Monday, August 26, 2013

Me, Too! Me, Too!

Judging by Facebook, I'm a little late to the game with my official "first day of school" photos - such is life with a big fancy camera but no iPhone, I guess. But I have them! And I will share them here, even though I am still woefully behind on posting the rest of the photos from our Maine vacation.

The first day of first grade was fine - great, even. But mostly just normal. The nervous excitement from last year (for all of us!) is pretty much gone. Many of the faces are familiar, the schedule is familiar, even (especially) the paperwork (all the paperwork!) is familiar. We're right back to last year's routine, almost like summer never happened.

Except for the lingering tans and full memories, of course.

Without further ado, I give you....

First Grader Finn!

And his flashy new backpack with his name AND a WOLF. He is stoked.
 And I also give you...

Pre-K2 Lucy!

Not to be outdone, with her Cinderella backpack

These two kids kill me with how cute they are.


And for good measure, one of the photos from last year:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes

I'm behind on my photo posting, I know, I know. They will come, as soon as I rouse my lazy behind to edit the rest of them. In the meantime, here are some things:

1) This past weekend was a flurry of house projects that required the kids to "entertain themselves" (aka complain and mess shit up), back-to-school shopping, laundry, and pool time. By the end of the day Sunday, the house was a disaster. M. and I agreed that night that it was a damn good thing that it was not a "cleaning lady" week, because there is no way we could get the house in order by Tuesday morning.

Except we were all screwed up from being on vacation, and it apparently WAS a cleaning lady week. OOPS! Now she knows how we really live. So embarrassing. Also, the poor thing cleaned up so many of our messes, and we didn't even leave her a check. I feel terrible. But I'm also completely surprised that this is the first time in over 4 years that we have made this mistake. So, bright side?

2) In a growing panic over the thought of not watching a lick of football this season, M. went out and bought a new antenna to try - something designed for the military, apparently. This thing. We now have over 20 broadcasted stations on our basement TV (where we do all our evening TV watching), including FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC. And also a bunch of crappy other stations. M. is watching a Ravens game as I type (blergh), and I'm thrilled at the prospect of actually watching The Good Wife and How I Met Your Mother in decent quality (streaming to the TV from a computer just isn't that good). He may not catch much of his beloved Badgers this year, but at least we can now watch the Super Bowl.

3) If they gave out degrees in "getting the last drop of wine out of the wine box," I would be at the top of the class.

4) I'm seeing a podiatrist right now. God, doesn't that make me seem old? I FEEL old. I even have orthotics I'm supposed to wear. That doesn't fly with cute dress shoes, though - I can't seem to fit them in my most of my existing shoes without entering severe blister territory. You don't even want to know the kinds of desperate Google searches I've been doing lately - "orthotics for heels," "orthotics for dress shoes," "dress shoes with removable inserts," "orthotic shoes," "shoes with arch support,"... it's so depressing. God I'm so old. I have plantar fasciitis, which Dr. Google told me, and then my podiatrist confirmed. Score one for Dr. Google! Anyway, it's depressing because I haven't been able to run much at all without at least 24 hours of intense pain afterward. But I think it's getting better? My mom bought me this foot stretcher thing, which seems to be helping. That's how you get rid of it, by the way (though you're always at risk for it coming back) - by stretching the crap out of your calves and feet. I can now say my left foot is LIMBER - sexy, no?

By the way, my podiatrist's name is Dr. Footer. Reminds me of how the anesthesiologist that administered my epidural when Finn was born was named Dr. Payne.

I can't even make this stuff up.

5) I did squeeze in a short jog two nights ago, and decided that this is my new favorite running song:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's "Can't Hold Us."

Finn introduced us to the song, and knows far more of the words than we do. It's ridiculously adorable to watch him singing it.

Lucy's favorite song right now is this one (we downloaded the clean version to our iTunes library):

Icona Pop's "I Love It" - also a super catchy, good-for-running song.

6) Tomorrow marks the end of my "Furlough Fridays." In good news for my paycheck and bad news for all my PLANS, the DoD decided to cut short the civilian furlough, from 11 days to 6. I had so many things I was going to do with that time! But also, I was feeling so broke! So this is really for the best, and I do think that I made the most of  my furlough days. Even though too much of it was spend scrubbing grout (because any grout scrubbing is too much).

Anyway, in celebration of the last furlough day (and because he's been working so hard lately), M. is taking tomorrow off, too, and we're going to spend it together. We are heading in to D.C. for lunch and a visit to the National Portrait Gallery, where my friend Jen's work is part of an exhibit - she won second place in a national portrait competition! I'm so excited to see it, and to have a grown-up day with M. while the kids are at daycare...

