Thursday, May 31, 2012

Congratulations are in order.

My dad timed it well.  Yes his birthday is in May and that's why it happened this specific month, but with all the graduations going on, along with the moving ons and moving ups, May is a special time of year.

My dad retired today.


When I was in High School I attended my father's Army retirement ceremony at Fort Myer as a Warrant Officer II.  It seems a lifetime ago that he finished 20 years of service, after several tours in Vietnam, 5 years at Supreme Headquarter Allied Powers Europe (aka the much easier pronounced SHAPE) in Belgium (where I was born) and a career in the Defense Attache Offices in (former) Zaire, Algeria, Niger and Haiti.

His career is why I have itchy feet.

After retiring from the Army, he earned his Master's Degree roughly at the same time I received my Bachelor's and my mom received her Associate's.  There's a picture frame in their house with all 3 of us in caps and gowns.

Since then he opened and closed his own business. Ran the music program at Saint Michael's church for over 15 years. Survived a multiple heart bypass surgery.  And rejoined the military but in a contractor position for a few years and then 17 years as a government employee with the Navy in Foreign Military Sales.

Now he's retired again.  And he has plans.  Lots of plans.

My dad is an accomplished pianist, organist, composer and music director.  I believe it's his first love, music has been part of his life since he began on the piano and organ as a young boy.

He is bilingual.  Though we should probably say multilingual since he can get along pretty much anywhere.

He's an excellent writer, and with all he's done there is at least a trilogy or two waiting to be put to the page.

There's a PhD in the wings, I can feel it.

And rumblings of a restaurant venture.  He's been talking of opening a restaurant for as long as I can remember.

And he's a teacher. Teaching music or French or politics or history... in college or high school or middle school... I could see him as a long-term substitute pretty much anywhere.

I think my mom has a laundry list of items for him to stay occupied as well.

All to say, my dad will not be bored and I don't think he'll be fully retired for long either.  Whatever his new position, it won't involve as much traveling or as much stress, but like everything he does it will make a difference.

We love you, Papa.  And congratulations on your brand new beginning.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Home sale update.

All moves forward as expected.  

Yesterday we had the HVAC guy do a cleaning and fix the drip.  Apparently the guys who installed our new unit never sealed the drain pipes.  

Had the electrician come through and secure the wiring under the disposal.

Had the gutter guys come by and clean out our gutters.

This weekend the kids' faucet will be replaced.

And that's it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fixing up to say goodbye.

This weekend was a time for wrapping up, specifically for Rebecca who is having the hardest time leaving Virginia.  She has settled in so solidly that no matter what we say about Jordan she simply wants to stay here.  Truly, for the girls they are giving the most up with this move.  Band camps, swim team, drama camp, and for Becca all the stuff that comes with attending HS here... the opportunity to do crew, for example.  Not much chance for crew in Jordan.

So this weekend was for Becca Stuff.

Saturday was mom and Becca.  We went shopping, as all good moms/daughters do.  Kohls for some new shorts and underthings. I gave her a $ budget and she went from there.  It helped that Kohls did their Buy $50/Get $10GC thing. Then to the mall to check out PINK/Victoria's Secret for sweatpants. I've never been into a Victoria's Secret before (nearly 38 years old, and yes, it's true) but I think I might be a convert.  Not at full price, certainly.  We walked out of PINK with nothing because $45 for sweatpants that say PINK is not my idea of good money spent.  We agreed that if she wants sweatpants we'll check out Target and she'll have to manage without the PINK logo.  

Granted, none of my kids are truly focused on brands for clothing, except perhaps when it come to shoes.  Becca sold me on the expensive brands with the argument that a) her feet aren't growing so shoes need to last longer, b) the shoes are better quality therefore worth the extra money, and c) the style is "cool."  Negating the last one, the argument was valid.  Becca's feet haven't changed size in a couple years so it seems wise to invest in shoes that will last longer than the 6-month specials at Payless.  We bought each of the kids several pairs of shoes, some are put aside for when the need arises in Jordan, some are even identical to the ones they currently wear since they like them so much.

We also made an impromptu stop in Group USA.  In Jordan there will be some formal affairs, Becca might even get to go to a Marine Ball or two, so it seemed prudent to get something formal, just in case.  She isn't a tall person, I think she rings in right around 5'3" or so, much to her 5'8" sister's delight, so she feels that short dresses are the way to look taller.  I encouraged her to at least try on a long one, just to see.  Truly, this photo doesn't do it one bit of justice.

