Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Get Your Own Beer

This morning the Catholic Kids and I found ourselves at the tennis carnival, which was basically a big get-together for all kids taking lessons under the city-wide-summer program. We gathered at an amazing outdoor tennis facility with at least 22 professionally maintained tennis courts, where tennis-related games were in full-swing. CG & CS jumped right into the Serving Game and won a Frisbee, wristbands, t-shirt and a nifty tennis racket shock absorber. The games continued until lunch time, then a yummy complimentary hot dog & chips lunch with lemonade satisfied hungry tennis player appetites. Good clean fun!

Back at the homestead, Life-After-Great-Wold-Lodge resumed nicely, with me running around the house like a headless chicken putting more of our travel stuff away and keeping up with business clients. CS suggested that we eat KFC for dinner, and who was I to turn down taking a break from dirtying up more dishes and cooking over the hot stove? So after Hubs returned home from work, I snuck out and managed to find a bucket of chicken (½ grilled & ½ crispy) with baked beans, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits on the side. We wolfed that whole meal down nicely. How sweet is that Colonel Sanders anyway? Love that guy.

Time to get up and burn off that excess energy, especially for Hubs who’d been trapped in an office all day long, so he took the CK’s biking at the park while I went all crazy in the home gym – elliptical, circuit training, weights and all. Walking up all those water slide stairs helped us all stay fit over the mini-vaca, but I needed a serious workout to get back into the regular routine again. To my surprise, halfway through I heard a voice call downstairs to me sounding strangely familiar, kind of like a deeper-voiced Catholic Son saying:

Hey Brenda, we’re home. Can you get me a beer while you’re down there?

Hmmm… let me see. That would be a no. (As if, dude.)

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Final Hoo-Rah

This morning was the last of our vacation at the lodge, and we took advantage of the water park to the fullest: meaning, we jumped out of bed @7 am and packed up our luggage before taking ourselves back down for more water sliding goodness. With the park opening at 9 am and check out at 11 am, we really didn’t have much time to waste if we wanted to slide down every water slide a gazillion more times before leaving. So we kicked it into high gear, Starbucks coffee being a big motivator kick in the pants for me, and managed to slide down every ride at least 3 times each, all before 9:45 am. Sa-weet!

Graciously, I offered to head back to the hotel suite before the rest of the crew to make the most efficient use of Shower Time. Yes, Mom takes longer in there. But in no time flat, my peeps were pounding on the door ready for their own showers, thus sending me skittering around the room all wet-towelled. Geez, Peeps. Anyway, everyone finished cleaning themselves up in record time, then we packed up the vehicle and made our way over to the Bear Claw Cafe for that final chance at fudge buying. Personally, I had my eye on the overpriced bag of Funyuns in the gift shop, but no thanks.

So then what? Lunch. Our plan was to visit a favorite Kansas City submarine sandwich shop in the nearby Legends shopping center. Only… where in tarnation did it go? After driving over and checking out the center’s directory to find it NOT THERE, we did what every other family-desperate-for-food would do while starving in a shopping center and settled for the closest eating establishment available: Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. But in no way was that pretzel meal going to hold off our hunger. Nuh-uh. And Hubs accurately described our lunch as ‘only putting a dent’ in our appetite for food after all the morning watersliding we’d accomplished. Metabolism gone completely and utterly wild, I know.

But yet the Catholic Family and I couldn’t very well leave the Legends without poking our heads into the Nike and Adidas shops; because of course, that would be a total abomination. So we meandered into both stores and scored bargains on t-shirts, shorts and a Nike brand Nebraska hat to help me cheer on that Husker football team in the fall.

Wait. Did that really happen? We’re on vacation in Kansas and I’m buying NU paraphernalia for rooting on our favorite football team back home? Something just isn’t quite right with that souvenir purchase. Meanwhile, I tried not to think too hard about that lil’ faux pas as we headed home, snacking on fudge and praying for Smokie’s forgiveness after another summer GWL escape. *fingers crossed*

Water Park to the Max

On our first full day at the lodge, we woke up before 7 am and hubs so kindly wandered down the hall and found me a cuppa dark roast Starbucks coffee. Not espresso – but dude, STARBUCKS.

Headed straight down to the water park after snarfing down a blueberry bagel w/cream cheese, CKs muffins and juice, and hubs a bowl of cereal with the milk Wiley so kindly left the night before. All loaded up and ready to take on the water slides! *woohoo!*

Grabbed our inner-tubes and hit every. single. slide. (At least twice, including the body slides which didn’t require tubes, just skin.) To top it off, we even stood under the giant Great Wolf Lodge water bucket where thousands of gallons of water dropped on our heads, then we floated along in the Lazy River where we were anything but lazy. Finally, we headed outside to enjoy some rays and a game of water basketball, but found clouds, a cool breeze and goosebumps in the 74 degree-ish temps. Ah well, back later after the clouds broke and we found ourselves some rays and I attempted to even out my lopsided tan.

