Monday, June 25, 2007

save the drama for your mama

This is Jason's current favorite quote. It comes from Richard Davis, the real estate wizard who rules South Carolina on his TLC show, "The Real Deal" (or now "The Real Estate Pros", the other name must have been taken already.... some poor intern probably got fired over that overlooked detail). My kids are very good at "save the drama for your mama". This morning was no exception. Today was opening day for Jr. Giants baseball (it's a free baseball camp for kids put on by the Giants and the local police department). Everything was going well, I was well equiped with snacks and coloring supplies for Cameron. Jason and I found his coach and she gave him his shirt and hat. Now all we had to do was wait for the ceremony. They say the waiting is the worst part, and for Jason this is especially true! I think anytime he has time to think about what he's about to do the anticipation brings on nervousness and stress. When it was time to line up and head out to the field with his team for the ceremony he froze, clung to my leg and refused to move. He even began to whimper. This was the exact moment that Cameron chose to throw a fit, and not just any fit, this was one of those "help- this lady is trying to kidnap me!" type of fits. The screaming, beating my head, arching her back, shaking her head kind of fit. Nice. The only thing I could think to do was hide. So I scooped up both kids and moved away from the crowd of gawking parents and found a quiet niche behind a dugout. I put Cameron down and she soon settled into a running routine (up the sidewalk, down the sidewalk) that brought joy to her troubled soul. Jason and I watched the introductions and first pitch. He did not want to play. After the ceremony we watched a little bit of the first t-ball game. He was very happy to watch, even rooting for the kids, but he still refused to play. Oh well, who wants their kid to be a Giant anyway?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ups and downs

Oh, the drama! It's summertime and that means..... swim lessons! Now for those of you who know me well (mom, dad, Jeff), you know how much I hated and dreaded swim lessons. I can list a handful of places where I took lessons over the years (Gonzales, Atascadero, Templeton, Cal Poly....) and I don't honestly know why I had to endure so many painful experiences. I'm sure there is some value in "water safety" and "knowing how to swim" but really, why must classes require a kid to jump off a diving board in order to pass, or for that matter, DIVE off a diving board?! So for some reason, now that I'm a grown-up (a 30 year old grown up!) I took it upon myself to enroll Jason in swim lessons. I had really good reasons: I felt bad for him last summer when all his buddies felt so comfortable in the pool and he hung out on the steps, I also think it is ridiculous for a 5 year old to wear floaties! I also enrolled Cameron and myself in a parent and me class at the same time. I made sure that Jason would have buddies in his class with him (4 friends-- we filled a whole class!). Monday started off just great (although I have to admit that I was so nervous, it felt like old times...). We met the teachers and found out our pool assignments. Jason's friend Marcus took his hand and led him over to their class. Jason had a great time. Cameron and I also had fun and we got to wave to Jason while we played. Day one was a success. Day 2 was a disaster. I think he over-analyzed the situation and had enough time to remind himself of all his fears. Also, his buddies showed up late, the wind was cold and the sky was overcast. He refused to budge from the side of the pool. He and Cameron both clung to me in fear (whatever Jason does, Cameron does). I was ticked! All I could think about was the dollar amount.... I paid for this missed lesson! After our poolside melt-down we went home instead of the beach (which we had planned to do before the drama). I spent the afternoon planning. We arrived this morning a half hour early to watch the lesson before ours. Marcus's mom brought Jason a pair of goggles to use during the lesson (all the kids have them, you know....). Jason, Cameron and I entered the pool together. I made sure his teacher saw him and talked to him while I snuck away. It was a success! He participated with his class and earned his after-lesson snack of sea-creature crackers. Cameron and I had a great time with our class (she really likes to kick and splash and try to get me wet...what a nice girl!). Jason came home a nd proudly told his dad all about the lesson. Now, tomorrow is another day.....

