Sunday, January 31, 2010

There She Is, Miss America

It probably won't surprise you that I am not much of a pageant girl. Sure, I watched Miss America when I was a kid but I can't tell you the last time I tuned in for a beauty pageant - might well have been the 70's. But the girls saw a commercial for the Miss America broadcast and wanted me to record it. Seeing as I didn't have a specific beef with the show, I did.

My reaction to the whole thing was mixed. The number of fake noses was alarming. Especially since most of them were that overly narrow, completely unnatural look. And you know a whole bunch of those ladies were members of The Sisterhood of the Fake Rack, not that we at the Circus have a problem with that. But plastics aside, some of those girls, including Miss Virginia, could really sing. But then I was left to try to figure out how exactly wearing a bikini and heels had anything to do with athletics. I was conflicted.

What I did love, was the completely different perspective of my girls. They were very pro Miss Virginia and felt it a personal accomplishment for all Virginians when she won the title of Miss America as if this would somehow change our lives. Though they were also pro Miss South Dakota since she stated in her intro that she came from a state with more cows than people. The girls loved the idea of so much steak.

To the girls, it had all the glamour with none of the drawbacks I saw. It was the prettiest women imaginable, in fancy dresses, singing beautiful songs and wearing sparkly crowns. The swimsuit competition was their least favorite - I was told those outfits weren't very pretty.

So while I might still view the pageant industry with a sceptical eye, I don't think there was any permanent damage done to young impressionable minds here. Not to mention, the girls both have a renewed sense of purpose in playing the piano as they plan to have that be their talent when they compete. Can you imagine? God help me if I am in that crowd someday waving a cutout of my daughter's face.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dear Mother Nature

We need to talk. After spending the lion's share of my formative years in icy places like Northern Indiana and Detroit, I had the good sense to move South of the Mason-Dixon Line. And while I very much appreciate the irony of record cold winters worldwide just as many politicians are trying desperately to hold onto the idea of man made global warming, this has to stop.

I cannot stand one more record snow. Especially since you seem to love sending them when Tim is working which means that rather than hunkering down and making chili, I get to spend hours and hours clearing our driveway so he can make it to the ER.

Not to mention the fact that I am stuck up on this mountain and taunted by endless photos on Facebook of the sledding parties down in the flat(er) lands of the 'hood which I cannot reach without serious threat of damage to life and limb.

Please, have mercy on me. I really try to be a shepherd of the earth. I compost. Hell we don't even throw meat scraps in the garbage - we wing them into the woods. All winter the thermostat, much to the dismay of my kids, is set in the neighborhood of 65 degrees. So in light of concerted effort to be nice to you, how's about a little love back? You've made your point. Let's lay off the blizzards, please.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bring It On Snow!

We are, again, scheduled to get a boatload of snow - 8 to 12 inches overnight. I packed in a workout, work, tennis and lunch with Ann & Hans in anticipation of being snowed in with the kids. Naturally, Tim is working nights all weekend. [And sick. I feel for the poor thing.] In spite of the forecast ruining girls night out, I am feeling positive about the weekend overall. Granted, I have stocked up on all the snow necessities: Fruit Loops, pancake makings, and hot chocolate. The kids are looking forward to all day pj wear, snow fun and liberal tv policies! I will break my normal ban on wearing athletic gear when not involved in an athletic endeavour and bust out some stretchy pants and a fleece. Come and get us Winter wonderland!

The Birthday Gift

One of Morrigan's classmate's father is, be it profession or hobby, a caricature artist. So for Tim's upcoming (March) birthday, she wrote a letter to Mr. S and asked him what his fee would be to make a drawing of her father, complete with date by which the project needed to be completed.

