Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Haps

September is going well.



I'm still feeling pretty good, though that mystical 2nd trimester burst of energy has not hit me yet.  I swear, I am more tired than I was a month ago, and I wonder if it just has to do with our weeks being so much busier and more "scheduled" with preschool and ECFE starting up again.  I am not usually a nap taker, but there were two days last week that I inadvertently fell asleep during Louie's nap.  Blech.  I don't like doing this because I like to get things done during that time, or at least enjoy some alone time.  I guess a nap can be considered alone time, but still.  Feels like a waste, and I wake up even more drowsy and crabby than I was before.

It nearly happened again yesterday.  We had a busy morning of preschool drop-off and pick-up and in-between got Louie a haircut and made a trip to the library.  Oh and my mom hung out with us all morning and she is good company but also talks a lot and sucks up a lot of my "social" energy.  So after getting home, getting the kids lunch, reading them a few library books and putting Louie down for a nap, I was ready to drop.  I did lay down for a minute, playing around on my phone, but the drowsiness almost took over, so I popped up and was at it again.  I spent a bunch of time organizing toys, trying to manage the sheer volume of toys is getting overwhelming again after Gus's birthday.  Right after his party a few weeks ago the boys and I went around the house and threw everything that they didn't really care about into a huge box for donation, I was surprised by how willingly they were able to give things up.  Louie repeatedly would announce that something was "junk" and toss it in the pile.  (Okay, that's kind of sad.) It was a much more positive experience than doing it myself secretly which has in the past on more than one occasion caused pure DEVASTATION when (usually months after they actually disappeared) a certain preschooler noticed things missing.  I figured this time it would be better to have their buy-in.

Here are a few pictures from Gus's 5th birthday party.  We had TWO parties in one day, and it was majorly exhausting, but so so so nice to get them both out of the way in one day.  Family all cam over in the morning, we cooked a feast - pulled pork tacos and all the fixings, chips and guac, spanish rice, fruits and veggies.  It was delicious and not THAT much work, other than all the chopping and dicing that was done the night before.  Oh and Dan had to set his alarm for 3:00 AM to get the pork started in the slow cooker.

Just us the night of his actual birthday. 

There are a surprising lack of photos from the 1st party, too busy hosting I guess.

Then in the evening we had a "kid party", for which we served pizza from Broadway Pizza and homemade mac & cheese.  Much simpler.  Gus invited his daycare friends and then of course a bunch of his other friends, which are basically the kids of MY friends.  ;)




Super fun, the dual party situation also allowed us to feel it worth it to get a bounce house and go all out, it being his golden birthday and all.  We got the smallest & shortest bounce house we could find due to the size of our very urban backyard and the lovely power lines running right through it.  Despite some stress and worry about finding said "small" bounce house after promising one to the kids and printing it on the invites... it all worked out just fine. 



And then after a weekend full of birthday excitement, school started.

Breakfast before his 1st day. 

Ugh.  The bizarre fake smile.  The hands in his pants.  It's just too much. 

While Gus is at at school... we go shopping with grandma!  (Random stop at a construction site outside Home Goods.)

This month we also did make the much discussed bunk bed purchase and Gus is regularly sleeping up top so there's this big old bed underneath just waiting for his brother to take over.  But the tiredness.  I just can't muster the energy to do the room-sharing thing yet, much less transition Louie out of his crib.  Ugh.  I know it's inevitable, and I guess the sooner we get that crap over with, the better... but I am filled with the dread.  This procrastinating of difficult things is one of my worst and least productive tendencies, but I still continue to do it, despite fully acknowledging that it is a giant character flaw.

Blurry pic of his first night sleeping in the bunk bed.  Now he's consistently been sleeping up top.

Of course these things I dread are almost always way worse in my head, so let's hope that's the case when we finally make the shared room plunge.  The biggest issue is that the boys have different bedtimes, Gus actually goes to bed quite a bit earlier since he doesn't nap.  Just not sure how we will make all that work, but of course we will.  Life will carry on.

When Louie stays up later after Gus goes to sleep, he just never stops talking and drives his parents batty.  But he's so also just so hilarious and charming and I caught him "reading" this people magazine one night on the couch in a rare moment of him not talking.

The fall fun has already begun, I took the boys to Sever's last Saturday with Suzi and her kids, and we had a complete blast.  I had never been, and always anticipated this place to be a hellish zoo, but maybe picking the very first weekend to go was key.  It wasn't busy at all, and the kids had so much fun and surprisingly it didn't require an overwhelming amount of "parenting", if you know what I mean.  Just sort of a free-for-all of fun, which isn't always the case with these sort of things.  I think we have found ourselves in somewhat of a sweet spot with the ages and maturity levels of these two little guys.  Gus at 2.5 was no picnic, and while Louie certainly has his moments, he's just so dang verbal that a lot of the frustration of dealing with a 2 year old is mitigated by the ability to just communicate.  Yes, he's irrational, and yes, he can fall a part at the drop of a hat, but he's pretty easy to talk sense to, or at least distract.  


"Mom, look!  I''m just like Mario, jumping from tire to tire!"

Llama selfie.  Because I had to.

Why are the goats always so crazy?

My kids are both old enough that I never really had to go in there!  (Except for photos.)

Lovely picture of the four of them, no?

