Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Exposed

Moving.

I'm really not a fan.

It's not just the packing, and the loading, and the unloading, and the chaos, and the unpacking, and the stress. All of those things I'm not so much a fan of either.

But more than that? It's this feeling that my insides have been suddenly ripped apart, and until I get EVERY SINGLE blasted item that belongs to me back in it's proper place, I feel...exposed. I can't relax until my insides are neatly put back in place. Back to their proper closets, or cupboards or shelves. And because this process can take weeks, I have this constant nagging feeling that my whole life, all wrapped up in my things, is just hanging out there for the world to see.

More than that? I dislike figuring things out. Why doesn't the water dispenser work? How do we turn on the heat? Which freakin' switch turns on THAT light (because I've tried a dozen already)? Why doesn't the garage door go up? Where did that one very important item go? Who are my neighbors? Where are my children? How do I get to work? Where is the grocery store? And so on.

And then the arguments come. You know the ones. They come when Nate and I have just about had it with the trying to figure things out, and the feeling exposed, and the losing all of those important items. It's about at the boiling point of all those things that the arguments come and we're about to completely lose it on each other. And Liam is saying, "You guys, you have to be nice to each other!" And then we shut up and simmer.

Did I mention I hate moving?

But then, I take a step back. And I look at my beautiful new house. The house I have always wanted to be able to provide for my children. The neighborhood, full of children, I longed to live in growing up. I look at my big backyard, and my children who are so happy with all of their new found space to roam. I see how happy everyone is to be in this new and wonderful place.

And I remind myself that I DO NOT EVER intend to move again. I remember that this is the place our memories will be made. My children will take their first day of kindergarten pictures on those steps. We'll be putting our Christmas tree in that window. We'll share family dinner's in that dining room. And we'll undoubtedly throw numerous birthday parties in that backyard.

That's when I realize, everything is going to be just fine.

More than fine, perfect. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all our blessings.

We're home. That is the best feeling of them all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Day, The Rundown

I really enjoy it when people tell me just exactly how their day goes. I think probably because I'm nosy, but also because it's just fun to consider someone else's day. Something different from my own.

I think I enjoy it just like I enjoy it when people leave their curtains open at night, and I'm out for a walk, and I can peer in and see how my neighbors decorated and what they're watching on TV. Am I the only creepy person who enjoys that? Yes? Okay, moving on.

My day is always different. It depends on whether or not I actually get up with my alarm, or hit the snooze five hundred times. It depends on whether or not daycare comes to me, or I take the kids to daycare. It depends on whether or not I am feeling ambitious about my morning routine, or really if I'd just rather skip it all together. BUT, okay, in general my day goes like this:

5:00 AM: My alarm goes off. This does NOT mean I get up at this time. Typically it means that I use my super find-the-snooze-button-in-the-dark-and-half-asleep skills. You have those skills too, right?

5:00 AM - 5:30 AM: Depending on how many times I found that snooze button, this is when I drag myself out of bed. The next 30-45 minutes is 'me' time. Or, the only time I have to make myself look somewhat presentable.

6:00 AM - This is when I'm supposed to be heading out the door with the kids, but typically it's when I'm doing my darnedest to drag Liam out of bed and get him to go potty for dang sake.

6:20 AM - I'm fortunate enough to be able to simply get the kids out of bed, find clothing and shoes, add a jacket and put them in the car. (Ha, as if that was simple!) This is typically the time we are actually pulling away from the house, a good 20 minutes late.

7:15 AM - Usually, this is when I make it to work. Something like 15 minutes late. Most people seem to just understand that when I say my start time is 7:00, what I mean is my start time is 7:15. (Note to self: I should maybe start setting my alarm for 4:30 AM).

3:15 PM - I don't take a lunch so that I can maximize my time at home with the kids. And since I showed up late, it seems only fair I should hang around that extra 15 minutes. This is when I'm doing all I can to escape the office. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't, because of course, it's in that 15 minutes that my phone will ring or I'll get called into an inpromptu meeting.

