This is the fourth day that Fluffy has been gone. I asked, "Does anyone miss Fluffy?" and Scooter said no and Guido said, "Who?" Am I the only one who cares about her?
Both kids went to summer school this year. Scooter went to Marymount again, but I think it was more fun for him than in the past, because in addition to the usual math and language arts classes we make him take, he took ceramics and cooking. So he got to make stuff to bring home and stuff to eat. We decided to try the GATE program for Fluffy. It was a really neat idea; the kids created a city, board games, art, etc., by reusing recycled things. I wish all kids could go to a program like that. Not only smart kids can/should benefit by being inspired to be creative. (I just found this great show in PBS called Design Squad. Check it out!)
This week, Fluffy is at Camp Round Meadow. It's her first residence camp. I hope she's having fun. Thea went with her, and we saw a lot of familiar faces from school and Indian Guides at orientation so she shouldn't feel alone. I've been mailing her all kinds of notes and postcards everyday. Like Scooter's first (and only) Round Meadow trip, I made some silly postcards using photos I took. I hope she likes them.
I have to drive up to Big Bear on Thursday to pick her up since camp ends on Saturday, but we need to drive to Las Vegas on Friday for a basketball tournament. Oh boy, I get to make a six-hour round trip on Thursday, and another long drive on Friday.
Fluffy and I enjoyed our field trip to Olvera Street so much that we decided to go again. Janet and Thea met us at the Metro station in Redondo Beach, and we rode the green, blue and red lines to get to Olvera. We went through some scary neighborhoods, but it was fun to see different parts of the city fairly up close. Olvera Street wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be. We ate at one of the little walk-in food stands. Then we went to Chinatown in search of almond cookies. We were told Chinatown was "right across the street," but I guess everyone's definition of "right across the street" is different. We never found the cookies that we wanted and ended up buying cookies and rice noodles out of desperation at a little bakery that wasn't that great.
It as a fun trip, and we're trying to think of other "field trips" we can do by Metro.
Yikes! It's been a while since I updated. This entry is mostly a Fluffy bragfest...
I probably bitched about Fluffy's soccer team in the fall, about the coach who knew nothing about soccer. Well, her team took first overall for the season, they won the Commissioner's Cup tournament, and they took first place in the area playoffs (West, South, North, Central Torrance, San Pedro & PV)! We had some good players on the team, but we still had incredible luck!
In February, I started working part-time at an agency that provides one on one therapy to autistic children. I don't work with the kids; I'm the office person. The money isn't that great, but I have an extremely flexible schedule. I've gradually taken on more and more responsibilities and I'm trying to figure out how to ask for more money, seeing as how I'm making almost $10/hr less than the previous person. I'm still looking for a copywriting/marketing job, but I don't think I'm going to find one that meets all my criteria, so this autism job is going to have to be it until I find the right job.
In the spring, Fluffy took 2nd place in literature in her school's Reflections competition. I think that got her a little jazzed about her writing ability, because lately her letters and thank you notes have been very "flowery." Her conversational style has changed, too. Sometimes it's like talking to an adult.
Fluffy also took first place in the biological category of her school's science fair competition. Her project, "Germopolis," involved swabbing various school and home surfaces and culturing them in petri dishes. Some of the results were disgusting and surprising; the school toilet seat was cleaner than the drinking fountain. Visually, her project was impressive, but what I admired more were her observations and conclusions. Her project went to the Torrance science fair and we got to see the winning projects from the other elementary, middle and high schools.
Scooter's project compared pens that claim their ink is "check-safe." He didn't win any prizes, but the results were surprising and useful in everyday life.
At some point, Scooter commented that this is Fluffy's year, "because she's winning everything!"
During Spring Break, besides the usual visit to the monster-in-law, who by the way is getting meaner and bitchier by the day (she told Fluffy, "You don't need to listen to what your mom tells you to do"), we spent a few days in Sacramento at the railroad museum, Sutter's Fort, and the state capitol.
I went on a few field trips this year. I accompanied Fluffy to the Hollywood Bowl, Banning Museum, and Olvera Street, and enjoyed Gold Rush Day at school. I volunteered at a few events at Scooter's school and got to see a little bit of Renaissance Day. I have missed so much by having to work all the time.
Fluffy got into GATE and Scooter made the honor roll every quarter.
That's all I can remember for the school year right now.
Today is my little sister's birthday. But she's not that little. Happy 42nd birthday, you old fart!
I am such a nice big sister! I wonder if it's this same kind of stuff by Scooter that makes Fluffy not like being the youngest?
Last week we were running around in shorts. We spent the weekend in S.F., where the weather was actually pretty nice except for rain the first night, and came back to freakin' cold weather. Yahoo! says it's currently 52 deg. I need to get me some flannel-lined jeans. Make that flannel-lined everything.
I almost forgot about the real highlight of the weekend. On Thanksgiving day, we got rear-ended on the freeway on the way to Guido's sister's house in Orinda. Nothing major, just a shock to the system and a few scratches on the bumper.
But the incident brought up an observation by Scooter - "Bad luck Thanksgiving."
A few years ago, on Thanksgiving weekend, Guido and Fluffy were driving home with a fresh Christmas tree in the trunk when Guido somehow rammed into a Mercedes. Damage wasn't that bad, but the other driver worked for a lawyer and a few months later threw a lawsuit at us. (It was just a threat, though, and the insurance took care of it.)
