Thursday, May 29, 2014

I'll see you in the oatmeal

I always say goodnight to my kids like this: "Goodnight, I love you, I'll see you in the morning". The "morning" part was obviously a joke for many months, we all knew I'd be seeing them multiple times before morning. When L finally started talking, he liked to jump in and sing-song the "mor...ning" part. One night I was telling him how I'd see him when he woke up and we'd go downstairs and eat oatmeal (which he demands immediately upon arising every morning). So when I said goodnight to him, he substituted "oatmeal" for "morning". (Well, actually he says "annam", which is his own made-up word for "oatmeal") And now that's our thing.

Its been our thing for at least a few months now but I'm sure the days are numbered. In fact, he already switched from "annam" to "oa-mee" and now to perfectly enunciated "oat-meal".

I miss "annam".

I've been struck lately by how fleeting it all is, how impermanent. As much as I look forward to seeing what new and amazing thing is next, I can't help feel a bit wistful for what is already behind us. All the little jokes and rituals---they come and go so quickly that I sometimes never get a chance to savor the sweetness.

Lately I really feel like time is speeding up. Wasn't it just winter? I remember counting down for spring, checking the weather report every day for warmer temperatures and a minute each day of more sunlight. And now spring is more than halfway over? Summer will come and go. L will turn three this fall. THREE. Not a baby anymore at three.

B is four and a half. We have a year and a half before kindergarten. That sounds like a lot, but I know its not. And I've heard it over and over from friends and colleagues that things get infinitely more complicated when you have a kid in school. Our leisurely mornings and unplanned evenings are not going to last forever. Weekends where the kids want to be with us and only us, also limited.

I say this again and again, but I really want to step back from the busyness and enjoy our summer. G and I talked a couple of weeks ago about moving a lot of our weekend chores to the weeknights. Instead of the two of us watching TV while the kids slept, we could get our stuff done and have a chance to relax or have adventures all together on the weekends. I'd like to start implementing that this weekend, its supposed to be a lovely one. We also discussed making a summer fun list---I was shocked that G actually suggested this, its not his way to plan things or to even be excited about any family activities---and I'm going to start on that tonight.

And its not just about the kids. Maybe it came from having another birthday (I'm 38 + 3 days old now, will tell the tale of the horrible birthday another time), but I feel like I've entered another stage in life and I'm ready to embrace it. I want to spend my time and energy a lot more intentionally because I know its not infinite. More on that to come, but I definitely know what I want to weed out of my life, and am considering what (if anything) I want to add in.

I've got about 10 posts lined up, and I'm planning to write a lot more regularly over the next few weeks. So I'll see you all in the...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brain Dump

I have about a dozen things I want to write about, but my evenings are busy with catching up on Game of Thrones so bullet points it is!

  • Major LOLs for suggesting my MIL assist with settling into routines. She is the anti-thesis of routines. Doesn't believe in: bed-time, limits on sugar and screen-time, any forms of discipline for the kids. Its been OK so far, while she doesn't help promote the routine she has gotten much better at  not subverting our efforts. 
  • I ran the 10 miler this Sunday. Last time I did it (2 years ago) it was an awesome, exhilarating experience. This time it sucked. I got a headache 3 miles in that turned into a major migraine and basically I lost the whole day afterwards. My time was abysmal. I did, however, finish. I went for a 3-mile run Tuesday and it was glorious. I hope to continue running this spring before it gets too hot. I noticed that (aside from Sunday's migraine experience), the long runs I've been doing most weekends were really really amazing for stress-relief and moderating my mood/temper all weekend. It only worked if I ran more than an hour, though. 
  • The kids are driving us all bananas with their constant physical violence against each other. Its easier to keep them completely separated at all times, but then how will they ever learn to play together nicely? They just have to go out of their way to constantly hit/push-over/bite/step-on each other until someone (almost always L) ends up in tears. This begins with our morning stop in the bathroom and continues through bedtime stories. 
  • I've realized something about myself---I've become pretty lazy. I really just want to chill out. Maybe its spring fever? I have no desire to do anything, including my paid work. Obviously I do what I need to do, but its like pulling teeth every day.
  • There is a huge backlog of things I really really want to get through, particularly as we have some extra child-care help this month:
    • organize and purge my clothes, return on-line purchases that didn't work out, get a sense of what I need for the summer
    • go to garden center for seeds & plants and set up window-boxes and container garden
    • plan out summer travel, price & buy tickets
    • financial overhaul
      • find and set up meeting with financial planner (yes, yes, I know this isn't necessary & may be a waste of $$, but since neither of us have a head for this kind of thing, it may be helpful for our peace of mind to make sure we aren't making any major mistakes. and if we are, fixing them asap). 
      • Set up schedule to review credit card bills, bank statements, etc... 
      • Look into loose "fun money" budget for each of us and for kids' stuff. I just don't feel like I have a handle on where our money is going. 
      • Taxes went up like 400% this year (major tax overhaul by city...its actually more fair this way, but...yikes) and we need to make sure we can make the new mortgage/escrow payments.
    • deal with pile on desk---some of this (i.e. license renewal for license expiring in 2 weeks) is important stuff
Happy May to everyone!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


I've become, as I've mentioned, more and more of a creature of habit these days. I remember the days when I'd eagerly anticipate any change from the boring old routines of life, but now I crave the familiar rhythms of our days.  I feel like my energy ebbs and flows so I can keep up with the expected demands of each day. So when the routine is thrown off, I

We were traveling last week, in many respects a lovely break, to visit my family and celebrate my father's 70th birthday (it was a surprise, it was actually really awesome to be able to do that for him). There were 4 little kids and the demands therein, but otherwise a complete lack of structure to keep me on track. My mind wandered, I did not exercise at all, I ate terribly, I slept poorly, I read a lot but also wasted a lot of time on stupid internet stuff and silly i-phone games.

The kids had a blast playing with their cousins---for the first time it really seemed that they were building a relationship, with inside jokes and made up games---it melted my heart to see that. But there was also a lot of bad behavior requiring disciplining (and, unfortunately, yelling). They were over-tired, over-sugared, over-stimulated, and thus over-terrible from time to time. I was really sad to leave, I had looked forward to this trip for months, since we first planned it. I was also really looking forward to getting back to our routine for a few days.

We got home Tuesday evening---the kids were fabulous on the plane, L even napped! G went out to get groceries and pick up the dog, and I set the kids up for dinner while I unpacked some, made lunches, cleaned. As I did each task, I felt the pieces settling back into place. By the time the boys were bathed and brushed and snuggled in for stories, I was snapped back together.

But alas, its short-lived. My MIL is coming this Saturday for 3 weeks, and the last week in May we are all 5 going to her city for a family event. Things will be way way way off any kind of routine for 3 and a half weeks. I'm trying to learn to be OK with that.