Sunday photos

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Start the day with a 4.7 mile run that includes conquering Torrey Pines hill.

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Follow up the run with a nice Frappucino and a couple of beers along with a BBQ lunch prepared by the boys for my parents and I, then a round of Phase 10 won by Alex (yet again).

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Happy Mothers Day!

Side Effects May Include…

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As jammed as my days are, you might wonder how the house and yard stay maintained. Well, a lot of the time, they don’t! I’ve already had one neighbor comment on the dead grass :/ I can’t blame her – it does look bad and she’s newer to the area so never saw the dirt hillside I had when I bought the place.

Still, I do sometimes lean on the boys to help out.

This is not a worry free thing to do. I have to take into account the potential side effects of requesting help.
It’s either the delayed, exaggerated, dramatically done & MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED efforts of the oldest. Or, it’s the eye rolling, utterly lazy, must be guided at every step “efforts” of the teen.
Oldest will eventually do an excellent job on his own once he gets around to starting. He will also make sure I see and hear him do it so that he can fish for the praise early & often.
Youngest will do a decent job once he stops grumbling. He will also follow instructions on how to do things (oldest does things his own way always). He doesn’t need follow up praise, but would rather we all just forget that he IS capable of helping :) Still, if he can half-ass a task & get away with it, he most certainly will!

Of course, I’m always relieved/happy at the end to have the chores done, no matter what grief I may have to experience to get there. But, there are days, when I do think twice or three times about it!

Merry Go Round

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It’s a tree ornament AND a state of life!

Another old classic, though not as old as the mouse. This one has been around ever since we started using white lights in a tree – which I think is pretty much when my parents bought the first fake tree we owned and my mom and I perfected the art of “wrapping” the branches with over a 1000 lights. Yeah, really. It was pretty obnoxious – and very very bright!

This ornament is almost more entertaining in the daylight. What you do is remove one light from a strand and plug in the merry go round instead. And then, it spins. Hence the slight blurring of the black horse. The mirrored bottom and top accents reflect the lights all around it. But, when positioned properly on the side of the tree nearest a window that gets direct sunlight at certain points of the day…it also catches THAT reflection and then bounces light all around the surrounding wall.

Given that the ornament is at least 25+ years old, I am quite impressed that it is still going strong!

Me this week? Not so much :( Started out feeling a bounce back from the cold and other stuff on Monday & Tuesday. Even baked a batch of chocolate cookies to follow up on the first jello spritz batch. But then the whole car sharing with 27 got a little complicated this week and started weighing on me Wednesday. As did the news that my dad had chest pains and was in the hospital. That meant spending Thursday with my mom while we waited for those tests though still with lingering transportation issues covering 27’s work day. He got a ride into work at the last minute, but I still had to muddle through worse than ever evening traffic to pick him up after a long day of sitting around.

Thankfully my dad is OK. Nothing major to fix or surgery needed. Just some new medications he should take to help his heart work more efficiently. It’s not working at 100%, but after bypass surgery and at his age, they don’t expect it to do that. It’s a relief that nothing more invasive than the tests had to be done, that’s for sure!

But yeah, it was a long, out of sorts week and I was very happy to know that today I could have a ‘normal’ day and have my car the whole time.

Yes, I am a super independent control freak who needs to keep certain things in order so that I keep a grip on sanity. Sue me. It works :-)

Oct 23 – All My Children!

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Day one of vacation was filled with many errands and accomplishments. There was also a final debate.

But none of that matters.

Because this happened:

 

Right to left: 16, 27 and 27’s older sister (same dad) and her adorable baby girl. While I have been keeping up with her through Facebook for awhile now, being able to see her in person has been a little more complicated. But in a rare moment in time not only could she stop by for a minute, but 16 was still here too so I could get a picture for 27 with his two siblings. And I have a photo of all my kids who I have parented at one time or another. She even got to say a quick hello to 16’s dad who came by at the same time to pick him up. At one point in all of our somewhat complicated lives, she lived with ex-dh and I for a summer. This was before 16 was born.

I swear I could stare at this picture all night long :-)

Party Pics!

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Here’s my Facebook status from Sunday night:

“Collapsing into bed having managed to pull off a movie and bbq birthday celebration despite the grill master being out of commission. Thank gawd for substitute grilling experts (oh, it was just a *little* fire!) and super easy going friends and family and that last burst of energy (beer) that got me through a complete clean up inside and out. It was a total Triumph of the Single Parent day.” :-)

27 woke up sick on Saturday and it continued into Sunday. Having never worked a grill in my life I was a tad panicked. Then I remembered that one of 16’s (that’s gonna take awhile to write!) friends is also a grill master in training. So then the bigger issue was that I had agreed to drop off the boys to a movie and then pick them up after because I thought 27 would be able to help with shopping/cleaning/setup. Thankfully I cleaned on Saturday. But after dropping off the boys I had to then shop (improvising items along the way), fill up the propane tank and then prep and toss a whole chicken in the crock pot before heading back out to pick them up.

