Last day of school

As of 3:30 today, the kids are out of school, successfully completing another year.  It was a good year for them all especially considering the crazy things we did in the middle like pack up half their stuff and then make them only eat school lunch so we didn’t have to make lunch prep mess during the showing season.  Kids are adaptable.

I’m the one who is probably going to have more reaction to the change tomorrow.

On one hand, we gain back 45min of carpool time a day.  Our mornings will be what we want without a ticking clock accounting for every moment between 8am and 9:05.

I’ll also feel less guilty about going out at night since for the past 2 weeks I feel like either they or I’ve been out every night.  Worthwhile things all, but, family time at night has gotten very scarce.

We also won’t have to have a firm bedtime or suffer the next day situation.  Given the nightly schedule we have been running, bedtime has already been slipping but with school and busy weekends too we don’t get much catch-up time on the other end so it is starting to show.  Zoe still has not really recovered her sleep debt from 2 weeks ago sleepover where they stayed up to 1am.

On the other hand, I still have tons to do to get one house packed and the other house built.  I have enjoyed the relative freedom between 9:20 and 3:45 to get things done.  We all work pretty well on a routine and I’ll miss the reliable boundaries between zones of time.

I also am stealing myself against the fighting…. they play so nicely then erupt like a 3 headed volcano that spews whine.

I’m also super behind planning camps etc because A. school is over 2 weeks earlier than normal and B. I couldn’t plan until the house part was done and then I needed to regain my brain.  C. All the things I volunteered to do over the past 2 months really do take up time in the day and the night so I’ve been short on time.

I don’t think it will be total chaos tomorrow.  (fingers crossed) I will shift onto my summer schedule where I just wake up earlier and do computer work before we start the day and work toward something of a routine.  We have a playdate planned already for 2 of 3 girls in the next two days and we just drafted our summer bucket list.  I’m proud to say that they brought up, on their own, reading goals for the summer.  For the record;

Niamh; 10 long chapter books

Zoe; 1000 books

Fiona; onefinity

… what one of these children has advanced to the stage of realistic goal setting…

To celebrate the last day we are having a smores and fire night and staying up a bit late with a few friends.  I am really very very lucky to be able to spend my summer seeing the world through the eyes of my children.  Not that I’m counting but only 140 days until the first day of school.

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last carpool

 

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honoring the last Monday

You know how you often don’t know that you did something for the last time until after it happened and you think “hey, I would have taken a moment to saver that”.  Lars had an insanely sad list on the subject once like one day you will pick up your child and put them down again and never pick them up.  You never know when that will be…  there were about 20 others but they were all sad.  The semi-solution to that is to take joy every time but that is more an aspiration then something you can actually do.  Anyway, I realized last week that I had missed noting the last full, normal, week of school.  Last week they had 5 days in school but I was there for all of 1 watching field day.  The previous week I put on the teacher breakfast so I was at the school for a couple hours. The week before that I spent half the day volunteering, so, I’m a month past my last full normal week.

However!  I am savoring every moment of this last Monday.  This isn’t just my last Monday before summer, it is my last Monday home, child free, in this house….  because, we have sold our house.

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We actually sold it a little while ago but like so many things, announcing too early can lead to having to take it all back.  The new people appear nice according to my facebook search of their names.  I think they will fit into the neighborhood well and I’m happy they choose this house.

It was a really stressful month being on the market.  We held it together and I think we did admirably considering everything, but it was like final exam week stress for 4x as long but with the added stress sause of having no way to truly affect the process.  The only tip I can give for living in a house you are selling is to get nice luggage and use it to store laundry.  I would put our daily laundry into the suitcase and then wash every 3 or 4 days.

The other reason I didn’t post earlier is that I wanted to have the next chapter ready for you.  I’m sure everyone is wondering what combination or permutation of moving out and in actually will happen.  I know I had virtually a different scenario suited to every day between June and August rattling around my head like the worlds worst mosh pit.

Facts;

We are selling our house on Friday, July 27.

We are buying our new home on Monday, August 12.

The good side!  We can live here most of the summer, no interim move like would have been necessary for a June closing.  There is a bit of a gap though, and actually, more then you see because to sell the house we need to be 100% moved out of it so really we need to be out by (goal) July 25.  Technically the builder can have things ready for us on July 31 but unless it could be done by July 20th giving us time to move, we have to get a storage solution regardless.  Our normal yearly 2-week family vacation is set to begin on July 28th so, I’m taking the hint from the universe and going on vacation instead of harassing the builders to be 10 days ahead of plan.  We will come home from vacation to a hotel for 1 night and get our new house the next day.

What about July 25-27?  Well, we are bunking in with a friend and given it is only 2 nights I think it will be fun and a nice transition from one house to the next.

That is the plan.  Given this actual framework, I can move all the other parts and pieces into order around it.

