Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Day in the Life: Sunday 10/18

I did my very first Day In The Life post just a couple of weeks ago, and I had a lot of fun with it. I'm going to go ahead and do a much shorter one for today before I forget about the project. Again, I didn't plan this and I think I have one or two photos to stick in. We'll see what happens! 

I still have this wild notion that weekends mean sleeping in, despite 6 years of parenthood to disabuse me of this notion. Still, today was unusual in that Lucy and James took themselves downstairs around 7:45 instead of hanging around our bed begging to be fed. Of course, they begged from down There, so I dragged myself up around 8 and poured cereal for those that needed it. 

At some point during the meal James got a wild hare to made popsicles in our mold using straight yogurt. I nearly vetoed the project, but he promised to clean everything up (he didn't!) and I decided it wasn't a hill to die on. They filled three of the four molds and put them in the freezer. Hold that thought... 

The girls and I had haircuts yesterday morning, so they'd had baths Friday night. James hates hair washing and so his baths are nearly always done Sunday morning when there's no more room to dodge. This morning was considerably smoother than usual: he really hasn't got much hair to be washed, so I don't really know why we both fuss about it so much. I got myself and the girls dressed while he was playing, and we managed to get out the door with rather less fuss than an average Sunday morning. Probably because no-one was missing their shoes! 

Then it was off to church. I always put the song slides together Sunday morning as soon as we arrive around 10:20, and that takes up about 75% of the time before the service starts around 11. Despite the fact I've been doing this for rather over a decade, I still really enjoy picking just the right background for each song, often using photos shot in the past week or two. This week I also added a slide during announcements acknowledging and honoring three Syrian Christian victims of ISIS who are also relatives of fellow church member Lina. Then I had some time to grab a small plate of snacks and some coffee, make sure the kids were doing OK (Grace and Lucy usually sit with Grandpa and Grandma; James is practically always with his best (adult) friend Don and his girlfriend), and chat briefly before things got started. 

This week's sermon finished up a months-long series in Hebrews. I may or may not have been working on some ZIA doodles while Dan was speaking. And this may or may not have made me a mite bit less responsive on the slide changes than I might have been... oh well. I really Could delegate if I wanted to. I just haven't! After the service I uploaded and linked the Podcast, but was then able to chat - again briefly - with Katy, who's newest - Alina - is about 9 days old and was attending her first service. We were able to help them out a couple of times this week - once with dinner and a play date and another time with transport to Homeschool co-op. I'm really enjoying having them a little closer to our neighborhood after their move this spring! 

We decided not to go out to lunch with my parents, which we do 1-2 times a month on Sundays. Gracie was not so much upset about this as she was the fact that she had to leave, period. She ran, she hid, she cried, she "drama'd," and I finally had to assign consequences of a 30 minute enforced toy-free nap-time at home. Of course, I didn't remove all the toys from the box room, and she played with all the stuffed animals she could reach anyway. However, she was quiet and considerably more calm afterwords, so I decided not to make an issue of it. I probably should have anyway... frankly, I probably would have with James. Crud. Consistency, the Bane of parenting! 
Only Lucy wanted to eat, so David fed her while James and I played a game of Backgammon, which I taught him (and retaught myself) a couple of days ago. He beat me on our very first game then, but hasn't even come close since as I recalled the strategy. 

A neighbor from the Bartley Court across 180th left a flyer at our door last week letting us know she was participating in the Washington County Open Studio weekend, inviting us, and thanking us in advance for our forbearance for a little extra traffic. I was immediately intrigued and even more so when the guidebook revealed she is a weaver as opposed to some practitioner of inaccessible modern painting. (Most participants seemed to belong to this latter group wink emoticon ) Still, my introversion nearly got the best of me. I hemmed and hawed and waited until the last three hours of the event to gather my courage and go to their door about 2 - dragging Gracie with me for moral support! By no means should I have worried. Pat was very sweet, made us both feel very welcome, and gave us a very informative tour of her work space including several different looms and various fibers, and even let me weave a few lines on her simplest loom. I left intrigued and inspired - I might even buy a very simple loom of my own and see where it takes me! 
If you happen to be in the market for an upscale handwoven scarf, definitely check out her website at 

We were home before three, and Lucy was definitely ready for nursing upstairs - something that becomes a nap perhaps 1 time in 4 now days. This was one of those times, and I got to read, relax, and doze myself until about 5. The other kids played downstairs, watched a movie, and even got some outside time. 