He agreed and quoted a price of $10, which she readily agreed to fund from saved allowance. We had to send a few pictures and a list of his interests which she deemed to be: beer, football, poker, cooking, and hockey. She is so excited about her surprise. She told me, "The caricature he made of me [at Christmas] was exquisite. I know that Dad will love his!" I just love the sweet intention. And I think he will love it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy (MF*ing) Birthday Eion

He looks like a sweet kid, doesn't he? Then tell me why, on the eve of his birth, I sent him to bed having yelled at him no fewer than 5 times? [One for each year! HA!] Now, I will preface with the fact that this week has been grating. Wednesday started with Morrigan coming in to greet me at 2am with the message, "Mom! Maggie is throwing up. Allot!" Needless to say, not much sleep that night as Maggie made trips about once an hour to be sick. To her credit, she generally (after the initial sheet soaking hurl) went straight to the bathroom and didn't try to wake me. But motherly instincts kicked in and I woke up every time regardless. Thank goodness. If I had not, my guilt would have been outstanding.

And school let out 2 hours early both Wednesday and Thursday. It is likely to be called early tomorrow because snow is in the forecast. The same snow that is likely to ruin a girls night out "it's not goodbye but see ya later night" for my best friend Kirsten who is moving to West Virginia (read: leaving me) in a week. Not that I can find a gosh darned sitter anyway. And while I am on a roll, let's just throw in that Wednesday was the kick off of a 5 day bazillion hour stretch for Tim, complete with three night shifts.

I think you have the picture. I am a wee bit cranky. Or as Tim would say, to be avoided at all costs.

So the boy was coming up to the celebration of his 5th year behind the eight ball. But I really tried. It is just impossible to stay positive (or fake positive) when faced with the relentlessly oppositional nature and single-minded commitment to whining that is Eion. I kid you not, every single sentence, without exception, is started in a whiny voice and generally the phrase, "I can't." Or if you are lucky, "I won't," a sentence so prevalent in my day that I think the boy should apply for a job at Guantanamo Bay where his particular brand of torture would undoubtedly be outlawed as worse than water boarding. A sampling of today....

I don't want to get dressed.

I can't take off my clothes. [Author's note: We ALL know that is a complete fraking lie. The last five years of my life would have been made much easier if it were true.]

I hate breakfast.

This milk is too cold.

I don't want to carry the cupcakes.

I won't shut the door.

I don't want to pick up Maggie.

I hate swimming.

I won't listen to you.

You put my legos together wrong.

I need to kick the cat.

I hate dinner.

I won't clean up my toys.

I hate brushing my teeth.

I hate bed.

I can't take off my clothes. (Yes, I pretty much get that at every change of clothes.)

I hate my room.

I am going to run away to Mr. Hans' house.

And that was on a day when he got presents, cupcakes and out of school early. So as I put him to bed, feeling guilty about the multiple times I lost it with him today, I wished him a happy birthday with tears in my eyes, knowing that tomorrow would likely be an awful lot like today, only no cake. And that god must have sent me this child to keep me humble. If I just had two sweet well-behaved girls, I'm betting I would be altogether too smug to handle. Happy, really super happy, but smug.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eion & JP's Birthday Party

Much to my utter shock and dismay, Eion turns 5 this week. While he was happy to celebrate at the Great Wolf Lodge like last year, it just wasn't in the schedule so we had a joint party with friend John-Paul at Chuck E Cheese.

Like Maggie's party, we chose a Monday and were again pleased with the general emptiness of the place. The kids happily consumed massive amounts of tokens and won all manner of crap.

Neither boy cared that they were sharing their big day and they insisted on sitting right next to each other during pizza and cake.

Medallions and plastic inflatable crowns were much loved and they had a great time! We also found out that if you want to win friends at CEC, you should give the staff leftover cake. Seriously, I saw employees high fiving.

When we got home Eion opened his gifts. Just too much chaos to take care of this at CEC. He first opened a machine gun and promptly lost all interest in the other gifts. As we were going to a recruiting dinner for the hospital, I didn't want to have him open the gifts when I was gone, leaving me with no idea who needed to be thanked for what.

