Friday, November 30, 2012

lots of photo catch-up

 I'm sitting here waiting for my students to finish posting their huge research paper drafts so that I can respond to them, and I've responded to everything posted, so...waiting.  And Neil is at work, so I am lonely and bored, but since my mom mailed my camera (what a wonderful lady!) super fast, I have pictures to upload and blogging to do.

First of all, I am sitting here grading instead of going to bed because I'm afraid of the morrow.  Neil's birthday was last week, and we were away for Thanksgiving, so it was a little rushed, you know?  So one of his friends so kindly offered to put together a morning of target shooting tomorrow, and I'm excited for him to have some fun that's all about him (except the kids and I are all nice and sick, and I don't want to have to respond to papers when I am foggy and the kids are crying, so...staying up now to do it instead).  And Neil is at work on a Friday night (which he generally takes off) because I was a total wreck this morning and he stayed home until lunchtime so that I could go back to bed and sleep off some of the fever hallucinations.  Then he left for work after I stopped falling over things and convinced him to give me the treadmill key back after promising I wouldn't do anything stupid (because who doesn't like to run when they're feverish?  Actually, I felt about 100x better after I pounded out my graceless four miles.  I wouldn't have trusted myself to run in a straight line outside, but the treadmill and I were good friends today). Then he went to the grocery store after work and came home early and made dinner.  He is so awesome.

This is the current collection of antibiotics--any bets on how big it will get later in the week when Neil and I finally break down and go in to the doctor? (Sadly, my dear husband grabbed the wrong kind of Mucinex so I can only stare at it longingly and remember the days when I was neither pregnant nor nursing and I could swallow whatever decongestants I liked.)

 Right before Thanksgiving, Juliet's class did a cute little play:

and we went to watch it.  Isaac is really picky about his hair, and Jules kept trying to put her hat on him, and he would not allow it because he didn't want his "porky-pine hair" to get smashed.

Since I had my camera, when I went to pick Abigail up post-play I snapped a few pictures of some of her schoolwork hanging up in the hallway.  This is the report she did on the Empire State Building; she told me the addition of the birds around the top was her idea.  :-)

On an Abigail note, the two of us went on a mommy-daughter date tonight, and she casually mentioned something that just about broke my heart--she was telling me about her group for the current project, and how so-and-so in her group is one of the most popular kids in class because he's so good at sports.  So we were talking about what makes people popular, and how people often have different roles in the class (she'd started talking about who was the funniest, who was the nicest, etc.) and when I asked her what she was in her class, she said, "Mom, I'm like mist.  Nobody even notices that I'm there."

What do you say to that?  I didn't know.  I don't even remember what I said--something about how did she feel about that, and did she still play with so-and-so.  I think it bothered me a lot more than it bothered her,'s really bothering me.  A lot.  And it bothers me that she feels invisible in her classroom all day, and then she gets home and it's kind of a crazy land with parents who are saying, do your homework, it's time for dinner, practice piano, get ready for bed, why didn't you put your coat away when I asked you the first three times, etc.  I feel like I am SO far from being a perfect, patient, loving mother, and it is so hard for me to make those moments in the limited time that I have with Abigail.  It's much easier with the boys and Juliet, because they are home so much more during the day, but Abigail is only home for a few hours and there is SO much that has to happen in those hours.  This is something that has been really hard for me ever since she started full-day school last year (and is a large part of why I fought to be able to only send Jules to half-day kindergarten) and I just don't know how to do it.  I want my children to know that they are loved and cherished, and I worry that I don't know how to convey that properly.  I love them, and I want them to grow into wonderful, responsible adults, and that's why I remind them to do their homework and to clean up after themselves and to use good manners, but...that's not really something you can perceive as a child, you know?  And it is SO hard to create the time where we are just snuggling and talking, but I am resolving to make that a daily priority with Abigail, because she has always been in need of that, and we haven't transitioned that very well as she's been gone from home the majority of the time.

 On to a less weighty topic--this is what our lawn looked like the other day when it was time for the girls to leave.  School ended up being cancelled because of the heavy fog, which is good, because who wants to walk through this to get to school?

 Luke likes to lick ice cream!

 Over Thanksgiving we visited my parents and were able to meet my youngest sister Rosalind's fiance Chris.  (Isaac adores him beyond all reason.)  Sadly, I didn't snap any pics of them when they were all fancied up for their open house, but I did get this one after dinner.

And then since I had my camera out...
 So happy to be photographed.
 On the other side of the table...
 And at the head/foot/whatever of the table perched Sir Isaac and his dish of ice cream, which was about all he deigned to eat that meal (actually, I exaggerate.  He ate the croutons from the salad, then mixed cranberry sauce with peach jam and ate that delicious slosh).

 Later that night (I think this may have been Thanksgiving) the kids convinced my dad to build a fire in the backyard and then they all went wild playing in this HUGE mound of leaves--the neighbors hadn't raked any of theirs, so, surprise!  Dad raked up a giant pile and the kids took turns jumping off a retaining wall.  I have the most wonderful video (which is not wanting to upload) of Luke stepping out confidently from the wall and then dropping WHAM down into the leaves--I don't think he knew it wasn't solid ground.
 Isaac hiding...they were all so begrimed when they came out!

Oh, and right before Thanksgiving, I had a lot of my hair cut off (the picture isn't rotating and I'm not really in the mood to fix it).  So it went from very long to...shorter.

I sort of feel like I should be done with this pregnancy already.  But I'm not even close.

I found this on the counter the other day--Juliet told me she was packing up for quiet time.  Love that kid.

And last but not least, my little Luke, who is convinced that he is seven years old and should do everything like the big kids do it.


Elise said...

I miss Abigail a lot.

Jen said...

Your thoughts about Abigail (who will always be my "little sister") reminded me of this recent post on A Cup of Jo:

It doesn't take any extra time to make sure your face lights up when you see her. Maybe that will make a difference in how both of you feel.

Sarah Harward said...

I think it could be a blessing in disguise that she's not 'the most fill-in-the-blank' in her class. I really want my kids to love WHO they are. Not what they can do. I think kids who are 'the most athletic' 'the smartest' 'the funniest' etc, can have major self worth problems because inevitably someone will come along at some point who is more athletic, smarter, prettier, funnier, and they will feel they've lost their worth. I know I try to encourage my kids that they can be a great friend to all the kids, which is something that will hopefully be something they feel is inbedded in them, and not able to be compared to others, but only help in them realizing their worth. As a mom though, it is so hard manage those things with our kids because we want so badly for them to see in themselves all the potential and beauty that we see. Just my two cents. Good luck! (and hope you guys are feeling better soon!!!)

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