Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vacation Time

Sometimes, even when times are tough, especially when times are tough, it is good to just forget about everything and relax.

So, off to Cape Cod we go. This year it will only be me, Chewy and the kids. Chewy has been working many long hours and I have been laid off for three weeks now. Michael just got out of school last week and Willow had preschool twice this week already.

Tomorrow, we load up the car and drive down for a week of getting away from it all. Beaches, good food, movies, games and mini-golf, sun and relaxation. (Not to mention Fourth of July and Chewy's Birthday!)

And while I am a little apprehensive about spending money on this vacation--I know that the time with my family will be priceless.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Father's Day Recap 2011

We had an eventful Father's Day weekend. It coincided with Flag Day Celebrations in our town, so there was a carnival and fireworks, BBQs and ice cream--and that was all on Saturday.

Sunday, Chewy was supposed to sleep in, but he could not keep himself from coming down early--just as we were getting ready to surprise him with a couple of our gifts to him...

The kids are sporting two ties that Michael picked out for dad. (Plus, Kif thought he would be part of the action, waving his tail in dad's face)

Then I made blueberry waffles and we discussed options for the rest of the day.

In the afternoon, Chewy played Laser Tag with Michael while I stayed home with Willow and watched Ponyo and ate Ramen Noodles (just like the kids did in the movie!)

Laser tag has become a tradition--for both Mother's and Father's Day it was very fun and I think we will do it again next year!

Later on we went out to eat at a steak place, dad wearing one of his new shirts which was also a gift (from me).

Willow was also sporting a new sundress.

It was cute to see the kids sitting together, listening to a story that their father was telling them.

And Willow also liked the line-dancing waiters/waitresses.

After dinner, someone (Willow) NEEDED to go to a playground--so we did...

And I captured this purely father/son moment.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

School's Out!

Michael's last day was Friday. He came home with a report card with all A's (except for a B in Cooking class) and Honors. For that, I bought him the new Weird Al album (from what I have heard, sounds awesome).

Today, Willow went to Preschool and Michael and I are hanging out. Our first summer vacation day. I think we both are not sure what we should be doing after a few long pauses, we have had pizza for lunch while watching Evil Dead 2. And we are going to play a board game. And go out for ice cream (sans the toddler).

Not too shabby a start!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thoughts of You

Been thinking about you a lot lately. I have been needing someone to talk to and you were always the best listener. You were also the one that could tell me things straight--even when I wanted the sugar coating (although you also knew when I just needed comfort). I miss that the most. I need that the most. Someone to confide in; to talk to. You were the best at that.

I miss you every day, but lately, I have missed you even more keenly. Funny how years can pass with you gone, but it seems like it was just a few days ago since I got your last letter.

I so looked forward to your letters. You were one of the last ones to ever write to me. I wasn't as faithful in the writing back as I could have/should have been. I am sorry for that. But a letter from you would make my day. I have saved a lot of them. I re-read them all after you died. I occasionally pull them out and read them again. I hear your voice in them. I take comfort in them.

I think you would love to see your great grandchildren. Michael has grown into quite the young man--I would like to think that you would have continued your letter writing to him and the exchanges between you two would have been wonderful. He is imaginative and smart, I think you would have gotten a kick out of him. Willow...oh, you would have LOVED to meet her. You would have seen so much of me in her. She definitely would have gotten spoiled by you. (Oh, and then there are Lorelei and Kirsten--how you would have loved holding your twin great grandchildren!) But in each of their eyes is a spark of you and that will have to satisfy.

I miss you, but I am glad for you. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for the memories.

Happy Birthday, Grammie.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Benefits of time

It was a small audience. Mostly the kids from the choir (who would be up next). It was the end of the school day and the band was having an awards ceremony and concert. And there we were. My husband had been working from home (Bruins were coming home, easier to not fight the traffic) and so we both went. His shy smile and slight acknowledgment was reward enough for us. He got a pin for being in band for a whole year. I stayed so that I could take him home, hanging out with him in the lobby while he held chocolate chip cookies he didn't make in cooking class (it was a group project and he had to be there for band).**

The other day, I went out to lunch with my brother and SIL, nieces and my dad. We went to the North Bridge and enjoyed the nice weather. I picked Michael up early from his after school program and we went out and bought father's day gifts.

Today, I am picking up a friend from work. She has a condition like Parkinsons and cannot drive right now. I am picking her up and taking her home. Next week, I am taking her to her treatments (its like chemo).

Later today I am taking his sports jacket in; doing the groceries. Stresses that won't confound our weekend.

**oh my...a week before 6th grade is over!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grandpa Visiting

Having grandparents live far away can be hard. I have accepted the fact that my children will not have as close of relationships as I had with my grandparents, it sucks, but it is something that is part of modern life (although, skyping, email, etc. do help to ease the distance). It is especially nice when they do visit and spend some time with them. This Saturday, Grandpa came to visit and got to help Michael out with his clarinet.

Grandpa helping to tune Michael's clarinet.

Listening to him play "Saint's Go Marching In"


Friday, June 10, 2011


In better times, I remember it well. Going into the bosses and telling them that instead of a raise, I wanted a day off--time to spend with my son. They grudgingly gave me that day off. Every Wednesday until Michael went to kindergarten, I had mommy and me day with him. It was wonderful.

A few weeks ago I lamented that I could not do something like that with my daughter. That times were tough, I hadn't gotten a raise in a couple of years, and there was just no way I could go to my bosses and make such a proposal now.

