Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We live in a great neighborhood. Most Saturday nights in the summer, someone has the "ice cream flag." That is where the neighborhood will gather at 7:00 for ice cream. The kids love it. Sometimes, there will be an outdoor movie after ice cream, at one of my neighbors' houses...she has a tarp hung over her deck to show movies. Everyone just brings a lawn chair or blanket, some popcorn, or whatever, and watches the movie. We also have a block party every year...just a great community.

About a year or so ago, my neighbor's little girl started bullying E. I have no idea what triggered it, she just all of a sudden started bullying him - not including him on things, telling others to do the same, pushing and sometimes hitting him. She was eight at the time and E was four. Her mother and I had a couple talks and I do believe her mom tried to nip it off at the bud. However, she can only do so much. Things have definitely improved, but S (the girl next door) still bullies once in awhile. The sad thing is that she drags all the other neighborhood kids in on it because they are all afraid of her. She is one of those kids who is extremely athletic and will beat just about any boy in any sport. She also dresses and acts like a boy. Anyway, the kids follow her. E is one of the youngest kids in the neighborhood, so I guess he's a good candidate to pick on.

This summer, that same neighbor put in an inground pool. The fence they put around it is just wrought iron, so, while it prevents any accidents from occurring, it does not provide any privacy -- for them or us. Our backyards just blend together. When the pool was being built, they told us we could come over any time. But, I feel really awkward doing that without a formal invitation each time. So, when we go out to our backyard, my kids just look over there and watch everyone else jumping and playing in the pool. Of course, the other kids in the neighborhood, just show up in their bathingsuits. I'm fairly sure they are not formally invited either. And, I don't think we would get a formal invitation if S is in the pool with her friends.

Now, S has a younger sister, M. I can see M looking over at us with a look in her eye that wants to play with E, but she has hardly spoken to us since we returned from Europe. I can only wonder what kind of brainwashing S did while we were away. M and E used to play well together. Now, nothing. So, even if S were in the pool with her friends, it would be logical for E to go over and play, too, with M (who is just two years older than E).

So, we now have an awkward situation. My kids are constanly staring at the pool, but don't get invitations to come over. I'm thinking I should put some privacy bushes between their yard and ours, but don't want to create tension between our families. We really do like the family. In fact, M is having a birthday pool party this weekend, to which E and e were invited. I just don't really understand what is going on there. It seems to me that if it were our pool, and I saw M or S outside, I would tell them to get their suits on and come over.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Okay, for anyone who is trying to get into the dating scene, I could use a little help here. With a lot of persuasion from a friend of mine, I decided to join eH. They send about a half dozen matches a day for me to look at. I have to admit that some of them look interesting.

Part of me really wants to date, and part of me really doesn't want to deal with it. In so many ways I am happy with the way things are right now. However, I know the kids are getting older, and it would be good for me to have a partner in life.

So, how to go about doing's really scary! Do you contact people who look interesting? Or, do you wait to see who is going to contact you? What if you're not interested in the ones who contact you? Do you indicate you are not interested (for whatever reason)? Or, do you just ignore their inquiries? Any other suggestions? Yikes is all I have to say!

Catching up

We're finally back. Four weeks traveling through Europe. We returned a week ago, late Thursday night and I started teaching my summer camp on Sunday. No rest for the wicked! The kids were great in Europe. For the week or so in Italy, we did a lot of hiking. We had a little apartment on the mountain. When we walked out of it, we could see the Lake and a beautiful view of the villages below. It was breathtaking. There was a good pizza restaurant within walking distance. All the villages are cobblestone and very old. We had a great time!

I think the highlight for E was the rock climbing wall. He had absolutely no fear and easily went up the 55 foot wall. He was anxious to do every zip line in the place, too, but got kicked off because he forgot to have at least one campon clipped at a time. He'll remember next time! He's clearly a natural, though. I'll have to look into getting him more lessons.

e just liked to play all the time. Can't blame her. It was a tough trip for a three year old. I think she did enjoy all the hiking we did. She didn't seem to complain during those times. But, she was not too happy about all the city walking in 100 degree weather when we were in Athens.

The hotel we stayed in in Cyprus was wonderful. It was a truly a vacation for me. Included in the price was a Kids Camp where they went for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. That gave me some time to wash clothes, do work, get a spa treatment, or just lounge by the pool. In the evening, they had kid oriented things to do, too. All for free. We spent a lot of time by the pool, did some walking on the beach, and did a lot of the events sponsored by the hotel.

Egypt was really cool. There are no words to describe how awesome the pyramids really are when you see them in person. To think that people made them thousands of years ago is just astonishing. We took a short cruise to Egypt from Cyprus. The little girl sitting next to us during meals was adorable. E could not keep his eyes off her and just stared at her during meals with a dreamy look on his face. After awhile he gave her a napkin rose and she made a napkin swan for him. Very cute.

Athens was totally unimpressive. It's worth it to see the Parthenon and Acropolis, but the city itself is busy, hot, dirty, and there is graffiti EVERYWHERE. It's actually not a whole lot different than being in New York City, but I thought is was not as clean as NYC. Go figure. I was happy we only spent a short length of time there.

Turns out that three days before we left Athens, I broke my foot. I did not want to go to the hospital there and have to deal with the insurance problems, so I waited until after I got home to have it taken care of. So, there I was, walking miles a day in Athens, sometimes carrying a sleeping three year old for an hour or so at a time, hobbling along with a broken foot. Oh well. Didn't our parents walk for miles in bare feet in the snow just to get us food? Or something like that? I only walked on a broken foot for about ten days...could have been worse!

I am hoping to spend more time in Italy next year. I want the kids to get fluent in Italian so we can start spending a significant amount of time there. I guess I need to start learning Italian, too!