Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Week Full Of Rainbows

Having only 2 kids at home made this week feel like a vacation. It helped that it was only one girl and one boy - that way, I got 8 days off from Rachel sniping at Susie in her You are the stupidest person on earth voice.  I also got 8 days off from saying to Rachel, "If you can't say it nicely, SHUT UP."

And I wonder where she gets it from, huh?

My neighbor hired one of these. I love her.
Adding to the vacation feel was that I inadvertently mooched off our neighbor's nanny - she took Susie to the park once and the pool twice, which was a total win for me and my housecleaning ambitions.  I actually managed to hang up all the pictures, etc., that have been lying around since Larry tore the walls out of the living room in February. Then I went through some bins of extra STUFF that have been floating all over the upstairs since Larry tore the girls' room apart last September. And I even sorted through some of the flotsam and jetsam in David's room, in preparation for when Larry tears the walls out in there (once David leaves for college in August).

Are we seeing a pattern here?  I think so.  It is called, "Larry makes a mess and then I clean it up."  I am not sure whether or not that is a healthy marriage dynamic, but that's what we've got.

I also made it to the pool 3 times with Susie myself, so I'm not being a slacker.  I make myself swim 8 laps (1/4 mile) each time we go, because I like to imagine that doing the breast stroke is going to tone my upper arms.  We all have our dreams, you know.

Brian was forced to do Algebra and end-of-year standardized testing and extra dishes and laundry (see missing siblings, above), so he is extremely eager to escape tomorrow for the relative ease of Boy Scout camp.

And, of course, like most of you, I wasted a goodly amount of time on the Internet, reading Supreme Court opinions and enjoying silly memes involving - among other things - Obama holding a bald eagle and knocking on your door and saying...well, just look it up yourselves - this is a G-rated blog, after all.  It was a fun Internet week, is all I'm saying, okay?

A job? For ME?!

Oh, and yesterday I had an honest-to-God interview for an editing job.  Unfortunately, I won't know until December or January if I actually get the position, so it's a good thing we're not starving, I guess.  I was just so excited - after 2 years of sending my resume out into the ethernet, as it were, and receiving nary a response - to finally receive a response.  I felt like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan - you know, when she revives because everyone claps to show her that they believe in fairies?

Come to think of it, judging from the pictures and excited Facebook comments yesterday, all my gay-married* friends felt that way, too...and all because 5 Justices clapped for them. But, truly, that number should have been 6, Mr. Chief Justice - now what am I supposed to do with that Team Roberts T-shirt I bought on Thursday?

Where is everyone getting all the pretty colored lights, anyway?

*No longer a valid phrase, I KNOW

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And The Livin' Is Easy...

Well, for those of you keeping track, there are only 2 children living here this week, what with David and Rachel being at Civil Air Patrol Encampment.  Larry and I ended up both taking Susie to the pool on Sunday, which - to parents programmed to perform to maximum efficiency - felt odd and wasteful. "When was the last time we did this?" I asked Larry.  "The two of us taking one kid to the pool, I mean?"

He thought a moment.  "I think it was when you were pregnant with Anna.  Remember? We brought Theo to that indoor pool so you could swim laps, and he cried every time we put him in the water."

Okay, so that was, uh, exactly 22 years ago.  Time flies, eh?

So we attempted to relax at the pool like normal people do, but I think it is going to take some practice.  Then, on Monday, Susie came running inside and announced that our neighbor's nanny had offered to take her to the pool along with her charges.  I started to say that I would take Susie to the pool myself, but then I stopped and thought, Why? The kid's already passed her swim test. "Okay," I told her, "go ahead!"

Does not go well with summer
And there I was, in a quiet house (Brian was hiding, because he was afraid I would torture him with more Algebra), free to actually, you know, accomplish things. So I Swiffered under my bed and put away all my winter clothes (hey, better late than never, okay?), and I even found all the hangers that have been missing since Larry tore apart my closet.  THEN I cleaned 2 bathrooms and - get this - neatened up the linen closet.

Look - unless you've been raising as many kids as I have for as long as I have (and homeschooling them to boot), you just cannot understand how ODD this all feels. No one interrupted me (well, except the Internet, because I lack discipline), no one had to be told to do something, no one got in my way.


Is this how normal people live?  It feels so, I don't know, unpressured. I mean, how do you make yourselves do things, without the threat of imminent chaos breathing down your necks?  And how do you make yourselves cook dinner, when Jerry's Subs has a $6 large pizza special on Monday nights and you only have 2 kids to feed and there's some bagged salad in the fridge?

6 bucks, people - what's not to like?

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

52 Is Just A Number, Right?

Today? Is my birthday.  I do hear tell that there is some other sort of holiday happening today, but I am going to pretend right now that I did not have to share my special day.

Larry did himself proud by finally figuring out that my Amazon wish list titled "Gifts for (Your Wife's Name Here)" exists for a reason.  As a result, I got a pile of books to go along with the pile of chocolate that he and the girls picked out at the local Harris Teeter.

