Friday, April 26, 2013

Best. Hostess. Gift. EVER!

Grandpa Bud and Louise made it here safe and sound.  They even brought me a hostess gift!  Some people get decorative soaps, some get wine, some might even get potpourri!  But nothing says "Thank you for hosting us in your home" like a foot long, machete named the Zombie Slayer!

Now that's something that will come in handy!  Do I have the best family ever!!!  I can't wait to show it off to the boys in the neighborhood!  Can you say....JEALOUS!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Grandpa Bud is coming! Grandpa Bud is coming!

Dad and Louise are flying in today for a quick visit!  I talked them into coming because I wanted them to see Zack row!  Brenna is going to come home for the weekend as well!  Weather looks good... Don't want to jinx anything.  I'm off to stock up on the two main food groups when Grandpa Bud is in the house... Vodka and cigarettes!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Regatta #4 under our belt!

We traveled down to the Anacostia to race a bunch of private schools this weekend in the Cindy Cole Cup.  It was cold, windy, the day after Prom and the competition was all private schools.  It went about as well as could be expected. :o)  But any race is a good race, if you can learn something and I think Zack and his boat learned many things.  The deck was stacked against them from the beginning.  The conditions were so bad, that they had to move the start line to avoid the whitecaps at the beginning. It was cold, it was windy, the current was crazy strong and there were no lane markers!  Coach Meehan forgot to register their boat, so they couldn't race in their 8.  They ended up breaking them into 2 4's - a light 4 and a heavy 4.   They had only ever been in a 4 maybe twice.  They also had a totally different coxswain since there were 2 boats instead of one.  Then the icing on the cake... the Novice 4 race was full, so they put them in the Varsity 4 race!  I think a couple of the Varsity boats had one rower that weigh more than any 2 of the boys in Zack's boat! Could there be anything else going against them?  But once again, they survived, they didn't flip (although they tried) and hopefully they learned some valuable lessons.  He seemed pretty positive when he came off the water.   Art and Karen and Mark were all here visiting and hopefully enjoyed watching Zman race.

Working the fan faces!

We also hosted the Pasta Party this week.  It was quite an experience.  I just love these kids so much.  Such a great group!!

So much food, so many shoes, so many boys!  But a great time.  I'd have them back anytime!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Double Regatta Catch up!

Geez, I just can't keep up!  We've had 2 regattas...

Walter Mess - April 6th.
Zack was still rowing in the B boat, but they moved him up to the stroke position, so he was very excited about that.  It was a beautiful day and the B boat ended up rowing really well and beating the A boat by 8 secs!  B Boat... my ass!!

The green and gold Spirit Tutu also made it's debut at Walter Mess.   My dear friend Jennie Tatum, heard that one of my truest wishes (totally true) was to have a tutu!  Then to make it a spirit tutu... does it get any better than that??  I don't think so!

Next,  Darrell Winslow on April 13th - 
This time Zack moved up to A boat - 3 seat.  He was very excited about his boat and his boat lineup, because most of his friends are in this boat.  He worked really hard and changed up his attitude a little bit and it worked for him.  I have to give him a lot of credit, when we talked about what he should do to move up to the A boat. He told me he was going to work on his attitude, I was suddenly concerned that he'd been disrespectful or something.  But, he said he thought maybe he joked around a little too much with the coaches and he needed to be a little more serious.  I thought that was pretty mature for a 15 year old boy to recognize that!  Obviously, something worked.  Once again, they had a great race and beat the B boat by 1:03!  What seems to be the common factor....Hmmm... let's see, maybe it's...ZACHARY HYZY!  Why yes, I think that's it!

hamburger hands

This is also the regatta that the Big Head made it's debut.  It was the envy of everyone, or at least that's what I imagine.  Many got a big kick out of it and while you would think Zack would be horrified and embarrassed - he was not!  I think that boy is missing the embarrassment gene!  I embraced the whole thing.  Most of the kids were, in turn, both horrified that their parents might order one and envious that Zack had one.  It was actually quite fun!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Sadness

I always debate whether I should be commenting on current events in this blog.  Will ALL (a little sarcasm inserted here) my flock of readers in the future wonder why I didn't mention important events like Margaret Thatcher, who died last week or the escalations between North Korea and pretty much the whole world - will they launch a bomb or won't they.  This blog has always been about our daily lives and while those things are sad or scary they don't really impact our day to day living...

