Thursday, October 25, 2007

Forgot About Tuesday

Tuesday night we went over to Thom & Michelle's for a welcome home party. Thom had been stationed in Afghanistan since June and just returned home. We were happy to see him home safe and it was a great party. The girls cracked me up as the first thing they did was ask if this meant Thom was done being a warrior. Eion, naturally, got his shirt wet and took it off. Wanted the pants off too but we have to draw the line somewhere. He got Karen & Damon's son Lennon to get on the shirtless bandwagon. Nice influence E!

Week not going exactly as planned...

What a week! Sickness is rampant. Tim has been sick for what seems like forever. Morrigan was sent home sick on Wednesday. I told her that coming home would mean missing her friend's birthday party that afternoon and she didn't care. Now as soon as we exited the school, she seemed to recover. Outstanding. So I took her to the grocery store and then home to do all the work she should have been doing at school. But I stuck to my guns and didn't let her go to the party.

Wednesday night we had Karen and Damon, who are both docs in the ER with Tim, over for dinner. Karen actually grew up in the house across the street from us and had fantastic old school stories about the hood. Though we were having a great time (they are the kind of people with whom we really click) she is 8 months pregnant and kept the rest of us in check so we got to bed at a reasonable hour. Which is a good thing as later that night at 4am, Maggie showed up in our room hurling on the floor. Since her bed was no good after hurl round one, she moved into ours. Now I never let the kids sleep in our bed unless it is this extreme a situation. I was reminded why as Maggie commandeered the entire bed and snored very loudly. In spite of her cheery demeanor in the morning, I didn't feel like I could send her to school as she was vomiting 3 hours earlier so she came to work with me (had to go, quarterly tax payments due.)

Have to interrupt this post to say oh my *%^$#@$ god, another one of my kids just puked in bed! Morrigan this time. Words cannot express how very tired I am of vomit. What is really killing me is that I am not sick so I know this is waiting for me just around the bend. Once the whole family is well, I will fall ill and it will be miserable.

But back to earlier today....Maggie was so good at my office. Naturally, I did have a DVD player with us but she was still extra sweet. We were there for three hours and I barely heard a peep out of her. We were supposed to go to a birthday party this afternoon (big week for parties) but the birthday boy has strep throat. Just that time of year I suppose....

Providing no one is felled by a new illness before tomorrow morning, Tim & I are going to Maggie's school for Grandparents' Day. After which I have to start preparing for supper club which we are hosting Saturday with Ann & Hans. Tim is working 11am-11pm tomorrow and 7am-3pm on Saturday. So good! But I think the scheduler felt bad for him and compensated with Thanksgiving off that he wasn't supposed to get. He might even have Christmas morning off too this year. We might just get spoiled.

Monday, October 22, 2007

When You Can't Win

Today was the last day of soccer for the girls. After weeks of complaining, Morrigan began to cry at the prospect of the end of soccer. She told me maybe she could play indoor soccer. Excellent.

Eion really wanted to play with one of the girls' balls at practice. I didn't bother to bring him any toys as he just ignores them anyway. So I offered Morrigan a deal: give him the ball now and use one of the program's balls and you will get a treat at home. Turned me down flat. Maggie, seeing an opportunity, got right on that offer. Eion spent the rest of the time playing with the ball, disrupting the girls' drills and trying to maximize his filth level.

When we got home, Morrigan was, naturally, devastated that she was treatless and complained of how unfair I was. She did not at all like my defense that she had the right of first refusal and had blown it. When baths were complete it was too late to watch the Care Bears and that really got her going. She vociferously complained if how she never got to do anything and I was mean and trying to ruin her life. (What the hell, is she 16 already?) Maggie, god love her, chimed in and said, "I really like that we don't get to do anything."

So I may be off the grid for a few days. We have 2 dinners, 4 birthday parties, 2 Halloween parties and the big day itself (Halloween that is) coming up in the next week. I'll try to check in but make no promises!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

You Know it is Sunday When...

1) I haven't seen Tim in over a day.
2) Used my full 2 hours at the gym.
3) Lunch was either Panera or McDonald's (the former today.)
4) Pizza for dinner. Actually, although it is a Sunday favorite, we didn't have pizza today. The Papa John's delivery car passed by the park when we were there this afternoon. I am sure he was wondering why he had not yet been summoned to our house.

