July 31, 2010

High Adventure and a War

My two oldest boys are away at another scout outing called high adventure.  I dropped them off Wednesday morning an during the next hour they texted me twice asking me to bring them their tent and their tinfoil dinners.  My husband joined them last night just in time to see my son come home from a local hospital high adventure where he got 4 stitches in his knee due to some monkeying around on the dock and falling in the water onto an unseen rock.  At last year's high adventure  Big Boy brought home a blistering sunburn over the entire upper half of his body.  The boy is dangerous to himself and others at high adventure camp.  We, however have had an abundance of peace without our older boys around.

It always amazes me how dynamics of a family change when just one person is out of the picture.  Little Boy is now the head hancho around these parts, and he has been hanging with his sisters playing with them in ways he would never allow to be seen by his older brothers.  Yes I have seen him hanging out at the Barbie house introducing the dolls to some Ninja moves, but none-the-less "playing Barbie."  The girls were putty in his 11 year old hands.  He was also very sweet playing with Baby Girl in the pool tonight letting her throw a sinking toy for him to dive for repeatedly.  I actually got to read a book he was so entertaining.

One thing I have been able to introduce (due to summer boredom) lately is the game of war.  It's a game that is fun for all ages.  It has a mean, yet exciting name making boys want to play.  We've brought our cards to the pool to play during thunder warning time.  Today I was playing with Big Girl and she added a new element to the game.  Because even though war sounds exciting it can be a bit tedious.  She's combined the moment of slapping the cards with a ritualistic shouting of whatever comes to mind.  It's like turrets-syndrome-style war.  My favorite thing to shout is "Shaka phooey!" from the movie Kung Fu Panda.  She shouts out all kind of gibberish.   It hilarious until it becomes annoying.  Then I've been known to suggest taking turns with our shout outs but she can't seem to hold herself back.

Tonight as we played the game would JUST. NOT. END.  I was down to like 10 cards and thought surely any moment I would be a gonner, but I had two high cards that kept saving me at just the right moment giving me more cards.  Then I would lose a war and my spirits would soar.  Once I set myself up to lose during a war on purpose just to put my poor tired soldiers to rest in her POW stack of captured cards.  We finally got to the point where I didn't have enough cards for a stack up during a war and I proclaimed her the winner.  She kindly offered to give me the two extra cards I needed.  I did the honorable thing.  I sent up the white flag and surrendered.

July 29, 2010

Blogging about Jogging

Blogging has been a pretty steady habit/placetoventmythoughts for  about 3.5 years now.  My blog started several years earlier but I don't think you can really say that blogging twice a year makes it an active hobby.  It really started gaining steam when my husband deployed to Iraq and I needed a place to go and talk to him. Now I know there are probably more productive or respected hobbies out there.  I would love to get back into sewing which I can do quite well if I don't have kids around needing to be fed and stuff.  They also need pesky things like clean clothes, a taxi service and home made cookies weekly.  So I don't really have much time you see to add another hobby to my busy day.  However, being in good physical condition has become increasingly important to me.  I am not a young race horse just out of the gate anymore.  I am 41, creeping up on 42!  And my body is talking to me in it's creaky creaky language saying "Help me, I need to be around a lot longer!  Get me back in shape and not just for vanity's sake!"  So I've been trying a couple different work out tapes and I've gotten myself into a better place than I have been in years.  I've had set backs, but overall, I am in better shape.  I can keep up with the kids on the hills on our bikes.  I don't get tired walking around at amusement parks all day, stuff like that.  Do I look like a supermodel?  Of course I do!  Just kidding I really don't but it doesn't matter at this point and it's nice to be okay with that.  (Sorta).

Watching my husband get into such great shape is also very motivating.  He's now in training for his first marathon.  knowing how much I hate running, I could never do that (I don't think- just don't double dog dare me!).  The other day I saw a quote on this blog that I follow that struck a chord.  It said "a year from now, you will wish you had started today."

That totally motivated me.  

What a blessing it would be if I felt better, looked better and had a healthier future?   If I really got serious and pushed myself to run.  And it would take a big push!  But do I really have time in my busy schedule to make this happen?  I think it would require a better jogger stroller for Little Girl.  I can almost see myself jogging after dropping off Big Girl at school in the morning.  Almost... Maybe some cute workout outfits would also help.  Or how about blogging about my experience making myself accountable to the world (the small world that reads my silly blog)?

