Thursday, February 26, 2015

the good news, and the bad news

In the winter, I usually have my finger on the pulse of all things weather-related, because I've got the heart of a child when it comes to snow.  This week, however, I haven't been closely following the weather since my appetite had been temporarily appeased with the big storm over the weekend.

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Imagine my surprise - and delight - when I learned last night that we were in the path of Remus (or is it Quantum?) and would be receiving an additional 2-4 inches of snow today.

That's the good news.  

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At 4:15 AM, we received the e-mail that school would be delayed by two hours ... and an hour and a half later, we received the e-mail that school would be canceled due to conditions.  My response was to fly out of bed, throw on my snow pants, snow boots, jacket, hat, mittens ... and urge Charlie to do the same. We would go for a long walk in this wonderful snow, while our children were sleeping.

So we did and it was peaceful and serene and perfect, walking in a winter-wonderland with my husband while the snow continued to gently fall. When we came home, I wanted to go sledding - just once or twice, down our back hill, before we woke up our still sleeping children, gave them the good news about an unexpected SNOW DAY! and made breakfast.

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Keep in mind, if I'd known earlier that this storm was coming, I would have made sure all of our sleds were accounted for, and our gear was at the ready. But when I went looking for our sleds today, they were no where to be found.  That's because they were abandoned on the hill by children who had been sledding earlier in the week, and are now totally buried.

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That's the bad news.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

growth spurt

I could have sworn these pajamas fit him just last week. 

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Or maybe it was last month.  Whatever the case, it wasn't that long ago.  If I remember correctly, they were too big and I had to roll them over at the waist so that they wouldn't fall down. And even then, they were so long that they dragged on the ground.

Watch ... in another month, he'll be 6'2".

Sunday, February 22, 2015

yesterday and today (alternate title(s): my man from Canada, a mid-altantic winter, or this is why snow skiing on the east coast is so icy)

Yesterday, the temperature was below freezing and it snowed all day.  This was the scene from our couch, where we laid beneath blankets, watching Sabrina. It was beautiful.

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We took a break to go sledding for a few hours, and the conditions were so awesome, we had to dig our heels in to the snow before we flew down the embankment in to the creek.

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There was a twilight snowball fight (Charlie and I totally dominated)...

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And a lot of snowman building, including the construction of this hood ornament (by Elizabeth), which I think every vehicle needs in winter...

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After a week of freezing, single digit temperatures, with wind chills of below zero - today, the temperature is in the high 40s. It feels like spring and Charlie's out shoveling our driveway in shorts and sandals.

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You can take the boy out of California, but you can't take California out of the boy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

the best kind of day

Charlie and the boys were supposed to drive to Maryland today, and spend the night at the Science Museum with the Cub Scouts.  And I was supposed to be home with the girls and several of our friends, and have a Jane Austen movie marathon.

There would be 12 of us moms and daughters, and as a warm-up we would watch "Sense and Sensibility" before we took in the visual delight of the full six-hour series of "Pride and Prejudice" on our big screen television.  We would be huddled around our couch and on bean bags, next to a roaring fire. There was to be soup, and sandwiches, and fun appetizers, and chocolate.

This was intended to be a day of female bonding at its best.  

But then we heard that severe weather was rolling in and I said, "Fear not! We will have a P&P Pajama Party!"  But then the Cub Scout function was canceled and our better judgement took over regarding people venturing out in to the snow storm which has already dropped four inches in just over two hours, and is expected to continue falling in to the evening.

We've decided to take a "snow-sleet-freezing rain check" and postpone our day of Jane Austen fun for a few weeks.  My reprieve from the sadness of not having our home full of dear friends watching Mr. Darcy and Lizzy Bennett, is the spectacular snow falling outside.

And this little one, who finds great joy in shoveling the sidewalk, while it's still snowing....

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The visual of this, reminds me of trying to keep a clean house, while they're still growing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

oh snow you don't

As I've written previously, we're trying to decide where life will be taking our family next.  Within the next four months, do we move to Massachusetts, or do we move to Texas?   On the one hand, I love winter and am so thrilled whenever it snows.

Exhibit A:  We received five inches this week! 

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On the other hand, I don't know if my family loves winter as much as me. When we heard from relatives in New England that they had received more than 50 inches of snow during the month of February, my husband's enthusiasm to pack up and move north has quite literally chilled.

Exhibit B: This is my step-sister outside of her home in Massachusetts.  Somewhere beneath the nearly five feet of snow that has fallen in the past three weeks is her car....

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My hope is that she digs it out before Easter.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

when the teacher becomes the student

This morning, half of our brood pulled on their neon exercise gear, and headed to the basement to work out.  Because this is what they do for fun. They watch P90X videos.

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It was four years ago that I bought the video set and promised myself that I'd finish all 90 days of it.  But then my P90X turned in to P6X, because I only made it six days before I gave up evening work outs for a comfortable bed and movies on demand.

Today I joined my little fitness fanatics. After we cranked out a solid hour of leg and back exercises, the kids turned on the Ab-Ripper series and kept going.  I kept going, too ... right up the stairs and straight for the Tylenol.  If I can walk tomorrow, it'll be a miracle.  But even if I can't walk, the children tell me we can do floor exercises.

They're convinced we can get through all 90 days of this, together.  I'm really inspired by their enthusiasm. And their ability to sit down and stand up without assistance.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

love is...

Spending several hours brainstorming four Pinewood Derby car designs.

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Spending several days carving and sanding four Pinewood Derby cars.  

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Supervising the sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding.  

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Supervising the painting and painting and painting and painting. 


Weighing four cars to ensure the weight is just right and does not exceed five ounces.

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Flying out on a cross-country business trip - on Super Bowl Sunday - so that you can be home just in time to carefully transport four little cars to the big event. 

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Spending a full day, from 7:30 AM until 3:30 PM, watching races.

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Listening to scores of engineers, including those who design planes and rockets for the US Government, tell you how the best place to put weight is in the back of the car, just in front of the rear axle.  And if you really want to improve your speed, you can sand down the nails for the wheels, and put the little wooden car in an wind tunnel, or tread mill, to ensure that the sources of friction are reduced. 

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Laughing when your wife tells you that you could save yourself a ton of time if you just glued the Pinewood Derby box to the car, like she suggested, two years ago.

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Love is... 

Despite the large amount of time required to design and build and supervise and race, saying you'd do it all again, just to see the smiles on their faces. 

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("Toothless", with our toothless).