Words cannot express how much I do NOT want to go to DMV tomorrow. It's 40 min away, Samantha is at camp from 9-12, it's not how I want to spend my morning. I have a bad feeling that there will be something I need that I don't have and will have to do it again, that's just my luck.
It's our first official week of summer vacation and as I expected, it's all about finding the balance. so far, every day this week I wanted to make it to the beach, but it hasn't happenned yet. The nap times are off, I have work to do, something inevitably comes up. I thought if we just keep our beach bag packed in the car, it has to work sometime. At home we have swings, kiddie pool, sprinkler, a yard to run in. Sometimes when I watch them having so much fun here I think this must be enough. They enjoy it so much that I wonder why I'm trying to force something "bigger and better" into our crazy schedule? Maybe we should just save the beach mostly for our small vacations we have coming up.
I have been reading Momma's Gone City lately and have a major case of stroller envy. I have always loved strollers and it has now been about 2 years since I've gotten a new one. Jessica recently reviewed the Bob Double and Joovy Caboose, I have wanted both of those for awhile.
When I had Samantha we had the Bumbleride Flyer and the Maclaren Triumph. Then we got a used jogger. When I had Ella it was a big debate over what double stroller to get. I wanted the Maclaren double, a double jogger. I basically wanted them all. I wound up getting the Phil and Teds Dash. It is a great stroller. I loved it. But lately I haven't been using it too much. I don't use strollers often so I probably don't need the Joovy but I think the double jogger would be perfect. After reading the review I found out 2 friends of mine have the Bob Double, so of course I want it more. And my husband thinks I'm crazy. So I think I will have to start scouring craigslist for one.
I travel alone (with my children alone) often. I have mixed feelings about this. It is sometimes great to be able to do what I want, when I want to do it (within reason of course). But sometimes I am so tired of doing everything alone. I feel like a single mom at times. When I return my husband will say, you've been on vacation. He has no idea what its like to deal with the kids 24 hours a day when you're not at home. I know, I sound like poor me. And it's not that bad, I am getting to do things. but when I get home to dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, I might have well as stayed home. I am so tired when returning from a few days away from home with my kids.
This week I drove 4 hours to my inlaws house. Driving that far with ella is never fun. It's hard to be the only adult in the car when driving with 2 children.
This summer we will be going to Pennsylvania, Cape Cod, Lake George and New Jersey. The trips are anywhere from 1.5 to 6 hours. I am going on all of these trips alone. I have to fit them into my work schedule, I am almost always returning on a Friday when I have to go right to work. I am exhausted just thinking about it. But the fun times, the pictures, the memories will all make it worth it, right?
Like I said I have mixed feelings, of course, a part of me wants to do it. Or I wouldn't do it. But I just wish my husband didn't feel like, I was on vacation while he was working. I think we need to have a talk before our next trip. I actually think it's like a vacation for him too. He has nothing to do other than go to work. Nobody is asking for help with the kids, he's just going to work, watching tv and going to bed.
This morning my baby girl left to spend 2 or 3 night all by herself at her grandparents house. I was sure it was a great idea. They asked about it one year ago. We have spent a lot of time building up to this. They live 4 hours away. The came, spent a few days and took her back with them. I'll go visit on Tuesday or Wednesday and bring her home Thursday.
As soon as I woke up this morning I had reservations. My in laws were already up, getting ready to leave. It felt as though things were moving too quickly. I went and looked in Samantha's room and she was already downstairs. My heart deflated a bit. I had plans to sneak into her room, whisper thought about how much fun she would have and how much I'd miss her. My baby is growing up.
"Do you still want to go?"
"Of course, mommy. I can do this, I'm a 4 year old."
Okay, I can be strong, if she is, I can be. I won't let her see that I'm sad, because she shouldn't be sad, she should have a wonderful time. they have a pool. Her cousins live next door. This will be wonderful for her.
"Mommy, if you're lonely, don't worry, you still have Ella here with you."
So sweet. When she left Ella was very upset. She was crying, "don't leave". She said, "Me, me." As in, what about me? For about 20 minutes, Ella cried after she left. I was being so selfish, only thinking of myself. Ella has never been without her big sister, I didn't think about that. Somehow Ella could sense that she wasn't just going to school, that she would be gone a longer time. I hugged Ella, it will be okay. Just a few days...
