Tuesday, September 07, 2010

What I Did On My Labor Day Weekend

[Cue Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov]

First things first--a weekend with family, or an out-of-town vacation, must always ALWAYS! begin with lots of procrastination.

Saturday morning was spent furiously cleaningcleaningcleaning the not-as-bad-as-usual house. I remembered to make sure the guest bathroom was presentable (I have failed in this duty numerous times, apparently because I have amnesia that there is a boy who lives at this house and uses that bathroom regularly).

As an added bonus, Ryan contracted a mild (thankfully) bout of Pukinson's Disease, so Morgan and Sean went with Brendan to collect Nonnie and Uncle T from the airport. I wasn't feeling super great either, but fortunately did not contract the yucky Pukinson's.

We hung around the house and caught up on all the latest news, played Beatles Rock Band for a while, and I may or may not have made mojitos for B and his mom. And me. My mother-in-law helped me make some chicken soup, as she had a cold and wanted said soup. Also, she is the best soup-maker in the universe, so I was eager to have some lessons.

Somehow on Sunday I managed to convince Brendan to mow the lawn, and, So It Is Written (Spoken? Nagged?)--So It Shall Be Done. Care to guess which of these I managed to avoid? Was it: marital strife over just how far back certain hedges ought to be pruned, or hives on my arms from trying to prune hedges myself?*

The kids played with their invisible ink sets from Nonnie, and toys they brought from a store up in Wisconsin Dells that sells stuff that changes color in the sunlight. M got a frisbee (goes from clear to red), and hair clips, and Sean got a shirt that changes lots of colors. Ryan got hunting gear (from a different store), including a hunting cap with built-in zillion-watt LED lights. Seriously, don't look at him while it's on; you will go blind.

Let's see, what else? We took walks in the neighborhood to look for snakes (Nonnie is SUCH a good sport about that) and they admired the smartiness of the kids and listened to the ENDLESS stories and made beer brats on the grill for dinner. There may or may not have been more mojitos.

In between family stuff, I tried to stay on top of email and laundry and AOS stuff and what was going on with my sister and brother (my parents visited each of them this weekend), and generally did not succeed. I blame the mojitos.

Monday afternoon saw us heading up to Chickamauga National Battlefield, which took longer to get to than I imagined. Partly it was longer because, well, it was actually farther away than I realized. Partly it was longer because Morgan and Ryan picked on each other and squealed and tattled and punched and complained and tried to make me die an early death on the way up. I actually stopped the car on the way up there to take Morgan out for a "moment" so that she could clearly understand A.) What Needed to Happen and B.) Why It Needed to Happen and C.) OMG It Needed to Happen Right the F Now. Despite my description of our talk here on the blog, I was perfectly composed and appropriately PD, yay!

While up at Chickamauga, we saw just an AWFUL hideous film about the battle (oh god, the horrors, and I'm talking about the acting and writing, not the casualties of the battle). Then we drove to Wilder Brigade Monument and walked around for a while. Right next to the monument was where Eli Lilly (yeah, that guy) and his guys from Indiana were lined up to meet the Confederates. Cool.

I let Brendan take R & M up to the top of the Wilder Monument (no elevator, only about 300 stairs) and then planned to go up with my mother-in-law. However, Sean decided he wanted to go, so up he went! He made it 40 stairs up when some dude let out a spooky Scooby Doo kind of laugh (it was dark in there) and freaked Seanie out. Hmph. Lucky me got to carry him the rest of the way up, and back down, too!

Then we left, got a little lost had an adventure leaving the park, stopped for drinks, and were on our way back home! On the trip home, I had to pull the car over and move Ryan's seat from the back row to the middle. I am proud to say I was PD all the way. Well, in action. Notsomuch in thought. We ate yummy, healthy chicken soup for dinner . . . and skipped the mojitos.

Then this morning I headed out to my doctor's appointment, thankful for convenient and willing babysitters. A mile from the house, one of those ominous engine lights came on, so I had to cancel my doctor's appointment and go to the car dealer instead (still thankful for convenient and willing babysitters!). $99 later, the diagnosis was "probably nothing wrong." Double hmph.

We met Brendan at Peachtree-DeKalb (PDK) Airport and ate lunch at the Downwind Restaurant, then played and watched the airplanes and helicopters for a while. Super fun to do with the kids, and fairly close to Brendan's office, which is nice, since he had to go be a computer peopleguy today.

I'm pleased to report that the Check Engine Light didn't come on once. Whew. Also, I did NOT have to pull the car over on the way there, or the way home, but I had separate conversations with Ryan and Morgan that centered around My Need to Concentrate While Driving on the Highway; How Distracting it is When Someone is Squealing and Punching and/or Trying to Climb out of his/her Seat; and How If This Doesn't Change RIGHT NOW then I Will Only Be Driving Them to Places *I* Need/Want to go to and Not Fun Things Like Chess Class or Playgrounds or Restaurants.

At home we played some games, including Mad Libs (heh), and Sean finally said "Nonnie" and "Uncle T" while looking at them (he'd been playing hard-to-get all weekend). We drove them to the MARTA station (since I couldn't, just couldn't, face Atlanta rush hour traffic given the way R & M had been acting in the car). Apparently, my words and actions finally made an impact, as they were very well-behaved and exhibited self-control and appropriate problem-solving behavior all the way there and back. Whew!

And I also wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times (with some kind editing assistance from Paul). Will let you know if I make it in.

So that was MY weekend! What did you do?

*Neither was avoided. Of course. But both were remedied. One with a panicked text message to Kelly, my personal OGardener, who had the nerve to be at Dragon*Con all weekend; the other with a little Claritin.


Kelly Elmore said...

Love it! Your posts about your day to day life are hilarious! My favorites!

You will know what I did with my Labor Day weekend (in excruciating detail) when I get the pictures put into my really long Dragon Con post. Just in time for the Oist Roundup, so that everyone can know how weird I am in advance of meeting me.

mtnrunner2 said...

>So that was MY weekend! What did you do?

I ran up a mountain. What else is new ? :) Post/photos to follow later.

>Cue Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov

Very funny. Seems to me that anyone with small children pretty much lives at that pace all the time, a fact that I re-discover every time I call/visit my sister (two boys). Sounds like you packed a lot in.

Re: the check engine light. Somewhere into the 9-year life of my Altima I bought one of these code readers (http://tinyurl.com/35qr467) and kept it in the trunk. It's very easy to use and read the code yourself from the driver's seat. And the $90 is still better than the $150 or whatever the Nissan dealer wanted to check the code. When you get home you can research a code online and at least get more details on what to expect. I ended up living with two codes for the last year I owned the Altima, simply because it was harmless and I didn't want to pay for the repair.

Garrett said...

mtnrunner2 speaks the truth about OBDII codes, though there's an even cheaper option... Autozone and AAMCO both offer (last I checked) free code reading. They'll come out to your car and run the codes for you, sometimes even offering to clear them for you. I've done it a few times at Autozone for non-critical issues that were likely just minor flukes. Great way to save some money!

What did I do? My dad came through town and stayed with us Saturday night, which was unexpected and fun. As such, since we now have a guest bedroom, we bumped up our planned end-of-month new bed purchase to beginning-of-month so he'd have a place to sleep. Other than that, yeah, young kid here. Lots of excitement!

Jenn Casey said...

Kelly, :D Loved your Dragon Con write up, too!

Mtnrunner2 & Garrett--thanks for the advice on the codes. We'll do that next time. On one hand, I'm glad it was cheap and nothing was wrong. On the other, dude. So we'll save ourselves some money next time!

Glad everyone had a fun weekend!