Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hiking to Philmont & Nalgene bottles

This my friends, is a Nalgene bottle. Something all good hikers have. From my understanding, this bottle is indestructible (unless you stab it with a knife, which some of the boys in Tucker's scout troop have done). For more about Nalgene bottle, I copied with from their website....
How did these bottles get so popular? Where do they come from?
How it all started…Back in 1949, a Rochester, New York chemist named Emanuel Goldberg developed the first plastic pipette holder. Along with three workers, he began the Nalge Company in a small building at 625 South Goodman Street.
For years Goldberg and his growing team developed the NALGENE line of state-of-the-art polyethylene laboratory equipment: centrifuge bottles, filter units, storage tanks.
Obviously, it wasn't the kind of stuff you toss into your backpack for a weekend in the woods.
But there were rumors floating around ... stories about scientists taking the smaller, more convenient bottles out of the lab and using them on hikes and excursions.
By the 1970s this "unofficial" use for NALGENE bottles caught the eye of Marsh Hyman (President of the Nalge Company in Rochester, New York).
The Boy Scout connection…Marsh had a son who was in the Boy Scouts. He and his fellow Scouts used NALGENE lab bottles on the trail. They were perfect as water bottles; for storing powdered drinks and pancake mix; and for carrying matches and shampoo and snacks and all sorts of camping supplies.
When he learned about these great new uses for his lab bottles, Marsh Hyman went to the Nalge Specialty Department with a mission:
"Spread the word to outdoorspeople all over! Tell them about this new line of high-quality camping equipment."
And that's how NALGENE Outdoor Products started.
So you see, every good outdoors-person, must have a Nalgene Bottle. The one pictured was a Christmas gift from Jena...she outfitted me with several items for my trip to Philmont.
Back to Nalgenes...I thought I take my Nalgene to the gym with water to drink during my workout. I filled it up with ice and water and decided to take a drink. But alas, I couldn't get the water to come out of the bottle. You can't see it, but there's a different sort of top on this bottle that makes it look like you can drink out of the lid. But that is an illusion. An illusion that was revealed to me once my son returned home from school (some six hours AFTER I filled the bottle) and I asked him how the bottle "worked". Let me describe his reaction....He just stares at me, doesn't say a word. He drops his backpack, walk over to the island and picks up the pretty pink Nalgene. The entire time, he's continues to stare at me. The unscrews the lid of the Nalgene, brings the bottle to his lips, take a drink, screws the lid back on and sets the bottle back on the island. O.K., how stupid do you think I'm feeling right now. Yep, I'm Nalgene challenged. All I can say is for you to look at that lid and tell me that you don't think that you should be able to suck out of that thing.
Last night, I made an emergency run to Dick's Sporting goods to buy some appropriate hiking clothes for this 10 mile jaunt today. I know, you're saying, "Why, don't you have clothes you can walk in?" Well, yes I do. But they are not HIKING clothes....or should I say not 100% cotton. Check out your wardrobe....I guarantee nearly 100% of the shirts and pants that you have are made of 100% cotton. You can't hike in cotton. Once it gets wet, it doesn't dry. It's below freezing here today...I didn't want to fall in a snow bank (there's still snow on the ground too) and get my pants wet and them NEVER dry. Not a good think. So I dropped a cool $180 on Under Armor pants and a shirt and hiking pants and a shirt. YOWSA~!!!!!
When I get home, I tell Tucker that I bought myself some winter Under Amour. He looks at me with this look of complete shock and dismay on his face. "Mom, do they make Under Armour for women?" Well, that just blows me away. So I spit back at him, "Don't you mean, they don't make Under Armour for mothers?" Then he goes on to explain that it's just the entire thought of how "clingy" UnderAmour is and all that stuff. Again, it's the whole Mom thing.
So this morning, at 6:30 a.m. I bounced down the steps wearing nothing but my UA and I think I blinded my son. He'll never be the same! I laughed all the way upstairs with my lovely cup of coffee!
We hiked 10 miles today in brisk weather (39 degrees TOPS!) I was thanking God for that UA as I was traipsing through the woods. I survived, only fell once and still feel pretty good. We're getting ready for a birthday party for my brother tonight. John will be 45 tomorrow!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!!!
Montgomery Inn Ribs, Chickens and Shrimp just arrived! YUM! Gotta run and prep for dinner! I'm sure there will be photos to follow

Sunday, February 18, 2007

MY SUPERSTAR.............

