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{Saturday, August 24, 2002}

Yadda Yadda Yadda

Post-kids my brain dimmed and I didn't have a running commentary going through my head all of the time. But *now* post-blogging, I'm back to it - mentally documenting all of my thoughts. Of course, I haven't reached the point where they stay with me until I sit down to type them. Perhaps in time. Either way, it's both a blessing and curse. A blessing to realize I have some functioning brain cells remaining and a curse because it's tiring to think all of the time.

The dog tonight, was hysterical. We moved Jennifer's papazon (sp?) chair into our room because I just could not take him on our bed. I feel sorry for him because he's been depressed, but not *that* sorry. So, the chair is in there now, with Jennifer's left-behind afghan on it. He hops up tonight and THROWS himself into digging and rearranging the covers until they are Just Right. I smiled at this, wondering how far back into the canine ancestry this behavior goes. I look over at him about 20 minutes later and realized that he's arranged his bedding and gone to sleep, *totally* on his back, neck jackknifed and mouth hanging open. The tongue isn't even out because gravity is holding it in.

At the busstop this week (sidenote: Going to the busstop to meet Emma each day has turned into An Event, which I hadn't anticipated. Both Morgan and Harley love the idea. Morgan even rides her bike with a drink for Emma in her basket.) we were waiting and Harley was doing his sniff-job in the patch of grass. Finally, he squats and pees (like a girl) and then prances around doing his I'm A MAN! scratching in the dirt all around his pee. Morgan, evidently having never seen this display before, says, "WOW HarLEEE!" Too funny.

Took two more boxes to Goodwill today, realizing on the way home that I'd forgotten one. Ah well, tomorrow's another day. Even listed two more auctions. If I can just get on a Small Roll with regard to listing, I'll be happy and satisfied with self. They'll add up and lord, I need to move the inventory. Steve claims I bring home just as much as a carry out, but I don't see how as I sell most of what I drag home and this shit I'm dropping off at the backdoor, it's all non-clothing shit. It's stunning - like WHERE did all of this crap come from?

Jennifer's mass exodus before her leaving really got me going and I'm still there. I'm still getting rid of things left and right, always having a Goodwill box going. I glanced up at the built-in china cabinet tonight and realized I have juice glasses. I have *never* drank one ounce of juice from them. If someone had had a gun to my head earlier, demanding the truth about my juice-glass ownership, I would have claimed, NO! no! I have none! And been shot in the head because hell, there they are. They're going. There's a lot more stuff....going. Hell, have to make room for the cobalt and cantaloupe colored towels I intend to buy when the eBay money starts dribbling in!

posted by Lisa 10:55 PM

{Wednesday, August 21, 2002}

Full Day Girl

[Taken from post to friends]

Today is Emma's first day. PUBLIC school. Yep, I did it. About two weeks ago, I started having doubts about my ability to homeschool well. Not the actual homeschooling part (I have no doubt that covering the academic rigors of K would be easily accomplished in 1 hr. a day) but the *rest* of the day. Emma was getting to the point of just rubbing her hair and lounging around all day, saying she was 'tired'.

Investigated a private school not too far away, no - no outside anything! They literally do *not* go outside for six hours a day. Um, no. Revisited Montessori option. Still half an hour away. That would be 2 hrs. in the car a day for Morgan, who would have to go with me to drop-off and to pick-up. No. Visited the local (5 blocks away) Lutheran private school. OH, so promising. Cute, little - 11 kids in each K class. Dreamy. Um, Jesus freaks man. In the streets. Another no. So, thoughts wander back to public school - the K-2 - 10 blocks away. Secular!

I had already registered her there in a bout of PMS last spring, so that was taken care of. One visit and I'd signed her up for half days. That is an option (they will even bring them home on the bus for half-days in K) and they put her in the class with the other half-day'rs. Steve, Emma & I went to orientation last Thursday. Ah, great teacher. Twenty-two years teaching, 15 in special ed - 7 in Kindergarten. Three kids, 5th grade, 4 years (adopted) and 18 mos. (adopted) and the kids are bi-racial she warned us, in case our kids came home and told us that they were black from seeing their pictures on her desk. Love her. Also a full-time Aide - so the ratio will be 1 to 11 in this class as well.

