Thursday, September 26, 2013

a few of my favorite (Fall) things

I do love this season. Cozy enough for a scarf but that clear kind of sun. The mellow introspective mood. The crunch of leaves under my boots. 

Making pumpkin muffins for the class snack.

Flannel sheets on the beds.

Pulling out the corduroy jackets and the pile of knit scarves and hats and gloves. 

Homemade potato chips in our potato soup. Isn't Chris clever?

Time to curl up with a book and a mug of something warm. Time to daydream about costumes and thankfulness and celebrations coming soon. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

making a bird nest

With sticks and glue, and determination. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our weekend

Our weekend has been full of good things, both large and small. Swim lessons and seeing friends. Attending the Draw the line climate action on a beautiful sunny day and seeing a couple thousand people gather and pledge to take action against dirty energy and for a cleaner future. Seeing my friend Becca again, and hearing about the work she and her family are doing in solidarity with some of the world's poorest people, and admiring the crafts she brought, made by people in her community. Small threads, one by one. But together? 
What a beautiful web we make. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

angles and light

I was trying to think of what I could say as an update and I then I found these photos. They're from a playdate we had before school started. 

We are back into busy calendar mode and I'm equally loving it and feeling slightly stressed by my to-do list. We, collectively and individually, have a lot going on and sometimes our Saturday morning family meeting is dominated by discussion of who needs to where and when. (Not why. We mostly know why, as well as how.)  But all the things we do feel good and important, and we manage to find a balance with a bit of quiet as well. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Clean as a Weasel

You know how kids will sometimes say something wrong but it's so cute and funny that you are like "Please don't ever learn the proper way to say that?" Brixton has a book he often asks for at bedtime that involves dogs cleaning up the kitchen until it was "clean as a whistle." But for some reason in his head he decided that what they do is make it "clean as a weasel."  So now Chris and I say that all the time, as a kind of short hand for that state of sort-of-clean-as-much-as-can-be-expected-given-small-children-live-here.

Which is to say we have a certain idea of adequate abatement of squalor that we strive towards, fighting the tide of school projects and glitter and half-eaten crackers and tiny sharp Lego pieces and sticker-covered crumpled treasures and jam. 

It's funny because even given all that, I think my standards are higher than they were before I had kids. Cause when I was in my 20s, I was a total slob. I was the roommate who left my dishes in the sink for days, and my stuff all over the floor of the common room and barely did my chore. I was the roommate who people secretly simmered at while I lay around reading and not noticing the mess. I really just didn't see it and didn't really see the point of noticing or caring about it.

This is part of why I never lived with a romantic partner until I was five months pregnant. I knew the kinds of fights and discussions I had with my roommates and I wanted to keep that away from the lovey-dovey stuff. Not that I didn't get along with my roommates, some of my greatest friendships grew out of roommate situations, despite our differences. 

It all changed when I moved in with Chris, who is the kind of person that values order and routine. And in that way that you do things for your partner that you don't care much about yourself (like watch their movies and listen to their music and go to their events and etc etc etc), I started doing things like making the bed. I still wasn't the cleanest person on the block by any means, but I knew it made a difference to him and it took just a few minutes, so a new habit was formed. 

Things stayed in this step-up-from slovenly state until I left my part-time job to be a stay-at home mom. At that point, I figured I had more time than Chris to devote to homekeeping stuff* and that it was part of my new job description, so I started doing my regular cleaning. I found myself feeling satisfied when things looked nice, a sense of accomplishment. Before too long I was the one feeling frustrated if there were toys all over the place or crusty stuff dried on the table, which I'm sure would amaze my former roommates. But change comes to all of us, especially as our circumstances mold us. Even messy defiant punk girls can learn to pick up a little. 

Now, if you come over you will still see toys all over the place. There will be crumbs and knitting and books on the tables and dust on the picture frames. But an effort is being made. And I find myself enjoying things like reorganizing my kitchen to make it more user-friends. 



*Homekeeping stuff. I am aware of the gendered nature of my current arrangement and how, in some ways, my life is more of a gender stereotype than it used to be. Chris and I have had some good discussions about this, and how it's both so much bigger than us and so personal at the same time. We have discussions about why there aren't more women in engineering fields, and why our society pays some professions so much more than those in the "helping" professions and the cost of childcare and  different expectations for parents based on gender and all that. Plus,when he is home he is a rock star with both the kids and the chores so it does feel like we have a good balance going for us, for now. Which is all we can ask for. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

The wheels on the bus are falling off...

Already? Well yes, a little. 
We are sick today, some more than others. Unity has a fever but feels fine and has energy to spare.Of course.  Brixton and I are coughing all over the place and Chris is backing away slowly and aiming the hand sanitizer at us.  
 So we are doing the right thing and staying home with our germs but you know, it's going to be one of those days. 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Aaaand, first day of Pre-K

Don't worry, he was wearing both shoes and a coat when he actually left the house, I was just trying to get the photos done before he and Chris had to catch the bus.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Beach days

We are coming home from beach days, with sand in our hair and sunscreen between our fingers. Coming home from a lovely beach house filled with cousins, and long lazy days spent on towels, eating peaches and watching the waves. Coming home from campfire nights with sticky s'more faces and pile-on bedtime stories with four kids in a bunk. Coming home from the sweetest last gasp of summer.