A bit of prompting, and only a bit, got him to open the other presents. My favorite reaction was to a gift card. He didn't realize the gift card had value and thought it was just a plain card. He then upended the gift bag, revealing no other contents, and stated with disgust, "They gave me nothing. Nothing!" Maybe a nice trip to cash that card in will help him see the light.

Back to Back Supper Club and Cocktail Club

What's the best way to be completely exhausted on Sunday? Why have Supper Club Friday and Cocktail Club Saturday! But all fun well worth it.

Ann & Hans hosted Supper Club which was themed Italian. Which also meant I was totally off the hook for cooking since Tim's homemade pasta was specifically requested. Sometimes I don't even think I want to become as good a cook as Tim. Being second place gives you a free pass lots of times.

Despite much merriment, there was a very strong Supper Club showing at the gym on Saturday in what I have to imagine is in spite of the boys late night exploits at The Fork. We wisely went home before all that but I would have loved pictures....

Saturday Sarah & Brad hosted Cocktail Club.

We stopped by the SoRo Chill and Grill for a bite before which was amazing foresight considering that Goldschlager shots were later in order.

Not that I was on that bandwagon. We'll call it smart decision #2 for the weekend. But shots or no, it was a great party.

The kids fell into the category of Best Kids Ever when they let us sleep in until 9am on Sunday, buying them a reprieve from the gym. Sunday was distinctly lazy day with lots of football and hanging around the house and the whole family was in favor of that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Epic Dance Strikes Again!

Now I know it was a few months back but we all remember this right?

In a turn of events truly unexpected by all involved, it won 1st place City-wide. Which leads me to the conclusion that that are either very few dance entries, many uncoordinated Roanoke children or possibly both. But Morrigan is going to be thrilled. And her victory means she gets to go to an awards ceremony.

And the honors don't stop there. It was a bang-up Reflections year here in the circus. Morrigan's picture won an honorable mention.

AND our award winning cat, Midnight, is now a city-wide award winning cat. Maggie won second place for her entry.

Just goes to show that if you take hundreds of pictures of your cat, eventually one can be considered art. Way to go girls!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Open Letter to Washington

Dear Washington DC:

We wrote you letter after letter. You didn't listen.

We shouted at you (figuratively and literally) at the Town Hall meetings this Summer. You didn't listen.

We rallied over and over. You didn't listen.

New Jersey and Virginia went Red. You still didn't listen.

Now we've sent you a Conservative from Massachusetts. To replace Ted Kennedy. Are you finally ready to listen?

No matter what side you're on, governing against the will of the people is never a good idea.

Hugs and kisses, The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

PS Looking forward to seeing you in November!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Now, under the big top we listen to allot of talk radio - sports, finance and of course, politics. The minions probably know more about the healthcare debate than Nancy Pelosi, though that's not saying much. But in the times between my favorite shows, we do mix in some FM radio too. Radio that is becoming ever more perilous by the day. Recent conversations inspired by music.....

Morrigan: What's a bottle of Jack?
Me: Jack Daniels. It's liquor.
Morrigan: Then why does she want to brush her teeth with it?
Me: Let's see if Jim Rome is on.

Morrigan: What is a fake ID?
Me: It is a fake driver's license that says you are older than you actually are.
Morrigan: Why would you want that?
Me: I suppose to buy a bottle of Jack.

Maggie: What do they mean "good girls gone bad?"
Me: They are being naughty.
Maggie: Yes but what naughty things are they doing? Did they get into the candy without asking?

and one of my recent favorites:

Morrigan: Mom, what's a g-string?

Looks like the edited version wasn't quite edited enough. So you can see where this is going. Fewer and fewer songs are safe. Soon they will realize none of these songs are about getting into candy. Back to AM I suppose. At least they'll know all about the NFL playoffs and cap and trade.


So as I set out with the kids today, I can't help but think about Martin Luther King Jr Day. First and foremost, I have to say that Dr. King is someone I admire both as a person and everything for which he stood. The dream of a colorblind society is one we should never abandon no matter how far out of reach it can seem. And I am completely down with a holiday to celebrate him, his life's work and his legacy.

That being said, did you ever stop to consider who gets MLK Day off? It's not the masses working at McDonald's, Target, the Vet's office, a law firm, a hospital, the grocery store, an accounting firm, the gas station or the mall. It's government workers. In short The Man. Is this really the best way to celebrate Dr. King? Shouldn't the rest of us have the day off and all the government workers have to go to the office so we can finally make the trip in to the city clerk who is available Monday through Thursday from 9-3 (with an hour off for lunch)? I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Best Haircut Ever

Now, anyone who has been a reader for any length of time knows the boy has some problematic hair. Note Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:
and Exhibit C:
But Friday, he had what was probably the best haircut he's ever received.

He looks downright normal. A look which is significantly harder than you would think to achieve! My props go to Kara Robinson, hairdresser extraordinaire. I cannot recommend her highly enough to my in town readers. If she can fix the boy, she can do just about anything.

Beads Indeed

Today was Maggie's Daisy troop meeting and we took them to Beads Indeed where they made necklaces.

The girl helping us told me, "You know, every troop leader says they have really great, well-behaved girls. But you were telling the truth! They are one of the best groups we've ever had. Even better than girls a few years older than them." I have to say she's right. I am troop co-leader only because Maggie's heart was going to be broken if there was not a group for her but if the girls weren't so good, I don't think I could keep it up.

Of course, a healthy dose of gushers and fruit roll ups never hurts in the behaviour department :)

I forget how tall Mags is for her age until I see pictures of her with her friends. Seriously, most of those girls are 6 months to almost a year older than her and she just towers. My gentle giant.

Morrigan and Eion came with us too and were both good. To the shock of all involved, I think Eion was even better behaved than his sister! A box of legos can get you all kinds of good places.

We then took them to Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea where they were thrilled to get sodas and Gatorade and the rest of the clientele was horrified at our arrival. But, as I can only imagine was by the grace of god, we spilled nary a drop of unnatural colored liquids.

Next month we're planning Mommy and Me yoga. My favorite - well the yoga anyway. I don't know if I will get all zen with the girls but I am willing to try.

Thank You Nintendo

So how excited am I that Maggie's Mario Brothers game is teaching her to play poker? She was playing her Dsi and I assumed it was the standard game - it was ringing and dinging away - when she exclaimed, "Oh! I have a full house!" Uh, what? Turns out that it has a basic poker game on it too. There are no numbers or suits in the game so straights and flushes aren't in play but she has learned about pairs, trips, 2 pairs and full houses. And she knows which ones beat the others. Hot damn!

I was, up until very recently, not planning on getting these games for the minions. Didn't think they needed them. But let me tell you, in addition to any card sharkery they add to our lives, the Dsi makes the boy completely tolerable, nay good, when we are stuck waiting for his sisters to finish swim practice. Its ability to entertain him during his sisters' homework time may indeed be the only reason I can tolerate said time without an adult beverage.

So to my new friends at Nintendo, you may be in league with Lucifer, but you make a darn good product.

Friday, January 15, 2010

PJ Day

So Morrigan's whole school and Eion's class had pajama day today, a concept I can't really wrap my head around. I don't understand why anyone would want to wear their nightclothes in public. That being said, I am not overly fond of nightclothes at home either so my selection is limited to one pair that I keep around for when we have guests. Maggie was crushed that her class was not included and proceeded to find the most pajama like gear she could:

After school, Maggie had a birthday party that was sleepover themed while not an actual sleepover, so there I was driving around with all my kids in their night gear in the middle of the day. A proud day indeed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Gyms, Two Sets of Problems

While it is largely redundant, we currently belong to two gyms. We've been members at the RAC since we moved to town. It is your standard gym with lots of weights and cardio machines and classes. But when the girls started swimming with the Marlins, we also had to join the CAC which, while providing a basic workout, is a smaller facility and lacks the essential day care. So while they overlap, we couldn't just belong to one.

