Posted by: trublonde | August 3, 2009

Top 40

I just recently returned from 5-night cruise to Bermuda.  I went with 3 college friends, and we had a great time.  We take an annual trip every spring or summer, usually a long weekend, but this year’s gathering called for a much bigger celebration.  During this year, we are all celebrating the dreaded 4-0 birthday, so we knew we had to do it up right.  Unfortunately, half of our group was unable to attend…we hope to see them for next year’s trip!

After returning home, I started to reflect back on the trip (before I started to forget it) and decided to jot down a few of my observations, listed below:

Could it be any windier on deck?

Chickens at the beach…am I the only one who thinks that’s weird?

I can TAKE the picture…

Even at age 40, my friends and I are still dressing alike

I think my memories from college must be made up because no one else remembers them!:)

Snorkeling is a lot of fun, however, the unadvertised benefit of a free colonoscopy prep was not appreciated!

I now know why bears hybernate…sleeping in a cave can be extremely restful

Food tastes much better when cooked and served by someone else

I have a new love affair with fresh fruit and bread & butter

What’s the point of honeydew?

I can live without pizza, chips and peanut butter for a few days

And lastly, no matter how much fun I have getting together and catching up with the girls, I always look forward to going home because there’s no place like home!

Posted by: trublonde | December 13, 2008

She’s my hero…

Last Saturday morning, I drove CC out to the Reston Town Center to participate in the Girls on the Run Reindeer Romp.  It’s a 5k race for girls ages 3rd grade thru 8th grade, and their buddy runners.  The race was “sold out” and there were 5,000 people signed up to participate.  We had to be there at 7:30 (AM), but the race didn’t start until 8:30, and then there was a staggered start.  Needless to say, it was a little chilly.  However, I know I should not complain because it was only cold…it could have been raining, snowing, or windy.

When CC first decided she wanted to participate in this afterschool program, I thought it was a great idea since she would be training 2 days a week after school, it was social, and it was another way for her to work excercise into her routine.  Little did I know that because there are so many participants, each girl runner was required to have a “buddy” runner.  Well, guess who that was going to be…ME!?!  YIKES, I hate running, and I had not done so for a few years after pulling a hamstring in my right leg.  Now what was I going to do?  Well, I started working out and building up a little bit of endurance, and I got so I could run over a mile without stopping, and eventually up to 1.7 miles before I started feeling pain in my ankle.  I figured I better stop training because I didn’t want to do any further damage.

CC ran with a “buddy runner”, and it was for the best.  For one thing, she ran the race in 39.04 minutes, and never stopped to walk.  Had I been able to participate, my goal was to finish in 45 minutes.  Prior to pulling out, I casually asked CC one day after practice whether she was going to wait for me (meaning run slow with me) on the day of the race.  Without missing a beat, she quickly says “I’ll wait for you at the finish line”!!  Can you believe her?!?

I think it is so cool what she has accomplished, and she’s only 10 years old.  She has done more in 10 short years than I have done in almost 40!!  I wish I had been as fearless as she when I was her age.  A lot of people that know me now can’t believe I was not outgoing as a kid…I didn’t really break out of my shell until I went to college.  I guess I just decided that I didn’t care what other people thought of me, and if they didn’t like me…their loss!!  CC has been born with that attitude, and I only hope that she never loses it! 

In addition to running this race, two summers ago she donated 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love.  Again, as a kid, I would have been terrified to cut off that much of my hair.  Not her…she never even flinched…like I said, she’s my hero.

Posted by: trublonde | December 4, 2008

I hope it helps…

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being invited to my friend’s house to participate in a Wii Fit demonstration party.  I really looked forward to the evening because I was very curious to see what all the fuss was over this new game.  I had a blast, and got to meet some really nice people during the demo.  I was very impressed at how the party worked.  All my friend had to do was provide a spot for the three tvs and wiis, and invite friends.  Nintendo provided the equipment, the food, and Wii Fit trainers to show the participants how to play all the different types of games.  I HAD A BLAST!!  And to top off the evening, everyone who attended the event was presented with an outfit just like the trainers were wearing (I just wish I could have the skinny bods to go with the outfit), a yoga mat, and…A FREE WII FIT!!!  That had to be mailed, and it just arrived yesterday.  I could not wait to get started on it, and both of the kids have also gotten into the action. 