The substitute grill master in training had never done beef ribs before however, the sauce/seasoning that he threw together to coat them must have been good. The slight issue with the lack of beef rib experience is that he didn’t anticipate the amount of fat on the ribs. We also (oopsie) didn’t properly clean the grill from the prior meal cooked on it. So……there was a wee bit of a FIRE while the second batch was cooking. In front of the brand new fence (memo to self – pull the grill away from that a little more!) and some low hanging tree branches.

Oh, another memo to self (and anyone else in the vicinity): a garden hose provides a ready stream of water for dousing a fire. There is one just five feet away from the grill. Perhaps that would be faster than running inside to get the jug of drinking water? Sheesh!

Anyhoo – no harm (other than the crispy black ribs!) no foul and there was still plenty of food and great conversation – mostly directed by the teen boys and their tales of mis-adventure. The beer didn’t hurt :-)

Ribs before charring :->

Chowing down #1

Chowing Down #2

Attempting to hide the evidence of BBQ sauce all over his face….

Nope – can’t hide it kiddo!

Birthday BBQ crew.

 

 

 

 

 

May 20th – Mother’s Day redux

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When you have kids, you have to let go of any notion that your day belongs to you. Best laid plans and all that. Same for cats as we learned last weekend when I had to postpone Mother’s Day dinner plans due to Chip’s little bladder adventures.

However, my idea that this weekend would be easier anyway since 15 is with me and not his dad like last week throwing another complication in the family gathering process was not quite accurate.

The first wrench thrown into Sunday dinner plans was 15 suggesting we switch to Saturday since the previously planned 2nd paintball outing had been moved to Sunday. Therefore he wasn’t sure, nor was he in control of when he would be back from that. That looked plausible at first. 26 was planning on helping his dad with a flooring install meaning he would be away from a couple of days but that was planned for Wednesday so he would be home Sat morning. Then Wednesday became Thursday and then finally Friday morning so there was no way he would be back in time. We went with a late Sunday dinner (7pm is late for my mom :-)) and I crossed my fingers that everyone would be back in time.

Meanwhile I had the afternoon blocked out for the usual long run with the girls and then a circuit class at the park.

15 gets word that they will leave at 7:30 this time instead of 10:30 so now we are even more secure that he will be back earlier so I toy with moving the dinner to 6:30.

Day is planned – now GO!

*bing*

Text from Tanja that her young daughter has a fever so there wont be a circuit class.

Fine. That means I just have the 90 min run at 2pm and so I’ll probably be able to get home and shower before picking up 15. Nice.

Drop him off.

Head back home to resume typical lazy Sunday watching Uppers & Nerdland on the DVR. Make grocery list for planned run to the store after and do more ebook work.

Get call from 26 that he is on his way home. Excellent. Now 15 is my only wild card so I change dinner officially to 6:30.

Head to grocery watching the clock so that I can be done in time to meet the girls for our run.

Putting my shoes on and grabbing keys to go when

*bing*

Eve texting to say they are running late and would 2:30-2:45 be OK?

Fine – 2:45 is pushing it and perhaps 15 might have to walk home from the drop off point if they get there before 4:30, but it’ll work.

I sit down to work on the ebook when

*bing*

15 texts to see if I can pick him up in an hour. Not from the high school, but from the paint ball place! 45 mins away! I call him and find out that he’s out of ammo and pretty wiped out and sunburned and that the other kids were not planning to leave until 5pm – meaning he would have been back around 6 – not 4 or 5! Aack!

(good thing Eve was running late eh?)

I let the girls know I was out for the long run and looked up directions to the paint ball place. I figure I can still get up there and bring him back and then at least go for a short run before I had to get ready for the dinner.

Why was I insisting on running you ask?

Well, the problem is that when I looked at my running activities on Runkeeper Friday night I noticed something. I’ve said I wanted to run every other day this month as much as *possible*. I noticed that I had, indeed, kept that up. I had runon even numbered dates all month. Uh oh. Now that my brain has seen the pattern – it is locked and loaded to make sure I don’t break it! That mild OCD kicking in. Good for keeping me in shape, bad for keeping me sane!

However, I did it – got back home with 15 at 4:00, ran for 30 mins, showered, and was ready to go at 5:45 both boys securely in the car with me without any major rushing or stressing. PHEW!

Of course, I rewarded myself by declaring it was “dessert for dinner” night. I ordered a small dinner salad and then had Oreo Madness. TWO Oreo cookie ice cream sandwiches with chocolate and caramel syrup. Mmmmmmmmmm. But I could only eat 1.75 of them! Dang it! No salad next time – took up too much room :-)

No eclipse viewing for us – we were out at said dinner plus it was May Gray cloudy all around us.

And now, pictures from The Boyfriend who is in Japan for two more days for work. His first time there (he’s usually sent to China). I was happy to see he got to do some sightseeing:

Sumo wrestling

Mt Fuji

Sayonara!