Thursday, April 19, 2018

Day 4 Day 6

I'm on day 4 of a week long call. Its going OK. More internet surfing than I like to allow myself during the day (in between rounds/consults) and at night, but I'm exercising, eating well, etc...

I'm also on day 6 of a two-week long MIL visit. see above.

I am dreading this weekend. Its like a double-hit of stress. Going straight from managing who-knows-how-many patients in the hospital to managing MIL's delicate feelings and my kids' behavior.

Since I'm complaining, I'm over over OVER the cold. I've come around to being able to actually embrace winter...when it is winter. Once April hits, I'm just done with it, though. I want to be able to be outside more, comfortably. The poor kids were nearly frostbitten after the T-ball game last Sunday! Also, my MIL's feelings definite include dislike of cold weather and she is taking it as a personal affront, which I get to hear about every day. Yippee!

Good things? My kids love being picked up by her after school (and having their bellies and brains filled with treats and screens). G and I can both go work out on the same morning, which means I can get my workouts in during the week, since I can't on the weekend. We won't really have time for a date night, but maybe we can squeeze in a post-dinner drink out next week.

But man, I'm mostly just physically and mentally tired right now. One day at a time.


Friday, April 6, 2018

"...To Change Her Mind"?

Its right there, in the subtitle of my blog...the reason I started writing here was to organize my thoughts in the hopes that this would spark some sort of evolution that would ultimately lead me to acceptance of my "real adult life".

My initial reaction when I remembered this, was "ha!" I'm exactly the same person, only more gray hair, wrinkles, and cynicism. But on further reflection, while my outside life is pretty much what it was 6 years ago, my inner life has changed dramatically.

I actually have focused a good portion of my energy on improving my state of mind, and through therapy, meditation, medication, exercise, socializing, and yes writing, I think I'm in a pretty good place. I'm still working on it, still searching for that ideal balance between striving and acceptance,  dialing down my reactivity so that I don't yell so damn much at my kids, and substituting healthy austere coping mechanisms for wine and carbs. But even being able to articulate what I am working on is a huge HUGE step forward from the constant chaos of anxiety and overwhelm I was dealing with back then.


Anyways, just some deep thoughts on a gray and rainy Friday morning when my first two patients have canceled. The snow (!!!) in the forecast for tomorrow has been replaced with rain, which still leaves our schedule a bit iffy with the first spring running club and T-ball game on the docket (and basketball in between, but that's indoors at least). I have to drive the kids in the car solo for the first time which I'm a bit nervous about. We also have to do our &^$*% taxes. Oh well. Maybe we'll have some pizza to make up for it.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

In like a lion...

Yes I'm back. Yes I did do the things I said I was going to do (finished 2 papers and submitted a pilot grant) plus some other stuff that came up. No, I don't think staying away from blogging had anything to do with that, but having one less distraction certainly didn't hurt!

What else? Lots of snow storms, social events, watching the boys play basketball, reading Harry Potter, getting into a social media war with a developer trying to build near us, and trying to find a dinner all 4 of us can eat.

And, oh yeah, we bought a car! A BIG ASS car. No clear reason, I just started feeling...limited...when it came to weekend adventures and errands. And we had money saved up for many years for "possible future car". So we discussed it, researched it, went to the dealership, and came home with a used Honda Pilot.

G and the boys are driving around in it as we speak, doing errands and getting lunch. They are on "spring break", which is truncated to three days this year, so they can push the school year to August instead of the lovely post-labor day opening I'd gotten used to over the past few years.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll go visit my sister for a couple of days, which the boys are VERY excited about, and Monday I took the day off to hang out with them, though I think probably just do chores and go to the park.

Anyways, it looks sunny outside and is supposedly 60 degrees so I'm going to finish up two more things I had on my list for today and head on outta here. More thoughtful posts in store for next week. Happy Passover-Easter-April Fool's Day!


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The shortest month

And made even shorter by a one week vacation. I am seriously thinking we should travel (somewhere warm) every February, it really breaks up the winter blahs.

I am struggling to even partially stay on top of things. We were hit, one after another, by a nasty cold. L still has it, but B and I are mostly recovered. That set me behind more than I already was after a week away and just generally having too much on my plate.

We had B's pediatrician appointment and IEP meeting in a 12 hour period, and I have a LOT to follow up on and work on. The house is a disaster and we need to do our taxes. I have to finalize summer plans and submit my vacation requests by next week which involves talking to grandparents, etc... I won't even get into work, way way way way too much to do and so so so so far behind.

On that note, I'm going to take a little break from blogging and reading/commenting. I will miss your words but I need to simplify for a bit. I will be back after I've submitted 2 papers and a pilot grant, and gotten a draft of a major grant written. Discipline. I need to cultivate it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Misc.

Just did a workshop on negotiation and we did a role-play about selling a car. I got the most for my car of anyone in the group! Weirdly proud of this, because I wouldn't call myself a natural negotiator, though I sort of get into it once I get going. I've never bought or sold a car. I've only owned one car in my life, that my parents bought for me, used, when I was in college. It was stolen 11 years later. I predict we will end up buying a car by 2020 because we are occasionally starting to feel the constraints of not having one.

We are signing L up for basketball (he's been asking for months and his friend is doing it at the Y)and B for private swim lessons. We've had him in group lessons at the Y for years and just need something different. He gets distracted when the other kids are having their turn and never comes back down to earth. L is also doing Tball again, and G is coaching. This may be our last "free" weekend for a while.

