From the top down:
Bob: Doing just fine at work, liking the job. His only concern is that it's BUDGET time and that's never good in this kind of economy. We in New Jersey are "blessed" with the need to have our school budgets approved by the public in a vote. This usually results in a lot of groveling, senior citizen events, and in the end very often budgets don't pass anyway. Bob's school sends out Reduction in Force notices to all their non-tenured teachers - basically a letter that says 'you're getting laid off, have fun trying to find a new job! Then if they can afford it, (or the non-tenured teacher deserves it) they get re-hired anyway. Hopefully. He's not VERY worried, seeing as his position was just filled and they would have hired a long-term sub if they wanted to cut the position. But it's still no fun getting a RIF letter. However, he does practically NO homework now, has time to do more with our family, and goes to bed at a decent hour. And bakes more. Best. Chocate. Cake. EVER. And watches Star-Trek with me, so we can be glorious geeks together. The pool is his next project, the liner and filter needing replaced. Hence the fun pictures. NOT that I ever wanted to know what the underside of a pool liner looked like, but now I know. Giant boxes of pool supplies arrived a while ago, so we should be in good shape. Hopefully.
Meg: At school, Chorus is pretty much eating my lunch and prep. I started out with a concert and ended up with a concert attached to a play with costumes and lines and cues. How? I'm stupid and overzealous? Lots of work, but this makes me wonder what in the world I'll do after April 3rd. Probably clean this heap of a room. There are currently hats with alien faces sitting on top of my "to-do" bin. There's a million little and big projects that I want to do to organize my room, better prep my lessons, and make my life in general easier at school. And some day I will get to them. Or abandon them for more important stuff like finding my hand calendar in all this rubble. You can tell when it's concert time just by walking into the music room, it's a universal fact. What's nice is that my absolute ban on taking work home has caused me to work harder at work and then leave work at work. (What a concept!) There's free time at night, instead of: dinner, play with Maddie, put Maddie to bed, clean kitchen & pack lunches, tackle school work, fall asleep on the couch to Bob's done with school work, go to bed. I've actually had time to read books again. I did Angels and Demons by Dan Brown in one week, a record for post-baby me. That book pretty much burrowed into my mind and took up residence until I would hurry up and finish it. Now reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake again (took a break for the Brown) and starting the new Philippa Gregory ASAP. God I missed books. Haven't really seen them since last summer.
Maddie: Is so much fun. We're enjoying lots of bigger-kid things that she couldn't do last year, like crafts and painting and Bounce U. Her vocabulary grows daily and leads Bob and I both to answer her questions with "when did you learn that word?" (In the good sense. Nana does not have a potty mouth. That I know of.) She loves to set up pretend dialogues between dolls, objects, anything. She has had long conversations with our feet on more than one occasion. We're so looking forward to summer with a new fervor this year, because of all the things we know she'll really enjoy - and that we'll enjoy doing with her. Zoos and concerts and plays oh my! Now if we could just find a play of Mario and Princess Peach driving the cool cars, we'd be set. She grows out of stuff as a hobby, and she finally FINALLY has incisors present and accounted for. They're not in all the way, which is kind of funny looking (think vampire with fangs retracted) but hey, at least we know they're there! Only 18 months late.