Here are our woes:
We've all been sick and a bit miserable with colds/teething for the last few days. Our plumbing woes continue to unveil themselves in new and unusual ways- we've now counted FOUR completely unrelated sources for the water coming in from one corner of the basement: 1. leaky water pipe (fixed), 2. leaky water main (contested by water company, never resolved), 3. buried, clogged gutter pipe (unearthed and removed), 4. (and this is the kicker) blocked sewer pipe that pours water right onto our driveway whenever we run the dishwasher or run water in the kitchen sink (dug up by Billy after I figured out the dishwasher/driveway puddle connection last week-- I've been trying to get plumbers and water company people to listen to me about that weird puddle for MONTHS, but noone listens to me because it's coming from the same exact spot as the gutter runoff and because I'm a girl and therefore must know nothing about such things-- grrrrr!). We've also managed to flood the basement twice ourselves by accidentally blocking the laundry tub drain where the washer drains. We've spent a good deal of time propping up the poor basement carpet and mopping/wiping up/putting a fan on/moving furniture and boxes out of the wet areas down there. We've just gotten everything dry again and rolled the carpet back in it's spot and I'm kind of nervous to put the furniture back again. Perhaps I should go with that and rethink the whole putting-anything-valuable-in-the-basement idea. Our other woe is that Billy and I are stressing about what kind of swing set/slide/fort/monkey bars to put up in our backyard and how much is reasonable to spend on it and who's going to build it and what kind of wood it should be made of- pressure treated pine with copper (safer than arsenic, which used to be used to treat outdoor lumber) or natural (expensive) farm-raised sustainably-grown redwood.
Sometimes it's just no fun being a grown up. Remember when mom took care of you when you were sick and water was a good thing and just really fun to play in and anything having to do with getting a swing set was just about playing on the thing? Today I really really want that back. Simple.
Of course, there are perks to being an adult, like solo international travel and being married and getting to eat as much chocolate as you want.
I'll tell you what I'm thankful for though. My woes are more like woes-lite: all the whining for just a third of the actual difficulties. I'm quite aware of that because: 1. Billy just watched Grave of the Fireflies- a very sad anime movie about a little girl that dies in WWII Japan from lack of food even though her big brother tries his hardest to take care of her after their parents are killed by fire bombs dropped on them by..mm..this country. Sad sad sad. 2. Georgia and I had a talk this morning about how close she and Maya have come to dying when they each got really sick a couple years ago (Georgia with a weird strep- not too close to dying but still really scary, and Maya with rotavirus- quite close, actually, but saved by Billy's persistence and modern medicine). It was a sobering talk, but we were all really grateful, at the end, to all be together and to only have minor ailments.
A big Baker family welcome to Olivia Carmel Davis, born Thursday night! Welcome to the world, beautiful baby!
to all you great moms (I'm talking to YOU, Liza!) and to all your great mothers (and mine!). The human race wouldn't have been here in the first place without you. And then there were all those sleepless nights and anxiety attacks when we almost drowned from walking off of docks, etc. It's a lot of work, in little bursts of incredible adrenaline and the long interminable hours of slow, grouchy afternoons. And then there's the good part...love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love. Thanks for all of that. And for my Mother's Day present, I get my Billy back! Yeah! (Thanks for the reminder, Katie.)
Here are some mom-related pictures:
Here's a little filmstrip that would be much more impressive if it was in actual filmstrip format. (I really need to get it together and get a Flikr account so I can do that sort of thing.) The blurriness shows action and movement, not camera-that-needs-to-be-updated, although... that could also be read into it.
in Japan, posting on his webble. This is where webbling gets really fun and its true power comes to light. The man is half way around the world. It's tomorrow* there, and we can join in his adventures right in our own basements (or wherever your computer is). Hooray! We're connected!
*The kids laughed really hard when Billy told them (on speakerphone) that he's so far away that it's tomorrow where he is. It's the simple things.
I want to put up pictures of all the fieldtrips I've been taking the kids on. We'll see how far I get before everyone wakes up:
OK, so I got none posted before everyone woke up, but they're all asleep again now, so...onward!
That day we also went to Funk's Grove Maple Syrup Farm and got a gallon of really yummy syrup (sirup is the old-fashioned spelling). There was also a really great nature center near there called Sugar Grove Nature Center that I really love. It's the deluxe model- with rocking chairs in the bird-watching room and a play camping area and a sand table for making animal tracks in with little stamps and on and on- great stuff for little kids. Of course I forgot to take pictures of it but I will go back there and I will take pictures next time. I promise.
The next week we went to the Early American Museum in Mahomet and they loved it! I was suprised and happy with how long they spent in this play house all set up like Little House on the Prairie (which we've started reading at bedtime). Maya wore this adorable bonnet that I couldn't get enough pictures of. Teresa's going to help with the ironing while little red riding hood makes coffee.
See? Isn't it so cute? My heart beats quicker and I'm all in raptures over that little red bonnet-y thing. How do you make a thing like that? I need a pattern! And it has to become her favorite thing so she'll wear it all day every day.
I really like this picture of Georgia (even though it's a little blurry) because it really looks like she was that day- contemplative and still. And I love the contrast of the impish Maya behind her sticking her head through the bars to get a closer look at the fish.
One Saturday we went to Allerton Park (near Monticello, IL) and Billy started taking pictures of our little picnic in the gazebo and after he took this picture he must have told the girls to make a silly face because look at the expressions he got!...
Bakers in a carpet of bluebells. This is the reason I dragged everyone out there and made them hike farther than they wanted to through the woods. The walk was hardest on Georgia, who was tired, but Billy and I took turns talking her through it and by the end she was pretty cheerful.
More bluebells. Teresa makes her sign for 'all done'. She's ready for a restorative nurse. Maya says it looks like Teresa is doing the 'tree' pose in yoga, so she starts getting into position to demonstrate.
Yesterday we went to Homer Lake and did some camping lite but those pictures and stories will have to wait for another day because my big guy is passed out on the couch and needs to be taken to bed.
Billy's leaving for a business trip to TOKYO! on Monday. Wow! How cool is that? And how I wish I was going with him! (I lived in Japan for 9 months teaching ESL and had good and bad times, but definitely recommend going there whenever possible.) He found this really cute website www.genkijapan.net where you can learn to count from 1 to 20 in Japanese to a hip hop beat. The girls are very fond of it.
I've gotten good practise taking care of the kids without Billy to spell me on our trip to Nana's house, but I think it will still be a long week. I encouraged him to spend as long as he could there so he could see a little bit of Japan beyond the inside of the convention center his conference is in. He's got one extra day and I can't wait to hear what he sees and does in that day. Side trip to Hakone to relax in hot springs and visit outdoor museums? Ride the bullet train past Mt. Fuji? Visit temples and conveyer belt restaurants in funky fun neighborhoods in Tokyo? We shall see.
Plumbing: Strange and unsatisfactory mixed-up story, but less leak and no money paid out by us.
Me: Tired but happy. Spent a week at my mom's house and had four generations of women all together. Happy and peaceful- cousins playing very nicely.
Teresa: Insists that besides Georgia and maya, she is also named Georgia. Many times a day she will volunteer 'I Ja-ja' and point to herself. It's really cute. She also says she's a dog. And crawls around going 'woof woof'. Very cute too.