Whew. We've been busy. We're fixin' to get more busy.
Last week I lost my mind and purchased art supplies for Ethan. When I got home, I strapped him in his booster seat and gave him finger paints. He proceeded to make give himself the toothbrush moustache, a la Hitler or (I prefer to think) Charlie Chaplin:
That wasn't crazy enough, so after cleaning up the mess, I turned him loose with scissors. Yes, that's right. Scissors.
Meanwhile, my first article was published in the paper followed by the first snarky letter to the editor attacking me for it. Awesome! That means I've made the big time, right? Someone disliked my article enough to pick up pen and paper and write to the editor. The only problem is that she completely missed the point of the article. I read her letter and asked Greg, "Um, didn't I say exactly what she's saying? Didn't I imply that I once felt the same? Isn't she engaging in precisely the behavior against which I was cautioning?" His reply was, "Yes, but remember this newspaper is circulated in Jefferson County." True enough.
In other news, Laurel and I both start back to school in 8 days — she's in a new district, and I know how she reacts to change, so I'm battening down the hatches. I'm taking 12 hours of classes this fall and — knowing how I react to being overwhelmed — Greg is securing the windows in anticipation of Hurricane Michelle.
We have a vehicle that needs licensing before the end of August, I have 140 (or so) pages to read before classes start, and it's 102 degrees outside so Ethan can't go out to play. We have an ice cream social to attend and a picnic to attend (for which I have to come up with a side) within the next week. And my back? My back went out on Saturday, forcing a weekend of rest when I really didn't have time for that. Ah, well. Maybe it was for the best.
And so the Countdown to Crazy begins.
You may have noticed that you couldn't get to the blog for a period of time today. That's because I was dabbling in registry editing yesterday in order to download more music in a single session. Or something. I'm not sure about the final verdict, but Greg was muttering about CSS and IIS and 'somebody changing something more' than what they were supposed to change in the registry. We totally had a Nick Burns 'MOVE' moment. To see what I mean, click here (as an aside, I think my abilities are more Jamie Foxx than Horatio Sanz, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking).
Anyway, he took the helm and things are fixed now.
He's a genius. That's why I married him.
We discovered this morning that Ethan has a fine eye for detail. He stacks blocks in such a manner that each block's edge aligns precisely with the edge of the block below it. Well, as precisely as possible when one is not quite two years old. At any rate, he soon discovered the best part of building things. Observe:
Laurel and I stopped on the way back from camp to pick up some fingerpaints for Ethan. I first picked up the Crayola Color Wonder mess-free stuff, but then changed my mind and decided to just get the regular, washable fingerpaints and some paper. So I put back the Color Wonder stuff.
Laurel (alarmed): "What?! What are you doing?!"
Me: "I decided not to get that Color Wonder stuff, to get the regular stuff instead."
Laurel: "Um…I think it was a pretty good idea to get the Color Wonder because it's mess-free."
Me: "Yes, but it's also expensive, and I decided to save some money by just buying the other stuff."
Laurel (shaking head): "You've gone mad."
When I picked Laurel up from camp, she greeted me looking like this:
Me: "What are you, a tiger?"
Laurel (disdainful sigh): "No, Mom. I'm a common housecat."
Me: "Alllllllllllllllllllrighty then."
Laurel found another Laurel!
When I gave her this name, I didn't realize how confounding it would be to the general public. People mispronounce it at every turn and very often call her Laurie, Laura, or even more often, Lauren. Laurel has never met another Laurel in all her eight long years.
That is, until now. One of Laurel's camp counselors is named Laurel. Judging by Counselor Laurel's reaction, she has not met many Laurels, either.
Whew. My 'L' key is about done for now.
Yesterday we took Laurel to sleep-away camp for the very first time. The temperature is holding steady during the day at 95-100 degrees, with a heat advisory in effect. For many kids, this coupled with being a first-timer would be reason enough for homesickness. Not Laurel. We'll be lucky if she even thinks about us. The most we can hope is that she will avail herself of the pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes, the notebook paper, and the pencils I packed for her.
Frankly, I think her biggest concern will be how Ernest the fish is faring — Greg and I don't have the best track record when it comes to remembering to feed him. And Laurel is quite aware of this. I wouldn't be surprised if any letter she writes consists of only two words: 'FEED ERNEST.'
It takes 1.5 hours to get to camp, so we spent 3 hours in the car yesterday which almost made me carsick. Three hours on windy Ozark roads, I just LOVE it. On Wednesday, I/we will make another 3-hour round trip to pick her up. Can't wait!
Here is a photo of her from yesterday's drop-off. She's perched high atop the top bunk, which is precisely where she wanted to be:
The coolest thing for us is that at the end of each day, the camp posts session photos. So we're watching for shots of Laurel in action.
Wow. Laurel has had quite the birthday. There are 331 photos on my camera because Greg got hold of it again.
Saturday we had a pool party at the local recreation center with several of her friends. She had an awesome time, and I think everyone else did, too. Kids + pizza + cake + water, what's not to like?
Sunday we took her to the new Harry Potter movie, as mentioned previously.
Yesterday I took her to Six Flags. It was blazing hot and I was tired before we ever set foot in the park, owing to the fact that we waited outside the parking turnstiles for a good half hour just to get in the lot. We waited it out eating our lunch in the car, and a good thing that was — by the time we got into the park proper it was already 11 a.m. We rode the dry rides, then the wet. I taught Laurel about how many different, varying ways that Six Flags tries to rip one off, and she agreed. At one point, she needed to use the restroom and said, 'I just hope they don't try to charge us fifteen bucks for THAT!'
Ethan has made friends with one of Laurel's balloons. Here he is, balloon clutched tightly in his fist, gazing longingly at the garbage truck out the front door: