Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Utter Blather

I was sick from Saturday until yesterday, which means my house isn't exactly Wednesday night meeting-ready.  I am being as ambitious as my pathetically weak self will allow (how on EARTH can you lose that much strength being sick for a few days?) but I decided it was time to sit down and drink a tall glass of water, eat the Super Softee Donut Evan bought last night, and write totally random things on my blog.  So here are the things I've been musing whilst I put kids' books back in the bookcase, picked pajamas off the floor, made beds, braided hair, etc.

  • Silly Putty is a loathsome thing.  I'm not saying it isn't a cool toy to play with, but it gets embedded in fabric and never comes out.  And with a 16-month old terror on the loose in my house, it gets embedded in every strand of every fabric in a three-mile radius.  Maybe, if they've been super good, my kids can get Silly Putty for their 17th birthday.
  • I love the fact that Cheyenne loves riding her bike.  Even if she only has three minutes before the bus comes, she gets it out and rides circles around the van in our driveway until the bus comes.  Then, she dumps the bike directly behind the rear wheels of the van and merrily jumps on the bus.  But that's a lesson we'll get to, hopefully before the crunch that means I've destroyed her every hope and dream.
  • I have never seen such a grey day.  Despite having every shade all the way up, it feels like evening here.  I don't think I have ever been anxious for Daylight Saving Time to end-- usually, I hate the evenings getting darker.  These still-pitch-black-at-seven mornings, though, have me longing for November 6th.
  • I could not close my eyes last night, despite the fact I was bone weary.  So I came downstairs to the computer and bought 13 Joan Aiken books.  It's probably a good thing I very rarely get insomnia.  Although, it's hard to imagine getting more bang for your buck than $1 books (plus shipping, but we'll ignore that).
  • Before I gave up sleeping and went on a book-buying binge, I mentally went through every step in our eventual bookcase relocation/closet annexation/drastic bedroom rearranging.  This, despite the fact that our bedroom still looks like your great-uncle's hunting camp.  I probably won't be whipping this plan into action anytime soon.
  • I'm so glad my husband was sweet enough to stay home Monday morning and help feed kids and get them on the bus.  I like to think it's because he was so sorry for my sickly state, not because he was in no hurry to get to the roofing job he had agreed to help another contractor with.  And I think I just ended a sentence with a preposition, and I don't care.
  • I still haven't got out winter coats or boots, and there's snow in the forecast.  Hello, Giant Time Suck on Thursday.
  • I like looking in the entryway closet and seeing the cans of applesauce Marilyn canned on the top shelf.  In true Vaughan fashion, now that I know how easy canning can be, I want to can everything.  Probably the urge will fade by the time there's fresh food to can next summer.  Maybe, though, I'm just a few Mason jars away from being a domestic goddess.
  • I don't think any of my kids have had the sheer energy + persistance + climbing ingenuity that Lincoln has.  It is utterly exhausting.  Good thing he's still cuter than a button so I forgive him.  He would be even cuter if he still took two naps, though.
  • I have hardly been on Facebook in a couple of weeks.  I still like reading about the news in other people's lives, I just haven't had the time/inclination to get on much lately.  Weird.
  • My sister-in-law is going on a quilting retreat, and it has made me think blissfully of four days of being able to work on projects with zero interruptions other than to eat food and chat with people.  Hmm, who wants to host a Projects weekend in a lovely Adirondack chalet soon?  Then, I wondered if I had four free days, would I really WANT to mend the 67 books that need mending, or would I want to sink into a reading stupor to rival all reading stupors?

Okay, my doughnut is done, and I need to go sweep up the steel cut oatmeal that's been lurking behind the door of my laundry room for a week now.  Although curling up in the recliner with a book, or crawling under the covers of my luscious bed, both sound infinitely more appealing.  Good thing I made my bed this morning and my current book isn't super captivating.  Rise and shine, Captain Ambitious!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October So Far

It's been a quiet week here in Lake Wobegon...

Actually, it's been pretty busy.  But for some reason, I've been bad about pulling my camera out, and about half the pictures I took came out blurry.  I probably need a new, awesome, expensive camera.  I'm quite sure of it.

 Mr. Turban Head asleep in his playpen at Dana and Marilyn's.  This was the weekend we went over to NH for Uncle George's funeral.  We drove over on Friday, Evan visited a job site for an estimate, and we stayed in a hotel in Nashua Friday night.  It was a nice hotel, but I didn't enjoy it much, since Lincoln cried most of the night and I ended up sleeping in the van with him!  The next morning, I required Excedrin, Diet Pepsi and a Snicker's bar to get over the ensuing headache!  :-)  Saturday was a beautiful day-- it was wonderful to see the love of Uncle George and God that was poured out by the huge crowd that came to the funeral.  Walked around talking to people for three hours and still didn't even see everyone that was there.  Then, to Margarita's in Keene for an early supper (first time I had been to that awesome restaurant in at least ten years!) and home to Dana and Marilyn's for the night Saturday.  En route, Evan and I stopped in an urgent care to have them take a look at Lincoln.  They couldn't find anything wrong with him.  He had had a fever about three days before that, so maybe a virus, maybe teething, maybe some constipation.  Thankfully, he slept great Saturday night, and we enjoyed our day at the Whites' house very much!  Union meeting in the morning, nice meal with some friends, and a lazy afternoon.  After a long drive in the pouring rain, we were home again Sunday night.

