Friday, March 31, 2017

Jesse's Friday of fun

“I want to go swimming.”

My son’s request made me pause. Swimming? Where? I knew there were public pools here in Eugene and also in Springfield, but I wasn’t sure if visiting one for a day was even possible. I had recently been perusing a catalog for Splash!, a waterpark, and was upset to see that they charge an out-of-district fee for visitors. I thought that was really unfair for people who just wanted to have some fun in a pool! So I decided to ask friends if they knew of a more affordable place we could go to for Jesse to have some pool fun. Unfortunately, our friends weren’t sure, and also unsure about what was available at the Y.

So, I hit the Internet. I Googled local public pools and checked out what came up. One public pool did charge an out-of-district fee to get in, another one had some really bad reviews, and another one was closed. Fortunately, I did find one that DIDN’T charge an out-of-district fee and, better still, the one day pass was MUCH more affordable (under $5!). So I told Jesse we would go there. I had also discovered that they offered swimming lessons and ALSO at an affordable price! I have been trying to sign Jesse up for swimming lessons for years but I was always too late. By the time I looked up swimming lessons for him, they were always full.

Well, not THIS time! In fact, there were 4 spots left for the swimming class I wanted to sign him up for, so while we were there, I got him signed up. Yay!!! He is FINALLY going to learn how to swim! At age 9, I think it is high time he learned how to swim. (Sidenote: We don’t have our own swimming pool.)

So I drove Jesse out to the public pool today. Thankfully, I managed to get there without getting lost! (All that time I spent on Google Maps figuring out the route paid off LOL)

When we got there, I got Jesse registered, signed him up for swimming lessons, and paid for the one-day pass. Jesse was too nervous to go into the men’s shower room by himself so they told him he could just go on in to the swimming pool. He was so excited when he got into the pool! His face lit up and he said, “Wow!” He started swimming around and I stayed there at the side, watching him. There were two lifeguards on duty at all times but I kept an eye on him anyway. I advised him to use a floatie at all times, even though he was in the shallow area, and he had lots of fun with THAT! He also bought some goggles and he thought it was cool to see underwater. The first time he did it, he said “that’s cool” and “it’s awesome.” He really had a blast playing in the pool. He was only able to play in the pool for an hour, though, and he really DIDN’T want to get out of the pool! He was having too much fun! But I assured him we would come back sometime.

After he got out of the pool, he was more comfortable going into the showers with the other kids and he also changed clothes. After that, we went home, grabbed Trevor, then headed out for froyo at TCBY.

Then after Jesse finished eating his froyo, he went across the street to play at his friend’s house.

Now we’re ending the day camping out on the couch, eating gummy worms and watching the movie How to Eat Fried Worms.

Jesse sure had a fun day today and we are looking forward to doing more fun things tomorrow. His last day for Spring Break is on Monday so I’m hoping to squeeze in as many fun activities while I can.

Here are pictures I took at the pool. It’s an indoor pool, by the way.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The boy who waited

My son, Jesse, had a dentist appointment this morning so he went in to school late today. This morning, I was doing something that I normally do on a weekday: Setting up what articles I would be reading for today. (The articles come from the website, ScienceDaily, as well as anything of interest from TIME or the the L.A. Times. Sometimes I will find articles to read on Facebook or Twitter, as well. I love to read articles about new developments in science and medicine, as well as any news or topics of interest of things going on in the world. I usually share what I read on my personal Twitteraccount and Facebook. I call this time that I take to read articles “research” because a lot of the times I come across info I can use in my books.) I did not have the time to read them just yet but I would read them later when I did have the time. As I was going through the list of article titles, Jesse appeared at my side, asking if I would pour him a bowl of cereal. Yes, I know; at 9, he is perfectly capable of doing that himself. I guess he just wanted me to do that for him, or something. I told him to please wait a few minutes so that I could finish going through this list first then I’d pour his cereal for him. He waited a little bit but I guess he was too hungry to wait longer so he did it himself.

