Monday, May 31, 2010

Root, Rock, Reggae

After a few hours rest at home, we headed back to the Club Saturday for the season opening Rum & Reggae party. In spite of its spirited name, it was billed as a family event so we decided to save the sitter money and load up the whole family. The pool deck was decorated in a tropical theme and they hired a steel drum band. The girls remarked immediately "It's like we're in Hawaii!"

The kids played in the pool the whole night and were beyond excited that they got to stay up until 10pm. The party was well populated with friends and the night went quickly. A sage friend had booked a church van to shuttle us all back to the neighborhood though the kids were a bit miffed we were leaving the car overnight and questioned the necessity of car pooling. So I got to explain how Mommies and Daddies shouldn't drive when they have been drinking rum. Which naturally was immediately followed with "But why?" I went with rum makes you dizzy and a bad driver. That seemed to settle the issue though they made me promise that when we picked up the car tomorrow I would be rum-free. Done kiddos!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Back to My Happy Place

Was I annoyed yesterday? No more! The pool is open for the season. I actually did suggest we go to Festival in the Park, but it was out voted 4 to 1 in favor of the pool. And while I am sure we would have had a wonderful time downtown, the pool was just perfect. The weather was warm but not too hot and the (new) pool heater made the water just the right temperature. We are 2/3rds water safe, E is well on his way and (luckily) seems to have lost his desire to fling himself into waters too deep.

You know what I was able to do? Completely relax.

There is something to be said for a place to which you've been going for eight years. You know everyone, staff and members, and it's like going home. To borrow Jennie V's description, the Club is my happy place. And boy am I glad to be back.

Now after our few hours home for some downtime, it is back to the pool for the Rum and Reggae party!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Either/Or

Now there is no good reason for me to be so tilted today. But there are a million little ones. It's just been one of those days where countless irritants piled on one another until the result is dark mood. Really, have had more than my fair share of those days this week. While I could get introspective and see what in me is making this happen, I will instead come to the logical conclusion that it is the rest of the world at fault.

School loves to take the last few remaining days we have before Summer and find ways to drag us into school. Today was the Author's Tea in Maggie's class.

They write and illustrate their own original (or in some cases not so original) tales and then read them to the class and parents. In spite of the inopportune timing of this event, I knew it would break Maggie's heart if I didn't go and there was nothing so pressing keeping me away other than the sense of freedom being ripped from my hands as the school year draws to a close. Her story was sweet and she dedicated it to me and Tim. I really felt for the parents whose child dedicated the story to a tv show.

Then after the readings, we had snacks. Maggie, it seems, had at least 5 cookies. Which made it even better when her teacher announced to all attendees that we could sign the kids out then and there and take them home. Maggie's over-sugared eyes lit up as she turned to me expectantly. Now it was already a 2 hour early dismissal which meant that I had to get Eion at 11:30 so I was less than pleased at the prospect of my morning ending an hour earlier than that. But Maggie promised that she wanted nothing more than to go to two different banks and the grocery store.

And of course she was lying so the complaints of "Are we almost done?" and "Why do we have to pick up Eion?" began almost instantaneously upon our departure from school.

Soon they were all home and the chorus of boredom was ringing loud and clear.

Eion was the only one to find entertainment for himself but only after I turned down his request for electronics reminding him that he had not only gone to the principal's office this week but had managed to wet himself every single day either on the bus or soon thereafter. And his entertainment was? Relocating the soaker hose we laid out for the new annuals we planted the other day squashing many and ripping others out in the process. He is enjoying the rest of the day in his room. Largely for his own safety.

Needing to get out of the house in a desperate fashion, I deemed it a good idea to take the girls to the Swim Shop to get their swim team suits. We have one, size 24, that I was sure would fit at least one girl. They both tried it on and said it was too small. Knowing we needed one suit anyway, we set out and I figured we could get a professional opinion. Sure enough, they both needed a 24 which was excellent news since the darn things are $80 and this meant we only had to purchase one. Excellent for the sister who gets the new suit, naturally, while the other sulks and complains the entire way home as Maggie chirps about how she just loves her new suit.

