Friday, August 31, 2012

Hellos and Goodbyes

It's been a banner week, with lots of Hellos and Goodbyes.

--Hubby's car required a crap-ton of $$$ to repair the exhaust system, officially giving the car a vacuum attachment to our bank account.  The car is ten years old and has 128K miles.  Time for a replacement!

--  Said "money-pit" car was replaced with a "new to us" Volkswagen Jetta.  So far we're very happy.  :)

--Will said goodbye to preschool and hello to full-day kindergarten!  Here he is on his first day.

He was super-excited the first morning, ready with his backpack and new Mario Brothers lunchbox for the bus stop half an hour early.  He also loves his new afterschool arrangement.  The only person not happy with the arrangement is Sean, who insists that "he wanna go kinergahden too!"  Patience, sweetie.  Patience.  We, though we know that this is a "honeymoon phase" are absolutey thrilled that he is loving it! And will ride that feeling for as long as possible. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Classic Movie Night

#49:  Watch five movies from the American Film Institute's "Top 100" list. (2/5)

We had friends over for dinner tonight, and afterwards while flipping thru Netflix Streaming we decided to make it Classic Movie Night.  Perfect!  We settled on "The Graduate" from 1968.

What a great movie!  We all loved it, and agreed that we should do this again.   The music (Simon and Garfunkel) the plot (recent college graduate is seduced by father's lawyer partner and best friend's wife, then falls in love with his daughter) and the end (I'm not going to spoil it for you!) were riveting.  Young Dustin Hoffman was a fantastic actor, and people my age may recognize a young "Mr Feeney" playing his father.  They simply do not make movies like this anymore.  It's a damn shame.

Now that we know that Netflix Streaming has a "Classic Movies" channel, maybe I'll see even more than five of them!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Aliens in the Water Dish

We're conscientious people.  We keep a menu and two shopping lists on our fridge.  Make a nightly to-do list to get a little housework done during the week instead of slaving through Saturday and/or Sunday, resetting the house to order.  Oh, who am I kidding?  There is no order, there is only lesser chaos. 

Oh....clutter.  I hate you, clutter.  I hate how you have a way of sneaking up on this house when it seems that all is well and under control.  Because for every corner that gets organized, every section that is stripped of its belongings and re-ordered, there's another hot spot garnering activity.  For every floor vacuumed, there is more cereal dropped on the floor while the boys are enjoying breakfast over "Disney Junior."  Start the laundry on a Tuesday?  Fantastic.  You will come upstairs to five mismatched, clearly dirty socks flung into the far corners.  It's like they have feet of their own and scurry out as soon as their buddies head down to the washer.  The family room, which was long ago destined to be the boys' domain for their toys, looks like a combat zone.  Flung toys in every direction, there's so much going on in there it's almost impossible to use the room to PLAY in.  And last night after letting out Joey and he was in taking a drink from his bowl, I noticed that the bowl that he was drinking from had a plastic "Toy Story" alien in the bottom.  Poor Joe-Joe, he took it in stride and just kept on drinking.

I think the house is under siege.  Clutter and toys are winning the battle.  Save's too late for me.  :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Different Proud

And today I am a proud parent of both a kindergartner and a soccer player!  (Hint, both are the same kid.)

We made a family trek to the local sports store so that we could take part in their "Youth Soccer Appreciation Day" and get discounts on all of Will's soccer supplies.  Half an hour later he's the proud owner of a ball, cleats, shin guards, soccer socks and practice shorts.  It feels like I was shopping for soccer stuff for myself just yesterday....and here we've come, full-circle.  Oh, I hope that he likes it!  It's our first real dive into organized activity and he could definitely use the structure and socializing skills.

Later on, just Will and I headed to Target for some back to school stuff.  Or in his case, "first time to school" stuff.  Picking out fall clothes for him was a challenge this year.  Why the heck  can't boy sizes be like the baby and toddler sizes??  It was mind-blowing, trying to figure out what would fit and seemed to take forever.  But we're home with three bags and that's one more thing to check off our to-do list for this weekend.

My big kid....growing up.  It didn't really hit me until we were in Target today.  And I'm powerless in stopping it.  It's what you want, of course, but oh my goodness.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Insanely Proud

Last week at work, I hosted a short "coffee hour" for residents to get to know each other better.  And since we're going to be working together for a very long time (read:  I'm not leaving til I retire) they got to know me a little better too.  We talked a bit about where we were from originally  and about our families.  I briefly mentioned that my husband is finishing up his Master's Degree next week.  Someone asked me where he went to school and one person (the sole man living in the building, it really is kind of a henhouse) said "You must be so proud of him for attending _____.  That is a very distiguished university!"  My reply was something like this, though condensed:

"Actually, I'm insanely proud of him, period.  After HS he joined the Navy and worked as a nuclear reactor operator.  After we got married he worked nights and went to school days to get his Bachelor's Degree.  And then, with a toddler and baby at home,  he worked full-time and did night classes to get his Master's Degree."

While going through the motions of all of that, it doesn't seem like a lot.  But seeing it written down for posterity, it clearly WAS a lot!   He went to school days while I was at work, then worked nights while I slept.  It was a long four years of shiftwork, feeling like two ships passing in the night.  His first week of classes for the Master's was also Sean's first few weeks of life.  It felt overwhelming at the time, having a toddler and a new baby at home while he was going to school.  Two nights a week, out of the house.  Studying and homework on other nights and weekends, too.  Having to let things fall by the wayside, like landscaping or puttering in his workshop downstairs.  Planning things around the school schedule.  Bringing homework on vacation.  

