I haven’t done a decent update in awhile. I have a huge list of blog topics, but a lack of time to actually write them. And for me it is kind of like a snowball effect. It starts out little, and then as time goes on the snowball gets bigger and bigger as it threatens to run me over. Maybe I have been run over. In some effort to start new after being run over, I will try and get caught up, let's see how I do.
We bought a travel trailer in early May. AB and I love camping, we both grew up camping, we want our kids to enjoy camping. But I have reached a point where a dome tent with two kids and two dogs on an air mattress just takes all pleasure out of it. Over the last few years we have identified what exactly we want in a trailer and this spring we surprised ourselves and pulled the trigger. We had been looking for used 4-season bunkhouses and knew what was reasonable to pay for them. Last fall we negotiated on a used unit, but gave up when they failed to negotiate more than $500 lower off the sticker price. This spring we bought a new one for that same price.
We have taken the trailer out twice, and the kids love it. We are still learning it, but after our first longer trip (3 nights this past Memorial Day weekend) we have it pretty well figured out. And I am even getting good with my handsigns. AB is even better at interpreting my handsigns.
We weren’t actually quite where we wanted to be financially before buying it. But in the last year I have given a lot of thought to what living means. I look at my mom’s life and while she had a good life, I look at the things left undone. The things she hoped to accomplish. No one knows our fate. But I have embraced living more in the last year. Taking off and doing the things we want to do instead of just talk about them. I want my kids to love the outdoors and to tramp around the forests like my sister and I did as kids as well as AB and his family did, and have those experiences that we both remember so fondly. I have to make that happen. Purchasing the trailer is making that happen for us.
And my 16 year old self is so laughing at me for “RV’ing”.
Leif is wrapping up his last year at the Montessori school he has been at since he was one year old. 6 years here, the end of a legacy of sorts. Wah. My baby Is growing up.
Leif is so very excited to move on to bigger and better things, though he is so very tentative. He really isn't sure about this whole riding the bus without me thing. He will be in public first grade this coming fall. This summer he is looking forward to some science camps at the local branch university and Adventure camp through our health club.
Leif is such a sweet, loving, tender hearted little boy. Poor kid doesn’t understand girls at all and is constantly confounded by them. He surprises me daily with the things he knows and remembers.
The other day Leif and one of his friends was playing at the park as Skadi practiced TBall. I looked over and saw him crawling up the outside of the slide tube. When I went over to him I asked him if that was very safe. He thought for a bit and then replied, “No, but it was impressive.”
We opened a 529 account for the kids awhile back and because I am a geek I maintain a spreadsheet that forecasts the funds growth on a quarterly basis. I set it up and forecasted out and then calculated the year that Leif will go to college. When I realized that I didn’t have to scroll down 3 pages to get to that year it made me a bit ill. My baby is growing up. College is only one Excel page view of quarters away! GAH!
Oh Skadi Skadi Skadi. My sweet little girl… sometimes. The other time she is something else.
We are struggling with Skadi in preschool, out of preschool, through the night… What can I say? It’s darn good that she is as cute as she is! I contemplated last week pulling her out of the Montessori preschool she has been at for three years now. I was *this* close to pulling the trigger. Then AB went in and talked with the teachers a bit and we decided to sit in the holding pattern for a bit. See how things go through the summer.
I talk and talk to that child.
“You had fun on your McDonalds field trip, right?” (She agrees.) “If you don’t behave you will continue to lose field trips and won’t be able to go do these fun things.” (She agrees to be good.)
She is a smart girl. She is pretty mouthy – the other day threats looming that she was bordering upon losing the “Beach Party Day” at school she dared to tell her teachers they could go ahead and take away the privilege from her, she didn’t care, because she planned to tell her mommy to keep her home and we would have our own party and not invite them, so there.
And no, that is so not happening.
She is quick on her feet with her words, but reminds me a lot of my grandmother when she talks, “betend” is “pretend”. “Yesternight” is last night. “Two-head” is still forehead.
This weekend while camping I went over and started poking (or in AB’s words, “fiddling”) with the campfire. My husband is a bit particular about his campfires and with the wet weather this weekend, he had his work cut out for him. Skadi sees me and said, “"Mom, hurry up fiddling with the fire before daddy gets back and sees you!"
The other day Skadi came out of the bathroom and announced, “Mom, I think I am finally old enough to learn how to pee like a boy.”
