Thursday, June 28, 2012


June was a busy month, hence the lack of blogging.  Just figuring out where the kids are going to be all day every day is tricky when school's out.  After we returned from Tybee the girls did 2 weeks at Dance 411 dance camp.  Then it was off to Sustainability Camp.  Yes, Sustainability Camp.  I thought they'd learn a bit about permaculture and what-not, and I'm really not sure if that happened, but they had a blast so there.  Now they're at another dance camp - Barefoot N Motion.  My favorite thing about that camp is that it's half a mile from the house.  They are absurdly disorganized, but the kids are having fun.  Next week they'll spend 1/2 days at the same camp, while Aunt Jo Jo hangs out with them in the afternoons.  After that, Grammy Margie heads down for some quality time with the little blonde Drueke girls.  After that...I'm not sure what we'll do with them, but the final week of July promises the arrival of cousin Ro*!  Then cousin Mikey will actually be moving here and living with Steve and Joy.  The girls are beside themselves with this cousin stuff.

Since March or so, Sarah's been requesting a winter-themed birthday.  I've been plotting it out in my head.  This morning she announced she doesn't want that now.  When I asked what she does want she was quiet for a moment, thoughtfully stroking Monkey's velvety ear while she contemplated the possibilities.  Then she said "how about a dog theme?"  Perhaps I'll go with dogs in winter.  Like the Girls of Summer but less resigned and jaded.  I don't know.  What I do know is that while I had a blessed reprieve from the usual Atlanta humidity for Kate's birthday, it's here with a vengence now, and I wish I had a walk-in fridge in which to decorate Sarah's cake. 

I continue to follow the instructions of the Ease Into 5K app!  I knew right away that my timing was less than fortuitous, picking up running for the first time in my life, when I'm nearly 40 and it's nearly summer in Georgia.  So far, mornings have been mostly pleasant, though.  When Rusty commented earlier that I would be doing a 5K, it was the first time it dawned on me that doing this training program was, indeed, meant to result in just such a thing.  Huh, I guess I will.  I switched the setting from the toneless voice of Jim to that of the encouraging Londoner, Alison.  When it's time to run she says "run!" and I'm certain if she'd not been cut off she'd go on to say "like your feet are winged and the wind is always at your back!  You can fly!"  I like Alison.  Well, I liked her.  Until week 3 when she went from having me do many rounds of 45 and 60 second bouts of running with lots of walking in between to running for, like, 3 minutes in a row.  The first time it happened, I checked the time remaining on the run and found it was still, like a minute and a half and I thought "Alison you traitorous whore!".  My anger gave me energy, though, so I guess she can stay.  I don't know if I'll ever consider myself a runner.  Certainly not enough to plaster my bumper with random-seeming numbers, a stick figure with its hair blowing backwards and "runner girl" in pink.  No, I will never stop hating those "runner girl" stickers.  I do like the one I saw the other day that just says "run" as if the owner is in a perpetual state of panic.  The fact that it's on his car is even more amusing.  "You run, dummy.  I'm driving".   I want one that says "duck".  Anyway, what I do know is this - biking has gotten easier. 

So anyway, the kids.  I have some photos.  I will relocate the little green camera (last spied in the playroom, where expensive things go to die) and share some with you.  I promise. 

Friday, June 01, 2012

Tybee Island Lighthouse from the beach
We took a short vacation.  After Jeremiah's [highly festive] birthday, we headed south to the island of Tybee for surf and sand and too much sun and ice cream.  This morning when we piled back into the car and pointed the car toward Atlanta once more, none of us was ready.  I mean, emotionally.  We were all packed and I don't think we forgot anything, but you know what I mean.  We could've used a couple weeks or maybe a month.  Why aren't we European?

When we arrived on Tybee the sky was looking ominous.  Huge storm clouds loomed and the wind whipped and it was kind of dark.  Undaunted, we headed straight to the beach.  There, we were forbidden to get in the water due to the vicious undertow and imminent storm.  No worries, this did not stop us from obtaining and devouring some fresh shrimp.  The weather report assured us it was going to storm all day Tuesday.  Why is the weather such an a-hole sometimes?

Tuesday morning arrived and, shamed by Jeremiah's adherence to his Couch to 5K (now more gently titled "Ease Into 5K") app, I began the program myself.  I figured the beach was a good place to start this - what with the lack of hills.  So anyway, we took turns running and the rain held off.  Emboldened by the lack of precipitation, we rented the kids bikes.  It was our intention to finally get them both riding two-wheelers with confidence.  We were ready for a morning of starts and stops on the hard-packed sand.  Instead, they climbed on and did this (see photo).  Sarah requested help getting started a few times, but when she realized it was easier for her to control that portion of the ride, she stopped asking.  That was the extent of our teaching the kids to ride.  Step one:  put them on bikes.  Step two:  take pictures of them riding. 

The storm was still promising to hit us, and so swimming was out of the question.  Instead, we spent the morning riding the bikes, and celebrating the riding of the bikes and flirting with the sea's edge until we got hungry.  Flying in the face the foreboding weather report, we brazenly walked to lunch (just around the corner from our cottage, the Flip Flop) at Sundae Cafe.  There, we enjoyed seeing the girls' faces as early-planning and a bit of texting that day resulted in...a surprise visit from Aunt Jo Jo!  We'd been playing the "Made Ya Look" game while we waited for our food and so, when Sarah said "I see Aunt Jo Jo!" Kate absolutely refused to turn around until Joy was touching her back.  Priceless!  Also, this will assure our triumph at future "Made Ya Look" tourneys.  While we were at the restaurant, the weather stopped kidding around, and the skies opened.  Happily, Joy gave us all a ride back to the Flip Flop.  That evening, after some game playing while it rained, and some showing off on two wheels during pauses in the rain, Joy took the girls out for pizza and Jeremiah and I enjoyed a little date.  We weren't that great about taking pictures.  You'll just have to trust me that Joy was there.  She'd had a lunch meeting in Savannah.   She left the next morning, just in the time to miss all the beautiful sunny weather that pervaded the remainder of our trip.  Sigh.

Kate's BayWatch shot
Sarah's BayWatch shot
The cabin's master bedroom has windows to the kids' room.  Weird.

We swam and swam and swam.  We did, indeed, eat a lot of ice cream.  We visited the pier often and on our second trip there, we saw 2 guys catch baby sharks and one guy catch a stingray and a pod of dolphins frolicking, yes, frolicking just off the pier in the blue.  That day, the neophyte cyclists biked from the north end of the island, all the way down to the south end and back again with minimal whining!

This morning, we dragged Kate and Sarah from their beds (per their requests, I should add) to see the sun rise over the beach.  Nature did not disappoint; it was a good one.  I had Cat Stephens' Morning Has Broken stuck in my head the rest of the day as a result.  Just as we asked a nice woman who'd also come out for the sunrise spectacle to take our picture, the fuchsia star peeked over the horizon and she and I both gasped.  The kids acknowledged that it was pretty but I think there is something about age that causes a show of beauty like that to stick in your throat.  The photos, of course, do it no justice. 

At Sundaes.  Good food.
Another shark!

Avec shark
Everyone's got to touch the dang dead shark
As you can see from the photos, Tybee is a shark-infested place.  We enjoyed that.  We love the danger.  And we love that we never met the parents of the baby sharks we found.  They must be bereft.  And angry.