Thursday, May 25, 2006

Musings while folding laundry

Wanna know my favorite thing about summer?


I hate folding socks.

Friday, May 19, 2006

They Grow in Spurts

Sarah participated in a talent contest on Tuesday night. She loves this competition because it's basically her only chance to sing for a crowd. She spent two months working on her number and then came down with a cough a week before the show. It gave her a scratch throat and that high E that she was already having difficulty reaching suddenly became almost impossible. She did well though. She didn't place, but she performed well and really wowed the crowd. How can you not be wowed when you hear a 10 year old belt out "Defiying Gravity" from Wicked? Ok, so maybe if you are a judge and tend to be overly enthusiasic about 7 year olds playing simple songs on the violin, but otherwise, really, how can you not be impressed?

It struck me that night as she was getting ready how old she is. She's been in my life for more than a decade. Just recently, she's started really caring about making sure her lip stays waxed and she plucked her own eyebrows. I'm sure that soon she'll want to shave her legs and I'm not ready for that. (She inherited her father's dark body hair.) She wore her new lavendar skirt and white sweater with her silver sandals. She looked so pretty and grown up as she sat and visited with her grandma, leaning in with one leg crossed over the other.

Last week, she wasn't that old. I swear she wasn't. They don't grow gradually, flowing from one age to the next in a coniuous process. They jump and hop in their ages just like they jump through life, moving along in spurts so one minute they are small and the next they are entering junior high.

I don't normally get wistful about my kids growing. I know I've said that before and I mean it. I rejoice in their getting older and growing as human beings. However, Tuesday night my heart couldn't help hurting for that little girl I used to have.

She still will fly at you to give you a hug and that little girl thing I hope never leaves her.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Out of Commission

It's been a while since I posted because Spring flu hit our house. It took out all the kids for a week, and the onset of symptoms was only staggered by a day or so, which means that I had five kids sick at once. I've never had that happen before and usually my kids are pretty healthy. I think they've each been on antibiotics maybe twice in their lives. Needless to say, this was not a set of circumstances I was prepared for. The kids are back at school but the house is trashed and I'm now sick from the same thing.

But that's not what I wanted to blog about. Friday, I had to keep all three of my school kids home. Sarah had to go to school sick on Thursday because it was the day of the major social studies fair, the culmination of months of work and not something she could make up later. She gave her class presentation that day, because she knew she would miss the next day. So Friday, she missed seeing all the presentations. She was sad about that. Joshua, however, was completely heartbroken. A real, live children's author was visiting his school that morning and in the afternoon his class was hosting a Mothers' Tea complete with a play for entertainment. Rilla, being in kindergarten, still just thinks every school day is special.

So in an effort to cheer up my children, we hosted our own Mother's Tea. I spent all morning baking and we did enough different things that everyone got to help with one thing. We made bread in the bread maker, muffins, three kinds of cookie, and weiner wraps (bite sized.) There was also apple slices and carrot sticks and special punch (koolaid with sherbert melted into it) because there was supposed to be special punch at the second grade Mothers' Tea.

We set the table with a nice table cloth and my china, including the tea cups and saucers. They all ate pretty decently although I have to admit the carrots and apples were very much neglected and Matty only ate the muffins (he's a muffin freak.) I got a kick out of the fact that I actually owned a punch bowl for my punch (hey, Mom, you wanna use it for some weddings? lol!) and I had a use for all my pretty dishes. No one spilled anything and no one fought. All in all, it was a good day.

I'm posting this so I have proof that once in a while, I can be a fun mom. Here's a pic of our party minus the bread and weiner wraps.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Just a layout I did this afternoon.

journaling reads: Maybe it's because we've learned to pick our battles. Maybe it's because she doesn't exactly ask. Maybe it's because we don't want to trigger a meltdown. Maybe it's that 7:30 am isn't the best time for mommy. Maybe she's just too cute to say no to. Whatever the reason, my 20 month old has taken to eating her breakfast (of dry cereal) on the floor in front of the television. It's highly apparent that we have become . . . permissive in our old age.

ETA: yes, I noticed the spelling error. It's all fixed now, thanks to UnDo. Please imagine a cute polka dot r between the e and the m. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

And for only $100 donation I can get the DVD of tonight's program

At least once every six weeks, my father in law asks me if I watch a TV show that he watches. It's usually a different one than he mentioned last time. For a normal family, this would be a nice question and show that he is interested in what his daughter in law likes. For us, this shows an amazing lack of perception and retention of facts. You see, every time he asks I give him the same answer: no I don't watch that show. We don't get network television. We only get PBS and this has been the case for seven years. At first I'm sure many of you think, "oh well, your memory goes when you are older." Since he's not even 55 yet, I actually give him a different excuse.

