30 September 2009

last gasp

When I heard frost predicted for tonight I was glad to have taken this picture last weekend. After a few weeks of no daylilies blooming in the yard, this one appeared. It is called Inner View and holy moly, was it enormous. I should have put something in the picture for scale. Those are nasturtiums in the lower left corner, if that helps.

I'm not at all sad about fall's arrival. I look forward to it the other three quarters of the year. Cold will always make me happier than heat and humidity, but I will miss the flowers, especially the surprises my garden tends to throw my way.

29 September 2009

I want my, I want my, I want my NPR

In an effort to break the monotony of Music Together CDs in the car I finally broke down and bought Songs from the Street, a 3 CD set of classics from Sesame Street. It's great, until we've listened to it for two weeks straight. At that point, R.E.M. and Hootie & the Blowfish make me want to scratch my eyes out, even if Eleanor does declare each track her favorite.

But there's one song I don't tire of, probably because Oliver looks so darn cute singing it. He asks for Number 6 on the third disc all the time. (I swear it takes him all of one time through a CD to memorize a playlist.) Unfortunately, I haven't dash-mounted a video camera to capture it. This will have to do.

I look forward to the time when the kids are old enough to tolerate what they call "mommy moosic" (aka WDUQ, our local NPR affiliate), but for now, we'll talk some trash with Steven Tyler & Oscar the Grouch, slide with the Goo Goo Dolls, and sing with the Dixie Chicks.

28 September 2009

oh how they tease

It was a full family assault at PNC Park on Sunday. We bought two tickets (Oliver and the parent to be named later) to eight Pirate games, and bravely bought four tickets to the last Sunday game of the season, hoping Eleanor would be old enough to make it through to the end. Wow, did she surprise all of us.

To be fair, we cheated a little. With all the rain we were getting Sunday morning I was sure the start would be delayed a little. We gave the kids an early lunch and got them down for naps. Letting Eleanor sleep until the very last minute meant she got just over an hour for nap and woke up happy. We got to our seats at the start of the second inning. Other than a one-inning wander around with Mr C, Eleanor was remarkable. It was Oliver who declared he was bored at the beginning of the seventh and asked to go to the playground. We held him off though, reminding him of the approaching opportunity to stretch and sing. Good thing, too, Oliver soon spotted Manny loosening up in the dugout, about to pinch hit.

For the second time in a month, we missed a ninth inning walk-off 6-5 victory for the Pirates because we were in line to run the bases, but that's okay. MLB at Bat enabled us to watch the video highlights on the drive home. And the look on Eleanor's face as she ran down the first base line hand in hand with her brother was worth it.

So the Buccos of Suckitude took three out of four from the division-leading Dodgers. They love to tease us into thinking they might actually have a clue. Good thing we know better. Now what ticket package shall we buy for 2010?

27 September 2009

enormous changes at the last minute

I've been a bad little blogger. Not that I haven't been thinking about it. This post has been rattling around in my brain for weeks. It started in late August when I knew the family was in for some schedule changes when Oliver started at his new school. I started trying to modify my sleep schedule, and the universe proceeded to laugh its ass off at my expense. We have yet to miss the 7:25 am bus but it has not been easy or painless. I am not getting to bed early enough and the kids and dogs regularly conspire to interrupt my sleep. This part of the change is not working well but I know that when I do get to bed by 10:30 I feel great. Scary great. I need to do this more.

My work schedule also changed to accommodate picking him up at either 4 or 4:30 pm. I love the extra quiet time in the morning. I typically eat some banana, shared with Eleanor and the dogs, before leaving the house and then have breakfast at work. My drawers are stocked with food (more on that topic later) so I eat at my desk. On Fridays, when most of my co-workers are off, I'm the first one in the office and it's utterly silent for nearly an hour. This part of the change is working really well.

Since I am a glutton for punishment, I went back to Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. I'm also participating in Sarah and Devra's Biggest Loser competition over at Loser Moms. I wish I could say I've dropped ten pounds but no, it's only 4 but I have learned a thing or two about weight loss and my own behavior over the last few years. In a nutshell, perfect isn't possible and imperfect is inevitable. An off day is no reason to get completely de-railed. I'm accepting my mistakes and forgiving them, as quickly as possible. I no longer think, "Screw it, tomorrow is another day." Now I think about the next meal or snack and get back on track faster. I wish I could say this is all my doing but my leader is a genius. She gets me. This part of the change is going okay. Lots of work left to do but moving in the right direction.

Now, for proof I have lost my mind entirely, I said, "yes" when asked to be the Room Parent for Oliver's class. I did not know at the time that I would be responsible for hosting the Parent Social, a parents-only event. At our house. Where my children live. I think we worked that out but it's going to be interesting. The school has also asked me to be a parent ambassador, fund raiser, and a few other things. Love the school but they are trying really hard to occupy nearly every day of my life. I'm learning to say no. Apparently not fast enough, however, since I also said yes to chairing the Finance committee for the Girl Scout board of directors. Thankfully, the third volunteer-y thing I said, "yes" to didn't pan out or I would have been well and truly screwed. This part of the change is definitely a work in progress.

Since I'm changing just about everything, say hello to my new blog look, courtesy of NapWarden who worked her magic for me once again. For someone who had never hear of, let alone seen, a Clumber spaniel until the last couple of weeks, I am insanely impressed.