Thursday, September 30, 2010

i did it! hooway!

Of course, what is so exciting is that she took out a puzzle piece and put it back into the puzzle.

Today was preschool orientation for Toots's class.  When the first week of April rolls around next spring, there will be cupcakes galore.  Every child is aging into the class next week at age 2.5. 

Toots met two boys and their baby siblings, and one young girl.  There was folder with another girl's name on it, but that family was a no show for orientation.  It'll be a small class for a while, until some more kids age into it.

Toots was very excited, the rain came down on us for the drive there and back - and in the parking lot from the van to the door and back - in sheets.  I felt like I was standing at the base of Niagara, as I tried to coax her to buckle in or out. 

She has to do it herself.

But she was not going to miss this for anything.  She cracked up all the adults, as she was the most engaging kid there. She's a born leader, apparently.  She was very polite to the other kids, and took everyone's picture with the toy cameras - "Say cheeeeese!  [click] Thank you."  Gee, I wonder why?

She and her new friends all played very nicely near each other, and sometimes even together as they all explored their classroom.

A little while after we came home, she was awfully quiet, so I went looking for her to give her some lunch, and found her passed out across the arm of the sofa. This never happens anymore.

It was a very exciting morning.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

see my subtitles

This morning I had an IEP - for those unfamiliar with SPED speak, that's an Individual Education Plan - meeting (which I had called) re: Captain Comic at his middle school to make certain we were all on the same page re: his special education support.  It seemed to go well to cement some things and work on others for his most appropriate success in school and out.  He's working really hard at school without the supports he is accustomed to having from elementary, so has been having a rough time once he is home.  In their eyes, he's doing great at school, but what I see at home is a completely different expression of how well he is doing.

Toots is nearly potty trained to the full extent for her preschool start next week! 

This afternoon I start a new student in tutoring.  I am very excited, if a bit rusty.  I had a good conference call with her parents the other day and it sounds like this will be an interesting challenge.  They all are, but she reminds me vaguely of only one student I've worked with in the past.  I will have to feel out her areas of need to find tools that will work for her - though I do have some ideas going in. 

I have started working out regularly at a gym to take care of myself better than I have been able to in recent years.  I am sore but excited. I found a personal trainer who is also a physical therapist, so she sees my areas of concern appropriately.  She gave me homework for my ankle, too!  I have to write the alphabet with my toes, pick up and place marbles with my toes, and soak the dang thing in a warm salt bath. 

This is a fairly dry, business of life post, rather than my usual sparkling wit, but this is my life today, with the rain, and all. 

I feel the burn - on my way back to superwoman.

The only thing I seem to not be tending to so far this week is my manuscript.  But it is always on my mind, hovering somewhere behind my ears.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

rainy day

Okay, first I was going to post about the shower that was taken by Captain Comic at 5:30am, because last night when he reappeared for the 18th time, well past his bedtime, and he still had not showered, I told him to take it when he wakes at 6am; and the importance of keeping regular routines, especially for kids who have Asperger's Syndrome....and the fact that after that 5:30am shower, because he was too anxious about it to wait until his usual wakeup time of 6am, so when I came downstairs at 7am, Mr.Cynic was already gone, and all the lights and TV were off so I said to myself:

What is wrong with this picture?  Then groggily walked back up the stairs to find Captain Comic asleep in bed.  He is supposed to be outside waiting for his bus by 7:15, with breakfast eaten, and lunch made.   He made it out there, without socks, but with rain coat, and  dare I ask if he even considered brushing his teeth?  By the time I brought a pair of socks for him, he was gone.

But I couldn't make much sense of it beyond the above horrendous sentence structure, etc.  So I said, ah, forget it, and hit delete.

Then I remembered that Toots made a funny segue from a knock-knock joke to an entirely different joke during dinner last night and after a brief and unusually silent pause at our usually rambunctious dinner table, we all cracked up.  Then she told it again.

So I started to type out:

Dinner convo with Toots last night:

Toots: Knock-Knock!
Mom: Who's there?