But, yesterday someone or someones set off 2 bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  While again this doesn't impact my daily life exactly, it actually does in some ways.  It affected normal everyday people who were just watching and running an exciting race.  While N. Korea may launch a missile it probably won't hit me...  but I am an everyday person and while I doubt I'll EVER run the Boston Marathon, or any marathon for that matter, I could.  I could have been cheering someone on, I could have been volunteering, I could have been running.  I am an everyday normal person who has just dipped her toe into the running world.  It just makes me so sad and discouraged that this sort of sickness and hatred and evil is still making it's presence felt.  The 8 year old boy, who died while waiting to cheer his father across the finish line.  Is there anything more heartbreaking than thinking about the impact on his family?  A triumphant moment, turned in to horror and never-ending heartbreak.  In the midst of all my "be happy for the small things" posts,  I can only shake my head and love my family and hope that we find a way to end this sort of evil.  My thoughts and heart is with Boston and everyone impacted.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Another little happy thing... that's BIG!

A Big Head of my baby boy and a green and gold Spirit Tutu.... Enough said!!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

More happy little things....

The weather is getting warmer... finally.  What a crappy start to spring we've had, wind, rain and cold temperatures.  But now, it's starting to turn warm and while I hate the allergies... I love the flowers.

I would like to take my little blue dog with me everywhere.  Every time I look at him, I can't help but smile and be happy.

My new fancy bird feeder... the birds haven't discovered it yet, but I hope they will love it when they do.

Starting to plant my containers.  Sweet little baby pansies, whatever they are really called always make me smile.

There's lots of things to be happy about now.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sometimes it's the little things that can make such a difference.

I know with the big 238 million PowerBall Lottery, there is always lots of talk about "what I'll do if I win the lottery."  How all that money is going to solve all the problems and make everyone happy.  I say, sometimes it's the little things that solve a smaller problem that really makes one happy.

For instance, I've always hated taking showers.  I know, weird right?  Don't get me wrong I still shower, it's not like I walk around stinky or anything, but I put it off until the very last minute.  I avoid, I vacuum, I Facebook, I make more tea, I blog, I check email, I Facebook again... until I just can't put if off any more.  It's not the actual shower I hate, it's the getting out of the shower.  It's the In-Between Time.  The time between the warm, water being turned off and the putting on of my warm, comfy clothes.  It's that COLD in-between time.  I HATE being cold.  I especially hate being cold and wet!  I hate when you turn the water off, pull back the shower curtain and all that freaking COLD air comes whirling around your wet shivering body!  HATE.IT!

When we were remodeling the bathroom we talked about putting in one of those combo vent fans that have a heater in it - like in the hotels.  But decided it was too expensive, too big, too whatever and we never did it.  I've regretted it every shower since then.

Then Brilliant Brain Blast.... buy one of those tall skinny, space heaters.  I have the perfect, empty corner in the bathroom where it would fit perfectly.

Hello Ebay... Goodbye $30...

BOOM!  End of all my problems... or at least the ones that revolve around the cold shower in-between time!
I wish it was always this easy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Plank Challenge #2....Fail....again

Yesterday was the final day of our 2nd 6-week Plank challenge.  Remember the first one was a total fail, I couldn't make myself do anything.  So, we restarted, re-pledged and re-challenged.   The goal... 4 minutes, ripped abs, strong core.   The result... my max was 2:38, which I think was a fluke, because after that I couldn't get past 2:15.  Ripped Abs - fail.  Stronger Core - who can really tell.  Part of my problem is 4 minutes is a long time both physically and mentally.... mainly I just got bored... I couldn't lift my head high enough to see the TV and my mental strength to "push through" is laughingly non-existent!

I came, I tried, but sadly I was conquered!  Next challenge... 30 day chocolate chip cookies challenge.  For the next 30 days, let's pledge to eat at least 4 cookies EVERYDAY!  It's going to take determination, focus and dedication!  But I. am. up. for. it!