So the sum of today's events leaves me either in need of a yoga class or a 10K scored by Metallica. As neither looks to be happening, I'll just be glad I get to leave for poker in 47 minutes (but who is counting?)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Only For You Lee D


Tonight was the spaghetti dinner/bingo night fundraiser at Morrigan's school. As PTA treasurer, I felt compelled to go. Now, there were 270 people who had prepaid and were expected to come. In my mind, this meant there was a fair chance The Public would be there. And anyone who is steady reader knows The Public and I just don't play well together. This coupled with the fact that the food was made by any number of volunteers made me more than apprehensive about attending. I'm not quite to the Howard Hughes/kleenex box shoes type off balance, but I really can't stomach food that comes from unknown sources. It just creeps me out. But for you Lee D, I went.

Much to my pleasant surprise, The Public didn't come! And I planned ahead, feeding both myself and my kids at home. The whole thing went very smoothly and was a great success for the PTA. Granted, the PTA didn't have to deal with my children, who were insufferable nearly the entire time. I told the kids, who don't like spaghetti, they could just have a brownie. After going through the line, they emerged empty handed. "I just lost my appetite." Morrigan let us know. Just a sec sweetie. I can get you your own kleenex boxes.

And then they complained of boredom, hunger, and loss at the bingo tables. Endlessly. At one point, I had Tim, who was about to leave work, on the phone offering to come and get them. At that very moment, they chose to be positive, refusing to leave. You know damn well that moment ended the very second I told Tim to go on home and leave the kids with me. But whining and moaning aside, we survived unscathed, though we didn't choose to take home a left over tray of baked spaghetti.

911 is a Joke

E's class is learning their personal information: full name, address, phone number etc. When Ms. Bear asked Eion if he knew his phone number, he answered with complete confidence, "Yes. It's 911."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Son of a Bitch

Today's title is in honor of the recently ended Lost, as it is an oft used phrase by one of my favorite characters, Sawyer. And fittingly, I found myself uttering it liberally today.

There I was, happily re-watching the Lost series finale, no spoilers here, but it took me two viewings to try to wrap my head around it, when I get a call from Crystal Spring. The principal immediately lets me know there is no cause for alarm. No one is hurt or sick. So, why the hell are you calling me? I think. "We have Eion here in the office with us."

Son of a bitch.

The next ten minutes were a cringe inducing speaker phone call with my son, the principal and his teacher detailing his defiance and attempted escape from the school grounds. Just for good measure, they threw in that he was the first preschooler this year to be sent to her office. And repeated several times how embarrassing this must be for your Mommy. Which, if they really thought about with whom they were dealing, they would have realized that he cares not a whit about my feelings and the only one this was hurting was me. But I dutifully scolded him and took away his dsi and let him know he would be missing the Chuck E Cheese birthday party that was on the agenda this afternoon. In an act of mercy, they did not make me come and fetch my errant child.

When he arrived home, I sent him packing to his room under strict orders to think long and hard about what he has done. After his 15 minute stay, we had to leave to get the girls. He came stomping down the stairs with wet pants.

Son of a bitch.

He got to rock those wet pants for an hour at pick up and subsequent errands. When we returned home, he went into all out meltdown mode over a helium balloon from Kroger that rose out of his reach when he (duh) cut off the string. Since he still had on the pee soaked gear and was going on in such a way that I was sure I might just kill him, it was back to his room where I found him an hour later when seeking him out for dinner, pantsless, defiant and glaring.

Son of a bitch.

And to cap it all off, Morrigan reminded me today that for the final poetry reading of the year, parents could memorize a poem with their kids! With a decidedly unenthusiastic tone, I inquired which poem we would be presenting. "Not poem, Mom. Poems!" She then presented me with two meandering, nonsensical poems. "These don't rhyme at all!" I protested. "I want to do pretty poems," she countered, "and pretty poems don't rhyme."

Son of a bitch.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sex Ed Round Two: Children 2, Mom 0

Eion: Mom, I love you.
Me: I love you too E.
Eion: Then when I grow up, I will marry you.
Me: No, E [for the millionth time] I can't marry you because you're my son.
Eion: Then I will marry Jackson. I want my love to be a boy.
Morrigan: No Eion! Rolling around naked with boys will get you pregnant!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sex Ed Round One: Morrigan 1, Mom 0

And in the blindsided category....this morning, Morrigan told me she heard about a 13 year old having a baby. "But Mom," she asked, "how can she do that. She is too young to be married."

