Autumnal Updates

Who loves autumn?

THIS GIRL. I love the colors, the crispness, the smells, the coziness, Oktoberfest beers, football season, the impending holiday season.

And I love pumpkins.

I was married in the fall, and . . . I had Lorelei in the fall.

Adding Lorelei's birthday to my list of autumnal delights has been fun. I remember her as a teensy newborn, carefully taking her out and about on walks that we could fit in between perpetual cluster feedings. Actually, I called them "cluster" something elses. But whatever.

We had a nice, low-key celebration for Lorelei turning three. Dinner at Dogfish Head and then cake and presents at home. Charlotte helped me decorate. She was so excited for little sis's birthday, which was quite sweet. She wasn't even jealous. Of if she was, she hid it.

The only flaw was that Lorelei got upset that her cake was chocolate, EVEN THOUGH SHE TOLD ME SHE WANTED A CHOCOLATE CAKE. So, I gave her a lollipop. Because it was her birthday.

Everyone else enjoyed the cake.

So, yeah. Two weeks ago, we celebrated the littlest one's birthday. Since then, we've been caught up in the typical whirlwind of school stuff, work, churchy stuff, football, birthday parties (oh, so so so many birthday parties), and household stuff. Exciting, no? Somehow, all those little things take up pretty much all the time there is.

I traveled to Denver for 4 long-ass days last week. Let me tell you. Getting up at 4:30 a.m. and not seeing your hotel room again until 8:30 p.m. -- and repeat and repeat -- makes for a tired mama. Imagine my delight when I got home around midnight on a Sunday night to Chris flat on his back with a pinched nerve and a house in disarray. The poor guy moaned and groaned all night long (well, what was left of the night), with me sympathetically hissing, "For the love of god, pop a freakin' valium!" I took Monday off work (pretty sure I had earned it) and spent the day in a foggy, cranky, sleep-deprived haze akin to the newborn days, toiling to get my house and life back in order.

It turns out that no matter how much prep you do ahead of time, Mommy can't disappear for 4 days without ramifications.

It also turns out that 5 straight days of oh so little sleep makes Mommy a crankball.

It ALSO turns out that Mommy will funnel that crankiness to taking a garbage bag and chucking crap that kids left strewn over Mommy's bedroom floor, random receipts along the dresser, catalogs and magazines, and art projects (no, I don't keep every precious thing the girls create), among other treasures. "If it's so important to you, TAKE CARE OF IT!" was my motto. I mean, only Emma was there to hear me, but still.

I did not get the nap that day I had banked on.

Anyway, this past week was a week of readjustment. I'm not sure why that Denver trip wiped me out so much. I've done these sorts of trips many, many times, so I was caught a bit off guard. Was it the altitude in Colorado? The stress of being in charge of more than usual while there? The fact I went into it not super rested in the first place? The fact I didn't sleep well, even during the precious few hours I had to sleep? (Usually not a problem for me---I use to joke that sleeping in hotels sans baby monitors and needy toddlers = the best sleep ever.)

I also didn't care for the city of Denver. Like, at all. So maybe the novelty of being in a new city didn't have the sparkle it often does. 

Well, who knows. Let's just move on to the bookshelf.

I finished The Women Jefferson Loved, which I really liked. I've read my fair share of Jefferson biographies, and I loved the angle of trying to figure out this uber complex guy through the lens of the main women in his life.

I also finished Notes on the State of Virginia by Jefferson himself. Yeah, seeing columns of slaves in coldly calculated will help eliminate some of the Jeffersonian romanticizing I tend to fall into. But he's still my favorite.

I'm also reading Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, a verbose Victorian tale clocking in at 674 pages when I'm quite certain 400 would do. I'm 3/4 of the way through. I like the story and writing okay (I guess), but I'm getting impatient for the end. Originally written as a serial, a la Charles Dickens's novels, the story is of course needlessly dragged on and on. Which is why I don't read much Dickens.

Finally, for some creepy Halloweeny fun, I'm reading the House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam. The writing has some problems here and there, but so far, I'm enjoying it enough not to regret making this my only spooky novel of the year. Because, you know. Halloween is in a freaking week and all.


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