Monday, March 31, 2014


We're winding down after a weekend of birthdays. We're starting spring break. I haven't been dreading this spring break the way I normally do. Not sure if that's because I na├»vely expect it to be better, or I haven't had time to think about it, or I've just given up feeling overwhelmed. I suspect that it might be the latter. There's a definite theme of surrender that came with the third child.

There are no photos of the lego-table-birthday gift. Because I didn't finish it. Story of my life. I think a lot of my frustration in my current life, (i.e., since becoming a parent,) revolves around being unable to figure out how to do the stuff that I want to do. Agh. I seem to remember that accomplishing stuff started to get easier around the time that Mattias hit 18 months. I'm waiting for Trixie. Not so patiently. I will post the lego table, when I finish it....

My aunt got Noah and Mattias kites for their birthday. Noah really bonded with his. Mattias is still a little young. But here's my suggestion: get your 7 year old a kite. SO FUN! (Take better photos than me.) Also, finally, a way to enjoy the wind! The wind always catches me off guard, especially in the spring, when I'm ready to be outside. There's something aggressive – almost violent – about the way it whips around our neighborhood. Last week, the boys had an indoor OJ stand because there was no way to keep the glasses standing upright in the wind outside. Unfortunately, the location negatively impacted sales.

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Do you remember this phase? When someone is always holding onto your pants, or trying to get into the trash cupboards? I'd forgotten. Ah, looks so harmless in the photo!

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This last photo is my favorite from the last week. We got a second car last year. At the time, I thought it was a highly impractical two-door. Well, the funny thing is, it's actually not so impractical. Sometimes, I find it easier to get the kids in and out of this car than our station wagon. However, more importantly, the boys think our second car is the coolest car ever. Mattias got a model version from Oma and will not put it down. Look at that grin. Hilarious.

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Coming up for air

Hi there! I'm back. Did you miss me?

This week concluded my excursion into the school volunteer world and finds that my feelings about volunteering haven't actually changed all that much since I wrote this. I guess I thought maybe volunteering would be something different! a nice change of pace! Turns out, life with three kids, one of whom is home with me full-time, is no more conducive to volunteering than life with was with two kids (with one at home full-time).

I was teaching an architecture class at the school for 2nd and 3rd graders. I had Big Plans. I had to lower my expectations. And lower them again. Working with "older" kids was a change of pace – and it was still crazy. I think 16 seven- and eight-year-old boys was about the same energy level as what I have here at home (with three kids of different ages). Now that the class is over I'm relieved and happy and thinking about how I can make it better next time. There's definitely room for improvement. But in the midst of my 4 week volunteering stint, it was pretty stressful around here. It wasn't just the teaching and prep time, it was other things. It may be a while until I take this project on again. We need to regroup. I need to regroup.

We are now heading into Wyse family birthday season. Four birthdays in 5 weeks. This year, we're keeping it simple. That means we'll be having family birthday parties, just the 5 of us, plus my aunt and uncle, who live in the area. I have to confess that I love family birthday parties! It's not that I don't enjoy getting together with all of our friends, its just that I think it's so easy for the birthday party to balloon out of control with expectations. So far, neither Noah nor Mattias think that they are entitled to a big birthday party; we're running with that.