Warning lights. Sirens. Danger! Danger!

Me: Well, it is physically possible but VERY HIGHLY INADVISABLE to have babies when you aren't married.
Morrigan: But she did. I don't want to have babies when I am a teenager. [Never have sweeter words been spoken.]
Me: Well don't worry honey. It doesn't just happen, like a cold. You have to do specific things so the sperm and egg meet. [The scientific territory has been covered already.]
Morrigan: Like roll around naked with boys.
Me: Where the hell did you hear that?
Morrigan: Is it true?
Me: Well yeah, if you don't roll around naked with boys, you won't get pregnant.
Morrigan: Good. Having babies seems like it hurts.

And if you will excuse me, on that note, I need to mix myself up a stiff drink.

Thursday Was a Long *Explicative* Day

My Thursday went on and on in a seemingly endless cycle of annoyance and disappointment, much as you can expect this post to ramble endlessly. If you can't make it through, I understand. We'll call today self indulgent to the nth degree but as we all know, this is oftentimes my cheap therapy and I need more than a little bit.

Yesterday was the last tennis match of the Spring season. It was a playoff week and we were playing for third place. We were playing a team we had encountered before filled, by and large, with lovely ladies. (We'll get back to the exception.) Mary and I were on a three week winning streak and had won the last time we played this team. We were feeling good about our chances. Did I say good? Yeah, no so much. They put a different team on our court and we were, in rapid order, handed a 6-2, 6-1 defeat. Ouch. Which, an irony I could have done without, was exactly the beat down we laid on our opponents last week. Being on the other end was not fun. At all. But I had met both our opponents before and they as sweet as can be. Seeing as they dispatched us in such an efficient fashion, we played a few games for fun. All of which we won. Way to pick an awesome time to dial it in Katie.

But where I went a little off the reservation was after we were done. On court one was, hmmm, we need a code name, small town and all. For fun, let's just call her Laverne. Anyhoo, Laverne is known far and wide in Country Club tennis as what you might call a "flexible line judge" if you were feeling nice, which, naturally, I am. Interestingly, the night before the match, I talked to someone from her Club who, hearing we were playing her the next day, volunteered that more than one person had suggested that Laverne's style of play was giving their Club a bad name.

But back on story here. Seeing as we were done nice and early on my court, we decided to watch court one. It was a really tight match. Then on one point, our team hit a lob which landed right on the tape, moving softly enough to see easily but with enough force to make that *smack* you hate to hear because it means that ball you thought was going out hit the line dead on. And Laverne, clear as day, called, "Out." Her partner immediately turned and said, "Are you sure? That really sounded like it hit the tape." Laverne stood her ground. And then I did something very bad. From my seat on the sidelines, where I am very much not supposed to be officiating, told her, "I'm pretty sure that was in since I saw and heard it hit the line." I think at that point daggers would have been an understatement.

Laverne conceded the point, not that it mattered much as we lost all three courts in the end. What a bummer way to end the season. That and now I still have to wait for The Call, letting me know how out of bounds I was. I should be sorry but I'm not. It's kind of like that old adage, "If people don't want me to talk about them , they should behave better" only in this case, if she doesn't want to be called out for, we won't go as far as to call it cheating, let's just say, questionable judgement, she should play a bit cleaner.

And YES, I am well aware that this is all a zero on the importance of life-o-meter. You were forewarned of the self serving nature of this post. I make no apologies.

But you see, all this was before noon. Thursday was a very long day. The kids were, admittedly, handicapped by my tilted mood. But the situation was not improved by the fact that, as one of her first actions after arriving home, Morrigan spilled a mostly full bottle of wine all over the kitchen as she was getting a snack. And YES, the snacks and wine are in the same cupboard. Don't get all judgey. I overreacted and made her cry for the first time that afternoon.

Later, I left to pick up some dinner. In addition to irritated, I was feeling lazy. Thursday was also the girls' piano recital so I left, instructing them to shower while I was gone and we would do their hair after dinner. [Tim was home just fyi.] I returned 25 minutes ish later and found no one had bathed and they had instead played video games. You guessed it, got to make her cry again.