After sharing my goal with my husband (possibly my first mistake) he decided to take me out running with him and Little Boy.  So yesterday, at 5:30am, on a Tuesday, we ran/walked for a slow mile.  I came home and within minutes, while making my bed, my lower back started hurting and bothered me the rest of the day.... great.  This makes me depressed.  Then today I have a weird pain in my achilles tendon and a touch of diarrhea (TMI?).  Is my body boycotting?  Does a 22 minute mile give me motivation or humiliation?  I am still not sure.  On our run, after a one mile loop we ended up back at my house and I had the option to stop or keep going.  I chose to stop because I didn't want to be sore at the aquarium that day.  I said to my guys "why don't we drop off the weakest link and pick up the pace for the second mile?"  They both assured me that I wasn't the weak link.  "What do you mean?  I was talking about Little Boy!"  Was my joking reply.

One thing I know is that if I am going to start this I will need to keep my sense of humor intact because I would rather laugh at myself than cry.  Wish me luck!  I think it's going to suck for a while...  And if my blogging suffers -then so be it.  There are bigger fish to fry (aka calories to burn) here.

July 27, 2010

Well Hello Kitty

Back during the storms of last February we were pretty hard up for things to do, and I posted some of that madness here.  If you weren't a reader back then you may want to take a look, there are some impressive icicle photos.  I mentioned then that I was going to attempt to make Hello Kitty cake pops.  I did and they were a big hit with Audrey's first grade class.  At least that was the word on the street.  I will probably never do them again though.  I didn't realize what a pain they would be.  The coating process was  a challenge and many kitty heads were sacrificed to the learning curve.  I could almost hear the mewing cries of the potential kitty heads biting the dust for the cause.

Well, after my last post where I mentioned my youngest daughter's love of Hello Kitty,  I was reminded of this experience and thought I would share a few photos.  We love Hello Kitty around here because she reminds us of living in Asia.  They are big into their cartoons.  We also worship Avitar the last air bender, and the many cool movies of Hayao Myazaki.  Without getting to far off track I will highly recommend Kiki's Delivery Service with the voices of a young Kirsten Dunst and Phil Hartman as the sarcastic cat.  Good stuff Maynard!

Anyways here are the photos I took, but never posted.  And if you want to know how to make them just click here.  I will warn you that they make it seem simple, but it's not.  They were a lot of fun to try though so I think we'll try the yellow smiley-face heads next.  They seem more doable.  Maybe with practice I could aspire to the kitty heads for another little girl I know in this house one day...

July 23, 2010


Big Boy has himself a job.  We think.  I mean we went in and turned in an application and she told him on the spot that he had the job.  She told him she would be calling with his work schedule sometime this week.  Tomorrow is Friday and we have not heard yet.  She hired him instantly due to a recommendation from another LDS employee they have working there at the 'Hallmark by Pat' (did I mention he will be working for Beth at Pat's Hallmark down the road a piece?  Well if I didn't I should have  because it's true!)
So I am all, do we need to buy you black shirts and more kaki pants that aren't too churchy or not?  D told us that Beth is forgetful sometimes.  That is probably why we haven't heard.  Can I just say that I am so glad that Beth is forgetful because this means she may be more forgiving when Big Boy is forgetful too.  Unless she forgets that she is forgetful.  Hey, it could happen.

Middle Boy got braces today.  He is in a lot of pain.  They reassured him that it wouldn't be too bad and that some lucky people never experience any pain at all.  He is not one of those lucky people.  He had a movie party with a couple friends over here today.  They watched two horribly cheesy movies called Step Up and Step Up 2.  I am telling you, they should have stopped at half step .5 on this series of movies.  The syrupy sweet dialog may have been the cause of Middle Boy's tooth pain.  I am going to suggest another parent's home for the release of Step Up 3.

Little Boy is in dire need of a haircut.  He keeps avoiding me when I tell him we are going to do it today.  He has a sneaky way of just not arguing and then flying under the radar.  I am the one who cuts his hair because I know all the tricks of his hair growth pattern like no one else.  So maybe it's not him but his lazy barber who is to blame.  He sure is a happy kid and fun to tease with.  I like having him around.

