Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wedding Making Wonderland

October has long been my favorite month. It holds Halloween, a holiday that makes me giddy. It holds my birthday, an event that seems to be coming much too frequently lately. And this year it holds a special family wedding, that of my brother Alon and his lovely wife to be Jeanette.

Our family weddings have been serious fun and very little stress in the past and this one is shaping up to be much the same. For months my Mama and J have been working on the living favors and centerpieces made from succulents, her dress is being crafted by one of the coolest women I have ever met and I have been adding my own bit with a knit for her and some pants for the boys.
Wedding Shawl Progress

Yes, the boys are pulling their first stint as ring bearers.
Ring Bearer Pants

I am not sure how they will do, especially because their parents are going to be behind the cameras for this one….but I think at least they are going to look awfully cute.

I realized when I started trolling the net that cute semi-formal clothes for toddlers are very hard to find. Especially if you are looking for dark brown semi-formal pants, not the standard black. I actually never did find anything in the right color (lots of khaki, but no dark brown). So, I decided to see about making up a few pairs with the approval of the bride. J is the most casual of brides, stressed about certain factors but not at all worried about appearances. I located a pattern I have wanted to try for a long time, this one from Oliver + S.

Then I used my 50% off coupon on some nice bottom weight fabric from JoAnn’s and tried my hand at sewing real pants.
Made in a few hours

I think these have to be the cutest pattern I have sewn to date. I have read many times about Olive + S, every report a positive one. I knew from the minute I held the carefully packaged pattern that this was going to be fun. The sewing instruction is clear and easy to follow, the pattern pieces are easy to identify and it is actually turns out to be a very simple way to sew a great pair of pants. I had a great experience sewing both pairs of pants, you know it is a good pattern when it still feels fun the second time . I initially balked at the price, but now that I own it, I see the value in the investment.

A few notes on modifications. First, I converted the pattern from capri to pant style by extending the leg a few inches on my traced pattern piece. It turned out to create a nice leg width, no too tight, not too 70s bell bottoms.
Ring Bearer Pants
Ring Bearer Pants

On sizing, well, I am starting to realize my boys run small. Really small. I made the 24 months pattern and followed the instructions to the letter on the first pair. The back is conveniently elasticized, the measurement called for in the pattern is 9.5 inches of elastic to draw in the waistband. I used 9.5 but ended up ripping out the back seam and pulling almost 2 inches off the back elastic.

For the second pair, I placed a safety pin at each end of the elastic and then pulled the elastic through the casing.

I fit the pants on the boy (Owen this time) prior to sewing the elastic in. It saved a step of ripping and readjusting. I cannot say if the pattern runs big or if it I just that my boys are a bit on the wee side. Maybe a little of both.

The waistband is a super clever idea, the front placket buttons to the sides.

Ring Bearer Pants
Ring Bearer Pants
Ring Bearer Pants

Right now I am waiting on the executive decision by J for owl vs. plain buttons, but otherwise the pants are done. Three weeks before the wedding. Whew. I feel great relief knowing the small details can be done in a few minutes.

Ring Bearer Pants

Now, off to finish her wedding shawlette and find the boys some cream colored shirts and then I am all signed off. Except for the pictures.

I am so nervous about the pictures. Tell me it will be alright and I will shoot great photos, won’t you, dear friends? Here is a little peek at her dress fitting last week, made by her awesome friend Ramona.
Dress Fitting

Raw silk and handmade love, there is no better way to walk down the aisle.

I am excited about the bachelorette party this weekend, seaside with good friends. Yippee. Don't expect any shenanigans pictures, J is waay too low key for that. Or is she? Hmmmmm.

