Monday, July 26, 2010

How To Tell When You Are Home

A half of a mile left in my trip to my parents house in SC, I came upon this scene. This is when I *knew* I was home.


Check out the tires on that truck. The truck is jacked up so high that the bed is actually taller than the stop sign.

Note the guys riding in the back. And note the size of the regular car passing it.

And the motorcyclist was really just getting in my way. But after I got the picture, I realized that he represented SC too. Do you know why?

For those that didn't know me growing up, it all makes sense now, doesn't it? :p

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Finer Art of the High Five

The high five is defined by wikipedia as "a celebratory hand gesture that occurs when two people simultaneously raise one hand, about head high, and push, slide or slap the flat of their palm and hand against the palm and flat hand of their partner."

When you go to do a high five, you want to make solid contact with the person that you're high-fiving.

Two of my friends were giggling about the fact that they did a half-assed high five on the tennis court during a match last night. Apparently instead of making actual contact with each other, they only hit half of their hands.

It got me to thinking. No one actually plans to miss a high five. We all go for the solid high five that makes a loud slapping noise. You want to make it with authority.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way and a miss or a near miss happens.

I hate it when that happens.

This is universal. It's happened to everyone. Yeah. I'm talking to you, dear reader. You know it. And after you missed or had a near miss, you may be kind of embarrassed.

You may ask for a re-do if you just can't let the crappy high five go.

Or you may do like my friends and pretend that you meant to do the near missed high five and act like you had planned to do a "high 2.5" as Donna and Cindy now refer to it.

Getting the high five right is uber important to the psyche of a player during a match (or any game really). It's a way of keeping the positive energy going on your court. A way to show solidarity to the opposing team. Especially if you do a really *good* high five.

But of course, I'm referring to doubles and not singles. People will look at you like you have two heads if you high five yourself in a singles match.

Of course, that is also a strategy. Distract them by acting all crazy.

But as I said, high FIVING (not 2.5'ing) is important in doubles play. You want to get it right so Cindy and Donna said that they need to add a drill on the proper technique of the high five so they're prepared next time.

It's all about the timing and that needs to be practiced! I think a lot about strategy and practicing shots in tennis. I really never considered practicing the high five but I will totally do it now!

If you decide to really put your all into perfecting the art of the high five, you may want to check out this article on how to do it properly. Learning how to do a proper high five will reduce the risk of injuries too!

Of course, there is a National High Five Day to celebrate this all important part of sports. It's celebrated on the third Thursday of April of each year. Now there's a holiday I can totally buy a Hallmark card for!

And I give my friends a big high five for having an awesome sense of humor. Because that is funny stuff. If you can't laugh at your missed high fives, everyone else will. :p

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Owen Knows A New Word

My precious seven year old learned a new word at football camp yesterday. And it's such an ugly word that it pisses me off to even type it because he shouldn't have been exposed to it at his age.

And I shouldn't have had to have explained what the word meant to him. But I did. Because I want him to understand that it's not acceptable to use this word or hang out with kids who do.

I picked him up from camp and the coach was laying into the kids about a few of them using "curse words." Frankly, I figured it was Owen saying bad words so I asked Owen what that was all about.

He replied that there was a rumor going around because some kids said that he and his friend kissed and then some kids started calling them faggots.

Yeah. You read that correct. Faggots.


I asked him how that made him feel and he said mad because he wasn't kissing his friend. They were just leaning over talking.

Then I realized that he was just mad because they said that he was kissing his friend. He didn't know what the word meant. So I told him what the word meant.

Then we had a 20 minute conversation about the fact that the word was meant to be a hateful word used to describe two people of the same sex who love each other. Then I also told him that his father and I didn't condone him or his brother EVER saying that word or any other word that is used in a hateful manner for the sole purpose of making people feel bad.

Curse words are one thing. Words that are used for the express purpose of hurting someone is another thing all together and is not acceptable in our house. Ever.

And the boys would never say them.

And do you know how old the kid was that started calling them faggots was? 7. Yep. You read that right. 7.

And do you know what that tells me? That that 7 year olds' parents have instilled that that type of behavior is acceptable.

And that's even more sad.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer On The Move!

I promised myself that I wouldn't spend this summer going up and down 95 again.

I promised myself that I wouldn't spend this summer hauling the kids to and from activities

I promised myself that we would just go to the pool and hang out.

Apparently I lied to myself.

