Hundred-dollar underwear, and other tails

Catchy title, no?
Let’s call it a teaser, and I’ll make you read all the way to the end to find out what that’s all about. Meanwhile, I’ll give you a little update on everybody in the twenty minutes flat that I have to enjoy a cup of coffee and write you all a note.
It’s almost automatic to say, “Oh, we’ve been so busy…” But really, compared to other Mays, the past month was pretty sane. Chloe had her track commitments, but a lighter meet schedule than last year. She finished up last week with the conference meet right here in Marblehead on an absolutely gorgeous afternoon. She finished 5th in the hurdles, which we thought was great, but seemed a little disappointing to her because she had just gotten one of her best times of the season in the qualifying heat, but then she got a bit out of sync in the finals. In any case, it’s really fun to watch her run it– she’s such a competitor. We look forward to watching her run her way through high school (not too fast, please, Chloe… make these four years last).
Chloe has also played in a pair of concerts recently. Her Symphony by the Sea orchestra performed a couple of weeks ago for the season finale, and the school orchestra played last week for the annual “Night of Excellence” at the middle school. Next up is her solo recital in mid-June, and then nothing until the big New England Conservatory concert at the end of July. She went off to school this morning wearing the “MHS Class of 2012” t-shirt she received last week during the step-up day the 8th graders spend at the high school with their older student ‘peer mentors’. It really is kind of an exciting time for her…
Memorial weekend we went up to visit Will at Brooks. They had Monday classes, plus he was unable to leave campus for the weekend. Everyone had a good time on the playground. Judge for yourself who won the races, but don’t try to tell Clay he didn’t win…

Will is immersed in exams as I write. He takes one every morning this week from 8-10am… so send him kind thoughts in those hours! Then Friday afternoon, Clay and the littles and I are planning to meet him at Brooks for the final pickup. We are so excited to have him home! Claire is counting down the days (not always with complete accuracy, but it’s the thought, you know!). Yesterday we drove up there to pick up a desk chair and some other large items he needed to send home, and the littles were very disappointed that he didn’t get to come home with us. But I think he is finishing his time at Brooks well. He seems in really good spirits, and I know he has been having fun with weekend activities like the graduation festivities last Saturday. Now that crew is over, he’s spending his free time with wiffle ball tournaments (I think he’s a standout on the dorm team) and playing catch with lacrosse equipment. Despite the season-long struggle that was crew, he did finish on a high note– with a regatta on the Charles River, right down by Harvard where the kids and I used to watch the crew teams practice when Will was in kindergarten! (Unfortunately, the boat the other team loaned them BROKE mid-race– they finished with a dismal time, but at least they didn’t sink or capsize! Still, sounds ‘fishy,’ doesn’t it?)
Claire is just cruising along, enjoying her life as a part-time princess. She was in good company last weekend when we visited the Carere family on the Cape, because her pal Ava truly believes that she is a fairy (a fairy princess unicorn pony, actually). So they get along famously, and we barely saw Claire for the 24 hours we were there. Claire’s princess thing was also reinforced this weekend by a birthday party she went to Saturday morning. It was at “A Girl’s Place”– a business someone has created around girly parties. The place has a whole dress-up wardrobe room with dozens of princess and fairy costumes, a karaoke room, a nail salon, and a lounge– and it is about the girliest thing I’ve ever seen. She was in heaven in her dresses and feather boas… as well as in the spa robe getting her nails done.
I had a parent-teacher conference for Claire yesterday, and though it sounds ridiculous for a preschool, it’s a really neat thing. They laid out a portfolio of her drawings and such from throughout the year, and it was so fun to see how she’s changed and hear about what she’s like in school. Would anyone be surprised to know that she likes to tell stories to the other children? But they said she never talks when she’s not supposed to– so hopefully she can escape Chloe’s fate of being sent to the principal in kindergarten for “chatting” too much! (My poor little Chloe– I just learned of this recently. But she said the principal was really nice and he just gave her crayons!)
As for Quinn, well the hundred-dollar underwear I mentioned are his story, thought the undies belong to Claire. They were just a regular pair of Tinkerbell underwear from Target; but the moment Quinn flushed them down the toilet, they became hundred-dollar underwear! We had no idea what had the basement toilet so clogged until the plumber came and extracted them. It was $115, to be exact.
But, you know, that’s just a little vignette in the epic of Quinn. He is so entertaining, sweet, mischievous, active… There are half a dozen good Quinn stories at the end of every day, and I’m forgetting to get them down. For example, we’re working on potty training right now so he is starting to spend a bit of time without the diaper. Just this morning after sending him to sit on his potty, I found him in the kitchen: stark naked and wearing Claire’s princess shoes. Of course I was cracking up as I led him back to the bedroom to get dressed. He is just a funny child.
My twenty minutes is more than over, so I’ll sign off now. By the way, I think this week marks the one year anniversary of the Happy Chaos blog (and that’s about 9 months older than the stupid commercial where the lady claims her family lives in ‘happy chaos’– the COPYCAT!) Anyway, it’s been a pleasure to share our everyday lives with you all. Thanks for reading, and our love to everybody.

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