3 days ago
Today actually felt like October.
The cool wind blew grey clouds in front of the sun and coaxed reluctant leaves to loosen their grip on their resident trees and flutter to the ground.
The electric company cut our power for a few hours to upgrade some equipment and the open windows and cool-toned room colors made us all run put on comfy clothes.
The afternoon brought an autumn rain storm that made me giddy with delight. The kids napped.
Brooklyn read the word Paris in our bathroom. On her own.
Zach and Anna bought Kyle and I dinner tonight! (love you, brother)
Kyle figured out how to change a bike tire.
I made lots of progress on my portrait of Brooklyn in art class last night. I think I'll be finished after next week.
It was a good day.
I've had a few. Especially lately. Just to make you feel better about the sleep you are getting, or maybe help you feel like you're at least not the ONLY one not getting any sleep.
This past weekend, we went to Fayetteville to see my in-laws and my sister-in-law, Kara, who was in from California. This also coincided with our annual Stafford Sky-Box game (Razorbacks v. Auburn). Long story short, my family of 5 was bunking in the in-laws RV. We were all pretty excited about the RV.
However, due to an evening game and events beyond our control, Dorien and I ended up coming in around midnight. We were both completely exhausted. Stinky, sweaty, covered in that unavoidable Game Day glaze of sweat and smells that comes from hiking all over campus and back. A feeling you just desperately need to wash off before hitting the sack.
Except I couldn't. And as I'm trying not to wake my other kids and husband (or Dorien), I realize I forgot my contact case. I would have to sleep in them. Grrr. And as I settled in to the sheets beside Kyle and Dorien, I start to sweat and realize the air conditioner is only conditioning the air in the front where the kids are. I'm stinkin hot. On top of being exhausted, sweaty and with plastic discs stuck to my worn out eyeballs. And then, just as I have managed to fall asleep and into some form of a dream, Dorien's wails wake me up. It's 2am. He proceeds to cry unconsolably until 6am. By which time I'm very close to beating my head against the wall and begging for mercy. And then it's time to wake up. Yeah! End of Great Night Number 1.
Last night was the second great night of sleep I didn't get. I got closer, though! Kyle and I are actually even in the same bed. And then, at that magic crazy hour of 2ish...we both spring up as a God-awful shrill piercing sound rips through our sleep. Turns out a carbon monoxide alarm was going off. What?!
After holding it in front of a fan to silence it, we were then faced with the strange decision of what to do! According to the alarm instructions, you are to haul your family out into the great outdoors and call the fire department. It was 3 in the morning. Kyle and I were both fairly positive this was a false alarm because the beeping wasn't in the pattern indicated on the back of the box. No 4 beeps followed by 5 seconds followed by 4 beeps. Just one ear-piercing shrill electronic screech.
But this was odorless, poison gas we were potentially dealing with. So we ended up letting our kids sleep, opening windows and calling the fire department who came out and tested all areas of our house. No gas.
Probably a faulty alarm. And by 4, we were back in bed asleep. Until Dorien woke up to eat.
So I'm getting awfully used to not sleeping. I don't like it.
But this is all part of it, right? And it's temporary, right????
So far, there are many things I love about homeschooling. Here are just a few:
1) sleeping in
2) starting school whenever we want
3) finishing with most of the day left
4) knowing exactly what my kids are being taught
5) teaching B to read!!!
6) wearing whatever
7) being able to take school on the road!
This past week, Kyle felt like taking a break from work, so we all packed up and went to our Farm. From Wednesday night to Monday evening. I brought all our school stuff and we did it there and then we just relaxed.
It was quiet, peaceful...the weather was fantastic (low 70's during the day and 50's at night)...I got caught up on my photo albums (ok, caught up to what pictures I had printed which I'm ashamed to say was only to December of 2010), did some painting and just enjoyed being with my family.
Here are some pictures of our time together. Oh, and while we were there, on October 3, Dorien hit the 7 month mark. And is crawling everywhere, pulling up, and trying his darndest to be as mobile as his older brother and sister. I'm not happy about this. Means he's getting bigger!
Lots of hugs...sometimes overwhelming, but hugs nonetheless...
Dressed in one of August's warmer shirts and ready to ride that big ole green tractor! Or, ok, maybe just sit on it for a second.
You just watch me find my own toy! Oh, wait, uh, don't move too far away now...
I had an overall phase in college. It was actually in style. And then the overalls went the way of many leftover clothes and became Farm-wear. And then, I realized that they would be so handy and comfy for painting! So I dug them them back out and brought them home again. But not before Brooklyn tried them on and made me laugh like crazy.
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
School time...Math, to be precise. Sitting at the kids' table in our teeny tiny chairs.
Who doesn't love bubbles?
Hard at work blowing those bubbles.
This grass stuff is so cushy...and strange and yummy?
Ok, not yummy after all.
Practically the same person. Not really...just very tight.
You swing, I swing, we all swing together!
Is it just me or is this ball enormous?
Guys, I really wish I could play too!
Happily blazing trails all on his own.
Taking over the big dining room to work on my painting. I had intended to work on the fleshtones, but quickly decided I should wait until my Tuesday class when Endia, our instructor, intended to teach us about fleshtones.
Oh yeah, the overalls are so nice.
Working on her dress instead.
I was having the hardest time seeing the colors inside, so I took my stuff outside. It made a HUGE difference. If it weren't so hot, I'd paint outside all the time!
