“Who will place the golden mooncakes on the dining table?”
After being gone for about four months, these are the type of questions that are asked of you by your adoring spam commenters. They truly adore me. I had over 1500 spam comments to delete. Only the golden mooncakes caught my eye. All the rest went straight to the trash. Lesson? Make sure your spam filter is on. Always.
What’s been going on? I’ve missed y’all. I should mention in the last four months I’ve slowly integrated y’all into my vocabulary. I’m not sure I like it. “You guys” is more my style. You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take the California out of the girl. I miss Disneyland. I do not, however, miss the crowd of Southern California. Just in case you were wondering. I also miss silence, but I won’t be getting that back until all my kids are moved out of the house. I’d like them to go to college far enough away where they have to move out, but close enough so they can come home easily on weekends or holidays. If my calculations are correct, Flynn will graduate high school in 2030. Good lord, that’s a long wait.
Now that I’ve rambled a bit, here is what we’ve been up to:
Also known as the “birthday month” in my family. Three of my siblings and I have birthdays in September. We all aged another year. I turned 34. Do I look 34? Depends on how stressed out I am. So lately, a lot of yes. Yes, I look 34. To celebrate, David and I attended a Rangers game. They won. Which was a rare feat last season. It’s okay, we still love them (and the Dodgers!).
// I’m 34! Flynn’s cute!
I got to experience the thrill that is co-leading a Girl Scout troop meeting as I volunteered to be co-leader for Irelyn and Chloe’s troop this year. Trying to get 15 girls in 1st through 4th grades to listen at once can be taxing. It’s been interesting.
Grayson started t-ball. He’s so cute out there, but he really isn’t all that into the sport. He just likes to be a part of it all.
There was a Girl Scout camping trip with the girls. Rain (read: downpour) was in the forecast and this stressed out some of the moms. So we ended up driving 20 minutes to a church one of them worked out and slept in its gym. I never want to sleep on a gym floor again. Hah, who am I kidding? I didn’t sleep at all. We returned to the camp to find the tent and camper dry.
// Chloe in the gym
Irelyn turned eight! We celebrated with a Doctor Who sleepover. She had five friends over, so including Chloe and Irelyn we had seven girls eight and under in the house. It was a long night. I couldn’t get them to shut down and sleep. They were still up at 2:30 AM, which is when I turned off all the lights everywhere so they would be too scared to leave the room. Not really, but kind of. I was done with giggling girls at that point. It went well, and all the girls had fun. Only one missed her parents and needed to go home. First sleepover hosted by our family can be marked a success.
We attempted to start attending church regularly. This also ties in with Irelyn. She has been asking about religion and we explained what we could to her, which led to talk of baptism, and to get baptized one should attend church regularly. So we went back. In our church, the children are baptized when they are eight or older. Irelyn has chosen to be baptized and that will take place in January.
Parent/teacher conferences. All the kids are doing GREAT. Irelyn is super well-behaved and a straight A student (second grade is the first year with letter grades in these parts). Chloe, once again, will be in the talent pool, which is a precursor to the gifted program and is a social butterfly. Grayson is the one I worried the most about. He showed no interest in writing, drawing, or learning how to hold a pencil correctly. He hadn’t even picked a hand to write with (if you looked up ambidextrous in the dictionary, you’d find his picture). We’d seen the work coming home and his amazing progress, but at the conference we were further amazed. His journals were filled with art and actual stories. His teacher suggested we have him tested for the gifted program because, as she described it, he is a “little sponge” and picks up everything quickly and REMEMBERS it.
Character day at school. The students were encouraged to dress as their favorite book characters. We have Pippi Longstockings, Eloise, and Bilbo Baggins.
Halloween! Irelyn was a zombie Amy Pond, Chloe a Vampire from Venice, Grayson was Darth Vader, and Flynn was supposed to be Yoda but was not keen on wearing his costume.
David and I are both PTA members again this year. It’s been weird this year. Not enough people who know what they are doing, and not enough parents willing to help. So you have maybe ten parents doing all the work. It sucks.
