June 30, 2015

and it's only a Tuesday

Knitted gifts & a ring sling

I finished all my knitting! And just in time- my life-long friend had her baby at home last night. It was magical. How I wish I could be giving these gifts to her in person.

Today was better! It was good. It actually felt like a day off, and it's only a Tuesday. (day twenty-one)

June 29, 2015

getting better now

After the sunset Monday night.

To say I'm a bit irritable would be an understatement. Yesterday was a good lazy day, though. I made pancakes and it was nice. Just when I've wanted to go down to the beach for sunset the past few days, the big mist rolls in.

Today I slept in and tackled some projects that need finishing. Ivy was sad that the boys wanted alone time and she had no one to hang out with so we decided to watch a movie together and then it ended up that everyone was on my bed watching The Land Before Time while I tried to concentrate on my knitting. I've just felt off the rest of the day and nothing gets my kids working together faster than when I start losing it a bit. Then I lost my finishing needle somewhere in my lap or chair and it's just completely disappeared so I went for a drive and thankfully found some needles that will do at the grocery store. I also got to see a pretty beautiful sky.

Everyone's going to bed earlier tonight in hopes we all are in better moods tomorrow. (days nineteen and twenty)

June 27, 2015

the tooth fairy gets all the credit

Missing: Two front teeth

Yesterday was dad comes home day so everyone was in high spirits. There was a moment when I glanced into the living room as my kids worked together to turn a cardboard box into a hamster mansion and I thought okay now this is a summer childhood and they are going to turn out okay. That right there totally erases all the TV they have watched this week, right.

Ivy lost another tooth. They are dropping like flies. And she literally lost it- her other top front tooth. They were "messing around" and suddenly realized her tooth was missing. We still have not found it. Oh please let it turn up before our next showing.

Today she spent her tooth fairy money on a big-eyed stuffed animal she has been wanting at Rite Aid. And earlier she sweetly mentioned to me how when she went to bed her nightlight wasn't on, but when she woke up, she saw that the tooth fairy must have turned it on for her! That was me. But yeah. I was glad she noticed someone was thinking about her. Pretty adorable.

(day seventeen and eighteen)

June 25, 2015

little fly

foggy sunset

It was a nice, warm day but every time we went down by the water the fog would roll in and my glasses kept fogging up. Ivy had her first class of the library storytime session. I did rest a bit after the house showing but this little fly kept buzzing at the window above the bed and I tried so hard to get him out the patio door across the room but he kept going back to the window. Finally I got him away from it and he flew the complete opposite from the wide open door to my bathroom. Then I was like you're on your own dude. Okay so I did try to get him out of the bathroom for like a minute but he was not getting it.

We facetimed with Mommal and Aunt Diane in Louisiana and it was so good to see their faces. I pulled Ivy's bottom tooth while we were chatting, too. And I just had to go ask Carter if he wanted to be the tooth fairy and he was super excited, has money, and saves me a trip to the store tonight. (day sixteen)



June 24, 2015

or doin' nothing

We pretty much did nothing today. I did not monitor screens. I don't think anyone (but Ivy) opened a book. I guess I'm spent from all the summer doings because right now I'm just tired. Tired of having to get the house ready for showings, tired of this all becoming the same old same old. Tired of house hunting only to find nada. Zip. Tired of having to come up with food for hungry kids. Basically I'm tired and need to slow it down and rest for a bit. I know this. I am hoping after our showing tomorrow maybe I can spend the rest of the day in bed with a book. There's enough in the fridge for Carter's gourmet sandwiches. They can fend for themselves for a day or so. (day fifteen)

June 23, 2015

doin' it right

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Sending letters to friends.


Today the kids practiced addressing envelopes. I was so tired all day, but did finish a knitting project. Ivy read all day. Out loud. After dinner the boys were needing a break from their kid sister so we took a walk, just the girls. It was gorgeous down by the water.

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So far I think we're doing this summer thing right. (day fourteen)


June 22, 2015

'til the batteries run out

day thirteen.

It is Monday but totally felt like a Tuesday. We went to the beach three times- well, I went down at low tide this morning on my way to the store and then tonight Gray and Ivy wanted to go look at the seals at high tide and then back for the sunset. I Periscoped it, if you have that app you can check it out. I'm @babysteph on there but I don't really know how to link it. I think you have to view it on your phone? I'm new.

Seals at Coquille Point
Can you see all the seals on that rock?

My phone died right when we saw horses heading down the beach. Thankfully I had my regular camera.

