Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Things have been disrupted lately. My husband has been on more business trips than usual. My children have after-school activities that on some days don't have them coming home until after 5:00. My son spent three days at a friend's cottage during spring break. My daughter is flying to New York City on Thursday with my husband's sister to visit my husband's other sister. Me? I'm staying home and thinking "what's happening?"

They are growing up. When I started this blog only three years ago, the children were still pretty young. One of my first posts was about my son's dread of going to overnight camp. Since then he's been to camp twice and to his friend's cottage three times. In June he will go on his 8th grade trip to Chicago for 4 days. He is still a homebody, almost to a fault, but he has less than two months of middle school left, and then he'll be in high school, and, hopefully.

My daughter is excited about her big trip this week, and I'm excited for her, but at the same time I feel a certain dread, both about this weekend, and about things in general. She will have her turn at overnight camp in May. She has less than two months of elementary school left, and then she'll be in middle school, and then I'll be the mother of a middle schooler and a high schooler, when not that long ago they were both in elementary school and home all the time. I wonder what my days will be like when the children get busier and aren't home as much. I am starting to actually experience that now.

I am enthusiastic about the new opportunities opening to them as they age, and it is thrilling to see them grow into themselves, but it's challenging, too. Before I had children, they were never older than toddlers in my fantasies. I didn't dream about mothering tweens and teens, about overseeing Algebra homework, about visiting the orthodontist, about watching them go off without me. I'll bet most mothers don't, before they have babies.

I stitched the Home Sweet Home piece many years ago during a difficult time when I was feeling lonely and wishing I could start to create my own home sweet home. It's a little piece, from one of those kits you used to be able to buy at places like the grocery store. It hung in my kitchen for years, until I changed my decor and it didn't fit in any more. I unearthed it during a recent cleaning project, and thought its rediscovery was very timely. Wherever my children go, whatever they do, I hope they always feel this place I have created is Home Sweet Home for them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Mini Vacation

Today's post is a mini vacation for everyone. My husband (and my camera) were in Athens, Greece a few weeks ago on a business trip. While the children and I were home with our dark, cold, soggy spring weather, my husband was half-way across the globe in sunny, warm, dry Greece. He was holed up in long meetings most days, but one day was free for site-seeing. It is still bone-chilling cold here, but looking at these photos almost makes me feel warm.

They have flowers!

And ancient ruins!

I marvel over how densely the city is built.

Beautiful blue sky, and wild flowers (weeds?) rooting in the ruins. Ahhh.

He had fun puzzling over the Greek letters. This one says "exodos".
There were stray dogs and cats everywhere.

This next photo was taken for our daughter.

Moon over the Acropolis.
He had his birthday while he was there. He got up early and went for a pre-dawn run around the Acropolis, and watched the sun rise over the Parthenon. That's a pretty cool way to start your birthday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

What month is this?

You can never guess what month it is around here in the springtime by judging the weather alone.

Today (April 18, 2011):
Fifty-one weeks ago (April 25, 2010):
Let me know when it's June.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 1 Yard--Finally, some signs of life!

Things are very slowly getting underway in the yard.

Hooray! I was happy to see the crocuses emerge. They were so much later coming up than most of my neighbors' crocuses. I found a big clump of crocus bulbs on my sidewalk back in October (courtesy of a busy squirrel), which I didn't bother to replant, so when my neighbors had crocuses a few weeks ago while I had none, I assumed mine had all been dug up!

Spring is off to a slow start in general around here. We had one warm day in the middle of March, but other than that, it's been cold and gloomy, and winter starts to feel endless. The signs of life in the yard are giving me hope that it just might eventually get warm!

Friday, April 1, 2011

They're ba-aaack!

Last night after dinner my husband and children were noticeably quiet. I know what it means when they are behind closed doors on the eve of April Fool's Day. When they came out chuckling and looking smug, I asked the kids "Why don't you ever plot to trick Dad?" My daughter answered, "Because he doesn't scream."

Oh, man, I did NOT want to get out of bed this morning. I proceeded with caution. First thing I noticed was that the laptop lid was closed. It is never closed. A-ha! I opened it very slowly.

Whew. Got through that one. My son had already left for school, but my daughter was waiting for breakfast. I opened the cupboard door, truly expecting to find this:

The next one did startle me a bit:
But I didn't scream. Go, me!

Some of the blinds were still closed, which was a big clue, so when I opened them, I wasn't surprised by this:
But it does give me the creeps. I mean, just look at it!
Okay, I hadn't been too surprised by anything yet. I still hadn't screamed. However, my confidence was not growing because I knew, I just knew, something diabolical was waiting for me somewhere in the house. Last year they got me with the toilet lid. I still hadn't been to the bathroom, and by now I needed to go, so I crept ahead cautiously. Closet? All clear. Mirror? Nothing. Toilet lid? Blank.

I stood in the middle of the bathroom and turned a slow circle.


It was in the shower!!!!!!
Dang, they're good.