Sunday, July 1, 2012

A "Normal" Summer

School was getting out a few weeks ago and I thought to myself that this was the least "stressed" I felt about summer time that I could remember.  Then it occurred to me that there was a reason for that.  For the first time in eight years we were going to have a "normal" summer.  Normal meaning that we weren't moving, arranging for a lengthy visit from overseas with extended time sans Daddy, having husband leave and/or return from an overseas assignment without us etc.  We have no grand plans this summer other than hanging out at the pool, going to the beach and camp etc.  I am pretty happy about it:).

My dearest friend whom I met in Jr. High is not having a "normal" summer.  She was in a freak bike accident a few weeks ago that has no cautionary tale.  Her summer is being spent in rehab trying to live life from a new vantage point and adjusting to new realities with a spinal cord injury that none of us can truly imagine.  She is being amazing and working so hard.  Her husband is amazing.  Her kids are loving and affectionate and such great medicine for their Mama.  It has been her siblings' finest hour as they have surrounded, supported and cheerled their sister.  I always admired her family's closeness and  they have delivered when trauma struck.  We all having been praying for miraculous healing for her.  We are all so grateful that in spite of her injury she is still her wonderful self.  We don't know what God will do but are so, so hopeful.  But this is far from a "normal" summer for her.

Maybe God gave me a "normal" summer so I could be more available for my dear friend.  Every time I walk the dog and thank the Lord that I can do so, I ask that each step I take be one closer to a time when she can take a step herself.  It is hard.  We all grieve.  But isn't this stuff of life - the good and the bad - really "normal" after all.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Little Osama

Well, the renovation is 99.9 percent over and the little gift I've gotten to keep from this, other than new bathrooms, has been a rat.  I like to think about it in the singular.  It makes me feel better in spite of the fact that the Rat Man raised his eyebrows at me and said "they're never alone".  It started during the winter when I heard the pitter patter of little claws in the walls and overhead.  After multiple pest control people came in and did diddly I had to call the big guns in.  Who knew that you would need wildlife trappers to get these critters?  The man I spoke to on the phone said the magic words:  "Your problem is now our problem.  We will take care of this."  You are SOOO hired dude!  But alas, Osama still roams.  He's smart and tricky.  He could care less about the traps laid around for him.  We've had ceilings demolished and plumbing lines smoked.  HE IS STILL HERE! 

We just got back from a two week vacation and that brazen thing marched up the stairs into the kitchen (go ahead, recoil in horror) and chewed into the brand new Rubbermaid dog food container.  We think he picked up on the fact that Asha wasn't here and just felt all kinds of freedom!

Poor Sophie though.  Sophie has been living with us this past year and was, therefore, here solo the past couple of weeks.  She came downstairs one morning and the rat had gnawed on some peaches.  Another morning it was cereal.  Then she came home one evening and noticed the gerbils were out of their cage.  (Ok, ok ... I get the irony.  The gerbils are pets and we liiiiiike them.)  I bet it was just like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Osama let them out.  She is moving out this week ... and the rodent issue has nothing to do with it.  Grin.

I'm calling Mr. Trap Man tomorrow morning.  Really dude, you were supposed to be my Seal team.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My weekend ... sung to a classic.

I can write the following because I am pretty confident that no one will really read it:).

Sung to the tune of Oh Darling Clementine.   Tuning fork?  Ready.

Basketball game, Kit's friend slept over then some other friends in for brunch.  School play, another late night all singing Les Miserables.  We woke to dress and go to church but the ceiling began to leak.  Called the contractor and the carpenters - solved the problem - be fixed next week.  Fam came over, birthday party - enough sugar to go around.  Friend's daughter "observed" the children without even making a sound.  Made some cupcakes for the next day, went to bed way too late.  Brought the goodies into the classroom only to learn of my mistake.  No dairy policy - for an allergy - who can remember all these things?  And to top off my little story I also forgot  .... to have my kids dress up like a historic character for school.

Ok ... that last sentence doesn't fit into the tune.  I know.  Pretty much I'm incoherently tired.  I may delete this post or I just may keep it to remind myself how I get when in an Utter State Of Exhaustion.

Ah ... and it is only Monday!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A just about Perfect Day

Today was just a lovely day!  It was crisp and cold without being bitterly so.  We took the kids out to breakfast at Furin's.  It was an old haunt of Bill's both in his single days and then ours as a childless couple.  Great pancakes.  Truly.  We ran into some neighbors from our old neighborhood and the kids wanted to know "Why don't we live here?  This is cool/fun/really nice!".  We smiled and told them "You, little dears, are why we don't live here anymore!  And when you are grown ups and are young, hip and gainfully employed and want to live here then ... go for it."  We then went ice skating in the Sculpture Garden by the National Gallery and had some lunch in the little Pavilion Cafe that overlooks the rink.  Ice skating outside is just so much more fun than an indoor rink!  It still takes both of us to skate with all three but ... there is light at the end of the tunnel as the girls get more independent on the ice.  I don't care how old I get,  I still love the Zamboni!

