Friday, May 31, 2013

May favorites

Yes, yes. I have been absent. And it is June, but I'm dating this as May. Will you please forgive a homeless mother who seemingly spends her spare time scouring the MLS and Zillow for the lack of posts? Thank you.

Without further ado, my favorite Instagrams from May. For all of my comments about being homeless, life in Highland is good. More on that later.

[adoring smiles for his sister]

[love the straight-from-the-garden goodies]
[same goes for the beer selection at Tru-Buy, the grocery store of choice]

[keeping it real on Mother's Day]

[frosted mini wheat storage by Charlie]

[rolling Highland style]

[letting Nana know the cushion needs to be as long as she is tall]

[the Fleming water table made its seasonal debut]

[weekly stop]

[back on the books]

[first visit to the ice cream shop, first peace sign ... seriously]

[line drying every chance I get]

[the lioness went on a school zoo trip with dad]

As you can see, we are reaping the benefits of country living. I'm not going to lie, my parents' house (and massive yard) is a pretty swell place to spend the summer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Smug on the saucer swing

Check out that smug smile. The girl does love her saucer swing. And any other activity that has the potential to result in a nice scrape or bruise. Just check out that elbow.

Summer knees (and shins, and elbows, and hands) are in full effect.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yard help

Last weekend my parents had 12 yards of mulch delivered. If that sounds like a lot, it is. All I know is it came on a real-deal dump truck that wigged out of both kids when they feared the contents were going to land on their beloved Papa. Luckily, the driver made up for it by blowing the air horn before he left. "Just part of the job," he said. So cute.

But back to the mulch.

With the mulch, the nice weather and the extra sets of hands (and extra opinions, compliments of yours truly), we spent all of Saturday working outside. The kids, as you can see, were great helpers. When they weren't flinging around their child-sized yard tools, they were zipping around the yard on the neighbor's battery-powered ATV or catching rides with Papa on the John Deere.

These pictures were actually taken the day before, when the load arrived. Trust me, there is no way you want to see what they looked like on the day where we got literally down and dirty. Suffice it to say, by the end of the day—by lunch, actually—they had a fine coat of dirt covering every square inch of their bodies. I know for certain that our kids have never been dirtier. But boy, did they have fun. And sleep well.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday morning by the numbers

Sometimes on my days home with the kids, I shoot Chip quick emails detailing the events of the day. This morning's list was particularly entertaining. At least to me.

Without further ado, our morning by the numbers:

  • 3 Clifford the Big Red dog shows watched back-to-back while I worked
  • 5 waffles consumed
  • 2 cups of milk drank, straight-up gangster style
  • 1 cup of blueberries, devoured
  • 4 sausage links, also devoured
  • 2 corn poops, compliments of Charlie
  • 41 rounds of Mary Clare singing "Come on, vamanos! Everyone, let's go!" on repeat
  • 68 Little People and Matchbox cars scattered on the floor
  • 20 steps between the kids' Lake Michigan "house" and the "beach" (or "BEEECH," if you're Charlie)
  • 3 hat changes for Charlie
  • 2 belts per kid, currently worn on pants without belt loops

It's a glamorous life we lead. And it's not even 10:30.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Car communiques

The Highland-to-St. Louis commute has its benefits. (It also has its negatives, but we're being positive here, people.)

So, one benefit is that I get lots of quality conversation time with kids. Charlie mostly wants to yell BALL! TRUCK! CAR! at me on repeat, but Mary Clare is usually game for an actual conversation. And when we're not chatting, I am listening. Her burgeoning imagination combined with her ability to mispronounce and even butcher words (please, please never change) makes for some pretty entertaining car rides.

Last night I hit the jackpot.

As I started navigating our way to the interstate, Mary Clare started telling me about the last time she and Ben played together they lost a crispy. The traffic around the hospital stretch of Kingshighway is a nightmare, so I was only half  paying attention. It wasn't until she kept going on and on about this crispy and how it went down the sewer so they couldn't get it, and Ben said the crispy would go into the sea, that I stopped to ask, "Mary Clare, what were you and Ben playing with again?" "A crispy," came the automatic response. "A crispy?" I said. "Like crunchy food?" Exasperated sigh. "No, a cris-PEE. You know, that you throw and catch."

So, for those of you that didn't read the above paragraph, Ben and Mary Clare were playing with a frisbee, it went down the sewer drain and Ben comforted Mary Clare by letting her know that it would be spending its remaining days in the sea.

A short while later, I heard her singing, so I turned down the radio.

"Ladies and gelatin! Boys and girls! Gather around. It's time for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!" She then went on to highlight the featured guests, Donald, Goofy and Mickey, and what they would be doing today.

I wanted to make sure I heard her correctly, so I asked her to do the intro for me again.

"Ladies and gelatin! Boys and girls!" she bellowed, clearly pleased that she had caught my attention.

Oh, she did alright. My attention and the attention of all the gelatin reading this blog.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Moving along

We moved.

Well, sort of.

We sold our house in late February, and rather quickly. As in "first day people could get inside and see the house" quickly. While it had us in a bit of a panic, we are now counting our lucky stars that our beloved Botanical digs didn't languish on the market. And that our home was bought by someone who will hopefully love it as much as we did.

The only bad part is that we have not found a new house, so we are—wait for it— living with my parents in Highland, IL. Thankfully, they have the space and patience for dealing with us.

So, the reason for the radio silence of late is that we spent the last few weeks purging, packing and planning. The moving company took all of our belongings to storage last Wednesday, and we closed on Friday. And now we wait, pouncing on every listing and email our agent sends us. I have also taken to obsessively searching Zillow, and sending emails to anyone I know in the area who might know of a house getting ready to go on the market. I am likely mere weeks away from dropping notes in mailboxes. The housing inventory is slim, at best. Now I know why our house went so fast.

And our house. I miss it. Really miss it. But mostly I miss Regina, the rest of our neighbors and St. Margaret's. This was not an easy decision for us, and one we had been toying with off and on for years. So when we finally pulled the trigger and listed our house, it sent us both spinning when we realized we would have less than two months at the first home Chip bought, the first place we lived together, and the only home Buddy, Mary Clare and Charlie have ever known.

And now I am bawling. Again.

As we left the house together for the last time last Wednesday, I hugged Chip, and with tears streaming down my face, said, "Honestly, the way I am carrying on, you would think this wasn't our decision and we were being forced out of our home at gunpoint."

Never one to encourage my melodrama, he loudly replied, "Don't worry, babe. The bank will take good care of our house."