After a rush dinner and shower, we were finally all ready to head out. So I wouldn't forget later, I asked Morrigan for the cards for Teacher Appreciation Day she said she would make. You already know there were no cards. Strike three and another round of tears as we prepared to depart. At which point massive guilt set in because the poor girls had to get up onstage and perform, by heart, two solo pieces each and a duet. And I had made her really upset. Moved into massive spin mode and tried to prop her up. By the time we arrived, she seemed better.

In a bright spot for the day, I was feeling very positive about my highly matchy family:

Now not long before we went out to the recital, I had a conversation with Ann, saying that while it may make me a bad mother, I was dreading the evening. "Come on Katie," she said, "It's not like it lasts for hours like ballet recitals do!" Oh would that she were right. Clearly, this was her first year.

We couldn't find a sitter for Eion so we drove in two cars so Tim could exit stage left with him once the girls were done. Fortunately, the youngest kids are early in the program. E, bless his heart, made Tim wear seersucker so the could be dressed "gsame." He, on the whole, was well behaved and made it through the necessary part of the night. And Tim got to leave.

The girls played beautifully. Their solo pieces were great and their duet was, quite literally, the best I had ever heard them play it. After having watched many a practice, I was terrified that they would implode and Morrigan would hiss "Maggie!" much as I had witnessed over the past few weeks. But my fears were unfounded and they were top notch performers.

And they were done in the first half hour, by 7:30. Do you want to guess what time the whole recital was over? Before you do, please note it was a school night and Morrigan (and all the other 3rd, 4th & 5th graders) had SOLs the next day. 10:30. PM! And then there was a reception after because you know what I want my kids, who are up hours past bedtime to have? That's right, cookies. It was 11pm by the time we finally got home.

Truly, I feel bad complaining. Their teacher is wonderful. She has the patience of a saint and produces top notch piano players. I cannot imagine having any other teacher. And all the students played beautifully. Seriously, some of the older students sounded like professionals. But last night, I would have loved to have been in bed a bit earlier.

But hey, today is a brand-spanking new day. And getting all this out of my system really helped. So to my reader/therapists, you have my eternal gratitude.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You Can't Really Blame Him

So the other morning, E asked what he could have for breakfast. I told him anything he wants assuming that he would know we were in the land of reality and his options were all the normal suspects: waffles, toast, apples, cereal etc. After giving it some thought, he replied, "I guess I'll have ice cream." No dice buddy, I let him know. He took it rather well and changed his order to two waffles.

And by the by, that hair is all natural - no product creating that spike. Is it any wonder no one, save Kara, can cut it?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Busy Much?

So the weekend. Ready? Run (10K), planting flowers, piano recital practice, Supper Club, run (5K in under 25 minutes - a reduction of 2 minutes), swim lessons, fencing, finish new vampire soft porn (thank you Sookie Stackhouse), slumber party (mercifully not here), Cocktail Club, weight lifting, tennis lesson, swim team, dinner, kids' bath (oooh - has it been a week?), collapse.

And on the kid front, Morrigan had her first SOL today. Her teacher said she did well though I have no score in hand. She's psyched since the tests mean no homework. Wish we had know that a few weeks ago. She would have been begging for the standardized testing.

Maggie found out Island of the Blue Dolphins is a 5th grade book. Nothing will stop her now.

Eion was all dressed up in his pjs and fedora the other day when the babysitter said, "You're Indiana Jones!" To which he scoffed, "Indy doesn't wear pajamas."

And there is no slowdown in sight.....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Clearly, I Know Nothing

I have long been aware that, as the mother of girls, I will become increasingly ignorant, reaching the pinnacle of stupidity when said girls are teens at which point I will know absolutely nothing. And the decline has already begun.

Morrigan has been reading the Harry Potter books over and over and over. Since she spends so much time reading, I thought maybe I could suggest a book I had read as a girl to help her diversify. Island of the Blue Dolphins was a book I loved. My recommendation was soundly rejected.

Then Maggie and I were at the bookstore yesterday and I saw the book on an endcap. Seeing as Mag's teacher told me she was reading at a 4th grade level this week (yes, that was just a completely shameless plug for my girl), I thought she might read it. Being Maggie, the agreeable one, she jumped on the idea.