Unfortunately, the balance board also acts as a scale, and you take a “body test” prior to training in order to chart progress on weight loss, balance, and BMI.  Well, my BMI is in the “Normal” range, but it could still be lower, and I don’t even want to think about the weight that needs to go.  I knew going in that I need to drop a few pounds, but I didn’t realize how many until last night.  Of course, now my entire family knows, too…GREAT!  So, I will try to update periodically on this blog so I can chart my progress.  Maybe if I publically state my goals, it will make me think twice before digging into all the things I should not be eating.  I will start by saying that I need to lose at least 10 pounds, and I would like for my BMI to go down by about 2 points.  I have given myself 3 months, so we’ll see how it goes.  I plan to get on every weekday morning for about 1/2 hour after my son leaves for school, and before I need to start getting ready for work.  I hit the BIG 4-0 next April, so I hope to obtain the goal by that point…I hope it helps!!  Did I mention that in even though I am not yet 40, my Wii Fit age is 48??  That is another goal that needs to be addressed!

In addition to hosting the in-person Wii Fit demonstration, is also hosting a give-away for a Wii System and a Wii Fit, sponsored by Nintendo.  Just check out her blog to see what you need to do to enter.  You need to hurry since you will need to submit your comments by midnight on 12/4/8.  The field of entrants will be narrowed to 5 on Friday, December 5th, and the final winner will be voted on by the readers, and announced after December 7th. 

Thanks again to mammaloves and Nintendo.  Christmas came early for me this year!!

Posted by: trublonde | September 30, 2008

No snow snow-day

Yesterday was like a snow day for me, except there was no snow.  It was a really weird weather day with it pouring one minute, and sunny the next, all day long.  I never left the house!

Last week was a crazy-busy week, and I was exhausted by the time Friday rolled around.  My entire office moved from one building to another, and that consumed Monday thru Wednesday.  (Have I mentioned how much moving sucks, regardless of how far you are going?!).  What added to the charm of the move was the unfinished construction occuring in the new space, that is currently on-going.  Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending middle school back-to-school night, so I had to find my way around to seven different classes in only 8 minutes between class.  I am happy to report that I made it to every class on time, much to the surprise of Big J.  Thursday night, I hosted one of my Bunco groups, and then collapsed on Friday after work.  I really tried to stay awake for the debates, but I just didn’t have it in me!

Saturday, CC, my husband, and I spent the day at the Home Show.  I had never attended anything like that before, but I had a good time.  CC loved visiting the candy dishes at all the booths, so she just ate her way thru the event.  It was worth it to keep her happy! 🙂  Saturday night, we hung with our friends, and whenever we get together, we always stay out past our bedtime.

So, needless to say, I slept in on Sunday morning, even though I suffered from the church guilts.  I actually had a dream before I woke up that someone from church called me at 7AM and grilled me on why I was not coming to church?  If that’s not a sign from God, I don’t know what is…

The majority of the day was spent in front of this very computer reconciling my checking account.  Can I just tell you how sore my butt was by the end of the day?!?  I guess that is my punishment for putting it off for so long.  As much as I like to stay on top of things like that, it just has not been a priority lately.  Every time I get behind, and then have to spend the marathon session to get caught up, I swear I will never let it happen again, but somehow, I can never keep my promise…what is it with me?  Do I just like to suffer?

Speaking of suffering…I have my annual check-up tomorrow.  YUCK!!!  I will hear the two words that I really dread, as I am sure most women feel the same…”SCOOT DOWN”.  My doctor will also tell me that I need to lose a few pounds…like I don’t already know that.  GREAT!  I am not looking forward to this at all, but at least it’s only once a year.  I would definitely prefer to reconcile the check book…

Posted by: trublonde | September 8, 2008

What summer???

It is the eve of the second week of the new school year, and I am still sitting here in amazement that the kids are already back in school, and I am currently watching Sunday Night Football.  I know I am not alone when I wonder where did summer go?  How could it have flown by soooo quickly?  Our kids here in No. Virginia even got a two day head start due to not using all the built-in snow days during the past school year.

