Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bring on the Clowns, People

Here I sit in my lovely *cough* olive green Orchestra Mom Chair again, on a bittersweet day that is the final Youth Conservatory practice before the official concert, the one for which these fabulous musicians have been practicing since November 2009. The best part? Today is also Bring a Friend to Rehearsal Day/Final Celebration, so we're seeing all kinds of new faces in the group making it even more special. And being the mom who happens to care about the blessed youngsters' nutrition, I left a bag of cheddar Sun Chips on the food table. Chowing down to take place at half-time - let the excitement begin!

Now for the biggest unexpected news item of the week called Son Home from School Sick with Strep Throat. Poor guy made it through the school day on Monday, but then came home all feverish with a temperature of 102+ degrees. We monitored his temp, rotated Tylenol and Motrin every few hours, kept him home Tuesday, then took him to see the doctor on Wednesday where we found out he officially had a case of strep throat, surprising the doctor and me as we really just didn't think he had more than a flu-like virus. Then after unsuccessfully attempting to administer liquid antibiotics, son bravely opted for a penicillin shot nipping that illness in the bud at lightning speed. Hindsight is everything? Absolutely.

Hey, remember that circus field trip mentioned in my previous blog post? Well, yeah. Son just so happened to miss attending the Shrine Circus with fellow classmates, so I made good on my promise to take him on my own by heading out to the Civic Auditorium on Saturday. This plan worked out perfectly for all of us; because Hubs, who wasn't all that interested in going to the circus anyway, had to go out of town on business that day and Older Sis chose to hang out at home to exercise her newfound freedom to be without adult supervision. Meanwhile, Son and I had a blast bonding together. Heck, I even made a new buddy, Grandma/Retired Nurse, who sat beside me with her grandson critiquing the circus junk food and aerialist who, for safety purposes, should NOT have been hanging by her foot from a rope upside down like that.

You go, Grandma.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

She's Lost It Completely

Hey cool! Got me a burnt-orange colored Orchestra Mom chair this week during rehearsal time as I blog, a vast improvement over last week's olive green-ness. Totally random, I know. So what happened this week? Hold on tight, because the stuff that happened upon us makes last week look like hopscotch, if that's even possible. Really it does, and what better time to get started than right now. Grab a cuppa something and get comfortable, this ramble could take awhile.

Presidents Day 2010 involved a major milestone for us called Leaving Kids Home Alone for the First Time. It had to happen eventually, so hubs and I loosened the parental reigns, juiced up the peeps' cell phones, then headed off for a sweet lil' lunch escape at our First Date Restaurant, aka Panda House. The weirdest part of our date was that even though we had "broken bread" (or rather fortune cookie) at this romantic spot for the first time over 18 years ago, nothing about the place has changed in all of those years. Not a thing, right on down to the pink and gray d├ęcor! There we ate our usual lunch entrees of sweet & sour chicken, almond chicken, steamed rice, crab rangoon and hot & spicy soup. Then soon after, because we couldn't think of anything else exciting to do other than shop at the book store or Lowe's, we returned home to find both peeps feeling a little more grown-up and ready for mom & dad to go on more dates. Alrighty then, it's a deal.

Ash Wednesday came and went with the family getting big fat ashy forehead smudges during mass, then eating at the parish Soup Supper afterward where the oldest peepster banked a few service hours by helping out at the supper with one of her CCD friends. The bad part of dinner? Our soup bowls were microscopic, almost the size of the palm of my HAND, which would've been acceptible if we'd known about the unlimited refill situation. (Who knew? At least post a sign for us clueless parishioners, people. *geez*) Practically starving by bedtime, we ditched the whole fasting idea and had ourselves a meatless snack of cheese Bagel Bites, Poppers and Chex Mix just to make it through the night. A Catholic has to do what a Catholic has to do - God is understanding that way.

Now on with the biggest surprise of the week and primary reason for me taking on a major housecleaning project Tuesday & Wednesday: Family in town for college swim meet. While we were unable to witness all of the swim events, we did manage to sneak in a few rounds on Friday night and Saturday morning and it was total chlorinated excitation, let me tell you. The peeps had never before seen their cousins swim competitively, let alone attend a swim meet, so watching was a pretty huge deal for both of them. Big into swimming themselves, who knows, maybe they will think about swim team in the future? We shall see. At any rate, we were just thrilled to see family and hope they'll consider visiting us in our hometown more often, possibly outside of swim events. I mean, it's not like we have cooties or anything. And hey, next time lunch at Spaghetti Works in the Old Market will be our treat.

Video of cousin (lane 3) taken by Girlie Peep

So what else? Oh yes, the usual cello lesson with our favorite professional cellist, another meeting with my newest client, and the weekly consulting work for the Sisters of Mercy. Next week: Volunteer time at Children's Respite Care Center, Shrine Circus field trip, and the possibility of that long lost thing called Me Day. Can't wait, especially for that last one... the anticipation is driving me bonkers.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Madness Never Stops

Whoa – my Orchestra Mom Chair awaits in all of its olive green plastic-ness, ready for the weekly blog to take shape. *wave* The only difference today is that sectionals are taking place in various rooms adjacent to the one in which I'm sitting, with teachers leading musicians grouped by instrument. Usually I'd camp out in the cello room and be fly-on-the-wall like, but today I'd rather blog in peace and then listen to the entire group rehearse in another hour. No worries here.

