Thursday, June 30, 2011

Piano Piano

This past year Nick has taken piano lessons.

Being Nick, he became attached to his teacher, so when the young man announced his departure to return to school, Nick took it hard. And then when the school announced that it was closing it's doors for financial reasons, I took it as a sign to find someone else.

I still haven't found anyone else.

I need to, because not only did I explain to Nick that he needs to give it another year, but Nathan really needs to take lessons.

In the meantime, I have a number of books and I have been sitting down with the boys for a few minutes each day, trying to teach them a little bit myself.

This is hard. For one thing, even though the boys are excited about it, they don't want to learn from me. Even Nathan gets frustrated when he doesn't get something right away. One mistake, and instead of a quick "try it again!" I need to coax the child back into the chair because he has slumped to the floor, then I need to remind the child that it was just one mistake, and then I need to point out where the mistake was, and show him where to put his hands again, and by the time he starts playing he forgot what it was he did and makes the exact same mistake again. Most of Nick's practice time is him sitting and crying and saying "I can't do it! I can't do it! I hate this and you can't make me!"

I'm fine with mistakes. It's not trying that gets to me. Nick seems to be allergic to effort.

So I need to reconsider this whole thing. I think giving a child the opportunity to understand music is important. But I refuse to do this for much longer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grocery Bill

Now that summer is here, I am faced with something I haven't had to deal with in some time: grocery shopping with all three boys.

Yesterday, when I piled all three kids into the car, one of them was already sobbing. Why? He hates the Market Basket, where we were headed. He much prefers Hannaford. Usually, to be honest, so do I. But Market Basket is much less expensive, so I alternate. Also, Market Basket just opened a huge brand new store, so now it has much, much more stuff. Nick hadn't even been there. But he was sobbing, nevertheless.

I told the boys flip flips were a bad idea. Particularly Nick, who was wearing flip flops two sizes too small for his feet.

Nathan likes to "push" the cart, which means he is standing exactly where you would normally stand if you were pushing the cart. Only he isn't steering the cart, just pushing it. When he isn't doing this, he's holding on to the cart and dragging his feet on the ground, or actively pulling it in the opposite direction, until you realize what he is doing and yell at him to stop.

Nick immediately found something he wanted to buy with his own money (Jacks) and this made Nate and Andy cry because they wanted something too, so I had to listen to them negotiate / fight all the way through the store.

If there is anything bad for you or full of so much sugar it should cause instant death, it's at three-year-old reach.

Andy thinks the new Market Basket is cool, and likes to spin in the wide aisles.

Just as we got to the deli line, with only 40 people standing and waiting, Nick announced that he had to pee. Nathan ran over his own foot with the cart, and I announced that we were going home. Then I told the boys we had to make the food we bought last all summer, because no way was I doing this again.

Seriously, one at a time, my kids are great. I can manage that. But all three at once cause instant insanity. When I got home I ate three pounds of chocolate, a block of goat cheese, and drank two bottles of cider.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Just because I have a new computer and the capability to do really cool things with the photographs I take, doesn't mean I'm actually going to be taking any more photographs.

It's too bad, really. I always sit here to write posts and then realize I have no new photos to share.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Lettuce Learn

A couple of months ago I joined a CSA. CSA, stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and this is considered a very green and socially conscious thing to do. I guess the farms make more that way, have more control over their own product, and there is less of a footprint. My produce is from New Hampshire, not NJ, CA, or Mexico.

I was excited the day of the first pickup. I had purchase a Dairy share, which meant I got to choose two Dairy products a week, and a veggie share - they said it was based on a 2-person household, but I thought that would be enough. I walked into the little store with my cooler, smiling at all the people leaving with boxes. And I picked up some milk, some cheese, and an big huge box of organically grown greens. I felt so good, and so smart. I felt enlightened, not like all those other Schlumps that purchase their greens wrapped in styrofoam and plastic at the supermarket.

And then I got home and opened the box.

Whatever it was that made me feel smart immediately melted away as I started at all of the green stuff in the box.

Up to now, you see, I purchased my greens at the grocery, just like all the other Schlumps. I got a head of lettuce, maybe a bag of loose leaves. But the thing is... everything at the grocery store has a tag on it.

