Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday morning

I backed up my wake up time to 5:45 today since Sweet P seems to be on an earlier wake up schedule herself. If only I hadn't had to pack Sister's lunch this morning instead of last night I would've had a lovely bit of just mama time...

This first week back to school has been a real bummer, to use a phrase dating from my own school days. I've already had Sister's teacher call me to express her concern over my daughter's near-constant fidgeting--yes, already! I found myself wanting to advise Sister to just start biting her nails like I used to do, but instead had her make herself a "stress ball" to squeeze under her desk. It's just a balloon filled with rice and tied off and is pleasantly squeeze-y. Sister herself told me that she can't just sit there with her hands quietly resting on her desk, that she needs something for them to do. I can definitely relate, so here's hoping the rice-filled balloon will fix everything. If someone recommends she be medicated to keep her focused in school, I will seriously consider homeschooling her.

My goodness, what grim thoughts for lovely mama time!

Some things I'm looking forward to this weekend: getting some sleep so I can kick this cold that isn't helping with my record-high grumpiness level; having brunch with a couple friends; doing some sewing; and having Husband home!

Birds are beginning to sing now, though the dog is still snoring in his crate...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Work love

I was just puttering around the house before anyone wakes up, half-thinking about what I could do with Bean today. Have I mentioned here that she's gotten to the point where I must have an answer to the question, "What are we going to do now?" If I tell her, "Hon, we're doing it!" or, "I thought we'd just hang out together," she becomes enraged. She's an intense little person who wants to always be moving on to the next thing. I'm a goal-oriented kind of gal myself, but my mother assures me that I was nothing like Bean as a kid.

Anyways. It struck me a minute ago that today I get to go to work! And that the answer to Bean's inevitable question could be, "Miss Valerie is going to come take care of you and Sweet P today."

Respite from the steely-eyed glare of my 3-year old!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New routine

This first week back to school is just dragging. I really was surprised to realize this morning that it's only Wednesday. If felt like at least the beginning of next week.

One bright side to the new back-to-school routine is that I've begun setting my clock for half an hour earlier than Sister's wake-up time. So I'm getting up at 6:00 and my only goal is to have a cup of tea in solitude before anyone wakes up needing me. It makes me very grumpy to have to be on as soon as I get up--and sometimes before I get up if I bring the baby into bed with me, and then Bean gets in bed with us and wants to mess with Sweet P, and then the dog begins whining downstairs when he realizes people are waking...

Quiet and solitude are so rare for me these days and I've always been the kind of person who needed a lot of time alone. I'm sure I'd be a much better mama and much nicer person in general if I could just figure out how to get more of that. 6:00 waking is a start. My mom used to get up at 4:30 in the morning when I was a kid, but I don't think I'm quite that desperate yet!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer is over

DSC01262, originally uploaded by Secretsugar.

Sister's going back to school on Monday and I think I'm really going to miss the completely whack games that the girls played together. At the beginning of summer, I had big plans for all the time we were going to have at home. Cooking, baking, sewing up toys, doing paintings, setting up a family art space... but somehow all that ended up happening was naked Barbie parties and pet torture. Yeah, we went to the pool a couple times, made homemade popsicles once, went to the museum...but really, that was about it.

There seem to be a lot of parents out there relieved that their dear offspring will be heading back to school in the very near future (if they haven't already). But I'm just sorta bewildered by how very little we did this summer and feeling a bit disappointed that I didn't get around to teaching Sister to cook a few things like I meant, to teaching Bean how to embroider with yarn and a giant plastic needle on burlap, to even going to the zoo. Where the heck did all those long, empty weeks go?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More ways to waste time online

Just when I thought I knew all the ways in which I could get drawn into an internet time suck--browsing Japanese fabrics, trawling enviously through Etsy storefronts, reading your blogs, emailing my college girlfriends to try and coordinate a mutually acceptable potluck date--I discover another way to waste a lot of time I don't have. Facebook. Who knew what an obsession it could become?

I realized recently that with my twenty year high school reunion fast approaching, I'd better get my married name out there so that people could find me. So that, you know, I'd actually be invited this time. (I haven't gone to any of them so far.) So I created a Facebook account, invited a few friends, and went along my merry way. But so many people are finding me now!

I've had a number of college friends that I haven't kept up with "friend" me, an ex that I haven't spoken with in 10 years, and now, indeed, some high school people. I've actually busted out my horrible senior yearbook as a reference so that I can try to remember who these people were when they friend me. (Someday when I want to make y'all laugh, I'll post pictures of my enormous 1980's high school hairdo. I hope to never see another bottle of White Rain hairspray as long as I live.)

I think where the time suck comes in is when people ask me things like, "So what's your life like now?" and "What have you been doing in the last 19 years?" Those are both actual questions I've received and it takes awhile to summarize 19 years of personal history, you know?