We'll have to wait until to see it on her until she has a function to wear it to, but suffice to say that I actually got a little teary when she tried it on. (I can only imagine the blubbering fool I'll be when my girls go wedding dress shopping.  Skip the Kleenex, bring on the towel.)

A carry-on suitcase added to our pile and completed our shopping day.  And to top off our day, a trip to the spa near home for a French manicure.

That evening she had 5 friends for a sleep-over.  No sleep was had, we heard voices until past 4 a.m.  Beyond pizza and a trip out to Baskin' Robbins for ice cream, we stayed out of the way.  The cat was understandably annoyed at all the intrusion.

Sunday we traded.  Becca went to a friend's house for a sleep-over.  I spent the day with my boys.  We played "tennis" over at the elementary school, hitting the ball around without a net to get in the way, and lots of room to chase wayward balls.  At home we played Cranium and then the boys encouraged (ok, pushed, prodded, and begged) me to give Minecraft on the xBox360 a go.  We now have "Family Town" where the boys have built houses right next to my cave house and we all go hunting pigs together.  Ah, family bonding.

In the evening, Ian and I watched "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."  Why?  Ian tried to read the book and found it so slow and boring he couldn't finish it, but for some reason he still wanted to know who the mole was.  Unfortunately the movie was just as slow and boring, but he really wanted to see who the mole was so we stayed with it until the end.  And then decided we actually hadn't cared who the mole was all along and were simply glad the movie was over.  That's $2 and 90 minutes we won't get back.  Thankfully, Game of Thrones and the Blackwater waited in the wings to wash out the slow and boring taste in our mouths.

Monday Rebecca returned home with her friend Allison, then her boyfriend Dakota showed up, and then our friends, with Rebecca's best friend Jacquelyn from Chennai, came down.  We all went to Dolphin Beach for the afternoon.  


The older kids on the pier.  Sunning.  Bad kids.

Nicholas caught a little fish, which drew everyone's attention.  Better than a snake.

If Becca asks, the boys behave.  Miracles abound.

Silly siblings.

Dakota and Becca, so cute.

Unfortunately, even with sunscreen on we all got roasted.  Poor virgin winter skin exposed to the sun's rays. They really are serious about reapplications and I don't think the kids will fight me on sunscreen at all this summer.  My arms and Becca's legs are not the sunscreen's fault, as it never made it to either of those parts. And Nicholas was spared but for his cheeks, thanks to his long swim trunks and his insistence on a swim shirt.  Smart boy.

It was quite a weekend for all of us, a fun weekend, one worthy of being a nearly-last-weekend.

Let's see what next weekend has in store.

Monday, May 28, 2012

GFHS Band Concert

Back to last Tuesday, Katherine's final band concert at Gar-Field HS.  The execution was OK, but they saved it by playing fun familiar pieces: Star Wars, a Pineapple piece, and theme from The Incredibles.

Next up for band... the awards ceremony coming up this coming Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Airlines:

We've flown for years.  Not always by choice, mind you, and perhaps that's the problem.  In most instances when we're flying, we have to take an American airline.  It's one of those "Fly America" crossed with "airline X has a monopoly on so many of the routes" issues that eliminate our ability to choose an airline that cares one whit about its patrons.  I understand that airline, you know, the one that cares, can be as elusive as the yeti, but I believe that they do in fact exist. I've heard stories.

Well, I'd like to inform you that flying isn't fun.

It's not just "not fun," it can be downright miserable depending on how uncomfortable the seats are, how little space there is to move, how exhausted the patrons are (including the kids, because kids actually are people and paying customers, just FYI), how long the delays are, and how many new restrictions and fees are squirreled away and rolled into ticket fees.  I suppose I should mention the food and drink thing?  Not today, that's a topic for a different day.

It's tough to travel to a new home in a new country and have your belongings weeks behind you, and be limited to a single carry-on bag and a single checked bag which must weight 20 pounds less than was allowed a few years ago.

Just sayin'.

