Posted on July 31, 2008
Those of you who have read my post on Chloe’s ability to collect minions, will not be surprised by what I witnessed today at the park.
We were there with my mom’s club, and things were pretty quite for awhile. That is, until the day camp let out, and all the kids in the “after care” showed up. We were suddenly overcome by fifty 8-10 year old boys and girls. Luckily, they were pretty good kids, and we didn’t have any trouble.
However, Chloe picked a random girl who was probably about 8 or so, and said, “Big girl, big girl, come with me!” Well, most girls this age like to fancy themselves little mommies, and she went willingly. She followed Chloe up the stairs, across the bridge, up the ladder and up on the slides. That’s when Chloe spotted another girl. She told that girl “Come with me,” and like all good followers, the girl said, “where are we going?”
Before we left the park, Chloe had gathered four older girls, all between the ages of 8-10. They followed her everywhere she went. They told me how cute she was, how well she talked, how much fun it was to play with “babies” (luckily, she didn’t hear that conversation.) They blocked other children from cutting in front of her. They yelled at the boys that threw sticks anywhere near her general vicinity. And they checked in with me on a regular basis, “Does she like this? Will she do this? Does she want this?”
I honestly wonder sometimes if Chloe understands how powerful she is, or if she is one of those children who will take her power for granted. Any way you look at it, this child has skills! I was joking with one of the mom’s that Chloe knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to ask, charm or bully her way into getting it.
At one point, one of the girl’s told me, “You know, Chloe’s really bossy.” I told her, “We prefer to call that ‘Leadership skills.’”
Posted on July 30, 2008
Watching “So you think you can dance” tonight made me want to cry. Not in a sad, feeling sorry for myself kind of way. But, in the appreciative, that “FUCKING GAVE ME CHILLS!” kind of way. The dancers this season have ramped up the level of difficulty so HIGH, its like watching a professional dance performance. There are only six left, but they are all so good, it makes it really hard to vote. I love Twitch, for his comedic stylings, but Chelsie rocks EVERY SINGLE DANCE! Katee was the girl that they weren’t sure they wanted on the show, and then decided against better judgment to add her, and she is AMAZING! Joshua is the hip hop guy with absolutely NO classical training who is doing passe double’s and waltz’s as if they were easy. Mark has this bizarre, Danny Elfman quality to his dancing, which intrigues me. Courtney is a short (which in this industry tends to be rare) but strong dancer.
To any of you out there who aren’t watching the show, you don’t know what you are missing. Even if you don’t enjoy dance, this has got to be one of the BEST reality shows on. I think it’s better than American Idol, and that’s saying a lot. This show is all about skill, versatility, and entertainment. And it fails to disappoint.
PS. I swear, nobody is paying me for this review. However, if you want to, I could use the money. I am going Italy, after all. That shit ain’t cheap!
Posted on July 29, 2008
Both of my parents were born into poor families. My dad was a son of a Turkey farmer in Montana. He moved to Colorado with his mom when he was a teenager because his parents split up and there were no jobs for single woman in Billings, Montana. That was the extent of his youthful travels.
My mom was the youngest of eight in a Catholic family. Her parents moved to Colorado from Wisconsin while she was in utero. There is some question whether or not her father is her father, and that may possibly be the reason for the exodus from Wisconsin. However, nothing is confirmed (or denied) and she spent her adolescence in the Denver Metro Area.
My parents were married young (barely twenty,) and had kids young. But that didn’t stop them from achieving. My dad was in the Army Reserves and went to College while my mom stayed home with two kids under the age of three. When they could finally afford a house of their own, they added another child into the mix. They were poorish, busy, but full of ambition. And they promised themselves that their kids would see America.
My Dad made good. He received an accounting degree from DU and eventually his CPA license. From that point on, we were travelers.
Every summer for as long as I can remember, we went on a road trip vacation. This was, of course, before car seats and seat belts were fully in effect. However, airline tickets were still unreachable. My parents loaded us up in a Volkswagen Rabbit, with the hatch back down, a blanket and toys, and bad recordings of our favorite Disney shows on audio cassette tape. (I can still recite Robin Hood verbatim.) When we weren’t listening to Disney films, we listened to our parents’ music. My mom, Barry Manilow and the Beatles. My dad was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar and Blondie (Rapture still gives me the creeps.)
I can honestly say I don’t remember everything about those trips. I was young, and there were other things in my life that were more important to me at the time. However, I can say that I have been to every state in the United States (excluding Alaska.) Of course, most of them I slept through, or just merely saw them from the highway. But, I have physically been there.
The most important gift my parent’s gave me through all of these trips, was the sense that it was absolutely okay and worth while to GO. There was NO adventure too small, no tourist trap too lame, and absolutely no museum worth skipping. And I have to say, my parents are my heroes when it comes to travel. They drug us (sometimes kicking and screaming) all across America, parts of Canada, and Mexico. Since we (as in my brother, my sister and I) have left the house, they have traveled EVERYWHERE! Cruises, road trips, flights to Vegas, introducing the grand kids to Disney, whatever the destination, they GO. (They are currently on a cruise through the Hawaiian Islands)
Now it’s my turn. I have the physical and financial ability to GO. John and my first trip together (other than our honeymoon on a cruise through the Caribbean) was to Paris during new years with eight of our friends. Since then, we’ve been to the Netherlands, the Netherlands driving to Germany and Back (while I was 6 months pregnant,) and back to Germany right after Chloe turned one. And now we are planning our trip to Italy. (Of course, if I have my way, this trip will include a road trip through Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.)
