Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Beanie and Me

Who will discover the lambs with me next spring? :o(
I am humbled and so very grateful to all of you for reading my last post and offering kind words and suggestions.  Many are things we're already doing (dates, extra time with mom, trying to step back away from the situation and just breathe) but having those ideas seconded helped me feel like we were on the right track.  There was an anonymous comment, though, that really resonated with me, from the brave soul who explained about incremental steps necessary to get through tasks.  I'm sure it's obvious to you my brain does not work in that way, and it never occurred to me that such tasks can actually be exhausting.  I wish to thank you for taking the time to explain that in such detail to allow me to get inside Miss Bit's brain. 

Parenting is so very very hard and so many folks make it look so easy, and it's so frustrating when it's NOT easy and everyone else seems to just have it all together somehow. 

I have good girls.  They are.  They're kind and generous and big-hearted and patient (depending on the situation), and children others don't seem to mind being around.  They can converse with children and adults and are well-mannered out in public.  I really have nothing to complain about, I know. 

But, when it feels like your relationship with your child is suffering, and you worry they're only going to remember you as that awful nagging, yelling parent who was always disappointed with you, (and I'm not always yelling and nagging, and not often that disappointed), you know you need to change something.

I was Co-Op parent helper this morning and we planted spring greens!
It's especially difficult right now because Bean and I are at a point where we're really getting along.  We're like peas and carrots.


Bean's first three and half years or so were incredibly trying and difficult for me.  She didn't need much sleep.  She had a tiny tummy and couldn't eat too much at once and therefore had to be nursed every two hours.  She began moving at four months (as ridiculous as it sounds, it's documented here on the blog in the archives) and hasn't stopped moving since.

She's a giant ball of explosive energy and impulsivity and I can clearly recall visiting Liss one Spring Break when El was about two or so and finally getting her down to bed (she NEVER slept when we traveled--EVER) and going down to see Mom.  She looked at me in sheer exhaustion and recognized the same in me and let out a gusty woosh of relief.  "What would you have done if she were your first?"

"She'd have been my only."  And, at the time, I seriously meant it.

I adored her with every fiber of my being, but holy hell, she was Destructor, the destroyer of all that was good and beautiful and peaceful. 

I LOVE this cutie patootie watering can they have.
She was so headstrong and stubborn and willful she didn't potty train until she was three.  Because it hadn't been her idea.  Following Dr. Jen's advice, we ignored the potty, didn't even mention it.  And, I'll be darned if she wasn't fully potty trained within a month. 

She wasn't deliberately willful or destructive, she just lacked the self-control necessary to not be a holy terror.  :oS

But then, something miraculous happened.  It was a slow, gradual process.  So slow, in fact, I didn't even realize what was happening until it had passed.

My little Destructor, the child who refused to sleep or nap or sleep through the night, suddenly wasn't.  She was no longer so stubborn or willful.  She started sleeping for a solid ten/eleven hours a night.  She didn't destroy things.

In fact, she was an utter delight to be around. She had always had a dry, witty sense of humor (which I believe may have saved her from throttling--that and her utter adorableness), but suddenly it was more apparent.  She could finally sit still for longer periods of time. 

Instead of being her jailer and parole officer, constantly monitoring all she did because lord knew if it were there to be gotten into she'd get into it, she was my little buddy.

I finished planting what the kiddos didn't.  We'll see what happens. ;o)
And, she's been my buddy ever since.  She's my constant companion--has been for nigh on five years now.  We go everywhere together, and as her time at home with me dwindles, I find myself in a grip of sorrow and panic. 

Everyone says, "Oh wow!  You're going to have so much time on your hands!  What are you going to do with yourself?"

Honestly, I have no clue.  They say it as if it's a good thing.  And, yes, in the rational and logical part of my brain, I know it is.  Alas, this mama's heart is not as logical nor as rational.

She asked to "do cards" so I pulled out Lil's old flashcards.  This is the stack of words she knew.  I had NO clue...
She's ready to fly the coop, however. 

