Monday, March 31, 2008

rant. please ignore.

True Confessions:

I am unable to successfully home school (keeping children on task and in harmony with God and fellow man), keep a home clean and running smoothly, manage the family finances, keep everyone fed regularly, and keep the laundry from taking over my garage floor.

Do not bother to read my blog for motherly wisdom and chipper bits of advice, because I do not have any to offer.

That is all.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Slinky cat

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cats

I enjoy the silliness at ICHC - thanks to Mrs. Blythe and Rebecca for making me aware of the place. :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

indoor water feature, part the second

WOOT! (=general expression of joy and happiness)

We just returned from a mini family vacation. Extremely mini - as in, left yesterday afternoon, back this afternoon.

Just one hour south of us near Chehalis/Centralia, Great Wolf Lodge is now open!

Weeks back when I was in a haze with the flu, I stared at the TV mindlessly until the Great Wolf commercial came on. My mind rallied to one thing: A treat. A RE-treat. We so need this. Immediately I tottered over to the computer and made online reservations... planning ahead for everyone else in the family to get as sick as me, and their approximate recovery times... and decided March 27 was The Day to go, because, Lord willin' - we would all be Over It by then.

As we drove south on the interstate, we saw snow on the sides of the road. (Lovely: Spring is here!!) The kids had no clue what we were doing or where we were going, so it was a nice surprise to pull into the parking lot of what looks like a massive Indian casino and announce we're staying here. Even then, it wasn't until they were in the lobby area that they put it together that GWL is a huge indoor waterpark.

Our rooms weren't ready when we checked in at 1 p.m., so they gave us wristbands and turned us loose on the waterpark anyway (my friend Lori had prepped me to bring a day bag along so we could do this). Wave pools! Waterslides! Arcades! Joy!! I was delighted to be in the waterpark basking in the 84ยบ degree "weather" - watching the spring snow drift down and collect outside.

Around 4 I headed back out to the lobby to see if our room was ready yet, and entered a line that wound around several times and back a good ways. Having been to Disneyland and Magic Mountain many times, I could handle the wait. The staff wandered around serving different kinds of cookies and confections to keep us from becoming disgruntled. With time on my hands, I bonded with the four women surrounding me in line. We weren't about to go buy a pair of pants together or anything, but it was nice to chitchat the time away.

Joy! our room was ready (one of my cronies had to continue to wait for her room). They switched out my first wristband for a techno-cool gadget wristband with a microchip in it. It was my room key AND also contained my credit card information, so I could just swipe the wristband at any establishment at GWL and it would charge my account. (I chose not to do this--too easy to spend too much!)

Rooms clean, beds comfy, towels thick and fluffy - granted, the place has only been open for one week. We'll see what it's like a year or two from now! Food - incredible buffet with "real" food - and also some kid-friendly fare like jello, corn pups, pudding, etc. Service - overall, very good. They're still working out some bugs. A. noticed that the men's lockerroom still had tape up from where they had painted; I got stranded in a women's bathroom because there was no TP - and none in the stalls surrounding it either. This almost happened to me in a different women's bathroom near the arcade, but I hadn't committed myself at that point and hence was able to avert disaster. (Lesson learned: look before you leap.)

We turned the kids loose back into the waterpark after dinner until 9 p.m., and kicked them out of the room at 9 am this morning- back into the waterpark. They are TIRED, which was the goal. We had to be out of the room by 11 a.m., but we were welcome to remain on the grounds until 10 p.m. tonight. We opted to stay until a little after lunch, then headed back north. It was a sad wrench for me to leave 84 degrees for 33 and snowing, but the contrast was enjoyable.

Overall, 4 stars out of 5. They'll work out the TP situation and long check-in lines, I'm sure. Now I'm going to be regularly checking on teh internets for deals. Can't beat this family getaway with it so close by!

Happy Campers, Tired Campers, Content Parents

"Oh the weather outside is frightful..."

"...but inside is so delightful..."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

indoor water feature

The must-have thing in today's depressed real estate market is amenities. You know, those cool things that make a potential buyer jump at the chance to place an offer on your home.

D, ever thinking, ever planning, decided to add a water feature to our home yesterday. Taking a handy piece of tape, he covered over the bathroom sink outlet hole - the one near the top of the sink, got it?

He wanted to create a waterfall, and he succeeded.

The water ran over the countertop, filling the drawers, the storage cabinet underneath the sink, and added two inches of water to the (installed just last May) linoleum floor, soaking into the carpet just outside the door to a 6 inch radius.

Things are still drying out. It looks like the top drawer will be permanently warped, though perhaps we managed to save the other drawers, the cabinet bottom, and (I sincerely hope) the linoleum floor/subfloor.

At what age does The Citadel accept new recruits?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

rat race

When I was young and actually running to stay in shape, we had a drill for basketball practice that we called a rat race. (Some other people call it "Lines".) Starting on the baseline underneath the hoop, we sprinted to the free-throw line (touching the line on the ground), then back; then to the half-court line and back; to the farther free-throw line, and back; finishing with a full-court sprint to the other side and back to the starting baseline--all under 30 seconds, or Coach made us do it again.

