Hello September!

Kids are back to school and I'm still very anxious for fall, though I'm trying not to be unpleasant in all my impatience. (Some days I do better than others with that.) I haven't started school yet, so I've tried to start on spring cleaning, though we are calling it fall cleaning and pretending this major sort of cleaning occurs in both spring and fall. (As for progress on that front. .  . again, some days are better than others.)

Lex, of course,  hasn't left summer behind yet. He's pretty much about the right now. He's a bit like his sister in that way.

He hasn't started school and still believes it's too warm for clothes.

So, he's been spending his days half-clothed, covered in dirt, doing things like catching snakes: 

And now I've added one more thing to the list of things not allowed in the house: insects, sticks, rocks, trees,  and snakes. My kids think I'm so mean.

: : Me & the Boys

Lex has been enjoying being able to sleep in the last few days. In this he is more like me than his sister

The biggest switch this week: no more extra kids! As of September 1st, I'm not watching any other kids. . . well any other unrelated kids on a regular basis. It hasn't really sunk in yet, but the few moments it has I've loved it. I really, really like my extra little boys and very soon I know I'm going to miss seeing them every day. (Lex woke up today and asked if Ethen was here yet. It was a little sad to tell him he wasn't coming. . .no Sage either.) But I've increasingly hated the schedule of having to be here every single day from 7:30 to 5:30. It's become even more difficult as most my kids are all moving into school-age activities where I need to be available after school. I think I've figured out ways to manage it fairly well for the most part, but it's still never easy to get things done or go to basketball games or coach a soccer practice with a gang of 8-10 extra kids no matter how great the kids are. I've also hated not having the same days off that my kids do. It's always more hectic when there's no school, rather than it being a little break. And it is a lot of work just keeping such a big group of kids feed and happy before we even more on to activities.  It was so relaxing to go to bed the other day without having three meals and two snacks for a dozen kids for the next day figured out. Tomorrow I'm going to schedule some appointments for Lex and me, and I can do it without monumental planning and involving other people to fill any gaps I might have in figuring out how to get where we need to be and have all the other kids where they need to be at the right times.

Lex & Iyezk's doughnut snake. They like it when I go on ambulance calls because I bring them junk food. Town Punp doesn't have a lot of great options for treats. 

I still have a couple weeks before the quarter starts and it's back to teaching, but I'm hoping in the coming months I'll be able to do most of my professional sorts of work during normal work hours instead of squeezing it in somewhere between when all the little kids go home and my kids are in bed and when I need to wake everyone up again the next day. We will see. Of course in about a month all this freedom will be less cool when I'm a few hundred dollars short to pay all the bills. Dev already told me he wasn't doing any additional work, so I will very soon have to find some sort of other job, but maybe I can at least get my house clean once before that happens.

And still this past week it hasn't been just Lex and me. We still have the cousins here.

Iyezk & Lex. Lex's hat is under Iyezk, but I like how they both have swim trunks and beanies. . . because this is fall in Montana after all. Snowstorms and afternoon swims both equally possible.

Lex and Iyezk spend most of every day hanging out. I'm not even sure what they are doing much of the time because they totally entertain themselves. They have caught many snakes, are getting pretty good at the letters in their names and are developing some impressive karate skills. Also there is a lot of secret meetings out in the sandbox that I'm not invited to. It's looking like we might do Headstart; hopefully it doesn't put too much of a damper on their busy days.

Aodhan has been hanging out with Lex and Iyezk and me while the big kids are off at school every couple days, too. 

He is constantly busy with on all sorts of important projects, like writing very detailed notes and stealing my camera while I am distracted making lunch and taking about 37 pictures of my ceiling.

We spend our days with very important work.

: : Just a few reasons I've had enough summer

Just above our door! We have these all around the house.

Bees. Everywhere. They make hanging out outside nearly impossible. They sting the little kids.

They may be trying to kill me.

Friday I opened my blinds & got strung on the neck. Five minutes later I couldn't see at all (just bright white stars), got all hot & then broke out in a sweat. I started itching everywhere & felt like I was going to throw up. I get stung all the time & a few times I've had stings where the whole area will swell horribly, but but nothing like this has ever happened. At first I thought I was just imagining feeling a little weird but when I couldn't see anything I did get worried. If it wouldn't have ended so quickly I would've went into the ER. I was thinking I needed to start at least towards an epi pen but then it started to go away. I must have looked bad because Dev told me I looked really pale & even asked me if I had an epi pen.

Of course Israel (my caretaker and worrier) was a little troubled by the situation. While I was gone the next day he climbed up on the roof and went all around the yard spraying and destroying all the nests like this he could find. He also monitors me when we go outside and advises against going outside at certain times when he knows they are really active. Sometimes he is the most adult one in this house.

And the other reason I've had enough summer. Garbage.

Everywhere. This is what my yard, driveway, field . . . pretty much everywhere outside looks like. Both the big dumpster at the end of my driveway and the huge garbage on my back deck are continuously being dumped. Neighbor dogs, bears,  racoons . . . deer? Whichever of the numerous creatures are responsible, they make me angry nearly every day. I'm ready for them all to hibernate or move inside so I can stop feeling like I live in a dump. I'm so tired of picking up trash.