"Ellie, who's going to keep me company at lunch next year?"
"I don't know.  I'm going to be at school.  All day!!!" 

I'm often greeted with, "I wish I could go to school on the bus and stay there all day, every day, like Lily."

She can order from least to greatest and the reverse.
She's ready and I need to suck it up. 

I didn't have this problem with Han or Lil.  I always had a baby at home or on the way.  I was working with Han, and with Lil, I had Bean bean the destructive machine to deal with. 

Here she matched the number words with the corresponding numeral.
As I was preparing Lil's lunch this morning (most of the time I make it while I'm making lunch for Bean and me the day before, but if I'm packing something hot, I'll heat it that morning and put it in her thermos), I thought to myself, "I better get another thermos so Bean can take hot lunch the same day Lil does."

Then, I panicked, thinking about how little and young she is, wondering how in the world she's going to manage to eat her lunch in a timely fashion.

I love that my girls love their boxes so much.
Then I gave myself a quick slap upside the head and asked myself what the heck was wrong with me!!

I NEVER thought of Han or Lil as being too young (and Han was only FOUR when she started school!!) or worried about them.  When you have a baby and a big kid in the house, you realize how big that kiddo really is.  When you are left with just a big kid, even if they're doing more chores and more to help around the house than either of their siblings ever did at that age, they are still and always will be "the baby".  We all still call her that. 

And, she will always be "the baby".

She's a very eager people pleaser.  (I may be repeating myself and in fact, wonder if I didn't already write this in my last post, bear with me if I did, but I feel it's important to put out there just in case...)

She will burst into tears and cry if I (or anyone) speaks sharply to her because she knows she's displeased us.  While this makes life easier for now, I worry for her on down the road.  Peer pressure is a terrible thing.  :o(

Lil?  I have no worries about her.  But Bean...oh dear...

In spite of this, she's tough.  So tough.  She's not afraid to work her body hard and if she falls down she jumps right back up again.  Because I'm teaching swimming, she has TWO HOURS of swimming lessons twice a week.  It channels that energy and gives her focus and wears her out.

She's not afraid to try new things and is the ultimate problem solver.  She mostly seems to figure things out on her own and I think she might be pretty smart...

I feel some guilt because we are getting along so well and Lil and I struggle so much.  Okay, I feel a LOT of guilt.  :o(  I worry there will be perceptions I love one girl more than the other.  I worry about that quite a bit.

I'm grateful for this time in our lives, that we've had it, that we can go on our jaunts to CW and trips to TJ's and that she'll always have these memories.  But, what good memories does Lil have?  :sigh:

I'm grateful to be struggling with only one child at a time, though.  I'm sure the tides will turn and before too long I'll be getting along gang-busters with my Bitty B and at loggerheads with Bean.  It's bound to happen, and if I've learned nothing from my grief, enjoy the good days while they're here, don't worry about that other shoe dropping.

The journey to this point was long and arduous. So, I'm going to enjoy this time in our lives together and let tomorrow take care of itself.

1.  Last Friday I was supposed to work on our quilt with Grandma.  
 I had a flat tire instead. :oS  But, I got to see the quilt's progress before I had to leave. :o)

We had our SCG dinner Saturday evening.  I made pie.
I've not made an apple pie before.  It was SOOOOO good.  Here's the recipe. :o)

 I didn't want to share my pie with the children so I made preacher cookies too. :oP

B cleaned up afterward.  I do love him.;o)

4.  Helping with Co-Op today.  I love spending time in the classroom!

5.  A good chiropractor.  I haven't seen Sam in ten years (since the week before Lil was born, as a matter of fact), but I'll be seeing him Monday.  I borked my back.  Details to come soon.  In the meantime, if you're the praying sort, prayers for healing for my back would be much appreciated...