Well the movie last night was good - if you like zombie movies. When the babysitter showed up, the kids were decked out like this:

Eion's shirt got wet & he refused to put on a new one. But I was on my way. I did feel a bit of apprehension as it was my first solo movie but I was not the only person there alone. [Was the only girl there alone.] Spotted a friend's car in the parking lot & felt a moment of terror; how would I explain my situation? The I realized what I would do was tell the truth. Really, I am a huge nerd already. I don't think this would soil my rep. Kirsten kindly asked me to stop by for drinks after the movie which I gladly did!

Today was uneventful. Maggie dressed in Target Halloween pants and t-shirt again. Must remember to stop putting those in the rotation.
We went to the park where Eion attempted to assimilate all dirt in the vicinity.

I am not kidding, when the boy walked, he literally had a cloud of dust around him a la Pig Pen from Peanuts. But he found some 10 year old boys who were willing to let him push them down and then push Eion down in return. He was in heaven. Of course then it went bad when they left and he attempted to continue the game with a 20 month old who had no siblings and a seriously over protective father. Even after I made him apologize I got some pretty nasty looks. All I have to say is someday (if you are lucky) you will have more kids and something like this will happen to you. Then you will think back and realize maybe, just maybe, you could have toned it down a bit.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Welcome Home?

I've returned from a wonderful, relaxing vacation to be smacked in the face with reality and just a bit of sureality. My solution? See zombie movie. Tim is working until 11 so I got myself a babysitter and I am off to see Resident Evil: Extinction by myself. Take that reality.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Morrigan in the Paper

While we were gone, the "Soup for Seniors" drive article in the newspaper had Morrigan's picture! (Thanks Kirsten for dropping off a copy for me!)

What I Learned In Vegas (in no particular order)

1) Take a cab, forget the airport shuttle.
2) Don’t buy black luggage.
3) If you sit down at a poker table and cannot identify who is a rube, it is you. Exit table immediately and cash in chips.
4) I should sit next to Tim when we play. It is more fun, win or lose.
5) Vodka tonics are not a very good dinner plan.
6) If a table isn’t treating one or both of us right, leave. Don’t stay waiting for your luck to turn around.
7) Everyone (women anyway) should own one really great dress that you love along with a pair of fantastically impractical shoes. It makes you feel like a rock star every now and then.
8) No matter what anyone says to the contrary, The Blue Man Group is a bunch of mimes.
9) If you are flying Delta from Las Vegas to Atlanta, try to get seats 11 F & G.

Last Day In Vegas

This morning we went to the gym again. I just worked out but Tim used the steam room and whirlpool too. While he was busy there, I went across the street to the awesome Fashion Show mall. Tim met up with me and we went to lunch and used some of our poker comp credits. We discovered we had both “earned” $27 in food. So we cashed some in and went to the deli for lunch. We cashed in $20 in credits. Our lunch was $20.97. How great is that! The poker room manager let us know that we could also save them for up to 18 months. Since we are planning to come back for a conference in March, this was great news! After lunch we went back to the mall where I wanted Tim to give me a second opinion on a dress I found at Nordstrom. He liked it too so I went to buy it. (Ann H. - you will love this one!) It was not marked on sale but was about 40% off! Seems like today is our day.

Well we are on our way home. Tim is listening to Rush Limbaugh so I have hijacked the computer to wrap up the rest of the trip. Well, Wednesday night we attempted to go back to TI to play our favorite table. There was no game going so we went to several other casinos and finally ended up back at the Wynn. We had avoided playing there since the lowest limit table was 4-8 and I didn’t think I could hang. Long story short, we couldn’t. We sat at a table and I quickly realized we were surrounded by local sharks. Did we leave? Hell no! We stayed and donated our chips to their cause. Tim lost about $86. I escaped better off, only down $28 and thankful for that!

We regrouped and decided to go to familiar territory, TI which now had a 2-4 game up and running. We continued our night’s string of great decisions and didn’t have dinner, other than a handful of vodka tonics, the meal of champions! Neither of us could catch cards and even when I had a marginal hand, it never hit. I know too that I was handicapped by hypoglycemia. Eventually we left after staying far too long at a game that was treating neither of is well, down as a team by $153. At least we saved cash by not eating. Ha ha.

