After 3+ months of jetting around from one fun spot to the next, I've hit the end of the schedule of adventures for the time being. At least through the fall the plan is to stay put, re-convince Alexe I'm not going anywhere, (only took five years the first time,) and settle the kids into a semi-routine domestic life.
So that's what we've been doing, and I'll admit, for the first couple days, maybe because I was pooped from all the driving, or from everything that happened at Burning Man, or maybe because I didn't have a pending departure date for the first time in a while, I had a rough time adjusting.
It took a few days, but some morning last week I woke up, looked around, and felt like the world was my oyster again.
The kids ever forgot. A game they invented that is probably going to destroy a table, a couch, and maybe a head, but they love it.
Annaliese and Caspian are both growing like weeds, and pulling all sorts of new behaviors out. Annaliese seems taken with hiding in small spaces, bookshelves, closets, under beds. Caspian joins her when he can squeeze in beside her.
She received her first (clip on) earring ever from one of her suitors, (sorry Billy,) and went from four and a half to sixteen in two seconds. Look at the set of that jaw.
Add a little frozen gatorade, and the four year old was back.
We went to our first-ever local high-school football game. Friday night under the lights, in Mississippi.
The local mascot is a devil. The teams, the cheerleaders, they all go by the Blue Devils. In the sea of churches it's always confused me.
The cheerleading squads start at the toddler age, (not joking, they're the "little devils",) and go up to the high school ladies seen here.
It's a small town. We saw lots of folks we know, and the kids had a blast racing through the stands with their friends.
We made it to halftime, at which point the kids went through a hole in the fence into the section of the bleachers reserved for the band, and ran out the gate on the opposite side into the crowds.
We're in Water Valley, so I was never worried. It helped that the entire police force and sheriff's department were at the game, either assigned or out to watch, but it was aggravating, and I wrapped the night up and dragged everyone home.
Caspian is growing, eating, and full of three year old attitude.
After working with me the other morning for over an hour, he said, 'Daddy, can we do something family and fun together? I said sure, what did he want to do? He thought for a second, then said "Let's eat something!"
Annaliese is a groovy princess.
Both kids have started soccer, two evenings a week, no practice, just right into the games.
The playing times are staggered by age, so we're at the fields for over two hours on Monday and Thursday evenings. It also means the kids have to play fan to their sibling for half the time.
Caspian is more interested in playing with his friends on the sidelines. Again, small town, all our friends are at these things as well, and we're lucky enough to have a big circle of folks with kids in the same range as ours.
Annaliese has figured soccer out since last year, and is a typhoon on the field, whipping into the pack around the ball, and coming out of it with the ball. Now we're working on the concept of team mates.
Caspian is about where Annaliese was last year. He looks adorable, likes to kick the ball, but spends most of his time wandering around the field with minimal interest in where the ball is.
The games are a chorus of loud directions coming from the sidelines, with impact on the on-field action. Having sat through this particular game, I'm amazed I have so many action shots of Caspian interacting, or at least headed towards, the ball. He's kicking here:
This is a more accurate representation of play. His best friend Graham is on the red team, lying down at center field. One team mate is headed away from the ball, another is checking on Graham, and Caspian is watching the goal, from a safe distance. (Caspian is #3, because he was born on the third of June. Annaliese's team jerseys haven;t shown up yet.)
On a kagan&alexe focused evening, the kids made great ball retrievers at the tennis courts. We couldn't find any tennis balls at the house, and Fred's was out, but they had a bin of super-pink balls, which are about the same size as a tennis ball, weigh a bit more, and do all sorts of weird bouncing. We made it work.
I spent the last two days, in between everything else ont he agenda, addressing some long neglected things around the house.
A new coat of paint went on the porch on Thursday, and Caspian and I spent Friday morning with rags and buckets of soapy water scrubbing the walls of the house around the porch.
It's amazing what sticks to a building in three years. Doesn't make you feel great about the quality of the air.
It certainly made the porch pop.
Yesterday afternoon I turned my attention to the courtyard, which had a few faulty design points when we first did the house. The doors going into the kitchen really needed some rain protection, and in three short years of me not bothering to do that, they've been destroyed and will need to be replaced. The corner of the courtyard is in a heavy runoff zone, with three large roof faces depositing water into that spot. I put a diverter on the roof to direct the water into the gutter and during heavy storms out into the open area, and then replaced the siding that had not stoof up to the water exposure in the last three years.
Yes, I'm kicking myself. It all took around two hours, half of that was fixing the wall. If I had bothered to do this three years ago, I would have saved us the cost of those two doors.