Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

I haven't posted in a while because honestly, I'm not sure where to start. Once you fall out of the practice, it's hard to pick a new starting point. So... I sum up:

Work: My library is currently closed. We are renovating (carpet and paint, plus a few extra items for effect... commonly referred to as "bling"). This means several things...
  1. I am a nomad. I do have a temporary office in our administration building, which is on Poole Road... all the way across town for you non-Raleigh-ites. It's a long drive. Plus I'm sharing an office that wasn't intended to be shared, and therefore I am on the wrong side of the desk. This means that unless I want bruised on my knee caps, I have to sit like a gutter whore, with my legs basically straddling my chair. Very professional.
  2. I am doing a lot of planning. This would normally be great, but unfortunately, the planning is preventing me from doing a lot of ... well ... doing.
  3. I am the schedule goddess. I volunteered (for reasons too numerous to recount here) to do the master schedule for our staff while we are closed. I have assigned them to other branches in order to help cover and also to take some time to plan, etc. 24 people total. Covering at least ten branches. This has the potential for major disaster. Fortunately, it actually has gone quite well, and I believe the staff actually believes I am good at something, which is enough for me! But it is a big headache, as things shift and people get sick and people forget where they are supposed to be... etc. However, I'm not complaining... it could be a lot worse. We could be closed for a year. That would suck.
  4. I get to do things I don't normally get to do. For instance, today I spent a great deal linking Russian and Chinese books into our catalog. It was really kind of fun. Of course, I speak nary a word of either language, but it was fun to look at the cover and try to guess the call number before peeking inside to see if I got it right. (And to think, I only got 20% on that Nerd test.)

Athena: She's big. She's bad. She's talking in complete sentences and is saying the best stuff. If you tell her she is beautiful, she blushes and says "Thank yeeeeeuw." And when she saw the crabs that Brian caught at the beach this weekend, she told me all about the "bad crabs." In fact, I was surprised that she was in no way disturbed by the fact that the crabs were clicking and snapping at her one minute, and were boiling in a pot of water the next. "We're going to EAT the mean crabs, Mommy!" Just between you and me... she scares me a little.

Marcus: He's sick. It's breaking my heart. I just want him to get better. He's so happy and fun. He is walking now, but only just. Kathryn described his gait thusly, "He walks like he's been riding a horse all day." Sadly, she speaks the truth. But it's totally cute.

Sister: She's in town. My cosmopolitan sister, an executive for a large international PR firm, is here all week to hang with the neice and nephew. Well, almost all week... she got called away to Chicago tonight, and won't be back until tomorrow after dinner. But I'll take what I can get. San Fran is a long way away, and we are lucky to see her once a year. I miss her terribly. This year, we will get to see her twice, though... as we are planning to go to the Sonoma Valley for Thanksgiving (her SF apartment is WAY too small for our little clan). I'm going to get sibling overdose. Hurrah!

Home: We were at Bald Head Island with the Austins this weekend. I love visiting with them. And Sophie is really inspiring. She is so organized and neat... and it's so natural to her that it makes me believe that I might also be that organized one day. I came home and immediately cleaned up the kitchen. And it has become my official sanctuary. It is the first room that will be kept neat and organized, and I will build upon that. Check back with me on that in two months. Well, maybe two weeks is better.

Travel: This summer is wacky crazy re: travel. We went to Disney three weeks ago (in case you forgot). This past weekend, Bald Head Island. Next weekend we're home since Linda is in town. Weekend after, we are visiting some of Chris' family in Roanoke, VA. Weekend after that, we are hoping to go to Richmond for Chris' neice's first birthday par-tay. Weekend after THAT, Disney, Part Two... the freebie edition. The weekend after that is my birthday, but we'll probably just stick around here to recover. Then Chris is fairly certain he will go to Ohio the weekend after that for Origins. Then the library reopens and Harry Potter (Book Seven) is released. (Just imagine, my kids will grow up knowing what happens to Harry... so weird). Then sometime in August or September, we will go to Hilton Head for a long weekend since Athena loved the beach so much this time.

I'm worn out just from typing all that up. Sheesh.

So there is the recap. Hope you all stuck with me. I really will make more of an effort (when I'm not organizing my house, that is).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Not a Nerd

I am nerdier than 20% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

However, if this had been a "How Disney Nerdy Are You?" quiz, I suspect I would have been in the 98th percentile.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The World's Most Expensive Gym: The Beginning

The really expensive gym we joined back in late February finally opened today. Last night was the "Grand Opening" celebration (no workouts except for a select few who did demo classes with "celebrity" instructors). I went to get oriented and hopefully get inspired. What I got was a HUGE crowd (apparently the cost is not as prohibitive as I thought) and EXTREMELY intimidated.

But after a day on the couch snuggling with my sick bunny girl, I needed to get up and move a bit. I asked Chris if I could head over there and check it out. We've decided that Chris will go tomorrow and I will go Sunday, since we can't take Athena yet due to her illness. Marcus will get to experience the kid's area though.

