Tuesday, July 31, 2007

School days

Today we found out that Big E was assigned the teaching team we requested! In this school system, for students up to grade 6, you can list your top six requests for teaching teams. Big E got the team I listed as our #1 choice. I have a life long family friend who works for his school, so maybe that helped! I have known her since I was born - my dad and her dad have known each other since high school, we have spent many holidays and special occasions together and my oldest brother married her older sister. I am comforted at having someone so close in a school system where we are virtual strangers. Big E will be in a school with about 2,500 students from grades 4 through 6. You can do that math - he is in a 5th grade class of 800 kids! WOW.

Sous Chef's situation will not be the same and since I don't have an "insider" at his school, I will have to wait until Friday to find out about his teachers. There are two schools for grades 2 through 3, so his numbers will be about 1/2 of Big E's. Once the Elementary School kids move to the Intermediate School, where Big E currenlty is, the two elementary schools will come together. They then stay together as a "graduating" class until they graduate from the high school (except those who move, switch to private school, etc.). The Elementary Schools are split between the community and there is an Early Childhood Center for pre-school through grade 1. This is very different than our previous school system, but just like the school system we lived in previous to our KS move. It is pretty common around here for kids to move with their entire grade/graduating class from kindergarten on. I can see the pros and cons of the way it is here and the way it was in KS, but I will miss having the school right down the street from my house! Instead of a five minute walk to pick up a sick kid or go to see a school program, I will have a ten minute drive and the hassle of parking in a lot that may or may not accomodate all of the parents and their cars coming to the program.

Anything else you want to know about our new school district? : )

Monday, July 30, 2007

Number 81

Generally speaking, the number 81 is not all that important. However, CNN/Money Magazine recently ranked our suburb, my new "home town" number 81 of the Top 100 best cities to live in in the US. Needless to say, it's been hot news here and a hot number. They focused on smaller towns this year vs. past years, when my previous "home town," Overland Park, frequently appeared in the top 10. OP is quite a bit bigger than here and I read early on that the top 100 list this year focused on towns smaller than 75,000 people, I believe.

I went to a board meeting tonight for my new M&M chapter. It was very different from the board meetings I had become used to. It started promptly at 7:00, was over at 9:00 and there was no agenda. Basically the co-leaders and one other person talked and then it was over. Quick and to the point. I kind of miss the old meetings...

Bi E and Sous Chef are going to Pitt later this week for ten days. CJ and I will be hanging out during the days. I've never really had an just one child, at least not by the time they were three. The oldest "only" child I've ever had was Big E until age 2.5, and then Sous Chef was born. Since then, I've always taken care of multiple children. For ten days, it will just be CJ. He will probably miss having Big E and Sous Chef to play with each day, but I bet he will enjoy all of the attention of being an "only" child for over a week!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Update

My weekend update will not be nearly as funny or entertaining as the SNL version! We went to Columbus yesterday to see long time friends. Motorcycle Guy and Ian have known each other since just after college. Ian and his wife, Becky, started dating about the same time as Motorcycle Guy and I. They got married the year before us and their two children are each a year younger than our two oldest. They were in our wedding and we even vacationed with them in London one year. We had a good time and it was fun to share our old, funny stories and to hear some new ones. I was happy to see they have each gotten tattoos since I last saw them. Our kids got along great and they are already asking to visit again.

Motorcycle Guy rode his motorcycle home from Columbus via the back roads. It took him several hours, partially because he stopped to see another friend along the way. He also bought some delicious sweet corn from a farmer who had a stand. Motorcycle Guy drove up to the farm, asked for 12 ears of corn, the farmer went to the edge of the corn field and picked them and we had VERY fresh corn on the cob for dinner. Sweet corn in OH is like no other corn. That was one thing we missed when we were in KS.