Anyways, that's my most recent excuse for why I've been neglecting this blog.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Big juicy personal revelation with a side order of guilt

Yesterday was a good day. A very good day. The baby had woken me up the night before several times because of a stuffy nose, I had to rush the girls out of the house first thing in the morning, but still a very good day. The thing that was different? I got to go to work.

I met the babysitter at the new office and after Sweet P was tanked up with milk, the sitter whisked the girls away for a fabulous 2-1/2 tour of the wonders of downtown Mebane. (This woman is the childcare score of the century, by the way. Bean and Sweet P both adore her already, after only two afternoons with her.) I stayed at the office with Husband and our business partner and learned all about our new fabric printer. I learned something new! I hung out with grown-ups and made grown-up jokes! I thought about our business at length!

It was only later when I took the girls home and noticed how cheerful and optimistic I felt that I realized it was because I'd done something other than caring for my own children. Yeah, that's where the big helping of guilt comes in.

I don't think I need to say here that I adore my girls, but I'll say it anyway for the record. I'm crazy about them. They're wonderful, unique little people and I enjoy seeing how they evolve everyday. But I've been thinking this week that maybe I'm not doing such a great job with this stay-at-home mom thing. I've never been a patient person, I don't do the imaginative play thing very well, and you know what? Some days I am so bored I feel like I'm going a little crazy.

There. I said it.

I would really like to work a little while someone else takes care of my children. Not full-time or anything, but that's what I want very much.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Surprise! Still burnt out!

Yep, it's official. I am tired of Husband working so much on our new business venture. He didn't get home til 9:45 last night and left for work again this morning at 8:00. That was exactly 15 minutes after Bean and I had gotten up, by the way, so that's how much daddy time she had this morning, and that's how much baby-free time I had to get ready and make the bed. I hadn't even made it downstairs yet--he met me at the top of the stairs to hand me Sweet P before dashing out the door. Sigh.

I'm trying to tell myself it'll be worth it in the long run, but I'm afraid I'm just not that much of a visionary when another 10-1/2 hour day of taking care of kids looms ahead of me. I'm crazy about my daughters, of course, but I just need a teensy little break right about now.

In the time it took me to write this brief little post, I had to stop twice because Bean requested seconds on snack and then dropped and broke the cup that her applesauce was served in. Also, the baby is waking up after a 20 minute nap. Fuck.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Days without t.v....

DSC01235, originally uploaded by Secretsugar.

...are spent doing EVERYTHING. I thought I was busy before? Sheesh!

In case you can't tell, that's our dining room table covered with quilts and all the sofa cushions and throw pillows piled up to make a fort. Then there's the scrap basket with fabric scraps all over the place. ALL the Legos out. ALL the cardboard blocks out. And yes, lots of happy, imaginative play going on there so I'm not complaining. Too much.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

T.v. free, day one

Sister's at her dad's for the next few days, but the no t.v. thing went pretty well with Bean this morning. She asked probably four times over the course of the morning if she could "watch a little show," but only threw a fit at my no answer the first couple of times. For Bean, that's pretty good.

We spent the early part of the morning on the back porch playing darts and sorting through a tin of shells and rocks on the rug. Then we had breakfast and went to the farmer's market where our favorite pie baker gave Bean a little peach turnover. We purchased three savory tarts for our dinner from her--cherry tomato-ricotta and eggplant-feta--along with plump green beans, tomatoes, a canary melon, a Bean-sized charentais melon, a bag of fresh yeast rolls, and some cockscomb flowers. Bean was bummed that no one had any lemonade for us to drink on this 90-degrees-already morning, but cheered up dramatically when we drove home to her Papa packing up towels and bathing suits for a pool outing.

In short, it was a nice, calm morning with Bean, very different from how our mornings usually feel. One thing I wasn't expecting was that she drinks a lot less juice when she's not zoning out in front of a couple of Curious George episodes. So maybe it's been the sugar that's been the bad behavior culprit all along.

Next up--trying to get through her usual afternoon post-nap meltdown. Bean NEVER handles waking up from her naps peacefully.

Friday, August 01, 2008

T.v. free

My toilets are orange, about a month past needing to be scrubbed. I just noticed that the bottom foot of dining room curtains are--once again!--soaked in cat piss. Crabgrass is taking over the garden. Laundry continues piling up at an alarming pace. Sister and Bean are unbelievably resourceful in finding new things to argue over. (Who owns a particular loose dime, for example. Seriously.) The baby STILL won't sleep through the night.

Did I really just declare August t.v.-free month for us this morning? My hope is that this will improve the girls' behavior. (She explains weakly.)

Stay tuned for how long I hold out...