List of Seven on Sunday 5.0: SKATE

1. Newsworthy –

My friends have been spoiling me lately.

On Wednesday night the girls and I celebrated my birthday at – get this – a skating rink! After almost being born in a skating rink 34 years ago, learning how to skate in tandem with learning how to walk, and spending Friday nights with friends at a skating rink, it was fun to get out there and roll around on four orange wheels again after a 15 year absence.

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Rental skates are still as ugly and dirty as ever.

I prayed that my toe stop would work when needed, discovered “How low can you go?” wasn’t low enough to win the limbo, danced while skating without inhibition to Don’t Stop Believing and Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and had many laughs with all the special friends I will soon have to say goodbye to when we move.

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On Friday night, the Skate-ettes and husbands threw Jan and I a going away party and spoiled us with mementos to take with us as we skate on out of Danville.

Living in Danville the last five years has been a blessing, and the people who live here have been so good to us. The support through happy and sad moments, the inside jokes that are a result of good friendships, the outings, civic duties, sermons, parties and play dates – I love you all!

2. Personal progress –

I haven’t made any packing progress yet, other than the organizational thoughts in my mind, but it’s at the top of the “shit I need to do before we move” list. By and large, the reason I haven’t done anything about packing yet is because we are actually being packed and moved by Jan’s new employer. The only hiccup is that I have to figure out what we need to take for temporary housing until we can get into the house we bought. Having a one-year-old and three-year-old only slightly complicates those decisions.

So yeah, it’s more than a hiccup, it’s a headache, which I why I have been so productive about the task at hand!

(Others, may call it avoidance.)

3. Writer’s world –

My latest article in Evince is in print as the April issue went on the stands last week. My story is a farewell one of sorts that revolves around family history. You can read it here: April Evince.

4. Photo of the week –

 

Weekly visits with the Wise Old Owl are something we are going to sorely miss.

Weekly visits with the Wise Old Owl are something we are going to sorely miss.

5. Picture-less moment –

The next two weeks will be emotionally rough for me with lot’s of picture-less moments as we tie up loose ends. Even though we already had a going away party, I left the night easily telling friends, “I’ll still see you again before I move,” but pretty soon I will be saying the for real, for real goodbyes.

All of that on top of more “shit I need to do before me move,” like canceling our utilities/cable/Internet, changing our address, cleaning up our house for the rental agent to walk-through, coordinating efforts with the movers, signing more paperwork for the house, and yes, eventually packing for temporary housing — it’s all about to hit me, and I am trying to brace myself.

Then there’s the “shit I need to do after we move,” like switching banks, applying for Pennsylvania driver’s license and plates, purchasing home owner’s insurance, etc. I know it’ll all get done, and it certainly does not need to get done all at once, but it’s all sort of looming in the air around me. Good thing I have Jan to keep me grounded among all the looming!

Therefore, my preventative melt-down (yes, grown-ups have them, too) mantras are:

- Keep walking along and singing my song (Pete the Cat is wise beyond his appearance).

- There is no sense worrying about challenges and problems that haven’t happened yet. 

- I have strong nerves, I have strong nerves… (repeat over and over).

The last one I got from in-laws. They always write a message in my birthday card in English, and since it is not their first language, the message is not always worded the way a native English speaker would phrase a sentiment. For example, they wished me “strong nerves” during the move.

Strong nerves.

I like it — and a mantra was born!

6. Parenting thought –

When we first found out we were moving, we waited to tell Lance. It was way too early and I wanted to prolong answering 36 thousand questions a day about when we were moving. A few weeks ago, we did tell him and he seems pretty excited about the idea.

He won’t remember life in Danville (sniff, sniff) in the long run, and my goal is to play it completely cool and shield him from some sadness as we depart. Of course, I think it’s important to show your children behind the curtain a little bit, but at his age, all he needs to know is that his Mommy, Papa, sister, and pug dog are with him wherever he goes.

We’re trying to make the move fun for him — reading books about moving, talking about seeing family more, teaching him about a new state, telling him about living in a bigger house, and rallying him around the adventure of all the upcoming changes. I know he’ll be fine, and Vivian will go with the flow, but there will still be some temporary heartache for him. That’s unavoidable, but knowing ahead of time that I’ll need to give him some extra Mama security hugs for the first few weeks, I hope, will make his transition as smooth as possible.

After all, happiness awaits us in Happy Valley!

7. Humor –

As for Vivian, she’s not too concerned about much of anything right now except continually trying to master the walking gig and showing the first signs of fighting back against Lance when he roughly sidelines her out of nowhere from time to time.

Her method of retaliation? She pinches him!

And although I know I will soon need to start reprimanding her, I kind of enjoy watching her stealthy crawl up to him when he is not expecting it and purposefully pinch his ankles and legs.

