Sunday, July 31, 2011

So Glad It's Almost August

Usually I hate when it's time to turn the page on the calendar, for it's a sad reminder of how quickly time passes. I don't particularly enjoy being reminded that another birthday (and, not to mention, a more advanced age) is one month closer. 

It's sort of depressing.

But on the other hand, July has been one very long month and I'm really happy it's over.  And when I say it's been a long month, I mean very long.  Painfully long.  Long in a I-think-I've-added-ten-years-to-my-life kind of way.  I started July at the ripe age of 34, but I feel like I'm entering August as a 44 year old.  I hope gray hair didn't spontaneously start sprouting atop my head this month.   I'll screamlet you know if I discover any.

It should also be noted that in July, I officially lost my patience.  It's been hanging on by a thread since school let out, but this month, I finally saw the thread snap.  Or perhaps I can attribute my loss of patience, not to July itself, but to this season of discontent Caroline seems to have entered.  For the most part, she's an easy going kid, which I happen to really appreciate, because it generally makes my life easier.  However, for whatever reason, she's never quite happy with the options I provide for her.  I suggest something, she counter offers with something else.  I say we'll go to lunch at Subway, she asks for McDonalds.  I take her to dinner at Noodles and Company, per her request, she balks because I forgot to order her some bread.  I offer ice cream for dessert, she wants to make pudding, instead.  Nothing is quite good enough. 

It's kind of annoying.

Surely you can understand my delight in being able to bid July adieu.

August is shaping up to be somewhat eventful:  we're heading out of town on Wednesday to spend some time with my sister in North Carolina.  The following week Caroline has Spanish camp in the mornings and an evening soccer camp the week after.  Throw in a possible trip to the aquarium in Baltimore and some back to school shopping, I'm hopeful that August will fly by.

In the mean time, while I'm focusing on summer survival mode and plucking any sprouting grey hairs, I'm also trying to switch my blog from Blogger to Wordpress.  It's going to take some time because we're going out of town.  But also because I'm sort of a computer idiot.  I try hard, but it doesn't come easy.  Not even the easy stuff comes easily.  I've got the basics of the move covered, and I even made myself a new header, but the whole shifting all of my blog posts to a new blog host is kind of scary.  I don't want any of my beautiful writing drivel to get lost somewhere  in cyberspace.  Then what would you do? 

Talk about pressure.

In other news, I got a new kitchen faucet today.  It's lovely and not at all gnarly and gross like its predecessor.  My landlord is quite the handy man and for that I'm very thankful.  Because, as adept as I am at changing car batteries, toilet handles and light bulbs, my other household handyperson skills leave a bit to be desired.  Word on the street is that I'm getting an new garbage disposal, too.  It's like Christmas, or something.

Hmm, perhaps July hasn't been so bad, after all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gone Swimmin'

We've been busy lately, swimming and such.  Well, Caroline has been swimming; I've been dipping my feet in the pool and running my mouth. 

Works for me.

I brought my camera to the pool the other night to get some shots of Caroline in action.

She's gotten mighty brave this summer.

I took advantage of the rapid shooting setting on my camera and got pictures of Caroline doing a back flip in the water.

We've spent the last three days at the pool.....wait make that four... I forgot we went to our little pool on Tuesday.   Tonight Caroline is at a sleepover with her soccer teammates and I am taking advantage of the quiet.  I fully intended to clean the carpet on our stairs, but after spending four days at the pool, I'm kind of tired and I just might do the couch potato thing, instead.

Because running your mouth whilst dipping your feet in the water can take a lot out of a person.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Now There's a Hole in My Closet!

It's getting interesting around here.

My landlord is currently here doing whatever it is he needs to do.  Words like caulk and silicone and three hours to dry have come from his mouth.  But, lets be real for a moment:  it's all jibber jabber to me.

All I know is that I couldn't go to the gym this morning and I'm bummed.  Because, again, lets be real for a moment:  I'm a self centered princess.

While waiting for my landlord to arrive and not going to the gym, Caroline and I had a goofy, impromptu photo session with a vase filled with faux foliage.

Because....well, why not?

We're goofballs.

Monday, July 25, 2011

There's a Hole In Our Ceiling


Yesterday, around dinner time, I noticed a drip in our dining room ceiling. Unfortunately, this isn't anything new; we had a drip in our basement ceiling back in January; thankfully this time, we didn't discover the leak during a birthday sleepover party. 

Also, I'm really quite thankful the drip was caught early and that my landlord was able to figure out the cause without having to do too much damage. 

So, now we have a hole in the ceiling.  No big deal.

Know what  else we have hanging from the ceiling?

Webkinz swings!

Caroline and her friends fashioned comfy swings out of towels, yarn, tape, wire and clothes pins.  They're actually hanging from the upstairs banister and not from the ceiling, but you get the idea.

