Monday, August 29, 2005

I must brag about my volleyball team

This being our second season in this league at The Volleyball House, we were hoping for a better than .500 record (which would've been much better than our previous/first season.) We definitely did better than .500 and we even got ourselves into the playoffs as the 4th seed. We played the team seeded first and we won in 2 games. Yes, they were without one of their regular female players and yes, the substitute was a bit inexperienced, but they also had an A level male player who is not usually on their team. So, that technically balanced out in my opinion and our 2-game win was really cool. We had to wait around for the #2 vs. #3 match and then we took to the court against the winner. Some on our team are in great shape and some of us are not - those of us who aren't really petered out in the last match from fatigue and muscle stiffness (that sets on quicker the older you get, I hear.) Anyway, we won the first game but then lost the last 2. We were disappointed but proud that we got much farther this season than we expected. And we got a compliment from the ref when she said she thought we were in a league higher than we are. That was before our second match, but that's ok, it's not like it wasn't us out there during the first match, it was just a "fresher" us.

Andy's back (you can take that 2 ways and either way fits!)

So last week was a little crazy. At 4:30 am on Tuesday morning, Andy rolled over in bed and wrenched a muscle in his back. The pain was excruciating so I took him to the doctor that morning. He didn't go to work for 3 days and could barely move. Even when he wasn't moving, he was in pain. I wasn't able to get all of my work hours in and I was responsible for more than usual as Andy couldn't do anything around the house or with Kevin. I honestly don't know how single mothers do it and I start to have a panic attack when I consider what would happen if Andy wasn't around and it was just me left with Kevin or, in the future, even more kids. I do know that I have a large and deep net of support from friends and family and that I would do ok but I don't really want to find out for sure how well I'd cope.

Andy is feeling much better now. He can do most everything although his back does bother him sometimes still. At least he can drive and play with Kevin - woohoo!

In other much more vain and less important news, I almost called today to make an appointment to donate my hair. I was planning to go a few extra months to donate more, but I'm about at the end of my rope and I know this feeling - usually it ends in a very last-minute trip to the hair cutter but this time I have to wait a month for each month I miss because the salon that I want to go to (the one I went to last time) only does free LOL cuts on the last Wednesday of the month. So... if I don't go the day after tomorrow, I have to wait another month. That is likely what will happen and maybe by the end of September I'll change my mind, but I doubt it - especially since I have a trip to Cape May, NJ, planned in October. Traveling with this rat's nest, especially by the ocean where it's humid even in the fall, is quite a pain. Not that anybody cared to hear all that but, oh well, there it is.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm such a sucker

Last night we watched Hitch on DVD. I realized quickly that I'd seen the movie before, although it previously starred Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson and it was called How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. The lead characters get together in a wildly cute manner and decide that despite themselves, they like each other. Then their jobs blow them apart and in the end, they realize that they were wrong about each other and they need to be together. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind that Hitch was technically a remake. What I do mind is that both of those movies make me giggle like a school-girl and it annoys me that they sucker me in. "Romantic comedy" is not what I'm about; I'm not supposed to be about love stories, 'k?

Sunday, August 21, 2005


I've always preferred single-player sports to team sports mostly because when I do poorly, I don't bring down a whole team. I don't like being responsible for whether other people win or lose. I'm learning in my wise old age, though, that there is no comparison to the feeling of a team coming together in victory.

My volleyball team won all 3 games tonight for the first time since we moved into our current league (which is way more competetive than our previous league.) While some people have improved their individual skills, that wasn't the deciding factor in our commanding play tonight. The real difference was that we played as a TEAM. We weren't 6 people on the court trying to hit the ball to one another, it was like we were one entity. We covered the court better than ever, patching holes that our opponents tried to pry open, and we communicated clearly. I don't think we had a single unforced error of the ball dropping when somebody should've had it.

Our teamwork didn't come together by running drills or practicing our passing, setting, serving, and hitting - our teamwork came together from playing together, period. There's no way to quantify how we improved working together and you'd be hard-pressed to find noticeable differences in our teamwork from match to match. If you look at our play 2 months ago and compare it to tonight, though, you'd see a group of people playing volleyball turning into a team of players coordinating a win. And what a sweet win it was.

Wholesome Family Fun

Here are cousins Julia (4 1/2) and Kevin (3) with Grandma and Grandpa enjoying (some of) Grandpa's stash of super soakers.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's a sand thing, you wouldn't understand

We've been at the beach (Ocean City, MD, area) since Wednesday. We were fortunate enough to go with a friend whose family has a house down there and we had a terrific time. We relaxed more over the past 4 days than we have in a year as Kevin was occupied with/by Daniel and Noel for most of the time. He had tons of fun with them.