And for those that might be interested, total cost on the pants is 30 dollars, 20 for the pattern with shipping, 10 on the fabric with coupon (2 yds@5 bucks a yard). And about two hours per pair of pants sewing time. Not bad considering pants on JCP online shop were 25 a pop). (And the pattern just keeps on giving).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Version (Just Shy) 2.5

I wonder sometimes about the validity of these recollections when it comes down to it. It seems that Time assumes a new bending as you both grow up. Time, it just seems like there is not enough of it. And yet I look forward to the 7:00 o'clock hour when we tumble through bath and night time routine and we all fall exhausted onto the bed.
Park Play
Park Play

Why yes, I did say 7 p.m. Seems awfully early, right? Not if we take into account the latest twist in twin development, that of an almost totally dropped daytime nap. The horrors. It all started about a month ago, nap time started to become a struggle, especially for Tim. Shrieking and running in the small enclosure of the room became frequent, actual sleep started to become rare. When we both realized we were spending as much time going in and out, trying to get some type of settled sleep, some moment of peace but rarely finding it, well, we just said f-it. If they do not want to sleep, what is the point of forcing nap at gun point (well, not really, but you know what I mean).

And the other factor was that when naps did occur, bedtime was usually 9 p.m. Mind you, they were in bed at 7:30, maybe 8 p.m., but asleep? Nope. So, we had to face facts and realize that their nap was fading into oblivion, the sweet sweet oblivion of 2 hours of daytime freedom.

Sporadic crashing occurs every few days, but for the most part they hold it together well and bliss out in bed by 7. Ah, it can actually be nice somedays. We have much more time to ourselves after they fall asleep. The days can be rough sometimes, but with the new addition of school and the increase in working hours, it all feels like it races by.

Changing the routine usually makes me feel off kilter, but not this time. This time, I have given a gallic shrug to the lack of napping, brought them into a semi-dark room and laid down to watch Nemo for the 15th time.

Speaking of is a thought. When you as parents are planning on going away for a long weekend and you think it would be nice to surprise your kids with a new movie (since CARS has been in unbelievably heavy rotation and you just cannot take it anymore), I suggest you do not buy 'Finding Nemo". Because the story is about a little boy fish who is violently separated from his father (after his mother is snapped up by a toothy predator shark in the first scene) and there are plenty of harrowing experiences that occur throughout. Yes, they are successfully reunited, but not before sharks, explosions, failed escape attempts that almost grind Nemo to bits, and a fake death scene unfurl. This proved to be a bit much for the boys and my Mama reported abject terror during the movie with lots of plaintive crying for 'Nemo' and 'Daddy Nemo' and 'No Shark, no boat, no no no'. Whoops. We have spent the better part of the week watching it during the blazing afternoons and explaining that despite it all, the Daddy finds Nemo and they are okay. Whew.

Now, of course, we are finding the heavy rotation of Nemo is the new norm. It is almost comical how much one can grow to like a movie when one has no choice.

Time has brought us close to the half year mark, I am looking at it as a testament to our fortitude that we are still alive. Yes, two has been the struggle I feared, but with challenge there comes reward. Some of those rewards come in the form of abundant affection, our new ritual is "Kiss, Hug and Hi-5!". It happens all day and makes my heart turn to gold. And then there is the night time ritual when you now tell your favorite stories along with my voice, finishing sentences. Or better yet, when you tell me a story, unique in its lack of phrasing or timing, made up for by your sounds something like this...

" Nemo!!!! No boat, no boat!!! Oh, no, Nemo. Nemo okay, Daddy find (reassuring me). Daddy, blue fish...Shark! Shark! Light! Go. Nemo okay (reassuring me)." This can go on a bit, but I love it.
Park Play

(That would be Owen telling stories).

School has made its mark also. You willingly sing 'clean up' and help with toys. We practice your friends' names and talk about activities. I get art projects sprinkled with glitter and you come home covered in paints. It has quickly become a lovely place for you to go and I think you melted Mrs. B's heart when you ran up the walkway into her arms the other day. The rough parts are smoothing out and I think we will all be just fine. You kids are the best-est.
Outgrown hat

See Original shots of hat here.

