We enjoyed hanging out all together while we could as school wound down.
The Ninja Princessa turned 13 and started taking martial arts again. (Tae Kwon Do this time, not karate but I'm not changing her name because it just wouldn't have the same ring. )
She got a silver bracelet from her brothers that says, "A sister is a forever friend." (They picked it out!) She almost cried which made them go all boy and start hitting each other to relieve the tension. (They did not put up with hugs.)
Chaos turned 16 and had a Cthulu tentacle "cake" only someone stole one of the tentacles before I could even take a picture. Boys! I'm sure I should have posted about this earlier too because I won't do it justice here, but Chaos has this new routine that he does about being oppressed because he's a "Ginger". It's a hilarious play on a combination of the red-headed step child being left out and Black Power rhetoric. (NOT to make light of real civil rights struggles. He more or less walks that line carefully.) I'll ask him to take out the trash and he starts in on how it's always the Ginger has to do the unwanted tasks (even though the chores rotate by week and it's his week on the schedule). He's got a couple of red-headed friends at school too that he calls his Brothers In Red. We've made jokes about him being the Ginga Ninja etc, etc. At one of our hilarity infused family dinners, Chaos interrupted a story the Princessa was telling and she interrupted right back saying something like, "Can it Ginger Snap!" We lost it. Hence the "Ginger Snap" on the cake.
Chaos tried to steal my Israeli Paratrooper canvas satchel so I got him one of his own with a skull on it.Bet went to an oceanography institute for a week and built an underwater ROV (which I will have to get pictures of because it is very cool. She's going to do some great things with her students involving the topics she studied. She's trying to write a grant to get some sextants for her classroom. How cool is that?
And Linus had a birthday. Bet and I decided to make it a "theme" birthday. We woke him up with the Secret Agent Man theme song and sent him on "missions" all day long (mostly to get his own birthday presents and to eat). He got clues and maps and had special agent assisting him.
Bet and I were Agent Smith and Agent Smith. We were bad ass. And we got to boss Linus around. It was all kinds of fun. Everyone had to wear X4/GM12 Eco-transponders (i.e. nametages). Agent-In-Training "The Bug" had a cool beetle on his and Agent "Slim Dunk" had a crazy cartoon WWF Wrestler. The evening ended with a party of 12 Special Agents converging on a little Indian restaurant around the corner for dinner. Good times!
There has also been some complete crappiness - mostly involving Mr. Tapioca. The court stuff is ridiculous and the tactics his red neck lawyer employs are stupid. (I hope Mr. Tapioca isn't paying that guy very much. I have yet to receive a document from him that has fewer than five spelling/grammar/punctuation mistakes. Seriously, the last thing I got was a list of questions that weren't even numbered correctly! That doesn't even go into the insanity of the content. I have had such a hard time resisting the urge to post that document here!!!) I think one of the reasons I haven't blogged is because I haven't wanted to spew about it all.
Chaos, Mayhem, and Havoc are all with him for the summer. I get to go visit and have the boys every other weekend. The Princessa is gone for 6 weeks (which used to seem long but is 3 full weeks less than the boys are gone!) Bug is an only child with us for the first time ever. It's a very different dynamic. Bug is still in school - and kicking ass. He's gotten nothing but A's so far! (Chaos finished his semester with straight A's too! The Princessa and Mayhem? Lucky to simply finish the year - especially Mayhem whose attention span was strained to the breaking point with weeks left to tough out! Havoc breezed through but doesn't get letter grades the way the middle and high schoolers do.) Bet is home for the summer and Linus is working from home. It is a summer completely different from any other.
The good news is the triathlon training is going well. We're on track for the San Francisco half marathon in a few weeks. (Our long run this weekend is an 8 miler!) We've already done a "mock tri" the same distance as the olympic distance we're signed up for in September (swim a mile, bike 26 miles, run a 10K) and we did it in less than the cut off time for the course. Since our main goal is to finish, it was a huge confidence booster!
I'm not sure what direction Lilymania is headed. There are some challenges to mommy blogging. It's hard to find the time to blog in the moment when we are in the midst of family activities and it's even harder to blog about my kids when they are all gone for the summer. I've found on my few attempts this summer that those posts come out pretty whiny! And there are only so many cute dog posts I can write. I don't plan on abandoning ship but I'm relatively content to drift aimlessly for a while. Maybe I'll play around with the format and layout and that will spark something - but until then... PEACE!