So I found out this morning that my friend Hal Woodman is running for Helena City Council! I realize he has some worthy opponents, and I urge you to make an informed decision when August 26th rolls around.
So my daughters and I have decided to read The House at Pooh Corner together. It’s totally not a baby-ish book. I tried convincing my son of that but he prefers to just listen from the computer, where he turns the sound down but pretends to be listening to Naruto or something. If you haven’t read The House at Pooh Corner, it’s a classic. I can’t imagine someone not enjoying it. It’s much like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz–once you read it, you think, “why didn’t I read that before?”
In other classics news, my children are being classically monstrous. They are going to my parents’ at the end of July but I really need a break now. Cyclefreak and I have plans to go to a friend’s 50th birthday dinner tonight. I recommended a place to someone who mentioned silent retreats and now she is going! Why didn’t I think of that?
Thursday night was book club. I’ve told you about book club before. Well, tonight, since I am on about fifty different meds between my regulars and the special ones I’m on to get rid of the strep and the yeast infections and such…I was the driver. I drove five of us (our member who works at UAB met us there) from our quaint little town to Big Bad Hoovah to eat at Silver Coin Indian Grill.
Yum. I had been to lunch there but never to dinner. My favorite stuff–cauliflower, potatoes, spinach–all cooked to be spicy and give me gastrointestinal discomfort for the rest of the night. Afterward I drove my neighbors and book club members to get margaritas. Once again, designated driver and not able to drink anyway. Still, I am loopy as a pair of homemade socks because when I was taking my antibiotics and my diflucan (yay!) tonight at bedtime, I also took my ADD medicine and my antidepressant. Just a habit to take everything at once.
So I’m up. I’ve listened to two thirty-minute lectures by Dr. Patrick Grim on “Questions of Value.” I’m feeling smart. I had a great time with my girlfriends who never disappoint me in their abilities to make me think, laugh, and blush (really, tonight was sort of over the top–I told Ben what we’d discussed and he was dumbstruck). I also had a nice lunch at Chick-Fil-A while my girls played, and my Kellybelly and I chatted which we hadn’t been able to do in a while due to various activities and my having had the streptococcal plague.
The two diet Cokes aren’t helping me sleep, either.
I hope that whoever you are, sweet reader, you have people you can tell anything to.
Strangers like to tell me things. People I know like to tell me random things, stuff I may not want to know but heavens, if they are so desperate to tell they might as well tell me. I am a good secret-keeper. I like having “people” I can tell things to. Girlfriends. We are plotting a trip in the colder weather and I am very excited. yes, it’s a long time off. I don’t care.
Should I go to bed now and wake up in three hours, or just make the best use of my time and clean something?
I'm at the peds office with my miserably ill six year old, listening to Death Cab and waiting for test results.
So they do the strep test again this morning and it is positive! Bastards. I have slept and been scolded for keeping a messy car. I need a drink.
Update: I slept most of the day, waking up late afternoon to take my kids to an event at our church. My husband had done his three or four hours of parenting and was done for the day. He needed a nap. I took a few ibuprofen before we left so I’d be able to handle the noise and stress. I looked super pale but not in the cool way I liked when I was a teenager. I looked…ill.
Anyway, we all had fun, the kids had their faces painted and hair sprayed and they jumped, and ate pizza, and I ate barbecue. Now, even after the last dose of prednisone for the day my throat hurts too badly to eat, and I am hungry, because guess what…the prednisone causes increased appetite! All I can do, seriously, is drink a nasty SlimFast I happened to find in the fridge. I cannot swallow solid food now. Not even soggy cereal.
I would do a pity party here, but instead I need to go through my photo card and get camp pictures off. I forgot my camera when we went to the church event, which was a shame because there were some cute photo-ops, and then when I looked for my friend who had his camera (you know who you are) he was no where to be found. So at home, before they showered off all the face paint and hair spray, I took some photos. They were really, really cute.
I can’t seem to go an entire week doing outdoor activities. I don’t understand this. It’s almost like the more fun I am having, the sicker I am going to get.
Wednesday night I started feeling kind of crummy. For those who don’t know–and apparently a lot more people read this blog than let on–I spent the week (four days of it anyway) at our Girl Scout service area’s day camp in Chelsea.
I love camp. I was never a Girl Scout (until I was 31, at least) but I went to camp in Las Vegas, New Mexico as a middle schooler and still remember so much of it. We had peach nectar to drink. Peach nectar!
Anyway, I was not in charge of one group of girls because then my own little Brownie Girl Scout would be insanely jealous and never let go of my hand. I got to do something much more fun–badge stations! Doing badge stations usually means you have a one hour period most days with no group coming in. Grown up fun time.
Confession: during my “free period” I usually ended up down with my littlest one in their “small fry” camp unit (their country this year was France, making them the French Fries), playing with the little kids, or observing my son’s bad behavior around a specific group of girls. One day I decided to go get a canoe instead.
