Friday, August 22, 2008

Summertime Melting Away - A Week in the Life

We are in the good times in Seattle this afternoon. After a week of sketchy weather and apparently more to come, we have a sweet, warm, sunny day. On the drive to St. Edward park this morning, there were some ominous raindrops on the windshield and clouds in the sky. But then it cleared and the kids and some friends had a great time at the park, the big kids mostly very high in the willow tree - well, especially Lucy.

We had a characteristically busy week, in spite of the drippy weather. Summertime is so beautiful and so much fun, but frankly exhausting for some reason. We are on the go non-stop. I have no one to blame but myself of course. I don't know how to avoid it - it all seems so good and right in theory but add up the items on the schedule and it becomes burdensome... And at the end of the day - or sometimes in the afternoon, like right now, I'm tired!

This week, we did take a break on Monday which was pretty rainy. I made a lame attempt to get the kids outside in the rain, but no one was geared up for it, really, so after floating down the block part of the way, we headed back for a day at home. As I recall the kids got into it a bit and I internally resolved we would get out more the rest of the week, rain or shine. Actually, no, now that I think of it, my mom ended up dropping by during J.'s nap and spent a big chunk of time playing a game with Lucy and then reading the kids books while I made dinner for our friends Betsy and Frank who came that night to pick up Jasper's crib and changing table which they bought from us. Mind you we have no other bed for J. yet. He started out on the crib mattress on the floor, but that doesn't work because he rolled off of it repeatedly so Rob or I would find him sleeping in the middle of the floor several times per night. Now he is in the pack and play and that is ok until we work something else out.

Then Tuesday, we spent a heavenly day at the Carey's house in West Seattle. Melanie + Me, Lucy + Sophia, Jasper and Owen even occasionally playing together. It was good. Melanie and I noticed that Sophia and Lucy look like sisters. Lucy said, well, we also love each other like sisters. And Sophia agreed. Most unusual part of that visit is that Jasper actually napped in a pack and play in Melanie's room. I just plunked him in with a few of Owen's books to peruse and then he nodded off to sleep. Amazing!

Just when I think J. might be done with naps, we have a week like this where he's napped every day and seems so happy and even and more peaceful. I hate to admit it but sometimes the boy bites, head-butts, kicks, pulls hair, etc. Mostly Lucy is the recipient (often after provoking of course), but occasionally other kids and once or twice me. It is usually when he is tired that he does it. He was much more mellow this well-rested week.

Tuesday night, I enjoyed having Rob home since badminton was cancelled that night and I snuck out for a walk with my friend and neighbor, Jen and her super-cute Theo who is one. One yr olds are the sweetest, I must say...

Wednesday, I needed some exercise so we head to the gym (it was cloudy and cool). Kids were in childcare while I did a dance class. Then we all went swimming and Bianca and her gang (Nathalie, Juliette, and Sebastian) joined us. Bianca and I mostly chatted in the hot tub while our children swam and ran feral around the pool area, pissing off all the elders in the pool who didn't care for the noise, commotion or chaos the kids were making. Oh, well... We did somehow survive that, got all five children showered, dressed and out of there without getting hit by a cane or a restraining order. Miraculous now that I think of it...

Kids and I went home, lunched while Jasper slept in the car and then went out again, met Dempsey and his mom Zu at Top Ten Toys and reconvened at a coffee shop (for those of you who are Seattle-ites, that is the afternoon it really rained hard). Dempsey went to school with Lucy last year. He's a cutie-toot in my opinion and Lucy digs playing with him. He keeps trying to engage her in wrestling, Ninja-looking stuff (even doing the Hy-yaa sounds in his falsetto voice) to which Lucy responds by staring at him in her typical cool-as-a-cucumber fashion until he stops and they return to some more civilized play. Jasper also had fun hanging with them while I drank decaf Americano and got to know Zu more - Dempsey's very slender, green-eyed, single mom who is a guitarist in a punk-rock band and also in a heavy metal band. She appears super dooper hip to me (although I am pretty unqualified to even identify hip, much less be it). When I am with her I feel like June Cleaver, well, that is if June Cleaver had worn ill-fitting clothes and rarely showered. Zu likes Dempsey to play with Lucy so she puts up with me.

Thursday we started early with a 9 - 11 am playdate at our house with Willie and Amy. Willie is a little boy we've met through homeschooling circles. Lucy and he get along and I enjoy his mom Amy - who is an occupational therapist at a local alternative school and who shares my background in yoga (we know all the same local teachers) and who is generally a kindred spirit. Amy likes to hear about all the stuff I'm doing with Lucy for homeschooling. And, guess what? I like to have someone to talk to about it all - especially someone in the biz, so to speak.

Too soon, we had to kick them out and dash over to a 7th birthday party of another fellow from Lucy's kindergarten - Nathan who likes to watch movies, play with fake guns and swords and uses phrases like "fuckin' idiot" occasionally to impress his friends and their parents. I really like that guy. His favorite foods are tomatoes and avocados. Jasper and Lucy and I ended up there for almost four hours, me chatting with his mom and also getting to know him a little better by watching him running around with his friends. Jasper was the only little kid, but seemed right at home and the other kids were sweet with him. I realize Jasper is getting very used to just hanging out with Lucy-sized and -aged kids.

We came home and crashed. We were recovered enough today to pick up Lucy's friend Sophie and meet Bianca and her gang again at St. Edward Park. And now Sophie and Lucy have been playing and playing here at home while Jasper sleeps. I forced myself to tackle a chore or two between reading bits of a New Yorker article about Burma, then finally felt inspired to blog... Did anyone make it this far? If you did you may also like to know that the fun will continue with a swimming party tonight. Addendum: I am so glad we made it to the swimming party out at Colman Pool - gorgeous evening, heated, salt water pool right on the Puget Sound in West Seattle. We almost didn't go b/c of the overscheduled issue, but this outing was worth it. Tomorrow, the marathon continues with a music "festival" in the afternoon at our friend's house and a friend's 40th birthday party in the evening night. And hopefully some time in there tomorrow to hang with a just-visiting-for-a-day cousin. Plus Rob is going to pick up a new batch of kid furniture at 7:30 am in Snoqualmie (Craig's List, my friends - solid pine stuff - we'll let you know what it really looks like).

This has been how our summer has been more or less. I think our "school" schedule that starts around September 2nd will feel a bit more mellow...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Berries and Babies

I promise I am going to get back to blogging regularly. I want to but summertime torpor has taken over a bit around here. This is also evidenced by an extremely untidy and fairly unclean house.
We had a visit from my college friend Lucy Lincoln. Lucy L. lives in London now with her husband on a boat on the Thames - with their seven-month old slice of heaven - Tallulah Joy. She truly was a joy... Lucy Elizabeth and Jasper were smitten.
In other news, we have somewhere in the neighborhood of forty pounds of blueberries and raspberries in the freezer. We're ready for the big one...