I think it's pretty clever.

Holy moly, tt just started to storm outside, which I find to be quite enjoyable.  I just hope it dies down before we have to leave for Caroline's dentist appointment later this afternoon.  I'm also thankful for the rain because this morning at the gym I remembered we're supposed to be watering our neighbor's plants while she's away on vacation.  That sort of slipped my mind.  Oopsie!

The fun never ends around here!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Clean Windows

Confession: I'm a neat freak, but I often neglect things like windows and baseboards and bath tubs and the floors.

Let's face it, cleaning windows isn't any fun.  Neither is kneeling down on the floor to reach the dusty baseboards.  I'm a big fan of only doing things I enjoy, because I'm a princess like that, but sometimes you just have to get down and dirty. 

This morning I took some baby steps towards being less of a princess and cleaned my bedroom windows. What a difference that made!  It's not like they were caked in film and covered in slime; I'm not THAT neglectful; they were a bit spotty and a whole lot affected by the outside elements, but nothing horrible.  However, it's amazing what a little Windex can do.

Just a little something to brighten my morning.

Speaking of brightening up (our dull lives), Caroline and I spent the evening at my friend's house last night.  We had a great time, ate some wonderful food and just enjoyed the company of others.  Today, I'm not only thankful for clean windows, but for friends, too.

It's no surprise that my life teeters on the boring side.  I stay busy doing day to day stuff, but it's safe to say that I find my current season of life to be kind of unfulfilling.  I feel like I'm in a holding pattern; I'm living and functioning well, but hovering and trying to hold on, all at the same time.   On a basic level, everything is great.  Life is uncomplicated and I find joy in the little things.  I'm not falling apart, but I'm not making progress.

It's sort of hard to explain.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that being able to get out and enjoy the company of others is refreshing.  And for that, I'm thankful.

And on a completely unrelated subject:  I've been glued to the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon coverage, which is happening right now.  I read a blog written by a girl who is competing today, which has increased my interest.  These athletes are incredible.  2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride followed by a full 26.2 mile marathon.  Can you imagine?

I'm in awe.

Now...back to those baseboards!

Friday, July 22, 2011


In case you live in a cave, or in Seattle or San Diego where the weather is always lovely, let me remind you all that it's hot out there.  H-O-T.  I realize it's summer and despite my adamant protestation, it's supposed to be hot, but this is unreal hot.   The current temperatures are doing nothing to make me change my opinion of summer.  When you read things such as "horrible air quality" "stay in doors between 12pm and 8 pm" and "heat index values to reach 118" loving summer is not the first thing to come to mind.

But, weather is weather and I cannot control it.  Therefore, I'm simply doing my best to hide in my air conditioned house and stay hydrated.  Of course, hydrating with 32 ounces of artificial colored, artificial flavored soda sweetened with artificial chemicals is probably the furthest thing from what the experts would suggest.

To which I say, who cares. 

I'm hot and cranky and tired of sweating and I want a a bucket of diet soda.   Speaking of sweating, I sweated an epic amount yesterday at the gym.  My run was tragic and one that I'd like to forget for as long as I live, but I literally soaked my entire tank top, which was all kinds of awesome.  Disgusting, but awesome all the same.

I'm sorry I felt compelled to share that with you.

That's what happens when you hide upstairs in your bedroom every afternoon.  Adult contact is minimal, thus causing me to feel the need to over share here on the blog.

Moving along....when I was taking a picture of my super big gulp, I also took a picture of my milk carton.  And why?  You might ask.  Well, I took a picture of it because I love the old school nature of the carton.

Doesn't it remind you of the good ol days?

And by the good ol days, I mean the 1980s.  We're not talking the-milkman-delivering-the-milk-in-glass-bottle-days.

I'm not sure why this throwback type of container thrilled me so much, considering that all elementary schools have the miniature versions in their cafeterias.  I suppose it just reminded me of being a kid, when milk didn't come in plastic jugs, but in cardboard containers that were often hard to open....and, not to mention, terribly hard to drink straight from.  That little spout is impossible to drink neatly from.  Not that I drink straight from the carton any more.  That only happened in my youth when I was gross and entirely unaware of how germs are spread.

No, thank YOU, Trader Joes. 

Hey, do you know what goes great along side milk (old school cardboard OR plastic containers)?

Why, cookies of course.

Speaking of childhood, I adore the Mother's brand version of these iced animal cookies.  I don't buy them because I haven't any control when around them, but at Target the other day, I was completely incapable of resisting the temptation to add these to my basket.

For now, they're just sitting in my pantry.  Once I open them, I fear I won't be able to control myself, eating handful after handful, reminiscing  about the good old days.  Who knows, the nostalgia of the moment just might lead me to drink straight from the carton.

