Saturday, June 29, 2013

App Attack!

This week was the first camp of the summer. The local community college has a whole bunch of technology based camps. They were so interesting sounding that when Eion discovered he was not old enough this year, he refused to go to any other camps. It was a common theme among the parents at pick up. We all had kids who didn't care for sports camps or weren't particularly outdoorsy and were thrilled that these were an option.

Maggie chose the App Attack camp at which you, as hinted at by the name, design your own app. They employed some end user software and all the kids made games that were Angry Birds-esque. You can click here to play Maggie's game! If you find yourself without gaming time, you can enjoy these screen shots instead.

Naturally, it was cat themed and indeed called Cat Game.


You fling cat heads at mice and try to destroy them. 



Last night we had a family competition to see who could get the high score. There was some controversy, but we think Maggie won. Considering she knew where all the extra points were, it makes sense.

Anyway, if you are in the Roanoke area, these camps are highly recommended. Morrigan is taking video game animation in August so we'll have a review of that one then.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

On the Plus Side

We went to the oral surgeon today for Eion's consultation. As soon as we arrived, Eion was making friends in the lobby. Some little boy was charmed enough to invite E to his birthday party at Pump It Up. The news from the back was less enjoyable. Looks like he will need nine teeth removed. Such an undertaking naturally mean IV sedation. The doctor, who was very sweet and had an excellent bedside manner, was explaining how IVs worked. Poor E's eyes just welled up with tears and he said, "I think I'd like the other choice." His fears were somewhat abated by letting him know that he knows several anesthesiologists but he still isn't thrilled. He has about three weeks til the big day. Poor E.

He did just crack us all up when the doc asked him if he knew how they extracted teeth. "The yankers?" was his deadpan reply.

But on the plus side, I am once again gainfully employed. (Providing I pass the drug test and background screening, which should be slam dunks.) About a month ago I applied to be a substitute teacher for the City schools. I had my interview on Wednesday. There was some chit chat and a few questions about what I would bring to the job and then my interviewer told me orientation was in August! Seems that if you are flexible, you can work any day you want. I'm planning to take it slow, starting with my kids' schools and branching out as I get the hang of it. Look out Roanoke!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just Guess What This Post is About!

You know they'll be some swimming. But before that....

I have time on my hands to blog as Maggie is at App Attack camp. The local community college has this camp where you learn to program your own app. At first, she planned to make it free, so she could download it. But capitalism got the better of her and she decided to make it $0.99, as she felt people really liked cheap games. Despite seeming a bit shy at drop off yesterday, she was all smiles at pickup and seems to be enjoying herself.

Me, I should be more productive. But I find myself on day 5 bazillion and 3 of lower back pain. I've reached the point where I am one step away from witch doctors. Seriously, some commenter on a blog about SI joint pain said that being gluten free helped them and I'm all like, "Yeah! To hell with bread!" Incidentally, not working so much, leaving me to find something else to throw against the wall and see if that works.

The upside being I am available to regale you with tales of last night's swim meet.

We were at Stonegate last night who has a HUGE team and is all the way across town. In contrast to last year, we didn't get lost either going there or coming home. Not in contrast to last year, we were delayed by thunderstorms. But after about an hour wait, we were underway.



Eion first swam the 25 breaststroke. Another first for him - legal all the way. And with some freestyle rapping before the race to boot.



His next race was the 100IM. For all you non swimmers out there, that is 25 (one length of the pool) of each of the 4 strokes. That's a pretty long way for my little guy. But he rocked it out and was legal! Granted, he was last in both races but we're making progress. All disappointment was quickly counteracted by the discovery that the bake sale was having a liquidation - four treats for a dollar!



For Maggie, it was the 50 breast and 100IM, her two favorite events. She tied for 5th silver in the breast and we bailed before the IM scores were up. I think her night is best seen rather than read.

Behold, the happiest swimmer ever!

I love breaststroke!

This last picture kills me. She is so mature all the time that I forget she's still a little girl. The babyface is so clear here.

Morrigan opted to stay home as it was an away meet. She's always there to help at RCC meets but when we are away, the other teams don't think she is old enough to work. I was glad she did since her friend called for a sleepover and I later saw this:




Great day for everyone.