When I first set up this blog, I had all intentions to use it as a journal of sorts, in order to aid my ever-failing memory.  It’s a little difficult when I don’t update it more frequently than once every few months, so I am going to try to improve on that.  With that said, here’s my attempt to recap the summer, as best as I can remember, as the memories are already starting to fade…

My first day of summer began with Big J’s 6th grade graduation.  I was extremely proud that I only welled up a few times during the short ceremony, as I have been known boo hoo at commercials.  I was off the entire following week, and enjoyed a “stay-cation”, as we didn’t travel anywhere out of town.  That weekend was Fathers’ Day, and that was the official kick-off day of post-season baseball, aka All Stars.  For the next two weeks, my husband and son spent a minimum of 3 hours per day practicing for the district tournament, which started the last weekend in June. 

As if stressing over one child’s activities are not enough, CC had her year-end dance recital the weekend after school was out.  She is at a really nice age for dancing, as she’s old enough to do a routine from memory, but still very cute up on stage.  Her group was featured quite a bit during the recital.  She was in four routines, one of which opened the show, and another which closed the show.  It’s stressful for moms at this age since most of the girls need help changing costumes, and none of them can do their hair without help.  Needless to say, there is a lot of running back and forth from the auditorium to the dressing rooms. 

Unfortunately for CC, most of what we did the rest of the summer revolved around baseball, and she was a true champ and supporter for her big brother and his team.  Big J’s team won the district tournament, and that made them eligible to continue on to the state tournament.  During districts, J hit his very first homerun, and mommy was lucky enough to capture the swing on camera.  (I have a very nice digital camera, and I know just enough about how to use it to take pictures…I am usually surprised when I get a good shot).  One of these days, maybe I’ll actually make time to figure out how it really works…what a concept?!?

The state tournament was held in Virginia Beach, but we had to wait two weeks before the start of the tournament.  It was a long two weeks, and I was very worried that the boys would start to lose interest, since all they were doing was practicing everyday…no games.  My worries were needless…the boys went down to the tournament and came in second place in the entire state!  The boys played beautifully, and were such a cohesive group.  They played seven games in seven days, and just ran out of steam at the end.  They displayed great sportsmanship during the awards ceremony after they lost, and I could not have been prouder as a parent. 

I have to admit that I shed a few tears, but more out of happiness for the run this team had, and sad that it was over.  It was such a neat, unique experience to be on “vacation” with about 50 people that you know, that I didn’t want it to end yet.  We had no idea how well the team would do during the tournament…it was double elimination, so in theory, we could have been home in two days, even though we booked the hotel for 8.  I guess it’s a good thing we did that, since we definitely needed all 8 days.  I felt sorry for any other guests that had the misfortune of getting a room on the floor of our hotel.  All the players, parents, and grandparents associated with the team were on the same floor, but there were still room for others.  I would actually apologize to anyone I saw…

Big J’s big moment during the state tournament was hitting a grand slam homerun.  Being the good mom that I am, I saw him hit it over the fence, but I had no idea that the bases were loaded!  CC was actually sick that day, and I was determined to not miss the game.  As soon as she got to the field she got sick, but felt better after that.  However, she kept having “false alarms”, so I was running back and forth between the game and the bathroom.  (Thank GOD the field had “real” bathrooms with AC (did I mention how stinking hot it was?) instead of dons johns)!!!  She had just said to me, “Mommy, I think I need to get sick again”, and mommy of the year said, “can you wait just a minute?  Your brother is up to bat!”  At that point, I was standing right behind home plate, and hadn’t noticed the bases loading up.  The next thing I know, the ball is sent out of the park, and I am jumping around like a fool.  It was not until 10 minutes later that someone mentioned it was a grand slam.  DUH!! 

By the time the state tournament was over, we had been playing and/or practicing everyday for 6 weeks, and it was now the first of August.  We spent the last month getting caught up with life, back-to-school shopping, and watching the Olympics.  Oh, I almost forgot the hours we spent sitting in traffic trying to cross the bay bridge after the fatal truck accident.  We had gone to the Eastern Shore for a wedding, and made the mistake of stopping to shop at the outlets instead of going straight home.  It took us over 3 hours to go 10 miles!

We had a quick 2 night visit to Bethany Beach Labor Day weekend, and the weather was beautiful…and now it is back to reality.  The first week of school went well, and I just hope the enthusiasm continues into the school year.  Big J has started middle school, and I have lived to tell about it.  He really likes it, and of course, CC loves being back in school, and she’s ready to take on 4th grade.  I have already warned her teacher that any day now, she will try to take over the class!!