Not a minute to spare though, I’m so glad the kids were safe and happy at school for the majority of the selling process.  I’m going to try not to pack them into boxes over the summer but no promises….

Day 75

Current status;  we have both insulation and sheetrock and I assume all the things that should be between the walls are now all there.  Cabinets are decided and are in construction at the shop.

Next; (me) buy 27 light fixtures (not a joke) (them) tape the sheetrock and start the trim.

Status; 700 of 1000 – still no toilets but sheetrock really makes it look like you could live there

Last week I went over and took a picture of every. single. wall.  in the entire house so I would know what was where for future me.  I was doing this as the insulation team was tucking the house in.  Today I went to check in again and it is 99% sheetrocked, they were doing the garage when I got there.  At this point, a lot of the really BIG things are done and I understand the timeline rational for the flooring and siding etc.  The next 3 months will, I’m sure, have chunks of time where it seems like nothing is happening until all of a sudden a new thing is done.

We also did the firming up of dates thing and we are going to move in AFTER our family vacation in August.  This actually gives the team an extra 10 days to get every little thing done so hopefully no surprises at the end.  I need to get going on procuring light fixtures – a daunting and fun task all at the same time.  I like to pick out the ‘perfect’ one but when you need 27 I don’t actually have time for that…  The few that I’m least excited about that go in the pantry or halls are oddly some of the more necessary because without them those rooms have zero light.  The cool fun ones that go in the kitchen and front hall and dining rooms are technically not needed immediately because all those rooms also have built-in ceiling ‘can’ lighting (all LED).  I’m rolling the dice and using the Wish site where they have some serious bargains because if I hate it, I won’t feel bad replacing something that was $15.

The must decide list is still actually pretty long but I’m insisting on a mid-project budget review to see how we are doing.  If we have extra we can upgrade a few things, if we are in the hole we can make a different choice on some things.  I have my fingers crossed that the budget will cover all wood stairs…   I’m on a personal strike that until I see some numbers, I’m not choosing one more thing.  This is a personal game of chicken with the builders but I dropped in on them today and they promised they were doing our budget and would get back to me asap.

That is the update on the house, so far so good.  Pretty soon I should start a count down to move in because things are looking real over there now.

Lilly and the Octopus

I’ve had a good amount of time recently to read books, and, listen to books.  I usually have one of each going all the time.  Chores are more fun and phone games less frivolous if I’m also listening to a book.  Kid TV and line waiting is less brain numbing if you can read a book.

Late last week I was feeling a little blue so when I was hunting up a new book I used the filter ‘humorous’ and Lilly and the Octopus popped up with a mini description that said ‘Hilarious; it will be the next book you have to recommend”.  Not too long ago I read a set of mysteries where a pet sitter was the protagonist and they were indeed funny so I took the computers advice.

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Spoiler and Warning!!!

This book is NOT humorous.  It is about a dog with a brain tumor.  This isn’t much of a spoiler because you learn about it in the first chapter!!!  This poor little dachshund and the even more sad owner have a final month or so and in the end, the description of the agony of choosing to end things was sweet and perfectly descriptive.

This book is very well written.  It paints a picture.  It is the fight of a fiercely lonely and loving owner.  There are a few ‘funny’ parts, basically, the way the author writes how the dog talks made me smile, but, the story is not one that will cheer you up.  In fact, it will make you relive any pet loss you ever had.

I feel like I am writing this review as a rebuttal to all the people who have labeled this ‘humorous’ but if you go in knowing the subject it is a beautifully written book.

ps. ironically it is exactly a year since we put Mr Pink to sleep

Day 60ish

Current status;  Systems are getting done, the space between the floor and ceiling is getting pretty busy looking.  Got the garage door ordered and dialing in dates for things near the end.

Next; inspections than walls up!

Status; 550 of 1000 – still no toilets so I’m not giving a full 100 points for this week

The changes now are harder to see from the outside but we have great builders who have an open door policy about visiting the house.  It is fun to see things in process like this electric box, I do hope they have ways of making all that fit into the box…

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We also took the opportunity to write on the studs.  Everyone else was doing it and it will all be covered up soon so why not.

The question of the week; Front path

  1. from the road to the door, or,
  2. from the driveway around the front of the house.

What else have we been doing?

The house is going well, plenty of progress but I want to step back and document what the rest of us have been up to in the past six weeks.

Niamh

1. turned 10!  I have a ‘dear Niamh’ post started but at a certain point I wonder when it is time for those letters to be just for her and not for the public.  Regardless she turned 10 and is doing very well.

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2. We did our traditional special day and this year she asked to stay home the whole day.  Given that she is doing really well in school and is bored by math at the moment I let her sleep in and we  had most of day just us.  We went to the dr for the well child and she is indeed, a well child.  We got her a library card of her very own and got pedicures.  We also did a bit of shopping and when I had to do work when we got home she had a little game time with Dad who had an unexpected lull in his day at the perfect time.

