Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I have this habit, you see, of taking what, to any other sane person, would be a simple, ordinary task and escalating it into an all day, labor intensive project of astronomical proportions.
My closet, for instance.
Could I just open the doors and rationally organize each item? Oh, no.
For me, the process is something a little more like this:
Slide open closet doors. See the astonishing amount of electronic equipment occupying the floor, (not to mention all the other things lying haphazardly about), and feel slightly overwhelmed. Take a break to remotivate yourself with kind comments left on your blog in response to your craziness. Brave another peek into the abysmal mess you call a closet. Determine that action really must be taken. Today. (Especially seeing as how you've now publicly announced your intentions.) Think to yourself, "Well, you know, Hubby and I have been talking about setting up that old computer in the schoolroom for the kids; I bet it wouldn't be that difficult to figure it out on my own...."
You can see how easily I get myself into trouble.
But really, as exhausting as it all was, I am actually quite pleased with how much I was able to accomplish yesterday. I made the kids chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. I talked to my mom for over an hour on the phone. I ran the dishwasher, twice. I managed to get a load of towels done. And that closet.
I know I had put it off for so long because I just didn't know where to put everything. Once I started, though, I was surprised at how easily it all just seemed to fall into place, particularly the big things. I was able to make room in the school room closet for the large plastic box of math manipulatives. I relocated both of Darren's guitars to the corner of our bedroom, behind the recliner, and plugged in the amplifier between the recliner and sofa. (Why didn't I do this ages ago? It makes so much more sense to have them out and easily accessible!) I lugged the big old TV out to the garage to set with all the other furniture that we're not quite sure what to do with, and made room on the bookshelves for the box of books we brought home from Albuquerque a few weeks ago. But there was still that computer.
First I tried setting it all up on the school room table, but I just hated that it took up so much (okay, all) of our workspace. So then I started brainstorming what else I might be able to use, and remembered the old beat up desk we had stored out in our shed. It's one that's been in Darren's family for who knows how long, and which was covered in a coat (or two, or three) of dark green paint when we first met. (That desk was the first project Darren and I ever worked on together, stripping layers and layers of paint from it on my parents driveway, beneath the shade of our big old mulberry tree.) Once I thought about it, I was determined to have it in our school room, so I hauled it in from the shed, cleaned it up, and tried multiple reconfigurations of the room until I finally settled on an arrangement that I think will work for now. And, much to the delight of three incredulous kids, I was able to successfully get the computer set up! We have two School Zone disks (Alphabet & Numbers 1-100 and Colors, Shapes, & More) that Dylan and Caitlyn took turns playing yesterday, and Dylan was so excited to be able to type stories on his very own computer! This is one of his favorite things to do. He is so creative, and writes on such diverse subjects. Yesterday's story was about Pooh bear. I thought it was so sweet that I just had to share a picture! (But I never realized how difficult it is to photograph a computer screen!)
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This is today's mission. If you need me, you know where I'll be.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
We drove around more of the Missile Range after lunch, and the kids and I were delighted to have an up-close look at the baby pigeon Darren discovered a few days ago. Too cute!
When we finally headed back into town, it was with one very exciting destination in mind. Caitlyn has been saying for months that she wants to be a ballerina dancer when she grows up, and she is just so cute in her determination! (And spending time recently with my cousin and her dancing daughters served to strengthen her resolve!) So after discussing it for a while, Darren and I made the decision to enroll her in a pre-ballet/tap dance class at a wonderful local gym, where we also decided to enroll Dylan in Kindergarten gymnastics. When we told them we were going there to register yesterday, they were both so excited! I, myself, am just beyond thrilled. I know they are going to have so much fun!!!
Once we completed the registration process, we went out shopping for the appropriate attire, and this in itself was so strangely bittersweet! I found myself standing there selecting leotards and tights for my sweet little princess, wondering how in the world it's possible that she's actually old enough for this! I know she is, but it's just so hard to believe. While we were out we also selected some comfy new gym shorts and t-shirts for Dylan...and of course, as soon as we got home, I made them try them on! Dylan looked sooo cute in his new clothes, and Caitlyn was absolutely gorgeous. Who knew that a few flimsy bits of fabric adorning her baby girl could reduce a mother to tears?
We spent the rest of the day just relaxing, playing in the yard, and working a bit in the garden. After getting Dylan and Caitlyn to bed with relative ease, Darren and I had the wonderful opportunity of spending some time alone with Meghan, who, for some reason, just would not go to sleep! She is such a funny little girl, and when she has us all to herself, her personality really shines! Darren and I were laughing so hard at her silly antics (which I know did not help the matter of trying to get her to sleep, but really, we just couldn't help it!) She is just so hilarious. In some ways she reminds us a lot of Dylan at that age, which, for some reason, makes me so incredibly happy. Watching her last night was like catching a fleeting glimpse of the Dylan of yesteryear, and I was glad for the brief moment of clarity. It seems like just yesterday he was that small, and yet, I can't imagine Meghan ever being as big as Dylan is now! It really reminded me to just savor each little moment now, because we'll never get them back. My babies are growing up! And I'm so happy to be there right along with them, enjoying ordinary days which are so extraordinarily blessed.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Dylan and Caitlyn are almost always awake before Meghan, who continues sleeping peacefully in my bed long after they're up and playing. But the moment she's awake, no matter what they're doing, they stop and pile into bed with her for hugs and kisses. She just eats it up, too, loving every bit of their precious affection. Watching them makes my heart ache with a fullness of maternal love and pride, and it occurred to me this morning that it would be priceless to have some photos of their morning snuggle time. Here is just a small sample of what I am blessed to enjoy every single morning. It is, undoubtedly, the best way to start my day!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Really, I put quite a bit of thought into this new banner, and the final product is my sort of "tribute", if you will, to the end of summer. It seems to perfectly capture everything we've so enjoyed these past few months. I just love the main photo, a candid I took a few weeks ago while Darren was tending our herb garden. I love that he is in it, and I love the beauty of the herbs themselves, the fullness of the plants, the rich palette of colors and textures. The butterflies are actually from a picture I took last month, which I extracted and resized and rotated to complement the garden photo. Setting them both against a "sky" background seemed to really tie the images together, and I love it. (I also love the way the purple lettering matches the purple in the Sage!)