Mostly, I am still working out at the RAC but the CAC is a great way to sneak in some weights when the girls are swimming. And now that E has a Dsi,

I can do so without constantly having to duck as he throws exercise balls at me.

January is typically a challenging month at the gym and is at both gyms, though for different reasons. At the RAC, you are generally tripping over the "tourists" who by and large you know will be gone by Valentine's Day. And while you wish them well in their self improvement endeavours, dodging them on the track loses its luster quickly.

Now the CAC (which is also part of the private school in town) doesn't seem to have as many tourists but it must be the start of some sports training season because the place is overrun with teenage boys. What I have quickly discovered about this demographic is they have horrible gym etiquette. Really children, would it kill you to rack your weights? You are, after all, here to lift weights. Now lift them back to where they belong. Not to mention, they really like to turn the stereo up so loud that it is nearly impossible to drown it our with my ipod. If the behaviour doesn't improve, I'll have to invite Eion in to "enhance" their workout.

But we're half-way through the month already and their ranks are thinning. I'm sure I can wait them out.

All the Excitement of Mid-January

So far, January just hasn't been a terribly exciting month, greatly influenced by the bitter cold which makes me want to do little more than hole up at home. But Mother Nature smiled on us today and we got into the 50's, just as a Virginia winter should be. And yip yip yippee, it looks like it will hold.

But before milder temps, I was out braving the cold for, among other things, the acquisition of cookie sales order forms. It's not as easy as you think. I am told by my friends in Boy Scouts that when popcorn sale time comes around, they get a form in the mail and it's off you go. But not so with the massively bureaucratic Girl Scouts as you have to go through training every year. You know, if you have sold cookies once, or never really, you can master the process. I am entirely sure they could just send out a 1/2 page of instructions with the order forms.

In addition to bureaucratic, they are also highly inflexible and the only training day we were able to schedule was after our meeting this coming Saturday where I had every intention of handing out the forms. But having dealt with these people for several years now, I realized that in addition to an unbending and highly structured system, they are also hopelessly disorganized. So I arrived at the central office and lied. I said we had accidentally ruined our forms. Did I complete the training already? You bet, or so I told them. While it shames me greatly that I have to break my normally steadfast rule to be truthful, I am now in the possession of the cookie order forms.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cookie Time!!

I say to hell with New Year's resolutions! Order more Girl Scout cookies. And coincidentally, both my girls are selling them. If you would like any, just let me know. (Local deliveries only.) Available varieties include:
Daisy Go Rounds

Thanks a Lot

Carmel Delites
Peanut Butter Patties
Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Thin Mints

Order lots! They freeze really well and are just the thing to chase away winter blues. [End commercial here.]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Draw of the Snack

The girls had their monthly music club, Whole Notes, on Saturday. It is something their piano teacher strongly recommends and is, as far as I can tell, completely boring. (Sorry Wysor if you happen to be a reader!) The times I have been there for part of the meeting, it seemed to entail performances and discussion of music theory. Now, this is not the kind of thing that would normally excite my kids. Yet they are always dying to go. Hmmmm.

But the mystery was solved last Saturday when Hans picked them up and found them with the remainder of their "lunch."

Friday, January 08, 2010

Bright, Bright Sunshiny Day

And greetings from the land of the wildly vacillating dispositions. I'm telling you, every day here is a surprise. But I woke up today feeling like a million bucks after sleeping the sleep of the justified and finally not feeling the least bit sick. Maybe all the blue was just sick. What I knew without question was nothing was going to ruin my mood. Certainly not the 2 hour delay on school, for reasons we couldn't discern since the amount of snow we received was zero, or the fact that said delay meant Eion was my charge for the day.

