Tuesday, February 21

That Was... Exhausting!

The Cub camp-in at the McWane Science Center, in Birmingham, was an absolute blast. My "brilliant" plan to let the kids sleep on the air mattress and take a cot for me to sleep on - alone - turned out to be not so brilliant. Jase thought I looked lonely, so he slept with me. Or, on me. Those cots are not built to sleep two. Everything else, though, went off nicely. The facilities were clean, orderly, and well-maintained. The staff was helpful. The IMAX was fun-fun-fun. The Science Beltloop program they offer is pretty fantastic!
The food is just a little below standard industrial food. And I probably wouldn't have minded an earlier-than-midnight lights-out, but the kids were nowhere near ready to stop moving, even then, so I understand. *yawn-stretch-yawn*
I didn't see much of our Cubs - they were officially The Big Kids on this outing, and they enjoyed the freedom to roam and explore on their own. We saw proof of their presence, though...
What I did see of Jacob, he looked thrilled, busy, and happy. And he did pose for a few obligatory shots here and there before taking off again for more exploring. 
Em moved too quickly to capture often in the low-light setting. Jase proved to be pretty pliable and willing, though. He was all over the idea of getting a shot of him being nipped on the head by a Pteranodon, for example.
We did learn quite a bit. Mostly, though, we just had fun. It was good for all the people. I'm so glad the poison didn't work. ;-)

Then we came home and slept -- for the rest of Sunday, all of Sunday night, and most of Monday morning! I'm still a little sleepy, truth be told. But yes, it was good.

Kiss those babies!

Saturday, February 18

All Part of the Plan

This weekend is crazy-busy. The Bigs have a day trip for Scouts, in which they'll earn their Aviation Merit Badge. The Cubs have an overnight camp-in that includes siblings. We need to pour the slab for the balcony stairs. (A glider contest on the balcony earlier this week reinforced the need for people to not have to run through the school room, living room, foyer, out the door, off the porch, down the front yard into the lower drive, and back again, to retrieve gliders. I don't know that the children realized that, but *twitch* I did *twitch*.) And more, but I've lost the list.

As of last night, we weren't entirely sure how we'd pull it off. I don't know if it was bad salad or a virus, but... DANG. And really, although we're looking forward to all of it, we're such homebodies that it takes a lot of mental bolstering for either of us to get excited about leaving the house. At one point, we had this brief exchange:

Zorak: I think you poisoned me.

Me: I panicked. It was all I could think of.

Zorak: *pause* Probably the best plan, really. Pretty effective.

Thankfully, we were back in fine form by this morning. Zorak and the boys headed out to do their thing. The littles and I are packed and ready to go. We'll wave in passing, I'm sure. I hope the rest of the weekend is fairly obstacle-free, though.

Kiss those babies!

Monday, February 13

Winter Fun

Today, Zorak brought home a Johnny Rodriguez CD one of his friends had found for him this weekend. (He just *knew* Z would love it - I don't think our friend knows a thing about Johnny Rodriguez, but he knows Zorak well enough to be pretty right-on about it. It's nice to have friends like that.) So, we popped it in... and waltzed. I love waltzing with that man. The kids, however, wanted to know what we were doing. And why.

Um... uh-oh. We've breached some serious law of parental obligation, here, when none of our children knows how to dance. Great Granny's 98th Birthday is coming up, and you know there'll be a barn dance - live music, gorgeous weather - we'd best get on it, or we'll find ourselves in trouble when Granny can't dance with her grandsons BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS DROPPED THE DANGED BALL!! We have a plan in place to remedy this. Also, we should move somewhere with more live music and dancing. This will never do.

Meantime, we had a gorgeous Saturday - Me-Wa came out to do some shooting and see the godbabies. He's so awesome. I wish we lived closer to them, so it wasn't a full day's outing, away from home, just to stop in for a visit. Last time he came out, EmBaby got to try her hand at the Cricket. The balcony has built-in rests. I am beginning to suspect that was intentional...
And today, Jacob made his first-ever solo loaf of banana bread. My only input was pulling it out of the oven. He told me, after they'd devoured the whole thing, "You know how, when you make enchiladas, they don't look that great, but they taste just fine? Yeah :sigh: It was like that." It must have been good, though, because they didn't even leave crumbs for the mice to find.
If this cool weather keeps up, he may get his wings on any number of loaves this week!

