Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Where's the Dafoom?

What is up with every child going through a period where they are obsessed with public bathrooms?!? Is it just mine? The weird thing is that I HATE public restrooms and will hold it far longer than I should and go out of my way to stop by home just to go pee. I cannot even fathom the other in a public restroom, so it isn't even worth discussing.

So how is it I have children who have all gone through a period of being obsessed with public bathrooms? Before we go anywhere, I make everyone go pee. If they refuse, I give them the eye, shake my finger in their face and say, "You are not going at the store." And, I mean it.

For Phillip, it was when he was about three. He fell in love with pooping at Home Depot. Every time we walked in that store (and during that time, we were there a lot), he would say, "Mom, I need to go poop." I would redirect him, but he would always whine and wince and I would cave. We would work our way across the store, as for some stupid reason the bathrooms were over by the concrete and no where near the kinds of stuff we were always buying. He would hop on the toilet and squeeze, push, squeeze, fart, and then say, "I'm done."

Samuel, well by the time he was potty trained, I just made Phillip take him in. But, those times were few and far between. I could almost always distract him or talk him out of it. Now there is Andrew. I think I have already written about the time I turned the aisle in Target only to find him standing outside the Family bathroom yelling "I need go pee" with his pants down to his ankles.

Every store we go in, he SCOUTS out, and I mean SCOUTS out the bathroom. Whenever we get near it, he asks "Mom, where's the dafoom?" as if he hasn't already found it. I say I don't know (even though I do) or they don't have one (even though they do). He proves me wrong-quickly. "Mom, there's the dafoom." Oh, there it is...hmmm...interesting.

Last night we were in this fireworks store (yes, we LOVE 4th of July--are you kidding? Four boys? We blow up everything). He sees this door that he cannot figure out where it leads to (obviously not an emergency exit). "Mom, what's that?" I said I didn't know. "A dafoom?" No, I tell him, they don't have a bathroom. Well, he says, "But, I need go pee." Well, sorry I tell him, no bathroom. "Mom, its a dafoom." No! I insist, it isn't. Now look at this cool bomb thingy. "Mom," I return his call with the look and he says "I just have feu wait to get home." Yes, you just have feu wait for da dafoom until we get home.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Our dentist is a pilot and has his own airplane. He has been our dentist for over 12 years and has seen Jeff more times than we would like to remember (due to a puck or two in the mouth during hockey). He keeps promising Jeff he will take him for a ride on his plane as he flies in and out of a small airport not too far from our house.

He called Jeff late last week and told him about a fly-in at that small airport this weekend. I had never heard that term before, but I guess it means tons of pilots fly their planes to this airport, land, shoot the shit and fly away. So, Jeff took the kids up there this weekend to see some planes. He met up with our dentist, who let the boys sit in his plane.

In the course of an hour, Jeff said they saw more than 10 small planes take off and land--no less than 50 yards away on the grass runway. Here are some of my favorite pictures from their adeventure. I was of course, playing tennis.

Dr. Ed showing the boys the controls--Pilots ready for take-off (more pictures on the Web Album)

Good Morning

I have written before about the sometimes unusual nature of our everyday life thanks to my husband's noble occupation. The home of a police officer can be an interesting place. The other morning was no exception.

I switched on the coffee maker at about 5:15am and made my way to my office. I sat down at my desk and looked over at my printer only to be greeted by a mug shot of the most offensive looking middle-aged man.

Mug shots and rap sheets often come across my printer, but to be greeted by one first thing in the morning was less than appealing. And this guy is a real winner. He is a convicted sex offender--child molest none the less. Why was he on my printer, you ask?

Recently, the "new" department came up with a brilliant idea to save the tax payers' money. For you local folks, you know that the city (of which Jeff was) and the county police departments merged in January to form, what the mayor convinced the public would be, a beautiful strong force that would save the city millions of dollars each year.

The merge hasn't gone so well (unless you as the mayor or any of his puppets) and crime has sky rocketed--I assure you the two are not completely unrelated. The latest of their brilliant ideas--assign each officer an individual on the local sex offender registry. Now, instead of spending their time being proactive, the police are babysitters.

The mugshot was Jeff's sex offender. Oh joy. A middle-aged African American man convicted of like 8 counts of child molest and my husband gets to babysit him. He lives in the community (fortunately, not my neighborhood--but maybe yours), despite his conviction and even jail time.

Each police officer gets assigned a sex offender--what a great idea! Do you think? Is this community policing or a total waste of time?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I Shouldn't be League-le

Well, I can finally say I achieved a big personal goal. I actually made a tennis league this year. Last year, I was so envious of the women playing league matches. I wanted to do that so bad, but there certainly was no invitation extended.