I had NO idea what I was looking at. I picked up a bag of something I was pretty sure was spinach, and another bag of greens. There was a bunch of beets, and the a few more bunches of bigger leaves. Were they Chard? Kale? What did those look like again? And what about this other bunch? There we eight different things in there, including things that looked like scallions but were greena and tapered at both ends and looped around in the middle.

I realized that I knew NOTHING! I was worse than a Schlump.

How was I going to figure out what these green things were? And how was my little family going to eat it all in a week before the next pick-up? a 2-person household? Obviously we haven't been eating enough greens!

So now I'm making huge exotic salads every night, putting spinach and chard in everything. I got an email from the farm detailing the contents on the box (sorrel, spicy greens, garlic scapes).

I am now, once again, excited about the CSA. Next time I might also sign up for a Grain share. They also have meat, but I have stayed away. The poultry share this session consisted of six frier chickens all picked up at once, and I seriously doubt I could deal with that kind of meat at one time.

But if you haven't considered a CSA, I recommend it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer So Far

The first week of summer has come and gone.

I decided, somewhere along the line, that I should take my kids on outings as often as the wether allowed. This week, that ment twice. Monday we went to a sprinkler park, and Tuesday we went to the town beach.

And then it rained the rest of the week. I'm rooting for more sun.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer School

A couple of months ago I purchased some scholastic workbooks at a Barnes and Noble.

These are workbooks designed for kids, and they have different series according to age - from Preschool to First Grade. And they are Disney.

Andy has a Pre-School Handy Manny Shapes and Patterns book. He practices identifying shapes, drawing them, and coloring them. I'm guessing later on we'll get to patterns. But really, anything that gets him to put pencil to paper is huge, at this rate.

Nathan has a Kindergarten Cars math book. He is learning basic addition - different ways to make 10, etc, and forming the numbers on his own. He also has a Cars writing book. He is writing both upper case and lower case letters, and making words. I'm actually surprised this book is for kindergarten, but what do I know?

Nicholas has a Grade 1 Writing book. It's Toy Story, and so far it's talked about sentence structure: Capital letters, periods, naming parts (subjects) and telling parts (verbs). My sister teaches college level English, and sometimes she mentions that the kids wh write papers in her class don't seem to know what a sentence is - maybe this book can help?

Nick also has a Grade 1 Math book. It's Tinkerbell, but only because he had the Toy Story Math book last year. He doesn't care.

I have to say, I'm impressed with these books. Yes, they shamelessly promote Disney. But my kids are excited to use them each morning. The first day we did Homework Steve came down the stairs and shook his head. "You couldn't let them have ONE day OFF?" he asked. What he didn't know was that the boys were umping all over and begging to do them. "Me first! Me first!"

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fly Guy

Suddenly we our kitchen was full off flies.

They lay eggs in our trash, you see? One gets in, and it's all over. I thought I had it under control, but apparently I did not. The maggots infested the trash in the garage, and the flies make their dirty way into my home.

I went to the grocery store I hate, the nearest, most convenient one, that is actually more expensive and least user-friendly and also took the place of a nice wooded area so I try never to go there but it's so convenient that I just can't HELP it... Anyway, I went there for tons of fly strips and fly sticks and stuff. In one afternoon I caught about fifty flies.

Eww. Fifty flies in my kitchen.

I feel like a horrible person, with these live flies caught in these sticky traps. I can hear the buzzing of wings flapping uselessly, and if you look closely you can see buggy limbs waving around trying to free buggy bodies.


Suddenly I'm cleaning everything and spraying alcohol in my trash to end the reproductive cycle of the FLY!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baby Baby

I have been having Baby Lust.

It started when a mother at gymnastics had a new baby, and I needed to hold him when she ran out to the car to get diapers. And here I am, holding this squishy five-week-old baby, who seemed so so so small, but who was really already over ten pounds.

Then I got to hold the baby brother of one of Nick's school friends.

And then, my friend Miranda, who I love SO much, finally had her baby girl! BABY GIRL! I haven't met her yet, but I have to tell you it's taking all my willpower not to drive the hour down to where she lives just to smell that baby's head! Even Nick and Nate keep asking if they are going to meet the baby each morning.


