Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting my routine on

Nearly a month into the school year, and I am falling into an easy routine. I know some people dread routine as a dreary word, but I love it. I see it as an intricate dance where I perfect the day by repetition. I usually start a timid rough draft (written out, I am THAT list oriented) and then adapt as I live it. Moving the pieces of my week around until they feel more natural or more efficient or blessedly both at once. After I've polished the routine, I can add the improvisations in more easily; with kids, there are always unroutine-able, sometimes unforeseen, bumps in life.

Of course there are some things I still  need to tweek. I'm only fitting in exercise twice as week and I'd like more computer time, or rather, better use of computer time! It seems my project are all half done and my piles of ideas are cluttering up my ambition. Still, I'm settling into a happy routine and I think I can adjust it, if not easily, than feasibly.

I think it's easier this year than it has been for many because all the kids are finally in school. Although it is only a few hours each morning, the introvert in me is thriving on time alone each day. I've found it makes the rest of the daily chaos more manageable and I'm getting more done throughout the day. Homework is monitored, house cleaned, and kids read to with patience to spare. In fact I enjoy spending time with the kids when I don't have to forcibly carve alone-time into my day (usually by hiding in my bedroom or bathroom).

Of course it helps that Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I always feel more present and joyous during this season. But this year I'm in a particularly happy place and I'm trying to take in as much of it as possible.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Happy Birthday

This is me  messing around before the baseball games. Do I look a year older?

I pre-celebrated my birthday, or so I thought. My presents were presented several weeks previous; I loved them all (a beautiful necklace and earrings from Peter and an awesome homemade totebag from my parents). I expected a cake, maybe a nice dinner, and that was it.

So the day started with (surprise) baseball. A double header. But the fields are down the street from Costa Vita, so I survived. Ethan survived a pitch right in the chest, too. And Peter survived no sleep after a night shift with only nominal zombie like appearance.

But on the way home from the games, Peter surprised me by telling me I had 15 minutes to pack an overnight bag. My sister came to watch the kids  (Thanks Brenda and Bryan!) and we headed out to a surprise location. It was interesting because I was driving (see the zombie comment above), but didn't know where I was going. I was given an exit number (2.5 hours away) and after reaching it,  Peter woke up to navigate me to the hotel. He had booked hotel with a spa and booked a mani/pedi for me. After I left the spa, I headed to the room where we ate room service and watched BYU give up two chances for a miracle play. The next morning I had a Peter-booked hour long massage and then we headed home. 

(you know it is a fancy hotel when they're advertising for Lexus test drives at the entrance. See picture above)

A most wonderfully wonderful fantastic overnight trip made even better by my complete lack of expectations. Peter knocked it out of the park! 

After the weekend he even made me a cake and dinner and cleaned up the kitchen afterwards. It was AWESOME.
The only problem is Peter is turning 40 this year and he has (obviously) set the bar a teeny bit high...

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Like You Already Didn't Suspect I Was a Bit Off My Rocker.

Being alone. As a mother of a handful of children, I crave it. And now that they are all school age, I'm finally enjoying large doses. (Well, 3.5 hours a day, stupid half-day kindergarten). Consistent alone time spent using the restroom without a death by a thousand knocks, cleaning the house without a constant leak of mess, and going grocery shopping without "helpers."

It was during this last task, however, that I hit a slight glitch.

You see, apparently having a child tag along for all those years was just a prop. For my talking. When my children aren't there with me I still jabber away. Only now, wonderfully alone, it is too myself. 

When a child is in the cart no one thinks twice when I grumble, "They've moved the tortilla shells again! Guess I'll search across the store." But when I'm standing alone staring at the previously-tortilla-now-potato-roll spot? People looked at me strangely. Apparently it also isn't kosher to announce, "Only three more things before we can check out!" to thin air. Or to note to myself that the name brand Fluff is cheaper than the off brand (and then fill my cart with several jars).

Once I noticed people were looking at me rather queerly, I tried to do better. I really did. Turns out mumbling to myself made it worse; people, eyebrows raised, tried to pass me as far away as possible. Merely mouthing words as I strolled the aisles actually made people turn around and walk the other way.

So I'm in trouble and I've been trying to come up with solutions for my talk-to-myself ways.
  • Create a lifelike puppet of a preschooler for my shopping cart- I'm trying to look less creepy, pretty sure that doesn't fit the bill.
  • Find my old bluetooth and hook it to my ear so it looks like I'm on my phone- Not obvious enough. Those people look crazy, too.
  • Borrow someone's kid to take with me shopping- Not that desperate.
  • Stop talking to myself- Too much will power required.
  • Practice my crazy lady look and talk to my hearts content. Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner.

I'd say the benefit of not having a prop when I talk & shop is I don't have the constant, "Can we buy {fill in the blank with whatever happens to be in eyesight}, but I have a package of Lindt Hazelnut Truffles that begs otherwise.