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I have so much to share with you. Snippets of posts rattle around in my head banging up against unbalanced check books and unpainted rooms in unfinished additions and unpacked and unwashed lake clothes and unbathed children who started Kindergarten at our local elementary this morning at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  Your words stack up uncommented upon (but never unread) in my reader.

It’s so easy to focus on all that’s undone, isn’t it? Especially this time of year when fall’s steam train derails summer’s slow fun with an audible impact of emails and orientations and supply lists and instructions.  I have to take a breath and focus on all that we have done. Walks. Lakes. Fairies. Bike rides. Splash pads. Flew to San Diego. Built an addition.

Yesterday, we did hair.  I took the advice that so many of you gave and Saige and I had a special date at Island Braids for a back-to-school hair appointment.  She loved the attention. I loved the break from tiny braids in my cramping, clumsy fingers.

We both loved the results.  Thank you for helping me to outsource this special part of my daughter’s life. (I know I didn’t need permission, but it helped.)  Letting this go was hard because the time we spend on Saige’s hair is a unique time for us together.  The best part about the appointment was that it remained unique time for us together.  It just so happened that Deb did the braiding while we all chatted.  The second best part was that it took Deb (who braids so quickly that I can not even follow her technique) three hours to cornrow Saige’s hair, which makes my five-hours-over-two-days efforts feel considerably less inept.

The sun shone for our walk to Kindergarten this morning and Eastern WA sparkled as only it can (and it only can for approximately six weeks of the year, but WHO IS COUNTING BESIDES ME, REALLY).  Saige and Garrett pulsed with excitement at the glamor and newness of public school.  The sidewalks filled with kids of all ages walking to class. School buses unloaded bustling hives of children on one side.  We agreed to separate them this year, as the school recommends, which left us negotiating the chaos and first day jitters of both of the a.m. Kindergarten classrooms.

I could see their relief when we spied our neighborhood friends in the crowd – I know I felt warmer and happier to meet eyes with the moms I know and love over the sea of new faces. With twenty-five children in each class and their nervous parents, the atmosphere was overwhelming.  I felt a bit bombarded and even Saige, who has never met a situation that she didn’t own, held my hand.

And then the teachers clapped and called for goodbyes and a sense of calm flowed in like the tide as the extra adults and siblings flowed out the door.  There wasn’t really time to come undone or even to think before we were back out in the sun, two children lighter until 3:00 p.m.  So, I thought, I guess that’s done then.  That’s how thirteen years of public school begins.  Kind of like swimming your way out of a rip tide.  Swim to the side! Don’t fight the current! Don’t panic.

I must be raising fairly strong swimmers because they certainly didn’t.  (Isn’t it the cutest little school?)

Quinn would like all of you, but in particular Grandma, to know that he also started school today.  And he rode his bike.  And no one EVER gets excited or takes him to a new school.  Sigh.  Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!!@!!

I would like you to know that yes, I did actually purchase those socks on purpose.  It’s been a really busy three weeks and I had one afternoon for back to school shopping, okay? They didn’t look quite that neon all bundled together in a ten pairs for ten dollars bundle.  Lesson learned.  Ten dollars for ten pairs of socks is too good to be true. Unless you like neon.  Bright side: we will never lose his feet.

Nate would like you to know that he’s still home with me.  Which is wonderful. Most of the time.

((Ew. What’s that in its mouth.))  (Ten points if you can name that hilarious youtube video. I’m totally going to watch it again now. Shut up. You know you are too.)

(It’s popcorn. But it’s still a cute picture. Mostly.)

73 Responses to Undone
  1. Issa
    September 6, 2011 | 9:01 pm

    I adore her hair. It looks amazing. I think you taking her and just her…still your thing.

    Yay for kindergarten. They both look a bit nervous. I hope they had a great day though.

    • Anymommy
      September 6, 2011 | 9:23 pm

      I pick them up in an hour … hopefully they loved it! Hey can you email me if this reply emails to you. I’m trying to figure out if my reply me plugin is working.

    • Anymommy
      September 7, 2011 | 2:42 am

      Let’s try this again … did you get an email from me, Issa my love?

      • Issa
        September 8, 2011 | 3:19 pm

        Did not darling. Sorry. Just remembered you asking me to look the other day…so I came looking. Nothing in my email that time though.

