2.28.2017

Best laid plans of mice

I've been doing some research about how to be a better SAHM. And by "research" I mean I googled it and read one article. But I think it had some pretty solid advice, and of course the first thing I should do is make a schedule. So I'm giving myself a week to get a preliminary schedule together. I started working on it yesterday and was not prepared for what a pain in the ass it already is. I figured I'd start with school days (MWF) since those mornings are already pretty much done, that way I only have to plan out afternoons. I have hit a few roadblocks though, specifically that Max's nap times conflict with Cadence's tired times, which leads to excessive screen time, which leads to tantrums when I suggest turning the screen off, which leads to mommy wanting to start drinking.

But hey I have all week to figure out how to make it work without becoming an alcoholic!

I did manage to decide that on Thursdays we'll get out and do something fun and different for the tykes. This week we're going to the zoo and I'm finally going to renew my membership so we can go whenever we feel like it and not break the bank. There are plenty of free outdoor things to do around here but since we're having such a wet winter I need to find some more free/cheap indoor things.

The other thing I want to start doing is to get back into running. I felt so much happier and physically better when I was running regularly, but like everything else lately it's so hard to make it part of my routine. I did run yesterday actually! I'd decided that taking a walk to the supermarket would be more fun than driving there, so I put on my running shoes, loaded the kids into the stroller, and set out! Everyone was having a pretty good time until Max got overwhelmed at the store and promptly began screaming almost as soon as we got there. I finished up as quickly as I could and then ran the whole way back home, pausing only to let the one jiggly front wheel straighten out every now and then. Yep, he cried the whole way. And if I'm ever dumb enough to try that again I'm definitely going to use the jogger instead of the Winnebago sit and stand stroller. But we made it out of the house, I got some exercise, and I have enough food for 3 more dinners. So all in all I'll call it a success. Meanwhile I'm planning to sign up for a 5K so I have something besides my baby's freak-outs to motivate me to keep running.

It's a start, right? I feel accomplished already!

2.23.2017

I suck at this

Okay so I'm just now figuring out how to moderate comments again. I'm so excited to have readers and that everyone didn't fall off the face of the Earth! Thank you!

Last week was another gnarly week of torrential rain and sickness here.  Cadence has been bringing home every virus that makes the rounds at preschool, and try as I might I have yet to prevent Max from catching everything she gets (with the blessed exception of the stomach bug she had a couple weeks ago). Bonus: he tends to stay sicker longer than she does, and although he's much better the past couple days than he was last week, we're currently on day 12 or 13 of this cold and cough and green mucusy gross-fest resulting in a fussy tired baby who somehow doesn't want to sleep. Oh and did I mention he's teething again too?


Now that the rain is on hiatus I've been making an effort to get out more though. Today we went to the library to check out some books and probably some new germs too. But at least I got to see the inside of a building other than my house. 

I seriously need to figure out how to be a better SAHM. Who knows when I'll land a job. I for sure thought I'd be gainfully employed by now, but since it hasn't happened I'm realizing it could still be a while and it's getting real hard to stay optimistic. Meanwhile I'm stuck inside most of the time with two sick kids and no money to spend on fun stuff even when they're well. And let's be honest, even at the best of times I'd prefer working at a nice desk job surrounded by adults and being intellectually stimulated than wiping butts and coloring and watching cartoons and arguing with a very dramatic 3 year old about why Girl Scout cookies aren't an acceptable breakfast item.

See, I'm good at being employed. I'm smart, I'm great with computers, and I'm a fantastic coworker. I even look for actual work to do when I have down time (usually). And when I'm employed I'm a better mom too. But man, I suck at being a SAHM. I just can't seem to get it together, to be organized enough so my kids are on a stimulating schedule that keeps them (and me) happy. I lose my patience a lot, like when my preschooler asks me over and over for something after I've told her no, and I absolutely lose my shit when that line of questioning eventually dissolves into (her) tears and cries for DADDY! As if he would be on her side, seriously. I'm exhausted by having to be "on" 24 hours a day. Max is on the move big time and of course puts everything in his mouth. He has blowouts like I never thought possible and barfs on the floor and then crawls through it on a daily basis. Did I mention he weighs over 25 pounds? It's a lot to pick him up and clean him off and he freaks whenever I change his clothes.

I am tired. I miss having coworkers and sitting at a desk and meeting deadlines and writing policies and business emails and taking the time to get the details right in training materials. And mostly I miss feeling like I was doing something I was good at and actually enjoyed.

I'm gonna put some serious thought into how I can be a happier and better SAHM. I need to get better at it.

1.13.2017

Last good-byes

This week was supposed to be a nothing-particularly-special type of week, except I was supposed to have a second interview for the job that's currently at the top of my list, but then some family shit hit the fan. My grandmother who was already on hospice had a stroke and started fading, so I quickly had to decide how and when I was going to make the 4 hour trek to see her for the last time. The Hubs couldn't get time off work so I packed a bag, took the baby, and got on the train first thing Tuesday morning.

I had low expectations for how Max would handle 8 hours on a train in one day, but he was amazing. He loved staring out the window and smiling at everyone who walked past our seats. He nursed and napped and hardly fussed at all. And when we got to my grandma's bedside he was perfectly content to chat with my mom and aunt and stare at himself in the mirror while the adults talked. The ride home was exhausting but again, he did great.

Grandma Kay was unconscious the whole time I was there, which I expected. But I believe she could hear us, and that she liked having her family there with her. She seemed peaceful. I spent a few minutes alone telling her that I loved her and would miss her and never forget her. I found out the next morning that she passed away in her sleep late that night.

There are some people who understandably have a hard time being around the dying, so much so that they can't bring themselves to visit and say good-bye. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Saying good-bye is usually more for you than it is for the person who is dying. When my grandfather was on hospice I never went to see him, even though I promised I would, and then one night he just died. I guess I thought I would have more time or there would somehow be more warning before he finally went. That still eats at me. So a few years later when my grandmother, his wife, was fading I made sure to see her and I'm so glad I did. The same goes for my Grandma Kay's death. I haven't been the best granddaughter as far as keeping in contact goes. And over the past 10 or 12 years she had Alzheimer's, so she didn't really even remember me the last time I saw her (over a year ago). So for me it was really important to go see her, even though it meant a long, exhausting day of traveling with a baby by myself.

It's sort of strangely fascinating to me to be around someone in their last hours. I find myself wondering what, if anything, is going through their mind. What they're feeling or if they're absorbing the present moment or lost in their memories. Or if they're dreaming just as if they were asleep. Both of my grandmothers were very peaceful in their last hours, so I don't think they were afraid, but who can really know? Of course we all find out one day what it's like, and I can only hope it's as peaceful for me as it has been for my loved ones.

Now all of my grandparents are gone. I'm not a believer anymore, so I'm not sold on the idea that they're all together in heaven. I like the idea of reincarnation, but I also sometimes feel like I get visits from them (and my mom swears she does). At any rate, I believe whatever has happened to their souls/life force/energy is as good as it ever can be. They were all wonderful people. And my Grandma Kay was a particularly sweet and special lady, who I loved and will never forget.