Friday, June 26, 2015

Our Summer Plans

Last year at this time I was already weeks into my summer plans. This year? Nope. No summer plans. Part of that was the pool. The pool is my summer plan. The other part is that Chuck was looking for a new job, and that search was taking much longer than anticipated. Because I didn't know if I would be working full-time or part, I couldn't plan! And yes, in normal circumstances, that would have driven me crazy. But with everything going on, I just didn't care.

BUT now we know! Chuck got a job! Here's the deal: I never quite explain it right, and I always get the roly-eyes because of it. So. I'll tell you the part that I care about, and if you want a real job description, just ask him. Right now, he's a full-time, school system employee. He works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks per year. He doesn't get spring break off (unless he requests it), he doesn't get Election Day off, he doesn't get Jewish holidays off, he doesn't get snow days off, he doesn't get summer off (which all teachers here do). BUT once he starts his new job, he will get all those lovely things! Why is this incredible? Because we have children in school and I work part-time. Schedule changes (especially snow days) can be extremely stressful as we shuffle to find child care. Not any longer. It's wonderful. Plus, he'll be around all Christmas and Spring Breaks.

Of course the only downside is that I'll have to work full-time during the summer. Which is sad because I'm really loving that pool. Especially on hottest day of the year when your air conditioner goes out.

P.S. Because I'm me, I created this time series graph of the temperature in our house once the air conditioner was fixed. Just trust me that 89° is way too hot for the inside of a house.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Last Day of School

Last Monday (two Mondays ago) was Rhett's last day of first grade. (Yes, you read that right: the last day of school was a half day on a Monday halfway through June. This brought to us by snow days.) I don't think Rhett's quite old enough to get really excited for the last day of school, but he's getting closer. I wanted to do something fun, but something that I could keep up year after year. You know, let's not set the standards too high, mmmkay?

We started the morning with pancakes. Pancake tacos to be precise. Because you know, pancakes for breakfast are a rarity in our house (pancakes for dinner, on the other hand...). After school both boys were greeted with a finish line and a candy gram (to copy my wise sister). Perfect. (And not just because I got to go to Five Below and get candy for me. Nope). Just that morning Ollie and I finished his "Mom and Ollie" preschool, so he legitimately earned his rewards. And after school let out, I let the boys watch a movie. It was a good day.

I must have caught the exact moment Rhett wasn't smiling. He really enjoyed Ms. Collier (student teacher) and Mrs. Cecil--I promise.

In order to get good smiles, I had to threaten them with: "I will keep you here until you give me good smiles. And if it takes hours, your popsicles will melt!" Sigh. I'm such a good mom.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Least Favorite Toy

I honestly believe it's the privilege of grandparents to give their grandchildren gifts that parents would NEVER give them. And I'm happy to say that my boys' grandparents are no different. However, I think this is the worst one yet. And by worst, I mean my worst. And by worst, I mean Ollie's favorite. Watch the video; it'll be obvious why.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pool Mom

Tutorial on Maryland's Pools
First, there are local pools everywhere. Seriously. Every little neighborhood has one. Our local pool is a mere 1.4 miles by car, 1.1 miles by bike. This will be important when all four of us can bike there easily (c'mon Ollie!). Our closest county pool, on the other hand, doesn't even have an outdoor pool, so um, no thanks. Plus, it's not an easy bike ride away.

Second, you have to join the pools. This is an issue because you can't just go without a member family taking you. We couldn't be just drop-in, unattended guests on those extra hot, extra muggy days (like pretty much every day in June so far). So we had to join.

Third, they are ridiculously expensive to join. In order to pay the fees, we had to save all year. I exaggerate a little; it's not that much, but to pay it all at once is something I'd rather avoid.

Fourth, usually swim team and swim lessons are included with your membership. If Rhett could actually swim, he'd be on their pre-team this summer. Ollie is still too little for swim team. However, they're both signed up for (and started earlier this week!) the free group swim lessons.