So, I got serious about wanting to be on a league and increased my playing days. It worked. When leagues were forming, I carefully listened to the chatter in one of my groups, being careful not to assume I was included. Then I heard the coach say she wants them to climb the ladder this year and play at the 3.0 level. Oh, I thought, I am out for sure. I cannot play at that level.

But, when I didn't raise my hand, she leaned over and said, "Kris, don't you want to do the league?" I am not a 3.0 player I said, disappointed that my work hadn't led me to my goal. "Of course you are!" she said. And, then, I was on the team.

Now you have to understand how foreign teams are for me. Sure, I did projects in groups in school and at work, and still do most of my work on project teams. But sports teams are totally foreign to me. I was not an athlete. I rarely played sports as a child and when I did, the experience was not one I would look back on fondly. I appreciate my parents' willingness to encourage, but also to support me when I chose art and other more solitary activities over sports (especially in the highly sports-focused community I grew up in).

But, here I am on a team. A 3.0 team too! I talked the team into the importance of uniforms. They obliged but when for more a uniform "look" not uniforms purchased from the pro shop. But, I think I have them convinced of the psychological value of us coming on the court all dressed alike. So, next year, I hope to win approval for a team ensemble.

We played our fourth match this week and our team finally won. While I (and my doubles partner) have won several games, I have not won a set (we play two sets each match). I am always placed in the number three seed for doubles on the line up. My new goal? By the end of league in the summer, I want to play in the number two doubles spot--don't have to win, just play in the spot (instead of number three).

So here I am again, setting out to achieve my goal. For the next six weeks, I have the opportunity to play no less than five days a week. Why? Because the only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice. I will let you know if it pays off. For now, off to a Saturday morning tennis class.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Girls Shouldn't Do Everything Boys Do

Okay, this isn't going to be a popular opinion. While I think women can do anything men do, there are certain things I think they shouldn't do. Here are my top three:

1) Sportscaster

2) Leader of a mid-size or larger congregation/church

3) Police officer

Sure, they can but that doesn't mean they should. Female sportscasters just creep me out (so do identical twins, by the way). And, women leading a congregation? I have never met one that didn't turn the whole thing into a sorority-bitchfest and backstab the crap out of everyone. And police, are you kidding me? Do I need to even explain this one???

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It Takes a Village

Have you ever noticed that there are some things in your adult life that you insist you do--or don't do--because of the way you were raised? Seems obvious enough. Some patterns of our childhood we repeat; others we avoid.

For me, I strive to repeat many. One of the most important ones to me is creating a sense of community and family, beyond our immediate family, for our kids. My parents did a great job modeling relationships with the world. We were (and still are) deeply entwined in our extended family and my parents had no shortage of good to great friends.

We always had a pool, so we hosted company on a regular basis, my parents threw parties like crazy and were always going out with friends. For our friends, most often, my brother and I had the "hang-out" house. We traveled with family and friends, sharing experiences and creating lifelong memories. We celebrated holidays and special occasions with family and friends--there was a community much greater than our immediate party of four.

Young and old, professional and blue collar, rich and poor, stable and incredibly unstable--we saw it all and saw our parents enduring relationships--up and down, strained and nurtured, in times of celebration and in times of need--with family, friends, neighbors, business acquaintances, the bug exterminator, the vet, doctors, the mailman, the bank teller and more.

Our family's relationships ran deep and wide--and still do. My whole family is like that. And now, I am committed to creating that environment for my kids. We recently traveled to Spring Mill State Park with some friends for an overnight stay. We had a great time--but the kids, they had a fantastic time that I am confident they will remember for years to come (pictures on the photostream).

I want them to know if they ever need anything, just ask and someone we know will help them get it done. I want them to know that if anyone they know ever asks for help, they should be the first in line to provide the needed help. I want them to know that it takes all kinds and we need everyone in our lives to help us be successful. I want them to know that life is about so much more than themselves--and I think they get it already!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Crazy Days of Summer

Already, I am feeling like summer is going to slip by. It is just the first day of June and things are already moving at warp speed. Why can't time pass this fast in February?!? I know I have once again been bad about updating, but I have a long list of entries to make.

Thanks for the comments on the last entry (by the way, I didn't intentionally have comments turned off, it was a Blogger mystery and Jeff eventually fixed it). I know he is only protecting his family and I do appreciate that, I just hate what guns do in the hands of the wrong people. I fear them, and they should be feared. But, I understand his perspective.

Yesterday we drove to Ikea in Bolingbrook, IL. We got tons of crap and now have days of assembly ahead of us. A very busy weekend, so no time to chat now. However, updated photo stream!

More later...what are your plans for summer...?