Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Beautiful Day

So starts another beautiful day here in this new life which is so completely comfortable. I was walked out to the chicken yard by the two cats who were playing together all the way and the two geese who were trying to get a little of the chicken bucket action. The chickens flooded gratefully out of their coop and did some low stunt flying around their yard, I guess they are still only adolescent birds after all! The sun is just appearing over the trees, there's a soft breeze, the goldfinches are making a ruckus in the thistle and the girls are still sound asleep. Bliss, in other words.

We were off-island this weekend to see our old SMA buddies L and A and their sweet little boys. It couldn't have been a more American style backyard barbeque and although everyone seemed at ease it was still a little weird to see these guys out of Mexico. It was like their auras were flashing morse code about needing to get back to Mexico or something. Not that I can see auras but you know, you could just tell.
We also did some poking around at kitchen stores to get some ideas for countertops and layouts. We did come out of it inspired and with a fresh bead of energy to get to work on the place. We also bought some fancy dishwasher drawers to use but canceled the order when we got home and read some reviews about repair rates and quality. It was a sexy moment though, the thought of those fancy-pants appliances. In any event, we've got an almost complete floor plan for the space now that feels really good and functional so it was all worth it.

The girls are doing great. The Bunny is so excited about getting back to school. We bought her the typical batch of pencils, erasers, folders emblazoned with Miley Cyrus etc. and she spent a couple hours arranging and rearranging her pencil box and backpack. She has been assigned to the teacher she most wanted and drew this adorable picture for her, telling her how she'd been praying to be in her class. The spelling is heart-stoppingly atrocious but it's cute and I figure it gives the teacher a good heads up on where to start.
I had some parental pangs of knee-jerk "Hey! What's my brilliant kid doing in that class??" when I saw that hers is the split 1st/2nd classroom. Seeing as she's already done first grade twice but last year's teacher assured us she was head and shoulders above most of the class in reading and writing and basically everything but math it struck me as worrisome that she'd be back in a classroom, again, with kids that may not know how to write all their letters yet. And since she's one of (if not the) oldest kids in her year it also seems like an odd decision to put her in a room with kids who may be as much as 2 full years younger. So I will contact the teacher and ask these questions, but the Bunny is so over the moon happy about this teacher I'm not inclined to make a real stink unless the teacher says "Oh I have the class for cut-ups and dopes and she'll fit right in/she's there to be an example."

The Raccoon meanwhile is in preschool a couple mornings a week and LOVING it. Her best mornings are those when I ask her if she wants to go see Miss Summer. And this weekend she started using her potty! I honestly can hardly believe it though I hope my incredulity isn't showing. She just seems so young to be there. But she went to school in undies yesterday and did very well apparently until after lunch (not too surprising). We just bought another mega pack of dipes of course but I'll happily donate them to the Family Resource Center if she sticks with it. And her birthday is coming up. She does love her buddies at school so this year I don't think I can shrug off a real party. The Bunny has been buzzing around with her clipboard for weeks asking me if we should go with chocolate or vanilla, kitten theme or puppies, in the house or outside, with the water slide or no. I am a little hesitant to invite other toddlers over to our so-not-childproof home but it does feel like a bit of a failure to do this at a local park. So, TBD.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Post Marathon Void

Did I really finish a marathon? Can I even claim to have run it seeing as I had to walk so many stretches of it? That was it? If I could do it, anyone could, nothing special. I guess it's a familiar sense of let-down to anyone who has been preparing and waiting for something exciting to happen after the event is over and unfocused life resumes.
It reminds me of childbirth, you focus for 9 months on this moment that you suspect may be to most difficult ordeal of your life, physically, emotionally. Then it happens and in the moment you're there, living it, getting through it. Maybe it doesn't go as you had hoped but there is little hope of fixing it in the moment, you just have to adjust to endure it. And then suddenly it's over and you're on the other side. You're a new person or at least you're told that you are. But life keeps on rolling. Maybe you get a day off, the rest of the day anyway, maybe the day after. But then, before you've had time to reflect on what just happened, there are things to do, new responsibilities to accept and you're off. And all that preparation seems like it was a lifetime ago, did you really even do it?

So now what? Well, I've got a list of course. During all those many hours of plodding around the roads I had many ideas come and go about what next. Let's see

  • Get certified as a lifeguard and help out at the pool
  • Focus on Taekwondo
  • Meal planning
  • Take the Bunny to see Wicked for a girls' weekend in Seattle
  • Watch every soccer game
  • Pick as many blackberries as humanly possible
  • Learn how to can food
  • Pick all the peaches and plums before the critters do
  • Help the Raccoon get out of dipes
  • Spend more time on the boat
  • Go camping with the kids
  • Do more bike riding with the Bunny
  • Ride my own bike w/the trailer more
  • Focus on strength and toning losing about 20 pounds in the process
  • Volunteer at school
  • Take the EMT training course
  • Finish the freakin' house!
That last one needs it's own special list. My Dad has been here for a little over two weeks and in tat time he has been busy improving our comfort levels significantly. He's built nesting boxes for the chickens, a treehouse and a seesaw for Chiara, he's built me a cabinet for my fancy wall ovens and helped us finish the last bit of the deck which had been untouched since last summer. He hung towel racks that had been in boxes since last fall and installed netting over the chickens to dissuade the eagles. All of these projects had been languishing hopelessly and now they're done! Now, can Dh and I keep the momentum going? We don't have much a of a track record. Before we had the kids we could grind out some real projects and did, but that was a long time ago now and our rhythm is way off.
But here's a list, just to help me focus;
  • Design and build posts/bookshelves for the living room
  • Sand and refinish the basketball court floor
  • Install the floor
  • Finalize the layout for the kitchen
  • Build the counterspace needed
  • Install the cooktop
  • Find a better kitchen sink and reinstall with sound plumbing
  • Rip out drywall ceiling in kitchen, rewire as needed and install tongue and groove/beadboard
  • Choose, order and install trim on indoor doors and windows
  • Choose order and install trim for exterior doors and windows
  • Paint exterior
  • Rebuild missing gable on front of house?
  • Build raised garden beds, in back for herbs and lettuce, in front for everything else.
  • Build garage/barn
  • Finish getting mega trash pile to dump
  • Get rid of the Pinto
  • Find appropriate hardwood for stairs and install
  • Install railing on stairs
  • Recarpet upstairs
  • Rip out crap tub and toilet from girls' bathroom and install decent shower.
  • Build a dock for the pond
  • Make decent paths to the front and back doors
  • Build walls for pantry and broom closet
  • Reconfigure laundry area to make space for folding clothes
  • Find and install woodstove before we need it
  • Figure out a convenient place to store the wood for it
  • Build the half post/bookshelves for both entrances
  • Get the Raccoon's bedroom ready for her to use
  • Paint fun kid stuff on the walls of the playroom
  • Make the downstairs guestroom into something functional
  • Install pedestal sink in ds bath
  • Finish pocket door
  • Install doors on interior doorways
I'm sure there is more.