One other observation I made this weekend is that my hair is not nearly as curly, big or frizzy as it used to be. I don't know if this is just temporary while it adjusts to new water or what, but it's kind of nice. I blew it dry yesterday and didn't even need the flat iron except to get my bang area, which is quite long, under control. It's still wavy, but nothing that the hair dryer can't handle. It's humid here, so it certainly isn't the lack of moisture. I assume it's just going through an adjustment period and eventually I will be back to the frizz and puff. I have been using a different conditioner occasionally, so maybe that is it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Hodgepodge of Info

I have failed to mention one of the good things I like about being back in Ohio - I can buy alcohol - beer and wine, and in some cases hard liquor - at the grocery store, gas station, convenient stores and best of all, DRIVE THRU liquor stores! In Kansas, you could get watered down 3.2% beer and malt beverages at the grocery store, but in OH, you get the real deal. No need to go to a licensed liquor store for Mike's! On my way to a game night last week, I had the option of driving through the local drive-thru or running into the gas station for Mike's Hard Lemonade. I missed the drive-thru, so I ran into Ameristop. How convenient!

Our kids are with my parents this evening, so Motorcycle Guy and I went out to dinner. We ate at a newer restaurant in our local community. The restaurant is One and it is located in the old municipal building of the town we live in. It was very yummy and had a unique decor. It was clearly a public works building of the past, with upgrades and changes to make it a nice, "casually upscale" restaurant. Tomorrow we are all off to Columbus - different directions at first, but we will all end up in the same place.

I am still a little sleep deprived from my all nighter with Harry Potter. I am hoping tonight to get some sleep and then to also sleep in in the morning since there will be no kids here to wake me!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The boys in my life...

If you are reading this blog, I assume you know I have a husband and three sons. Recently, a new boy came into my life - Harry Potter! I bought the book on Sunday and only made it through a few pages a day until yesterday. I read almost 600 pages and was up until 4:30AM to finish the final installment of this incredible series. Since some of you reading this may not be finished yet or maybe haven't started, I won't discuss any details. I will say, overall, it was a good book and I am sad to see this series come to an end. I am now planning to start from the first book and read them back to back. With the gaps in writing and publishing times, I have forgetten many details over the years.

Speaking of boys, I haven't really mentioned what Motorcycle Guy has been up to lately. Last Friday, while I was out with the mom's group, Motorcycle Guy and our three boys went to the neighbor's house to play Risk with the other neighbor dads. There were several kids running around playing ball, video games, etc., so everyone had a good time. Tonight he went to play Summer League Ultimate and this weekend is going on a motorcycle excursion in Columbus. It is a rally of people who have vintage BMWs. I am meeting him in Columbus with our kids and we are staying all night with friends whom we have not seen in a long, long time. Well, I haven't. Motorcycle Guy has seen them a couple of times in the last year.

Today we had friends from our old neighborhood over. It was fun to see them and their kids, they are all getting big and there was one new addition. We headed to the pool for a short while after playing in the house and having lunch. The weather was cloudy and damp, but they really wanted to swim, so off we went.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Old Friends/New Friends

Today, Big E heard from an old friend. One of the first friends he made when we moved to OP was Adarsh, whose family is Eastern Indian. He was such a nice kid and a good friend to Big E. That was in 2nd grade and 1/2 way through the year, Adarsh's dad was transferred to India! His family was excited, because they were going home. We have kept in touch with them periodically and today we received an e-mail from Adarsh and his mom, Shoba. They are moving back to the US just before school starts. They will be living about an hour from New York City. Big E was so excited to hear from them and has already asked if we can go visit. I hope we can. We had hoped in the years to come, that Big E or all of us would be able to visit them in India, but New York sounds like a much easier trip!

Today, we went to play at a "new" friend's house. I met Mairi through my new chapter of Mothers & More and her son is 7, just like Sous Chef. We went to their house to play and swim in their pool. The kids had a blast and it was nice to get out and visit with new friends!

Tonight, I am going to a Mom's Time Out with M&M. They go out once a month for happy hour or other activities - it sounds like it is usually happy hour, though. A local pub here has cheap, but good, beer on Tuesdays and that seems to be the place of choice. Hopefully, I will get to meet more "new" friends tonight. Unfortunately, the Mom's Night Out, which was dinner, was canceled for Thursday due to a conflict with the restaurant. I was looking forward to two nights out in one week!I am looking forward to making many "new" friends, while keeping in touch with my many "old" friends!

