Thursday, September 18, 2014

Charts and Classic Rock

Two Will funnies this week:

1.  Will's therapist suggested keeping a "Chore Chart" at home to help with anxiety.  It's not just jobs around the house, but also things like "not fighting."  We give him an allowance every week if he gets the required number of stars.  Sean uses it, too.  We were at a friend's house for a birthday party last year and I saw that she had a chart for two kids instead of buying a separate chart for each kid.  So I poked around on Amazon and found one with room for three kids that was cheaper.  Obviously, we only have two kids.  So we made a joke of it and put my name on it, saying my "allowance" was $100/week.  I caught Will with the dry-erase marker and asked him what he was up to.  He grinned slyly and showed me that he'd given "us" each a fifty-cent raise and added "knitting" to the list of chores.  I think I can hang with that, I know I'm guaranteed a star a day.  :)

2.  Usually I get Sean first at the end of the day pick-up, but on Monday I got out a little early.  I'm slightly hard of hearing, so I don't usually play the radio in the car with the kids.  Why?  Because between their quiet "indoor voices" (esp Sean), the radio and the sound of the engine and tires on pavement, I can't hear what they're saying.  And constantly saying "What??" is just an invitation for screaming on their part, eventually.  So we were listening to the classic rock station, and AC/DC came on.  Now, Will loves classic rock.  After all, his favorite band is Queen.  (I'm doing something right!!)  We listened to a minute to "It's a Long Way to the Top" and he asked me what kind of instrument they were playing.  "Bagpipes."  "Bagpipes with electric guitar, Mom?  Really?" "Really, buddy."  And his whimsical response--"how uniquely creative!"  Two minutes later..."Ok Mom, I think I've had enough bagpipes."  Yep, that's exactly how *I* feel every time that song comes on, too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letting Go of "Someday!" Stuff

I got a tagged in a facebook post recently from a "band friend."  She was calling out near and far to all her "Band Geek" friends to see if someone had an instrument that they were looking to sell, because her daughters wanted to join our ranks.

It so happens that I have two in my garage:   my trusty old clarinet, and a flute that was gifted to me.  I had a tenant at my first housing job, she was a bit of a nut.  But cool in a lot of ways too, and one of those ways was that, at age 84, she was taking flute lessons.   I found this inspiring, because though I played clarinet for years, I had always wanted to play the flute.  And for reasons like my friend is looking for an instrument, I took my aunt's clarinet from when she was in the marching band in high school because it was free.  Well, that resident ended up transferring to an assisted living facility within 6 months.  But before she left, she gave me her old student flute, saying that I should take lessons someday.

Someday!  That magical-sounding word that makes you feel like you have all the time in the world.  So yes, Someday I was going to take flute lessons!  Also in my someday pile:  a sewing machine, some hiking boots, Spanish language and culture texts, books about geneaology.  DVD sets of TV shows that I may sit and enjoy Someday.  Because time is on my side, friends.

Well.  It's been thirteen years since Ruth went to the assisted living facility.  That flute sat in my basement for many, many years.  And when we moved it was placed on a shelf in the garage, with the Christmas decorations.  It only took me a minute or two to decide and send my friend a message back.  She thought that I was nuts at first, saying that she could just have it instead of buying it from me.  And when I told her why, because it would get used instead of rotting in my garage, she sent back a message with kind of a giggle, that there's a guitar and some knitting needles/yarn in her closet for Someday.  So it's not just me and I'm willing to bet that it's not just Jessica, either.

Sometimes it really is OK to survey your "Someday!" stuff and realize that they don't fit in your life anymore.  I work full-time and have two kids with activities, etc.  I have activities that I already enjoy:  knitting, reading, cooking, a little gardening, other crafts and so on.  I'm glad that the flute is going to someone who will use it and a family who will appreciate it.  I think that Ruth would, too.  Not giving up my clarinet, though.  Or my sewing machine.  Someday, I really want to use those!

Unexpected Milestones

When you have kids, you have all of the normal milestones.  First time sleeping through the night, first time sitting up, first birthday.  Potty-training being done, going to preschool, kindergarten, learning to read.  All of these things make you both proud of your kid and kind of sad that they're growing up.  Well, except for the potty-training one.  That one takes a while to feel "nostalgic" about.  Nostalgic isn't the correct word in this sense, but for lack of a better word, I'll use it.

But then you have some "unexpected" milestones that you find yourself getting a little misty-eyed over.  Here they are for me today:

Suddenly realizing that your kid isn't yelling "I'm done!!!" after using the bathroom.  The call to Mom or Dad to come and finish because they don't want to.  Don't get me wrong....I'm thrilled to not have to do the wiping anymore.  But he's not a little guy any more.  He's a BIG BOY.  Or as he says, "not big, Mom.   I'm a MEDIUM BOY."