Of course, we have had to explain the shiner Mason has been sporting (Thomas Train chucked to corner of eye...two has brought a heightened level of brother on brother violence at times). And we are still hanging on by the tips of our fingers sometimes. But I still would not trade it for the world.

Remember, boys, your Mama love you very very much.

The videos are for you, Nona Mona.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Goodbye Summer

Today is the Autumn Equinox and I could not be happier. It does not feel like autumn here, temperatures have soared into triple digits and news programs babble endlessly about fire danger and the air smells hot and dry....but it will come, the cooler weather, and we will move towards the bearable time in Southern California.

I am never sorry to say good-bye to summer here, it is always such a challenging season with smog and heat and crisp skin and not wanting to wear clothes but uncomfortable with them off. This summer has been insanely busy, one trip after another, one change after another, weeks inside due to smoke and sun. Some very fun things have happened, but we have also had the challenging task of corralling those two and a half year olds and that pushed Tim and I to the edge. We realized a few weeks ago we had to take a break, alone without young ones. My gracious parents stepped in and we took off in the Subaru to experience Tahoe.

It was a great trip, no injuries this time, instead lots of time to talk and sit and have drinks and make food that we ate sitting down. Nothing terribly special, just really really needed. It gave us the time we needed to re-asses our approach to toddler meltdowns and tantrums, but also to life as a unit, to goals and dreams. Much needed and much appreciated. And we knew we really needed it when we confessed to each other on the last day that we really had not missed them much...up until that moment, that is.

Tahoe :: Him
Tahoe :: Me

We arrived home on Sunday in time to take the boys to their first real concert, an in store show by Mason Jennings.
Mason Jennings in store at Fingerprints
Mason Jennings in store at Fingerprints
Mason Jennings in store at Fingerprints

It was hot and sweaty and difficult (especially when our Mason decided the music was not to his liking and insisted he listen from just outside the front door). But it was totally worth it when Owen brought a poster up to Mason to be signed and stood quietly watching him then would not let said poster go. That is going to be framed for sure.

Mason Jennings in store at Fingerprints
Mason Jennings in store at Fingerprints

So, now, summer ends. Like I said, I am not sad to see it go. I have knits to be made and worn. We have a Fall family wedding coming in a month. We have boys who have embraced school which gives their Mama 3 solid hours of 'something' time. I will hopefully have a finished knit or two to show, and a very special sewing project for the upcoming wedding. And I went a wee bit wild while away and gathered some new yarn and fabrics...


Tim buys T-shirts, I buy the raw material.

Back to the knitting now, it just feels so good knowing it will be time sooner than later for a new sweater.


Another great part of coming home was a big box that was waiting....holding out new Canon body. This is me gazing adoringly into the best piece of equipment we have ever owned. Oh, how I love you, camera.

Staring into our new 50D...wih utter abandoned love

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Being away can be nice...






Hopefully the rest of the weekend makes out to be as nice as our current quiet time.

There is an odd tension to being away from your responsibilities for a few days. But it can also be a very good thing. Off to enjoy time away.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Special Knit

Most of my knits have a story. Sometimes it is a fairly simple one, along the lines of “saw it on Ravelry and had to have it right now”. But many of them mean a little bit more to me and as I make them, wind the yarn, pull through each stitch, I think about the story, the person who will be on the other end of the giving.

Cabled Hoodie for Giving

This knit has a rather long story, years long actually. Back in my early days of knitting, pre-kids, pre-even entertaining the idea of kids, I bought a book full of the sweetest children’s knits. It is called Adorable Knits for Tots by Zoe Mellor, and though the patterns are a bit laborious, it holds many lovely little pieces. The time for children was coming, imminent really, but in those days I just paged through the book, imagined knitting patterns, trying to see what my child would look like in knits.
Cabled Hoodie for Giving

I fell in love with the many cabled projects in the book and picked a few that I knew I would love knitting. Cabling was fairly new to me then, these vests were the first ones I tried without a cable needle. I knit the first one and put it away, only knitting the second after I found out we were having twins. I was lucky to have enough yarn to finish a second. It is what they wore when they met Santa for the first time.

But my first love in the book was a hooded heavily cabled jacket, I do not know if it was the knit or the curly headed child wearing it that made me long to make it. The Robin Hood Jacket called my name.

Cabled Hoodie

I ordered the yarn, the gorgeous Rowan Cork that they cruelly discontinued. I held onto those 7 skeins like precious stones, stacked carefully in my wall cubbies. Sometimes I looked at them and studied the pattern, but I never did knit it up. The boys were born and time passed along. I only had enough yarn for one and I could not imagine the making of one without the other…they notice things like that now.

A few months ago I read a post from Jess and then I knew what I was going to do with that precious yarn. And so I finally cast on for the sweater that I had dreamed of making for my little one.

For Snuggling

And as I knit each stitch I thought about a lot of things. About a little girl who might need something to snuggle under as cooler weather comes and her birthday approaches. A Mama I have yet to meet, but want to hug more every day, want to hold carefully and give anything I can to assuage some of her hurting. A loss that is so difficult to comprehend and accept, a loss of such a girl to such a family.

Knitting is so intimate and loving, it means so much to me in so many ways. As I watched the boys dance around and run in the cool morning air, snapping away with my camera to capture this knit…to capture them…I remembered those days; pre-them, pre-Mamahood, pre-twins. That time when my child was only imagined, when I looked at those glossy pictures with little ones in little knits and wondered ‘curly or straight’, ‘boy or girl’. I never dreamed of twins, never saw into the looking glass of my future children in that way.

Owen Hoodie

And now they are here, boys running and climbing and gently caring for a baby doll that is going home with the cabled sweater. I will knit them different cable sweaters soon, but this one is going the place it should. It is so hard to know what to offer. I have thoughts and prayers and hopes for a grieving family. And I have yarn and stitches and physical warmth to give. But I wish I had something else…something more. For now, I know it will go to the home where it is needed and maybe give something more.

Mason Hoodie

The Whitt family is leaving soon, not in a jet plane, but a large RV that will take them around our country, a few months away from the place that must hold so many many things for them. If you know Tuesday’s story from reading here, you might consider stopping by Jess’s blog and giving a bit to the journey. The original plan is posted here…they may not be writing “fuck Cancer” on the side of the borrowed bus, but sometimes I wish they could.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lost at Sea

monkey mia

When I was a young child my father bought a boat. He taught himself to sail and then we began to take summer trips to Catalina Island. My parents would load us up and we would go out for a few days, anchor in the tiny harbor and take a small inflatable dinghy to the shore. It was not a short trip by sail and I was a terrible sailor. My mother would load up on those light plastic produce bags and I would load them up with barf. But I always loved the island, the long days in Avalon, the gentle waves, playing all day in the sand and eating peanut butter sandwiches.

My father liked to sail at night and there is a story I have told since I was old enough to be a story teller. It goes like this…one night my mother came down to the cabin and she woke me from sleep. She took me on deck in the dark. I remember wondering if it was so I could barf. But we were not moving, mired by a seasonal crop of floating seaweed. My dad was trying to free us up from the seaweed with oars. And in my story there was a pod of dolphins helping, chittering away as they aided my father in pulling the seaweed away from the boat. And then we were free and they swam at the helm, pacing our small sailboat.

I cherish this story dearly, but just went to corroborate with my father and he explained that there was seaweed and there were dolphins, but neither had anything to do with each other. Ah, the stories of childhood as they fall away into truth. I feel a little sad after hearing that today.

Lately I feel like that bad sailor again. I cannot find my sea legs. We have had so many changes happening and I have once again lost my sense of balance. It makes me think parenting is like sailing, constantly navigating a changing and challenging landscape. Foreign to me, exhausting and foreign.