Just think of all the things I can get done with one kid instead of 2. We can all do this... When can I call to check in?
I found a tick on Ella today. Whenever I find a tick I get so grossed out for the rest of the day. I constantly feel like I must have something crawling on me. The thought of the tick crawling around on my kids is just so gross. We happen to live in a place where lyme disease is extremely prevalent. I hate that about our area. I check the kids nightly for ticks. Ella especially scares me because of her crazy hair. It would be so easy for a little tick to hide out in that hair. I know at least 6 people with lyme disease and that is without me really stopping to think about it at all. Chances are someone in our family will have it at some point. What can be done about it? Nothing at all. I feel like we just sit and wait. Of course, we can check the kids nightly. But those e buggers are tiny, it would be easy to miss one.
There are some beautiful areas around us. Lots of great places for nature walks and hikes. It is unfortunate that every place that is the most beautiful has a very high chance of ticks there. Last year the girls and I went on a hike. We were wearing long pants and shirts and yet when we came home between the three of us I found 8 ticks on us. On the drive home Samantha said, "there's a spider on my leg". I looked and it was a tick.
You'll have to excuse me after this conversation I feel like I have ticks crawling up my back... yuck.
Picture of my little Ella Bella and Innisfree Garden (from there website).
I really wish I could do nothing today. Yesterday I watched a friends child until 1 AM. She was sleeping, of course, but I waited up for them to come get her. I never have do nothing days. I got to sleep in a little, until 9. So we're slowly getting it together, I'm just drinking my coffee now. So, I guess we'll have a do nothing morning, that will have to be good enough for me.
Today we have the last dance class, we have to go pick up our CSA and I have to go grocery shopping.
It can be so hard to find the balance between letting your kids have activities and free time. Add into the mix you actually have to accomplish and it gets tricky. I think this summer I will have a goal to have one day a week that is unscheduled. That won't always be possible due to some camps she's already going to go to, but we can try our best.
I just want some days to lounge around, fill up the kiddie pool and hang out. Isn't that almost sad that I have to over plan the other days just to make time for a relaxing day?
We had dress rehearsal for Samantha's recital on Saturday. We can only take pics at the rehearsal so, here are some pictures. My little ballerina.
It's so funny watching them on stage. They are dancing (sort of) and all looking at each other. You can see the moments when they forget they're supposed to be doing something and just space out. Then they remember and quickly so something resembling dancing. It's pretty funny to watch. They are adorable.
This is from the ballet number, Beauty and the Beast. This is a serious dance recital. 2 1/2 hours and the opening number is very impressive, singing, dancing, it's quite good.
Samantha loves to dance, it is so exciting to see her in a recital. She wants to wear her costume every day. But no, she can't. Why mommy? "Because what if you pee in it? Then everyone will thing you smell like pee. Ballerinas don't smell like pee." Such a good answer, I think.
I joined a CSA this year. I've been wanting to do it for years and finally this year I made it happen. I'm excited to cook great, fresh foods. I'm a little nervous that my kids won't eat it, but if I just keep making it, they'll come around, right? My kids eat vegetables but they're a little picky about what veggies. They love asparagus, broccoli, strong beans, corn, and cauliflower. They're not so into leafy greens. Last week I got lettuce, bok choy, turnips and radishes. I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. But I cooked the bok choy and they ate it! They were skeptical at first, but I told them they had to try it. I just made a rule that every other day I would make a vegetable I know they will like if they try new things on the other days.
In other CSA news, on the first pick up day I totally forgot! What a wierdo I am. I really feel like I am two different people, work Taryn and home/mom Taryn. And when the worlds collide I seem like a spazzy forgetful crazy person. I called the farmer, who I know b/c he comes to our restaurant and we get veggies from him for the restaurant. So, I called him the night of the pick up day and told him I completely forgot about it. The day of the pick up was the day I had brought Sam to a new school to look at for next year, dance class and had pictures taken of the kids. I kept reviewing in my head what else I needed to do that day, I knew I was forgetting something but had no idea what. He called the next day and said no problem and dropped off my stuff to me the next day. It was so awesome to get a box full of fresh veggies.
