Monday, June 30, 2008

Welcome to the Longest Two Weeks Ever

Summer is such a tough time for me to blog. When things are going well, I am either too busy to blog or I am doing the same thing over and over (read: gym, pool, zoo repeat) and can't come up with anything worth reading. When I have time it is because I am in the midst of a stretch like the one that started today - Tim is working a minimum of 116 hours over the next 2 weeks, with three days off and since he just walked in the door at 8:30 from a shift that "ended" at 7 you just know 116 is just the beginning. But let's start with happier times....

Tim was off all weekend and we were on the go the whole time. We went to the Shenandoah Club seafood night with Tom and Kirsten which was so yummy and fun. They had a young baby sitter so we were home fairly early but that was fine since Morrigan and Eion had swim lessons in the morning. While I took the kids there, Tim painted Eion's room. He has his new big boy bed and we are in the process of redecorating. Nothing too elaborate as I a) don't have much skill in the decorating department and b) was unwilling to pay Randall to redo a three year old's room. Mostly, I opened a Pottery Barn Kids catalog and said "Yes, I will take it!" When we finished, Eion looked at it and started crying "I want my old room back! I want the animals!" (we were rolling with a jungle theme before) Too late buddy! [Pictures once I get a few more things done.]

Saturday night we played couples poker. Tim, the big winner. Me, the big ATM. But fun! Certainly enough fun that I was a bit green going over Windy Gap Mountain the next morning as we trekked to the lake to spend the day with Karen and Damon and their crew. We had a great lazy Sunday complete with fishing,

lounging,


swimming and shell collecting,


and a cook out. Best yet, Eion learned about relieving himself on the grass. And our neighbors thought the nudity was bad!

But now we are gearing up for a LONG two weeks. I have already warned the children they will be visiting the gym lots and seeing Daddy little. But my approval rating is up today as one of our afternoon activities included making milkshakes. The only question is how far will ice cream get me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good Times, Bad Times

Did I say that Wednesday would be so good? That clearly was meant as so good for those who got to watch the train wreck that was my day. Sufice to say, by the time I arrived home from the pool, I had to leave Eion in the car and tell Tim that the boy was his baggage.



After two glasses of wine, I was seriously considering the ethics of placing my son in day care for the summer in spite of the fact that I have a 2-4 hour a week job.



Luckily for E, he improved significantly today and will escape, for the time being, Honeytree daycare.



Maggie woke up in a great mood as today was her playdate with Emily. Of course, all excitement was lost when we, as car pool family of the day, dropped Morrigan, Aidan, Evan, and Andrew off at camp. (And yes, that would be a total of SIX kids in my car this morning. God bless the Suburban.) Maggie & Eion were crying inconsolably since they couldn't go too. With the promise of McDonald's, they managed to rally.

After lunch we set out to the pool with Maggie's friend Emily in tow and the rest of the day went relatively smoothly. She was so happy to have a friend along making me think I really need to work harder to get the gal more playdates. After Morrigan got out of camp the three of them played happily up until we left. And Morrigan, for the first time ever, jumped up the diving board.

Timmy is working tonight so I am hanging with the kids until they go to bed at which time I can watch No Country For Old Men which Netflix was kind enough to deliver today. After, I will provide y'all a review in a new feature here at LUTBT: Reviews of Movies You Have Already Seen or About Which You Don't Care. Can you handle the anticipation?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lifetime Sports Camp


Today was the start of the first summer camp for the kids. Only Morrigan is old enough to attend so she is off to RCC for the Lifetime Sports Camp. Let me start by telling you, I want to go to this camp: group instruction in golf, tennis and swimming complete with a poolside lunch. They should have an adult version!

Anyhoo, as I knew Morrigan would be in clothes and a swimsuit at various times during the day and can't be counted on to reapply sunscreen, I thought it best to apply with no clothes on so I didn't miss any spots. Then Morrigan, child who is naked a fair bit just hanging around the house, who loves to bathe with her sister and brother or shower with me for that matter, started complaining endlessly about how she had no privacy and she was concerned that her siblings would see her. Right....