And I couldn't for the life of me remember the rest of what she said.  I called Honey at work, and he said, I don't know....ask her.

I tried, and she fell back on her old reliable Knock-knock which is not what she said last night.

Mom: Who's there?
Toots: [Toots] the Windowwasher!

Don't ask me how she came up with that one.  I think Honey helped her come up with it a while back.  Clearly he is not the writer in the family.  Stick to design, Hon. That's where you excel. Love ya.

So, between the achy muscles from yesterday's yoga class, the 5:30am shower alarm and the rain we haven't had all summer and are getting now, I can't rub two halves of a thought together, so this is what you get.

Hope it made any kind of sense at all.

Some days are just like this.  Now you may have a partial picture of what it's like in my head.  Trains of thought are often derailed.  I'd like to go back to bed now.

Monday, September 27, 2010

new leaf

I tend to start new things in September, with the start of the school year. Always have.

This weekend, Honey and I joined a gym.  It's a struggle to fit it into our already stretched budget, but we both recognize if we don't prioritize our health and wellbeing, everything else falls apart, too.

Honestly, at this point after the myriad health issues I've had for the past few years in order to bring Toots into our lives, I'm so back at square one physically that I really don't have the stamina or physical capability to work at a job on a regular basis. I need help getting back into a normal gear.

We found a gym that has personal trainers who are also Physical Therapists.  I signed up for one of them to start me off gently and consider all my weaknesses, both generalized weakness and specifics from my back issues, surgery healing and my torn ankle tendon that is resisting healing.

Wish us luck!  My PT health assessment appointment is tomorrow morning.  Today, I am going to go to the morning Gentle Hatha Yoga class for a kickstart.   Let's see if I fall over in Warrior Pose, like I did at home last week....

My objectives with gym membership:
1. strengthen and build endurance
2. lose 15 pounds
3. reshape body parts and put some back where they belong - or  a close approximation to their past positions.

Honey is looking to lose weight and feel more on top of his physical wellbeing.  We both know we have let things go way too far while we were trying to take care of everything, everyone else. For Honey, that included me a lot, too. 

Thanks, Hon, I really appreciate all you did and still do.

Addendum:  Back from yoga class.  Great class, but I must say my ankle is the worse for wear after that.  I tried very hard to not wonk it, but it is highly wonkable at this point. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

convos with the kids

Having a talkative two year old who was a former silent baby makes it nearly impossible to catch all the brilliance that comes out of her mouth.  But I'll try.

Yesterday, we were playing ball in the backyard, when she walked into a spider web.  She stopped in her tracks, backed up, walked toward me with a discerning look on her little mug, and declared, "I ayyergic to dat pider web."

Moments before, she stopped suddenly with a surprised intake of of breath, and looked at her arm. 

Mom: Do you have a little bug on your arm?
Toots:  Yes, it's otay.  I yuv dat yiddo bug. giggles sweetly
Mom: Does the little bug tickle?
Toots: Yes, da yiddo bug is tickwing my arm!
Mom: Is the little bug an ant?
Toots:  Yes. Yes it is an ant.  (pauses, smiles adoringly at the ant) I yuv dat yiddo ant!

In Mommy and Daddy's bed for morning cuddles today:

Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]
Toots: Mommy?
Mom: [Toots?]  I'm wondering about now where she is going with this.
Toot: I yuv you, too!
Mom: I love you, too, too!
Hugs and giggles and more I love you, too, too, toos.

Captain Comic:
Has been having a tough week at school and trying very hard to hold it in there.  Then he comes home and lets it loose. Poor guy.  Tuesday afternoon, over something very small, he growl-screamed through gritted teeth at me:

Captain Comic:  Can't you just leave me alone for one single minute - PLEASE!  I have had a Very Stressful day at school today!

I am actually quite proud that he was able to express so clearly the real source of his emotional outburst.

Mr. Cynic:

 ~Dear readers, remove young ones from the viewing area, please. ~

After the Homecoming game last night, I picked up Mr. Cynic and friend at the field.  They hopped into the van in the crowded parking lot, as a sea of orange and black clad people flowed around the vehicle. He loudly declared:

The Tigers BROKE the TROJANS, 24-0. 

The conversations around here vary wildly according to developmental milestones. I am never bored.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

looney harvest moon

This week marks the first full moon Autumn Equinox since 1991. NASA calls it the The Super Harvest Moon.

Last night, Mr. Cynic and I saw her rise over Kmart as we ventured out to purchase sodas on sale for his Jazz Choir to contribute to Homecoming. 

The Moon was a big, round peach in the prussian/ultramarine blue twilight.  She was gorgeous and looked exceedingly happy for Fall to come. I tried to get a good picture, but this was the best I could do with the camera I had.

This has been a challenging week.  Random odd challenges that have no business conspiring to make me go batty.  Looney. 

Here are a few examples:

1. Toots has decided that potty training is more fun if she refuses and purposely pees on the rug when we just repeatedly tried to persuade her to use the potty.  I won't mention how poop aspect is going.

2. Can't find the envelope of family birth certificates that have been in the exact same file for over 15 years and never lost before, through umpteen moves. I will add, that is where the savings bonds for the kids are, too. I spent two hours yesterday searching every file in the home business file cabinet.  Honey spent 2 hours searching for it last night, as I not so sweetly, frantically blamed him.

3. 1 & 2 are necessary to register Toots for preschool this week.  Preferably today.

4. Mr Cynic's girlfriend since early December 2009 dumped him on Facebook within a week before Homecoming. By the next day, she had a new date to the dance.  He's basically fine, no teen melodrama about it, but feels a bit humiliated and betrayed.  "Mom, I'm 15.  It's not like I was going to marry her."

5. I work with the youth group at my fellowship on Sundays, usually a couple of times a month.  There is a girl there who sidles up to Mr. Cynic quite a bit.  During check in when we share a bit of our week with everyone, Mr. Cynic shared the Homecoming dump.  This girl pounced. "Well, I'll go with you if you want a date for the dance."  He said okay, and I found on the ride home that he was totally clueless as to the extent of how much this girl is into him, in the way only a 14 year old boy crazy girl can be.  I recognized it right away, because, um, let's just say it looks familiar.

6. There's paperwork involved.  She goes to a high school in a different town.  Paperwork involves parental and principal of her school's signatures.  It's due today. I heard about it Tuesday afternoon. How the heck....Stroke of brilliance: digitize via scanner and email!  Got it all done last night except for two minor details:  my printer decided to stop communicating with my computer once again and I haven't signed it.  I fired it off to the teacher in charge as is and emailed that I would swing by the school to sign it today.

7.  Haven't heard back yet from the teacher in charge.

8. Tuesday erupted re: Captain Comic because Monday he erupted on me because of something re: school.  Phone calls and emailed letters galore over the course of about 24 hours - in the midst of which was my writing group - as if I'd be able to concentrate on my writing.  Literally walking out the door at the end of writing group, Mr. Cynic's frantic call came about having to cancel his bass lesson for that afternoon because we had to drive around creation to get that paperwork signed and in.  My stroke of virtual documentation brilliance occurred on my short ride home.

9. Special needs parent advocacy super powers week. See above.  Sorry to be vague, I'm pooped and some of this should remain confidential.

10.  Yesterday, Mr. Cynic awoke with a sore throat, but decided he could go to school.  Last night, he started stuffing up, but this morning, though he sounded kind of miserable, he decided he felt fine besides the annoying stuffiness and cough. 

11. Captain Comic awoke this morning with the same sore throat and decided he did not want to risk infecting the whole school so that they have to shut it down. 

