Sunday, July 21, 2013

Two year olds don't watch baseball

I spent the last 3 days at a baseball tournament for the 11 year old.  We were in a town about an hour and a half away and the team fundraised to cover the cost of 2 hotel nights for each family. It was me, the 11 year old, the 18, 14, 13, and almost 2 year old. Hubs couldn't go, it was the weekend of his first football game of the season.

So me and 5 kids.  Yeah.

100 degree heat.  Whoopeee.

The 11 year old spent the majority of the weekend either playing baseball, or exploring the hotel with his teammates, always ending up at the pool. The 14 year old thought he might die because he couldn't get the Playstation 3 he brought from home to work in the hotel room. (Yes, he packed the flippin PS3 and controllers and about 6 games. But forgot underwear.) The 18 and 13 year olds (both girls) fought over who was going to sleep where.  They were all always asking what and when we were going to eat. Good thing I planted that money tree in the backyard. ( <---sarcasm~)

But overall the 4 of them were pretty good.  The older 3 enjoyed watching their brother play ball, and were helpful when it came to unloading and loading the car.

The almost 2 year old, well, he's almost 2. And the phrase 'Terrible Twos' is bullshit, because technically he won't be 2 until next month and he is terrible as all get out.

He ran around the hotel room like somebody laced his binky with crack. He literally ran from one forbidden activity to the next.  Slam the cabinet doors, quick run and open the bathroom door, then run to the minifridge and pull out a soda, someone's coming throw it! Now run to the phone and pick it up yelling "Heyow? Heyow?" and push ALL the buttons.  All in 30 seconds. And the absolute best? He could open the door to the room and. get. out. And each time he tried it he got quicker and quicker at it. The last time he got out he ran so fast down the hall that I couldn't grab him and hold the door open so it locked behind me. Thank goodness one of the bigger kids was still in the room and let us back in.

At the fields the only part of the games he was interested in watching was his big brother hit the ball; anything before or after that he couldn't care less about.  He rolled in the dirt, throwing handfuls and thinking it was great when the wind took it away. Rocks were airborne too. He ran up and down (and up and down and up and down) the path between the bleachers and the concession stand. I apologized to about a gazillion people because he either almost ran into them or almost tripped them. And whenever I stopped him from doing one of these toddler escapades, I was rewarded with "NO! NO! NO! TOP IT! TOP IT!" at high volume.

So it wasn't the 19 innings of baseball that exhausted me, or the temperature hitting 101, or even the endless trips from the room to the car to the room to the car. It was a small 30 pound bundle of energy and mischief that had me asking Siri where the nearest liquor store was.

And oh yeah, the boys had to go and play all good and stuff, so we have to drive back there for another game tomorrow.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Secret Subject Swap- July Take Two!

It's that wonderful time of the month again!  No, not that time, ew.  It's time for swapping subjects with crazy talented bloggers, and writing a post on our assigned subject.  I look forward to this every month, and if you're a blogger and would like to get in on it, just contact the super cool Karen at Baking In A Tornado.  She's the Swap creator and master.

This month, my prompt came from Just A Little Nutty , but not from Meg herself;  nope, this prompt came from Meg's daughter, who is guest posting on her mama's blog and participating in this month's Swap!  How awesome is that??  She sent in this super cool prompt:

**What if, in the basement of your house, you discovered a secret passageway?**
So here goes:
"Laundry is stupid.  I hate doing stupid laundry", I muttered to myself as I hauled yet another load of dirty clothes down the basement stairs to the washing machine.  "No really kids, go ahead and roll around in the dirt in your new shirt, and slide in the grass in those white shorts.  I don't mind, I loooove to scrub the stains out of every outfit you own.  It's what I live for." 
A couple of stairs down I stepped on one of the dog's squeaky toys, lost my balance, and dropped the laundry basket.  It thunked end over end down the stair case and landed with a thud against the wall at the bottom.  "See???  Stupid Laundry!!"  I yelled at the run away clothing, as I stomped down the rest of the stairs.  I  started refilling the laundry basket, rather forcefully.  As I walked a few feet away to pick up a sock ball that had made a break for freedom, I noticed that the wall it had rolled up against was a little bit sunken in.  "What in the world?"  I asked myself, wondering if termites could chew through cement. 
I kicked gently at the wall, and it started to give way.  The more I kicked, more and more of the wall crumbled.  After several minutes, there was an opening about 5 feet wide, and 5 feet high.  I whipped out my cell phone and turned on my flash light app (gotta love those free iphone apps).  Peering inside, I realized with a start that it was not just a hole in the wall, but a tunnel.
I had heard that the Underground Railroad had stops in this area.  I even knew of someone who lived in a house 3 blocks away that had a big plaque out front announcing that it had been a refuge for runaway slaves.  Could this tunnel be a part of that history?  In my house? 
Being the brave person that I am, I grabbed a broom and stuck it as far into the tunnel as I could  I ducked down and crept a few steps into the tunnel.  I shone my flashlight around and took in the cobwebs, the dirt floor, and the smell of musty earth.  Looking back over my shoulder at my 21st century basement, I crept forward while moving back in time.
I felt a rush of excitement, wonder, and yes some fear, as I moved steadily down the tunnel, 20, 50, 75 feet.  How long was this thing, anyway?
My foot kicked something solid.  "What the --?"  I looked down.  Just a rock.  But, wait; something was sticking out from under the rock.  Carefully I shone my light downward, trying to figure out what the yellowish square was.
I moved the rock aside and gingerly picked up the scrap of paper.  I blew the dirt off of it, being careful not to ruin this relic that was 175 years old.  By the glow of the flashlight I began to read what I soon realized was an ad:
From the subscriber, residing in Granville County, N.C.
on the 30th day of August last, a negro man by the
name of Jordan, and his wife Jane.
Jordan is a common size fellow, light black, large full eyes,
has a down look when spoken to, the 4th finger on his
right hand has grown crooked, by means of a cut. 
He carried with him wearing apparel and bed clothes,
among them is a suit of dark yarn jeans homespun cloth.
He wore off a pair of lined and bound right and left shoes,
nearly new.  The woman is a little under common size, and is
in a pregnant state.  She carried with her a purple
circassian dress, a white dress, a dark grounded calico dress,
and some homemade clothes.  I believe the said negroes
were seduced off by some infamous character, and they
will attempt to pass for free negroes.
I will give ten dollars for their delivery or confinement
in jail, in Granville or Wake, or twenty dollars, if out of
said counties, and thirty dollars for the detection and conviction
of any white person who has assisted them in getting off.
                                                               Clement Wilkins
                                              Sept. 10, 1838

I stood stunned, unmoving for a moment, not quite believing what I was reading.  An actual newspaper ad, from 1838, which someone had posted in search of his runaway slaves.  Had these two slaves set out from North Carolina, heading north, following the Underground Railroad trying to reach freedom?  And was it possible that they traveled this tunnel, under MY house, leaving behind a clipping with their names in it, to let others know they had been there?  No, it couldn't be.  But here was the ad, in my hand, buried in the wall for almost two centuries.

Jordan and Jane.  Husband and wife.  Fleeing for their lives.  And Jane, pregnant!  My mother heart immediately went out to this woman, carrying a child within her, running for her life and that of her unborn baby.  And Jordan, the responsibility he must have felt; not only trying to free himself, but his young family as well.  Town to town, state to state, running; through all kinds of weather with clothing their only possessions, not knowing when or if they would eat; fear threatening to suffocate them around every corner.

Did they make it?  Make it to freedom?  Or were they caught, possibly jailed, and sent back to unspeakable horrors? 

I had to know.  These people had traveled through my home.  Someone here had helped them.  Had risked their very life to help others to safety.  They were part of my home, of my history, of me. 

I knew I needed to go on, farther down the tunnel, to see what else I could discover. To see what I could learn of Jordan and Jane. 

Carefully clutching the newspaper clipping, I crept forward.  Down and around a slight corner, sliding on the crumbling dirt, and then, there it was....


I hope you enjoyed my Secret Subject Swap post!  Please go on over and check out all the other participants, you don't want to miss a single one!                                 Baking In A Tornado                         Dawn’s Disaster                                       Crazy As Normal                                      Raising Reagan              A Working Mom’s “Whoas”                              Indian American Mom                              Patience Juice                          Home on Deranged                            Just a Little Nutty (Guest Post)                                     It’s Yummilicious