I was not happy. I should have been, because he was doing something he was perfectly capable of doing himself, but I was irritated that he lost his patience with me. And I let him know that it bothered me that he changed his mind about waiting for me. The kids often lose their patience with me and so that has been an ongoing thing I  have tried to fix with them. It IS important for people to have patience with others!

Later, as I was cooking breakfast, I began stewing over how this has happened with other people, too. They either get tired of waiting for me, lose their patience with me, or they give up on me and decide I’m no longer worth it and go on to do other things. I might as well start telling people that if they are NOT willing to wait until I can do what they need me to do, then don’t waste my time even asking. Just look for someone who can give you what you want RIGHT NOW.  

But I also thought about how I let Jesse know that it bothered me that he wouldn’t wait for me. Would my words have any impact? Would he think about what I said?

I soon found out because he asked me to go somewhere to see something. I told him I couldn’t right now because I was busy cooking, but that I would look at it when I was done. He walked off to another room. As I finished cooking, I wondered if he would wait. But then again, I didn’t really expect much to come out of that. If you don’t expect anything from people, then you won’t be disappointed when they don’t do anything! That is my philosophy! Expect nothing and avoid disappointment when nothing happens!

But, it didn’t turn out that way this time. When I was able to step away from the stove, I asked Jesse what he wanted to show me. Guess what? He still showed me what he had wanted to show me earlier. He. Had. Waited! Awesome!

I thanked Jesse for his patience and I also said it was nice of him to wait until I was available to give him my full attention. And, you know, it really was. Hopefully, he’ll start to be more patient! (And recognize that he can just go ahead and do the things he can do if someone is too busy to do them for him.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jesse's last basketball game

My son, Jesse, has been sick with a chest infection since last Monday and he had a rough week. He got to a point of being too sick to go to school and he ended up missing 3 days of school. Fortunately, he saw a doctor on Saturday, and we are giving him the right medicines that he needs for treatment.

And while I definitely want to encourage a child to rest and limit activities while being sick, it would seem that Jesse was not going to be able to do that this weekend.

Yesterday was the day the team pictures for his basketball team were being taken and today was their last game. It was not like we could reschedule these things and this was the only time those things were going to happen. And while Jesse was feeling pretty crappy, I knew he had to go to both games. If he didn’t go, he would miss out on both of those things. He might regret that later and also get really upset. My husband didn’t want Jesse to go to either games, but these were the last two – the first with team pictures – so I told him that Jesse had to go despite being sick. (And anyway, I wanted Jesse to learn that sometimes we have to do things even when we are sick. Heck, when I was sick for all of last week, I still got up early in the morning and got the kids to school! Life doesn’t stop just because we get sick!)

I explained to the coach that Jesse was sick so Jesse was allowed to sit out Saturday’s game. However, Jesse was feeling well enough to play today, so he got to play with his team for their last game. I am so glad that he got to play, too. It WAS the last game! His team didn’t win but they still had a good game. And Jesse played pretty well, despite being sick.

So he got to be in the team pictures and he also got to play for his team’s last game. This season has gone by so fast. Jesse did miss a lot of practices and games, unfortunately, because of sickness or because we were out of town, but he had a great time playing basketball. I am glad he has good memories of his first experience of playing basketball. He will cherish those memories for a long time. His teammates were awesome and he got along with everybody. And his coaches were awesome, too!

It’s gonna take me a while to get used to not having to schedule things around his practices and games, and even not taking him to practices or games anymore! But there’s always next season. He is looking forward to playing on a basketball team again. Meanwhile, he’ll be shooting hoops off-season when he gets the chance!

Here are the pictures I took from today’s game. Jesse is #40.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Our trip to California for my sister's wedding

Last month – on the 22, actually – we did something we had been spending months and weeks preparing for: We traveled to the California desert to attend my youngest sister’s wedding. She and her longtime partner, Allison, finally tied the knot – after 20 years together! We were so excited and happy to see the two of them get married. Even before Millie married Allison, we knew her as Millie’s friend, and she’s been a part of my family for a long time. And even before it became legal last month, I considered Allison to be my sister-in-law and the kids considered her to be their aunt.