Thursday, July 21, 2011



That's me.  Uninspired.

And hot.  But not hott.  Just plain sweaty.

I feel like at least once a week I produce a blog post which includes some sort of apology for not having anything to blog about.  Of course, I shouldn't apologize for being tragic, because it's really beyond my control, but I feel I owe all thirteen of my readers something fresh and halfway inspired every now and then.  What's a girl to do when she's bored and uninspired?

What's a girl to do when her only goal each day is to survive?   

As easy as it seems, entertaining Caroline and her friends can wear me down.  Nothing is quite good enough.  Whatever we do is 'fun' but then thirty minutes later they're looking to do the next thing. I can't keep up.  And it's hot.  Hot weather makes me want to hibernate.   I could tell you that most days I find myself laying on my bedroom floor in the mid afternoon, watching the Food Network and wishing I could blink and be someone else.  I'm not sure what happens in the afternoon to make me feel this way. It's like an automatic switch flips from off to on, or something.   In the morning, I'm refreshed, ready to workout and ready for the day.  But by two in the afternoon I'm laying on the floor in a state of full-on woe is me. 

Pity party for one.
An uninspired pity party for one.

Inspiration strikes at the oddest moments.  Last night I was inspired to blog about pet names (and my inability to use them) but it was late and I wanted to get ready for bed.  Today, I fired up the laptop in hopes of completing my thoughts on the topic, but I couldn't do it.  I lost the momentum.

Hopefully it'll come back.

Can't keep all thirteen of you hanging!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011



Caroline is in camp this week with her friend, Rachel.  I woke on Monday ready to get in some quality gym time this week.  No guilt.  No extra money spent on babykid sitting.

It was going to be great.

Except my grand plans to achieve this desired blissful, endorphin-filled exercise utopia have been foiled.  First by an unplanned and epically long power outage at my gym yesterday and second by a pulled muscle in my back.  I wish I could tell you how I pulled the muscle, but I can't.  Because I was doing nothing.

I pulled a muscle in my back while doing nothing.

How sad is that?

Is this what happens when you get old?  Mysterious aches and pains, knees that crackle like you're stepping on a bag of potato chips, pulled muscles while sitting still.  Depressing.

So, instead of feeling the burn and pumping crazy iron and visualizing punching people in the face, I bought groceries.  In two days, I've been to four different grocery stores. 

Again, I ask, how sad is that?

I sure hope I'm back in exercise condition tomorrow because my freezer, refrigerator and pantry are full.

Here's to hoping I don't break my toe while putting on my socks or twist my ankle while folding laundry.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Caroline and her friend, Rachel, have been on a sidewalk chalk kick lately.  Their 'art' is currently embellishing the street in front of our house and also in my garage, because it's too hot to do the chalk thing when the sun is out in full force.  In the evenings, they plop themselves smack dab in the middle of the street (I wish I was lying) and draw.   Am I a responsible parent, or what?
The thing about sidewalk chalk is that it's not known for it's longevity.  After a few scribbles on the rough pavement, the chalk breaks or gets whittled down to nubs within mere moments.  As a result of Caroline and Rachel's efforts to keep our neighborhood streets decorated with rainbows and rocket ships, I was informed last night that we were down to a plastic container full of chalk nubs.

While we were out running some errands this morning, we bought some new chalk.  Because any activity that brings them outside and in to the fresh air, is a winner in my book. I intended to purchase the big box for the girls, but somehow they convinced me that they needed both individual tubs like the ones pictured above and a 52 count box to share.

Why yes, I am a sucker.

But at least they're outside.

In other news:  I have a cramp in my foot.  I ran this morning and now I have a cramp in my foot.  It hurts.  I am not amused.

Also?  Caroline is going to camp next week with Rachel and her sister Sarah. 

Two words:  Yee.  Haw.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekends *Edited*


Confession time:  I sort of hate the weekend.  True story.  As if I'm not backwards enough.

I suppose if I had a real  job and did the whole working-commuting-rat race thing, I'd love the weekend.  For those who spend 40 hours a week at a desk, the weekend brings with it rejuvenation and rest.  But, as a stay at home mom for the past 9+ years, every day is pretty much the same, so a weekend day is just like any other.  Except, for whatever reason, weekend days throw my schedule into a wonky tailspin.

I don't like having a wonky schedule.

I do, however, like receiving coupons in the newspaper on Saturday morning.  But two measly coupon packets on Saturday morning isn't enough to make me enjoy the weekend any more.  Especially on days such as today when I only received ONE coupon packet which didn't contain anything remotely interesting.

The radio station I listen to plays strange programming on Saturday mornings. The traffic is bad.  The stores are crowded.  I don't go to the gym.

It's just turrable.