If the next 11 weeks go by as fast as summer, it will almost be time for Thanksgiving.  Have you started your Christmas shopping yet…???

Posted by: trublonde | June 26, 2008

What if…

What if…he wasn’t the starting pitcher that day?

What if…the center fielder had not made some great diving catches in the second inning?

What if…the catcher had overthrown first base when trying to cover a bunt?

What if…the first baseman had not caught all the balls thrown to get the runners out?

What if…the coach had kept him under 40 pitches to keep him available for another game?

What if…the second baseman had not made an incredible stop to throw out the 18th batter?

What if…I had not been there to witness it myself?

These are all the questions that have been floating around in my head for the last month or so.  I have started to write this post so many times these last few weeks, but never could quite get my thoughts together, not that what I write tonight will do the event justice.

Saturday morning, May 17th, 2008, 3 days after turning 12, Big J did something on the baseball field that just doesn’t happen very often.  I still don’t think I quite grasp the rarity of the feat…HE PITCHED A PERFECT GAME!!!  He faced 18 batters in 6 innings, striking out 10.  He had 2 strikeouts every inning except for the second inning.  The team he faced was a very good team, which included a lot of his classmates.  He’s a good pitcher, but never did I imagine that he could pull this off. 

It’s funny that he and I were talking over breakfast that morning about the possibility of him being the starting pitcher for the game.  He is normally a closer, and usually doesn’t pitch more than two or three innings per outing due to pitch count rules.  He told me he was a little nervous, as he had not started a game all year (the season was about half over at this point).  I told him his job was to go out and throw strikes, and it was my job to be nervous (little did I know how true that would be).  Anyone who knows me, knows how sick to my stomach I am whenever he’s on the mound.  He’s cool as a cucumber, but I’m the nervous wreck!!  Every inning that he came to mound, I kept thinking to myself, “when’s the coach going to end my misery and put someone else in to pitch”??  I was busy visiting with other parents, and my Mom and Aunt happen to come to the game that morning, when their other plans fell thru.  It had not really registered to me that there had not been any base runners up to that point.  It was not until the 4th inning or so, that I heard one of the dads mention that he was “working on a perfect game”. 

That phrase changed my outlook on the game for the remaining three innings.  Not only were the parents in the stands becoming aware of what might happen, word was spreading to other baseball fields.  With each pitch that he threw, the more I sat on the edge of my seat.  (I was so nervous at one point, I broke down and used the port-o-potty, because I just couldn’t stand it any longer).  The game just kept unfolding like the happy ending of a movie.  Something like this just doesn’t happen…until that day.  As soon as the last batter was thrown out at first base, my face went numb, and I couldn’t get my hands to stop shaking.  I know I had tears in my eyes, but I just could not stop smiling!  The son of one of our good friends’ was on the other team, and I think his dad was just as proud as I was…he gave me the biggest bear hug.  The son was bragging about how cool it was to strike out twice during the game…what a great display of sportsmanship.

Even though a month or so has past, I am still looking back on that Saturday morning asking “What if…”  I may not exactly be humble about this event, but Big J still is, partially I think because he doesn’t really get how rare it is to throw a perfect game.  He is still just a regular kid who likes to play baseball…his attitute has not changed one bit.  Sometimes I almost feel bad that the pitcher gets all the credit for such a feat, but this pitcher could not have accomplished it without some great backup in the field.  Almost half of the outs came from great fielding efforts.

Long after the years of little league have past, I hope he will look back on that day with fond memories.  I know I will, but what if…


Posted by: trublonde | May 12, 2008

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Belated Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there.  I feel that I have been blessed with the best kids in the world.  (I hope I am not the only one to feel that way)!!  There are days that I would like to give them back, but for the most part, I am the luckiest mom.  I have to ask myself sometimes “what did I do to deserve such great kids…how did I get so lucky?”  I truly feel I have a great guardian angel looking out for me and my family.

