Monday, June 28, 2010

Random Photos of the Drop off Day

Loyal Readers, it was a very long drive to camp. We picked Kate up along the way - she took a bus from NY. Fortunately, my driving sometimes makes my husband nervous, so he tends to like to drive. Here he is, steady behind the wheel in his extra cool sunglasses.

Here's the intrepid Katie, smart in her very cool jacket we picked out together on my last trip to Manhattan. I don't know what we would have done without her on this trip.

And, there's Jack, in his traveling get up, wondering what is in store for him at camp.

Here's Jack again, showing his nervous excitement as we approach the camp road. I was busy mentally stopping my full blown anxiety attack at that time.

This photo is of the area where the boys can congregate during free time. And, last but not least, a photo of Jack (choking back tears of terror) and one of his counsellors, Dustin, and his new friend who couldn't be any funnier and cuter. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

We dropped Jack off at camp earlier today. He was nervous but brave. I am beyond proud of him.

Photos to follow. I'm heading down to the fancy indoor pool at the fancy resort we're in to do some lap swimming.

Then, I might have a martini or two.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep-Away Camp (Part 4)

Here's a picture of Jack with his house of cards a couple weeks ago.

Tonight is our last night at home before leaving to take Jack to camp, Loyal Readers. (!!!!!)

We depart tomorrow after Chris gets out of work. Jack is ready - as ready as anyone his age could be for this sort of adventure. His sisters keep calling to answer his questions and give him advice. It's very sweet. I can't remember whether I mentioned this before, so bear with me, but both Kate and Meg went to this camp for years and then became counsellors. So did Phil, Kate's husband. It's so cool that Jack can have this experience in common with them.

After we drop Jack, we will go to the Sagamore for a day of pampering and relaxation and then on to Montreal and Ottawa for the first vacation we've had without Jack since we had that lovely week in Cleveland when Chris's heart was opened and repaired. I don't think that counts as a vacation, especially for my husband.

Well, I am off to bed. More updates to come.

A Thought Provoking and Entertaining Video

Thanks to Nancy DeKraker for sharing this with me. It provided a welcome distraction from camp prep and convinced me that sending Jack to a four week electronic moratorium is probably good for his little brain...

Click Here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep-Away Camp (Part 3)

Here is my gorgeous son in his Cardinal Stage Company T shirt. (Don't miss their current show, Loyal Readers. It's nearly a sell out, so get your tickets now!)

This picture was taken earlier this evening. Jack is having (yet another) sleep-over party. I tried very hard not to get talked into this one, but this week he is really milking the "Mommy, I'm going to camp for four weeks....pleeeeeeeaseeee...." and I find myself either too lazy or too weak to put up the good fight. The upstairs AC is on the blink, so the poor dears might roast a bit tonight when they go to bed, but the way I see it, it is just a little taste of their parents' childhoods for them. (I roasted for years in my bedroom in my childhood home only to have my parents buy an air conditioning unit for it when I left for college. What was that about? Oh! Sorry. That's a question for my therapist, not my beloved Loyal Ones.)

I just finished packing up most of Jack's clothing and miscellany into his camp trunk and will finish the job tomorrow. There is only one little crisis and that is the matter of jeans. The camp recommends that I pack 3 pair for Jack but the kid abhors jeans and can't find a pair that feels comfortable even though I've brought home over a dozen styles for him to try. I am the queen of returns, believe me.) I shall pack cargo pants in lieu of jeans and hope that they provide enough of a barrier against the mosquitoes at camp fire. If not, there's always DEET.
Sometimes chemical warfare is what it takes.

I'm off to herd the little guys into bed and get them to settle down. And then, I'm off to bed myself. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep-Away Camp (Part 2.5)

This is a picture of my new PF Flyers. I love them. No. I LOVE them.

Now, on to our Summer Camp Preparedness Update.

I was just about to begin photographing each item I am packing for Jack for use in a pictorial inventory of his stuff. I intended to tape the inventory to the inside of his camp trunk so that when he packed to come home he could know what he should be packing.

(I am pausing here so you can get over your hysterical laughter at such a ridiculous over the top obsessive notion.)

A special thanks goes out to my friend Jenny for intervening and giving me some tough love. She talked me down from this ledge and now I am happy to report that I shall just throw said items into said trunk with careless abandon and make myself a cocktail.

More later.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep Away Camp - Part 2

Here is your BloomingtonGirl with her son holding a turtle. This was taken at the Grand Cayman Turtle Farm last month. The photo has nothing to do with my post today. I just thought I would share it.

Today, I continued to get my kid ready for sleep away camp. Mostly I gathered the outstanding items he needs and listened to him grouse while he tried them on. It's clear to me that we are both anxious about camp, but we pretend that we aren't. I think that my husband is a little anxious as well but he has a policy, something to the effect that discussing anxiety provoking topics worsens one's anxiety and leads to thinking of all the things that might not go so well.

Believe it or not, I'm with him on this one, and I think that the proper way to go is to put one foot in front of the other without too much thought.