Monday, June 18, 2007


Hello blogosphere! Many of you know that I turned 30 on Friday. I must say, I'm very disappointed in myself. This was one of those milestone birthdays that I really wanted to "will" away, or even perhaps skip over. Anyway, it happened. Everyone older thatn me has been saying that it's really no big deal and their 30's were great, yada, yada, yada. Well, that's good for them. But you see, I've always been the youngest in my gang of friends, and especially around Darren's friends. And now, with 30 I'm just one of the old folks, nothing shocking about my age anymore. I know, this sounds ridiculous to many readers. I think I'll go drown my sorrows in a glass of FiberSure and put on some age-defying make-up. I appreciate all the gifts and well-wishers. Thanks for 30 years, mom & dad!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


The Rusco family has a new hobby! That's right, we've joined the world of geocaching (pronounced "geo cashing"). We were given a GPS unit by a couple in our church who heard of our interest and we've scoured the official web page So last night after dinner we went on a treasure hunt to find our first cache. We entered in coordinates and headed off to Centennial Park. The cache's owner posted a small description of the area but we were confident because we know the park so well. Jason led the search party. We did not find the cache. That was OK, we decided to move on to the next set of coordinates on Oak Street. We drove over to a large oak tree, followed the GPS and searched the area. Again, no luck. So, trying to uplift our discouraged family (and get Cameron to stop throwing a fit about being in her carseat) I baked cookies. While the cookies were baking Darren and Jason looked over the web page again. He read the Oak Street clue more carefully and decided to go back. Jason was torn... should he find the cache or stay for the cookies? I convinced him to help his dad and promised not to eat the whole batch before they got back. As you can see from the picture they were very happy they went back. The cache was hidden in a round, camo Altoids tin inside a cracked rock. We understand now how careful and precise we will have to be from now on. Tonight Darren and Jason went back to conquer the Centennial Park cache. On Friday we'll head over to the coast to look for caches in cooler weather. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about our adventures in the future.

summer hiatus

In my opinion, these are two of the worst words in the English language. Why? Summer hiatus means that my favorite TV shows are taking a break, rejuvenating and getting ready for the fall season. For the rabid TV viewer like myself it means several things:
1. I go to bed earlier in the summer. I'm not forced to stay up until 11 o'clock waiting for the final cliff-hanger moments of Lost and the previews for next week.
2. I take a chance on lame summer reality shows in the vain hopes of finding something good to watch. Lately I've been watching the "Next Food Network Star" Ho-humm....
3. My DVD collection gets a workout. I gave season one of The Office the honor of a marathon viewing spree one night. Only 6 episodes in season one so that was easy! Season 2 took a few more nights...

Now you may ask yourself why I claim to be a rabid fan.... three words: Dwight Shrute bobblehead. FACT: The Office is the best show on TV.... I love it to the point of watching fan videos on You Tube. I love it to the point of using my "World's Best Boss" coffee mug every morning while I read the paper. I love it to the point of buying episodes of season 3 on iTunes even though I'll be in Target at opening time the day it comes out on DVD. I even love its British predecessor.
And it's not just one show, but many that I love. Lost, The Amazing Race, House, American Idol, Scrubs, and 30 Rock, all good stuff. I must admit a few guilty pleasures at this point.... I watch "So You Think You Can Dance" mainly because I truly DO think I can dance (that hasn't been verified by anyone else yet but someday...). I can get caught up in anything on Soap Network because I have a soft spot for horrible acting (I used to love "Saved By The Bell"). And speaking of teen angst I'll admit I watched the gang in Capeside (and if you know who's in Capeside then it will be our guilty pleasure secret).
So until the fall season begins I'll be watching Friday Night Lights (free episodes on because it's good teen angst yet also good acting and more importantly, free! I'll also be wearing out my Office DVDs and praticing my moves on my living room dancefloor. Let me know what you're watching... maybe I'll find a new favorite!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

more t-ball practice

another weekend... another practice...