Since Monday, A. has been out of town at a pastors' conference in Eastern WA, so I've been experiencing to a very small degree what single moms do on a daily basis. It's a rat race!

Monday: Clean house @ Dr. J's, get A. packed and ready to leave; bless my own home by cleaning; get kids to piano lessons; do the weekly shopping; feed the kids and take them with me to classical choir practice for 2.5 hours. D has to miss an evening piano class because I can't be in two places at once. Go home, go to bed. (No school accomplished.)

Middle of the night: S has a nightmare and crawls in bed with me, crying. She later leaves and goes back to her own bed and has no memory of it Tuesday morning.

Tuesday: D wakes up at 0-dark-hundred to watch Jurassic Park 3 so I won't bother him about doing school first. 10 minutes before class begins I remember that D needs to get dressed and ready for band at school. He makes it on time! We have one hour between band finishing and leaving for swimming lessons, so we review long division (with much disgust and disdain from D). Then swimming lessons - and a trip to Costco while the kids backstroke and front crawl. Home for a late lunch and a little more school. Must clean bathroom, living room and piano/dining room of kid and school clutter before students arrive. Make arrangements to practice with flute player for offertory on Sunday. Teach 2.5 hours, finishing at 6. S has piano class at 6:45 so we have time to run to Pizza Hut (where we must needs go whenever A is out of town!) Realize at 6:25 that I had made arrangements to meet the FLUTE PLAYER AT 6:30 and I am sitting at Pizza Hut!!! (DOH!) Call frantically and apologize for my airheadedness and make other arrangements. Get S to evening piano; take D home to practice baritone and piano. Pick up S from evening piano @ 7:45 ("this was the worst night of my LIFE!!!") and return Jurassic Park 3 to the library so we don't have late fines. Rescheduled flute player comes over from 9:20-9:45 pm. Husband calls a little before 10 and I am still dressed to shoes, wishing devoutly I were in pajamas.

Tuesday night: Man, it's cold without A sleeping next to me! I shiver until 12:30 a.m., when I finally get a clue that another blanket will probably help me relax and actually fall asleep. It does.

Wednesday morning: Need I go on? I bailed out on my monthly music teachers' meeting. How can I possibly take the morning off from school, two kids attending the meeting with me - and then teach piano from 1:15 to 5:15? So this morning is an intensive makeup day.

Augh. I am so wimpy, I want a vacation. Yet single moms do this every day, not just for a paltry 3 or 4. So I'll shut up and keep running the rat race.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

too early for a battle of wits

This morning I awakened to the sound of thumping at 0-dark-hundred. I grabbed my glasses from the nightstand and shuffled out to find my son in the bathroom, running cold water. The toilet was covered with saran wrap.

He was not pleased to see me. "Go back to bed!!" he hissed.

Even at 6 in the morning, I can put two and two together. I made him remove the saran wrap and empty the water from the sink.

What ensued was a protracted argument from him about how we never have any fun around here, how we are all boring, and how he is the only one who likes to have a laugh, etc. My response to him involved the inconvenience of practical jokes, how they're only funny to the person doing the joke, and how the world does not revolve around entertaining him and making him laugh.

He remained unconvinced. I wrapped up in a blanket and sat and watched the early morning news, because there was no way I was going back to bed while these thoughts were running through his mind. Sure enough, a few minutes later he was sneaking back to S's room. I waylaid him, and gave him a tongue lashing that NOBODY is to be disturbed during their regular sleeping hours just for another person's selfish amusement.

I think I'll start school now. Clearly this child has too much time on his hands.

What I want to know is, when does this kid SLEEP? He's awake until 11p, up at 5a? I just don't get it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Some random thoughts on my recent illness:

I am blessed with a loving husband who cared for me and made sure the kids were fed and clothed while I was in bed for 10 days. As I sorted through receipts to balance the checkbook, I noted how many times he ran out to the store to get me popsicles, gatorade, tylenol, a strawberry milkshake, wonton soup--anything to tempt me to eat something or make me feel somewhat better in my delirium.

My children are actually very considerate people, despite their occasional lapses into selfishness. They were very helpful and thoughtful, asking and trying to anticipate my needs.

I composed a beautiful choral octavo and wrote a witty play all in my head. It remains trapped there. I was stuck in my head for several days, hearing snatches of conversations that didn't exist apart from my brain; hearing beautiful music; enjoying characters that danced across the stage, spouting humor and pathos. It was as if some veil were snatched aside that allowed me to glimpse my inner creativity. I don't wonder now at some artists who experiment with mind-altering drugs. It's all there, trapped in your head, if you can but get the curtain to move.

Flu shots are wonderful things - for other people, apparently. :)

Everything is currently reduced to the basics for me: rest, eat, teach. Rest more. It's nice to have everything reduced to the lowest common denominator. Everything else is just extra. Doesn't need to be done. Today my goal is to pick up the living room. And I will have the help of my family to do it! :)

I am very blessed.