Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trip to the Harbor and a Circus

E and e inside the Baltimore Aquarium
I decided to take the kids for a field trip last week. So Friday, we drove to the Baltimore harbor, stayed in a hotel overnight and went to the Aquarium the next day. It's about a 2 1/2 drive to get there. Luckily, we ran into very little traffic and it really did take us just about that time. The hotel we stayed in was nice, but since we all sleep in one bed (they still have to be attached to me at night!), it was a little difficult for me to sleep. They were so excited to stay in a hotel and go swimming there.
The next morning we got up and went to the Aquarium. Luckily, I had bought our tickets online so we didn't have to deal with a lot of lines or delays getting in. The Aquarium is very cool and very big! And, I have to admit, my kids were not the most cooperative! I get very paranoid when we are in big places and have to keep yelling at them to stay close so I can see them. Of course, E always likes to run ahead and now e often joins him. I always say that wherever we go, everyone knows my children's names because I'm constantly telling them to stay close! Other than that, they were really great.
While there, I was going to try to meet up with my best friend from high school. We've gone our separate ways, but have stayed in touch over the years. It's been about 10 years since I've seen her, so I sent her an email asking if she and her family wanted to meet us after we finished at the aquarium. She was really excited about it. We spoke Saturday morning and made a plan to meet around 3:00. Then she called around 11:00 and said that it was 90+ degrees outside and getting hotter. Her husband and son had just come from a swim meet and were spent and they didn't want to go out walking around the harbor in this heat. Okay. Is it just me, or is that the wimpiest thing you ever heard? You don't want to go out and meet up with an old friend because it's too hot outside? Come on!

Okay, whatever. I had also contacted a friend of mine from college. I think it's been about 20 years since I've seen him but we've also stayed in touch. He's done the whole Bohemian Save The World thing over the years with Peace Corps and other organizations and has lived in different places around the world. He met up with us and we had a great time. We caught up on old friends that we had and what life is like for each of us now. He's just a great guy (and I know you're wondering...he's gay, so no opportunities there!).

E and e played in a fountain while there (e went European with her shirt off since I didn't bring their bathing suits!). At one point, E came over to talk with us and my friend asked what was in his hair...of course it was a booger that had found its way there after playing in the water. So, I wiped it off. A few minutes later, E comes back and talks with us and proceeds to pee on the pavement...okay, well, water does that. So I told my friend that before long we'll find a way to throw up on him, too...maybe even do a number two! He thought that was funny, but a few minutes later, E had tried to drink the water from the fountain, choked on it, and came running over with a little vomit coming out of his mouth. I guess I have to be careful what I say! I got him cleaned up and he was back to playing in no time. Luckily, there was no poop involved....this time.
Last night the circus was in town. This must be another small-town thing, because I had never seen a circus like this before I moved here. It was basically a one-ring circus with the same half dozen people doing different parts of the show. They were actually quite talented! After every couple of acts they would try to sell you something. It was really entertaining to listen to their shpiels! The kids had a great time, though. I don't think it matters to them that it's not Barnum and Bailey!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Good Part About Living in a Small Town

Luminaries along the track
While I always say that this town has drawbacks and strangeness (see earlier post about the strange things about living here http://theeshaveit.blogspot.com/2009/08/things-i-see-in-central-pennsylvania.html), there are a lot of wonderful things about this area. One thing is that when something bad happens, the area really pulls together. Recently, a couple local high school students were in a bad car accident on their way back from their prom. One is still in a coma, the other will be paralyzed from the waist down. A huge tragedy for both families. The local towns continue to put signs up offering strength to the families and kids, and do fundraisers to help the families with their bills. The newspaper posts updates on the kids' progress regularly. You just don't see that in a big city.
Luminaries in the football stands
We also band together to support cancer (its end, of course, not supporting its' existence!). Every year, there are several Relay For Life teams that do various events to raise money. The largest event is held at my university. For 36 hours people walk around the track, buy luminaries in honor or in memory of someone with cancer, or do something else to raise money (raffles, etc). The luminaries are put all along the track and it is really quite touching to see them all lit up. People camp out over night and there is constant entertainment - from local bands, to karaoke, to contests, etc. The kids and I entered a frozen t-shirt contest. I had never heard of this, but they have a bunch of t-shirts that they have folded, soaked, and then frozen. The goal is to be the first team to put on the t-shirt. I have to say that it is much more difficult than it sounds! It would also be a great game for a kids party.

Walking the track
Also, here is a video of E and e at a recent picnic. It's amazing how busy and silly two kids can be with a little grass and water. First, they collected the grass and laid it evenly around the faucet, then they built a moat, then a mountain. They were quite a mess by the time they were done! (sorry about the glitch -- I had to shoo away a bee!)

E and e getting silly

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Catching Up

Well, my semester has been over for awhile now and I have been playing catch-up around the house. I took 13 more bags of clothes to Goodwill the other day and still really trying to get the house in order. It's actually turning out to be a good thing that we are not doing a lot of traveling this summer because it's so rare that I get to spend time getting things organized.

E has signed up for swim team, so he's swimming four nights a week. I'm seeing quick improvement in his skills since he is getting a lot of feedback. He loves it, too...Thank goodness. e and I spend time doing various things while I try to watch him swim - off and on. e LOVES basketball. So, while E is swimming, e and I go into the gym with her Dora ball and she shoots some hoops. It's actually pretty funny to watch her since there are all these big college guys playing around us. Then we go color her Tinkerbell coloring book. Hopefully, these activities will continue to keep her busy...Swim team goes for several weeks!

e playing basketball...with the big boys in the background!

The latest on the weight loss...I'm feeling SO much better these days. Fifty pounds down and still averaging about 2 lbs a week. It's been so great to be able to play harder with the kids, run up and down stairs again, and just feel better about myself, overall. Now, I just need to get some updated pictures of myself so I can post them on eH and start dating again.