        • Anymommy
          September 8, 2011 | 8:44 pm

          It’s working! It’s working! Thanks to Avasmommy, it’s working!! xo

          • Issa
            September 8, 2011 | 8:46 pm


  2. Elise Raimi
    September 6, 2011 | 11:41 pm

    Honeybadger don’t give a shit what’s in his mouth! Honeybadger just eats it.
    Are the sox still 10 for $10? I need some…

  3. Bon
    September 7, 2011 | 12:18 am

    this is perfect. or exactly how my morning went too, at least.

    “So, I thought, I guess that’s done then. That’s how thirteen years of public school begins. Kind of like swimming your way out of a rip tide. Swim to the side! Don’t fight the current! Don’t panic.”

    thank you. i couldn’t write it. i got all caught up in my own cynicism. but there it is. something. and yet, it’s tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow that count.


    • Anymommy
      September 7, 2011 | 5:07 am

      I wanted to take them and run for a while, but it worked out. I have a lot of cynicism about today’s experience as well … but I know they will learn much and there will be many, many pros to a public education.

  4. Shiri
    September 7, 2011 | 1:26 am

    Your youngest looks nothing like the honeybadger, please, says the bird.

    • Anymommy
      September 7, 2011 | 2:43 am

      Hey, watch it. Stupid. Heh. I love another honeybadger fan.

  5. Galit Breen
    September 7, 2011 | 1:58 am

    The list of undones {is that a real word?} is endless in an overwhelming-help!-I’m drowning sort of way.

    But your words? Your posts- are like gifts.

    Congrats on day 1 and beautiful hair and neon socks and eww popcorn!


    • Anymommy
      September 8, 2011 | 8:45 pm

      You are so good to me. And I’m currently comment reply crazy because my email replies are finally working. Yay!

  6. Lauren V
    September 7, 2011 | 3:01 am

    I watched Honeybadger a while back thanks to you and it’s amazing how many inside jokes I would have missed out on if not for that knowledge :) Have you seen the Harry Potter shirt “Hufflepuff don’t give a shit”? Best.

    And I am sure every other person on the planet has seen “Charlie bit my finger” but I hadn’t until last week and I laughed so hard I cried. I had heard about it from a million people but had never actually watched it. If you are the only other person alive who hasn’t seen it…go watch it. :)

    • Anymommy
      September 7, 2011 | 5:08 am

      I’ve seen it and it’s hilarious!

  7. mosey (kim)
    September 7, 2011 | 4:26 am

    That’s nasty, what Honeybadger has in its mouth. I was similarly undone at the start of kindergarten. And funnily enough, just last week at the start of 2nd grade. Wahhh.

    • Anymommy
      September 8, 2011 | 8:46 pm

      I don’t think we ever get immune to watching our child get another year older.

  8. Robin from Israel
    September 7, 2011 | 5:13 am

    So sweet, and still so willing to pose too. Congrats on reaching this big milestone, I know they’re going to take that place by storm.

    And congratulations to Quinn too on his first day. Love the socks.

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  9. Neuromama
    September 7, 2011 | 3:39 pm

    Just wanted to say that her hair looks absolutely, stunningly gorgeous!

  10. Sharon
    September 7, 2011 | 4:30 pm


    My 6 year old started FIRST grade, and both my toddlers start 2 days a week, full day preschool tomorrow – I am in full out panic mode here! My little guy, Alex is clincher. I’ve never had to send him off. He was the reason I had to start staying at home. Ahhh!

    I hope G&S loved their first day in that totally awesome looking school!

  11. Enjoli
    September 7, 2011 | 8:14 pm

    Love Saige’s hair! It’s magnificent. When I saw you Tweet that you guys were heading to the braiding salon, I meant to Tweet back “Please post pix.” Thanks for heeding my un-Tweeted request. And what’s wrong with those socks? I love funky socks. The kids’ new school looks awesome. I’d say I can’t wait till my trio takes that step but meh, yes I can. Ciao!

    • Anymommy
      September 8, 2011 | 4:18 am

      I kind of love the socks myself, but they do glow a bit in the photo. And yes, don’t rush them, it will happen before you know it.

  12. naomi
    September 7, 2011 | 10:17 pm

    nate is a total badass. he could take on honey badger.

  13. Ellen
    September 8, 2011 | 12:51 am

    Your kids couldn’t be any cuter! Saige’s hair looks amazing. How long can you keep it like that before taking it out and having it redone? I am just curious. Clearly it took a lot of time, patience,(and energy!)to have that done.

    • Anymommy
      September 8, 2011 | 4:21 am

      The stylist said we could make it last about three weeks if we’re careful. I’m hopeful. We have a silk cap that she wears to bed that really helps.

