Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Nothing and Everything June 9, 2017

Filed under: Family Life — leighj @ 3:00 pm

Since I last wrote, nothing much new has happened, but then again, lots of things have happened. So goes the (almost) summer.

  • We got in the pool for the first time this season. It was a bit chilly, but not too cold, and the boys loved it. Gilbert had so much fun, he turned blue. Seamus was perfecting his cannonball. Porter used his floaties, stuck his face in the water, and worked on his kicks. And Harlan. We set him down on the concrete near the pool, and he immediately toddled off toward the pool. He howled when we grabbed him up to put his swimsuit on, but when he realized he was going to be allowed to play in the water all he wanted, he mellowed out. Seamus gave him a little spin around the shallow area (it was too cold for me to go in more than my ankles!), and he grinned like it was Christmas.
  • We got a hand-held cordless vacuum cleaner. Now that we have one, I’m not sure how we ever managed to live without one. We have carpet and babies, for Pete’s sake! My neighbor was talking about hers, and it hit me that this was one place I wouldn’t mind keeping up with the Joneses. The boys clean up messes they make, and they each take turns cleaning up Harlan’s mess from his tray. The area around the table is much cleaner.
  • Patrick and Harlan are outside swinging while Porter naps. I was cooking mushrooms for pizza toppings and I thought, “If I know a baby Bella, she should be called Crimini until she gets bigger.”
  • I checked out David Sedaris’s diaries out of the library. They’re hilarious, and I think reading them will help me notice minutia more for a short period of time.
  • Harlan waves to the bus every day. He also says bus now. And whenever the timer goes off on the stove, he runs for the kitchen. This is a little dangerous, because usually the timer is going off for the oven, and he does not need to be right there when it’s open! He also likes to pick up my phone, hold it to his ear, and say bye-bye. He mimed spraying sunscreen on himself yesterday. He’s an outdoor kid. Totally happy outside, and a wild menace inside. Porter used to be that way too, and he still loves to play outside, but yesterday, after playing for awhile, he came in and said, “There’s bees out there.” And he was done.
  • My snow peas are bearing veggies! So far Gilbert and Patrick have had one each. It’s a good thing we’re not trying to live off the garden.
  • I went to volunteer in Gilbert’s art class yesterday. They were tie-dying. Super fun, but what a mess! I enjoyed myself immensely though. It was fun to see them working, and the art teacher is creative and interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing how his shirt turns out.
  • Seamus declared there were no more interesting books in the world. But then he found some. He’s really into the You Choose books and he’s currently resisting Percy Jackson. It might be a touch too hard, but I think he might come around by the end of summer. We’re listening to the Sam books by Lois Lowery. I loved the Anastasia books when I was a kid, and I did read the Sam ones too, but I’ve forgotten them. In the car on Wednesday, we were all listening and cracking up.
  • Porter loves going to the library. His grandfather has been taking him regularly, so he has a whole routine he likes to complete every time we go there. He goes in, gets a few board books, goes to the stairs or a table and reads quietly to himself for 15 minutes. Then, when we pick the books to take home, he goes to the children’s desk and gets a sticker. We are looking forward to summer reading, and the Fairfax county Summer Discovery Maps. Mini-golf, gardens, paddle-boats!

See? Everything and nothing.

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