Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Looking Back

This blog used to be sort of like my journal...but lately facebook is more like my journal.  I got to thinking that eventually facebook will probably blow up or something and all of us junkies will have to go into rehab to deal with it, and since I (doting and dorky mom that I am) post every cute or funny thing my kids say and do on facebook, as well as my daily mishaps, that stuff could be lost forever.  (Gasp!) I thought I'd copy and paste a whole mess of past status updates and cover my bases.  In this modern day, it's rare that we record our little moments the way we did once upon a time...the boys have scrap books, but I often wish I was jotting down all the quirky things they say and all that happens to us daily...luckily,  turns out I kinda did.  Here goes.


My obsessive multi-tasking has dealt me a low blow...I lost a button this morning while getting into the car, so while driving, I was blindly groping around in my over-stuffed purse for a safety pin when my hand closed over a Bic razor that I'd thrown in a week ago when I was rushing to Zumba and noticed that I'd 'missed a spot'. The razor had become uncapped and my thumb got neatly sliced open when I grabbed it. Moral(s) of the story: 1.) Just drive. Look for shit later. 2.) Shave legs properly the first time around. 3.) Wear a corset if your gown is tight enough to pop buttons and send them flying across your driveway.


Hey everybody, thanks for all the birthday love! I work most weekends now, but did take yesterday off and went to see The World's Biggest Boulder...which is basically just a dang, enormous rock plunked down in the middle of the NH woods but still, it was pretty awesome. And...since it was moved there by a glacier, it's clearly older than me, which feels good. 


A stranger just left a comment on my blog about how I was an inspiration to other single moms and I both cried with gratitude and felt like a big phony. Because no, actually, I DON'T have my life all together and I hope I don't accidentally give people the impression that I do. I make it through every single day by the seat of my pants with my fingers crossed that my kids and I come out the other side unscathed. Just like the rest of you. So, if anyone else looks at cute pictures online while reading semi amusing quips about parenting and wonders if they are the only ones left struggling, treading water, tired and me, you're not.


Word to the wise: when you can't find your kid's soccer shin guards, always look in the last place they could possibly be. Forget about searching for them in LOGICAL spots because you'll be simply wasting a couple of valuable hours, just go straight for the old fashioned, wooden ice cream maker and VOILA! Shin guards!

Hell hath no fury like a woman who discovers liquified brie leaking over the contents of her entire bag.

No Zumba on Thursdays through soccer season! (But feel free to come run up and down the side of the field shouting with me and the other soccer moms!)

Hey Tunbridge Alums, remember The Big Rock? Well, not only is it still there (go figure) but the rampant poison ivy still grows everywhere around it, as Ira found out yesterday. Helloooooo calamine lotion!


I heroically passed up the package of cookies on the counter this morning, when I COULD have stuffed them into my lunch basket, and now I'm like "DAMN! Why didn't I pack those cookies?!? I WANT those cookies!!!!!" Which I knew I was going to do, which is why I left them behind. I live so far on the wild side, it's scary.

I just scared somebody because she thought I was a mannequin. She screamed even. Awesome.

OK, Like I didn't have enough to cry about on the boy's first day back at school, (1st and 3rd grade....holy cow!) but Eli is now upstairs with the big kids and they have LOCKERS. OMG. I could pretend they were still babies back when they had cubbies...but c'mon, LOCKERS?! Sigh. I can't stand it. Thank goodness Ira still has a cubby and his teacher greeted us holding a fuzzy bunny, otherwise I would have been a complete mess.


Total cliche'. My kids got the most fun birthday gifts yesterday and yet, of course, they have been out on the porch all morning, cutting holes in the empty boxes to create masks, boats and forts. Cardboard Box, the ultimate present...when will we parents learn?!


Following a flurry of gifts at the break of dawn, (our apartment is now trashed) the birthday boys are sitting in the middle of the complete, vintage, 70's Fisher Price town that I remember from my childhood. After I found this set at a second hand shop a few weeks ago, I sat down and played with it, literally PLAYED, for an hour before I could wrap it up. So, so fun. Not to sound old or anything, but...they sure don't make toys like they used to. Luckily my Bubs seem to agree.


My kids are stuffed into a love seat with Grammy Jane watching some video of James Taylor on tour. I said, "Guys, I think it's just about bath time" but Eli waved me away, protesting: "Mom! We HAVE to watch the rest of this Taylor James concert!


People never cease to surprise me. Today this one elderly lady huffed and sniffed through the entire museum tour and then at the end said: "Well, by golly, that was the best thing I've seen all summer!


