Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fly Away Week, Fly Away

Busy? You could say that. Last Sunday was E's den meeting for Boy Scouts. The kids all made food and really, what is more appealing than delights created by eight year old boys?

The good news for me was Eion made his snack at Ned's while I was hosting Maggie's birthday party. (Thank you Fiona!) Despite my hesitance to eat, it was a beautiful day and the kids had a great time playing outside and getting wet in the stream.

Maggie and Eion were much more enthusiastic eaters, however, and negated the need for a birthday dinner. Those steaks would just have to wait!

Maggie's Girl Scout troop finished and delivered the book shelves they built for the Rescue Mission.

I initially thought they would be assembling some purchased shelves and assumed that, like many projects kids do, that the lion's share of the work would be done by parents. Not so! While they, naturally, needed adult help, they really did a large part of it themselves, including carrying them in.

A local news crew was there as well. Major excitement!

Then it was back to Boy Scouts! This time, selling popcorn. Manning a stand is really, really, not my favorite thing to do. But it was at our local grocery store and I got to see, and harass, many friendly faces.

On to Friday and the Prowl-a-thon! Eion's school (finally) stopped selling wrapping paper and just went to outright asking for cash, a plan I have long endorsed. Even though we never sold wrapping paper, I felt compelled to donate, just to make sure the sale never came back.

I was down at the school all morning taking pictures for the yearbook. We were blessed with amazing weather and by all accounts, the fundraiser was a huge success, bringing in almost three times what wrapping paper sales did. Victory!

And I got to spend some time with my main man, Eion B. 

As anticipated, a full week of marginally interesting events!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Maggie (and Other Weekend Happenings)

While one might expect that we would be enjoying a birthday dinner for Maggie, who is 10 today, the earlier Boy Scout meeting, complete with snacks from each den member, has ensured that my cooking skills will most definitely not be needed tonight. Guess those steaks will wait for tomorrow.

Other than Boy Scouts, which Mags was happy to attend, seeing as her friend Margaret would also be in attendance, we had a low key day. The calm after the storm you might say. Because last night was the slumber party!

But before we go to current events, I have to take the annual moment to marvel that my baby, the sweetest, sleepiest baby ever, is a decade old.

You know you want to eat that child up.

And onward. After her sister's successful party, Maggie immediately lobbied for a similar bash. We agreed but did say she was going to need to pare down her guest list, which originally had 12 invitees. That was a bit much. We halved it and started planning. Or should I say, Maggie started planning and made it clear my assistance was not needed. In theory, this was fine. In practice, her plans for an elaborate outdoor capture the flag game were thwarted by a torrential downpour. 


Luckily, we had a really great group of girls who rallied and came up with some note hiding, scavenger hunt-esque replacement and all was well. The rain even let up and the girls were treated to a double rainbow. It was birthday magic I tell you.

One guest asked if they could go in the driveway. Maggie answered, without missing a beat, "We can go in the road! We're free range!" Which is so true. The outdoor fun was quickly cut short by my crazy neighbor's dogs, who came into the cul de sac, barking and chasing the girls back inside. Because this was lucky number 1 million and 17 that these dogs have bothered us, I called animal control and got to add a visit from an officer to our party mix. Never a dull moment.

By the time we had cake, the opening of the presents was long over. Her two favorites came from two of her closest friends. Megan, when being dropped off, brought her kitten so Maggie, the kitten deprived, could get some birthday cat love. So sweet. The other was this t-shirt from Margaret.

That thing in the place of the heart is a pork chop.
I guess this means "I pork Minecraft?"

So treasured was this shirt that she put it on immediately and there has already been discussion of the shirt's plans once she outgrows it, an event which Eion anxiously awaits. Margaret told me, "It is a real shirt but we gave her pj bottoms so she can wear it to bed. We know you don't like to represent." I've already agreed to make an exception.

But calls to animal control aside, the whole thing went off without a hitch. Granted, I could not have cared less if they slept. I checked out at 10:30ish and told them not to stay up too late.

Now I just have to convince E he doesn't want a similar party. The payoff this year may be large.

Speaking of E, the Bombers won again on Saturday, 7-1. Eion continued his role as the guy who waits by the other team's goal. But he has fun and really enjoys being part of the undefeated team. (Sorry, no photos. It was all drizzly.) 

This week looks to be packed with marginally interesting events, about which, I am sure, you will get to read more than you could ever dream!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Best. Notes. Ever.