Every birthday I get depressed, not necessarily because I'm getting older, but because I feel like I didn't enjoy myself enough the previous year.  It's all a vicious circle:  I thrive on schedule, routine and familiarity so when that is thrown off I get all bent out of shape and in my usual self-loathing fashion, I feel empty in the end because in my attempt to keep with the safe and familiar routine, I've missed out on having real live, actual FUN.   But then I start to think that most people in my season of life probably have pretty boring lives, as well.  At least I hope so; misery does love company, you now.

Actually, I think my problem is that I read these healthy living blogs written by childless twenty somethings who can do whatever they please whenever they wish.  The can get up and run early and then spend the day wine tasting and shopping at the farmer's market.  They can run in any race they want and travel as much as their little hearts desire.  Hmmm, jealous, much? They don't have to worry about soccer schedules, being the only parent for two summers in a row, and making sure their kid sleeps in a bit on the weekend because she's worn herself out swimming and playing all week. 

Clearly my life is far from horrible, but it's also far from free. 

Perhaps I should stop reading these blogs if they're doing nothing but making me feel resentful and pathetic?

But, if I did stop reading them, I'd having nothing to write complain about.  Ha!

Edited to add:  Because the above text is quite downer-ish, I should add that today is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and filled with puffy white clouds; it's not too hot (and hardly humid at all), which makes me hate the weeekend a little less.  However, we just came back from Kohl's.  I never go there on Saturdays because everyone else goes there on Saturday; today was no exception.  Caroline found a shirt that she liked last week when she was there with her friends and she wanted to show me.  It was on sale, so I thought I'd buy it for her to wear to school in the fall.  Unfortunately there were thirty other people in line and neither Caroline nor I wished to stand there for that long to save $8.  We'll go back another time.  Or better yet, I may buy it online.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Success on the High Dive

We went back to the indoor pool today.  After Monday's disastrous visit, I brought back the three girls who find jumping from the high dive to be a fun experience. 

And fun they had.

They must have each jumped 50 times. 

Another friend (and her two brothers) joined us, so I had their mom to talk to, which was nice. 

I also had a conversation with one of the camp counselors, who was watching her bunch of camp kids from the side of the pool.  She was also there on Monday and was one of the masses of people who tried to encourage Bailey to jump from the high dive.   It was a fun conversation; she told me the woes of her life:  in school, in work and in love. 

I wish I had the troubles of a soon-to-be senior in college.  :)

Speaking of woes.....I started to feel badly for bringing Caroline, Sarah and Rachel to the pool today, without Bailey, but I knew in my heart that she probably didn't want to go, anyway.  But still, when you're nine, it's easy to get your feelings hurt when you're left out.  Heck, it's easy to get your feelings hurt when you're 34, even when you know better.  Also, I didn't want news to get back to Bailey's parents that I purposefully excluded her from the indoor pool excursion.  If there is anything I've learned in my nine and a half years of parenting, it's that kids do not effectively relay the entire truth in most cases.  I think they simply cannot remember and then retell ALL of the details.  Perhaps it's a maturity thing?

Anyhow, I figured even if I told Bailey exactly why we were going to the pool without her, the only part she'd tell her parents was 'Alison said I couldn't go.'

So to prevent any sort of neighborhood rift, I called Bailey's dad and told him the whole story.  And of course, he completely understood.


It seems in my attempts to make everyone happy, I've made myself miserable.

I guess it'll all be okay.  Bailey isn't mad.  The girls got to jump on the high dive.  And best of all, I bought them snacks from the vending machine. 

Because nothing says summer like eating Cheez-Its in your bathing suit.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

If The Tank Top Fits

Buy it in every color!

I'm shamelessly addicted to these tank tops from Target.  They're cheap ($6 on sale) and come in a variety of colors.  Between last summer and now, I've purchased seven of them.  Seven.  Six are pictured above in a lovely array of blues, purples and greens.  I also own a coral colored one, but it was in the wash when I took the picture.

It seems pretty excessive to own seven tank tops off the same style.  In fact, not only does it SEEM excessive, it IS, in fact, excessive. 

I have no shame.

Just like the seven similar tank tops hanging in my closet (among the other tank tops which will remain unpictured, lest you think I have some sort of shopping problem, ahem), I have a drawer full of workout tank tops.

Some women pledge their allegiance to Lululemon and Lucy activewear; I prefer the $4 ribbed tank tops from Walmart.  Sure, they don't wick the sweat away like high end workout wear, but they're cheap, colorful and easily replaceable.

That picture above isn't great...I think the sun light was too bright...but I figured I'd share anyway.

I guess it could be worse, right?  I could collect purses or shoes.

In other news, summer has only been out three weeks.  It feels like it's been forever, but, it has, in fact, only been three weeks.  It's a cruel world we live in. 