Today we woke up with a better attitude about the whole thing and had a good laugh over some of the mistakes we made last night. Today we seem to have made some better decisions. When we arrived at the airport terminal, there was a long line of people at the check in counter. I asked Tim why no one was using the self check in kiosks. We thought it had to be too good to be true. I left Tim in line and went to see if we could use them. Sure enough we could and checked in in a matter of minutes, leaving the line far behind! Better still, the kiosk gave us the greatest seats EVER. We have so much leg room I can stretch my legs out straight and not touch the seat in front of us. I am actually sitting on the edge of my seat in order to reach the computer on the tray table.

A nice ending to a great trip. And even with last night’s debacle, I still ended up $50 and I got a great dress.

We also found out that our friend Thom, who has been stationed in Afghanistan since June, is coming home and may be in Atlanta during our layover on his way home. We is scheduled to take the next flight after ours. We’re hoping we can find him and give him one of our seats so he can get home to his wife and three girls just a little earlier.

Vegas Day 2

Vegas Day 2
We both woke up too early today - 6am. But we fortunately were able to fall back asleep for a few hours. We coughed up the confiscatory entry fee for the fitness center (you would think this sh*t would be included) and went to work out around 10:30. Since they were charging us, it seemed only natural that we should try and make the most of the free water, apples, and bananas (8 waters total, 2 apples, and three bananas.) 

After working out, we surveyed the pool scene which was as nice as any I have ever witnessed. The only problem is we don’t really like to lay in the sun! But who knows, we may end up there tomorrow.

We ate at the Wynn buffet for lunch. What it lacked in cheap, it made up for in nice. It had some of the best orange chicken, spicy tofu peanut salad, and grilled eggplant around. Tim liked the slow cooked beef and lamb. I personally managed to pack in two plates of food and sampled (but couldn’t finish) three mini desserts.

After lunch we went back to the 2-4 table at TI. This afternoon did not go as well as yesterday for me. Tim ended up $35 but I lost $58. I couldn’t catch cards to save my life! One of the first things Tim said to me when we left was “You really didn’t have a hand all afternoon.” And it was so true! But Team McKernan is up on the whole. And we earned some more food credits at Treasure Island. They pay $2 per player per hour when you are playing poker. We have enough “saved” to pay for tomorrow’s lunch.

Tonight we are off to the restaurant Alex, which is one of the top restaurants in Vegas. We’ll report out later.....

Dinner at Alex was amazing! The dining room itself was one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen. We had a 7 course tasting menu paired with wine. The items were beautiful and very tasty. They served foie gras, Japanese wagyu beef and spotted prawn tartare among other things. It is also the kind of restaurant that serves really artistically prepared food. The dessert had what I assumes was a thin red ribbon that was actually spun sugar. I would have taken pictures but, well, I didn’t want to look like a complete rookie.

After dinner it was back to our favorite table at TI. We played until about 3am. Luckily I was up this time helping to make up for the afternoon. I ended up down $10 for the day but figured it could have been worse. The table had lots of fun people at it which made the time more enjoyable as well. Plus earned more credits for lunch! I wore The Brown Dress. Yes you’ve seen this one before but I just love it! And why do I love it? Because every time I wear it, strangers come up and compliment me on it. Flattery will get you everywhere!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

First Night in Vegas

After a refreshing nap and shower, we headed out to Treasure Island to play poker. I was not so sure about this move. Although most of the hotels are nice, this one has a pirate theme and just seemed a bit cheesy. But the Wynn only had 4-8 limit tables (twice as expensive) and I wanted to get my sea legs as cheaply as possible.

We had to wait about 20 minutes for a spot at the table but then we were off. We both bought in for $100. We played for a while and I was up and down but never more than $20 either way. Then all of a sudden a perfect storm of semi-drunk business men, incredibly tight playing by me and a fantastic run of cards led me to be up. We started around 6:20 and by 1am I was up to $260. Woohoo!!!! Actually wanted to leave much sooner but I was winning and couldn’t walk away. That and I had opponents who would tell me how they like to go in with 6-10 offsuit because you never know what will happen. I know what will happen. I’ll take all your chips! I take back any mean thing I thought or said about Treasure Island. It is the greatest casino ever. Finally, I was just too tired and we had to go back to the hotel. Day 2 coming later....

