Today I opened my laptop for the first time in nearly 2 weeks. It sounded like a pinball machine dinging with all the alerts and messages that it had qued up in its little body. I’ve been having a great time with just my phone, a few facebook posts, skim the emails for anything urgent and basically back in the bag.
I’m on our traditional 2-week camping adventure in PA. Every year is a little different, every year it is nicely the same. I can nearly walk the site with my eyes closed but each year there are new areas I become more acquainted with. This year I got to participate in a cool ceremony for a person I think is great, it was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m am so glad I was in a position to do it. This year is also 100% less stressful. Sure, still a bit of stress over this or that – a difficult person, random drama, or, an uncontrollable situation but since I’m not at max stress from moving it is all much more manageable.
Why do I vacation in a place that is built to be not relaxing? I’m trying harder this year to take a break here and there but old habits die hard.
The positives, aside from the role I got to play included giving a fun camp tour, watching my kids excel at boffer, seeing my kingdom have a great time on the field, seeing two friends new babies, tons of time to have conversations with friends from various points in my life, I’ve helped a few people out, built a great camp, attended a class I’ve been meaning to get to and even the weather has been really pretty good. The kids have hit a milestone of being able to be (even) more independent and it is very nice to know they are happy and taken care of by our fabulous nanny, and, she isn’t frazzled because they are overall less needy. We are growing into the tween phase that includes boys stopping over but I gave a stern lecture to my camp family against any threats against any boy. The adults do mean well, but, “I’ve got a shovel” is a threat that we need to let go of. It isn’t cool the threaten kids, and, if you don’t mean it (and they really never did) don’t waste your words on something people auto-dismiss. Slowly slowly we can shift away from empty threats that imply our children are helpless. I think the phrase that actually hit home was when I asked them to think about if they had a son and someone said that to them – I’m sure the parents of the boy who has been hanging around did as good a job as me, and, I would be pretty offended if I heard someone threaten my child based on nothing but their age and gender. I also want the kids where I can see them so having the camp that is friendly is one of my goals.
I’m short on my hour of internet here, I got the mundane life details dialed in and the bills paid. No matter how vacation brain I am, bills still need attention and an hour now prevents a ton of problems later. Next up I pack up Lars who could only join us for a few days and then Friday we put this all back it the box and move on to vacation part 2 – the NY phase. I’m visiting family and friends and I can’t wait to see them even though I’ll be missing Lars and the house and pets and friends at home. Pennsic, as always, is a special time and place and I’m glad we can come.
Hello internet friends!
Last week I had the pleasure of a week of kid’s at day camp where they had a fantastic time and came home not just dirty but also sticky and at the same time crunchy? Girl Scout day camp is totally different from YMCA camp. Far less structure, far more messy fun. 2 of my 3 like it better but I think the hold out is more a rules follower, and, she didn’t have any of her particular friends there.
The positive of camp is that I got all day (kinda) solo to get stuff done around the house. The negative is that means all I did for a week was head down work around the house. By the end, I was talking to strangers in the grocery store for the company. I did get a bunch of computer work up to date and fixed our insurance and worked on other grown-up money and house things that weren’t broken but needed solid attention. I did not get the sewing or cleaning done as intended but who thought I would?