Of course, once I designed it, I just had to use it! And if I was going to change my banner, didn't it just make sense to change the entire template? I'm really happy with the unique and personal touch it adds to this blog, and it makes me happy when I see it. I'm sure I'll change it again in the fall...I'm thinking apples and pumpkins! Who knows. We'll see. For now I'll just enjoy the new look!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
|You Belong in Fall|
Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Yeah, that's sort of how I've been feeling about this entire blog lately.
It's not that I even have anything BIG to share, it's just all those little things that I used to be so good about recording here to ensure that months or years from now, I'd remember it ever happened at all. (Because, as we say in nursing, "If you didn't document it, you didn't do it." Now admittedly, in the case of my profession that's all about "CYA", but I think I can safely say that the same rule applies here because seriously, looking back through my archives there are times that I know I would have already forgotten had I not included them here in my personal family scrapbook of sorts.)
But anyway...all of this to say that lately, I have been highly--though quite unintentionally--neglectful of this poor little blog. I've got drafts saved of things I wanted to write about, even drafts of drafts, but somehow, in this crazy busy real world, I've encountered delightful distractions too numerous to count and have never gotten back to finishing those original posts. And that's not all...I know there have been posts I've read on other people's blogs that, had I not had a nursing toddler in my lap, I totally would have commented on, but then I forget, and to go back and do so later would just (to me) feel awkward. I'm so strange, I know. In fact I'm a little embarrassed to be admitting here in this very public forum just how anal-retentive I can actually be! But there you have it. Now you know. And I sincerely hope I haven't hurt any feelings by my seeming indifference or lack of interest.
But now, just a brief peek into the fun filled weekend we recently enjoyed. I have to say, Darren and I have mastered the technique, I think, of packing as much fun as we possibly can into every waking minute when we take these short little weekend trips. We arrived at our hotel late Friday night and went straight to bed after unpacking, but we had all of Saturday and most of Sunday in which to play and visit. After breakfast Saturday morning, we visited the Rio Grande Botanic Garden and PNM Butterfly Pavilion.
Both were amazing. Dylan and Caitlyn absolutely loved the Garden Model Railroad, situated along the lush and shaded pathway to the Butterfly Pavilion. And oh, those butterflies. So incredible! Darren and I could have, quite happily, stayed in there for hours. We both had our cameras out, field guides in hand, excitedly snapping pictures and just standing in awe of all the beautiful butterflies freely flying about within arms reach. Dylan thought that if he stood really, really still, he just might trick one into landing on him. See the flowers held in each outstretched hand? Too cute!
After playing for a while in the extraordinary Children's Fantasy Garden... ...we met up with my brother's family at the Albuquerque Aquarium, which we hadn't been to since Dylan was about two years old.
We all went out to lunch together, then to a great used bookstore I had read about online. Oh, my goodness. I felt like a kid in a candy store! Magic School Bus...Tomie dePaola...and an entire section devoted to homeschooling! We've now got another box of books to find homes for on our crowded bookshelves, but I know it can be done. (I'm actually looking forward to tackling that project today!)
Saturday afternoon was spent swimming in the hotel pool, which was so much fun. The water was perfect, and Dylan and Caitlyn were just so hilarious to watch. Both have become so confident in the water, and it really shows when they're splashing and swimming and doing silly tricks! Even Meghan had a great time, and the only way they could be persuaded to come out was the promise of seeing their cousins at my brother's house for a cookout! That evening was truly lovely. Between my brother, my cousin, and myself, we have one 5 year old, three 3 year olds, and three 1 year olds. It was awesome! And with an inflatable pool, a sandbox, a swingset, a slide, and numerous riding toys, there was not a single dull moment!Add into the equation several favorite adult relatives, some phenomenal food, and the rumble of thunder in the distance, and the night just couldn't have been anything other than an absolutely joyful experience! (About the food: I mean, really. Just look at this beautiful fruit salad! Do you see why my mouth is still smiling at the memory of it?!)
After Mass and lunch on Sunday morning, there was one final destination to be reached before heading back home: Cliff's Amusement Park. Stepping through the gate was like stepping back through time! This was always, by far, my favorite place to go while visiting my cousins when I was growing up. I hadn't been there in years, and it was just as thrilling as I remembered it! Dylan would have braved every single ride, had we let him, but was equally content to stick with the kiddie rides. These he rode with unabashed pleasure, running from one to the next with pure enthusiasm and glee. Meghan, though still too little to ride with her brother, did very much enjoy watching him, bouncing up and down in the seat of her stroller and pointing and laughing the entire time.