I've been keeping the girls busy with our tour of every pool in Fairfax county, but there is only so much swimming they can do.  Today we're taking a break from the pool, but tomorrow we're attempting the high dive again at the indoor pool.  Yesterday we crashed my friend Mandy's pool and we're going back there on Friday for swimming and pizza.

Anything to fill up the days.

I feel like a camp counselor with my clip board of fun.  It's hard to find affordable, fun activities for girls aged 9-12.  We could hang out at the mall, I suppose, but I don't know about that.  Last time we went to the mall, I had to go in to Hot Topic so Caroline's friend, Sarah, could look at fake glasses.  It seems the fake glasses craze has come back in style; when I was a girl I wanted a pair of Sally Jesse Raphael round red glasses SO BADLY.  I never bought any, probably because I figured I wasn't cool enough to pull off the fake glasses look, and I suppose it was for the best.  I always wanted to be trendy as a kid, but never felt confident enough that I could pull it off.  Come to think of it, I still feel that way today.  Which explains my seven tank tops of the same style.

In all my years on this planet, I had never found any reason to step into a Hot Topic store.  Have you ever been in Hot Topic?  Obnoxious music.  Obnoxious clothing.  Apathetic multi-pierced sales person hunched over the counter.  I'm not an old fogey by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't say that I felt totally at home in Hot Topic.  My brand of boring, bland and vanilla can't compete with the obnoxious, loud and apathetic brand Hot Topic has to offer.

Would you expect anything different from someone who owns the same tank top in seven different colors?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stories From The High Dive

I took Caroline and three friends to the indoor pool at our local rec center this afternoon.  We have a perfectly acceptable pool, which is FREE to use, right down the road, but the indoor pool, which costs $6.40 per person, was calling our names today.  Actually, it was the diving boards which called our names.  And I can't deny the fact that not having to deal with messy sunblock was a selling factor, as well.

There are three diving boards; two of normal height off the water and one high dive.  Not platform diving high, but, still, very high. Caroline first jumped off the high dive when she was at camp two weeks ago and was eager to do it again.  And again.  And again.

Because I have nothing else to do with my time but entertain Caroline and her friends, and because I appear to be quite the self-loathing sadist/glutton for punishment, we all made the trip over to the pool this afternoon.  But not before I arrived home from the gym to a hot cooked lunch waiting for me.  Caroline and Sarah, who 'kid-sits' while I go to the gym, felt it was in their best interest to have lunch waiting for me so that they could get to the pool faster.  They very eagerly made me an entire box of macaroni and cheese, a huge bowl of trail mix and a  murky, sludgy green smoothie.   I was touched by the sentiment, even though what they prepared might not be my usual lunch of choice.  Ever. 

It was sweet, though.

Anyway, we made it to the pool, paid our entrance fees and got settled in.  First Caroline jumped.  Then Rachel, followed by Sarah.  Bailey was last.  She's not a fan of heights and wasn't really enthusiastic about the whole jumping off the high dive thing.  Still, she jumped, albeit hesitantly.  And she was okay.  I think she may have smiled after?

Then they went again without incident.

The third time Bailey jumped, she cried a little after, said she was scared and came and sat down with me.  I told her she DID NOT have to jump off the high dive.  The other girls were not pressuring her and were perfectly satisfied with her sticking to the low dive.  I told her I would never jump off the high dive and that it was perfectly okay to be afraid.  I figured what I said stuck with her and I continued to read my book while the girls swam and jumped.

A little while later I look up and there is Bailey on the high dive.  She chickened out and wanted to back down, but for safety purposes (?) they don't let you do that.  We encouraged her to jump but she wouldn't.  She just stood there and cried.  I felt bad for her, really, I did.  But, she didn't have to get up there.  No one made her. No one forced her against her will.  For reasons I'll never understand, she climbed that ladder on her own.  She cried for a while.  We encouraged her to jump, but she wouldn't.  A nice young man offered to wait in the water to 'catch' her but she refused.  Thankfully the lifeguard came to her rescue and helped her down off the ladder.

She cried for quite a long time.  I'm sure she was embarrassed. 

I felt terrible for Bailey.  I still don't understand why she went up there. 

If I don't want to do something, I don't do it.   Especially if it involves jumping off of high things or touching animals who don't have feet or fur.

Even though I am one of them, I don't think I'll ever understand girls.

We're a confusing lot.

Our afternoon at the pool was short lived and emotionally draining.  We did stick around for a little bit to allow the other girls to jump.  I told them I'll bring them back later in the week without Bailey.  Somehow I doubt Bailey will mind being excluded from that trip!

We went for Slurpees after.  Slurpees have an uncanny knack for cheering kids up.....especially when they're free.

 Oh thank heaven for 7-11!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chasing Girls On Bikes

Yesterday evening, Caroline and her friends approached me with their sincerest and most eager, puppy dog faces.  The moment I saw their faces and heard the sing-songy tone in their voices, I knew something was up.