We went to the beach (Assateague) on Thursday and although I absolutely love to swim in the ocean, I'd forfeit that from now on if it meant never getting another grain of sand in everything we own. I've never been big into the beach as I much prefer being in the woods in the mountains, but now that I have a child who doesn't swim, who won't go barefoot or even wear sandals without socks and who doesn't remember not to touch his mouth or eyes when his hands are sandy, I see that I'm even less of a beach person. But it was fun to go and maybe Kevin will someday not be so afraid of water that he'll have fun with the ocean.

Friday afternoon we went to the boardwalk between the raindrops and mostly ate and walked although we did stop in The Kite Loft, which was pretty cool. Kevin's greatest desire in that store was a lollipop. When told that he could choose either the lollipop or ice cream later he said, "Lollipop!" I clarified a few times asking, "Do you understand that when the rest of us stop for ice cream you can't have any?" and he replied, "No ice cream! Lollipop!" Ok, that was easy enough. Half of the lollipop still exists in all its sticky, watermelony glory on our kitchen counter.

Kirsten and I spent a lot of time at the kitchen table putting jigsaw puzzles together. Yesterday we finished the really tough one she had started before we got there so we put out another one in the afternoon and finished it before bed. Woohoo!

We drove home today and the second thing that I did after unloading the van was to wash off the sandy toys. Some of them went right back into the sandbox but the ones that didn't start out there got a good dunking and they won't be let back into the house until they receive a certificate of lack-o-sand from moi.

It was nice to come back today rather than tomorrow because 1) the traffic was way better than it will be tomorrow and 2) we still have tomorrow to spend together before the work week begins.

Thanks Kirsten, Daniel & Noel - we had a tremendous time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Solo weekend

I'm so happy that you want to know how my weekend went! Thanks for caring.

It went very well and that was only partially my fault. On Saturday we went to my parents' house and they were watching my niece for the weekend so she and Kevin played together a lot of the time. We went to a pool and, of course, Kevin didn't swim but he hung in there with us well enough. I hoped that having other people coax him into getting in the water would help but it didn't.

He fell asleep in the car on the way home that night so I didn't have to deal with bedtime, which was a relief. I find the whole bedtime routine and his sometimes flaky sleep difficult to deal with.

I did something very smart this weekend. Before it got really dark out and before I got the willies about being in the house "alone" I turned on the light by my bed and I closed the drapes in my bedroom and the bathroom. That way when it was time to go to bed, I didn't have a panic attack that somebody was looking in the window or following me down the dark hallway. It worked amazingly well and I have no idea why I never thought of doing that before.

Sunday morning we got up and went to church, played at the playground and then came home for lunch. I was tired but not in a bad mood, per se. Andy arrived around 1:00 pm and wasn't really ready for the barrage of questions and stories that I was trying to throw at him so I tried to back off until he was ready. He showered (that made us all feel better) and then I took Kevin with me to the grocery store and when we got back, Andy was ready to deal with us again.

Kevin wasn't head over heels excited to see Andy, which surprised me. However, we've since realized that he can only like one of us at a time. Whichever one he currently fancies, he completely un-fancies the other. So, he'd been with me all weekend and was comfortable with that but after he and Andy played awhile and I took a nap, then it was all about Papa and I was shunned.

Tomorrow we're headed to the beach for our first "vacation" together. Should be a good time trying to convince Kevin to wear a life vest, get in the canoe, walk near the ocean and stay out of Daniel's and Noel's faces at least a few hours a day. Seriously, I'm looking forward to it (well, maybe not the car ride). I think we'll have a good time.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Don't hug me, yes hug me, don't hug me, yes hug me

When Andy got home from work today he had time to finish packing and eat dinner before heading out. While he was packing, Kevin wanted him to play so we tried to keep his mind off the fact that Papa didn't have time to play by showing him the things packed in Papa's bag. Paul arrived and we put Andy's things in his car and I suggested to Kevin that he give Papa a hug and a kiss and he said, "No" and backed away. What was that?? So I fake him into giving Andy a hug and then we say Bye and Kevin and I stand on the front porch waving as they drive up the road.

We get back into the house and Kevin starts to cry. Then he says, "I want to play with Papa" with tears running down his cheeks. I reply, "That's sweet, I bet Papa wants to play with you, too. You will be able to play with him when he comes home on Sunday after we come home from church." Still crying, Kevin says, "I want to play with Papa NOW." Visions of an entire 36 hours of this sadness and crying flash through my mind but before my inner freak-out becomes public Kevin says (while still crying), "I want to watch TV."

He was so allowed to watch TV.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Life is a learning experience

As previously mentioned, I didn't bring lunch today because I thought there was a contract party (ahem.) So, I jetted over to McDonalds and here are some things I learned on my trip.

  • Traffic is easier to get through when you make all right-hand turns

  • Not having air conditioning is a good thing at the drive-thru because you don't waste any cold air while sitting there with your window open

  • Mattel now makes light-up matchbox cars

  • The Chipotle next to McDonalds has seriously put a crimp in McDonalds business
  • Cutting across traffic in an accidentally dangerous manner is best done not in front of a police car

Go Away, Husband

Andy is going camping this weekend with a friend who promises not to talk except when necessary or Andy wants to be talked to (now THAT is a great friend, no?) I can't fully describe how excited Andy is about the trip and I am honestly excited for him.