12.  He seemed verbal and non-feverish enough to go to school to me, so I pushed him out the door.

13. Also on Tuesday, a pen exploded all over our dryer - Inside - which looked like black blooded carnage. 

14. In seeking advice how to remove stain, I instead received too many wiseacre comments and helpful hints on how to train my family to empty their pockets. Believe me, I use tools every time I do laundry, which is often, to ensure this happens, to no avail. Periodically, something turns up in the washer or dryer that I wish was cash, but is usually something like an exploding pen, cellphone, tissue scraps, load of melted lip balm covered clothes, legos, candy wrappers or rocks. Or all of the above.

15.  There's more.  I know there is.  Beyond the usual mayhem. 

I blame the moon.  It's the only way I'll survived the remainder of this looney week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

oh boy

Things have been a mite stressful around here for the past 24 hours re: Captain Comic and school.  So I was grateful to have my writing group meet today.

We met.  I wrote. Really I edited about eight pages of my manuscript in the middle and then got stuck and found myself drawing floor plans of the fictional house on the back pages of my printed editing copy because while I had in mind what the upstairs looked like and that it was a Cape with a two story addition on the back, and I knew the whole floor plan from kitchen to kids' rooms, I had no earthly idea where the parents' bedroom was, or bathrooms.  And I have been watching them walk through this house in my head for eons!

Thankgiving dinner guest has arrived, and the mother is coming out from having just showered all the flour and mess off herself from the dinner prep.  She is pulling her long wet hair back into a ponytail, but wait - where is she walking from?  Is she coming down the stairs as she talks and walks into the scene?  Or from a room that doesn't exist downstairs?  If it doesn't exist and I have been so sure of my floor plan all this time, where the heck am I going to put it?

There is no actual physical need to visualize and describe what the house looks like except I need to know so the narrative will work. 

Stuck as I was, I moved on to a random document that Honey had loaded on to the laptop he refurbished for my use.  Why did he put it on there?  I'll never know.  He likely has no idea why he did it, either, but there it was, tempting me from my task at hand that was floundering.

It was a short story I wrote a few years ago, I think.  I read it, found it quite enjoyable to look at again, and tweaked it a bit.  So though I was not directly productive on my novel, I was still productive and had some fun on a day I really needed to have a good distraction.

Monday, September 20, 2010

to sleep, perchance to dream

Honey put Toots to bed last night and found he had to fold the quilt in half to fit in her crib.

This morning, I heard her stirring and went over to her crib to take her out. 

Me:  Did you have a good night's sleep with your new quilt?
Toots sleepily with fingers firmly in her mouth: Mm-hm. But I had dweams.
Me:  What happened in your dreams?
Toots: It had cheese in it.
Me: Was it good cheese?
Toots perking up, but fingers still in mouth:  Mm-hm!

This was her first unprompted telling of her dreams.  I believe the quilt had something to do with it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


The quilt is finished!  Phew!

And Toots is very happy.

Final ironing and pinning stage to close the open, stuffing edge:

Here it is before I threw it in the wash, so I can put it on her bed tonight.

The stitching isn't perfect, neither is the stuffing, but you know what?  I did it.  It's my first quilt.  I'm proud of it. 

And Toots's toes will not be hanging out the foot of it when she sleeps for a looong time to come.

Nope.  They sure won't!

And you know what else?  Look at the look on her face in both shots.  I'll wait.  Go ahead.

She knows I love her, big time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

i spy with my little eye: snake attack

I looked out the window when something flew by just prior to dusk last night. I grabbed the nearest camera and:

Attack of the Giant Snake!

But who was attacking whom - Humanoid or Snake?

Soon the Humanoid had the upperhand.

Then the Snake appeared to briefly make a comeback.

But was quickly thwarted.  Take that!

And That, you you...snake!

As if fighting on sheer spite, the Snake goes in for the kill.

And then Captain Comic saw me pointing a camera through the window, and came after me with a "Why you! You're going to pay for this!"  a la forties gangster movies.

I'm telling you, there are worlds in this kid's head.  Worlds.  One day, they will appear on film.  I see a future James Cameron or Stephen Speilberg (the early years) in the works.  Of course, he wants to move to Tokyo and work for Toho Studios, the king of all makers of giant monster movies.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ehem. remember this?