We watch the release of new rules and restrictions with trepidation.  Since we joined the Foreign Service nearly 10 years ago there hasn't been a single one that has improved our flying experience.  We thought being separated from our kids on our very first flight was a pain.  At the time our kids were 7, 5, 2, and 1 years old and with our tickets none of us were sitting together.  It took a little begging and a lot of demanding that someone be moved so our toddlers weren't sitting next to strangers.  Eventually it worked out enough that our older 2 kids were alone in other rows but the toddlers were situated with parents, even if we also were in different rows.  Far from ideal for a long haul flight.

You know what's even further from ideal?

The new regulations that have come out this week.

It was hard keeping our family together years ago.  Now airlines are adding in seat reservation charges.  The attempts previously to either have the airline representatives arrange family seating, or a last ditch effort of asking folks already in their seats if they'd be willing to move, those are all out the window now.  The moment someone pays for a particular seat, they won't be moving.  Do you understand what this means?  You're charging families for the privilege of not having their toddler babysat by the single traveler who has paid for that precious window seat.


I'll ignore the whole unaccompanied minor aspect of this, there might be a financial incentive in there somewhere for you... prevent families from sitting together and then forcing an unaccompanied minor fee.  I could see it.

So, families have a hard time sitting together.  On top of that airlines are now dropping preboarding for families. So the families that can't sit together are also not allowed to preboard and set everyone up in their various sections and aisles before having annoyed other passengers board and wait in those tiny aisles.  When my kids were little I was thankful for those few extra minutes to buckle in a carseat, to settle in a toddler, to get bags out of the way and snacks issued before everyone else piled in and blocked every angle of movement.  Flying is so full of restrictions, what is gained removing this very small "perk" and not only irritating parents and kids but all the other passengers as well?  Trust me, they don't enjoy the delay of standing in an aisle anymore than the parents enjoy the dirty and exasperated looks they get for causing the delay.

What is the deal with making flying as difficult as possible for families?

So here's my suggestion:

Family Section.

Let us preboard.  Come on, just let it happen.  Even better, let us preboard and put us all in the back by the bathrooms.  We don't mind, our kids use those bathrooms far more than any of the other passengers.  Cordon off a section.  Sound-proof it if you want.   But ensure that our kids are with us.  Even better, all those singles, couples, and business-y types won't be bothered by our noise and movement.

Actually, what's really better is that when you put all the kids together, they entertain each other.  They don't care if someone accidentally kicks their seat.  They don't mind if someone watches a movie with them over their shoulder.  Tablets, handheld gaming systems, eReaders become group activities.  Noise doesn't matter.  Less crying is always a good thing.  Kids moving between rows is no biggie.

Think about it. Parents would love you.  So would the rest of the travelers.

Families travel.  Some of us travel out of need.  There's really no need to treat us like the barely tolerated black sheep of the traveling world.  Instead, treat us with respect and recognize that kids are part of your clientele as well as the parents that travel with them.  And that they are different than traveling adults.  We don't need special treatment, just considerate treatment.

Think about it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy 16th to us!

Our anniversary fell on a Friday this year and we'd planned to send the kids over to grandma and grandpa's house for the weekend.  That didn't exactly pan out, Katherine had some volunteer work at the hospital for the new junior auxiliary recruits on Saturday morning, but it was worth the delay.  Rebecca got in another lawn mowing before the rains started again last night, Ian slept in, the boys played on the xBox, and I ran to PetSmart for some gerbil toys and Joann's for a quick project.

Saturday afternoon they were all off to grandma's and Ian and I did the most glamorous thing we could think of... a trip to Costco.  Clearly I hadn't planned things well enough to avoid that errand during our kid-free time.

Ah well.

Our date night actually took place in Occoquan at the Cock & Bowl Belgian restaurant, where the focus is on  beer and mussels.  The mussels are what we go for (the beer is good too, we typically get the fruity Lindemans, but at $6.50/ little bottle it's a lot cheaper to buy at Wegmans.  I wonder if they have a corking fee??).  Cooked in beer, or vegetables, or Gruyere cheese, or a number of other concoctions, the mussels arrive in a pile of yummy goodness.  And for dessert... a Belgian waffle, what else?  Clearly I was too busy enjoying my food, the patio weather, and the company, to remember to pull out the camera.