So we bring the book home and Maggie set out to read it directly. Enter Morrigan who exclaims, "Island of the Blue Dolphins! I can't wait to read that!" Thinking it best not to remind her that it was a pick in the Mom's Book of the Month Club, I inquired where she had heard of it. "Oh it was in a list of books in the back of a book I read at school." Basically, what I found out it that a list in the back of The Egypt Game is considered a more reliable source than me. Sweet.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Love & Marriage

So in the car the other day, Maggie told me she had already picked out her daughter's names, Sarah and Chloe. When I brought to her attention that she may not have only daughters, she let me know, "Oh no, all I am going to have are girls." Hmmm, I seem to recall I was going to have four girls too.

Then E chimed in and said his kids would be named John-Paul and Eion, adding "When I grow up, I will be your Daddy." Now, we've had this conversation before about how I am already married to Daddy and I'm not planning on marrying anyone else. Not to mention, I told him, Mommies can't marry their sons. The girls then started naming mates they believed would be suitable alternates, seeing as I was off the market, but he would have none of it. If he couldn't marry me, he was just going to have his sons himself and gestate them in his mouth.

His half baked plan was met with scorn from Maggie, who assured him it was impossible. But in a surprising split in their anti-Eion united front, Morrigan countered with, "Maybe he will be like the god Cronus. I suppose it is possible." Sensing an inter-sibling battle of epic proportions, I let them know the whole point was moot since a our house, babies came only after college and marriage. Crisis averted, for now.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Morrigan's Poetry Reading

From last Friday. Mainly of interest to the Grandparents....


video

In Their Eyes


From Eion:

My Mom is 35 years old.
My Mom is the prettiest when she gives me hugs and kisses.
My Mom likes to make cookies and brownies.
My Mom always says I love you too!
My Mom is funny when she wakes me up.

From Maggie:
My Mom is special because she gives me whoppers when my brother and sister do not get any candy at all.
I like my Mom when she lets me buy Webkinz.
My Mom can do many things. I think she's the best at making me corn on the cob at dinnertime.
I make my Mom smile by kissing her on the cheek.
My Mom is pretty as a princess.
My Mom is smart. She even knows how to spell Roanoke.

Not bad I say! Certainly much better than when Morrigan, at age 3 1/2, said that while she was at school I ate candy and watched tv. Seeing as this was when E was an infant, Maggie wasn't even 2 yet, and I was getting my arse handed to me daily, I was not amused.

Happy Mother's Day!

Gallop for the Greenways

Yesterday, I ran my first race ever. I've been running for about 5 years now but have never felt compelled to compete. Mostly, I just couldn't see paying for childcare so I could run. But earlier this week I was talking with Ann & Hans about the Gallop for the Greenways, a local 5K run, and said that I would have considered it but I had all the kids and Tim was working. Ann then (generously) offered to take on my whole brood, decimating any excuse I had.

So I suited up in pink, strapped on my ipod, and lined up with most of South Roanoke for the race. And I ran a completely marginal race. I finished just over 27 minutes (about a 9 minute mile pace.) I was beaten by packs of third grade girls and many old men. That being said, my goal was to complete the race before my running mix ran out (check,) not to walk any of the 3.1 miles (check) and not to be in the last quarter of the runners (check.)

While I was never in any danger of winning, I felt good. Especially considering that tennis has bumped my running time allot lately and I never run hills, or outside for that matter. I probably could have done marginally better if I had trained at all. But better than the race itself was that it ended in Elmwood Park where there was a big party complete with a cover band to which the kids loved dancing, a bounce house and (best of all) a beer truck.

Can't say my time will improve but I definitely plan to run it again next year!

A Cautionary Tale


I went out to get the mail yesterday and saw this robin looking really agitated. Thinking it must have a nest nearby, I walked on and then spotted our killer cat, Midnight, with a mouthful of baby robin. I proceeded indoors and made the fatal mistake of mentioning the slaughter to Morrigan, who rushed outside and began yelling at the cat.

When she didn't respond, M turned her anger towards me and demanded I rescue the bird. My arguments that the bird was already fatally wounded fell on deaf ears and Morrigan completely derailed. And admittedly, I probably didn't help the situation much by singing The Circle of Life. Still the next day she refuses to go near the cat though it appears I am back in her good graces. [But I think that might be more due to the fact I told them we weren't going to the gym today.] Note to self: if there is a murder going on in the yard, DO NOT share this information with the children.

