Looks like I've used that blog title before. What a cop-out. However, one does what one must, right?
Things here have been hectic, to put it mildly. Rick's folks left on Monday morning, and I spent the day head-down in my paper. I now have (I think) a 20-minute presentation, and can start trying to work out the whole powerpoint/handout part of things (technology is a mixed blessing at best).
My parents arrived Tuesday morning. They got into North County just in time to get the girls at school after they'd returned from rehearsing their spring concert in Oceanside, which turned out to be a great surprise for the girls (they love it when Memere and Grandpa pick them up), and which gave me a few extra minutes alone at home to try to get things done (read: finish re-making the guest room bed, and find clean towels). They also appeared with a quiche from our local French bakery in hand, which made my dinner plans even simpler (I'd been planning to make one; sticking one that's already-made into the oven is much easier).
Yesterday things got even nuttier. The girls had to be at school to rehearse one last time (although not at the theater itself, to what I can only assume is the vast relief of all the parents who kindly volunteered to shuttle kids on Tuesday), and I had a three-hour meeting that, in spite of all of my efforts to avoid having it scheduled yesterday, happened then anyway. So, I trundled the girls to school and took the dogs for a walk with mom, and then headed home to get ready. Luckily, my parents were willing to pick the girls up mid-day, and fed them lunch and even got them down for a nap before the big night.
The timing of this concert is always something of an issue. It starts at 6 every year. Which really wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that the kids are all supposed to be there at 5, and the concert itself is getting longer and longer every year. Last night it went until 8:30 (!!). Those of you who have ever been parents, or who have a stomach, will see the issue here. When is one going to feed the various members of one's party in order to avoid a blood-sugar crash at some crucial moment? We chose to go the "quick meal at 4:00" route, rather than the "have a snack and wait until afterwards for dinner" route, which would have meant eating around 9:00 -- far too late for me (or the girls!).
There were a few more nerves about this year's spring concert than usual, for a couple of reasons. Older Daughter was not only performing in the dance for her classroom, but also opened the concert by playing the Star Spangled Banner on the piano while one of her classmates sang. We'd thought that they would lead the singing while everyone joined in (thus covering up any potential errors), so imagine our surprise when it turned out that it was all them, all the way through. And she nailed it. There was even a potentially tragic bobble at the beginning (when the singing started without the piano), but she heard it and caught herself up and they sailed through the rest. Whew. She also had the closing speech to give, which, while very short, was another thing involving her standing up there all by herself. Honestly, folks, we're talking a theater filled with somewhere around 300 people. Dudes, I don't like giving talks in front of 60 people; I'm pretty sure I've never had to solo in front of an audience that large.
The culminating moment of the evening, for us, came at the end, when the school had a graduation ceremony to honor the fifth graders who are leaving for middle school (in this district, middle school goes 6-8). Older Daughter was one of them. I managed not to cry (much), even during the slide show that one of teachers put together with pictures (from babyhood til now) of the graduates; because the school starts as a daycare and then goes through pre-school and into fifth grade, they've all been there for a long time. Older Daughter started there when we moved down here six years ago, so this is a big transition for us. It was so nice to have it honored with a ceremony. A lot of families who had only gone there for pre-school, and whose kids are still friends with Older Daughter, were there to cheer her on, and Rick's cousins came as well. It was great fun for both of the girls (and a relief to us to have gotten through it!).
Today is a quieter day, I think. We'd thought about the beach, but it's cold, so we may take a trip down to Balboa park with my folks, who are then taking us out to celebrate Older Daughter's transition, and both girls' successes last night in the show. (I should mention here that Younger Daughter also nailed her dance, which was long and complicated, and looked so unexpectedly grown up that I didn't recognize her when she came on stage; when did she stop being a baby?)
Pictures when I can download them, I promise.