Monday, July 23, 2007

State Capitol

Today we visited COSI, a hands-on science center for kids, in Columbus, OH. One of the best parts was that we met one of Big E's best friends from OP there with his mom and his siblings. We had a great time, but it was sad to say goodbye. We don't know when we will be seeing them again. They were visiting family in northern OH, which they don't do very often. The favorite part for all of the kids was watching two Japanese Hooded Rats play basketball. All of the kids (six of them) loved it. I am guessing my PETA member friends would not have thought it was entertaining at all! : )

Sous Chef's souvenir is a chihuahua Webkinz that he named Chewy. This is his first Webkinz. He was introduced to them a couple of weeks ago when we had a boy over who brought two of his. Sous Chef was totally interested and was excited to see today that the museum gift shop had a Webkinz to buy. He has been on-line getting Chewy all set up - he has a bedroom, a garden and a small room. Sous Chef dressed him in camouflage pajamas. He put Chewy to sleep for the night so that I could get on the computer.

We saw some friends, Bruce and Jamie, for a short time this evening who we have not seen since before we moved to KS. It was nice and their children are very cute!

That's it for now!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Whistle while you work ....

Motorcycle Guy and my dad got major painting completed yesterday. They started painting around 11:00am and didn't finish until 11:00pm. They did break for lunch and dinner. Now our downstairs bathroom and our eat-in kitchen area and family room are complete, along with the painting done prior to us moving in. There is some touch up and trim work to be completed, but that's the easy part. It looks GREAT! Prior to us moving here, EVERY single room in this house was beige! We need to repaint the dining room and paint the hallway stairs to the basement to match the entryway and then the first floor paint is done. Then on to the final decorating touches. That's the point where I become a little overwhelmed and may need to incorporate some help. We also have to do the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. I think we will leave the basement be for now.

My brother and his family came for dinner, minus one nephew who was working. This was the first we have seen them since we moved here. We had a good evening and my niece and my kids planned a sleepover at Nana's and Gramps's for Friday night. Everyone is excited.

On Friday night, I went to a M&M Game Night. It wasn't the same as hanging out with my "old" chapter for Bunko or MNO, but it was fun. There were only four local members there and one visiting from Tampa, who knows a woman from my KS chapter that recently moved from Tampa to OP. Small world! I was told the turnout in the summers are low, but I already knew that since my previous chapter had the same situation in the summer months. It will take me some time to feel like I belong in this chapter. They had several questions about how things were done where I came from and some of the ideas were very well received. They are in need of a co-leader starting in October....

Tomorrow, me and the boys are going to COSI, the children's science museum in Columbus, OH. The most exciting part is we are meeting one of Big E's best buddies from Overland Park there with his mom. They are visiting family in the Cleveland area, so we are meeting there for the day and to have dinner together. Big E is so excited and I know his friend is, too!

Today is Sunday and every weekend we have been here I have said, "Tomorrow I am going to go to church" or I think, "Saturday night I will go to church so I don't have to get up on Sunday." Well, here it is, Sunday morning at 10:25, and I am sitting at the computer! I know I won't be going next weekend because Motorcycle Guy is out of town and I am not taking all three kids when there is no Sunday School. Normally, I would put them in their Sunday School classes and go to the service alone, but Sunday School is out for the summer. We are expecting to return to the church we left when we moved from OH. There is a new pastor, so I need to do a couple of "test" runs before we make that commitment. I hope it works, because I really don't want to look for a new church!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Oops

Today I colored my hair. For those who know me well, you know I have had every color under the sun, except for blue. I don't get too upset when my haircolor doesn't turn out so well, but over the years, I have lost my"coloring" touch. The main reason? Actually, there are two -
  1. I didn't color my hair for over a year.
  2. 2. I can't remember from one time to the next what color I used the previous time. I have stopped doing all of the crazy colors and sticking to colors closer to my natural color.

