The first couple weeks of September were filled with attempting to prep for the next year. I've made several dinner dishes that I've stowed away in the freezer, to be used at some point this quarter, including a delicious beef stew.
I got a few breakfast foods done as well, but not enough so will have to make more periodically throughout the quarter.
And I finally got the blackberries cleared from one of the front gardens, at least as much as possible. Then I trimmed the bushes so that I could get a ladder in between them and clean out the gutters.
Turns out, not cleaning out your gutters for a couple years is a great way to make compost. There was some lovely, rich-looking soil I pulled out of those gutters. My favorite thing, though, is that I'll no longer have to listen to rain pouring over the gutter corner by the front porch. There are still some sections of gutter to clear, even in areas we did clear last year (all our trees are horrifically messy), but I need Ryan's help with moving the ladder to do that. Mal had fun climbing up on the ladder though, and even helped clear out some of the gutters!
It turned chilly one weekend, so I took the boys (separately) to get some winter clothes. With Mal, I was exhausted after 5 minutes. All the shirts were "too dark" and he only had eyes for hats and slippers. I finally convinced him to choose some things to try on. Of course, the thing he really needs - pants - we only found one pair that fits, even when you account for adjustable waists. Most that fit around the waist are too short, while anything that's long enough drowns him in the waist. But I wasn't about to go to another store with him in the same day. So I took him home and picked up Gareth for his turn. Took this picture while waiting for Gareth to illustrate to Ryan how much easier shopping is with a 10 year old than a 5 year old:
Still, I was exhausted when we got home and took a good nap.
The first week of school was a honeymoon period with Mal and school. The next week we entered the "I want to murder Mal every morning" phase. One morning it was because he wanted the pirate shirt and then, never mind, he wants the dinosaur shirt. But then! The letters on the dinosaur shirt come too close to his neck and scare him! And the sleeves on both sizes of rain jacket available to him make him "not perfect" and he wants a sweater instead of a jacket (but you'd better send the jacket for when he inevitably freaks out about the rain getting on his head). And there was something poky in his shoe, despite my taking the shoe and sock off twice and thoroughly checking for all things poky. As he waved mournfully until he could no longer see me while walking into the building with his class, I could only be grateful that his teacher gets to deal with him all day and not me.