Sunday, May 31, 2009

So......

So you have a favorite tennis player. For our purposes here, we'll call him Rafael Nadal. Said favorite tennis player is en route to winning his fifth straight French Open and despite the tragedy of said player wearing sleeves, which really, really has you put out already, you are following the tournament religiously. But today's match was while you were at the pool so you TiVo it. You purposefully avoid the tv and internet. Then you come home and start to watch your saved tennis. And you get drawn in by the Williams sister's doubles match. You don't get to the Nadal match as soon as you'd like. Mere minutes before you are going to watch the Match of the Day, you get a call from a friend, for our purposes here, we will call him Tom E. And it goes a bit like this.....

Tom: Have you watched the Nadal match today?
You: No, I was just watching the Williams sisters. Why?
Tom: I don't want to say any more.
You: I can only assume you are calling because he lost. 
Tom: I don't want to say any more. I'll talk to you later.

So you watch a few games but you are "a read the last page first" kind of girl and with that phone call added in just can't stand it and go to check the outcome. Indeed, your favorite player has lost. And it looks like if you weren't already somehow, say by a phone call, tipped off to the unexpected outcome, it would have been an outstanding, if somewhat painful, match to watch.

I think at this point, you would say to your friend "Tom," "Thanks asshole. I will be returning the favor at a later date. And you can get your own proper pint glass." Theoretically.

Weekend Wrap Up

My children are efficient. They can take all the calm of Sunday morning yoga and drain me of it within ten minutes, today complete with yelling on my part. But I can't complain (too much) as the weekend was overall fun.

Tim was off Friday so we were able to play tennis together and then go to lunch. Eion is out of school but bribed with oreos, was happy to watch tv in the tennis shop for an hour. That night we played poker where, surprising everyone, I finished first. After being heckled that I never play any hands, I came from my weak position and rallied to win. Tim came in third which meant after paying the babysitter, we were left with $5. Victory?

Saturday we went to a party at our friends Thomas & Carrie's house. The party was fun and in full swing but Tim and Ann both had to work early so we had to be the first to leave which, disappointing at the time, always seems so much smarter in the morning. 

Before we arrived, a few girlfriends and I were discussing the last party at this location. Went a little like this:

Girlfriend: You remember, you were there bringing the cleavage...
Me: Huh?
Girlfriend: You had that cute beaded low cut top on.
Other Girlfriend: That pretty much describes all her tops.

I was about to object but then realized it was so true. And bringing the cleavage is certainly a better rep than "bringing the back fat" or "bringing the cellulite." I can live with this.

And Tim wore one of my very favorite shirts:

You know you are the man if you can rock that. He was bringing the "comfortable with my sexuality."

Today yoga was great. I had lifted really heavy weights all week and was sore all over the place. I left feeling great. And then I picked up my kids. 


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Life With the Boy


Eion historically hasn't been much of a talker. But as he gets older, he is more and more conversational and the results are funny. Spawned from his ever growing love of Bakugan, he routinely asks all kinds of people, "Are you a brawler or are you a chicken?" I don't even try to explain. I opted for chicken but was informed that Tim and I both are bawlers.

And even better, Eion barged into the bathroom while Maggie was using the potty and cried out, "Ahhh! You don't have a crank!" And has subsequently been telling me how boys are the same and girls are different. I would say that perhaps the family is finally developing a sense of modesty but then I showed up at the pool this morning to pick up Morrigan after swim team and found her changing poolside. She is almost eight. I recommended she mix in a locker room.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eion's Last Day of School

Eion had his last day of preschool at 1st Pres today. If he gets a spot in the city preschool program, we won't be back at what my kids have always called "the castle." I was genuinely taken aback by how melancholy I felt about it. We've had one or more kids at 1st Pres for the last 7 years. To leave there feels so odd - like a chapter in my life closing forever. Granted, now that I said it he won't get into the city schools and we will get to enjoy it for another year.

But the boys has come a long way. His teacher and I were talking about how at the outset of school, when he finally started using the potty, he would completely disrobe - shirt and all - to use the bathroom and then emerge stark naked. He definitely gets the Most Improved award!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day at the Pool

Monday the kids were all torqued up about going to the pool. They knew full well it had been open for 2 1/2 days and we had not yet gone. Tragedy! So we packed up the Suburban with all our gear and Tim's parents too and said weather forecast be damned. We were the first people there at 11:15 (the kids got ready in record time) and commenced to pool fun. 

