Friday, January 30, 2009

See Daddy Swim.

Sam finally swam in a meet that wasn't a several-hour drive away, so we got to go cheer him on. Right here in Bangor, Sam swam the 200 free, 100 IM, 100 back, and the 1000. We lucked out and made it in time for 2 of those events before the two smallest manharts lost their coolio.

Sam is in the middle.

Reed did this for about 3 minutes and then started trying to break through the netting to dive in. No joke.

Guess who's winning?
It is fun to go to a swim meet when your husband is the bad ass who everyone is watching.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Skyler had a bad day too and other weekday adventures

I took both kids for real haircuts this weekend. (To fix Skyler's do-it-yourself job, and to fix Reed's return of the strung-out-surfer baby look).

When I picked her up from school:

Me: How was your day?
Skyler: Not good.
Me: Why?
Skyler: Nobody at school said "I love your haircut" OR "I like your haircut"

The nerve!!!

Everything is much better now, by the way:

The car damage isn't so bad after all {"a scratch, a scratch!" as Mercutio would say}
I got a pound of French Roast!
I got new {cute} travel coffee mugs!
I bought a new iron!
I ironed my pants for tomorrow already!
I finished my grading!
I made enough dinner for tomorrow night too!
The dryer still doesn't work but I don't care! I'll buy a freaking top-of-the-line dryer with the credit card tomorrow if I have to! I'm not fixing the dryer any more! I'm going to huck it out the window!!!! WOO HOO!

Oh, and I have this to look forward to: Reed makes us laugh the second he wakes up lately. He comes out of his bedroom yelling:
(skyler, wake up!)

When things don't go as planned

Today is the first Monday of the 2nd semester. I have a thing about Sunday nights and Monday mornings. I need to have things ready and organized so that things go smoothly, or else, I fear, the whole week is thrown off. I had this feeling last night, like things needed to go well today, or else the whole semester was going to be thrown off.

Last night I fought hard against my sleepiness to finish my grading, planning, and clean the kitchen because I HATE waking up to a messy kitchen, especially on a Monday morning.

But this morning, here is how things went:
I needed to iron my pants, but the iron was broken.
So, I moistened them in the shower and threw them in the dryer.
But the dryer isn't getting hot (don't even talk to me) so I had to wear them damp and cold.
It was negative 20 degrees.
We didn't have time for Reed and Skyler to eat their breakfast.
We were out of the good coffee.
I picked up the phone to check voicemail. No dial tone.
We shoved the kids into their clothes, both unhappy.
We couldn't find either pairs of Skyler's boots, so after ripping through all the closets, I put her in her rainboots, knowing I would look like a bad mommy. It is -20 degrees after all.
When I got to Kimmie's, I started to get Reed out of the car when the neighbor who shares the driveway backed into my car with his van.
And I burst into tears. That was all I could take.
But then I realized that Skyler, if it had been a day that she got out at Kimmie's, could very well have been standing in the path of that van, and he would not have seen her.

The thought of what could have been has been haunting me all morning.

SO! How is that for starting off the semester?

Here's to a better start tomorrow! A normal week, please.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Girls' night out took an exciting (and semi-spontaneous) turn. Before dinner, Meredith, Suzanne and I made a stop in Bucksport for Suzanne to add a new "accessory." Suzanne needs her friends right now, and what better a way to show our support and love than escort her to a tattoo parlor? That's what friends are for. I know Suzanne's mom reads this blog. Jan, I hope you'll forgive us, and I'm sorry if you didn't want to see the action shots :).

checking out the design one final time.

"I promise not to be mad at my friends if it hurts more than they say"

The artist. The design on screen. The meaning: Choku Rei indicates strength, power, action. It represents energy with a direction and purpose. (perfect!)


"Remember, Suzanne, you survived natural childbirth"

Ta-da! (upside down). We can't wait for yoga to see your cute feet from across the room!

