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August 2010
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October 2010

365/52 week 36

(if today being day 253 is correct, that means there are 112 days left in the year. does someone want to do the math for me? did i keep up or am i off by a week? or three?)

we've had so. much. rain. holy cats and dogs. south of us an hour or less, they got 10+ inches of rain in the past 24 hours. 10 miles from us, they are watching the river and predicting it to be above flood stage. craziness.

and people say our climate is totally fine and normal.

okey doke.

pix from the past week ... tomorrow, i swear, i'll write about something more interesting. though i have coffee with 5th grade moms in the morning, harper to and from school, laundry, reservations for wine with a friend ... maybe i'll write on saturday.

anyway ...


two months ago, marc surprised me: tickets to "wicked"!! he scored some major points. it *almost* gets him back in the black from forgetting my birthday less than three months after our wedding ...


harper attended a birthday party "spa" day at scoops. bless my sheltered daughter's heart ... every time they brought out a new pampering thingy, she just looked at it like, "wha ... ?" she asked if the nail file would hurt. she was reticent to let the lady put the pedicure do-hickey between her toes. i've failed as a mother.


two of my favorite girls came to town, kimber and summer. we ate sushi, drank some beverages, talked scrappy, and giggled with our adorable pocket-sized waiter.


seriously, have you ever seen so much pink?!


junior high math = more homework x less time for anything else


a fluffy old bee has decided to winter in my hollyhocks.


school picture day. and apparently i told him to go stand in the rain.

365/52 week 32. and 33. oh heck, 34 and 35, too.

i've slacked for a month. a MONTH. last posting of pix? august 20th.

pix have been taken, just not posted. so ... i'll be economical, then get back in the saddle of normalcy on thursday.

(click on the pic if you want to see it full-sized)

week 32:

220 221  222
223 224 225 

220: harper took her allowance to target and bought herself the lego set her brother convinced her she wanted. she felt very grown up.

221: henry, clearly impressed with daddy's small golf ball handling skills.

222: chattin' up his buddy on the phone. topic: pokemon.

223: roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes for dinner. someone's craving fall.

224: how she slept.

225: him and mini-him.


week 33:

226 227  228 229
230 231 232

226: studious consideration of the lego catalog can mean only one thing: it's xmas list season.

227: the moon seems to be ready for fall, too.

228: found a cool light for henry's room next year. yay, ikea.

229: harper got all life-jacketed-up for her fishing day at eco-camp. she caught three blue gills. "just little ones, though," she said.

230: when you break a tempered glass lid, it shatters like a $#*&%@. and crackles forever.

231: starting to be a little sad at the thought of this room being empty all day once school starts.

232: my yellow-tube-floating son and his buddies, on a last-hurrah kind of day.


week 34:

  233 234 235
236 237 238

233: took the kids to waterpark of america for the day. it was on their summer to do list. time was running out.

234: took the kids to mill city museum for the day. it was on my summer to do list. time was running out.

235: harper took the fairy rocks that twig the fairy gave her during previous visits to the renaissance fair. twig giggled in delight when she saw the rocks, sprinkled harper with glitter, and played her a tune on the flute.

236: decided to eat on the deck. marc opened the table umbrella and a bat fell out. so, naturally, he grabbed it. and i, naturally, took pix. then we set it free and went back to setting the table, at which point we noticed a second bat in the umbrella.

237: harper's very first sleepover. oh, the giggling.

238: legos, legos everywhere.

239: how daddy does a "home lunch."


week 35:

240 241 242
243 244 245 246

240: the intrepid landowner climbs through the undergrowth that will one day be his side yard. and mrs landowner is inwardly gloating over the previous declaration from the mr that "mowing is man's work!" because that side yard slope is going to be a bitch.

241: hallo, lovely light fixture.

242: pink + pink x pink = bff b'day lunch at american girl bistro.

243: gettin' some air under those feet.

244: sooo ... technically a pic from the previous day. whatever.

245: day one of kindergarten, harper has added to her bff roster and immediately requested a play date.

