autumn

Cat’s Got My Tongue or Something Like That

It’s been nice to see a few stories about Gen X in the media recently.  After all, hi! We still exist! The media is obsessed with the Boomers (for what…4 or 5 decades now?) and Millennials, and it can be easy to forget that there is a generation in between the Boomers and Millennials, a generation doing quite well, thank you very much.

I’ve written before about my feelings about being a Gen Xer. They’re mixed because depending on where you get your data, I’m either part of the very end of Gen X or possibly one of the oldest Millennials.  Most of the milestones for Gen X happened when I was still a small child, so while I remember them, they aren’t really my milestones like they are for someone 5-10 years older. And the events and habits that define Millennials are things that are at least 5-10 years younger than I am.  It’s like being part of a lost generation, a generation that exists in some Never-Never Land.

This article about Gen X got it right. Again, some of the examples they use are for older members of the generation, but the overall feeling and characterization is spot on: Meh. I picture that utterance accompanied with a shrug. It’s not negative. It’s not positive. It just is, and it’s freeing.  Because the spotlight has so seldom been on Gen X, we’ve been allowed to chart our own course and to develop ourselves without the sheer numbers that change society like the Boomers and the online opportunities to which Millennials are accustomed.

We’re here, plodding along, doing our thing, and we’re OK with that.

I could go on and on about the article, but I’m curious about your impression. If you are Gen X, do you agree? If you are not Gen X, what do you think, and if you work with Gen Xers, what’s it like?

***

We’ve had a wonderful week with Daniel.  After weeks of tantrums and whining and crying at the drop of a hat that was capped off by me bursting into tears last Sunday after a particularly trying afternoon, this week has been calm and pleasant. And you better believe I’m knocking on every piece of wood I can find.

That has been the definition of age  so far: wonderful moments and teary lows. We’re hopeful that maybe this week wasn’t a fluke and that the Pre-K transition is over. Maybe our talks and warnings and consequences and tears have finally gotten through, and we’re able to reason and talk through hairy moments. Fingers and toes are crossed.

***

We went to our local Farmer’s Market to buy pumpkins and flowers today.  I’m pleased to say that Daniel is just as infatuated with Fall as we are.  I got out our Halloween decorations when I was home on Monday, and he has been demanding one of my decorative pumpkins every day.  We happily picked out pumpkins to decorate our porch and mums to plant in our garden.

It was weird doing all this when it is almost 90 degrees, but that’s North Carolina. Next weekend, it could be 65 (and I’d LOVE it!).

Daniel among the pumpkins

Pumpkin Man!

***

I’m having a bit of writer’s block lately. I’m not even sure if that’s what it is, but when I sit down to blog, I can’t get my thoughts together.  I have so many posts in draft status because I write and write and write and then just taper off, unable to finish.  I’ve thought posts through in the shower and while I’m getting ready, but they fade away. The words don’t flow. I reread the drafts, and the sentences are awkward and clumsy, and the metaphors and analogies are silly, and I’m embarrassed and frustrated. I’ve never considered myself to be an elegant writer, but I expect a basic competence from myself that has been lacking.

Maybe I need to do more of Mel’s Pump and Dump type of writing.  Maybe it’s a good thing that NaBloPoMo is next month.  Hopefully the challenge of blogging every day will clear this blockage.

What I haven’t thought much about is whether my inability to write is symbolic of some other stress in my life (work, I’m looking at you).

What I do know is that Fall is my little family’s favorite time of year. While I’m stunned it’s October, I’m thrilled. Holidays, good food, family, fun events…all are on tap and being scheduled. And as the leaves turn golden and orange and red, I feel myself waking up and feeling alive. The beauty of this time of  year hits me like a hammer, and I’m determined we will enjoy it.

Daniel and mums

Daniel among the mums

Lazy Fall Weekend

This weekend was really nice.  I don’t mean to sound so surprised by it, but I’m used to weekend feeling like they are 5 minutes long and Sundays to feel like a sprint to the finish line as we try to cram in laundry, dinner, baths, stories, bedtime, lunch-making, and a smidgen of relaxation before Jimmy and I collapse, unready to face another work week.

Story time with Daddy

This weekend’s pace has felt much slower.  Lethargic, even, and it’s been great.  It may help that after spending three grueling days in class last week, I felt unable to do anything but go slowly this weekend.  We did most of our running around  yesterday, meeting Jimmy’s mother, grandfather, stepfather and brother at IHOP for brunch.

Grandma and Daniel at IHOP. Daniel’s drinking creamer.

Normally I greet Sundays warily due to the fact it is the last day of the weekend AND it is filled with so much to be done from the time I get out of bed until the time I fall back into it.  Today, though, I greeted Sunday wearily.  I woke up bone tired.  I was tired like I had done some sort of strenuous or extremely taxing mental activity yesterday.  I lumbered out of bed this morning, unable to pick up speed.

Daniel was energetic, but he seemed content to play in the kitchen.  The day was gray and cool, the first time it really felt like Autumn.  Instead of finding it grim, I thought it was beautiful.  It added extra weight to our fatigue and the three of us seemed to agree without discussion that it was a perfect day to stay in our pajamas and do very little.   If we were very cunning or flexible, we might not even need to leave the house.