cookie monster

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of witnessing my daughter's most beautiful moment of childhood. We were sitting around the dinner table, finishing a meal and Cameron took note of her messy hands. With brilliant determination, she reached out to the napkin pile, grabbed one and wiped her hands and face clean. I still get teary.... because, you see, I like things to be clean. I like a clean house, clean car, clean children, clean everything. My mom bought Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook for me and I read from it daily (some would call it my "Marble": Martha+Bible). Back to Cameron, this was a beautiful moment because it solidified my daughter's place in a clean heritage passed from my mom to me and now to Cameron. This habit continued and even became a pasttime for Cameron (she especially likes using baby wipes to clean things around the house... sigh...).
This evening cancelled out everything! At dinner Cameron dutifully ate and then proceeded to smear her filthy hands all over her flyaway hair. The grease plastered her hair to her head. I gave the kids a chocolate chip cookie for dessert and again Cameron ate and then smeared. I will not give up so easily! She will love cleanliness! In fact, as soon as she heard the bathwater start she ran to the bathroom. There's hope for my girl....

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cameron's blog

Hi, I'm Cameron and I'm one. I like to destroy anything that my brother makes with his legos and train tracks. I also like to read books and run. I drink a lot of juice and milk... I'm famous in the church nursery for leaking. I can say a lot of words, mommy, daddy, bobby (that's my word for whoever I want), meeok (milk), wee-ohs (the Wiggles), uh-oh, oh no, poopy and up. My favorite foods are eggies and applesauce. I only have 8 teeth. I have crazy bed-head every morning and I love it when my mom brushes my hair and puts clippies in it. I DO NOT like pigtails and I WILL NOT sit still for them (this picture is my mom's first and last attempt at pigtails). Thanks for reading my blog. cameron

Jason's blog

Hi. This is Jason. I'm 5. Ilike to play with little legos. I like to play card games, like poker and Uno. I like to play t-ball. I chose this picture of me and my cousin Noah because I like to go to Africa. I'm going to kindergarten after summer is over. My teacher is Mrs. Ricks. I really like my classroom. Thanks for reading my blog. jason

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Spring Training

Here are the pictures from our "spring training" day. While Darren and Jason worked on making contact I was responsible for guarded Cameron from said contact. I think I had the toughest job!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Just wanted to see how this worked... us at Avila, Jason's birthday April 2007.

Pure Drivel

Disclaimer: I stole that title from Steve Martin. It seemed applicable to my first blog .

Yes, it's true, the Rusco's have a blog. Now the entire world can hear about our day to day lives.... that is, if I keep this up! I know some of you may read my brother's blog which is all about their life in Uganda. Trust me, this will be nothing like that. My family doesn't get weird diseases and we don't have rodents and PG&E is very good to us. In fact, I decided to start a blog because our kids are getting bigger and more active so this seemed the best way to communicate their accomplishments. For example, today we started spring training. Jason will be playing t-ball for about 3 weeks this summer as part of our city's Jr. Giants baseball program. The Giants organization and the city police department host a free camp for kids at a local park. (Don't hate us Dodger fans... Darren is an Indians fan... he's not too thrilled about this sponsorship either). But let's face it, what self-respecting stay-at-home, budget-conscious mom is going to deny a free program? Not this one! Back to spring training: we bought a tee and took the kids to the park after dinner tonight. Four words: our kid is good. I'll try to contain myself.
Cameron knows a few tricks. She is in a real puppy phase of toddler-hood. She is excellent at fetch. She even knows commands like, "go home" and "drop it!" Her greatest feat is non-verbal communication. Tonight she went to her drawer in the kitchen and pulled out a cup. She then brought it to Darren. His first thought was to fill it with Cheerios. He was wrong. She dumped the Cheerios into her drawer and pointed to the fridge. He reached in for milk. She vigorously shook her head no. He then reached for apple juice. She nodded yes and peace fell over our household. Cameron will surprise us some day and just start speaking coherently. That should be good.
Ok, good start. I'll log off now and save my musings for another day. Jen