Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Well Dressed Protest

While cleaning up this afternoon, Morrigan found this dress in the closet, which I had bought in duplicate for the girls. She said, "I bet this is for the 4th of July!" and wondered aloud what our plans were.
Naturally, I told them, the picnic at the Club comes first. Then we are headed to Elmwood Park for a gathering of the Roanoke Valley Tea Party from 5-7pm. They were psyched. The girls immediately started planning their protest signs. But the best was yet to come....we were going to a party AT NIGHT to watch the fireworks! "You know what this means don't you?" Maggie asked Morrigan. "There will be teenagers there!" Ah picnics and protests and teenagers, oh my!

For my in town readers, we would love for you to join us at the protest on July 4th. Not to get all political on you, but I will, both the Cap and Trade and Healthcare legislation is alarming. Did you know that Cap and Trade includes language that would prevent you from selling your home unless it met as of yet undetermined environmental government standards? Or that Cap and Trade has provisions to give ongoing monthly payments, via direct deposit, to low income homes to make up for the increased energy costs the bill itself will cause? And as for nationalized healthcare, the disasters that are Britain and Canada's state run systems should be incentive enough to fight against such a travesty in the United States. Let your voice be heard before it is too late! 

It's Not Bernard, It's Ethan

My son has decided to change his middle name from Bernard to Ethan. I have no earthly idea why this change is necessary but I sympathize with the boy. Clearly, as his middle name is Bernard, there was a battle lost.....


Yesterday's swim meet was really bittersweet. Morrigan looked way better than she did at the start of the season, cut 8 seconds off her 50 Free time, and yet she didn't place in the Free and was disqualified again for Breast. 

Certainly, we are forever appreciative of her friend Katherine, who also DQed, for helping her rally. 
Maggie & Eion were well behaved and left me free to have fun taking pictures of the swimmers. I received more than one comment with the implication that the telephoto lens was some sort of compensation. See if you get any pictures of your kids.....

Eion happily played legos the whole night. Which seemed like a great thing until we went to leave and I realized that he was so intent on playing that he decided going to use the bathroom was just too troublesome. So he got to ride home naked causing Maggie's friend Luke to comment, "Do you have to do this all the time?" Sadly, we do.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Morning

Actually it does appear that it is almost Sunday afternoon but in all honesty people, I am struggling today, a fact not at all aided by my son's incessant ray gun firing or my daughter's rendition of a Brittany Spears song on the kazoo. Or by my darling husband rolling his eyes when I told the kids to eat because we aren't getting lunch at the pool. Just because I didn't mention that dinner there was a certainty.....

Friday we played poker which was not at all a repeat of last month's success. We lasted about as many minutes as I have pictures. Fun anyway and on the bright side, we were in bed nice and early!

Saturday morning we went to pick up Morrigan at camp. As anticipated, she had a great time and was planning on returning next summer for a longer stay.

Maybe between now and then we can work on the use of a hairbrush. Hers appears to have taken the entire week off. 

That night we had our Cocktail Club which directly led to my diminished capacity today. It was a great party and had lots of people I don't see nearly enough in attendance. And I was feeling it as is clearly evidenced by my mile wide smile. 

In general, if you can see each and every one of my teeth, I probably should step away from the cocktails. Oh, and I was in a snap happy mood. Most of the pictures I think will be headed for deletion but a few fun ones will make the cut.

Now I am off to the pool where if all the stars align, I will nap in the shade and maybe read a magazine.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Letters From Camp

Morrigan has already used all the self addressed stamped envelopes I sent with her. The notes are short, sweet and generally lacking detail. One we received Tuesday read:

Dear Mom & Dad, I am having a great time. I made some new friends. Please write back. Love your daughter forever, Morrigan

Great close, I think. The longest arrived yesterday and had the most info:

Dear Mom & Dad, I got your letters. My mates are Lia, Madison and Leanne. Archery was full but I got to go to arts and crafts instead. I have been swimming and I miss Midnight, Jack, Maggie, Eion, Daddy, and you. I am looking forward to seeing you. Love, Morrigan

I think it is terrific that I rank behind the entire family, including the cats.