Go get him, Little Sister. Go get him.

Have great week. Skate on with your bad self.

The Banter Lady

List of Seven on Sunday 4.9: OKAY

1. Newsworthy –

Well it’s not Sunday, which means List of Seven on Sunday is actually List of Seven on Wednesday. Or wait, is it Tuesday? Ahh yes, it is in fact Tuesday.

My days are a little mixed up lately because of all we have going on with regard to our big move to PA next month. But that’s okay… because it’s all good. Or so says Pete the Cat, but I’ll get to that later.

To further add to the mix, this week is spring break for most of the school systems in Danville, which means no preschool. That means it doesn’t feel like a Tuesday because normally my kids should have gone to school this morning, but instead they were here with me. Therefore it’s totally okay that I thought it was Wednesday.

(Is anyone following?)

2. Personal progress –

I ran a 5K on Saturday morning after Lance ran his first Fun Run. It felt good out on the trail with an energized group of people as I ran for a good cause. Doing so also gave me inspiration to keep on running and doing the best I can with the limited time I have lately. I’d like to up my distance a little and run a few more 5K’s in the coming months. It’ll be fun to see what is available when we move. I have good motivation because my brother’s girlfriend and I formed a team and will run a relay of the Potter County God’s Country Marathon the first weekend of June. I am super psyched about this event because it’s a small venue in the county I grew up in, and I have wanted to participate for the last few years, but I was either pregnant or unable to overcome the logistical challenge of such a long trip up. This year it’ll be no problem to get there, and there is no pregnancy involved (whew!).

3. Writer’s world –

Eric Litwin (aka Mr. Eric), who wrote Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes, is one of Lance’s new favorite authors. We’ve read a few Pete the Cat books before, but my friend told me we had to get I love my white shoes.

The moral of the story is, “No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song…

(Turn page)

because it’s all good.”

The story has great illustrations and interactive questions as Pete steps in different things that make his shoes turn colors, but doesn’t get upset. It’s really quite catchy because we’ve applied “He kept walking along and singing his song…” to a lot of toddler mishaps lately. I’ve even adopted it as the stress of moving and buying a new house increases. I didn’t write it, but I’m going to keep walking along and singing my song as we take each day one at a time.

4. Photo of the week –

When Lance was about the age that Vivian is now, he used to “help me unload the dishwasher” as he passed me one clean item at a time. I then put the item away and we repeated the process one spoon, fork, plate, cup, bowl at a time.

I’m having flashbacks now with Vivian…

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So many good memories in this house.

5. Picture-less moment –

Lance is really into surprises lately when it comes to his snacks, and he has been requesting “surprise snacks.” I’ve had fun thinking of new ways to surprise him with different foods and presentation of the snack, but after awhile I drew a blank. Then it came to me. Probably not a Pinterest-approved idea, but it’s a huge favorite now – M&M’s out of a shot glass.

Yep, so many good memories in this house…

Just walking along, singing our song.

6. Parenting thought –

When we move next month we’ll live in temporary housing for about two and a half months until we can get into the house we bought in early July. At first I wasn’t thrilled about sending all of our belongings to a temporary storage unit and starting out this new phase of our life totally displaced. But the more I’ve gotten used to the idea, the more on board I am.

We found a guest house that’s part of a Bed and Breakfast in a neighboring community that is fully furnished and has a kitchen filled with all the utensils we will need. As a parent, I realize how much the kids will need me during the move. Therefore, I am kind of excited not to have to face acclimation to a new town and setting up a brand new house on top of helping the kids make the transition as I support Jan in his new career path all at the same time. Not to mention keep my own health and sanity in tact.

With that all in mind, I am kind of looking forward to the simplicity of living under the roof of someone else’s responsibility during the interim. Fittingly, the guest house is named Virginia’s House. I think we’ll fit right in.

7. Humor –

We had friends over for a few hours around lunchtime today, which meant entertainment and I didn’t have to get out of my pajamas, even at noon, because they are they type of friends you don’t have to get out of your pajamas for. The house got destroyed and looked way worse than I looked in my pajamas, which was totally okay because it was 100% worth it to have company on this snowy 25th day of March.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention it’s snowing?

It is, which is quite newsworthy, and something I should have mentioned in number one on the list, but I was really having a hard time figuring out the day and it’s important to know what day it is!

Oh well, everything will be OK!

Which leads me to my final point –

Did you know that Sunday, March 23rd was OK Day, or the 175th anniversary of the invention word Okay (or O.K. or OK or Ok)?