Last night, I took the boys to the library after school pickup because Sean has been begging to go.  And I've had a bag o' books that were overdue, too.  I should probably clarify that the boys like our library because the children's room has toys.  A big train table, a lego station....both boys usually make a beeline for it and I have difficulty in getting them to pick a couple of books first.  Not last night....Sean went right for the trains and Will...Will went over to the Charlie and Lola book bin, sat down and starting choosing books.  And asking me questions about what books we should bring home.  "Mom?  Let's look at some nonfiction today.  Ooh, can I get that book on weather?"  This is really big for me, as I am a sucker for books and libraries are one of my favorite places on Earth!  I'm ecstatic over having a kid that's over the moon about books.  But wow....that is the very first time that he's chosen the books over the precious legos!

I'm sure that I'll be adding to the list periodically.  And though I'm "sad" over them growing up, I'm having a great time on their journey.  Maybe not all the time, but most of it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The "True" New Year

September has always felt like the beginning of the year to me, much more so than January 1st.  I'm sure that it stems back to going back to school myself, and now it's my kids' turn.

Will actually started second grade last week, our town goes back EARLY!  He was pretty apprehensive the night before but was all smiles at pickup from the afterschool program the next day.  He wasn't really chatty, but did tell me that his new teacher is "Great!,  She's really great, Mom."  Considering I had already gotten at least one phone call home at this point, I'm already feeling more positive about this year in general.  And honestly, I think that he is, too.

Seanie's in his last year of preschool.  Where has my baby gone??  He's thrilled to have moved up to the "Big Kid" class and tells me all about his friends and what he's doing in school every day.  I cannot believe that this time next year he'll be in kindergarten.  It just doesn't seem possible.

This week everything goes back to the full swing of the fall schedule.  Karate, soccer, yoga classes for me,'ll take a few weeks to get there but we will arrive in our own fashion.

Another thing that September brings....Christmas knitting!  I've got my list sorted and am in full force, with one item almost completed.  I smited the Knitting Gods by proclaiming this one item "Quite Possibly the Best thing I've ever knitted!" when it wasn't quite complete.  Now eight rows need to be frogged and started over because I was paying more attention to "Rizzoli and Isles" than I was when counting the number of stitches that I was picking up.  It still has time to be the Best Thing.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Stretch

When I first wrote my Day Zero List, 9/28/14 seemed so very far away.  Now I am merely 27 days away from it, and well...I'm not going to finish the list!  In all honesty, I kind of got away from it.  That being said, I am looking to finish some more of those things...

And in this vein of thought...I made my third beach venture last week, for the annual Karate Picnic.  We had a ton of fun at a local lake about 15 minutes from here, with a huge throng of kids from Will's karate school.  They had a class on the beach, and then played to their hearts content on the pirate ship on the beach and in the water.  Sean and Will were in their glory, and I got to catch up with a knitting friend that I hadn't seen in ages.

Then today, I made cinnamon rolls!  From scratch!  I'll post something separately about it, because it was quite an adventure.

Next up....think I'm finally going to send a secret to Postsecret.  I've been mulling ideas over in my head and it's the "handmade" postcard that's dragging me down.  Must. Remedy.

Other than's September!  Time for fall and all the wonderful things that come with it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Knit-Along!

My friend Moe and I do a KAL (knit-along) every year.  We've done shawls for the past two years but this year decided to do something really fun:

"Penny's Santa Hat" from the third season of "The Big Bang Theory."

She and I, along with our significant others, are big fans of TBBT.  And this hat is simply adorable....a two-tailed Santa hat with big pom-poms and some cabling to make it interesting.  

Both of us are casting on tonight in our respective homes.  We'll get a photo together when she visits me this winter sometime.  :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

For the Sake of Posterity

Hubby had to go to work today for 7AM, meaning that I was on duty for BOTH kids this morning.  Up early, showered and dressed.  Lunches made, kids up and eating breakfast without incident.  Kids were cheerful and compliant; no whining, arguing, fighting about whose turn it is to brush their teeth.  Even managed to start a load of laundry and get it in the dryer before I left, AND load the dishwasher.  Nothing forgotten, no second (or third!) trips into the house for forgotten glasses and snacks, or beloved Weegee the Blanket.  Hugs and kisses all around, drop-offs went well and I got to work at 9:03am.

Am I bragging?  No.  This post is just going to serve as a reminder.  That for all of the mornings that I've had a huge mess to contend with (baby poop, dog vomit) can't-find-my-left-sneaker crises, kids fighting over one looking at the other "funny", missing the bus, etc etc  that these mornings CAN and DO exist!  And that they should be relished whenever they show up, because baby, these are rare.