It makes me realize that if my analogy holds true, I may never be very good at this. I am proving to be not very good at sailing the seas of parenting right now. I am worried about the boys and their adjustment to the changes; this is being compounded by tantrums and willfulness, by two boys deciding to drop their nap. For a few days we have had nothing but nutty behavior. And poor sleep for everyone, every day. I am short tempered and impatient. I am starting to feel like I need a barf bag. Ugh.

And I am starting to feel like sometimes this parenting gig is not terribly fair. Because I realize we are just at the start and I seem to have some issues with change and compromise and keeping my cool. And who knows what is over the next swell.

I hope there is a harbor, a small calm safe harbor with gentle waves lapping the protected beach and simple peanut butter sandwiches that everyone enjoys. Just a few days of respite.

Next weekend Tim and I are taking a solo trip, not to a beach, but a lake. I do better with lakes. Let us hope this trip provides the breather I am desperate to take, no barf bags included. Just a little quiet time, a little regrouping and a little practice on finding my sea legs. Because I really want to sail on this ship better than those early days.

*I have to give my parents props for taking four small children out to sea, feeling good and confidant about it, giving us the experience, barfy as it was for me.

*And I just went in and laid down with them for a bit to regroup…and their sleep breathing and sleep sounds and snuggles made me think I can find those legs after all.

*And damn, Owen can snore. Like a drunken sailor.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

On the Topic of Mojo

So, I have realised an important fact. My craft mojo is directly correlated to the weather.

Not conducive to mojo = 100 plus weather with ash raining down from the sky and ending up in my eyes every time I walk outside.

Not conducive to mojo = Small children trapped inside for many many days due to weather conditions.

Not conducive to mojo = Not getting enough sleep. Scratch that, I have not gotten enough sleep for years now.

But you know what can bring it all back? A few days of cooler weather, the rolling in of the marine layer that signals a chill in the air in the morning and hold the beating hot temperatures at bay for a bit, just enough to slip a few new project ideas into the mix.

This weekend I decided to bite off a new house project, that of taking a blank and scribbled wall in the kitchen area and giving it a new purpose. That of gallery.
magnetic wall project

It is intended to hold all of the projects that I know will come home soon, that of self portraits and trees made from small hand imprints. I want a special place to showcase these pieces, pieces more valuable to me than any Picasso. So the latest project includes some magnetic paint (actually 5 or 6 coats as the 3 I laid down barely hold a light magnet).

And some new hand made magnets that I plan on using to teach the boys a little bit about something called the Alphabet.

So far we have paint on wall (needing a few more coats, of course). And the start of the letters, simple felt layers that I am whipstitching together, magnets to be glued to the back.
letter magnets

I decided to start with their names and a few sight words. I did not want to make the Alphabet as you really cannot spell many things with that. So names it is.

But I did get a bit distracted by the finishing of their school bags.
school bags

I am not really sure how necessary these are...they each have a cubby holding diaper changes and water bottles. I think that these will be more like comfort items, something they can carry in with a precious rock or car tucked into the front pockets, a special card for Mrs. B or valentines, etc. There I go again, with the idealistic visions of school. No, but really, just something or them to hold onto. They already like them a lot, wear them out asking for their 'purses' as we get ready to go. And it satisfies the Maker?provider part of me. Their toenails might not be clipped and clean, hair messy and shirt a little too small. But, dammit, my kids have handmade bags with their names embroidered on them. Now that is a good Mama.

And one very important knit has graced the needles now, just as another unphotographed one receives its finishing. This lovely bit is for my soon to be sister in law, a light a silky shawl slowly taking shape. There is such joy in knitting for a wedding, especially for a bride.
post labor day evening

On this evening, still sultry but with some cooling in the night air, we sat outside, smoke free air, breeze blowing, and I played a bit. Some nice red wine, my bag of embroidery floss, my favorite scissors (Owen absconded with them to cut grass, a definite no no...he might dull them, bad boy)(Oh yeah, might cut off a finger too, those suckers are sharp). The rising of mojo feels good.
psot summer evening

As does knowing for the next three hours I will stitch as dancers and singers and cookers take hold of my flat screen and I make the minutes count.