We'd wanted to walk around Occoquan afterwards.  It was early enough (we ate from 5-6:30) to allow plenty of light and warmth after dinner, and to avoid the hour long wait that exists by 6 p.m.  Just about every shop was closed unless you need a guitar repair or a coffee.  I do like Occoquan but its store hours are questionable.

Instead we returned home, and had an incredibly romantic evening sitting next to each other on the couch playing the newly released Diablo III for a few hours while watching hockey (the IIHF semifinals).  Nerdfest?  Don't care.  We had fun and the house was quiet, and there was nothing else we had to do.

Sunday we went to the Taste of Arlington.  I'd won an on-line contest a few weeks earlier so Ian and I each had 8 tastes, which was plenty.  Some of the booths offered little tastes, a tiny cup of coleslaw, that sort of thing.  Other tastes were a plate of food, a Thai restaurant comes to mind: rice, pad thai, chicken satay, chicken curry and a ground chicken something I'm blanking on... all on one plate for one ticket.  The Melting  Pot gave out two chocolate covered strawberries, rice krispie treat and chocolate marshmallow.  A burger place gave out 2 mini burgers.  A Lebanese spot gave a kofta stuffed 1/2  pita with vegetables and hummus. If you did it right, one set of 8 tickets was plenty of food for 2, and the other set of 8 tickets was plenty for a beer sample and some desserts.  And the food, aside from one beer sample that claimed it was Belgian but tasted like nasty bitter grapefruit flavored beer, was excellent.  If you can manage crowds it's well worth a visit next year.  Ian and I don't do crowds but the weather was gorgeous and the food good, so we hung around for about an hour then called it a day.

We picked up the kids after they finished their game of Settlers of Catan, and returned home, much rejuvenated and ready for the next 4 weeks in our home and 7 weeks in Virginia.  There's a lot happening and we're in this together.

I'm guessing for at least another 16 years.

Friday, May 18, 2012

We are under contract!

We have home buyers, and everything is falling into place beautifully.

Now that I've jinxed it....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hello nightmare, thy name is anxiety

ETA 5/18: Lucky me had another nightmare last night.  And this one did involve water, but thankfully still no kids.  I hope this isn't steady progression towards nightmarish... nightmares.  That would be lousy.

So last night's story involved a refugee settlement on a beach.  The beach was in a cove, surrounded by a low wall, along a small town.  People set up tarps and areas for their belongings, when the sky darkened, the  wind whipped up and the waves rose.  And the tide swept in.  People scrambled to save what they could and retreat to the wall.

I rescued a couple scrapbooks.  And our wedding photo.

And woke up very, very sad.

Let's see if I go 3-for-3 tonight.


As things wind down and major change approaches it truly is the calm before the storm.

Bring on the nightmares.

I get the typical symptoms of anxiety: a general uncomfortable feeling in the chest, difficulty focusing on anything, and a desperate need to clean something (which works really well for showing a house).  But I also get nightmares.  The last time I clearly recall this symptom was when we lived in Togo.  I would have visions of fast flowing water in a cavern with swirling whirlpools... and Jonathon falling in and being swept away.  It happened many nights, the same flashing water and the disappearance of my child.  I woke crying.

This time the anxiety nightmare didn't feature a child, and I'm thankful for that, and there was no water involved.  Instead, it was centered on me, and an attacker who wasn't trying to hurt me but did anyway, while he attempted to wrench the wedding rings and mother's ring from my finger.  I woke with a start and fumbled to determine whether my rings were still on my hand.  They were.  And while I waited for my heart to slow I didn't sleep for the next hour.

I could do without the nightmares, but I'm learning they come part and parcel with impending moves.  As long as they don't involves losing my family, I'll cope.

And since I can't focus on squat, I smartly decided to try my hand at something new that requires a ton of focus and two hands that work seamlessly together.

'Cause when you can't focus, you should learn to knit. 

I'm on my third tear-out and start-over.  But youtube is patient, so I'll keep plugging along, even if all I ever figure out is the knit stitch and all I ever make are yet more blankets.

One can never have too many blankets.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Remember the snowball incident?

January was a tough month.  Snowballs came to the rescue.

As we wind down our time here there's some sadness seeping in.  Yesterday blessed us with a short but very heavy downpour right after dinner.

The kids, yes all 4 of them, took advantage.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exactly what I didn't want. Getting teary.

