spectating participant

April 28, 2007

summer options for Alex

Filed under: family, life — suzanne henderson @ 7:21 pm

Since summer is fast approaching, I need to figure out what were going to do with Alex. Normally this is a simply process: ship her off to Oklahoma after camp. But, since there will be no oklahoma this summer (due to recent behaviors, we’ve decided she needs to stick around home), I’ve got to find other options.

To furthure complicate matters, there are a few relevant variables up in the air that can affect our summer activity choices:

1. Where we’ll be living! Supposedly we close on our house in June - but I know that all sorts of things can go wrong - and nothing is certain until keys are in hand.
2. Where I’ll be working! Maybe I keep the job I hate, maybe I move on.
3. What we can afford! Well, this isn’t really a big factor since we can’t afford summer-time care but we also can’t let miss untrustable stay home during the day either.

We drove up to the house for the termite inspection (sigh, it’s got bugs) and looked around the area and local library. I came home with a whole mes of fliers, magazines, and pamphlets of youth summer activities. So, our summer options currently include (assuming we move as expected):

1. Catoctin Quaker Camp - this is a given and will be Alex’s third year. The camp is awesome and I feel that it is an exceptional place for Alex to be. It also comes with a pretty steep price tag of $900 for the two week sleep-away camp. Thankfully we’ve actually received consistent-enough child support to cover it!

2. Time for Kids Summer Camp - located in Eldersburg, Maryland - just a few miles east of the house and seems to have lots of exciting activities that interest alex (sports, swimming, archery, horseback riding, crafts, etc). It looks like the price is $157/week. I’ll be calling them next week to learn more since their website (www.timeforkidssumercamp.com) isn’t working.

3. YCAMP - YMCA Summer Day Camp options. There are a variety of camp options that we could consider including a general day camp ($140/week) or specialty day camp programs ($160/week): sports, environmental science, soccer, swimming, art, or drama. These rates assume a family membership and we’re considering joining.

4. Freedoom Area Recreation Council Camps/Clinics - Located in Eldersburg, there are a variety of programs available during the summer; however the programs are not full day programs. The basic general camp is $140 for two-week session, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. There are some sports programs, but the fees are not obvious.

Thats all I’ve found so far — hopefully more options will appear. However, we’d probably consider the YMCA programs, but if I’m still working in Columbia, that will be logistically difficult as the YMCA is north of our house. However, perhaps a position in Westminster will open up and I can work it into a new commute. So many things up in the air, makes this kind of planning a little more difficult.

April 26, 2007


Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 11:15 pm

I’m tired and hungry. tired. hungry. such frustrating opposites. if I eat, I won’t be able to sleep. if I don’t eat, I won’t be able to sleep. sigh. guess there are worse problems to have.

April 24, 2007

the impossible happened

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 2:32 pm

my great-grandmother finally passed away. i honestly thought she’d be kicking around for another ten years at the rate she was going, but i guess she finally just moved on. guess she finally got tired of thinking “no one should live to be 93″ and figured she’d better step up to the plate.

hopefully this doesn’t sound too cold, there was no personal relationship with her and my grandmother, whom I love dearly, has been taking care of her for years. I’m very happy about this because hopefully it will ease my grandmother’s stress and she can spend some years enjoying the rest of her days. Maybe she’ll even come out to visit us too — oh, thanksgiving even!

April 17, 2007

3-days intensive math study

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 4:46 pm

Wanna know what alex did for three days last week, when she was supposed to be in school? she studied math! wow, can you believe the academic determination our daughter has?! to skip school for 3 days and to study math the entire time, wow! We must have a math genius in the making…

of course, when that excuse failed, she admitted to playing video games the whole time at a friend’s house — but get this, she did it because her spring break was boring and that wasn’t fair.

sigh. this child sure makes life interesting.

April 6, 2007

not sleeping, not surprising

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 4:04 am

I know that I’ve mumbled, grumbled, ranted, raved and complained endless times about not being able to sleep. It drives me nuts that sleep is always such a chore. As far as I can recall, the only time it wasn’t a chore was at my last job when I spent about 4 hours a day commuting (counting getting up and re-cooperating once home), 8 hours working at full-steam-ahead pace, and then cramming as much as my exhausted body would allow in the two, maybe three, hours before I needed to head to bed. That was a time when I could sleep.

