Thursday, August 30, 2012


So a couple of nights ago, Tim and I are in the kitchen and the girls come rushing in, demanding to know, "What was that crash?" We had heard nothing and were somewhat perplexed. That is until Eion came bounding in telling us how "The tree fell! Right in front of my own eyes! I saw it!"

Sure enough, this was awaiting us outside:

This is bad.

Apparently, it was loud enough for neighbors several houses down to hear it. How we did not is beyond me.

The bad news: we lost internet for two days and I had to spend two mornings dealing with tree removal services, the power company and the cable company.

The good news: the bad news was far overshadowed by the good news.

Most importantly, the tree didn't crush Eion. He was probably about ten feet away but was unscathed. 

Our roof is ok. We never lost power even though our main line was ripped off the house and had the weight of half a tree on it. The guys from AEP were outstanding. So much so that I got all their names so I could write the company about how awesome they were. Daryl, remover of trees, was fast and relatively inexpensive. Not to mention, I think the house looks better without the tree.

I did have to move my tennis lesson (twice,) but we got pretty lucky.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Simply Perfect Party

My approach to Morrigan's birthday party this year was decidedly half-assed. As she's getting older, big parties with all the trappings (pinata, clown etc.) seem silly and unnecessary. My enthusiasm was further dampened by timing as well with the start of school, and the chaos of three kids at three schools, the week before her birthday. But it seemed important to her and we compromised on a small pool party. 

Before long the  guest list had grown by a factor of over 100% but we had settled on a date. Seeing as she felt strongly about having the party, I figured she could make the invitations, which she did without complaint. Beyond that, my entire preparation was buying some float rings and picking up some cupcakes. (Y'all already know about my anti-goody bag stance.)

It was an effort level so low, one would almost dare call it lazy. And with said input, the possibility for a disastrous outcome was looming.

So along comes Sunday. The conditions were critical as I had no Plan B for inclement weather. The day had been kinda warm and grey but fell into the acceptable range. We arrived a little early to set up [read: put the cupcakes on a table] and within a few minutes of our arrival, everything turned beautiful.

The sun came out, the temperature went up to about 82 degrees, and just as a bonus, everyone else left for the day, giving our party run of the pool! [Not that we had to have it all to ourselves but it did kind of give it a private party feel.]

That's eleven candles, sniff sniff.

The kids swam and played and it all went as smoothly as you could possibly hope. By the end, parents had to drag their kids out since none of them wanted to leave. 

Good news: things couldn't have gone better.

Bad news: this can't be good for my lazy streak.

Friday, August 24, 2012

And The First Week Was, Well, At Least It Is Over

Let's see...Eion's first week back included an attempted over-the-fence escape during recess, a run-in with the Art teacher culminating in a defiant trashing of his own project for the day, and tears each and every single day, mostly about how he needs to be, belongs in and HAS TO GO to second grade.

Saving the very best for last (really though, they are all doozies, picking a winner seems unfair,) Eion completely lost it when he found there was no bacon in his lunch and refused to eat the peanut butter sandwich that replaced it. Sobbing and a meltdown so complete that it required his teacher to be called to the cafeteria to escort E to the guidance office followed his discovery.

As Ms. Witten, who I am beginning to believe is a saint, relayed this story to me, I asked why on earth he didn't just get something from the cafeteria. Dude, they sell chocolate milk. There had to be something he liked. Ah, but see when he was pulled out last year, I had his funds transferred to his sisters and had neglected to replenish them upon his return.


Adding to the peanut butter tragedy was the zero balance which meant he also could not get a Friday ice cream.

The day did not go well. The week did not go well. Personally, I was beginning to think the two hours I spent this morning making photocopies for Eion's teacher were a wise investment.

To top it all off, after we arrived at the car, having walked through the pouring rain, Eion took out the sandwich and ate it, all the while telling me how very tasty it was.

I'll take that martini in a size large, no olives please.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The First Week Back

Back to school has been lovely. With E's homeschooling, it had been a good ten months since I had too much time on my hands. Now, my days stretch before me, seemingly too long to fill. As I have also managed to unload any and all PTA responsibilities (for the moment anyway - Amy is PTA pres next year and I think I'll be back in then,) I have lots of freedom and it is much appreciated. 

But before I regale you with what I have been up to, the kids....

Eion is weathering his return to the system about as expected. He has reminded me daily that he wants to be in 2nd grade with all his friends. I have replied daily that this is the Way Things Are Going To Be. He is (mostly) behaving. The schoolwork is a breeze. The social interactions are not. Days one and two were largely without incident but today he did try to climb the fence and make a break for it at recess. One day at a time.

Maggie chose to wear her suit and sparkly red shoes on the first day. She looked so grown up and proud of herself. She told me, "You know what I love most about this outfit? It was only $6!" [It was a Goodwill find.] I love that child. Naturally, she is happy, she loves everything about the 4th grade and comes home smiling everyday.

Morrigan is, wait for it, sunny and delightful! Middle school is, so far, treating her right. She is excited about her classes, her Independence, and all the new opportunities available to her. She's planning on joining the tennis club and the technology club [think modern AV squad.] Knowing how god-awful middle school can be, I feel fortunate for each and every day that goes well. 

Tim has had the last three days off and we have reveled in the quiet house and unrestricted free time. Tuesday we went on an eight mile walk and out to lunch. The trek and food (Local Roots, a favorite) were outstanding. Sadly, I am out of practice for the death marches and was betrayed by my shoes, resulting in several ginormous blisters. So if you see me with tape all over my feet, you know why. But it was worth it and I plan to be in fighting form soon. That and I just ordered new hiking shoes from Zappos.

This morning, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan was in Roanoke.

He's really in killer shape.

We went to hear him speak and were duly impressed. He spoke without a teleprompter and directly to my conservative heart. We ran into bunches of our right-wing pals and there were free cookies to boot. Another much enjoyed morning.

I signed up for a Tai Chi class for the next six Wednesdays. The first session was today. I was the youngest person there but easily twenty years but I enjoyed it. AND I managed not to bust out laughing when Tim mocked me from the hallway doing the crane stance a la Karate Kid. 

Tim's back at work tomorrow so I'll have to fill my time alone. I know I can do it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bye Bye Summer

Well Morrigan came home from her orientation happy. No complaints about the walk and significant excitement about her classes. "Mom," she told me, "I think all the worry about middle school is overblown." We'll revisit how she feels when she sees her first fight and if history is any indicator, there will be a fight.

But for today, she was all about her classes, though slightly disappointed there was no Chemistry this year.

After she returned home, it was off to the other two schools for their orientations. Seeing as the younglings of Casa Fraught are both in Eion & Maggie's classes, we decided to do it as a team with a stop at Chillypop after for a treat.

First up, E & K!

Eion took his 1st grade redux pretty well. I'm sure we'll have some challenging days but we're off to a good start. His teach, who I love, has special plans for him to best position him for success.

Next up, M & M.

They are excited to be in the same homeroom this year and took the ill advised maneuver of sitting next to each other. Seriously, it won't last.

It was smiles all around and some top notch frozen custard! 

Middle School (Sniff, Sniff)

Morrigan on her way to orientation.

Morrigan went to middle school orientation - alone. The City schools have made it quite clear that it is Time To Grow Up and the new sixth graders needed to go without their parental units.

Seeing as she will have a different start and end time from Eion and Maggie, we decided that she could enjoy the bus. The closest stop is about a half mile away and, barring inclement weather, she'll be walking there.

I was a little touched she asked me to accompany her this morning, though slightly less honored when she frantically waved me away as the bus approached.

A text just told me she is safely en route for home. Wonder how it went?