But after shipping her off, Maggie, E and I went to the gym and the grocery store, had lunch at home, and watched some Wimbledon. It was pretty relaxing. There tends to be so much less fighting when there are only two of them. Then we went to the pool for a few hours before Morrigan was done at 3:30. Kirsten was sweet/brave and tried to coax my non swimmers into learning a few things. Eion had fallen asleep in the car on the way there and Maggie always freaks out about getting her face wet so they were challenging to say the least. But she said she had seen worse!

Speaking of Kirsten, I have to briefly act as her cheerleader since I don't think she is doing an adequate job on her own. Someone asked her today if she was on swim team. Her answer, "Yes, I am." What she modestly failed to mention is that in the three swim meets they have held so far, she has broken every record in her bracket! Some by 8 seconds, which swimmers tell me is a huge deal. As I am the world's slowest swimmer, I just have to bask in her glory since there is no chance in hell I will EVER hold a Club record. Go Kirsten!!!

While I was very happy at the pool as there were many friendly faces with whom to chat, my kids were ready to go. So we left after Morrigan got out of camp and naturally, Eion fell asleep on the way home. He crashed on the sofa for a hour and a half. When he woke up, he was as pleasant as you might expect. And then while I was showering he crapped his pants. Not at the top of my list that one.

But tomorrow is another day AND I only have the double team for most of it AND Ziggy the Clown is at the pool for Wacky Wednesday! It will be so good.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Weekend

I have found that Monday has lost its luster now that there is no school. That being said, other than being a bit tired, our weekend went great! Saturday Morrigan and Eion had their first swim lessons (in separate classes.) They are taking them at the RAC so I can workout while they are in the pool. Maggie still staunchly refuses to learn to swim. I have paid for two previous sets of lessons for her where she spends the entire time sitting at the edge of the pool. I decided to save the money this go round.

Eion was crying when I dropped him off but rebounded quickly and the teacher said he did great. He was happy enough when I picked him up - until he realized he had to get out of the water and started crying again. There is little I love more than activities that can be book-ended with tears.

Morrigan can swim some and has been practicing at the Club so I knew she would be ok. The lessons were her idea anyway. As we were walking into the gym the other day, they had a whiteboard up advertising the lessons. Morrigan stopped, read it and said, "Hmm, that's interesting." To which I replied, "Morrigan, would you like to take swim lessons?" "That's a great idea Mom!" Yes, yes, I am full of great ideas.

That night we had Karen, Damon, Kirsten and Tom over for a kids inclusive dinner which was lovely chaos. The kids played well with minimal discord:

Even Eion.

There was lots of ice cream, lots of wine, and spirited political banter. (no pun intended) We let the kids stay up too late and were all a bit ragged this morning. Our pool plans were sidelined by a rain and thunderstorm so we all loaded up to see Kung Fu Panda. Eion (barely) made it all the way through and the girls loved it. Although I really wasn't expecting much, it was a cute little movie. Very watchable.

Maggie & E fell asleep in the family room around 6:30. Once I can convince Morrigan her day is over, I am going to bed ridiculously early!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Her Highness, Queen of the Nerds

But I guess I have one tidbit to share and while it may not be particularly interesting, it does not involve the bathroom in any capacity. This week I was watching my TiVoed Battlestar Galactica, eagerly anticipating, as I know you all were, the unmasking of the 12th cylon. I was quite distressed at the end of the episode to discover that not only was the final cylon still a mystery but there were no previews of next week. Turns out that due to the writer's strike, this was the mid-season finale (read: complete bull sh*t) and I will have to wait until 2009 to get my BSG fix.

Not one to normally frequent such sites (really, I swear) in my anger I sought out a discussion board to find spoilers [see this is where the Queen of the Nerds comes in. Before I was just possibly lacking taste.] So I am reading a string of theories posted by people who have chosen avatars that are various cylons, spaceships, and lonely 35 year old virgins and I come across a post that reads "We are the Borg. The final Cylon is irrelevant. Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile." And to my shame, I cracked up. Whether I like it or not, these are my people. I accept my position as Her Royal Highness, Queen of the Nerds.

Wishing For a Different Topic

So here it is people, you are tired of reading about potty training. I am tired of living it and blogging about it. Would that I had a better topic, but here goes. After several days of success, albeit closely supervised success, we had a day of utter failure. Multiple accidents in multiple locations. By 6:30 I was SO DONE with the boy and sent him packing to bed (don't feel too bad for him, normal bed time is only a bit later and he totally had it coming.)