I am trying to be realistic about this trip. We have a limited time (little over two weeks) and a lot of personal and financial variables to consider. I try to plan every trip abroad as if it will be our last. Of course, we absolutely hope that it won’t. With oil prices rising, and with the possibility of turning our family of three to a family of four, it just keeps getting more expensive. Of course, if we can’t travel abroad, I am sure we will take advantage of all that America has to offer (by car if necessary.) But, I am worried that this might be my one an only trip to Italy. And I hope I can take full advantage without annoying anyone else in our party.
That being said, the Ericksons are going to Italy for New Years!! The details are fuzzy, but we’re going! Look out Rome!
Posted on July 28, 2008
When I went to Colorado this past trip, I introduced my parents to the “Mob Wars” game on Facebook. They fell in love with the game and have played it obsessively ever since (hey, I come by my obsessive personality honestly.) They are currently on vacation in Hawaii (poor them) and were worried that they would lose control of their mobs while they were gone. So, instead of house sitting, I am mob sitting. Its a LOT of work to run three mobs! I may not blog for awhile. Forgive me.
(PS. My mom is totally kicking my ass when it comes to mob members. At last count, she was up to 120. Woman’s a fiend!)
Posted on July 25, 2008
I fell in love with pirates when I was ten years old. That’s when I saw Goonies for the first time. From that point on, I knew that Pirates were the ultimate “bad asses.” Race, age, sex meant NOTHING. It was all about the “bling!” They had their code, their mystery, and the fact that they could kill you just by looking at you (they could do that, right?)
I was ten when we moved away from a school where I had a lot of friends, and was technically considered one of the “popular kids.” We moved into a huge (by my standards) new house. My dad started a new job. My brother, sister, and I started new schools and dance/karate schools. On top of all this, my Dad bought a new car (I got my need for “big life changes” from him.)
That’s when I suddenly discovered the true meaning of “having money.” In adult terms, we no longer had “expendable income.” Suddenly, whether or not we could pay the bills and/or buy the latest and greatest in toys and fun, became an issue. My parents were exceptionally good at hiding the stress. But, as children often do, we picked up on it anyway. I could relate with “Mikey” (aka: Sean Astin) when he thought that finding pirate treasure would solve all of his families financial burdens. I also had visions of stumbling on a treasure map or pirate ship hiding in a cave somewhere. (Of course, I now realize that in Colorado, our only hope of finding real treasure lay in the hands of the Native Americans and/or the settlers that lived in our area. Which had obviously already been discovered.)
But, the romance was there. And when Pirates of the Caribean was released, I renewed all of my love, fascination and obsession with Pirates. Dead Man’s Chest was the first movie I saw after Chloe was born. (I went to it by myself, and I have to admit, I had a hard time staying awake. She was only 8 weeks old and wasn’t sleeping through the night!!)
I found out that one of the themes from Chloe’s Gymboree summer program was “Pirates.” I got a wee bit excited. I was thrilled when I discovered that the Little Einsteins did a Pirates episode, and I bought the dvd of the Dora the Explorer episode where she became a pirate. I found pirate coloring books, pirate outfits, and pirate bath toys. Then, Ellen and I stopped in at Starbucks before seeing Momma Mia this weekend, and I found an advertisement for The Real Pirates exhibit at the Franklin Institute which is the only verified pirate booty of record. Serendipity! I understood that a majority of the content would be above Chloe’s head. I just didn’t care. This was one of those rare times when I was doing something for ME!. Although, I do have to admit that I probably would have waited if it didn’t fit so well with her Gymboree theme.
I FREAKIN’ LOVED IT! Although, my joy was slightly dampened by the fact that Chloe wouldn’t cooperate. There was a LOT of reading. So, that part bored her. There was a mock up of the captain’s quarters of the pirate ship, which she obsessed over. She didn’t understand why we wouldn’t let her ring the bell (that was submerged in water so it wouldn’t disintegrate.) And, they had a sign for “The Frogs Inn” but there wasn’t a frog to be found. Ooops. All in all, she loved the canons, got a kick out of the pirate ship, and was excited by the pirates’ treasure. I just hope she will remember all of this and take it with her. (Although, I understand this is unlikely, considering she is 2.) I just gotta say, PIRATES’ CHESTS FULL OF TREASURE! And yes, they had that, too.
HOW FREAKIN’ COOL WOULD IT BE TO FIND PIRATE TREASURE. I mean, seriously. The whole time I was there, I was imagining myself on the boat or underwater while they were uncovering the canons, or the gold coins, the pistols or the FREAKIN’ BELL! It just blows my mind. How many pirate stories have we heard as kids and thought when we got older, “Oh, Pirates and hidden treasures are as realistic as mermaids, or deep sea monsters.” And yet, HERE IS ACTUAL PROOF.
Can you tell I am excited.
Ok, so the entire Franklin museum was cool. And, I would recommend it. But, because they don’t let you take pictures inside any of the exhibits, this is all I got..ahem..from the gift store. Obviously that’s where they make their money.
Posted on July 24, 2008
“Hooplas,” Chloe called them ice cream
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