Don't tell Steve. He would be horrified.

And congratulations to Mo and Jud.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Last School Recital

Nathan's class had the last recital / graduation of the year.

They sang lots of songs, using lots of props. My favorite was Mr. Sun, because the kids held up huge suns they had painted and drawn themselves. Most of them were happy, smiling suns, with eyelashes and smiles. But Nathan's we a little different. Apparently he thought a happy sun would shine more than it has been around here. The little boy sitting next to him seemed to think the same way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Day Of Gymnastics

I didn't take pictures of the gymnastics recital, even though mobs of parents and grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins were elbowing each other out of the way to do just that. Why? Well, this is the fourth year of gymnastics for us, and I have hundreds of photos of the inside of the gym, spotted with images of children so small they look like ants.

The fact is, the photos and the videos don't do the kids justice. But the look of pride on the kids' faces when they stand there with their trophy? That is worth capturing.

For the record, Andy was unable to do gymnastics for weeks because of his collarbone. But since his sling is off, I sent him down for the recital. The teacher was careful with him, and didn't let him hang from his arms, which frustrated him. She would hold him, taking his weight, and he was yelling at her to "let me go! I can do it! let me go!"

But he got his trophy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last Day Of T-Ball

We didn't have the last T-ball game. So many games had been rained out that the last week was jam-packed, and the league refused to re-schedule anything else. But it was raining, so instead of playing the coach just passed out the trophies to those who showed up. I had been planning on taking all my photos that day. Shoot. Instead we have rainy day pictures.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day For Dads

Steve has been trying to get us together with friends on the boat for ages. But each time we get close, something pops, up, like a wind and rain.

This weekend we were all set to hang out, but then I remembered that the day we had picked was actually jam-packed with birthday parties our children are expected to attend.

Instead of hanging out on the boat, drinking beer and fishing, it's driving to Chuck-E-Cheeze, eating bad pizza, and watching the boys run around screaming in an approximate reproduction of what hell must be like.

Because that's what good dads do.

Happy Father's Day to Steve, to my own Dad who I hope I get to see VERY soon, and to all the dads out there.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

End Of The Year

When I was a child, it seemed like the end of the school year was such a big deal. The last week of school wasn't really school at all, but extended recess. I even remember my fifth grade teacher, a sort of tyrant, taking us to central park to play for hours, and even letting us take off our school jackets in the summer heat! OK, you might not get how big of a deal that was, but for him, it was a HUGE let-down-your-hair-and-have-another-drink kind os gesture.

It dawned on me the other day that my kids were going through the same thing. Nick stopped bringing home the usual charts and reading words, and there was more outdoor time. There was beach day, PJ day, board game day, and a huge party at school with burgers and a DJ. I just felt so disconnected because life for me was just the same...

When I started realizing that the last few days were approaching, I started scrambling for teacher-gifts. We had to give them SOMEthing, but we have so many teachers. Each child has a teacher and an aid. Not to mention the lady who runs the school, and all the helpers that love my children so much they chase them down at the Strawberry Festival and give them extra face paint. Then there's the bus driver and the gymnastics teachers we have known for years. Lucky for me we visited a chocolate store that sells chocolate covered everything (help me!).

And now they are here. Here with me. All summer long.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Last night Steve and the boys spent the night in a tent in the backyard.

It's a good thing that tent had a rain fly, because it rained.

I have never really taken to sleeping in tents. It sounds like fun until 2am, and then it's just cold and uncomfortable, and I long for a mattress and walls.

But the boys had fun. They even slept past 6am, which is saying something.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

True Story

Nathan is quite the pianist.

He hasn't had any lessons yet, but he will sit down at the piano and play with both hands, creating his own songs. He's no Wolfgang, but his songs can actually be recognized as "music."

When he comes away from the piano, he will ask me or Steve about his song. "Did you like my song, Mom?"

Me: Yes!

Nate: I made it up.

Me: Wow!

Nate: It's a sad song.

Me: It sounded kind of sad.

Nate: And it's a True song!

Me: A what?

Nate: I have Lots of True Songs! Want to hear more?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good Intentions

I mean to do well.