I have yet to find my cleaning or laundry mojo, but at least I am doing something that matters. Ahhhh.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Anamoly of an Open Window

I live in a classic Southern Californian suburb. This tract was built with small cul-de-sacs meandering off a small straight road, all sides lined with modest ranch homes of fair construction. I have lived here on and off (now 'on' forever) for about 30 years. In all that time the neighborhood has remained largely the same. The insane real estate boom lead some to believe their homes were worth over 600k, led some buyers to believe it was a good idea to get in. But now, post-housing apocalypse, we are largely untouched, a few homes on the road with signs for sale, but not too many.

Many of us have lived here for over 20 years, have watched each other from a slight distance and know faces, maybe a few names, not much else. We are on first name basis with a handful, I recall when the next door twins were born, the parents delight when we told them we were expecting our own. Now they start 8th grade, their twins, on the cusp of that wobbly area we call young adult. It is pleasantly dissociated area, none of the block party fireworks I remember from my first decade, but then they have banned fireworks in the home, so there is that working against us.

I noticed something odd a few days ago. As I turned into our street, I noted wide open windows at the corner home. A home once lived in by a mildly aging couple...not much older than my parents, I thought. Private people, never ones to be out and talking. My last conversation with them was when the boys were only infants, we were on a walk, we stopped to show them off and chat. They were thinking of selling, wanted to move on and retire. They had lost their daughter. She was in her early 20s, had suffered a heart problem at birth and I vaguely recall hearing the story of her needing to be medivac'd out. She had slight developmental delay, never moved out, smoked like a chimney, died early. Again, I never asked how, what, not even really when. That was the last time we talked, though I occasionally waved as we passed by.

So, the open windows. There were teams of cleaning people streaming in and out. No cars in the driveway, no faces I knew. All hired to clean and prep and then a day later a sign up, advertising the home for sale. I never even noticed them leaving. And I began to wonder. Could they have died in there, all alone? Was that why there were so many cleaning teams?

I remember a night years ago at a friend's home. We were tucking into our Friday beer ritual, ready to tie one on. We were sitting in the front room, looking our on her suburban street, the home just across in clear view. She mentioned they had not seen the elderly neighbor come for mail in a few days. Newspapers were strewn about....we started thinking there might be need for help. It might have been the beers, but I cannot be sure. We called the police station (had to call the cars in anyway to keep them overnight on the street). Mentioned the neighbor. Not too long after that a police car pulled up. And they found the person in the home, deceased. They came over to tell us, thanked us for the call. And we felt so weird. I do not even remember if it was a woman or a man.

I just came in from the driveway. I could not stop staring at the wide open windows, lights on showing off a pristine and clean but terribly outdated home. Appliances that look functional but unattractive. Curtains hung with care to frame old windows, crisp but ugly in their floral tones. I was fascinated by this unobstructed glimpse into a home I have never ever seen in 30 years. Never once have those blinds been drawn to bring in sun. And now it makes the home seem naked and vulnerable and over exposed, cheaply parading itself, despite lack of finery, hoping to attract someone to come and call it home.

I wonder what homes hold. I constantly strain my neck to look in and see, what color, what shape, what feel does this one hold, that one hold. I am curious, always so curious of the story to be told. It is likely I will never know. If they could be gone in a day without my attention being roused, it is likely I will never know. They lived there from the start too. They called that place home and birthed and lost a daughter there. Does it hold that? I wonder.