Several months ago, I colored my hair a color I really liked. When I went back to buy the color the next time, I couldn't remember which it was. I picked between two that I thought it might be. I was wrong, though it wasn't a bad color. This time, I bought the color I thought I should have the last time. Still wrong. It said dark blond on the box, but it is browner than it has been in a long time. I don't dislike it, I was just wanting something lighter for the remainder of the summer. Maybe after a couple of shampoos and a few trips to the pool and chlorine, it will be closer to what I was expecting. In the meantime, this is a great winter color and I wrote the color name down this time!

We will be finishing up our family room and bathroom painting tomorrow and hopefully the upstairs hallway. The dining room turned out a little different than expected (kind of like the haircolor) so I need to find a new color for that. I am looking for the perfect shade of chocolate brown - for the dining room, not my hair. I am looking forward to the scaffolding being out of our family room!

I played a round of dart tag with Big E today. It's quite funny and it's surprising how into it an adult can get. I find myself squealing when I think I am going to be hit by a dart and cheering and whooping it up when I hit him. CJ is always on my team with a dart gun that has no darts. He's funny because he will hide with me and then say "I'm not going to talk because I don't want Big E to find us" which usually is said loud enough for Big E to find us. Sous Chef tends to watch and tells us where the stray darts land so we don't lose them. If you could see us doing this, you would laugh - we both have on a vest that the darts stick to and we wear protective glasses. Thank God for those glasses because I got hit today and I am pretty sure with the pressure those darts shoot out, it would have taken out my eye!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A busy day

Today a member of the moms group I belong to came to my house with her son. My kids loved playing with a new friend and I certainly enjoyed having some adult conversation. I belong to a national mothers organization, which I first joined when we moved to Kansas. Thankfully, when moving back, I was able to transfer my membership to my local chapter. I have already been to a meeting and then out for drinks afterwards (my favorite part!), have had two playdates for my kids and am going to a game night tomorrow night.

Motorcycle Guy was home today. He is trying to finish up the unpacking in the basement and I am trying to get our main floor organized. We got most of the main floor together, minus some painting that will be wrapping up this weekend, hopefully. We got our pictures hung, and in some cases, rehung. It's hard to know that you don't like something in a certain place until it's been there for a few minutes, or more. So, one picture was hung three times before I felt it was just right. We have another little grouping to re-do, but then I think we are finished. We rearranged our living room furniture, and it looks quite nice. It could use another small piece of furniture, but that will have to wait and may never happen. Our family room is going to be our biggest challenge. We have more wall space than our previous house and I am afraid the walls may look a little bare for a while. Having the room painted instead of the awful beige that permeated our entire house when we bought it will make a huge difference. We have quite a bit of organizing to do to make it all balance. I have ideas, but until the paint is complete and dry, I won't start worrying more about that. Right now I just have lots of "mental" notes about what I want to do.

I mentioned to some friends a week or so ago, it seems weird to go out to the stores, restaurants or wherever and not see people we know. That was one of the hardest things for me when I moved to Kansas. Having lived in Ohio for 18 years, it was virtually impossible to go somewhere and not see at least one person I knew - either from college, volunteer work, church or my community where I currently lived. Once I started seeing people out in Kansas, I knew I was "settled." I guess since I was only gone three years from "home", I expected to step right back in to seeing people I know. It didn't dawn on me until I was here that I am living in a new community now where I only know a couple of people (and I did see one of them at Wal-Mart once, but she is moving to Indy), further out than before, and that would result in me feeling like a stranger. The places look familiar and I don't get lost like I did when we moved to Kansas, but it is a sea of faces I don't recognize. I look forward to when I don't feel like a stranger any more.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 1

Well, at the encouragement of a friend, I have decided to start a blog. I have really enjoyed reading hers and keeping up to date with her via her blog. Now I can ramble on here and I won't be driving my friends crazy with my e-mails. I recently moved from Kansas to Ohio and I have been keeping my friends in KS up to date on my OH adventures, if you want to call them that. Now they can read at their leisure, or in some cases, maybe not read at all. They have a choice though, without me showing up in their inbox!

Today I made plans to have a woman from my mom's group come over on Thursday with her 7 yr. old. I have not met either of them, but I am trying to get to know people and find kiddos for my kids to play with. She extended an offer early on when we needed some friends and we are finally getting together. That's all for now.