Travel Day

Greetings from Sin City! We have survived day number one. The day was full of highs and lows. First low, our flight was at 6:15 Monday morning and neither of us slept more than a few hours the night before. So awesome way to start out, exhausted. But after that, our travel was smooth. The planes were on time and we were even lucky enough to get an in flight movie that we wanted to see, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. When we deplaned, I was amazed as ever at the way people lose all sense of manners and rather than just wait their turns, attempt to exit by standing up and pushing ahead of everyone. The ladies, and I will use this term loosely, behind us, seemed like they were planning to chew through ass to get to the front of the line. One of them was in such a hurry to cut in front of us she lost her coat’s belt. Though it was likely karma, punishing her errant ways, we gave it back to her as we needed luck on our side.

Now that karma was not readily apparent in the Las Vegas airport. But we did learn Valuable Tip Number 1: buy luggage that isn’t black. It took us forever to find our suitcase in the sea of non descript bags. Tim says our next luggage will be pink! (Which actually suits me fine.) The we boarded the shuttle bus where Tim got to get up close and personal with a large sweaty man. The ride was hot and interminable. Tip number two: sprig for the cab.

A mere two hours after landing, we arrived at the Wynn. A bellman asked if he could take our bags and store them at the bell desk while we checked in. Being very tired (at this point we had been traveling for 9 hours) we said thanks and headed in to the hotel. We heard a “thank you very much” behind us and we then knew we had forgotten to tip. Oops. Our front desk clerk, Ace, (really, that was what his nametag said - so good!) told us the room wasn’t quite ready and recommended we have lunch. Three hours later, we were about to fall asleep in the lobby and (an hour after check in time) still didn’t have a room. I started to get a bit testy with Ace and he “found” an open room. Now we were thrilled to get to our quarters but discovered that they were located on the glamourous 6th floor lowest possible for guest rooms) with a fine view of the casino roof.
But being that tired, we simply didn’t care and showered and napped. Later, it was off to the Treasure Island Casino for 2-4 limit poker.....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

Tim and I are leaving the kids in my parents' capable hands (thanks Mom & Dad!) and heading off to Las Vegas for a few days of great food, cards and relaxation! We'll have the laptop so I will try to keep you all apprised of our every move.

The Sandbox

Do you remember when you were young and you felt like your parents didn't listen to you? Ever feel like nothing has changed?

My Mom has been campaigning for Eion to get a sandbox. Many a conversation went something like this:

Mom: "Eion really likes to play in the dirt. You should get him a sandbox so he will leave your flowers alone."
Me: "I don't want a sandbox as they are very messy & he would just rip up the flowers anyway."


Mom: "You know, you kids really loved the sandbox. You would play in it for hours!"
Me: "Don't want a sandbox. Guarantee they would ignore it."

So Mom & Dad arrived on Friday with a car choc full of spoil the grandchildren surprises including, wait for it, a sandbox. I was asked my opinion on the placement of said sandbox to which I promptly responded "It's not like you listened when I said I didn't want it so why would you listen now." (Take that! Treat me like a teenager and I will throw comebacks like it's 1989.) Sandbox construction commenced next to the playset. The kids were very enthusiastic and helped (at least for a while.) As one who has been aided by team McKernan before, I am sure Opa was was ok finishing without "helpers." We now have a beautiful sandbox that my children are harassing me to fill with sand.

But I may have changed my mind on the whole thing anyway after hearing Mom's theory about how the sandbox would prevent Eion from being snakebait by keeping away from the hole in the ground we are just sure is a snake hole. Now that I am aware of the snake repelling powers of the sandbox, I am in the pro-sandbox contingent.

Soccer Game

Dad went with me to the girls' soccer "game" on Saturday. Really it is just a series of scrimmages but hell, these kids are too young for a full field game. I think it was tough for him as this program tends to be a bit disorganized and there was the realization that there will be no soccer scholarships in the McKernan household (unless E is a breakout!) It was a typical game of "mob ball" where they all chased it around. Except for Maggie who had the misfortune of being on a team playing against her sister and decided she would just stand in the middle of the pitch and suck her thumb. You definitely walk away with a feeling of "why am I doing this." But they got to kick the ball with Opa and looked cute in their uniforms!

Golf and Poker

Friday morning I played my first nine holes of golf. Our lessons thus far have been at a driving range and putting green. We met at Brookside, a par three course, and set out on a beautiful day for golf. My foursome had myself, Jennifer, Kirsten, and Hayden. Now at the range, I have been completely respectable. Certainly, Michelle Wie is safe but I thought I did alright. Friday, I completely sucked. It was like I was in Happy Gilmore; balls bouncing off trees, bridges and the like. When I came home, I told Tim I was sorry I had lost the balls he gave me. Went like this:

Tim: "How did you lose a ball at a par 3?"
Katie: "Actually, I lost all three and almost lost one of Kirsten's."
Tim: "You couldn't find them?"
Katie: "They went in the water."
Tim: "I didn't think that course had water hazards."
Katie: "Well they weren't real water hazards. It is called Brookside."

Note to self, take cheaper balls next time! After golf, I missed lunch with the girls since I was scheduled to read to Morrigan's class. Morrigan was very excited I was there and the reading went well. Most of the books Morrigan picked out were unisex but we did read One True Love about Jasmine & Aladdin during which the boys groaned at any parts they found too mushy. I had a chance to ask Morrigan's teacher about the gifted program, Plato, that starts when they are in 3rd grade. (Incidentally, when I heard people talk about it, I always thought it was Playdoh. When I finally saw it in writing, the actual name made allot more sense. Clearly, I am not headed for the gifted program.) Anyway, she told me they don't make recommendations for another year and she now probably thinks I am Psycho Mom. But she did say she would send home some extra work we could do that might help Morrigan's chances of getting in.

After school we took the kids over to Tom Kirsten's to play and have pizza. Ann & Hans met up with us too and the kids set to destroying the house. Eion went up to the playroom where all the trains are and we didn't hear from him for literally two hours. I kept making the older kids report out on his welfare but he was fine and in Thomas heaven. The girls had a great time too but did keep being magnetically drawn to the kitchen once they discovered there was candy corn available.

Later we left the kids with a sitter and went to Rob & Leigh Anne's to play poker. It was about 10:30 and the doorbell rang. It was a bit surprising as a) everyone in this group generally just lets themselves in and b) we were all there. I told them, "You know, that might be my parents." Sure enough, it was Mary and Henry who had come in to watch the kids when we go to Vegas on Monday. So they joined us and we dealt Dad in. A good omen for Vegas, Tim came in third and I came in second!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Using the old Jeopardy category to describe this post as it will be all over the place. You have been warned....

Morrigan lost another tooth, this time at school. They gave her a necklace with a plastic tooth on it that opened up to hold the tooth so she wouldn't lose it before she got home. She has already incorporated said piece of "jewelry" into her wardrobe plans.

I cleaned out the girls' closets to make room for the fall clothes (summer, having heard my plea, has conceded to cooler weather.) We're still determining what fits. One item sure to be nothing but trouble is "The Bow Dress" (as seen here on Maggie.)

We received this as a hand me down from our nieces who according to my SIL, wore is maybe twice. Morrigan wore the sh*t out of it last year, literally wearing it 2-3 times a week. To school, to tennis, and just about everywhere else. When I brought it out this year, I was pretty sure it wouldn't fit Morrigan anymore. Sure enough, it was like a mini-dress on her. I tried to break the news gently but there was Maggie waiting in the wings. "If it doesn't fit Morrigan, is it mine?" "Yes Maggie. It is yours." At which point she broke out in a happy dance that made me laugh so hard I had to leave the room. Naturally, Maggie wanted to wear it today, if for no other reason than to get her sister's goat. Which she did.

This is Eion's hair when he gets out of bed. Can you say jacked up?

