Blue Eyes Playing in the Rain (Updated with correct link)

Spring Break is officially over. This is where I would insert a frownie face but I’m too tired. The kids decided to go out with one last hurrah, so we piled in the truck, grabbed Moon’s BFF, Jemi, and headed to Sparkles. Sparkles, for the unfamiliar, is a big room with skating, a play tower, laser tag and arcade, where kids run and scream to their heart’s content, and moms’ sit in the corner taking advantage of free wifi and the margarita machine. Okay, there’s actually not a margarita machine, but how awesome would that be!

Jeanette came over later to pick up her daughter and told me about a cool website where you can assign “points” to your child for doing different tasks. For instance, cleaning your room gets you 8 points, while brushing your teeth garners 1. These are obviously based on degree of difficulty, not importance. Then you trade in your points for “rewards”, like watching tv, or playing on the computer. I don’t know if it will work in the long haul, but Moon got up on Saturday and immediately started cleaning her room. Since there were no rewards for ME to get for cleaning, I lay on the couch and read a book until noon.

Sunday, we had Home Church which is where we all stay home and watch it on television. It wasn’t ideal, but I had a tennis match and since I had to be there at 12:15, there was no way to go to church first. Well, other than going to the 9 o’clock service, but what are we, FARMERS? By the time I actually got to the courts, it was sprinkling. Since I’d driven an hour to get there, we decided to go ahead and play. In the rain. We made it a set and a half before the puddles on the court forced us to stop. Also, we were losing.

I wasn’t the only person playing in the rain, the Masters was happening. My guy, Adam Scott, won! Yay, Adam. I’ve been a fan all the way back to earlier today when I first saw him.

Moon has her rewards, and I have mine.

Welcome Home, Here’s your Broom

So me and the kids made it home yesterday. Having 4, sometimes 5, kids for the week was an eye-opener. What I realized is this – I would be a GREAT mom to a whole passel of children. I can’t imagine what the Lord was thinking by limiting me to one. All is takes is a little patience, a good attitude, 125 acres of hard woods and my parents. I’ve got access to all of that! Maybe there’s still time to adopt.

We made it home without incident, and by “incident”, I mean no one threw up, which was a real possibility since there was a LOT of snacking, flavored soda-drinking, and over-eating going on. A full mouth is a quiet mouth, amiright Kittens?

JD met me at the door, happy to see us, but with a warning. Seems he’d been so excited about the spring weather, he’d opened all the doors and windows to enjoy the breeze. Which explains why I had an inch of yellow pollen on every horizontal surface in the house. Oh well. You know if there’s one thing Zolligirl enjoys, its a day of sweeping and mopping, ESPECIALLY after a 4 hour drive. Unfortunately, I forgot to vacuum and about 5 o’clock my head started to pound. Despite an allergy pill and 4 Advil, the pain was unrelenting. At about 9, I finally locked myself in the spare bedroom, the only room I could be sure didn’t have pollen covering the bed, and prayed for it all to end.

It stormed all night and all I could think was, I hope it washes all this terrible pollen away BEFORE the tornadoes hit the house. The good news is that the pollen count seems to have lowered and I still have my house. The bad news is I STILL have to vacuum. I’ll change the linens in my bedroom while I’m at it, and surely I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight.

ESPECIALLY since JD will be sleeping in the spare bedroom.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being at my Mother’s.

On Monday, I left Atlanta with Moon and three of her friends for some Spring Break fun in Tennessee. We didn’t get to Zollicoffer until the afternoon, but the kids made the most of it, playing in the sand and on the swings, and generally running around like banshees. Pa grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, and everyone played till dark. Kid paradise, amiright?

While they were munching on Pa’s awesome burgers, my mom and I made some vegan-friendly black-bean burgers. Tania-the-Mad had passed on a new recipe and we thought we’d give it a try. Obviously the recipe was flawed because our mixture was more like soup than a pattie, and we ended up having to bake it like a casserole, cut out pieces and slap it on a bun. Delicious! At least I think it was. I might have been light-headed due to the fact that I was starving. A few weeks ago, most everyone in the family decided to go on a diet. My mom, Tania-the-Mad and I, after much research and deliberation which consisted of Tania watching one documentary, decided to go VEGAN. Since then, Mom has lost 14 pounds, almost twice as many as I have. Now I know why. She counts every little thing that goes in your mouth. Every time I reach for a second grape, she moves the bowl away. The other day I took the kids to the store, then worried the whole way home that I wouldn’t finish my Blow Pop before I got back and I’d have to leave it in the car, run in and brush my teeth, and hope she didn’t smell it on me. Hello, 1983, how have you been? Normally eating vegan is okay, but when Pa cooks ribs like he did on Tuesday night, ribs that Moon says “taste like a dream sitting on a rainbow”, it’s a little hard to be impressed with your pasta and avocado dish.

It’s not just the lack of food that’s made me hungry, it’s all the extra activity. Yesterday, the boys wanted to explore the mountain. For some reason, Moon wanted to stay home, but I grabbed a walking stick and off we went. You know how people say getting off the beaten track allows for more adventure? Those people are annoying and should be ignored. Getting off the beaten track allows for ticks, gnats, and multiple scratches from the blackberry bushes my parents are evidently cultivating. I felt like Dorie trying to navigate her way through the jellyfish. The boys were troopers, even though they were wearing shorts. And it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm when Pa got home and offered to take them on a ride on the Ranger. FYI, if you’re offered a ride across the mountain – wear pants. Also, sit in the front seat.