The professor that's here on research for a week is proving to be a fun museum buddy. Since the weather seems to be keeping visitors away, she and I have done some exploring with the big box of random skeleton keys and earlier we found an entire hidden library that I never knew about, locked up over one of the outbuildings! (We squealed like children while we jumped up and down. What?! It was very exciting.) Nerd paradise around here today.


I believe today's wedding will make the 80th one I've shot. Over the years, I've had a flower girl bite me, a distraught bride swear at me, and I've narrowly missed being puked on by a hungover groom. I've held dog leashes, sewed ripped dress trains, mixed another batch of punch, loaned bobby pins, arranged flowers and taken over for the DJ..... Ah, the exciting life of a wedding photographer!


Happy that we went to the touching wedding of dear friends yesterday and my kids were not in the least bit confused by the fact that there were TWO beautiful brides. They clapped and cheered and had a wonderful time celebrating. Love is love is love. The little ones get it. So should we all.


When I left work, I rolled the car windows down to catch a nice, cool breeze...but then the 56429860023 Pokemon cards my kids left scattered over the backseat started flying out and I had to pull over in the middle of Strafford to pick them up. (Or else be a litter bug and a rotten mom.) An older couple slowed down in their diesel Mercedes to stare and ask if I was OK (I'm still in a hoop-skirt, mind you, scurrying in and out of the ditch) and I said: "Yeah, I'm just picking up my Pokemon cards!" Then I started to laugh and laugh because it's Friday and the world is nuts. Myself included.


Whoa. My last tour was a brave, sweet nurse who practically carried her hospice patient through this museum. Visiting it was on the elderly lady's "bucket list" and the nurse was determined she see it before it was too late. I don't care how crappy this world seems sometimes, there is just as much good as evil. Maybe more. Proof positive. Also, after today, hospice nurses are my heros.

Aw! Chuck just came down from the carriage barn to tell me that someone left a glowing note in the guest book about how much they loved taking the museum tour with me and my kids. That feels dang GOOD. This job makes me happy and I'm very glad to have it. Everyone should be so lucky.


Picking up Captain's ashes today. I still expect him to run out to meet us every time we drive in. We sure miss you, little pup.


Whoa. Being me, I never bother to read the fine print. Looking it over this morning, I see I get tons of cool perks through work that I didn't realize! Free admission for me and my kids to pretty much every place we'd want to go. Discounts up the wazoo! Yay for being a State employee!


Instead of the usual, elaborate dress I wear for work, today I opted for vintage styled riding breeches and boots with my shirtwaist. The weather's too messy, who knows what sort of things I'll be needing to do with all this water happening: mopping and such. No biggie, I'll just look like a liberated Victorian woman at her country estate. Luckily, I'm the sort of lady who would have worn pants if she darn well felt like it. Anyhow, walking around the apartment this morning, Eli is stunned. "Mom! Pants?!? It's still the 1800's! THE OLDEN DAYS, remember? You can't wear PANTS!" Aw. My little historian.


In full 1800's regalia, pursuing crackers and cheese, I squeezed past a delivery guy restocking the Pepsi cooler at the general store. He gave me a weird look as I straightened my feathered hat, and I thought to myself: "The people who don't know me must think I'm some sort of wacko." But then I comforted myself with the knowledge that the people who DO know me think the same.


Happy Father's Day to my dad!!!! Who else could stay sane through three teenage daughters at once? But he's still got enough energy for the second round of little ones...spends time with my boys every day, going for hikes, playing ball, riding bikes, building stuff, making music, cuddling down with popcorn and old movies, and he helps us to pull off any wacky project we come up dream is too big! Hats off to Grampa Butchie!


Trying to finish memorizing a wealth of historical information, (mostly politics...yikes!) before next week when we open for the season, and wondering if the smell of mothballs will linger in my hair forevermore... Welcome to my new job as curator/historian at the Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford. Come visit me at the museum this summer! I'll give you a delightful guided tour, and yell at you if you step off the runners onto my Victorian carpet!


I asked the boys what they wanted to do today and Ira said he wanted to go to New York and see the "Statue of Liver Bees". But we just played mini golf instead.


Lonely for my baby monkeys today. I've already ransacked hidden chocolate and cuddled the dang dog, but it just aint the same!


Whoops, you missed a spot. Still finding quills in Captain that escaped notice the first time around. Good grief. Porcupines are not high on my list of favorite animals at the moment...actually, for that matter, neither is my dog.