And here we are. I am officially on "unpaid break" (hopefully only until September).

And now, despite the fears I have about having to find another job, about finances that were already at breaking point, about getting cabin-fever and dealing with projects large and small with the house....despite all those crazy mixed up emotions...

I am mostly smiling. At this moment, at the beginning of this supposed short-term obstacle, I see that this is what I had wished for. More time with my daughter. And a lazy summer days period for my son.

I know that eventually, even if this job doesn't pull through, eventually I will have another job.

But this time with my kids--it will never come around again. I am going to take full advantage of it.

(Come back here in a few weeks when I am going crazy with wanting adult conversation and tired of playing in the wading pool and the playground follies and Oh so sick of the multiple questions aimed at me in a three minute interval while I am trying to go to the bathroom--yeah, not really SAHM material...but I am gonna TRY!)


Monday, June 06, 2011

Lemonade--I hate it...

but I guess I will have to make some out of the lemons I just got handed...

I knew for a while (being that I am the Office Manager and do the bills and invoicing) that our little law firm was not doing too well.

Well, today I found out how bad it has gotten. On the other hand I also found out how much they regard me as an employee.

They do not want me to go. They really just can't afford to keep me...but, being lawyers, they are trying a compromise.

They are laying me off for the summer. Hopefully, I will be back to work after Labor Day. I am going to work the rest of this week, and then go on unemployment. I will lower Willow's preschool days; I will give Michael an option to spend July just chilling out at home with mom (luckily, his D&D Adventure camp in August is already paid for).

SO. This still leaves me uncertain for the future. I know that we can pull this off for short term; I know that they really really want me back.

I think, at least for now...I am going to make that (blecch) lemonade until August--and then I will assess whether I should start looking for another job...

Until then...I guess I got these two to make my summer worthwhile.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Spring Concert - Stormy Weather

Last night was Michael’s Middle School Spring Fest Concert. I left work early and picked him up—the concert wasn’t until 7 p.m., but the two middle school bands and choruses were meeting up and having a pizza dinner and rehearsals at 5 p.m.

Driving from my work, I went from clear skies to darkened clouds, found out at Michael’s after school program that there was a tornado warning. Thought not much about it—there aren’t really that many tornadoes that touch down here in Massachusetts.

Dropped him off at the high school where all the spring concert festivities were going to take place.

Chewy (who had worked from home just so he could make sure to be here for Michael’s concert) and I went to pick up Willow. The three of us went to dinner at Johnny Rocket’s (she had mini hot dogs—hot dogs being her “new” favorite food). It was kinda weird to not have Michael along with us—a glimpse into the future I suppose…

I was also concerned because the weather was starting to look very menacing—and since he was not with us, I think I was a bit more worried than normal about it.

We went to the concert early to get good seats—Chewy and Willow went right up to the first row. Where I found them talking quietly to Michael. Because the advanced band was rehearsing on stage (the 6th grade band was in the seats). (Later, I find out that Chewy did not even know Michael was there until they had sat down)

At 7 p.m. the concert started. The sixth grade band was first up. We were in the front row—but Michael was in the second row (all I could see was the top of his head and his shoes/socks). Luckily, I knew that he was also announcing one of the songs. (Willow kept asking where Michael was—she had even less of a view, of course!)

It struck me how things can change in six months. All the playing was so much better. And Willow (who, last time during the holiday concert was insufferable) was so much better. She listened and she sat (relatively) still. She was interested in seeing Michael and encouraging him. And when she walked down the aisle to her seat during rehearsal—she sashayed (hips swinging with her skort) to the music.

Michael did really well. Actually, he did great—but he did not realize it. Towards the end of the performance, he seemed flustered (he dropped his clarinet) as he got ready to go up to the microphone to announce the last song. Other kids had shared the announcing of songs, etc. Most had used the script, looked down at the paper and shyly announced the next song. The girl before him (a soloist) had come up and had memorized her speech. Michael got up to speak. His music teacher offered him the script, but he waved it off. And got up to say his small announcement that he thought he had memorized. And in a strong voice—he stumbled over it...long pause. And, being Michael, he has to say it PRECISELY (so I awaited frustration, possible melt down). And in a strong voice—he recovered. Calmly he announced the last song. And went to his seat and played. I was so proud of him! He had a strong voice and in adversity, he recovered.

He was a bit disappointed with himself when he came to sit beside us for the rest of the concert. However, after the concert, when the band was gathering up to leave—a few girls came up to him to tell him he did a good job (well, Chewy saw that , I did not—I wish I had!)

Afterwards, we had decided that we would take him out for ice cream. We went to Schoolhouse Ice Cream, where the Bruins game was just starting. They ate their ice cream and played at the chalkboard. (Willow got soft serve chocolate with gummy bears; Michael went with his favorite, mint chocolate chip in a cone)

The sky was a strange yellow—and I recalled the last time I had seen that type of sky and felt that type of stillness—during a tornado. Never before had I seen it like this in Massachusetts. But, in Michigan…I had.

I was a little panicked as I put the kids to bed (anticipating that maybe I would have to be taking them down to the basement later). But, we were far east of where the tornadoes touched down. We did get some hail, some winds and the most lightening I have ever seen.


Roll Out

Well, after over nine months of unemployment, I have accepted an offer for a position at a mid-sized law firm.  So, the "strange normal...