The Luckiest Girl Ever

And by luckiest girl ever, I mean me. Any regular reader would laugh if I were to use the word "perfect" but I, by the grace of Tim, do lead a fairly charmed existence. While the Best Husband Ever is working 50+ hours this week dealing with The Public, a group I like to avoid at all costs, I got to take Maggie & Eion to the pool, where I was freed from cooking lunch (and dinner and lunch again today,) and where I read more of Atlas Shrugged. [Excellent book by the way.] And when I mentioned that our Club bill was likely to be heroic this month, he just said to do whatever makes my life easier. Thank you Timmy.

Blast From the Past

At the preschool the kids all went to, they ask for a disposable camera every year which they return at the close of the school year, presumably full of darling shots of your child. I've found that mostly, you get pictures that look as though they were taken by the kids: grainy, out of focus and of questionable content. On Eion's this year I got many, many pictures of what looks like a sponge. And experiences like that may explain why I never got around to developing Maggie's camera from the 06-07 school year. But when I took E's in this week, I brought Mag's as well. 

I won't lie and say I was close to tears, but I was definitely touched. It is so easy to forget how little they were. When I looked through these, it seems like so long ago and she looks so sweet.

And holy crap does she look like a little Tim in a dress here:

But before I get too misty eyed and nostalgic, I remember that she was three and what most three year olds are is difficult and irrational. I greatly prefer now but I do love the trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So while I realize that in practice it is Morrigan who is on vacation, I can't shake the feeling that I am too. Let me tell you, caring for two kids rather than three is a m-fing vacation. You have enough hands to hold on to all kids rather than just two while entrusting the third not to dart into traffic, which, incidentally, is not a well laid trust. Everything is easier. Not that I don't miss  her....

Yesterday I took the kids to see Night at the Museum. I wanted to see Up but was overruled. And as this was about making the non-campers feel special, I didn't fight it. Things were going swimmingly, albeit aided by a healthy dose of popcorn, sprite and skittles, when I looked over and saw Eion sobbing "I don't want this tv anymore!" There was a battle onscreen and it had scared him. After relocating to my lap, he made it through but I was surprised that battle boy was so adversely affected. This is a child who lives for conflict. He constantly is at war with people, real and imagined. He seems no worse for wear today - I hear him "cho-ing the robots" right now.

After the movie, I took E to get his hair trimmed. My hairdresser doesn't really take appointments for little ones, you just call and she tells you when she can fit you in. Every other place we've taken his problematic hair didn't work out - I think we all remember his last haircut - so she is the only one I trust with him. E behaved and chatted up Cyndy the entire time. Mostly about how although he wears pull ups to bed, he is still a big boy. At least now he can see:

When she discovered that Cyndy couldn't fit her in too, Maggie was inconsolable. Maybe it was just that I had such an easy day , maybe I'm just a sucker, but I loaded them up and drove a mile up the road to Cost Cutters where she got a trim too. All this and it was still easier than a normal day. 
Of course two haircut locations meant double the treats which was the absolute last thing they needed. When Eion asked to be excused from dinner, I told him, "But all you ate was one piece of broccoli." "No" he said, "I ate two." Better luck for nutrition today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Off to Camp Alleghany

Today we took Morrigan to West Virginia for her first time at sleep away camp. While we might have felt some apprehension, Tim even skipped his nap before a night shift to accompany us on the drive, she felt none at all. When we asked who she would miss the most, we were informed, "I won't miss any of you people." I see.

We were a bit early so we had some time before we went into the camp proper. Morrigan promptly made friends with the first girl she saw. I overheard them talking....

Morrigan: I wanted to come for three weeks but my parents were afraid.
Hannah (rolling eyes): Parents!