A month from today we move out of our house.  A month from today we will have lived in this house for exactly 3 years.  A month from today we begin the next part of our journey in this Foreign Service life with some time in DC, some time at the beach, some time with family, and then a short plane ride to Jordan.  (If you've lived in places like the Philippines or India, you know it's a short trip: It's all relative.)

So begins the true lasts of our stateside "tour."  School is coming to and end and I'm searching for going-away gifts for teachers and administrators that have made a positive impact on my kids.  Katherine's doctors get a big thank you too.  Final classes are taken in the next few weeks, final doctor appointments are held.

U.S. related things... Virginia related things... Montclair related things... they are capturing my attention again, as quickly as they faded from view amidst the daily grind of kids off to school, meals to make and a house to fix up.  They have now returned along with a touch of sentimentality.  The gorgeous windy Waterway Dr. in our neighborhood. Our beaches, both Dolphin in our neighborhood and Virginia a few hours south. The cleanliness of the grocery stores, and the choices, oh, the choices.  Costco.  Tons and tons of trees and parks and green everywhere you turn, even in the middle of DC.  Thunderstorms that are happily ensconced between sprinkles and monsoons.  Sidewalks: walkable, wonderful, sidewalks.  Proximity to family, 30 minutes to the perfect holiday gathering our weekday lunch.  The ease of driving anywhere and everywhere.  American English.  Washington Capitals hockey.  And seasons, how I had missed Spring and Fall.

Memories are poking out through bits and pieces.  Katherine's 100-hour pin from Junior Auxiliary volunteering at the hospital.  On her last day she'll actually have over 110 hours.

Rebecca and my trip to NYC together.  Nicholas earning the President's Academic Award in 5th grade.  The kids swimming with the Dale City Frogs three summers in a row, and getting better every year.  Katherine spending two years in the Gar-Field Marching Band, and a year with the amazing Wind Symphony in the Youth Orchestras of Prince William.  Rebecca learning guitar while the boys picked up cello.  Losing Masala, and bringing out Tandoori's true colors.  The kids volunteering at Hilda Barg family shelter twice a year to serve meals.  The first year was on Halloween and the girls went in costume.

And so many tiny things I couldn't even try to start listing them.

I will miss Virginia, not the politics but the beautiful state itself.  I will miss my parents terribly.  Yes, I will be sad to leave so many wonders behind, but I will take the memories with me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mom's Day to Me!

After last night's sad loss in Game 7 to the Rangers, we needed a pick-me-up.

OK, that was during the 3rd period, in hopes it would make the crumbling of our hopes feel a little less sour in our belly.  It worked for about 5 minutes.

You already know that my husband rocks more than all yours.  Not only did send a dozen gorgeous roses, but he also got me a Holtby jersey.  I was so excited and so giddy.  Ask my kids.  If we'd been in public I would have SO embarrassed them.

This morning we went to church at Saint Thomas More in Arlington, then over to Kettler Iceplex for their $5 open skate.  We all skated. (Click on the photos to see them larger.)

It almost looks like we have the whole ice to ourselves, doesn't it?  Oddly enough, for $5 skate day very few people take part.  The ice still gets chopped up but there's plenty of room for falling.  Which several of the family did in fine form.  Not yours truly, of course.  Each time we go I impress my kids with my little bit of skating ability.  Last time it was the fact that I can skate at all (you should have seen them when I roller-skated last summer).  This time was that I can skate backwards.  I can't do a cross-over or much of anything else, but for my kids what I can do is enough, because so far they can't.  Jonathon is going to pass me up in no time though.  Combine his shortness with his fearlessness and the fact he falls 10 times doesn't phase him.  I still have a definite aversion to falling, so it's clear which one of us will actually progress with exposure.

Oops, caught Katherine laughing.  Try again.

There we go.

And... cue duck face.

He almost smooshed into the window.

Ah, there we go.


We stopped by grandma and grandpa's house on the way home to wish my mom a Happy Mom's Day and see the progress my dad is making on the 1000-piece puzzle he got for his birthday, as well as the puzzle ball rubber band... game thing.  Tie up all the rubber bands, then try to untwist them.  It's irritation at its finest.

What will top it off?  Well, there's a cat on my lap now, so that's a good thing.  But no... there's a Coldstone cupcake in the freezer, and I do believe it has my name on it.

