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Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

(yeah, apparently I remembered that I have a blog … for today)

Boston wore a disguise today.  It pretended to be San Francisco, and try on the natural air conditioner for size.

Of course, it wasn’t as beautiful.

Like on the hotter days, back in Berkeley, when I’d decide to pack the kids up for a quick jaunt to the beach, just to cross the bridge and see the fog rolling in, wisping down off the tips of the hills, realizing that if I hadn’t brought sweatshirts, the trip would have been a waste.  But we knew what we were doing, and had not only bathing suits and sunscreen, but also sweatpants and sweatshirts.

No, it wasn’t that extreme in Boston today — there was actually no fog, just an ocean breeze — but it was a huge change in temperature.  I had gone downstairs at 2, and even left the building (an absolute rarity between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., I’m sad to report) so that I could stop by the bank and get a cashier’s check for the last step before our move in three weeks … it was sweltering.  It was so hot, you felt like you were a chicken in a roasting pan.  Despite the linen, despite the shorter sleeves – it was just. too.  hot.

But when 4 p.m. struck, and I felt drowsy while reading a deposition that printed in a weird order, I rounded up some friends for an iced coffee at Starbucks (unfortunately convenient in the lobby downstairs … still no call to leave the building).  But I’d seen that headline – 20 degree drop in 20 minutes?  And I said, “let’s go see!”

It really was cooler.  There was no sweat dripping down the butt cheeks.  Not a single drop.  It was still muggy and moist and nowhere near as seasonally disorienting as the S.F. fog had been.  But we got to sit outside.

For all of 7 minutes before the Crackberries started buzzing and the twitching got to be too extreme to ignore as we started to imagine all the partners that were (of course not) ringing our phones off the hook wondering why the hell we weren’t working at 4:07 p.m.!!

I later enjoyed my walk to Boston’s South Station, the weather still mild.  But by the time I got off the train a mere 3.5 miles away, I had left the little ocean-breeze-bubble, and the sweat returned.

Ick.

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Last Day of Summer

How did this happen? How weird that tomorrow is school. How is it that I feel so caught off guard? I’ve known that this was the day since … May. Or April. I’ve been planning and getting ready and talking about it, and still I feel snuck-up-upon.

I believe we are going to go to the school on our way home from the girls’ morning-thing and stop into their classrooms.

The reason?

I don’t think that I should go to E’s class tomorrow. She’s in 6th grade. She feels a little funky about me not bringing her in, but I think it’s time for both of us to let go. I think that very few 6th graders will have their moms in their classroom, and that E doesn’t really need to be babied at this point. I know she’s nervous, and it’s unfamiliar territory, and that’s why I think we’ll go find her classroom today, and perhaps even meet her teacher.

I can probably still get away with going to J’s classroom in the morning. I think I did with E when she was in 4th grade.

Today brings yet another friend over for J, and hopefully some short plans for E. Short plans. For both. Because the girls both have summer homework to finish.

They are so their mother’s daughters.

Update!!  [Why do I have so many lately?]  both girls said, “mom, we don’t need to go to the school, we know where our classrooms are.”  And guess what?  J said she will NOT have me walk her to class tomorrow.  Woe is me.

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When Chaos Brings Peace

Beloved just remarked that I am a “better person” than he, because I have 4 girls in my care today.  Four real girls — not my 2 girls acting like weird people I don’t know.  Each of my girls have a friend over.

But this is not a problem.  This is better than it would be if only 3 girls were here, and likely better than if I had just my 2.  It’s not that I’m a good person, it’s that I’m a good planner!  They each have a friend.  No one is feeling left out, no one is being shunned, no one is forced to try and blend in with their younger/older sister and her friend.

See, a good thing.

__________________________

Update:  I spoke way too soon.  I have a mob in my house.  A mob, I tell you.  First, they come up with the grand scheme that I will take them all to a toy store, and buy them all TOYS.  Huh?  These toys.   Since when is my job to take kids out and buy them toys?  They’re supposed to be playing.  We planned a trip to the pool.  They were gonna bring bikes.  We didn’t plan to buy them all TOYS.

Of course, I said, “Absolutely not.  Do not even raise it again.  There is no way we are doing that.”

Next brilliant plan:  A lemonade stand.

My kids have wanted to do this so many times, and every time I say no.  This time, I decided NOT to say no, but to require them to think the entire thing through.  All four of them went into the bedroom and came up with a plan.  I donated all the cash I had to the endeavor:  $5.  Oooh, big spender (at least it isn’t TOYS).  The older girls just left to buy lemonade mix, the younger girls are making a sign.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  They’re all working together, and thinking it through.  They’re busy and focused.