It all started here,

which led me back to the fabric store,

which led to obsession.

From which I have only slightly recovered, as I continue to quilt approximately an hour or so per day.  Some days I skip. Others net four or five hours of poking myself in the finger with a needle and going blind from close up examinations of threading the needle or trying to find where it came out the back so I can tie it off and thread the needle again.

I am enjoying it, meditatively, methodically producing something of use and pretty, too.  Toots can't wait to wrap it around herself, sleep with it over her in bed.  She woves her kiwt so vewy much.

Some photos of the process, which is nearly complete:

Stage One:  In pieces:

Watch the dates, folks, most of these were taken during the 48 hour endurance obsession initial weekend.  Pieced together by evening, sorry it's blurry, so was I:

Next morning, the border is completed.  I wanted to try fancy cornering, but then I said it's good I got this far:

Blood was shed from my cuticle! twice:

(Addendum: That is my grandmother's thimble!)
Back panel has been sewn and turned right side out:

Lost a day to finding a fabric loop and oh yea, paying attention to my family.
Quilting begun:

See?  Not perfect, but getting the hang of it.

Weeks later, I am still quilting.
Mr Cynic took this on Tuesday:

What may not be readily apparent is that most of the quilting is complete.  I'm in the final blue panel now. 

I also now have a better understanding why at one point in my glasses clad young adulthood, a guy in a bar thought, What are you, some kinda librarian?  was a good pickup line.  It wasn't, but I can see why he said it.

i swore i wouldn't do it/don't you wish?

I swore I wouldn't do it:

I will try to be polite about it and not necessarily.....Poop Post.

Toots has to be potty trained completely before October 5th, when she ages into 2.5 year old preschool.

Yesterday I asked for consultation from a number of parent friends:  To Pullup or not to Pullup?

Consensus was if she has shown she can stay dry/not messed, plant the goods in the potty, then forego the Pullup.

So we did.  I even went out to buy more undies for more inspiration on her part.  She already had been wearing Hello Kitty panties over her Pullups. So I bought a few more pretty undies.

Okay, rant time:  why are 2T-3Ts so hard to find in panties?!  And then, why are they so expensive for such a tiny swatch of material?  GapKids, Gymboree and the Children's Place can go...(unsavory language)! Target, likewise. 

Old Navy was about half the price of the other places and in stock, though I was still not pleased with the price.

Toots is tiny, petite, a miniature svelte rather than a plump toddler.  No way she could have gotten by with a 4-5. I can double my fingers around her waist. 

When I got home, she was very excited about her new undies.  After nap, we got her going sans Pullups, and she did really well all the way through dinnertime, etc. Only one pee-pee accident.

So far so good this morning, too. 

(of course as I typed so far so good, she ran away from me when i asked if she needed to potty and proceeded to do so on the last carpet on our first floor.  crap.  she just did it again, 10mins later, right next to me)

Wish us luck.  We may be challenged in the take her out on the town department, but I will definitely try for church nursery on Sunday.


Don't you wish?

Your hair did this naturally:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

end of the season

This year, the gardens were a lot of work for not much produce or beauty.

July was basically like living in the Sahara - sustained state of well over 100 degrees and no rain. And there was the ankle in June, which still makes gardening a challenge, though it is significantly improved from then.

August didn't improve much. And by then, it was too late:  if the gardens grew at all, I wasn't going to be getting much from them.  Tomato plants started off really well, but a rabbit got in the fence. Between the rabbit and the temperature, they never recovered.

I got some mini bitter broccoli, and a green pepper or two early on, but nothing since.  Only a few snap peas early in the season.  Never saw but a couple of microscopic spinach leaves, but the lettuce did alright early on.  Cucumber and zucchini were my best crop, but they were decimated quickly once again by the nasty evil squash bugs, no matter how I battled them.