This handsome, giant, grown-up kid, wearing cleats and telling me what's what about baseball, was JUST my tiny newborn baby five minutes ago, I swear. TOO FAST!!!! I refuse to blink for the next ten years.

My big guy had his first baseball game tonight, I just had to drop him off and then go to work, which was heartbreaking...I sniffled all the way to South Royalton because I'm a sentimental freak, I guess. Working at night means I miss out on SO much. Anyway, I hear he made a good catch at second base and also got a nice hit. I'm so proud of him.

Substituted for the music teacher today. At first I was thinking, "No sweat, I LOVE music, I'll ace this! Yay me!" We sang some songs, did some clapping exercises, all was well...UNTIL kids started arriving with their clarinets and whatnot....then, unfortunately, my non-existant band-leading skills threw us for a loop. One little girl, holding up her random, unidentifiable brass object: "'Miss Emily, where's F Sharp again?" Me: "Ummm...that's for me to not know and you to find out."


Two hours and one hundred swear words later, I have installed the boy's new bunk beds.

Mom is giving Avry a little piano lesson this morning, teaching her a simple song that goes: "I love coffee, I love tea, I love the boys and the boys love me..." Immediately after singing it she said, "Ummmm....let's change those words to be something else...." Good call Mom, good call.


Helped serve a special reward breakfast to the 2nd grade this morning...every single kid, UNPROMPTED, said "please" and "thank you" and were ridiculously patient, polite and well behaved. If people are saying today's youth is going down the toilet, I guess the Tunbridge kids didn't get that memo.


I am about to lace up my sneakers and go sweat tonight to prove to myself that nothing, nothing, NOTHING can ever stop life and light and love. No matter what challenges or tragedies we may face, we must ALWAYS get back up and keep on keeping on. Because we are stronger than the dark. Peace to those in Boston, I'm pulling for you all.


In one of my Swing dance classes this morning, an eighth grade boy calls to me: "Emily, I can't dance with HER, she's my ex!" And another boy, exasperated, says: "Oh man, that was like four years ago!


Getting the kids all bundled to head outside. Ira opened the door, ready to go, and called to Captain, our dog, "Come on Sweetheart!" As the dog ran through, Ira turned back and confided in a loud whisper, "Mom, he's not really my sweetheart, but I just don't want to hurt his feelings."


Oh, know what you guys? We have so many ticks in VT now because apparently the winters aren't cold enough to kill 'em off anymore. So, count every day below zero as one less gross tick you'll have to pull from behind your kid's ear next summer and panic about. DIE TICKS!

Being a bit too cold to go outside this afternoon, I suggested we play a game instead. Ira yells, "Candyland!!!" and Eli rolls his eyes and says, "No way Mom, he just wants to lick the board like he always does."


Wanted to remind everyone that my sister Jen gives amazing massages! I just redeemed my Christmas coupon from her and drooled all over the floor. It's a wonderful and healthy thing to do for your body, (the massage, not the drooling!) and she's pretty darn inexpensive as well! Try it!


I always used to be the designated driver...but tonight, for a change, I'm the designated babysitter! Have a safe and happy New Year all you fun-lovin' party people! Catch ya on the flip side!


Last year, Gramp was clowning around in the middle of the room at our Christmas celebration, making us all laugh with his antics during charades...only days later, a stroke almost took him from us. And even though he can't walk or get both arms around us anymore, there is just as much love in his right armed hugs! So very grateful that we still have Gramp. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without him.


I just made a cake with my snow pants going swish, swish, swish around the kitchen. Because, Betty Crocker, this is Vermont and that's how we roll.


Ha! My sister decided to have her hair cut off, super short, (it looks really cute, by the way) and when my five year old niece, Avry, saw her she shrieked; "Oh EW! Now I have TWO dads!"


Even though I'm always half off my rocker lately, life is hectic, and actual real Christmas cards were sent out to the very barest minimum of close family, it doesn't mean we don't love you! We do! We do! Warmest thanks to the amazing people in our life, every one of you...feeling very blessed to have you all. Happy Holidays! From Emily, Eli and Ira


You know what? I've been horrified all day, but somehow it didn't REALLY hit home until I put my boys to bed and they did their usual stalling, asking for one more drink and one more kiss. If I lost my kids, I would just die, that's what. Oh my God, those poor, poor people.


