Sunday, July 25, 2010

Talkin' 'bout a heat wave!


Okay, it's been about 175 degrees out (350 degrees with the the heat index) for about 1,000 days now.  Maybe I'm exaggerating a little.

But anyway, I knew I needed to work out today.  Because I ate 12 mini pretzels yesterday, which meant I woke up 5 pounds heavier.  Luckily, the weight was evenly distributed: half around my waist, the rest under my eyes.

Unfortunately, I didn't get in a much-needed cardio routine today.  See, Ryan had me up half the night.

For the second time in week-and-a-half, he's got a fever.  The first time this happened, we were leaving for Canada the next day.  At the time, I gave him Advil, Cold-eeze, Zicam and crossed my fingers.  Well, we were calling our pediatrician two days later from Quebec because his fever kept coming and going.  "If he's still feverish Monday, give us a call."  PS--By Monday, he was fine and Cara was sneezing.

Cut to this past week.  Cara is a counselor at the town rec camp.  Little, sticky kids crawl over her daily.  They had a "Paint the Counselor" day, and I had to cover my seat with plastic bags just to drive her home.  (That's right, I still baby my ride: the suh-weet '02 Ford. Focus. Wagon. Perhaps the only thing grimier than the camp kids.)

A day later, she was at the doctor with a weird rash all over her arms.  The verdict: paint-related, pore-clogging dermatosis.  Two days after that, she was on the Cold-Eeze and Zicam.  STICKY KIDS!

Meanwhile, Ryan goes to the Meadowlands YMCA camp.  It's longer hours and they go on more trips, which makes us all happy campers!  He had a blast going on three trips last week.  Capped off by a sleepover at a buddy's house Friday night.  I didn't get him until 5 yesterday afternoon.  Cut to 12:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. today: fevers.  Oy!  Is he fighting Cara's germs, camp germs or trip germs?!?  Who knows.

Obviously, I was a up lot last night.  Taking care of Ry.  Woke up late.  Took care of Ry.  By the time I got it together this morning, it was the afternoon.  The only class left before the gym closed was yoga.  Good, I thought.  It's so bloody hot, I don't have the energy for anything high energy.  But, what does it say about me??? that I was the only one yanking paper towels from the dispenser and mopping myself off -- because the sweat was raining off me like the fat drops of a sun shower?!?

Fevers, heat waves, internal combustion -- this week, I need MANY degrees of change!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There's nothing like going to a foreign country to make you appreciate your own.

There's the language stumbling block.  You have to deal with the "You spoiled Americans" attitude.  The funny money where what looks like spare change is actually two-dollar coins.  And where ice water is just a meaningless phrase.

Welcome to Canada!

We went to Quebec for a week with the kids.

Mike and I had been there nearly 23 years ago for our honeymoon.  We flew up then.  This time, we drove.  And there's nothing like knowing if "ouest" mean east or west, or if "conduisez prudemment" means anything to add to the driving excitement.

Cara, the straight A French student, was a little help.  And by that, I mean "almost no help."  She claims Canadian French is different than French French.  She can trick me with that because the only French I know is "Sacre bleu!" (which means "a sack of bleu cheese," and is shouted by appreciative hockey fans who then launch the stuff onto the ice during games.)

It would have been nice to know how to say, "It's hotter than hell in here; why don't you have air conditioning??"  But I think the sheen of sweat that perpetually covered my face said it for me.  Quebec has a European sensibility in that its people think A.C. is not for them.  Just because it's 96 degrees and humid as a muck swamp is no reason to expect air conditioning.  It's summer!  Just open the windows.  And sweat.  You spoiled Americans.

Us: "Well, can we have ice water?"
Waitress: "Of course."
After 5 minutes, receive glasses of ice-less water.
Us: "Can we get ice for the water?"
Waitress, shrugging one shoulder: "Eet melts."

Who knew?

I sound like I didn't enjoy the trip.  And despite all the "getting lost" and "breaking up fights" and "hemorrhaging boatloads of money" going to Quebec was really great.  And not just because there was a  summer festival going on with street performers everywhere, and live bands like Arcade Fire, Rush and the Black Eyed Peas playing every night, their music floating over the whole city.  Not just because I got to experience firsts, like eating rabbit pie.  Not just because we crossed a footbridge high above the Canyon Ste. Anne waterfall and I didn't have a heart attack.

It was great not just because there's history at every turn.  Not just because they speak English when they realize you can't speak French.

Quebec was great because of all the memories it brought back.  No not honeymoon memories.  Of growing up without air conditioning... or crushed ice in our water.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Just swimmingly...

So, I'm signing Ryan up for the YMCA swim team this fall.  He just doesn't know it, yet.

Rather, he doesn't know I'm seriously doing it.  He thinks if he just keeps saying, "Mom, do you want me to drown?!" I'll back off.  Nice try, son.

But here's the deal: Ryan doesn't like team sports.  Or Wii Sports.  Or even being a good sport.  But he needs exercise.

The only activity Ryan takes part in with minimal grousing is his weekly bowling league. When I pick him up from school, he normally launches into how he has a headache.  How he got no sleep the night before.  How his throat hurts and, by the way, some kid puked in class.  That's his minimal grousing.

Luckily, he always makes a miraculous recovery by the time we get to the bowling alley, by which time he's switched into "snack" mode.  The other bowlers routinely pile their tables with something fried or cheesy -- or fried AND cheesy.  I relent to a hot pretzel.  

Ry: "I want a soda, too."
Me: "A water bottle."
Ry: "A Diet Coke."
Me: "A water bottle and no pretzel."
Ry: "Wait, they have cheese fries, you know."
Me: "You need to stop making sounds now."

The pool, on the other hand: No snacks.  No drinks.  This oughta be a cake walk.