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3. now has 2 more holes in her body!  We intended to do this on the special day but it didn’t work out.  It was a process overall with lots of driving and a special trip to storage to mine out her birth certificate.  It was not a pain-free experience and was not made too much better by her sister pointing out her tears on the table, but, the piercer was fantastic and ended up sending her off with 2 extra sets of pretty earrings.  She was assigned a pretty extensive regime of cleaning and soaking 2x a day but it is worth it because 4 days later they don’t hurt at all.

 

Zoe

1. Is turning into a very capable organizer because she has expedited her entire birthday party from picking the place to reminding me a dozen times to book it and then asking (at a pretty good time) to go to the store for invitations that she then filled out herself.  I wish her friends were as good at responding!  She is looking forward to it and is (reluctantly) very good about sharing her party with Fiona since their birthdays are so close.

2. Also had our special day this week.  She wanted to go to school though because the novelty of being called out early is still novel in 2nd grade.  We were going to do lunch but we were reminded that she had plans at school with a bff so instead we did a sushi dinner.  We also did a good shopping trip where she got to indulge in some shoe and toy picking, and, had solo choice on many of the things from the grocery section and that can be just as fun.  She was also officially weighed and measured by the medical profession and is also blessedly right on track in all ways.

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3. Discovered the Babysitter Club books.  Zoe is a great reader and recently confided that she may want to stop reading out loud to me because she reads faster in her head.  To preserve that time together we agreed that I would read her a harder book during our reading time and she will continue to read every spare moment she can.

 

Fiona

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1 Over the past month, or so had turned the corner on reading.  She WANTS to do it and is doing pretty well actually doing it, and, has taken to reading books in bed that we have already read together to get more practice.  There are loud protests if we imply we are skipping reading time because we ran out of time, enough that we try hard not to.  She is a master at the easy reader’s now and compliments to the new Dr. Sueese, Go Dog Go has a really satisfying ending, even after the 30th time through.

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2 Training wheels OFF!  I think this is a peer pressure thing between sisters and friends but she is getting it pretty fast and I expect her to be good enough for real rides soon.  In general, she is taking the ‘training wheels’ off all sorts of things – she pours milk from the gallon, is taking care of messes to the point I wouldn’t know if she didn’t tell me, and is 100% good at washing her own hair.  She also has taken on the after school dog walk and I don’t even need to remind her anymore.  I’m far from redundant in her world but I like to see her confidence growing.

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3 Ran her first 5k.  Last year she was in the stroller still and this year the course was laps around the big field at school rather than on the road and there were fun color stations around the loop.  She and her friend ran nearly the entire time and it was fun to see her having so much fun.  She probably ran more than the 5k because I know she ran past the lap marking station without getting a mark a few times and when she had a full lap card she went another 2 laps to just get more color.

Lars and I

1 . Lars went out to see his brother for 5 days.  It is a blessing in a way to know your days are numbered and I’m glad he got the time with his family.  It was not a fun trip but turned out as good as it possibly could.  (His brother is actually still doing ok all things considered)

2 . While Lars was gone I managed the home front.  It turned out to be a nice few days and we went to see friends and out to a movie.  Even though Lars is in his office and I’m not usually when he is actually gone it is super quiet.  I was actually pretty busy overall with teacher breakfast stuff to plan at the school and house perfection to maintain.

3 . We have kept our weekends busy by going  to a few events for the SCA and have quite a few more coming up.  Tis the season for outside events so we are gearing up for the summer season.  Now that the weather is finally nice we can get excited about camping and outside tournaments.

4 . Speaking of weather, it has been so gorgeous for a few weeks now.  We have hit up the playgrounds in the past weekends and this weekend we all went to the zoo Sunday and spent the entire time in the outside sections.  Our zoo is great and they are working on new things all the time.  The supergiant fun playground was closed this time but that just means we will be back again sometime soon.  We found plenty of other fun without that playground and ended the day with ice cream.

5 . Yesterday I ran the teacher appreciation breakfast and Niamh came with me to help.  We had a great time and got way too much credit because so many people donated food but couldn’t stay so we were the only ones there for the serving.  Ond other mom came to help with clean up and she was worth her weight in gold because Niamh had to go to school.  I’m always glad to host things for the teachers because I know they give so much of themselves to our kids that I want them to stay, and stay happy.  Given the levy fail and the fall out from that (I’m not even going to start) the manager in me knows that it doesn’t take much money to pull someone from a job they don’t really like but it takes a Lot More to pull them from a job they like.  Feeling valued and appreciated go a long way toward liking a job and that is something I, and the PTO and any parent can easily do.  I know if I had just a bit more of that in my old job I might be in a completely different place right now…

 

Long update on us all with the basic message of ‘we are doing fine’.  Building and selling are taking a toll but we are doing our best to live and have fun in between.  I hope you all are doing as well or better.