And usually 'something' involves me taking them somewhere, usually some place where sugary treats or craft supplies are sold. 

This time 'something' involved me taking them on a bike ride.

"Hey mom," my eager spawn said, "can you take me, Sarah and Rachel on a bike ride?"

"Sounds good," I said, "except, you know, I DON'T OWN A BIKE!"

"That's okay," she said.  "You can walk behind us."   

"Okay?" I replied.

For whatever reason, I agreed.  I would have preferred to stay in the air conditioned house and watch reruns of The Gilmore Girls on SoapNet, which happens to be my favorite weekend activity, but I didn't have a real excuse to say no.  I searched for one.  Oh, how I tried.  But I couldn't come up with one single solitary excuse as to why I couldn't walk behind a trio of bike riding girls.  Also, I do try my best  to not discourage kids  from participating in any sort of physical activity. 

They wanted to ride to 7-11 for a Slurpee, but I put the kibosh on that because it's hard to ride a bike home whilst drinking a Slurpee.  And then I'd be stuck carrying them all home, which is something I did not want to do.  And we sure weren't going to hang around 7-11 while they finished them.

Instead, I proposed a bike ride/walk to Dairy Queen.

My suggestion was met with an eager seal of approval.  I mean, really?  Who is going to turn down ice cream? 

With bike helmets affixed to their heads and tires properly inflated, we took off on our evening adventure.

But first, I fired up my Gamin GPS so we could see how far our trek might take us.

Taking lots of twists and turns and stopping to ride up and down 'the big hill by the library' a few times we went nearly four miles in total.  The girls biked up to the street corners and would wait for me to catch up before taking off again.   

It was a nice way to spend the evening.  Exercise Ice cream makes everything more enjoyable.

It was so enjoyable, in fact, that the girls decided that a bike ride Sunday morning would be equally as enjoyable.  Only this time, "you can run behind us, mom."
Somehow I agreed again.  And at 7:30 am this morning, we set out on another bike ride/run.  They tried to convince me to run/bike to IHOP or Dunkin Donuts (again with the sweet stuff!), but I declined.  My red faced, sweat drenched running attire is not suitable for public places.   I told them I'd make them a smoothie upon our return, which appeased them.  Smoothies aren't doughnuts, but today, they'd have to do.

We went nearly five miles this morning.    It was hot and hilly but the girls were tough and, much to my surprise, complained remarkably little.  While I much prefer running solo and without having to stop at numerous stop lights, I needed that run.  I've started a very informal training plan for the half marathon I'm running in October and a five mile run was just what the training plan ordered. 

When we returned home, the girls were wiped out; they sat on the couch for nearly two hours and I think one of them even fell asleep!

It didn't last long, though.  After their down time, I was talked in to taking them to Claire's at the mall.

Again, I agreed.

They've got me wrapped around their sticky little fingers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Look At Me....Always Thinking Ahead

Chef Anne Burrell on the Food Network always says that as she's sharing with us her secrets to being a restaurant chef.  But this post isn't about food. Instead, it's about colonial America costumes.  Each year the fourth graders at Caroline's school host a Colonial Day celebration.  The kids dress up and, I assume, do things that children in colonial times did.  Honestly, I don't know what they do at the Colonial Day thing, but, like I said, they have to dress up.

Spider Man costumes are easy to come by.  As are witch costumes and cheerleader costumes and, well, you get the idea.  But colonial costumes?  They're a little harder to find.  If you're lucky, you know someone who was a fourth grader the previous year and you put dibs on their costume for next year.  And if you're super lucky, you can sew one yourself.

We have neither dibs on a costume from last year nor the ability to sew one ourselves.

And where does that leave me?  Besides panicking over colonial costumes in July?

Well, it leaves me purchasing a colonial girl costume, online, in July.  Colonial day isn't until the fall sometime, but  you know me, I like to be prepared.  Always obsessing thinking ahead.

For the majority of our time living here, I didn't worry about securing a costume for Caroline because we were only supposed to be here for three years (1st-3rd grade).  Clearly, that's not happening, thanks to Craig's current deployment.  It's odd to think that we should be en route to a new duty station right now.  I really love living here and the thought of moving, uprooting Caroline, and having to start over in a new place sounds most undesirable.  I never thought I'd say it, but thank goodness for deployments.  Although Craig might not concur!  When it's time to leave, we'll be incredibly sad to leave our wonderful neighborhood, great friends and fabulous school.  But most of all, I think I'll miss my gym the most.

I know that sounds incredibly shallow, but I can't help it.  I am incredibly shallow love my gym.