Last but not least, today was Grandparents' Day at Morrigan's school. This really is really a scam to get grandparents' wallets at the book fair. But I felt bad that Morrigan has not had a grandparent there that past two years (they live 10-12 hours away.) Though I am not sure how bad she felt. Apparently, she just latched on to Crawford's great-grandmother last year and was happy as a clam. Anyhoo, I arranged for my friend Connie to come and be her "Roanoke Grandma."

I have known Connie since we moved here in 1999. She doesn't have any grandchildren (yet) and was happy to be Morrigan's surrogate grandmother. Morrigan was thrilled to see her, gave her a big hug and said she wanted to keep her forever. They had a fine time with Connie even taking her to the book fair and getting some new reads (I tried to tell her no but she wouldn't listen to me!) Perfect right? Well it was until we arrived home where Morrigan found Maggie with a babysitter who had been drawing pictures with her. Then came the complete meltdown and crying fit about how she gets nothing and Maggie gets everything. You're welcome Morrigan.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Movie Recommendation

I practically never see movies in the theater (between the tickets and babysitter costs, it is just too much of a gamble) so I have to apologize in advance when I recommend a movie as I am generally a few years out of date. But in case you have not seen it, I highly suggest renting United 93. I watched it last night and it was a well made, very moving film. In spite of being about the bravery of the passengers of flight United 93, the subject matter naturally leaves you feeling more than a bit jarred. But very much worth your time.

You Sir, Are Forgiven

Timmy and I honestly don't fight much. Spats here are there, yes, but real "I am so not talking to you" kind of fights, not so much. But the other day....I don't think I slept two hours in a row on Monday night. When 7 am Tuesday rolled around, I was BEAT! But Mr. Sunshine decides he is going to lay in bed until 8ish and then come rolling downstairs after I already have the kids fed and ready for school. I was mad or as Tim later put it, "not in a very talkative mood." He was already scheduled to play in an all day golf tournament and was gone all day. When it was 11PM and he still hadn't bothered to check in, I was furious! After he left for work this morning, I found $600 on the counter. Turns out they went to play poker after finishing golf and Tim was the big winner. Being ever so smart, he told me to spend it on golf clubs for myself. Ah yes, conciliatory wads of cash will get you everywhere. Forgiven.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Open Letter to Summer

Summer, you and I need to have a talk. Now I don't want to come off as unappreciative. We had a great time at the pool the past few months and you know I do love heat as I have sworn never to move north of the Mason-Dixon line ever again. But this weather is getting ridiculous. It was 90 again today. My kids are dying to wear their fall clothes. I personally have some new jeans I would like to break out. Let the leaves change! Let us wear sweaters! Although I am sure I will regret this come January, I need to ask you, my darling Summer, to give it a rest. Thank you.

Monday, October 08, 2007


So the kids & I have colds. They were all sick before me so I am in the worst of it now. Eion got sick 1st and is on the mend. This morning, I asked them all if they were up to going to school. Once they realized that they could not watch tv if they stayed home, they were all about going to school. An hour and a half in, Eion's school calls and they want me to pick him up saying he is "just not himself." He & I then go to Kroger. On the way there, he is belting out Kelly Clarkston with the radio. At the store he is happily waving to the other customers and munching on a cookie. When we get home, he eats lunch and plays with his trains. So maybe he is not acting like himself as he was being really, really good which is slightly out of the ordinary, but is that truly cause for sending him home?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sick Sunday

I woke up sick today. No, not from the party I went to last night but I have caught the cold the kids have. So I have a stuffy nose and nasty sore throat. As Tim is working again today (I actually haven't even seen him in two days - when he works late he sleeps in the basement. We have resorted to writing each other notes) so I knew we had to get out. I didn't feel up to running but thought I could manage weight lifting. I told the kids not to mention the family-wide illness or we would get kicked out. As I am checking them in, one of them coughs and the nursery worker commented that they sounded sick. Maggie, apparently having completely forgotten the conversation from 5 minutes prior, responds, "Yes, we are all very sick." Fortunately for me, the weekend RAC workers are not the most vigilant bunch and chose to let us stay. [In my defense, there is usually no one there on Sunday morning and all the other Moms bring their kids sick too.]

