Thursday, July 29, 2010

The End of an Era, and Other Observations

1. Wow, how things change.

We are winding up our third week of kindergarten. My house is cleaner than it has been in, oh, about 5 1/2 years. Garrett and Connor (Real names! Don't faint!) started year-round kindergarten this month and, I tell you what -- this regular schedule thing is A. kicking my butt, and B. fantastically awesome. We all go to bed earlier. I am home from taking the big boys to school by 8AM. My kids are happy, excited, engaged, and totally into the whole school experience. And I am extremely relieved -- especially for Garrett, whose complicated personality sometimes, well, complicates things. Life is good. I am, however, a little nostalgic for the time when I was pretty much the only influence on these little guys for 90% of the day. But not nostalgic enough to home school. There are not enough anti-anxiety medications in the world.

2. My baby is beautiful. And standing, whilst staring at her feet, willing them to move. Precocious mobility is not anywhere on my list of favorite things . . . but I think Elena (Another real name! Actually, we call her Laney Kate) will be my earliest walker. Curses. She also just cut four teeth at once, and her hair becomes more red every day. She is eating real food and crawling all over the place -- I no longer contain her, except to close the door to the basement.

Also, she's a shoplifter. But then, she learns from the best. Let me explain.

Last week, my friend and I took our little ones with us on a shopping trip to a semi-close outlet mall. After we left the first store, my friend pulled a pair of little boy size 6 month shorts out of my stroller. "Did you mean to get these?"

No. No, I did not. But apparently, Laney Kate did. So we took them back.

And then we went to Gap. I loaded up the top of my stroller with cute things for all of my kids. While checking out, Mason (yep, that one's real, too) was playing peek-a-boo with Laney by opening and closing the sunshade. I was halfway to Banana Republic before I noticed two cute little outfits still left on top of the sunshade that I had totally stolen.

So I went back and paid for those. She even let me use my 25% off coupon again.

3. That trip to the outlet mall was merely an excuse to drive past all the peach orchards on the way and load up on my most favorite food IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if I had been Eve, and the forbidden fruit had been peaches, the serpent would not have had to try very hard. As in, he wouldn't have even had to show up. Last night, I ate three. In one sitting. Of course, that's because I had just finished . . .

4. a three mile run. In the heat of the day. I'm a little crazy like that. And if it's hot and humid, it counts more. My husband is training for a triathlon (which I will NEVER do) and he was making me look bad. And I discovered that the park near my house has a greenway . . . cool, and shaded and breezy by the river. And on that greenway, half-buried in the vines, is an old abandoned wreck of a car. It's totally creepy. In a good way.

5. I have always loved "Masterpiece Mystery!" But this season has been uncommonly good. If you are so inclined, find yourself a way to watch this season's "Murder on the Orient Express." Poirot at his best. (In the interest of full disclosure, my husband hates these shows. Passionately. But that's okay. Because I also hate "Gearz".)

6. Maybe the summer heat (way more extreme than usual around here) is getting to my brain, but I have nada for blog fodder. So instead of writing crap, I have chosen (until now) to write nothing. And really, just between you and me, it seems that a lot of other people out there are not refraining even though their fodder wells have dried up, too. (No, not you! Ha, ha. Of course, not you! I mean those other people!) I have found myself commenting less and less, partly because I'm still doing the one-handed-typing-while-nursing thing, but partly because . . . I don't have much to say. Have I offended you? Please don't take offense. The muse will strike me again, and with it will (hopefully) come a desire to once again engage in widespread internet conversating. But for now, you're stuck with drivel to read from a blogger who mostly lurks. Signing off . . . for now.

And in case you're wondering . . . it's Emily.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Sad Commentary on the Current State of Affairs

In the future, when my children watch "old" movies and discover the most recent iteration of King Kong, they will think the scene with King Kong holding Naomi Watts on top of the Empire State Building is a reference to the "Attack of the 50 Foot Sister" episode of Phineas and Ferb.

Whoa. That's deep, man.

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(And if you don't know anything about those two idiotically-named characters, they're brothers who, each day during summer vacation, do something absolutely outrageous -- think build a portal to Mars -- while their older sister tries to get them busted. Meanwhile, their pet platypus Perry, a secret agent, plays Candace to the sad arch-villain-wannabe Dr. Doofenschmirtz. One scheme usually cancels out the other so Candace's oblivious mom always just misses catching her sons in the act, and Dr. D's plans are always thwarted by the silent but effective Perry the Platypus, who manages to simultaneously save the Tri-State Area and protect P & F's summer vacation plans. Can you tell I've seen every episode? Frequently? I won't complain. There are definitely worse things for my kids to enjoy.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Men in My Life

I've spent probably too much time singing the praises of my fantastic husband Craig on this blog, and while I am grateful for all that he brings to this most wonderful of unions, today, I'd like to take a moment to extol the virtues of another man I know:

My garbage man.

He loves me. I just know it.

It's Craig's job to take the trash can out to the end of our driveway each and every Tuesday morning, even the day after a holiday. Now. The man works hard. He recently took on another job so that we can pay off the loan we took out to purchase our business and while it's difficult to be without him 6 days a week not counting Sundays, the numbers don't lie and within the year, we will have enough financial freedom to shackle ourselves to some more debt when we build a new office. But I don't even make him mow the grass -- especially when the neighbor kid is willing, even happy, to tame our 3/4 acre for a mere $15 a pop.

So pretty much every Tuesday when I hear the garbage truck pull up our street, I glance out the window to make sure the trash has been taken up, and then, in a panic, race outside to do my husband's only outside job. Usually, I am tailed by a cadre of small children in various states of undress, all covered in peanut butter, or maybe poop. I lug the trash bin up the driveway and then try to manhandle my children away from the gigantic stinking monster truck that has, of course, become the ONE TRUE object of their considerable affections and, as such, the Everest to their Sir Edmund Hilary.

The garbage man, who, admittedly, has a nice smile under all the grime, grins at my boys, tells them to stay on the grass, and bids me a good day with a little tip of his hat and a wink. Which I think means he'll see me the same time next week.

This week, after our day at the lake on Monday, I really just forgot it was Tuesday. But last night, Craig took the trash out to the bin and came back inside scratching his head. "I forgot to take the trash up to the curb, but the can is still empty."

I just smiled to myself. Now, that, my friends, is service!

PS The use of his real name is intentional. I've decided it's time for our family to become Real People with Real Names. Introductions to come.

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