Tuesday, August 26, 2008

just in the nick of time

First day back to school today, half days for the rest of the week, but after the scramble that I made out of day care for the kids this summer, what a relief to have them all in one spot, for a predetermined and consistent amount of time (I signed the little kids up for a dance camp that was over at 1:50 pm every day for a week. Just plain unadorned stupidity. I guess I forgot I had this job thing happening every day past 1:50 pm that week and every week until I drop in the harness). They are safe, happy and encouraged to complete their homework in aftercare. And if you could be a fly on the wall watching me eat my own liver while I try to help Nora, memory like a colander girl, with her homework, you would know why just that one aspect of having them in extended care if worth the price of admission.

So I have a sixth grader (and I pitched a fake fit with wailing and cries of deeply felt heartache over my "baby" being a sixth grader in front of her friends, I think she felt special), a third grader and two second graders. So there is Mimi, standing first in line, in her new first day of school clothes, ready to make a good impression. And then there is Nora, in regular old clothes, didn't want to wear the new stuff, so excited about the first day but lacking the ability to communicate her feelings in words or appropriate behavior, so she just mugged for the camera like crazy and that's the best she can do, so it could be worse, I'm grateful for small improvements, really, I am.

But then there is YuYu, just calmly occupying her space in the world, what a kid. But for that matter, what great kids, every last one of my little treasures. Each one fed and dressed herself, had her book bag* completely packed and ready without needing my help, nary a cross word or hint of bickering, laughed and sang on the walk to school, what great kids. So now I'll start the weeping and wailing for real, these pictures make me a a little weepy for real, my babies, look how they're all grown up, wah, who pushed the fast forward button when I wasn't looking? My babies.

* And the little leopard print book bags were such a steal. I never find bargains, I just don't, but last winter, a mom who does find bargains, great bargains, posted the link to a clearance sale and these cute bags were like $3 and free shipping, so whoa, load me up. But I almost lost the good bargain mojo and turned them into not quite a steal. Last week the girls were with g'ma and I called to ask my mom to take the girls out shopping for new book bags. Fortunate, Ellie, my other brain, called me back to remind me that they already had new book bags stashed away in a downstairs closet, which had completely slipped my mind. So even though the bags were only $3, when you buy two bags for each girl because you are so addle brained that you forget what you already purchased and duplicate things, then that kind of bone-headedness cancels out the bargain. It's like a law of physics or something.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Well, cheese and rice, this got away from me

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So the big gap between posts, the big no show, in large part was caused by my dithering about privacy issues. How to keep blogging about my fine little family without having one of them come home from school in tears because their classmates teased them about something I blabbed to the world on this blog. Because, you know, this blog didn't start out for public comsumption. I was just looking for a substitute for the yahoo group I started for YuYu's 2004 adoption. So many in my circle didn't understand that they needed to sign onto yahoo. Without a yahoo account, they could read the posts, but couldn't see the photos, I wanted a better format for the 2006 trip. And worst of all, I thought I had printed out all my posts about darling YuYu after I got home only to realize that I had screwed the pooch, printed the yahoo ads and page template and whatnot, but the text of the posts didn't print. And before I looked at the pages to see what printed, I deleted the yahoo group, sort of like setting your own journal on fire, so sad and I was bitter about yahoo groups for travel log purposes.

So with this blog, I just thought it was kind of like a yahoo group, didn't know what the rest of the more technologically savvy citizens of the world knew, that the content could be googled and there I was, using the kids' real names, not even attempting, not even aware that I was doing the digital equivalent of throwing the front door open and inviting everyone to look in. And then I discovered that I liked keeping the journal and anyone who has peeked through our front door (ah, so much for extending the metaphor, that sounded creepy, I just mean anyone who has actually entered the center of chaos where I raise my children) in real life knows that there's no scrap booking going on in this house, and the blog was something, something pitifully small in comparison to the serious scapbooking going on in these parts, but at least something that will help me remember their fleeting childhoods.

So the dithering without finding answers started the big dry spell, and then I just got bucking busy being a mother of four and the sole financial support for those same four who insist on eating and growing and needing new shoes and stuff like heat and running water and college accounts and trying to fit in a more than full-time "career" and I use the term loosely, between the hours they are being kept safe at school or in aftercare. There's just no denying that my job is stressful, it just is, no getting around it, and I'm reviving the blog tonight instead of looking at the file I brought home because I scheduled clients early tomorrow morning because last week it sounded like a great idea and I'll be up for another hour just getting ready for that appointment. That's a seriously run-on sentence to say, cheese and rice, most of the time, I'm balls to the wall all day long (and of course, I didn't grow my own set of balls, I just adopted four children and out of necessity, anyone who voluntariy becomes a single parent has to man up and strap on a pair just to enter the game) and how do I keep a clever, engaging blog, and try to graciously respond to comments from the good people who have found our story on the internets? Well, I'm just not that all together and I can't even pretend that I am because I'm just not fooling anyone.

So this is my re-enty post. I haven't figured out the privacy issues, I'll have to keep thinking about a solution. I'll have to password protect at some point, or create a new address and start using code names for the kidnicks, I've written too much about how hard I have found it to attach to Nora to leave this out there in the ether for her or her classmates to find. There's got to be a good, easy solution, I just can't focus well enough to figure it all out just right now, and since Nora can barely read, we're safe for a little while longer.

The pics are of my three littles from a lovely picnic at the park with other single parent families yesterday afternoon. My big girl was acting camera shy, not sure what was up with her yesterday, so that's why no pics of Ellie. And see, I am such a slug, eating good food and gabbing up a storm with smart and fun moms, admiring their gorgeous kids, enjoying the really pleasant weather (kind of fall like, not like August at all) that the only reason I even used enough calories to dig out the camera was because the kids were climbing a tree right above my chair, I didn't even have to stand up to get these pictures, so, what the hell, why not get a few snaps?