Right now, I am still picking the occasional okra pod and frying it up in a pan with cornmeal batter, the way my mom and grandmothers did  - minus the bacon grease from the coffee can under the sink - I use peanut oil instead.  Everyone looks forward to it, but it's rather like the Donner party's enjoyment of their last food parcels before they moved onto desperate measures. We each get one, maybe two bites.  It's a tease.  A horrible tease of southern fried okra deliciosity. And I never had enough pods at one time to make my Jambalaya.

Dang this July.  Dang this southern heat and drought.  I could never water enough without burning plants in the process.  Even my flowers out front were skimpy this year, and most of the bushes died or half died.  The proud gladioli were droopy and fell over if they bloomed at all from their blade leaves. I trimmed every dead bush part back, dug a lot up, and am hoping for a resurrection next spring.  My rose bushes look pathetic. I cut my rose vines all the way back and reset a new trellis for them to cover by next spring, and they are starting already.  No matter what, that tangle of rose insanity always does well.

This weekend, Honey moved the brick border into the front garden plot by about two feet from its original position.  My wonky back couldn't manage it though I tried. I transplanted marigolds out front. They were serving as border patrol around the cukes and zukes out back  against the squash bugs, to no avail.  So there are now a couple of bright spots of yellow and orange as well as the weird, I call them fire lilies, in the header pic above.

So here's a last toast to this summer's struggles:

I still don't have any idea what this is, but they come up every year. Very sparse this year. If you know what they are, please let me know!

King's Ransom Rose. In other photos, last year, he's much more yellow with a rosy blush. (example)

Zinnia never fails, but they were few this year, and only one hue.

Here's a transplant marigold.

May next year be more fruitful.  I'm already planning resetting the vegetable plots deeper, reconfiguring the whole deal.  Just don't tell Honey. Yet, anyway.

How did your garden do this year?

Monday, September 13, 2010

the best feeling

Toots ran over, threw her arms around me last night and delighted stated,

"Yoo ah my best mommy in da ho wide wowd!"

Life is good.  Hug your loved ones.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

happy shack

Kelly Warren at The Happy Shack and I have become friends over the past couple of years because of an introduction over at  Studio Mothers.  We shared our woes and triumphs in the great balancing act that is maintaining creativity while devoting our lives to our families' wellbeing, however that manifests.

We arrived at the conclusion that we are twins who were separated at birth.  We're both somewhat goofy, not afraid of embarrassing ourselves, rather clutzy, dimpled Capricorns with a mix of reticent perfectionism and go for it spunk.  She is the much taller and more energetic twin.  I'm the more reticent one.  Reading about her work in Student Life at a college, her go get 'em enthusiasm for her jewery making and selling, mothering her twin redheads and growing menagerie, and blogging, I boggle continually at what she accomplishes every day. And she organizes creative retreats! All this while battling periods of severe vertigo.  She's a fine art photographer and master collager, too!  Oh, and she just happens to live in a colorful house that sits at water's edge where she can sit back in her dock chairs and watch the sun set over the water.

I've been admiring her jewelry for ages.  Then she blogged about making this necklace:

I had to have it.  It spoke to my ocean, beach loving soul.

So I bought it and asked if she could conjure up a pair of matching earrings, and she did!!!
They arrived on Thursday with a polishing cloth to boot, all wrapped up in purple tissue paper with a little bow. It was truly a gift.

Thanks, I love them, Kelly!

Having the above necklace in hand, really made me admire the craftsmanship of her work. It looks quite delicate, but it is rather sturdy. I don't need to worry about Toots pulling on it or one of my own brilliant maneuvers that have destroyed countless other pieces.

Please, go check out her Etsy shop!  Don't forget to peek at Kelly's fun colorful photos, too.  I love her rusty old car series.  And this one:

Isn't it dreamy?  Don't you want a nice matted copy of it on your wall so that you may dream escapes to other worlds around that bend? 

Friday, September 10, 2010

in the interest of full disclosure

...i give you this photo:

I assiduously avoided this one like the plague when posting beach pics the other day.  That woman in the wide brown shorts?  She is not someone I recognize as myself.  See that lovely roll of mid back flab?  Never existed before recently.