6.  Sunshine!  I may not be able to get out and work in my yard and gardens the way I would like (see note about borked back above), but I can enjoy all that delicious Vitamin D I'm soaking up and in. :o)

No milestones.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Post Where I Reflect and Work Through Things With Regards to Bitty

I've been so neglectful here and there's so much to write, so many thoughts to get out and express and I'm uncertain where to begin.  If I write it all, it'll be an epic brain dump, almost impossible to get through.

However, there's so much knocking at my brain, begging to get out I have to start somewhere.  So, I'll start with this sweet girl right here. I'm struggling lately with her and me and the way I interact with her. 

I look at this photo and I think how old she looks.  She's growing up so quickly and time is getting away from me.  She's more than mid-way through third grade and fourth grade (a grade I always regarded as being so old when I was in elementary school) is on the horizon.  We have SOL tests looming (not SOL like you and I knew it, but "Standards of Learning"--what in the world was the state of VA thinking to come up with such an acronym??) and double digits and bras and periods and hormones and her utterly hating my guts.  I could cry.

I know the majority of those things are a way off yet, but really, they're not.  These nine years have truly flown by.  I'm halfway through with her.  Adulthood is there on the horizon.  There's so much we need to do to prepare her for that, and she fights us all the way.  :oS

She is, and always has been, an independent thinker.  She has her ideas about the way things should be and how chores should be done, and be damned everybody else's way.  There are ways to complete her chores (or any task) that I know are easier from life experience.  I try to help guide her, set her up for success, and she'll look me in the eye, nod her agreement, and then go off and do it her own way.  The task will then be half-done/not done properly and she'll have to do it again.  And, often, yet again, at which point she and I are both utterly frustrated and irritated with the other and if she had only done it the way I (or Brien) explained, it would have been finished the first time with no tears or frustration. 

I'm not saying my way is always best--for of course it's not.  I'm open to suggestions.  Truly.  Yes, I'm a control freak (I accept this about myself, my little experiment with the broken ankle taught me nothing), but if you can explain to my why something will work better, I'll give it a go. 

Lil's nine.  She's growing and changing and working towards being ever more independent.  I accept that.  That's as it should be.  With that growth and maturity come more responsibilities, and well, I'm failing her as a parent... I know I've at times expected more than is reasonable with my girls, and often have to step back and ask myself, "Rachael, is this developmentally appropriate?!?"

In this case, I seriously don't believe we're expecting too much of Miss Bit.  She's a member of our family, and as such, I expect her to contribute to our household.  I have created checklists so she can be sure she's finished a task completely.  I have chore charts.  There's allowance.  I've done everything I can think of to set the child up for success, and yet, she just doesn't.  She wants to do things her way, or not at all (who can blame her?  Chores SUCK!  I explained the other day that really, adulthood is nothing but one chore you really don't like or want to do after another, and she didn't think that was so wonderful).  I can't accept not at all.  :sigh:  You HAVE to help out.  Why do I have to nag you in order for you to do your chores?  :o(  I hate the nagging and the fussing and the arguing and the mouthiness and all of it.  I'm NOT enjoying this part of nine. 

Lil is NOT a people pleaser.  I'm fine with this, truly.  More than fine, really.  I'm a HUGE people pleaser and I've allowed it to make life very difficult for me.  I struggle to say no (still working on it after 38 years) and want to make people happy.  Lily, sweet beautiful daughter or mine, is not going to suffer like that and I am so happy for her.  BUT, that also creates difficulties for me at this time because she's not going to do her chores just because it makes me happy.  :oS  I need to find some way to tap into her inner-sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction in a job well-done and I have no clue how to do it. 