I volunteered to be a bus parent, meaning I had a list of kids that should get on and off the bus. Pretty easy job especially since an Alpha Mom took over the job because ‘she already knew everyone’. The other volunteer and I let it go, she did know everyone, and the times we tried to do a more formal parent sign to get child method she really fussed over how long it took. ANYWAY, she asked if we could do it solo the last afternoon and morning since her child was doing the sleepover and that is reasonable except suddenly we were in charge of a crowd of untrained parents who expected us to know them all by sight. Oh well. AND. That was the day that the one kid, you know the kid, the kid who you know would be trouble at some point because of the sass rolling off her like waves at the ocean – well she hops off the bus and no parent is there for her. No problem, her parent has been late the last few days, who of us hasn’t had a tight drive. Then I ask why she isn’t sleeping over like all the others her age are, her reply is she has lacross and is going back later that night. A reasonable explanation, sure. We wait 15 min and call her mom, she tells us that mom is at work she is expecting dad. Ok, what is dad’s number? She has no idea… I call my leader friend who is running things and she finds a number in the permanent file. We call it. Oh, did we mention she meant her stepdad? We called her dad who lives 4 hours away to say we had his kid… bet that was a fun call between former partners (perpetual parents though!). Actually, he did help and we got the step dad’s number who was on his way. We wait for another 15 and get the feeling he may have been ‘on the way’ to the wrong place… yup, we get a call he is at camp, she was indeed going to lacross but stepdad was picking her up at camp for it since it was that end of town. In the end, he collected her and there were smiles all around since we all were pretty chill about a random spare child. It wasn’t a bad day to hang out in a parking lot for an hour and hey, I would rather have an extra kid then be missing one.
The camp week also had all of the afternoon rushes that school does so that was something I didn’t miss. The race to gymnastics, jujitsu etc worked out but I’m glad we are at home most of the summer. The crowning moment of the week and my motherhood career is from that Friday when #3’s very good friend invited her to a sleepover on one of the few days between their vacation and ours. I had a drop off window but it would only work if I went directly from the bus. Recall the sticky, crunchy child comment? Well, I dropped off a filthy child, hungry child to her friend’s house. Good thing the mom is super nice and we get along really well. I actually don’t feel bad because I know they have so much fun and #3 really can shower solo. She came back the next day full of bounty from the farmers market clean and with clean clothes in her bag! It was a sleepover miracle.
This past week has been all about getting ready for being gone for a month. We are going on our traditional 2 weeks in NY and 2 weeks camping event in PA – we just don’t usually string them together. Poor Lars can’t come to much, work is very work right now and I’m proud of his efforts but a solo month is slightly daunting. I truly won’t be alone, I travel with one friends out there, have my parents and a ton of friends at the event, and the hardest thing will be driving from PA to NY. I’ll kidnap my mom to drive NY to MN with me at the end and I know it will be fun and relaxing in a crazy sort of way.
The positive of my 3 at home with me is we have fun doing stuff and I plan differently. We got stuff done but we also had a book club, friends over, park time, swim time – all the good parts were back. I still wanted some solo time to gather my leaking brains because of their various urgent needs but it has been a fun week overall.
Anytime I’m overwhelmed these past two weeks I just think about last year. I may be packing for a month but I’m NOT packing 100% of my possessions to move to storage since the new house wasn’t ready yet. I may be cleaning so I don’t come back to something sentient but I’m not waking up at 4am to scrub tubs and clean the shell of our former home. I might be stressing the details of camping and travel but they are peanuts compared to juggling mortgage, closing, crazy buyers, behind builders, where my kids will physically sleep and eat the vast unknown of a giant life change that is mostly out of your hands. Any emotion I feel this week about being gone for a month is minuscule when measured against the emotions of leaving the place I brought home each child. On the other hand, just because I’ve handled worse does not mean this is nothing but I think this year things will be better overall because I actually have brain space.
Ok, this is my last day and while my list isn’t crazy, I still have a list. Off to do the things that I can and tomorrow we drive.
I had a very productive weekend! Not only did I get quite a few things sewn, I also found all the garb in storage. There was a vague worry that an entire box of the current sizes had been deeply buried in storage but I got it out without too much stress. We might not have perfect wardrobes, but, we will have enough I think.
My plan today is to finish evaluating the pile for who fits what and triple check that each pile is enough of the right things. Have you ever rushed to pack for a trip and just figured you would take your clean laundry basket? That does not work, by the way, you think it should be a perfect week of clothing but it really isn’t. Same concept with my totes of garb, you feel like a pile the height of my child would yield outfits for the week but some years they grow tall and need skirts and some garb is too warm and you get the idea… the only way is to stand there with each child and try on all things in the size range.