Bright side being the gals and I played Uno, popped popcorn and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. They recommended we do this more often. If things don't improve here, they may get their wish.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Channel 7 at the Gym

After the Body Attack class I did this morning (the treadmill is just getting to be too boring - I had to branch out) I headed to the weights area and saw a camera crew from Channel 7 interviewing someone about earbuds. I hightailed it in the other direction. The last time they were at the gym, I tried to stay away from them but remained in the same general area as it was where I wanted to work out. I heard from people for weeks, "I saw you running on the treadmill on TV!" Great.

Now some people look good while they work out. I am not one of those people. I tend to sweat, allot, and my face is bright red. Additionally, I wear pigtails not so much as a fashion statement but when I wear only one, half my hair falls out. Add to that my awesome sunburn patches and my look was not so good. So in spite of my efforts to avoid them, the reporter asked me if I would be interviewed. I think not. Don't really have any desire to be on TV when I look good, let alone the way I looked this morning!

Summer Flies By

If the first week of Summer is any indication of how the next few months will go, this season will pass us by in no time! We've been spending as much time as we can at the pool:


given that my boy E is actively trying to regress in the whole potty training thing.

[Warning: graphic potty details to follow.] We have totally mastered #1. So that's good. But he went from sometimes #2 in the potty with some accidents to just crapping his pants every night. Hmmm...this is not working for me. But I have a read on his "tell" as he goes off to hide or tries to send me out of the room when he is about to do the deed. We locked down Monday and Tuesday and I refused to let him out of the house (with the exception of the gym - please, I need my sanity here) until he embraced the potty for all necessary bodily functions. I told him that if he went #2 in the potty that we could then go to the pool and have ice cream. (Actually I promised the boy just about everything short of a damn pony.) But finally yesterday afternoon, he did and so we were able to leave the house. And I let him have two popsicles just to reinforce that the world is his oyster if he can just quit sh*tting his pants.

The days on lockdown went by faster than you would think. Of course we were all entertained by Tim cleaning every carpet in the house. We rented one of those steam cleaners and he went to town. Seems to be a trend with Tim and any high powered tool. And clearly to our benefit as the carpets look great! But to all my married male readers out there, I have to tell you the cleaning of the carpets made him VERY attractive. Try it at home!

I'm off to pick Morrigan up from a sleepover birthday party and load them up to go to the gym. Tim is working so we're planning on going to "Wacky Wednesday" tonight at the pool. Games, pizza, and Ziggy the Clown - on stilts! I will be easy to spot as I have the world's most jacked up sunburn. I apparently did a terrible job putting on sunscreen yesterday (on myself at least - the kids are fine.) The front of one leg, part of one shoulder, and half my chest are bright red. So the question is today do I cover my whole body or leave the opposing body parts unprotected to try and even the whole thing out?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Love Birthday Parties!

While I am generally in agreement with friend David in that we did not have nearly the number of soirees my kids seem to when I was growing up, I could not be more thankful for the two we attended this weekend! Tim is working so we were glad to have the diversion and both families we kind enough to include the whole crew. Friday we went to Aidan's birthday at the Club pool. Naturally, the girls wore their favorite bathing suits:



It's all ballerina, all the time 'round here. All the kids loved their party favors, inflatable dolphins and the like.
I was supposed to bring the electric air pump to inflate them which I (opps) forgot. So I attempted to help blow them up the old fashioned way and promptly discovered that I am terrible at it. Kirsten just took my semi inflated creatures away in disgust and finished them herself.

And while I was glad we did not have the traditional goody bags - really, who needs a stash of candy after you just had cake - I am not entirely sure things worked out for the better. Now in addition to three ring floaties I am forced to keep in my car (2 pink, 1 green),


we have added 3 dolphins. I tried with no success to leave them at the pool. I am running out of room in the back of my car and I drive a Suburban for god's sake!

Today we went to Mill Mountain Zoo for Lennon's birthday party. We managed to sustain two injuries before setting foot in the zoo proper: Eion banging his head at the gym and Maggie wiping out in the parking lot. The walk from the car to the entrance was LONG as she felt compelled to intermittently check to see if her scraped knee was getting worse.