The kids had haircut appointments at 11. Eion was outstanding and sat still the whole time (the girls always do.) He also used his time to see how many lollypops he could motor through in 20 minutes. [Three by the way.] But I think he looks good:

After that we have laid low. I even took a nap which I rarely do. I don't know why the kids complain about naps. I would love one of those everyday!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

I woke up today and thought, Tim is working all day. What am I going to do with these kiddos? One of my friends recently went to a corn maze/pumpkin patch and I figured, what the hell. It will likely be a complete disaster but I am going for it! Not wanting to be punished alone, I emailed Kirsten to see if she wanted to go and bring her boys. Luckily for me, Tom was sick and she was willing to roll the dice with me.

It was about 18 miles away but the drive wasn't bad. We had everyone loaded up in the Suburban and the ride was rather pleasant mixed with loud and funny children. Case in point:

Morrigan: "Connor kissed me!"

Me: "One, that is Aiden, not Connor. Two, no kissing!"

But we arrived with no further incidents and let the kids loose on the pumpkin patch. They had several fun things like a water pump duckie race,

a cow train ride,

a big pit full of corn (this was a huge hit!),

and a hayride.

The kids did really well. Naturally they were bolstered by a nutritious lunch of kettle corn, which was really good if I do say so myself! Overall, a great morning and not punishing at all!


Some days I am well organized, lunches packed early, coffee maker set up the night before, kids clothes laid out etc. Then there are days like Friday. Nothing set out the night before and children picking out creative clothing options. Maggie's dress was more like a mini-dress and had to be changed, Morrigan insisted on dressing like this:

mind you it was almost 90 degrees out so the long sleeves were a questionable choice and the Chuck Taylors with it were just icing on the cake. But eventually after several meltdowns and more yelling than I like to do before 9am, all the kids were safely away at school and I was free to go to golf. Still loving the golf. We played a few "real" holes rather than just practicing our putts and drives. I hit well enough on one hole that we played "captain's choice" and everyone hit from where I was.

After Tim got home from work we headed over to Ann & Joe's for pizza. Their kids are the same ages (and sexes) as ours so they play together well. Eion, minutes after we arrived, backed into a tub of drinks in ice and water and fell in. Even though Ann had an outfit for him, he refused to get dressed and spent the balance of the evening like this:

Very Classy! But a good time was had by all and the kids loved running wild in Ann & Joe's backyard. Every time I am at their house, I think about how I need to work harder on decorating my own. Her kids' rooms are beautifully decorated with murals and coordinated furniture. Eion's room essentially has a crib, dresser and a quilt on the wall which, honestly, he has outgrown. Oh, and a train table with no trains on it, just the buildings (trains are downstairs.) Maybe one day when I have some spare time.....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Geek TV Paradise

The fall TV season is in full swing and geeks like me couldn't be happier with the lineup. Every few years there is a sci-fi/horror type show that is a breakout hit and spawns all types of imitators. Then, one by one, they get cancelled, a few hold out, and the cycle begins anew. Witness the 2005-6 season. Lost came out the year before and all the networks scrambled to get their bandwagon. A whole host of shows, all of which I watched, most of which I liked, came out. Surface (giant mutant sea creatures mixed with government conspiracy), Threshold (secret government agency fights people infected with bio-farming alien virus, one of my favorites as it had Brent Spiner aka Data from Star Trek TNG), Invasion (duh), Night Stalker (something vampire-esque - didn't really care for this one) and Supernatural. All cancelled by the end of the year except, inexplicably, Supernatural which I found unwatchable which is an honor tough to get. Seriously, I liked Blade:The Series. I can watch almost all sci-fi.

Fortunately for the geeks out there, Heroes was a big hit. And now come the imitators! (With Stargate SG1 gone and Battlestar Galactica in its last season, a nerdy girl has to fill the time.) Now I realize that the casual viewer doesn't have the stomach to wade through all the bad and really bad to get to the watchable sci-fi. So I will break it down for you! After an episode or two of each, I have to say most of these shows will get cancelled, and quickly. But in case you have room on your TiVo, here are my takes:

Bionic Woman - Remake of 70's show. May make it out of the first year. Has Katee Sackhoff (aka Starbuck) which is a plus. Not a bad show overall but they will have to improve to survive.