Each day, when I wake up, I set out to do what I say I will do. I will not take shortcuts. I will make the kids drink their milk. I will remember to check off their chores on the chore chart. I will not only put laundry in the machine, but I will take it out and hang it up to dry. And then I will fold it. And then I will put it away.

I will make Nicholas practice piano. I will make the kids pick up their toys when they are done with them. I will not let my kids have screen time before it is screen time, not even if they are fussing and whining and asking for juice every three minutes.

I will call the folks I have been meaning to call, and email the friends I have been meaning to email, and make all doctor's appointments and car appointments and pet appointments that I need to make, and I will remember not only to pick up the dry-cleaning, but drop of the dirty stuff as well.

At the end of the day, I am usually disappointed.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Today is Steve's Birthday. Happy Birthday to him!

This year, I was going to try and surprise Steve with his birthday gift. A grill!

We got our last grill over ten years ago, and it was supposed to be a temporary grill. We got the most inexpensive grill we could get, thinking that we'd get a better one the following year. But we never did. We looked around, but not aggressively. One year, Lillian even gave Steve some cash specifically to buy a grill, and we never picked one out. We kept using the old one. We moved. We had kids. The grill sat out on our deck, getting rustier and rustier. We didn't cover it. We didn't take care of it. One spring, when Steve opened the cover, a couple of birds flew out. They had built a nest in it.

So I decided it was time. Steve likes to grill, and I figured he could use a newer one.

I found one at the Home Depot. It wasn't the biggest, or even the most expensive, but it was the right size for us. No extra rotisserie things, no side burners, but we had one on the old one and we never used it. The new grill was well made, and all black and silver and shiny and stuff!

Anyway, I bought it, and then I had to figure out how to get it home with out Steve noticing. I had some idea that one night I would just ask him to cook some steaks on the grill, and there the new grill would be!

But we had to deal with the delivery problem. First off, they scheduled the delivery for "Friday P.M." which could be anything from 12:30 to 8pm. We had karate and a t-ball game, and I might not be at home. It would be awkward if Steve were there and suddenly they dropped off a grill.

But the delivery folks called the day before and asked if they could switch us to the first stop. Which meant 7am. This is before I have my shower, when Im still all sweaty from running, and the boys are not yet dressed. How on earth would I keep it secret from Steve?

Well, I didn't. The delivery guy called ten minutes before he got here to give us a heads up, and the phone woke Steve. If the phone hadn't woken him, the truck backing up to our driveway would have (beepbeepbeepbeep) or Gunther barking at the guy.

So Steve got his birthday present a little early. He liked it.

But when he went to turn it on, it was missing a part!

My heart sank. I thought I'd call Home Depot and they would laugh and tell me to call the company that made the grill. They would tell me there was nothing they could do. I had signed the papers. Too late.

But they didn't. I went to the store and the guy took the part off another grill and handed it right to me. Apparently some people take parts off the grills and walk off with them. Why? I don't know. But Home Depot didn't question me, they just handed me what I needed.

And last night Steve used the grill. Wich looks pretty snazzy, I must say.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bug Spray

Spring and Summer bring bugs.

My kids hate bugs. They are actually afraid of them.
A fear of wasps will actually keep Nick indoors on a nice sunny day, and Andy has come wailing out of his room at 9pm because there is a MOTH on the CEILING!

I could be more sympathetic to these phobias. I had my own as a kid, after all. I was terrified of ghosts, and for years I was positive every airp
lane flying overhead was actually the earthquake that would do us all in. But somehow I forget all this when all three kids come shrieking into the kitchen, terrified because they fly they saw in the living room might actually be a killer bee.

All phobias aside, we do seem to have our s
hare of mosquitos and ticks. Just a stroll out of water the tomato plants can bring me back with ticks under my jeans. So when we are planning on spending more than a few moments outdoors, I use bug spray.

But somehow, I have the wrong stuff. I pur
chased DEEP WOODS OFF, which apparently contains harsher chemicals than the family friendly stuff I usually get. The plus side is: more effective. The lighter stuf keeps a few bugs away, but it doesn't sem to last long, and the more determined ones don't mind it at all. The down side is: it smells more. A lot more. And it feels sticky. And worst of all, it TASTES bad.