Friday, May 07, 2010

This Week in the Big Top

We'll have to start with the boy. He really must have sensed our close proximity to the proverbial edge or, better yet, something has finally clicked, and he was a champ this week. Just about perfect until, sigh, he got off the bus with wet pants today. But, his overall behavior bordered on completely normal and we are hoping for more of the same. Suffice to say, military school has been (temporarily) taken off the table.

Morrigan had to stay after school for extra SOL studying. [For those outside VA, SOLs are state standardized tests.] You know, I hate those tests. Morrigan received a report home saying in the practice tests she was averaging 95%. I told her she was doing great and she burst into tears, saying the pressure was just too much. And here is where I took an off the rails approach. I told her I didn't give a rat's ass how high her score was as long as she passed. I find these tests approaching moronic and am certainly not going to have my baby falling apart over something about which I don't care a whit. She seems more relaxed. And I'm guessing she will do just fine.

E had his five year check up. He seems to be in good health if a wee bight on the slight side. But with all the fat kids out there, I'm not complaining. He spent most of the appointment dodging the doctor's questions and instead regaling him with tales of Anthony, who apparently broke his arm recently. Dr. E took it in stride and gave our E a clean bill of health.

My partner and I won our tennis match again this week!!! Unprecedented. Not to state the overly obvious, but winning is way better than losing.

And lastly, I may be running my first race tomorrow. I run all the time (though less frequently lately with increased tennis) but have never run a race. There is a race in town (5K) called The Gallop for the Greenways that is rumoured to be an excellent time with the race ending in Elmwood Park for a big party. I was hesitant because I almost never run outside, or hills for that matter, and was quick to dismiss the race since I would need childcare. In stepped Ann who offered to take on the whole crew so I could run the race with Hans. [And by with Hans, I mean he will leave my pathetic 8-9 minute miles in the dust immediately unless he just wants to keep me company as some sort of first race support network. The man just did a half ironman. Run together - HA!] But how can I turn down the offer to wrangle all three of my little ones. If I do run, you'll find me without a problem, I'll be the red-faced one, struggling across the finish line.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I would really like to have fewer conversations about my son's manhood

But he does not seem to agree. Case in point, this morning.

Me: Eion, get dressed.
E: My crank is sticking up even when I lie down! (Said with utter glee.)
Me: That's great. Now put it in some pants & let's go.
E: No, look at it!

He still hasn't come downstairs and I really don't want to go back up. Modesty can't come soon enough for my taste.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Sixth Sense


Even the most casual of readers should have realized by now that the boy is, and always has been, a challenge. And while the past year or so has led to vast behavioral improvements, we're not out of the woods yet. He's ramped up his defiance and misbehavior lately. Not to mention, he seems to be developing an aversion to the toilet and we have accidents daily. Sometimes multiple times a day. That with the addition of the new bedtime routine of telling me how he doesn't love me or this family and plans to run away has left us a bit drained. So much so that as we enjoyed a very well deserved glass of wine Sunday night, we seriously considered military academy. Though much to our dismay, he has to be in 2nd grade and it is $40,000 a year which is just a bit of a reach.

Our only conclusion for the night was that ready or not, he's off to Kindergarten in the fall. He'll either man up or fail but we weren't willing to spend the year with three kids at three different schools if he couldn't even try just the littlest bit. [Which, as an aside, led Ann & Hans to coin the word "E"piphany - when you reach the point where you say f*ck it, I'm just doing what is best for me.]

But somehow he must have known that we were a a breaking point. The past two days he has been lovely (relatively) and back on the bathroom bandwagon. But can he keep it up?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Off to the Races

You know what was just the best? Taking my kids home after Fun Day and getting to leave them with a sitter so I could don my new hat and head out to a Derby party! I had worn last year's hat for a few seasons and decided I wanted, nay needed, a larger hat selection. While I still lean to the over the top hat, I did go a wee bit smaller so that I didn't bump into as many people.

Molly and Webb hosted, as always, a great party. Mint juleps were plentiful and sweet and the food was excellent. Especially the raw tuna nachos. And their house had just been on the Garden Tour the previous week and was in tip top shape.

