Well! This is certainly going to be More Like It.
Just got back from the kids' first official "field trip" to Afton Apple Orchard. SO much fun, and the best way to pass a gorgeous fall morning! I was pleasantly surprised, and actually I continue to be, by how well some of these ECFE things are orchestrated. Truly, they have so much experience with kids this age -- just plug new kids right in every year and you're set.
For example, they installed 15 car seats into a school bus in what seemed like 30 seconds. Incredible. Getting 2 car seats in my van takes about a half-hour for me -- these gals are whizzes. When we got the the orchard, there was plenty of time allowed for the kids to play at the playground or observe/feed/pet the sheep, llamas, goats (my kids' fave), cows, donkeys, and pigs, before we all loaded onto the hayride for an apple-pickin' tour. Each person got to pick three apples, which sounds kinda lame-o but really it was perfect for the attention span of 15 under-5-year-olds. We saw horses, got to see a pumpkin growing on a tree (seriously), sampled some apple cider, and sang the "Louisiana Hayride" song (actually just me). Then we tucked into lunch, played in the mud, and loaded back on the van. It was a perfect little outing and I'm sure the kids are going to nap well if they would just allow themselves to fall asleep.
Sooooo... what the heck's been going on the last couple weeks? Unfortunately September has been ripped off my calendar, because I just don't remember. I suppose I could work backward.
Last night I really thought I was coming down with something: allover aches and a really sore throat. But I realized I'd done a lot of talking in the prior few days, plus my dance class on Monday was particularly intense, so I gargled some salt water, took some ibu, sucked on a Cold-Eez and really today I feel about 80% better.
The sore throat also could have been caused by walking about 10 blocks in the rain yesterday -- nobody told me it was going to rain! I'd packed up the kids and hustled them onto the bus for a lovely excursion to the Children's Museum -- but it was not to be. The kids were uber-crabby and sprinting off in opposite directions at all times. I could not even keep them both in the same exhibit -- a nightmare. Neither one even napped after that, which was actually a good thing because I had to hustle them over to Dee's at 3pm so I could go teach my new class.
Back it up! You say. Class? What class?
Remember Ashland Productions, home of the "Joseph" summer camp I helped direct? Ashland has an afterschool theatre program for elementary-school kids, and I'm going to help direct it. We play theatre games and icebreaker/get-to-know-each-other games, and I teach the kids a song and dance each time. It is every other Tuesday from 3:30-5pm.
What a dreadful time of day! You say.
You're right! My kids are generally napsy-doodles at that time. Except Lucy's down to only a couple actual naps a week (Don't pick Tuesday, Lu!) and... well, that's the only good thing. So I'm planning to take them to Dee's (my old daycare provider) house for about 2 hours, every other Tuesday. It's 20 bucks each time, and I'm not entirely certain I'll be making that back in income... but it's something I really want to do. Anyone interested in filling Dee's role for less than $20? You're hired!
In addition to the after-school program, Ashland has two show choirs that I'm also helping out with. If you know me, you know show choir has been my true passion since 1992, so I'm extra-excited to get my hands on those kids.
Last weekend we left the kids with Joel's folks and trekked down to Madison for my cousin Mary's wedding. I discovered a new drink (the UV Blue Lemonade) and had some nice convos with many mostly-drunk relatives. It was a good little getaway for us, and also for the kids, who thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed bedtimes and abundance of new toys at Grammy and Papa's house.
After we picked up the kids on Sunday, we swung by this place for an open house. The home is AMAZING and tantalizingly close to being affordable -- but, not. *Shrug* It is fun to dream.
We had a meeting with a contractor last night to talk about the possibility of opening up the wall to Ed's room and turning it into a dining room. He's a family friend (holy cats, I better not be old enough to have "family friends"!) and we had a great, educational chat and visit with him. It really helped put a lot of things into perspective and that actually reminds me I need to email him and tell him that in addition to a dishwasher (not named Joel) I also MUST have a couple more functioning electrical outlets in the kitchen.
So! Because we have so ungodly much going on, and because we were gone all weekend so lots of housework was neglected... my children are being ignored. Not at this instant, mind you, because they are blissfully napping, but in general, I am finding there is simply not enough time in the day to spend all morning goofing off with them and still expect myself to get all the dishes/cooking/laundry/choreography done, that needs to get done.
Whic brings me to: where's the balance between "homemaker" and "stay-at-home-mom"? Because I read two articles recently about SAHMs, and both said that my staying home ought to "ease some of the housework burden" on my husband, ostensibly allowing him to "focus more on his career." I don't think that's happening. And I don't mean JG's not focusing, I just mean that I still think he does a ton of dishes, dusting, vacuuming, baths, and general pickup -- and he would, even if I didn't have 100 evening activities to dash off to. Some of which bring in some extra money. So what's my responsibility? Is it to roll around in the living room with the kiddos, paint their faces, do crafts (I still haven't done a single craft with them, I swear, I just can't handle whatever disgusting mess would ensue... but maybe I'm thinking of the wrong crafts? And where does one purchase "alum" for making homemade play-dough?)... or is it to organize the bills, do the dishes, change out the laundry, scrub the toilets, dust and vacuum? I'm sure it's some kind of balance; I'm just finding it hard to strike it.
Let's see, what are the kids doing?
Lucy is still really enjoying her dance class (still despite her claims to the contrary). It amazes me that she's making these friends, whom she can name, and I have no idea who they are. Chloe? Reed? Hattie? Leah? Who are you?
Two weeks ago they worked on "pas de chat" ("step of the cat") and this week it was "zig-zags". The other day I caught Lucy demonstrating to Ed how to walk backward... now slow... now fast! But that's as close to a demo as I can get from her.
Ed is jabbering away as usual -- if he wants you to follow him, he'll run ahead, reach his hand behind him, and say "ummm-ON! ummm-ON!" He will give "knuckles" now ("NUCK-ull!") and then pump his fist "Yesss!" afterward. When he goes down a slide at the playground, he stands up at the end and claps for himself: "Yaaayyy!!" and sometimes "Ta-Daa!" and then says "Bow?" and neatly ducks his head before running off to try something else.
Lucy is still insisting that I call Ed "little prince" and calling herself "Singer-lella." She's also started speaking in gibberish, for no good reason. Usually when she's trying to pull your attention, or trying to distract you from something naughty she did.
I will round this out by saying that you know you're a grownup when you start experiencing things coming full circle -- like, when you actually live in a place long enough to see a huge road construction project begin and then end. Or when you actually have to replace something you've never had to replace before, like throw pillows. It somehow gives you the wisdom of age to be able to say "nothing lasts forever" and really have lived it.
Jean's running the marathon this Sunday -- take a quick minute to send her power! If you somehow didn't cadge an invitation to the post-marathon party starting around 1:30 PM Sunday, it's a more-the-merrier thing and you should try to swing by. Cheers!
See other sheet
Lucy's gibberish and drawings: what I draw? A cup. Purple. Daddy. The wind. Friday. The "new Faje": Koo-koo.