The farther I get away from despising my role as a parent the more I realize what bad shape I was in back then. This weekend shows me a glimpse of how far I have come because I'm not dreading it. Yes, I have plans out of the house already so that Kevin and I don't get sick of each other but I don't think that negates anything. Even if I didn't have plans out of the house or with other people, I know that I'd survive and wouldn't crumble. That's saying a lot based on how I felt previously.

When Kevin had been with us for about 5 months, I went away for a scrapbooking weekend with some friends. I didn't want to come home. It wasn't that the scrapbooking was so great (I didn't get much done and didn't really like the pages I made) and it wasn't that I wouldn't see all of those friends regularly once we got home... it was just that I didn't want to return to my house and family. My shoulders sagged and my head drooped at the thought of coming home.

In October, I'm going away for another scrapbooking weekend and I expect it will be very different. I expect I'll enjoy being away from the family but that I'll be ok with going back even if I'm not itching to return. And I think that's normal, unlike what I felt before and continue to glide away from as I get more and more used to this thing called parenting.

Enjoy your weekend, Andy. I will enjoy mine.

How To Embarass Your Officemate

Tell him yesterday that the Contract Party scheduled for August 25th is TODAY so that

  • he doesn't bring his lunch

  • when he is in the elevator with his project manager he excitedly says, "So, big contract party today, eh? How do we get there, by bus?" To which his project manager can only reply, "Uh, I don't think that's today... And it'll be in our conference room."


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Email exchange

This morning at work, one of our database servers crashed hard twice. My brother is the system administrator in charge of such things and somebody asked him if he had any idea what was killing the server. His response:

No but Dianne says "she is working on the system" which almost certainly has something to do with this.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

What's up

I'm working in the office 3 days this week to make up for last week's lack of hours at home and my predicted lack of hours from home this week.


I began writing our petition to "re-adopt" Kevin in Maryland. While the US government sees our adoption of Kevin in Guatemala as complete, Maryland does not. We have to file the same petition as someone who is adopting a child domestically. It's another bunch of paperwork and some of the instructions are very confusing but I think it'll be ok. We'll have to go to court after we file the petition but that shouldn't be a big deal. This will allow us to get his Certificate of Citizenship as well as a Maryland birth certificate (much easier to use for entering school, sports programs, etc. Plus if he decides to adopt children, he won't have to jump through extra hoops (hoops, yes - extra hoops, no) to get appropriate paperwork.)


I'm wearing a shirt that says "Summer" on it while covered in a chamois-cloth shirt because it is 68 degrees and windy in my office. [Please, don't write and tell me how your office is so hot and you'd love to have it be 68 degrees and windy where you are - I'm not complaining, I just find my attire ironic.] And I'm drinking hot chocolate. In August.


Andy's sister and her family came to visit this weekend from Missouri. Poor Andrew was sick the whole time - we mostly only saw him between naps while taking medicine for his fever. Kevin warmed up well and had fun playing with his new-to-him family members.


Kevin slept-in the past *4* days - twice past 8:00! I've considered banking on him waking up late but as soon as I get up early to get some work done while he sleeps, I know that he'll get up with me and I'll be nothing but annoyed. We measured him last night in preparation for him to grow an inch in the next month. Why else would he be sleeping more? We can't think of anything that has changed.


A couple of my coworkers went to Big Nerd Ranch two weeks ago and when they returned, we all gathered around them to hear the details. Did you learn much? Was the food good? Were you the only two non-nerds there? [Oh hush, Andy - I and everyone I work with are NOT nerds.]


Andy works for the US Gov't Printing Office at a warehouse in Laurel. It's been officially announced that the warehouse will close. They expect to close it by next summer and while they will offer any employees who don't take the retirement buyout (Andy's old, but not old enough that a retirement buyout would work for him) a position in the downtown DC headquarters, Andy does not plan to work in DC. We're both of the "whatever" mindset at the moment, I suppose for various reasons: 1) he could always work in DC for awhile even though the extended commute would put pressure on both of us, 2) he's got a fair amount of time to look for another job, 3) I could work full-time with benefits to get us through short- or long-term while he could stay home with Kevin, and 4) God will show us the right thing to do and when to do it.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Conversations are great blog posts because they write themselves and I always find them funny (why else would I post them?)

Scene: The dinner table

Dianne (to Kevin): Tell Papa what you did at the playground today.

Kevin (facing straight ahead): I can't hear you talking, I'm trying to eat. (looks at plate and resumes eating)

Papa (to Kevin): Are you already learning selective listening?

Kevin (looking up from food at Andy): Huh?

Papa (to Dianne): You're going to blog about this aren't you?