Yesterday was everyone's first day - half day for all. Emma was enraptured. She'd spent the whole weekend planning, pontificating, and telling me she really wanted to go full days. I countered with 'how do you know if you've never been?'. I can "really handle it mommy". In fact, the afternoons are the main free/play time anyway. It's lunch, recess, free time, story-time, rest time, etc. So, after yesterday's half day she announces on pick-up that she wants to go FULL DAYS, eat in the cafeteria *and* ride the bus home. Zoinks. [Steve laughed at all this.]

So, after serious counseling (i.e. you can't go back to half-days, yadda), I made the call and switched her to full days and added her to the bus list. She will ride home with all the little girls from next door, so that's not a big fret. We went and got her 'resting mat' from Walmart and put her lunch money in a wallet that Jennifer had given her. She was so, so, so excited. She drew herself a map of where her locker and room were (her locker is so tiny, hysterically cute), the map from the bus stop to home (1/2 block) and a map to the cafeteria, plus a drawing of a pepperoni pizza (today's choice). So, she's there now. Seems like it's been a looooong time since I dropped her off.

Morgan certainly didn't want to leave her there today. Steve was home yesterday morning so I was free to take Emma by myself yesterday morning for the First Day (so I could stay as long as needed). She is sitting in this little penninsula of tables with four other girls. One of them has a Dad who works with Steve. She broke into tears when her Mom went into the hall. Emma reported that she didn't cry very long. Emma was wide-eyed and a bit shell shocked looking but INTO it in a major way.

She seems to like (for now) what I hated - a schedule - people telling you what to do, etc. She was really very much needing a LOT more stimulation than being home with a little sister was providing. At least with *this* mama. I'm expecting her to be completely wiped out tonight, but we'll see.

Yesterday after I made the Full Day Call, I realized I'd have Morgan, alone, all day. Every day. Then I panicked a little. But, if today is an indication, Morgan is quite happy to watch the more childish shows that Emma rejected and to play, play, play with everything without fighting w/ Emma consistently. The lack of fighting was BLISS, heaven, absolutely wonderful. I didn't realize it was such a drain. Well, yes, I probably did. Soon (2 weeks) Morgan will start her preschool and will be gone on Tuesdays from 9 - 2 and then on Thursdays from 9 - 11:30 a.m. Friday's will be playgroup, as usual. I think it will work out well. Definitely a framework and structure in my life as it's never seen before with kids.
posted by Lisa 2:12 PM

{Tuesday, August 20, 2002}

First Day

It was the first day of kindergarten here. I was sharpening pencils and labeling supplies right down to the wire. We left with a few minutes to spare and were on our way. I told Emma, "Tomorrow we'll give ourselves a little more time to get there!" and she said, "This is tomorrow too?" with some alarm. I explained that it was every weekday, just like Daddy goes to work and Jennifer goes to school. She asked when Jennifer's first day was and I told her the day-after-tomorrow. She said, "That's two days!" The dropoff went well. More parents cried than kids. A third-timer and a four-timer knew this would be their last Kindergarten First Day and they were intensely weepy. There are five girls at Emma's little island. One of them is the daughter of a guy who works with Steve (she broke down on her mother's departure). The teacher didn't rush out any Mom's but was getting the kids involved and it was obviously a good time to make the move. There are two full-timers in there with the 22 kids. Nice.

posted by Lisa 4:17 PM

{Monday, August 19, 2002}

I just realized that I have the same Maternal Rule that my Mother had when I was a child. Do Not Get Into My Purse. My purse is totally sacred. Morgan is riffling in it now, looking for the Altoids. She's been distracted twice, once by the tape measurer (which she still has in her possession and I'll later find in a pile of dog poop) and once by the coins.
posted by Lisa 6:58 PM
Ah yes, I have made the gruel and it looks very good. Probably smells good too, but I can't be sure. Time is in some weird suspended warp here. Set the stove timer for 45 minutes probably 2 1/2 hours ago. Just went in to stir, confident the timer would be sounding any moment, alas 19 minutes left. Hmmmm. Double hmmm. Two glasses of wine down; considerably less concerned about nasal impairment and misery thereof. Better be careful or tomorrow will have cold from depths of hell *and* a hangover. Oy.

