Friday, September 20, 2013


What!? It's the middle of September? How?

This happens to me (and probably all teachers) every year. School starts and life begins to move at warp speed. Suddenly the amount of time I have to complete the seemingly endless list of tasks shrinks and life gets all out of balance.  Since we just moved into this house, there are house moving tasks on my list, in addition to the regular life tasks. And just about nothing gets done. We are fed and clothed and we show up where we have to be. That's about it. The house is still full of boxes. It is marginally cleaner because of our amazing, dedicated, tireless, could not live without her house cleaner.  Most of our mail is still going to our old apartment because I can't remember the millions of passwords I have to my millions of accounts to change my address.  I have no idea where anything is anymore and I don't really care either. (That cord for the camera? The charger for the i-pad? the rest of the toys? the rest of my clothes? They are somewhere. Whatever.) I've been wearing the same 5 outfits over and over again, with the addition of a pair of socks and a sweater because it suddenly decided to be Fall.

As a friend said to me this week, "Move is a four letter word."

Yes, indeed.

But, Life continues at its breakneck speed and we are all swept up in it.  Here is what we've been doing and thinking about the last few days...

Ballet.  Lily started her 3 year old ballet class at the Y. It may be the cutest thing on the planet. Yes, cuter than cat videos. One of her classmates showed up in 5 tutus. She could barely move, but she was soooo happy. Because she's 3. And wearing 5 tutus at once is pretty much the best thing ever when you are three. Watching Lily's class made me calm down all over about how THREE she is. I thought it was just my child; turns out ALL three year olds are demanding, irrational and have insane amounts of energy.

Noses. Specifically, Lily's adnoids. We found out after multiple visits to allergists and ENTS this Summer/Fall that her adnoids are 60% enlarged and will probably need surgery. Which is why she's had a runny nose for 2 years. Lily, by the way, is SUPER well behaved in Dr's offices. No, I'm not joking. I'm saving up for medical school. She LOVES medical care. Loves to take medicine, loves band aids and Dr.'s and nurses and getting poked and prodded. She sat calmly while a long skinny tube with a camera was snaked down her nose.  She wanted to know what every object in the office was for. She things have her blood pressure taken is fun.  So I'm not really worried about this upcoming procedure; Lily will think it's thrilling.  First we have to get her hearing checked. She's been saying "Huh?" a lot. "Huh?"
tutus are fashion forward everywhere

IKEA. We are trying to make the most of this (probably brief) window of time when both our kids are the correct size for the playroom.  So last weeked we did a ridiculous, back breaking, whirlwind shopping trip at our favorite box store.  Someone Andrew and I loaded up 2 carts in 30 minutes and managed to get to the check out line before my name was announced over the loudspeaker. So we added 6 more boxes to our collection. I keep hoping that some IKEA elves with little bitty allen wrenches will put the new dressers together while I'm at work. It keeps not happening. So we keep living out of suitcases.


One thing I didn't plan for during our crazy move/renovation time was Lily's hair. It got neglected, it got tangled, it got out of control.  I had no time to take good care of it, and Lily quickly became distrustful of hair time because her curls were painfully knotted.
see the look of grave mistrust she's giving my dad (photographer)

Thankfully her gifted and patient teacher came to our rescue and braided Lily's hair beautifully one weekend. Lily had the best playdate ever; she was showered with attention from her teacher's family, got to eat Haitian food and watch hours of TV. And, her gorgeous curls are safely detangled and protected in braids. Hooray!


Daniel would not like to think or talk about school ever again, thank you very much. 2nd grade is no joke. He can't do anything. Everything is too hard. Sigh. I'm sure he's plotting a grand escape scheme. Deserted islands, motorcycles, circuses... Meanwhile, we are plugging away at subtraction and reading comprehension.  And "unpacking"... or, dumping out the contents of our toy boxs all over the floor. Whatever.

How is your Fall going?
good times at Bear Mountain

Saturday, September 7, 2013


So this week our floors were sanded and our bedrooms painted. So we traveled...

First we spent two nights at a local hotel. Small room, free breakfast. We let the kids watch TV. ( Anyone else wonder what the folks writing cartoons are smoking?)

Then the kids and I spent two nights at Grandma and Grandpa's new home. They still have lots of boxes, but no dust or cat smell. And, they let me sleep in (past 7!!!) The kids loved the new pool. Mommy liked the new hot tub. It was during this stay that I realized I'd packed no shoes for myself. I started to get a bit tired of the black flip flops I'd been wearing all week.

The final stop of the week was Bear Mountain. There Daddy would join us (poor guy, he'd spent two nights in a hotel All. By. Himself.) We'd celebrate my dad's birthday. The lodge was great. 

Daniel: There's a TV in every room!! Can I watch one?!
Mom: no.

The kids liked the playground next to the lake. This is when I realized I'd traveled an hour and spent a great deal of money just to do what I do every Saturday at home: Sit in a park and read my phone while my kids run around. Only the view was a bit better.

As always happens when you plan a big birthday party: someone got sick. So we ate pizza on the porch and toasted Grandpa with plastic cups of wine. Thankfully he wasn't the one who got sick.

I may have started drinking heavily day 4 of this journey.

Side cars are delicious. You should try one.

The kids are all asleep now. Or they better be, if they know what's good for them.

(Not all the kids were excited about their matching t-shirts.)

Tomorrow we go home and move in, again. The painters (who said they'd be done Wednesday, then Friday, then Saturday...) have been told that Monday is the first day of school and we are NOT sleeping anywhere but our own beds. 

$&@? it.

How was your weekend?!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Just so you know, I am very aware that the problems I've been agonizing over are problems of privilege. Having enough money to have a renovation, and all its inherent annoyances, is a First World Problem. Since we have family in the Third World, people we love and are connected to, the contrast between my "problems" and their problems is never far from my mind.

But I'm still going to complain, some days, about the dust and the noise and the disruption. 

But today I'm celebrating! We've had some little successes; little things that have gone a long way towards making this new house feel "normal".

Like home.

We hung shades!

The floors are looking beautiful!

And, we had a fun play date with some friends. Kids laughing and making messes: home.