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horseback on the beach

Riders on the beach


Gray and Ivy love playing in the little beach huts and making a mess in the sand, and I must admit, it's kind of refreshing that they are still at the age where they think it's fun to throw sand. Ivy told me to take a picture of her posing like this:

little mermaid

She's got an eye for these things.

And after their baths they wanted to go back to watch the sunset, so we did.

ivy sunset

June 21, 2015

happy days

day twelve.



I cried twice today and I never cry, especially never do I let Jeff see. But I was missing my dad. And also have been working on the LTYM videos and there was a tear jerker, and about a dad no less. 

I meant to take a pic of Jeff with the kids. He's already gone for the week, so I guess I'll just try for the weekend.  So here's one of my favorites of him and Carter in Chicago that I found while looking through old photos. This morning I got out the griddle for a pancake breakfast after the kids revealed I've been overdoing it a bit with waffles. I just realized that we never ate lunch, but we did have dinner eventually. 

It was supposed to be the longest day of the year but for me it just flew by. I stood in the living room, stared at the clock and actually yelled, "Who messed with the clock?!" Surely it could not be six pm. It was just noon! 

We declared for real this time we're going to read all our library books this week. 

My Dad

My dad

To-ra-loo-ra he would sing to me in his recliner, his coffee mug on the end table. I don't have many clear memories of my childhood, but that off-key (very off key) lullaby came from one of the most beautiful voices I'd come to remember.

My dad has the kind of laugh that is really a cackle and I can hear it whenever I want just by thinking about it. While I can't recall him reading anything other than Reader's Digest and the newspaper, I have always claimed my love for books is because of him. Music appreciation, too.

When we moved across the country my dad came to help me and the kids. It took us six days, to the soundtrack of Simon and Garfunkel Pandora. That is in my top favorite things that I have gotten to do in my life and I hope we can do it again when I'm not under the stress of a timeline and moving and in the middle of winter.

My dad, if I have observed correctly and inherited as I think, is not interested in the usual. There is always something more interesting and unusual to discuss or discover or laugh about. I look forward to finding the weird and quirky things in our next town with him. I think he will like Portland.

My dad is one of the helpers. I hope he gets to relax and nap away the day today but most likely he'll be helping someone somewhere this weekend on his time off. Happy Father's Day, dad! I hope to see you soon.


June 20, 2015

On the boardwalk

day eleven.

We had our big open house today and to my surprise people actually showed up! Maybe we'll have an offer soon! The house was looking great and the day was amazing. We took the kids to lunch so our realtor could get things set up and then we hung out around old town until it was okay to come home.

We scouted out the artwork on the boardwalk and the kids found their paintings. (Carter is the only one who wasn't in art this semester.) Ivy's sea star has some prime real estate right at the start. Pretty cool. The boys' pieces were super hidden LOL. All of the entries this year are so awesome. They will stay up the whole summer.

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Jeff is here for one more night and has all the kids in our room watching a movie. I'm enjoying the quiet in the living room with some blue razz Pop Rocks and my book club book.

June 19, 2015

Day 10

Day ten! How has it been ten days. It's going too fast. Jeff came home tonight and the kids are different kids for the weekend. Louder, happier, excited. We have an open house tomorrow and I have a good feeling. Let's get an offer next week. Let's get this thing on the road! 

June 18, 2015

Day 9

day nine.

I awoke between two kids this morning. Gray explained that he knows if he's near me he won't have bad dreams. Later we said goodbye to our closest friends as they take off for the summer and our schedules disconnect. I think on our travels we'll be able to see them in passing and maybe we'll even work in an overnight or two. We were able to sneak in one last lunch together outside in Old Town for an exceptionally sunny and warm afternoon. Summer is really here and now we are on our own.

June 17, 2015

Day 8

day 8.

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First day I was up before seven, I think. Ivy and I met our friends down for a minus low tide and then some park time before they continued on their journey up the coast. The rest of the day is a blur- I tried to get a nap but it was a no go, then did some cooking, trip to the library, grocery store, that's about it.  I have got to make a dent in a growing stack of library books. Also I love to knit but I do not love to finish what I am knitting.

June 16, 2015

sunset with friends.

day seven.

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Today went as planned- to knit and be free to do whatever. And it worked because a friend I literally haven't seen in 19 years texted that she was driving up the coast with her family and we hung out and watched the sunset. It was so great.