Fifth, there's a big social component to them. There are BBQs, movie nights, men's swim nights, women's swim nights, and that doesn't even cover all the swim team events. I have a feeling this will be a much bigger deal once both boys are on swim team.

Sixth, they will Change. Your. Life for the summer. For reals people. Remember how much I HATE Maryland summers? I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before. But since the pool opened Memorial Day weekend, we've been there probably a dozen times. Even if just for an hour, we'll go. Why is it such a life-changer? Because it makes the heat and the humidity and the bugs bearable. To be wearing only a swimsuit, hanging out poolside or in the pool, life is good.

What I don't know about this pool-centered life.
First, do I have to wash my hair every time I get it wet in the pool? Because if so, UGH.

Second, do I have to wash our swimsuits and towels every time we swim? Because if so, UGH. But if just drying them in the dryer or on the shower rack works, YESSSS. (Remember, this is not Utah. Things do NOT dry outside in our water-laden air.)

Third, do I have to wear make up this summer? Because if I have to re-apply it every day after it gets washed away in the pool, UGH.

Fourth, how do I break into the pool's social scene? Our pool has tons of families, many of whom we see every day. But I'm shy in these situations (and I was super shy when wearing a soft, ugly, white neck collar), so I am just struggling. Do I even want to bother? Can I just be nice and smile? Or do I have to actually try to talk to them and learn their names and their kids' names?

Final Thoughts
Remember how last summer I had these enormous plans because I didn't know what to do with the boys all day? Yeah, no need this year. Here's what our schedule looks like this summer:
6:30 a.m.: Boys wake up, eat breakfast, do chores
9:00 a.m.: Do something like library visit, playground visit, hike
12:00 p.m.: Lunch
12:08 p.m.: Go to the pool
5:30 p.m.: Dinner

So easy, right? Something small in the morning and then during the hot, gross, despicably muggy afternoons, we're at the pool. The boys are happy, the adults are happy, the living is good. I think I'm gonna like it there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

High School Reunion

In case you didn't already know how old I am, you're about to be able to do some math and figure it out. Last Saturday was my 20-year high school reunion. I wasn't able to make it (ahem, surgery, kid still in school, all extra monies going to the know, your usual excuses), but I got to see some pictures on Facebook of the event.

But, um, 20 years? Really? I've really been out of high school for twenty years? How is that possible as I'm only 27? (I think this is the age I'll feel like forever.) Getting older is weird.

And yes, I am currently sporting the exact same hair and the exact same earrings, thankyouverymuch.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Having surgery is funny. Not really, of course, but funny in that strange way. People have very strong feelings about it, and so it's not something I like to just tell people about. (But I guess I'm okay with them reading about it? Dumb, I know.) It's not like I'm embarrassed. I'm 99% sure I made the right decision for me. But still.

Anyway, the surgery was two Thursdays ago. It was quick (only about 1.5 hours) and Chuck and I were home before Rhett was even done with school. I was able to get up and walk around the next day and have felt pretty fortunate with the outcome. Immediately upon waking, I could feel the arm pain no longer. Gone. Wahoo! But obviously I had pain from the incision sight (which is right on the front of my neck--sweet). And I've been forced to wear a soft neck collar since. I see the doctor tomorrow and hopefully he'll tell me I can be done with it. I HATE it. I think I must have a short neck because my entire upper body is sore from me constantly trying to elongate the neck over the collar. Blah.

I'm hopeful that come tomorrow I'll feel much closer to the old me. The one that can sleep comfortably (and not like some corpse). The one who can run and not just power walk (which, by the way, I'm totally out of shape for. Who knew?). The one who can be nice to her kids, well, maybe nicer.

P.S. Because it hurt too much, I didn't wear a bra for more than one month. Ha. It was weird putting one back on.

P.P.S. I don't like talking about this. So I'm done. I
do, however, want to talk about how to be a pool mom and our new camper.