The last week of summer

Our original plan for this past week was for the entire family to travel to Cooperstown, NY for a week-long baseball tournament for Keats and Gabe.  But, finances and farm animals ended up requiring us to change our plans.  Jonny borrowed a tent and decided to camp out at a state park outside of Cooperstown.  He talked about taking some of the younger kids, maybe the girls and Silas, but I discouraged that plan, thinking it would be too much for them, a week of camping (and knowing Jonny, junk food!)  No, I couldn’t let him camp out solo with small children for a week, so I encouraged Jonny to have a boys week with Keats and Gabe and the other dads.  Then, a few days before they were to leave, Jonny had an extra long work day and didn’t arrive home until bedtime.  I was on the verge of tears with pain by the time he returned, Job being in a hold-me-all-the-time phase which just wreaks havoc on my pelvis.  I realized that there was no way I could handle a week on my own with the little boys.  I haven’t written much here about the effects of my last pregnancy, and Job’s shoulder dystocia birth, but I suffer from some long-term disability. I do have hopes that with time and Job getting older and less needy, that maybe I won’t live with chronic pain forever.  Sometimes I feel very discouraged and wish so much that I could have done something to prevent this, could have known how that pregnancy was going to go there at the end, and taken some preventative measures to preserve my poor bones.  Though I learned through x-rays that I have a congenital defect in my lower back which has contributed to my problems in addition to carrying and delivering a large baby.  So, I carry on, grateful for my children, and my strong yet frustratingly weak and broken body, for carrying them.  I’m grateful for little (big!) Job and thankful that he survived his nightmare of a birth.  I’m also grateful for this week of catching up, working without little ones underfoot, getting some things in order.  I needed this time.

I spent the week doing those exciting things that I like to do when I get the chance: cleaning out cupboards and closets, and working on those plans I mentioned earlier this week.  Home with only Seth, Larkspur, and Beatrix, I couldn’t make their last week of summer all about housework though, so we had a little bit of fun, going for ice cream, and fossil hunting followed by a swim.  I didn’t find any great sharks’ teeth, but Larkspur sure did!  She made the best find of the summer I do believe.

I sent Jonny to NY with a camera, and surely he’ll have some stories to share with you guys.  Today a friend emailed me a photo she took at Cooperstown.  Job looks worn out, but Jonny is smiling!  Jonny told me over the phone that Job is all non-stop, “Dada! Dada! Dada!”  Non-stop wanting to be held and carried.  And that is exactly why he had to go camping in the woods of NY for a week with his Dada.  Because “Mama! Mama! Mama!” had to accept that she couldn’t do it.  Sweet baby, I can’t wait to see him.  Silas too!  They are both my baby boys.  And Jonny!  I better not leave him out.  Of course, I can’t wait for his return!  (Though I feel a tinge of dread over the laundry that will be arriving home with my crew.)

jonny plus Job

Not necessarily

New Shawl-1154

I’m in get ready for fall and a new school year mode big-time.  I’ve been working to clean out every cupboard and cabinet, plan meals for September, and get a loose daily schedule pulled together.  Okay, so I haven’t actually planned any meals yet, but it’s on my list to do this week.  I want to plan three meals a day for every day of September (well, starting after Labor Day) because September is traditionally our most difficult month of the year.  My big problem is that I would rather do most anything, even clean bathrooms,  than plan meals, shop for groceries, or cook those meals.  I do like good food, I just hate to plan for it, and I hate to execute those plans.  I can’t explain it.  I love food and I hate food.  I was raised this way, that food is sort of a necessary evil.  One must eat to live, but my mom fought intensely personal battles with food throughout her life, and while I didn’t inherit her precise struggles, I definitely absorbed some of her negativity.  I share her stress over figuring out what to feed one’s people.  Complicating the matter are seven children.  Some hate beans, some hate chicken, some hate most everything outside of smoothies.

I’m fine with my kids hating what I cook.  I simply get tired of them sharing their feelings with me.  I wonder if I added to my mom’s food woes with my own bad attitude.  She was devoted to frozen mixed vegetables, and I surely hated them with all my being, still do, though I totally get their appeal.  All the colors, and all the ease.  Getting your kids to eat four vegetables at once feels good.  I’m sure I mentioned my negative feelings more than once, because I suspect that I struggled to keep my opinions to myself.  Knowing when to keep silent wasn’t my special childhood talent (nor a hallmark of adult Ginny, though I think I’ve improved).  I have a daughter (guess which one?) who has the same issue.  In fact, last night in an attempt to avoid planning or making dinner, I took a handful of children to the grocery store and fed them from the pizza bar.  Beatrix requested a piece of pizza from the center of the pie because it had the best bubble, and the teenage boy reached awkwardly across to slide the wedge onto his spatula.  He remarked, “If I were smart, I would have turned the pan around.”  Beatrix immediately replied, “Well, I guess you’re not!”  Fortunately, he was amused.

Anyway, I better get planning, because September starts tomorrow.

Things that were not necessarily on my list for this past week:  Dyeing more yarn and starting a new shawl.  These things help me to attack all the less appealing items on the actual list, and for those reasons I view them as important and necessary.

Ravelry notes for the pink shawl here.  Yarn here.  Pattern here.

Also, I seem to love pink and yellow now.  This is new.