Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's a Different World

How my life has changed since I started my full-time job:

1. First and foremost, I have been able to pay off my credit card. Holla! Take THAT, trips to Target and tae kwon do classes and children's birthday parties and new contact lenses and running shoes and school clothes for growing children and J. Crew pants found on clearance!

2. My weekends are no longer "free" (ha! ha ha ha ha ha ha. excuse me as I laugh good-naturedly at the idea of a free weekend since the first child was born a decade ago). They are now spent grocery shopping, cleaning, attempting to cook an actual meal, and trying to conquer the endless. mountain. of. laundry.

3. I still clean during the week, but I never actually complete any one task. I figure I get credit just for starting.

4. I have developed a love-hate relationship with my slow-cooker. On the one hand, yay! A way to make a hot, homemade dinner even while gone from the house all day! On the other, oops! My slow-cooker is too powerful and all my recipes are too short to leave dinner cooking for 8-10 hours, even on Low. Hello, burned dinner!

5. I am as scatter-brained as a sleep-deprived, night-nursing new mama. I guess it's because I've got a million things on my plate at any one moment (work. housecleaning. farm-share pick-up. errands. kids' health and well-being. kids' activities. kids' homework. groceries. cooking. field trip permission forms. dentist appointments. shopping. laundry. baking. child's choir concert. child's school safety-patrol schedule. yardwork. flu shots. holiday planning. and on and on and on and blathering on...). This means I'm constantly (constantly!) starting something, getting distracted by something else that needs doing, leaving the first thing to do the second, completely forgetting about the first, branching out to tasks three and four in similar fashion, and forgetting the names of my children, the day of the week, debit card PIN numbers, and my own birthdate. Oh and meanwhile that very first thing I was doing but got distracted from? It never gets

4. I have no time to bake, I am not home to snack, going to bed early nixes any evening sweet-tooth habits, and my job happens to be more physically active than even the full-time mothering of toddlers. Therefore, full-time work has meant that I've lost weight and can't even wear those awesome J. Crew pants I found on clearance just before work began. You know, those pants I bought for work? Insert Marge-Simpson-esque irritated growl here. But hey! A lot of other, smaller clothes I haven't worn in a year or more now fit again. So I guess it evens out? Plus, the holidays are coming. (= more eating, less exercising, the cookie exchange!, and much winter hibernation.)

5. Life is fuller than ever, and all those crazy changes above are totally worth it. It's all just an interesting ride. Thanks for coming along for it. :)



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Six Weeks In.

Ahhhh, here it is, the last day of school (work) before much-discussed MEA (i.e., Minnesota school break, always a 4-day weekend in mid-October).

So, has my adjustment to full-time work taken all the way until MEA? Am I still really, really tired? Well, yes and no. The adjustment part has gone much quicker and more smoothly than I anticipated. The tired part? Every damn day, you all.

I love my job. LOOOOVE it. This part makes the adjustment much, much easier. But I'm beginning, now at six weeks into it, to miss certain things about being a stay-at-home mom. I miss having time to bake. You all know how much I love to bake! These days I try to crank out a recipe or two on weekends (you can't go an entire autumn without apple crisp or pumpkin muffins, after all!), but it used to be a near-daily occurrence. My family misses that part too, ha.

I also really, really miss being able to exercise during the day. I suspect I'll start to miss that part even more in the upcoming few weeks, as the temperature begins to plummet and the blustery fall wind becomes cold and--gulp--we turn the clocks back so that it's dark at dinnertime. Gah. The thought of COLD runs in the dark, DARK evenings gives me chills--of both kinds. Yes, I've done it hundreds (thousands) of times before. (Remember when the babies were actual babies? And not yet in school? That's when I ran, all winter long.) But it's been a long time now, and I'm not thrilled about doing it again.

But other than that, working-mom life is going fairly well. I mean, I've lost control over the house. Not the dirt part; I'm still cleaning on the daily. But the clutter part. I have no time, anymore, to pick up and put back and regularly cull and purge. The kids' clutter is beginning to take over our (small) house, which is making me a little claustrophobic. And also, I've accepted that the jokes in this post are actually pretty accurate (read: not jokes): I have no time to chat with friends or socialize in any way. Even weekends are solidly filled with family time, all the household shopping, catching up on cleaning and laundry, cooking and baking, and squeezing in a daylight run here and there. That, or (and/or) I'm too exhausted to do anything more. (Friday nights, for example, I am a complete ball of exhaustion and good for nothing more than pj's, TV, and bed. And sometimes not even the TV part.)

But. We've made it to MEA. On the balance, everything's good. The first six weeks have been an adventure, for sure--a positive one. Now, four days to "relax" with the kidlets and then off on the next leg of the journey--during which I'll be really, really tired, I'm sure, until Christmas break. :)

xo
S.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Last Weekend the Sprinkler, This Weekend the Fireplace.

I had the craziest week, you all.

It started out with Genevieve catching a virus (that she hasn't yet kicked 100%, 8 days later) that necessitated a day home from school (and thus a day home from work for me), and ended with my girls' school's annual Walk-A-Thon on Friday, which also happened to be a gray, drizzly, verrrrry windy, and verrrrry cold day (er, 40+ degrees colder than it had been last weekend when Julia played in the sprinkler with friends, hello Minnesota in autumn).

The Walk-A-Thon would have been no big deal at ALL in any other year, but this year it meant going out to walk at different classrooms' times with different autistic children (some of whom also have ADHD and are highly impulsive), so...you know...challenging. ;)

Friday may have been the longest day ever, since after the super challenging work/school-day, the girls and I still had a Target run and farm-share pick-up to accomplish before collapsing in front of the fireplace with blankets, dinner, The Muppet Show on DVD, and frozen custard for dessert.

Or maybe the week actually ended yesterday, when I caught Vivi's virus on a solo-parenting weekend (another bike race, natch) but still managed to shepherd all three of us through homework, chores, guitar practice, grocery shopping, a visit to the apple orchard, and a post-dinner stint at the college rec center for jogging (Julia), walking (me), and shooting basketballs (Genevieve).

To tell you the truth, despite feeling under the weather and being on solo-parenting duty, I found yesterday with its busy slate of activities to be completely calm, smooth, and relaxed. My girls are almost always super-cooperative and calm on these solo-parenting weekends, and we generally manage to have a lot of fun despite chores and obligations. Of course the best part is having two cuddly girls in my bed at night. We pile it high with pillows, extra blankets, and stuffed friends so it's extra cozy, and this time no one kicked me in the night and everyone slept well. :)

All right, friends, onward into a new week. I'm praying for a warm-up and some SUN after last week's rain and chill; a reprieve from virus attack; and maybe even some time to bake these, which my friend Kathy says are beyond delicious. Have a great week, everyone!

p.s. Obviously I have no time to take pictures anymore. Sorry for the boring no-photo text.