On an Early Fall Night...
...Sir Fix-a-lot works away on one of the many projects around here...

...a babe motates around the yard with as little knees touching the ground as possible (that rough terrain is not good on the knees!)...

...Batman roams the neighborhood, waving to passing cars and pedestrians alike...

...and the views (sigh)...those trees...never get old.


Henry Turns One
Yesterday was a joyful/sad day for me, as it marked one year from the birth of my babe. I was glad he has made it thus far and has blessed our lives immensely. I was sad because my wee babe is growing up. In other words, I want to have my cake and eat it too (literally and figuratively in this case).

He had plenty of help getting that candle blown out. In fact, if we hadn't plopped a huge cake right down in front of him, he wouldn't have even cared, for he was more interested in pushing around the car he was holding. The cake was just a formality. And, he didn't get any presents from his mom and pop because, let's be honest, he has plenty of toys (most of which are household items like cupcake pans and shampoo bottles).

I am always making this cake, Martha's One-Bowl Chocolate Cake, and it never disappoints. It is moist, light and dense at the same time (how does that happen?), rich and chocolate-y. And so, as the woman who gave birth to this little bundle who turned one, I chose the cake flavor. Maybe in future years, when he actually develops favorite flavors, he will have a say in his birthday cake. But, this year was my choice and even the day after I'm still reveling in it. Cake for breakfast, anyone? Yes, please.


Let the Chips Fall
While I love this house and the kitchen especially, I want to move the back row of cabinets into the dining room to make the walkway bigger (see those ones with the glass-fronts? Those and their base cabinets).

My mom, ever the designer/space planner/efficiency expert, was here last week and she was the genius behind the idea. We're going to move that row of cabinets here, along the back wall of the dining room. This will free up precious space in the kitchen walkway, filling in the less-used space of the dining room.

I'm very excited about all of this. And I've got paint on the brain. There are paint chip trails stuck all over my kitchen. I'm trying to find the perfect shade of gray to make my hickory cabinets pop. Life is in the details...


Afternoon: Down and Dirty
I usually don't like (okay, I dread) those two afternoon hours from 3 to 5 PM. There's something about the stretch between post-nap and dinner-time that drags and tugs at my patience.

But today was different. Under a cushioned cover of overcast skies, we played out that dreaded chunk of time in dirt, driving little metal cars, and spectating Lucy's bike parade extravaganza (I played announcer).

Above: the scene of my posterity in the thick of it.

And who knew that "onions" (aka: gladiola bulbs) burrowed in the front flower bed?


New Terrain
We made the move! It's been an exhausting, relieving, rewarding and crazy past several days. We've got the remains to prove it: a fort in the basement made of boxes, for one (you know Finn was behind this one: anything involving construction, boxes and tape he is all over). And, a basement! We finally have a house with room enough for a basement! (Not that I'm a fan of basements, but now we have more room to nest our brood).

Exhibit No. 2: Henry christens the new kitchen sink by taking a post-dinner bath

Exhibit 3: Batman himself watches YouTube videos of himself (or the Warner Brothers one) from the new kitchen computer post

And, this photo is from our old house, but it shows the lackadaisical nature of the Matron of the house (me), in the midst of all this moving, unpacking and general chaos. I never would've let child number one lounge on the dishwasher door! I'm turning into a softie/crazy lady!

All jest aside, it feels so good to get settled into a more permanent living space. Plus, with the new school year, the daily drop-off and pick-up of the school bus, the cooling of the weather, and the settling of the memories of Summer, life feels like it's settling. What a welcome sensation.

I think I've left the house twice in the past three days, and have maintained my standard pajamas-while-at-home dress code. Two kind friends took my kids for hours on end so I could move and then unpack. They are angels. I got so much done with no "helpers" around. Between unpacking spurts, I have moved sprinklers and pulled weeds, only to come back inside to continue the "untying-of-the knot" effort.

I feel like I'm finally getting my bearings (much like after giving birth, or getting married, or any major life-change). I'm not hanging pictures yet (that will come after lots of painting and replacing carpet, etc.), but I might make a trip to the gym or the grocery store. I might not change out of my pajama attire, but I will make the attempt to resume my "normal life." (Normal here implies still a dirty house, disheveled-looking children, random piles of stuff scattered around the house, and holes in some of my favorite shirts).

So, life moves on and we've crossed a hurdle, for which I'm thankful. I've read alot in the blogosphere about the happy anticipation of Fall (i.e. pumpkin bread, crisp weather, sweaters, etc.) and I have to say, I am also looking forward to the upcoming season. This morning, as I bent over the overgrown front flowerbed in my multi-colored polka dot pajama bottoms and hole-y gray shirt, weeding, I felt a warm breeze slide through the general crispness of the air. It felt good. Just like being in this new terrain: our new home.