Archive for June, 2015

Saturday afternoon

One of several sad-looking patches in our backyard. And my shadow.IMG_0716[1]

And then Molly doing something.

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And a little bit of color. I’m hoping they last the week.

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So far

We’ve been in our little gem of a money pit on the busiest street in America for a little over a year now, so I think it’s time to post a list of things that we’ve done or had done to the house so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment (instead of my too-common feeling of will-we-ever-get-anything-done-on-this-house-before-we-send-Molly-off-to-college). These are just things that would stay with the house if we moved, not decor-type things. Here goes (and in no particular order):

  • Driveway partially repaved
  • Fence completed
  • Sump pump installed
  • Trim painted
  • All rooms painted nicely (thanks AO), except the guest room and the sewing room
  • Blinds installed (except in a few rooms)
  • 4 garden boxes made (thanks AO)
  • AC fixed
  • One medicine cabinet added to the master bath
  • Leaky bathroom fan fixed

Hmm. What else? I honestly thought there was more. Although many of those things — ahem, sump pump — were an awful lot of money. Here are the things we still want to do (because I apparently want to overwhelm myself this afternoon):

  • Landscaping
  • Tree removal
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Paint the fireplace, retile the floor around it and install a mantel
  • Make the attic space an inviting play room
  • Redo all of the top light fixtures (they’re total ew!)
  • Expand the master bath
  • Paint the sewing and guest rooms
  • Clean out and prett-ify the porch
  • Repave rest of driveway
  • Rip out deck, put in slab and have screen porch built
  • Possibly restain the floors

Not too bad, right?

Transitions

I’m not so good with change. Since about February, I’ve been wrestling with the knowledge that Bear will switch classrooms next week and I haven’t handled the news all that well. In September, when she started in her current classroom, she was supposed to stay there, with all of her pals, until the end of August. But they decided to change that because, they said, all of the kids were ready for preschool. Deep sigh. I was ok with that, I guess, but I wasn’t really ok with the idea that she is being split from her bestie and instead being placed in a classroom with her mortal enemy (too strong?). You see, in Montessori schools, or at least in ours, part of the emphasis in preschool and school-aged kids is on mixed-aged classrooms. The idea is that the little ones learn from the bigger kids and that all of us really learn best by teaching others, so the big ones learn from helping their littler friends. While I love this idea in theory, recently it’s hit me how scary this is for me. Bear will now be with kids ages three to six and she will be one of the youngest. And her best pal will be in the classroom next door. She happily announces to me, “I’m going to Classroom Two!” all the time, and I now know (or think I know) that she understands what this means because she has visited the new classroom several times. But I’m unsure that she understands at all how her day will be different. The summer will be, I suppose, a nice transition because the classrooms will be smaller and all of the kids will be in the outdoor space together. But still. It’s a big change. She loves her friend so much and in a way that I think is rather rare for three-year-olds. I don’t think they stifle each other, but instead encourage each other to try new things and grow. And really, they’re just so sweet together. I will miss seeing that. It’s been such a lovely part of my day. It’s something I didn’t really anticipate as part of parenthood: seeing your kid love another kid. It’s really neat.

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So maybe I’m just being selfish, but I keep hoping that something will change. That someone will tell me that they’ve decided to keep the girls together afterall. I know I just need to pull myself together and recognize it’s going to be ok. That she’ll be ok. But still. Why can’t good things just stay exactly as they are? Why is the one constant change? It’s so annoying.

Click!

Andddddddddddddddddddddddddd ……………………. we’ve plugged that cord back in. Tee hee. We were not long for the cord-cutting world, it seems. Actually, I think we could have lasted longer than (just shy of) two months, but the only other internet we were able to get was a super slow AT&T product that comes through the phone line. The phone line! Talk about the dark ages, ammiright? Anyway, so we’re back to being slaves to Charter, but we have cut our monthly bill by about $100 a month, so there’s that. It’s a weird game these crazy kids want you to play – cutting service and reestablishing service – but if it means saving money, getting HBO AND a DVR, I’ll play it. Now I can’t wait to get home and watch some telly!

There’s gotta be a word for it

Ok, you know schadenfreude? I feel like this is similar in its perversity, but it seems to be self-punishing. Only I kinda enjoy it. What am I talking about? The act of purposely reading things that annoy me. For example, I pretty religiously follow this religious (ha!) parenting blog that I find beyond annoying. It’s preachy (ha!), poorly written and pretty smug. And yet I read it. AO seems to think I’m nuts when I rant about how obnoxious it is. It’s not like I have to read it. But I know that he reads lots of things that he knows are going to annoy him but he seems to read them because he wants to be annoyed. Like the Republicans explanations for the WEDC. Ok, maybe politics isn’t a good example because we should all stay apprised of what’s going on whether it’s going to annoy us or not. What’s another example? Hmm. Oh! He will read Doug Moe’s columns and then make the same criticism of him every time: He thinks he’s Mike Royko, but he’s not. And I’m not picking on AO. I’m just trying to prove to myself that I’m in good company. Or here’s another example that I think a lot of us do. I’ll read the comments on an article and I just get more and more annoyed but I don’t just stop. (I actually think newspapers should just do away with this feature altogether.) What is the word for this behavior? Am I deriving pleasure from being annoyed? Is it unhealthy? Or is it part of human nature? Or both? I feel like some of you may say, “Kate, the older I get, the less apt I am to concentrate on things that annoy me or make me unhappy. Just don’t spend your time that way.” And you know what? I get that. I do. I’ve become better about doing that in some things. And yet. I still read the damn parenting blog. I just want to know what the word is.

UPDATE: Or more, a clarification. I’m not referring to, say, watching Ann Coulter and getting annoyed. Though, if that’s your thing, then that’d count. I’m pretty good about staying away from things that will serve only to drive me completely batty. I’m talking about watching (I realize I said reading above, but it doesn’t have to be reading) or reading or listening to things that you take some sort of perverse (too harsh?) pleasure (too pleasant?) out of disliking. To me, it’s sort of like how Terry likes to email and text about how annoying Taylor Swift is. Why is Terry spending any time on Taylor Swift? I can’t imagine she comes up that much in her everyday life. And yet Terry can’t stand her and wants to talk about her. Totally normal! I think a lot of us have these things. Maybe not the more enlightened among us (not that you’re not totally enlightened, T), but a lot of us.


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