Big Girl keeps inviting us to parties.  She goes to great lengths for her tea parties creating a lot of different activities for us to do.  I am so glad I skipped choir practice on Sunday to make it to her last party.  My favorite game was the 'tea blink' game.  For more details you'll have to join us!  The next party is scheduled for Sat at 3:00, in her room, with a treasure (sometimes spelled trashure)-hunt theme.  She has delegated me as part of the decorating committee.  I am a little worried I won't measure up.

Little Girl is in love with Hello Kitty, coloring on things she shouldn't, and lying, bold-faced, to adults.  Today she was hiding skittles under her bottom at a friends home.  When asked what she was sitting on she wouldn't let on.  She also colored on a set of dominos and told me it wasn't her at first.  I am worried she will end up coloring on the prison walls one day and she'll deny it all the way to the chair.

And now you have the official kid update.  Whether you wanted it or not.

July 21, 2010

Embarrassing Moment

It is the season of new move-ins in our church congregation.  They move in for various reasons.  There is a young military family just beginning a neurology residency that moved into the city next to ours.  There are several similarities in our two families if you minus 10 years from our lives.... there we are!  Only I spaced my kids out a bit farther than they have.  They have 3 kids under the age of 4.  My hat is off to her.  I saw the deer-in-the-headlights look she had on, and offered her my number.  I was glad she called when she needed me the other day and I invited her over to chat.  Turns out we are from the same home town, our husbands went to medical school in mid-western states and both chose neurology to specialize in.  I almost wanted to tell her what her future holds since she seems to be following me, but I thought I shouldn't spoil her surprises.  I also didn't want to scare her about her husband being deployed.  That is sure to happen to him at some point.  

Anyways she was fortunate enough to have her parents with her last Sunday for a visit.  They came to help her settle in.  So lucky!  When I overheard them mention what part of Provo they were from I asked them if they knew someone I once worked for as a dental hygienist in that area (many years ago).  They not only knew them, they had just dined with them at the country club last week.  Whew hew hew. 

It brought me back to the days that I worked for that office.  There was this one patient who was seriously good looking.  I would fight with the other single hygienist over who's schedule he'd be put in.  Good looking single guys in our age range didn't just walk into the dental office every day you know.  Most of them were probably out riding their mopeds around campus not focusing on daily flossing and getting 6 month check ups.  They were rare.  Anyways when we couldn't quite recall his name we'd just refer to him as the Greek God and everyone (all the single young assistants as well) would know exactly who we were talking about.  

So one day I found him in my chair, and I found myself flustered.  I was just at the beginning of the appointment doing my signature oral cancer exam.  It was the part where you take your 2x2 gauze out and pull on your patient's tongue from side to side.  Then next you tell them to put their tongue on the roof of their mouth so that you can see the underside.  I must have been thinking about something else because here is what I said and I quote "Go ahead and put your tongue on the roof of my mouth."  It was a good thing I was wearing a mask because my face must have been a deep shade of maroon at that moment.  He simply smiled like he got that all the time.  What a cocky sucker!  I managed to laugh it off but I couldn't have been happier to have him leave the office that day and I never fought for him to be in my schedule ever again.  

On a scale of 1 to 10 I am thinking that one rates right up there!  You got one you want to share?

July 19, 2010

On Ignoring Your Kids...

I think I have stumbled onto a new parenting technique and I feel obligated to share.  It's where you pretend you didn't hear stuff so you don't have to deal with it.  Someone's fighting in the back seat of the car and you have a choice.  You can ask them to stop (I've tried this... um... a lot!)  and usually it ends up in some sort of tattling situation.  I can't really see who started it and frankly I don't care.  I just want peace.  Isn't that what we all really want?  As parents we care less about justice and more about peace and quiet.  I dare you parents out there to deny this.  But it would seem that this new ignoring thing I have been testing out is just what the Dr ordered.  Now I know on occasion things may escalate into a situation where I must involve myself but so far ignoring is doing the trick.  I think it just might improve my children's abilities to work things out themselves.  Either that or someone is going to get hurt.

