bren & jess
I must be suffering from serious vacation-brain still – I have written and re-written this measly post three times now. So here are a few pictures from a portion of our vacation. More later.
I went to check on the kids and discovered Johnny was not in the bottom bunk, but up with his sister*. Usually Bridget doesn’t like it when Johnny climbs up into her bed. Maybe she was asleep by the time he made it up? Camp and swimming lessons have been exhausting for her this week, so I wouldn’t be surprised. I may have been able to get away with taking a photo of them with the flash on but there is no way I am going to attempt moving anyone at this point!
*I expected to find him in the office looking out a window or causing trouble somewhere else.
This weekend I got my hair cut. It’s now a long pixie. And I love it.
I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. The last time I had my hair chopped all off was when I was 18 and headed to college. It was the whole stereotypical in need of a change thing. This time around, I just wanted something different. Plus, I was really tired of the time that I had to spend just trying to get my shoulder-length hair to behave. I’d pretty much given up and would dry my bangs and then pull my hair back. So why not just cut it all off? It’s a thousand times easier now.
Bridget’s been taking swimming lessons at the local aquatic center. She went through Level 1 last summer prior to our trip up to the lake. We meant to get back to it this winter after she’d (and us too) adjusted to her new schedule and going to school, but it never happened. Finally though, last month we signed her up for Level 2 (so she’d be confident at camp when they are at the pool). She did extremely well and was advanced to Level 3. Not all of the kids in her class got the OK to advance which made us all the more proud.
Level 3 is definitely more serious — they are learning to swim properly side breathing and all. She might have to do it twice because it’s a little tricky, but she’s really doing a good job. It’s amazing to me how fast she went from flailing around to just hopping in and pushing off and swimming. Her teacher this time is much more serious, too — he’s former military — but definitely still really great with the kids and so on. If we could have him as her teacher forever we’d be thrilled.
Yesterday our new windows were finally installed: windows (that will not be drafty), a new sliding door off the living room (instead of a glass pane and a door that were put on backwards!), a new storm/screen door on the front that actually locks and shuts properly and matches the paint better, and most excitingly, a fancy shmancy garden window for the kitchen.
I’ll get to hopefully grow some herbs on that baby really soon. Oh the things that excite me now that I’m in my 30s.
There’s been a lot that’s happened over the past month:
- Easter at my grandmother’s house (photo above by my brother, more in the gallery).
- The kids first camping trip. It was short, but successful. We got a big fancy tent and it was a bit comical setting up, but next time it’ll be easy.
- A trip to Pennsylvania for Molly’s 2nd birthday.
- Bridget learned to ride a 2 wheeler sans training wheels (video).
- And this last weekend was the arts festival. Full run down over on the crafty blog.
I’ve come to the realization lately that I spend a whole hell of a lot of time sitting around thinking about how awesome things used to be. It’s so easy to do that, isn’t it? To only remember the awesome things from the past and especially when things in the present aren’t exactly as I would want them to be. So instead of wishing for something that I only partially remember, I’m going to have to start creating as much good stuff in the present as I can.
Again, I know I must sound so ridiculous, but for me, the only way I can ever hope to hold myself accountable to anything is to say it outloud.
My resolutions from January have been going about the same as the last time I cared to mention them. TV viewing is not getting out of control, I’ve been trying to spend as much time with the kids as I can (and I’ve had some extra time given Spring Break on my own). Book reading is up thanks to the Hunger Games trilogy and my making has been on the increase due to the fact that I’ve committed myself to an arts festival in May. Eating and excersing are really nothing to write home about for now. But having the farmers market back in full-swing is helping a lot. Correspondence is tricky. This is where I might get bogged down in nostalgia. Trying not to do that. And snarkiness is hopefully being kept in-check. I’ve been super good at not looking at news (and comments) that I know will do nothing but get me riled up. That has helped a lot.
So I think I still have a manageable list of things that I need to keep in-check and to keep working on. Adding one to be mindful of making the present as good as it can possibly be, and not spending a lot of time wistfully considering the fairly recent past, is not going to kill me. In fact, I think it can only help.
I know quite a few people who, for various reasons, find themselves alone for periods of time without their spouses around, and I don’t really know how they manage not to go insane.
For the second time this month, I’m home with the kids while Brendan is not. First, over Spring Break he went to San Francisco for a conference for four days. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun hanging out with the kids and taking a break from working, but it was exhausting. Last night, he left again for a camping trip with the Muskoxen. He’ll be back tomorrow, and it’s not like today was hard on me or anything (the kids had been sick but they are better now and both went off to their usual school and daycare today).
The evenings are always a bit harder for me. I find myself wishing I had a pal to hang out with. Locally, there really isn’t anyone. I do have friends, they just live hours away. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am really awful at meeting people. I’ve (sort of) tried and it’s never quite clicked. Having kids has actually made it harder. I over-think it, I know.
Wah, wah, wah. I actually feel bad being all angsty about this stuff. There are people with real problems and here I am all melancholy because my husband went on a trip with his BFFs for a day and a half? Jesus. What a hard life I have.
That being said, I think I shall go somewhere by myself. Alone. Maybe see some damn art.
I’ll be the first person to admit it: I am not a fan of balloons in my house. Balloons have a purpose and I’m all for them being decorations at a celebration. They are festive! So is crepe paper — and no one would ever accuse a person of being a killjoy or a merriment killer for taking down some crepe paper after the party is over. Why is it then, that a person who wants to pop balloons and throw them in the trash after the party is done is a terrible person?
As you can probably guess, I am that person who pops the balloons and is accused of being no fun or called mean (or both). I’m fun. I swear. It’s just… Ballooons get in the way. I don’t like running into them. I don’t like tripping on string. I don’t like the kids going bonkers slapping them around (and in the process driving the dog absolutely crazy). So after a day, yes, I pop them.
There was one particular balloon — a Steelers balloon from the last time they won the Superbowl — that stuck around FOREVER. Months. I got so sick of it. It was a mylar one and didn’t seem to be loosing any helium, so I very ceremoniously threw it out (maybe I went a bit Elaine versus George’s toupee on it though). That moment has never left Bridget’s brain. It’s burned into her mind. I murdered the poor balloon! Plus, Brendan always talks about how I was mean and popped that particular one. There is no forgetting.
It’s become a bit of a joke (with an admitted kernel of truth) in our house that Mom Hates Balloons. Fine, it’s an exaggeration that perhaps I get a bit sensitive about but whatever.
Of course, this joke has gotten out. Bridget recently went to a schoolmate’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s. There was a balloon on the table, but none tied on the back of the chairs. I randomly noticed that the decorations were different for the other parties but didn’t really think about it. Well, it turns out that Bridget told the birthday girl at school some point earlier that she wasn’t allowed to have a balloon. And that turned into: since she wouldn’t be able to have one, it wouldn’t have been fair for anyone to have them at the party. Thus, no balloons. So now I feel awful. I mean, it’s a bit hilarious to think about, but kids, I’m sorry if I’m the reason there’s no balloons at your next party.
Recently, I’ve been trying to expand my music selections and have been letting Pandora do it’s magic. One of the songs I’ve become particularly fond of is a track my The Mynabirds, called Ways of Looking. I can’t find official video (naturally) but there’s a sample here at Amazon, and some live versions on YouTube. So I was playing it via Spotify the other day, and Brendan comments that the whole thing is “stolen from Springsteen”. Which I don’t hear until he puts on Glory Days. And now I can’t un-hear the guitar track. Grr. I adore the Mynabirds song, so I am resolved to not let it get in the way of my enjoyment.