A woman, a plan, a canal, Panamowa*

January 5, 2010 at 6:59 pm (Parenthood, School) ()

Yesterday was back to our regular routine. Or so I thought.  Mark was back to work.  I was “back to work”.  Auden and Parker got ready for school.

After ten minutes of waiting in the rain at the bus stop, we had not seen any of the usual buses going down the highway towards their routes.  Certainly not their bus.  It dawned on me-  I bet there’s no school today.  I called the school.  No answer.  Not a good sign.  Back at home, I figured out it was a teacher workday.

I had thought I was pretty prepared for our first Monday in the new year.  I got up earlier than I used to (NY resolution #1), and was dressed before the kids woke up.  Growing up, my mom was dressed every day the first time I saw her, even on Christmas.  My kids can say nothing of the sort.

In early December, I started a part-time gig taking care of a 8 month old, three days a week.  I shall call him Mr. C.  Yesterday Mr. C was back after a week holiday.  Having him around is a good chance for me to practice having four kids.  It’s teaching me to plan ahead.  Think things through.  Bring what we need.  I used to think I was a quick learner, but I seem to need to learn this lesson over and over again. I did  prepare for Monday, in that I cleaned up all the teeny choking hazard toys, set up his bed, and had breakfast ready early.

But we were still rushing to get out the door to the bus stop.  I’d remembered to have the boys locate their folders and backpacks the night before, but not their coats.  Which Mark had kept packed in a duffel bag in the garage from taking them fossil digging the day before.  Is this where you would think to looks for boys’ coats?  No?  How strange.  So after searching the house for the coats, and being reminded “Snack Mom!”, which hadn’t occurred to me at all, we were now late.  This meant I decided to carry Mr. C. on my hip to the bus stop instead of grabbing a stroller or carrier.

Mr. C. is no lightweight.  I don’t actually know what he weighs, but he is a solid baby.  One needs two hands to support his weight very long.  Greta usually runs ahead with her brothers, but she was being extreeeeemely pokey.  I couldn’t hold her hand for long  to encourage her to walk faster.  Auden was way ahead of us, and Parker was in the middle of us.  I tried walking ahead of Greta, to get her to catch up, but it was not happening.  Walking, all of us ten feet or so apart, is not safe with young kids!  Did I mention parts of the walk have no sidewalk? 

I corralled everybody back together, tried again.  Explain to Greta- the boys are going to miss the bus if she doesn’t walk faster.  Explain to the boys- they need to slow down.  I can’t make sure four different stages of people are safe from cars. But soon we were back to the same position, all apart.  AAAAACK!  Finally I carried a crying Greta, along with Mr. C., and nearly broke my arms off.  I used to carry both twins like that, but I am SO out of shape these days, and three months pregnant.  I don’t know what could’ve remedied the situation, but I do know what could’ve prevented it- having Mr. C. in a stroller so I could’ve managed the kids without getting so irritated- why were my requests were falling on deaf ears?  My “plan” of no stroller worked if all went swimmingly, but with four kids together, what are the chances of that?

After the bus debacle, I had two extra kids at home I hadn’t planned on.  We decided on heading to the library after Mr. C. had his morning nap.  But instead of prepping for the outing during his nap, I did the dishes.  Which meant, after he woke up, that I still needed to locate our overdue library books from any of the various stacks in every room, comb Greta’s hair, etc., etc.  And for whatever reason, Mr. C. did not want to do anything but get carried around while I did this.  I rushed around for at least 15 minutes with him either on my hip or crying, crawling after me.  My lesson here- get prepared for the next thing first.

Things improved after that.  The library outing was a fine diversion with no calamities.

Also on success side, we made an awesome dinner.  Oh, how I wish now I managed to get out the camera.  It was SO GREEN!  One of the splurgiest Christmas gifts I got was a pasta attachment for our KitchenAid from Mark.  I’ve had two different pasta makers before, but this one makes the most impressive shapes.  Macaroni!  Fusilli!  Yesterday, during Greta and Mr. C’s nap, Parker and I made spinach noodles.   I managed to cram a whole POUND of fresh spinach into roughly two pounds of pasta.  They were delish, and I was quite proud of the nutritional factor, especially for my two that insist on eating the noodles plain.  Plain in our house means liberally sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  The rest of us had leftover also extremely yummy marinara sauce with ling cod and shrimp.  [Should I be eating this during pregnancy?  I’m not sure.  The cod was caught by my personal fisherman Uncle Gordon in Alaska, which made me not think maybe as hard about it as I should’ve.  But feel free to enlighten me if Alaskan cod = very bad mercury levels.]  The combo in the sauce might not seem appetizing, but works somehow.

*I’ve always loved this palindrome.


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I resolve

January 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm (Family) ()

Plenty of people don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions.  Including my husband.  I think they signal Hope.  Hope that one can change her life for the better, and not just let life happen to her.  Sometimes when I’ve been in the midst of the post-Christmas-letdown-winter-blues of January 1st, I haven’t had enough Resolve to formulate any.

I used to make resolutions at each solstice.  I still think the quarterly reminder makes one more likely to stick with anything.  And I like to mark the passing of the seasons.  But I’ve gotten away from Solstice Resolutions as a mom because, well, I just don’t have it in me.

This year, I’m considering a long list of New Year’s Resolutions though.  I just need to cull it down to something attainable.

1. To wake up weekdays by 6:30 – destressing that time of day.

2. Work on communication with my husband.

3. Take more walks.

4. Play more with my kids.

5. Read more books.

6. Watch very little TV.  Potentially “break” our TV altogether.

7. Create chore charts for my kids – less nagging them to pick up, more actual choring being done

8. Reinstate our family meetings that have fallen by the wayside.

9. Formulate a plan for picking up more income and/or reducing expenses so that the two actually match.

10. Last but not least- take care of my body and mind in order to grow a whole new person!

I should probably toss the list and just have one: Be perfect.  Sounds doable, right?

I’ll let you know what I go with.

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