Kiss those babies!

Friday, February 10

Alice, and Wonderland

We took the morning off to see the Grissom High students put on a play. It was a lovely way to spend the morning. They performed Alice in Wonderland, and although it was a two-hour production, the kids did just fine. (We sat on the aisle, in case one of the unpredictable ones did something... unpredictable. They were fine, though - wholly engaged and delightful.) The older ones are already comfortable with theater etiquette, so they're enjoyable on many levels. (They're also a reminder that it's worth it to take the time when they're little, even if you have to sit by the aisle for a while. Someday, you won't have to. And you may get a bit sniffly about that when you glance over as the great big manboys, behaving without prompting, on either side of you.)

We stopped at Sonic for a little Something after. Sadly, both my breakfast protein and my GABA had given out about 30 minutes before we got there, so that part was not as easy as the rest of the morning had been. (Why must Sonic offer So. Many. Choices?!? Even if you narrow the options to "soda," or "slushie thing", the flavor options, alone, are enough to send the most mild-mannered of children into a choice-induced frenzy. Five children make it exponentially more... interesting.) We got out without incident, tears, or aggravation, though, and then home for some protein and water. Yay! Yay for Home!
The Bigs have both taken training to serve as Den Chiefs for the Cubs. I can't tell you how helpful that is - not just for running a Den or Pack, but also for helping your young men to realize they *are* The Big Kids, and that the little ones can/do/will look up to them. At our last Pack meeting, our Cubmaster invited them to come teach knots to the boys. They built frames for making the knots, so they could show the Cubs the knots in context (pitching a tent, tying down a load, ceremonial knots, cinching a sack, etc.). It was a good experience, and I'm glad they jumped in with both feet. They've been asked to meet with the Webelos next week, to go over Arrow of Light material. I think they're working on this knot to teach the Webelos. (The plan then is to turn the finished product into bookmarks for the boys' mothers for Valentine's Day. That'd be cool!)

And now, it's the weekend. We've been working on the little projects that have been whispering for our attention. It's the 15% of each project that got neglected in the first big push, as soon as it's "usable", or "for now," but we're veering out of the realm of Temporary, and into the kingdom of Wow, You People Really Live Like That? So, time to get cracking.

Kiss those babies!

Thursday, February 9


I wasn't going to blow off blogging this year! But really, I need a room where nobody can find me. It needs wi-fi and hot coffee. This is when it would be nice to live just a little closer to town, I imagine. I do have a little netbook, but most of the action it sees is Backyardigans with the Littles in the nursery so the Bigs can watch Doctor Who on the living room TV.

Anyway, we're keeping busy, and having fun. I am in way over my head, but so far the real grown up has failed to arrive and take over. I should have gauged my responsibilities as if I were going to have to be the one in charge, huh? Eh. So far, nobody seems to Suspect much (well, one lady at Scouts is pretty sure I have no idea what I'm doing, but she's right, so that's fair), but maybe I can keep winging it until... the kids grow up and run off?

John's ankle is healing nicely. He walked down the hallway the other night, absolutely beaming that he can walk and not be in pain. I freaked (on the inside), and asked him to please put the boot back on (NOW!) He has an x-ray next Friday, and I'm sure he'll be out of the boot, then. But it's going to be a while before I trust his ankle not to ambush him out of nowhere. He, however, has the next bike trip planned, and has Swim Day circled on the calendar.

James is officially the Webmaster for his Troop. Kid in a candy shop, folks. He is so happy, wielding control over security features and code. Some of it's fun, showy stuff, but he put a lot of thought into protecting the boys in his troop - both privacy and general predator concerns - as well. And best of all, it was all on his own. I'm proud of him. And then, because he was SO happy and filled with joy, he promptly outgrew absolutely everything he owns. :-)

I've got to pick up photos today, and then run some errands. Big thrills. The Scrapbooking project (for Scouts) will be fun, though. I got a little sniffly last night, looking through photos from last March... how do they grow so much in just a year? But it's been a good year, and it's been good growth. For that, I'm thankful.

Kiss those babies!