!

On Monday, I took him to get a real cast and it helped his overall pain tremendously. And he got to miss school, which always makes him happy.

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Tuesday, the actual day, was much better and we got up early so he could have a latte before school. (I know, right?)

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AFter school we went to the Snowden v White Station soccer game to see all of our friends play. It was super exciting and went to a shoot out. Then we ended the birthday celebration with a family dinner at Sekisui.

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This is what I posted on Facebook yesterday:

Celebrating 13 years of motherhood with this dude. Those assholes who tell you, "it goes by so fast," do not lie! He went to school with a caramel macchiato and a pocket full of Sharpies. I asked that he please not let his friends draw penises on his cast. He's excited about going to the Snowden v White Station game tonight and then getting to stuff himself with sushi at Sekisui. I love him so much. Even when he acts like a punk. Happy Birthday, Satchel!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Rec Room

I took the monkeys to the latest Taylor Berger/Michael Tauer production, the Rec Room, and we loved it. It's on the corner of Broad & Tillman. It has a nice patio. No smoking or vaping allowed!

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There is usually a food truck there, like our beloved Stick 'em.

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Inside there's tons of old school video game machines, foosball, ping pong, a bar, and six different livingroom areas.

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Take a minute and let that sink in. How cool, right!? Well, guess what? The old school games are free. We made a beeline.

I thought the kids would love Donkey Kong since it is what spawned Mario, but eventually Satchel admitted he had no idea how to play it.

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Jiro was similarly disillusioned with Tron.

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You know who was having a blast? Me and Ms. Pac Man.

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I am not bragging, but merely stating facts. The kids could not believe how good I was. (I really have no idea how to play any of their games.) Satchel called me MLG, which he said meant "Major League Gamer." I have to admit that I loved that. Soon, it became clear that he expected me to beat the high score of 116,320. Of course, once I realized that, I tanked. I blame the joystick, which had a little crick in its neck every so often. And the fact that I was trying to send a text at one point.

The monkeys soon discovered the menu for the living room area and started begging me to let them rent an Xbox One so they could play Fifa 15. Uh, isn't that what we do at home? I asked. Yeah, but we want everyone to see how awesome we are, they replied.

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Lucky for the monkeys, this speech came as I was chatting with Michael Tauer. He graciously offered to let them try it out for free. (Normal rental is $25/hr.) They were psyched. Once they placed their order, we went to the livingroom area for the hot dude with beard and bun to set it up for us.

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While he did that, I procured a beer, water for the monkeys and some free popcorn. (Seriously, could this place BE any better?)

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Sadly the Xbox One did not work. It needs to connect with wifi and for whatever reason that wasn't happening. So they compromised on playing some war game on Xbox 360.

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Once they were settled in, I went back to Ms. Pac Man. I was on a mission! I broke 100,000 but I couldn't get the high score. The monkeys came over and actually expressed their boredom with Xbox 360. What!? We agreed to leave, because there was homework to do, but then we ended up playing foosball and ping pong instead.

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Oh and this game with guns.

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It was actually really hard to leave!

We never even played the Guns n Roses pinball machine!

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The kids and I all really want to go back. Satchel said they weren't really equipped for "modern gaming" just yet, but he liked playing the other games. Jiro wants to have his birthday party there. I won't rest until get the high score on Ms. Pac Man!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tennessee Safari Park

I've had the Tennessee Safari Park on my list of things to do for ages. Over Spring Break, I finally had a chance to take the monkeys. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, my friend, Kristy, offered to drive us in her minivan along with two of her four kids. Satchel wanted to bring a friend and soon we had a full house.

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The park is about an hour an a half away in Alamo, Tennessee, which is about 20 miles from Jackson. Once there it's $12 for adults and $8 for 2-12 year olds. They are open year round, seven days a week.

You also buy buckets of food at the gate. There is some minimal instruction on protecting your thumbs and then you are free to drive through and feed the animals.

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Beware of the ostriches. They are waiting for you at the start and they want all of your food!

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It goes from being totally funny to a little scary.

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We had four boys and one girl, but everyone was screaming like little girls after about five minutes!

Kristy put the back of the van up, so that may have added to the excitement!

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There were a lot more animals than I was expecting and it was both funny and sad that we didn't know what they all were. Kristy and I were saying things like, "Look at this little thing, whatever it is. Moose? Reindeer?" and "There are some pretty gazelles or something" and "What's this pretty gold crested thingie? A crane?"

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Finally, I was like, "It seems like they would have given us a brochure or something." Then Kristy said, "They did!" And we looked all over, but couldn't find it. Eventually when we got out of the car, we realized Kristy had been sitting on it the whole time! Ha!

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Oddly enough, one of the favorites was a group of piggies.

