Thursday, August 25, 2011

And the Earth Rejoiced...

It's been a busy couple of days. I haven't had two minutes to myself to even go to the bathroom without the company of a minor.

"But Amber," you may say, "Didn't your son start school yesterday? Surely that afforded you a break."

You'd think. Except Riley starting school meant that his little sister had to conveniently decide that she was going to prove her independence as well- from napping. I think she's teething again, because she's also refusing bottles. What this all boils down to is a hungry, tired, crabby baby that wants to pull herself up on everything and then scream because she doesn't know how to get down without falling.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

I am kinda a big deal. I got an award on Tuesday. Myself and a handful of other employees were summoned into a top secret meeting with one of the department higher-ups, on the sixth floor no less, and awarded for some extra hard work we'd done recently when threatened with the government funding ceiling. We were called up in front of the room full of people, embarrassed, and handed a box (which contained a silver plated, engraved, star-shaped paperweight) and a certificate in a nice embossed folder. We then slunk back to our seats beside the gigantic windows and watched as the meeting progressed.

But then the earth decided to applaud us for our hard work.

It started with the ceiling rumbling. We looked up at it and considered it, but ultimately brushed it off. Then the building seemed to sway, and the windows rattled, and the blinds started shaking, at which point we all leaped from our chairs beside the windows and stared in wide-eyed astonishment. Was this an earthquake? There were several people from California in the room, and they stayed seated and looked utterly unimpressed, but I was sick to my stomach with shock. In the short time that it lasted, my dominating thought was "what if it just keeps intensifying until this building crumbles and I never see my kids again?" But then it was over and my fear was replaced by excitement. MY FIRST EARTHQUAKE! Maybe it doesn't seem so impressive to YOU, but I live in Virginia, and have only been familiar with earthquakes via the news. Our building was evacuated so facilities could check for pipes leaking, etc. and then we were let back in, and the afternoon was pretty much shot. Everyone that stayed just talked about the earthquake and surfed the internet looking for information about it.

A friend posted this on facebook and it cracked me the hell up:

Maybe we're wimps, California, but I'm willing to bet you'd freak out about snow.

Yesterday was Riley's first day of school. Our county does half-day kindergarten and Riley is in PM. Therefore, the morning went a little something like this:

8:30 am
Riley: Is it time yet?
Me: No. Three and a half hours left.

8:40 am
Riley: How about now? Is it time? How much time has gone by?
Me: Only ten minutes.
Riley: Well, how long is that? How much time is left?
Me: I will tell you every hour, okay?

8:55 am
Riley: Has an hour passed?

Needless to say, the hours passed very slowly for all of us. I can't fault him for being excited, though. I was too. I had his lunch packed at 7:30 am. He was dressed and in his shoes by 9:30.

Russell arrived home from work in time to come with us to drop Riley off at school. Riley tried to not even say goodbye or give us hugs. When the teacher came to walk the kids back to the classroom, he simply took off running. I had to call him back.

I am happy to report that I did not cry. Though I will admit that I worried, a LOT. I also immediately drove all around town doing stuff that would otherwise be peppered with complaints from my five year old- went to the grocery store, got gas, went to Starbucks, drove to my mom's house to drop something off. I stopped by Toys R Us and got Riley a globe to congratulate him on his first day of school (he's wanted one for a while).

When the bus dropped him off (40 minutes late) I asked him how it went and he said it was fun. He chose to not give me any more information (except a tiny tidbit later about having music class and playing the bongos). We then started what I hope will be a new tradition, and picked a place on his globe and then researched that place and recorded facts about it. Yesterday it was the Indian Ocean (which is the 3rd largest oceanic division, accounts for 20% of the earth's water surface and is the warmest of the Oceans) and today we're going to do Egypt. We need to work on his ability to read the globe, though. Yesterday he insisted several times that we should focus on "North". North what? Your guess is as good as mine.


  1. Congrats on your award. :)

    I love the globe idea. I definitely want to do that with Phoebe.

  2. I'm in California and you're right. Snow would scare the shit outta us. Of course, we'd still go walking around in our flip flops.