Morrigan, after a fair bit of prompting, has written her thank you notes for birthday presents. And quite the notes they are, presented here with only the names changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Jane, 
Thanks for the gift card. You have done a great service for the country of Morrigan. You are hereby given the title of awesome. 
Her Highness Morrigan, The Royal Queen of the Nerds

Dear Sally, 
Thank you so much for the stuff. Even if you never succeed in this lifetime to turn me into a girl (hopefully) you did get me the cutest t-shirt of all time. You are the best. 
Her Highness Morrigan, The Royal Queen of the Nerds

While I may argue that Queen of the Nerds is my title, I can otherwise only praise such hilarity.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

All About Eion

I feel like I go in spurts, where one child gets more coverage than the others. Clearly, this month, E is the blog subject winner.

Yesterday in his Tuesday folder, he had a sheet that was "Nuts About Goal Setting." His goal was to get all A's which is quite a nice goal. Much better than something related to Minecraft or Terraria, revealing my shortcomings as a parent for letting him play way too many video games. How is he going to accomplish his goal? "Work insanely well." Too funny.

But not nearly as funny as this conversation on the way home from soccer practice:

E: Mom, could you ever marry Coach Smith?
Me: You know E, I think Mrs. Coach Smith might not appreciate that at all. Nor would Daddy.
E: But what if there were no Mrs. Coach Smith or Daddy?
Me: Son, are you suggesting I become a home wrecker?
E: What's a home wrecker?
Me: What Mommy would be if she busted up two households so she could marry Coach Smith.
E: What if you met Coach Smith before Daddy? Like in college?
Me: Well that would be sad because you would never be born if I didn't marry Daddy. Do you also want me to marry Coach Jones?
E: No, just Coach Smith. But don't be a home wrecker.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Girls and Boys' Nights

So that weekend flew by! Mine was full of girls time and boys time, starting with cocktails and sushi out with the girls on Friday to celebrate Kate's return from the iodine-free diet. So fun catching up. Add in seeing my favorite yogi, whose class PT requires me to miss, and being regaled with the tales of peewee football parents and it made for quite a night. [Editor's note: I'm trying to convince the Mom with the stories about football craziness to guest blog but no luck so far.]

Saturday, Maggie's Girl Scout troop continued work on some bookshelves they plan to donate to the Rescue Mission. I knew they  would be painting but had no idea nail guns and mitre saws were involved as well!

You get 'em Mags!

Then it was off to Eion's soccer game where Tim and I spent our time spit between yelling, "Get to the center!" and covering our faces. 

He has a good time and is thrilled that his team won again but I genuinely believe he has no concept of how the game is played.

I just took piles of pictures for everyone in the hopes they would find our family an overall add.

They scored in spite of me!

That night Eion and Tim were off to the Boy Scout campout so Maggie and I planned a girls night with her friend Margaret, who was also sans Dad and brother.

We went out to a fancy restaurant which was delightful, in spite of the fact that we were the only people there on a Saturday night. Crazy. Maggie loved the charcuterie plate and tried a bite of my lobster pot pie. Add a new, albeit expensive, item to her repertoire. [Morrigan was asked if she wanted to come but she had two different offers to babysit. She chose the work over us. Love her.]

Tim said the campout was fun, if a bit cold that night. He came packing a Suburban full of gear and awoke to this sunrise.

Then came Sunday, which was a well needed day of rest.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Eion, Otherwise Known as Number E

Yesterday was Eion's first soccer game. He excitedly brought home the jersey after the last practice. When I took it out, I did a double take. It just seemed wrong. And indeed it was. The number 3 was on backwards.

Much to our surprise, Eion, who fears change and does like everything in order, was not at all troubled and declared that it was an E, for Eion. Whew, first hurdle out of the way.

Then, on to the game. Now we were a bit nervous. It was his first year and, having watched some of the practices, it was clear that other players had much more experience. We geared up and hoped for the best.

The games are played with six players on each side, plus goalies, and are divided into four, eight minute quarters. The coaches were ultra fair and each player got to play at least two quarters. Eion was one of the captains for this game, a position of which he was really proud.

I'm so used to seeing him with kids a year younger 
than him that I forget how small the little guy is.

Imagine my surprise when E started at center forward. Now for those not versed in soccer, this is not a position at which one normally puts one of the weaker links on the team. But it soon became obvious that his coaches had a plan.

