Ten, Ten, Ten

10/10/10 came and went hurrily around here. I remember looking, by chance, at the 10:09 AM clock while Luke and I did a little dance before falling right back into pancakes, syrup and yes, I’ll have more coffee please.

I kept telling myself that by mid-October life will be smooth. School pick-ups and drop-offs and playdates will make the minivan run on autopilot. I thought by now my night owl ways will be cured and a five o’clock alarm would be welcomed.

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Uh, oh. It’s mid-October.
Really, what was I thinking? My whole life I haven’t been a morning person. And, we’ve slept in until 9 AM for five years until four weeks ago. To add insult to injury, my expresso machine decided to give its warranty a run for its money. I’m frothless. I’m mochaless. No amount of coffee or hot, hot shower steam gets me skipping out the door unflustered.
Before sunrise, I wake a sleepy Olive to feed her in our room for about 45 minutes. It’s hard not to click my heels and wish I could snuggle her under quilt’s down during frosty and foggy mornings.
We try, day after day, to settle into smooth morning habits. We shuffle the funky playlist, drink bottomless cups of drip coffee and braid, dress and dance our two school girls into backpacks.
Last year at this time, I was on bed rest knitting baby toys while eating lots of chocolate. Lots. Funny what difference a year makes.
Olive and I have been volunteering in the Kindergarten classroom and it’s a part of my week I really look forward to. Her teacher is everything I ever could have dreamed up for Betty, so it’s truly a happy place to be. Olive sits perched in my Kokopax carrier, waves and claps as students check out library books or discuss words during reader’s workshop. Betty’s classmates like to make her giggle and enjoy telling her what they’re learning.
It’s so cute how proud Betty is to have us as a package deal in her classroom. I’m not sure how Olive will do once she starts walking. Inevitably, she’ll want to be a part of the centers and explore math manipulatives and lick glue sticks. In anticipation of this phase, I signed up to also be the classroom photographer who’ll pop in to take pics of students at various parts of each month. I’ll manage photo files and help to assemble the pictoral colages at the end of the year for each student. Olive’s already proved to be a great assistant, once leaning forward in camera’s frame to sign milk repeatedly. My fingers are crossed that Olive will enjoy growing with the students as the academic year speeds ahead and remain ready for her mini-volunteer math center role.
Olive June’s clingy vine ways are vanishing. She calmly and softly takes in the world around her, pausing to explore islander still lifes.
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She stands on her tippy toes, licks everything and has just enough wheat-colored hair to create what looks like the end of a water color paint brush on her head’s top.
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There are times of the day when I dash into the other room, then come back to find Olive sitting beside our dog so still and so pleased. She loves to look at books on Tilly’s bed, but isn’t quite so sure about doggy kisses.
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Soccer ended and so did our dual coaching duties. We had an extra shirt, so we made Lucy the team doctor. She brought her pretend doctor kit along and waited for the players to hurt themselves. Luckily, that never happened. But in Lucy’s mind, their safe play only heightened her desire to play, kick the ball into the goal, run alongside coach Daddy and, well, be five years old. As the Saturdays rolled on, she only looked forward to half-time snack-time, and even if she’d just finished six pancakes with bacon and a smoothie, she’d want to snack as soon as her sneaker touched turf. I wonder if other three year olds are this food-centered.
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Chances are, Olive won’t miss soccer. She mainly slept on Luke’s back as he repeatedly shared our team’s motto: have fun. Betty’s packed her cleats away for summer soccer camp but can be heard from time to time kicking around the ball while explaining to Lucy the best part of the game,


You really spend the entire time on the field laughing. It’s so funny to try to get the ball away from someone. And every time you score a goal, it’s really, really hard to stop smiling.


Love her.
I’ve written a new play and that’s why I haven’t written here lately.
It almost seems like I’ve written twenty ten-minute plays because I’ve revised it so, so much. It’s about a birth taking place on a ferry from Shaw to Orcas island. For now, that’s all I say. I submit it to the Playwrights Festival soon. Fingers crossed (tightly).
Betty is very respectful of my writing time and often will indulge in a three hour art project if I’m at the computer. The other day she painted four plaster birds from an Audubon kit. She mixed colors, frequently changed her water and did an amazing job. She wants to build something out of driftwood to hang/perch them on.
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There was a time when Lucy had a hard time with art. She’d get very frustrated. She couldn’t put on paper what was inside her mind and, when she did, it never looked as “beautiful” as big sister’s. Now, you can’t keep her out of our art supply bin.
I got this idea from krokotak via The Crafty Crow. Lucy and I went on a walk and collected a basket of leaves. She chose a handful and insisted on returning all the leaves we weren’t going to use back to where she thought we’d picked them up.
I needed to remind myself art is about the process (deep breath) even though I knew we only had a certain amount of time until Olive woke up. So, before painting, back out we went to return leaves.
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Lucy loved using scissors to cut the leaves in half. She adored watercolors and kept saying silently to herself water, paint, paper. She used to get so frustrated when the color was too dry to make a mark, or when the color was unintentionally blended with another.
Love her.
I’ve been doing some custom sewing while giving my dream machine some much needed action. So far, it’s been a great way to help friends create something that has previously lived inside their minds. It looks like Baby By The Seamstress is growing steadily, and that’s a good thing.
A friend designed the tablecloth fabric and tag icons for another pal’s ultra-creative vision which became Halloween Bunco. Sometimes it feels like this island will explode with talent.
I was excited to see how the linens I sewed looked, but even more for the chance to dress up. I went to the Halloween party dressed up as Nacho Fajita (a shout out to Nacho Libre). Wearing a wig and Lycra all night overshadowed the can-I-leave-my-bedtime-breastfeeding-obsessed-babe anxiety.
When I came home I could tell by the way my costume fit that Olive had been thirsty.
In the full light of our living room near night’s end I found Luke and babe asleep on our couch. Their positioning cracked me up, looking as if they’d fallen over from sitting up waiting and waiting for me.
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It’s nice to have friends who keep closets full of costumes like this at your fingertips. It’s also nice to see your family in wax lips taken from a party the morning after.
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Somehow between supervising sidewalk chalking and free spirited fairy games we’re rolling along with our addition. Trusses are set and a roof is next.
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I never tire of seeing how the lines once drawn on a scrap of paper are slowly shaping themselves, through shade and shadow, into living space.

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