The Beach (was not like Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie The Beach)

Well. That was… interesting.

Maybe I’ll just do a little exercise in which I throw out keywords that applied to our camping “vacation” and you can draw your own conclusions, yes?

  • Sand
  • More Sand
  • Sand on bodies that precluded the reapplication of sunscreen
  • WIND
  • Tent {see also: ripping from the ground, flying over dunes}
  • Port-a-Potty
  • Wind
  • Wind
  • Sunburn

I think I’m pretty much finished.

Although, kids being kids, the girls had a fantastic time, and I couldn’t get Georgia out of the ocean. She had a complete blast. Adele magically did not get sunburned, so I’m giving myself mom points for that. Also, I’ve never been so dirty in my life. (Well, maybe that time I did Outward Bound after my freshman year of college. I was in an open boat for three weeks. There were no showers. I was stunning after those three weeks, let me tell you.)

In any case, we’re back. Today is G’s last day of school (what? how on earth did that happen?) and then we’re off for the summer. I only have to entertain both kiddos at home by myself for two weeks before we head of to the first of our three road trips this summer (THREE. I WEEP) so I’m steeling myself to be Fun Mom, and not Neurotic Mom, for those two weeks.

I’m really trying to be more go-with-the-flow, but I’ve also realized that my kids do better with scheduled activities, so we’re going to have to find some things to do. It should be an adventure.


Target is my New Nemesis

This morning, I realized that the weather was topping the 90’s and was well on its way to the hundreds (yay, Texas) and hauled Adele and myself to Target to get some of those windshield covers. Do you know what I’m talking about? I needed those things that you pop into your windshield when you’re parked so that the dashboard and the steering wheel are shaded, thereby avoiding third degree burns when you get back in the car. Side note: I strongly feel that the heat is why I’ll never own a car with leather seats in Texas; the idea of all the flesh sizzling off my legs just isn’t all that appealing.

In any case, I walked into Target and found my way to the auto section of the store, and while I saw car seat covers and steering wheel covers and Turtle Wax and evergreen-scented car air fresheners, there weren’t any car shades to be seen. I walked around for a while and finally asked a red shirted Target employee where I might be able to find them. He looked at me with a completely straight face and said ” Oh, we don’t have those right now. We probably won’t get them until summer.” Uh, excuse me?! It’s May 26. It is already 99 degrees at 9:30 in the morning. I AM PRETTY SURE THIS QUALIFIES AS SUMMER. He didn’t laugh or anything after he said it, so I’m pretty sure he was serious. I goggled at him for a minute and then thanked him and walked off; what I really wanted to say was “you and your employer are crazy if you think it’s not summer yet.”

And just to make the point about how hot is actually is, can I tell you what we, as a family, are doing this weekend? Yes. Well. We are going camping. Because we are gluttons for punishment.

No, actually we’re going because Casey really, really wants to, and while I attempted to point out that it might be a little difficult to camp with a mostly-but-not-all-the-complete-way potty trained two and a half year old, he seemed completely undeterred. We’re also driving the 5ish hours to Port Aransas to camp on the beach, so maybe it will be breezy? And the sun might not feel like it’s baking us every minute of the day? And maybe the water won’t feel too bathtub-esque since it’s not yet June? (See how I made myself sound sort of optimistic with all the question marks?) I do think it might be fun, so I’m going to try REALLY hard to remain optimistic, especially since I’m sure the girls can cover the whining if things don’t go as planned. I probably don’t need to join in, or all three of use may get left by the side of the road.

We’re headed out early tomorrow morning with a car full of shovels, pails, snacks, drinks, sunscreen (I’m bringing four tubes and one can of spray sunscreen… overkill for a two day beach trip?), floaties, inner tubes and a tent. I’ll report back with photos and stories. If we make it back in one piece, that is.

Is this thing on?

Um, hello?

Hi there?

Helloooo (echo, echo, echo)?

If a website goes un-updated in the woods and there’s no one around to read it, does it… wait, that’s not right. Moving on!

Things have been happening around here, I guess… nothing of too much note, really, except that thing BIG THING that’s been hanging over our heads is no longer hanging. Earlier this year, Casey applied to take the Foreign Service exam. He did pretty well, and made it through about four rounds of tests/interviews/background tests. Have I mentioned that he speaks Mandarin Chinese? He does. It’s… unexpected, considering his Wisconsin-Texas background. He looks like this when he’s being serious:


And like this when he’s maybe not so serious:

All I’m saying is, Chinese is not the first thing that comes to mind when you meet him.

In any case, a lot of things have sort of been on hold while we waited to get word about the outcome of the tests. If he passed, there was a chance we could be moving. We wouldn’t know whether that would be within the US, or abroad; we didn’t know whether it would be in the fall, next spring or next WEEK, even. (Though considering the hair-tearing angst I just went through to get G into kindergarten, I was really hoping we would be able to stick around at least long enough for me to feel that the angst was worth it.)

He got word on Tuesday that he didn’t make it to the next round, which would have been an in-person interview. He’s disappointed, and I’m disappointed for him; when someone you love wants something really badly, you want it for them too, regardless of whether it would cause your family to move to another continent where you don’t speak the language. I had actually gotten mentally prepared to be the non-Chinese speaking one in the family; I fully expected that the girls would pick it up in about .5 seconds and I would have to rely on my five-year-old to help me do the grocery shopping.

I’m still so proud of him for doing so well, and for making it as far in the process as he did.

You know what this means now, right? Home improvement decisions! I sincerely desire a bathroom larger than the size of a postage stamp! Time to get on that!

In other news, my worlds collided recently because my dad DONE JOINED THE TWITTER. My dad. Twitter. WORLDS COLLIDING BOOM SMASH.

My dad, you see, doesn’t know what a blog IS, as far as I know. He doesn’t know that I (half-assedly) write one, or that I write for Style Lush, or that I have “friends from inside the computer.” I am sure he would be suspicious of most of these items of info. I do have a photoblog of the girls that I maintain (again, not regularly) for friends and family, and he reads that, but that’s about the extent of his/my internet world. My dad’s a very intelligent and funny and up-to-date man (loves his iPhone, plays Words with Friends like a champ) but he’s also very busy and I just never thought something like Twitter would even hold his interest. As of this moment, he is following exactly two people (my cousin and myself) and it may very well stay that way. But, you know, STILL. I don’t even link my Twitter stream to my Facebook because the two are so completely removed from each other. It’s that whole adage of “Facebook is for people you used to know, Twitter is for people you WANT to know” situation. I don’t think I’m hiding anything, or censoring what I say, but it’s just a completely different medium for me. Ah well. Time to become transparent and say “Hi dad! Let me talk to you about blogs.”

So, if you’re reading this… hi, dad. Let me talk to you about blogs.

(Huge thanks to Jennie and her super kind and flattering post from today, which alternately made me tear up and gave me the much-needed kick in the pants to FREAKING WRITE A POST ALREADY. If you aren’t reading Jennie, you really should be. She’s a very large part of the reason I even blog at all. Inspiring, that one.)