Friday, June 21, 2013

50 Shades of Eion

So we're at the pool today, like everyday, which explains the sparse posting as there is only so much one can write about the pool deck, and Eion's friend from school, K, arrived.  He was happily chatting her up when I went over to snap these pictures.




Cute, no? Then as I was chatting with K's mom, I glance over to see Eion sticking out his derriere, pointing to it and asking her to hit him with her tennis racquet. She obliges and he responds, "Harder! Hit me harder." Great. Next he'll be wanting a ball mouth gag and some handcuffs.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mondays Are All Wet

As any regular reader knows, Mondays in the summer are always swim meet Mondays, yesterday being no exception. It was a hectic meet for me as I was training to be the lead computer person, responsible for entering times and creating result sheets. I'm pretty well suited to the task and the evening went remarkably quickly. The next time, I won't have the pro with me so we'll see if I am feeling as positive then.

This meet had all my kids' least favorite races. It was 50 free and 25 fly for Eion and the 100 free and 50 fly for Maggie. Yuck. But they toughed it out. Poor E failed to earn points, much to his dismay, but completed both races and was legal in butterfly for the first time.



It wasn't pretty, but it was legal.

Maggie was 6th silver in the freestyle and 3rd silver in butterfly. Considering all her races doubled this year and these are her least favorites, she's doing pretty well.




Morrigan was helpful as ever and worked the bake sale the entire night. In spite of her willingness to step up in such situations, we've been struggling with her a bit. Once summer hit, she reduced her physical activity from little to essentially none. She's more than happy to hole up in her room and read or watch Netflix all day. Taking away the electronics doesn't do much, she'll just read. Granted, one of the things she's reading is The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, if only to spite an adult who said she wouldn't be able to, but the girl needs to get out. One hates to tell her to stop reading so much but it might just be what we have to do.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Terrible Storms That Weren't Really So Bad (For Us Anyway)

So Thursday, the forecast was all like


Twas not looking good my friends. Maggie and E were both at their friends' houses and we hunkered down for the storm. Though we lost power, our street was largely unaffected. Can't say the same for Peakwood, where Eion was. 


He was more than happy to be there and according to Kirsten, he found the power outage great, as it meant he could stay longer. When we went to get him, we ended up parking at the end of the street and walking around the many downed trees. But we retrieved him without issue and headed to Casa Fraught, who were kind enough to take us in for dinner. And you have to love Amy, who opened the conversation for the evening with global warming, which is bold considering the Venn diagram of our views on the subject is as follows:

O  O


(She's all in, I'm all out.) But what was better was that we could have such a discussion and still want to go to the baseball game together the next night.

Since the weather was delightful, the lack of power didn't impact our sleep a bit. We put the contents of the freezer on ice and enjoyed a day at the pool. Then it was off to the Red Sox game!
Why he is in love with Kira's neighbor rather than her 
I will never understand. Look at how sweet they are. 
And check out E's snow boots. 

After a fantastic double header, we arrived home to restored power. Hallelujah. Saturday, we were off to the pool, minus Tim, who was working. But I got to enjoy the day with these girls:


And these girls:


And more importantly, their parents. Not a bad storm to tell the truth.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Brought to You by Summer - The First Swim Meet

It is summer and it was Monday which can only mean one thing, swim meets.The weather was dicey all day and all of us were wondering if this was going to be postponed. Before we left, I looked at the radar and became convinced there was going to be a break in the showers and it would all work out. It did and we had some rainbows to boot!


We were at Hunting Hills CC last night, which is lovely because then I know everyone from all the teams! Maggie aged up this year to the 9-10 year old division, which brings with it the switch to all 50 meter+ races. Any concern over how she would fare was unfounded. Nine months off swimming seems to have done her well.

In the 50 backstroke she placed 1st silver (4th overall for her age group.) She made the flip turn and generally rocked it!



Her other race was the 50 freestyle. She won her heat and came in 2nd silver overall. 


As far as I can figure, she has finally figured out how to race. In years past, she would do well but her speed was the same as every lap she swam at practice. All of a sudden, she managed to turn on race mode. 

