This is Not a Lay Low Weekend

Chandler likes what he calls lay low weekends. Lay low weekends are do-nothing weekends. He’ll do his homework. Maybe play some video games. Revel in the luxury of boredom. This is not a lay low weekend. This is a sports weekend. Chandler had a Cross Country meet on Friday. He kicked butt and got a PR. (15:51 in case you’re curious. That’s right my son ran 3 miles in under 16 minutes. Sorry. Braggy mommy moment over.) After the meet he got off the team bus and met some friends at the high school football game and got home around 10:00. Marley skipped cheering her brother on at the XC meet and went to a friend’s house for the day. She and her friend went to the football game as well. Of course everyone knows that football games are more about socializing than sports. Especially for 8th grade girls. They’ve got to check out the social rituals of high schoolers to help lessen the culture shock they’ll be experiencing in one short year. Dave and I enjoyed an impromptu dinner at a cute Mexican place called El Rey a few miles from the meet in Ventura. I’m still eating clean and eating four meals a day. In all the excitement of the day I forgot to eat my third meal. Forgetting to eat is something that never happens to me. The food was amazing. And not just because I was so hungry. (As a bonus, the owner/manager was also super hot quite handsome.) We’ll be back for sure. Saturday morning everyone got up at 6:00. Chandler had a 15 mile run at 7:00 and Marley had to be on the soccer field at 7:30. After we got home we barely had time to catch our breath before Dave and Chandler ran out the door to volunteer at a triathlon in Malibu. (I told you it was a sports weekend.) Marley got a haircut. Then we ran errands. As I type this I’m daydreaming about the beer I’ll be enjoying tonight with the burgers I’ll be grilling.  Tomorrow the kids have nothing going on but I have to go on a stupid sucktacular 2.5 mile run with the run club that I accidentally joined. I’m tempted to blow it off, but I signed up to bring pretzels and water. But afterwards I’m going to do a whole lot of nothing. I’m going to lay low.


Last night I returned home from a 4-day girl’s weekend. (Well, it was a Sunday – Wednesday, does that make it a week beginning?)

It was a fabulous trip to Napa that I will be writing about all next week to fill you in on my decadent wine and food gluttony, but for now, I am just happy to be home, back to the normalcy of my house with Dave and the kids.

Even though when I walked into my bedroom I was greeted with this…

Guess what I’ll be doing today

And then I went to the kitchen and found that all the sports water bottles I washed on Saturday night and left in the sink were still there. Because apparently I’m the only one who knows how to put them away. Funny, everyone seems to know where to find them in the cupboard when they need them. (I would have put them away myself before I left, but I had an early flight on Sunday morning.)


At the beginning of the week I was making new connections and meeting new friends. I was tasting wine paired with gourmet food and cheese starting at 10:30 in the morning until 9:00 at night and eating four-course five-star meals (and have the extra five pounds to prove it). I had a king-size bed and four big pillows All. To. Myself.

I could get used to this!

And it was all so wonderful.

But today… that glamorous life is over.

Today will be filled with unpacking and laundry. Cooking and cleaning up messes. Catching up on my work and fighting over Marley’s homework.

It’s back to the grind. Back to normal. Back to my real life. (Did I mention the laundry?)

And though it doesn’t make sense on paper (or computer screen), as wonderful as Napa is, it seemed a little bit like Oz.

And like Dorothy said…

There’s no place like home.

How to Avoid Homework in the Digital Age

Yesterday Marley was “doing homework” in her room. We bought her a lovely Crate and Barrel desk (well, the original owner bought it from Crate and Barrel – I got it and the almost-matching-Ikea-chair at a yard sale for forty bucks a couple years ago), but she prefers to use her desk as a place to store dirty clothes, books, old homework, candy wrappers (even though she’s not supposed to have candy in her room) and god-know-what-else on it (she uses her floor to store the overflow that doesn’t fit on her desk) and do her homework on her bed.

(Wow! That was an 92 word sentence – I know I write obnoxiously long sentences, but I might have set a record!)

Anyway, I walked in her room to check on her and she was reading a book. She’s reading Eighth Grade Bites, the first Vladimir Tod book by Heather Brewer. I love to read and she claims that she does not like to read, so it brings me joy that she is reading a book. She also needs to read books and then test on them at the school library to get points for her Language Arts class. (Why is it called Language Arts in middle school, but English in high school? Just wondering.) She needs ten points by next Friday and Eighth Grade Bites is worth seven, so she will have to read another book after (and Ninth Grade Slays is almost twice as long) so she does need to read.

But. I would still prefer that she do her reading last. She’s a fast reader. She can read on the weekends.

She had to do nine math problems, study bones for science (did you know that 1/4 of the bones in our body are in our feet?), and write over 20 vocabulary sentences for Language Arts. I know this because all of her homework is online. Yes, the digital age makes it possible for even non-helicopter moms like me to know what their kids are supposed to be doing.

“You’re doing your reading first?” I asked her trying to sound upbeat and chipper instead of disapproving.

“Yes, I’m almost done,” she answered. “I only have a few pages left.”

“Okay,” I said and handed her an index card with her homework assignments written on it. “Finish up and start your math.”

“I know, Mom,” she said in that lovely tween voice that lets you know they know. (Everything!)

A half an hour later I popped my head in her room to let her know I found a cool website with some math games for percentages. She’s been struggling with percentages and I’m great at percentages (probably because in my mind percentages equals buying things on sale), but I’m not great at teaching her percentages. (Probably because she’s not great at listening.)

She was still reading her book.

“I thought you said you were almost done.”

“I am,” she answered.

And then I noticed the glow on her face. It was not a metaphorical glow that lights up your face because you are reading words that inspire or enlighten you. It was a physical glow. A bright glow that reminded me of the  briefcase in Pulp Fiction.


And it was coming out of her book.

She was the modern day version of a kid in class with a comic book stuck inside of a text book.

“Hand over the iPod,” I said.

“But Mom,” she whined. “Listening to music helps me concentrate. Even Dr. Robin said it’s a good idea.”

“Yes, well listening to music may help you concentrate, but having a mini computer stuck in your book does not. Hand. It. Over.”

And after a few “That’s not fairs” she did.

And then I went back to my laptop and got back to work. After watching a short film on YouTube. And commenting on some Facebook status updates. And scrolling Twitter. Because Marley has nothing on me when it comes to being distracted.

(And if you’d like to be distracted even further, here is the film on YouTube that caught my eye.)