Fireman

Where’s the fire?

And for once, on a Sunday, I felt relaxed.  Calm.  Go-with-the-flow.  Daniel wants to watch 4 Thomas DVDs?  I’m ok with that.  The dishes still aren’t washed?  It’s ok.  The floors aren’t swept? Whatever. We did several loads of laundry (mostly Daniel’s because I bought his Fall wardrobe on Friday).  We placed a few orders online.  Daniel, Jimmy and I played with his cars and trains.  We all cuddled.  I even took a shower and used up all the hot water (that’s not as grand as it sounds; we are having hot water heater issues), something I always intend to do on Sundays but never get to.

Freshly-washed hair and my go-to Fall flannel shirt

I even got to read a lot of NurtureShock this weekend while Jimmy napped.  Daniel himself surprised us by falling asleep late afternoon, just as I was getting ready to get him out of his room from “rest time.”

Daniel’s late afternoon nap may spell trouble for tonight.  Or maybe it won’t.  Maybe some of the peace I’m feeling is the delay in our Sunday routine due to the fact that Daniel’s day care is closed tomorrow, so some of the typical Sunday pressures are absent.  It sort of feels like a semi-holiday for us too.

Or maybe our bodies and psyches needed a quiet day, a day to recharge.  The next several weeks will likely be filled with activities and who knows when we may have a quiet weekend like this again.

***Two Hours Later***

I still didn’t plant the mums, but I did take out my Halloween village.  And Daniel woke up happy and rested after an hour nap.

It’s been a really great day and great weekend. Hopefully the feelings and memories from it will sustain me until we can do it again.

How was your weekend?

Ice cream! And Sprinkles! And Whipped Cream! Sugar High!!!!!

Leaves

It’s not a secret that having a child changes your life. After all, there is a small person (not a dwarf) in your house and he or she is kind of hard to miss. And it’s kind of hard to miss the toys underfoot; the cartoons interspersed with episodes of The F Word, Doctor Who, and Top Gear on the DVR; the prehistoric-quality art on the refrigerator; and the massive quantities of whole milk in the refrigerator (I can’t remember the last time I had a glass of milk, let alone whole milk!).

Sometimes the signs of change are obvious (like the constant smell of poo that somehow permeates the house no matter how much you clean). Other times they are subtle.

In the last few weeks, the trees outside of my office building have begun to turn gorgeously red. I love those trees and have contemplated digging up one of them and taking it to my house. Because no one would notice that!

The leaves are starting to fall from those vibrant trees, and they line the walkway to the building. I study them each morning as I walk in, absorbing and marveling at their perfection. This Fall, however, my study of the leaves has changed. My little boy loves nature & loves leaves. Every time we take him outside, he grabs a flower or picks up a leaf. Eventually he will declare that he is “happy.”.

Happy. He doesn’t say “Daniel is happy” or “I am happy.”. He utters that one word: “happy.” But we know exactly what he means.

So now, as I admire the leaves, I find myself thinking, “Daniel would love that leaf.”

Always thinking of him.

Welcome, October

J and I are big lovers of Fall, and I especially love October.  September holds the promise of Autumn after the heat of summer while by November, the leaves have yellowed and browned, and our thoughts are turning to the holidays.  October holds the promise of changing leaves, cooler temperatures and Halloween, one of my very favorite holidays.

October is perfect. Here are a few of our favorite things:

Potent Potables.

Pumpkin Beer!

Red, red wine. Can't go wrong with Bordeaux & Cote du Rhone.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins


A new book about Fall

Leaves collected during a walk outside.

Changing colors already

Cookies baked and decorated (though maybe not Food Network quality).

Sugar cookies decorated by Daniel

Sweet Boy and a cookie he decorated.

Welcome, October.  We can’t wait to enjoy you more.

What do you love about October?

Autumn 2009

101909_J_D_pumpkin2J and I adore Autumn, and we have been enjoying doing a few Fall activities with Daniel. The leaves finally started to change here within the last week, so I anticipate some really nice walks through the neighborhood (once it stops raining) in the next week or two. Two weeks ago we took Daniel to a local pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins. This place, Ken’s Produce, is about 15 minutes away from our house, and I’ve passed it every day for 4 years. Starting in September, Ken’s creates a corn maze and a haunted after-dark maze. We’ve always bought our pumpkins at Ken’s, so it was special to take Daniel there this year. I had hoped to take a few pictures of him among the pumpkins, but it was quite blustery and chilly that day, so we settled for taking a few seasonal pics at home.

We bought a daddy, mommy and baby pumpkin as well as a few little pumpkins, and the plan is to carve the big pumpkins on Friday. We are so excited about Daniel’s first Halloween! Here are a few pictures and stay tuned for Halloween pics later in the week! I bought Daniel two Halloween outfits, and his Mimi (my mother) bought him two more. I love Halloween, and I have been having a lot of fun. Oh, and those outfits don’t include his actual Halloween costume. But back to the fall pics! I apologize in advance for the fact that the pictures are very me-centric. Fact is that J takes much better pictures of, well, anything than I do. He took the pictures of me, and I took the ones of him. His are good. Mine are ok.
I'm a sucker for flannel

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