Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday HELL-OH 2009 RECAP

The kids school break started with some serious snow, and here I managed to get my kids to pause for .2 seconds for a photo in the snow.
And before I knew it, "Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, I was franticly trying to get 3 kids and 1 self out to the Pageant that started at 4pm". I had to be out the door at 3:20, and I hate to be late, so I decided to walk out at 3pm. Only, C's coat was wet, from ABOVE... but I didn't have time to get it all taken care of because, did I mention, I hate to be late. V&I grabbed everything and tossed it into the livingroom and left for the show...
V, Doodle and B at the Christmas Pageant

and when we got HOME from Church, this is what I walked in on....

SunPorch Ceiling if you had to know, and the water is coming from a pipe in the Master Bath

I stayed up until 2 am sifting through wet dry wall, insulation, etc, while H messed around with other things H2O related, and THEN we still got to play Santa. Can you say, TIRED? I can.... "TIE-ER-D"...
B got a chair, which she asked for from Santa as well as some dress up shoes! Wicked Cute!
After at home Christmas, we packed up and headed down to P'Town and VaBeach for some family time.... aka - Torture the Kids.
All the cousins... so, How many takes with a camera does it take to get 5 kids looking at the camera and smiling at the same time?
No really, how many, because about 29 photos into it, the youngest (18 month old Henry) got fed up and ran off.

And then because we had so much fun torturing the kids, we got a photo of the 4 siblings - Casey, G, Sabrina & Meade.
Keep in mind, my sister is "hunched a little" and I'm wearing 3 inch heels...
And THEN because we hadn't had enough fun for one day, H & I packed up everything and then some, H went to bed for 3 hours while I continued cleaning all the junk on the Sunroom, turned off the water supply to the house... and at 2 am we hit the road to Norfolk MA; a mere 10 hour car ride.
Oh great- C is THRILLED she got the 847 piece Lego Pirate Ship... somebody pinch me.

Oh Look- MORE PIECES! Should buy stock in LEGO now that I mention it...

And we all have lived happily ever after... or, at least we have so far because the person house sitting for me says that Oliver Kitty is fine and that the pipes haven't started dumping gallons of water.


I WON!!! I can't believe I won! Ok. that's a lie. I totally thought, "no one can top a naked man breaking in on Christmas Day" when I sent that story off to Mel, but on the off chance that someone did, I was prepared to be a gracious loser. That's why I posted it to my blog - I thought you'd all appreciate a laugh. And it is funny.

Not as funny was this year's Christmas Hell-Oh that I got on Christmas Eve, and that is that a pipe broke in our Master Bath and the result is a a giant wet mess in my SunPorch. I'll see if I can post some photos.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Holiday History

Once upon a time, there was a family who after years of saving had decided they could finally buy a house in a nice area of... no, that's not going to cut it. Let me try again...

This year H and I have been in our house for 6 years. Amazing how fast that time has gone by. We've bonded with our neighbors, seen new people move in and move out, and we've done $__,000 work on this house. I can't tell you how much, it makes my head ache. But this house had a rough start. So rough that for a few minutes there, H & I thought we'd made a $300THOUSAND dollar mistake.

In 2003 H & I decided to move. We'd outgrown our little 1600 sq starter house and wanted something with some more breathing room. In the 3 years we'd lived in Richmond we'd stalked a few neighborhoods, and we had a good idea of where we wanted to move. Now it was just a matter of waiting for the right house. By September, we were starting to lose hope, until the perfect house for us came on the market. By Perfect I mean 'in the price range' and 'in the neighborhood'. So we bought it, without a second glance. Probably we SHOULD have glanced, but in the end, it's been a great place, and if we'd never moved here I would have never met Ann, SDD, V, and who knows, maybe not T or Rach. You never know....

Now, by 2003 my husband and I had been married for 5 years, and never in that time had his parents ever visited us in our home. Once they canceled on Christmas EVE because it was "just too much trouble" to make it down for a holiday when we didn't really have a guest room in our small home. Sean's mother & I have had our differences, and only with a few years of "growth" have we learned to get along. (I like to think that we both have learned each other's language). When we bought the new home - 4 bedrooms and a detached garage- my husband laid down the law. We had plenty of room in the new house. No excuses. Get down here for Christmas OR ELSE.

I spent the month unpacking and getting to know my immediate neighbors, and his parents and sister bought tickets to fly into Richmond on Christmas Eve. For the first time in my life I had been entrusted with a major holiday, and I was responsible for hosting a Christmas Dinner. By God, I was going to do it Hallmark/Martha Stewart style. You know those Kinkaid "art" prints, very mystical and romantic? Well, THAT is the image I had burned into my mind about how beautiful the holiday would seem to my guests. I am one of 4, plus parents and spouses. By the time the RSVP's had been received and counted there was a table set for 20 in my new dining room. My family would arrive from Norfolk/Virginia Beach at 1pm on Christmas Day.

We celebrated with our usual Christmas Eve type stuff (church, cookies, making breakfast casseroles), Sean picked up his parents at the airport, and all reunion fun took us well into the wee hours of the morning. I was still toting items out to the garage fridge well after midnight, and my hands were too full to lock the garage door on my last trip to the house. I wasn't even worried about it at the time, the house is in a really nice neighborhood, and the garage door entrance is in our fenced back yard. We have two dogs and they're pretty fierce, they will bark at anything. Squirrels, Rabbits, Mailmen, Fed Ex men, you name it - and it is vicious sounding barking. I came in without a care in the world, H & I did the Santa thing for our 2 children, ages almost 4 years old & 15 months, and we passed out at 2am.

The next morning at about 6AM we heard a loud hollow "WHOMP" from down stairs. It sounded like vibrating plastic. I turned to H and mumbled, "Honey, the kids have gone downstairs and are playing with the sled we gave them..." He says, "Oh yea.... Hey wait, did YOU get the sled out of the attic?" Me, "No...." We both laid in bed for about 2 seconds before he shoots down the stairs and I shoot into the kids' room - they are sound asleep in their beds. So, what is that noise?

I am a little freaking out at this point, Sean's parents & Sister's doors are closed, the kids are in bed, the dogs are with me... so what is the noise? Then I heard a more frightening sound, my husband is now downstairs talking in a calm sounding voice, "3XX6 Ridgemere Drive, yes.... Richmond, Henrico.... yes... A man is trying to break down our door.... no ma'am... no.... no.... yes.... " and I think, OMG! He's on with 911! I come running down the stairs and Sean's barking at me to lock the kids in with his sister - his sister has suddenly awakened and she's shouts at me as I am halfway up "GOT IT!" The kids are safe with an adult behind a locked door, it's now time to go down and defend our home with my mate.

I arrive downstairs with the dogs. Remember, they'll bark at anything? Well, apparently they will not utter a noise at the sight of a 280 lbs NAKED MAN trying to break into our house. He was throwing himself against the sliding glass door. Sean asks, "do you know him? Is he a neighbor?" "UH NO, he is not anyone I recognize", but, I'm thinking to myself, it's 17 degrees and he's naked, so... he might not look like himself.

H and I are now standing in the livingroom looking out through the sun porch doors at a man who is slobbering and screaming at us. I'm holding a frying pan (we don't own a baseball bat, and even if we did, it would have been in the garage), my husband is holding the phone with 911 talking in his ear, and the dogs are standing behind me. Its as though a mute button was hit on the sound in the living room. We weren't speaking, my husband was listening to the 911 operator, and we could hear only the rhythmic whomp of hollow glass as a large pale dark haired man is throwing his body against it, walking 3 steps away, before launching himself again. (mentioned, NAKED, right? Quite a site, I assure you). Upstairs we suddenly hear Sean's mother talking in an agitated voice to Sean's father, "Greg?? Greg!!! Wake up!!! The police are here... and... AND they have their GUNS DRAWN! Greg, I'm SERIOUS. Get. Out. Of. Bed! Did you hear me? Guns!!!"

Five uniformed cops showed up, each in their own cruiser with lights flashing, and each with their guns drawn. Using the duck and cover method we've all seen on TV, they advanced across our yard. These boys were young cops, the kind who draw duty on Christmas day, and to be very honest, they looked like "kids on Christmas morning". They were so happy to be on a call. I watched them stealth across the dry grass with hand motions and nods, silently hop our fence gate before the lead cop shouted "FREEZE!" His voice was a roar, bellowing across the yard.

Did the Naked man freeze??? NO, he did not. Instead he ran into our garage and dove into my husbands car! The police had to kick in the garage door and drag him out into the front yard. They were kind enough to cover him with some kind of tarp on the way across the yard so my neighbors wouldn't be shocked. Then they arrested him, popped him a cruiser, and Officer Roddy (who became dubbed as Officer Hotty by my Sister In Law & Myself) came in to take our statements.