I feel the need to mention the taste because I keep ending up with it in my mouth. Touch your skin for any reason after applying it, and it's on your fingers. Apparently I bring my hands to my mouth or face a lot. I can taste it when I lick my lips. It's poison, and I'm ending up with it in my mouth. I can't help but think of how much my kids end up swallowing.

As soon as I put it on, all I can think of is how soon I get to wash it off.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Andy Update

At Andrew's last appointment, the orthopedist told us he could remove the sling.

There is a lump on his collarbone you can feel. It's kind of creepy, especially when I think of how this is my little perfect boy, but it isn't anything you would notice unless you looked for it, and it's not anything that will bother Andy or cause him pain. Also, it will get less apparent as he grows.

In a couple of weeks, the doctor said, Andy's bone will be as strong as ever. Until then, Andy is supposed to take it easy and avoid the potential for high velocity falls. No jungle gyms. No slides or swings. No roughhousing or jumping around.

I immediately thought of Andy about four days after the sling was on, jumping off the bed, his right arm useless in case he fell and needed to protect the rest of his body.

Good luck with that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finish LIne

Next week, the kids will have their last day of school.

T-ball will be done.

Gymnastics classes will be over for the summer.

Piano classes will be over.

Church is already over for the summer. (yes, we have a spiritual summer break.)

I can see it. I feel like I can just reach out and touch it.

But before then, there is still so much we need to do!

Thursday, June 09, 2011


When I got my new computer, I got a new version of iPhoto along with it. When my library transfered over, I discovered a couple of things.

First, I have almost 10,000 photographs.

Second, I found out about Faces.

Faces is this thing in iPhoto that lets you look up photographs based on who is in them. Technically you should be able to click on "Steve" and a whole bunch of photos with Steve in them will show up. This would make certain projects a whole lot easier.

The thing about Faces is that it's not a person. It's a program that is built on mathematical or geometric formulas. It doesn't use things like logic. And my photograph collection has photos that span three boys from babyhood to the present moment, with faces going from round to less round over time.

So Faces will give you options. It shows a photo of Nate - the face close-up. I tag it as Nate, and then it will tell me that there are 879 other possible photographs of Nate, and I can confirm or deny these. Many of these photos are Nate. Many of these are also Nick or Andy, and a few of them are random children from birthday parties or who just happened to be staring into the camera in the background at Disneyworld or something.

One needn't actually go through all 879 photos. The program uses your answers to calculate more or less which photos are also of Nate, and which are not.

It's actually an amazing program. I thought it was just random, and that my kids would pop up because they were kids and they are in most of my photos. But when, for example, I slected Steve's Aunt Nancy, photos of Lillian (her sister) and Alicia (her daughter) started popping up as possibilities. I don't have an overwhelming number of photos of these people, so the program must recognize some structural resemblance, some genetic thing that they all have in common.

Of course, when I was tagging photos of myself, the program showed me pictures of both Steve's Uncle George and Miranda's Father as possible photos of "kathleen." And every time it does a match for anyone the program tries to make them a photo of Nate dressed up as a pirate.

In the end, I'm not sure how useful this application will be. But the process of tagging people and seeing what the program matches up as who is immensely entertaining.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Almost There

Andy has a doctor's appointment in a couple of days. I am crossing my fingers and hoping he'll be allowed to just take the sling off and it will be as though nothing ever happened.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Make A Wish

I always forget to take pictures dring parties. The ones I do remember to take just don't turn out very well.

Monday, June 06, 2011

More Gunther Grumbles

I should change the name of this blog to "Gunther, My Insane And Insanely Annoying Paranoid Dog."

Something has happened to our dog. I don't know what it is. He won't tell us. But he's freaking out.

Remember when he got stuck under our bed? He got scared and the crawled underneath and could not figure out how to get out?

Well, one would think that, after such an incident, one would stay away from the underneath of beds for awhile. But two days later, he woke us in the middle of the night whining and barking, once again stuck under the bed. We let him out, and laughed at how stupid he was.

The next night, it happened AGAIN!

