Sunday, May 21, 2017

Up up and away

This morning I dropped all four kids off at the sidewalk leading to the Sunday School building. Two of them spilled out of the car carrying their shoes under their arms. James helpfully offered to drop Mary off. I try to avoid walking the puppies across the crazy parking lot because it's hard and scary, so I typically drive them to the sidewalk. But I've never dropped Mary off like that. And normally they have their shoes on. It probably looked like I was surrendering them.

Later during the service, Wes managed to get himself stuck in a folding chair (our church has movie theater chairs in the back, which I hate because the kids can't sit in them normally (SPOILER ALERT). I was already kind of annoyed and willing myself to calm down and enjoy the music (it was a special music Sunday) when I looked over to see Wes looking at me with tears in his eyes, willing himself not to cry, which must have been hard because HIS ENTIRE LOWER BODY WAS STUCK IN A CHAIR. His legs, which were bent sideways at the knee, were jammed down inside behind the folding seat of the chair. The music was so pretty as I tried to wrench him free. He wouldn't budge. As quietly as I could I motioned to my friend Rosa that I needed her to send her husband up to help me. Unfortunately, they couldn't figure out what I was saying. Fortunately, Wes somehow got himself free while I pulled on his upper body. I tried to stomp out of the sanctuary in a huff, but the kids were confused and no one followed me. I reluctantly sat back down. I'm glad I stayed because Charley got WAY INTO the African-American spirituals were were hearing.

The music was the best. But I was a giant stressball. Naturally I self-medicated when I got home.

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We watched a ton of TV and then I told the kids to get the heck outside and run around. Mary came back in shortly afterward because she got hit in the mouth with a doorknob and we distracted her on the couch with an ice pack and some (more) TV. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I turned around to find Wes getting his TV fix from the window (CREEPY).

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We brought the old couch to the new house finally and put it upstairs in the second living area, which we think of as the kid living area and it looks weirdly tiny. It's a really cozy room now. The kids and I did stories on the couch up there tonight and it was the best.

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Last night I went to my friend's graduation party and came home with a big box of mini sandwiches that I packed up after she encouraged me to take some leftovers. #noshame

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Charley and I ate all of these for lunch.

OH, and did I mention? Friday I got back after spending a week in El Paso LAUNCHING WEATHER BALLOONS.

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It was such a cool workshop. And El Paso is lovely. The mountains were the best. I had no idea. You can even see Mexico from parts of the campus. Incredible place. Really great data discussions every day and of course, we launched weather balloons.

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Mexico

And after five years of hurricane fieldwork, which often involved wet clothes, long days with no electricity, and fire ants, a field project where you can have warm cookies delivered to the launch site was downright refreshing.

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They asked for volunteers to keep an eye on the equipment between launches so they wouldn't have to break it all down. We were happy to oblige.

And now I'm feeling all nice and motivated to power through the rest of my six week summer research time. And the kids get out of school in FOUR DAYS. Let that sink in. Gah. I'm trying not to let it sink in too much because then I would panic about how I DON'T HAVE CHILDCARE LINED UP FOR NEXT WEEK. I'm sure something will come up. Like my blood pressure.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Alert: WE HAVE TV AGAIN

I picked the kids up at 3:30 like always and somehow we made it three more hours before James calmly announced to us after dinner "Guys, I have something I want to tell you." and when we all stopped talking and looked at him he said "I went up a level in reading to a Level C." We immediately jumped out of our chairs and showered him in hugs and kisses while he did this cute little giggle thing he does when he's proud. Last night he did it when he made it through a whole Scooby Doo book by himself and Wes got so excited for him he gave him a huge bear hug. He's been working hard all year and we are so excited for him.

Also, on Friday, I was supposed to pick Charley up for a doctor's appointment at 11:30, but after sitting through 40 minutes (normally 10 mins) of traffic due to SIX BRUSH FIRES that started on the side of the EXACT SAME stretch of highway I needed, grabbing Charley at a run, and careening across town, I got a call that I had made a mistake and the appointment was at 1:30 instead. Naturally I took Charley for a taco and then ran him back to school for an hour and a half. The good news about that is that I got to see James's diorama presentation that I thought I would have to miss. He was SO SURPRISED when I walked into the classroom.

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Also on Friday: the kids and I checked out the pool for an hour and then went home for pizza and a movie. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief and contentment when I fired up the TV and our four-week Jobian struggle with no TV was over.

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As we were leaving the pool James said "When we get home can we put on our jammies and get all cozy and watch a movie?! OOH, maybe it will RAIN! That would be the BEST!" Also when I posted this picture on FB everyone was like "Hey! That's a nice room!" and I was like "YOU GUYS. FOCUS. THE *TV* IS BACK.

Saturday was graduation! I love graduation.

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I thought we could have a lazy Saturday afternoon after that but by four o'clock James and Wes were literally beating each other (with pool noodles) while Mary jumped up and down and screamed while waving a cinnamon raisin bagel at me (presumably because she wanted me to toast it? I'm not sure because I refused to try and guess until she CTF down, which didn't happen until she fell asleep several hours later). I had just finished screaming for everyone to get in the damned car and was completely out of sorts when I emerged blinking onto my driveway still barking orders about the car and the pool bag when our new neighbor approached me to tell me he'd paid his lawn guy to do our yard too as a welcome to the neighborhood gesture. SO NICE. I made sure to thank him a second time this afternoon when I was slightly less wild-eyed and sweaty.

Kids and I did a little grocery shopping after church on Sunday.