Flynn got a big boy bed! He’s still in our room for now, but will get moved into Grayson’s room soon.
Grayson attended his first hockey game. My sister’s boyfriend took him out to see the Dallas Stars play. He loved it (and all the food). Maybe he’d rather play hockey instead of baseball?
We had a lice epidemic. Chloe came to me the day before Thanksgiving with an itchy head, there were bugs. It was not fun. I’ve never dealt with lice before. I treated both girls and Grayson. Only Irelyn and Chloe showed signs of infestation, but Grayson was a precautionary measure. I didn’t do as well as I thought I did. More on that later…
Thanksgiving! My favorite. I think it’s my favorite because it’s one of the few holidays that is about getting together as a family and giving nothing but your time (and maybe a few tasty dishes). Ours went well. There was a bit of a turkey mishap, but it all worked out. Half my family is vegan anyhow.
It took me a while to get into the Christmas spirit. Decorations went up late, and as usual, came down a couple days after Christmas. I hung some gold tinsel garland in the entryway in an attempt to copy the Ponds’ house in one of the Doctor Who Christmas Specials. It was simple, but I got the most comments on it. So it was a win in my book.
There was another Girls Scout sleepover, not of the camping variety, but of a Christmas variety. They watched Polar Express in 3D, drank hot chocolate, decorated cookies, and made a mess. My girls had fun and I guess I did too. Kids are funny. I nicknamed one of the girls “Gumball” because she kept eating a bunch of gumballs, I received a lot of hugs, and lots of drawings. I guess it’s the kind of stuff I’ll remember fondly when I’m 85 and sitting on the porch in a rocking chair, sipping some lemonade.
// Chloe and the other Daisies
Irelyn’s grade had a holiday program. The cute second graders sang us Christmas songs and some played instruments. Irelyn was one of them. I liked watching her concentrate everything on playing correctly. Her jaw set, her mind focused and she did EXCELLENT.
// Not from holiday program, hah
I, much to my shy, introverted personality’s dismay, led the cookie training for the parents of our girl scout troop. I think I was awkward and all over the place with the information, but it got done. This was done while the girls in the troop made and served dinner to the parents. They were pretty cute in their homemade chef hats. We had burritos, and that was entirely because of Irelyn. It was good.
Flynn turned TWO! Poor kid didn’t get much of a celebration because I was sick. He still isn’t talking all that much, but he loved the cake and the gifts he received. I’ve never seen a toddler blow out their candles with as much efficiency as he did. One try. No spit. Excellent. He’s so cute.
Christmas! My dad surprised us all on the 23rd by coming out from California. My kids were ecstatic. It was fun to have him here, he has never been to a holiday a hosted. The kids woke up at 6:00 AM Christmas Day, which is what they do every day. We dumped out stockings, then ate homemade cinnamon rolls, and waited for everyone to come over before we dug into the gifts. We opened most of them then took another break to shower and get dressed. We make that task LAST, bro. One nice thing about being three states away from your family and hosting your own holidays is you don’t have to participate in forty Christmases. I see people doing this all over social media and I do not envy them. I like being able to not be stressed out about having a million places to go.
Lice epidemic number two! Yay. A few days ago I found lice in Chloe and Irelyn’s hair. And Grayson. And Flynn. Everyone received an initial treatment. The boys’ received buzz cuts (Flynn looks so OLD now) and will have a visual inspection everyday until it’s time for retreatment. Girls receive a “wet combing” every day. Stuffed animals bagged for two weeks. Bedding washed the first day and run through the dryer on the hottest temp setting for 20 minutes every day until we are nit free. Everything sterilized. House vacuumed. I did all this without the daily tasks last time, and they came back. I don’t want them around again. It is a pain in the neck with four kids. Pain in the NECK!
And that’s where we stand. Waiting to ring in the New Year. It’ll be very quiet as we do not have cable and I’m pretty sure the kids will fall asleep before midnight. We’ll see. I’ll update y’all. One of my goals for 2015 is to write more… in whatever form: blog, book, journal, grocery lists. 😉
Long post. It’s because I love you.