Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The business of busy-ness

I've noticed something about when I talk to my friends that have older kids - they're always in the car, or somewhere else.  Soccer practice, music lessons, swim class, church groups, school meetings, etc.  It makes me very thankful that, although our life seems crazy right now, at least I can keep that craziness at home, for the most part.  Now that preschool is over, we only have one perpetual event on our calendar in a general week, and that's church on Sunday mornings.  I can never leave my house the rest of the time if I want to.  Not that it ever works out that way, there's groceries to be got, library books to be returned, clothes to be dropped off for consignment, and all those other little things that creep into my daily schedule.  And if things start to get a little overwhelming we can retreat back to base and take it easy on ourselves for a little while.

We actually have a name for those kind of days, Jack calls them "home days."  In fact, he often will will ask me soon after he wakes up "Is today a home day?"  Because he knows if it is, then he's allowed to wear one his many pants with holes in the knees and we can skip the whole hair-combing ordeal.

But even "home days" have their own level of busy-ness.  And I know I've said it before, but one of the aspects of motherhood that I've never fully adjusted to is just how much work it takes to accomplish so little.    But rather than dwell on all those minor items, let's talk about the good things that have happened recently.  Like a Memorial Day weekend visit from Jon's sister Kate and her two kids Gabe and Aviel.  In some ways, it's almost a small break having other kids around because they all do so well at entertaining each other.  Of course, it's also interesting to see older kids in our house and what new things my kids pick up from them, anything from playing "Duck, Duck, Goose" on the trampoline to standing on the very top of the castle playhouse roof.

We made the beach a priority this weekend, because it's our happy place.
Memorial Day weekend was good for me.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own little world and solving all the issues that mothering three under four can bring.  It's good to have outsiders, guests to entertain and remind me that there is so much more to life than just what goes on in our little bubble.  And it also gives me a good excuse to log-off work for a little while, both the job that pays in cash and the one that pays in hugs and kisses, and just enjoy life with my family and friends.  Which is why we were so quick to beg our Cayman Island friends, Nate and Jenn, to add our house to their itinerary on their most recent trip to the states.  It did involve Jon waking up at 4:30am to drive them to the airport the next morning, but it was well worth it.

We offered Jenn whatever she wanted to do that she couldn't do in the Caymans - shopping, Rita's, downtown Annapolis.  Instead, she opted for a walk among the hardwoods.   So we took her to our special place and introduced her to the green swamp, teepees, dragons, giant snake, and everything else my boys imagine dwells in the small patch of forest at the end of our neighborhood.

We had just enough time to clear out the guest room, empty the dishwasher and clean the bathrooms before welcoming Jon's aunt, uncle and cousin Nicole in for lunch on Wednesday (they''ll actually be back later this week for a longer visit).  This was their first visit to our house, but one look at the gifts they brought and my kids were fighting over who could make friends first.  We used up all 7 bottles of bubbles they gave us within one afternoon, and Jack has already found a number of different uses for the lacrosse sticks from Uncle Gene.
Notice the lacrosse sticks in the background.  Jack said it's a "trap."

On another note, I love that I can bribe my kids to clear their plates with yogurt and fruit, just because it comes in frozen form.
Their visit was short, as they had a flight to catch.  But it was probably good they didn't stay too long since Jude, Julia and I were all feeling fairly shoddy by that evening.  I'm assuming it's allergies, but all I know is last week was the first time I took a nap since my first-trimester nod-off-like-Mr. Bean days.  Granted, I was only able to sneak in about 20 minutes of sleep before Jack was asking me for a snack, but just that obviously means something was very wrong.  Jon started to feel pretty bleh the next day too and actually ended up going to bed at 6pm that night.  Fortunately, he was feeling better enough the next day to leave work early and go golfing with his co-worker.  And not that I begrudge my man a round of golf, we all need a break sometimes, but  it's starting to hit me that I'm just not functioning at 100% anymore.  And after putting the kids to bed by myself 4 out of the last 5 days that week, and knowing that he was going to be spending his entire Saturday in Pennsylvania with his dad while I was alone with all the kids, I was sorta, kinda at my wit's end.

