Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Remember when ...

We knew August would fly by, and here is proof -- we have been back from vacation for three weeks, and I haven't even blogged about it. So five weeks since vacation started, here was our trip:

Vacation was two weeks long, our longest trip yet. It wasn't long enough, as we didn't quite see everyone we wanted to see, and didn't get more time with just us -- us being Wife, the boys and myself. At the same time, we were ready to get back: Vacations are great, but they are work.

We visited so many people. I saw a friend I hadn't seen since 1990. Our kids played with our friends' kids. My sister and her kids came in from Texas. We went to northern Wisconsin and stayed a great resort near Eagle River.

Eldest got to fish for the first time. Littlest swung on a swing just about every day of the trip. Eldest went out several mornings with his Grandpa to exercise the dog. Littlest would wake up with the earlier sunrises and exclaim to us "Let's go!"

It was humid. It rained a few days. Traffic in Chicago sucked as usual. I watched more baseball than I had all summer. I ate at all my favorite Chicago joints, probably gaining a few pounds. My failing iPod sometimes worked.

I didn't sweat about work like I did two years ago. We didn't seem as rushed as we did last year, despite the number of people we visited. And though we were ready to go home at the end of the trip, it of course went by too fast.

We returned at the end of July, and we're rapidly apporaching the end of August and the end of summer. It of course has gone by too fast.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame

I took Eldest to his first professional baseball game today. We saw the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees play the Fresno Grizzlies at Franklin Covey Field on a sunny, warm afternoon. Yes, it was just a minor-league game, but it was a nice father-son milestone nonetheless.

Admittedly, I wondered how long Eldest would last. Four-year-olds get bored quickly, and he hasn't quite picked up on all the elements of baseball yet. We arrived at the stadium and looked around a little, but got some food, found our seats and settled in for the game.

He made it three innings before he got a little antsy. He did witness a Bees home run, which was cool. After the third, we walked over to the playground (yes, this stadium has its own playground) beyond center field. He played there for a few innings, then said he wanted to go home, but I convinced him to stay through the seventh-inning stretch and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." I bought us some ice cream in a mini-helmet and sat back down, thinking we'd finish our ice cream and go.

But Eldest surprised me -- he started pretending his hand was a microphone and started doing play-by-play! I think he got the microphone idea from watching a 4-year-old sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on the scoreboard, but he was clearly trying to deliver some play-by-play, even enlisting me for help. He's more like I was as a kid than I thought!

We left in the top of the ninth, right as the Grizzlies were rallying. I knew if we stayed until the end the visiting team would tie it and we'd be there for extra innings, and Eldest's attention was fading again. I can't wait to take him, and someday Littlest, to another game.

Oh, the Bees won 5-3.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dude, where's my routine?

We've been back from vacation for more than a week now, but I haven't seemed to get back into our pre-vacation routine. The cold I was fighting last week didn't help, but I think part of the reason is that we didn't have much scheduled this week. No swim lessons. No playdates. No soccer camp. No preschool, obviously. One Little Gym class Monday morning, and not much since. And these last three days have seemed to have dragged on.

Sure, I did get things done, and it's not like we stayed inside every minute of every day (we did go on a fun jaunt to a new park and then IKEA on Tuesday). But by the time I went to work Wednesday night, I was starting to go a little stir-crazy. Maybe I, we (the boys included), thrive on flexible routines. They can be tiring, but at least there's no time to get bored, flustered or unproductive.

Soccer camp returns next week, then a couple busy weeks, then school starts after Labor Day. Though it will be sad to see the summer end, I'm beginning to understand why parents get jazzed about September. I don't want the boys out of my hair per se, but getting that routine down will be, well, a welcome routine.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

System reboot

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted!

The week before vacation got real busy, then we went on vacation -- and though theoretically it would have been nice to blog on our trip, it just didn't happen (plus I needed to write my NFL blog, which came first whenever I had some free computer time). We got back just as I was catching a cold. All of a sudden, we've been back three days (ever notice how the immediate days after you get back from vacation zip by, as if almost to sneer at the fact your vacation is way in the past?) and I still hadn't posted.

So here it is. Vacation was great -- the boys had a blast and it was nice to see as many people as we did. I caught this hit-and-run cold that has spread to the rest of the family, and as a result, the last three days weren't as productive as I would have hoped. They weren't totally devoid of usefulness, and we did celebrate Wife's 40the birthday, but for I would have liked to have accomplished more in the days before returning to work.

August is here, and it is going to be busy. Work will be interesting as I'm helping with a few overnight Olympic shifts. Blogging will be frenetic as I want to catch up on vacation as well as post like mad to my NFL blog with the season approaching. It is a busy time for the family as Wife major work stuff ahead, Eldest has soccer camp, and the preparation for the return (or in Littlest's case, debut) of preschool looms. And there's something else big on the imminent horizon for me that I don't want to jinx by writing about it(or even overthinking), but that is starting up this month.

Summer is winding down when it just seemed like it got going (remember, spring here in Utah unusually sucked). Vacation is always like that -- we get back and plan for the fall. It's good to get a routine in place again and to get on with the things we need to do, but I wish June and July could last about 45 days each. August wouldn't seem so technical then.