We just got back from a great visit in Pawleys and Charleston where we got to catch up with lots of old friends and got to see my momma.

But now it's time for repentance. Time to pay the pied piper. I made my to-do list last night, right after we ordered Chinese food with the exclamation that it was the "last meal."

So now it's time to get the things on the to-do list checked off.

So that we can repack and go down 95 again.

Yeah. Next year I am so not traveling this much.

And I swear to whatever deity that you believe in that I mean it this time!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Go Boys, Go!

Shane and Owen participated in a tennis camp this summer. At the end of the session, there was a tournament where the kids play both singles and doubles. Let's just say that both boys had a good tourny.

Owen was playing in the beginner division which uses "short court" they play in only the service boxes only. These kids can't serve from the baseline so it makes it easier for them to play.

Talking with your partner in doubles in so Owen knows!

He's such a gamer. Even at 7, he understands strategy. He was serving over-handed but switched modes and started serving under-handed when it wouldn't stay in over-handed. With no bounce, of course, because that's the rules. ;)

Even more important, he's such a good sport. He always remembers to shake his opponent's hand. He was the only kid who shook the umpires' hand (well, except for Shane and his doubles partner Joseph...who were reminded.) Because that's the way it's suppose to be done. :up:

He won first place in both singles and doubles.

Owen and his doubles partner.

Shane was in the advanced group of players. The kids that he was playing against could play and there were some really good points played.

It was hot. Really hot. Like summer in Virginia, 90-degrees with 200% humidity hot. They shorted the format and only made them play until the first player got to six games.

In singles, his first match went about 45 minutes and they played no less than 10 deuces in the last game. So happy for him that he was able to win that one because he really worked for it. He had approximately five minutes in between that match and the second match.

Which he also won but it took him about 30 minutes to win that set as well. And I was really happy for him because he won this one in particular because the kid came up to me while he was playing the first match and said he hoped he could take on Shane because he thought he could beat him. I am amazed at the bad sportsmanship I see in tennis but smack talking to a kids' parent? Unbelievable!

He had about five minutes between the second and third matches and was completely exhausted. I would have been too! He lost in the third match to his friend. He was really disappointed but was still a good sport.

In the doubles tournament, Shane and his friend Joseph partnered up. There was an uneven number of kids so one of the instructors had to partner up with the odd numbered kid. Shane and Joseph had to face them in the final round. This particular instructor intimidated Shane and I was sure that he was going to freeze up and they were going to get bageled. (Lose 6-0.)

They were kind of playing flat for a while and with no energy when they were down but once they got up their energy, they were tapping rackets and high fiving each other when they made good points.

But it turned out that it was actually an exciting match to watch because it kept going back and forth. Shane and Joseph went down 3-1 and brought it back to 3-3. Then they went down 3-4 and brought it back to 4-4. Then they went down 5-4 and it was Shane's serve.

I was so nervous watching him because I knew that he was intimidated by the instructor and it was his serve. They went down 0-40.

And then fought back to win the game and the match which meant (for those who don't play tennis) that they won the next five points. On Shane's serve. And he was able to keep his composure and his focus and his serves were spot on. His partner was playing the net very aggressively, which is how you win doubles.

So, yay for Shane and Joseph.

Shane ended up winning second in singles and first in doubles. Owen won first in both. They had a great tournament and a great time playing. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Even More Helpful Hints From Molly Homemaker

Sometimes in life I discover things that help me out even just a little bit and make life just a little bit easier. A while ago, I blogged about how to save hard cookies and sugar using bread. It helped my friend save her rock hard brown sugar.

She used half of a loaf of bread to do it but she learned something useful that will help her in the future. She also performed a science experiment while trying to save her brown sugar which, unfortunate for her, will also help her in the future. She just doesn't realize it yet and I didn't warn her about that part of the learning. She has babies so I figured why not just let her live a little longer without the knowledge of the science experiments that she...err..her kids will be doing in school. Sorry, Jo. ;)

Anyway, so I was recently reminded of this current oh-so-helpful hint that saved an expensive linen dress. I spilled some red wine on it at a wedding (shocking that I spilled something, I know) and I asked for some club soda to try and get the red wine off of the dress.

The waitress came back with a shot of Vodka (I suppose if I couldn't get the stain out, I could drink away my saddness) but it wasn't for me to drink. Which is good because I like Bourbon.

She said that the Vodka would get the wine stain out.

And it did! Immediately.

