Friday, July 20, 2018

Summer: Wed., 7/18 and Thurs., 7/19

Wed., 7/18

Girls had art class, I did a lot of packing for the upcoming beach vacation, and later in the afternoon we went to the library and the pool. We ate dinner there. L&G were having so much fun I felt terrible for telling them it was time to leave at 6:15.

Thurs., 7/19

More packing. I'm also preparing for Lucia's Book One recital tomorrow. Lots of logistics. Tonight I had a sitter for the girls and a friend and I went into the city to see Dear Evan Hanson. Such a great show. And fun to be in the city spontaneously, on an ordinary night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Summer: Tues., 7/17

BEEPING WOKE ME UP AGAIN AT 5 A.M. I THINK ANDREW IS GASLIGHTING ME. At 5 a.m. I was on a chair in the hallway, pulling down every single detector off the ceiling (why do we have so many detectors?? what are they detecting??). And then at about 10 a.m. THERE WAS MORE BEEPING. So I pulled down the detector in the downstairs hallway. If there's more beeping tonight, I'm taking down every one. Every. Single. One. In. The. House. And I'm going to put them into a bag, and tie the top, and smash it all with a hammer, and put it out for the trash, and not replace them.

This isn't a new problem. Unidentified, middle-of-the-night beeping is A Thing in our house. A few months ago it was several nights of this, until Andrew discovered a forgotten carbon monoxide detector plugged in behind my office door. There is nothing, nothing, more frustrating.

A stormy stormy day meant no pool, but L&G were happy to have a day at home after their art classes. We had lunch and then made a trip to 5 Below, which I'd promised--a bribe to get Greta to re-learn the piano pieces she'd forgotten. We'd been lax in doing her review pieces during every practice session, and she just...forgot them. Completely. French Children's Song--gone. Lightly Row--gone. And she didn't want to work on relearning them. There was a lot, a lot, of whining. So, a bribe. There was still occasional whining, but by gum, she relearned every song.

At 5 Below, both girls picked out a furry notebook that looked like an animal face, and a blind bag of two mini Fingerling figurines. They were really excited about all of it, and spent the rest of the afternoon building an elaborate pillow fort and playing with the tiny Fingerlings and the larger Fingerlings they got for Christmas (and hadn't looked at since). The Fingerlings even helped Greta practice piano later in the afternoon. She insisted that the larger Fingerling stay on, chattering, even while she was playing; and if you're able to play Go Tell Aunt Rhody with a battery-operated monkey chattering, laughing, and making kissy noises in your ear, you can safely say you know the piece well.

I made an actual dinner for dinner: maple dijon chicken legs (slow cooker) and roasted sweet potatoes with cranberries and walnuts. I hate cooking so so so much.

We finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today--L&G loved it--and started the second Pippi Longstocking book. Both girls chose to write for their pre-bedtime reading time (they get quadruple library points for writing). Lucia's been working on an All About My Monster book, based on the clay monster she made in her polymer clay class last week. Each day's addition is based on whatever clay project she did that day in class. ("My monster likes writing with a clay pen.") Greta tonight began a book detailing every one of our Cabbage Patches, which meant she had to ask me how to spell every single Cabbage Patch's name as she wrote them out in her stapled-together book.

A new addition to the endless bedtime ritual is the whispery, hysterical bathroom stage, after I've tucked them in and gone downstairs. They both sneak out of their rooms and go into the bathroom--and though they both do actually go to the bathroom, it takes forever as they become more and more hysterical; tonight, when I finally intervened, Greta could barely stand up she was laughing so hard. Who knows what they're laughing about; "Make sure you fly!!" she screeched to Lucia as I led her  firmly out of the bathroom, and I could see Lucia, who was sitting on the toilet, begin wildly kicking her feet, scream-laughing. This is bedtime.

The pool is great but it was nice having an unformed day.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer: Mon., 7/16

Andrew left early this BEEP BEEP BEEP morning for yet another trip to California BEEP BEEP BEEP. Oh, sorry, those are just the annoying middle-of-the-night BEEPS that seem to happen any time Andrew is out of town, from the smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector, waking me out of a deep sleep to which I'm unable to return. Fortunately, it happened last night (3:45am and 6:30am) when Andrew was still here, and he was able to take down the carbon monoxide detector that was the culprit.

The girls had art classes this morning (this is the second of two weeks of the session). I picked them up at noon and we went directly to the pool, where we ate lunch and then spent the afternoon. It was a blazingly hot day, and the girls had lots of fun swimming (as did I). Greta ran into a friend from kindergarten, and the friend and Greta and Lucia played for a long time. Usually it's Lucia who runs into friends, so it was fun for Greta to have the friend this time. The girls got a treat from the snack bar during the afternoon and kept swimming. We left around 3:30.