In that spirit, I am going to bed to read something that has nothing to do with summer camps.


Susan, Lauren and I at the somewhat strangely decorated Sweet Grass Restaurant. The food is quite good - a little on the southern fried heavy side, but tasty.

Now, back to packing for camp. More on that later.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting My Kid Ready for Sleep-Away Camp (Part 1)

Loyal Readers, at left is a summer portrait of your Bloomingtongirl, freckled and fretting, fraught with anxiety about sending her son to sleep-away camp for the first time ever. And below, are photos of the fruits of my organizational and personalization efforts. I've labeled every item that he is taking to camp with his name, but I am sure that the return percentage will be 50% or less. That's how it went with the girls, anyway. (On the flips side of that, they did bring home other kids' stuff to make up for their losses - namely a Today Show Beach Towel that fell apart only last year and a pair of shorts from some boy camper that I wore until recently (when the five pounds I've gained made the wearing ever so uncomfy, but I digress.)

I am certain that the question on my Loyal Readers' minds is, "How is BloomingtonGirl coping with the upcoming separation?" Loyal Readers, I will tell you the honest truth, as I always do. I'd like to be able to say that I am breezing right through this week, without a worry about how Jack will do during his four weeks of relative independent adventure. But alas, I cannot say that. I wake up every night, right about three AM with a pit in my stomach - also known as separation anxiety. It isn't a rational thing - I know. I think Jack will succeed at camp and do well and have a great time. I believe that this is the right time for him to try this out for a million reasons, many of which just came clear over the last several weeks. Sure, he'll get homesick and have normal tough adjustment period, etc., but I really feel that overall this will be a game changer for him. The anxiety is a completely irrational and visceral feeling that I cannot explain. I'm glad that I feel such attachment for my (sometimes maddeningly difficult) son. It reassures me that I do have a maternal instinct somewhere inside... ;D

In other news, there isn't much other news. I'll keep you posted when there is, of course. I'm off to bed for a few hours before I wake up with the sharp intake of breath and the sense of panic at 3AM. If it's okay to call you at that time, just post a comment with your phone number and I'll give you a ring.

Nighty Night.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Forget Overpriced Designer Lighting...

Loyal Readers, I was recently at the home of one of Jack's classmates. This family had just completed a most thoughtful and excellent remodel of their first floor. Their contractor suggested that they design and put together their own lighting fixture to illuminate the kitchen island, which the family also designed and built. (Yes, they are way cooler than we are, I know.) Anyway, I absolutely fell in love with this light fixture. The picture does not do it justice. It is rustic and modern and quirky all at once. The wood beam was salvaged from a Pauley's Island Hammock the couple was given for their wedding. Everything else was picked up at the hardware store for minimal cost. I am considering being a shameless copycat and putting together one for over our pool table or over our kitchen table.

Jack surprised me again today by saying that he is "excited about going to camp." I still cannot believe he wants to do this, but I'm going with it. It occurred to me today that this separation might be harder for me than for him. The fates say "Hah! Joni McGary. " Motherhood is the funniest combination of wanting to run away from it all and loving your kid so much you think you'll burst. Call me crazy. I can take it.

I did a workout yesterday on a rowing machine and followed it up with a swim, only to find that I had made my neck quite stiff as a result. By the evening, I was in minor agony and this morning it wasn't much better. I booked a massage with a person who was recommended to me by the most fit woman on the planet ( it is hard not to hate her, I admit it). This massage therapist worked me over like I was a piece of meat in need of tenderizing. It hurt in the hurts- so-good kind of way. I have been looking for a good deep tissue massage therapist and I think my search has ended. Her name is Marisa and she works at Hair Techniques on Liberty Drive. She used to be in the Army before she went to massage school. She's tiny and far stronger than she looks. I can't recommend her enough for you athletic types out there.

In other news, I am in the thick of what I hope will be my final re-write for Over the Moon. It is time to start my new play and put that one in the drawer for awhile. I'm waiting to hear on one or two more workshops and that will be it for awhile for that piece.

I'm off to bed, Loyal Ones. Sweet Dreams.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Exciting News for a Fellow Sewanee Writer, Channeling Dorothy & Twelve More Days

First of all, your BloomingtonGirl extends her most joyous congratulations to fellow Sewanee writer, John Reimringer! Publishers Weekly has chosen his new novel, Vestments, as their pick of the week and given it a starred review. I've preordered my copy. I got a brief preview at Sewanee last summer and can't wait to read all of it. You can order yours on Amazon.

Read the Publishers Weekly Review HERE.

And, just so you know, this success couldn't be happening to a nicer guy.

Now, on to your BloomingtonGirl's far less exciting stuff. Earlier this evening, I was secured in our basement, waiting out this evening's Tornado Warning in our little corner of the heartland. Now, as I write, the front and back yards are bathed in an otherworldly, post storm golden hue. There are two large rainbows to our East. We get some big (and fast changing) weather in these here parts.