  14. Lise
    September 8, 2011 | 7:50 am

    I would like Quinn to know that he looks VERY grown-up and handsome. And I love his socks. My kids buy socks like that on purpose.

  15. Gayle
    September 8, 2011 | 9:33 am

    Who the hell is Honey Badeger? I don’t like the feeling of stupidity.

    Saiges hair is awesome. Outsource it every.single.time. If you were meant to be a hairdresser then you would be.

    I orignally scoffed at the whole Kindergarten thing thinking back a couple of weeks when I took Lucas and was completely annoyed by the snivelling parents like it was a big deal. Then I remembered that this is my 5th (and last) first day of Kindergarten so for me it kind of was mundane (and rejoiceful!). Even more so…I totally did not go to the Kindergarten, First Grade and 6th Grade Parent nights. For Christ’s sake this is my 14th year at this school….I asked them if anything had changed and it had not so really…what is the point. I know the lecture so I do not need to sit, sweating and hear it again. And if you think I should have been there….let me tell you, instead I taught my daughter how to do a twirl on the baton. Waaaayyy better than a speech I’ve heard three times from the same teachers. :)

    I just love you so much I just ramble. I am totally making an excuse to visit my cousins so I can visit you!!

    • Anymommy
      September 8, 2011 | 8:47 pm

      I love it when you ramble. Google badass honeybadger on youtube and watch the video. You’ll be so in the know!

  16. Mom24@4evermom
    September 8, 2011 | 11:35 am

    Her hair is beautiful. Great decision. Julianna absolutely loves going to the salon, it can definitely be a special bonding time. Three hours though?? I can’t imagine a child that young being willing/able to sit that long. Crazy!

    The school is adorable and I love their first day pictures. Hope they have a wonderful 13 years. I guess it’s obvious I’ve had kids in school forever, while I loved your don’t panic, swim sideways metaphor, all I could think about was “watch out for that undertow, it comes out of nowhere and it’s wicked”. Don’t let my jadedness (word?) affect you though.

    I also loved the train reference, hopefully that means you’re either writing or thinking about it. :)

    • Anymommy
      September 8, 2011 | 8:48 pm

      I am trying to get the next chapter ready. I received the judges’ critiques from a competition I entered (for the first chapters of romance novels) and I’m reeling a bit from all of their comments.

  17. RottenMom
    September 8, 2011 | 12:07 pm

    Yes. It’s best not to fight the current. I spent too many years fighting the current when we should have just swam sideways.

    All of your children are gorgeous and happy and I am so digging the neon socks, but I especially am loving that you and Saige are still able to share your hair braiding time together in a different, yet still special way. My college freshman niece spent the weekend with me, she is part caucasian, part african american, it was a struggle with a lot of tears to hear what she has endured. I wish along the way I had been more in tune with what she needed. Like you are with Saige. There’s still time, right?

  18. hokgardner
    September 8, 2011 | 12:45 pm

    OK, I want to move to where ever it is that you live so that my kids can go to that school.

    Your kids all looked so happy and excited about school – just the way it should be.

    And I had a dream the other night that we were dog sitting for you, and the dog escaped. I was wandering around yelling, “HAAAAMMMMPPPTTTOOOOONNN NOOOOOOOODDLLLLLLLLEEE” much to the delight of the neighbors.

  19. Candice@NotesFromABroad
    September 8, 2011 | 1:39 pm

    Oh, I just got this rush of memory .. relief that my daughter was going to be in school where someone else would try to tame her, sadness that my baby boy was in school and what was I going to do all day by myself.
    That only lasted a short time, the rest of the day was spent, waiting for them to come home and hoping that the teacher was not horrid, the kids in their classes were nice and that homework was not going to rule our house for 9 months.
    I think I miss those days a little ~ just a tiny tiny bit :)

  20. Ms Sharealot
    September 8, 2011 | 2:01 pm

    My girls (Kinder and second) are nearing the end of their third week of school, and your post still nearly brought me to tears! There is just something about letting go of them on that first day that is SO hard! Saige is gorgeous, by the way, and I am in awe of anyone who can spend that amount of time on hair!

  21. Leah
    September 8, 2011 | 2:20 pm

    Wow we finally get great weather and its fall again. Saige’s hair is beautiful! I was always worried when we adopted how I would ever figure out how to do hair correctly if it wasn’t just some plain hanging down hair, I knew I could do it but I bet it would have taken even more then your 5 hours.
    I have one more year to stress about kindergarten and they start at 8am sharp, Mya kid sleeps 12 hours I would ahve to put her to bed at 6pm in order to get her up and on a bus to get to school that early, just craziness.