Ignoring also works when I don't really want to be found.  It may seem a bit dishonest when I hear my name being called to just not answer, but if they can't locate me then they are forced to be more independent.  I can't say "no" to the cookies they were going to ask for so it gives them all sorts of opportunity to make decisions for themselves and learn from them.  Right or wrong, it's a learning experience.  I remember sometimes when my own perfect mother would not want to be found.  She'd hide out in the guest bedroom reading a book and we would have to search high and low before discovering her in her secret spot.  I didn't really get that then but it makes so much sense now.  She was one smart mom!  One time she told us we couldn't call her "mom" anymore and she'd be going by "Cynthia."  I understand that one now as well.

I am not saying one should practice this kind of parenting around the clock of coarse.  Being an involved parent is definitely a good thing most of the time.  But there is a time to back off and let kids take care of themselves too.  Finding a good balance is key I guess.

I think my new style may be working because just now, I heard a child's footsteps outside my bedroom door and even the sound of the doorknob turning but then they changed their mind, didn't open the door, and walked away instead.  I hope that they are taking care of whatever problem they had on their own right now.  Someone is chastising the dog.  I wonder if I am truly needed right now... No I will be strong and stick to my ignoring guns.  Now why do I have that cats in the cradle song running through my head?  Perhaps I should break ranks and go give someone a kiss.

July 17, 2010


I recently finished a book for my book club called the Namesake.  It's a bit passed PG13 so I wouldn't really recommend it but it was a very interesting look into Asian Indian culture.  We had a woman from India attend our book club discussion and it was very enlightening.  I love it when I can learn something new.  Fun fact about referring to Indians: There is a better way to refer to Indians than saying "not American Indians but Indians from India... you know?"  I had been saying that for years and feeling stupid about it.  You can just say Asian Indian instead of comparing them to Native American Indians.  Asian... I lived in Asia for two years and didn't consider that they were part of Asia.  I am so stupid!  Geography was never a my strong suit.  Now that I know that I completely understand some of the cultural similarities between typical Asians and Asian Indians.  They work hard, excel scholastically, save face, obey blindly, cater to males.  It all makes sense!  Sorry if anyone finds this analogy offensive.  I totally respect Asian (and Asian Indian) culture.  Those are just stereotypes but they are there for a reason I think.

Anyways in the book, the main character hates his name but in the end comes to appreciate it, along with his cultural background.  This morning at the breakfast table my daughter brought up my name- Kelly.  It's actually not my given name.  That would be Raquel.  Are you shocked?  Yes I know.  I get that sometimes.  Apparently I never was sophisticated enough as a child to pull off Raquel.  I wasn't given a middle name either.  A fact that upset me.  I even made up a middle name (Ann) for myself telling everyone this lie at my school.  My daughter confirmed with me this morning that Kelly was not my real name but my 'nick' name.  And then it was like deja vu when Big Girl dramatically lamented the fact that she had no nick name.  After going through several suggestions from her brothers (ie: Oddball, Strange Little Man) she took the bull by the horns and dubbed herself "Starlight" (to which there was much big brother eye rolling, but I found it to be the perfect nick name for her bright personality).  Her younger sister's nickname shall be"Starbright" and together they are a twinkly pair.  I had to smile however when Little Girl tried to branch out with a new idea of her own claiming "Vampire!" as her namesake.  I have no idea where she got that idea.  It makes sense though since she hates to go to bed at night lately, and who knows what is going on after lights out in there.

So we have been calling them Starlight and Starbright all morning.  I wonder which star I will see first tonight.  I wish I may, I wish I might have a good night's rest tonight : )

PS there was an earthquake (5.7) waking us up early this morning 
so I am going to need that good night's sleep.  
Fat chance though since we will be camping overnight tonight.  Sigh. 

July 15, 2010


This past weekend my husband competed in his first ever triathlon.  He has been training with 4 other men  from our ward for several months.  I thought he was nuts getting up before dawn to go swimming. Crazy to be biking in traffic to work.  He has been running his socks off as well.  He looks great!  He has always been dedicated and just oozing with discipline.  This one time when he was at BYU, he had a goal to always write in his journal.  He remembered to write one night after falling half-way asleep.  So instead of blowing it off he got out his journal from under his bed, somehow found a pen in the dark and wrote a sleepy slanted line saying "discipline is the key to discipleship."  We still laugh about the irony of that sloppy line in his journal declaring his thoughts on discipline.  Then there's the story of how he rolled over all by himself as a baby at a very early age verbally insisting (somehow talking at 4 months) that he could "do it himself!"  That is some of his family lore I share with raised eyebrows.  Maybe he was rolling over at the age of two when kids normally begin speaking in sentences.  I think there's a great-grandma T out there who had her facts a bit skewed.  Oh well.  He is determined there is no doubt about that.  I, on the other hand look around for just about any excuse in the mornings to put off my workout.  I get up, read blogs, go into the basement, open up all the curtains, pick up a few things off the floor, organize the entire DVD collection while looking for my work out DVD and then realize that in one minute the kids are going to be up needing breakfast.  It's a strenuous guilt-ridden mental workout!  I am still getting up and putting on work out clothes so that must count as something right?