But we made it and the kids had a great time. We rode the train several times.

They also had zoo employees out with animals the kids could look at up close including a baby alligator and several turtles. The girls loved them, Eion not so much. He screamed in terror "Put away! Put away!"

They all ate as if I don't ever feed them at home including motoring through 2 cupcakes each. Seeing that my children seemed especially hungry, Karen tried to send me home with a half dozen more. I fought her off. More sugar? No thanks!

I was glad that this party also shunned the goody bag. They are always (even the ones I have passed out) full of crap the kids don't need and sugar. I am totally getting on this bandwagon. No more goody bags. Fight the power!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

School Is Out and Not A Moment Too Soon

Today was the last day of school for the girls. And thank god because I could not take one more minute of celebrating. Tuesday was Maggie's Awards ceremony (see previous post.) Then Wednesday, both girls had end of the year parties which, per their orders, I HAD to attend. Maggie's party was low key - just snacks and music in the classroom. E even tolerated it well, eating and dancing with the other kids.
But we went directly from there to Morrigan's party. Maggie and Eion, having both had cake at Fishburn, then went on to eat ice cream sundaes at Crystal Spring. Complete sugar overload. Incidentally, Kirsten and I were scooping ice cream together. My poor tub was a wreck. Hers - looking great. Damn her for having a job at an ice cream parlor as a kid! Anyway, Maggie was fussy but managed to rally. She and Morrigan played many a water game including water balloon toss at which, I hate to say, they completely sucked.
The big hit of the party was the bubble wrap stomp. Lee D's husband deals in bubble wrap with his job and provided us with huge sheets of the stuff. I am telling you, it was better than Christmas.
The screams of delight were deafening. There was even a sheet set aside for the younglings and E temporarily perked up.
Today was the final awards ceremony of the season. E and I set off to see Morrigan around 9:15. [Warning: Rant following!] I am SO DONE with these damn things. First of all, every single kid gets called up. I am not sure what they all got as they didn't elaborate except to name the kids with perfect attendance all year. (We didn't qualify - but the Disney trip was worth it!) While I appreciate the desire to make the kids feel special and boost self esteem, this accomplishes neither. Do you really think they don't realize that even the complete morons are "recognized?" If everyone gets something, it ceases to be special or something for which to strive. And I am stuck there with Eion who was cheering rather loudly at completely inappropriate times and doing somersaults in the aisles. Arrrggh!

But we survived and lived to enjoy a trip to the pool. My plans to decrease our country club bill by ordering less food are being actively sabotaged by my scavenger children. I tell them they can't have any food and if they are so hungry we should leave. They respond by making the rounds and eating other people's left overs. I feel the time is coming soon when I will be outright shamed in to purchasing snacks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Do They Know He's Out There?

Talking to our neighbors the other day, they told me about when they recently saw Eion outside. To preface, we live on a cul de sac and don't get much traffic. That and the kids are pretty good about staying out of the street so we let them play freely in the front yard and check on them if we haven't seen them in a while.

Anyhoo, Tyler was looking out the window down on our yard. [For you flat landers, I will provide a visual:

This was taken from our driveway looking up at Tyler & Jen's.] When he saw, as is the case more days than not as any LUTBT reader knows, Eion busting about naked. He called Jen over to see and asked, "Do you think they know he is outside naked climbing in the trunk of the car? Should we call them?" [Playing in the car is the boy's other pastime, the first being nudity.]

It appears that in the end they decided we had the situation in hand as we didn't hear about this until days later. I am continually thankful we don't have too many neighbors!

Preschool Awards Ceremony


This morning was the Fishburn preschool awards ceremony. Now, as the only "awards" being handed out were for perfect attendance and completion certificates, I was suspicious that this would be a massive waste of my time. But Maggie was going to be crushed if I didn't go so I packed up Eion and we went. As I am sure you realize by now, sitting still is not a hobby the E embraces. So it took a massive flow of skittles to keep him from going on the lam.