Tucker competed in the SW Ohio District Wrestling Meet today at Moeller High School. We went into this tournament with the attitude that it would be a good learning experience for Tucker since this is only his second year wrestling and we wanted him to get a taste of what some of these others kids are doing etc. to be top wrestlers.

It was a difficult decision to make to get him to participate since it is totally optional at the Junior High Level. We went back and forth about participating. Ultimately, a phone call from Tucker's coach convinced me to make him sign up and go. I admit that after I made the decision, Tucker was not at all happy with me! As a matter of fact, he was down right ticked off!!! Tucker's father was not happy with me either! He was afraid that this competition would ruin his attitude and possibly ruin Tucker's wrestling in the future. The past few weeks have not been pretty around here. The practices have been tough and Tucker has gotten to wrestle some boys from other schools that are definitely top notch wrestlers. There was more than one occasion when I almost just told him to quit. But we didn't and today rolled around quickly, much to Tucker's dismay.

It was a little nerve wracking since school has been cancelled all week and there has only been one practice. I had to wonder if he was going to be out of shape or not. I made him go to the gym and run on the thread mill on day...I'm such a good mom!

Weigh in started at 7 a.m. and we have been watching Tuck's weigh all week. He needed to be at 90 more on Sunday. He was doing great, but did not like not being able to drink soda, eat potatoes, snacks etc. Then on Friday, I got an email informing everyone got a two pound weight allowance...YIPPEEE! Tuck weighed in at 90.5 lbs this morning....well within the limits. This would be a different weight class for him than what he wrestled all year (he dropped down a weight class for this tournament). We did not have any idea what to expect since he hadn't wrestled any of these kids in the regular season and factor in all the kids that come from other areas to wrestle. It was a real crap-shoot for us.

Another big deal for Tucker today....My dad, stepmother and brother all made the trip to watch him wrestle for the first time this year. Tucker was beyond nervous because he didn't think he would do well and they were all going to be there to watch him. ICK!!!!

The meet started at 10 a.m. and he did not wrestle until 11:30 a.m. His first match was a bummer...he lost to a tough competitor. Disappointment was high for everyone, but losing happens to everyone!! Losing dropped him to the consolation bracket and the best you can do here is 3rd place, first through fourth place qualify for the state tournament. Fifth place is the alternate.

His second match, he pinned the other kid in 35 seconds; third match, he won 4-0, fourth match he won 6-2, he lost the fifth match 2-0. The kid he wrestled was so wore out after the match he could hardly stand to shake Tucker's hand. This loss was disappointing because we really felt he could have won...the kids were evenly match and Tucker just didn't focus.

Losing this match meant that the best he could do would be fifth place or the first alternate position for state. Well, he won the last match 7-2 and came in 5th place out of 19 wrestlers. WHOO -HOOO! It's a red letter day at our house! I'm so proud of him that I could explode. Enjoy the pictures of my Champion....
His face is so red from rubbing it on the vinyl mat, it's called "Mat Burn"....real nice, huh???

O.K. Mom, that's enough!
What an experience for a young man that just started wrestling last year and didn't even want to go to the tournament. He ends up placing and becoming an alternate for state! I think he's having some ice cream right celebrate! (He had a slab of ribs and mashed potatoes for dinner :-0 !

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Three year check up & Dad's day at preschool...