Anyways the triathlon was quite the adventure.  We went up to spend the night with friends to make things easier and I am so glad I did that.  It was a last minute decision and being with our friends who do this sort of thing often made all the difference.  For instance, when we got to the road that led to the spectator section they had closed it off 30 minutes early.  It was pouring down rain and that may have been part of the reason.  Due to rain they cancelled the swim portion of the race and the road we needed to drive on was now going to be used for running instead.  (I assume).  So my friend said that she'd find us a better place to watch and she surely did.  Her well trained eyes knew how to look for just the right cones telling her that we'd be in a good spot to watch the biking from a certain point.  Meanwhile my friends from church were walking in the rain with their young children in tow (leaving burdensome strollers by the side of the road).  They were just doing exactly what I would have done without the advice of my friend.  They parked in the designated area two miles from the spectator spot.  Then walked in the rain for two miles with a combined number of 9 children.  Press forward saints indeed!  We finally saw them at the end of the race looking like they were hanging in there but just barely.

T did great for his first event.  He placed 174th out of 377 finishers!  Our friend placed 2nd and even won a cash prize.  We felt all famous hanging around him in his sponsor's tent.  The next thing T wants to tackle is a marathon in October in Baltimore.  That should be hard.  I know he can do it!

Here are some of the lousy photos I got that day.  T likes to fiddle with our Nikon D90 and he doesn't set it back to easy mode for me so I couldn't get it to focus and it was so rainy I didn't want to risk having it out too long while I figured out the problem.  Next time I will have to train for 4 months in camera skills before he races.  I can probably get my head in that kind of game.

July 09, 2010

Praying for an Anvil

I was driving the other day and on the side of the road there was a sign.  It was no ordinary sign I tell you.  In fact it was so low to the ground that it was almost imperceptible.  It said "I need an anvil!" and then had a phone number to contact.  The words were written inside a drawing of an anvil itself.  The oddest part was that it looked like it was etched into some sort of stone instead of on a standard flat sign.  Am I the only one who finds this funny?  They must have been pretty serious to take out the hammer and chisel to get their message out.  Makes me almost want to go out and purchase an anvil for this poor determined soul.  If I wasn't so poor due to spending what I consider to be highway robbery for a new violin bow for my oldest son I just might do that.  (Who knew?!). Maybe I was driving by too fast and didn't see the sign acurrately.  I will have to go back for a second look and possibly a photo for my blog.

While I am out I will need to drive by (and take a photo of) the 'prayer stop' we have here in town.  Or is it the prayer shack?  Anyhow there is a prayer pit-stop with white patio furniture out in front on New Hamsphire Blvd.  Its a smallish trailer like building for you to go inside and I assume... pray.  There is limited parking so you can't take too long.  I am sure praying there would be effective.  I'm thinking of putting a prayer outhouse in my back yard and putting signs up to advertise.  We could sell prayer biscuits and holy water to go along with our outhouse.  Now I am just being sacrilegious.  Sorry.  Perhaps you should pray for my well being at the prayer shack next time you stop.  It is actually my opinion that you can pray anywhere at anytime if you wish.  But having a specific place to stop is a okay too.

Tonight my girls are up to some pranks.  They just left a note outside a doorway where they knew Little Boy would be coming.  It read "we stole your some of your stuffs"  Or something equally as grammatically incorrect (not unlike "equally as grammatically incorrect").  A trail of notes led him to a Mini Ninja video game tied to an obvious string.  I almost foiled the plan when doing my usual pick up routine as I swept through different rooms in the house gathering up the effects of the day.  This game was boobie trapped!  When Little Boy went to pick it up Little Girl was on the other end yanking away.  What a blast watching them play this way when TV and video games have been banned for the evening.  I just instituted a 4:00 curfew for video games.  There are a whole host of other regulations, but that is the newest one.  This is what we do in the summer time when all the temps outside are over 100 (and all the leaves are green).