You know this story will only get better from here. I think my fall in the lake is what made me sick, actually.
There’s a small group of older scouts headed to the canoes. The woman in charge of this area is someone I knew in a professional context before, and knowing how truly brilliant she is, I trusted her judgment. She said a kayak would be more fun than a canoe. “So much cooler” were her words, I think.
I don’t trust smart people any more. And I should have known that a big mama like myself was not going to do well in the kayak.
First thing I do as Waterfront Woman is pushing me off shore is tip the kayak over. I’m fully dressed. My children all had complete changes of clothes, but I didn’t. Being wet wasn’t the big deal because it was warm and sunny and I knew I’d dry off. The lake water left some scum on my eyeglasses ( i was still having to wear the glasses because my contacts weren’t in yet) that still won’t come off.
I also sucked a healthy amount of lake water into my nose and joked with friends on my street that night about how I’d probably die of “secondary drowning” or something. Then I started to get sick.
I decided to put the kayak away and had two servants–er, girl scouts–get me a canoe and paddles. I paddled myself out to the middle of the lake and pretty much just paddled in a circle. It was wonderful.
First of all, if you don’t regularly take transportation that requires your own body power to move (like a bicycle, skateboard, roller skates, canoe, pedalboat), then you need to try it. Something about using the body’s own energy and strength to get somewhere is exhilarating. Everyone should have the opportunity to try it. My kids have always complained about not having the Power Wheels things their friends had, but my husband and I thought it was important for them to use their bodies to make things move. My son already loves canoeing and got to do it as part of the boys’ group (sons of volunteers) at camp this week. My older daughter found out, too, and can’t wait to try it again.
At the end of my solo excursion, Waterfront Lady sent someone out to check on me. She hooked her kayak to my canoe, called over her friend (another kayaker, these skinny kayaking girls are something else!), and we went on a little tour. I think they’d thought I was stuck and couldn’t get anywhere…but I was really just enjoying myself. Out in the distance, I could hear the squeaky little voice of my youngest, hiking with her little French Fry friends.
As a parent, I don’t take enough time to enjoy things like that. Not just solitude–but actually enjoying my kids. Seems I’m always disciplining, correcting, cleaning, cooking, worrying–all the hard stuff that is part of parenting–and not enjoying enough. Not enjoying their uniqueness (all three are so different, I sometimes wonder what God was thinking), their silliness and wisdom and sense of wonder with the world.
That’s what camp was about this week, being able to recapture the best part of parenting, which is seeing your children be silly, serious, respectful, and brave, all from a distance. I know we go back to “normal” now, but knowing that my daughter paddled herself to the middle of a lake, my son learned to dive despite his fears, and that my youngest enjoys helping little kids and making friends with teenage kids and grown ups–when I am getting frustrated I’ll remember these wonderful moments.
Oh yeah, and I’m sick. They say it’s not strep, but we’ll see. Frankly, I feel like shit. And the Lortab, which is my last resort for pain, has had the opposite of the desired effect and I am wide awake and it hurts my throat and neck to lie down.
Comment away. Or don’t. I don’t need you to validate my experiences by commenting on my blog! (But I sure like when you do!)
Today, I learned that while I am an okay canoeist, I am a terrible kayaker.
Also, it’s good to have strong thirteen year old girls around when you get “stuck” int he middle of the lake (I wasn’t stuck, I just didn’t want to go back, but hey–they were only doing their jobs).
We spent the day with my family in Montgomery. I made Greek salad and my sis in law made ice cream. I napped during a storm. Lovely all around.
I started back yoga tonight. It was a very simple class and enjoyable. My pretend girlfriend Kelly was in front of me and at one point during the program I reached out and touched her foot by mistake. She didn’t kick me so I guess that’s good.
I went at my gym, which is great for some things and just okay for others. I really want to go to one of the yoga classes downtown. Not downtown Helena, though Coffee Rachel said once that she and I should open a yoga and pilates place in Old Towne. If you’re interested in financially backing us, let me know.
Vacation Bible School is fun again this year, as I expected. I get to see lots of friends I don’t see elsewhere, plus all the kids from the preschool, and some who went through with my oldest that I only see at VBS. They really do grow so fast. It sounds trite but nothing on earth is truer than that–one day your babies are babies, and you blink and they are blogging and having their own babies and their own life crises and they’re not babies any more. You are rocking their babies.
Hmmm…watching all these kids grow up is great. One little boy in my VBS group I have known since before he was even born! Having that connection with people is really what keeps me going. There are people at that church, and people working that VBS and the preschool too, who have known my two daughters since they were newborns. My almost-five-year-old has been going to that building and seeing those same kids since she was literally a week old.
Oh nostalgia…..more like nausea. I’m getting soft these days!
Vacation bible school is my favorite part of summer, and it starts tomorrow! Other summer loves: fireflies, day camp, sweaty kid hugs.