Now, there is a (relatively) gentle thunderstorm rumbling outside my window, providing uneasy background music for my writing. Worry not, Loyal Ones. I'm wireless and not on line as I write this. I didn't used to be this cautious but once your house gets hit, you realize it can happen to you. It goes without saying that I don't shower during a storm, but sometimes, I'm even afraid to go to the bathroom when lightning is striking nearby. (Think of the possibility of an electrical arc straight from the toilet to your BloomingtonGirl's unmentionable lady parts! And what a problematic obituary. Cause of death? Oh! The indignity!)

In other news, there are just twelve more days before we take Jack to four weeks of sleep-away camp in New York. What? Did you read that right? Indeed you did, Loyal Ones. I know! I am as shocked as you are, believe me. We have been planning for Jack to go to this particular camp since he first visited it when he was in utero when we drove his older sisters to their second year of camp. Both of our girls attended for years and loved it enough to become counsellors. This is a stellar camp and if you'd like the particulars of it for your younguns, just email me and I'll send them along.

We originally thought we'd send Jack for two weeks, this year but his sisters recommended strongly that he commit to the four week session. There were many good reasons, so we did. The most astounding thing is that Jack is completely on board with it and looking forward to going. I think that it has the potential to be a game changer for him. It's possible that he will completely hate it and be overwhelmed with home sickness, but I think it's more likely he'll move through his discomforts and come out on the other side to have a GREAT time. Keep your fingers crossed, Loyal Ones, and I will keep you posted.

Well, I'm off to read and get some shut eye. We're up early tomorrow for a 7 AM (what was I thinking??) orthodontist appointment.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

God Save the Queen

How fabulous is this, Loyal Readers? I just love Queen Liz. You just might spot me wearing this bag in the fall, so stay tuned.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

My New Favorite China Pattern

Available at

No Mom Award...Continued

Loyal Readers, please phone the appropriate authorities to come to my home and straight jacket me and take me away. I agreed to have three of Jack's friends for an overnight this evening and an hour into the trip, we are experiencing turbulence. This is a group of four, three of whom have very strong personalities, each in conflict with the other. The fourth is the easiest kid in the world. He gets along with everyone. What would that be like, I wonder?

Anyway, the pizza was just delivered and maybe consumption will soothe the savage beasts. If not, they are all going home after dessert. I didn't sign a contract with the parents that I'd keep them all night.

I'm thinking about having an MRI to see if I was born without a maternal instinct. Where is it located? Would it show up? I'd ask my husband but, (lucky him), he's at work tonight.

Is it wrong to sedate other people's children? If it's illegal, I hope one of my Loyal Readers will bail me out of jail later.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Super Mom Award! NOT ME

No, no, Loyal Readers! Your BloomingtonGirl is not the recipient of the Super Mom Award. She's not even close, doesn't have a chance to be in the running, wouldn't be considered if she were the last reproductive woman on the planet.

As you might surmise, I've had a day of it with my kid. I say black, he says white and he's only 9. This should not be a surprise to me since he's been largely this way for years now. I'm starting to truly believe that they come out of the chute who they are. What we as parents do or don't do may very well be of little consequence. (So, why not send their impertinent asses off to military school while they're still young and no homicides have been committed?)

I know there are moms out there - I know this - that don't bat an eyelash when their kids resist cleaning up, doing a chore...etc. Those women (they are my idols) just toe the line. Their kids will do what's asked, period. If they balk, so what. Me? I just cannot stomach the resistance. It isn't that I feel guilty for asking Jack to do something or that I think he shouldn't have to do such tasks. I just get so disgusted and angry about any fuss he puts up - and it is often considerable and relentless - that I feel that I can go one of two ways. I could beat the ever loving crap out of him or I could cave and say, never mind. Since the former will put me in trouble with the law, screw up my kid mentally and physically (I have a huge temper), while the latter will only do subtle (albeit lasting) damage to my child, I often just go with the latter. I do know better. Really, I do. But I CANNOT STAND TO ARGUE WITH HIM AND HE DOES NOT STOP. SERIOUSLY. DOES NOT STOP. Even after I stop, he keeps going. He can't stand to win or lose and even when I let him have the last word, he has more to say. It's something. (I know, I know. He is a little version of me. It is painful. I'm sorry Mom and Dad. Truly. I don't know how you didn't just throw me in front of a truck on the New York Thruway.)

If you had told me I would be this kind of a crappy parent before Jack was a glimmer in my eye, I would have been offended. But, the truth hurts. And the truth is, I have no business on some days being a mother. The problem is, I don't get to skip those days. And they tend to happen when it's just Jack and me...all the live-long day.

But, as Scarlett so aptly said, Tomorrow is another day. And, Loyal Readers, I intend to start fresh in the morning give it my best try. I will be patient and gentle, yet firm and consistent. I will be supportive and provide many opportunities for my child to be appropriately challenged and to develop his character. I will toe the line when necessary without once raising my voice. I will be June Cleaver. I will wear a circle skirt and pearls and when working in the kitchen, the ever so lovely apron.

And pigs will fly. Keep your eyes out for them.