So I was at a function the other day and someone spilled red wine on her shirt. She was trying to use club soda and I grabbed the vodka bottle and proceeded to go to work at removing the stain for her.

Then she hugged me and told her husband that he was a lucky man because he was actually the one who spilled it on her.

And the good thing about spilling red wine is that where there is red wine, there is usually vodka. And where there is both, there is usually spillages. So next time you get red wine on your clothes, grab for the vodka and remove that stain.

It really works.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

World Team Tennis, Anyone?

A few days ago, we took the boys to a World Team Tennis match in DC. For those of you who don't know what WTT is, it's professional tennis that is played with slightly different rules that the USTA or what you see by the professionals on the ATP tour. The court looks different and it's a less "stuffy" atmosphere than regular tennis. It's also a smaller venue.

To say it was a hot and steamy night is an understatement. The temps reached 103 during the day but it was worth it to see such greats as Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Leander Paes and Rennae Stubbs up close and personal, which you would never be able to do at a regular tennis match.

The boys were able to play some "quick start" tennis. Quick Start is a format that the USTA is pushing that encourages kids to succeed in tennis by playing with shorter courts and lower impact balls which are easier to hit because they travel slower.

It was founded by a lady named Billie Jean King. Perhaps you have heard of her? If not, this picture of her may help you recognize her.

Shane and Owen were one of the kids that were selected to participate in the opening "ceremony" and they got to welcome the players and "slap hands" with them. Owen said that Venus had "smooth hands." lol

Venus Williams...up close and personal...with no zoom...

Billie Jean King...up close and personal...with no zoom. What a pioneer for women.

Martina Hingis...up close and personal...with no zoom!

Your 2010 Washington Kastles, ladies and gentlemen!

Shane's too cool for characters now but not Owen!

It was kids night and both boys got a free Wilson tennis racket which they got the cover of it signed by all of the players. Hey Liz...note Leander Paes. He's a hunk, don't you think? :p

Leander Paes, one of the best doubles specialist in the world. He just won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

DC Mayor Fenty is obviously as impressed with Rennae Stubbs as I was. She is also a doubles specialist and after seeing her play, I can understand why!

One of the best servers in tennis today. Rarely do you see a woman ace a man but we saw it that night!

Two of the best tennis players in the world. To me. :p

Even though I forgot shorts and a t-shirt for Ken (oops, sorry honey!), it was a great night of tennis and a perfect way to spend a summer evening at a family friendly event. :up:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Remember the Good Ol' Days? I Do!

I remember the days when it was a pleasure to go to the grocery store.

Remember those days? Yeah you do. It was when your kids were in school and you didn't have to take them with you.

Your grocery shopping bill was about $50 less and most of that $50 was spent just to get them to quit fighting and be quiet and let you get through the store with at least some of your sanity in tact!

Well, I won't say I ever *enjoy* going to the grocery store but it definitely was much better way back when the kids were in school.

And if you are a regular reader of my blog, you may remember when I blogged about my lovely children and their awesomely spectacular behavior in Costco. After searching for the post, I remembered that I had blogged about their awesome behavior at the grocery store even before that.

In one of her comments, my mother said that I was lying about her sweet grandchildren. Thank God I have pictures to prove it! And then she giggled hysterically while singing something about justice, sweet justice.

Well, I thought that this would be a good test to see if they are better behaved since they are getting older. You know what they say about pictures, don't you? Yeah. They're worth a 1,000 words.

Yes, Ginny, these are your grandchildren. Or maybe they're Wayne's. Yeah. They're definitely Wayne's grandchildren!

In addition to their awesome behavior, Owen kept saying, in the loudest voice that a 7 year old could muster, "I WANT A WOODY, MOM."

And even though I knew that he was referring to the Toy Story doll, my 12-year-old mind went another direction and I started giggling. It took everything I had to not laugh hysterically.

Especially when he screamed "I NEED A WOODY, MOM!" and two other moms looked at him like he lost his mind and then looked at me with scorn.

And that made me laugh even harder.

I mean, really. What are you going to do. I wanted him to stop saying that but I didn't want to make a big deal about it because then he would definitely say it over and over again.

Which actually wouldn't have really been any different than the 200 times he repeatedly said it now that I think about it.

Somehow I made it through the grocery store. I ended up with about $50 more of stuff than I needed and forgot half the stuff I did need but it's over for this time.

And Thank God there are only two months left of summer break. I can probably stretch out the grocery shopping to about two weeks in between if I work it right!