Go Team Chocolate Chip!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The weekend wasn't over... we still had Easter as well!

After our exhausting Regatta, we still had Easter ahead of us.  The kids got their Easter Baskets and proceeded to dye eggs.  Sometimes I think dyeing the eggs is more complicated the older they get.  They had a great time, minus a brief fight about who put the egg in the yellow dye and who put the egg in the blue dye.
Give me strength

We did it typical Mt. Burnside Style... cul-de-sac BBQ.  Unfortunately, the weather was sucky.  Windy, rainy and freaking cold.  So we moved it into the Prices' house, with the egg hunt taking place in our house.  The "big" kids got to hunt for 5 huge eggs that were hidden the rain...cause if those kids really still want to hunt for eggs, then we're gonna make them work for it!

Then the "big" kids, hid eggs for the little ones in our house.  They had over 200 eggs to hide in our house! Then we turned the little ones loose... it was a crazy, wild, melee.... I think everyone had a great time.  I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the little ones hunting with their baskets or the parents following along behind "helping."  I am happy to report, nothing got broken, no one cried and everyone got PLENTY of eggs!  
I just love our neighborhood so much!  We ate too much, laughed too much and just had a great time!

P.S.  3 days later.. I've found 7 more eggs.. it's like my own personal egg hunt everyday.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

We have a new Rower... It's Official

I don't know how people blog in a timely manner, especially the important stuff!  I mean we have and important event, like Zack's first regatta, and I'm so exhausted at the end of it and for the next 2 days that there's no way I could sit down and form coherent thoughts and then something else happens and before I know it - I'm playing catch up again!  Oh well, it is what it is I guess.

Zack's first regatta was this weekend and it was an unqualified success.  Brenna was able to drive home and spend the regatta and easter with us, so that was a big score.  I was completely nervous - the weather around here has been just awful, cold and windy.  The kids did not get a lot of water time prior to the regatta.  My honest goals for the regatta, have them stay in their lane, nobody fall out of the boat and find the finish line!  Done, Done, Done.   The exciting thing about the crew team this year is that there are enough freshman boys to field two 8's!  There is an A boat and a B boat - I think Zack was a little disappointed that he was in the B boat, but I just told him "you be the best B boat rower they have and work hard and you'll make it to the A boat in no time."  He gets that, and is already talking about what he can do to work harder and be more serious.  I was very proud of his attitude.

It was beautiful day.  The kids rowed over to The Point early and hung out, bonded and got to watch the Varsity boats race.

Before I knew it, it was time for the race!  I think Brenna was more nervous and beside herself than even I was.  She kept saying, "you don't understand - I KNOW what can go wrong!"  I kept telling her to "keep it to herself"  I could imagine enough worst case scenarios on my own!
They had a little trouble (all the boats) lining up and getting ready for the start and then they were off...  One of the other teams racing, had their rudder (called a skag?) break and they actually ended up crossing over and tangling with our A boat!  There was so much drama, that I almost forgot to watch Zack's boat.  The A boat recovered and ended up finishing the race.  Zack's boat actually did really well, they ended up coming in 3rd with no drama and no problems.  I thought it was very exciting and I just couldn't believe that my baby boy was out there rowing in a race.  He was just so awesome, an athlete, a big boy and doing it all on his own.

I felt the same sense of amazement that I did when Brenna raced.  I just can't believe that I birthed something that is capable of getting out there and rowing that 8 down the course.  It is such and amazing sport, so inspiring, impressing and I have to pinch myself that - that's MY kid doing that!

Not only was it a successful race, but they came away with 3rd place ribbons in their first regatta.  Doesn't get much better than that!
Then, the perfect end to the race.  The men's 3rd 8 was down one rower for the row home and the coaches were willing to let Brenna hop in the boat and row home with them.  The catch... we didn't think of it until the boat was already on it's way home in the middle of the river.  That didn't stop my girl, she jumped into a coach's launch...WITH AN OAR.... and climbed into the Men's boat...IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER... and rowed that bad boy home!  She was so thrilled, got a blister and talked about it all night long!  Girl Power!

All in all, an amazing Regatta for all of us.  I can't wait until next weekend...