Friday, March 29, 2013

Camping Trailers (again)

After another (mostly) successful trip to a Maryland State Park, AND the strategic placement of an ad in our camp brochure, Chuck and I again tossed around the idea of buying a camping trailer. These Cricket trailers are just so cool looking, right? I mean, take a look: they are awesome. Too bad they're crazy expensive. Good news is that the cost quickly cured my desire to own one.

I am ashamed to admit that I'd happily own one of these, but not-so-happily own a standard pop-up...if strictly for vanity aesthetic reasons. But I think I'd quickly get over it just for the ease. I mean, if I'm not getting Lasik, it would be money well-spent, right?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It Was the Best of Times...

About a year ago we planned to use this spring break to go to Japan and leave the kids with dear Nikki. However, plans changed. Instead, we took the whole family on another trip to Maryland's State Parks. This time it was Janes Island, on the very southern end of Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula. During our last night there, Chuck and I decided this trip was a bunch of really high highs and really low lows. I said it was a trip of "the best of times, the worst of times." But even the lows weren't the worst. Instead, like the Simpsons have said, we'll call them the "blurst of times."

The Best of Times...The Blurst of Times
1. Friends offering their boats...Finding out the park doesn't rent parks until April

2. Awesome traffic to/fro (such a rarity for us DC-ites)...The noise of the boat tie-downs vibrating on the top of the car for three hours

3. The adorable, perfectly-sized, gas-log-fire-warmed cabin that was right on the water...Less sleep at night with boys who weren't too sure of the new place

4. Sun with relatively-warm weather on Tuesday...Snow (snow!) on Monday

5. Totally deserted park all to real services since park isn't quite open

6. Being resourceful and finding things to do inside when it's snowing (snowing!)...Ignoring kids while working on a puzzle

7. Ollie sleeping nearly the entire paddle back from the beach...Ollie crying nearly the entire paddle to the beach

8. The awesome pizza and staff at The Pizza Shoppe (they even gave the boys "play dough" while we waited for our food)...I got nothing. All the food we ate was good (even the Life cereal for breakfast)

9. Nobody was seriously hurt nor frozen after the spill into the water at kayak take-out...Yep, that's right: we all took a bit of a polar plunge

10. The memory card was salvageable after the spill into the brackish water of the Bay (see the pictures below)...The rest of the camera, not so much (notice no pictures after the kayak trip)

At the end of it all, we still had a great time. The boys enjoyed themselves, and we enjoyed the boys. It was just nice to get out of town.

Taking a walk along the river. The actual island is on the other side of the water.

From the bird watching tower.

Fun with snacks

Listening to music

Playing with capsule-turn-sponge

Displaying how Ollie uses headphones

Getting ready for the paddling!

The destination: a beach on the Chesapeake Bay side of the island

We kept laughing that Ollie looked like a Weekend-at-Bernie's fake person

But no, a real little guy was in there

See how close our cabin was to the water?

Next Maryland State Park: Susquehanna!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rhett's Birthday/Birthweek

I just have the most imaginative post titles ever, right? Anyway, after many celebrations I think he's officially five. FIVE. Wednesday night I even started kindergarten paperwork. Nuts, I tell you, just nuts.

Among other things he got these boxing gloves with matching punching bag.

Keeping with Ollie's rainbow cupcakes of last year, I did this. It also worked since this dinner was on St. Patrick's Day.

This recorder was loved by many, including a certain grandpa and uncle and especially an Ollie. (start sarcasm font) This is not an annoying gift at all, Mom and Dad! (end sarcasm font)I really do like it, actually. And Ollie, clearly, loves it.

A goodbye picture before they head off to a (much) warmer clime. ( it freezing where you are because DANG. I'm cold. And it's the end of March.)

Rhett playing with his gift from us. Have you seen this toy? It's so cool. Even Chuck and I can entertain ourselves with it.

And of course Ollie wants a piece of the action. I'm so afraid he's going to either (1) eat the instruments or (2) throw them somewhere we'll never find them again.

Finally, marked our height against the wall. The boy's agrowin'!

Kindergarten. I have to keep saying it. It still seems unreal.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thoughts on the Race

01. It's over.
02. I set a PR: 2 hours and 5 minutes.
03. The biggest miracle of the day: no rain!
04. They didn't have nearly enough port-a-potties at the start.
05. Running fast (for me) is hard.
06. 30,000 runners on one course is a lot.
07. I want to make one of these.
08. I'm going to get a pedicure this morning. My feet need it.
09. Eating a homemade pop tart from Ted's after the race was a super good choice.
10. Training with these women was awesome. I'm so glad our Thursday night workouts are being continued.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I really don't care about this holiday and because it's so close to Rhett's birthday, I doubt I ever will. But any excuse to make new ties and I'm all over it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lots Going On

There is a lot of stuff going on for us in the next couple of weeks. It's probably not that much for most normal, capable people. But we all know I am neither normal nor capable. Here is the goings-on list:

  • Run the Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in D.C. tomorrow
  • Help with the move of my in-laws to Arizona
  • Celebrate Rhett's birthday five times (extended family dinner, preschool, babysitter, immediate family, babysitting group)
  • Go on a mini-vacation to Janes Island State Park
All good things, but still...lots of things.