And then there are days unlike the start of this section where I so agree with her and know she is my daughter, “Leif: "I want to listen to Les Miserables, the Battle Scene in Act 2."
Skadi: "I want to listen to Dancing Queen."
AB recently had the joy of jury duty. I have always wanted to serve on a jury panel. Yes, seriously. My friends and coworkers look at me like I am nuts when I say this. But for some reason I would like to see first hand our legal system in action. After AB was on a jury panel for a week he can unequivocally say that there is little "action" and that he hopes to never have to rely on our judicial system.
Anyways, I was still jealous. He actually got picked after offering up every reason why he shouldn’t… “I know the prosecutor”, “I work at the same place as the defendant and he looks familiar to me”, “I don’t want to serve, but I know it is my civil duty” (among a group of people who said they did want to serve nonetheless)… but alas he was picked and got to hear abuse stories that still make him cringe. Yeah, maybe I don't want to serve on a jury... I have a friend that served on one about a farmer stealing another one's goats - and a friend's wife who served on a jury about poaching of eagles... nope, AB got a real nasty one.
My work. Blah.
It’s hard to get very enthused about it when people around me are struggling to find enough work to prevent themselves from being laid off. I am normally in a position to help people out a bit, but this FY, not so. I don’t have much buffer myself. I have even set up an Excel sheet to plan out my upcoming work to make sure I can cover myself. I may be embracing 3-day weekends this summer more than I have in the past.
One of my topics on my list to blog about is the whole “best friend” at work thing. We do these polls that estimate our happiness as a group with our place of employment. Historically my group scores high, which is pretty cool. One of the questions on the poll asks if you have a best friend at work. For years I have been in a position to answer yes to that simply because one of my best friends works here, though I have never had the occasion to work with her. The fact still remains that I have a best friend at work.
In the last few months I have actually had occasion to fully embrace the notion of having a best friend at work in the context of the question. What they want to know is do you have someone you work with that you can go and talk to about what is going on. Sure my good friend down in the other building, who I can’t actually talk to about what I do on a daily basis qualifies to a certain degree. As do the couple of women in my hallway who I can go and talk about daycare or restaurants or hotels, but once again have never really actually worked with them. In the last year I have found my best friends at work… two unassuming guys I work with regularly that I don’t think anyone would really peg them as my “best friends”. But the last 6 months or so they have heard me whine, bitch, cry and complain – and I have heard it from them too. Ok, so they don’t cry. And I only almost cried once.
It’s a big step for me actually. I work on a lot of varied projects with lots of different people and rarely a single core group as so many people do. I get good reviews from people and word of mouth (I believe) is why I am not short on work right now when so many people I know are. I have gotten to know a lot of different people and get called up to do lots of varied projects. I have talked with the two about teaming more regularly and we have a few concepts in the pipeline. I enjoy working with them, appreciate their strong work ethics and we work well as a team. What more could you ask for?
There is a lot of tension here as work is becoming more scarce. Project work has become competitive when jobs are suddenly at stake. While I am funded right now, it is the end of the fiscal year that scares the daylights out of me. Most of my “little” projects wrap up between now and then due to either lack of funding or meeting our completion date. I have a big proposal that was sent out to my least favorite client this morning. One of the guys I wrote the proposal with told me last week that the program manager was already telling him congratulations on it. So I am crossing my fingers that project comes through, though I fully expect another CR and thus actual money won’t arrive until well into FY12 I am sure.
Work… eh, it’s ok. But AB and I have started talking… wonder what else is out there? Where in the world could we wander to? Do we want to live here forever and ever?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Yes typically speaking about this time of year my goals start going by the wayside. Summer is just hard to maintain that “do the work around the house” attitude when we have so much we are doing outside and the days are long.
As of today though the quilt is very nearly ready to haul down to the long arm to be quilted. That will be my big checkmark.
AB cleaned the garage pretty well… I intended to help. And I intended to get down and dirty by digging out every last little remnant and adorning the garage with plastic bins and random storage notions.
Well the garage is clean and that is that. My motivation to go out there and work at it more is nill. Not when I have my MIL coming for a visit, a trailer that needs to be cleaned and mopped for the next Father’s Day trip and laundry stacked up to the ceiling upstairs.
June optional goals… if I have time I plan to:
June goal #1 – Think about the outdoor patio kitchen and get some drawings with ideas down on paper.
June goal #2 – detangle my jewelry and figure out something for actual storage of bling that I use on a regular basis.