So on February 25, 2017, Millie Colclasure and Allison Warner were married. It was such a beautiful wedding. I got to be a part of the "bride tribe" – one of the maids-of-honor. And I’m a 42-year-old married woman! But I still got to be a part of her bridesmaids. Two of my other sisters were there, too, as bridesmaids: Jeanette and Elizabeth (Liz). Both of them are also married and a little older than a typical bridesmaid. But there we were, her sisters, a part of the ceremony to witness her marry the love of her life.

It was truly amazing and beautiful to witness the joining of the Warner and Colclasure families. We love everyone in the Warner family and I even call Allison’s grandmother “Nana” just like everyone else. (So does Millie.)

My son, Jesse, was the ringbearer for the wedding. It was the first time ever he has been a ringbearer! He was so adorable and it was so cute to watch him walk down the aisle carrying the rings. My daughter, Trevor, was also a part of the wedding: She got to be one of Allison’s bridemaids. I was very happy that I and my children got to be a part of the ceremony.

We had quite an adventure getting from Eugene, Oregon to Palm Springs, California. Before we left, though, there was all this drama going on about the arrangements we had made with some people to take care of Trevor’s animals while we were gone. The whole thing stressed me out. On the day of the trip, I freaked out so bad that I thought of not going. It was either not going or putting the animals into the back of the van and taking them with us!! Fortunately, family and friends calmed me down and I was able to think logically again. (I guess I don’t handle stress well!) We made new arrangements and I set up back-up people in the event that didn’t go as we planned. Then there was more drama and I had to deal with THAT and after everything got squared away in all of the arrangements we had made, we were FINALLY able to leave.

We had planned to be on the road all night but that didn’t happen. We had car trouble in Medford. We ended up having to get a motel room in Medford for the night and then getting the van fixed the next morning. We had to get a new part for the van (OF COURSE!) but after that was cleared up, THEN we were finally on our way! Again!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. I posted updates about it on my personal Twitter account. And I took A LOT of pictures – both on the trip there, while we were there, and on the way back home.

The kids LOVED California. Jesse had been in California before, when he was one (he was born here in Eugene), but I’m not sure if he remembered much of it. They really soaked up the sun and checked out the palm trees. They had fun walking in the sand and going hiking with their cousins in the Thousand Palms Canyon.

I was so happy to be back on my home turf. Seeing those beautiful mountains and those amazing palm trees again made me feel like I was in Heaven. I never realized just how much I missed all of it. And it was good to see family again, too. I hadn’t seen them for years! Kids had grown so big since I last saw them. I was sad I didn’t get to see everybody, but I was cherishing every minute I spent with the family I did get to see. There were lots of hugs, tears, laughter and we all took lots of pictures.

It was just an amazing and awesome experience. It created a lot of happy memories I will cherish for years. Same with the kids.

I have not yet downloaded all of the pictures from the trip (though you can see some of them on my personal Twitter account!) or pictures from the wedding but I will upload them all soon. Meanwhile, the picture shared here is one I got from my sister on FB. It was great to see family again, meet new family and make new friends. I was sad to leave but we all decided that we should make plans to go out and visit more often.

So we are back home in Eugene, Oregon. I have been spending the week getting EVERYTHING unpacked, sorted and put away. We ended up with a pair of shoes and a sweater that didn't belong to us and found out they belonged to other family members! Oops! I have also tackled a mountain of laundry, restocked the house with food, and got the kids back on schedule for school and sports. Jesse is happy to be back with his basketball team again! Trevor turned in all the homework done while we were away and the people who took care of our animals were thanked and paid. We have also enjoyed sharing and looking at all of the pictures taken from the trip and the wedding. I have also been taking a little time here and there to sort through the ton of email I had waiting for me.

Many thanks to the people who helped us out for this occasion: My sister, Millie, Allison, my other sister, Jeanette, and our friends Kim, Miette, Julie, Tim and Oscar.

I may have returned to Oregon, but I left my heart in California. I guess I’m a California girl for life, no matter how long I live in another state. I’ll be California dreaming for a very long time – at least, until I will get to go back again. I hope that will be soon.