As Officer Roddy came into the house, my dogs went ballistic on him, I thought they were going to eat him. My husband had to drag the one dog out of the room. The cop says, "yea, they all act that way, it's the uniform that makes dogs afraid & therefore aggressive toward cops and postal workers."

"But", I protested feebly, "they didn't bark at the intruder..."

He calmly points out, with a hint of a smile, "well, he was naked..."

It was about 9am when they finally left, and not one present had been opened, breakfast was not in the oven, nothing had been done to prepare for my meal for 20. My "Halmark Holiday" really turned out the way I could have predicted... a disorganized jumble of lateness and crazy, but with a story worth telling.

We would have let him in you know, seeing as it was so cold, if he'd been acting sane, but he wasn't. He was screaming and such. It turned out he lived about 5 streets away and was so drunk that the cops said he could have died. He was 19, and we didn't press charges. Around 8pm his father came by our house to apologize. There'd been some damage to our car, so he casually wrote out a check to cover it and thanked us again for not pressing charges.

So, now each year on Christmas when the presents are opened and the wrapping is cleared, when the dishes are cleaned and H & I are sitting by the toasty fire watching the embers burn into ash, we have a standard "was it a successful holiday? Checklist" that gets covered... "1) no illness? 2) no major cuts or injuries? 3) no naked men breaking down the door? etc".

May Your Christmas be Merry and Bright,
May No Naked Men try to Break Down Your Sliding Glass Doors!!!
Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rambling about Holidays for 5

And so this is Christmas. Every year I say it's not going to sneak up on me, and every year it does. And it did. Again. But honestly, I've had a great Christmas season, nearly accomplishing all the things that I set out to do.

One of the reasons is that The Kids, H & I all made a joint list of "what we wanted to do MOST this holiday season", and then we set about checking things off the list. Each person said their 3 favorite traditions about Christmas. This way I figured everyone could get the best Holiday experience.

There are 5 of us, so it could have been quite a list, but since some of the favorites were the same, we were able to get to all but ONE item. Yes, only 1 thing was missed, and it wasn't my fault. The thing was "tacky lights with the family", and the one night we could have gone there was record snow fall for Richmond.

Have you ever seen the special on the TLC channel about the Tacky Holiday Lights? The one family BOUGHT THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR so they could light up two houses as one giant display! Two of the families featured in that show are in my immediate area, I run past one all the time. Neither are lit up this week. The one had too much damage, we know, from the snow & ice, and the other - well we don't know the official word, but we assume the same. I guess we'll just be sure to do that next year.

The mission was completed, we ensured a success in all possible areas, and tomorrow it's Christmas Eve and we have "nothing" hanging over our heads with the exception of some dried mistletoe. Life is good. V, my dear friend, is back for a few days, and that always makes it seem like "CHRISTMAS" to me, and, from C's list, the Christmas Pageant Rehearsal went off tonight without a hitch... well, maybe a SMALL hitch, but really, who's counting at this point?

Truly, I wonder why I let myself get so caught up in the crazy last year. This year I'm all about "it's a wonderful life" and "the Wizard of Oz", and my personal favorite, "Charlie Brown Christmas", where we learn the true meaning of Christmas, commercialism, and good Jazz music.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gu Giveaway

Gu Giveaway on Mel's awesome blog... check her out at
but don't bother sending a story - I promise MY story has already WON.

Snow Days & Knee Procedures

Snowed here in Richmond. Not like it usually "snows" in Richmond,which would be a dusting that people freak out over for no good reason. No this was "real snow", snow a New Englander could understand and appreciate. Snow that people could find impressive, even if they worked for the Weather Channel. Snow - 14 inches at my house, in about 12 hours. Very impressive.

Of course, the bad thing about getting snow on average 3+ inches per year (meaning, 14 inches 1 year and nothing for 4 years) is that we don't really have proper snow removal equipment in Richmond. Additionally, people here don't know how to drive in it. I generally stay home to protect my family and car insurance premiums for days of snowmen, snow angels, snow ball fights, sledding and stuff like that. I am so fortunate to live on a lot that's a hill, because, did I mention that most of Richmond is FLAT?