Gotta say it...maybe it's cheesy, but I LOVE Christmas lights. Feels so holiday-ish to be driving home in the snow last night and seeing all those houses down below the interstate sparkle. I like to think about the people, up on ladders with their staple guns or whatever, untangling strings of lights and decorating their homes. It reminds me that joy must be in the air for everyone to do silly, wonderful things simply out of festive spirit. How cool is that? And the wreaths, boughs, candles in windows. The great, old renditions of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and We Three Kings. Even the inflatable snowmen. I love that there is a time of year when we can be sappy and it's OK.


Ira has been upset for a couple days because he brought his emu egg to school for Show & Tell where somebody sat on it and broke it. Tonight, at an after-school program, there was a game where you got a prize for guessing the correct number of blocks in a big jar. Eli wrote down the correct answer, but when the winner was announced, they called up a beaming Ira by mistake! Eli, knowing that Ira was sad about his egg, whispered the mistake to me but did not want to correct it. He said he knew Ira was sad, so he wanted Ira to be the winner instead of him. And Ira promptly told Eli he could share the prize and they are now playing together with it, nicely. Have I died and gone to Mommy Heaven?! Where is the blood and ear piercing screams?


My eight year old just got out his wrench set and leveled our toilet which has been feeling kinda tippy all week. "Yup, all fixed Mom." (Said like a grown man, as he dusted his hands off on his jeans.) Twenty minutes later he threw a toddler style tantrum on the floor because I put a stop to the trick-or-treat bag assault that was happening before dinner. Good to know my babies are still my babies.


Coming home from grocery shopping just now, Ira was looking at a newspaper and pretending to read the weather report. "Mom, there's a big volcano moving this way." So, consider yourself warned.


Caeli Cavenough is our hero! (And facebook! I swear, I will never, ever delete my facebook account after this!) Caeli saw the post about our missing dog, and remembered that she'd seen a dog that looked like that, went out and found our Captain! Captain walked 14 miles, coming back to Tunbridge. What an incredible journey. His little paws are all swollen and sore, but he and Eli are curled up on the couch together right now, having a good cry. A happy cry. Thank you everyone for spreading the word.


When I was little, my sisters and I believed this rock, that had a hole in the center of it, in the brook was magic. Like a wishing well. If you stood up on the bank and threw a small stone in, you got your wish. If you missed, you didn't. And the rule was: you could only do it once a day. (I would sometimes cheat and do it a couple times when nobody was looking because I was such a bad shot and would always miss. I've got it down now though.)


I was outside this afternoon, running around hanging on to the back of Ira's bike as he tried (yet again) to ride a two wheeler. After getting sick of both the sun and running all hunched over, I went in to do the dishes, but Eli stuck with it and came racing in a while ago yelling "Mom! He finally did it!" I went out to find that, lo and behold, he did! A big brother's patience won out. Ira demanded I put it in the newspaper immediately, but seemed satisfied with facebook for now.

I check on my kids several times a night because they move around so much I often need to cover them back up again, un-wedge stuffed animals from under their backs, move them closer to the center of the bed if they are dangling off, or whatever. I usually laugh and go get my camera to take a shot of whatever weird position they've fallen asleep in. They must have been super heros in their dreams last night.


After being outside in the heat all day, we've poured tall glasses of lemonade and the kids have sat down with an old, Buster Keaton silent movie while I get ready for work. (Note: I said 'SILENT movie') So, I'm shaving my legs with an electric razor when Eli disgustedly exclaims, "Geez Mom! We can't hear over your hair machine!" I retire to the bathroom thinking both: "Hair Machine?!" and "Hello!? SILENT movie!"


Eli unearthed an old Furby in Grammy's toy box this morning. (I'd thankfully forgotten those things existed) He has dubbed it "My Baby Owl" and has turned obsessively maternal, responding to it's every cry, demand and burp. All worn out after only a couple hours, he just told it to please take a nap. Good, now maybe he'll understand how I feel.


If I turn my radio up loud enough, I can no longer hear the mysterious rattling coming from underneath my car. Problem solved!


Nothing cures lonely like a threesome with Ben & Jerry.


Oh my God, all these years I wasted, not having a Mac.


Driving my father around in my car still feels exactly like it did when I was 16...My favorite of his many disparaging comments: "Hey Queen Elizabeth, in this country we drive on the right side of the road." Dang it Dad, it's mud season - right side, left side, who cares?

ETC....(Getting sick of dating posts)

Yesterday Avry announced she was going to "Be an astrobot when I grow up, and take my rocketship all way up into Spain.