Weekend plans: Friday night I'm meeting friends for Happy Hour for a couple of hours while G holds down the fort. Saturday: workout, then we are all going to the burbs to buy bikes for the kids & have lunch. Sitter coming in the evening for date night. Sunday: rainy day. I want to declutter (and give away their current outgrown bikes & trikes), make soup for lunches next week, probably a movie at some point either all of us or just the kids.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Magic Happened

We survived our first (only?) family trip to Disney World. We joined my parents, sister/BIL and their twins. We did 5 full days at the the parks plus one day at Universal for Harry Potter World. It was exhausting, and hot, and crowded, and I gained about 5 lbs from cheetos, trying every candy variety at Honeydukes, frozen margaritas and soft pretzels with "cheese-flavored dip" and I'm really glad to be home and back into my healthy routine.

It was also incredibly fun. There was nothing to do but jump right in and be present and enjoy the overstimulation and the family togetherness and indulgence. I feel like we packed SO MUCH into one week, more than an entire seasons worth of fun that we typically dole out to ourselves in small dribs and drabs and this time just opened up the water hose and went for it.

Highlights:
  • Rollercoasters! All of them! Especially how much the kids were into them---they weren't scared of anything and all the kids' favorite rides were the long coasters. thankfully there were only 3 rides the entire trip that had a 48" minimum that L couldn't ride.
  • Riding the Hogwarts Express. Aaagh. Dream come true! Also: Butterbeer and Honeydukes (not Ollivanders because they were hawking $50 wands and there were tantrums)
  • Seeing B (the same B who HATES smiling for pictures and barely tolerates hugs) LIGHT UP when hugged & took a pic with Mickey, Goofy, Keilo Ren.
  • Seeing the kids get super interested in all the countries at Epcot and ask about when we would visit Japan and France and Canada and Britain and how we need to learn the languages first so we can ask questions and order food. I mean Disney is fine, but YES we would love to travel more
  • Getting to take some fabulous pictures with all of us (we did pay for the Memory Maker, so you could have a photographer take it so you can all be in the shot)
  • Watching all 4 kids make up games and share treats, and have inside jokes and just love on each other
I'm not going to post details and tips, because there are plenty of bloggers who do that, but in case you are wondering: we stayed off site in a time share condo (frugal!) and mostly ate breakfast & dinner at home, with lunch in the park for the adults & packed sandwiches for the kids (plus loads of purchased snacks and treats). This did mean we had to drive about 30 minutes, park and ride to the entrance which added time onto either end of the day. Only one day did we stay until closing (9pm) to watch fireworks. That day we had dinner in Mexico. Because we were off site, we didn't get the prime fast passes so we had to wait quite a while for a few rides (space mountain) but we got lucky a few times and were able to get on certain rides with no wait by strategic planning/obsessive wait time checking. We did not do any character breakfasts or reserved dining so I have no idea about any of that. No one needed a stroller. WE did have park hopper but only used it once, on the last day, since we finished Hollywood Studios by 3pm and drove over to Epcot for a bit. All 4 kids said their favorite park was Animal Kingdom, but I think its just because that ended up being the coolest and smoothest overall day. G hated hated HATED Magic Kingdom. He was such a trooper the whole trip. He is not a fan of Harry Potter or Disney but really went along with everything and tolerated my family without a peep of complaint.

I'm happy to answer any questions about the trip, but really I'm ready to get back into the game of planning, productivity, parenting, etc...

Monday, February 5, 2018

Underdogs!

While I still maintain that our country's obsession with professional sports is kinda stupid, watching the game last night was seriously good fun. Our friends came over with their 3 boys and even B, who repeated all day that he didn't like football and was not going to watch the game, got really really into it, and admitted that he was wrong. I was worried that he would be grumpy and hang out alone in his room, but he piled on the couch with the other boys and there was only one incident that earned him a brief time out (and he actually apologized, sincerely, after!) It helped that it was a really really, heart-pounding, nail-biting close game. We let the boys stay up and watch the whole thing (they changed into PJs and did teeth at halftime). And when it ended? We all ran upstairs for our shoes and coats and joined the entire city making their way to Broad street! G and I decided it was a once in a lifetime event and did not want to miss it, so we walked over, saw the fun, and then came home and put the kids to bed (they fell asleep within minutes) and I put myself to bed while G cleaned up (he had already planned to work from home to take L to an appointment mid-day while I had 8 AM clinic patients, so it only seemed fair).

The winning started well before the game, though. G and I spent a lot of the day in the kitchen, and it was raining outside, and we are still limiting screen time, so the kids got BORED. They complained and whined and fought and came to announce every few minutes that there was NOTHING TO DO. So I gave them chores. And they did them. They fake complained "ugh, ANOTHER job, this is job number 862 today" but they did clean their rooms, and gathered up library books, and emptied the trashcans and everything else I asked of them. And then they suddenly achieved this rarely seen nirvana of creative joint play, all on their own! They were really secretive and then surprised us with the grand opening of "B and L's restaurant, everything your heart desires" and took our orders and made us food out of construction paper and tape and crayons and were so so into it, it was absolutely adorable. All it took was hours of whining and some boredom.

I realize writing this that most people may consider this all routine and unimpressive behavior for their kids, but my kids are usually just so so unwilling to play together and B is so literal and unimaginative and they usually fight every. single. thing...it just felt really nice to have kids acting like normal kids. Its also nice to be reminded that I actually do love children, in general, and specifically my own, and that there was a reason we wanted so badly to be parents and its all not a complete slog. The reward, its rare, but sweet.

We are all  exhausted today and no one will be winning anything tonight because I anticipate tired, whiny kids but we have leftover party food, and I'm planning early bedtimes for all of us.