After skating we went over to the National Aquarium.  I think I sort of-kind of-maybe remember going once before and have a vague recollection of it being kind of lame, small and dingy.  It was great!  Smaller meant more easily digestible for little people and tired parents.

We came home for a spontaneous taco night with some of the cousins and my kids were happy happy happy.  It was a little late getting them to bed but who cares?   It was a just about Perfect Day!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Brief year in review from a tired Mama

Is it possible that 2010 is coming to a close?  We began the year with Snowmageddon.  Being snowed in allowed us weeks of family time.  I liked it and then one day I said, "It's time.  Back to school kiddos!".  We started a renovation in May that is still not quite done (getting closer though!).  Kit was on the swim team this summer and it was a joy to see her involved in a team sport.  The kids started their second school year back in the States with all of the excitement and less of the anxiety felt last year.  Lindsay is trying her hand at the violin while Kit continues on the piano.  I'm not sure how that will pan out to be honest - we'll see.  Swift, poor little guy, just gets dragged along everywhere.  The fall motored along while I tried (emphasis on tried) to balance the needs of three kids, manage a house and actually get some personal time.  (Not so much on that third item).  Kit is playing basketball for the first time this winter.  She didn't know what a referee was because, well, she's never played this kind of sport before!  She is having fun.

We have so very much to be thankful for but it has been a hard fall.  I am reminded of my frailty, failure and desperate need for a saviour daily.  Things just aren't as they should be!  But I knew that.

Bill is working like a banshee and finding the work rewarding.  I am constantly at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Exhaustion.

My proposal for 2011.  Sleep, sleep, sleep!

Happy New Year to you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Post Renovation Plan

The end is near. The dumpster is gone (highlight of my day yesterday!). It’s time for a plan.

My car has been in the driveway and it is getting cold.  A young woman (Sophie ... God bless Sophie) is living with us this year who had to live in our basement waiting for the renovation to finish.  Patient gal.  There is detritus ... everywhere.  So, onto the PLAN.

The Plan to reclaim the garage!
1. Roll up rug in storage room.
2. Organize room for Sophie access
3. Return suitcases on third floor to Mom Cave
4. Move furniture from basement to upstairs.
5. Move boxes from garage to storage room
6. Remove pallet materials to driveway for pick up.
7. Clean garage and voila baby … you’re in.

Then onto the basement:
1. Anything left in the utility area or hall … into the S Room.
2. I’m feeling hope. Is it possible?
3. Get the two Pakistani rugs cleaned.

Mom Cave:*
1. Clean!
2. Move desk back in.
3. Move suitcases before moving furniture.
4. Change door knobs
5. Are you feelin’ the thrill?

Master Bedroom:
1. The clothes in the corner.
2. The clothes in the corner.
3. The clothes in the corner.
3. Hang pictures.

Anything else that happens is pure gravy.  Wish me luck!

*  The Mom Cave is a teeny room built under the eaves off of the Master Bedroom.  My closet is in there so you could call it a "dressing room" but really that would be pretty ostentatious for the space so ... I don't.  It was a nursery for Swift when he was a baby.  When we moved back from overseas last year it became my personal quiet place.  I breathe deeply and exhale just thinking about it.  For the last few months it has been a dusty and dirty place BUT soon it will be reclaimed.  Big smile.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Talkin' 'bout a Renovation ...

Last post in September.  Really?  Geesh.

I went out to dinner with a friend this week (bliss).  I was waxing on about the joys and jeers of our house renovation when she said "you should blog about this"!  Well how about that for an idea.  I even have one of those blog thingies all aready for some bloggin'.

So yes, Virginia, there is an end to home renovation.  I just don't know when.  I will post befores and afters.  You know, ... after.  Do I sound bitter (wry smile)?  Nah, I'm not but I am really looking forward to the accoutrements of renovating to be gone from my house.  Things like ...

1)  The MONSTER dumpster that is in our driveway.
2)  The brown paper taped to the floor to protect it.
3)  Miscellaneous tools, boxes etc,
4)  The exterior temporary stair to the second floor.  
5)  The little punch list items that remain undone, and undone, and undone.
6)  The generally higher level of dust and debris.

While I don't like that the project is months overdue I actually have liked the process!  We gutted an attic and two bathrooms, removed a rear shed dormer and replaced it with a wider one (creating more indoor space), added three small dormers on the front of the attic and removed a wall/door that separated the second floor from the attic making it no longer an attic but a ... third floor!  This is all VERY exciting.  It has been fun to see how something is actually built.  It has been wonderful to see ideas I had for different spaces come into being.

Enough for now but I'll start searching my archives for some pictures.