So here's wishing that I will be motivated to bring a camera along on my next drive to prove the existence of an anvil plea and a prayer shack.  Does anyone out there doubt me?

July 06, 2010

No Comments?!

It appears that Blogger is  confused this morning.  After my scathing review of Utah and it's quirks I got a few comments that I would like to publish but Blogger gives me some bogus excuse like bX-o-qgph I don't know who they think they are kidding with this excuse... I mean what does that even mean?  If you know please email me (comments probably won't work), although I am getting the notifications via email.  Something's very fishy here!

That's all...


East vs West

So now that our family has made it's decision about parting ways with Uncle Sam the next big decision will be where to find our next job.  T I think has his heart set on going back to Iowa where we did medical school and a fellowship.  As much as I love the people in Iowa the weather makes me uneasy to say the least.  I like four seasons as much as the next person. I just think that when three quarters of the year are miserable due to heat and humidity, frigid temps making it impossible to venture outside, or tornadoes blowing you over, that it kinda ruins most of your year, ya know?  Call me a big baby I don't care.  No amount of niceness or job friendliness for T can balance out an angry mother nature.  Need I remind you that the last time we lived there the flooding covered an entire city?  Lets not risk Iowa again please.  Sorry to my Iowa friends- hang in there, maybe you'll be rewarded in heaven.

So staying in the East is an option but here are my concerns: My kids will grow up and want to date people and there are just not that many LDS options to choose from.  I know, that is what college is supposed to be for and we can just cart them off to Utah right?  Well, there are no guarantees that my boys will get in to BYU (Provo at least) Big Boy's grades were not as good as they could have been during his sophomore year.  I hate to be the bad guy when pointing this sad fact out to him, but he may have just thrown BYU Provo out the window this year.  We shall see... I worry about my Middle Boy attracting the wrong kind of girl out here.  I know this may seem narrow-minded.  There are wrong kinds of kids everywhere.  I just want more of the right kinds for them to choose from and Utah may have a bigger box of chocolates (even though you never know what you're gonna get).

Utah also has cousins, grandparents, and mountains!  Yeah!  Being there for the funeral has me all pro-Utah.  I have even been looking online at houses there.  But there will be draw backs too.  I will miss the diversity.  I tried explaining this to my Dad on the phone today and he got all defensive saying that growing up without diversity turns out some pretty fine kids too.  Yes, I am sure they turn out fine but when they grow up and move away and they have to order fries at McDonalds in East LA some day they will feel like they are about to be pick-pocketed at any second, and the nervousness will be detected by the McDonald's workers, making for a possible spitting-in-their food situation.  Also, understanding the accent when they repeat back the order may prove tricky.  I just want to give my kids more opportunities in life.  You know what I mean by this?  I don't want the black wise man in the nativity freaking them out as children. (This actually was my personal experience, not one I am proud of).  I want open minded kids who will accept and feel comfortable around all types of people.

I hate it when people criticize Utah.  I love Utah, but Utah has some problems y'all.  Sometimes the people can be narrow minded and too much like TAMN.  I ran into a couple TAMNs in church at my parents ward.  It was nauseating.  With their little girls dressed in big poofed out skirts and ginormous flowers in their heads.  I hated that I was judging them until they were snotty to me and then I proceeded to judge.  I am sure Utah will provide me with many such situations.  Situations I am willing to put up with in order to be closer to family.  I feel like I am being a bit snotty myself thinking that after years of living outside of Utah that I know a thing or two that I could teach.  But really what living away has done for me is it has given me the gift of open mindedness, of not being too quick to judge a book by it's cover.  Something Utah could use a spoonful of sometimes.  I liked what my husband said (well I liked it at first before it sunk in and started to bug me) he said moving back to Utah would be like going from a plate of delicious spicy food to an unseasoned potato.... unbaked.  You can now leave mean comments for my husband for that remark :)

July 04, 2010

Running into MC

Okay so I am almost ashamed to blog about this.  I mean I am so in love with my husband it is crazy, and we have had a great reunion since I returned from Utah.  He is really the one for me, but I have to tell you about how I ran into an old flame while in Utah and we had a little chat.  I saw him after many years, at our 20 year reunion in 2007 and we had a semi-awkward conversation then.  When I look back upon that, I wished I had been more comfortable talking to him.  I wish I'd been brave enough to clear the air about a few things.  I mean what is the deal with past crushes?  You don't think about them for years, you are happy you ended up with your spouse, but when you see that person in real life you get all flustered, at least I do.  It's embarrassing!  I was glad to have had this second chance this past week to make it right with a better conversation and say what I wanted to say.  Let me give you some back up here.

MC moved into our elementary school when we were in 4th grade.  All the girls swooned and somehow I was the lucky one to get highest ratings from him on  BS's "rate these girls from 1-10" list.  She passed those out to all the guys in our class about twice weekly so she could get the latest stats. (I had nothing to do with these lists but didn't mind reading the results).  I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but when MC started rating me as a nine all the other boys followed his lead.  His charisma had worked it's magic on all the kids: boys and girls alike.  Poor BS who was just a lovesick girl who made treats regularly for the boys to charm them never did score as high as I did.  Maybe that is why she hated me and gave me her smallest valentines with the least amount of conversation hearts.  We had nothing to converse about really.

Perhaps it was BS's envy that spurred her to tell me a mean story close to the end of our 5th grade year.  I had been riding my wave of popularity for a solid year and a half getting good ratings.  Also, during any in-season sport I'd get a 'touchdown', a 'home run', or a 'three-pointer' made in my honor.  This dedicated sports-move to your crush was probably MC's idea as well.  It sure was good for a girl's ego.  It's really too bad that my popularity did not follow me into my high school years.  My competition and shyness became too great I guess.  On second thought, maybe it was best that I got knocked down a peg or two during that time.  My glory days were between the ages of 11 and 13, all down hill from there...  Until I was in my twenties : )

So, BS's story was this:  She told me that one day when I hadn't been on the blacktop watching MC shoot hoops in my honor at recess, that in my absence he showed everyone how he really felt about me.  He shot an air-ball telling everyone that was for me.  That was a pretty low blow.  It never occurred to me that she could have made the entire thing up.  I was crushed and from then on my relationship with MC was, as you can imagine, very guarded.  When he asked me to 'couples skate' at the classic roller rink field trip, I almost said no.  Man where our hands sweaty that day... A couple years later at a middle school dance he asked me to dance and I had to clarify "YOU want to dance with ME out on THAT dance floor?"  "Yeah" he replied.  I had to be sure because the rumor was that some girls where being tricked by mean boys.  They'd ask a girl if she wanted to dance, she'd say yes and then their reply was "okay, go ahead and dance by yourself then."  Pretty low... Basically evidence that middle school sucks.

Eventually after being ignored by MC long enough (I'm sure my dance etiquette didn't help), we parted ways.  Well, really we parted something that never really made it beyond the rate these girls list, or the roller rink during couple's skate.  I noticed once when walking down the halls looking inside classes, that he sat at a desk of mine from a different period.  In my frustration at being un-noticed I started leaving cruel l notes written in pencil on this shared desk for him to see.  He'd write mean things back and so our love/hate relationship continued... Until we got caught by the teachers and I had a scary brush with the English teacher who pulled me out of class one day to give me a handwriting test.  I was scared to death!  I must have passed though.  No charges were ever drawn up. whew!  The next month or so I moved on to Frank E.  I think it drove MC a bit crazy, but I could be wrong.  He wrote in my year book that year, "How's Frankie Baby?"

So when I saw this middle aged slightly balding man in his front yard fixing his sprinklers I just had to pull up beside him and call out "Is that MC?!"  I told him sorry for all the mean notes in English class.  I joked that I had repented and he said he'd done the same.  I introduced my now 11 year old son to my old crush and we talked about his cool red hair.  It felt good not to act uncomfortable.  After all he married a nice girl from my neighborhood and they have 5 kids of their own.  There's no reason we can't be friendly right?  Then as we drove away, my son asked me if I still loved his Dad.  He said he noticed that I didn't seem to want to stop talking to MC.  I guess deep down I still felt a bit like this girl.

I think she rates somewhere around a 9.2
Next time I will possibly get up enough courage to ask if BS's story was true or just BS.