Eion was directed to position himself near the other team's goal, bordering on offsides (and if the refs had been watching more closely, occasionally offsides.) He was there so a long pass might make it his way and put him in the position to score. 

And to the shock of everyone there, including Eion, he scored the first goal. I do believe we are hitting the season highlight early.

After that, he wasn't in the action much but no matter. The team won 4-1 and he was thrilled that he was a part of it!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Month in Flashes

A month into school eh? That and so few updates from around here. Let's hit the not so interesting highlights in a bullet point type presentation!

*Physical Therapy
PT consumes inordinate amounts of time in my life these days. The in-office time is an 1 1/1 to 2 hours three times a week. Add to that the "homework" that occupies another hour or so and it sometimes feels as though it is all I do. On the bright side, I can watch the iPad while stretching and am getting all caught up on Breaking Bad.

*The Laundry Situation
We are now beyond full two weeks of not having a washing machine. The folks, and by folks, I mean something that starts with f and rhymes with muckers, from Just Appliance** came two weeks ago, charged me $65, said they had to order a part, now won't return my calls, and haven't come back. Round two is hopefully tomorrow when a new guy is coming to look at it. And have to order parts, I'm sure. One visit to the laundry mat was quite enough. I'm on the verge of just buying a new washer. (**If I wasn't clear enough about how I feel about these "folks," they have dreadful customer service. We'll stop short of calling them crooks.)

After a rocky start, E seems to be enjoying soccer practices. Their first game is Thursday and I'll report out then!

*Other Sports?
Not a one! The girls remain firmly entrenched against any and all fall sports.

*Birthday Sleepovers

The good news: we survived this handily. The bad news: now Maggie wants to have a sleepover too. Her initial invitee list came in at 12, count 'em, 12 girls. We're still in negotiations on that one.

*On Filling My Time
My physical therapist has restricted all my activities, even those as simple as walks. So, when I'm not actually doing my exercises, I have lots of time to fill. I'm back on as Treasurer at Highland Park (Maggie's school) and on Yearbook at Crystal Spring (Eion's school.) I've been Treasurer multiple times so that one is easy to slip right back into. Yearbook, for someone who is a shutterbug, is a natural fit for me. It's changed much since I was on my high school yearbook staff, and for the better I must say. Speaking of which, I'm off to document the 3rd grade recess!

See you tomorrow for Eion's 1st soccer game highlights!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back in Business

If you stopped by in the last few days, you may have been turned away by the private blog notice. Within the space of a couple of days, I had a few things happen that kind of freaked me out and I closed up shop while I thought it through.

The first was Morrigan decided to read some of the archives. Having been blathering on here for coming up on eight years, I wasn't entirely sure what all was out there and if it would be understood by a twelve year old. Hurting my children's feelings was never a part of what I was doing here, even if a post is occasionally entitled "Happy M F**ing Birthday Eion." So I wasn't sure I wanted them to read, at this age anyway.

Coinciding with this was my rejection as a substitute teacher for the city schools. It came as a surprise seeing as it was implied, if not outright stated, that I was overqualified, they needed 100 new subs and I was offered the job at my interview. But when the dates for the training sessions came and went, I called and inquired about my status. I received a letter letting me know that "on further review of my credentials" I was not being offered a job. Not to sound all full of myself, but I fail to believe they were flooded with 100 applicants more qualified than yours truly. Not to mention that a retired teacher I know said that they are perpetually short of subs and she had never heard of a qualified applicant not being hired. Her remark was something along the lines of, "You must have really pissed someone off."

I am, as you may be able to tell, somewhat mouthy and not shy about criticizing the schools at meetings, in this blog or in the local paper. It appears that dissent is not a welcome trait at RCPS.

It made me worry a bit that my outspokenness could disadvantage my kids or worse, give bullies fodder. So I shut everything down to think about it.

Clearly, I decided to open back up. The kids, I think they can handle my rants if they choose to come by. I already censor - even if it seems I spill it all, I do occasionally hold back the more embarrassing and private things. When I was telling my Dad about my thought process, he said he did notice that he only receives favorable mentions. By design! As for the schools, I'm willing to take a chance. If they happen to stumble by, I'd hope that any teacher or administrator would be respectful of free speech. That and I really need to vent about them, more often than I'd like.

Thanks for allowing me the break and drop by again soon, there should be new material.