I was the proverbal 95 pound weakling for most of my life. Then I met Honey, after birthing two kids and weighing in around 104 on average, and got very comfy cozy with him settling in around 110. We got married  at 40, had another kid at 42, while going through mucho bad pregnancies in order to do so. Now at 44, I'm closer to the 130 mark.

I'm a small framed 5' 2".  I really don't want to lug around a toddler's worth of weight without the toddler on my hip.  I don't expect or want to weigh under 100 ever again, but after all I've been through in the health department in the past couple of years or so, I think I can finally get myself back to a more toned state, and at least a decant and a half below the current flab and fat.

I have joint issues, so running is out.  I can barely do squats. I had a hard time with that when I was skinny, after all my dance years as a kid, my knees are wrecked.  I have back issues going way back.

But when Honey and I met, I was doing an old reliable yoga tape at least three times a week.  That fell off within a couple of years.  I have trotted it back out now and then, but never for long.

Yesterday, I dug it back out, popped it into the VHS (I'm so old school) and Toots and I did the twenty minutes.  It was rough.  My balance was way off, I had no center.  The ankle was tweaking but I saw it through to the end.  I tried to be gentle with myself, too. 

Toots was in for the first ten and very enthusiastic, until she decided that running around the house yelling "AAAAHHHHH!" (a recent favorite activity) and then pouncing on my yoga moves was a better idea. 

Next month preschool, two days a week.  I will yoga and write on those days, definitely, sans Toots's interruptions.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to commit to yoga at least twice a week, regardless of pouncing two year old. 

Because, and I hate to paraphrase the currently overused saying: you can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.  I am really feeling that lately.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Toots, at two and nearly a half, still squeezes my belly roll for comfort, especially when she wakes up. 

This morning:

Toots, excitedly, as she lifts my shirt edge : "Wook, Mommy!  Dere's my hand!"

Me:  Did you just find it?

Toots: Yes!  Yes I did just find it!


Toots, adoringly:  I wuv my hand!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

little things

Last night, Honey took Toots up for bedtime while I worked on quilting more of her quilt.  I will finish it before too long.  She is very excited about it.  Quilting helped me to calm down from the crazy first day of school bus fiasco. Meditative, methodical, repetitive.

Goodnight kisses routine lengthened greatly as she asked for "One mow Big Kiss MMMMmmmmm!"

And then "Just one mow yiddo one! Muh! Heeheeheeheehee!"

I am very grateful for the yiddo things.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

to ease a case of apoplexy

I'm tweaking. 

I still haven't heard from the bus office for the school district. but I posted this on facebook after picking him up from school today:

 so there i am in the office waiting for [Captain Comic] to meet me for pick-up since there was still no word from the transportation office, or anyone else, and that's what i arranged with the a.p. and - well after the dismissal bell rang - i hear come over the secretary's handheld, 'we have a special arrangement for [Captain Comic] to ride the special education bus today.' oh no they di-in't!!!!!

So I need to breathe.  A lot. Big breaths.  Deep ones.  Ones that prevent aneurysms.

Yesterday, thankfully, we had an absolutely perfect day and a new adventure at a new beach down along Virginia Beach way called Sandbridge Beach.  It's very Cape Coddy.  Very Outer Banksy.  It has dunes.  It felt homey.  We loved it. 

First, on the way down, which was longer than expected, we enjoyed a lovely view.  Here, I shall share:

Breathe, Cath, Breathe...

See how contented we are?  Ah, another, gentler day...Breathe, Cath, breathe...
I get a kick out of this photo, because Toots is standing nearly identical to me, yet mirror image, hands behind her back.

Toots just hangin' loose.  Chillax.  Breathe...

Now here's where things get taken to a whole new level in the relaxation department.  Captain Comic in the shallows letting the surf roll him.

He came up for air...  Breathe, Cath, breathe...

Then back into the surf for the waves to roll him.

Mr. Cynic enjoyed the ocean breeze, even though he really didn't want to spend the Last Day of Summer with his family instead of his friends.  Breathe...

