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Showing posts from March, 2012

Our house is full of warmth

Today was the first day of the spring soccer season. Ben's team scrimmaged itself -- our opponent never saw the revised schedule and didn't realize our game started an hour earlier. No matter: Our timing is off after a five-month hiatus, so what amounted to an extra practice was beneficial. Michael's team won its game, with Michael playing goalkeeper for the whole game for the first time. He played a great first three-quarters of the game, but he started tiring out near the end in the heat.

Yes, we had heat today in Salt Lake City. It reached 80 degrees -- the earliest 80-degree day ever recorded here. And though I'm happy that spring has seemingly arrived, the warm early weather does present a conundrum: It's too early to turn on the air conditioning in our house, but our upstairs warms up in hurry. Our bedroom, on the southwest corner of the house, gets particularly warm, and the ceiling fan in the room won't spin anymore. We're planning to replace the fan…

The sporting life

Just when basketball ended for the boys, soccer and baseball are starting up. And swimming is right around the corner

The boys' soccer league is stretched over nine months, with eight games in the fall and eight in the spring. After almost five months off, Ben's team, which I coach, resumed practice this week, with its first game set for Saturday. I tried to run the kids a little more (in a fun way, of course) to get them in shape, but it will take a few weeks for them to rediscover all their skills from the fall. Michael's first practice is Friday, followed by his first game Saturday morning.

For baseball, we moved Ben up into a higher division so he can be on the same team as Michael and keep us from a completely psychotic Saturday schedule. Their league is machine pitch, and last year, Ben as a preschooler tried batting at Michael's practice and actually connected a couple times. He's fearless, so I think he will figure it out quickly (and I doubt he will be the s…

Driving or sputtering

For a long time now, I've been wanting to start a GenX blog (I posted about this last year, lamenting that I couldn't come up with a name). Unfortunately, I haven't achieved that goal.

I have been writing more, which I'm happy about, but I find myself not reaching the writing and work goals that I've set for myself. Have I lost the drive to use my most prolific and enjoyable talent? Is parenthood simply taking precedent, preventing me from finding the time? Am I simply lazy? Am I too tired? Am I worried about failing? Is the thought of starting this and the slacking off too daunting?

I'm not sure what the answer is. I do know that I seem to be getting closer to launching the blog. I've been thinking about potential posts constantly. I've been investigating how to design the blog I want to design on WordPress (sorry, Blogger, I'm ditching you for my next blog). I'm closer to coming up with a name.

What I haven't done is ... start.

That post from …

In a lull

Lately, I haven't been as inspired to write as I would like to be. I'm not sure if I'm truly uninspired, simply too busy, or just tired. My fallback plan when I have nothing to write about is supposedly to recount the day, but even my days lately have seemed boring. Take today: I co-oped, came home and made lunch for Ben and me, napped, went back to school to get Michael, took him to swimming, made dinner, went to the park to get pine cones for a science project in Ben's class, came home, watched part of "The Muppets" with the boys, took Popcorn for a walk, and now I'm here. Somehow, that took all day.

I'm somewhat resisting writing about the past too much here -- and it seemed I had been doing that too much lately. The present isn't that boring, either. Maybe I am just tired, and maybe the warm weather forecast for this weekend will snap me out of the rut. Give me a couple days. I'll be too wordy again soon.

Shamrockin'

St. Patrick's Day fell on a Saturday this year. That meant the St. Patrick's Day parade, always on a Saturday in Salt Lake City, fell on March 17. That meant St. Patrick's Day parties, sometimes held before or after the actual holiday, were on March 17. That meant today was going to be a long, fun day.

This was the fifth year we participated in the parade. The boys' preschool always marched in it, and their current school does as well. This year, the "float" was a long flatbed trailer that included a few kids from the school's rock band and a few dozen students, as well as some parents. I sat with Ben on the trailer as it made its way through the parade course, while Lori followed on foot and Michael on his scooter. We were near the front of the parade, so for the first time in few years, we actually got to watch the parade after our float finished the course. We didn't stay for the whole parade, however, instead heading to the Original Pancake House f…

It;'s Madness I tell you, Madness!

My four favorite days of basketball season (my sons' basketball seasons notwithstanding) are right now: the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. These last two days featured 16 games each -- all televised; the next two days will see eight more each day. Needless to say, I've watched a lot of hoops in the last 36 hours.

