Totally Busy and also Boring

Well, there is a lot of stuff going on around here, but it’s mostly boring.  It’s funny, people ask me what I’ve been up to, and there is just nothing to say.  Some of my honest responses include “laundry” and “picking up of the poo” and “cleaning.”  So fun.  Are you jealous out there?  You know you are.

I’m being sarcastic, of course.

(To some degree.) 

Summer has begun, and it has not started with much of a bang.  Ella has been sick.  So there has been no pool, and no sprinkler, and no scooter and no bike riding.  Boo!  The poor little girl is just not feeling well.  And the other natives are getting restless because to be honest, I am a boring mother.  There is only so much fun I can provide when I’ve got a mountain of laundry and a mess of a house and a sick little girl. 

The good news is that this will pass, and in the meantime, we are dreaming about summer and how much fun we’re going to have.  And also snuggling a bunch. 


Totally Busy and also Boring


So here it is, September first.  There is no nip in the air, however.  Unless 97 is considered nippy.  Which I’m quite certain it is not.  (I’ve noticed lately that I use the phrase “I’m quite certain” rather frequently.  I haven’t decided whether it is annoying or not…)

This morning on the front stoop a black cat sat, watching the four deer eat all  my plants.  I would like to know why she didn’t scare off the deer.  Yet there she sat…watching.

I stood there, looking out my window, staring at the deer, staring at me.  It is strangely paralyzing to stand ten feet from a doe, with her staring at you, all the while chewing with fervor the delicate buds of your flowers.  And yet I did.  Perhaps the cat had the same strangely paralyzing feeling I did…

The Man, however, was not paralyzed, not even slightly.  He threw open the door, at which the deer and the cat all flew off.  When I complained, he said he wanted the deer to know that it was not a friendly yard.  I said I am quite certain that they feel it is very friendly indeed, what with the spread of flowers and other delicacies of nature’s bounty we’ve laid out for them all summer long… 

It is hard to believe that autumn is right around the corner.  Last night The Man and I watched a little bit of college football.  Even the sound of ESPN’s college football theme music can throw me into an autumn frenzy.  Thoughts about Thanksgiving and menu-planning, wool sweaters, rosey-cheeked Christmas tree hunts, warm fires burning, leaves changing color and yes, college football, have been tip-toeing around up in my noggin for a few weeks now, even as I try to eek out the last of summer’s thrills.  I can’t help it.  I’m an Autumnmaniac. 

But for today, we will revel in summer’s blessings, seeing as how it’s 97.  So we’re going to pack up some lunch and head to the pool.  We’ll come home, hang our towels on the deck (which I know is probably a violation of  hoa rules and I don’t care), have some lemonade and watch the day wind down.  We’ve noticed it getting darker earlier.  I think it’s mother nature’s way of calming us down…telling us it’s time to settle in.

Enjoy your summery Wednesday, everyone!


What a summer day causes me to do.

Yesterday was a good day.  Not that it was perfect.  Because it was not.

Kate and I came home from our fancy hotel stay and went to Mass with the family.  This is something we are trying desperately to enjoy.  However, it is never quite as enjoyable as I think it is going to be.  Somehow, in a week’s time, I forget how miserable I was at Mass the Sunday before, and I delude myself into thinking that it is going to be so nice to go to Mass all together, with the boys in their khakis, and the girls in their dresses, and we are all going to be happy and holy together.   And then Sunday morning comes, and William complains about having to wear khakis.  And Ella complains about me brushing her hair.  And then we get to Mass.  And the complications begin nearly immediately, with someone complaining about where they have to sit, and someone touching someone else’s book, and someone whose legs are so, so sore that they just can’t possibly kneel.  And I tell them that if they don’t kneel, that another part of them is going to be so, so sore that they won’t be able to sit.  (I actually don’t say that, but I heartily think it.)

On this particular day, we didn’t even last until communion.  I walked swiftly out of there, with Ella behind me crying (as loudly as possible, I think) “No Mommy!  No Mommy!  Nooooooo!”  Like I was going to beat her or something.  Sheesh.

So we get outside.  I realize that I don’t have the car keys, and it’s too stinkin hot to sit in the car without it running, so we stand there.  There is a statue of the Virgin Mary to the side, and I decide to take Ella there and maybe the Virgin Mary will spread some grace over her (that is possible, right?).  People have left money there.  People have left flowers at her feet.  I look at her face, and kneel down to pray.  I showed Ella how to fold her hands, and together we prayed Hail Mary.  I prayed for patience, and grace.  I nearly wept about how lovely my life is, even when it seems so frustrating. 

We finally made it home, and The Man made lunch.  I ate peanuts.  Isn’t that a healthy lunch?  Then I put sunblock on all the kids and we headed to the pool.  There was of course the usual bellyaching about the sunblock that takes 40 minutes to apply to four children, and the usual dash for towels.  William must be certain that he gets a striped towel and not a polka-dotty one.  Heaven forbid he have to dry off with a polka-dotty towel.   

