February 29, 2016

Of Ice and Introverts

I have been rather dreadful in keeping this updated. (I have been updating my book blog every day. Books are straightforward, so much easier to blog about. Here is the link to that blog if you have forgotten it existed. Books and Umbrellas) Partly because I am busy, but also because I don't have any pictures to put up. And I always feel I need to have pictures to have a real blog post. Surprisingly, working with little kids for 8 hours a day and then coming home to hurry and get things done for four little kids so I am ready for the next day, drains me of any spark of creativity I may have had. By the end of the week, I feel rather dull witted. My kids are already looking forward to summer, when I won't be working, and will be more fun. I had a full day of training on Saturday, so yesterday, as the only day I wasn't working all week, was looking pretty precious. The kids wanted to spend the whole afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa's, which would have been fine some other week, but this week, I had to have that time home. 

I have suddenly come to realize that I am somewhat of an introvert. I see it at work, where I was painfully shy, even of six year olds. I never seemed to be shy with the teacher I work with, mainly because I told her how painfully shy and self conscious I was of the six year olds and we had a good laugh at my weirdness. I don't seem to be as shy with the other teachers, but I am a little hesitant. And then I worry my shyness will be thought of as snobbiness... So much to pointlessly obsess over. 

But I really see my introverted need to be alone at home. I had never realized how much I was alone when I was staying home. I had my hour or two walk in the mornings (or evening), a large part of the day with only one child.... Now I get up early, for quiet time, but usually within 20 minutes, Gilbert is up. Which is nice, but my quiet time is no longer quiet. Then there is a scramble to get everyone out the door with appropriate accouterments, which ends in me spending eight hours with 21 kids. Kids that need to be told not to lick each other, to please use a tissue, to please not tease each other, to please sit down, to do what you are supposed to be doing even if you don't want to.... I actually really like the kids I work with. Still, there is a lot of correcting behaviour that happens in first grade. 

After that, I come home to my four lovely children. I adore them. But they are adjusting to this whole Mommy Working thing as well as Having Daddy Gone For a Month. So there is a little more clinginess, more fights, more sadness. 

I feel rather drained by bedtime. And it makes me feel terrible because shouldn't I feel recharged by spending time my sweet kids? I am trying to talk myself out of the guilt though, since it is rather pointless. It just happens to be the way my psyche was set up. It isn't a reflection on my kids or even on me. 

I can't wait for Justin to come home this Thursday night. He really won't be getting here until the wee hours of Friday morning, but I cling to the Thursday idea. 

I can do this!

(But I really need a husband!)

And now, on a completely different note, here are some pictures of our ice storm a week and a half ago. We were at Clover's, so I didn't even know it had happened. Until I hit a glittering forest about an hour north of Syracuse.  

Thick ice on everything. At this point, everything was sparkling like diamonds. 

Potsdam Sandstone and icy trees

SUNY Potsdam, my alma mater

Back roads from Potsdam

You can't see it in these pictures very well, but as we got further north, the ice got thicker and instead of just sparkling, it suddenly started shooting off rainbows. It was gorgeous. I seriously don't think I have ever seen anything as magical looking. 

Drippy ice on an apple tree

You can see the rainbow-y-ness a little in this picture

All this fabulousness came at a cost though. Birches were bowed down, evergreen branches broken...

Winter Fields

This elm tree bears a weird crown, due to the last terrible ice storm we had, 17 years ago when we lost power for three weeks. This elm had several large branches fall, which gives it a funny hairdo.

Our backyard

The girls had to go explore. 

Icy soccer net

Love this

And this!


February 22, 2016

Snowy Cousins

We spent a goodly part of our winter break at Clover and Evan's. Justin is in California for some truss designing training, so I decided to descend on Clover and Evan and have some adult interaction. 

They live in a major lake effect snow belt. They get snow a lot. The kids loved it!



Deep snow



For the first few days, it was below zero. Then it warmed up and rained, creating giant slush puddles. It never really was perfect weather for outside play. 

Cheyenne and Elsie, reading.

From the front. 

Lily with her stuck together mittens and snow wet dress

A frosty Sunday morning. It was 16 below zero

Morning sunlight

The quantity of snow they got over the course of two or three days. 

Evan trying out the boiling water sublimation thing Sunday morning. The kids were suitably impressed. 

The cloud of boiling water.

I really  like sunshine-y snowy woods.

Sunday evening ice cream


It snowed pretty heavily on Tuesday I think it was. 

Looking outside from a cozy inside is a rather delightful pastime. 

Struggling home again from a long walk to their fort.

Aunt Clover cuddled and read to the little left behind kids.

Stirring hot cocoa

Hot Cocoa lineup