  22. Alivia
    September 8, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    Oh honey badger. It will never get old.
    And her dress. I die.

  23. Ms Sharealot
    September 8, 2011 | 3:58 pm

    I’ve been trying to comment all morning, because I LOVE Saige’s hair and am in awe of any mommy who can stand to work for hours on their baby’s hair!

  24. Linda
    September 8, 2011 | 4:02 pm

    Oh, her hair looks gorgeous! And what a great idea for the two of you to make the salon trip special. You made my hands cramp with remembered pain of 8+ hours of dreadlocking my daughter’s stick-straight hair a few years ago. What love drives us to do!

    And before you mentioned the socks I was thinking “I love those”.

    Lastly, thank you so much for you previous link to the honey badger- my daughters and I make references to it all the time, much to my husband’s mystification (is that a word?)

  25. avasmommy
    September 8, 2011 | 5:14 pm

    I think the salon is a great idea. It still makes it special time for you both.

    • Anymommy
      September 8, 2011 | 7:00 pm

      It really is fun. Okay, this is hopefully an email, going to you, to say THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  26. Alexicographer
    September 8, 2011 | 6:14 pm

    I love the socks! Just think, if he tumbles into a snowbank he will be so easy to find (I make the same claim for my bright yellow boots). I think everyone takes socks way too seriously; I have a number of pairs that are either bright red or royal blue. Life is short (my brightly colored socks, unlike Quinn’s, are not)!

  27. Alexandra
    September 8, 2011 | 6:17 pm

    Of all the things I can say about this post, I think these are the wisest words I can leave you with:

    You get what you pay for.


  28. The Mommy Therapy
    September 8, 2011 | 6:28 pm

    I can not imagine trying to braid hair like that, very impressive and it looks adorable! I’m so happy for the two of you that her hair is something you still can do just the two of you.

    Yes, that school is the cutest. It looks like the set of a movie.

    This time of year always brings me new motivation to make lists, conquer tasks, and give myself a challenge….though often I am swimming in the undone also. One day, one thing at a time. It looks like you are definitely taking care of the most important to-dos on the list.

  29. stacie
    September 8, 2011 | 7:56 pm

    Love the hair and the first day of school pix! Beautiful kids! Mine started kindergarten too a few weeks ago and found the 1st day to be so hectic that we were late to his classroom (couldnt find a parking spot!)

  30. Amelia
    September 8, 2011 | 8:22 pm

    Such beautiful children you have. Your words are too. I love her hair and am so glad you had a meaningful non-stressed out day of getting it done.
    Happy first day of school. :))

  31. Carolyn
    September 8, 2011 | 10:08 pm

    Oh my!! They are all so grown up. I love Saige’s hair. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  32. dysfunctional mom
    September 9, 2011 | 1:20 am

    I love her hair. I am also reading as much as I can but so far behind. I’m just exhausted.
    The school is adorable, and I actually like the glow in the dark socks. =)

  33. jen
    September 9, 2011 | 12:40 pm

    honey badger … but that just might be a really good excuse to have to go and watch it again.
    and also? you did so much better than i did at kindergarten. i bawled. and worked next door to her classroom. pathetic. (and pregnant – at the time – i might add. probably all those hormones.)
    today though? preschool for cora. going. to. die.

    • anymommy
      September 9, 2011 | 7:58 pm

      Well…this is our second year of Kindergarten, so I’ve had practice ;-)

  34. Linn
    September 9, 2011 | 1:38 pm

    Saige looks so pretty. I love her hair and I bet your fingers are thanking you. :o)

    Also, I love it that you called Nate “it”. We’ve always called our three “it”. Especially when they were little. “Here, take it. It’s your turn for a little while.”

  35. Amanda
    September 9, 2011 | 3:20 pm

    I may need to move to WA state just for that little hansel and gretel house of a school. It fits all of my school daydreams.

    • anymommy
      September 9, 2011 | 7:57 pm

      That school is truly adorable and it’s tucked into our little neighborhood, surrounded by treelined streets. It’s almost enough to make up for the snowberms that will impede our walk in a month or so. Almost.

  36. AmazingGreis
    September 9, 2011 | 5:16 pm

    Love her hair!! And that picture of Nate is so adorable.

    Also, I’m not sure how I missed the Twitter talk of your new YouTube obsession, but while visiting Cindy last weekend she introduced me to the Honey Badger. OMG, I laughed a LOT!