They'd worn themselves out with all the swimming, so we put on all the ACs upstairs and had a little rest/reading time to recover. Then both girls practiced piano and then played in the basement for a long time. We had dinner and read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And that was the day.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer: Sun., 7/15

I went to yoga this morning for the first time in ages. It was hot and humid outside and even hotter (of course) in hot yoga and I sweated up a storm. Felt good to be back, though. We spent most of the day at home--the girls were involved with all kinds of different toys and drawing, I started organizing my sewing supplies, and we even got outside to do some bike-riding practice. There was a tiny step forward, both girls managing a bit of pedaling on their own with Andrew running along beside them. By "a bit" I'm talking like one second, but that's one second more than we had yesterday, so. Greta has boldly announced that she's going to learn before Lucia. The gauntlet has been thrown.

We all got very very hot later in the day and even though we were approaching dinnertime we decided to go to the pool. Andrew hasn't been swimming even once yet this summer and L&G were so excited to have him there to do the Dad things--throw them up in the air, swim races, etc. He went down the waterslides with them too.

After an hour or so we can home and had leftovers for dinner. Andrew helped L&G pick a couple of the leftover crabs from last night.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Summer: Sat., 7/14

The kids slept late on Saturday--Lucia didn't get up until 9:30am. Once everyone had breakfast, we went to the turnover sale (again). Didn't find too much except a gaudy light-up Christmas decoration, a couple of frames, and a few more fabric remnants. After lunch, I volunteered at the library book sale for a couple of hours, my first time as a Friend of the Library. It was pure organizational rapture. I parked myself in the children's/young adult book area and organized the heck out of it, separating chapter books from picture books, reorganizing the rolling racks, and neatening up all the boxes of books. I felt myself sink into a calm, zen-like state. My mind was at rest. The sale books have never been so organized.

We spent part of the afternoon futilely trying to move the bike-riding forward with the girls. Andrew is trying to teach them according to a video he watched that requires first removing the bike pedals so the kids can learn how to coast and balance; but the pedals wouldn't come off the bikes. He borrowed an outgrown bike from a neighbor, and the pedals came off but the seat is too high. We have not moved forward at all. We are all frustrated. Now Andrew's leaving for another week, which means if we want to engage in further teaching in the next few days, it's on me--and I'm terrified I won't be able to keep them upright if they start to tilt. And Lucia's piano recital is Friday, so she can't break an arm even more urgently than she usually can't break an arm. I scoffed at a friend's mention of a local bike-riding consultant who can teach kids in 30 minutes, but now I'm thinking that might be money well spent. Fun times. 

The rest of the day was spent preparing for the third annual Hickory Crab Fest, a tradition Andrew started--he loves picking crabs and a Baltimore-raised neighbor of ours always helps him organize a dinner for neighbors. We set up the patio, Andrew went to Newark to get the crabs, and everyone brought sides and drinks. After dinner we sat around the fire pit. A fun night that came to an end when a thunderstorm rolled in almost exactly at midnight.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer: Fri., 7/13

Another fun day of art classes. At home we had lunch and read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for 45 minutes--they're really into it. I'd forgotten how wonderful it is. They played inside for a while, I sewed a dress for Lucia's Cabbage Patch Preemie, Joanna, and then the girls went outside. They went to get their Flash Riders out of the garage and complained to me that something smelled really terrible. (When Andrew got home tonight, he confirmed that something has likely died in the garage and he'll have to search for it tomorrow. Welcome home!)

Around 4:30, the girls and I went to the pool for Float Night, which is held every other week or so. On this night you can bring any float you want to the pool. L&G have giant donuts. It's crazy, with the pool crowded with wild floats (giant unicorns, peacocks, flamingos, all kinds of giant foods), but really fun. (The lifeguards hate Float Night--there are about ten of them positioned all around the pool, and a few are even IN the pool, keeping watch for kids who get stuck under the floats. I can totally see why floats are banned on ordinary days.) Lucia ran into a couple of friends. The evening was mild, and after an hour or so both girls got cold, so they got out and had a snack. Andrew arrived at the pool in an Uber from the airport, and we all drove home together.

We scrounged a dinner of leftovers and a few crackers (WELCOME HOME ANDREW!!) and then Andrew relaxed into home life by taking a couple of kitchen drawers out to retrieve some trapped tupperware while I went to Target. A couple of days all together and Andrew will be off again, leaving me and the girls to make our peace with what is surely his secret second family on the West Coast. What-ev. He brought all three of us cute, small Japanese Disney plush, so we'll forgive him. For now.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Summer: Thurs., 7/12

Another full day. L&G had art classes in the morning, and piano lessons after lunch. We went to the pool for a while, though the day was milder than it has been. I let the girls get ice cream bars from the snack bar, and then we went home for dinner. A neighbor had her Suzuki Book One recital tonight, so we went to that.

After the kids went to bed, I became immersed in my new hobby, sewing. All I want to do is make things. I made two lined tote bags.

A nice day that galloped right along.