B and I visit and revisit this.  I'm clueless. :o( 

Otherwise, things are going beautifully for my girl.  She still loves school and has the most amazing teacher this year.  She's being challenged and held accountable and works towards her goals. We're still working on her reading and stick-to-itiveness, but we're getting there.  She's happy and has friends and no friend struggles this year and I truly believe this may be her best year yet.  :o) 

She's a funny little thing.  She's very comfortable talking to adults and having conversations and holding her own.  She doesn't shy away from  it as some children do.  She is bright and knows a lot about what is going on in the world around her, but struggles, because even though she knows quite a bit, her brain isn't yet developed enough to completely comprehend world events such as ISIS.  We don't shelter her, but we don't put it out there either.  ISIS has been in the news so much of late, and given the recent killings of the nine Egyptian Christians, our priest had an entire homily devoted to them.  Lil has my anxiety disorder (sometimes I seriously wonder if I passed on any of my good traits to my girls) and I often find myself walking her through her anxieties step-by-step so that she can see her fears are not necessarily well-grounded in reality. 

Here's were I confess I lack patience with her.  If you come to me and ask me what I perceive to be an exasperating question, I want to respond with sarcasm and ask, "REALLY???" in a rather frustrated tone.  Why don't I have more patience for this sweet, earnest girl of mine?  Why do I fuss and fuss and fuss at her?  Why can't I stop and cuddle and hug and snuggle more? I'm so afraid she's going to grow up thinking I don't love her and remember me as a fussing tyrant.  Why can't I meet my frustrations with her with humor?  Why must I always be sharp and grumpy? 

I know the teen years are right around the corner.  I know she and I will grapple and fuss and fight and our house will be fraught with tension if I don't do something about this now.  It preys on my mind and I go in circles wondering how I can make things better.  What can I do to improve our relationship?  What can I do when she doesn't do what I've asked her to (repeatedly) and she repeats incessantly, "I'm so sorry, Mommy, I'm so sorry" and all I want to do is scream because, dammit, it's constant, this apologizing and not doing what you should be do and instead are goofing off?  Why can't I accept my child for who she is and work from that point?  Am I not creating far more heartache for myself than need be? 

She's a beautiful child with a big heart.  I don't mean beautiful in appearance (although, as her mama, I'm inclined to believe she's the most beautiful child in the world), but beautiful in spirit.  She can be very generous and kind to her sister.  She is well-mannered and well-intentioned, so why do I feel this compelling need to "cure" her of her willfulness (like getting into a battle of wills is going to fix anything there) and lack of responsibility and disorganization?  Is it because I worry for her in the "real world" and trying to function there as an adult?  That's the end goal, isn't it, adulthood and independence and being a functioning and contributing member of society?  Am I so focused on the future I'm missing the present and what is right in front of my face?? 

These are the thoughts I've struggled with and haven't really sat to write and reflect and think about.  Putting them here in words, somewhat organized, is helping me see where we're headed and what I need to do.  I somehow forgot how therapeutic writing is for me.  I can actually feel my shoulders and neck muscles starting to relax and give a little sigh of relief.  Sitting here rereading what I've written I'm inundated with niggles of ideas and plans as to how to be the best mother I can, to be the mother Lily needs. 

As I was sitting in the living room the other day, looking at the profusion of kids' stuff and the messy art table, it came to me that in another few years there were will be no more toys, no more messy art projects.  Before long they're going to outgrow that table and it will no longer be in my kitchen, there will no longer be a playroom.  Childhood is but a blip on the timeline of my life with my girls.  It'll soon be over, and I don't want to waste those precious moments I have left nagging and fussing and being grumpy and irritated.  It's time to once more revisit those lessons I learned when we lost Hannah. 


1.  Hi anon from my last post!
You were asking about this wreath?  I made it last year from a grapevine wreath and flower picks and hot glue.  :o)  I'm so glad you like it!  I saw a similar one in Michael's for $$ and there was no way I was paying THAT for a wreath I could make on my own for less than half the cost.  :oP  You can find my blog post about making the wreath here.  I hope this helps!

2. Writing!!!!!  I have missed this more than I realized!  I will miss being able to go back in archives and see what we were doing a year ago, two years ago, during this absence in my writing.  Drat it all.  I'm better grounded when I sit and write and think aloud (so to speak). 