And the day had many of the markers that mean Summer has officially begun. One very important to my generally soda deprived children was the soda dive. And some of the more proficient swimmers were kind enough to share with Eion and Maggie.

While Morrigan was not the best swimmer in the jewel dive, she was thrilled with the loot she did acquire. Although there was not a swim team practice that day, she insisted on wearing the team suit. 

And it can't be Summer without the beer dive. Many thanks to the better swimmers in our crew who shared their bounty with those of us who do not excel at such activities.

One of Ziggy the Clown's underlings provided fun for the kids. And it does appear that my many many lectures on how the life cycle of the balloon includes popping have begun to take hold. The loss of said masterpiece resulted in very little heartache. Eion was the only one to reject this activity stating, "I hate clowns."

While I don't want to jinx myself, this may indeed be The Best Summer Ever. I would have been happy to leave by about 3pm. But the kids played contentedly the whole day.

We had several bouts of rain and even that couldn't slow them down. Maggie and JP wouldn't even get out of the pool.

Eion opted to seek shelter.

In the end, we were there until after five. I don't know if I can read books this year but I am sure a trashy magazine is in my future. And what would Summer be without the first of the sunburns. The cloudy weather paired with the fact I kept thinking we would leave meant not nearly enough sunscreen for our lot. Summer is here!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MIA

Oh but I have been MIA for a few days. It was just one of those times when I was so busy living life I just couldn't find time to write about it. Friday was the Kindergarten play where the three classes all sang songs complete with accompanying moves. Mags was very animated and seemed comfortable on stage, showing once again that there is not a single introverted bone 'round here. 
That night Tim's parents came in for the weekend. We all went strawberry picking the next morning. We were just planning on picking but there was also some sort of strawberry festival complete with unsafe rides, carnival food and a healthy dose of redneck. We picked the berries first and in spite of my most concerted efforts, visited the fair. I gave each kid the choice of one treat. The girls chose cotton candy which they dispatched directly. E selected a slushee that took a seemingly interminable amount of time to finish. But we did put that time to good use people watching. The number of ill advised tattoos was staggering.


Tom and Kirsten hosted an impromptu cookout that night so we used our crop to make strawberry ice cream, pie and margaritas. All of which we enjoyed while the kids ran wild in the yard. When it was time to go and put the kids to bed (a twee bit late), Maggie was, naturally, hungry. Luckily for her, Tom had a parting snack of bacon, the truest way to my kids' hearts! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Piano Recital

We just got home from Morrigan's 2 1/2 hour piano recital. While I appreciate all the hard work of the kids, and some of them were amazing players, it was just brutal. Morrigan was second to perform and I thought she did great. No mistakes and she seemed comfortable and happy. 

Tim was working a night shift so I had a babysitter for Maggie & Eion but Mags absolutely insisted on coming. Her motives were not at all musical. I think she was driven solely by the post-recital reception, promising tasty treats galore. [Though mostly store bought sweets - come on people! Step your game up!]

And I will give both the girls props where they are due, they were really good during what was a long time to sit still. And Morrigan seemed genuinely happy  - even beyond donuts. Better yet, the girls talked about how next year when Maggie is taking lessons too, they will play duets.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Herb Sandwich


While most of our garden isn't quite ready for consumption, the herbs are coming along nicely. When Tim gave Morrigan the go ahead to start eating basil (the kids like to snack on it,) she promptly went out and picked marjoram, basil, oregano and I think some catnip too and made herself an herb sandwich. She won't eat mac and cheese but chowed down on this. I give up.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Great Tea Party

Sunday the girls hosted a tea party. They asked me about having one a few weeks back. When I gave it the green light, they came up with their own menu and shopping list. They were even willing to contribute their allowance to help fund it. We had:

Chocolate Truffles 
Cookies
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Homemade Lemonade (complete with ice cubes that had edible flowers in them!)


The girls helped cook and bake. As you saw before, some things worked better than others. But the lemonade and chocolate covered strawberries turned out pretty well. They helped me get out the china and set the table. And they made place cards complete with the message "thanks for coming" on the inside. 

It went surprisingly smoothly. They wrapped up the tea party with a nature walk which was odd but welcome since I didn't really want 9 sugared up kids tearing through the house!

Saturday, She Was Long

But we knew it would be. Eion kept me up until midnight on Friday crying that his ears hurt. On Saturday morning, I told Tim to look in his ears because I thought E had a double ear infection and he had the audacity to doubt Dr. Mom! By the by, Dr. Mom was totally right. So we ducked off to the gym and stopped to get his prescription on the way home. Which also gave us an opportunity to buy flowers for the girls' ballet recital. Seriously, with all the plays and recitals, it is starting to look like a florist's shop around here this week. 

The children were adamant that we go to Fun Day for a little while before dance. I have long maintained that Fun Day is a misnomer and much like Fraught, could do without the complete overload of throwaway crap and high sugar content. But weakling that I am, was also not in the mood to be the bad guy. I was triple pleased that the supply of "fun bags" [aka gallon ziplocks you are requisitioned to fill annually with $5 dollars worth of the aforementioned crap that are then given to the kids for the equivalent of less than $1] had been depleted prior to our arrival. Two out of three kids spent at least part of our hour long visit in tears so clearly, it lived up to its name. 

Then on to dance! We went with a divide and conquer strategy - Tim and Eion invaded Jerry's and I took the girls to the recital. 

All went to plan and the girls loved their flowers. Morrigan, after watching the older girls, is now determined to dance tap, ballet and jazz but maybe the sparkle of the recital will wear off over the summer.....
As we were leaving the dressing room, Maggie said, "Wait, I forgot something!" She then went back and gave the woman who was their handler one of her tulips. God she can be a sweetie.

When we got in the car, Morrigan told Maggie how she had cheered for her loudly and yelled her name. She then asked Maggie if she had done the same for her. To which that same sweetie replied, "No. I didn't cheer at all." Not only mean, but untrue!

That night I finally got to go see Star Trek. In my utterly biased opinion, it was a really good movie. I think someone unfamiliar with the franchise (who clearly is really missing out) could follow and enjoy it but it was also packed with little bits to satisfy the geeks out there. Did you catch the Captain Archer reference? And it didn't hurt that the new Captain Kirk is really hot. But also so young that I almost feel a little dirty saying so. The producers clearly felt the same way as they cast Winona Ryder, who is only a month older than me, as Spock's mother. When did I get old enough to be the Mom? Of a grown man. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Recitals

Recital season is upon us and with it comes all the pain I have come to expect from this time of year. Today we had the rehearsal for Morrigan's piano recital directly followed by a ballet dress rehearsal for both girls. Tim worked a night shift Thursday and hadn't slept at all. It was going to be a great day.

The girls are backstage for a while so they encourage them to bring books and activities to keep them busy. I told Morrigan to grab her backpack and get what she wanted together. She gathered an ipod, a blanket (in case she gets cold - it was close to 80 today,) several books and a stuffed penguin. But did she put them in her backpack? No, she stuffed them in a wire shower caddy. Round two was a tiny bag meant to hold a Webkinz. Round three, she started emptying no fewer than one bazillion items out of a party goodie bag to use it before I lost it. Backpack and only backpack. End of discussion.

She and I drove out to Hollins for the piano rehearsal. Much to my complete shock, I found it without trouble. Morrigan was completely enamored with the university. I've seen their tuition rates sweetie. You may want to keep looking.

Then it was off to the Roanoke Civic Center for ballet. As it has been in past years, this is the weekend that there is a carnival there as well. You know the kind, packed with rednecks and drunken teenagers. And every year the girls cry that they want to go there, adding this year that it looked better than any roller coaster they had ever ridden. 

Then the dress rehearsal. Let me tell you about the costumes. Seriously, if these are what they picked, I really want to see the rejects. And if I had to watch one more solo or duet of teens dripping with emotion I was going to have to kill myself. But my girls did fine in a relative sense. By that I mean it seems none of the other girls really knew what they were doing either. Morrigan kept trying to wave to us - in the middle of the dance -  which I am hoping she won't do tomorrow. 

When I went to pick up Morrigan, I had a run in with the chaperon of her dressing room. For our purposes here, we'll call her Bitch.

Bitch: Tomorrow she can't bring her ipod.
Me: Oh, I didn't know they were against the rules.
Bitch: Well she can't bring it tomorrow.
Me: Ok, I didn't know they are against the rules.
Bitch: They aren't against the rules unless they are a problem and hers was a problem today.

Lady, can I recommend a gin and tonic? And as the girls skipped to the car, they longingly talked about how they too would be on pointe one day and wear the beautiful costumes of The Teenagers. It appears we have many recitals to come.....


Thursday, May 14, 2009

For My in Town Readers....

For those of the sci-fi mindset, Timmy and I are going to see Star Trek on Saturday and Wolverine on Sunday. (Would like to have spaced it out better but Tim's schedule got in the way.) Call me if you want to go too!

Tea Party Preparations

The girls decided to have a tea party Sunday to celebrate their successful dance recital (which is Saturday. I guess we are assuming they will be triumphant.) They have a book on throwing tea parties their Oma gave them which they poured over and made a menu (complete with a shopping list.) This afternoon, we made the Peanut Buttterflies. The picture in the book looked like this:

Ours on the other hand.......


Yeah. We were impressed too. We also made chocolate truffles. I really don't think the author of this book knew how to cook. I followed the instructions and ended up with a bowl of half-melted, half burned chocolate goo. Should have known better than to use a microwave. So I pulled out the double boiler and tried again. The chocolate mixture goes in the fridge until cold. Then you are supposed to roll it into balls and dip in a powdered sugar/cocoa powder mix - which is a very very messy process in case you were wondering. But the chocolate is missing a stabilizing element and melts in your hands. So we have some oddly shaped truffles:

But it is all about the process right? The girls did really enjoy licking their hands when we were done. And they seemed very open to the idea of having some store bought goodies for the party.

The Egypt Play

Today the second grade had their Egypt play in which, Morrigan informed me, she would be "Egyptian Dancer Number 2." Clearly an important distinction from dancers 1 or 3. Her Halloween costume made for one of the fanciest costumes in the play. 

I made the fatal error of bringing Morrigan flowers after her play in Kindergarten. Now both girls think this is par for the course and want them all the time. I thought about fighting it but hell, 2 dozen roses were only $6 at Sam's Club and we get to enjoy them at home later. 

We did, however, forget them at home. So Tim, who worked an overnight but got up to see the play because Morrigan really wanted him there, snuck out to go home and retrieve the flowers essentially missing most of the play. Ooops. But I don't think she noticed as she was so overcome with her flowers and fame. As we walked out of school, she told Maggie, "I've had enough applause and cheers for today. Please give the star some space."

Overall, I claim success. Eion was quiet (and fully dressed) the entire time. A first on both fronts. And the flowers were beautiful. [Exciting video coverage to follow if I get around to editing it!]

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Trapped

Good lord almighty. The boy has been sick for 4 days now and I am getting a bit of cabin fever. And really he doesn't seem to be improving. On the upside, I have all the laundry and ironing done and the house is spotless (though in a credit where credit is due way, the cleaning lade was here today.) Let's all cross our fingers together and hope I get out soon.....

And then there is Morrigan who was sobbing at piano today because she is worried that she will mess up at her recital and "ruin the whole thing." I told her that she would be fine and that everyone makes mistakes but she insisted, "If I can't be perfect, I won't go." My response that she can practice more if she likes was not well received. What is ironic is she is already a better player than I ever was. And telling her this doesn't seem to matter.

And Maggie, sweet Maggie, who on the way home from ballet, nearly incited a riot when she invited one of the carpoolers to the tea party the girls are planning Sunday (more later on that) and then immediately realized she had already issued her maximum number of invitations and revoked the aforementioned invite. The shunned invitee was none too pleased. I have to say I am really glad I wasn't driving that perfect storm around. 

And lastly on a generally unrelated note, I have found myself repeatedly wanting to post items of a political nature. While I am quite sure my general political stance is a secret to no one, I don't think that is why you come here. And I do try very hard to keep my political rants to a minimum. So to spare you the intermittent rants from the times when I just can't help myself, I started another blog, Relentlessly Conservative. Feel free to click through and read if it suits. If not, that's ok too. In a Full Disclosure kind of way, I have to warn that I probably will filter very little and am likely to offend. But hey, we all know what they say about opinions....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

For the Love of Pete...

Ballet is such a colossal pain in the tushie this time of year and just when my resolve to never again participate in this activity reaches its height, they send home these. Little girls in tutus get me every time. Dammit.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Quickly...

My little sick E is experiencing a brief rally so I will recap our weekend.....

I think I had more margaritas in the last week than I have in the last year. Our Super Supper Club was having a Cinco de Mayo themed party on Saturday (a few days late but how can you argue) and our hosts rented a frozen margarita machine. Now if one has such a fine contraption for a whole weekend, you can't just use it once right? So Molly invited us over for a cocktail hour/playdate Friday afternoon. The kids and I pulled up and despite my numerous warnings to never pet animals you don't know, they hopped right out and went over to their cat, Orange Juice. 

Who was mercifully, a very nice cat. So much so that Eion has dropped his moniker of Nibbles and switched to Orange Juice. He is still a cat, just a different one. The kids enjoyed blue raspberry slushies and the adults had margaritas. The machine met with all our approvals.

Saturday night Molly and Webb hosted Supper Club. We had great Mexican food, plenty o' margaritas and dined in their awesome screened in porch.  It was a perfect night! [Boys missed the pictures in favor of cigars.]

If only I hadn't had to get up at 5am the next day since Tim had to work at 6! And that will be 'nuff said about Mother's Day under the heading, "if you don't have anything nice to say...."

E developed a fever yesterday afternoon and it carried through to today. The little sweetie fell asleep on my lap this morning so I caught up on my backlog of DVRed shows. And now I hear him crying that he "hates these clothes" so I'd best intervene before he takes them off.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mother's Day, Part 1

I have come to realize that it is a very good thing that I do not put allot of stock in the Hallmark holidays. Like Mother's Day. Maggie made, at her Daisy meeting the other day, a bouquet of paper flowers for Mother's Day. And then came home and proceeded to pass them out to everyone in the house but me. I am her troop leader. Happy Mother's Day indeed. 

Today I went to a Mother's Day lunch at E's school. Remembering that in years past they had the kids prepare us lunch and knowing where my son's hands have been, I opted to eat in advance. But I did get the flower pot he made with the message "Mommy is my sunshine."


Unfortunately, this is the picture accompanying said message:

Morrigan made a card where there was a little statement about me for each letter of mother. M was "magnificent tennis player." While I appreciate her faith in me, she might have been more accurate going with "mediocre tennis player." 

As we were driving today, Mags said she couldn't wait for Sunday. Knowing we didn't have any plans, I asked why. She said, "It's Mother's Day! Did you forget your own day?" 

Nothing Can Stop Her

We took the kids to a Salem Red Sox game last night. The previous night was rained out so our game was a double header and started at 5:30. When we arrived, there was almost no one there. After the 2nd inning, they launched tshirts into the crowd. We did not get one (darn - I was crushed) so when after the next inning they started throwing (soft) balls into the stands, the kids went nuts trying to get their attention. One sailed our way and Maggie mowed down both her brother and sister and a few lemonades in her quest to reach the ball first. Her excitement was so great and the other two looked so crushed they lobbed us a few more. The kids deemed it, "The best night ever." 

Monday, May 04, 2009

I'm Out!


So I put Mags and E to bed about a half hour ago. I hear some scuttling about but decide to let it run its course. Then I hear Eion at the top of the stairs announcing "I'm out!!" CIA agent he is not.

On a completely unrelated note, I was looking through our cds (still have a few of those old things) as I had a hankering for Bare Naked Ladies when I found a Metallica ...And Justice For All disc. While I knew I owned it at one time on cassette, I had totally forgotten we have it on cd. Uploading it now to my iPod. Such good running music.....

The Cost of Camp


Morrigan is going to sleep away camp for a week this summer. I did all the research, weighed several camps and made a selection. Then I found out two of her friends were going to a different camp and promptly changed my mind. So the Mom of one of these friends came up to me at the aforementioned Derby party and asked if I had perused the suggested packing list. I had glanced at it but not given it a thorough investigation. 

Whew! When I did, I found out camp had changed since the 80's. The list detailed exactly what she needed right down to 2 pairs of white shorts, 4 pairs of navy shorts, and 4-6 white shirts. Apparently camp dinner has a dress code. In addition, we need a foot locker which they kindly offered to sell me for the bargain price of $150. I was not amused. 

Sunday Tim was working so the kids and I set off to find the requisite camp supplies. Target hooked me up with white shirts and shorts but was lacking in many other areas. What followed was a trek through no fewer than a half dozen stores in 4 different locations. We did secure a bathrobe (thank you JCPenny,) struck out entirely on rainboots (if you have a size 12.5 -13 pair you are looking to get rid of, let me know,) and found no one in the valley carries navy blue shorts for girls. [As an aside, Gap kids does for the low low price of $16.50 a pop. But the code 1FORYOU will get you 20% off.]

Trunks seemed to be in short, nay, no supply. The salespeople generally looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Until at the last stop, Wal-Mart Supercenter (clearly I was desperate to go there on a Sunday when it was jam-packed with the public,) where I found, in the automotive section no less, a black plastic foot locker for $17.88. Morrigan was all over it. I offered to look on the Internet, fearing she would find hers too plain in comparison to her friends' lockers but she was determined. I think she was afraid if we didn't find one, she wouldn't get to go.

In summary, our pockets are a few hundred dollars lighter and we still don't have everything. Camp is getting expensive.

And They're Off

Saturday we went to our friends Molly & Webb's Kentucky Derby party. Our horse was never even on the screen (we picked out of a hat - not that it would have made a significant difference in my ability to pick a winner) but our loss could do nothing to dampen our spirits. It was a great party. I am especially fond of events that start and end early. Those late nights just don't treat me well at all....

And I was thinking about how Derby parties have so many elements that I just never appreciated when I lived in the North. First and foremost, seersucker. 

North of the Mason Dixon line, you never see seersucker except in reruns of Matlock. We have a friend who is a fellow transplant from the Midwest who believes that you can only wear it if you are over 65 and live within 2 blocks of a courthouse. I couldn't disagree more. I love walking into parties where there is a wide range of seersucker. Most of the men I know have not only one but several seersucker looks. It falls in that category of embroidered pants and LLBean Norwegian sweaters as one of the best looks ever. And according to Tim, it is very cool to wear on sweltering days. 

The next great discovery made at Derby parties is the Mint Julep. When we moved here, I knew nothing of the drink other than it was rumoured to be gross. Really I couldn't at the time even tell you the ingredients but I had a negative opinion of it. How wrong I was. A properly made Mint Julep is divine. So good in fact that you really have to watch yourself or you end up falling into a holly bush which is thereafter known as the Katie McK Memorial Holly Bush due to the permanent bum print left behind. [For the record, I stopped at two Juleps on Saturday and had no run ins with any shrubbery.]

And last but not least, the hats.

To be sure, you don't see this kind of plumage at any random cocktail party but I love the fact that many Southern women are prepared for an occasion that needs just such a hat. The majority of the hats at the party were not new purchases but came from the owner's (or her Mom's) wardrobe. A serious commitment to proper party attire. I love it.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Car Sleeping and Being Beyond the Big Happy

Yesterday we noticed that the E had been missing for a while. Tim and I both thought he was with the other parent. But no cause for alarm. He routinely goes to his room and puts himself down for a nap in his little chair. When we didn't find him there, I was a bit worried. After searching, we found he had let himself into the Jeep and was asleep like this:

Dude, half the time I can't even sleep in my bed, let alone like that. 


On the Maggie front, she had a great day. Her teacher has a system to encourage good behavior. He has a picture of each kid and a chart. There is a sad face, a happy face and the Big Happy face. So in addition to each level, there are nuances. If you are very very bad, you are flipped over on the sad face. If you are extra good, you are flipped over on the Big Happy. And then there is beyond the Big Happy. Well Maggie Mae told me at pick up that she was double beyond the Big Happy. Really, has there ever been a better day in Kindergarten?

After all that excitement you would think the day was through but I was co-hosting a baby shower for my friend Ann who will be delivering her 4th baby next week. God bless her, I can barely take three! Being very Ann about it, she refused to let the attendees bring gifts but we did manage a dinner sign up before she could object.

So with April behind us, we enter the dark days of May. Tim's fantastic schedule in April stands in stark contrast to the many hours he works in May. But what this means for you is I will likely be spending much more time regaling the blogosphere with the antics of the Big Top!