It was just me and Overly Serious Girl this morning. After running a quick errand and watering the window boxes and buckets (well, the plants growing in them), we adjourned to the air-conditioned basement/work space to accomplish something.
It’s been reading week at the elementary school, and yesterday was “Dress Like a Pirate Day” (because of the treasure in books, I believe), and because we are the Last Minute Family lately, Julia and I put her costume together about twenty minutes before she had to leave for school.
Yesterday was a weird day for me. There’s a lot going on and I’m not writing about it, but suffice to say I feel stressed a good portion of my waking hours, and I don’t sleep, so there are more waking hours than I’d like. Most of the stress is of the worry variety, one way or another, though there is, finally, some good stress in there too. I’ll explain some of this eventually, maybe.
Anyway, late afternoon Bill took the kids to City Park for a little baseball practice. The season is starting next month for Alex, and he’s got tryouts coming up. The league he belongs to has all the kids his age tryout so it can be determined whether or not the are ready to progress to the Majors or need to stay in the Minors one more year.
We were wondering when this tooth would finally depart Julia’s mouth. The main hope was that it wouldn’t happen while she was wearing her flower girl dress. Red wasn’t part of the color scheme that day.
A couple of weeks ago I picked up some sewing equipment for Julia. I got her a pair of scissors that are super sharp and much easier for her small hands to manage than my big, heavy Ginghers. And I got her a little pin cushion (pink, of course) and a box of very pretty pins.
Or, rather, these were my cute, but rather shaggy children.
Well, they still are my children. And cute. But the shagginess is no more.
And no, I have no idea why Julia is making that face. She’s six. That’s all the explanation I’ve got.
So yesterday, after Natalie and I baked the pound cake, we trekked down to my sister’s house to return Natalie and her share of pound cake, to bring snacks to the chickens, and to tame the crazy hair on my kids’ heads.
Any time I toss out scraps of bread, stale cookies, or things like that, within minutes, a small flock of seagulls begins to circle our back yard, slowly spiraling down until one or two decide to land on the feeding platform and start grabbing at the day’s buffet.
Yesterday Bill took Alex ice fishing. It’s cold up here in the northeast right now, –1 F this morning, for example, so the ice on the local ponds is pretty thick. The menfolk dressed warmly and brought an extra pair of gloves each, and off they went. Julia and I wisely stayed home and, more importantly, indoors.
I started working on Bill’s quilt, and Julia wanted to help, but there wasn’t really anything she could do to help…so I asked her if she wanted to make a quilt of her own, maybe for her dolls, or her 25,769 Barbies….
Well, at least it didn’t strike while she was sitting, with Alex, on Mall Santa’s lap.
Or immediately after our “picnic” dinner of burgers and broccoli and really good homemade macaroni and cheese while sitting on a blanket on the floor in front of the tv watching endless episodes of “Billy the Exterminator.” (We are big fans of Billy.)
No, it struck shortly after midnight. I awoke to the miserable sound of Julia wailing my name.
* Warning: This post contains a mildly graphic description of an incident involving Julia that took place today. I am not, however, including any images. If you are squeamish, perhaps you’d prefer to skip this post.
Julia got her ears pierced back in May, as a birthday gift. She was a very brave girl when the earrings went in, and everything went fine with the healing process, and the daily cleaning around the site with alcohol or peroxide, and the twisting of the earrings to make sure they weren’t sticking to unhealed lobe.
The big day came in late July – the day Julia could change her earrings. Or, rather, the day Mommy could change Julia’s earrings.
I'm trying to remember what Alex was like when he went into first grade. Did he have the same hard time adjusting to the big change from half-day kindergarten to all-day elementary school? I don't think he did, really. Or, if he did have any sort of adjustment issues, they manifested themselves differently than they are with his sister.
Maybe I'm remembering wrong. I probably am. I know, actually, that there were days he didn't WANT to do his homework, it was TOO HARD, there was TOO MUCH TO DO. I remember alternately sympathizing and reprimanding, hugging and ignoring frustrated tears. I do remember, after all.
Once upon a time I got married, and over the next several years, we had two kids. A boy, Alex, and a girl, Julia.
We live in "The Ocean State" and so we felt it was important that our children learn to swim at an early age. After wasting our time and money for a while at one place, we moved our kids to Envious Swimming's "Learn 2 Swim" program, and our kids have become fish.
Fast, fearless fish.
Earlier this summer, we learned that Envious was organizing their first annual Kids Triathlon. And we thought - "Hey, cool!" And then we got busy with working on the house and sort of forgot about it.
And then, a little over a week ago, I was reminded at that week's swim class.
Before I begin, here's a link to Julia's cake last year. Alex's cake is in that post as well, but I haven't done this year's cake yet - that'll be next month's production.
Anyway, up until a week or two ago, Julia wanted a cake very similar to last year's, only instead of the elephants wearing ballerina garb, she requested that they be gymnasts. So I played with that idea in my mind for a while...what color costumes the elephants would wear, and which pieces of equipment they'd be performing on...Julia is partial to the uneven bars herself (or "unbeeven bars" as she used to say it), so I'd have to include those...maybe the balance beam and trampolene as well. And the costumes kept appearing in red, white and blue in my mind, so that's where I was headed in that regard....
As I indicated in my last post, Julia had a birthday coming up. In addition to a party at our house, I'd also planned to make something for her to bring in and share with her class.
When it was Alex's birthday in kindergarten, he asked me to make brownies. I asked Julia what she wanted, and she said she'd like cupcakes. White cupcakes with pink frosting. I suggested we have a couple of colors of frosting (thinking of the boys in the class), and she agreed with that. So all set. A batch of cupcakes, some frosting and some food coloring and I'd be all set.
And then I happened to be talking to another mom with a daughter whose birthday is soon, and we moved onto the topic of bringing in goodies for the class. I told her I was making cupcakes, and she said "Um, you might want to check on that."
I am a sucker for soppy Hallmark and Kodak commercials, violins playing, "Sunrise, Sunset," tiny handprints on laminated sheets of paper alongside poems that begin something like "I know right now my hands are small/and it drives you crazy when you see handprints on the wall/but one day soon I'll be big and tall/and you'll wish you'd driven me to the mall/when I asked nicely/when I was five."
I feel like for the past couple of days I've spent most of my time running around in circles doing something, only at the end of the days there haven't seemed to be any actual results lying around, you know, like PROOF that I have earned my keep around here. You know how that is? Yeah.
So anyway, I ran around today some, and I must have been running with a purpose (not with scissors), or else, why run? But I look around and there are still dishes to do and I didn't do laundry because of the threat of a downpour (which did arrive a little while ago, poured down, and has now moved on) (I hang my laundry out on the line), and oh who wants to hear more of this drivel? No one. Of course. Me either.
Yesterday Julia gave me the task of doing all her Barbies' hair. Julia chose their outfits (which basically means she matched up each doll with the outfit she came with originally) and I dressed and coiffed them all.
If you're not already familiar with my daughter's dramatic and horrifying facial history, you need to go to this post and read it first. Or at least skim through the text and look at the pictures. Okay?
These were taken on Easter this year...the Easter Bunny brought the kids each a harmonica (what was that wascally wabbit thinking???), and after we'd been to brunch at my cousin's and stuffed ourselves on all the food there (and the kids stuffed themselves on candy), here's Julia, playing a little concert.
Pictures didn't come out great, which is probably why they didn't get posted at the time.