Changing Priorities

The start-of-autumn deluge has finally arrived, bringing relief and early fall colds. I’ve started keeping a different kind of weekly to do list that gives one organization/pretending-to-be-an-adult item and one activity with the kids each day, on top of the daily stuff I already need to do (e.g. morning movement, work on my writing, run errands, etc.). Last week, I completed four out of five household organizational tasks, making our home a little better each day, and our Learning Center is looking far less cluttered and more accessible.  So much so that my son has actually made use of it three days in a row.

The corner of the kitchen we use for organizing our curricula and educational toys.

The corner of the kitchen we use for organizing our curricula and educational toys.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Last week, my daughter called her Aikido Sensei and said she needed a break, that she didn’t feel as if she fit in in either class available to her.  It was also the end of the ballroom classes we’d prepaid for, and she decided it wasn’t the right kind of dance for her.

So, we’ve taken a look at new classes in our area.  I asked her to create a spreadsheet of her three favorite school options, with lists of classes offered, times they’re offered, and costs so we can make an informed decision as a family.  She’s most interested in jazz dance, yoga, and taking some Nia classes with me.  We also need to call three local elementary schools to ask if Daughter can have observation days in their K-2 classes, since she’s quite interested in following that career track.

At the same time, my son is returning to gymnastics and we’re setting up play dates with other two year olds so he can spend more time with near-age children. We see our toddler cousins once in a while and run into neighbors from time-to-time with children his age, but he doesn’t have a friend he can consistently hang out with.

My partner and I will be continuing our ballroom classes with group lessons, and in a couple of weeks, I’m getting my first tattoo for my 37th birthday.

Our septic issues aren’t too bad, but we still need some replacements done, for which we need to save $3,000 (yikes!), but I’m happy after my partner hired landscapers to help me out. Four hours, two men, and this is the result:

Backyard BeforeBackyard After

WHAT WE’RE READING

I posted on Hearth, Heart, & Home the wonderful experience of reading the first story in Town Cats by Lloyd Alexander during a power outage.  I’m getting into the Left Hand of Darkness, my daughter is about to have her book basket filled with books on education (she said teaching is her calling), and my son just let me read Zen Shorts to him for the first time.

Soon, my daughter will be starting her WWII reading, which I’ve chosen to begin with Maus I & II and I Never Saw Another Butterfly.  The former is a graphic novel where the Jewish people are represented by mice and the Nazi Germans are represented by cats.  The latter book is a collection of poems and images created by the children in a concentration camp.  I had been assigned the book in 7th grade and was also in a play based on the book.  It has stuck with me all my life.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

We’re still on U.S. History in Crash Course, but we started watching two television shows as a family almost concurrently: Gravity Falls and Eureka.  Daughter and I have come to the conclusion that the two towns are neighbors in rural Washington, probably somewhere to the north of where we live, and what is created in Eureka ends up wandering into and affecting Gravity Falls.

Meanwhile, my son remains addicted to Steven Universe. Not only does he request I sing the theme song at every nap and bedtime as one of the lullabies, he asks to watch it almost daily.  He has a cold this week, and it’s one of the few times I allow television binging in our home.  He’s too sick to enjoy playing, everything makes him cry, except watching all of the SU episodes back to back. And since they’re around eleven to thirteen minutes each, it only took him the whole of a morning to get through the existing episodes.  (Why oh why did they split the second season in half?!)

WHAT WE’RE EATING

It’s been a traditional Seattle-area, start-of-autumn deluge since Friday that’s bringing some relief from the raging fires and the massive, coastal drought.  Combine cool, wet weather with sick kids, and I’ve got a pot of chicken and rice soup on the stove, a crock pot cooking up some bone broth, and for lunch, we’re having comfort food, including Baked Potato Tacos.  We made ours with ground pork and didn’t scoop out the potato filling, but placed cheddar cheese on top of each baked potato halves, fresh from the oven.  The heat melted the cheese while I cooked the meat filling with salsa.

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