Anyway, I was reading a blog post the other day in which the blog author linked to a costume site where she purchased a pilgrim costume for her kids' dress up supply.  "A pilgrim costume?!" I said to myself.  "I wonder if they have colonial costumes, too?"  And sure enough, with one click of a hyperlink, I found myself buying Caroline a colonial costume for a school event that is still many months away.

I don't know whether to be proud of my forethought.... or ashamed.   I mean, it's JULY!  School doesn't start for two months.  The fact that I purchased a costume for a one day event several months in advance is a true testament to the fact that 1.) I have no life  2.) I'm a neurotic freak  3.) I'm a neurotic freak with no life.

And I need a cookie.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Slacker Photog


I should remember to bring out my camera more often because otherwise I'm forced to include stupid e-cards in my post.  They're stupid, but funny.   Often completely inappropriate, which makes them even funnier.  Just so long as Caroline isn't reading over my shoulder; there are some things you just should not have to explain to a nine year old.

In today's quest to not go crazy during summer break, we went to the pool.  Since Caroline's two friends had so much fun touring the Ft. Belvoir bowling alley yesterday (and patronizing the conveniently located Dunkin Donuts) we decided to try the Ft. Belvoir pool today.  The pool has a big deep end, even bigger than our friend's pool in the neighboring subdivision.  The girls wanted to practice their diving....and also to patronize the other Dunkin Donuts, which is also conveniently located close to the pool.  Because coolattas make a hot summer day a little easier to tolerate.

Our time at the pool was short, probably because they wanted to go to Dunkin Donuts, but, they got some exercise and I had a chance to catch up on some reading. 

And there you have it:  our pitiful day in a nut shell.

Heaven help me, we're close to wrapping up our second full week of summer vacation.I think we have nine to go.  I'm not sure I can find enough things to do to keep everyone happy, occupied and not tragically bored....all without sending them into a diabetic coma with repeated trips to Dunkin Donuts.


Thanks for letting me vent!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

There Goes My Career As A Pro Bowler


I took Caroline and two of her friends bowling today.  Usually, I save bowling for the end of the summer when the kids are tired of the pool and, quite frankly, tired of each other.  It seems that this summer is dragging along WAY TOO SLOW and our lackluster rectangular pool doesn't compare to the fun we have at the neighboring subdivision's pool.  Unfortunately for us, our ticket to the exciting pool (with the real deep end where you can dive), is on vacation for the next two weeks.  How rude!

So what is a desperate mom to do?

Why, she goes to the bowling alley, of course.

Besides, the weather is super yucky today; hot, cloudy and ridiculously muggy.  What better way to spend a gross day than inside an air conditioned building throwing slick, heavy balls around?

Normally we all bowl with the special bumpers, which prevent every ball a kid bowls from ending up in the gutter.  The bumpers are genius.  Unless you like to hear kids cry after every gutter ball, that is.   However, the bowling alley implemented a new system which prevents adults from using the bumpers.  Boo Hiss.

I need the bumpers.  No, really, I do.  Caroline once beat me WITH the bumpers.  That's how bad I am at bowling.  Did I mention she was five at the time?

See, I told you.

Anyhoo, despite the realization that my bowling score was going to suffer horribly, thus ending any chance I had of becoming a professional bowler, I still held my own.  I even bowled three strikes.  AND I won a game!  Yee haw!  Caroline won the first game; Rachel won the last.  Sarah didn't fair as well, but I think she was more interested in scoping out the pre teen boy crowd than focusing on her bowling.  Oh to be twelve again!

Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves (save for a few self-pity filled pouty moments --no, not MINE) which was the goal.  My one wish for Caroline and friends is that they really enjoy their young lives and create fun memories with their friends.  They have their whole adulthood to worry about the details; for now, I just want them to have fun.

Before long they'll be the mom who is trying to survive summer break without having a nervous breakdown. 

For now I just want them to be quiet kids.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Parenting: Just Wing It!

All I can say is, thank goodness for my goody-two-shoes kid.

Like mother, like daughter.

So I learned last night that one of the girls at our crazy sleepover Saturday night told Caroline that she didn't need to tell her mom everything.  The girl offering this tid-bit of information is the one who no longer lives in our neighborhood.  Thank goodness.  She's very mature for her age; a slick, mean-girl-in-training who is heavily influenced by an older brother and, in her younger years, a less than stable home life.

I've always felt a little uneasy around this girl and despite my better judgment, I agreed to allow her to sleepover.  Sometimes she's still a sweet girl, but sometimes the growing-too-fast side appears and who knows what sort of information she'll bestow upon Caroline and her friends, who for the most part, are still innocent and completely oblivious to the ways of the world.

Obviously telling someone they don't have to tell their mom everything is innocuous in the grand scheme of things.  She could have offered up something much more salacious, which would give cause for copious amounts of damage control.  And not to mention, leaving me red faced and flailing about, trying to use the right words, as opposed to over reacting and making things worse.  In our case, a quick reminder that we're supposed to do what we know is right, according to our parents, according to the law and according to God, even when we're encouraged to do otherwise, was all that needed to be said.