Of course, I watched Marquette (my alma mater) win, but March Madness is a celebration of basketball, not just my own favorite team or the schools I have in my bracket. I found myself rooting for underdogs (the two No. 15 seeds that shocked No. 2 seeds today) knowing the upsets would upset my bracket. Alas, the first weekend is only one weekend, and though next weekend's games will be viewable and entertaining, it won't match the sheer volume of these past two days.

Marquette plays Saturday, and I'm hoping my Warriors make the Sweet 16. That would make March all the more sweet.

Green thoughts

With the improving weather the past week, I've been doing my best to clear out our front-yard gardens of leaves and overgrowth. Our tulips, daffodils and crocuses are beginning to pop through, and today, one even bloomed. I hope the lone flower survives the weekend, when a cold storm is supposed to blow through.

My thoughts will turn to the front lawn, which isn't in great shape. Every spring, I have grand plans to revive the lawn, and by June, my grand plans begin to fizzle. At least whatever clover grows in place of grass on the bare spots will be green. We don't get much rain or humidity in June and July in SLC, and without a sprinkler system, manually getting water on the lawn takes on added (and sometimes forgotten) importance. I'm hoping for the best this spring -- again, grand plans.

The biggest threat to our front flora might be the puppy. Today, I had Popcorn on a 20-foot line tied to the front porch while I worked. I gave her a retriever chew, turned around, an…

It must be March

The NCAA basketball tournament has begun. It must be March.

I bought the MLB app, with which I can listen to the audio for every Major League Baseball game, including the spring training games. It must be March.

The shoots of our tulips and daffodils are starting to poke through the ground. I've been clearing out dead leaves for a few days now to give them some space. It must be March.

All the snow has melted and temperatures have been at least 60 for a week. Snow is forecast this weekend. It must be March.

I drank my obligatory Shamrock Shake. Actually, it was better this year than in years past, without its mediciney taste; McDonald's is marketing it as a McCafe item instead of a shake. It must be March.

The boys' basketball seasons have ended. Michael's team finished with a flourish, winning its last three games, including the final one in OT (with Michael scoring the winning basket off a rebound). Ben's team played its best game of the season today, and he finally s…

Running partner

While watching the Westminster Kennel Club a few weeks ago, someone referred to the German short-haired pointer as an SUD: sports-utility dog. Today, I utilized my dog's sporting skills when I took Popcorn, our 9-month-old lab/pointer mix, for her first long run with me.

Growing up, my dad and I would take our dog, Pepper, running in the forest preserve. He was never on a leash but always followed along pretty well. It helped that the woods by our house included a long trail on which you could run two miles or so without even coming close to a street. Pepper loved going running with us. He would sometimes run ahead, sniff around, then sprint back. We could never get him to drink from the forest preserve pumps, so we would have to take him home right away so he could get some water (especially on hot days; Pepper was a shaggy black dog).

One of the things we have been looking forward to with Popcorn was taking her running. When reading a description of her mix, we saw that lab/pointe…

Monopolizing the conversation

My favorite board game growing up was Monopoly. I liked it so much that I own a Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, iPod and Android version of it. I am such a purist that I refuse to buy any of the gazillion of Monopoly variations (does anyone really need a Spongebob Monopoly game?). I played the game so much with my neighbor George that I can tell you instantly how much rent costs on each property or what you've landed as soon as the dice are rolled, before you even start moving. That last Monopoly trait is what drives Lori nuts, and why she has refused to play the game since 1995.

Last week, Ben and I were picking Michael up from a friend's house, and there was Monopoly on the floor, where the kids had been playing it. Ben sat down, moved all the pieces to Go, and started rolling the dice. He had tried the Monopoly on my phone, perhaps without fully understanding it, and he loves board games, so I thought we would try playing Monopoly that weekend. Lori was out of in bed early after r…

Talkin' 'bout the car wash

With temperatures blissfully climbing to 60 yesterday, Lori had a task for the boys and me: Get the cars cleaned out and washed. And not at the full-service car wash that costs $18 and you don't lift a finger, but rather at a self-serve car wash where you do all the vacuuming, soaping, rinsing and waxing. I was a little resistant to do this with the boys. Would they argue over who gets the vacuum first? Would they want to help me clean out all the garbage under the seats (and oh, was there ever a lot of garbage under the seats, including Pull-Ups, which Ben hasn't worn in two years)? Would they fight on who got to use the soap brush in the washing bay? At a full-serve car wash, the boys get to watch the whole process. Yesterday, they were going to be part of the whole process.

Lori got this one right: Having the boys help was fun. They did a good job, too, though Michael needs to understand that when he's wiping down a surface, he needs to wipe down the whole surface and no…