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We'd been told to save some food for the camels at the end, and it soon became clear why.

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They could totally steal the buckets with their mouths! But they weren't all thieves.

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It took us about an hour to go through the park, and then we went to the petting zoo area. (There was a snack bar, restrooms and a picnic area.)

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The peacocks and the pigmy goats were the highlight of the petting area.

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It was a really fun day trip and everyone really enjoyed themselves! Kristy's car was pretty trashed when we were done, but she didn't seem to care so that was an added bonus!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Public Enemy #1

So, thirteen years ago, when I was pregnant with Satchel, there was a LOT of hooplah about vaccines and autism. Mothering magazine, which I considered to be extremely trustworthy, did many articles and special issues on the topic. Warren and I decided to delay vaccinations for Satchel until we felt more confident that we'd be doing a good thing, and not endangering him.

We made the same decision two years later when Jiro was born.

As the boys grew into strong, healthy dudes, the issue of whether or not to vaccinate them faded into the background. They didn't need vaccinations to attend private or public school and we were easily able to find a doctor who supported our decision.

Well here we are in 2015 and people are losing their shit. I even had a Facebook friend ask that anyone with unvaccinated kids unfriend him immediately. (He's a new parent, and I remember the fervor I had as a new parent, so I didn't let it offend me too much.) Anyway, in light of current science and the measles outbreaks across the country, Warren and I decided to go ahead and vaccinate our healthy boys.

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Having never had a needle in their arms, they were a tad nervous. Satchel handled it like a champ (despite the above photo). Jiro needed some encouragement, but he survived. When he later told me it was the worst thing that ever happened to him, I told him that if that were true, he should consider himself lucky!



I did get a few, "Why didn't you do this to us when we were babies so we wouldn't remember?" complaints from the kids, but I explained my rationale to them and also reiterated the fact that they'd still need boosters and other shots at their current ages anyway.

Finally, to put it all into sharp focus, I told them how their dad and I spared them from circumcision and that at least we hadn't changed our minds about that!

Then we went to Belly Acres for a burger and all was right again.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Final Wishes

Excuse me while I get a little morbid...just for a minute.

One of my coworkers died suddenly last week, and I attended her funeral this week. She wasn't sick and she wasn't much older than me. Seeing how my dad also died suddenly, it got me thinking about my own funeral.

I have some small requests:

Please, please, please do not embalm me. Under no circumstances! I would like to be disposed of in the least expensive, fastest manner possible. A pine box, cremation, fire in the backyard--I really don't care. If you'd like to turn me into a tree, that'd be fine too.

Can we leave religion out of it? And don't have someone who never even met me lead the service (if there is one). If everyone could just gather round, have a few beers, and put Joni Mitchell's "Blue" on repeat, that'd be plenty. Should anyone like to say a few words, I'd suggest telling a story about a time when I was right about something, anything.

Thank you!

p.s. The kids probably know all of my passwords.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Family Photo

I asked Warren to come along for the yearly photo shoot, but we never quite made it happen. So, this year, Chip captured me and the boys in the apartment and in our new neighborhood.

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I seriously can't believe how gorgeous these two are.

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We had a lot of fun taking these pictures. I mean, who doesn't love playing in traffic?

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I'm declaring us officially "too cute for traffic."

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No cards going out this year, but we really enjoyed all of the ones you sent us! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chrismukah

It's been a very busy holiday season.

Warren won Hannukah by making sure the candles got lit every night and by calling me to participate via speaker phone when necessary.

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On Christmas Adam (the day before Christmas Eve), Jiro and I went to Marlinee's house to partake in some yummy Thai food and to see some good friends. (Jiro & Gus are buds now, though we haven't managed to get in on camera.)

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Christmas Eve at Gigi's was quite festive. She and Branch made Jell-O shots to keep everyone's spirits high.

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Tracey & Ronnie brought Chinese food from Asian Palace and sushi from Toyko Grill.

As far as presents go, it will be remembered as the year Warren got Satchel a collapsible stool...

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and Tracey & Ronnie bought everyone scarves at the Thrift Store.

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Christmas morning we continued our tradition of delivering meals for MIFA.

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We had a really fun route this year and got to chat with some interesting people. Afterwards, we went to CKs for breakfast.

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Then we went back to Warren's to look in the stockings. Of course, Satsuki had one too.

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The monkeys did a good job of hiding their disappointment at not yet having their XBOX One. They had saved up some money and received enough in gifts to buy one, but much to their dismay, Game Stop was closed on Christmas day.

Then I finally divulged that I had one last present in my car. They were ecstatic.

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They immediately wanted to set it up and start playing it, so I went over to Brantley & Jim's for a little more Christmas cheer.

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The boys and I ended the evening at Leslie's house for one last dose of family fun. It was a great few days.
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