...I have a guest lister this week. Midshipman 4/C Kenneth Kurz at the United States Naval Academy. Or, Ken, my husband, almost 20 years ago.
(Yes, he ate all that food. And at the time, I'm guessing he weighed close to 120 pounds).
Ken wrote this list to Midshipman 2/C John Collins. And yesterday, a little shy of 19 years to the day, we watched Commander John Collins take command of his very own squadron.
That's one of my dearest friends in the whole world, Laura, up there with John. We are also the god parents to their son, Jack. I bet when 4/C Midshipman Kurz wrote that list to 2/C Midshipman Collins, he never imagined we would be sitting there yesterday, watching this. Well, he was probably too busy with a stomach ache.
...I know some people say there's nothing better than a baby's laughter. Charlie's Zyrtec video is proof of that. But I've found something even better. A brother and a sister, laughing together, hysterically.
They had just finished a beautiful rendition of I've Been Working on the Railroad. The cackle belongs to Clara. The messy house belongs to me.
...My birthday gift to Ken (back in February) was tickets to the Orioles versus Indians game last weekend (Ken grew up in Cleveland, and since we are all gluttons for punishment, we've all become Ohio sports fans. They never fail to amaze disappoint us).
The kids were remarkably into it, considering it was about 120 degrees in the sun. At least the Orioles fans behaved themselves and no one threw a hot dog at us. Charlie particularly enjoyed all the clapping. Clara particularly enjoyed all the food.
At the bottom of the sixth, we were all done (including the Indians).
In all honesty, the train ride to and from the game was probably the highlight of both kiddos days.
...We'll call this one "What you do when your husband, 50 percent of your manpower, is gone for six whole days and six whole nights."
1. You rise before the sun, before the children, before the dog to prepare yourself for the day ahead
2. You try to follow the rule of new parenthood to, "Nap when they nap." But instead of napping you spend 45 minutes laying in bed thinking about all you could have accomplished with those precious 45 minutes. You fall asleep five minutes before you hear your child screaming, with drool down your chin and sheet marks across your forehead. It was a hard five minutes.
3. You try to explain the difference between Gracie and Charmer to a friend when it finally hits you: Charmer was a person. Gracie is a dog. Charmer never liked other dogs, Gracie does. Charmer never chased her tail. Gracie does this to find her tail (she swears it's in there somewhere):
4. You take snapshots and send a ridiculous amount of pictures to your husband. This is not meant as a guilt trip. At all.
5. You take your kids to swimming and send ridiculous amounts of videos to your husband. This is not meant as a guilt trip. At all.
6. You write lists, cross things off, get things done.
7. The highlight of your week is not successfully single parenting two children, keeping the dog alive, and not setting the house on fire, or planning one of your biggest work events, or turning 35, but rather when your local farmer's "Our Tomatoes" sign pops up on Wednesday. Let the cheese and tomato sandwich season begin.
8. You spy on your little boy visiting Kindergarten. Kindergarten.
10. You rejoice when your little family reunites to celebrate the success of Team Mustache and all those who supported us.
...I decided to take the kids to see the Blue Angels demonstration today at the Naval Academy. I made the eight-mile march uphill pushing my ghetto double stroller (a single BOB that Charlie sits on the front of) to the best vantage point (and the VIP tent we were invited to, but my kids do not appreciate VIP-ness). They happily snacked along the water.
...we took photos in the photo booth (Charlie is wearing a lacrosse helmet):
...And then the skies fell (or, more accurately, the demonstration started). I knew it was going to be loud, I've been before, and I showed the kids videos on YouTube last night of how loud it was. But yeah, nothing prepares you for it, really.
I literally couldn't walk my ghetto double stroller back down that fifteen-mile hill fast enough.
(That's Clara cowered in the back, scrunched into the corner with her lovey covering her ear). When we finally got to the end of the twenty-mile walk to the car, she jumped out of that stroller and as luck would have it, four of the angels went screeching overhead at that very moment. I swear she almost went back into the womb.
The funny thing is, for the rest of the day the two of them couldn't stop talking about it. They want to go again, but bring the headphones they wear on the riding mower. Go figure. Maybe I didn't permanently damage them after all.
...Charlie (and Clara, who was not interested) started swimming lessons this afternoon. When we first arrived, the instructor had the kids all sit in a circle and she wanted them to answer three questions: their name, their age, and their favorite flavor of ice cream.
I'm sure I did a sharp inhale from the bleachers. These situations always make me nervous. It's happened before when I've seen a teacher in a group setting struggle to understand him, to feel embarrassed that they don't understand him. Then it came to Charlie's turn. "Charlie. Five. Chocolate," he said. They moved on to the next child. "They understood him" I whispered to my friend Erin. They understood him.
We have a little more than a week to raise $500 for Team Mustache. I hope you'll consider helping.