3.  My girls are playing in the woods.  Let me repeat that so I can wrap my mind around it: my girls are playing in the woods.  I have reached a big fat point of independence and it's so bizarre to me that I'm here.  When you've been in the throes of infant, baby and toddlerhood for 13 years, it's odd when you're simply...not.  Which reminds me, a post on Miss Bean must be forthcoming for five is a month away.  FIVE!!!!! 

4.  SCG dinner last night.  It's so so so delightful to be in the same place in life with two sets of friends who have children who all play together so beautifully.  This group of friends is especially wonderful because we can all chat, or, we can break into groups or, we can pair off in any combination and always have excellent conversations.  We're all of us comfortable with one another and I cherish it. 

5.  I do believe Spring is springing, even if there's a little snowflake in the forecast for next Saturday...

6. CW.  Beautiful, wonderful CW.  You pop into my head at least once each time I'm there, Peg. :o) 


Growing as a human and a mama.  Accepting I need to figure out how to change to improve my relationship with my ever-changing girlie. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Organizing and More

We spent this past weekend attempting to recover from the week and get the house set back to rights.  I'm working very odd hours and I'm finding it difficult to settle into any sort of routine with regards to time for chores and cooking, let alone "me time".  So, Saturday it was. 

Only, it wasn't. 

Sure, we did some BIG things, but cleaning wasn't one of them. 

B came home with a used (and free!) Mac Pro last week.  It's a delightful machine and I'm beyond thrilled to have it for the girls' use, but it posed a problem...where would be put it? 

I wanted it centrally located and clearly visible and it was determined the kitchen was the best spot for it.  But, where???  The kitchen was already pretty full of stuff--art table love seat, kitchen table and chairs--and trying to find room for one more thing was a bit daunting.

We had a sofa table we had inherited from GG that would fit where the love seat sat and would be perfect for the computer.  Super.  Now, what to do with the love seat?  It wouldn't fit in the living room--it's already full of furniture!--but, what about upstairs in our bedroom? 

Excellent.  It'd fit in the bay in our room, but that spot was already taken by the elliptical... So, where would we rehome the elliptical?  The guest room? 

Yup.  The guest room. 

The sofa table was moved from the foyer, the elliptical was moved (I did all the heaving lifting since B is not allowed to due to his aneurysm) to the guest room--sorry Lissie! :o(-- and the love seat was moved to our bedroom. 
Lovely!  (Keeping it real with the piles on the dresser there. 

A view from the bed.  :o)  It works.  (That basket is Holly's bed, for those interested.)

And, because y'all know I keep it real, the view from the love seat. 

And from the door. 




You see, in moving the sofa table, I realized I needed something for the foyer, and really, what I wanted and was perfect was the white 2x2 Expedit I had moved up there for the 20 gallon aquarium.  When we moved that upstairs, we had to move a bookshelf from the hall into our room.  I had to rearrange the room, and things looked rather crowded.  But, it worked. 

Well, we moved the aquarium--drained it out the back door using a garden hose!--to Lil's dresser (no fish were harmed in the moving of the aquarium) and the Expedit moved back downstairs where it once more houses shoes (hallelujah!).  The bookshelf was moved back into the hallway and all was well.

Even the kitty boys were thrilled with the change. 

Except for those piles.  Gah.  The piles. 

Those piles were my sewing stuff. 

I'd amassed a small fabric stash and had numerous sewing sundries that had been housed in the Expedit that now needed a new home. 


The girls and I hied ourselves off to Michael's and came home with a build-your-own six-hole cubby.

Lil helped.

Quite a bit. :o)  No helpless females in this house, thankyouverymuch! ;o)

I cleared off the top shelf of the bookshelf (many lovely box sets that now reside in Lil's room), gathered the piles off my bed, and set to work.

Ta da! :o)

I love it!  The sewing nook is complete!

B finished the sewing bench (with all that lovely storage!).

I set up a basket on the top shelf to contain scraps and works in progress.  Everything is organized and lovely and I don't think I could be happier.  Hooray! 