We lifted the frame and Gunther got out, but he would not settle down. He kept pacing and whining and then - this was the kicker - TRYING TO GET BACK UNDER THE BED! Steve and I, despite being super human beings, do, in fact, need to sleep sometimes, and that time usually includes 2:30am. Eventually we tried to get back to sleep, and Gunther once again got stuck under the bed, and started barking - from under the bed, mind you. There is no ignoring this.

Steve lifted the bed, but at this point he was so irritated that Gunther didn't want to be anywhere near him, so he took his time scooting as far away from Steve as possible before making his way out of the bed, making Steve even angrier because here he was at 3am, lifting the bed frame for a stupid dog who couldn't figure it out.

We then shut Gunther out of the room, but he just walked into the boys' room and barked at them. At 4am.

I went to let him out. It was light enough for me to see him wandering through the grass, and he didn't seem too nervous out there. He also refused to come back when I called him to come in. And I was tired. So I left him out there.

Twenty minutes later, he was ready to come back in. Be he lacks our patience. He sat there barking at the door nonstop, so I had to go get him.

The next day I barricaded the underneath of the bed with boxes of books for the library and clothes for storage and art projects that are half-finished. I also looked up "Paranoid dog" and "Crazy dog" on the internet. I brushed him and gave him his frontline. He was quiet for one night.

But last night he started barking and whining again. Steve and I had talked about it, and we had agreed to ignore it. Simply because we don't want him to be rewarded for the behavior, you know? If he gets the idea that he can just bark in the middle of the night and go out to play... well, we'd be done for.

So... I'm tired right now. And I think my dog is insane. So if anyone has any ideas of what to do or what might be wrong with our dog... we'd love to hear them.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Birthday Party

I lose sleep over birthday parties.

Sometimes I wonder if I have some sort of social anxiety disorder. Whenever I go to a children's birthday party I am able to interact and smile and chat with other parents. If the parents are too snooty and won't cooperate by making small talk I get by. I don't usually get too nervous about these things until afterwards.

After spending a length of time with other parents I often turn events over in my mind. I stress over how things went, things I should have said, things I should have done, things I should not have mentioned.... and I can't let it go. And it's too late, because these things have already been done. Besides, it's not like I'm saying anything vastly inappropriate or anything. I have no idea why I get all worked up. But I lose sleep over it. I shut my eyes in the dark, pull up the covers, and try and think of other things, but my mind always returns to some conversation or another.

Anyway, if this is how I feel about going to birthday parties, you can imagine how I feel when I'm having one for my own son.

Nicholas had his birthday party yesterday evening. And I worried. I worried and worried but I forced myself not to overplan and to keep things casual. Just invite the kids over here for pizza and cake. No bounce houses, no pony rides, no planned activities at all. Just kids at the house.

It went very well. The day warmed up and the kids ran outside. Seriously, it looked like we were raising a heard of six-year-olds. They kind of stayed in a group and would run in one direction, and then the whole flock would turn and tart running in a different direction.

Kids played on the swings, on the slide, and on the rope swing hanging off the tree out back. They ran through the grass. They demolished to toy room. A group of boys huddled with Nick around a beyblade arena and had beyblade battles or games or whatever you call them. The point is, they all seemed to know what they were doing, and were all doing the same thing, and they were all having fun. Kids didn't want to leave. Nick had a blast.

And last night, after the party, I slept like a baby.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

New Arrival

I know I haven't been posting pictures as much as I should. I will again very soon. Please be patient.

You see, I got a new computer.

I know, I know, I also feel as though I just got my last laptop, so what business do I have going out and buying a new one?

Well, first of all, my old one was falling apart. Seriously and literally. I mean, bits of plastic were peeling and chipping off of it. Also, every once and awhile I would get this message that my startup disk was almost full. "What does that mean?" I asked Steve. "It means you need to delete some stuff," Steve replied. So I would go through photos and documents and delete as much as I could stand, and three days later I would get the same message again.

Enough excuses. Besides, I didn't buy this new laptop myself, anyway. Steve surprised me, because that's the kind of guy he is.

Anyway, my new laptop is amazing. It's faster and thinner and silverier and the keyboard is much more pleasant to use. Maybe it's the construction of the keyboard, or maybe because I don't get stuck on shards of breaking plastic. Regardless, I love this thing.