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And then we went back to the pool because it's like four-hundred feet away from the new house and it's the only thing Charley's allowed to do that everyone else enjoys (I was dying to take them to see Beauty and the Beast but Mary is kind of a handful in movie theaters).

Sunday afternoon we went to Ryan's choir concert at church, which the kids found particularly enthralling.

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And today worked started back up for summer resesarch, which means last week was the least relaxing "break" EVAR.

I also rowed this morning, which meant that I got up at 4:45 and so am feeling QUITE tired. So I will see YOU later.

Friday, May 5, 2017

This month is one for the record books re: COMPLETE INSANITY

Wow, you guys, I knew it was a long time since my last post, but I had no idea that it was nearly a MONTH ago. To be fair, this month was a ridiculous shitstorm of appointments, work, housework, and doctor's appointments. All of that would have one day long ago been great blog fodder, but now just renders me semi-conscious at the end of the day and things like being witty and having perspective just seem too hard. BUT! Here we are.

Also, the new house does not have internet yet, which (clutching pearls), yeah. It should be installed this afternoon and I really want to hassle Ryan about setting up the TV after that but he is busy getting the other house (AKA "our nest egg") ready to go on the market (next week) and I feel like my need to watch Parks and Rec while I fold laundry takes a backseat to financial solvency. Also I haven't been doing laundry because while we were doing a last walkthrough before closing I saw AN OWL crawl into the dryer vent from the outside of the house and I do NOT want to start our new homeownership by accidentally cooking Hedwig or starting a fire.

Let's back up a bit though to explain why Ryan and I have been going through pounds and pounds of coffee and bottle and bottles of alcohol in the last month. Pretty much only those two things and some sandwich takeout thrown in when we're feeling hangry, actually. Last weekend went as follows:

Wednesday: Something related to the old house--carpet guys maybe? Followed by giving an exam. Was supposed to be followed by the kids' student led conferences, but I nearly had an emotional breakdown due to the tight schedule, made other arrangements for the conferences then texted the nanny and asked her to take the kids for a treat and spend some time outside instead of rushing them all over the Austin Metro Area trying to make All the Appointments. Then we had a doctor's appointment for Charley, drive through dinner, and a two hour choir rehearsal.

Thursday: I packed. And cleaned. And packed some more. Walk through of the new house. Wes's rescheduled student led conference. Something else I don't remember.

Friday: CLOSE ON THE NEW FREAKING HOUSE. Have milkshake for lunch. Start moving some of our crap belongings into the new house. Have weird slushy afternoon with kids coming and going and eventually LEAVING FOR A CAMPOUT WITH RYAN while my mom and dad and I packed up as much as we could, assembled bunkbeds, and met my amazing friends for "The Worst Party You've Ever Been Invited To," which was really the goal I had worked towards all week. We took three minivans with the seats down over to the storage unit and loaded up as much as we could, then dragged it all into the house, ate a ton of Chinese food and beer, and got the kids' rooms ready for them.

Sidenote: I have amazingly helpful, wonderful friends. Friends who couldn't make it Friday have been stopping by with dinner, offering to help move a truck/van load of stuff, putting ALL the kids' clothes in their dressers then breaking down and removing a carload of boxes. It has been awesome. It's like when you have a baby and your village rises up around you and supports you. Except this time my nipples aren't bleeding. Yet.

So this is what my old house looks like without six people living in it!

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It's kind of hard for me to be there right now. It's like when you break up with someone. Even when you know it's for the best, you still need a few months before you can run into them at the store without it being weird and sad.

It looked kind of sterile so I added a rug and a dresser with a lamp on it to be a very awkward focal point for the living room.

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This is the view from the front door of the new house. It makes me happy every time I see it. Not sure if it comes across here, but the kids have made approximately ten trillion paper airplanes and thrown them over the railing on the landing of the second floor. This will be charming and amusing for about six more days and then it will be infuriating.

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My favorite room and the picture that makes me do a triumphant fist bump because THE GREEN COUCH TOTALLY MAKES THE ROOM. (Did we talk about the green couch yet? Because I randomly bought a green couch from a trendy hipster house on Craigslist and then brought it home excitedly to show Ryan who paused for a long moment then said carefully "I love you and I trust your vision." He just looked at me quizzically when I enthused "It's from *FOUR HANDS*!" Now he's just as in love with it as I am.)

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MY BOOKS ARE OUT OF STORAGE!

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WE HAVE CURTAINS IN THE BEDROOM (thanks to me, because Ryan was working at the other house and I got sick of undressing in, basically, an aquarium every night).

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No explanation required.

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The convalescent was getting super grouchy on moving day so we took him out to the porch to watch birds and he came back in A NEW PERSON. Fresh air, it's a thing.

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I packed my wedding dress, which seems to have shrunk in the closet.

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Several friends admitted to thinking this was an apron when they scrolled past the picture in my FB feed, which, admittedly, it kind of is now.

First breakfast in the new house!

IMG_20170430_070858387 Table has now been moved back into the kitchen because OMG STOP EATING CEREAL OVER MY BEAUTIFUL CRAIGSLIST RUG!! Other table currently at the old house for staging purposes

I turned in my grades on Tuesday, which I completed DURING MY LAST EXAM by grading each exam AS IT CAME IN because, as you know, this week has been COMPLETELY INSANE, and immediately went to eat a giant BLT with a fried egg on it and a glass of sangria, because OBVIOUSLY.

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And in other news, Charley got his cast off and ditched the crutches and his mood is 6000% improved.

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That's all for now. More later on how the new house echoes so much I can hear Ryan opening a beer in the kitchen from my bedroom and how we socially aggressived the neighbors and now they are our friends.