The new job is lovely!  Peg, I would love to hear what E did with her students.  I have a routine in place, but other ideas are certainly welcomed!

I'm physically and emotionally exhausted this evening.  I've had a wonderful three evenings during our church's mission (I really enjoyed Fr. Coury's messages and having my spiritual tank refilled), but I was out late each night.  And, that's tough for me.  (I'm such a wimp!) I've been working two hours in the pool four days a week, I picked up my daily walks with C (much needed after the wintery break we had to take) and, I picked up C25K once more. 

This amounts to close to three hours of movement and exercise a day (much of the time in the pool is spent squatting and lifting kiddos, man I'm getting a good workout there!) and simply put, I'm out of shape and not used to it.

I started slacking and then sliding and then just didn't go out and do anything.  It seems I get some sort of mindset about messing up something or other and then don't take care of me as I deserve to be taken care of.  I stopped running in August.  It was hot and I was unmotivated and I slacked off.  Now I'm back at square one.  Heavier than I've been in forever (did I mention I managed to slack off on eating well as well?  Good grief.  I got on the scale in January and about cried and didn't get back on until this week.  I'm down seven pounds, so it's a start...) I'm now lugging extra weight on my runs and kicking myself for giving in to the nasty little blerg (go read "The Oatmeal's" "reasons I run" comic for info on that little sucker).

Every year I have grand plans for a fresh start and how I'm going to make all sorts of changes and then I fall back into the same unhealthful patterns.  It's ridiculous. 

Once more I find myself working to change those patterns, but at the moment it's just wearing me out.  :oS 

Combine the spiritual, physical and mental exhaustion and you have a Rachael who had a nasty surprise of a down yo this morning.  I had no idea it was there until it smacked me upside the head and I found myself SOBBING.  Good grief. 

The exercise did me much good, though, as I always get that lovely endorphin rush.  And, my kiddos at work are such sweet peas--I really do love them.  And, CW is such a beautiful place to walk, it lifted my spirits as well. 

The day has ended on an up, yo-wise, but I'm still utterly fatigued. 

And, I'm still utterly neglecting ye olde blogge.  There's so much to write, and I'm so not willing to take the time to just sit and do it.  Argh!!  I've become even more jealous about guarding my time.  I used to make time for writing.  It was my therapy.  I needed it.  Now, I still need it, but I'm willing  and able to do other things as well. 

Things I need to write about:
*Lil and nine and school and how much she's growing and changing
*Bean and Co-Op and how much she loves it and how she's growing and changing
*grief and how it'll still sneak up on you (dammit!)
*grappling with the age old question, "How many children do you have?" (dammit)
*Brien and his schooling
*Me--what's going on, how I'm doing with Bean suddenly being school-aged

So many things.  Time to MAKE the time once more. 


 I love love love that my girls still love boxes.  Ellie wrote on one end, Lil on the other.  See??? So much time has passed Bean is now writing.  And I've documented NONE of it.  Gah!  I'm a terrible mother!!!

This GORGEOUS sunrise from the other morning.  This is unedited straight out of the camera. :o)

The photo that sent me off the deep end this morning.  So bittersweet and wonderful.

Spring in CW.  :happy sigh:

5.  Working.  Feeling good about working. :o)

6.  Self-control with regards to NOT having eaten the entire box of GS cookies. :oS

7.  B and his handyman self fixing my tire's valve stem.

No milestones. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

So, Yeah, a Job

This is my new home for two hours a day, four days a week.  MTWTh I'm working an hour with terrified preschoolers, and an hour with homeschoolers who need to work on refining their skills. 

The terrified preschoolers I can handle.  Mostly.  Last Wednesday, I had four little boys who were all crying at one point.  Oy.  I see them Mondays and Wednesdays 10:30-11:30, and yesterday morning was far better than last Wednesday.  Whew!

I see the other preschool group from 1:30-2:30 TTh.  This group was larger--six kiddos--and no one wanted to put their faces in the water.  Or get their ears under water.  Or blow bubbles.  Or hold their breath.  Or anything.  Yikes!  But, they weren't crying, so they were better than yesterday's crew. :oP  My goal is to have them comfortable with putting their faces in the water by the end of lessons.  One of the moms asked me today how her darling did (sweet sweet thing, all of three years old!) and I told her I was really proud of her and she had done an excellent job (and she had!  They all did!) and she said, "Oh good!  This is the first time she's actually gotten in the water during swimming lessons!"  That made me feel good. :o) 

I'm very comfortable working with the little guys after spending all summer working with other little kiddos.  The difference is I was working with those guys every day for 45 minutes, for close to eight weeks or so.  I only see these little guys two times per week.

As for working with the more experienced swimmers, I need to develop a plan of action.  I'm not comfortable working with them for an hour without having any ideas what to do.  I DO have ideas, but they don't fill up an hour. :oS So, it's off to tonight to see what I can plan.  :o)

I forgot how exhausting it is being in the water.  I'm in there non-stop for two hours and I'm seriously beat.  Exhausted.  Oy.

Because the weather last Thursday was craptacular, we had no class, so this was Bean's first day going with me.  She was beyond excited.  She spent the first hour working with me on her basic skills, and then, while I was working with my newbies, she was working with Coach H.  He had her swimming 25s.  Seriously.  She's going to be REALLY swimming by the end of her time with him.  I'll be shocked if she's not.  She's going to be ready and raring to go by the time swim season picks up! :o) 

And, as an added bonus, she's going to be sleeping like the dead after being in the water for two hours.  ;o)

And, because the abandoned building wasn't scary enough before, let's add some mist and fog and make it even creepier. :oP  The pool is situated just across the grass from this building.  I was standing at the corner of the pool fence when I snapped the pic.

There are loads of abandoned buildings I'd love to go poking around inside.  I won't (I'm not a fan of police and trespassing charges), but wouldn't it be fun to have a peek inside? :oP
This is not a scene I anticipated seeing before the end of May, and yet, here we are.  Swimming 'r' Us.  ;o)

So, about Thursday's craptacular weather...

It was rainy for most of the day.  The initial reports called for the precip to turn to frozen precip by 1:00.  Didn't happen. 

It DID turn to sleet by 6:00.  Then, snow on top of that.  It was slick and I knew they were going to call off school...

 ...they did. 

They began with a two hour delay, and by 7:30 recognized the temps weren't going to rise above freezing and there was no way to clear the sidewalks and parking lots before the children were to arrive.

So, out of 14 school days the past three weeks, there were 8 snow days. 

They've added time on the beginning and end of the school days and taken away all early releases--including the last day of school.  I'd rather do Saturday school than have to go a full day the last day.  :oS 

The roads cleared enough Friday night for Lil to be able to get to her "sleep"over.  Yes, that's in quotes, because have you ever known kids at one to actually sleep?? ;oP

She came home at 9:00 Saturday morning, told us she got about six hours sleep (yay!) and headed up for a nap at one.  She napped until 3:30.  :oP  In fact, she's still rather in recovery mode...

The time change is about to kill me.  While I certainly love the longer days, I'm really struggling.  I've been a grumpy beast the past three mornings and it's been dreadful.  Thank goodness I've been able to go out and get some exercise the past two (on top of the swimming lessons). 

I have find time to plan my gardens and yard and get my seeds started, and I'm finding it strange having to work around a work schedule.  I suppose I'm using my time more wisely, but I just don't know...

Because I've been spending no time on my computer, I've been reading more, sewing more and knitting more and that's been delightful.  I've also been sleeping more--and better! So yay there!  It's all about trying to find some balance.

Speaking of, I need to go make dinner.  Miso ginger dumpling soup.  I hope it's good!


1.  New watercolors:

2.  B made me a sewing stool!

3.  Goldie got a new traction wheel!

4.  Farm eggs:

5.  DIY make-up: