Today totally felt like Fall. It was long pants and long sleeves kind of weather, and it was the perfect day for visiting the apple orchard.
Except that first the kids needed to work on cleaning their rooms. Not Houston. His has been clean (or mostly clean) for a few months now, which is...amazing. But Katrina and Zane's rooms? Disasters. So the rule was this: "No computer until your room is clean AND then checked by an adult to make sure that it's actually clean."
Katrina's response was to start cleaning early this morning and work really hard until she thought it was clean and then get it checked by Juanito. He hadn't seen the before, so he was all, "Um. No. It's a mess." She crawled into bed with me and cried because she'd been working really hard, so i cuddled her and tickled her for a while, and then eventually i sat on her bed saying, "Clean up that stuff over there," so that she could finish and make it look awesome. And she did! Done! Clean! Hallelujah!
Zane's response was this: "Well, i'm not going to be able to finish and play computer in time anyhow, so i might as well just not even try." Like, he actually said that to me. I had to further threaten him with: A - "No computer EVER AGAIN until your room is clean," and (when that failed to elicit an acceptable response) B - "I will take away your MP3 player, and then you won't be able to listen to your audiobooks on repeat day and night." The combined threats managed to get him to make at least a minimal effort. I gave him some direction (Gather all your clothes and put them in the laundry. Pick up 10 things.) and it was going fairly well, but then i made the mistake of telling him to pull everything out from under his bed, and then i realized that he had stashed everything in the entire world under his bed, and now it is the biggest disaster that ever was. Which is awesome, because in a week and a half, his grandma and aunt are going to be staying there.
So by afternoon, all of us were kind of ready for a break. Beth suggested the apple orchard, which was a brilliant suggestion. I didn't even think that apples were ready yet, so i'd never have suggested it.
As soon as we got to the orchard, the kids scattered. Zane played in the corn until we dragged him away. Houston fed the chickens. And Katrina cuddled kittens. Just before we went to pick apples, Houston cuddled a kitten for a few seconds and then completely regretted it later, when we concluded that he is, definitely, allergic to cats. Poor kid.
We tried the different kinds of apples, picked lots of yummy ones (including honeycrisp!), and got donuts.
And then Houston, Katrina, and i left Zane at home and went to Beth's house to watch the final Harry Potter movie. Yay!!!