Saturday was Dad's day at preschool. I don't bother to send a camera, he won't use it. But much to my delight, he did take some photos with his camera phone (not the best quality), but it's better than nothing. Since Steve was behind the camera, there are no photos of them together....I forgot to take one, shame on me. If I had a hammer.....

Who doesn't love Pooh????
Kissing the baby doll (I don't know her name....she's on PBS)
Elise went to the doctor yesterday for her three year old checkup. Thankfully, there were NO shots needed. I was thrilled. The biggest crisis of the appointment was trying to get a urine sample. Here's the gist of that mess...

Nurse asked mama if little girl can tee-tee in the potty. Mama answers, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Mostly just no, but we'll give it a shot!

Off to the bathroom we go with the dreaded "cup". Empress Elise gladly disrobes (I had to convince her that she did not need to take her top off the bottoms and socks were plenty!), and gets on the potty. Mama explains what the cup is for and she thinks it's a grand idea.

Let me digress for a moment....Elise likes to sit on the potty for a very long time without producing any kind of result. It's very frustrating and I should have taken this into consideration. I have to remove the TP and tell her that she can only have it if she "produces" something. HA! I actually walk away and leave her there. She will eventually come and get me to announce that she is finished or I just shut down the entire project. I'm not all about pushing the potty training. I would rather her tell me when she is ready....but when she says, "I go tee-tee!" I should listen, right???? HA! Not Empress Elise! Sitting on the potty is some type of sporting event for her.

So you get the picture....after waiting an appropriate amount of time and me being tired of sitting in a semi-public bathroom, I decided to cease the activity. Well, Empress Elise was not happy with this decision and voiced it rather loudly. So loud, that the nurse thought I was forcing her to tee-tee in the cup and rapped on the bathroom door informing me that they didn't need a "sample". Well DUH....she told me that before I went into the bathroom and if you know me well enough, you know I rarely if ever let anyone push me into something that I don't want to do.

After the "tee-tee" drama we went back to the exam room. Elise weighs 33 pounds and is 36 1/2 inches tall. We didn't get a feel about her language since Elise wouldn't talk to the doctor. The jury is still out on whether she is behind on not. My gut tells me that she is behind, but I don't know by how much. I know she doesn't qualify for services through the school system, but I think she would definitely benefit from some type of speech therapy. I am looking into the schools evaluating her, but they have not responded to my inquiry.

This weekend is Tucker's District Wrestling meet, on Sunday. We went into this event with the attitude that it would be like wrestling camp. We knew that there were at least three boys that were going to compete that had beat him this year (he lost four matches), so it would be a good learning experience for him. This would be great for me since I wouldn't be all torqued out of shape worrying about him winning....not saying that my expectation would be low, just realistic. WELL.....I logged on today to check out the entries and everyone of the boys that beat him this year are wrestling in a higher weight class, that totally changes his chances of placing for the better. HOLY COW!!!! Where's that medication....I'm gonna need it now! So much for a relaxing weekend of wrestling! I'll let you know how the weekend turns out.

It's crappy weather school again tomorrow due to weather...too much ice! Hopefully it will improve but I don't think it's going to...heaven help us all. You can't even sled in this weather because it's not snow, just ice. That turns a sled into a speeding bullet, something I don't want to experience since the Urgent Care is too far away in this weather :-)!


Friday, February 09, 2007

Back deck action and Elise's new guitar....

I'm a bit of bird's something that a country girl does in the 'burbs. I've moved all my feeders to the back deck to try to control the "Rodent" or squirrels from destroying the feeders and eating all the seeds. The long feeder is squirrel proof. The stand for the birds will actually spin a squirrel off of it when it tries to eat the seed. It's rather hilarious. I've watched a squirrel actually spin around about three times holding on for dear life...totally cracked me up. The woodpeckers are back....this year I have a Redheaded Woodpecker, a downy and a hairy woodpecker. The best time for bird watching is the early morning. Elise even enjoys watching them with me.
A Red-Bellied Woodpecker....I just love him...He's beautiful isn't he!
Black-capped Chickadees and a Yellow Finch

Yes there are rodents too....

