Alive. Ish.

So behind. What else is new?

The last month has been HARD. Really great, but HARD. School started a month ago today. Ursula has a wonderful teacher who is new to the school. We are really happy, but 5th grade has been stressful. More so for me than her – lots of changes at the school, trying to step back from some of my PTA roles and hand over some responsibilities as I prepare to leave (what?), thinking about middle school. Transitioning to a longer dance schedule. It’s been a LOT.

This week is much calmer, so I am hoping things are on the upswing. I have a new MacBook (yay!) – blogging from bed with a laptop with decent battery life is like a MIRACLE! Dan is out-of-town seeing one of his favorite bands in concert, Trixie and I are hanging.

I’m going to try to toss up some Instagrams…

That time I got a tattoo.

So, this happened.

So, this happened today (between dance drop off and a school family night at a restaurant, no less)! In case the stretch marks didn't give it away, that is my hip.

On a Wednesday, in between dance drop off and a PTA dinner thing, I got a tattoo. It is on my hip, it looks far less angry and weird and I really love it. It is surprisingly hard to photograph ones own hip (especially while standing), but I do need to get a pic now that it’s basically healed.

My tattoo is part of Love Letter to the World, which is a tattoo art project. A poem is written, different people get tattoos of the phrases in the poem and all those suns and stars make a picture when put together with the other designs.

The project is a bit more Burning Man than I am, but I like being part of something bigger. I’ve wanted a tattoo for long time,. but wanted something meaningful to me. I love my phrase – it reminds me that even though I have changed my views on practically everything as I’ve grown up, my core faith is still intact. I still believe – in God, in myself, in happiness.

Safety.

You may have noticed the world feeling a little safer. Because it is now.

Exciting news!

Also, I think she has adoring kindergarten fans (that’s her duty post).

We are having late bus drama and safety patrols have to get there early, so I am driving her every day. I complain because it IS a pain, but it’s actually pretty great and we have some hangout time and listen to music. And since I’m getting her there early, I do not have to sit through carpool line. Afternoon carpool still pretty much blows.

Exfoliating. From Asia.

We are back from vacation and I have ~10,958 instagrams to go through. I just did not have the energy for beach posting this year (plus I ended up having to do work during some downtime…)

Instead, I will mention exfoliation. Many weeks ago, I ordered something called Korean Italy Towels (yes, I know, that makes no sense) on eBay. Or maybe Amazon. I don’t even know. I read about them here. They came from far away (I will guess Korea, but I didn’t really check the postmark). I sort of forgot about them, but today they showed up in my held mail.

Then the Baby Foot Peels I ordered from Amazon last week Amazon ALSO showed up. (You can read about them here, if you google there are other super gross pictures and I really hope my skin all falls off like a snake). So I did that tonight too – I soaked my feet in water for ~25 minutes, then had the peel on for ~1:45.

Stay posted for snakey foot pictures (I hope!)

Also, I tried out the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish – it’s a gel polish that doesn’t need a light. I can attest that it’s a miracle – my toes are still painted after a week on the beach.

Friday = Lady Day!

Friday was Dan’s long kayaking day. He was gone for ~8 hours or so, and U and I had a pretty epic day. Or epic if you are 11…

It was drizzly, so we nixed the early morning beach visit and went shopping. Then we ate ice cream at 10:15am (in the hardware store parking lot) and headed to the Serpentarium. I tried to bribe her out of going to the serpentarium, but I failed. It’s cool and all, but there are only so many times one can look at alligators and snakes (4th visit in 6 years). Or so I thought! There was some new stuff and it was worth it. Plus, I knew the answers to ALL the questions in the snake show.

Cute baby gators.

Young alligators

Giant gator.

Huge alligator

Pretty much the most awesome thing – they had a new cobra. It cobra-ed out at me, and later it even struck at the glass. It was super creepy.

Cobra of terror

Crocodile exhibit was new too.

Crocodile

Alligator waiting for feeding time.

"Stop talking and give me my lunch!!!!"

After the Serpentarium, we went to a couple more stores, then came home for lunch. Then hit the beach. After Dan got back, we went to McConkey’s for dinner. Then U and I did a sunset-ish bike ride.

Sunset over the marsh

This was taken on the marsh side of the island, a few blocks from where we used to stay. (We switched houses to find a place Trixie could come)

Random aside: Trixie LOVED the top balcony off the master bedroom. I kept the sliding door open for her when we’d go out, and almost every time we came home we’d find her up there.

Trixie loves being the tallest.

 

Working Vacation Thursday

Invariably, I have one vacation day where I end up working. A lot. This year it was Thursday. It should have been perfect – Jeff and gang left in the morning, Dan and U went kayaking. I was going to have many hours to myself and spend less than half of them working. That didn’t work out (U cut kayaking short), but working at the beach is better than working at home, right?

I did sneak out for a bit with U. Christmas card pic? Double midriffs!

Christmas card? Now with 100% more midriff!

After a delicious dinner from Flower’s, I worked while Dan studied.

Working, studying. At least we are at the beach!

You can’t see it in this pic, but the ocean is visible between the two houses behind Dan. You can see it well from the top balcony, but there’s not a roof so it’s not computer ready.

About 32 seconds after I took the above pic, we heard the HappiTruck and ran to get snacks.

HappiTruck break!

(and yes, it is telling that I hadn’t even had time to change out of my bathing suit, even though I’d been back inside for at least 3 hours).

Wednesday at the beach

Though she usually comes everywhere with us, it took Mahn Soi 3 days to leave the beach house and hit the sand. She seemed to like it.

Manh Soi visits the beach for the first time.

The kids caught some sand crabs.

Sand crab

We went to Whaley’s for dinner. In a true beach miracle, we got a table for 8 with no wait and were in and out of there in around an hour. (I have  a love/hate with Whaley’s – it is yummy and a great dive but it usually takes 3 hours and leaves me enraged)

Dinner @ Whaley's

We went to the beach after dinner. Aunt Jeff wanted to be in our pics

Photobomb

And then we ate key lime pie. The end.