I write this as I wait for paint to dry. Literally. I decided to make a magnetic wall to serve as a gallery of sorts for the artwork I know will follow in the next years. I think magnetic paint is caustic and may have made me a little high. Maybe that is where this musing stems from. Or maybe it just does not combine well with a Saturday night beer ritual. Whatever reason, I cannot stop thinking about those brightly lit open windows. And wishing for a little more connection. And a little less distraction.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Summer's End :: School Begun

I don’t know what it is that I expected. But I tell you, I did not expect this. And yes, I am talking about school.

Tim and I decided in May to enroll in a local parent-run preschool. It is a well established school and came highly recommended by a friend and we loved it at the Open House. I immediately signed the boys up, delighted at the idea of being involved as a teacher assistant, at the close proximity to home, at the cost (200 hundred and change a month for both children to attend two days a week). Delighted in general. It remained mostly a concept over the summer, something we talked about with the boys to encourage a smooth transition.

And then the week comes and we are late to Back to School Night because I thought that it said 7:30 p.m. So we sheepishly sneak into the classroom and sit in short chairs. And we sign up to work the first few weeks to get our obligations out of the way and we receive our community jobs (I nabbed the garden spot) and we meet some of the other parents. And it starts to hit me that we are totally into this thing, this thing called school. And that we have opted to be a part of a community of largely unknown people and children.

First, I have to say this is not going in a bad direction, this post. Just a “still overwhelmed” direction. Because now we have fund raising to do and job to fulfill, just lots of things that I realize now I should have been prepping myself for. Not the least of which is my role as teacher assistant in a room full of two year olds. To think I was excited about this.

See, the first day of school was technically Thursday, so everyone came and left their little ones and Mrs. B was there with myself and another Dad from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mrs. B is their teacher and I think she is younger than me but I love her dearly already. Because she is cool and has tattoos and is totally level headed and practical and unflappable. And I pulled diaper duty as the policy is no Daddy changing diapers or assisting on the toilet because there are a handful of parents uncomfortable with that kind of thing. And then it was a rainy day schedule, due to the ash falling out of the sky, so no outdoor play. And did I mention that their room, though adorably arranged is only cooled by a few oscillating fans? And that it was 100 degrees or so? So, yeah, it was not the most auspicious of days. Not to mention the 11 2 year olds running around trapped in a room with which they are only slightly familiar with adults that they barely know and other kids they are just learning to like.

But at least we got it over with, the first day. I now know what it is we signed up for. And I think it is going to be alright. Not sure about the boys as I was there the whole time so to them it must have seemed like an extended play time. Not sure how Tim will fare when he is the only man in a room full of madness and a few women, but I am guessing it will be better than I as he will not be on ‘diaper and potty duty’. And how will I do? That is yet to be seen. Right now my back hurts and I feel tired and maybe a little disappointed and scared.

1st day of school :: worst photos eva'
1st day of school :: worst photos eva'
Worst 1st Day of school pictures ever. Point and shoot cannot capture two year old. And he was up from 2 until 6 a.m. the night before teething. Check out those under-eye bags. And no Mace cause then diaper duty struck. It gets better, right?

This would not be the first time that my imagination runs in congruent to reality. And I know it will not be the last. This week I felt stripped of a few things. My imaginary school scenario crashed down with the first words of "fund raising obligation" and the hour I spent scrubbing linoleum glue off the pre-school floor. First day pictures blurred by with a point and shoot as the Canon is fritzing on us again. My hope for more time seems dashed to bits on the rocks of reality.

And I sound so totally dramatic. But here is to a new week, a bluer sky as some of the fire smoke eases in our area, a different parent cleaning my kids bums on Tuesday and quite possibly a few other fresh starts coming soon. I think I just got excited.

Here is a video of getting ready for school that made me feel lighter.

And here is why we have to get the kids out of the house at this point. They know how to turn on the hose. Enough said.

I know it gets easier. And the fire will eventually be out. And the house will not be in total shambles due to keeping them inside for days at a time. And and and. Just let it be soon. Please.