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It was perfect timing because everyone was going all squirrelly up in here. I canceled all screens and so the kids taught themselves to load and shoot Ivy's Nerf bow & arrow with their feet.

Then they were yelling for me because they couldn't find the toothpicks. What do you need toothpicks for?? To hold the olives in the sandwiches they made.

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We saw a bunch- and I mean a bunch- of seals on the rocks tonight and a couple swimming around like no big deal. It's been a very long goodbye, the ocean and me. I can't tell if it's making it any easier or not.



June 15, 2015

something to peel every day

day six.

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It's the first Monday of summer vacation and I think it's finally sinking in for us. We don't have to leave the house all week if we don't want to! I slept past nine. This is much needed. I am still working as the latest LTYM videos are processing and will be released this summer but my work load is easy and relaxing right now. It's so nice. I feel like everything (house, fam, life, work) is even-ing out. I might get to finish some knitting tonight and even started bookmarking future projects and this is a very good sign.

Today we turned in Ivy's painting to the Port and then stopped in to see our friend's new shop location in Old Town where Ivy desired matching silver "night sky" gem rings for us both. How could I say no. Then I put her to work peeling potatoes for lunch. She and Gray practically beg for me to give them something to peel every day.

We watched the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup and are kinda missing Chicago and the sound of fireworks right about now.

June 14, 2015

in dreams

day five.

The making of zebra butterfly sea star.

She pressed close to me, on my pillow this morning and asked what happens when everyone dies? She thought maybe we will become babies again, only if she can come back as my baby. How I wish it worked that way, I hope I get to relive that feeling again.

Then, she wanted to know if life was really only black and white back in the old days. She thought there were no colors, at all, back then. She asks the best questions, and I told her that. She said thank you.

We were finally able to work on her entry for the boardwalk art contest- Coastal Creatures Real or Imagined. She decided to paint a zebra butterfly sea star.

Last night I saw a half rainbow in my dream. All day I've been hoping the meaning would come to me.

June 13, 2015

The Wind

day four.

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The wind is in. And it keeps blowing my lawn chairs over on the patio.

Today we took a trip up to the movie theater and enjoyed a lively game of twenty questions on the way. It took them all the way to the end to guess beaver. We split up for the first time ever when we got there- the kids thought it was awesome. Jeff took his group to Jurassic World in 3D and Ivy and I watched Tomorrowland (loved, so inspiring, cried a little, but I also choked up when the trailer for Inside Out came on.)

I'm already losing track of the days. My show-ready house has turned back into the land of forts (and farts) and the kitchen has been cooked in. But everyone's happy.


June 12, 2015

Day three

Today felt like a weekend, not a Friday, and not in a relaxing weekend way but a work all weekend way. But it was just one day. I'm so tired. We ( I ) got the house all ready for pictures with our realtor. With four kids in the house. All their awesome behavior this week came to an unraveling  and I don't blame them. I was coming undone, too. But we did it. Now I've got a super clean house for the real weekend. Good night.

June 11, 2015

déjà vu

day two.

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It's like I'm looking at myself as a kid. I cloned myself. All day long Ivy draws fashions and writes poems. It's just in her. It's pretty awesome.

Today was actually productive. I left the house to get rations (and coffee), then we started on our deep clean for new photos & video to relist the house tomorrow.  I have a good feeling. I think it will take this time.



June 10, 2015

91 Days of Summer

day one.

Gray lovingly shared with me that he'll call me Mom even when he grows up because calling me "Mother" sounds too fancy.

I made waffles with fresh strawberries for breakfast, when I finally rolled myself out of bed. Thanks to a recent obsession with cooking shows, Gray and Ivy wanted to be put to work in the kitchen. We peeled and chopped veggies for the week, baked a banana bread, and made a pot of dumpling soup.

It's most likely boiled eggs or cereal for the rest of summer break. But it's still too early to tell.

June 9, 2015

In The Home Stretch


June 2015
Freshman, 4th grader, 1st grader, 8th grader! 

It's the last day of the school year. I'm so glad we made it to here. It's basically the final thing I wanted to check off the list before moving. So, now I guess we should get moving.

I'm still here with the kids. Jeff's home on the weekends. I just realized that I forgot how to do summer. June here brings the wind and fog and chill. If we're going to get this house sold I guess we'll have to have some sort of structure to keep things nice. My only goals so far are more sleep and more books for everyone. 

I don't know what's next. I don't know where my kids will go to school when summer is over. Surprise me.



"Ends and beginnings -- there are no such things. There are only middles." Robert Frost.