Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beach Adventure . . .

. . . where adventure equals sit in a chair and read all day, interspersed with moments of lying on a bed reading. When it comes right down to it, all the packing and preparation stress boils down to this:

What am I going to read?

How much fun can cousins have when they're together?Is my sister's bathing suit cuter than mine?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Little Red Hen

To Do Before Beach Trip:

1. All laundry in the home. This includes laundry that has not bothered me since last November but which I feel compulsively required to complete before leaving for this trip.

2. Buy the following: Way too much sunscreen. Summer clothing for three urchins who grew over the winter behind my back. Beach towels to replace the twenty beach towels which I put in a "good spot" last fall and cannot find now. Snacks for the road. Sunglasses to replace the ones that are maybe in the car somewhere, or perhaps behind the computer. Or in a drawer? A whole lot of cat food for our fabulous neighbors to dole out for the cats. I mean, a whole lot. Books.

3. Cancel mail.

4. Pack.

5. Cancel newspaper.

6. Pack, pack.

7. Cancel all regularly scheduled meetings, as well as doctor, orthodontist and hair appointments that I scheduled knowing full well that we would be away. Why??

8. Sew straps on ballet slippers, pointe shoes and costumes for dance recital -- which takes place the day we leave for our adventure, so that's not stressful at all.

9. Wrangle my son into packing for Boys State -- taking place while the rest of us are at the beach, with the same departure date, so there's no stress there either.

10. Pack, pack, pack.

11. Tidy my house so the fabulous cat-feeding neighbors, who enter my home at least once a day, every day of the year, will not find out during this particular week what a slob I am.

Oooh! Don't forget the beach chairs!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lucky Mom

This sunshiny smile tells you everything you need to know about my youngest daughter.

Except you probably should also know:

1. She's a graceful dancer:

2. And an eloquent writer.

[Photo credit: Bob Kline]

3. And she l-o-v-e-s ducks!

Now that you've been introduced to my three urchins,
you don't have to tell me what a lucky mom I am!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Deal or Steal?

This is a a little self-portrait I dashed off right after I opened our first "texting-activated" wireless phone bill. We had this cool plan where the first fifteen texts per month are free! After that, each text you send or receive only costs fifteen cents! Doesn't that sound great?! Guess how many texts my son sent or received in that first month? The grand total was 2762. Texts. In a month.

Here is a typical text "conversation" from those early days:
[Do I know this because I took his phone and read his messages? Yes!]

Her: What's that girl's name in that song?
Him: Delilah
Her: I love that song
Him: U R a dork.
Her: No U R
Him: no U R
Her: UR cuz you are lame.
Him: I am not lame b/c I am awesome.
Her: No you're not.
Him: Yep
Her: Gotta go
Him: Bye
Her: Bye
Him: Dork
Her: Dork

So here's my analysis of this interaction:

1. I think this counts as some sort of flirtatious courtship ritual, but I'm not sure.
2. I love that Delilah song, too.
3. They are both dorks.

This exchange used up our "fifteen free texts" for the month. After this he could have sent her the complete lyrics to that Delilah song, and as long as they were contained in one text, that text would cost fifteen cents. Bargain! Or he could keep it simple: "Dork!" Fifteen cents, please. "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . . ." Fifteen cents. "No, U R . . . ." Fifteen cents.

So now we have Free Unlimited Family Texting, which has really changed our lives and which is not actually free, but whatever. Here is a more recent self-portrait:

I call it "Self-Portrait with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome."

Image credits:
Edvard Munch: "The Scream," 1893, The National Gallery, Oslo

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "Portrait in Yellow (Annie Miller)," 1863, The Tate Gallery, London

Monday, June 15, 2009

Memory Lane

When we moved from our townhouse into our new home in 2001, we were thrilled: we love that every kid can have his or her own room; we love that our bicycles and lawnmower don't have to live in our foyer or in the family room (sadly this is not an exaggeration for comic effect). Our kids still went to the same elementary school, which we loved. We could not have better neighbors (more than neighbors -- the best kind of friends), and our pretty little cul-de-sac ends in a lovely wooded area that abuts our property.

