Monday Mash Up, April 2

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All things being equal, we had a pretty decent weekend. I was a photo-taking fool all weekend long. My back aches from bending over my table at my studio, and my hand feels permanently fused to my camera. I'm not complaining! Some of the photos I'll share with you this week. Not all, though. Sorry. I'll feed them to you in tantalizing (I hope) bits. That bottom right picture will have to suffice for now.

Callum has been absolutely miserable with allergies this week (hence the inhaler). On Thursday after baseball practice he had to stay up late doing homework and still didn't finish. After getting up early to complete it Friday morning, I promised him dinner of his choice that night (Somehow I don't think those were the parenting tips you guys were talking about!). His friends were home that night, so we took them along, and I'm so glad we did! We tend to hunker down on Friday nights. Maybe catch a drink in the front yard with neighbors, but by the end of the week, we're worn out and we cherish our time alone just us guys. Neel had the thought to invite Brian and Jimmy along to dinner, and it means so much to me to be spontaneously generous like this. Both for those boys and for Callum. He rides into school with them every day of the week, eats lunch over there many a Saturday, and is generally absorbed into that family in the best of ways. Anytime I can do something in return, I want to. Plus, it was just fun! Brian and Jimmy had never been to hibachi before, and we had to walk them through it a bit, but after the chef left, Brian turned to us and said, "This place is pretty awesome!"

Cal's baseball game was cool and drizzly. We kept hoping the rain would stay away and fortunately it did. Everytime it looked like it was going to dry up, I'd put my umbrella down and it would start drip, drip, drip again. Finally I just kept my umbrella up the whole dang time. I really, really promise that this won't become a baseball blog. But I have to tell you a little bit about what happened on Saturday. Cal's team won 21-1. They had to call the game after two hours for time, and thank goodness really. You know it's bad when you're pulling for the other team to get a hit, score, do anything. I love sport, and winning's great, but there's little joy in a victory like that. But here's an excerpt from the email that Cal's coach sent after the game. I hope everyone understands why we pulled back the attack against (the other team.)  I could tell some of the boys were getting frustrated by not being able to keep running and scoring.  I will never ask a player to get out intentionally, but if the game is very one sided I will hold them back from stealing and extending base hits.  After the game multiple parents from (the other team) approached me to say thank you for not running up the score and making it worse than it was.  With all that being said, I couldn't be prouder of the boys today. Compare that to what college fans did after a WIN in a basket ball game (As my dad said, way to stay classy, Kentucky). I love Callum's coach, and I'm so grateful that my son gets to learn from him.

Saturday night, we missed Earth Hour for the first time in years and got totally absorbed by Storage Wars on A&E. Why have I never seen this? It's like Antiques Roadshow, but livlier!

Sunday, was, of course, the grocery store and more photographs. The weather was glorious here. Neel spent the day in the garden. He's putting in a new fence, panel by panel, and he asked me and Callum to help him get one board level. After he got the board screwed in, the level fell on my head. That didn't feel great but we survive these things. When it first happened (big metal level falling from a height and bouncing off my head), it hurt a lot. Cal was so sweet. He rushed and grabbed me a Gatorade and sat me down. I'm fine. Harder headed than I thought, I suppose.

It hasn't been all base hits and gorgeous blooming phlox this weekend. Callum has felt really miserable pretty much the whole go, coughing and sore throat. No fun. Not the best of moods perhaps either. As he gets older, I feel the need to be careful of how much of his internal life I share, but suffice it to say, he's, well we've, had a rough day or so. As I sat on his bed late last night, standing my ground on some point or another, I was reminded of you guys. Saying that you wanted parenting tips. HA! Me in my jammies, forehead wearily resting in my hand as we argued around and around, and his cough echoed in my ears. I think about all those mommy bloggers out there. What are they writing about? Planning birthday parties? I'm terrible at those. Potty training? Those days are long behind me (although we did manage them pretty successfully, if I do say so) What to feed a picky eater? Callum never was a picky eater. What could I possibly say that hasn't already been said? Especially when I am, so often, uncertain of the job I'm doing.So maybe one day I'll write about this journey I've been on as a parent...taking the long view, rather than the day to day that you see here so often. It is the greatest, hardest job. Raising him is the single most significant thing I've ever done.

Remember this? The whole time I've been writing this post, Lucy has been barking at a step. A step. The dog's crates, food and water are all in a sun porch off our living room, just one step down from the main part of the house. Neel tripped coming up that step (it's also the room where he's been starting his seeds this early spring), and broke off the tile on the step to reveal the wood beneath. So the step looks different and feels different. And Lucy has been barking at it. Not constant barking. Intermittent. Every so often she'll come into the family room and bark at Neel. Her room is broken. It's pretty sweet.