I wondered about my life.  I spent a lot of time wondering, this day.  Did we make the right choices?  Are we doing a good job?  When one of the children sass us, is it because we don’t spank them?  Maybe we should spank them.  Maybe we should put soap in their mouths.  Maybe hot sauce (someone once told me to try that…).  I wondered if we would regret not travelling more…not eating out more… 

I watched the kids swimming with their friends.  I watched the dads playing with the kids in the water.  I sat with Ella on the pool steps.  There was music playing at the lifeguard stand.  Mostly some awful country songs (I’m not a fan, sorry), but Ella was enjoying it.  She danced. 

“I love your dancing, Ella.”

“Oh, thank you, Mommy.”

I think in that little exchange many of my answers came.

We came home, put on some dry clothes, and went out into the woods to gather some branches for the fire pit.  We roasted hot dogs over the fire.  I served watermelon in chunks.  No forks.  The juice ran down their chins.  It ran down to their elbows.  It dripped on their shirts.  I let them eat as many chips as they wanted.  Together we drank an entire pitcher of lemonade. 

Poor Ella was completely spent.  So I took her inside to clean up in the bath.  Is there nothing more wonderful than clean child, fresh from the bath?  Wrapped in a warm towel, I held her and dried her.  I brushed her hair, and then we read a little bit of Olivia, and she was asleep by 6:40. 

When the others were finished with s’mores, they showered.  Kate and I took turns reading Harry Potter to the boys.  The Man and I tucked them in bed, and then we sat on the stoop together with a glass of wine.  There was this funny little wren that has built a nest in my planter.  Every time I water that planter, that little wren scares the pants off me.  Every time.  You would think that I’d learn, right?  Anyway, we watched this little wren.  We were clearly cramping her style, and making her very uneasy.  We watched as small bats flew around the sky, swooping and climbing.  We talked about how much bigger the bushes were than the last time we’d sat out on the stoop with a glass of wine.  We decided that we would do this every Sunday, until it got too cold.  And then maybe we’ll sit in front of the fire on cold Sunday evenings.  Yes, I like that idea very much.

Sitting out there, I realized that there hasn’t been enough of this kind of day lately.  The kind of day that we just play.  The kind of day that life is just relaxed, and fun, and not rushed and critical and rigid.  I know that can’t be every day.  I know that chores still have to get done.  I know that the kids can’t eat weenies and chips and s’mores and lemonade every night.  I know.  But maybe more frequently would be okay. 

So, I’m unplugging for the remainder of August.  We are going to play, dammit, if it kills me.

See you in September…

What a summer day causes me to do.

A Good Day


We blew bubbles.

Um, would you look at her?  Oh my.  And the strawberry eyelashes?  It’s like staring an angel in the face.  I think.

We climbed trees.

We played basketball.

Can you see all those little things floating around my boy?  Those are annoying gnats.  But don’t they look lovely in a photo?

There is ALWAYS some type of ball left out in my yard.  Why is that?

We gazed upon the flowers. 

“Hello Mr. Bee” she says.  I taught her that.  She understands, as I do, that bees are just delightful, happy little creatures.    

I love bumblebees, don’t you?

We had ice pops, too.  But I have no pictures of that.

If this is what summer is going to be like, I wish it would hurry on up and get here.

A Good Day


It rains. 

Of course it does.  I have had the sprinkler going for 2 1/2 hours.  So naturally it is going to rain. 

I see the polka-dotted deck, sigh and head out to the garage to turn off the sprinkler. 

I stand there, watching the soft rain.  There is the promise of a storm behind it, but for now, it is soft. 

There is that smell, the unmistakable smell of the rain on blacktop in the summer.  It is not a very lovely smell, but it is a pleasant one.  It evokes contentment in me, and reminds me of times when I didn’t worry about my hair getting wet, when I would come inside soaked, with wrinkled fingers and toes, and bits of grass clinging to my bare legs.     

Outside, there is the muted rumble of thunder, and just above that I can hear the patter of raindrops on metal gutters.  It is calm. 

So I sit there, in my garage, and watch.  I watch as the rain falls.  I watch as the robin hops and listens.  I wonder where on the sidewalk the last dry spot will be.    

I see cars driving, and I wonder where they are going.  I remember that my dinner is made and I am not going anywhere.  I long for this feeling to be more constant.  This feeling of freedom, of contentment, of rest.  I long for summer.

I long for summer’s pink shoulders and popsicles.  I long for its mornings of nothing, its lunches at the pool, and its afternoons with no homework.

I long for its barbecues, its bumble bees and its veronica and lavender.  I long to sit in summer’s sun, blowing bubbles and sipping lemonade. 

I long for afternoons like this, for summer storms, and for no place to be other than here.  With them.


Where I’ve Been…

Well, last week was kind of rough.  (I feel like I say that a lot.)  But anyway, Ella had what William had.  And what Henry had.  Only Ella did not do a whole lotta the sleeping thing.  Ella did a whole lotta the fussy thing.  A WHOLE LOTTA the fussy thing.  So I was a little busy with the fussy fusser.  

Sunday we did finally get to have a little fun and spent about an hour at the pool until the sprinkling started.    


 Oh, Summer, you are good for the soul. 

Where I’ve Been…