A lesson Dakota learned the hard way.

But the kids have enjoyed every minute – walking to the store and surviving the electric fence, wading in the stream and surviving the snake sighting, going to Dairy Queen and surviving the fact they couldn’t eat any because they had decided to go on this stupid vegan diet and their mother could smell dairy a mile a way. They’re survivors those kids.

Amazing how much they’ve learned from me in just a few days.

Perfectly balanced work and play

I’m still recovering. This past weekend was the perfect blend between activity and down-time. Friday, I worked. Yes, I WORKED. My mother has been complaining that I spend too much time talking about how much I hate work, and how I usually do none, and she thinks that the people who PAY me might get miffed if they were to happen across this blog. What she doesn’t understand is that there is a big difference in working 9 – 5 because you have to, and working 9 – 12, taking a break, working 2 – 4, taking a break, working from the couch from 7:30 – 9:30 while also watching The Voice. Same amount of work, MY schedule. Totally different.

Like Saturday. While most people were enjoying there day off, I was sending emails and writing copy, and looking for illustrations for all of the invites I need to create. Totally stressful. And when I wasn’t working, I was working. On the house. Sweeping, mopping, dusting, all of that boring stuff that I hate and never really works anyway, cause it just looks the exact same 45 minutes later. But I did it, cause I ALWAYS do what needs to be done, then I put on my pj’s and immersed myself in a book. Good day.

Sunday, instead of going to church like good people, we met Carolyn and the boys for a trip to watch the Atlanta Braves. Dakota was having a birthday, so we all piled into Carolyn’s truck and went downtown for some tailgating. My first tailgate experience ever! While we did some things great¬† – grill, vegan dogs, chairs, games – we forgot the most important ingredient, BEER. Luckily they sell those inside the stadium, and since I took that $175 shirt/sweater combo back to the Black & White store, I could buy one. The game was a WIN, and despite the fact that the kids ate hotdogs, popcorn, dipping dots and cotton candy THEN ran the bases, no one threw up.

It was a perfect day. Except for the part where we got home and found that our dog had pooped in the floor, fallen in it and made doggy poop angels all over the house.

It was such a mess that I just left it with JD and brought Moon and the 3 boys with me to Tennessee.

I’m still not sure who came out ahead on that one.

Friday? Oh heck yeah!

Kittens, it’s been a day. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. having a panic attack. Was the blue on the new folder I’m creating for work TOO blue? I know, first world problems. I kept laying in bed saying, “The Lord is my shepherd, the Lord is my shepherd, the Lord is my shepherd.” I’m guessing he was still miffed over my tennis prayers because it was hours before I finally fell into a fitful sleep. Which is when I dreamed JD and I were in the mountains of Norway driving a VW Beetle in a snow storm. I’m sure that means something, but I am way too tired to figure it out.

Also, tipsy. Yeah, that’s right, TIPSY. The second JD came home, I cracked open a bottle of wine and drank two big glasses. Don’t judge me, it’s a legal beverage. And I needed it. This day, totally terrible. Mainly it’s work. It’s gotten so busy lately it’s starting to feel like a real job. It was so bad, I only had time to read 4 chapters of my new book.

It’s narrative nonfiction, which means it’s a true story but not boringly so, about life in a Mumbai slum. It’s an amazing story of how people make a life in the worst of circumstances. Uh, I feel you, Abdul. You sort garbage? I had to email my web designer SIXTEEN times before I could get him to change an image. I know, RUDE.

Hopefully this big project at work will be over soon and I can go back to regular work hours. And by “regular”, I mean “very few”. I’ve got people in Mumbai to read about, and possibly help. I’m thinking of changing my profile picture on Facebook to one of a poor looking Indian kid. You gotta do what you can, amiright?

Walk A Mile in Mom’s Shoes

Moon and I have reached a great place in our relationship, that awesome, over-too-soon moment in time where we actually wear the same size shoe. The good news is that I’ve bought her several cute pairs lately. The bad news, stink. Soon she’ll be borrowing my clothes, then hating my clothes, then forbidding me to wear her clothes. She’s growing up.

On Tuesday I registered her for 6th grade. SIXTH GRADE! It’s impossible. I swear it was just the other day when JD and I were walking her into her kindergarten class, photographing every step. Well, we actually did that in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade too, but you get the idea. Now we have to hide in the bushes like paparazzi to get a shot of her on school property.

Speaking of shooting, imagine my joy when I noticed a note Moon had written on her agenda, to “Bring gun” on Monday. Luckily, she actually meant to write, “Bring GUM.” Which is much better and totally legal, according to our attorney.

School is almost over, thanks be to Jesus! Next week is Spring Break and we’re going to head to Tennessee for a couple of days. I like to share the joy that is a bored tween with my parents. They were so helpful when I was a kid. Moon will have a great time going in or out, pick ONE. Also, read a book. I was telling the bridge ladies that I might let Moon and her friends walk down the mountain to the store, but they’d have to cross a field to get there and that would entail them crawling under an electric fence. You would have thought I said they had to cross through Tora Bora. (That’s a place, right?) How hard is it to crawl under a thin wire, four feet in the air??¬† My plan was to relax in the shade while Moon runs around the mountain. But no, my mom says if anyone walks around the trails, I have to go too. This from the woman that once let me ride all the way to Kentucky in the back of a pickup truck.

Mothers, what can you do? The bad news is that she’ll probably actually make me walk with Moon, through the overgrown trails, and down the long, hot, dusty trail to the store. The good news is, I can still wear HER shoes.