4:15 - 5:00 PM - Time for the kids to play while I make dinner. Or, while I call Domino's, or while Nate makes dinner. You know, one of those things. We do try to eat at 5:00 PM though, and amazingly enough, we usually make that mark.

5:30 - 7:00 PM - The best part of my day. My time with the kids. We play, or maybe go to the park, or maybe it's bath night, or maybe we're having complete melt downs, but whatever is going on, this is the fleeting time a working mother like myself gets to have with my kids during the week. This hour-and-a-half is the reason I try so hard to get to work early, and skip lunch, and do my best to leave on time, because otherwise I wouldn't have this time at all.

7:00 PM - There was a time that the kids stayed up until more like 8:00 PM, but then we figured out they weren't getting enough of this little thing called sleep, so we pushed bedtimes back. This is the time we are wrangling the kids into bed. I should say wrangling Liam to bed...Quin has always been, and continues to be, a superstar sleeper. (Note to Quin: Keep that up, please.)

8:00 PM - 9:30 or 10:00 PM - Time to catch up on a book, or my favorite show, or lately, homework. Yes, this is the bit of time I've reserved each day to complete my MBA.

And that's my day. Evangelical stay-at-home mothers everywhere have just said a silent prayer for me and my misguided ways, but you know what, I wouldn't change a thing. (Well, maybe that thing about the snooze button.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kinda Corny

Last fall, we discovered that a nursery not far from our house does a lot of great things for kids in the fall.

Like, filling up a regulation basketball court sized area with three feet of corn, like actual kernels of corn, to play in.

Last year, Liam had a blast, but poor Quin was only two months old and he slept the entire event away.


This year, Liam couldn't be happier to be back.

Quin wasn't so sure.

Liam took to the corn like a fish to water a kid in a vat of corn.

Quin considered. Got anxious.

Liam sprinted away.
Quin took the plunge.

Liam found a random pumpkin.

Quin got more gumption.

They had fun. And I mourned the loss of two perfectly good pairs of socks.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

MBA or Bust

Do you that opening scene in Finding Nemo where a presumably kindergarten age Nemo is bouncing all over the anemone chanting First Day of School! over and over again?


OK, now picture me doing the same thing. Because I totally am. Minus the anemone.

I am part of a cohort MBA program which meets one night per week (Thursday night if you're slow on the upkeep). Each semester will include two courses, except the first semester. Meaning my first class starts mid-semester, meaning that my first class starts TODAY! First day of school!

Nate thinks there is something very wrong with me, given how excited I am to go back to school. I don't know what he's talking about. What is wrong with wanting to fill your head with as much knowledge as possible? Nothing. The answer is nothing. In fact, if I could just figure out how to get paid to be a professional student, I would totally spend my life racking up degrees. It would be fabulous!

And, AND, I got to go SCHOOL SUPPLY shopping! Check it out, I've got my books, a brand new tote bag, new pens, new notebook, HIGHLIGHTERS! You guys, life doesn't get any better than this.


To top it all off, I even went shopping for a cool new first day of school outfit. I didn't have anyone to take a picture of me on the front steps this morning, but I did want you to see that I bought a necklace! Yes, I am actually wearing a piece of jewelry today. It is possible hell froze over. Just sayin'.


I run around the building screaming First day of school! today because I'm not drowning in the work that will inevitably follow pursuing this MBA of mine yet. But that's okay, because I know I'll love that too. Even if I don't always have a snazzy new necklace to show off.

First day of school!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Targé Boutique

I love Target. Like, really, I have a love affair with Target.

I'm pretty sure there isn't a single thing I can't get at Target. Cool, trendy, hip person kind of nice things at that. Well, okay I can't really get the sectional I want for the new house, but that's just details!

I'm not ashamed to admit that we ate our dinner, as a family, at Target last night.

And then, I sauntered over and got myself a primo tetanus shot. No, not because eating at Target is risky, because it's been more than 10 years since my last shot and those crazies over at the University are insisting I get it updated. But thanks for asking.

While I was doing that, my fabuloso husband was grabbing some groceries.

And we topped the night off by allowing the kids to look at toys while I found myself an adorable new tote and some school supplies for my inaugural day of graduate school.

I love Target. Where else could I achieve so much in one place? It makes me feel like superwoman or something. I am SuperTargetWoman, hear me ROARR.

*This post was in no way endorsed by Target.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tough Questions

This morning, while driving my kids to daycare, Liam asked me a question.

"Mommy? Who builded the world?"










I paused, and immediately proceeded to panic. Recently, my tenacious 3-year-old has been asking me a lot of questions that I haven't prepared answers for yet. Prime example. A week or so ago he asked me, referring to his little brother, why we chose that baby. I explained that we didn't choose him, we made him. And, as you can imagine this led to more questions, ones I wasn't prepared to answer.

Many parents have their standard go-to answers for big questions such as these. I don't. I didn't realize I need to be prepared to answer them so soon.

But, back to the question at hand. Who builded the world? And my panic.

We're not religious. I don't associate with any one religion, but I DO believe in God. To put it simply, I don't believe any one person on this planet can claim to know the answers to all those questions most religions try to answer. So, I don't associate with any of them.

But, I do believe in God, so I could say that God builded the world and that wouldn't be disingenuous to the beliefs of our family.

On the other hand, I don't want to confuse my three-year-old too much. We don't go to church, and we haven't really brought up the religion questions yet. It'll come, just not yet. I don't want to open up a whole can of worms I'm not prepared to deal with. Especially on a morning when I'm completely sleep deprived (a whole other story), and I have a mere five minutes before arriving at our destination.

On the other hand (I have a lot of hands), what better answer could I possibly come up with? Well honey, you see there was this big bang at some point eons ago and it created the entire universe, along with earth. We're really just a star among many stars constantly spreading further and further away from the point of origin. I'm no astrophysicist, but I think that's the basic theory.

UGH, I can't even tell him, with certainty, the scientific answer to the question.

The pause I was taking to answer his question was growing too long, so finally I said with the most sincere and genuine voice I could muster, "I really don't know, Liam."

And he replies, "Did road workers builded the road?"

"OH! Who builded the road?! Yes, Liam, road workers built the road."

Sometimes, this parenting thing is not as hard as we make it out to be.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chaos

Right now, my house mostly looks like this:



Because we're moving as you might recall. Which means packing up all of our stuff and realizing too late that half of the things we STILL NEED are already packed away, stacked in the garage and awaiting transfer. Which roughly translates to: we'll just have to do without.


In the mean time, there's a lot of this going on:

Which doesn't get old to watch, but does mean that we have to be that much more on our toes.


Also, do not forget that I START SCHOOL this coming Thursday. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole being a graduate student thing. But for better or worse, MBA here I come!


The good news? Liam didn't nap today and Quin only napped for 1-1/2 hours which equalled two boys completely asleep by 6:45 tonight. With my other half out on a man date, I am enjoying the sweetest of all luxuries: a quiet house. A week from today, that'll undoubtably mean homework time, but right now? Right now I'm just going to soak in the quiet. The calm in the middle of the storm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Team Spirit

I don't know if it's the human condition, or just an American thing, but have you ever noticed how everyone seems to have this irrational need to pick a team? I'm not just talking sports here people, I'm talking every little thing in our lives seems to be oriented around "us" and "them." In sports, in politics, in social settings, in lifestyle choices, in just about every way imaginable we choose sides. And when a side isn't chosen, that goes against the grain and is just not right.

I do this, too. Even though I am well aware I am exhibiting behavior I've come to loathe, it is like a strange compulsion to be on one side of the fence or the other BUT NOT BOTH. And as such, it is also my obligation to sneer at the other side with rueful spite, or so I'm told.

I wonder sometimes if the reason this country is so seemingly evenly split politically is because we are too afraid to let go of our team. It's like, no matter what our politicians do, right or wrong, we stick by them because they're on our team. I'm not innocent in this, I celebrate MY democrats and sneer at THOSE republicans. Why? It makes no logical sense (the team part, not the sneering at republicans part, that makes perfect sense).

As for me, I am on the Broncos team, but no matter how hard I tried to resist it, I am also on the Vikings team (go Favre!). To clarify, if the Vikings were pitted against the Broncos, I would root for the Broncos without question. I am NOT like that silly woman I saw on Monday Night Football last night wearing the cheese head with Vikings braids and a half-green, half-purple #4 jersey. Because that's just absurd.

There are other teams for whom I'll proudly wear the home colors. I'm part of the mommy team, and the working mommy team. I am on team Edward, swoon. I am PROUDLY part of team getyourkidsvaccinatedforgodssake. I am a card carrying member of team Colorado, well, at least I used to be until they made me change my card to Minnesota, but I'm still on the other team in spirit. I support team gay rights, and team right to choose (and frankly, I don't really care what you think about that).

I am also a full fledged member of team respect. As in, no matter which team I root for I make it a point to respect and try to understand the other point of view. Well, unless you're a Raiders fan, then I can't really help you.

And really, shouldn't we all be part of team respect? Which teams do you root for?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Full

I think it should almost be my mantra that I tend to bite off more than I can chew. For the brief moments in my history when I have the "right amount" of things going on, I tend to feel really shifty and ready for my next big thing. Ready to get married, ready to buy a house, ready to have a baby, ready to change jobs, ready to move states, ready to have another baby. And so on AND SO FORTH.

I don't know why I have always been so restless, but it's just a fact of nature. So it should come as no surprise that in addition to working full time at my Advertising job, and raising my two beautiful boys I've decided to add in the start of graduate school and a big move to a new house within only a week of each other.

There was this article in the local newspaper this morning about this woman who is a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader, and though I didn't manage to read the entire article, the basic gist was something like: feel sorry for this poor, tired, overworked Target executive who somehow manages to also be a cheerleader and a wife. And all I can think is BIG WHOOP lady!

There are times when people ask me how I manage all that I do. My response to that is, I don't really know how I'd manage to not do all that I do. I'm compelled to do them. It makes me happy to be constantly striving for something more, it give me something to reach for. I like that.

I think that what I'm trying to say is that I can sense a change in where I'm heading with this blog. Because if a 30-something cheerleader who also has a job (GASP!) and a Husband (you mean, she manages to be a cheerleader and isn't single?!) is somehow a big feature article, then surly you, my loyal 5 blog readers, will find entertainment in me: the 20-something career woman, wife, mother-of-two, graduate student. Right?

Would you enjoy the latest details about what a nightmare it is to pack for the big move? And on that note, for some godforsaken reason we have kept every single bill we have received in, like, TWO YEARS. Do you know what a chore it was to go through each and every one to be sure that there isn't anything IMPORTANT in that pile? And also, do you know that U-Haul has the gall to charge nearly $400! for a set of boxes and markers needed for a move? No, I didn't pay $400! for boxes and markers, but for the love of all that's holy ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Would it interest you to know just how excited I am to go back to school? No, really. Like so freaking out kind of excited that I actually read the descriptions AND CUSTOMER REVIEWS attached to the textbooks I ordered from Amazon. Yeah, that excited. And I may be changing my tune when I'm up to my eyeballs in school work and can't even catch a glimpse of Grey's Anatomy because there is too much to be done, but, would you be interested to know about that when it happens, too?

Do you care to know that I sometimes lie awake at night wondering what I'm going to do with myself when my kids are grown up? This is because I am a young mom and I'll only be in my early to mid-forties when that happens and above every other thing I have going in my life, raising my kids is 100% number 1, and when that job is gone, then what?

I don't update this blog as often as I should, mostly because I often convince myself I don't have anything interesting to say. But you know what, this blog is as much about preserving this time in my life as it is trying to entertain other people, and in that respect I have A LOT to say. So say away I'm going to do. You know, until I am completely overwhelmed with my job as mother, wife, employee and graduate student.