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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Excitement is Building

Seeing my classmates' statuses on Facebook saying that they're heading "home" for our reunion this weekend is making me really excited. I wonder if I'll see some long-lost classmates that I would love to see again (Chris Derby!), and I already know that some I really want to see will be there. My only regret is that we're only attending the Friday night event, then we have to head back to Rochester on Saturday morning after breakfast with my mother because of our usual busy weekend schedule.

Still, fun is approaching...!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reflections on Fun

Sometimes it feels like work is "something that I just have to do" to get to the fun stuff each summer. No wonder I love summer so much...even if we weren't going to Las Vegas next week or DC in August, it's the fun of the lazy, warm summer days that gets me. I love being home and just hanging with the kids (when they're around) and Jasper. This past weekend was especially special and memorable, and this coming weekend is my 30th reunion.

I think a lot about how I graduated in '81, and Cam how graduated exactly 30 years later. Who would have known what the future would hold when I was a naive 17-year-old with no real idea what it meant to be an adult, and not really any idea what I wanted to be "when I grew up." I reflect on that time in my life and wonder how my parents felt when I was graduating from MCHS. Did they have the same feelings of pride and anxiety I've experienced this past year with Cameron? For some reason, I'm not sure they thought as much about it as I did...this intense parent involvement in their children's lives seems to be a fairly new concept. Of course, I'm sure they wanted the best for me, but I think their expectations were different than mine for Cam and Annalisse. Having never gone to college, I think they would have been happy to see me in a retail job or getting a job at one of the area manufacturing plants. I'd like to think I exceeded their expectations.

So, there's certainly a lot to this summer. Do you wonder why I love it so much?

Friday, June 24, 2011

One Down, One to Go!!

Yesterday was a big day for the Bakers as we celebrated Cam's graduation. It was a wonderful day in many ways, and culminated in the touching ceremony, which started at 7:30pm downtown. We are so proud of him, with the difficulties and challenges of this past year behind us, and looking forward to the next chapter in his life. In the meantime, there is the fun of summer camp and getting ready for RIT to look forward to.

CONGRATULATIONS, CAM, and best wishes for happiness and success to FHS's Class of 2011!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer, at last!

Today is Annalisse's last final exam, then it will be officially SUMMER (even though the calendar said it was summer starting yesterday...)!! It's also my last day of work before a couple of days off for Cam's graduation activities. I'm already warning all my family members that I will be blubbering like an idiot all Thursday night. Stay tuned for pictures...not of me blubbering - of Cam's graduation.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dad, I got your sign.

Happy Father's Day to all the beloved dads in our lives, especially Mark, and all the wonderful dads who are no longer with us. Of course, on Father's Day I am especially reminiscent about my dad, who will be gone eight years next month. It's so hard to believe that much time has passed when it seems like, literally, yesterday.

One of the ways I process grief and difficult situations seems to be to think about things in the car. I remember that when my father died for months afterward the moment I turned the key in the ignition, my mind would wander and I would think about my dad. So intently, in fact, that sometimes I would get to my destination and have no idea how I got there, or remember the trip. Another thing I noticed when my dad passed away was that everytime I would go for a dusk/evening neighborhood walk with Jasper, a street light would blow out. It got to be so noticeable (and common) that I actually thought my father was sending me a message by drawing my attention to the blown out streetlight. I'm talking really common. Like every night. I would nod and say to myself, "Got it, Dad."

After a while, it seemed like the street light blowouts were not happening as much anymore, and I would only occasionally notice them. Then, last night, when pulling into the driveway at 2am after picking Cam up at the Senior Bash and dropping him off at a friend's house, my next-door-neighbor's street light blew out. It was simply startling because of the timing and how unexpected it was. I felt it was a direct message from my Dad on Father's Day, and chills went up my spine. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes, when you miss someone so much, that's the way grief works.

So, just like when I hear Louis Prima on the radio, last night I Got it, Dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What's that feeling? Oh, yeah - RELIEF.

Finals week has been a long week filled with anxiety and a queasy stomach. No, not for Cameron or Annalisse - for me. I've been very nervous for a while now about Cam and his commitment to his senior year schoolwork, and this week presented the last set of challenges following a very long year. Cam had four tests this week, none of which he appeared to be studying for. The kicker was, once he had completed his Physics regents on Wednesday, when I asked "How did it go?", his response was "I didn't know half the questions." STOMACH FLIP (for me, not him).