I watched a great story about the word that one professor believes is America’s most successful export on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

Therefore, as I sit here in my pajamas while the kids nap and when I could be getting dressed, I turn to the Greek phrase “ola kala,” which means all good and is one of the theories of OK’s origin.

I think Pete the Cat would agree with the Greeks.

This week I challenge you, no matter what day it is, keep walking along and singing your song!

Okay?

Ok!

The Banter Lady

WCA Fun Run

Registered and ready to run.Lance's first fun run.Intently listening to pre-race instructions.On your mark, get set…GO!Distractions along the way were all part of the fun.
Off and running again.Then he found a girlfriend for awhile.Finish line.It's not about the game, it's how you finish.Success!Recovery lollipop.
Family support.The post-race burn-out.

WCA Fun Run, a set on Flickr.

This morning, Lance participated in his first Fun Run that benefited the WCA Class of 2017 and the Leukemia Society.

At first he was eager, then a little unsure, but once the race was underway, he was all smiles.

Before the race, he intently listened to pre-race instructions. He was one of the smallest, yet determined runners. Jan and I had a blast watching him complete the course.

A few distractions along the way, including some orange race cones and a cute little girl, all added to the fun.

In the end, he completed his first Fun Run with gusto. The post-race lollipop and participation ribbon made this event a home run for our little guy.

Way to go, Lance.

Two-way radios

My Dad took care of Lance when Jan, Vivian, and I went to Pennsylvania last week to look for a house. Dad and Lance are like two peas in a pod. They “do stuff” together all day long. For example, they went to the Bass Pro Shop, they walked down the fishing docks and practiced casting fishing poles, they played in the low-tide puddles on the beach, they painted, they drilled, and they created. Dad even took Lance to the playground and followed him around the neighborhood while Lance rode his tricycle.

When Dad brought Lance back to our (current) house after he and Grammy took care of him for four nights, Lance was eager to give me a shell necklace that he made me and a “two-way radio.” Dad taught him how to (pretend) to talk into his radio. He would say things like, “Calling all Mommies, Calling all Mommies!” when they were driving up to Virginia from North Carolina. I’m pretty sure this was Dad’s attempt to help get Lance excited about coming home. Let’s face it, even though kids are happy to return to their parents and home environment, there is nothing more fun than staying with grandparents — especially the kind of grandparents that interact and adhere to their every need.

After Lance showed me his two-way radio and presented me with one of my very own, I was so touched by the creativity and thoughtfulness my Dad had put into not only fostering Lance’s imagination, but including Jan, Vivian, and I in the process. Jan also got a two-way radio, and even Vivi got a baby two-way radio. Apparently they come in all sizes. For the first few hours of us all being back together, we all wore our two-way radios and had fun playing with them. I couldn’t help but think that we’re all about to go through a major move and that these two-way radios might just be the (figurative) connection that keeps us together during the transition period.

Secretly, I haven’t taken mine off. It’s sort of become a symbol to me that when my children need me I will always have a way for them to get in touch with me. At three, Lance is far too young for a cell phone, but our two-way radios? Now that is cool. A unique design engineered my Dad easily beats out anything Verizon or Samsung currently has on the market.

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In a complicated and sometimes scary world, the best thing I can tell you is: Keep your cell phones handy, but keep your imagination far above anything that you think technology could ever possibly provide. Because let me tell you, two-way family radios made of shells and attached to the wrist with a zip tie is where it’s at.

In times of trouble, keep it simple and keep your family close. Two-way radios unite.

Before I go, I have to make a quick call on mine:

Calling Dad, Calling Dad…

You did good.

Do you read me?

Over.

xo,

The Banter Lady

List of Seven on Sunday 4.8: OPPORTUNITY

1. Newsworthy –

The Petrich Family is moving to Pennsylvania!

"Settle down it'll all be clear…" (Phillip Phillips)

In the words of Phillip Phillips, “Settle down it’ll all be clear…”

2. Personal progress –

We traveled up to PA on Wednesday, looked at houses all day on Thursday, made an offer on our favorite house on Friday, and after negotiations on the long car ride home yesterday the contract was officially initialed and signed by both parties a little after 10 p.m. last night.

3. Writer’s world –

I am not sure what is going to happen with the Banter over the next few months because it is hard to predict writing inspiration during times of transition — either I’ll be flooded with content and adventurous stories of our move, or I’ll be overwhelmed and hide away from writing until I feel settled.

4. Photo of the week –

We outsourced big brother before we left on our house hunting trip, but this little girl got to come along for the excitement.

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She does NOT travel light.

 5. Picture-less moment –

Our prolonged (note the baby above) trip up north was tiring, and though we’ve always made the best of every excursion back and forth from Virginia to see family, there is a deep feeling of peace that now exists in my mind knowing these arduous trips will be no-longer.

