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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ready! Set! Go! - Senior Year

I took the last week off to spend some time doing college related stuff with Cam, and relaxing it wasn't. Cam is finally home from his world travels and camp counselor job (eight weeks away with just about 10 days at home that whole time), so we really needed to get down to business and do some activities related to getting him ready for his senior year. First off, we took a trip to visit the University of Buffalo on Tuesday, and, while a nice campus (HUGE!) he was not swayed from his first choice, RIT.

We spent of a lot of Tuesday rushing from Fairport to Buffalo and back again to be back in time for his senior picture photo shoot. Despite much kicking and screaming (figuratively...), he turned out to be a very cooperative subject and the results were amazing! The formal picture was nice enough, but the black and white casual shots blew us away. We were very pleased and have an appointment tomorrow to finalize our order (side note: very very expensive - they obviously pull you in emotionally and soak you financially).

On Wednesday, we headed over to RIT for Cam's formal interview, and afterward walked around the campus a little. He is getting visibly excited for his senior year, seeing it as the stepping stone to next year at RIT. This week also served to reinforce what we've been telling him for the past two years about his grades and SAT scores, and I think he finally "gets it." He tells us that he's going to buckle down and do his best during the first 10 weeks of the grading periods (his last chance to impact his average), and he is really a lot more engaged in the SAT prep course he's in right now.

People ask me if I'm upset and about him being a senior and the looming college years, and I'm really not (as of today anyway!). I remember how special these days were for me, and I'm excited about the new experiences coming his way over the next couple of years.

The icing on the cake (did somebody say "cake"?) of this crazy busy week is that Cam finally got his learners permit (at 17 1/2). We haven't been out practice driving yet because the days have been filled, including a trip to Seabreeze with Annalisse and her posse, and a whirlwind trip to Massena from Friday to Saturday. Some friends told me about a guy they used to teach their kids to drive who is a former driver's ed teacher. That sounds really tempting and I may give him a call in the next couple of weeks.

So, Cam will be a senior in 10 days, and Annalisse will start her 10th grade journey. In a blink we'll be celebrating Cam's graduation from high school. Will I be ready?

Isn't it funny that as your kids grow, you grow with them?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mulch Madness!

As often happens, this year we recognized that we would like to mulch the beds around the house, which is fine, but FOR GOD'S SAKE IT'S ALMOST SEPTEMBER. Anyway, we recently had two yards of mulch delivered, and once that happens Mark is obsessed with getting the beds cleaned out and the mulch spread. He takes great pride in his home, inside and out, and it shows with our beautiful gardens. While I do help, he really gets the most credit, and it feels really good to both of us at the end of the day to have a well kept lawn and surrounding plant beds. That being said, two yards was not enough for the all the areas and another two yards are being delivered tomorrow. Sigh.

For a couple of years I've wanted to remedy are really problematic section of our yard, which is a Y shaped pathway leading from the side yard to the patio. My suggestion was to replace the flat stones that serve as walkway (which are constantly surrounded by weeds that grow faster than I can pull them) with pebble stones. I finally convinced Mark to give it a try and it looks AWESOME. That whole section of the yard now looks neater and brighter. I love it.
At the end of a busy day, there is absolutely nothing like laying in the hammock in our back yard looking up into the tree above. It is extremely relaxing and I've taken many a nap there this summer. Ah, paradise!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Biggest Camping Cliche There Is

Cam came home from his summer camp gig for a 20 hour visit on Friday night before heading back yesterday at 4pm, and brought with him some interesting looking markings on his face. At first I thought he had a series of bug bites that were swelling up, but yesterday morning, on closer inspection, I thought a trip to the doctor was in order.

It's a good thing we went because he had a fresh case of poison ivy all over his cheek and both sides of his chin. It was amazing to me that after probably seven years of summers at Camp Bristol, first as a camper and later as an employee, neither he (or Annalisse) has never had poison ivy. I suppose we're due. He's now on an eight day intensive course of Prednisone (steroid) to help clear it up. I know when he went back yesterday he was really itchy, so I'm hoping the medication works quickly so he can fully enjoy his last week (washing dishes mostly - he's working for at a music camp that is renting the facilities from Saturday to Saturday) at this favorite place on Earth.

Another great reason for his face to clear up: Senior pictures a week from Wednesday.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Too Good Not to Share

I was looking through some old pictures and I came across this one, which was taken on our first trip to Florida (St. Pete Beach/Tampa), which we took with Sue. What year? Hmmm....it was probably around 2002, which would mean that Annalisse was six (about to turn seven) and Cam was nine. There are a couple of pictures in my collection that really stand out for me, and this is one of them. What fun we had with Sue!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Comfort in the Routine

Isn't it funny how, in the weeks leading up to a vacation or a break, you can't wait to have a change of routine, pace and scenery, then by the time you get home you are looking forward to getting back into the routine? We humans, always wanting the opposite of what we have!

That's what it feels like for me right now. It's been non-stop since the kids got out of school, and Mark and I (mostly "I") have been on the go a lot in the last month. Of course, Cam has been gone (to Germany, then camp) since June 25 (I think we counted that he's been home for maybe 10 days in the last month-and-a-half), and Annalisse has been enjoying our family vacations, time traveling with her friend, Mo, and a week at camp herself. No wonder the years seem to fly by!!

This morning for the first time in what seems like months we're heading to the Fairport farmer's market to stock up on fruits and vegetables, and will also make a stop at the meat market to fill the freezer with one of their "meat" package specials (i.e. 2 lbs of this, 3 lbs of that). As a result of our crazy schedules (and the fact that there's usually only 1-2 people home at any one time) we've been eating out a lot. So my comfort in the routine will come from having fresh food in the house and making meals at home. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE I'M SAYING THAT? ME, WHO REALLY DISLIKES COOKING?

See, we always want the opposite of what we have. I'm thinking I'll last a couple of days and then head out to McCardles for the Tuesday pasta special!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dreaming of the Days of Puppy Dog Tails, Cotton Candy and Rainbows

This has been another not-great-news week, just like last week's (and month's) non-great-news week as Annalisse's good friend's (Taylor's) mom passed away suddenly last Wednesday. We are all very upset for Taylor and her sister and two brothers. To lose a parent anytime is devastating, but to lose your mom suddenly in your teen years will be a very difficult thing for them to overcome, if they ever do. Very, very sad.

I thought as the calendar turned to August 1 I would have a respite from the doom and gloom, and get some good news, but my August 1 included a speeding ticket on my way home from a whirlwind trip to Massena. I earned this special token I thought I was in a 55 mph zone but apparently I had just recently entered a 55 mph zone (I definitely saw the 55 mph sign, checked my speed, and settled in at 57) after exiting a 45mph zone and was 12 miles over the speed limit. Freakin' Route 12 between Ogdensburg and Morristown!! To be fair, the sheriff was a really nice woman and told me to go online, download a form, and request a reduction in the charge to a moving vehicle violation (which she said would almost certainly get approved), which would carry with it no points and no insurance consequences.

Today's little interlude just added to my gloomy and cranky state, the mood of which, of course, my family was unfortunately subjected to for the rest of the day. Oh well, as they say, tomorrow's another day.

ON A BRIGHT NOTE: Happy 25th Birthday to my awesome nephew, Anthony! We love you very much!