As if I don't have enough things running through my head, Natalie tells me that I should write a stats book on being a mom. I've been thinking about it ever since. Here's my latest entry:

Or, if Venn diagrams are more your thing:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Only Because People Keep Saying It

This man most resembles:

A) a beatnik poet/musician

B) an English professor

C) a good dad of two cute little boys, one not pictured (this option for those of you with no imagination)

D) other: ___________________ (please fill in the blank)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Maths in the Real World, Version 2.0

Nearly four years ago, I wrote a post that I could have written now. Of course I'd have to substitute each "Rhett" with "Ollie," but otherwise I feel the same. These teen baby months are really hard for me. These little people want so many things, but don't know how to communicate it. Everyone gets frustrated. So here's the updated Ollie graph of how easy he is (which looks a lot like the Rhett graph from years ago):

But look at that uptick: I think the end is near! Ollie is just starting to turn that corner from ridiculously hard to ridiculously cute...and ridiculously gross. But I am ridiculously excited.

P.S. Speaking of maths...don't forget that Thursday is Pi Day. Because I'm overwhelmed with everything else going on, I'm opting for this super easy, but totally yummy, Oreo pie. Only two years until our totally awesome Pi Day Celebration!

P.P.S Don't you just love how the British call it "maths" and just not "math?" I do. Obviously.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Perfect Storm

In my old age, I've become a bit crotchety in my attitude towards snow. When it happens in Maryland, people rush the grocery stores (got your bread, milk, toilet paper everyone?), drivers have mini heart attacks, and homeowners in my neighborhood rarely shovel sidewalks (making running difficult for days or weeks after a storm). And since we don't have a mudroom or a garage, the mess gets tracked in the house immediately. Plus, we don't ski and the snow is heavy and just not pretty. Because of all of this, I prefer it stay far, far away from us.

However, this storm (named the "snowquester"---why oh why do they insist on giving snow storms ridiculous names?) and its timing caused a change of heart in me. It occurred mid-week before only a six-mile Saturday long run, which means little to minimal impact on my weekend long run. It got Chuck out of work on Wednesday, a day I'm home and can enjoy him. It was predicted far in advance, meaning I thought to bring home my laptop so I could work from home on Thursday if allowed. It came in March when it won't stay cold for too long, meaning it will all melt quickly. It came the day after I finished a book and had checked out a new one from the library, and on a day when we had a new Netflix just waiting for us. And because we knew about it, Chuck brought in enough wood for our last fire of the season (which turned out to be a hot one--I could enjoy the basement with NO socks). Well done, storm. Well done.

I should mention that this picture shows the snow level at its peak. That's right. This amount of snow got Chuck and me out of a day of work (yes, yes, some places got lots more). But for us a mere inch...if you round up.

And when it turned to rain in the afternoon, we resorted to indoor sledding.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The (not very new) Boys' Room

About a month ago we got bunk beds. It was a bit sooner than we originally planned, but a friend needed the crib and we just knew Ollie was about to climb out anyway, so we did it.

The bed covered some of the wall decor in the room, something that started really bugging me last Friday night as we're about to put the boys to bed. What to do? Rearrange right then, of course! So we did. It ended up not being big changes, but enough to make it work. And since this picture was taken, the Scrabble names have been taken down. I'm heartbroken, but we have no real other place for them. I'll get over it.

So how are the boys doing with the bed? Rhett gets an A+. He stays in the bed once we put him down (something he wasn't doing so well before the crib) and he's happy up there. He makes his bed in the mornings and just loves being in it. Ollie, well, take a guess. He gets a C-. Because he's basically oppo-Rhett, I should have guessed that he wouldn't stay in a non-crib. And he doesn't. He gets out, throws around Rhett's socks, tosses his own clothes, and gets into the Vaseline and spreads it on whatever he can find. (Yes, we've since learned he's not to be trusted with Vaseline.) But otherwise, we're still working on the adjustment.

And now I can smile again when I walk in the room. Unless it's covered in Vaseline.

Totally-unrelated P.S. After introducing Rhett to Cake's version of "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps," he has had a change of heart towards the song. Awesome.

Monday, March 4, 2013

This Weekend We...

...rearranged the boys' room (pictures Wednesday).

...ran twelve miles (well, maybe that was "I" and not "we").

...went to Target and bought some needed and wanted things.

...went to the library and played with this awesome sand table. (Do you think we can make one?)


...went on a bowling triple date (I got a 103!) and losers bought us McDonald's ice cream cones. (Have I mentioned that I like them?)

...had the missionaries for dinner (they tasted good). Jokes. We ate chili, corn bread, lime chips, and banana cream pie.

...baked these cookies. They're the only chocolate chip cookies I don't ruin.

When it is the weekend again?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Random Thoughts

Does anyone else quantify how their body feels? Every time Chuck or I gets sick, we always talk about it in term of percentages ("I'm at 30% today." Or, "I'm much better--probably at 90%!") Even Rhett adds to our discussions about his quantifiable health. We've taught him to do it using fingers, as percentages are a bit over his head. A perfectly healthy body is 10 fingers, so when he's sick we might hear things like, "I'm only seven fingers today, Mom." I love it.

Do your kids have songs they hate? Rhett does. I have a playlist on my iPod with 100+ songs that play randomly, but there is one that makes his blood boil: Doris Day's "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps." He's not even five, so he can't quite express what drives him nuts about this song, but Chuck and I love torturing him about it. We even threatened to put it on a continuous loop for time outs.

I mailed our taxes yesterday. Yep, that's right: mailed. I feel like I'm the only person I know who does this. But I'm okay with it. We got the federal withholdings just about perfect, but the state withholdings still need tweaking.

Chuck's parents are moving in about two weeks. The day the truck is being loaded is the day I run my half marathon, so we'll need some help watching the boys. Do you think it's okay if I send an email to friends soliciting help, but make it clear I will not babysit in return? Because my talents lie elsewhere, do you think it would be weird if I offer to pay them in Excel lessons, math tutoring, or even handmade wares?

Picture it: You and your spouse go on an 18-month mission to...Mars! Could you do it? Just you and your spouse in a tiny space capsule for 18 months?