And they’re old enough that I have no problem saying, “hey, I’m doing laundry, y’all work it out on your own!”

At least they stopped asking me for toys.

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Today, I am resting a little.  I am home alone.  Beloved’s at work, the girls are up the street, singing their hearts out and playing with friends.  I am not at the gym, because I didn’t do laundry and because I found myself overwhelmed yesterday.  Also, I needed a day off, because the elliptical was boring yesterday.  Even with trashy magazines to peruse.

Today was supposed to be a morning to myself, and then a quiet afternoon with the girls.

But since 9 a.m., J has had 2 phone calls asking for get togethers.  I have to decide what to do about that, while waiting for the doctor’s office to call back with whether or not she needs shots before starting school.  If she does, we are doing that before we come home.

I have a lot of paperwork to fill out for my new job.  Tax forms, insurance forms, corporate credit card forms, emergency contact forms, and so on.  If I can wrangle a quiet afternoon out of this day, I may start on all of that.

I also have a messy house.   I shouldn’t.  I am home.  Okay.  That’s not accurate.  Because as much as I’m not in school and I’m not working, I’m rarely home.  But I have less pressing on me than I usually do, and it seems that it should result in a cleaner house.  Doesn’t it?

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Capacity Reached

I think I’ve hit it.  The point that I knew would come, sooner or later.  It’s here now.  I’m not sure the timing is so hot.  Even though I orchestrated it to be exactly this way.

I am sick of being home.  I am running out of patience for my kids, and my tolerance level (as I told one of their friends today) is on the ground, it is so low, and I am walking on it.

The reason that the timing sort of sucks:  We’ve moved on from the “girls were gone for a long time so we want to hunker down as a family in a pretty isolated manner” phase and into the “let’s have friends over every day and surround ourselves with lots of people” phase.  I like being social.  Me, with adults.  It is a fun byproduct of the kids’ sociability.  I like talking to people and catching up after the summer.  I love seeing the kids.

Seeing.

E, in particular, is bugging me right now.  The last 2 times she’s had a friend over, she has been highly annoying.  Sometimes the behavior is toward me or her sister, but sometimes it’s toward her poor friends.  Today, I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut.  I was constantly pestering her to knock it off.  It bothered me that she kept crunching popcorn in the movie theater.  We got a large popcorn.  A giant tub.  We shared it 3 ways.  That did not mean that she had to be eating during the entire movie.  crunch.   crunch.   crunch.  crunch.  crunch.  crunch.  crunch.   crunch.  crunch.

Then, she had to fuss with her straw in order to find the last bit of her Icey.  You know that horrid sound of plastic against plastic?  She kept doing it.

Then on the train on the way home, she was annoying.  I only later realized that her annoying behavior (pushing her friend, grabbing her friend, putting her hand in her friend’s face) directly correlated to her friend talking to me, rather than to E.  Okay.  Problem noted.  Next time, I will sit in a different part of the train and the leave the girls alone.  But still.  She was being really annoying.  I don’t even know why, when I told her friend that she could either go home, or come home with us, she chose to come with us.  I would have run away.  I wanted to run away.  Actually, I worked things out so that I could run away.  We sent the girls to the pool, and I was left alone to go and pick J up from a friend’s house.

I want my job to start.

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My 4 Daughters

I do not understand it. When the girls were at X’s house, he and I talked a total of one time about how the girls were doing. During that conversation, he made the comment, “They don’t read very much …” to which I balked.

In this house, they are reading fiends. Sometimes, a book a day. They are both well above their reading level, and are constantly asking for new books. It really helps that Beloved is in the children’s literature field, b/c he is able to constantly provide them with new and appropriate reading material.

I don’t know why they didn’t read there.

Today, J read an entire book (Tiger Rising, by Kate Dicamillo), and is now reading a second. E has been reading constantly, and was very upset on several occasions today when I made her put her book down to do chores or math homework. We spent TWO HOURS in a cafe today, and I got antsy and was done reading before them. I said, “you guys ready to go?” They both said no – once they shook their heads to clear them from the books they were immersed in. We then spent another TWO HOURS at the library.

They have never been to the library in the Middle of the Country. I kid you not.

When they’re here, they watch no t.v., and don’t ask to. We all enjoy family movie nights (Fridays), and sometimes we check out DVDs of different series (Star Trek (the original), Brady Bunch and Gilligan, to name a few – uh, maybe all). But we don’t “watch t.v.” They don’t complain. When they have the freedom to, they flip once through the channels, and turn it off.

When they’re there, they know every Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network show, what time it’s on, and have favorites and daily shows. Then they come home, and they just don’t care.

It also appears that when they’re there, they don’t fight or bicker.

But when they’re here ….

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