They finally started, late, and Maggie's class sang a little song which was very cute. They received their certificates (no perfect attendance for us - trip to Disney!) and then invited the parents to come to the classrooms. Again, I knew it was a bad idea. But Eion desperately wanted to see his sister. I did get a nice photo op of Maggie and her teacher but then it was time to leave. And then came the tears. Maggie sat quietly on the carpet in her place and had huge tears running down her face because she wanted to leave. Eion was crying and screaming because he wanted to stay.

To recap, the ceremony intended to make Maggie feel special ended with her in tears, her brother screaming and me arriving at the gym and hour and a half later than normal. It was awesome.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Busy, Busy

Oh it's been a few days but we have been busy around here. That and it has been hot. And I don't mean "I guess I will wear shorts today" hot. I mean hurt your lungs to breathe Africa hot. Which means we are spending as much time as possible at the pool. Tim was working most of the weekend (Sunday off - hooray!) and the kids and I were at the pool Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday there was a neighborhood block party which I think is a fantastic idea! In theory at least. But it was about one million degrees and I would have been responsible for the whole crew myself. Nope, couldn't do it. I am weak and offer my most sincere apologies to the organizers!

Saturday night Tim had to work but on the bright side, I had two parties to attend! I went to friends Molly & Webb's Belmont Stakes party which was a great opportunity to get out my huge peach hat!




Great hats all the way around. I wish I had taken more pictures but was too busy talking.

After that, I was off to supper club at Ann & Hans' house. They have freely admitted that their AC is not the best. Unfortunately, it was very apparent. But the company and conversation was great and as always, so was the food.

Sunday we took the whole crew to the pool. My earlier prediction that the summer was going to be easier is holding so far. The kids mainly entertain themselves and seem to be accepting the new rule that we don't get food every time we are at the pool pretty well. And as an added bonus, Eion is still doing great with the potty training. We aren't accident free (for sure we still rock swim diapers at the pool) but once again, there was an "incident" at the pool (Monday) and we weren't the perpetrators. Life remains grand!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Living Under a Special Star

Do you ever have those days when you are sure that you do in fact live under a special star?

Evidence that my life is at this very second, about as good as it gets:

1) Tim was amazingly helpful in cleaning the deck and house to get ready for my Bunko group [we don't actually play Bunko anymore but Girls' Night Out Group is just too cumbersome.] to come over. After he cleaned the deck, planted flowers and made outside look great, he came in and said, "I just need two minutes to shower and then I will take the kids out of the house." And he did it!

2) In spite of the fact that there was a fracking tornado a mile away the night before, the weather held and it was a beautiful night on the deck.

3) When I woke up this morning, I felt WAY better than I should have. Those raspberry Absolut and diet 7-Ups were going down too easy and yet I felt like a champ all day! I haven't had the post game to see if Jen and Jennie fared as well...

4) My son came up to me today, said he needed to use the potty and made, in his own words, "a huge boomer." That would be ZERO accidents today!

5) The main pool at RCC had to be closed today due to a poo incident and it wasn't because of my kids!

6) And even after that wonderful conversation with the underwriter, I was approved for the "super preferred" rate for my life insurance.

Perhaps I just have the bar set too low but I am feeling fine.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Success

It was a tough weekend. There was laughter, there were tears. No wait a minute, no laughter, all tears. We didn't go ANYWHERE. I did piles of laundry. It was grueling and pretty much all the kids and I were miserable. That being said, Eion is using the potty! For all the detail you don't want, we have had success on the #1 and very importantly, #2 fronts. And today was accident free! Granted, we are still hounding him and making him sit on the toilet every hour or so but for a kid who prior to last Thursday had never even sat on throne, I am thrilled.

I am sure there will be many accidents in the coming weeks but we are on the right path and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And now that it is over, there were a few bright points to the weekend. I got to watch copious amounts French Open tennis. After my enthusiastic cheering for one French player (in French naturally) I get to enjoy E running through the house yelling "Allez Monfils! Bien jouez!"

And the fashion. As we weren't going anywhere, there was little restriction on clothing so we had getups like this:


Eion spent most of the weekend in flip flops, underwear and a pajama top. Sharp!

To thank the girls for being so patient over the weekend and Eion for a job well done, we went to Maggie Moo's for ice cream which created more laundry as they all were covered in blue but what's one more load?