First up, we loaded up the kids and headed out to the gym. They bitched and moaned but I told them the planned schedule was fixed and not subject to Roanoke City Schools modification. Later, after we dropped the girls off, we went to the Club for the tennis aerobic clinic. It was the best. I hadn't run in about two weeks and couldn't have been happier to do so. To the surprise of all involved, Eion happily played his Dsi in the tennis shop and didn't interrupt us once. Those games may be the devil's work but darn are they effective. We'll just be sinners.

I later tried, and failed, at the triple playdate. Eion's fell through but the power of video games smoothed it all over. Maggie went to a friend's house (she just invited herself over at pick up - she is a true McK) and upon entering told her friend's Mom, "Wow! Your house is so clean." That never happens when kids come here. Can't say it ever will.

By all accounts, a pretty unremarkable day. All I know is I am happy to be back in the land of the living.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

To Snow or Not To Snow

They're calling for snow tonight, not the massive amount from a few weeks ago but enough to shut down schools, and the kids are pumped. As they got ready for bed, I told them to pray for snow. [I don't want it but they were so excited I figured what the hell, nothing we do will make a difference anyway.] They promptly informed me that wasn't the way to get snow and the negotiations began....

First up, they wanted to put powdered sugar on the windowsills. Not a snowball's chance in hell. I suggested ice cubes in the toilet. We compromised on inside out pjs and spoons under the pillows. Really. Who thinks of this stuff anyway? Being from the frozen North, we never had to involve ourselves in such shenanigans. There was snow, lots of it, and school was almost never cancelled.

Who will be happy in the morning? We'll see. Not to say that I wouldn't be happy at home with the kids. But I am scheduled to play tennis.

My Swiss Cheese Memory

Before my parents came to visit over the holidays, I made the fatal mistake of asking my Mom to bring one, and only one, item from their house; a nesting doll I purchased in the Soviet Union circa 1988. She did bring the doll and as far as I could measure, an entire carful of other "treasures" including a great many I specifically said I didn't want.

Mom: Do you want the shadow boxes and their contents.
Me: No.
Mom: You don't even want to look at them?
Me: No. There is nothing in them I want. I have been living on my own for 16 years and haven't missed any of it yet.
Mom: What do you want me to do with it?
Me: I don't care. Give it to Goodwill.

But that's not what happened. It ALL came to me, much to the delight, upon opening, and dismay, as I took it to Goodwill, of my children. But I digress. One of the fascinating things I found in all the bric-a-brac was this photo:

Now I can tell by context what it is - a photo of me, dressed in an old prom dress, for Halloween at the bank branch at which I worked in about 1993. But what is particularly alarming, other than having worked all day in an old prom dress, is that I have no memory of this whatsoever. None. And it wasn't like there were drinks involved. I could see a party pic or memory being a bit fuzzy when one was enjoying a few adult beverages but the strongest thing I ever had at work was diet coke. It's a little unnerving.

But the branch was in an area of town that made The Club's neighborhood look inviting so maybe this is just my mind's way of coping. But seriously, if I was going to block something out, couldn't it have been the time I had a complaint from another manager stating I was "too intimidating and pushy" [imagine - me!] and it made me burst into uncontrollable tears, at work. I would just love to forget that ever happened.

It's Good to Know the Gods Have a Sense of Humor

When learning about the Greek and Roman gods, I always found their "human" traits rather funny. The way they would just sometimes mess with people because they could. Well ha ha, our own Supreme Being seems to be having quite a laugh at my expense.

Today, the first day I finally felt something near human again, I was very much looking forward to my tennis lesson. I dropped by Target to pick up some letter games for the boy, who by all accounts seems to be ignorant of the alphabet as he approaches his fifth birthday, when I ran into Kirsten. I told her I was picking up some things for my nimrod son who can't learn his letters. The cashier then proceeded to tell me of her own learning disability and the games her parents played to help her. D'oh!

