Sunday, April 29, 2007

TGIM


Ah Sunday night, the sweet time when you know Monday is right around the corner. We had a busy weekend. Friday at Morrigan's school they had an Author's Tea. All the kids wrote and illustrated their own books and then read them to the class and parents. Morrigan, surprising no one, excelled at this. A whole group of people forced to listen to her - it was a paradise! She is a good reader and didn't seem nervous. She was one of the few kids who spoke loudly enough for the whole room to hear. Again, so surprise.

Saturday we went to the Dogwood Festival in Vinton with the kids' friends, Will (holding hands with Maggie above) and Katherine. It was really something. The parade was standard fire trucks, Shriners etc but, god love the South, also had the "Confederate Pride" group, aka huge rednecks, handing out "I support Confederate Pride" stickers. Luckily for us, Morrigan got two!

Morrigan had a birthday party to attend today at a gymnastics center. On the way there she let me know that she was very good at gymnastics. Which is quite surprising as during the brief time she was enrolled in gymnastics (age 2) she mainly moved cones and hula hoops around. I think she was a bit shocked to find out she didn't know gymnastics and started crying at dinner about not being able to turn cartwheels. I said I would teach her but that might be a bit of a trick as I don't know how to do them myself.

I have to add a plug for the movie Tim & I saw last weekend, Grindhouse. Granted, it is doing so poorly that it might be out of the theaters but we loved it. The running time was 3 hours so it is a bit long but it is divided up into two movies: Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez and Death Proof, directed by Quentin Tarantino. The first half was a classic zombie flick which I naturally thought was great. The second half had Kurt Russell as a stuntman who kills people with his car. After we saw it I told Tim how I couldn't believe it wasn't doing well since I loved it so much. He gently reminded me that what I am looking for in a movie generally runs completely contrary to what anyone else wants to see. Humpf! Just for that he will have to see 28 Weeks Later in the theaters next week.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Better Late Than Never


So I am coming to you later than planned this evening. I was folding some clothes and I heard Eion screaming bloody murder. I thought for sure he had finally climbed out of his crib and broken an arm or leg. But no, it was the all too familiar scenario of puke filled crib. I swear to god these children are genetically programmed to toss their cookies in bed on a regular basis. He didn't even seem sick - before or after the event. It is as if they think to themselves, "Gee, it has been a month or so since we made Mom rinse out completely gross vomit laden bedding. Tonight's the night!"

So before I go on to new topics, I have to point out the picture above. Is that Maggie a spitting image of her Dad or what?

But on to what I originally intended to post, for the first time in nearly a decade, I am once again gainfully employed. I will be working a crushing 8 hour a week schedule for a local design and consulting firm. Though not a huge job, I am looking forward to learning new computer programs and spending more time with grown ups!

And last but not least, I have finally broken my many month losing streak at poker, placing 2nd in our monthly couples game!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sticker Boy




We had to have an intervention. Eion's sticker habit had gone too far. He loves the little stickers on fruit. It started with him carrying one around. Then two, then three. Finally, he would climb up to the cupboard trying to find sheets of stickers. So we made him go cold turkey. The first few days were very rough as he would stand by the fruit bowl crying "sticker!" over and over. But I think we are through the worst of it. His sisters, enablers that they are, will still find him some on occasion. Now if I can just get him to stop wearing the pink plastic high heels....

The girls' new favorite game is doll tea party. They drag up every doll they own - which for the most part have been collecting dust for years - and set up cups and saucers for them all. Unfortunately for them, this is Eion's new favorite game as well. He will displace a doll, sit down, pretend to drink tea and say "nummy!" It is actually kind of cute & he isn't being destructive but boy does it tick off his sisters as boys are apparently not allowed at doll tea parties - even in pink pumps.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What is New This Week


After a fever-full spring break, I was definitely ready for the return to school! This week flew by, as all of April seems to be doing. Events of note include my job interview. [Now don't look so shocked.] A friend who owns a design business in town needs a part time book keeper about 8 hours a week. I went to the interview during which I told them about my superior organizational skills and my attention to detail. At the end of the interview, I unfortunately had to fess up that I had forgotten my purse at home and had no money to pay for my parking. Detail oriented indeed!

The kids and I went to a birthday party for one of Eion's friends, Trent. It is just gorgeous today, sunny and 80 degrees with a nice breeze so the party was a nice place to be. They had a water playstation so E was immediately soaked. You can also see in the pictures how he was the first to move in on the birthday cupcakes. At least he waited until Trent blew out the candles!

Tim has been working the 9-5 shift the past few days. I swear to god, I feel like a normal person. He is there in the morning when the kids get up, we all have dinner together. It is strange! Tonight we're going to the Club for dinner & then out to see Grindhouse. It isn't doing very well so I figure we had better see it now. I'm off to help Morrigan with a homework project!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech

We've had several people check in with us regarding the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. The campus is located about 45 minutes away. Although some of the victims were brought to Memorial Hospital, Tim was working at Community that day so he did not treat them. Our entire area is, as is the rest of the country, a bit shocked right now. We have friends who work at Tech and friends with children there but so far, no one we know was directly involved with the tragedy.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Day 7 on the Sick Watch


In spite of my hopes we would get out and about today, Eion woke up with a 102 degree temp, grounding us for yet another day. But what was truly awesome was our brief outing for the day. We went to the bank drive through to get some money. Then on the way to the McDonald's drive through (the girls finally regained appetite but E was still in his pjs), I was pulled over. The cop asked me for what offense I thought I had been pulled over. I said, "Is it the broken rear light?" He told me no and asked if I wanted to guess again. I said I had better not. The eagle-eyed officer of the law noticed that my state inspection was overdue. Fortunately, all I have to do is get it inspected in the next five days and there is no fine. But what troubled me the most as I sat in the car, at a busy intersection, at 11:30am during the interminable time it took him to write the citation was that I was damn sure that someone I knew would see me. Sure enough, I wasn't home more than 20 minutes when I received the "Did you get pulled over today?" call.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Off the Radar


So there you are thinking, "Wow! She seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Could it be an unexpected getaway?" Sadly, nothing so glamorous. The last 5 days or so have been mainly sick boo tending. All three have been running fevers and miserable. Today they started to turn around - hence my triumphant return.

After we got back from Florida, my parents came to visit & go to the RAMA Book & Author Dinner (see picture above.) The dinner was fun and Mom & Dad were already talking about returning next year.

After they went home, it was back to just us, and of course Carl, who was finishing up the bathroom. The vanity & toilet were installed Thursday getting it ready just in time for Tim's brother & his family to visit for Easter. We had been having wonderful weather which as luck would have it, turned cold as soon as they arrived. But we had a good time anyway. We were all glad the club had moved the Easter egg hunt indoors. Maggie did very well and wouldn't stop until her basket was full. Eion, on the other hand, found one egg and sat down to eat it with no interest in finding more. Reminded me of when Morrigan was his age. She did the same thing and told us, "I found the egg!" as if there were only one.

Uncle Tim spent the weekend battling his nieces at video soccer. I started tending to sick kids. Maggie started to feel ill on Sunday. But she had a great time with her cousins anyway. We took them all to Thunder Valley (an arcade with a go cart track) on Monday. I knew Morrigan was starting to get ill when she fell asleep there. By Tuesday, when Pat & his family left, all my kids were sick. So I have been holding sick kids, feverishly washing my hands in a vain effort not to fall victim myself, and occasionally being spewed with vomit.

Tim had to go back to work on Thursday. He worked 12-5 (a half shift) today so I had him watch the kids so I could get out to the gym. When I returned, I found Maggie completely naked. Apparently she didn't want to wear clothes. Then I found an empty children's Motrin bottle. When I pressed Tim for details, he said Eion had come down the stairs with that earlier. "So no need to investigate?" I asked. He told me he figured the damage was already done. Not that he cleaned it up. The whole bathroom was covered in orange goo. And since E got it on his pj-covered feet, there are little footprints of it all over the house. Perhaps Tim thinks if I find him incompetent enough I won't make him watch the kids. Suffice to say, I have had enough of Spring Break.
PS New pictures in the upper box.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Rest of the Trip







The day after we returned from Disney, Tim's parents took us to Homosassa Springs which is a wildlife refuge. We were concerned when Eion was throwing a huge fit while waiting for the tram to the park. The tram driver commented, "Looks like you're in for a fun day." Thanks buddy. That is exactly what I need, to be mocked. But once we were in the park, he was happy to wander about, looking at the animals. I thought the whole thing was a bit of a gamble, based on how tired the kids were but it worked out great. Afterwards, we went to an "Ahoy Matey" restaurant (you've been to one: near the coast, cheesy nautical decorations, fried seafood bonanza) with margaritas the size of your head. Which really were in order after chasing three kids around all morning.

When asked about their trip to Disney, Maggie told the neighbors that "Even the potties and sinks were magical!" (They were sensor operated.) Asked to identify her favorite princess, she said "Mama!" All together now, awww. What a sweetie.

The other big hits at The Villages were feeding the buffaloes and feeding the ducks. Even Eion went up to the buffaloes with carrots. When we left for the airport Wednesday afternoon, Morrigan cried for a half an hour. And not the "I want attention" type cry. This was real, from the heart, "I am devastated to leave" type crying. Our flight back was as unremarkable as a flight can be with three kids and we were all happy to sleep in our own beds that night!
PS New pictures in the lower photo box.

Disney World Day Two







We arrived at the Magic Kingdom bright and early for day two of our Disney adventures. It wasn't very busy in the morning so much to the girls' delight, we were able to ride the teacups continuously for about 6 rounds. We also rode the Dumbo ride which didn't seem like much to me but was very important to them. After that we were off to revisit the princesses to get the much desired autographs. [I must add here that since our return, they have not even inquired about the books. Humph, $25 well spent.] Maggie told Snow White she really shouldn't eat poison apples. Ms. White spent an extra long time with the gals which they loved but the people behind us were none too pleased. But the girls were walking on air with their big red Snow White kisses on their foreheads.

We then went to Ariel's Grotto which was an hour wait in line but there was water everywhere so the gals played in that while I stood in line with all the other chump parents. I hate to sound too corny, but it honestly seemed worth it. They were just enthralled by her. Now if they had to wait in line for an hour, I don't think it would have worked out. After lunch and a few more rides (One of which being the canyon roller coaster. Morrigan & Tim went. Maggie, in spite of being tall enough, opted out. It looked too scary.) we were headed back to Tim's parents. The girls were exhausted (see picture 4.)

Eion welcomed us back after being spoiled for two days by all the grandparents on Doug & Nancy's block. We took the kids to the pool at The Villages. Eion gave us a taste of the summer to come as he leapt fearlessly into the pool where we were waiting to catch him. He should be a riot this summer.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Disney World Day One







Sunday morning we left Eion with his Grandparents (sorry E!) and headed out to Disney World with the girls. The day was about as close to perfect as it could get. The weather was beautiful, low 80s and sunny. We arrived at the Polynesian around 9:30am. We were pleasantly surprised to find our room was ready for us. So we went up to drop off our gear and apply ridiculous amounts of sunscreen (we are possibly the palest family on the planet.) The girls were very impressed that we could see Cinderella's castle from our room.

We hopped on the monorail to go to the Magic Kingdom. The girls had a list of things that they wanted to do, their friends having filled them in on all the ins and outs of Disney. We rode the teacups (a Maggie choice.) The girls loved it. Then we were off to meet Snow White, Cinderella & Belle. While we were in line we hit a minor snag. The girls discovered autograph books, an item I was hoping to avoid. I told them it was ok that we didn't have one as we were going to get a picture with the princesses. Morrigan walked right up to Snow White and said, "It's ok we can't get a book. We'll have pictures." And yes, the occasionally spineless parents we are, upon exiting, which is conveniently into the gift shop, we were the proud new owners of princess autograph books and pens. The second picture above is the girls with Cinderella. When they were done posing for pictures, Maggie started to lift the princess' dress. I was horrified but before I could react, she told them she wanted to see the glass slippers which, fortunately, everyone found darling.

We ate lunch and the girls asked for cotton candy, which as we are at the fun park, they received. While in line for a ride, another child saw them eating it and said to her parents, "I though you said they were out of cotton candy!" Take that karma you autograph book buying parents! After a few more rides, the girls were ready for a break. So we went back to the hotel & the pool/beach. The pool was great as its max depth was 3 1/2 feet and it backed up to a man made beach. We spent several hours there during which time Morrigan & Maggie endeavoured to meet every parent there and show them their "tutu ballerina" bathing suits.

That night we went to dinner at the Kona Cafe. The food was ok but the dessert the girls got (see 4th picture) was perfect. It was as if a think tank came together to figure out the best dessert ever for kids. A waffle cone was mounted to a plate with chocolate so it stood up straight. Then it had a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of vanilla ice cream inside. Top that off with chocolate syrup and Mickey Mouse shaped sprinkles and surround the cone with M&Ms and cotton candy and you have kid euphoria.

After dinner, we went back to Magic Kingdom with the intention of catching a few rides then seeing the fireworks. Just as we arrived, they were getting ready for the evening parade so we scored front row seats. The girls were completely enthralled. The woman next to us said she enjoyed the look on the girls' faces more than the parade. To top off the night, we went to Cinderella's Castle for fireworks, which the girls had never seen before. At the start of the fireworks, Tinkerbell flew right over us. And the girls were very impressed by the show. Maggie told me, "The fireworks are beautiful and sparkly like my red shoes" which are of course, the yardstick by which all beauty is measured.

Monday, April 02, 2007

We're Back!


Ah yes. After a week + long absence, I am back. We went to visit Tim's parents in Florida for five days. Upon our return, my parents came to visit and we attended Book & Author. So many mundane details to share yet so little time. I'm going to break it up into a few posts, mostly because I have tons to do and can't blog the whole trip at once.

We flew to Florida on Allegiant Air which is a direct flight and cheap but the low cost does come with a price. The tickets are $49 each way but then they start to tack on little costs like $4 per checked bag and $12 for reserved seats. (I paid for the bags but gambled on the seats. I figured anyone seated next to Eion would want to trade.) They also have a limited flight schedule. What this all equates to is that we were leaving at 8pm (the kids' bedtime) on a flight for which we did not have reserved seats. As we waited in line and Eion ran around the airport screaming at any attempt to contain him, things did look bleak. And I was certain they charged for drinks on the flight.

But once we were on the plane, things went remarkably well. Tim sat with the girls & I was with Eion. They generally behaved. And the great thing was that the plane was so packed with families there was an excellent chance some other kids would be screaming too!

When we arrived in Orlando, we rented a mini van and drove an hour & a half to Tim's parents. In spite of our late arrival, the kids held up pretty well with a minimal amount of fussing. The next day we were low key as we were all tired. We went to see the downtown of The Villages (where Doug & Nancy live) and relaxed. But the girls were excited about the prospect of Disney World the next day!