Mother’s Day has dual significance for me, as it falls very close to my first child’s birthday.  “J” will be celebrating his 12th birthday on Wednesday of this week.  I am still in awe that he has grown to be such a sweet young man.  There are days that I want to just freeze him, so I won’t have to face the upcoming rebellious teenage years.  Because he is so sweet, I know it will break my heart when he REALLY starts sassing me and rolling his eyes.  He still sincerely apologizes to me when we have an argument, unlike his younger sister, CC, who just shrugs her shoulders and says “Whatever”.  (Of course, that’s what I love about her).  However, I feel that I hold him to a different standard because he is so genuine and gentle.  (Unfortunately, I can see a lot of girls just walking all over him as he gets older because he is so nice)!!

My Mothers’ Day was very low key.  Believe it or not, my husband managed to be in Vegas for CPE training for most of the prior week, and did not even get home until late afternoon yesterday…just in time for dinner.  (He did bring home a great gift, so it made the trip worthwhile).  CC kept asking me what we were doing for dinner, and I told her we just needed to wait for daddy to get home because I was not planning to cook.  J spent the afternoon at the Nationals game as a guest of one of his friends.  Since it was just the two of us, I had planned to spend the day getting caught up on laundry, cleaning, and bank account reconciliations.  However, I thought better of that idea and spent time playing Wii with her, and napping on the couch.  It was a great day for that since it was cold and rainy. 

We did go out for dinner, and had a good meal.  The kids are at such a great age now, that it’s so easy to eat out without it being a big production.  The booth we sat in backed to a table with 5 or 6 little kids, and all I have to say is that I am glad my kids are out of that stage.  I can not stand when kids turn around and stare at my table, and it REALLY gets on my nerves when they start kicking the booth.  Of course, the loud screams are always enjoyable as well.  Needless to say, I was happy to see that table clear out!

After dinner, we went home and all enjoyed a few rounds of Mario Kart, and then watched the Survivor season finale.  My kind of day!!  The problem is, now that Mothers’ Day is over, the mommy guilts are back because I put all my chores off for another day.  Why can’t they just go away??? 


Posted by: trublonde | April 24, 2008

Gross…and scary

A few years ago we discovered my son, J, has allergies.  He must have gotten that from my husband, because I have never been allergic to anything (except vegetables wink-wink).  I actually took him to an allergist, and she performed the scratch test up and down his arm to determine to what things it is that J is allergic.  Of course, I was petrified that he would be allergic to cats, my favorite animal, or worse, dust.  Dusting is my least favorite chore because as soon as you dust, you need to do it all over again.  I think I would rather clean toilets…but I digress.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, he is allergic to some kinds of trees and grasses.  It’s good in the sense that it’s nothing that I can control in the house, so I don’t have to be an immaculate house keeper, and I didn’t have to give away the family pet.  However, it is bad because he is so miserable this time of year as the pollen makes it way onto the scene.  I could see it floating in the air these past few days. 

During this time his eyes have been getting red and itchy, but we have been able to help him with eye drops, and his nightly Zyrtec.  However, yesterday evening was a whole new ballgame…his left eye did something I’ve never seen before, and I hope to never see again (no pun intended)!!

Instead of his eyelids getting puffy and swollen, the whites of his eye started to swell up like a blister.  Instead if looking bloodshot, the whites were very cloudy looking.  My husband and I started to freak-out a little, as neither of us deal very well with eye issues.  Fortunately, the on-call eye doctor called me back in less than 10 minutes, and he calmed my fears that J would not be going blind, and that we should give him a dose of Benadryl.  I did so immediately, and by the time he went to bed a few hours later, I could already see a difference, even though the eye was still swollen and discolored.   

By giving him the Benadryl, I created a new problem because I then had to worry about a possible drug interaction with his nightly Zyrtec.  I called the 24 hour nurse line offered by our insurance company, and again, my worries were put to rest.  The nurse said not to give him the Zyrtec, and to just stay with the Benadryl thru the morning, and then he could take the Zyrtec tonight, as usual. 

I did not allow J to wear his contacts to school today, and I don’t think I’ll let him tomorrow either.  I think the pollen was getting into his eye, irritating the contacts, and that’s when the trouble started.  The eyes are too precious to mess around, so to me, it’s not worth the risk by wearing the contacts for a few days, just to make sure things are going to be fine.  Of course, try telling that to a sixth grade boy who does not want to go back to wearing glasses to school, even if it’s only for a few days.  The really dilemma comes Thursday night when he is scheduled to pitch during his baseball game.  Does he wear the contacts for the game?  Do I make him go back to wearing the prescription sports goggles he hasn’t worn since last summer?  All of the “what ifs” of parenting…I certainly don’t want to be to blame if he doesn’t pitch well.  I can just hear it now…  “Mommy wouldn’t let me wear my contacts…it’s all her fault”! 

