Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another August Almost Gone

For me, August is hard. I've mentioned that, I know. The absence of my parents is even more palpable during their birthday month, and this year was also the first anniversary of Dad's passing.

Also, I'm currently taking a prednisone prescription for poison ivy contracted during a river tubing trip (more on that later). The prednisone is only slightly helping---I've been sneaking into the bathroom at work to claw at my upper arms. It also has a tendency to cause insomnia for me, so. . .a slightly sad girl alone with her thoughts at 1 a.m.? Bad combo.

I just miss them. I miss the way my mom would say, "Oh, HELLO!" whenever I called. I miss the way my dad would say "Fairly middlin'" whenever someone asked how he was doing. The answer was the same whether he was having a great day, or bedridden in the hospital.
I miss watching them with the kids--my dad showing them the glorious ritual of making homemade churned ice cream. My mom putting her curlers in Olivia's hair. But mostly I just miss them.

There's good stuff in August, too: Olivia's adoption anniversary, which brings a celebratory dinner and family fun. The reminder of a never-ending blessing. Oh, and Mark's cousin Pam's birthday, which almost always guarantees a visit from her. And this year it did; she came down from Ohio with Aunt Ro and we had a great time together eating out, swimming at Grandma's neighborhood pool, etc.

School began last week and turns out I was the one least prepared. Back to crazy schedules and structured bedtimes? Bleh--do I have to??
But, I'm determined to pull myself out of this funk and get in the groove. Life is actually pretty good. Itchy, but good.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Things I've Learned This Summer

1. I hate "recommended" summer assignments as much as the kids. Fewer things are more exhausting than watching an eight-year-old write five cursive sentences, all while simultaneously giving you the stink-eye.

2. My son Nate's name, when bellowed by an exhasperated sister, can have as many as three syllables: "Naaa-aaa--TUH!"

3. Going to an amusement park in a light rain is the best way to go. No lines, no suffocating heat. This gem I learned by accident.

4. Certain days in July and August will always be a little sad for me, no matter how I may try to ignore it. Feeling sad is OK. Eating every carb in sight, while certainly a temporary mood-lifter, is not.

5. Despite living in the south all my life, I continue to be amazed when we occasionally hit triple-digit temps in the summer. And I still find it fascinating conversation and I'm not ashamed.

6. Some frozen fruit + yogurt + almond milk + oatmeal+ a little Splenda whirled in a blender = a refreshing breakfast and no hunger pangs before lunchtime.

7. When a small home project takes about three times as long as it should, it becomes normal to have paint cans sitting in your foyer. One day they'll be gone, and I'm not sure what we'll do with the bit of empty space.

8. Ten-year-old girls, when they sneak into your make-up and apply mascara and lip gloss, suddenly look like fifteen-year-old girls. This makes me cry. And hide my make-up with the bathroom cleaning products. She'll never look there.

9. For some people, growing your hair long again in an attempt to recapture youth only makes one look like a puffy ex-cheerleader. Again, this is only true for some people. With names that rhyme with "Spacy Smellin'."

10. When making lists, it's OK to stop at nine even though your heart and soul screams out for a nice, round even number like---oh, hey look---TEN!