Happy Mom's Day all.  I hope your day was as good as mine.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

And we've reached the second round nail-biting Game 7.

If we don't win, it's not his fault.

Caps gear under the Caps gear.  Don't ask about his underwear, OK?

Let's Go Caps!

C-A-P-S, Caps Caps Caps!

Rock the Red!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Game 6. Do or Die. (Yeah, if we have Game 7 it'll be the same... deal)

My husband is the rockingest of all husbands.  For mother's day (and I'm not even his mom....)

OH YEAH.  I'm rockin' the Holtbeast with a new Jersey from Ian!

Thank you Wegmans for an awesome raspberry lager brew, Rascal's Wild Red, perfect for game night.

Dessert tonight is strawberry and cherry Jell-o with strawberry bits.

Rock the Red.

Finally, we know.

The box.  No clue what was "LIVE" in it though.  Or why the box was so big since the box inside the box was the size of a sheaf of papers.

The kit. Do you see anything "LIVE"? Not at all complicated, with a teacher's guide though I didn't read it.

Prepping the cards with the agents.  We had a control group since we knew no one in the house would come up with an A blood type.

A drop of blood mixed with the agents.  If the blood reacts and breaks down, it's that type.  So, final results confirmed that I am indeed B- and Ian is indeed O+.  And the kids?  They are one of each.  Fantastic, if you did a Punnet Square with our blood types, you'd get exactly our kids.  

Katherine is OO+ like her father.

Rebecca is OO-.

Nicholas is BO- like me.

Jonathon is BO+.

The biggest wimp in the whole affair?  Ian.  Seriously.  The man stood there when it was his turn and said he'd really rather not.  He'd REALLY RATHER NOT.  What.  A. Wimp.  Yeesh.

So there we have it.  It's something I've been meaning to do for years and now it's done.  Happy me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What to do?

It's no secret that Jonathon has a temper.  He's also got a sarcastic streak a mile wide.  Combining the two often leads to, let's say, not-so-pleasant exchanges between the brothers.

The real trouble rises when the temper shows up outside of home.

Yesterday at school, Jonathon got into an altercation with a student in his class.  He's had a tough year with school, his temper and attitude don't help when kids bully him on the playground.  I'm not so sure he's not a bully-problem himself sometimes.  I've seen him at home, I can see it transferring to school.

Honestly, there are lots of things I could say that would sound like reasoning away his behavior, but none of that matters.  It remains solely his own issue as to how he carries himself when a) things don't go his way, b) things are truly unfair, or c) kids treat him poorly.

So with that, he got into a fight yesterday at school.  It was a shoving match he didn't start and he was on the losing end by the finish, ending up on the ground.

And he's serving after school detention today.

When he got home yesterday he was miserable.  I'm not sure the detention is a proper punishment for this altercation (he's much more receptive to service related discipline), but I don't care much about it either.  It's less a school issue than it is a Jonathon issue, and that's where I'm stuck.

Jonathon is getting straight As in school.  He's been earning grade rewards and was looking forward to a grand end-of-year reward.  But now he's serving detention for poor behavior.

My question: should the one affect the other?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Field Trip: American Art Museum - Art of the Video Game

Signet field trip for 8th grade, so I chaperoned Rebecca's group.  It's a small exhibit with only 3 rooms.  The first chronicles the eras of gaming consoles.  Each era was broken into the individual consoles and the games in each genre (Action, Adventure, Strategy, Tactics) that epitomized the age.  Of course, it began in the 70s with Atari with PacMan and Asteroids.

In the second room there were 5 megasized games free for playing.

In the third room there was a very slim showing of artwork from game development.  It was a little disappointing actually, with all the games out there and all the effort that goes into designing them, the didn't have more than 20 images to show for it.

As far as the significant games for the eras, I already mentioned PacMan.  We were pleased to also see (aside from the multiple renditions of Mario and Zelda) BioShock, Worms, Diablo II, and Portal recognized.

Final thought: the exhibit was neat, but really only worth about 20-30 minutes.

You Know the Days When What You've Always Thought Was True Turns Out Not to be the Case?

On Katherine's birth record from the hospital, her blood type is listed as B+.  Not O+. I should have known to check or do a home test because we've had this happen with the other kids, and honestly still don't know the correct blood types for all the kids because we've gotten so many different classifications over the years.

I. Am. Annoyed.