Chris found it rather amusing since I’ve always given him grief for getting to sleep so easily. He loved that I finally understood why he could sleep, because I was finally exerting myself all day long. Well, fine, I know the magic cure for sleep but I’m not at the awesome job that works me like mad and I’m not commuting hours each day. Am I doomed to a life of no sleep if I fail to include those things in my day.

Work isn’t all that stressful other than the fact that it can be somewhat uninspiring and therefore tedious at times. I’m behind on tasks because they lack the spark to fire up some action and instead I wait until the absolutely last moment before tackling them. Tomorrow will be one of those day, except I’ll be running on negative reserves since I need to be at work in 4 hours and I’m still not feeling to pull of sleep yet.

Instead of sleep, I fall into bed and the light switch flips on. Everything I could be doing starts running through my mind. Great creative ideas, practical home organization, inspiration on some planning concepts for pdf… on and on my mind runs until i leap out of bed and rush to try to write it all down. however, most nights i force myself to stay in bed because i know that getting up will ensure that no sleep will happen. at least when i stay in bed, i eventually nod off after just a couple hours of clock watching.

i also juggle the sleeping pill routine, but that seems like a crutch that i don’t want and i have to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with naturally falling asleep. of course, at 4:am, i’m thinking that I should have just gone with it, but too late now.

well, i best move on to bed and stop writing. i’ll leave off further comment on how it seems to mostly only be the wee hours of the night that i actually feel motivated to write and stuff actually come pouring forth. of course, it could all be crap, but i’ll pretend its worth the sluggish thoughts i’ll have tomorrow.

April 1, 2007

it’s late, i’m awake, thinking about a house

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 3:54 am

so house hunting continues and continues and continues. got an off-handed comment from our realtor today that really stuck out in my mind. well, it was actually my realtor’s husband who has shown us many houses at this point. we inquired about his son, who also helps show and sell houses with our realtor (a family operation basically) and he asked if his son had ever shown us a house — sure, the one we had a contract in last summer. well, he then comments to the effect that his show-to-offer ratio isn’t going so well since the we’ve only put an offer on the house his son showed us. we did clarify that we did put an offer in on another house that he showed us last year, but the comment still stuck out a bit.

are we taking too long to find a house? are we looking at too many houses? are we ever going to pick a house? now, we don’t have a million options for buying a house since the market here is insane and our salaries are not. but i do feel that we’re at least making progress, though i am getting a little tired of seeing houses. today was the sixth house we’ve seen since our house searching adventure restarted this year. last year we saw about 8 houses or so.

now, we did see a house that has got our attention. it’s a little over an acre and very well laid out - in fact, i just loved being outside on the property, it is a really great space. there is a barn and two sheds, garden space, and lots of room. there are some great trees on the property and days like today (great weather) you just want to stay outside for the entire afternoon. however, the house isn’t very big, in fact it is very small. we’re having a hard time seeing how we could use the space that is there. the biggest issue is the bedroom sizes. it has one decent bedroom and two rooms that feel smaller than a closet.

alex isn’t happy about the bedrooms, she notices that they are much smaller than the small room she currently has. even though there is a lot of space outside and room for some of our (*chough*chris’s*chough*) stuff, the size of the house is an issue. it has some nice things, like central air and 1.5 baths — but we are talking about some seriously small rooms. for one room, i could touch wall to wall stretching out a arm and a leg…

oh, what to do. the location is good, the area is nice, the schools are decent, and the property is really great. oh, but a tiny house. buying it would be a stretch and a stretch that would limit what we can do after moving in. an addition seems obvious, but when would we be able to afford such a thing? maybe buy the house, move in, and let the madness of fitting into the small space force us to find a way to grow it — or let it drive us nuts because we’re living in a shoe box (a small shoe box).

i should sleep but i keep obsessing about the house. sigh. chris just snores away — really gotta do something about that snoring… and about this house…