The tires - black smudgy EVERYTHING.  The corn - dusty EVERYTHING.  Bath night, for sure.

Okay, yup that there wrestling match is my life with boys.

The hay bale maze is fun both inside and on top!  The kids all ran themselves ragged in this thing until they were practically asking to head home.

Not without a picture though.  With a giant crotch.

More cooperation.  :)

Monday, September 08, 2014

So it's fall already

If you went by my archives, it would appear that most of spring and summer don't exist... Year after year I seem to sort of fall away from the internets a little bit during these precious warmer months, and I'm trying to let go of the guilt I have about that, because it does sort of suck to not have any of that documented for the future, but it's also okay to just live and not worry about finding the time to write about it.  Summer is like this strange blend of normal life with less rules, and an almost indulgent absence of time and deadlines.  Even at work, summertime in the office often feels like summer camp, along with my coworkers I find myself coming in later, leaving earlier, stretching the rules of business casual, showing up in sloppy sandals and maxi dresses most of the time.  I like it though.  Summer is awesome.

Louie and Tim, fishing off the dock at the cabin

ECFE end-of-year party... in MAY!

Random spontaneous backyard summer awesomeness

Go find your brother with those kid

Big catches labor day weekend!

Kite flying!

So we've been playing hooky from real life, even though day-to-day life isn't really that different on the outside, it somehow feels different.  It smells different.  And I liked the lack of busy, even though we do seem to keep quite busy.  Fun busy is different from "have-to" busy.  In the summertime I find we do much more with our evenings, all of us with more energy and enthusiasm for truly LIVING (well pregnancy steals a little bit of that unfortunately), those winter weeknight hours of sitting in our living room willing for bedtime to come feels like a distant memory, memories I am currently pretending won't become our reality again in a few months.  There have been more nightly baths and later bedtimes but it's all worth it, because there are also more smiles and more sunshine and more family togetherness that doesn't feel forced.



Local fire station open-house

Zoo with cousin Graham

Twins game in early June.  I was pregnant, but didn't know it.

6:30 PM bedtimes at the cabin

But nothing smacks you harder with reality than September.  A new school year.  A suddenly full weekly calendar.  Meticulous planning for pick-ups and drop-offs, and 30 minutes setting up iPhone reminders for little things like snack sign-up and preschool pajama day.  I like it but I don't.

As a student, I've always loved the start of the school year.  I spent weeks thinking about what I would wear on the first day, I would lay in bed for hours staring at the clock, willing myself to fall asleep but my adrenaline too high.  I loved it.

As a parent, of two kids not quite in real school yet, I have mixed emotions.  Excitement?  For sure.  Pride, anticipation, nervousness, worry, lots of jitters.  The worry usually rears its ugly head when I'm laying in bed at night, and the funny thing is I'm not even really stewing about school this year.  Gus is going to the same wonderful preschool, 3 days a week this year rather than 2.  And I'm only a little anxious but that's just because that's how I get with my tough-cookie-to-crack first-born who seems to have a harder time adapting to change.  Sleep is a big thing for him during the school year, when he gets off, he gets OFF and it greatly impacts how his days go at school and daycare.

Turned 5 just a few days ago!


So for those reasons and many more, the excitement of the start of a new school year is mixed with some melancholy.  Following the steps we know we have to follow in order for him to be successful also means life is a little less fun.  Less spontaneity.  Less "throwing caution to the wind".  A lot of checking and double-checking of calendars to make sure we're not missing something.

I also can't help but think ahead to the year of decisions we have to make, about Kindergarten for next year.  Public or private?  In-district transfer?  When is the lottery for the district STEM school again?  Open enrollment outside of the district?  Drop-off or bus?  And then we will need to figure out what latchkey issues each of our options present.  It all feels so huge and monumental and I think right now I know the best place for him (for our whole family really, that's the other thing about all of this, Louie and baby Nubs will go here too), I know where we're leaning.  But truly?  You don't really ever know.  It's the fear of unknown, I've always struggled with this, and I can't really picture what life will be like with kids full-time in school.. I have no way to determine how things will go, and I honestly just want the decision to be made so I can move on in my mind and start powering forward.  

Louie and I started a new ECFE class today, through another district because we couldn't find a way to fit any of the classes offered with our own district into this newly "busy" little life of ours.  So I was actually nervous, it's new for me too, and I felt sad to not be going to the same local school I've been going for ECFE since Gus was a tiny baby.  Well it went really great, though Louie was so nervous and kept asking me over and over if I was going to go drink coffee with the other moms and leave him there, and I said yes, but not until lots of fun playtime and circle time together.  He was quiet on the car ride there, and again asked me the same questions, one after another, and would look down at his hands and talk really quietly when I brought up things he might do at school.  Oh he seriously is the sweetest child, I feel so so grateful to be his mom and to be one of the people in this world he loves the most.  I do not take fact, nor the weight of it for granted.  Lucky lucky me.


This year is going to be great.  My gut says so.  I am hopeful and tentatively excited.  Wish I wasn't such a headcase about things, change in particular, but I'm guessing I'm not the first mom out there mulling over this stuff in her brain over and over and over to the point of craziness?  I feel like as a parent of littles, especially when they were babies, I was able to roll with the punches and let my instincts take over... I guess I'm counting on and hoping those instincts will do me well in this next phase of life.  The school years.  Crossing my fingers.