The end goal is to have everything packed and delivered to the person packing the trailer by Wednesday. I feel like an important step, the ‘pack the car’ step will be missing from my life this year, but, I have done extra packing plenty of years so I don’t think my lifetime average will be negatively impacted.
Thursday the plan is to have a clean up the house and hang out day. I hope my plans actually work out and there are no crazy departures from the normal schedule the next few days.
This is probably not the wild and crazy fun blog this week. I’m just going to pack and parent. Next thing after I publish here is to make the list for packing, it has been bouncing in my head but with the house rearrangement, there are not as many notebooks as there once were. I have done this dozens of times but it still looks daunting before you start. I may go and buy New Totes! that will jump start the process. My old ones are getting beat up anyway~
Just in case you thought we did nothing fun all weekend we did head out to the mall for a little fun. We had a mission for a special bottle for a friend and since we were at the mall we got milkshakes and went on some rides. Just enough to be fun, not so much that they got crabby. Pizza dinner and back to work but I’m glad to be as far along as I am. All things I sew now are bonus, I don’t totally NEED anything and that is a nice feeling.
I also got a new phone! My old one was 5 years old and the battery was down to almost nothing. I had been hesitating because I like all the info and pictures I have on my old phone and didn’t want to start over but they guy at the store had a transfer machine so my new phone is identical and it feels nice to have a phone working all day again.
I’ll try and take a picture of all that I created this week, I’m pretty pleased with myself 🙂 Now I need to get breakfast and the day going, my ‘screen’ time is up!
This is a departure from my normal day to day posts to bring you a printable form if you want to play my Pennsic Catch Them All game.
Here is the form;Pennsiccatchthemall (now with flying weapons supplemental!)
Greetings Known World going to Pennsic! If you were ‘going to catch them all’ at Pennsic what would you catch? We have the most exotic creatures all around us, we just have to look. This year I (Duchess Mary from Northshied) am sponsoring a quest for young and old to ‘catch’ SCA style.
The goal is simple – seek and find people from every stage of progression from every kingdom. I have a form to help you keep track and if you bring that form back to the Games Tent by 8/11 whoever caught the most gets a prize.
Truly, the real prize will be the people you meet and the things you learn.
And since we are a digital society if you feel inclined, and, it is not offensive to your ‘catch’ post pictures with #Pennsiccatchthemall
I will have some on site but if you want to come prepared please print at home. Mine are double sided, yours don’t have to be. Order isn’t important except the last page is intended to be the cover.
See you at pennsic!
Poor blog, nobody posts on you!
For the second week in a row Lars is out of town and in contrast to last week where I felt like the crazy hub of social activity this weekend we are crazy solo. All little outings fell through and kids were behaving like it was a full moon (it was) and they had spent an exhausting fun week at camp. Solo parenting is for the birds (although based on my nesting robins, those chicks keep 2 parents busy in their species too).
In the win column – I have major amounts of garb produced. Thanks to mom who is quietly producing in NY to supplement efforts here, I think I can put away the sewing tomorrow. I also have one solid box packed and some bits and pieces getting pulled to a gather point for packing in the near term.
We also did a fair job cleaning up. When they start fighting I say I need to micromanage and we clean. Sometimes the mess just moves but it’s almost cute to hear Zoe cut me off mid-word to parrot “do it right or do it twice”. I also seem to have a relaxation issue when Lars is gone. Two nights straight I got them to bed with reasonable ease, that at least is not a current issue, and instead of vegging out I power clean. Last night I seriously intended to just do 10min and then go to bed and there was mud by the door from feet and 30 min later I had the floor cleaned and dry using a washcloth and dish towel since I only was going to do “that spot” but then there was “another spot”.
Today is starting better. It is not raining, it is not 90 degrees and they let me sleep until 7:30. And hey, the kitchen is clean, so that always helps the day start nicely.
Ps. output in the past few days;
2 tunics for Lars, 1 over tunic, skirt and choli for me, 2 kid cholis, 5 kid skirts, a hat, 3 hoods, a chemise, various mending points, and 3 kids that are still alive.