Here's the chocolate (and, yes, that Raisinets box does seem to have been breached):

And here are the books:

You will observe that that is rather an eclectic collection, but that is because I'm an interesting sort of gal.  Alas, all these lovely books will have to wait until I finish reading Amy Poehler's Yes, Please! I found that particular tome at the library the other day and have been enjoying it very much.

I don't know why I keep photographing everything with my Ektorp red couch as the background.  It might be because I can't find another clear surface in the house on which to pose things.  I wonder whether Dorothea Lange or Ansel Adams also experienced this problem.  Alas, making great art is never easy.

David departed for Civil Air Patrol Encampment yesterday (he's on staff), and Rachel (a first-year) left today.  I have to say, dropping a girl off for Encampment is different than dropping off a boy.  Boys get out of the car, sling their duffel bags over their shoulders, and head for check-in, after delivering a curt nod of acknowledgement in the general direction of their parents.  Girls, however, cluster together to fix each other's uniforms and jump up and down in excitement and giggle, all of which looks a tad incongruous when said gigglers are wearing military-issue BDU's.  They also hug their parents good-bye with a level of emotion akin to that exhibited by the women and children climbing into life rafts on the Titanic.

It's really cute - trust me.

Larry's waiting for me to watch MadMen with him - I think we are halfway through the first season. I know! We're a little behind (well, 7 years behind, actually, but who's counting?).  Don't spoil anything for us, okay?

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Shopping For America

Yesterday? I spent incapacitated.  Some sort of nerve thing-y between my neck and my shoulder got pinched and OMG it was painful.  I spent the entire day popping Motrin and whining.  FUN.

At some point in there, I managed to drag myself and the 3 youngest kids to Modell's to pick up all manner of things they suddenly needed.  We staggered out of there one hour and $175 later (and that was with the 20% off coupon, people), loaded down with swim trunks and T-shirts AND swim goggles for Brian, 5 pairs of black shorts and a pair of regular shorts AND 2 athletic bras for Rachel, plus a pair of fun shorts that Susie scored, just for being there. I can only assume that, prior to yesterday, these kids were all walking around naked.

Behind every cadet is an expert shopper...

Can I just stop and say a word here about camp packing lists?  I swear, I have spent the last week going to the store EVERY SINGLE DAY to pick up items for Rachel's list. And because her camp is not an ordinary one (it's Civil Air Patrol Encampment, a sort of basic training for CAP cadets), it's been a scavenger hunt of sorts for hard-to-find items.  Try - just try - finding plain black shorts for a girl, boot socks, gel inserts for boots and shoes, plus any manner of toiletries and the right amount of underwear, in just one place.  TRY.  I sure did, and I failed massively. As a result, this week we have been to Target (3 times), to Modell's, and to a plethora of stores at the mall.

We're still looking for those boot socks, you know.

My point being that, with all these expenditures, I have singlehandedly raised our national GDP.  I don't want anyone giving Jeb! the credit for it.  I DID IT.  ALL BY MYSELF.

You're welcome.

[Encampment image: New York Wing Encampment]

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Putting Santa In His Place

You know, as jaded a parent as I am, I have managed to take the kids to the pool 4 days in a row. That's 4 times I have endured the humiliation intrinsic to wearing my swimsuit in public, just so my girls could have fun.  I would like an award, thank you.

I am still attempting to reconstruct my bedroom closet.  Larry emptied it so he could tear the walls out, and then the handyman put up new walls and painted and installed some rods and organizers and extra shelves and I had a good, oh, 2 hours of looking at the empty closet and envisioning how beautiful it would be, once I put everything in there properly. But then I went out, and Larry - thinking he was helping - took all the bins he had shoved closet stuff into and piled those bins in the closet.  He also took a bunch of boxes and stuffed them onto the high shelves.  I could have wept. Really.

So the other day I took most of the things out AGAIN and have slowly been sorting and deciding where things go.  Now the bedroom is a mess, with half-empty Rubbermaid bins scattered all over the place.  But hey, the closet looks great!  I've decided that we will NO LONGER use it as a catch-all area for items that have no home.  I'll use David's closet for that, if he would just hurry up and go to college already.

No rush, David! Kidding! Ignore those empty suitcases I just piled in your bedroom!

Yup, we have the cookie jar, too.
In other news, I finally managed to get the last bin of holiday items put up in the attic - you know, things like the Santa salt and pepper shakers and the Santa matroshka doll and the Santa towels from the powder room. They've been floating around the upstairs in a laundry basket for months, along with the Santa cocktail napkins from our New Year's party, because we didn't notice them before we put all the official holiday storage bins away last January.

This is normal, right?  I wouldn't know, since I was raised Jewish.  All we had to put away was the electric menorah, which we kept in the upstairs linen closet.  I guess we weren't very festive, actually.

And...that's all I've got today, folks.  Maybe tomorrow I will talk about the injustice that is having to share my birthday with Father's Day, but not today.  Today I will just sit here and revel in my newly Santa-free home.  I think I've earned it.

[Cookie jar image: Cracker Barrel]

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