Summertime

Instead of doing all the work I’m behind on right now, I’m going to write instead. This has been such a crazy summer. I originally thought that the 5 week course of death that I took during the month of June was the sole reason and that things would slow down after it was done-but I was wrong. The 5 week course of death was NOT hard but it was an insane work load. I ended up getting a B which makes me happy since I seriously was hoping for just a C. I’m shooting for the stars over here, people. So once that class ended it seemed things would slow down but I was wrong. Now it’s photo shoot after photo shoot and finding the time to edit pictures is not easy. I have about 4 family shoots and one wedding in August. Remember when I said I wanted to stop doing this? Ha! It’s too hard for me to say no and once I’m done with the finished product, I am happy I did them but the scheduling is an issue.

Besides the school thing there is the children thing who demand all attention at all times so we’ve been to the beach, to the pool, to the beach, camping, back to the pool. Oh, the camping trip. It was basically The Griswold Family Camping Trip. Rob and I camped a lot before we had children and we knew we wanted to camp again with them once they were older. So Gavin is 3 and Luke is just shy of 6 (WHAT?) and so we decided this was the summer to give it a shot. Friday night started with me accidently running over Rob’s fishing pole and snapping it in half. This was on my way to get wood for the campfire which turned out to be wet so later it took like 2 hours to get the fire going. While Rob tended to the fire I headed up to the playground with the boys where we heard there was going to be a Big Foot sighting. Luke was beside himself. Turns out that to actually see Big Foot you have to hike 45 minutes into the woods. AND YOU MUST STAY ON THE TRAIL TO AVOID THE POISON IVY. I’m sorry, what’s that? I have a 3 year old who turns into a blow fish when a mosquito just looks at him who is wearing only shorts and a t-shirt. And then you want him to STAY ON THE TRAIL? Hahahaha. And of course my non blow fish child is in long pants and a long shirt but whatever. Staying on the trail wasn’t an issue since he wanted to be carried the entire time. So here I am, surrounded by mosquitoes, carrying a child that weighs 38lbs, and keeping my eyes peeled for Big Foot. In the mean time Rob is keeps asking over the walkie talkie, “Where are you guys?” Oh, you didn’t know we’d be gone for 45 minutes? ME EITHER. We did see him eventually and it was cool to see Luke’s eyes get all big-until he said, “Hey, that’s a man in a gorilla costume.”

EVERYBODY BACK TO THE CAMP SITE!

We finally got settled in at the camp site with a beautiful roaring fire when Gavin decides he wants to go home. “I WANT TO GO HOOOOMMMMEE!” “I WANT MY KINDLE.”

Oh, Lord. Please don’t judge me.

We all go to sleep.

We wake up Saturday morning to see that Luke has wet the bed (air mattress) and we try not to lose our minds.

We needed more ice for the cooler but more importantly; coffee. Rob headed out to do that while I took the boys back to the playground. I’m at the playground cursing myself for not bringing a coffee maker but I know coffee will be here soon enough so I am calm, cool, and collected. I see Rob’s name appear on my cell phone and YES! Coffee is here!

Except no, it’s not. It’s still at the gas station. Locked inside the car. With the keys.

I AM GOING TO DIE. The boys and I decide to head back to the camp site to get them some breakfast. I notice the lady from the camp site across hitting the switch on her coffee maker and even though I can’t hear the coffee brewing, I know that it is and I am very sad. I am going to die without coffee, I’m sure of it.

Rob actually returns quicker than anticipated thanks to some amazing fire fighters who happened to be cruising by with a lock out kit in their car. THANK YOU JESUS FOR FIRE FIGHTERS.

That was pretty much it for the crappy part of the trip. Things got better after that. We all went to the fishing pier. Gavin took a nap. Luke and I went on a glorious hike in the woods where he asked 487 questions and I did my best to answer all of them. Saturday night was burgers, campfire, and s’mores. Bed time was rough again but eh, what do you do? We definely learned a few things and we will try again next year.

Amongst other things is my job search which I’ve decided to halt due to my inability to like any of them. It’s not me, it’s them. I feel bad for not wanting these jobs because for 2 of them I was called back for the second interview (and said no after the initial interview) and one of them I got the job offer and I turned it down. I feel very lucky that I’m able to be in this position but the issue has been that none of these jobs will help get any further than this one (or it was almost a step back in a way) so why not just stay here? I just need to accept the fact that my CEO is going to clip his nails in his office and do everything on speaker phone. I have a door, I can shut it.

So here we go, August starts on Friday and my first born will be 6 and summer will be over before we know it. My favorite time of year is just around the corner but it’s followed by my LEAST favorite time of year so I’m in no hurry. I’m confident we can squeeze in many more pool days, a night away for Rob and I, and maybe even a baseball game. I might even be able to squeeze in a book between summer and fall classes.

I have never loved summer as much as I do now that Luke is in school. I have always been ready for summer to end. Not this year.

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June

June is here and the year is almost half over. It really is true that the older you get the faster time goes by. I’m enjoying summer. I promised myself I wouldn’t complain about any heat this year after the winter that wouldn’t die. So far I’ve stuck to my guns on that however, it is only June 10th and not officially summer, if you are someone who follows the official dates on that.

Summer is officially here for Luke and he seems to be soaking it right in. We hired a nanny this summer and she’s spoiling them just the appropriate amount. Parks, beaches, the zoo, and next up-a local baseball game. We really love her and she makes our bed everyday so that’s a bonus.

School has picked right up again for me though; what a dreamy seven whole days off. I kid, I kid. I guess it’s like busy is busy and there’s no rest for the wicked even when I’m not in school so you know what? WHY NOT JUST KEEP GOING? These are the thoughts in the head of a crazy person. To try to contain or stop the crazy, I introduced the idea to Rob who instead of deterring me, supported me 100%. That’s all I needed. I think I was on the computer and applying to the university within an hour. I asked my director to write a letter of recommendation and in my email to him I may have mentioned my crazy side and he replied that he would be honored to support my craziness in any way. This is why I’m not sure I can ever quit this job. (Which is why I turned down an interview this week but that’s a story for another time)

Now I wait to be accepted. The waiting is good. It gives me something to be all angsty about.

In the mean time I’ll be smothered in homework until July 7th, when this 7 week course ends, competing with myself on fitbit, continuing to overachieve at work, and potty training Gavin so I don’t have to pay a fortune in daycare come Fall. Which, by the way, have you seen a 3 year old in nothing but his boxer briefs? I die. But it’s only cute until he poops them and then I die from something else.

See you in July.

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Egg Salad

Easter is a very catholic holiday for me. I don’t mean offense to other religions but I grew up catholic and that’s all I know. We were required to give up candy for lent, we observed Psalm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, and we went to church on Good Friday in addition to mass on Sunday. Because we were required (which as we got older felt more like a tradition and not a requirement) to give up candy for lent it seemed only natural to be excited for our over flowing baskets of candy on Easter morning. Since my kids just had a donut yesterday at the grocery store, it seems a little redundant for me and maybe for them. No, they don’t wake up to baskets of candy every morning but I hope you see my point. Even before I had kids I had decided my kids would not get candy on Easter but instead a few small gifts. I had never received anything other than candy in my Easter basket but my goal was less candy for the children. Well, they end up getting both. They both got a small chocolate bunny and a few Reese’s. Luke got baseball pants (for tee ball) and Gavin got underwear because dear lord child please go on the potty (he will go on the potty pretty much every time you request him too but not on his own). They both got fishing poles and bobbers as well (we are going to a lake for memorial weekend and they will all be fishing). So everything was a need and not just fluff but still. I don’t feel like they get it. 

My kids were both baptized in the catholic church but we don’t practice it like we should. They both understand Jesus and have attended Wednesday Church classes (Luke went before he went to school and Gavin goes now). We do talk about Jesus and tell stories at home but I feel like Easter is harder to understand for the kids than Christmas. Yesterday Luke said to me, “Why do they call Good Friday good when they beat Jesus and hung him from a cross? Nothing sounds good about that. Those people were mean!” So very true, my son. And then he’s questioning the Easter bunny and I really just wanted to say,”There’s no Easter bunny.” Instead I reminded him of the reason for Easter and asked him to focus more on that than the Easter bunny. He seemed good with that. 

I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than Easter felt so different for me as a child than it does for me now with my kids. Or maybe it’s just that Easter doesn’t really hold any traditions for us at this point. When my mom was alive we had a huge Polish feast and she bought all of us a large chocolate bunny and she was full of the traditions. I guess since she died we haven’t found our place yet. We made turkey at her house today (Who has turkey on Easter? It was my brother’s request, I think we just didn’t know what to do) and my brother hid the eggs for the boys to find. They had fun. My dad bought each of us a large chocolate bunny and got Easter baskets for the boys. Today is also my brother’s birthday so I feel like it was extra hard for him. Not just a holiday without mom but also his birthday. 

Speaking of eggs. My brother was appalled I had yet to color eggs with my children. Seriously! Like worst mother ever appalled. I just hadn’t done it because they were young and food dye? Hello?? So I said to him, “Okedoke! We will be at your house Saturday night for an egg coloring extravaganza!” Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as or messy as I thought. It was actually fun and the boys thought it was cool. I hadn’t made hard boiled eggs in sometime but even if it hadn’t turned out, there is one thing it did for me. It reminded me about egg salad. And how an egg salad sandwich is the last sandwich my mom ever made me. It was the Spring of 2009 and she and I planned an afternoon of taking Luke to a nearby park. He had on blue and red plaid shorts and a white shirt. She packed a picnic lunch that I didn’t expect. I remember holding the sandwich unopened in my hand and asking her, “What kind did you make?”

“Egg salad.” She said.

I hadn’t had it since I was a kid and when she said that I was equally shocked and excited. 

I’m pretty she only made it around Easter time. It was probably the only thing she could do with all those colored hard boiled eggs. 

I miss egg salad. 

I miss a lot of things. 

 

A rambling about working vs. not working

I’ve been home since Friday. I took off Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week. I wanted Luke to enjoy his Spring break. I didn’t want him to go to grandma’s every day. It’s fine for a 2 year old (ahem, 3 year old as of today) but not so much fun when you’re five. Luke had a sleep over with one of his favorite people on Saturday night and then we had Gavin’s birthday party on Sunday with all of his cousins. Yesterday we spent the morning hiking, going to the park, and doing a car wash. The car wash was me cleaning out the van but setting up a carwash area for the boys to wash their cars. This morning was a little rainy so we started the day with a breakfast and a movie but then the sun decided to show her face so the boys headed out to the backyard while I cleaned up a bit. They played great together building dirt ramps for their monster trucks. After jumping monster trucks for a bit we went to the bike path around the lake and fed the ducks. The boys were able to burn some energy and I was able to burn some calories because a) I was walking but also b) I had to carry Gavin’s bike most of the way around the path. Just working on my guns! I’m not sure what we will do tomorrow.

I don’t miss being a stay at home mom. I feel like that sounds like the worst thing I’ve ever said. It’s hard to explain but I hate idle time. I feel like a lot of the time at home is idle because I can’t really get done what I need to get done in addition to spending time with them. Yes, we can go on an outing and then come home and I’m thinking, we just went on this outing so now they will play nicely while I fold laundry, or clean out this cupboard, or write this paper, or pay bills, or just a bout anything but that is not the case! They might play or be distracted for 10 minutes but it’s not too long before they are at my feet asking me to do this or that or watch momma, watch! When I’m not able to stop for them for every single thing they need, I feel like a failure but I also feel like, I have this other stuff to do and they won’t let me. But if I just sit there and do nothing, they are happy. I can’t just sit there and do nothing, I must always be moving! But I can’t play with them every minute either.

I enjoy being at work because I really like my job (don’t mistake that for liking some of the people at my job). I like going there and I like getting things accomplished there. I also like getting things accomplished at home. I must have accomplishments in my life to feel validated. I can’t help it. It’s much harder for me to feel accomplished at home unless I cook a great meal or get all the laundry put away or organize and purge the clutter out of my life. Because my children are not at work with me, obviously I can get a lot done there, including homework. Employee of the year, I know.

I enjoyed being home because I never felt like I wasn’t spending time with them. I did feel like they got enough of me which is not something I feel when I’m working. It was easier to stay up late after they went to bed to get done what I need to get done because I didn’t have to look presentable by 6:30 a.m. I could easily shower the night before and throw on jeans and a fleece in the morning. There were never stressful arrangements to be made when they were sick and I have never had to think about sending my sick babies to grandma because I couldn’t miss a meeting at work.

If I ever had to choose, my choice would be to work but I think the ideal schedule for a mom trying to fit everything in is a work schedule of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I could easily get them off to school without rushing and be home in time to put a decent meal on the table every night instead of a decent meal one or two nights. I do miss cooking. God, I miss cooking.

Working makes life go by a lot faster for me vs. when I stayed home. The weeks are a whirlwind with hockey, and now tball practice starting, school performances, class twice a week, and homework aaaahhhhh. And this is just the beginning because soon it will be 2 boys in hockey or tball. My neighbor has two boys and the way tball practice falls she will be at a practice 4 nights a week. I find this time the most fun though for our family, we are really in a good place handling it all but I also feel like it’s zooming by.

All I can hope for is that my boys feel happy and loved. And except for Luke complaining that Gavin ruins everything, they don’t seem too scarred yet.

A new and exciting rant about how the weather sucks

Luke has been asleep since 5:15, which is about when I walked in the door. He wasn’t feeling well at school but no one called us because he did not have a fever. He said he got to lay his head down on his desk because he was having a hard time focusing on his thinking. They did take his temp but said he was fine. I wish they would’ve called especially because Rob was home today. I’m wondering if he’s sleeping because he NEEDS the extra sleep or if he’s just sleeping NOW but will be up all night because well…that will make one long night if he wakes up at like 9:00 for THE NIGHT.

I’m in a serious lull these days. I want to do all these things but because it’s still freezing outside and it snowed today even, I can’t! I’m pouting and cold. I want to snuggle up in bed and not make dinner or think about laundry. I don’t want to fold laundry (no one WANTS to fold laundry), I’m tired of sweeping the floor, I don’t want to study, and I’m tired of picking up toys. I would want to do these things if it was different outside. I don’t know why, but I would! I want to open the window above the sink while I wash dishes and I want to be able to hang my laundry on the laundry line in the back yard. I don’t have a laundry line in the back yard but I’m saying that if I did, I couldn’t use it right now and that makes me sad! Maybe I want to study outside. Maybe I just need some sunshine for crying out loud! And my children. My poor have too much energy children just want to be outside. Bikes! Golf! Baseball! “Please, Momma!”

I know, I know. I ordered a pair of shorts online and my husband laughed at me. Laughed. Like he knows summer is never coming. 

Summer is not usually my favorite. But not this summer. Oh no, this summer I am soaking up every single minute of light and warm sunshine I can. Every single minute. I will be outside, at the beach, at the pool, on a hike, and whatever else I can think of to just be outside of these 4 walls. Yes, please! 

We finally hired our summer nanny who is going to start a month early and I could not be more excited! No more lunches to pack, no kids to get up and ready. I will only have to carry one bag into work. One bag! ONE! I can feel my load getting lighter by the minute. No extra backpacks, no extra shoe bag, no blankies and sippy cups. This morning I only had to get Luke up and ready for school and it felt like a vacation. So while I won’t technically be on “summer vacation”, I’m definitely going to be living easy like the song says. And the nanny will be here all day so my boys will be sleeping in, going to parks, playing at splash pads, running through sprinklers, and spending their summer days together in wonderful sibling bliss (ha! Good luck, Nanny!). But still, I wanted them together all summer and it worked out. And if that means I don’t have to get any kids off to anywhere in the morning and I don’t have any kids to pick up on my way home…well then…I’m willing to make that sacrifice. 

 

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