Snow usually deters all but the craziest runners, so I didn't miss the group run this week. Since I'm not running, I did some cross training instead... sledding. Intense uphill walking in slick conditions are pretty tough on the knee. I asked my Dr., but he laughed about it and said he was cool with the intense uphill walking because any other answer would not be acceptable to my children who were in the room giving him the EYE.

Speaking of my AWESOME DR WHO I LOVE MORE THAN... well, A LOT... I went back to him and he thinks that I might be running again by early January! YEsssssssssssss! While I was there we were discussing other things, and he was causally digging his thumb into my knee so much that I suddenly, in mid sentence, could not speak. No worries, he picked up where I left off. The knee feels pretty good, for a knee that's been seriously abused on a sled & hill at any rate.

Dr. G aka the Witch Dr, said that he would let me start running early Jan IF I promised to stop and stretch after every mile in a specific way. "OK, YES!" Basically he's wondering if some of the other things that lead to my foot injury and ultimately took out my knee are connected to having tight hips.... (Hips Tight= Low Back Pain = adjust stride= Foot Injury= Adjust stride= Hip Pain= Adjust stride= Knee Pain/IT BAND issues/Tight Hamstrings ...which isn't what I have exactly, but I KNOW PEOPLE who do - and you KNOW WHO YOU ARE). It's so funny because a friend of mine said she was just talking to another friend of mine about how women runners with knee issues tend to have OTHER problems that get missed by Dr's because they're not REALLY KNEE ISSUES.

To be honest, the crazy stretch he showed me felt so good that I might have to show Rach & T for SS classes. Seriously. It's such a "mom" stretch.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Witch Doctor!

I told the witch doctor I only like to run!
I told the witch doctor the pain was less than fun!
And then the witch doctor he started with his thumb
He said that

Ooh to the eeh the ooh the aah aah
To the ting to the tang the wallawalla bingbang
Ooh to the eeh the ooh the aah aah
Ting tang wallawalla bingbang

I went to the Best Dr today EVER! It is L.O.V.E. Sorry Husband, but the thing is, he so rocked. I mean, he's not the prettiest man I've ever met. Don't get me wrong, he's nice looking and all... but not Dr McDreamy. What he is, is the man who diagnosed my knee issue. And immediately got to work. When I explained that I had a 1.5 hour window of time, he used every second of that time massaging, applying heat & electrolysis, watching me do one legged squats, bending the joint, digging his thumb in which hurt like a ... LOT, and ended with an ultrasound. And then, after all that - "we'll see you on Monday or Tuesday of next week so I can work on it a bit more."

So. Monday it is. For MORE pain and torture. I can't wait. Gosh I can't describe it any better than if I say, "it hurts so good". I can totally see why people call him a witch Dr/miracle worker.

For the detail oriented people in the group, the diagnosis is kind of unpleasant sounding. Scar tissue from a small tear I probably sustained during the marathon has fused my hamstring to my IT band. This means that the less it moves, the better it feels. So I rest a few days, feel fine and go for a run. Here's where the badness enters in... as I run, the area fights to free itself, becomes inflamed... this puts pressure on the IT band. Eventually it could have been really bad. Picture a frozen rubber band stuck to a steak while it's being stretched on one side & heat is being applied to the other... wait a minute frozen rubber bands don't stretch....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not in my head

Yesterday I ran a total of 1 mile. It was agony. Excruciating. Not in my head. I think the swelling pretty much ruled that possibility out... Tomorrow I'm going to the dark side and visiting a chiropractor.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chicken or Egg?

Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?

I ran today. My knee started hurting on step #3. It went like this... power up the machine, push a button, step onto the moving track. Step, step, ache, step, ache, step, pain, step, Pain, step, PAIN... until the 10 minutes & slightly over 1 mile was complete and I hopped down the stairs without bending the knee, and didn't step fully on it for a solid ten minutes. After the ten minutes I had some aches all day, but nothing serious, and I was able to get up and down the stairs.

I can't figure out though, if it was real pain or "head" pain. I spent the entire run wondering when my knee was going to stop supporting my weight and I was going to crash into T's floor when that happened. "Now? Is it going to happen.... NOW?.... Now?...." Is the wondering what lead to the pain? Or is the pain what lead to the wondering?

I need to run with someone who can talk for 10 minutes straight. That's really what I need. Someone who can talk to me about something NOT running. Tomorrow I am going to drop the girls at school and drive to Glen Allen to run with T. It has to work. Has To. No pressure T.

baking baking baking

I spent all weekend baking. Omg. I sound just like a stay at home mom. Gross.

But I did. AND, thanks to my TESTER, I know that at least ONE of my items is comparable to bliss, while at least ONE of my items is a senseless waste of chocolate and I will be making no more. Guess what I'm doing RIGHT NOW? Baking some more.

YAY, I... need to log off - something is BURNING...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

B-Ball, Game 2

C's rec league team had another early morning game today, and I was dismayed to see that one of the girls wasn't able to attend. This is a problem, remember we're already short 1 because a girl signed up and has decided not to play. So today, we played 8 on 10, 2 lines of 5, and C was asked to stay on the court for 30 minutes of a 40 minute game. By the last "period" she was shuffling down the court like... well, nothing attractive I can assure you. Poor kid was beat.

She had a super time though, got a shot or two in this game, and really stood out at the defense pattern we Mom's began to refer to as SWARM defense. Unlike Zone or One on One, the girls simply swarmed around the ball handling player with their hands in the air. They were easily a foot "off" the player, maybe more, Basket Ball is a Non-Contact Sport right? Well, the way C plays there's surely no bumping or anything else.

By half way through the game, when our team was up by 25 points or so, our coach benched a bunch of the "ringers" and sent out our "lambs". I think she was hoping the other team would catch up, or put some points on the board, or something, but again, astonishingly, the swarm defense was very effective. No points were scored for a solid 5 minutes of play time, on either side. I don't want to say Coach Tia told our Ringers to stop scoring, because I don't know for sure what is said out on the court. I can tell you that everyone on C's team got a chance to try for a basket, and that at some point our coaches seemed to enjoy calling time outs so they could explain strategy to our Lambs that they could go practice immediately.

The team named themselves today. The other team had named themselves The Blue Jays (beautiful blue shirts) and all wore their hair in side pony tails with their shirts tied around in cute little knots. Since C's team shirts are "sinus infection snot green", and I don't think the coach was tickled to name the girls The Snot or The Limes, she let them decide, on the fly.... They're now the Green Crushers. Yea, maybe not the MOST ladylike name, but whatever, they girls are enthused about it.

OH and NO fouls on C for double dribble or traveling today -so YAY for improvement! (for anyone keeping track final score, 48 - 12)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And Open Letter to SRG

Dear Stupid Red Headed Girl Who Sits in the Back of the Class,

Last Thursday, as I was leaving class, I overheard a remark by the professor, that at the time brought me a little comfort. I heard him tell you that you needed an 80 or better on last night's Organic Chemistry test to qualify for the opportunity to take the exam. I figured that you were simply playing dumb, and that surely you would come home from class armed with that information and study your amply proportioned booty off.

Clearly, by the size of your booty last night, and by your comment in the 2 minutes before the test started "OMG, I need to study a little before this starts!" that didn't happen. I occurs to me that maybe you just don't know how to pass a class with difficult subject matter, and I thought I could help.

The first step to passing a class, any class, is to attend class with respect to its start and finish times. When you are ten minutes late and sit in the BACK of the class, you jostle and annoy the other students as you make your way through the room. Additionally, in the same category with tardiness is your habit of dismissing yourself at 8pm for a smoke break. The class runs from 7pm - 840pm. We were fortunate that only on very rare occasions did Dr Forest decide to lecture that late. Usually he wrapped up by 8:20 or so. I find it extraordinary that your nasty stinky smoking habit could not wait an additional twenty minutes for him to finish. When you leave the class twenty minutes early for a smoke break and you sit in the BACK of the class, you jostle and annoy the other students as you make your way through the room.

The second step to passing any class, is to read the material. SRG, I know I cannot be the only person in your life who has indicated this to you, but Chemistry is a hard enough class when you have a clue as to what is happening. Trying to do it without reading the chapters would be a little like attending only 50 minutes of a 1 hour and 20 minute class. Reading is important. If you are confused by how to read, take the College Success Class offered at the Western Campus by Professor Berry. He can give you some tips, and the class, for most students, is an easy A, so you could probably scrape a C out if it at least.

The third and final step to passing a class in college is to respect your professors and other students. Since you needed a relatively high grade on the last test to pass, and it might come down to whether or not he rounds your grade UP, it is important that he think Highly Of You. This would be a stretch, but here are a few pointers that might help in that regard. This sounds crazy, I know, but when you start talking in the middle of a test on Organic Chemistry, you're not making life long friends with your classmates, and I can assure you that you're definitely pissing off the professor. I would also suggest that you NOT SNAP YOUR GUM throughout the testing period. You annoy the students in the class & the professor. If the professor chooses to leave the room to use the restroom, it's not license to cheat. And, since you've now alienated yourself from the class, you should probably consider that the answers your fellow students share might be wrong. I however, will never even pretend to share answers with you, even wrong ones, because I respect myself more than that. Do not bother to stage whisper loudly, "hey, marathon girl! Hey! Virginia, what is the answer to #G?" because #G is not an #, and I am deaf during tests. Stone Deaf. You know why I'm deaf right? Because I have a JOB and a LIFE, and neither one includes getting expelled from school or even disrespecting myself because you were too stupid to study.

Good Luck to you in your endeavor to join the MEDICAL Field. I get a little shaking in my boots when I consider that you might one day be a Radiology Tech. I truly hope that school either gives you the courage to behave in an adult and respectful way, OR that when it weeds you out you are able to find employment in the food service industry, where I understand there are many benefits to be had such as health insurance, free MilkShakes, and little reading is required.

The Exempt Brown Haired Student Who Sits in the Front of the Class

Monday, December 7, 2009

IT's the Guitar!

Hey Kitten what'chya doin?
Wanna plaaaaaaay the guitar?
You say whats that sound,
Coming out of the hole in the wood?'s the guitar.
(seriously, you better know that's The DeadMilkmen)

Today my son sat down to play his guitar. He's had 2 months of lessons, and I think he's starting to have a real grip on the basics for a 7 year old. (i.e. - produce a clean note when you strike a string and practice makes perfect). However, the lessons are not running during the month of December, and his guitar hasn't been tuned since the Monday before Thanksgiving. It sounded, uh, interesting today. Interesting in a painful "please stop playing that instrument" kind of way.

I couldn't say that though. He's a 7 year old, and there's his self esteem to consider. I had to suck it up and listen. And that's what I did. For 5 minutes until I felt compelled to remind G that he wasn't allowed to practice his guitar until all his chores were done. THEY ARE? Crud. OH, I mean, "can you double check the chore list?"

Seeing as pain in my knee is already chronic, I decided that pain in my ears was optional and I was going to have to fix this somehow. My choices were limited - hunt up a musician to tune the guitar, take it to Guitar Works and beg, or do it myself.

Before my voice changed I could sing quite well. Unfortunately, once my voice changed and I developed the range of a middle aged man, I was uninterested in pursuing any kind of musical career, and so, despite the fact that my father is one of the most talented musicians I know (and I know a lot because he is a talented musician), I have no instrumental ability.

Did I mention that Dad plays guitar? And Banjo? And pretty much if it has strings he can make it happen... but never once in the 900 times that he offered to teach me to tune one of these instruments did I listen? Nope. Not ONCE. AND now my son owns 3 guitars, 1 banjo, 1 base ukulele.... all which need tuning.

Today I was inspired by my recent foray into the world of "tallness" via basketball, to try a bit in the world of "music-ness" via guitar tuning. I now own a tuner *see above note about son owning 5 stringed instruments. And I knew, in general, how a guitar should sound and, in general, how a tuner should work. So the instructions on the tuner were clear, strum the guitar, tune the string - the tuner will tell you what note you're closest too. I foolishly assumed that if the note was an off key F, that the string should have been an F.

Ha. HAAHAHAHAHA. GUESS WHAT? Those suckers can be off by as many as 2 whole notes! So after I tuned it, I gave it a strum, and when my ears stopped bleeding I thought, "I'm going to need to do something a little more precise". Enter into the equation "GOOGLE". Seriously, did you know you can learn ANYTHING on google? ANYTHING AT ALL? EVEN - "How To Tune A Guitar"?

3 minutes later, armed with this new knowledge, I tuned that baby right up. And set my son loose with the 5 songs he knows. They're the 5 songs he's going to know until he spends a little time with D-Dad or Lessons resume (in January), so if I have to hear them over and over (and over), at least now I can hear them over and over in tune.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Super Bad

C started basket ball today through our county. I had to spend a few minutes trying to figure the game out so I could try to share what I'd gleaned with C. My knowledge was "sparse" to say the worst.

It is a small, yet well organized league. Our coach and assistant were awesome. Both College players, one on scholarship at UCLA until she was sidelined with an injury & now plays for VCU.

They didn't waste anytime lining the girls up to warm up, stretch and do some drill looking thingys where they practiced laying down... up? Layup? ANYWAY - drills with balls and shooting at the basket. C has never been on a court before and with 3 words from the coach she made a basket. Yes, seriously! C had a super time. Then, after 1 hour of practice where they did no running/dribbling work, concentrating on layups (seriously, did I make that up?) and defense (a word I know), the coaches distributed the uniforms and the game started. The uniforms were all one size. This is a league of girls from 9 - 11. So. C's uniform is an adult small. I will be washing it in HOT. Very very HOT, and drying on High. For an hour.

Let me explain a few things about how it went today. The first is that we're a team of 9, but there's supposed to be 10. Each team must play a line of 5 players for 5 minutes, the clock is paused, the lines switch. This means that on our team one girl would stay out for 10. C will never be asked to play for more than 5 minutes at a time. The "line" that C is on with 2 other non-players and 1 really decent player. And the "line" which came to be identified as the "ringer line" because it's 4 really REALLY good players and 1 really decent player. The Ringer Line rotated through C's line, so there was always one really savvy ball player on the court to help "direct" the dazed and confused. I'm not going to lie- those girls were fierce. Our coach had to start directing them to play it down because she didn't want to run up the score!

C did get her time on the court regardless of how much ball time she had. She did some defense, consisting of me & the coaches yelling "HANDS UP!" (I learned that today) And, she spent a lot of her time talking to coaches & refs about "fouls". Her fouls were "double dribble" and "traveling". 'sall Good though, because she was having a great time.

At one point during the game, she and the "non-ringer" line were out playing, and Colleen throws her hands up in front of her screaming "DON'T PASS IT HERE!!! NO!" As a girl sends her the ball. C's a smart girl. She looked at the pack of opposition players converging on her and she threw the ball as fast as she could in the "general direction" of a teammate.... right into the waiting hands of the opposite team. But hey, her coaches all yelled, "IT'S OK! It's OK C. NOW GO PLAY DEFENSE!" So funny. The moms and I were rolling on the floor laughing as one player on our team caught the ball and, holding it like a football, sprinted down the court. So. Let's just say that Colleen was not traveling alone today.

C's team won, and despite that she handled the ball exactly 5 times in the game without a foul (one of those was an assist on a rebound - those are hockey terms, but I bet they could apply), she got an immense satisfaction out of the fact that her team won 32 to 6.

Oh, and the other good news is that on the back of her cool lime green t-shirt is the number 3! (G's Hockey number!, My Lucky number!) So, that's always good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I am "not" a Tall Mom. It would seem that I have surrounded myself with Tall Moms though, both in the real world, and now even in the bloggy world. I married a Tall Husband and in doing such have produced Tall Children (except B). I also have Tall Parents and Tall Siblings, and in general, spent a lot of my life feeling a little like the ugly duckling, only instead of being "the ugly one" I was just "the short one". By inches. When I say inches I think it's important to mention that my "little" sister is a 6ft tall model. I am nearly 5'3.

So this week my Tall Daughter is starting basketball! Yes, on Saturday, assuming that G's surgery goes well, we will be stepping onto the basketball court. For the first time in... no, g, that's got to read "for the first time"(period). I have never played basketball. Not even recreationally. Not even in my friends driveway growing up. Or as a grown up. Never. In High School during the "basketball" session of 10th grade PE, you know, where you learn a new sport?, my short friend and I were excused to walk on the track for 30 minutes of "cardiovascular activity", or a few laps of gossip, which ever came first.

We will be forging into uncharted waters. Boldly going where I have never been. And of course I expected my daughter to be nervous or excited, or both, in anticipation of her new sport. Do you know, she only had ONE question for me in regards to Basket Ball. One.

"Mom, do I get a new basket ball outfit?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

surgery Friday

I had such high hopes for this weekend.

On Friday night while H worked late I was going to bake cookies with my children, on Saturday I was going to wake up and take some motrin before sneaking out on a "long run", then in the afternoon my youngest has a ballet recital at a retirement home, It's also the first day of basketball for C - and we don't even know what time that's supposed to start, and finally on Sunday we were going to church for pageant rehearsals, and then the kids & I would come home, put up outside lights until it was time for H to take G to hockey.

Yea. About that.

G's surgery is Friday. Fun times.