Haunted - About a haunted (that title makes sense now!) Private Investigator (Matthew Fox of Lost.) I think this show has a fighting chance since it is on the Sci-Fi channel which, like me, has a lower bar than networks! I liked it. Kind of The 6th Sense meets Magnum PI.

Journeyman - Dude travels through time and fixes things. Very Quantum Leap. Has the hot guy from Rome in it but also a weak premise and some bad acting. I give it 6 months.

Reaper - 21 year old guy finds out parents sold his soul to the devil. Must collect hell escapees for Satan. I'm still undecided on this one. It has the slacker brother from Invasion, who I love, but it is a comedy which means I will likely remove it from my season pass.

Moonlight - Vampire private investigator (aren't any PIs normal?) I really wanted this show to be good yet I knew all along it would suck [must control self and limit bad puns] not be very good. A vampirific mix of bad acting, bad script, bad filming and overall badness. Yet I will continue to watch because I just can't help myself. As for you, don't bother with this one.

Torchwood - Saved the best for last. This is on BBC America and is a spin off of Doctor Who (which incidentally, Tim finds unbearable, even when I rub his back.) I think it is better than the show from which it was spawned. Secret (British) government agency fights alien threats. So we aren't covering new ground but it is pretty well done. If you only have time for one new sci-fi show, this is it.

So that's it! The geek's guide to fall tv. And really at this point I can write anything I please as I am sure this magnificently self-indulgent post has lost all its readers long before the last line!

He is the Champion

Tim and his partner, Chuck, are the 2007 Roanoke Country Club doubles tennis champions. Gets his name on a plaque in the tennis shop and everything. Before you are too impressed, let me tell you how this came to pass. Tim was at the men's tennis clinic a few weeks ago and noticed that the only team to sign up for said championship was Hans and Greg. Figuring he had a 50-50 shot, Tim recruited Chuck and they signed up. He figured, what the hell, it's only $10 to enter and the worst thing that happens is I am runner up club champion. Has it gone to his head? He has implied that I should now call him "Champion" a la Seinfeld's "Maestro."

After the match, Tim went to Hans and Ann's for a few beers and they planned out our entire Supper Club menu - without me! Tim's plan was to have Ann call and pretend she was "planning" it with me so I wouldn't feel left out. Her response: she didn't think subterfuge was the way to go with me. If found out, she didn't want to be on my bad side. Smart woman!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Halloween Preview

The girls' Halloween costumes came in the mail yesterday. [Eion still fits in the pirate costume from last year. When I asked him if he wanted to be a pirate again, his response was "Arrr." I will take this as consent.] Morrigan is a "Hollywood Starlet" and Maggie is Princess Leia. Must admit, I am very jealous of Maggie's costume. I really wanted to be Leia circa 1978 but my Mom couldn't get the bun hair for me. So I ended up being a Jawa which was still a disappointment since we couldn't come up with a way to make my eyes glow properly. Fortunately the costume hurdles faced by Moms everywhere in the 70's are no more and Leia wigs are plentiful! I managed to order both costumes too big but luckily, I can do my own alterations.

On a completely unrelated note, this house is in desperate need of chocolate. Tis my fault as I didn't buy any - trying new diet, the "less chocolate, less wine" plan. But my sweet tooth was working overtime this afternoon forcing me to eat key lime sherbet of undetermined age with freezer burn. Which incidentally, said on the packaging that it is an "excellent source of vitamin C." If you are looking for vitamins in your ice cream, there is a serious flaw in your nutritional plan. My plan today is more chocolate. Low on vitamins but oh so tasty!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What a Good Little Guy

Clearly as I am still around, that gals did not succeed in sucking all the life out of me. But not for lack of trying.

Yesterday, the girls had soccer practice. I have been driving on most Mondays and the other mom & dad have taken most of the Saturdays. This week we switched. So normally, ok all the time, Eion & I would go to the gym while the girls were at soccer on Saturdays. But yesterday, I had already had my gym time and found myself alone with the E. He sat quietly playing with the Thomas the Train leap pad for the longest time. Then I suggested we go on a quick walk. He turned it right off and headed to the stroller. While out, I asked him if he had learned any songs at school. He proceeded to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus for me. He has his moments.