Posted by: trublonde | April 4, 2008

Has it really been that long?

I can’t believe the last time I wrote anything here was March 19th.  If there was anyone actually reading my ramblings, they must be long gone by now.  SORRY!!

 Do you ever feel that you have so much to say that you have nothing to say at all?  I don’t even know where to start with what’s been going on the last few weeks.

 Since I last updated, CC has had another dance competition, (2 in 3 weekends), and J has been having lots of baseball practices and scrimmages.  Opening Day is this coming weekend, but I am beginning to wonder if it will take place since the No. Va. area is supposed to get a ton of rain between tonight, and Saturday.  I would be perfectly happy for the game to be rained out, since I will have to miss it.

This coming weekend is the weekend that my husband and I get to escape to an out of town wedding without our kids.  We have really been looking forward to the time away.  As I said in my last post, 24 hours can really make a difference.  We both need to get away and have a change of scenery.  Not too mention, it will be great to focus on something other than the kids’ activities.  The strange part about this weekend is how many activities have been scheduled, and how many will have to be missed for us to be out of town.  I am not sure if anything else could have been added to the calendar that wasn’t already on it…what is it about the first weekend in April?  Here’s the rundown:

wedding out of town, brother and sister-in-law baby shower, opening day baseball game, make-up bowling session, brownie camping trip, dance workshop, choir practice for upcoming performance for both kids, and who knows what else I am forgetting?!

Funny thing is, once I get back, my Tuesday is just as bad…I have had a commitment to host my Bunco group that night (which I have known about since September or October), and J has his second baseball game, and the second I have to miss…which just kills me!  The kids also have dentist appointments that afternoon right after school, which don’t even start until 4:30!!!  I tried to reschedule those appointments (which I signed up for last October), but the earliest appointment after 4pm was not until July!!  Forget it!!  I will just be stressed to get those teeth cleaned, so I can get home to finish prepping for Bunco.  I guess that is the pros and cons of signing up for your next appointment six months in advance.  There usually isn’t anything on the calendar at the time, but boy does that change so quickly.  It’s like the baseball scheduler knows what days I’ll be the busiest, and that’s when J has a game…Does this happen to anyone else?

I also want to say that I often times take my blessed life for granted.  In the grand scheme of things, I live a charmed life.  I can bitch about scheduling conflicts, but in the long run, I have to remind myself that it’s a good problem.  I am so grateful for my health, and for the good health of my children.  For the last few years, I have followed, from afar, many blogs written by parents of children with cancer.  I can’t imagine what I would do if I were in their shoes for even a minute.  These people are some of the strongest and most faithful, and I only hope I can learn from their example to not take one second of one day for granted.  I can honestly say that after reading one of their updates, I come home and hug my children longer than I normally do, and I almost ache for them to get off the bus.  I am so lucky to be the mom of my kids, and I often wonder how I was chosen to be their mom.  What did I do to deserve my two precious gifts?  After my little fits with them tonight (I yelled at each of them for different reasons) I wonder why I continue to be so lucky.  My husband is out of town for the night, and this always seems to happen when he’s away…why is that?  Do the kids act differently when he’s gone, or is it me?  There is always an edge, and I never can explain why.

Sorry this has just taken so many twists and turns.  Like I said earlier, I have so much to say, but nothing to say at all.  Thanks for listening tonight!

Posted by: trublonde | March 19, 2008

What a difference 24 hours makes…

Beginning last Friday, our kids began their annual spring break.  Because we went to Disney back in January, we are staying home for the week, and the kids are attending camps at a local Rec center.  Disney in January is cheaper and less crowded (or so we thought), and I will be posting some highlights soon.

This past weekend my daughter’s dance group traveled to the Eastern Shore to perform in a competition Sunday morning.  We didn’t have to be at the location until 9am, so we could have easily gotten up and driven that morning since we only live a little more than an hour away.  Last year was the first year she competed, and we stayed in a hotel near the competition site since we had to be there as early as 8am, and didn’t want to take any chances on being late/getting lost/having car troubles, etc.  We had so much fun last year, we decided to stay over again this year. 

We left on Saturday afternoon, after my husband and son had baseball practice, and arrived at the hotel around 3pm.  Fortunately, the hotel is located about 10 minutes from a Prime Outlets shopping center, and basically across the street from a few really good seafood restaurants.  We spent the afternoon shopping, and then rounded up a few of the other dancers and moms and headed to dinner around 6:30.  The kids did really well shopping, even though we were there over three hours.  They both got to buy some books, and they each got well needed new sneakers.  They also got rewarded with treats from Harry and David, so that always helps!

For dinner, we had a party of 10.  Four moms, four dancers, my husband and son.  Not a bad ratio for either of them!  I ate a lot of fried food, as I just love crab cakes, onion rings, and hush puppies.  I don’t normally eat that poorly, but I was on vacation, and I at least started off with a garden salad.  (Who says I don’t like veggies)??  The atmosphere was totally casual and very festive since it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and there were multiple basketball games on for the pre-NCAA tournament. 

I think the best part of all was that we had nothing else to do!  There was absolutely no rush.  How often do you get the chance to just sit back, relax, and totally enjoy the moment without having to worry about rushing off to some other event?  The only thing we had left to do was to head back to the hotel, get ready for bed, and read/watch TV.  It was so nice not worring about what I was not getting done at home (BTW, I still have not done my taxes yet…shocker)!!!

Of course, the worrying for me began very early Sunday morning.  I woke up way before the 6am alarm, since I was afraid of oversleeping.  CC also woke up early, as she was very eager to get her game face (I mean make-up) on for the competition.  Two of the other moms had rooms on either side of ours, so we were back and forth helping each other with hair and make-up.  My friend is great with getting CC’s hair up in a tight ponytail, especially since she uses that “glue” stuff to make it all stay in place.  I helped her daughter, TW,  with make-up, since she doesn’t like to wear it.  This brings me to the big drama of the weekend…

CC’s friend, TW, had been complaining at dinner that her stomach hurt.  Her mom didn’t really pay too much attention since she thought it might just be nerves.  Well, guess what?!  She wasn’t kidding!!!  In the middle of the night TW started throwing up!!  GREAT!!  She continued to throw up after breakfast.  She even threw up in the car on the way from the hotel to the competition.  Now what?  TW’s mom was convinced that she was not going to perform, as you could just take one look at her and tell that she felt like crap.  However, what do you say to a nine year old that has just spent the past few months working hard to learn and perfect this routine that she now can not perform as part of the group.  Not to mention, the dance instructor only had about half an hour to figure out how to make the routine work without one of the dancers!!  Plus, the girls are not experienced enough to figure out how to pretend that she’s not there.  So what happened…she pulled thru and went out on stage with the rest of the team and performed.  I think everyone that knew how terrible she felt was holding their breath for her to get through the performance with out tossing her cookies on stage.  CC asked my husband and me what to do if she got sick on stage…being the smart alecks that we are, we told her not to step in it!  Nice, right?!?

I was quite impressed at how well all the girls performed and they looked great on stage.  They were not perfect, but they performed their hearts out, and had fun.  We had seen them practice the routine a number of times at the studio, but until I saw them on stage, I really could not appreciate the choreography because I was always so close and basically eye to eye with the dancers.  Once I saw it from a distance, it looked so much better.  I was a nervous wreck, and I noticed that my hand was shaking even after they got off stage.  Their performance was #14 of 34, so we had 20 more routines to wait thru before we got the results.  The girls were awarded a gold medal, and they tied for second overall high score for their age group.  Congrats, girls!!  Not bad considering they didn’t even start practicing until January, and one of the dancers was sick as a dog.  Many of the other groups in the competition had been working since last July!!

After the awards ceremony, we headed out and stopped for lunch on the way.  We arrived home about 24 hours after leaving, and it really felt like we had been gone a lot longer.  The best part about that was we didn’t have too much to unpack, and we had done most of the laundry prior to the trip.  We still had a good portion of the day to accomplish things we needed to do.  But why start then?

We had a great “mini” vacation, and I definitely think we need to take little trips like that more often.  Fortunately, my husband and I have an upcoming out of town wedding in a few weeks.  This time, we will be traveling without the kids…I have a feeling we will be spending that 24 hours a little differently this time…hmmm!

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