 This is the only other picture I took the whole weekend.  It's quite blurry, but she was so pretty that day.  Her eyes, hair and smile remind me of Breanna!

 Elliott is doing great in kindergarten.  We left before noon on Friday on our trip to New Hampshire.  I had decided it wasn't worth sending the kids to school since we planned on picking them up at 10:00.  As Elliott was leisurely finishing up his breakfast at 8:30, still in his pajamas, he told me, "I really want to go to school."  Well, a whirlwind few minutes, and he was on the bus.  I find this old worksheet he had done during last year's kindergarten period.  The one on the left is last year's paper; the right side is this year.  I know coloring ability is not required for kindergarten, but I am just amazed at the difference!

 The top here is last year, the bottom this year.  Mostly, this makes me think we start formal schooling for our kids much too early.  Why try to make them learn to write when their fine motor skills are still so poor compared to what they will be in a few short  years?  But my thoughts on the education system could fill up several blogs, so I'll leave it at that!  ;-)

 Miss Marilla, with everyone's favorite cup.  It was a baby present from Aunt Bet when Cheyenne was little, and it sat way up on a shelf as a decorative object until this fall.  Then I thought, "What on earth am I saving this cup for?  The kids might as well use it!"

 This is why it's the favorite-- a little Piglet and his teddy bear hidden on the bottom.  I tell Rilla to drink her milk up so Piglet can be dry and warm.

 A messy little boy after his lunchtime PB&J.

 This last weekend, we had a White Family Reunion-- all eleven of us!  These PA folks stopped in to say "Hi!" on their way north to Vaughan's farm.  The Whites all remember the millions of books Cheryl read to them when she lived near them in Maine.  It was good to see them!

 The Colorado Whites.  I love Tyler's totally sincere smile here.

 Lincoln playing Napkin Peek-a-Boo with Cheyenne and Aunt Julie.

 Followed by the Beat-Aunt-Julie-on-the-Head game.

 Then, back to the napkin!

 Lincoln, with his firm grip on Grandpa.  Grandpa is one of Lincoln's favorite people.

 Happy to be there.

 In search of apples in the apple orchard!

 With this whole crew, it didn't take long to pick 2 1/2 bushels!


 Elliott loves picking apples, despite the fact he won't eat them.

 "Will the crazy camera lady please get out of my face?"

 Evan supporting Elliott as he reaches for the top branches.

 Elliott with his Big 'Un!

 It weighs 15 ounces, for the record.

 Couldn't get everyone in there, since Julie was taking the picture, but I like this one.

 Aren't they just The Gorgeous Couple?

 The kids sitting in the back of the van while we loaded up.

 Rilla and Cheyenne holding Lincoln tightly while he squirmed and screamed-- a very familiar sight!

 My wee boy.  His nose isn't dirty, my camera has some dirt on the sensor or the mirror, I forget which.  It only shows up sometimes, but it can be pretty blatant.  See, I do need a new obscenely expensive camera.

 Swing buddies.

 Multi-tasking Cheyenne-- practicing cat's cradle while swinging.  Cat's cradle is big with her right now, along with learning sign language.  Auntie Lisa brought her a couple books to teach ASL, and Cheyenne is fascinated by them.

 All the kids (even the almost-thirty kid!) loved our new air mattress, set up in the family room.  It was quite bouncy!

 Utterly, utterly gorgeous weather all weekend.  Here, Tyler and Julie were obnoxiously beating us at Progressive Rummy, even though they had just learned how to play the game.  And, while we were relaxing with cards, Evan and Dana were getting blue foam on the back of our house.  We still may have bare stud walls in our room, but at least we've got that extra 2.5 R value!  It can get quite chilly on those nights when it dips down into the thirties!

 Cheyenne, after lots of "I can't!", learned to ride her bike without training wheels.

 Going down the road, with Auntie following after.

 Just a bit proud!  Elliott tried with his wheels off, but his balance is still pretty shaky.  We call him the Human Pinball for a reason-- even walking around on level ground, he can lose his balance!  Anyway, after helping him try, Evan went back to working on the house.  The next time Evan came to the front of the house, Elliott had already re-assembled the training wheels on his bike!  He's a smart boy, like his daddy and his uncles!

 Julie read Marilla right into a stupor!  Lincoln liked hopping up and down while she read.

 Lincoln, who still hasn't got the memo about tables being places to put our food, not places to strut around in our PJs.

Sweet, albiet dirty, little morning face.

And then everyone left.  Including Evan.  He's over in NH, working on a job over there for at least 10 days.  Thankfully, Marilyn came back out to stay with me, so I'm not completely on my own.  Tonight, as I wrangled four filthy, overtired children through their baths, Marilyn was busy cleaning up the kitchen.  If you knew the difference it made to come down to clear counters and an empty sink!  She's also made a large dent in my mending/sewing projects.  AND we got homemade cinnamon bread today!  I've kept busy, too, I think we finally have all the winter clothes out, the summer clothes put away, the unwanted clothes taken to Salvation Army, flip-flops washed and stowed-- now I just need to tackle getting all the hats, gloves, scarves, coats, boots, snowsuits, etc. out. 

Hmm, that tires me out even thinking about it.  I think it's time to go lay in bed with a good book (and a little curly-headed toddler who gets to share the king-size bed with Mommy tonight!)