They ferried us across the river on a platform that was attached with pulleys to a guide rope and pushed along with large stick by the drivers. As we approached, the counselors sang a welcome song. Seriously, it was downright picturesque.

When we exited the boat, Morrigan promptly ran off and found a guide to her tent. The rest of the family was left to check in without her. I was growing suspicious that she was going to be just fine. Being Morrigan, she bought a souvenir teddy bear within minutes. She is my spender after all....

We toured the facilities and met her tent's counsellor. Morrigan immediately told her how this was going to be the Best Week Ever and next year she intended to come for a longer stay. 

Morrigan's response to camp was about what I expected. I was a little taken aback at how upset Maggie was that we had to leave. her. Eion just insisted that when he got older he was going to be a girl and he would go to this camp. [We're hoping he'll just settle for a different camp instead.] 

But the emotional response most unexpected was my own and Tim's. We are sure she is going to have an excellent time. She has a great positive attitude and the camp seems awesome. Tim is ready to sign up to go himself! But we had this unexplainable mixture of apprehension, pride, and sadness I can't quite put into words. We'll just comfort ourselves with the knowledge that she seems like she is going to have a damn good time!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Holy Mother of God

So there I am, feeling great about my kids. Morrigan got into Plato, Maggie finally faced her fears and went into the lap lanes portion of the pool, Eion didn't make me want to kill him at all today. And then they became fetish child pornographers.  We'll start from the beginning.....

In prep for camp, we went to Target today and I decided to buy a cheap digital camera for Morrigan to take to sleep away camp. It is not terribly expensive and preferable, to me at least, to a disposable camera. So we get home and I show Morrigan how to use the camera. As it is a new toy, she was anxious to try it out. And the kids are happily snapping pics as I cleaned up the kitchen. 

When I went to review the pictures, I saw allot of what I expected, this:

Then we arrived at the portion of the photo session which was them taking pictures of one another's bare backsides. I call them all into the kitchen and start fussing them out for doing such a thing and made them view each inappropriate pic as I deleted them. [Rest assured, they are all gone and the memory card has been reformatted.] But then it got worse. First were the pictures of Eion, which when I showed it as an example of what we weren't to do, E yelled out, "Look, it's my crank!" Then more bottoms and underwear. Then the pictures of them using the potty! So my children are not just pornographers but fetish child pornographers

Needless to say, it was right to bed for the lot of them. And I think my extensive, loud, nay bordering on yelling, lecture was effective as when I went to give the girls a hug and kiss good night, Maggie said in tears, "I don't deserve a hug or kiss." They did get hugs and kisses but I told them their tv was in major peril.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Still Employed

Actual exchange with Eion this evening:

Eion: Mommy, I love you.
Me: I love you too E.
Eion: I'm not going to fire you. 
Me: Well thanks E. I appreciate your faith in me.
Eion: You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Best Idea Ever

We tend to be a little bit behind on the tech curve. We're still rocking a 32 inch, non-flat screen tv, no bluray player, and I can barely text. Seriously, when I get a text, I can read it but then I can never find it again. I need a 12 year old to help me out. But back on point, Tim found an app today that makes me want to buy a GPS which is really a tough sell since I go practically nowhere. The Tomtom GPS can speak to you in the voice of Homer Simpson. (Click here to listen.) This might qualify as the Best Idea Ever.


June this year is the month of waiting for letters from the city. We are still waiting to see if E gets into the city preschool (go catboy go!) but we did get a bit of mail today. Morrigan was chosen for the Plato (gifted) program! So forgive me as I brag just a little shameless bit here. We were very happy and asked her how she wanted to celebrate. She wanted to buy books. I love my girl.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Adding to the Hall of Fame

Tonight was the second swim meet of the year. It was a home meet which made my life so much easier since I could ply the kids with gear from the hutch and they, mercifully, serve drinks. Morrigan placed second bronze for the 50 meter freestyle and she was psyched that she beat one girl. She gave me a high five since she didn't come in last. Set the bar low people - it is awesome!

She was disqualified for breast stroke but took that very well. Then she spent the rest of the meet reading. 
Mags and E were really good. Surprisingly, Eion was better than Maggie. Wow! But they were both well behaved overall. I felt bad that I had to shut Maggie down for ice cream after the meet but our deal was treats for the swimmers. Non swimmers, no treats. 

We got home late - past 9pm. Keep your fingers crossed that the girls survive Lifetime Sports Camp tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cocktails and Croquet

Last night we went to friends Kate & Rob's for cocktails, a cookout and croquet. There was perfect weather and excellent company. Most of us had never played but luckily for us, Webb was the president of the croquet club (team?) at Middlebury and was able to bring us up to speed. 

My skills at croquet were similar to my prowess at all other athletic endeavours (read: not very good) but the game was much more fun than I expected. While I am a constant fan of the cocktail party, I love when people add an activity to make the night more interesting and this one was great - no one, save Webb, was  much good at it and you could keep your drink with you the whole time. Perfect. 

The Hall of Fame

Do you think Morrigan is excited about her swimming ribbon?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In the Dark

It was with a great deal of sadness that I read this week that fellow blogger and bubble resident Fraught was (possibly) going dark. I don't follow many blogs and the ones I do are overwhelmingly written by people I know personally so I always hate to lose a good read. And maybe I feel sad about this blog in particular because I think it really taught me something important about my preconceived notions and (not to sound too silly) the power of blogging. I'll explain.....

When a friend referred me to Fraught, I read mostly out of a desire to confirm what I thought was indeed true. The author and I had never spoken but saw each other daily as we had kids at the same preschool. I knew that she and I had nothing in common and was sure that I had her number. A fairly arrogant attitude but I think you all know by now that if nothing else, I try to be honest, even if it means fessing up to my own shortcomings.

As I lurked about over the next few weeks, something unexpected happened. I found out I was wrong. We weren't as divergent as I thought. And then I outed myself to Fraught as a lurker which led us to talk about what was going on in our lives rather than just read about it. As the year went on, I became surprised at how much we did have in common, down to things as insignificant as love of mulberries. 

Now she and I still have many differences - I don't think we'll ever vote for the same presidential candidate, but the sharing of stories through blogging led me to find a new friend this year. So I'll miss you Casa Fraught. Guess this means I'll have to make more of an effort to catch up (gasp) in person!

School's Out

The end of the school year was marked as always by a flurry of parties, awards ceremonies and goodbyes. Morrigan's grade had a Charlotte's Web style fair complete with games, face painting and carnival food. We took E with us and he was actually really good. Might have been the juice boxes he acquired....

While many children put together their outfits with an overall look in mind, Morrigan had a theme. She wanted clothes with spiders, which, at our house, were in shamefully short supply. She settled for a butterfly shirt and jeans and shoes with sparkles (I never read Charlotte's Web but I think the sparkles had something to do with the book.) The fact that the shirt and jeans didn't match and the shoes were her black patent leather heels seemed to be of no consequence. We'll call it fashion forward.

Later the same day, Maggie's grade had an ice cream party. I had volunteered to do the shopping for the party so I was stressed we would run short of something but my fears were unfounded and a good time was had by all. We were in the wonderful position of too many volunteers which is always preferable to the reverse!

We gave Maggie's teacher a photobook from the class with pictures from the year. I've spent so much time in her class this year that I will really miss Mr. Richards. Hopefully, Eion will have him as a teacher for Kindergarten in a few years!

The following morning were the awards ceremonies. I opted out. I gave the kids two options: 1) I come to the ceremonies and then we have to go to the gym after school or 2) I skip the awards ceremonies and they skip going to the gym. They (wisely) chose the latter. Most of the awards were not so much merit awards as certificates of completion anyway. Though Morrigan did make the "A" honor roll. But they seem no worse for wear without me there.

Now summer is really here. We're clocking as much pool time as the weather allows and getting ready for Morrigan to go to sleep away camp!