Today was his last class.  It's done:  Master's in Information Technology earned.  He's happy to be done, and me, I'm just incredibly proud that he did it.  I know that there was lots of times when he took a look around and considered giving up.  But he didn't.  I don't know if I could have done what he has done.  

Well done, darling.  The boys and I are so very proud of you.  You did it!  

Ravellenic Wrap-Up

The Olympics ended on Sunday with the closing ceremonies, which I kind of forgot were on.  Usually Brian and I are into the coverage and watch as much as we can, but there was just so much going on this time around that we didn't see as much as we wanted.  I did get to see the Womens' Gymnastics win a team gold though, and Gaby Douglas take the gold for the Women's All-Around.  Woo hoo!  I bought the People magazine with her on the cover this week, I find her story to be inspiring and can't wait to read more about it.  And of course, Women's Soccer won gold, and Women's Water Polo as well.  What a year for US Women in the Olympics!

Anyway, back to the Ravellenic Games.  Gymnastics has their "Fab Five," and I give you the "Elite Eight."

Eight snuggly baby hats, to warm up eight newborn babies, to be sent to my favorite knitting charity, Stitches from the Heart.  That means a gold medal for me!  Well, it's a blog badge.  I don't care, I'll display it proudly!

My Marrowstone Shawl was a no-go.  I got the lace edging done, and it is beautiful.  But with work and kids and vacation and everything else in this thing called Life, I just didn't have the time to dedicate to it.  This wasn't a good choice for a project that had to be started and finished in seventeen days, it requires a bit of concentration.  It didn't help that I downloaded the pattern while scrambling to pack for vacation, and the Games started that week of vacation, and I didn't review it enough.  I can admit it, I failed!   The shawl will get finished "someday" as I would really like to have it.

As for the Day Zero List Item of participating and going for gold, I can cross it off.  And I even will get another crack at it, with the 2014 Winter Olympics.  NEXT TIME, though, I will put a lot more thought into it and prepare better. 

What's on the needles now?  I finished part of a baby gift last night, but it's super secret til her shower.  I have to finish up the "Baby Sophisticate" sweater, it still needs a right arm and a collar.  Oh and buttons!  I got the sweetest Owl buttons at Webs in June.  After that will be my niece's first birthday present, which is coming up in November.  And then it's all about Christmas.  Gotta make all the things!  :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just Say Yes

One night last week (Why does it seem all of my blog posts are starting that way lately?)  Hubby was at school, and it was just me and the kids.  We'd had a nice supper, and were just relaxing.  Will says "Momma?  Can we go to the dinosaur park?  Please?"

Normally, I'd say no.  Not on a weeknight.  The dinosaur park is only up the street, but most nights I'm already spent by the time I get home.  And seriously, there's clean-up to get done:  the floors haven't seen a vacuum in over a week.

But I didn't say any of that.  I took a look at the kids' wide eyes and hopeful faces.  And I said Yes.  Yes, let's go to the park.

At first I didn't think  that they'd heard me correctly.  But the chorus of "Yea!" after that meant a lot.  I insisted that we had to take the double stroller, as I'm having some trouble with my leg and couldn't chase Sean like usual.  Both kids wholeheartedly agreed and waited patiently in the driveway while I wrestled the "Sit n Stand" from my car.  Lots of happy chatter on the way there, and upon releasing them they both raced for the slides.  It was a gorgeously cool night, and the boys played for about half an hour, giddy over the fact that they were at the park on a weeknight.  They slept like rocks that night and were in good spirits before bed too.

Summer is fleeting.  This time next month, Will's going to be in school full-time, Sean will still be in daycare all day and it'll be getting dark after dinner.  I was glad that I stuffed down the "We can'ts" for a night and just get out there and enjoy the summer that's left.

After all, we all know that the house will still be dirty tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Things have been so busy lately, in a good way.  It's been leases, and new tenants and all the busy things associated with being a property manager in a brand new building.  Lots of kinks to work out but so far, I love it here and I think that the residents do too. 

We all need a little fun, not "work work work" all the time.  This past weekend, I went out with my college girlfriends for our annual "Salve Girls Night" trip.  This year it was in Newport, and I had forgotten how much I love Newport!  I hadn't been there in the summer since I was a kid, and it was certainly bustling with activity.  It's always so great to see my friends, and I wish it could be more than once a year.  This year we included kids (though mine stayed home) and made an afternoon of it.  At the end of the day, we decided that it should be Newport every year.  :) 

Then on Saturday, it was a knitting retreat.  I invited all of my knitting group friends to my mom and dad's cottage in Woodstock, CT.  Three came down to spend the night with me and Mom, and we grilled dinner together and knit til midnight.  The next day another person joined us and we had coffee and pastry by the lake and enjoyed some more knitting.  It was so wonderful, knitting for hours, sleeping til waking naturally.  I came home refreshed and relaxed. 

And then WHAM!  Back into another hectic week.  Will started a kindergarten orientation program this week, and so far he loves it.  Anxiety has not reared its ugly head, and this is a blissful thing.  In fact, he's so thrilled with his "taste" of kindergarten that he's ready to make a whole meal of it.  This was Nana's explanation to him when she picked him up yesterday, and I think that it's perfect.  Sean is jealous of kindergarten and every morning tells me how much he'd rather go to kindergarten too.  Poor buddy, wants to be just like his Bubby.  They are certainly in such a hurry to grow up. 

In a nutshell, things are crazy.  It's a good crazy though.