: : High School Football

Mission's first game was Friday. I love the beginning of football.

Their first game was in Plains this year.

Of course the kids love the football games for all sorts of reasons other than football.

Jeff giving some future bulldogs a few tips at halftime.

And the cape. Never leave home without a cape.
This weekend is the first home game!

: : Plains Fair & Demo

I'm still unsure if I love or hate the fair.

Maybe both, depending on when you ask.

It is an interesting place to just walk around and people watch. I'd be happy just to do that for a few hours.

I like this photo because it pretty clearly illustrates their polar opposite approaches to most things in life.
Unfortunately, this isn't really a normal idea of fun for anyone else in my family.

So, we go and do all the normal fair things

That's not too bad either.

This year Dev and I even got to go one night without the kids. (Thanks again to Israel. How do people survive having young kids without having a helpful teenager too?)

A night without kids. . . that's not too bad either.

: : It's not open burning yet

The fire department had to put out a burn that got  little out of control in town a few days ago. So maybe it isn't time to burn after all. I've really, really been wanting everything around my house burned. I've given up on having anything nice outside; now I just want it gone.  (see bug and garbage problem above) Dev has been telling me for months that as soon as October 1st gets here he'll get the dog kennel out of the carport once he can burn and clear a spot for it. I've been counting down the days. . . it will be at least one thing less that makes me hate everything about our outdoor space.

: : Still failing attempts at civilization

This is Lex getting into the bath for bath #2 of the day. He always has two baths a day and still is always so dirty he looks like that pigpen character. And he needs a haircut. Also, I still can't get him to leave his clothes on. None of my other kids were little nudists like this. It drives me crazy.

He started running down the driveway naked yesterday evening. I yelled at him to stop and of course he looked back at me and then ran faster. I was just about to leave anyway, so I got in the car and went to get him. He was running so quickly by the time I caught him he was at Christina's and when I got out of the car he continued to run from me. (I guess this is one of the times it's good that we don't live in town and that our one close neighbor is my brother and his family.) I caught him, told him sternly he couldn't be running around on the road naked, and put him in the car with his cat, because for some reason he was not only running away naked, he was carrying his cat.

I was on my way to measure the distance of a route I wanted to run so we drove a few miles away from the house and after a bit he asked me where we were going. I was still annoyed at him and not really paying attention and just mumbled as I was looking at my odometer,  "To dump you off somewhere. You're making me crazy." And I kept driving. He asked why I was crazy and I told him he made me feel crazy when he wouldn't listen and did things like run away naked.

"So you want to dump me off here?"

We were a couple miles from home, out by a field with a few cows. "Sure" I said, "Does this look like a good place?"


And as I was having this conversation I was aware probably you shouldn't talk to your three-year-old like this, but I was also wondering why this child is so bizarre. Shouldn't three-year-olds be worried about being dumped out in the country? Naked?

I slowed down & stopped the car. He opened the door and climbed out with his cat. Then shut the door and waited for me to leave. I really don't think he would have cared if I drove away.
Instead of leaving I jumped out and put him back in the car since I figured it was bad enough I was driving around with a filthy, naked child. I probably didn't need people to know about the plan to leave him alongside the road with his cat.

We were doing pretty good with wearing clothes most of the day today. Until he and the boys wanted to go over to the neighbors. He looked like a normal little boy when he left & then he came back wearing only his underwear. He'd left the rest of the clothes at the end of the driveway on the way over.

I guess I should be happy he was still wearing the underwear.

: : Evening 

I have this goal to eventually start running in the morning. It's such a better time to do it, except that mornings always come so early in the day and I find it really impossible to be a morning person no matter how good my intentions.

But, evenings are nice, even when I have to stick to the track. Or maybe I just pretend it's really nice so I have an excuse to take a break and take a picture with my phone:

 Of course the other problem with running in the evening is that rather than that photo up there, THIS is what it really looks like. 

I just have way too much help. Also, I tend to run out of hours in the day. Yesterday I just ran at the track by our house so I could escape without the children realizing it, but they did realize it and followed me and then we had our collection of bikes and kids and dogs and all sorts of chaos. As I was finishing I realized the sun was almost down and I still had this collection of kids and bikes and dogs out running and it wasn't summer anymore. This clearly meant I was probably not doing so great with my paying attention to a schedule plan.

But, as we were leaving a whole group of kids came up to me and asked if we were having soccer practice (like right then) because they were afraid they were missing it. So, clearly my children aren't the only ones in town who don't go to bed at 8:00 pm.

Oh well. Maybe if I keep at the running I can eventually get away fast enough that they can't all keep up and come with me.

Or, At least I'll just be fast enough to catch any naked escaping children before they make it to the end of the driveway. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice to meet you, Christa! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and your lovely comment. I agree with you that there are certain things America embodies, and it is good for all children to know and understand them. It looks like you have a wonderful family, too, and a gift for photographing them.