Elise got a Cinderella bed/sleeping bag for her birthday. These photos are of her watching the Wiggles and holding her new guitar...
Dora gets the best spot...

Nothing like having "purple" (blankie), fingers and a guitar to enjoy the evening with....

Yes, everyone loves a "brown-eyed girl". Kum-ba-yah!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What I'm doing these days....

Hi everyone! Six inches of snow on the ground in Cincy. This is the first significant snow fall we've had since Elise has been home (almost two years). There is no school today, much to the delight of Tucker...who is still asleep at 9 a.m. Who knows what time he went to bed! We tried sledding yesterday, but alas, the snow is too fluffy, it just moves to the side and you hit grass very quickly.

Anyway, I have been working on moving Elise's Yahoo Journey to a "blog" site. This blog will have photos incorporated into the dialogue, which wasn't possible using Yahoo. Many people couldn't get to the photo section of yahoo either, so this will cure that. I have no idea if anyone will care or be interested in seeing her blog. But, I wanted to do it for her anyway.

Two years later, it still gives me chills to reread those posts. What an incredible trip we had and to think we are doing it again! I pray this trip is as good as the last one!


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wrestling, Big Girl Beds & Birthdays....lots to tell

It's been a few weeks since my last post and lots has happened!

First of all, Tucker had his last wrestling meet...the Greater Miami Conference (GMC) Championships. We went into the match with high hopes that he might win, but that wasn't to be. He lost in the semi-finals and ultimately came in third place out of (16) teams. It was a tough loss for him, but also a life lesson.

Warming up before the match.....
Tucker lost to a very good wrestling in the semi's. After giving him some time to settle down, we had a long conversation. He was so very disappointment, not so much mad, just disappointed. I'm such a "no-nonsense kind of person" that I had to stand there and tell him through his tears (and mine) that the other kid was just better than he was. I took the opportunity to tell him that he needs to start training/conditioning a whole lot more than he currently does (which is only during wrestling season). The boys that are winning, condition year round. I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he deserved to win and that he got ripped off, but that wasn't the case this time. No matter how old they are, you just hate to see them hurting.
It took him some time and he recovered just fine. He won the next two matches and ultimately came in third place. This is the photo of the 1-6 place wrestlers in his weight class.

Tucker ended his regular season with 21 wins and 4 losses. That's a pretty impressive record for someone that has only been wrestling two years! Last year his record was 11 - 4 and he wrestled on the "B" team. He has improved tremendously!

We have decided (at his coach's encouragement) to enter him in the District Wrestling Meet. We know he won't place to go to state (you have to be in the top 4), but we do know it will be a good experience for him. We are calling it "Wrestling Camp" ~ our expectation is that he is learning new stuff from kids from other school districts. I'll keep you posted.

Elise turned (3) yesterday! It's hard to believe isn't it???? So, this week, I finally made her crib into a toddler daybed. She just loves it! She also stays in wandering around the house when I put her down. She did get out of bed a few times the first few days, but now she just sleeps. Nap times are becoming few and far between. She still desperately needs one, but fights them on some days. Depending on her mood, I let her skip them, other times, I make her sleep.

Napping in her "Big Girl" Bed.
We had a very small birthday celebration for Elise for her birthday. Her playmates (and neighbors), Greyson and Tia Bella came over for pizza and cake. It was very relaxed and just enough to not over whelm any of us.
"Attention Everyone...It's my birthday!"
Tia Bella helping unwrap the Pink Guitar.

Today we are just chillin' out. Elise has a mild temp and her Baba is in bed sick...UGH! It will be a peaceful day at the Wells Ranch. I'm rather looking forward to it.
It's about 14 degrees in Cincy....colder than that with the wind chill. I don't think I'll be leaving the house anytime soon!