So what happened in our little corner of the universe over the week? LOTS. But to avoid putting the blogosphere into a deep coma like slumber, I'll be as brief as possible without leaving readers thinking What is the world is she babbling on about this time? Here goes:

Wouldn't you know, the week started off with a bang as we met with the Peeps' teachers for conferences. As usual, both students are kicking booty with organization skills being the only issue for a certain peep who shall remain nameless, as we already know about this particular problem because it has been ongoing throughout this person's life. But since said person has grown by LEAPS and BOUNDS in this arena, hubs and I glanced at one another when the teacher mentioned organization as being an issue and were all like, YA THINK? Dude, you have not seen A-NY-THING. Overall, we're extremely proud of the Peepsters and hope they continue on this positive track for the rest of their learning careers.

And here's something that bears mentioning: this week involved the last elementary school Valentine's party of all time. Ok well, that is unless we have grandchildren one day and are invited to classroom parties again, but I'm talking the last party for our own youngsters. Unfortunately when kids reach middle school age, teachers/administrators assume school parties are a thing of the past. Dances and home parties take over. Not sure why that is, but it seems so odd that kids celebrate every year up until 5th grade and then it's completely over for them. Sad, but true. And we wonder why they grow up so fast, right? Um, yeah.

On the appointment front, Hubs and oldest Peep had teeth cleanings and a visit with the orthodontist who informed us that braces are still on hold until 6 more teeth make an exit. Apparently, Peep Girlie's teeth are like that of an 11 year old as opposed to an almost 13 year old, hence the waiting process. Now if she can only stand the repeated Are you ever going to get braces? question from her classmates, we'll continue to wait patiently. Middle school kids can be so cruel especially when it comes to appearance, with teeth getting the worst rap of all. Thank goodness for her confidence and inner strength – so admirable.

Also on the appointment topic, youngest got a haircut but clearly wasn't amused when Diva Stylist Woman described his look as a 'girlie style'. Dude shot lightening bolts right through her when he heard that comment. Daggers, even! Surely, she meant that he had a longer look going on as opposed to the buzz cut style. Anyway, we managed to make it through the appointment with Son Peep sporting a shorter version of his longer 'do. Nobody was hurt, or so we thought anyway.

And now here's an unexpected item worth blogging about, an event that took me by complete surprise Friday evening: Family friends/former neighbors arrived from out of town (husband attending conference) wanting to meet up and visit. Hold. The. Phone. In total shock since the last time we'd connected was @3 years ago while they were living in Washington DC, I couldn't believe my ears! So meet up we did at the hotel in which they were staying, and I was thrilled as ever to see how the kids had grown in so much time. Not only that, but they had a blast playing with electronics while trying to remember one another again. Crazy how kids can forget people they once knew... like they never even knew them at all. How exactly does that happen?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bowl Bloggin'

This week's blog is not being generated by me while sitting in the usual Orchestra Mom Chair during rehearsal, but rather by me standing in front of the kitchen television at home as Peeps and I cheer on Colts playing against Saints in Superbowl XLIV. Why? No rehearsal this week due to a performance conflict, so musicians and parents get a break from the action on a day that just so happens to coincide with Superbowl Sunday. WOOHOO!!! Oops, sorry for that excessive celebration there. But how sweet is this as we get to watch an amazing football game along with all of those funky commercials in between? Very, I say.

Favorite commercials: KIA's Sock Monkey, McDonald's Nuthin' but Net, Google, Taco Bell with Charles Barkley.

So my personal biggest scoop(s) of the week: 2 new clients accepted my bid/estimate for web projects. I won't expand too much on these new developments until the actual projects roll out, but I will say that I'm thrilled as all get out to add both to my portfolio. Lots of happy dancing here.

As for the CCD'ers, we made good on our promise to celebrate Christmas belatedly with a fantabulous party during our usual class time, complete with pizza - thanks for delivering to us personally, Hubs; treats - thanks for remembering to bring these, students; and games - thanks for sharing the tennis ball for 'Mummy Ball' playing, CCD'er friend. We all had a well deserved, faith-filled celebration together. Yay, us.

On that note, here's something that deserves a serious shout out: Co-catechist and I proudly joined up with 2 CCD students to deliver parish donations to the local homeless shelter. We gathered up clothing, board games, blankets, sleeping bags, etc., and loaded it all into a vehicle, then headed over to the Open Door Mission where volunteers couldn't have been more gracious - they even gave us cookbooks containing favorite shelter recipes. We all left that little white building praying our gifts made a difference in someone's life in some way.

Last but nowhere near least, Girlie Peep wins Overachiever of the Week with all these activities completed over the course of a mere 7 days:
  • Field Trip/Seminar: Strategic Air & Space Museum trip with classmates and gifted seminar on Flash Animation (a favorite web tool of mine - great choice!)

  • Instruments: Clarinet and cello daily practice, weekly lesson with private instructor

  • ACT: Completed her very first standardized college entrance exam several years early by way of Duke's TIP program. *Fingers crossed for massive scholarships*
Next week: Parent/Teacher conferences, dentist appointments, and a much needed haircut for a certain Boy Peep.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ritzy Groove

Every morning this week, I've been seeing a certain commercial that sends me back to the 80's when Earth, Wind & Fire rocked the soul music world and saved me from my teen self. (Not exactly an easy feat!) And since I love Ritz crackers and find Tiki Barber to be the smoothest football-player-turned-MSNBC-correspondent on the planet, this video has earned blogworthiness: