Ever After
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  • September29th

    We all knew that Ariana’s transition from elementary to middle school would not be easy, but none of us was prepared for the turmoil it has caused in our home.

    Saturday, Ariana spent ELEVEN consecutive hours doing homework and several more hours on Sunday. Every evening is consumed with homework and studying for tests. She goes to school early every morning and stays late most days to attend tutorials or to retake tests.

    Although I am very impressed with Ari’s level of dedication and her patient attitude, my nerves and her confidence are unraveling because her test scores indicate that she’s not mastering the concepts that she is dedicating so much time to.

    And it doesn’t help her confidence when I become a ranting, raging lunatic and berate her for making the same mistake on a math problem for the fourth consecutive time.

    And it doesn’t help her accuracy when, being the dear little miser that she is, she tries to cram complicated facts and figures into a fractional inch of scratch paper.

    And it doesn’t help our mental acuity when neither of us is getting enough sleep at night.

    And it doesn’t help our sanity when my full-on OCD perfectionism (especially when it comes to schoolwork and the quest for a perfect report card) flares in a very big way.  I lose my grasp on reality and, like a crazed has-been athlete vicariously reliving the glory days through his child, I forget that I am not the student. It is not MY homework, MY test, MY report card. Those things belong to my very capable daughter who is entitled to feel the pain of procrastination so that she may learn to be prepared and to bask in the euphoria of accomplishment when, through her dedicated efforts, she conquers a challenging concept.

    Heaven HELP us!

    Help me to mirror the love, patience and kindness that she extends to everyone around her.

    Help her mind to absorb what she is studying and process the information so that it makes sense.

    Help her to know that I love her no matter what grade she gets.

    Help me remember to show my love for her no matter what grade she gets.

    Help me to not forget that she is only a child, my child, and that she is doing the best she can.

  • September29th

    I’m not sure if children are allowed to wear hats to school, but there was no way anyone could talk Vivi out of wearing her new hat this morning. She left the house with a big smile on her face and an admonition from her mother that she needs to take it off during the Pledge of Allegiance and that it needs to go in her backpack if her teacher asks her to remove it. I’m also crossing my fingers that she doesn’t lose the hat at school; it takes me umpteen hours more than it should to actually finish crochet projects. I’m far too methodical about the whole process and haven’t yet perfected my color changes and joins.

    The pattern called for one row of single crochet around the bottom edge, but it didn’t look quite right. When I proposed the option of a more frilly finish to Vivi, she became giddy.  Sadly, I’m not sure that I like it, so when Vivi’s not looking, I think that I’m going to rip out the last row and do some extra rows of single crochet instead. I also add an extra layer to the flower to make it BIGGER, and I do like that modification.


  • September21st

    I love that Little Miss Vivi is all ruffles and frills, but I don’t love the frenzy we feel when Vivi can’t find her favorite lipgloss or sunglasses.

    Problem solved. (Hopefully).

    While BT and I have been watching past seasons of our current favorite show, Flashpoint, I crocheted this cute little purse.  Sized at only 6 inches by 6 inches, it’s the perfect place for her to safely stash her girly treasures.

    Inspired by the fun, vibrant colors (and because I have a lot of yarn left), I just bought another pattern from Etsy to make her a matching hat. I also need to get busy knitting the Harry Potter-inspired scarf for Ariana.

    Stuff like this brightens my day.

  • September6th

    Sunday evening as BT and I were brainstorming ideas on how to spend Labor Day as a family, he suggested the Fort Worth Zoo.


    We’d never been before, and the weather was FINALLY supposed to be cooler–perfect zoo weather.

    We debated about telling the kids Sunday night or teasing them with a few extraneous details but saving the big reveal for the next day. I voted for the element of surprise, but then BT suddenly waxed Plato-like:

    “The benefit of the surprise is often outweighed by the anticipation of something exciting.”

    Seriously, I married a genius. This is something that you’d read in Barlett’s Familiar Quotations, but he assured me that it was original to him.  (And then, two seconds later , he fashioned some hideous sentence using the word “ustacould.” Something like “I ustacould touch my toes . . . “)

    Anyway, still impressed by the logic and sheer sophistication of his wisdom, we decided to tell the kids about the zoo and let them simmer with excitement all night. And they did, especially Tad and Vivi.

    Monday morning came, and I convinced BT to wear his official Dallas Safari Club shirt that we scored for $3 at our favorite thrift store.

    When then picked up Ari’s good friend to help make the day even more enjoyable for our pre-teen and were on our way.

    After a brief stop at the entry gate restroom where I had to throw up because of my migraine medicine (and a bout of car sickness), I felt restored and ready to tackle the day.

    As anticipated, the weather was perfect, and we all had a grand time.

    Favorite Memories:

    Tad–the gorilla that was eating a snack and that kept looking at him

    Vivi–the pink flamingos and the mommy and daddy birds that were kissing

    Ari–feeding the birds

    BT–having a day off from his labors

    LT–when Tad saw two hog-like animals in the corner of their exhibit with their heads down and he kept asking if they were praying.

    All the long hours that my kids and husband are away from me each week make me even more grateful for days like this.

  • September4th

    Old piano

    Ancient pump organ

    Fully functioning treadmill

    Antique movie projector

    Box of Nerf guns, a remote controlled helicopter, and an empty cigarette carton

    Paper shredder, large scratched white board, printers that don’t work

    Random pieces of old mismatched office furniture

    He travels the back roads of Texas looking for rusty gold. What most people see as junk, I see as junk, but Bryan sees as glittering Obtanium.

    His heart quickens when something of interest is posted to the FREE section of Craigslist, and he crosses his fingers that by responding within the first 30 seconds of the post appearing, he’ll be Chosen. He routinely takes “shortcuts” through alleyways of fancy communities hoping to convert one man’s trash to his treasure. We need a cautionary bumper sticker on his truck .

    Into the back of his vehicle, he’ll load anything FREE that he thinks he can cram into our shop or garage. . . and that I won’t totally freak out about.

    He wishes he could make a living off of freecycling and dumpster diving . . . one dusty, dirty, decrepit piece at a time. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for repurposing and breathing new life into something that would otherwise languish in a landfill, but where does innocent picking end and obsessive hording begin?

    Please, no more, BT. At least not until you do something with your current trove of treasures.

    P.S. But I am excited to see the desk that you make from the organ.