But do you know how I know my beloved bubble is small? There was a couple who came in and I didn't recognize them. My first and immediate thought was "They must be from county." I was a little off as they were in all the way from Charlottesville. And apparently were Psychologists from Europe who were very excited to witness the cultural phenomenon of Derby parties first hand. I hope we didn't disappoint as a case study.

After we overstayed our welcome, it is just our style, we headed over to Jerry & Melanie's where they had roasted a whole pig that afternoon. Mmmmm, more food, more drinks. They had some out of town guests who, hopefully, didn't mind us crashing their party. Then, stuffed to the gills, it was home to bed, a place where after a marathon day, I was pretty happy to be!

Fun Day Is, As Ever, A Misnomer

Ah Fun Day. Never has there been a day so highly anticipated by the children that is dreaded equally by their parents. Our day was destined to reach a level of complete buffoonery as well seeing as we had multiple other activities sprinkled in throughout the day.

But I will say that Fun Day was better this year since all my kids were old enough to manage themselves. We shelled out for some tickets and they were off. E got himself a shaved ice which kept him immobile for a few minutes but after that, disappeared like his sisters.

Activity number one was swimming lessons, right in the middle of Fun Day. After running wild and getting all hopped up on sugar for an hour, getting in the car and leaving was not well received, to say the very least. But with a minimal battle I extracted Maggie & E and took them to the pool where Maggie was so close to a legal butterfly. Her coach thinks by next week she'll have it. Eion had his first lesson and the instructor's comment was something along the lines of, "he is very strong willed." Ha! You ain't seen nothing yet.

But surprisingly, the break in the day worked out very well. The kids had some downtime and were recharged to return for the balance of the festival. When we returned, Tim and Morrigan had left for M's first fencing class.

Clearly, this was something she came up with on her own. But Tim said she loved it and had a great time.

I was back at Fun Day stalking a silent auction item. As soon as Tim saw it, he asked, "So how much money are we going to shell out this year?" But he didn't give me too hard a time, knowing I have an absolute compulsion about things like this with fingerprints and handprints. And he barely blinked when I did reveal the end price.


We were not so lucky on the auction for a lunch with Maggie's teacher. Amy sent Sean down to bid. (We had a group going in together.) He did so, two minutes before the auction's close, announcing he had put down his maximum bid. Chips fall where they may. Surprising no one, we didn't win. Auction rookie.

After gathering up my chair, I set out to find my kids amidst a sea of children with slightly runny painted faces, sweaty heads and a glazed over sugar crash in their eyes. Another Fun Day complete.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Book & Author Dinner

Last night was Medical Alliance's Book & Author Dinner. Now I've worked on this for years and it is always something to which I look forward. But yesterday, oh I was on tilt. A series of all exceedingly minor irritants, which I refuse to enumerate because they were all so trivial, left me just feeling off and anti social. There are those *cough* Tim *cough* who claim, in a very ill advised, if correct, commentary, there is a hormonal component. No matter the source, I was not feeling like dressing up and making small talk.

Add to it that same commentator realized the night before that our table was, save him, entirely composed of women. Timmy has a general rule that if he is talking to more than two women, it is time to escape since three women can't possibly be discussing anything in which he would be interested. So surveying the landscape of our evening and knowing he was working a 12 hour night shift on Thursday, he asked, very nicely, if I might consider another date. Luckily for me, Kate was glad to fill his shoes.

She was an excellent date. And I quickly rebounded from my afternoon and went into full cocktail party conversation mode. Our emcee was Martin Clark, a writer/judge from Stuart, Virginia who I have met on several other occasions, and it was fun to catch up with him.

The authors were all entertaining and engaging. I especially loved David Poyer's colorful tales involving stills and their use dodging the advances of gay agents and a sweet old woman showing him pics of herself in what was the 1920's equivalent of porn.

The other authors, Amy Wilson and Andrew Gross were maybe not as off color, but equally entertaining. We sat with Amy who recently published When Did I Get Like This? which is basically tales from the front of Mommyhood. Should be something to which I really can relate. Her talk had more than one moment that reminded me of my own adventures navigating parenthood.

And lastly, and somewhat tangentially, I have to add a pic of my shoes from last night. I love love love them and they managed to not make it into any photos.
I'm generally in such practical shoes so it makes my heart happy when I get to wear something so fanciful and impractical. Though I do like them enough that I will have to fashion more outfits around them!