246: squirrels. eating nuts.

wouldn't this be lovely?

the first week of school is winding down. my glimpses of free time have given me hope and opened a world of possibilities for me: run to the grocery without children? yes! prep dinner and get it in the oven?  yes! go the to gym? not this week, but, yes! snuggle up on the bed for 10 minutes and chat with my husband? yes! hypothetically decorate the front room of the new house?


like i've said before, it's an illness. or extreme proactivity and planning ahead. take your pick.

the front room of the new house is a "flex space" on the blueprint ... not a great room, that's by the kitchen. probably an office, but we're converting the dining room into an office. so for us, this flex space will be a little tv room. because i don't want a tv in my great room. especially above the fireplace. we decided that it made sense to open up the great room to the flex room and create one larger, open space for multipurposefulness.

what does any good obsessive-compulsive planner/dreamer with time on her hands 2.5 hours a day do?

she obsessive-compulsively plans/dreams.

i tore out this inspiration article from the april better homes & gardens magazine because i loved this built-in entertainment center. because the flex room isn't all that wide, figuring out where to put a media cabinet of some sort and leave room to walk between it and a couch was tricky. but this idea would solve that beautifully!

  Media built-in Media built-in 2 Media built-in 3

i think it would be possible to tuck it into the stairway wall and not interfer with anything. i'm guessing. haven't discussed this with the builder, hence the hypotheticalness.

once that little idea bounced around my brain, though, it felt possible to move forward with the O-CP/D decorating of this space.

so i did.

Front room
how cute would that be??

that rug ... i'm in love with that rug. so hard.

hang some prints above the couch, some white or simple graphic pattern curtains on the windows and ... love.

but that's next year. we'll see where the wind takes me when the time actually comes. but like the mud room and harper's room, the kitchen and my studio and henry's room (which i haven't told you about yet), ideas are percolating, and that can only make decisions easier to make at crunch time, right? see. i'm doing the right thing.

i almost got teary. almost.

five years ago, i loaded my little harper bird into her stroller, handed henry his star wars backpack, and we walked six blocks to deliver the boy at kindergarten. then harper and i walked home, i tried desperately to get her to nap while we had a quiet house (typically, a big, fat fail.), and more times than not she did this in her bed while waiting for me to come rescue her:

there were just too many things to do and too few hours in the day to waste on sleep for this child.

and she's like that to this day.

last two nights? 10 p.m. and after 9:30 p.m., respectively, when she finally gave up her quest to guilt us into letting her stay up late because, as she argued, she's BIG now ... and why can't SHE stay up late like henry, and like mommy and daddy, and she just wants to be a GROWN. UP. she's in *kindergarten,* after all.

yes, i said kindgergarten.

my baby.

where do the years go??

so today, five years later, i helped harper get *her* backpack on (birds, appropriately enough) ...


and we drove to her school. we walked to her classroom, where she promptly unloaded her backpack, hung it up in her locker, found her name stick and name tag, picked up a coloring sheet and a pink crayon (of course), and waved me good-bye.

just like that.

and while i was so thankful that she was happy and excited (at least so far), there was that tiny "mommy" part of me that felt sad ... nostalgic ... in denial that my baby, my little girl, has entered this stage of life. already.

in my head, she's still that squinchy little baby whose toes i would nibble and whose belly i would zerbert.

then i got back in the car to head home and realized: i have 2.5 hours to myself!

and the teary "mommy" part disappeared.


and ... here we go.

henry has officially reached the age where he says, "it's okay, mom. you can go."


little dude starts fifth grade today. i know, right?



every year (like this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one) i write about how excited i am for him, how great i think his year is going to be, how much i like his teacher, blah blah blah.

this year? i totally mean it.

this will be his last year in this school. next year? middle school. this year he will be in the gifted academy all day long versus just specialized pull-out classes throughout the day. this year he will take an hour of 6th grade math at the middle school before his fifth grade school day starts. this year he will be back in the same classroom as every single one of his closest friends. this year he has a teacher who has taught gifted kids throughout her career, including at the middle and high school levels. and she has gifted kids of her own. and she, herself, is gifted. she gets these kids. and for that, i'm thrilled and excited beyond words. she will prepare them and challenge them and motivate them and empathize with them.

and that makes me giddy-giddy about the next nine months of my kid's life.