7) ...where they will be showing off "their" science project. And by their, I mean the one they helped with a little bit. Or a tinsy bit, as the kids are fond of saying. A study on different conditions that grow mold on bread. Mostly conceived and executed by yours truly and M., in exactly the kind of dick parent's move that I hate. But who are we kidding - when prompted for Ideas, Finn suggested some really complicated thing, as always, and Lucy studiously ignored us.  So instead, the bread mold project. And as I type, there are 9 baggies of moldy bread affixed to a piece of poster board up on my living room couch.

Ah, learning.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Maine, Round 1

I'm barely a quarter of the way through all the photos, and I'm already overwhelmed. So many good ones to choose from! Must post for posterity! Whelp, I'm afraid I'm just going to have to bore you with multiple photo-heavy, text-light posts.

We left off at the end of our first day of vacation, merrily swimming in the lake and falling into exhausted heaps (what with the whole "4 a.m. wake-up" we suffered through). Our first full day in Maine had us heading up the Songo River. We boated in style:

Wasn't it a beautiful quiet morning for a boat ride?

SOMEONE demanded a snack within the first 10 minutes of the outing, per usual.
Then again, the rest of us WERE having Bloody Mary's, so I guess it was only fair
M. and Finn fished (no takers to be had)

My mom :-)

Sporting some new Spiderman sunglasses

We traveled through the Songo River lock before stopping to take a quick dip off the boat in Brandy Pond. Then we headed under the bridge into Long Lake (scene of the Great Crane Crash of 2011) for lunch and ice cream at Rick's:

Have you ever seen a cuter ice cream face?
Lucy fell asleep on the chilly, quick ride back home, just like this - on her Grammy's lap, clutching a teddy bear, snuggled under a blanket

Later that night we roast marshmallows and made s'mores

The next day, Monday, started out rainy/cloudy, so Lucy played dress up with a flower girl dress that I wore when 6-year-old me was in my Aunt Robin and Uncle Tom's wedding (handmade by Robin's mom!):

 My dad took me, M., and Finn on a 3-mile hike/walk that involved some fun woodsy scrambling and WAY too many horse flies, while Lucy and my mom baked brownies. At some point (that day? the next day?), there was more beautiful scenery and fishing:

There was also kayak-purchasing (we added two kid-sized kayaks to my parents' collection of boats), ice cream eating, actual kayaking (Finn was a rock star! Lucy mostly just let us do all the work while we towed her along), and jet ski driving (not my favorite activity!), and lots more swimming and hot-tubbing.

Tuesday afternoon my sister Kristin arrived with her three kids (and thus ended the quiet part of our vacation).

Next up - more photos! Of cousins! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to Life

Back to Reality

Come on, you were thinking it too, right? A little Soul II Soul?

Moving along. Yes, we are back from a great, fun-filled, altogether too short (even though it was 8 days!) vacation in Maine. Yesterday found us, yet again, cursing the New Jersey turnpike (common theme of every return car trip from up north) and scrambling for alternate routes. But we made it back, safe and sound, only 4 Lucy meltdowns and 12 hours after leaving Lake Sebago. And we are back to reality with a bang - a kitchen full of ants (gah!), last-minute brown bag lunches for the kids with the scraps of bread I managed to find in the fridge, a weird beeping noise coming from our Verizon internetty-box-thing, a less-than-functional air conditioner in M.'s car, hundreds of e-mails to sort through, and piles of luggage contents to put away.

But first M. and I made our vacation last just a teensy bit longer with Thai take out and a (far-too-expensive) bottle of wine in front of the TV last night. Austerity be damned, I guess!

I have over 200 photos to sort through for a proper debriefing (assuming I get around to doing one). But I will share a few photos now from our first day of vacation, which was perhaps the most horrible and also most glorious. From 4:25 a.m. on, we spent about 9 happy-ish hours in the car with the kids (yes! I said happy! Good moods all around, and the kids were really good!). Then we hit the Saturday afternoon Massachusetts/N.H./Maine beach traffic, and groaned through the last 3+ hours of our trip. It was painfully slow, and we got to my parents house about 2 hours later than I wanted to.

Within minutes, we had swim suits on, coolers packed, and we were off on the boat for an early evening cocktail cruise and swim. We anchored the boat just off shore, and jumped right into the lake. All the stress of the drive was rinsed away in the just-the-right-temperature water. The kids goofed around with my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend, we had some snacks and drinks, and we watched the sun get lower in the sky. It was the perfect start to a vacation, really.

Who gave this kid a license?

Even scarier :-)

See? Relaxing.

Maine, we will be back!!