Sunday, March 29, 2015

Look at the dim side...

First---thank you guys so much for all the support on my last post. I felt better immediately, reading your comments, and its incredibly soothing to know I'm not alone! And yes, its 21 DAYS, I saw that the second I posted it, and fixed it, but I think the original must be on your readers?

I can't express how enamored I am of the strategy of low expectations. If things turn out awful, you have the satisfaction of having predicted it. If they turn out OK, well you win again!

So far the weekend went way better than the pit in my stomach Friday afternoon predicted. When I got home Friday, L was at home with my MIL and he wanted to come with me to walk the dog, and he insisted on riding his scooter. After the dog did her business, we had a blast scootering and running up and down the garden block full speed.

Saturday, after a KILLER workout, I took a surprisingly cheerful B to karate and then out for lunch in Chinatown. G, L, and MIL took a car to go to L's classmate's birthday party. When B & I got on the bus to go home, I realized my keys were not in my pocket. We hopped off, retraced our steps, did not find them at the restaurant or the karate studio, and needed to find a way to spend 2.5 hours before the rest of the family came home. There was a library branch around the corner from karate so we went there---this library did not have a separated kids' section, so we couldn't read out loud. Thankfully we found a box of crayons and some print-outs to color and then a computer opened up and no one else came in, so we spent the over an hour playing "Dora's magic castle". I had to help him maneuver the mouse and we had multiple lessons on "how to left click". B was so GOOD---cheerful and flexible, despite walking miles all over the city in the cold, that the whole thing was quite enjoyable. We headed home and the kids watched a movie while G & I got to go on a magical kid-free grocery & liquor store shopping trip! It was so relaxing! We got to chat along the way!

Got home and played with the kids who were both in great moods. I was laughing hysterically at the games L invented, including "hide and seek" with dinosaurs. Except the way he plays hide and seek is to excitedly tell the seeker where he hid the dinosaur. We had to physically restrain him to keep him from telling B where all of our dinos were hiding! Finally calmed them down and got them to bed and G & I went out for a post-dinner date night.

It was pretty lame, actually. We went to a wine bar nearby---for some reason they had the music up SO LOUD everyone had to shout to have their companions here them. We each had 2 drinks and shared a cheese plate & then a dessert, but halfway through (it was 9:30 at this point) we both started yawning and the conversation stalled. I'm glad we went because it would've seemed like a waste of free babysitting to not go anywhere, but honestly we could've gotten 3 cheeses from TJs and split a bottle of wine at home for a fraction of the cost, and without the hearing damage.

Today has been meh. I'm tired, probably from going full out yesterday without a break. Its even colder. The kids are fighting and grumpy. Everyone left a while ago for the science museum, and I have been cooking/making lunches/cleaning up. I'm supposed to be hemming a night gown for my MIL but I'm writing this instead. I better go re-learn how to set up the sewing machine, its been 2 years since I last used it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Thoughts

Whoa is me edition. In bullets for easier consumption
  • Insomnia is THE WORST. I've been tired for all sorts of reasons, and the one thing that keeps me going is the thought of sweet sweet sleep at the end of the day. Except with insomnia, I've got the thought of yet another night tossing and turning despite being so tired you want to throw up. 
  • My mother-in-law is here. This is the end of day 6 of 21. Her being here makes me so anxious for so many reasons. Ugh. Its not even like I get all this free time to do other things because I've either been busy with work or I don't actually have anything fun to do.
  • I'm sure those two are related.
  • We did plan a night away NEXT weekend. We booked a car and a night at a dog-friendly hotel (so we don't also have to find & pay a dog-sitter). The kids will get almost 2 full days of being totally and completely spoiled rotten with sugar and screen time. 
  • Hopefully the time away will give G and I a chance to talk about several issues we just haven't had the time/energy to discuss despite living in the same damn house.  Including the 25th time we discuss WHY we don't make time to talk/energy to talk to each other.
  • This weekend we have: saturday: Karate for B, birthday party for L and sunday: swimming for B, science museum for all (except me, since we only have 4 passes in our membership I'll stay home and cook & clean whoo!). And its going to be cold. I'm not super looking forward to it.
  • I really need some friends. I have no one to complain to/bond with over all this crap. Also no one to do fun things with that isn't my immediate family. If there is anything I miss about being younger, its having a handful or more of good friends.
  • I don't think I'm as much of an introvert as I thought I was. I just need some quiet time at home once in a while, and I don't love  am terrified of meeting new people or small talk. I very much like and NEED interaction with people I feel comfortable with. I HATE that I work in an office all by myself and can go days without talking to anyone, and have no one to commiserate or celebrate with over the day to day things or the big life-changing things. Its very isolating. I miss the cameraderie of working in the lab. I wonder how much my success during that time was driven simply by being happy where I was.
  • Its surprisingly easy not to buy things that I don't need. I have spent $0 on material things for myself in 2015. Its near impossible to get costs down on our needs, though. Our grocery bill is astounding and I have no idea how to fix it without spending a lot of time going to various stores or inventing new recipes. G and I are at loggerheads about the cell phone plan (he wants to keep the fancy expensive one). Its not HARD but its miserable not to spend on experiences that aren't needs but are wants---eating food outside the home, activities for kids, travel. We are continuously having to tweak our budget and less goes into savings than I plan each month because we spend it all.
  • Reading about certain things still causes intense feelings: third pregnancies, nursing babies. I try to tread lightly but I can't help it, once I notice it, its too late. (feelings such as: jealousy, inadequacy, regret)
Well its 5pm, lets get this party started. (by party I mean, walk home, walk the dog, deal with tired no-nap kid who's home with MIL, side step prickly MIL comments, await cranky had to go to school kid, and begin weekend)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Springing Ahead

The snow has melted, the days are longer, and we all just got better from a week of alternating illnesses (upper respiratory and GI in a wondrous mix). Everything's coming up Ana!

I was inspired by reading SHU's evening routine post to make some changes to our own evenings. For multiple reasons, we've completely switched things up lately. We enrolled B in an evening activity (karate, 2 blocks from his school, 5:30-6, M/W) so we have to tag team the pick up, where one of us takes B to class and the other gets L home & walks the dog (typically G brings them home and I go home & walk the dog, the daycare is 2 blocks from his office). That means more one on one kid time which both of us find so much more enjoyable than trying to wrangle both kids. Because B is starving after karate, we started sending a small "dinner" for him to eat before class. And then, since he liked that, we started sending dinners with both boys some days. Which means we no longer eat together as a family most nights. It also means we can: go to the park, stop for a treat on the way home, go to the library, or just PLAY together instead of struggling through trying to get kids who are excited to be home with their toys to wash hands, sit at table on bottoms, eat, use manners, wait until everyone is done. There was always nagging, often yelling, and sometimes tears. And G and I had to hoover down our food while we tended to the kids' needs for more this and I dropped that and the DAILY bathroom breaks during dinner (gastro-colic reflex must be strong).

We don't do it everyday (because we frankly can't get it together to pre-cook a dinner every weeknight), and we'll probably take a break from it when G's mom is here for the next 3 weeks, but it was just so so freeing to finally recognize that no one was getting anything except rage out of family dinners right now, and our time with our kids has way more quality doing other things.

Since I now have to leave work early to head across town twice a week, I started going in earlier on those days. Which means our mornings have changed, too. Negotiating this schedule led to a realization and then a discussion about my need to start working as early as possible to take advantage of my energy cycle. I am a morning person, and using that precious morning energy on wrangling kids (which also sometimes led to fights with G)---which left me spent by the time I even got to work---was a really poor time/energy management. I will no longer take the kids to school outside of special circumstances (I used to do it once or twice a week because the kids asked me to) and I will not wait around watching the kids while G gets ready (his morning routine is a whole different arena and his problem to solve). They can play alone or watch a show the way they do on the days I leave early for clinic.

I'm sitting here writing this after a very atypical day. I woke up at 5:30 to work out, got ready, then did laundry and lunch prep for tomorrow waiting to take B to the dentist at 9:30. After the dentist, I met G and we went to the bank to close on the refinance of our mortgage. We finished early and got lunch from a food cart and ate it at a park near city hall. Then I walked home and worked full tilt from noon-5, got everything done in half the time, and now I will take the dog out. G is taking the boys to the park since its the last nice day this week so they may not be home until late. We'll give them a snack, get them to bed, and eat dinner while watching...not sure...we finished House of Cards last night.

I'm not happy with this post, its poorly written, but I know its better to just start back up and the more inspired posts will come. Still haven't worked out a blogging routine. How do you guys make time?