And now for a drink. Yep. We ordered the volcano bowl. And it is indeed on fire.

We have another very similar date planned soon for someone else to get another accessory. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Outdoor Lit Semester Recap

Turn up the sound!
(Sorry the text is hard to read on this micro version.)

Heading home, January sky

The day after

Look who is hanging out in my mom's living room!
(It's "BAMA" as Reed says)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I watched the inauguration today with tears and sweaty hands. Welcome, Mr. President. We're very glad to have you.

This week is midterms, so half days at school.

I worked very hard to get all my grading done.

So I could sneak in an hour in the woods on my snowshoes before I picked up the kids.

The world feels different today, doesn't it?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sam's 40th in a Blizzard

We celebrated Sam's 40th a few weeks late with a dinner party for 12 last night while outside it snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed (see? out the window?). All of our friends rallied big time to get babysitters picked up and settled before heading over on the terrible roads. I had been home all day cooking a heap of food, with the help of Meredith and my mom, so I was really glad everyone made it. Sam was kicked out all day and came home in time to shovel the foot of snow off the driveway and take a shower.

I had a great time planning this menu and cooking, and almost all the photos I took are of the food (sorry).

These appetizers were all Meredith.

woo hoo! Sangria makes me smiley.

Mer and Jason hung out with us till the wee hours.

While I was putting Reed down for a nap.

"Mom, I have great news.I made lunch! And we were all out of peanut butter so I made yogurt sandwiches."

How does it taste? Thumbs up.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tidbits from the kids

Skyler cut her own hair. It's okay, it's just the FRONT PART.
When I saw it she said: "But it's going to be just our secret, okay?"

"Mom. We are so much luckier than tadpoles because we get to spend so much time together and they can't because the ice freezes over their heads."

Skyler: (about baby Lucy, her new tiny friend at Kimmie's)
"She just couldn't keep her eyes off of me while I was singing to her. When her mom got there, her eyes went to her mom and then right back to me."

This week I got the stomach bug that Skyler had last week. When I woke up Tuesday I said:
"Mommy is sick"
Skyler: "I know just how you feel."
Me: "When you get home from school will you snuggle with me?"
Skyler: "you bet."

My favorite micro-Reedisms:
A rooster says: doodle-ooooo
A kitty says: eeeee-mow

And I have this small conversation with Reed approx. 750 times a day:
Reed: Mommy?
Me: Yeah?
Reed: Hi Mommy.

(just checking in!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hot chocolate so good. Must steal Mommy's cup.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

If you order a child out of a catalog

I highly recommend choosing this feature, one of my very favorite qualities in Skyler:

Since she was 2 years old, she always makes it to the bathroom or other provided receptacle when she is going to throw up.

Poor thing. She (with me along side her) was up all night.

She caught up with a HUGE nap by the new wood pellet stove* today. Toasty.

* That is the stove we ordered in June and were promised in September, October, November and December. It was installed last week. Phew!

Final Exam prep

Outdoor Lit ends next week and then I start again with a new crop of kids. We are packing in the skiing and snowshoeing since we didn't have enough snow until this past week. I can't over-state what 45 minutes of being out and active in this white world, right in the middle of my teaching day, does for my morale. Oh yeah. And my students are happy too.

The final exam is next week. My plan is:
1. Give out writing prompt.
2. Head out for a 40 minute silent snow shoe, aka "pre-writing"
3. Come back in and settle in to write for the final 50 minutes. With hot cocoa.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

THE BATTLE RAGES ON: Another Over-Dramatic Tale of our @%$#ing Dryer)

After my triumphant fixing of the dryer, I did 10 glorious loads of laundry and then it died another sad death. At least we had everything washed, dried, and put away.
It was a frustrating step backwards, especially because I had fixed it myself and then TOLD EVERYONE I KNOW HOW PROUD I WAS OF MYSELF.