I spent the whole night and next morning worrying about his pre-calc final (the same class he was failing at mid-term), and told him directly that if he did not spend some time studying for this last test he would not be going to TBW (Taco Bell Wednesday). WOW! For the first time in a while he dragged out his stuff and started studying. The things that motivate these kids. On Thursday afternoon, when asked how the pre-calc test went, his response was "Easy." A good omen. All I know is I haven't gotten a call from the school and I feel more relief than I have in a year, knowing there's a pretty good chance (dare I say 100%?) that he's on track to graduate next Thursday.

Knock, knock. Who's There? JOY and HAPPINESS.

Anxiety, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

486

That's the number of posts to the Fabulous B@ker Blog since May 15, 2007. When I get to 500, I'm going to publish a book of the blog called "The First 500." I thought it might be something interesting for the kids (and their kids) to read when I'm long gone. With all the stuff coming up - graduations and summer and such - I bet I'll reach 500 by lat summer. C'mon people, give me something to write about!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This is a post about NOTHING

Just like the TV show Seinfeld, this is a post mostly about "nothing." There's simply been nothing really exciting to write about, life is just chugging along. The kids are done with school but still have tests (Cam is done on Thursday, and Annalisse has a couple of tests this week and next), we are counting down to graduation (June 24), and I'm just trying to balance Cam's assumption that he can come and go as he pleases with having him home at a reasonable hour so I can go to bed. Interesting times. I was recently putting together a slide show for his graduation celebration dinner, and was moved to watch how my "baby" grew out of the towheaded smiley boy into a handsome young man. Time does fly.

We are gearing up for a very busy summer as Annalisse tries to secure a job to support her shopping habits. It looks like she might have a berry picking gig at Chases Farm Market, and she'll be giving the owner a call back tonight to discuss that. While I'm sure the work won't be super fun or interesting, the pay will sure be great for her!! Aside from the time we already have trips planned and her two week CIT program at Camp Bristol, she's pretty available to work, especially during August and the fall.

I'm a parent who happens to love summer and having the kids around. It's nice to not have to make lunches, nag about homework, go to evening school activities, nag about homework, make sure everyone gets to bed at a reasonable hour, and NAG ABOUT HOMEWORK.

There are exciting weeks ahead. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

That Wild and Crazy Prince Philip

In celebration of his 90th birthday tomorrow, here's a funny article from London's Daily Mail highlighting some of the crazier things Prince Philip has said over the years. The man has no filter, and the results are pretty funny.

Another "Last"

Today is Cam's last day of high school as tomorrow, the REAL last day, the seniors are heading to Darien Lake for a little fun and mayhem. Even though this is technically his "last" day, he's been basically checked out of HS academics for a while now. It's been a real struggle to keep him focused (not that it was successful), with constant reminders that his senior year's grades do count. Oh well. After next week's finals we can all breathe a sigh of relief and the homework nagging can stop for a couple of months. Among other worries I might have about what he may encounter at college, here is my prayer as he starts this new chapter in his life:
God, please give my son the maturity to stay focused on his homework now that I won't be there to nag him every night. Amen.
Good luck on finals, Cam!! It's been a "fun" ride!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grilling Weiner

Another politician has joined the recent (and not so recent) ranks of being a lewd (married) cad who texts sexy pictures of himself to a cadre of acquaintances (including strippers and porn types) and thinks he can get away with it. What is it with these guys? Seriously, what kind of ego must it take to think you can be in the public eye and do something so public and get away with it? And now the news is reporting that this poor guy's wife is pregnant...they just got married last year. I feel sorry for that woman.

The best part about this whole scandal is guy's name: Anthony Weiner. WEINER! Can you believe the possibilities with that one? "Weiner sent a picture of his wiener"..."Boy, are they ever grilling Weiner"..." That guy is such a weiner"...see what I mean?! You can't make this stuff up!

Judging from the picture of Weiner in this post, what woman in her right mind would even accept a sexually themed text from this guy? YUCK.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

At the risk of offending the more conservative readers of the Fabulous B@ker blog, I must provide Sarah Palin's historical account of Paul Revere's midnight ride. Here's an excerpt from the USAToday article for your reading pleasure:

"He who warned, uh, the … the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh, by ringin' those bells and, um, by makin' sure that as he's ridin' his horse through town to send those warnin' shots and bells that, uh, we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free … and we were gonna be armed."
Please, people, stop acting like this woman could ever be president!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Last Downstage of 2011

Last night was Downstage's final performance for 2011, and it wa the five seniors' last performances ever. Nick, Mark, Kate, Jacob and Jimmy will be an incredibly hard act to follow, and even harder to "replace." They were amazing improve'rs and really super funny kids. It's been a great experience for Annalisse this year and I'm sure she'll get even better with time! Very proud!!