One year later, we were driving home after spending T'giving weekend in S.F. and Guido rear-ended a car and caused a four-car accident on I-5. We were exactly halfway between S.F. and L.A., and our car was undrivable. Do you know it costs $700 to have your car towed 200 miles? Our minivan was so old that the insurance company wanted to total it, but Guido pleaded with them to fix it, and we were able to drive it around for a few more years.
Because the minivan was in the shop with near fatal injuries, we had to take the Accord to S.F. for Christmas that year. Not the best time to be driving the little car when you have a pile of Christmas presents and two weeks' worth of clothes for four people. When we got to S.F., the car died (it was just the beginning of a series of me-being-stranded-with-a-dead-car).
So although the turkey has it bad on Thanksgiving, at least he doesn't have to relive the event every year.
Just about everyone I know has in-law horror stories. I've always maintained that, although she drives everyone crazy with her opinions and demands, Guido's mom is basically a good person and means well. That is, until this weekend.
We were having lunch at the new Westfield Plaza, which is adjacent to the S.F. Center, and Guido's mom said flat-out to my kids, "Your mom is so fat, but she just keeps on eating."
I don't care if she's dying of cancer, and it wouldn't have mattered if I was eating a plate of carrots or an entire cheesecake; she was completely out of line to say that to my children.
I've silently taken all the insults made by her and her husband all these years. All the comments about my parents went unchallenged. Even when the old man said that Scooter was stupid and that I was lazy, I said nothing. Guido just looks the other way and lets them treat us that way.
How did these people get to the point where they have the right to treat their family this way? I've taken a lot of shit from them, from the planning of our wedding 13 years ago up to this very day. I make excuses for her, saying it's a cultural gap and she really wants what's best for us. But by insulting me in front of my children, she crossed the line. That's something that will never be forgotten or forgiven.
Just found out that, based on the Sunday games, Scooter's team ended up in second place for the season. It was assumed from the beginning of the season that Chivas would take first place as that team was way stacked so I didn't even dream of first place. It came down to us and Quicksilver for second. We ended the season with the same number of points. So it went to how we played against each other. We played three games and we each won one, lost one, and tied one with each other. So from there it went to overall goals scored against each team for the entire season. And we squeaked by with, I think, four fewer goals. Talk about a serious tie.
U14 doesn't have a Commish Cup, so we'll play again in January in the area playoffs.
Today was an intense soccer day. Scooter's game against the Rhinos was a make-it-or-break-it kind of game. If we won, we definitely took second place. If we lost, we probably dropped down to third.
So what happened? The Rhinos scored three quick goals on us, and I thought, oh no, it's the Chivas game all over again. Instead, in the last part of the game, our guys came back with three goals, and the game ended in a tie! And now I don't know where we stand.
Fluffy's game was next, and again it was one of those do or die games. The Whale Riders scored on us and got everyone's attention. The Red Hots came back with three goals, and that put us in first place for the season! (Very strange, the coach seemed to downplay that, and some families didn't even know we took first.) Now we need to make it through the Commissioner's Cup and area playoffs. We are going to get killed when we go against San Pedro and the other Torrance teams. (Our coaching is very dysfunctional. Our head coach is basically a cheerleader, telling the girls that they'll win if they're confident and work as a team, but not really teaching them skills or plays.)
After Fluffy's game, we raced over to RJ's house for the boys' team party. We all potlucked, and it was a very easy party (at least I hope it was for our hostess). I made a huge card of photos I took throughout the season for the coach, and had the kids sign it. I wish I had taken a picture of it, so I can remember what I did when I need to do it again next year. Does that make sense?
Overall, a great soccer day!
The Blues Brothers started the season very strong. Their only loss was to Chivas, which was to be expected as the teams are really unbalanced this year.
All of a sudden, the Brothers started falling to pieces and haven't been able to get back together. We should have won our game against Quicksilver. In fact, were ahead, but Quicksilver plowed through and the game ended in a tie. We are barely hanging onto our position, and Quicksilver is clawing their way ahead with everything they have.
With one more game left in regular season play, it's still a toss-up as to who will go to the area playoffs!
What an exciting soccer day. Fluffy's team, the Red Hots, faced the undefeated Red Dragons. With eight wins and one loss, the Red Hots were the only team that could possibly take down the Dragons. The score was 0-0 for a long time, then the Dragons scored. The Red Hots came back with three goals! Fluffy played great defense ("I realized that if you back down when they're coming at you, they come at you harder. But if you don't back down, then they back down!") and helped prevent the Dragons from making anymore goals.
If we win next weekend, that should put us in first place for the season!
I never made a Halloween costume for Fluffy. One year I sewed a cape for Scooter so he could be a bat. Another year, in an attempt to save money, I sewed him a Harry Potter cloak that ended up costing more than a store-bought one. I have to admit, though, it was a very nice cloak made of expensive, satiny fabric, and it had a secret pocket to hold his wand. Anyway, that was the last costume I sewed.
However, this year, Fluffy and her friend Kristen announced that they were going as salt and pepper shakers. I definitely wouldn't find those costumes at Party City. So I bought sparkly flannel in black and white, and each mom sewed her daughter's outfit. They wore aluminum foil "caps" on their heads.
Fluffy was salt. She looked really different from the pepper. She had a giant "S" on her front, and people would go, "S...Super...?"
I got something in the mail today. It looked like an invitation and it was hand-addressed to me. The printed return address said it was from Temecula. I don't know anyone in Temecula, but I do know someone in Lake Elsinore, and I thought, "A wedding invitation?"
I opened it, and it was an invitation to a seminar on "the latest innovations in cosmetic surgery."
So now I'm in THAT demographic.