Saturday, August 27, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes and Flooding, oh my!!

Its been quite the week here at Chez Mominator, and the worst is yet to come.

We had our little Earthquake, Hubby's building shook and they were sent home, and Hubby had a wait (just a little) while Amtrak fixed their schedule. No biggie for us.

We now have Hurricane Irene with her eye on us. Unfortunately, quite literally.

Were lucky our town has a very pro-active Office of Emergency Management which has been issuing regular updates on the web and on our phones. About 1/3 to 1/2 of our town is under official MANDATORY evacuation orders, including the low-lying streets near the rivers, the lake, and the pond, although not our street. We are 1.5 miles from the shore and close to the water tower, which is the highest elevation in town.

Still, were expecting high winds, heavy rain, flooding, downed trees and power lines, and prolonged power outages. Gadget Guy & I are expecting some flooding in our yard and possibly the basement, plus a few hours of loss of power. Lets hope the sump pump can keep pace with the water.

Were stocked up and hunkered down. We all have suitcases packed if we need to evac quickly. If the projection for power loss is for days, well head west.

We, of course, postponed Princess Imaginations sleepover birthday party, scheduled for tonight. She turns 10 tomorrow. There were many tears, but shes feeling better now.

Bumblebee is really wound up and having a tough time. Hes couped up in the house, his rountine is off and there is as much stress as humidity in the air. It’s going to be a looooooooooong night.

Water is already ponding (isnt that a stupid word?) in the backyard. Its about 9:45 now, and they are expecting the worst for us around 6:00 AM. Lord, please watch over the East Coast.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spiders and showers

We try to live in harmony with Nature.

We think Ladybugs are lucky (especially for our plants). We enjoy watching fireflies and listening to crickets on summer evenings. We were awe-struck when a cicada emerged from its shell. We were very protective of the praying mantis that visited our porch for a week. Our favorite room at the Musuem was where real live butterflies landed on our children.

We are insects best advocates. We rescue earthworms from sidewalks where they could get squashed and move them to safer ground. Ants marching around outside are stepped over not on. Spiders visiting our house are gently captured and released back into the wild.

Yes, we are a very bug-tolerant family.

So imagine my remorse over the past several weeks, as I have unintentionally killed several spiders. These spiders have insisted on joining me in the shower. I close my eyes when I shower, because there is soap, shampoo, and conditioner involved. And there is water. Lots of water.

So Charlotte, please dont join me in the shower. You will be poisoned and drowned. I’m really sorry. I just can’t help it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer rewind

Today is the last day of camp for our last camper. School starts September 1 for Bumblebee, September 7 for the girls.

Bumblebee, the Pink Ballerina, and Princess Imagination have all enjoyed their camps. They had tons of fun swimming every day, playing sports, doing crafts, taking numerous field trips, and making new friends. Items left at home, such as swim stuff (Bumblebee, twice), or lunches (Princess Imagination, twice) were found and brought back to camp by Mom soon enough to prevent emotional trauma. Items left at camp (towels and lunch boxes, both) were recovered by campers and brought back home soon enough to prevent Mommy anger. We finished the camps with the full complement of swim suits, towels, lunch boxes, and even children, as when we started. There were no broken bones, no lacerations, no lost/misplaced children, only a few very mild sunburns (our Pink Ballerina turned red), and one sprained ankle (also the Pink Ballerina).

Along the way, the library and book store were visited and many books were read. The Pink Ballerina finished her required school reading the first week off from school. Princess Imagination just finished her book and her first draft of her report.

The Mominator even had a few precious hours to herself on camp days so she could do things like (grocery shopping and laundry) (watch TrueBlood on demand and White Collar on hulu) take Yoga classes and exercise, as well as teach crochet classes for the Guild.

Hubby recently changed jobs, so he had no vacation this summer. Instead, we have been having a staycation. We have been on some day trips together. My personal favorites were the trip to the Museum of National Sciences in Philly (where real live butterflies landed on our children), and canoeing on Shark River. We’ve gone to several movies, yes, In The Theaters$$ (Maude, forgive me), and bought other DVDs to enjoy at home. We've sat on the porch, watching the fireflies, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, and listening to the crickets. Also, hubby feels that staycation includes going to restaurants. Frequently. Love that man!!

It was, indeed, a very good summer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The earth moved, apparently

Yesterday was an average day at Chez Mominator:
Bumblebee was playing a Transformer game on his DS.
The Pink Ballerina was texting me that she was bored at camp.
Princess Imagination was looking up Karate classes on the computer.

My chair wobbled as I was working on the computer. Now that was odd. Did I just lose my balance? Silly me! I’m sitting in a chair, my feet on the floor, and my hands on the desk! How could I possibly lose my balance?

Moments later I seriously wobbled again. I felt tipsy, and wondered if I was getting drunk. Silly me again!! The strongest thing I had to drink all day was chocolate milk!

I looked around. All seemed fine, although the ribbon on my desk was moving gently.
My children were still wrapped up in their respective activities. Life went on.

About a half hour later Gadget Guy called. There was an earthquake. Are you all OK? His building in Philly shook and they were evacuated as a precaution. His co-workers could see neighboring building sway. They were allowed back in the building briefly to collect their belongings. They’re being sent home for the day while the building is inspected for damage. He’s been trying to call me for 30 minutes, but the cell lines were all tied up. He’s waiting at the train station, but the trains are delayed out of DC, and delaying all other lines as well. He’s fine, and he’ll get home when he can.

Later, I gathered up Bumblee and Princess Imagination to pick up the Pink Ballerina and Best Friend from camp. I told all four about the Earthquake. An Earthquake? We had an Earthquake and we totally missed it! Bummer.

Thank you, God. That was plenty enough of an earthquake for me.

In search of the perfect Dojo

Princess Imagination has decided that she wants to learn “Karate” (she doesn’t know the difference between the various martial arts, so we just call it Karate for now). We found 3 martial arts dojos that are within 10 miles of our home.

The first Dojo was Mixed Martial Arts school that featured Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We happened to have walked in between classes. There were two instructors present, as well as lots of sweat and testosterone. The manager was nice and all, but we didn’t seem to belong. Plus, there were numerous tattoos where there should have been shirts.

The second Dojo was a Karate school. The owner was pleasant on the phone. When we arrived, he answered my questions about classes and pricing. He wasn’t as interested in answering Princess Imagination’s questions. At one point he asked her if she has an “off” switch. That was when I started thinking that his “polite” switch got turned off.

The third Dojo was a Tae Kwon Do school. The Master showed us around. We let the children play on the mat for a few minutes while we discussed classes, prices, and my children. The Master then spent some time with each of my children, having them kick and punch his special sparring gloves. He gently corrected their techniques, and was very encouraging. The children were all excited. “Did you see how high I kicked?” was the recurring refrain. He also taught them a few rules of the Dojo, including showing respect for teachers and parents.

Princess Imagination selected the third Dojo. That’s my girl!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Welcome to the Mominator Chronicles

Were just an average family, in a fairly small town. Were very active in our Church, in our school, and in the community.

Im the Mominator, although I dont remember how I earned that moniker. Maybe thats because I wear so many hats: the usual ones, wife and mom, plus those associated hats such as class mom and Girl Scout leader; plus a few unusual ones such as musician, Eucharistic Minister, Childrens Liturgy Leader, and president of the Guild. There may be a few more hats that Im forgetting.

My wonderful husband is a kind, gentle, sweet, modest man and a totally amazing father. He has a rich, deep faith which he shares by being a Childrens Liturgy Leader. Hes probably such a great father because hes still has a little kid inside him. His inner Kid is full of joy and innocence, not the bratty, immature man-kid we often see in sit-coms. But what people seem to notice the most is that he takes technology further. On any given day, he uses 2 computers (plus 2 virtual machines (I don’t understand that either)), 1 touchpad, 4 cell phones (including 1 Blackberry), and 5 email addresses. He could out-MacGyver MacGyver. He is our Gadget Guy.

Our eldest and only son is Bumblebee, who loves all things Transformers. He rides his bike all over town (and always wearing his helmet). He sees the world a little differently than most of us. Making friends is hard for him. He’s on the autistic spectrum.

Our older daughter is the Pink Ballerina. She is incredibly smart, a High Honors student, a member of the National Jr. Honor Society, as well as in Gifted & Talented classes. Shes strong, and fragile. Watching her grow up is like watching a mini-me, although she does all things dance, whereas I did all things music.

Our younger daughter, the tiebreaker, is Princess Imagination. She can make dolls out of facial tissue. Her dolls travel and have adventures, and have been to more places than most of us can dream about in a lifetime. This is all accomplished before she goes to school in the morning.