Just enjoying a crisp evening. Perfection.
How hilarious is he with the over-sized shirt? Love it.
Hi, Bailey. Are you gonna see me down here?
I don't think so...Hm...I wish you would.
A Daddy tower. Little legs tire out quickly when traipsing around the meadows.
It's a shame my house has so many windows. Cause it makes it tricky to run around in just a long t-shirt which I am currently doing.
Actually, I'm currently sitting in my living room with a 22 pound baby asleep on my lap and forming little sweat puddles because it's 79 degrees in here.
But I really wanted to check out some of my favorite blogs, namely the Pioneer Woman - because I'm looking for the perfect chocolate dessert to once and for all get rid of my craving for chocolate. I think it's hopeless.
And I'm hiding from any possibly spying neighbors by positioning myself in front of my baby blue couch and darting surreptitiously from floor to hallway when the need arises.
And listening to the highway sounds which drift up the hill to my house. Sounds like motorcycles are racing. But what I don't hear are any children sounds. Which is nice. Means everyone went to bed as instructed.
Except me. And it's my turn. Goodnight!
If you don't already read Liz's blog (Mabel's House), you're missing out. She's not only my friend, she and her precious husband occasionally feed my cat and dog when we're away! And Mabel actually befriended Kyle one time when they were away. Good times.
There is something so cool about knowing someone who's having a book published. Liz is supremely talented in so many areas - writing just happens to be one of them. Here's an excerpt from her book which comes out on October 18th. I'm hoping to win a give-away copy, but if not, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be standing in line at B&N purchasing myself a copy of the newly released book on that particular day.
Once one has breathed in the deep pungent aroma of sewage, you never again forget the nose-hair singeing, eye clawing, throat gagging experience. It comes over you slowly. You begin to feel like a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your muscles involuntarily jerk and you run screaming and blowing raspberries. Anything to get away from the mind-numbing stench.
But let me explain.
It was 6:30 a.m. I was standing in my retro pink tiled bathroom trying to open my bleary eyes and ready myself for work. As I stood there, peering into the mirror and wondering what demented nighttime fairy had planted four new wrinkles on my face, I paused and sniffed.
“Matt… what’s that smell?”
Matt staggered from the bedroom in his underwear, eyes half shut. “I don’t smell anything.”
I pointed my nose into the air like a hunting dog. “Seriously? You can’t smell that? Did you go to the bathroom in here earlier? I told you to use the room spray when you do things like that.”
Matt puffed out his bare chest and gathered his pride as best a man can with sleep in his eyes and a small hole in the side of his underwear. “I just woke up!”
I frowned, catching a glimpse of my makeup-less hot-rollers-in-hair state and tried not to think about the fact that I looked fifty instead of twenty-nine. “Well, help me figure this out. Because something smells ripe.”
We sniffed the sink drain and ruled it out as a suspect.
“Is it coming from the toilet?” Matt asked, examining it from top to bottom.
“No, that’s not it,” I snapped. I’m not known for my milk of human kindness in a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a survivor. I plan on eating my radish like Scarlet and clawing my way out of the nuclear dust while dragging my loved ones with me. But I won’t be doing it with positive phrases and a smile.
“Hon, I just don’t know. We’ll call a plumber after work, maybe it’s coming from under the house.” Matt staggered a little, trying to get past me and out of our tiny bathroom.
“Well, that’s just great,” I moved aside and pulled the shower curtain back so I could perch on the side of the tub and give Matt room to move out the door.
That’s when the full brunt of nastiness filled the air around us, a swirling mix of excrement and acrid stench that would have brought the sewer dwelling Ninja Turtles to their knees. Where the normally slightly-clean-with-a-hint-of-soap-scum bottom of the tub should have been, there sloshed gallons and gallons of brown sewage.
I clutched the front of my sweatshirt and held my breath. Matt began to dry heave.
“Get out and shut the door!” I screamed as we bumbled into the hallway.
“I’ll deal with this,” Matt grabbed my shoulders, trying to talk and hold his breath at the same time.
I could feel my eyes glaze over, the horrors of typhoid and hepatitis in our bathtub filling my mind. But more importantly, I could envision our evaporated savings account. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, gray hallway at the bank. A worker shrouded in a black suit pulled a set of keys from his pocket and unlatched a small locker labeled “Owen Bank Account.” Inside were two small stacks of quarters and a few crumpled dollar bills. It was bleak, not only because the banker with an unimaginative wardrobe gazed at me with an expression that could only be interpreted as “You’re a Big Fat Loser,” but also there was a very definite possibility we wouldn’t be able to pay for a plumber.
I wasn’t necessarily a spend thrift. In fact, I was downright frugal when it came to decorating with thrift store furniture and rewired vintage lamps. But the fact was, we were poor. We were starting out at starter jobs with starter salaries. We were starter adults with a starter bank account.
“Okay,” I nodded numbly, thankful that Matt was taking the lead on such a disastrous biohazard. “But make sure the plumber is super cheap. We don’t have much money!”
I left for work like a wino stumbling through a fog, not really remembering my commute, not really doing any work as I sipped my coffee and stared blankly at the computer screen. A disaster of such gargantuan proportions had previously been unthinkable in my life, and now I found myself attempting to push the image of a vast sea of bathtub poop from my mind. But I was sure of one thing: Anne Shirley never had to get ready for work while breathing raw sewage.