Tuesday, May 29, 2007

School's Out for Summer

School's out! Obviously Batman and the girls are excited, but now I get to sleep an extra few minutes each morning, so I'm pretty happy, too.

San Antonio was fun--Sunday was rainy, but we still got to enjoy what we wanted to see. We visited the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, which was . . . not worth what we paid for it, but we fed the animals and took lots of pictures. Batman told the girls that one deer-like animal was called a "testicle," so we had lots of giggles from hearing Special yell, "There's more testicles, Daddy!" We're like evil twelve-year-olds.

We stayed in an old, historic hotel right next door to the Alamo, the Menger Hotel, which I'd highly recommend. I'd also recommend parking elsewhere, because it cost a small fortune there. But it was historic parking, at least. Their courtyard and pool area were really gorgeous, and we wished we'd had more time to enjoy them, but there was No Time! For we had to get to SeaWorld! Which was worth every penny! Especially since I saved 20% of our pennies by flashing my Southwest Airlines frequent flyer card.

That's Number One next to the ROLLER COASTER that she rode! So brave!

SeaWorld was great fun: the weather was perfect, partly cloudy with no rain at all, hot but not stiflingly so, some breezes; there was plenty to do but not so much that we feel like we have to go back another time; and best of all, it was not crowded in the least. I was surprised, it being Memorial Day, but there were no lines the whole day. And we got to see Shamu, which was the best part and a nice way to end the day.

Note: this is not the real Shamu.

And now we're home again. Batman will be home with the girls until we leave on vacation in three weeks, and he came up with a great idea: together, he and the girls came up with about forty fun things to do, and he put each idea on a slip of paper and stuck them all in a jar. Each morning they'll pull out three slips and do whatever they say. They may go swimming, have lunch with someone, go to the park, pick up litter (or "glitter," as Number One used to say), or do some other adventure. Today they went to Whole Foods for lunch with GrandBob, played an hour of video games, and watched a movie after dinner.

My surprise adventures are more along the lines of, "Who just emailed me?" or "What did I lay out to thaw for dinner tonight?" But at least I get those few extra minutes of sleep each morning! Hey, I take my fun where I can get it . . .

Note: I was going to sprinkle more "School's Out" references throughout this post, and so I Googled the lyrics to make sure I had the words right. Sadly, the version currently stuck in my head is not the Alice Cooper classic, but the one from an episode of "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody," courtesy of the Disney channel. I think I just lost the only bit of rocker cred I ever had. So to get it back, here's a picture I took that makes Batman look like he's imitating Ozzy Osbourne at the Alamo:

And here are the rest of our weekend photos:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am such a huge whale fan

**Note: I’m changing my references from initials to nicknames, which I think will make for easier reading. The kids’ nicknames were bestowed on them by their GrandBob. R’s nickname is a reference to his loathing of overhead lighting; I picked “Batman” because he really hates it when I call him” the Prince of Darkness.”

Plus, he is kind of my own personal superhero. Aww.

As you can see, we had some fun company this weekend! Pop and Baba came to visit, and we had a very nice, relaxing time with them. Unfortunately they had to stay at a hotel due to a LEAK in the girls’ bathroom wall . . . and I don’t want to talk about that.

But the girls had a great time staying in the hotel with them. Number One cleared out the free breakfast every morning; I think she was just trying to get their money’s worth! We swam a little, ate out a lot, watched Special in her gymnastics show, played multiple rounds of Uno, and had a lovely visit.

The gymnastics show was a hoot: thirty preschoolers marching around the gym showing off their “routines.” Everyone got a trophy at the end (cue Batman’s rant on participation trophies here) and we all felt very proud of ourselves. Then we went to Ben & Jerry’s, our favorite spot for any type of celebration! Number One got an ice cream sundae, and here’s Special trying a bite:

I had a cone of Chocolate Therapy, which I swear to be the best kind of therapy that exists. (No offense, G.) Special had the plain vanilla, as did Number One under all that other goop in her sundae, and I would really like to know where I went wrong as a mother that my children prefer plain vanilla ice cream. Honestly. Kids these days . . .

Sadly, Baba left yesterday and Pop has headed to the south side of town for a training course. We’ll see them again next month when we go up to Tennessee for a visit, and I’m pretty sure that we’ll have to drug the kids to get them to leave after their two-week stay at Camp Baba.

In the meantime, we’re planning a short trip to San Antonio this weekend! Batman (I’m really loving this nickname) will have a busy week full of graduations and graduation parties and finals and grading, but he’s free after Saturday night and we’re going to SeaWorld to celebrate! It’s no Ben & Jerry’s, but the kids will love it.

Let’s just hope their bathroom doesn’t turn into SeaWorld before then.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm in management training . . . anger management.

I've been in software training all week. Did you know that you can get at least 74 words from the phrase "Project Billing?" Also, Sudoku puzzles just aren't as much fun when you have to furtively design them from scratch on a legal pad.

As further proof of the mind-numbing tediousness of the past five days, I offer you two haikus:

This discussion has
jumped the tracks, headed downhill,
and wiped out the town.

Whoever said that
there are no stupid questions,
never heard that one.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Day at Lake Scranton

The first swim of the summer is always the best! Our community pool opened a couple of weeks ago, but this is the first day we'd made it over there. It wasn't too crowded, and the girls had a wonderful time "diving" and splashing.

This is the first time we've ever lived in a neighborhood with a pool, and I really want to take advantage of it as often as possible. Now that the girls are a little older I don't have to be right beside them the entire time, and can enjoy a book while they play in the shallow end--which really encompasses most of the pool! Even S is tall enough to play in the 4-ft water, and she climbed out of her floaty to play volleyball for a while with H.

It was nice to have a relaxing weekend, because I think this week is going to kick my fanny just a little bit. I have meetings and software training all week, and have a major project due on top of that. Oh, and I have to get my regular work done as well! Ah, well--it's better than surfing the 'net all day. I think.

Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite moms!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth--I've just been too busy for words. Literally! Ha!

H and I went with her Brownie troop to Johnson Space Center for a sleepover last weekend, which was . . . exhausting. And painful: I stubbed my toe in the dark and it's still black and blue. Had to wear flip-flops to work all week--so professional. But the girls had a blast (get it? Space center? blast? never mind) so it was all worth it.

Work has been ridikolus, meetings and training and more meetings and lots of reports to run and analyze. I used to have free time and be able to surf the internet for large chunks of time. Now they expect me to do actual work. Harumph.

H had her orchestra concert tonight, and I'll post pictures later. She did great! And she was definitely the most beautiful child on the stage. Of course, I'm biased. But she really was.

By the way, if you didn't get my post title or reference to Ridikolus, why aren't you watching "30 Rock?!" It's one of the two funniest shows on TV! Come on, all the cool kids are doing it.