Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Broke it

Shane has heard my lament over the past seven years ... well, more like the past five years ... that I need new glasses. Not that I'm so stylish or anything that I need to replace my glasses, but because after seven years, lenses get scratched and yucky. And now, the world looks cleaner, however fuzzy, without glasses on than with them on.

But I've been in some state of trying to conceive or being pregnant these past seven years that I had to put the thought of an appointment on hold. But now that Erin's here, I figured it was about time to get these peepers checked.

I had made and rescheduled two appointments over the summer when our sitter canceled on us. It was a disappointment because I thought I was so close to actually getting this done. And as I continue on this journey of fuzziness, I feel that it's just like the pastor said and that we see through a veil in this life. Oh, how true.

But then as I jumped online to check e-mail today, I hear Erin's sweet voice coming around the corner saying, "Broke it. Broke it." She comes into the office holding out what she needs me to fix. And wouldn't you know, it would be my glasses. She snapped them right in half at the bridge piece over the nose.

I gasped a little too audibly, startling her. And she covered her face and cried, "Glasses! Broke it!" And I held her close and comforted her. "I love you! I forgive you!" I told her. And wondered, what will I do? I'm serving at Lanie's school all day tomorrow. I actually have to drive my car. On the road. With other drivers. And my kids aboard. I am near sighted.

I balanced the smudgy parts on my face. Maybe some scotch tape will do. Will have to do. So if you see me around, I'm not trying to make a fashion statement. Fortunately, Shane reminded me that I have prescription sunglasses. Fear not, world.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Making an entrance

When we moved here about eight years ago, the builder put in a landscape package in the front of the house. It was just your basic, no frills kind of thing. The walkway was flagstone pavers lined up in a row.

Over the years, bag worms killed an evergreen that was planted alongside the house. Shane managed to destroy what the bag worms didn't kill with his incessant pruning. We had some lovely junipers (ground cover whose fingers gently stretch and reach). Had is the key word. As the junipers tentatively reached to touch the flagstone, Shane took his shears and chopped off their curious digits from leaving the garden bed. At first, I was disappointed because I like a naturalized look. But there was no point in aching over it. What was done was done.

Some time later, I noticed that the holly bushes featured a summer buzz cut. And the once carefree junipers had been shaped into circles. Shaped. Into circles. This should not be! Fortunately, we decided our eighth year here should be the year to make over the front of the house.

I don't have before pictures of the flagstone, or the slightly bowed porch. I almost wish I had taken pictures of the massacre Shane had made of the bushes and ground cover. I don't know if you'll believe that he could do such a thing. Just remember, I've described him as orderly, neat and tidy. In fact, when we had a landscaper come out to draw us a garden plan, I found myself telling her what Shane would want over what I thought we should have. I explained what he had done to the juniper. She looked disturbed by this. We both shared some awkward, nervous laughter over it. When I asked Shane to give me a brief description of what he wanted to achieve in a front garden, his words were, "uniform, orderly, green."

My word was "charming."

Here's a before shot (we had the walkway replaced and the front porch made over at this point. Shane had taken it upon himself to remove some of the bushes. These others were red tagged for removal by the landscaper.)

And here's the after. I'm actually very happy. Shane got lots of uniform, slow-growing, round green things. I got a white flowery crepe myrtle that has an interesting peeling bark. And purple cone flower for color.

The kids and I had a nice, fall afternoon to enjoy the landscaping.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I you

There were four people in our bed last night. I was cozy in the middle with Erin on one side and Lanie on the other.

Erin woke up in the middle of the night and wanted a drink. I looked over at Shane. He had the easiest access out of the bed, but he was snoring away. So I tried to get around Lanie, since she's shorter, and go do a milk run. Erin cried, "Come!"

"Ok, you can come," I say and pick her up. She cuddled up against me with two Noonoos in hand. I hoped she wouldn't drop them, because nothing wakes you up faster than squats at 2 a.m. I rubbed my cheek against the top of her head. I knew it would be an hour before I fell back asleep, but it didn't matter. I was just overcome with love for this little girl.

"I love you, Erin," I said, kissing her head.

"I you," she said.

The sweetest words to my ears. Makes it all worthwhile.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Summer pix

Lanie picking berries. Erin picking berries. Lanie on swing in summer.

Making chocolate chip, white chip cookies. Cookie monster love. Erin's ready to ride.

Play-doh. Big backyard. Summer sliding.

Shane's goatee--Lanie called his whiskers "spikes." Goofing around with camera. Erin playing.

Hoping you enjoyed the last days of summer. As much as I love all the season has to offer, I am looking forward to fall and jeans, sweaters, pumpkin food and apple cider.

First day recap

After dropping Lanie off at school, Erin and I did a grocery run. Shopping with one child goes faster and I didn't spend nearly as much as I normally do. Erin amused herself with my cell phone, figured out how to do video and laughed as she video recorded me shopping the aisles. What's next, kiddo, text messaging? She pretended to call Lanie many times.

When we got home, it was just the two of us. We played on the playset, had fun in the sprinkler, and took the afternoon walk to get her to sleep. I had to stop nursing Erin a month ago to prepare for a mammogram this fall. The result is that she has become much clingier to me, must fall asleep on top of me. Walks have worked for afternoon naps and it's good for me to get out in the sunshine.

Picked Lanie up from school. She came outside all smiles, wearing her backpack with a green balloon. Very cute. She stopped short of my car and just stared at me. So I jumped out (rather immodestly, still in bathing suit ... and shorts.) and just scooped her up in my arms. She was happy, but she didn't want to let go. I got her settled in the car and heard what a great day she had.

She learned "Itsy, Spitsy Spider" in Spanish (she has always said it that way!), saw friends at lunch, played outside for awhile, and voiced her apprehension to me of next week's activity of making quesadillas. "The teacher is going to make it with water and flowers. And then she puts cheese on it. I'm not going to eat it, though, because I don't like flowers."

"I'm pretty sure she'll use flour. Like we do when we make cookies and bread. Probably not flowers."

"Oh, ok then."

When we got home, she wanted to play in the sprinklers, so we did. She had two crying moments in the evening, but they were really brief and only surfaced when she felt frustrated at getting her clothes turned into the right side. I think she was just working out nerves from the day.

I got a big packet of mail from the school, including a daily sheet from the teacher detailing what they did that day. What a fabulous first day! We start homeschooling in our new books today. Hurray!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First day of school

I woke Lanie up at 7:15 this morning. She had forgotten it was a school day. When I told her it was time to get ready for school, she was all smiles and jumps. She got dressed, cheerfully posed for pictures, ate some breakfast, and we were out the door.

Shane met me at school. We walked her in. She sat with her classmates in the auditorium/sanctuary. She looked so tiny in the chair, in that big room. I didn't think I would get emotional, because I'll be homeschooling her three of the five school days. So I'll see plenty of her. But seeing her tiny body sitting in the front row, her backpack on, her face uncertain but brave--just tugged a bit at my heart.

I hugged her close, "I'll be praying for you all day. And I will be thinking of you." She hugged me tight, her fingers scratching at my arm a bit--her only outward sign of nerves. I stayed in the back of the auditorium during morning prayer and devotion. I watched her walk off with her class. Love you, Lanie.

I told her last night as I tucked her in, "I'm so very proud of you. You have a wonderful heart and a sweet soul. You make me so happy. I am so proud of you to be going off to kindergarten tomorrow. And I can't believe the day is here already. You are so big." She smiled her halo smile at me ... the kind of smile where her teeth sparkle little stars and she looks so proud.

I'm excited to hear how her day went. What a great start to a new season of her life. Thanks, God!