Eion's first race was the 25 backstroke. In his nine months off, he has discovered how to swim without it resembling drowning. He was legal for the very first time in this stroke. That only took three years.



He was 5th place bronze which means he got a point, the very first in his swim team career. Go E!

The 25 freestyle looked great too. He was 8th bronze BUT didn't come in last for (I am pretty sure) the first time. Babysteps people.



No drowning here!

While the racing was great and all, both kids really enjoyed socializing. Maggie, a quite civilized kind.


And Eion, who joined a pack of wild little boys in some sort of Fight Club/Lord of the Flies demonstration on the lawn. No pictures. I didn't want to be known as the Mom who noticed they were all trying to kill each other and didn't put a stop to it.

Now it feels like summer.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Lazy Days of Summer, With an Expensive Twist

We've fallen into a wonderful summer pattern of days, when it is not pouring rain, of enjoying the pool. Which, in retrospect, was only about half the days this week. It has been mighty wet. On one of those wet days, we got to enjoy a trip to the orthodontist. Our regular dentist told me that the next time Morrigan happened to be going in to have Dr. Lampros take a look in E's mouth as he might need a baby tooth pulled.

See that front tooth coming in at a 90 degree angle? 
Can't be good.

After a look, and some x-rays, it was determined that we need to see an oral surgeon for the removal of six teeth. When I relayed the news to Tim, he said, "That sounds expensive." 

It does indeed.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Now It's Summer

We've moved into full summer mode. Personally, I went to sleep at 8:15 last night and got in a good 11 hours of sleep. The kids have all started staying in bed later too. Delicious.

But we won't neglect the last moments of the school year here. That would be E's end of the year party. I don't know why I go to these stupid things. Eion always gets belligerent and refuses to participate in anything leaving me frustrated and embarrassed. And he didn't disappoint this time either.

Coaxing from his substitute teacher got him to play with the bubbles.

Next up: more skulking.

But he quickly reverted back to his more obstinate state. Luckily, Mrs. Witten, his regular teacher, was also on hand and took him aside to hang out. 


The woman is truly a miracle worker. He still didn't play the games or anything but he was happy. I wish we could clone her and have her teach E for the duration of his academic career. Sadly, we have to roll the dice with new teachers in 2nd grade and break them all in.

After the party, we pulled Morrigan out of school early, interrupting some game in math class, to hit the pool. The school system may have decided that the kids need to continue to go to school that week, even though they were doing nothing, but I didn't have to comply.

Then it was The Day, the last day of school! 

After last year's debacle, Amy and I had more of a nudgenudge winkwink kind of surprise for the girls when they got off the bus (as opposed to last year's honest to goodness surprise, culminating in many tears.) We laid in wait with water guns only to find they had planned their own surprise: after they exited the bus, they ripped off their clothes, revealing bathing suits they had worn all day. 



Which was really smart. I ended up soaked! Just to make sure things didn't go too smoothly, E ended up in tears this year, angry he got wet at a water gun fight. Next year, I'm crying.

Regrettably for my children, I had scheduled their dentist appointments for the last day of school. Oops. So we had to dry off and go to get teeth cleaned.

The report cards glowed with all A's across the board. Eion even received the quite surprising all "outstandings" from his talented and gifted teacher. So the educational front is a-ok. Or we are the lucky recipients of rampant grade inflation. Either way, whatever.

Friday was the first full day of summer.


Our peace and quiet was marred by the dj who had been hired for a pool party but we are all up on our popular music now. And possibly a little more deaf.


These guys, on the other hand, were def!

Though Friday would normally flow directly into a Saturday pool day, friends April and Greg invited us all out to the lake. 


My very indoor children spent the entire day loving the outdoors. As soon as we arrived, Eion wanted to set out in a kayak, which seemed a recipe for disaster. I was sure he would paddle himself out somewhere, get tired, and then cry like a pansy for us to pick him up.


But he totally proved me wrong, happily making his way around the cove on his own power.

Everybody loved tubing, naturally.

She looked that happy the whole time.


After a long day of water fun, the kids built a campfire and roasted marshmallows. 


And danced around the fire with glowing sticks. But don't worry, no one was hurt.

Today marks the start of swim team, about which I am sure you will receive way more information than you ever needed or wanted!