Back to the room for lunch in our suite: me Lean Cuisine, CG EZ mac & cheese, CS Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles lunch, hubs sandwich & chips on our balcony. Soon enough we zipped back over to the water park before CS could get too wrapped up in the Sponge Bob Squarepants marathon on cable, where we wore ourselves out to the point of hungry exhaustion, then showered up at the room before taking our empty stomachs over to Camp Critter. A bowl of French Onion soup and a turkey sandwich did the trick for me, and the Catholic Family & I enjoyed a peaceful dinner under the indoor tent and tree-like setting of the restaurant.

Next we finished decoratingthe CK’s t-shirt crafts at the Cub Club, which made some seriously cool custom souvenirs. The Northern Lights Arcade beckoned us over for some game playing & ticket redeeming, with Catholic Girlie walking away with white fuzzy dice & 3 Tootsie Rolls and Catholic Son a wolf figurine. Then lastly, we shut the water park down, slipping down the water slides a few more times for the evening and playing a 2-on-2 game of water basketball at the outdoor pool.

Final score: Me & Hubs, 13, Catholic Kids 15.
Motto of the game: “White Moms Can’t Shoot”

Gnashing of Teeth

Where in the world has this whole Sunday gone anyway? Oh yes, now I remember. After a late night of celebrating Independence Day, the Catholic Peeps and I woke up to Hubs’ Famous Breakfast Smörgåsbord of Belgian waffles (kids), bacon (girlie & me), veggie omelet (hubs & me) and english muffin (hubs). Then we spent the rest of the morning watching Federer beat squeak past a local favorite, Roddick, at Wimbledon. Last and probably least, the four of us enjoyed a relaxing frustrating afternoon at the pool, where we dodged 4-letter words tossed around the deep-end area by a slew of teens who received no less than 3 verbal warnings and scathing looks from nearby adults attempting to sunbathe peacefully beside the pool. *Ugh.*

Reminds me of a song, “Every party has a pooper that’s why we invited you…” (From movie: Father of the Bride)

Dynamite Day

So the Catholic Family’s Friday July 3rd party got started early with my 8:00 am salon appointment and Hubs having the day off from work, meaning a breakfast of homemade waffles and steamy espresso to tide me over while sitting in that blessed salon chair for 2+ hours. Then, for wasting time purposes, I paid Kohls a visit and picked up 3 new outfits of skimmers (pants somewhere in between walking shorts and capris) and summer tops, because quite frankly, I needed a lil’ wardrobe update that didn’t bear the name of Nike or Adidas. (Father Chi frowns on that kind of thing during mass, you know.)

Meanwhile, Hubs & the Catholic Kids were home watching Roger Federer kick some tennis bootay at Wimbledon, out-and-about taking taking the car for a much needed oil change, and subsequently working up a good appetite for sub sandwiches. So guess what? I met those peeps at Barnes & Noble, because it just happens to be right next door to Kohls and a birthday gift card was burning a hole in my wallet. But we only left with a few books for the CK’s and my card intact. (BTW: Spent that baby online later in the afternoon, per Becca’s sweet book recommendation – thanks!) And finally, lunch at Subway where we replenished our starving bodies. *whew*

Then what? In search of a fireworks stand! More specifically, one bearing the Knights of Columbus logo, as we prefer buying fireworks in support of those nice Catholic gentlemen in our Archdiocese. Although, despite the fact that Catholic Son had his sights set on bringing home a 3-foot tall monstrosity of pseudo-dynamite, we settled with a nice grocery bag of fireworks fun to keep us safely entertained yet another year:

Mysterious Tennis Society

Amazing how we’ve been loading up these summer days with a multitude of projects and activities, filling the time so well that we’re finding ourselves completely spent each and every night – exactly my plan! Today was no different with the day starting out finishing those chores hand-picked by each of my precious peeps. Next, we were on with watching Wimbledon on TV while a certain incognito mom multi-tasked (laundry/ironing/kitchen cleaning), and then trekking over to the tennis courts for an hour of hitting the ball around, all before Catholic Girlie’s cello lesson at the conservatory.

Side Note: Watch out Williams sisters and Andy Roddick – we’re steppin’ up in the tennis circuit!

Which is really no lie, because CG & CS actually talked Hubs into taking them back to the courts later in the evening for more tennis action. Apparently they hadn’t had enough play time earlier in the day? Nah. I’m thinking the kids wanted to show off those new-found tennis skills acquired by playing tennis with a certain former tennis pro mom… *cough* who is starting to experience a little chlorine-on-the-brain after so many days at the pool, but I digress.

And now a picture of the new nighttime reads we’re loving right now, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Move aside, Harry Potter.:

Tween & Tennis Tuesday

The kids and I had the morning schedule completely open, so I chose to hit the EA Sports Active and My Fitness Coach after the kids finished playing Sonic Unleashed on the Wii. Just so you know, I’ve found the Wii workouts best at exercising muscles that are hardly touched during regular cardio/weight training routines, thus explaining the soreness issue experienced last week. Who would’ve thought boxing, in-line skating and step aerobics could do such a number on a person the next day? Not me – I was flabbergasted. Let’s just say I’m prepared this time around, ibuprofen and all.