i asked henry in the car this morning if he was feeling happy, sad, anxious, eager, excited, nervous, or scared. he answered, "all of the above. except sad." then he flashed me a happy-anxious-eager-excited-nervous-scared smile. i asked him if he wanted me to walk with him to his math classroom at the middle school, since the middle school is huge compared to his school, and full of middle school-sized kids (not that my kid, who is almost my height, would feel like he was going to get trampled. but still.), and unfamiliar. he said no, then yes. but right as we pulled up to the school, so did one of his best buddies, and henry took one look at hayden, looked back and me, and said, "it's okay, mom. you can go."

i can go. leave. leave him there. in a school with kids who look ready to shave, and girls who are waaaayyyy more "blossomed" than i was at flippin' 18.

and suddenly *i'm* the one who feels happy, anxious, eager, excited, nervous, scared. and sad. my baby isn't a baby anymore, and this year is, literally, the first step in his growing away from us. i have a feeling he will always be the easy one, the one who loves us and isn't full of teenage drama and angst in regards to his parents, but that doesn't mean he will always want us to be around, to be his safety net. and, truth be told, that all starts in middle school, doesn't it?

thank goodness this is just our practice year.

no matter how much he wants us to "go," though, i know he'll also want us there when he comes back. and for that, i am grateful.

and i can't wait to hear all about his day.

september 1.

there are some people who love summer, who adore the heat and soak up all the rays of the sun and days of freedom.

i am not one of those people

i look forward to labor day weekend the way most people look forward to memorial day weekend. this three-day holiday signals to me the beginning of all the things i love most:

IMG_8599 autumn ... a new school year ... dewy mornings ... hints of warm sun on your face while a chilly breeze blows ... brilliant blue skies and glowing orange and yellow leaves ... pumpkins ... sweaters ... wool clogs ... roasted vegetables ... orchards ... apple pies and hot apple cider ... our anniversary ... snuggling up with the down duvet at night ... frosty leaves ... halloween ... thanksgiving ... the first snowfall ... christmas music ...

the list could be much, much longer.

ironically, every year i start to get wistful about the coming months and how much i love them and how much i anticipate their peace and joy, and every year the universe does its best to make me eat my words and hate the next four months. as one with a tendency toward realism and pessimism, my ability to keep the faith about fall and winter proves to be my only optimistic delusion.

i'm not sure why it is that for the past few years, everything bad or crazy or irritating or exhausting has come during this fall and winter timeframe. why?? i just want to sit back and enjoy it and relax and breathe in every moment of this season, and yet all that seems to come is ... the exact antithesis of what i'm craving and celebrating.

maybe god is a summer person.

anyway, this year i've decided to cut myself some slack. the new school year will (finally!) begin in a week, and my life will become a series of to-and-fro trips for each kid. i will begin to spend two hours of my day in the car. my free time will be in two short chunks, separated by a 40-minute round trip to drop off harper at kindergarten. on top of that, marc's family is again coming up for thanksgiving. while i love having them here for thanksgiving, this year we have so many projects to get the house ready to sell that i have a list a mile long of things i need/want to accomplish between now and the first of november. and after thanksgiving, we'll have three weeks until our trip to indiana for the holidays. as soon as '11 begins ('11? seriously?), we'll have four months to finish our projects before we list the house and begin the build. at this point, i truly believe i will NOT decorate for fall, and i will NOT decorate for christmas. it's just one thing that i don't need to do.

however, harper and i have decided that we'll make our own decorations. i found the book "what shall we do today" earlier this summer, and harper and i read through it and picked out 15 projects we want to tackle in december ... one a day, and each one will create a decoration for the house. i'm so excited, and will surely write more about that in december.

anyway, that will be a huge area in which i can, truly, cut myself some slack.

so i'm entering september in a more cautiously wary frame of mind than other years. i know that at some point in the next four months, the crap will hit the fan and i will throw a fit. we are entering marc's historically busiest time, which i need to keep in mind. we are entering the busiest time on the calendar, the one that always seems to go the fastest. we are entering a new landscape: henry, in the gifted academy and advanced math at the junior high, and harper, in real school - both of which could result is higher stress in my kids. we are entering the time when my expectations and desires don't necessarily match up with real life.

but if i start re-training myself right now, perhaps i can salvage some of the joy i hope for in this season and take little sniffs of it to keep myself centered, instead of missing it when the days rush past me and i'm left to mourn fall's elusiveness and fleetingness.