Category Archives: seasons

Six Months of Change…

So after a six month pause from writing at FnF I have to wonder if all of you really missed anything? Were the trappings of my mundane life followed by enough people that they were actually missed? That people actually wondered what I was doing and what was happening? Probably not…I’m realistic at least.

I will fill you in on some of the bigger details…

In April I turned 31 on a day that was so horribly over-scheduled there was hardly time to breathe. However for the first time in my life I taught a college course on that night after agreeing to present on information literacy and the role of the school administrator. While my teaching skills were a bit rusty, by the end of the evening I had warmed up and I would come to teach other classes when asked. It was good to remember how it felt to teach and I felt more inspired in my day to day work with libraries.

Max Cleaning Toys for Spring Play
Max Cleaning Toys for Spring Play

My biggest accomplishment during the month of April into early May was the completion of the SLMS 2009 Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. This was the culmination of two years of planning as a conference co-chair and was by far the largest event I had ever planned. The weeks leading up to and following the conference were chaotic and I found myself with little time for anything else, but it was a wonderful experience to have been part of.

Meeting Gregory Maguire!
Meeting Gregory Maguire!

In May Catherine had her first dance recital. This was the first event of its kind for either side of the family and it was a good time. She was fabulous and performed a very energetic Hula Baby dance. She seems to like dance very much and will start classes again in the fall. Catherine’s Dance Recital Video

In June, with little fanfare, Chuck celebrated his 35th birthday and Father’s Day on the same day. We also welcomed a new member into our family with the birth of my niece Erika.

Catherine Talking to Her Cousin Erika
Catherine Talking to Her Cousin Erika

Chuck and I took our first vacation without kids in July. It was an experiment both for us and for the kids that seemed to work really well. The kids spent a week with their grandparents, visiting playgrounds and museums in the area and enjoying Grandma and Grandpa’s swimming pool. We spent our time in the area around Cleveland and Sandusky Ohio touring the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and Cedar Point Amusement Park. I think we all needed a break from one another and everyone seemed to have time to re-energize. Perhaps we can do it again another year.

Cat Plays with the Slinky Exhibit at the Strong Museum of Play
Cat Plays with the Slinky Exhibit at the Strong Museum of Play

For us, summer isn’t full of beach vacations and leisurely days enjoying the sunshine. We tend to march on with our regular routine, which is good to keep the kids on schedule but at times a bit pathetic when it comes to summer fun. This summer we spent a fair amount of time preparing Catherine for school in the fall and on September 8th she began kindergarten.

Catherines 2nd Day of School
Catherine's 2nd Day of School

It’s been bizarre to be involved with the school as a parent rather than a teacher. I’ve been amazed at the rapid flood of paper that arrives home on a daily basis, even in the 21st Century. However, I’m happy to report that thus far she seems to really enjoy school, although she does miss her daycare friends.  While I had a bit of fear and apprehension about sending her knowing she would be one of the youngest students in class, all of my fears were dismissed the first day of school when I watched her follow directions upon arriving in her classroom, listened to her talk to her teacher and her classmates, and watched her draw an incredible picture and write her name without assistance. As I looked around the room and saw other parents anxiously leaning over desks, drawing the assignment for their children or choosing to write their child’s name upon the paper to save time I realized that she would be just fine. There are definitely times that her independent streak works in her favor.

Binge and Purge

Today I’ve launched into spring cleaning mode. I purchased new cleaners yesterday, stacks of storage and organizational tools and today commenced my cleaning. I began with the kitchen, wiping down cupboards and window sills, cleaning off the many pieces of paper stuck to the fridge, cleaning under things that hadn’t been moved in some time and deciding to toss others.

I noticed yesterday that others had been purging as well. Cardboard boxes littered the lawns of many of the homes near us, the boxes typically featuring the word FREE on the side in black Sharpie and containing an assortment of junk that could possibly be considered treasure to someone else but was likely destined for the landfill.

I spent the afternoon cleaning various closets, purging items and packaging other items into storage bins to prepare them for storage in the basement. Other items that were too good to throw away, but no longer wanted by our family I sat down and posted on Freecycle. I’ve mentioned Freecycle before in other posts and I still swear it’s a wonderful way to encourage recycling and keep things out of the landfill until they’ve received their maximum amount of use. I’ve never received anything via Freecycle, but I’ve used it often to eliminate items from my home including a large storefront awning that was abandoned in our backyard when we purchased our home, and various bits of baby and kid stuff. If you haven’t yet tried Freecycle I really recommend it, especially during the spring cleaning season.

What do your spring cleaning rituals look like? Do you purge? Scrub down the house? Focus on the outdoor tasks? Or all of the above?

Happy Birthday Maxwell!

Today the youngest member of our family turns 3. While I was amazed last year when Max turned 2, this year I am totally blown away by the fact that he’s now a full-fledged kid. Last year at this time he hardly spoke, now he tells his feelings on a regular basis, can describe the events of a book or movie, and can actually tell you about his day if asked. He loves to jump and play, read books to himself in bed, pretend on any given day that he’s a pirate, a knight, or Batman. He loves to be outside, especially in the woods and looking at him playing there, clad in jeans, boots, and plaid remind me so of my father. He loves animals and worries about their wellbeing when he sees them alone outside. He is extremely sensitive and we find that we sometimes have to shelter him from harshness. Yet he is so strong and determined that his confidence can astound me. He is able to plan ahead and scheme, something that I both love and loathe simultaneously, yet I do admit that I appreciate his foresight. Especially when he thinks to pick up something I’ve forgotten or is one step ahead of me. I’ll admit that I’ve never enjoyed age 3 and am a firm believer that it is not the terrible twos, but rather the threes that are harder to contend with. I dread seeing my calm, gentle one enter this trying age, but I have hope that maybe he’ll surprise me. His sister, now aged 4, is much calmer than she was previously, so I do realize that it’s just one of many phases he’ll go through.

Happy Birthday Little Dude! We love you!

maxsmiles 008

Actually Excited about Batman Socks...