    Now, go watch it again, because I’m at work and YouTube is blocked! *sigh*

    • anymommy
      September 9, 2011 | 7:56 pm

      I’ve been a honeybadger fan for a while now.

  37. Marta
    September 9, 2011 | 8:29 pm

    Neon socks are awesome, who told you otherwise?!

  38. Annie
    September 10, 2011 | 12:11 am

    glad to know i am not the only skeptical mama pining all day for my babies to get home from school… Thank the stars it is friday and the next heartbreak can wait another couple days! Enjoy the weekend!

  39. tracey - justanothermommy
    September 10, 2011 | 5:34 am

    Her hair looks awesome. And a day for just the girls is worth the cost.

    Poor Quinn. I understand his pain as the middle child. It’s such a woeful existence…

    :) Actually, I think we kinda rock the family line up. But shhhhh… Don’t let anyone in on the secret.

  40. Lady Jennie
    September 10, 2011 | 8:52 pm

    I’m reading too and having trouble commenting (time-wise). Even having trouble finding time to write and I have so much to say. I’m also extra sad about Anna, whom I did not know before. It’s hard to think of anything else.

    But I like the neon socks, I truly do. And please tell Quinn that I think it is VERY exciting that he rode his bike to school. Or that he rode his bike and (separately) started school. Very excited.

  41. Heather
    September 10, 2011 | 9:31 pm

    I’m still amazed there are public schools that don’t require uniforms. It’s so refreshing to see!

    Also? Now I’m doubly amazed there are public schools that don’t look like mental institutions from the outside. I really must move from Alabama.

    • anymommy
      September 11, 2011 | 5:29 pm

      I have yet to see a public school here that has uniforms, although sometimes I admit that sounds easier! I can’t tell you how excited I would be if you moved this way.

  42. pamela dayton time
    September 12, 2011 | 2:32 am

    I know I’m totally late to this party, but YOU KNOW I LOVE THE HONEYBADGER. (sorry about the shouting.)

  43. Jessica@Team Rasler
    September 12, 2011 | 6:40 am

    Love the pictures and Saige’s hair! I wonder what it will be like having two kindergarteners in different classrooms. Of course I wonder that every time I have a student who has a twin in another room. I think it would be hard not to compare teachers all the time, but I guess as parents we do that naturally anyway.

    The neon socks are hilarious, and Quinn looks so big in that picture. The years seem to go by even faster with my blog friends’ children than my own, which I didn’t think was possible!

  44. Kami
    September 12, 2011 | 10:13 am

    (I love the photo of your family that comes up next to the comments box. Too effin’ cute.) I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time coming to terms with kindergarten. It just makes my 5 year old seem like a teenager. You know? Saige’s hair looks fantastic.

    • Anymommy
      September 15, 2011 | 5:46 am

      I think I will still be coming to terms with Kindergarten as they start seventh grade. I’m slow.

  45. Carolyn Online
    September 12, 2011 | 11:02 pm

    Oh my! I wanted to stop by for a visit. I can NOT get over how the kids have grown. I hope they all loved school. So good to “see” you.

    • Anymommy
      September 15, 2011 | 5:45 am

      Oh my gosh! How are you? I’ve missed you in blog world and BlogHer was not the same without you.

  46. Elaine
    September 13, 2011 | 2:50 pm

    Funny how you leave them and you do have that feeling, “well, that’s over…now what??” ha! I felt the same way this year, with my little ones. And I kept thinking I was forgetting a kid somewhere…

    LOVE that darling school, Oh my goodness!!!

  47. Fizzy Liz
    September 14, 2011 | 3:19 pm

    I just found your site, and may I say, your title and theme are quite lovely! Title reminds me of the Eureka episode where there is a mummy-related mishap, and Carter asks “Is Anymummy here?” I know you did that on purpose – not the Eureka reference, but the funny word – and it is LOL.

  48. Life with Kaishon
    September 17, 2011 | 1:31 am

    Good for you!
    I work with african american families and co workers and they get SO stinking mad when white people do black hair crazy. They actually get annoyed when white women just make little puffs. They know that is all we can do because we don’t understand black hair. Hats off to you for this! I love it. It looks sensational.

  49. Elizabeth @claritychaos
    September 19, 2011 | 2:22 pm

    I love the analogy of swimming out of a rip tide.

    And your kiddos are gorgeous, Stacey.

  50. Rachael Bartlett
    December 8, 2011 | 5:40 am

    I love it when you ramble. And I’m currently comment reply crazy because my email replies are finally working. to. I love it.

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