Then Kirsten told me that school was letting out 1 hour early under the threat of snow. Damn. Cancel tennis lesson. Not that I really needed to cancel it because the effing preschool bus was 40 minutes late and made me late to pick up minions 1 & 2.

Just top that all off with day two of my New Year's resolution (no reason you have to start on the 1st, right?) to decrease refined sugars (read: chocolate and alcohol) and I am in a bang up mood. Luckily for Tim, he is working until past my bedtime though he could easily continue his Katie coping mechanism of the past few days and hide and cower.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Six Days In

So, maybe it is the lingering heaps of ice and snow and their accompanying freezing temperatures. Or maybe it is the fact that I am on day nine of a wicked sore throat, that my beloved has repeatedly told me is not strep. Or that the aforementioned sore throat has prevented me from getting a decent night's sleep for over a week. Or maybe it is just post holiday letdown. But yours truly is a bit blue. And that is most definitely the reason for my (relative) online silence. Back soon.....

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Years!

You know, it wasn't until magazines started arriving touting the best of the decade that it dawned on me that it wasn't just any New Years but the end of a decade. I can't believe I didn't notice. When 1979 rolled around, I was psyched! I can still remember the TV Guide cover I saved touting the New Years celebration that had Joanie & Chachi on it.

Guess I can see how it snuck up on me. This decade has been a doozy. Just for a little perspective, New Years Eve 2000 was when I told my friends I was pregnant with Morrigan. I don't even have the pictures from that party handy because I hadn't yet gone digital! Ten years, three kids and many sleepless nights later, we're at 2010.

While never what you might call perfect, our lives have been truly blessed and I can only hope the next ten years are as good as the last ten have been.

We started the day off with the bouncy ball drop at the Center in the Square. It was a well attended event and finding parking was challenging - made even more so by my 5 backseat drivers! We did have to (horrors) pay for a spot but arrived in plenty of time. They handed out thousands of small rubber ball and kids lined the walkways.

After a countdown, the kids dropped all the balls in the atrium at noon. It was lovely, controlled chaos. Maggie was a bit freaked out by the whole thing so she and I stayed on the ground floor where we were pelted by all those balls. But she did have easy access when it came time to collect them all.

Later that afternoon, we had friends over for an early start, early ending New Years celebration. (Did I mention those last 10 years took a toll? Had no desire to be up until midnight.)
Mom & Dad were there too and we all had a fine time!

No formal games but we played "pass the baby" (when we could get her away from my Mom.) Does it look like he wants another? Ha! Fat chance. Though Summer, as the only baby on earth, other than my own, to like me is sweet as can be.

The kids played their Dsis,

Bop It,
and held epic battles in the basement. The whole crew was (honestly) well behaved.

Even Eion who, being the future frat boy he is, mastered the boot and rally. He went up to his room and said he didn't feel well which was shortly thereafter followed by the boot portion of the evening. I cleaned up his bed and he said he was going to lay down. But he must have just eaten too much junk rather than being actually sick because he reappeared later for the rally!

After dinner and many bottles of wine, we were all about cooked by 10pm. We left all the mess for this morning and set off to bed. And I feel downright great about that decision!

For the amount of rowdy there was going on, we only had one casualty. The cats knocked over a glass after we went to bed. Tim couldn't sleep and got up to clean in the middle of the night. (He is really awesome!) My Dad got up too and told Tim he had heard the cats break the glass and he had planned to put some chairs around it so the kids wouldn't get hurt. Hey Dad, why not throw in some of that yellow caution tape too? Tim returned to bed after sweeping up the glass and related the story to me adding, "And he should really look into pants. I don't need to have conversations with you in your underwear, old man." It's all sweetness and light around here.

But now Tim is happily napping, the kitchen is clean and we are off to happy new year.