Saturday, November 13, 2010

He Had the Syrup Delivery System Woes

Thursday being a holiday for 4/5 of the Marks family, I had the rare luxury of sleeping in.  I lolled in bed for a while after Alan left to teach, reading The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise.  James and Madeline had already scavenged for their breakfast, but Jeremy was apparently having some trouble. (You have to understand that frozen Eggo Waffles are a staple in our house.  And No, I'm not proud of this, but that's they way life is for us.) Jeremy came into our room and announced:

"There's no waffles and I don't know what to have because I know I want syrup, but there's no waffles. Do you have any suggestions?"
[You should also know, as I did, that we were also out of milk, so homemade waffles or pancakes were not an option.  Plus, I was feeling lazy, remember?]
Me, at my most maternal (ha!): "Uh, no not really. Go find something else."
j: "Well, can I have syrup on toast?"
me: "Um, no. We do not use toast as a syrup delivery system." [unless it's French toast-don't get technical on me!]

Several minutes later I hear an odd noise, sort of a cross between "nih!" (a la Monty Python) and "humph!".
I hear it a few more times, gaining in intensity so as to be certain I can hear it.
I realize that Jeremy is in his room sulking about not being able to have syrup-on-toast for breakfast.
Part of me thinks this is funny, but part of me is not amused mostly because I'm getting close to the end of my book and I really want to finish it in peace.

me: "Jeremy, that's enough.  You are not having syrup-on-toast for breakfast."
We go back and forth a couple times until he comes up with this unique argument: 
"But I want to try something new!  I've never tried it before!"
 By now, I am laughing, but he's not amused and I have a mere 2 pages left in my book.
I take a few minutes to talk to him (which I think is all he really wanted) and finally tell him that if he lets me finish my book without further interruptions, then I might have a creative solution to his syrup deliverys system woes. He's happy with this, snuggles next to me while I read. 

A half hour later the two of us make a McDonald's drive through run for hotcakes. 

Or as he put it "syrup.  with hotcakes, please!"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another Half in Another Half

Another half marathon in another half year, that is.

Alan and I are officially registered (along with a whopping 16 other people, currently ensuring that I would place in my age group) to run 13.1 miles along the scenic shores of Lake Winnipesaukee on May 7, 2011.

This time we're planning a weekend getaway. Sans Shingles (please dear Lord) and sans children.

It was really wonderful to have all our family out there supporting us at our first half (and we're counting on them again for next September), but for round 2 we thought we'd be a little selfish.  Spectators are welcome (Helen and Rich??) but we just don't want to have to worry about/deal with the little darlings.  A good night's sleep prior to the race is on my list of "things to do differently next time" and that would be unlikely with all five of us keyed up and packed into a hotel room [interesting factoid: I've recently encountered online room reservation systems that can't handle 2 adults and 3 children in one room. Go figure.].

Anyway, the room-for-two and childcare plans are as yet undefined, but my training plan is taking shape which is good news since I desperately need motivation these days.  The change of seasons and schedules has thrown me off lately (plus I've been super busy).

Short-term, I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and the Turkey Trek.  By February, I'll be following Hal's half training plan again with some modifications.  In the middle, I'll be trying to survive winter and the holidays.  That part of my training calendar is a little fuzzy just now, but I'm going to pull it into focus soon. 

Meanwhile, the new count-down has begun. 
Only 180 days to go! 
[Lest you think I'm overly obsessive, my countdown calendar says "26 weeks".  I won't switch to days until the end of January when we hit 99.  See?  I'm totally reasonable.  Not crazy at all.]

Halloween 2010

Halloween landed smack in the middle of a two-week period of Marks family scheduling hell which, I guess, you could call "fitting", but I call it annoying.  I should apologize right now to my children because I really had a hard time getting into the spirit and it probably showed.  Um, yeah, it definitely showed.  So, sorry.

It all came down to an eleventh-hour scramble during which time we somehow managed to pull off a pretty frightful weekend. 
During the week I hemmed an academic robe for James' Dumbledore costume, and wrote a psalm parady and finished a scrapbook for a couple at church who is retiring elsewhere after 40 years. 
Thursday was choir practice, followed by Gospel Choir Concert practice.
Friday evening we finally got going on the holiday.  We hit the Spirit of Halloween store for some spooky inspiration and a few small costume accessories, then we did a quick run into Home Depot where we purchased half price pumpkins (one advantage to procrastination).  After that we had an extra choir rehearsal to try out a candidate for the organist/choirmaster position, and then enjoyed a greasy dinner at Pizza Slut. 
On Saturday, we slept in....aaaaah....and then revved it up with pumpkin carving, decorating the porch, drinking apple cider and roasting pumpkin seeds.  Alan took a spin up to Milo to help his mom finish cleaning out her storage unit and came back to carve his pumpkin masterpiece while the kids were sleeping.  
On Sunday we awoke to Jeremy's proclamation that "IT'S SNOWING!!" and "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT SNOWED ON HALLOWEEN" which was oft-repeated throughout the day.  Like many Mainers, we shook our heads and dressed warmly and went about our business.  We went to church and stayed for the farewell party at which the choir sang my psalm parody and everyone got emotional and ate sheet cake.  And then we raced home--via JoAnn Fabrics for materials for Jamie's hat--so Madeline and I could get into costume and grab PB&J and drive to a Girl Scout Halloween party thinly disguised as a birthday party for founder Juliette Low.  In Hudson.  The girls agreed that it was "okay".  I suspect the goody bags and cupcakes tipped the scales toward worthwhile and was grateful that our time spent in the cavernous (read: noisy) gymnasium was not quite enough to give me a full-blown migraine.  Then it was back home with M's friend, Auralee, in tow so the hippie chicks could trick-or-treat together.  Meanwhile, Alan worked on leveling the porch enough to open the front door and James fashioned a pair of wire spectacles.  He put the finishing touches on his beard while I made his hat.  Then I threw the kids into costumes and the car and picked up Mum and went to see Great Aunt Betty at Dirigo Pines, and the Fergusons on Spencer Street.  Then it was back home for dinner and additional finishing touches such as glow sticks and flashlights and Jeremy's pirate beard & mustache and belt-sheath repairs (already!).  During this time our only two trick-or-treaters (a blue-haired thing and an eye-popping ghoul) showed up at the now-functional front door.  Auralee's dad arrived and the hunting foray began (Alan selflessly volunteered to stay behind to tend the door and watch the Patriots game).  We roamed the neighborhood, James racing ahead and Jeremy lagging behind.  I was glad to have Rad there to help herd them across the dark streets. When we finally got home the kids were wound up and I was ready for bed at, like, 8pm.

For some reason photodocumentation was not top of the priority list (ya think?!), although Jeremy took about a hundred pictures of a stuffed Snoopy while I was carving his pumpkin for him.  To his exact specifications. He was getting annoying with the camera, but at least it kep him from helpfully shoving knives in my general direction.  Here's what's blogworthy:

[oh yeah, we made meatballs from the Biggest Loser cookbook (quite good actually) and James could not resist making the meat look like brains.  Are you a vegetarian yet?!?]