Any picture where he is actually looking at the camera is purely coincidence, he's very anti-picture taking right now.
It's a good thing I married a perceptive fella.  Whether it was the sound of my voice when I called him at 7:00 only to find out he still had two more holes to go.  Or the look in my eyes when he pulled in the driveway just as I was giving the final "keep your head on your pillow!" demand.  Or the sight of my bulging belly and swollen ankles.  For whatever reason, he kindly offered to take both boys with him to PA for the day and drop them off at my parents'.  And because I'm feeling so desperate at this point that I was willing to pull favors with anyone, I called up my parents and asked if they'd be interested in just keeping the boys up there until their scheduled visit on Monday.  And in typical Marmie and Poppa style, despite the mere 12 hour notice, they heartily consented.  And so by the time I finished cleaning up the breakfast dishes the next morning it was just me and my girl.

And it was so nice.  We shopped, we ate lunch out, she watched Baby Einstein while I did work, we went thrifting after dinner and topped off the evening with some frozen yogurt.  And she absolutely relished the one-on-one time.  Meanwhile, Jack and Jude were living it up in Central PA, visiting "the little beach" (R.B.Winter State Park), church, the "fun park" (Knoebels), and the animal auction (Dewart Livestock Auction).

Jon took his girls out on a date to Ikea Sunday night.  And we managed to find a Jason's Deli nearby (something I've missed since leaving Virginia Beach).  So while I was happy to have my first "Nutty Mix It Up" salad in three years, I was also somewhat discouraged that we did not find a dresser for our newest daughter.  I'm suddenly feeling the urge to inventory some baby clothes and I NEED a place to put them.  We still haven't decided exactly where we're putting all of our children and their things once the baby gets here, and I'd like to have that figured out fairly soon.  And it certainly didn't help that I was having false labor the entire time we were canvassing Ikea.  Like stop and rest in one of those faux living rooms so I could catch my breath false labor.  It also didn't help that I was hearing heels.  And that the strap on my heel broke before we even hit the marketplace.  Stupid swollen feet are ruining my footwear!!

32 weeks, pre-swollen feet/broken sandal strap, and absolutely positive we'll be coming home with a dresser.
I was vindicated by a trip to the consignment store the following day where I found out I made $78 on my first batch of clothes I've consigned, and got to walk out of there with a bagful of "free" clothes for the new baby.  Too bad there's just no place to put them.

Marmie and Poppa brought Jack and Jude back on Monday and then stayed on to keep all three kids the next day so that I could go watch my husband's award ceremony for work.  Jon's dad drove down to join in the festivities and, after three days of mothering only one child, I got to enjoy an entire day of no parenting responsibilities.  I also got a small glimpse into Jon's job and a chance to meet his captain and admiral.  It was a fun day and I'm so proud of this guy and all his hard work this past year!

When I look at this picture, all I see is belly button. :(

 Marmie and Poppa headed out today.  We're in the middle of washing the guest bed sheets again and soon the bathroom will need another good scrubbing (can I just mention here that my little girl peed on the potty today!!!).  There are two basket of laundry waiting to be folded, half a flower girl skirt that needs finished, and a bunch of teeny, tiny baby girl clothes just begging to find a home.  But it will get done, it always done.  Good thing tomorrow's a "home day."

1 comment:

elizabeth mcclearycale lockwood said...

Hi Janine! My name is elizabeth and I am a graduate student at the London School of Economics. I’m currently writing my dissertation about military spouses and blogging, and would love to learn more about your blog. I was wondering if you might be willing to be interviewed for my research. I can give you more details via email, and would be happy to do so (I don't want to leave a ridiculously long comment!). If this sounds like something you would like to be involved with, please let me know! You can comment back here, or email me at eliz DOT lockwood [@] I look forward to hearing from you! All the best, elizabeth

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow by Email