He can't remember this because we are weird. What family in America actually chooses to go without television? Who can't stand around the water cooler and maintain their side of a Survivor or American Idol conversation, if only to say they would rather discuss CSI? A family usually either chooses to not own a tv at all on moral grounds or they have it all. We don't fit in either category. We just sort of fell into our situation.

When we moved to this town seven years ago, we quickly discovered that getting tv reception was difficult. I know, the average adult would have already called the cable company and never actually discovered this one, but money was tight and we were going to forgo cable for awhile in an effort to actually pay some more pressing bills. Yes, it was weird, but we had just graduated from college and we were in our "responsible adults" phase. We could, however, get reception from the PBS station, so Sarah watched Sesame Street and Barney and we talked about getting cable in a year when finances were better.

A strange thing happened though. We learned to love PBS. I mean love it. We really enjoy Nova; we look forward to American Experience; I'm upset if I miss an episode of This Old House. We make jokes about slimline white telephones and candle light suppers. PBS is fun. No there's not always something we want to watch on tv, but that's when we turn it off or watch a movie. (We do have a Netflix subscription.) There's enough good stuff on and most of it is stuff we really learn from. (Don't bring up hydrogen fuel, because we can talk your ear off about that.) Educational TV doesn't stop with 10 year olds. And suddenly it's seven years later and we still only talk about getting cable or dish as a "someday" thing.

A few years ago, we were visiting Steve's parents. The house was relatively quiet on a Sunday afternoon, so I turned on the tv just to see what was on. I flipped through six channels and settled on PBS. That's when I knew I was well and truly corrupted. I'm sure there is hope for me, but in the meantime, I'm saving $30 a month and learning an awful lot about roof repair.

Friday, May 05, 2006

This Is Why I Will Never Be Nominated Mother of the Year

So. I'm going to have eight eight year olds invade my house tomorrow. Ok, seven will invade and one will already be here. And yes, he won't be eight until the next day. Let's stop quibbling over details, shall we? Anyway. Planned a birthday party. Ok, I got emotionally blackmailed and pushed into a birthday party. Joshua will someday be the World's Best Salesman. You think I'm kidding. I'm not. He doesn't stop. I'm lucky I didn't get talked into letting him invite the whole class. You can all be happy for me that he was ok with seven friends because if not, I would have the entire class over here tomorrow afternoon. He's that good.

I"m in total denial about this party. I have not planned any activities. I have not even bought the birthday cake mix. I may just break down and buy a cake. I never buy cakes. I hate store cakes. So nasty! Mine may not look all that great but at least it's worth eating. This is how crazy I am right now. I'm thinking I should buy a ball of some kind. Or maybe water balloons. burlap sacks? rope and duct tape? Valium? These things go through my mind only when I'm thinking about the party, the rest of the time I try to forget I'm doing this. I'm not one of those mothers who lives to do THE BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER!!1!!1! I love my kids. I love that they have birthdays and we always have at least two family parties and make a big deal out of them the whole day. We buy them fun gifts, like this year the boy is getting a new bike. However, that many kids gathered together, high on sugar and hyped up from the idea of a party totally stresses me out.

The ignore the party technique worked just fine until last night. Last night when my husband called to confirm a time for a project he had commited to help with three weeks ago. When do they need him? Exactly the same time as the party. Eight eight year olds and just me. Oh and four other children of my own. Don't you wish you were me?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

News Flash: Pretend Business not so Pretend

why? Because I got my very own checking account! I know. It's about time. I could seriously be much farther ahead on saving for equipment and investing in advertising if I had done this when I first started taking pictures for money. But it's done now and I'm excited. In a few weeks a checkbook will be arriving on my doorstep that has just my name on it. I will be using it for things like tearing out the deposit slip in the back and depositting lots of moolah into the account. Well, that's the plan anyway.

I opened the account with two checks: a photography session fee check, and a royalty check from Polar Bear Press. The royalty check arrived on Saturday and that was almost as emotional as seeing my rub-ons for the first time. Yes, I'm a girl. Not only have I designed a scrapbook product, a company produced it, and people bought it. It doesn't get much cooler than that.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A true (digital) photographer's child

Matt walked up to me as I was editting photos from a shoot on my computer. He stood there for a second and he said: "It's a little bit dark."

He was right.