Monday, August 31, 2009


Right now, neither boy is sleeping. It's 9:45 pm, and they are back in their room, chattering.

It's a sweet sound, but not what I want to hear tonight.

Because tomorrow I go back to work.

Now, as most teachers know, this first week is practice. Inservices, setting up the classroom, lesson planning. It's next week when the students walk in the door that reality really kicks in. And despite the fact that I start tomorrow with "team-building" in the gym, I still don't really want to go.

I love my job. Once I'm in it, and the routine is established and I know my kiddos and things are happening, I love it. It's getting there that is exhausting and hard for me. Almost as hard as leaving my kiddos. Luke starts his new daycare on Thursday, and Max begins Montessori next Wednesday. In the meantime, my amazing mother is here playing angel and making their days very special. But I'm missing them. 'Cause I'm not here.

As many of you know, today's my birthday. (Thanks for all of the amazing wishes on Facebook and such!) But it's bittersweet. Feeling like I am getting more set in my ways and habits than I hoped to be at 32 years old. Lots of things I want to be doing and things I'm doing that I don't want to be spending time on.

Ok, I'm just rambling tonight. No goal, no theme, no direction. Lots of thoughts swirling in my head that haven't yet come to any conclusion or decision. My life is very blessed, and while my list of those I'm praying for is long right now, I am constantly reminded of just how much I have.

It's just that there's a lot of change, and change and I aren't really on speaking terms right now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Berry Picking....

In the spirit of enjoying every season to it's fullest, and helping our boys to understand where our food comes from, I just had to take the family to go berry picking. All through blueberry season other things kept coming up, and the weekends were wonderfully full with more pressing needs. But as the end of summer closed in upon us, I started scouring the websites looking for great opportunities to get out and pick something (yeah, at this point it didn't really matter what it was - I just wanted to go).

So early one Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago, we headed out to Sauvie Island Farms. They had end-of-season blueberries (most of which weren't quite ready to go yet), beautiful, tart blackberries, sweet corn, and peaches. Max was a very diligent picker (when he wasn't making friends with the kiddos one row over), but Luke was another story.

Luke LOVES his "bla-blas". Originally this was his word for blueberries, but it has come to mean any type of fruit that might be classified as a berry. He sees them and loses all self control - they must be his. So with great glee he ran to those bushes and started shoving anything he could get his hands on straight into his mouth. NO attention to ripeness or quantity. Restraint was not his that day. Dan and I both began to worry about the belly ache that was going to follow this episode, so I put him in the Ergo (which, at 21 months he still adores) on my back. His access was limited, but not the desire. Most of my picking time was spent being clubed in the head by a small child shrieking "BLA-BLA! BLA-BLA!!". Needless to say, we cut it a little short. Then Dan was gracious enough to take both boys on a tractor ride so I could get the blackberries picked.

We rounded out the morning wandering through corn stalks looking for corn to freeze, and meandering through the peach trees for some Red Havens. Luke was able to get himself calmed down (although we carefully hid the picked berries in the wagon as to not awaken the beast) enough to help with both of those, and Max was the perfect little farmhand. While the weather was chilly and the produce was not at it's prime, we were all thankful for our little excursion. Max has asked several times when we get to go again, and our delicious bounty is either safely in our freezer or made into a delicious meal.

And it helps this country girl-turned-urban mama to get out to the farm. Sets the spirit right, you know?

Here's a few shots from the day:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Night Randoms

Inspired by friends Emily and Mel, tonight's post is a special edition of
Friday Night Randoms:

1. I'm photo deficient lately. Seriously, I just haven't been taking any. I need to remedy that soon, if only to show you all how great the light is in our new place. But that leads me to issue number two:

2. My hard drive is full. Like I have 2% capacity, and my poor laptop groans every time I ask it to do just one more thing.....Hoping that my upcoming birthday helps to remedy that issue. But consequently, no new photos for a while.

3. August is prime birthday season in our house. Three out of the four members of these walls were born this month, as well as one wonderful father-in-law. Add to that the birthday-followed-a-few-days-later-by-the-party situation, and you can get a glimpse of why I don't want to see another cake/cupcake for a while. And we've still got two birthdays to go....

4. The end of summer vacation is 10 days away. I can't complain - many people only get 10 days of vacation a year. But I am going to whine a little.

5. I am in love with this book:

6. My beloved playgroup is starting a book club. I am so excited to have this chance to talk with these amazing women about things other than children. We meet for the first time on Tuesday. Any beverage suggestions?

7. Found the robot fabric I want to use in the boys' room at a local shop - love that I am not going to have to place a huge online order for something I've never seen. Even better? It was on sale and cuter in real life.

8. I'm trying to resist the urge to paint the playroom this weekend. Still a little undecided about color - thinking of robin's egg/Tiffany box kind of blue. That leads to a "garden" room with leaf green accents and some bird/butterfly/tree deco kinds of things. Opinions?

9. There's ice cream in the freezer calling my name.

10. I want to sit and watch tv tonight. LA Ink and a DVD of Freaks and Geeks are beckoning. But we have a house guest. I hate to watch tv when we have guests - something about wanting them to think I have a life. But I guess typing away on my computer blows that, doesn't it.....

Good night, all. Have a glorious summer weekend.

Monday, August 17, 2009

To tink or not to tink.....

For those among you who are not knitters, "tink" is knit backwards. Or in other words, to rip out stitches in order to correct a mistake. And right now, the question of tinking is filling my brain.

About a week ago, I cast on for my first cabled project - a baby blanket. After knitting several small items lately, I was looking for a longer term project. Then my favorite yarn store (Twisted) had a great sale on a bamboo/cotton blend yarn that would be perfect for something drape-y, and the blanket was begun. Each row has taken me about 7 minutes or so. And I'm 23 rows in. There's some time there - time which is hard to come by these days.

So, about 4 rows back, I noticed a mistake. A fairly obvious one. Ten rows back. And then, while studying it, there it was - another one. About 4 rows before the first. ACK!

For the last four rows, as I've continued knitting along, I've been trying to convince myself that these mistakes aren't obvious and that no one but me will notice them. But in my heart of hearts, I know/hope that this isn't true. After all, if the person for whom it is being knitted loves it as much as I hope, then they will notice as they admire it cradling their new little one. And it will bug them, too.

Oddly enough, this mirrors some of the other situations in my life right now. Places where my laziness or my desire to just hurry up and get it done have left things just not right. Or budgeting that was undone, because I didn't want to admit that those splurges were adding up. Or starting to plan for the upcoming school year that I just keep saving for tomorrow, even though I know I'll regret the time lost.

This is the point at which I get the kink in my neck, the tightening in my stomach, the whispers in the back of my brain. I know the right thing to do. I just don't want to do it. But if I don't, then the nagging feelings remain, and they won't go away. Not even when things are all done.

So I know what tonight and the next few days holds for me. Some serious tinking. Both in my blanket, and in my daily life. It's time to unravel a little, go back, and do things right. In the end, I won't regret it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Movie Morning......

I am a TV addict. I could sit forever, watching hour after hour of reality tv, HGTV, TLC, or any other thing which mildly catches my eye. It's bad. And it is because of this Dan and I have worked very consciously to limit the use of the TV in our home. The boys get to watch less than 30 minutes most days, and we try and have a few days a week when it isn't on at all (while they are awake, that is....).

Which is why days like today are so special and fun. From the moment he woke up this morning, Max was asking for a pajama day - a day when we don't leave the house and he gets to stay in his pajamas all day. It sure was a great reminder that we have been on the go more than he would like, and that all too soon we will be too busy again. So it was declared - pajama day for all (except Daddy, who had to go to work). Add to that the drizzling rain outside this morning and the fact that game playing, drawing, and story time had all been accomplished by 10:00 am - we needed something.

Movie Morning.

Wahoo! Joy all around! It was decided. Cinderella (Max's choice) was started on the DVD player, popcorn was made, and blankets were gathered. We settled in for 90 minutes of entertainment and laughter. Bliss.

I love times like this. I think, "Why don't we do this more often?" But then it hits me. This is so great precisely because we do it so rarely. When we break the "rules" and mix things up, it's much more special, and we appreciate something as simple as a video and popcorn.

So now I just have to avoid the temptation to do it again tomorrow....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lazy week...

This week the boys and I are working hard at having a lazy week. Since almost every moment of this summer has felt filled to the brim with other craziness, we are taking this week for us. No hard and fast schedule. No rushing around. Few errands. But still, there's a lot going on.

1. Recovering from Max's crazy birthday party. We had 48 people here Sunday afternoon, and it was wonderful - more to come on that in another post.

2. Thrift store gathering. Between Sewing Green and the new Handmade Home that I am expecting on the doorstep any moment, there's some fun recycle sewing to be done. And I have fallen all kinds of in love with fun old 60's and 70's sheets and pretty handkerchiefs.

3. Trying to figure out which house projects to tackle before heading back to work. DO I paint the playroom/craft room, the guest room, or really work on cleaning up the woodwork and trim. And which floor should we work on first?

4. Cementing daycare plans. I visited another center for Luke this morning, and am pretty sure it's the one. But I still have to visit one or two more to make sure.

5. Art time with the boys. There hasn't been nearly enough this summer. And I have some ideas I want to try with canvases for a couple spots in the house.

So, all in all, still a lot going on - but in our time and at our pace. Love it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Indulge me.....

Ok, I know this is going to sound melodramatic, but it's just the way that it is.

It was this day four years ago that my entire world changed. Not the "flipped upside down" kind of change, but the kind where you take off your sunglasses and the colors of everything are just a little different. A shift that is big enough to make you double check your footing and hang onto the safety rail. And then realize that in an instant you can't even remember your old world.

Four years ago, I became a mama.

From the moment Max was born he has become my teacher. And I have learned many lessons in the last four years:

1. Life will not go exactly as I've planned - no matter how much research and preparation I put into it.

2. A solid night of sleep is a miracle to be reveled in when it happens.

3. Peas will come out of the nose if you plug the other nostril and blow.

4. Laughter and tears often come together.

5. Routine is important, but the true joy comes when you break it.

6. Sometimes counting to 10 and taking a deep breath isn't enough. Sometimes it's 100 and a walk around the block. Twice.

7. Little boy sweat is the sweetest smell in the world.

8. Children heighten every experience. The highs are higher, lows are lower, everything is just MORE.

9. Nothing feels better than cuddling someone made of your heart.

10. It's not all about me. In fact, very little of it is.

11. To a large extent, children are who they are. It's our job as parents to help them learn how to make who they are a good member of society.

12. Being a mama is who I'm supposed to be. And I wouldn't trade places with anyone else in the world.

Maxwell dear,
I love you more than all the world. To Pittsburgh and Cleveland and the stars. You are my angel baby, and I owe the best lessons of my life to you. Thank you.