It's a good house, and a great home.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Season in the Books

When my oldest daughter started out in Little League baseball, she began with a couple of strikes against her (heh! see, I'm talking about baseball . . . . ? strikes . . . .? heh!). She was the youngest person in her division. As a girl who wore glasses she had some batting helmet issues. Here's a tip: the combination of helmet, glasses, and pony-tail contains one element too many. Get rid of any one and you're good to go. And as a shy person, she didn't like the idea of all those people looking at her when she batted. Her coach's goal was for her to make it through a complete game without crying. The day she accomplished this goal, he awarded her the game ball.

This week she completed her first season playing on her high school's softball team, and I just cannot tell you how proud I am of her. Never having been athletic able to put one foot in front of the other without breaking a limb myself, I am so impressed with anyone who can show such grace and strength simultaneously. She's a wonder to me! At the end-of-season party, she was named her high school team's MVP, and I can't wait to tell her Little League coach! He'll be so proud.

tangent: Throughout my life all my BFFs have been athletes. Gymnasts, swimmers, runners, basketball phenoms . . . . I love and applaud them all, as long as they don't make me put down my book.

Monday, June 8, 2009

No hurry . . . .

I've always thought that one should never plunge into home renovations without a lot of planning and research. That's why my husband and I have waited a little while before we rush into repairing this:

See, my son was up in the attic above our carport gathering camping equipment when he misplaced his footing and fell through the flimsy drywall ceiling and onto the cement floor below. As you can imagine, this caused quite the hullabaloo: My husband and I said to each other, "Huh. I wonder what that sound was?" We're both very bright, so it wasn't too long before we realized that it might be the sound of a child in imminent danger, and put down our coffee mugs.

Thank goodness our boy
didn't end up looking like the ceiling!

Well, I know you feel as I do that the sight of this gaping hole in the ceiling of our carport should be repaired quickly, for lots of reasons. First, it's obviously an unsightly eyesore. Second, there are serious safety issues any time anyone needs to go up there. Third, the potential for critters to find their way into the attic has gone way up. Fourth, doesn't that big old hole just invite thievery and burglars? And finally -- it gives me the heebiejeebies every time I look at it, thinking about my poor boy, who could have died, for Pete's sake!

So -- my husband and I have every intention of making repairs -- but we must research and collect data, and weight our options; it's very important to both of us that the repairs be done well. It also exhausts me to think about what an utter pain in the neck it will be. So I need to rest up before we start. And now that I think of it, the hole actually provides an escape route for a poor trapped kitty or confused duck. So that's good.

Hmmm? Did you ask when exactly my boy fell through the attic? Let's see . . . . He was in sixth grade, so that would make it September 2003. Like I said, there's no hurry.

I need a quirky yet whimsical, loving yet witty, blogname for each of my three children. I've thought of "Adored One" -- and then I would make my kids compete for the title on a regular basis. Kind of like Survivor, only the losers get to go on Oprah or Dr. Phil. There are flaws with this plan. Any ideas?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Start me up!

Welcome to the first post of this blog. I hope that I can make you laugh at the goofiness that ensues at my house and with my friends. You will read soon about my inability to clean my house without first reading every magazine that I encounter (see, I should throw the magazine away to clear the clutter. This is Flylady 101 stuff; everyone knows this! -- but I haven't read it yet . . . so by reading the magazine, I am actually making necessary progress toward cleaning my house. It's very simple, really). Or about my fabulous, gorgeous, brilliant children. And what slobs they are (the gene for this is very strong in my family). And about the joys of home renovation when 1) I'm very cheap; and 2) I'm very lazy.

My friends are not off the hook: you know what's coming. One performed a highly illegal act in a cemetery. With her grandmother. And one gets more done in an hour than most of us get done in a day -- and more than I get done in a month. I hate her, in a Christ-like way. My friends are the smartest, funniest people I know.

So -- let's get this bad boy started, shall we?