Caroline didn't tell me any of this, but the other sleep over participants told their mom, who then told me.  When I approached Caroline about it, she said it was because I told them they couldn't put whipped cream on the face of the first girl who fell asleep.  Caroline told them I said no and the other girl told her they should just do it and not tell me.  Like I wouldn't find the remains of an empty whipped cream bottle or even worse, caked on dried whipped cream on my furniture.

Thankfully, Caroline held her ground.

Or, perhaps they all forgot about it during their obnoxiously loud sing along to the song stylings of one Justin Bieber?

All I know is that even on a good day I feel wholly unqualified to be a parent.   Factor in the outside influences of children who have been taught a looser set of morals than I'm trying to instill in Caroline and I find myself even less qualified.  And entirely out of my league.

Sometimes I think I have a handle on things; other times I literally close my eyes, cross my fingers and simply hope for the best. 

Perhaps I should write a book about it?   I can picture it now......Parenting:  Just Wing It!

Poor Caroline.  She deserves SO much better!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July, yo!

Last year Caroline and I spent Independence Day flying to Florida.  This year, our feet shall remain firmly planted on the ground. 

We're doing a little of this


eating a little of that


And hoping we don't have to make a trip to the emergency room due to sparkler induced trauma.


No fancy firework extravaganza shows for us this year.  No big crowds.  No oohing and aahing. 

We're laying low this year.  Keeping it simple.  This afternoon we crashed our friend's pool and in a few minutes, we're all meeting up at another friend's house for pizza and sparklers.

Sounds just perfect to me.

Hooray for freedom!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


It's Sunday morning and I'm in desperate need of coffee, but I'm hiding up stairs. 

There are five girls asleep in my living room and I don't want to wake them.

They went to bed late, around 1am, which for our sleepovers, is late.  We started with four girls (including Caroline).  As it started to get dark last night, two of them strapped on their roller skates and the other two grabbed their scooters.  Together, decked out and embellished with those glow sticks you can turn into bracelets and necklaces, they rolled around the neighborhood, creating their very own light show.

It's good to be a kid.

Somewhere along the way, another girl joined in.  This girl used to live in our neighborhood, but moved a few miles away last summer.  But still, her mom's soon to be husband's mother lives across the street from us (!), and they were visiting.  Somehow Kyleigh joined in and was soon a part of the sleepover.

The girls had a ball, but their usually tame sleep over, turned rather loud and rambunctious.  One extra girl made all the difference.  Or perhaps it was that particular extra girl.

All I know is that Justin Bieber songs and many other Top 40 hits were being belted at the top of their lungs at midnight.  There were slap fights and someone got bitten.  All playfully, of course.

There was talk of putting whipped cream on the first girl who fell asleep (how cliche) but I put the kibosh on that.  "No whipped cream on my couch" is a rule I strictly adhere to.

Despite the uncharacteristic raise in decibel levels and the later than usual bed time, the girls had fun. No one got hurt, so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much.

I still would really like to drink some coffee.  If the living room wasn't so closely connected to the kitchen I would.  If our stairs weren't creaky, I might.  But at this point, having five peacefully sleeping girls trumps caffeine.

Eventually I'll be released from my bedroom floor prison and the caffeine can flow freely through my veins.  Until then, I should probably enjoy the silence.....because it won't last long.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's July!

Normally I'm kind of sad when a new month begins because it generally means that time is flying way too quickly and I'm getting older, wrinklier and closer to 40 than I'd like.  However, in the summer months (aka the months I detest with the passion of a million fiery suns), I'm practically giddy as I flip over the calendar page.  The faster the hot, children-out-of-school months pass, the happier I am.

Oh, and please note that while I complain endlessly about summer break,  I do, in fact, love my kid.  I'd hate for anyone to think otherwise. 

Besides the fact that I'm happy it's July 1, I really have nothing to report.  Last July 1st I had something to report:  it was the day Craig got promoted

But today?

Well, not much is going on.

I bought a watermelon today.  And some paper towels.  I paid the bills (holla to online bill paying) and am currently sitting on my couch, feet propped up, and diet pepsi at my side.  Not exactly blog worthy.  So instead of rambling on about nothing, I will keep this short and sweet. 

But before I hit publish, let me get one thing off my chest:  fruit is not dessert! 

It just isn't.  Stop trying to tell me otherwise. 

I adore fruit.  I eat a lot of it.  It's tasty.  It's refreshing.  It's nutrient dense.


Fruit may be a part of dessert, if cake, ice cream or pie are involved.  But by itself, fruit is not dessert.

Can I get an amen?