So tonight wasn't nearly as crowded, and I really enjoyed myself. 30 minutes on the treadmill, most of the time at a good Cardio heart rate... then I hit the pool. The pool is one of the primary reasons we joined such an expensive gym... along with the raquetball courts. They also have a rock climbing wall, which is intriguing, but will have to wait until I weigh at least 50 pounds less than I do now.

Anyway, I love to swim, but haven't done so in years. I had the best intentions with both pregnancies, but never took the plunge (pardon the pun) to join a swim club with an indoor pool. So now I have one. I hit the water and felt like I was right at home. Of course, after 30 minutes on the treadmill and a long absence from the sport of swimming, I only managed about 100 meters. But it was a good feeling. I then settled into the spa for about 10 minutes and marvelled at how well-spent my money is. The place is gorgeous. Everything is shiny and new and clean...

Oh, and for Amy, they desinged these little changing rooms that are right there among the lockers. So not only does no one need to see my bare ass, but I can duck in there to avoid the bare asses of others. I saw exactly zero bare asses tonight.

The trip to the gym was 1.5 hours from the time I left the house to the time I returned. And that was with a shower and two clothing changes. This should be very doable with the kids once they are all well. Thursday nights, they are offering a Hip Hop class, so we're going to try to make that our first whole-family trip. I'll take the class, Chris will do machines, and the kids will do the play area. The rotavirus should be out of Athena's system by then. I hope.

Monday, May 07, 2007

And To Think I Want to Be a Travel Writer...

Well, Chris kept posting updates on our days at Disney, and it's hard for me to get motivated to post about the same stuff... so I didn't. However, I thought I would offer up a summary of major points in the trip now that it's all over... starting on Monday... the day after my last and only post from the trip.

Monday - Sea World
Athena did not care at all that she was at Sea World. The dolphins and whales intrigued her, but not enough to justify the money we spent. For example... lunch was three hot dogs, chicken strips, and four beverages (we were picking up the sitter's lunch) and it set us back $35. We can get a meal for four at the hockey game for less than that. Better food too. We'll go back, but not until Marcus is at least five... more likely seven or so.

Tuesday - Magic Kingdom
By far, the best day of the trip. We used a touring plan (tells you when to do what in what order to avoid lines) and it worked beautifully. We had to improvise a bit... for instance, Athena wanted to ride the Carousel before Dumbo, but on the plan, Dumbo was first and the carousel was fourth. We missed waking up Tinker Bell by about 30 seconds, which was a bummer, but Athena keeps talking about doing it next time. She was delightful most of the day, and overcame some shyness to really enjoy lunch with the Princesses at the castle. We went to the Polynesian late afternoon for "naps" and pool time, and the day went down hill from there. Lesson learned: Plan to leave the park by noon in order to get your nap and pool time in and make it back for fireworks.

Wednesday - MGM
Athena woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Despite the fact that she looooooooooooves the huge Sorcerer's Hat, she hated this park. We could not do anything right there. She even grumped during Playhouse Disney Live... which I thought was fabulous. During the stunt show, she was terrified by the stuntwoman on fire (who knew?!) and we finally threw up our hands in surrender and left the park. She was an angel that night for our sitter, while the parents enjoyed front row seats at Cirque followed by an unimpressive meal at Ragland Road. Well, mostly unimpressive... the Dalkey Duo (deep fried sausages) were to die for. We shall indulge in those again, my friend... oh yes.

Thursday - EPCOT
Or "Ep-i-cot" if you are Athena and think it's funny to mispronounce things. The EPCOT Flower and Garden festival is in full swing at EPCOT now, so we enjoyed some of the special exhibits before Athena had the most amazing meltdown in front of The Land Pavilion while the bulk of our party enjoyed Soarin'. I believe most parents in the park (even the ones as far away as the American Pavilion in World Showcase) now believe that I am the worst parent ever and my child is the spawn of Satan. Fortunately, she only tantrumed for a half hour until Daddy appeared and made it all better. Athena won't be going back to that park any time soon. I've decided Marcus and I will go on our first day there in June, as we should arrive several hours before Chris and Athena do. They are about to revamp the attraction in Spaceship Earth, and I want to see it one more time before they do. I also didn't get to ride the new Nemo clamshells. Both attractions have no height requirement, so Marcus can ride. He'll be my date.

That night, parents went to Victoria and Alberts. I will devote another entry to this experience at a later date.

Friday - Magic Kingdom again
We did a lot of standing around. No touring plan per se and we literally spent more time standing around trying to decide how to proceed than we did riding rides. We learned a lot on this day as well. That night, we learned Marcus was in the hospital, so we scrapped any thought of hitting a park before leaving the next day and we left early the next morning.

Marcus is fine now. He was rehydrated and re-electrolyted and although he is still clearly not 100% better, he's good.

So there's the summary. Sorry it was late in coming. I'll try to download pics... but we don't have many. Our camera pulled an Amy, and broke mid-trip.

P.S. Staci... got your email. Sorry to hear about the job thing... but looking forward to hearing what's on the horizon. Can't seem to email you back. Yahoo hates me. It's a conspiracy.