6. Parenting thought –

Making a major move with two small children is certainly going to present challenges, but as I parent I am thankful to give my kids the gift of closer proximity to family due to Jan’s well-deserved career advancement.

7. Humor –

The best way I can describe our bitter-sweet decision to make this major move is, when opportunity knocks, open the door!

With a little help from my friends, I am ready to make this transition with poise.

With a little help from my friends, I have faith that the courage to “start over” will be free-flowing.

Have a pleasant week filled with joy,

The Banter Lady

Outside

Learning to walk.Outdoor toast to warm weather.Taking a lap around the court.Strolling her baby.Oh happy day!Such a good Mommy.

When the sun is out, we are out.

I didn’t get a chance to post List of Seven on Sunday yesterday so I am posting some happy photos from today after lunch.

I am trying something new and posting for the first time from a Flickr account… I’m not sure what to expect, but here goes…

Have a most lovely day!

List of Seven on Sunday 4.7: CHALLENGE

1. Newsworthy –

The kids and I spent a few days at the beach last week while hubby traveled for work.

This is a picture I accidentally took of myself. Don’t I look thoughtful? And possibly about to say something prophethic?

I’m pretty sure the only thing I was thinking  and propheting about was, My it certainly is cold and windy out here on the shore! One should wear a hat!

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Then I wondered where all the people were. Then I reminded myself it was a cool day in February. Then I ran haphazardly up and down the shore pushing Vivian in the baby jogger willing her to take a nap so I could sit in the sand  on my butt in my jeans and inappropriate-for-the-beach footwear.

But then she didn’t fall asleep. And then Lance, fully clothed, got wetter than wet in the sand and surf. Then I couldn’t see for a while because my hair was ferociously blowing in my face and becoming a huge mass of tangled tendrils.

So basically, just another great day at the beach!

2. Personal progress –

Well.

I was on a three-day running streak – and when I say ‘three days’ that means a Tuesday, a Thursday, and then the following Tuesday because T, TH are my designated running days – but then I had to break the streak and go to the beach.

Priorities people!

I am holding myself accountable to hop back on the wagon soon as I think spring and look for events to keep me focused. I’m not trying to break any records, but I do miss the routine of a modest running regime.

3. Writer’s world –

I continually feel more writing challenges coming my way!

4. Photo of the week –

Vivian’s first lollipop lick was not exactly my idea, but when I caught Lance doing this the other day, I surrendered. After all he did share.

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More proof that the second child gets to do things sooner than the first child did. Chalk up a sugar win for Vivi.

5. Picture-less moment –

And there I was. On Tuesday afternoon. With 244 miles separating me and my current location from my destination. A toddler, a baby, and a pug dog in tow. A lone Mama warrior on the open road. Car filled with kid crap.

There are some challenges that are simply not meant to be photographed.

Puke, flying dog hair, and spilled milk among them.

But the relaxation of “being away” that ensues once you’ve met the challenges of the open road and reached your destination? Hands down, worth every mile of effort.

That was, until I had to make the same trip in the opposite direction back home. The lone Mama warrior arose again.

My travelin’ days just ain’t what they used to be. 

6. Parenting thought –

I continually feel more writing parenting challenges coming my way!

(I’m short on brain cells today so I had to reuse my sentence from number three, which was already pretty vague, but all those gusty beach winds took a lot out of me!).

7. Humor –

In closing, this one is for anyone else looking to accomplish big things this month.

(Minimal brain cells required).

A 30-Day Challenge (you’ll actually finish) from Pleated Jeans.

  1. Put off something important
  2. Don’t clean your bathroom
  3. Feel socially awkward
  4. Waste time on the Internet
  5. Draw a picture of an invisible werewolf
  6. Lay in bed for awhile
  7. Doubt yourself
  8. Waste time on the Internet
  9. Eat a food
  10. Wear some clothes
  11. Complain about something to someone
  12. Waste time on the Internet
  13. Fap
  14. Go for a long walk… to the couch
  15. Waste time on the Internet
  16. Look at a picture of cats online
  17. Skip social event to stay home
  18. Sit on something
  19. Make a list of things to do, then don’t do them
  20. Waste time on the Internet
  21. Think about how awesome tacos are
  22. Read a word
  23. Use a bathroom (any bathroom!)
  24. Waste time on the Internet
  25. Feel sleepy
  26. Eat too many potato chips
  27. Waste time on the Internet
  28. Be jealous of someone
  29. Breathe some air
  30. Waste time on the Internet

I’m so glad I could help you achieve numbers 4, 8, 12, 15, 20, 24, 27, and 30. Number 22 (among others) is a bonus. You are welcome.

I’m off to accomplish #26.

Have great week,

The Banter Lady