Friday, November 8, 2013

a wind has blown the rain away

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. I think i too have known
autumn too long

-ee cummings

Autumn is wrapping things up.  I'm calling it.  The weather app on my phone has a giant snowflake  next Wednesday, where there is usually a sun, so that's a sure sign.  And I'm okay with that, because is has been a perfect fall.  

So many children, so many pumpkins to carve!

This is mine, because I like to be different and don't do faces.

This is Jon's, trying to be scary!

And this is a Lego man, that everyone wanted done but no one wanted done on "their" pumpkin.  Good thing we had a spare!
And perfectly mild as well.  The kids have been spending long hours outdoors playing in the leaves and I thoroughly relish the small bit of "quiet" I get to experience inside the house when they're on the other side of the back door.

Totally unsure what to think.

Jack's signature leaf pile pose.
We had our last soccer game on Saturday.  Jack played his little heart out, put 6 balls in the goal, and came home with a trophy that he'll show anyone who walks through our front door ... several times.  But more importantly we've seen him learning how to be a teammate over the past two months - making friendships, cheering on his fellow players, and high-fiving anyone else who scores a goal.  I'm proud of this little guy.  Even if the sport I just watched hardly resembled what I used to see in high school and even if this league follows the whole "no keeping score, winners or losers" policy.  He did good.

Little Sis has mastered yelling "Go Jack!" 

Daddy did his hair.  He wanted it to make him fast!

The first of many trophies, I'm sure.
But today, today it was so cold and windy (the backyard looked like an autumn snow globe) that I finally gave in to the kids begging to watch "The Polar Express," drink hot cocoa ... and listen to the Chipmunks Christmas album.

And I'm on my second hot beverage of the day.  Hubby bought an expresso/latte machine while we were out Christmas shopping last weekend.  It was technically for himself but so far I'm the only who's used it.  Like every day ... or twice a day.  I'm a sucker for frothed milk and this thing does it with a touch of a button.  So maybe we'll make it our "shared" Christmas gift ... to each other.  The best part is I've practically trained the kids on how to make my latte for me!

The 3 baristas!  Jack asks me several times a day if I "need more caffeine" just because he wants to make it.
So anyway, we hired a "real" babysitter last Saturday to watch the kids so we could really hit the Christmas shopping with fervor.  I was a little nervous about leaving the kids with a stranger, but more so for her than for them.  When I think about the lengths I'd go when leaving Jack with a relative for a few hours, over 4 years ago, and the effort I put in to preparing for this latest babysitter (I did remember to write down our cell phone numbers and address before we ran out the door), well let's just say, things have really changed.  I think it went okay.  Not great, not horrible, I never saw someone exit our house so quickly, but at least it happened.

This girl can pout!
And I would add that at least a date night happened as well, but we literally just plowed through our shopping list as fast as we could, only stopping for soft pretzels and a coffee.  Thankfully, Joci was an absolute angel through it all.  So while it was hardly a romantic evening, I do feel a little less stressed about the gifting.  

It's hard to believe that in less than 2 years, this sweet, innocent little thing ...

...will start hacking my phone, taking 40 pictures of her feet ...

... and smiling at the camera with a giant, green bruise on her forehead and a smudge of last night's ketchup on her cheek.  Gosh, they change so much!
And speaking of evenings, they come so early now.  We still haven't quite adjusted to daylight savings.  We have a friend living with us for the next three weeks.  She's awesome and we love having her, but for now, the novelty of having "Miss Mary" in the house hasn't quite worn off for the kids yet.  They're like a bunch of puppies from the moment she gets home from work until we can finally wrestle them down to sleep.  Add to that a baby who's approaching the 4-month sleep regression and still waking up at her pre-fall-back time.  And a 2 year old that we're trying to teach to sleep in a big girl bed in her brother's room, so we can move the baby into the nursery soon... well, neither Jon nor I are getting full night's of sleep right now.  Enter the need for multiple hot, caffeinated beverages.  Okay, so maybe just one caffeinated beverage ... and the rest decaf.  For Joci's sake.

I think he was trying to draw on his own beard and mustache.  Thank you Movember males everywhere for setting a fine example for my sons!

The breakfast bunch!  Up an hour earlier than usual.
I have a feeling that expresso maker is going to get a lot of use this winter.  *lifts decaf chai tea latte*  Here's to short, brisk days and long, dark nights.  With four kids.  And blowing rain, leaves, and sky.  And trees that still stand.  Hear, hear, autumn!

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