Poor Cokie - need to pay attention to him. Wonder how long he'll say, "Jennifer!"
posted by Lisa 6:52 PM
Have I mentioned that I am am so fucking sick? Gawd, I really thought yesterday would have had to be the worst day, but noooooo. Blissfully, today was Casey Day, so I slept from 10 - 1. After that, I got up and went in search of some new drugs, some that might actually make a dent in this beast. The Day-Quils were doing nada. So, Robitussin. Brand-name baby. Nothing. Zero - no noticeable effect at all. I did purchase some nose spray (I wanted the *most* addictive variety, those addicts know their stuff) and it did open my nasal passages so that more and more and more snot could cascade, shoot and flow down onto my skinless nostrils.

I'm trying a new approach tonight. I'm drinking wine. I'm going to drink a lot of it. Enough that I stop caring that I'm miserable. I think it may just be a good plan. Don't Eat So Much has continued today as I 'really' didn't feel like eating. Plus, all that sleeping ya know. Takes up the eating time. Today I've had about 30 candy corns and a sliver of cheese. And I'm not the slightest bit hungry. I am making chicken broth from pretend chicken sand and that does evoke a bit of hunger. I may prepare soup later. Or I may not. Depends on the wine.

We've just about completely forsaken the evening meal since Jennifer's departure. Plus, I've been trying to stop spending money on food 'out' so much (as is my weakness, I must admit; I love food prepared for me by others). Consquently, the kids have been eating a lot better. It does seem like they eat All The Time though. No real meals, just a flowing succession of snacks - raisins, cheerios, pineapple, peanut butter toast, string cheese, and on and on. I feel like a short order cook, but really - it does my heart good. I haven't gone so mainstream that I've purchased those pringles snack packs for 8 pringles and 4 oz. of landfill material. Apparently quite a few of the playgroup members are not well. Autumn has been puking and now has "explosive diarrhea" so hey, maybe I lucked out here.
posted by Lisa 5:21 PM

Wretched, dreadful cold. It started with Morgan, progressed to Emma and I about the same time. Both girls are have a much easier time of it than I am. Of course, I provoke my nose by blowing it - something that neither of them do. The skin on and around my nose is shredded. Morgan started the morning screamies at 4:10 a.m. so that was my opportunity to thrown down some more pills and slather my face in restorative goop (aka vaseline).

I did well on food yesterday, making myself pretend this was an illness that kills your appetite. Really, it isn't, but hey - I was too weak to prepare anything anyway. I did, of course, succumb at the end of the day to Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked. Didn't eat it all though - small victory. I also passed up, backed up and snatched some first-of-the-season candy corn off the endcap at Walgreens. Oh man, pure sugar. I ate about two dozen and my heart was *racing*.

The bathroom is really chugging along. In just the past few days Steve has layed all the tile, grouted the floor, installed the sink, installed the bead board, cut the trim, and last night, put in the toilet. It totally looks like a bathroom now. A dry one, but still the visual allusion of a bathroom. The hot water heater has been purchased (and the heavy sucker sits at the bottom of the stairs). I think plumbing is next. There are paint touch-ups, yadda, yadda, but basically the plumbing will finish it! Yee-HAW. Bathing - here I come! It's tight in there, but perfect really. I hate to think of putting in a cabinet and taking up any more space. But, of course, I must. Must have somewhere to stack towels and the clever container I got for the bath toys. Oh yes - the hardware we got for the bathroom is probably last on Steve's list. *Perfect* for this room.
posted by Lisa 8:29 AM