Eli & Ira were born this day! 7 & 4 years ago! My darlings are getting so grown-up...Ira got TWO gummy vitamins this morning instead of just one, an exciting epoch in his life.

Before bed, Ira said he hated unicorns because they try to poke him when he walks in the woods. Eli consoled him by saying, "Don't worry, Ira, there's probably only one left, and somebody will kill it soon anyway."

You know what? I just really love the Muppets. Nothing on TV has been as cool since. I mean, MAYBE there's stuff that comes close...I wouldn't know, 'cause I don't actually watch TV, but the Muppets were the best, man.

"Tap, tap, tap, tap..." Me (from upstairs): "Did you guys let that lamb in the house again?" Kids (in unison): "Nooooooo...!" Me: "Then what's that noise?" Eli: "It's...ummmm...ummmm....Ira wearing high heels." Me: "Put her back out."

The other day in the car, Ira informed Tess Johnson, "people that have 'ginas can jump higher than people that gots none." And I, embarrassed, explained that vaginas don't actually include super powers, only for him to get really mad at me because he meant GIANTS, not vaginas. Sometimes, things are lost in translation when you are three.

I just walked into the dining room, which Eli has TRASHED and said "I am SHOCKED at how disgusting this room is." He rolled his eyes and said "God Mom, people do bad stuff ALL the time."

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!! My afternoon just got AWESOME. Will's creamee machine is up and running! I don't care what the calendar says...I don't care what the thermometor's now OFFICIALLY SPRING!!!!!

Eli & Ira are playing with LEGOS. Eli says, "Look Mom!" and holds up an intricate helicopter, complete with spinning propeller, landing gear, and working doors. Ira holds up a colorful clump and cheerfully says, "Mine's a porch that can't stand up!"  

Whoops, just accidentally left the back door open a crack when I popped out to chase the dog and one of the ponies got into the house...I mean, he is only 36 inches high, but still, a horse in the house is pretty weird. Ira was yelling, "Maaaaaaammmmma...Dexter trying ta take my sammich!"

I found a sealed envelope in my bag last night. Inside was a crayoned picture of a cowboy and some hearts and the slanted words "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH." When I asked him about it, Eli said: "Yeah, I was going to give it to someone else but then I just decided to give it to you."

No more diapers!!!!!! We are done forever!!!! (Although, I guess I'll probably need them someday...but hopefully somebody else will have to change them by that time!)

Ira just ran out of the bathroom after using the potty, so I called him back and wearily explained, for the millionth time "Ira, we ALWAYS wash our hands after going pee or poop." He scrubbed thoughtfully for a moment before saying "AND after we touch chicken guts, Mom."

Some advice for ya'll from one who has just learned the hard way...if you're gonna put something on the roof of your car and then drive off, forgetting all about it, make sure it's something like coffee or even sunglasses, NOT an open box of tampons.

Since the kid's squabbling over the soccer ball in the other room didn't sound life threatening, I ignored it, until I heard Eli sobbing...Sitting on the floor, with his head in his hands, bawling. "Where'd you get hit?" I ask. "Nowhere. Ira KEEPS picking up the ball, he's never going to be a professional soccer player if he kepts touching it with his hands."

Ira was talking on and on to himself in the back seat of the car and at one point he said, "My daughter won't let me have ice cream." Eli rolled his eyes and replied, "Ira, you don't have a daughter, you don't even have a HUSBAND."

I noticed the chickens were making a racket, so I peeked at them. On my way back to the house, Ira sticks his head out the back door and yells: "HEY!!! They wants their EGGS BACK!!!!"

Eli is showing me magic of which involves rather obvious stuffing of a quarter up his sleeve.

My sister just brought me warm peanut butter cookies! But then she told me my sweater was wicked ugly. Ah, the sibling love/hate warm & fuzzies.

I have just pacified myself with two icecream sandwiches, and a huge hunk of pepper jack cheese. Because obviously I will be happier with an ass the size of Texas.

Wow. I just lassoed our upsidedown picnic table and dragged it back in to the river bank as it was starting to float away. First time EVER that that useless skill has come in handy.

I adore that Barbara Cohen gets her newspaper every morning, goes out into her pasture, stands there, and reads it to her horse and donkey. And they just listen. Every morning.

My little neice Av fell in her driveway a couple of days ago...she needed stitches, but she beat the crap out of the doctors in the ER, so they gave up and glued her together instead. She looked in the mirror after, grinned and said: "Monster!!!!"

There.  A year or two of facebook for ya.  In case you felt like you were missing out.

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