The issue is, my photo library has yet to be imported. Well, it's imported, but not translated into the new updated form of iphoto. I'm putting this off because it takes over an hour, and also because warnings flashed up (once complete the photos can not be viewed in the old format) and I scare easily. I'll get to it. I just need time.

And once I do I will feel comfortable downloading new pictures and photographs and all of that stuff! I just need a little more time.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

The other day we woke up to sunny skies.

As we waited for the school bus, I put sunscreen on the boys. Which was ridiculous, because by the time the bus got there, huge thunder clouds were rolling in. They were from the far end of the property, which meant we got a good view of them.

Nate, Andy and I sat at the top of the driveway watching the lighting and hearing the thunder, and then I took us inside to get ready for school.

Before we were ready, huge marble-sized hailstones dropped from the sky. For five minutes we were pummeled by ice rocks. I didn't want to take us out. The temperature cooled to 60 degrees.

It was too wet and dark to work in the yard, but by the time the boys were picked up at lunch, it was seventy five and sunny. After nap it was eighty. I left to get Nick and take him to piano class.

At piano class we heard there was a tornado warning for our area. This is very, very unusual for southern New Hampshire. But there were winds, and rain, and the sky was dark again.

By eight pm the sun had mostly set, but there were fewer clouds. No wind. And the air itself was red.

I can safely say this has been odd weather.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Mental Challenge

Every day, at nap time, I settle into bed with Nathan and Andrew and begin by reading them a story of their choice.

I love my children. I have to begin by saying that. And I also honestly believe that reading to one's children is important, not only as a gateway to reading, but as a bonding experience.

But my boys pick the most boring books.

Not only that, but they pick them again and again and again. Even the most charming and entertaining book can induce screams after twenty or twenty five readings.

This afternoon, as I settled to read Tokyo Mater yet again, followed by Iron Man Saves The Day, a familiar feeling settled over me. How can I describe this feeling? It's like I want to scream. It's definitely a feeling of not wanting to do what I want to do. But I know that this thing must be done, that there is no rushing it, but that it will be over when it is over, so I just need to grit my teeth and get through it.

And then I realized when else I got this feeling.

When I get on the treadmill in the morning.

It's not that I'm tired. It's not that I'm exhausted and can't take another step, or even that I;m out of breath. I am Just, That, Bored! I mean, I run for fifty minutes, and after the first fifteen I appreciate some mental stimulation. But there isn't much around on a treadmill at 5:45 am. It's the same four walls. The same workout music. The same everything. And I have more than half and hour to go. I just have to keep going and know that it will be over when it's over, and there's not much I can do to speed it along, other than bend time.

It's a mental thing.

And I use this ability nightly when I read bedtime stories to my kids. "What, Bakugan again? No, of course I don't mind! Whatever gets you reading, Sweetheart!"

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

T-Ball Thunder

Both Nathan and Nicholas are playing T-ball this year.

I am full of complaints about T-ball. I admit. My biggest complaint this year being that their uniforms are white. Seriously? You're giving a team of 5 and 6 year old white shirts, letting them play in a muddy grassy field, and then telling me they need to be back every two or three days? Because I don't already have enough laundry.

I'm kidding. My kids aren't the only ones that show up wearing dirty shirts.

The other day the boys were playing ball, and there was a clap of thunder. Not a huge clap, just a little one.

I guess the rule is to stop playing as soon as there is any thunder or lightning at all. The fields are in a big, flat park, and I suppose they don't want to take any chances. But I was surprised by the speed which our team displayed in the packing up. Two minutes and we were all in our cars.

The other team, the one we were playing, stayed on the field practicing. Apparently they didn't have the same sense of urgency. The other two teams playing on the other T-ball field just kept playing through the game. Mind you, there was no rain. There wasn't even another clap of thunder for a good ten minutes. Oh, the sky got dark and scary, and later it poured, but I'm thinking we could have at least finished out the inning.

In any case, it worked out. I have to rush off the the school for a Kindergarten Orientation, so it suited me just fine. But I had prepared for it. Lillian had come with me, and we even had two cars. We had rushed through dinner to make it to the game, and we only got to play for ten minutes.

I suppose that's how baseball is. But boy, is it frustrating.