Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where Oh Where Has October Gone (Part 1)

So where have I been the last few weeks – okay month? In a nutshell, writing.

“Grant Season” – the name coined by my office for the maddening few weeks prior to the big EPA Brownfields Grant submission deadline was upon us yet again. The due date was October 15, which meant that life as I knew it was pretty crazy. Every year we try to get our information together in a timely manner so that we’re not scrambling to write so many applications in such a short amount of time – and every year we fall short. This year was particularly bad for me (the primary grant writer) as I had several other big projects that were closing out and expiring – meaning there was a considerable amount of work to get done on those projects by September 30 – pushing the time to start writing new grants back to the first of October.

All that to say – my life became a blurry fog. The schedule went something like this:

6:00 am – wake up, get ready, start getting the kids up

6:30 – remind Anna it’s time to get up

6:45 – remind Anna (again) that it’s time to get up

7:00 – shove Anna out of bed, throw her clothes on her, hover over her while she brushes her teeth

7:10 – feed all kids breakfast

7:30 – I depart for work – Deonne departs shortly thereafter to get the kids off to respective schools

4:00 – leave work to start the pick up routine (start with the boys at the Children’s Center – then drive across town to get Anna at Forest Lake)

5:30-ish – arrive at home (depending on when I actually left work – and how long it took at each school to gather each child, their belongings, chat with teachers, and buckle into the car)

Scramble around to cook dinner while keeping Jack from climbing my legs, reaching for the stove, digging under the cabinets for cleaning supplies, refereeing arguments between Anna and James, reassuring the kids that I’m not starving them by not allowing them a snack – that dinner is indeed on its way.

6:00 – Deonne arrives home, we sit down to dinner, actually have a chance to talk to the kids, hear about everyone’s day, hear their precious giggles and laughs

6:45 – excuse the kids from dinner, start cleaning up the kitchen

7:00 – Deonne takes the kids up for bath, I finish up cleaning the kitchen, then head back to work

7:30 – arrive at work, write more grants, research more information, write more grants

10:00 – 11:00 – depart for home

This started the first Monday of October, and continued until the actual deadline of October 15. Including the weekend, except that I didn’t have to push the kids out of the house and could let my sleeping beauty lie in her bed. All in all – I worked 120 hours in 10 days.


But there were little bits of encouragement along the way – on Saturday evening I came home to find this waiting for me at the end of the driveway.

It made me cry.

So you’d think that by the time I made it home every night between 10 and 11 I’d collapse in fatigue on the couch or immediately retreat to my bed, right?


I decided it would be a great time to paint.

Excellent timing.

Now, in my defense, neither Deonne nor I thought it would take quite so long or require quite so much paint to accomplish the task. When we took apart the room the weekend after Anna’s birthday – we naively thought we would be finished by the next weekend.

Uh, yeah. Not so much.

So what started out as a one week paint job – turned into a three week debacle. Where our den was completely torn apart. Where the kids had no toys or place to play because the couches were piled in the middle of the room.


But it’s all finished now.

And it looks lovely, if I do say so myself.

The 1980’s stained wood paneling is now a crisp white.

The beige wall color we threw on the walls when we first moved in to cover up the hideous red (raspberry red, you can see it along the edges of the outlet in this photo) is now “Crisp Linen.”

The black French doors (again quickly painted over in an attempt to cover the raspberry red) are now a bright, clean white.)

I think it’s my new favorite room in the house....with an exception of the constant clutter of toys, games, and books - but that's life with the Party of Five - and someday I'll miss it.  I think.

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