I took it apart to reveal that the heating coil was already burnt out again, so I knew there was something bigger going on.

I gave in and called Al over at Perkins Appliance (super-nice guy), and he came over, and he's coming over again, because there were 4 other issues, all of which required new parts and knowledge of dryers beyond my own.

So, I was gratified by him telling me I did everything correctly, but I couldn't go on pretending that I am as handy as I once thought.

After tonight's visit from Al, I think the thing will be back to work. And man do we have a mountain of laundry again. We have one damp towel to share as a family.

P.S. Just as a point of contrast, my friend Meredith fixes her dryer all the time, as well as all sorts of other appliances and she installs light fixtures and doors. She doesn't write blog posts about it. She just does it and then if you find out somehow and act impressed, she's like... yeah, so what?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pageant time again

Look at these angels, these shepherds, these sheep. (double click too and see the stars Skyler and I made and her earnest little face in the crowd of joyfully singing children).

2 months ago, I met with the priest at our church to chat about the pageant. Halfway through the meeting I realized that she was trying to ask me to direct it this year.

I said no. No. Too busy. Don't know anything about it. No idea how to do that. No time. (plus there is this tiny complication that I'm still not sure I'm a real Episcopalian).

Nevertheless, 10 minutes later, I was all:
"Okay, so I'll start working on the script and email you in the morning."

That's a good quality in a leader: she pulled a jedi mind trick on me without me knowing it by telling me how good I'd be at directing a pageant because I was so good with my students and next thing you know...

So, I was the director of the pageant this year. But I had a lot of help. And it was stressful and fun and it turned out beautifully. (Except for Reed who cried from the second we zipped up his sheep costume and wanted no other shepherd but Sam to hold him, so he was in the audience instead). I wish I had video of the kids singing "GOOOOOOOO Tell it on the Mountain!" with their perfectly cute o-shaped mouths and their wings a-bouncin.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's 2009. It's time to make some plans.

One of the coolest and most surprising outcomes of my keeping this blog for a year and half is that several people have joined me in starting to run and sign up for races.

I was running today (the gym was crowded... it is resolution time after all) and I started thinking about all of you readers who I know are working on training goals for the upcoming year. I actually got a little overwhelmed at the collective power and energy in all of us working so hard together. I felt all of your presence and had a moment of feeling so energized I thought the treadmill would start to smoke with my enthusiasm. If you didn't already notice this, I get a little emotional about running for some reason. I can actually make myself teary during any old run if I picture myself crossing a finish line.

I started to list you all off in my head, all of you I know are going to run a big race or your first race in 2009. So I decided to try this.

I'm going to go public (right now... well, in just a second) with my race plans for 2009 because I'm all about making goals these days, and I've found it's a good motivator to tell people.

(When I decided to run my first 1/2 marathon, I posted the goal on the wall of my classroom with all the school-year goals of my students, and dammit if I was going to come back from that weekend and tell them I didn't finish the run.)

So runners and swimmers and cyclists, I know you are all out there. My friends. My family members. (two new ones emerged this week, very exciting additions to the cause).

Please post a comment telling us what your fitness goal is for 2009, including the name and date of a race if that is part of your plan.

I won't out you (though many of you are planning on running with me!) . You can choose to do it yourself. It's not like you are publishing your goal in the newspaper, but there are about 50 people who will read it.

I hope some of you will commit to posting your goal as a way to keep you motivated, and maybe even some of you who didn't know until just this moment that you were going to train for a race.

Okay, I'll go first:
May: Either Boston Half Marathon or Big Lake Half Marathon in New Hampshire.
July: Danskin Triathlon in Webster, Mass
September: MDI Half Marathon
October: Peak Performance Maine Marathon in Portland (YIKES!).

I saw a very cute mommy running shirt today that said: "26.2 miles of peace and quiet"
I'll use that as my new mantra.

Okay, everyone. Let's hear from you. We can do this together! Happy New Year!