Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Pockets? No Problem!

So this afternoon has gotten marginally better than this morning.

L had us hooting before lunch with her pants stash:



"Mommy, do my pants look poufy?"



Um...yeah, I guess so.





The entire stash!



But then, both she and her sister proceeded to complain loud and long about the lunch I had prepared, forcing me to retreat to the library and drown them out with this site...it's a hoot!

It also reminded me of my own rather amazing prom picture, circa 1986.




Several comments:

1) I didn't remember that I was ever that thin!

2) I hated the bouquet. Ok, hate is a rather strong word. I was DISAPPOINTED in the bouquet...I was hoping for a wrist corsage like everyone else got. I went so far as to "forget" it in the car, but my ever chivalrous date graciously went back to fetch it for me...darn.

3) I don't have a lot of other memories of this prom, except for the time that my date imitated Animal House and was flopping around on the floor...I was mortified! (I didn't get out much.)

Ha Ha Ha!

Of course, things tend to get MORE funny the more tired I am.

Gimme Coffee (and keep it coming!)

There is nothing like the illness of a child to test the mettle of a parent. I'm not even talking SERIOUS illness, here, I'm just referring to your run-of-the-mill cold or stomach virus. I mean those times when your child doesn't sleep, although they REALLY need to, and they feel crummy so they cry or whine all the time. They are irrational (more than normal) and simply trying in general.

Right now I am plowing through my second giant mug of coffee for the day (my normal limit is one.) Basically the caffeine fumes are getting me through this morning, the third grey and wet day in a row. L is lying on the floor howling, and J has shuttered herself up in her room, frantically scribbling out another poem. My head is throbbing, I'm so tired that I can hardly think. I want to curl up on the couch under a fuzzy blanket and watch Colin Firth (as Mr. Darcy) in his tight pants all day...laundry, meals, school work be *&^%ed. I haven't felt this tired since L was a little, colic-y baby, who felt that sleeping at night was over-rated.

One of the stipulations for motherhood, as with marriage, is that you must take the good with the bad. Here I go...I'm going to paste on a smile and let the coffee carry me downstairs to comfort L, and continue Science lessons with J. Here I go...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Poems by Little Bird

Miss L woke in the wee hours of the morning today burning hot and doubled up with belly pain. I sat with her for an hour before she finally emptied her stomach, said "I feel a LOT better", and fell asleep. Of course, not long after I crept off to my own bed, she woke and called for me again. Poor little thing is still fevered tonight, and only ate 1 1/2 slices of toast all day. The first few weeks of Pre School are pretty hairy.

Little J Bird kept herself busy today writing poetry and illustrating them. I wanted to share this one with you all.

The Black Night
-by J. M. age 7
The beauty of the black night is the gold that flashes before me.
The beauty of the black night is sweet, but dark as wind blows strongly.
I walk. An owl hoots. All is still.
I look up.
The stars twinkle.
I sing my lullaby.
The wind howls.
I hear a coyote.
I go home.
I look out my window as my eyes droop.
I look out my window at the magnificent black night.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mindfulness

Did you see the moon last night? It was huge, yellow-orange and nearly full. I have searched all my life for the elusive "Man in the Moon". Last night I thought I saw him, round faced, ruddy and laughing, reminiscent of The Ghost of Christmas Present from the "Muppet's Christmas Carol". This is the Harvest Moon, which coincided last night with the Autumn Equinox for the first time since 1991. It won't happen again until 2029, when little L will be 24 years old.

Lately, I have been noticing things in more detail. This is a conscious action, based on the recommendation of my counselor to practice Mindfulness. The practice of Mindfulness is basically living in the moment. When a person's mind wanders, she told me, we either think about the future, which causes anxiety, or we ruminate on the past, which can lead to feelings of guilt, sadness, and anger. It is more difficult to do than I expected.

I started practicing on my morning walks with the dog. Up on top of the hill the sky was clear this morning, yet down in the hollows the mist swirled like the foam on a good cappuccino. The soft wind smelled of Fall: leaves and soil. The golden heads of wild flowers nodded like Queens above the bowing field of grasses. For a few minutes, I was thoroughly in the moment...and then I remembered that J and I needed to scurry through lessons this morning before picking L up at Pre-School and running to the grocery store and library, oh yeah, and violin lessons this afternoon...

This week, my counselor introduced a new concept: Radical Acceptance. This refers to the ability to let those things go that don't work out as planned. Like the fact that attempting Mindfulness makes me miss the moments where I used to let my mind go blank. Empty brain is easier to handle. Is that such a bad thing?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Colors



It has happened again...Autumn has tiptoed in and started to color the leaves. Kali and I have been crunching through the fallen ones while we walk in the mornings.



Mom and Dad have been adding color to their house. The great room has been painted and the pine tongue-in-groove ceiling has been installed. Isn't it lovely?




On the outside, the forest green fascia contrasts nicely with the logs. And isn't the blue sky gorgeous?



Mom's arm is pretty colorful right now too. She fell from a ladder while painting this week, and luckily didn't break any bones, but has lots of bruises and sore muscles.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rain and Other Stuff

We finally got some rain today. Not a lot of it according the the rain gauge, but steady all day none the less. It was enough to get the girls and I soaking wet on our Habitat Trek field trip at Mingo Creek this morning. But the discomfort was easily soothed with Krispy Kremes and Cocoa (or Lattes).

I have the library windows open as I type, so I am surrounded by a cool breeze and the sound of the rain falling...this is the life!

No soccer practice tonight, so we got dinner over with in record time. The girls are bathed and snuggled into our bed with their wet hair smelling faintly of watermelon. They are watching The Princess and the Frog. JP and I are soon to start our most recent Netflix.

Kali has finally emerged from her kennel after a day and a half of hiding out. She got trimmed on Tuesday, and has been slightly embarrassed since. She looks somewhat like a greyhound with a perm. She spends a lot of time these days doing this:



The kitties really like Kali...they rub against her legs and purr. Very sweet.

Sad news: the old Point Auto building is not going to be a coffee shop after all. It appears that we have yet another florist shop in our little town.

Speaking of shops in our little town, the salon over which we lived for 7 months is offering a special on full body waxes and eyelash extensions. Sounds oh so enjoyable!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

SuperMom

Isn't that what is expected of us Stay-at-home-Moms? We are supposed to be able to whip up a good dinner while balancing a baby on our hip, vacuuming with one hand and folding laundry with the other. Aren't we the ones that should be able to coolly juggle soccer and music lessons and Vet or Pediatrician appointments? Well, *sigh*, I fall quite short of those qualifications, so SuperMom I am not. In fact, there was a day last week that I thought I wouldn't make it through without a total break down. It took some delving into my selfish psyche to come to the realization that I need to ask for help at times. Duh!

The force that pulled me back to reality and jostled me out of my self pity was getting together with my friends. I am so lucky recently to have discovered a new friend with many similarities to my own situation. A woman who not only has children roughly the ages of mine, but is also infectiously cheerful, extremely friendly, and (as an added bonus) very funny. She joined, very seamlessly, the circle of my other dear friends, all of whom I appreciate so very much.

We have lived in this small town for 7 years now...the longest I've ever lived any where. I feel that I have become interwoven into this community because of the activities I've participated in over the years: MOPS, Library Story Time, Swim Lessons at the local pool, County Soccer League, Farmer's Market, etc, etc. This little place is now a part of who I am, and part of my children, one of whom was born here (well, close to here anyway) and the other who moved here at age 6 months.

So maybe I AM a SuperMom, simply because I managed to connect to a bunch of wonderful Moms, who buoy me up to the best I can be.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Starting School

This morning L headed off to Pre-School for the very first time. She has been anxious and excited about today for a long time. In fact, she woke up extremely excited, but in the middle of dressing she began sobbing. "I don't want to go to school, it is most funner at home!"



She separated from me extremely easily at the school building, and was glad to see me when I picked her up. She chattered for several minutes about school, and then said "A cried a lot today. I thought about you, Mommy, and cried one tear on my cheek, then I decided to play with E." Sounds like she'll be fine!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

We passed a quiet extended weekend on Poplar Ridge. It was a peaceful one...the first time in several years that we haven't had plans.

We did get a lot done here, along with relaxing. After extensive internet research, I decided to pickle my hot peppers and keep them in the refrigerator where I can continue to add to the jars as the peppers ripen. I have been stringing these some little red ones and hanging them to dry, and I have also popped quite a few jalapenos into the freezer whole. These are (from left to right) pepperoncinis, long red slims, jalapenos, and serranos.



I also managed to pick and freeze another 5 dozen ears of corn.

JP and I finally installed my "Amish clothes line" up. This is a line on pulleys that allows me to stand in one place to put the clothes on and take them off...very nice. JP had me in the bucket of the tractor, 20 feet in the air installing one of the pulleys in a big hickory tree. Being quite fearful of heights, this was not a pleasant activity for me, especially since I also sawed off 2 dead or broken limbs while I was up there.



We began watching the Anne of Green Gables movies with the girls yesterday. It is such fun to share one of our all time favorite movies with the girls and have them fall in love with it too! We played soccer: Daddy and J against Mommy and L. We lounged in the hammock and in the lounge chairs on the porch, watching a tree full of Cedar Waxwings.



We played with the dog and the kitties (finally named Bert - on the left, and Ernie - on the right).



So we passed the holiday weekend, quite pleasantly. All that calmness ended quite abruptly today with the resuming of cyber school, violin & soccer practice, and a Pre-School field trip to one of our favorite parks. This afternoon, our builder returned with a jack-hammer to replace our front stoop that settled over an inch. This is what our front entrance looks like now.



How was your Labor Day weekend?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

200

200 posts...gee...who knew I had that much to say?

Hurricane (or has he been demoted to a Tropical Storm?) Earl must be making his way past our part of the world right now. My laundry is about to be blown off the clothes line. Grey clouds pile up, then blow away.

We have had plenty of strange weather lately. August sweated us out with 5 days over 90* in the past week. Now it is in the 60's. The girls have sweaters on. It's such a pleasant change!

The garden is slowing down. I brought in lots of produce today. We have lots of acorn squash, butternut squash and pumpkins on the vine, but I'm trying to leave them in until first frost.



I'm going to be pickling peppers this weekend: jalapenos, pepperoncinis, and serranos.

Mom and Dad's house is coming right along. All of the dry wall is hung. My friend, T, who can do absolutely ANYTHING, was out today mudding seams with Dad. Here's a couple of pictures of the inside of the house:



The great room looking toward the front door and the stairway.



The great room looking the other direction. The wall on the left is kitchen. The small hallway leads to the laundry room/pantry on the left, master bedroom straight ahead, and bathroom to the right.

Kali and I have been taking longer walks lately, we both need the extra exercise. We were walking through the mist a few mornings back, and startled a flock (?) of turkeys. As they were squawking and flapping over our heads, I was reminded why I love it here. Despite the frequent power outages, and the monstrous amount of yard and garden work, I wouldn't want to be any where else. True, I feel a bit isolated some times, but my friends are just minutes away in the Burg. This is where I belong.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Day

J's first day of 2nd grade has come and gone. It went very well since we are now pros at this cyber school thing! We were finished with the work by 1:00, then went to McDonald's to celebrate (the cute little Madame Alexander dolls were incentive as well).

We are full on into soccer practice. I am ferrying girls to 2 different locations for practices twice a week. In a couple of weeks, we will start the Sunday games...looking over the schedule, it appears that our Sunday afternoons will be booked until the end of October.

J has also resumed the weekly violin lessons, although now her instructor in is the Burg, so we have an extra hour and a half a week to do fun things!

Next week, L begins Pre-School. She is somewhat apprehensive, and continues to ask J to "tell me some more about school."

Somewhere in there, I am hoping to begin a new job as well. There will be a lot of coming and going from Poplar Ridge this Fall!