Honey and girl walking to and along the dunes.  Breathe...

Ehem,  just take a moment to look at those shoulders. Hubba-hubby, eh?

It really was a perfect day.  Ok, I can breathe now.  And while putting together this post, I finally spoke with the transportation office and the bus driver and have a bus number and time it will arrive for tomorrow morning.  


Now to deal with his mis-scheduled English class and the fact that the old school assigned him the wrong summer reading report and project.

And now for something completely different:  me updates:
My writing group met today.  I made progress on my edits, finally, even while scooting out early to deal with bus mess.  I also have a quilt to finish before Toots outgrows it. 

How was eveyone else's start to school or the week, or your weekend?

And seagull

first day of middle school

Mr. Cynic went off to his sophomore year without a hitch.  Of course.

Captain Comic was ready - had made himself a good lunch- and waiting for a bus to come at 7:00am.

The middle school starts at 8:00am. The shot below was taken around 7:35am, after the regular middle school bus had come and gone; after I finally got someone from the transporation department on the phone who was still telling me to wait for someone else's call because Captain Comic was not in the system for a special education bus pick-up.

Even Babette was like, Are they coming or what?

I dropped him off at school after talking with the assistant principal in charge of Capt. Comic's program, who was going to meet me at a specific place in the parking lot...and was not there.  I had to chase him down with Capt. Comic in order to get him off to school with as little interference as possible. 

If you want to set off a person with Asperger's Syndrome in a bad way, throw him into a new situation with expectations, don't meet them, and see what happens. 

This start to his school year does not bode well for all the progress Captain Comic has made to date. 

I have my writing group today.  Thankfully we are meeting in my neck of the woods rather than up in Williamsburg.  But, he is going to be getting out of school about when I am getting out of my meeting. 

I still don't know if a proper bus for him will be bringing him home. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

hurricane earl and sundry

Hurricane?  What hurricane?  We got drizzle after I battened down the hatches.

Quilt?  What quilt?  Oh yea, that one. I'm working on it, slowly - quilting about an hour a day this week.

Been going to a lot of orientation type thingies, haircuts for boys, new sneakers, etc.  Busy week, while still trying to keep it low key.

School starts Tuesday for the boys.  Finally got schedules straightened out, etc.  That took a bit of doing.

Preschool orientation for Toots this week, too.  She loved meeting her teachers and exploring the playground.  A lot. Tough prying her away from it.  Now to potty train with a deadline of October 5th.

Novel edits?  What novel edits?  Nope, didn't even open the document this week.  Writing group meets on Tuesday, though, so I will work on it then.  Promise.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

batten down the hatches

I live in Hurricane Alley. Hurricane Earl is headed our way.  Or not.

image source:

We live above the purple extreme zone at the Outer Banks, near the red and yellow zones border.  That puts us smack between medium to high threat zone as of this morning's assessment.

So we may have a thunderstorm here overnight, or a visit from Earl. 

I'm not too worried.  No sense in freaking out the kids.  Our neighborhood has a good generator, so I'm not too concerned about losing power, unlike some folks I know.  Some area hospitals have evacuated their most critical patients, just in case.  I live in a high and dry zone, so I'm not too concerned about flooding, unlike some folks I know.  That was one of the main selling points on this house when we bought it.

I am a bit concerned about the drought summer and the big tree next to my bedroom window uprooting or breaking then falling on the house.  I am a bit concerned about our 12ft trampoline making liftoff. 

I am a bit wary, especially when I think about how they discussed the approach of Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, rather insisting that there didn't seem to be threat until it was too late.

So I have my eyes opened, but I'm not too worried.  I will keep my eyes on the dog, though.  She's an excellent nervous barometer.  

I especially am keeping an eye on that 'threat level may change depending on track and intensity' band on the map.

But, Earl, if you do visit, you are welcome to take my ten year old van. The insurance would really help toward a new one.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy September

"The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze."

- John Updike, September