But exercising with Wii games wasn’t the highlight of this summer Tuesday. Nope. The day actually got plenty better after dropping Catholic Girlie off at her Tween class, sending Catholic Son and I over to the tennis court where we volleyed nicely smacked the ball around the court like a couple of wild & crazy tennis fanatics. Ok, so we weren’t exactly pro-like, but man… that boy can make contact with the tennis ball like no other 10 year old I’ve ever seen. Although, unfortunately, he also takes losing exactly like a certain one-time pro: John McEnroe.

Final score: Mom 5, CS 3. Sorry ’bout that, dude.

Look Who’s Talking

One would expect the day after a person’s birthday to be a big let-down, but with this busy summer schedule we’ve got going in the Catholic homestead? Not even close. Instead, we kept up with our Thursday cleaning routine, now calling our crew the “Thursday Three Clean Peeps”, and whipped right through the house like a bunch of Tasmanian Devils. Then before lunch, we tested out my birthday Wii games: EA Sports Active and My Fitness Coach, getting our appetites extremely worked up in the process.

Side note: Neither Wii Fit nor Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum can touch EA Sports Active and My Fitness Coach. Finally, personalized fitness with improved Wii interactive response time. Two exhuberant thumbs up!

So then can you guess where the CK’s wanted to spend the afternoon? Yup. Poolside. No surprise there. Catholic Hubs with a day off from work stepped up to the challenge and took care of that little request nicely (thank goodness because I’m changing ethnicities with all of the sun exposure) while I made an errand run to the library for returning books and Target to pick up a few more necessities: Bagel Bites, drink boxes, chocolate milk, calcium fortified apple juice, chex mix, pop tarts, and pancake mix.

Ok so we’re all set for awhile now, right? Uh-oh… who forgot to write ‘paper towels’ on the list? *errg*

Finally, Catholic Girlie and I met with her cello coach at the Conservatory of Music where she experienced the Best Lesson Ever. Not only did Mark rave about the “cooking” she did while etude-playing, but he also mentioned that “word was getting around town” about CG’s talent. As it turns out, Mark received a phone call from another parent referred to him by CG’s Middle School orchestra teacher. The caller heard that CG made amazing strides while working with him and wanted to set up coaching sessions for another cellist. People are talking!

This just calls for a Root Beer Float Party.

Splish, Splash

Today marked the last Friday of Catholic Son’s basketball camp, the end of the second week of reading for the library’s summer program, and the absolute rainiest day of June thus far causing me to break into a sprint while heading to the parking lot after returning books for the CK’s. Yet after that, all we had to show for these big milestones was a cheap plastic jump rope given to CS at the end of camp by a coach who informed CS it would ‘help him dunk’. Nice try, dude.
Cheap Plastic Jump Rope

Now here’s the real treat of the day: Homemade French Bread Pizza for dinner, topped personally by Catholic Hubs, Son & Girlie with Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, green pepper, red onion and pizza cheese. Total heart attacks waiting to happen, but that pizza was de-lish to say the very least. Two redeeming factors: a serving of peas on the side and a 90 min cross-training workout for Incognito as the CK’s bounced around on the wet trampoline. The perfect ending to a pretty decent day.

Next up: Wedding Saturday! (Not just anyone, but the CK’s very first babysitter – now all grown up.)

Spirit Willing, Flesh Tired as Heck

Today rocked. Said without an exclamation point only because I’m physically exhausted, otherwise you might have seen a few at the end of that sentence. So let’s see… what made the day ‘rock’? Well first of all, it started off with me being all worried the Catholic Kids would forget about our whole weekly cleaning plan we launched last week, thus bugging out on Bathroom Cleaning Thursday. And it sure looked that way as I attempted to yank those people away from certain video games, but then I got serious and shot that Wicked Mom Look in their direction.

BINGO. Instant bathroom cleaners. *cough*

Languishing in the shower was next on my list, because bathroom cleaning doesn’t exactly make a person any cleaner, then the three of us ate a quick lunch of Tony’s Cheesy Meatball Pouch (CS), a toasted peanut butter hoagie (CG) and Sesame Chicken Lean Cuisine (me) before heading off to another afternoon of basketball camp. This time instead of shopping, CG and I took ourselves home after dropping CS off, that way I could take care of web work for clients while she played Scrabble. Against herself. And guess who won? That’s right! Total win-win situation there, I know.

Not too long after picking CS up from camp, CG and I jetted downtown for her weekly cello lesson at the Conservatory of Music. It was there that my eyelids got all heavy while reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, but I did manage to finish a couple of chapters, complete with background music. Cellos, violins and pianos playing simultaneously from different rooms in the building. Ok, so the experience wasn’t exactly soothing, but you just go with it when you’re sitting outside listening to multiple lessons going on at the same time as you try to focus on reading a book.

They need a sofa for parent naps.