Then it was time to start dinner for the increasingly large crew that has joined the Sunday night gathering that I have been hosting in some form or another for at least some part of the last 12 years. (It started as an excuse to watch The Simpsons back when Grant, who just turned 19, was James' age, and it was often just the Banhams and I. Gradually more people were added and we started playing games after the show. Bowler hosted it pretty frequently up to the time David and I got married, after which we pretty much took it over. I don't remember when we quit bothering with The Simpsons, but I think it was before the kids were born. Now it's just dinner and games, and our attendance has averaged 8 or more adults since this Summer! 
Tonight we ended up with 10, and the menu was spaghetti, meatballs (which I forgot to heat until the last minute), bread, and salad. Along with a traditional marinara I had a wild hare of my own to make a pumpkin based pasta sauce: I'd tasted one at Costco a couple of weeks ago but wasn't willing to pay $7 for two jars. It wasn't difficult to make, but it also didn't turn out spectacularly - not enough spices, I think. Oh well. Most of it was eaten along with all three pounds of the pasta - I should have made four and heated the second loaf of bread!  

Sunday afternoons are actually traditionally very difficult because the kids naturally resist my increasingly cranky demands that they clean up the public areas at least to the point that I am not actively embarrassed by them. Today, however, I got a boon: James heard his neighborhood friends outside Just as I gave the order to clean, and he turned his attitude around in a flash from resistant to "how fast can I get this done." Phew! Also, of course, Lucy being asleep instead of adding to the chaos helped. In fact, I had everything I could logically pre-prep done by 5:45 and managed to talk David into a game of Backgammon. (He skunked me. Figures.) 

The kids are frankly an afterthought at dinner time on Sunday. James categorically rejects all pasta that does not include cheese sauce. Well, sometimes he'll eat pesto and / or ravioli, but that wasn't tonight's menu. Anyway, this often causes a real blow-up, but he's recently discovered that at least one of his friends is willing to lend him a phone to play Angry Birds or a similarly diverting game on. This can occupy him for the entire dinner hour and tonight he was quiescent until David was willing to make him a quesadilla. The girls ate the pasta without complaint. Well, not quite true. Grace decided to announce her hunger with much whining rather than ask politely for a serving, but we managed to get past that as well. Lucy prefers to sit on a parent's lap and eat off his or her plate, but I had to kick her to the kids' table due to pure space constraints. Of course she was back in a few minutes to pilfer salad "leafs" and Gorgonzola cheese bits. Listening to her ask for these is both adorable and hilarious, which is probably why she gets so many!  

As the dinner group has grown we've had to branch out into multiple simultaneous games. With the kids running around and the general noise level at somewhere rather above a dull roar I've found myself gravitating to whatever is being played in the living room instead of the chaos of the dining room table. Tonight I wanted to try a fancy complicated deck-building game that Bowler had brought, but David and I both decided to back out before he'd more than started the explanation: the kids had remembered their popsicles! And of Course they needed help to eat them Right Now! We both nearly lost our tempers around that moment. Thank goodness Stacy took most of the burden off us both. She managed to extract the darned things from the molds and cut them in half (they'd made only three and Kenza made four eaters!) I stayed almost entirely out of it - I've no idea where the messes got made or how the fingers got clean again. I think she took care of it. Which makes me very happy. Happier than the darned game we settled on - Frank's Zoo - which hadn't been pulled out in over a year and I was a bit rusty on. Having forgotten a critical but rarely exercised rule I made a dumb mistake that probably did Not, in retrospect, cost me the game, but did cost at least 4 points. James, of course, was now hanging around asking incessant questions about the cards and the rules - just where he needed to be to become the target for my grumpiness.  (For his part, he'd actually won the four-player game of Carcassone. I'm not sure anyone tried very hard to stop him, but he was Very proud of himself!) 

The games wrapped up and the guests trickled out about 9 - 9:15 as is pretty typical. As is unfortunately also typical, the kids were utterly wired, frazzled, and otherwise at the ends of their respective ropes. James was going on and on about forest fires and smoke in the atmosphere and had to drag me out to "show" me - only to be told that he was simply smelling someone's fireplace. Meanwhile Lucy was all wound up over a game they were playing with a cardboard box I had not actually wanted them to destroy and Grace apparently lost the last reserves of her patience in a disagreement over said box. When I came in she was in total melt-down and I had to put her in the box room and walk away while she screamed. The poor kid probably hasn't been asleep before 10 a single day this week. I don't know how much longer I can let this go on... 
Lucy fought pretty hard to and I had to walk away from Her after 15 minutes of nursing and 5-10 more of attempts to get her calm. 

I was emotionally and physically fried myself, but managed to devote approx. 10 minutes to school planning - another subject that is cause for not inconsiderable angst (as opposed to active anxiety.) James doesn't Like to do worksheets - duh! - but I haven't the confidence to help him navigate the tricky waters of spelling, phonics, or even basic math without them. So I know I'm setting myself up for a fight, but it's one I've simply got to power through. 
Then, of course, I decided to "decompress" by blogging for 60 minutes. :) 

I love Sundays. I look forward to them. I would not consider at all ending our evening gatherings, which I know are valuable not only to us but also to the various attendees.  And yet... well, I can be thankful that this year Mondays are largely unscheduled and laid back. They're absolutely critical to recover from the Sundays! 

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