When I'm with my children, out in public, I often feel all over the place. Sometimes I'll run into people who know me from the restaurant with my kids. They say, "Oh, I didn't know you had children." I hear this as, 'Oh, I didn't know you were a crazy person who is trying to get through cvs without one child having a tantrum and the other whining incessantly.' Who know what they really think. But it's a constant struggle for me to handle everything in my life while still putting forth a "professional, put together" image in everyday life. Every day I am talking about the restaurant and finding ways to promote it, so it is important to me to really try not to be that crazy mom sometimes. Oh well, as long as I have more good days than bad, I guess we're on the right track.
Most days it feels as though it is nearly impossible to find balance in my crazy life. I struggle from one thing to the next, never feeling like I'm quite handling it all. It's a frustrating life at times. So I work hard and finding the small joys, the things I am grateful for. I don't want to remember this time in my life as a time when I feel inadequate daily. I should be enjoying my kids, remembering this time, having fun with my business. I don't want to get caught up in all the daily stuff and miss all the good stuff.
One thing I have truly been grateful for lately is my great friends. This has really been shown to me lately. My friends are willing to help me out all the time. They take my children without a second thought. It really means a lot to have friends who I can call in a bind and they will take my children. I hope you know I will do the same for all of you anytime. Owning a business with 2 small children would be impossible without my great friends and family. Thank you all.
So now it's on to focusing on the small accomplishments, and working on my daily struggle to get something done, focusing on the little things and not the big overwhelming feeling that I am not doing good enough.
I have had the worst day. Let's see, well actually it's been the worst last 2 days. Yesterday was my husbands grandmothers funeral which we drove 4 hours to get to. We rushed back b/c we had to work last night. We cut it really close with getting home in time. We got a flat tire on the way home.
Work was fine, busy, crazy, but nothing bad happenned.
Today has just been nuts. Ella goes to daycare at 8. Then I went to bring Samantha to school, where I had to have a meeting with her teachers. It was her first day back since the UTI issue. then I went to deal with the car issue, no resolvement yet, I have to go back tomorrow. I went to the "office" and got about 1 hour of work done. Then I went to pick up Ella, where I got a phone call that Samantha had a accident and could I bring clothes. Then I got a call from my brother, can you drive me to pick up the car that's in the shop, it's 20 minutes away and I can only drive 50 and under b/c of the donut on my car. By this time I have about 10 minutes before I have to go back to school to get Samantha and I still have to do payroll. I get Samantha and get home so I can clean, cook dinner before bringing the kids to the babysitter and do payroll before work. Ding dong. doorbell rings. My doorbell never rings. It is....
.... a census person. I'm sorry, but damn you census people. If you are on, I'm sorry but really. Why do we need to know how many people are in my house? I called the census person back after her first visit. Since then she has called me 3 times a day and stalked my house to get me. I said, why don't I leave you the old form and you can transfer the info to the new form. Oh, no, we can't do that. She has to speak to me in person.
She was talkative, chatty and seemed to have no sense of the fact that I may have something better to do at the moment, with cryings kids and another kid wanting a snack and oh, yeah, the payroll.
I will never be a census person, it is just inconvenient to busy people.
So now I have a very cranky child, no dinner made. This weekend is going to be crazy and I'm not in the right frame of mind to deal with it.
In the past 6 weeks we have had 3 people die who were close to us. It is such a hard thing to try and explain to your 4 year old. And something about dealing with it 3 times recently makes it all the more real. We can't forget about it and move on. Tim stopped a little short one day with the car, "Are we going to die, Mom?"
Stuff like that breaks my heart, how do you explain it and make sure she is getting it. She brings it up often. "Mommy, even though grandpa's dead, he's still my grandpa."
The first was a classmate of Samantha's. Words can not explain how hard this was. A week or so later randomly in the car she said, "he wanted to be a fireman when he grew up, but now he's not going to grow up".
Then it was my husbands grandfather. He was sick in the hospital and we visited him and of course we thought he would get better, so that's what we told her, until he didn't.
Death is brought up a lot lately here at our house. I can't help but thinking, will she remember this? She's 4 1/2. Will she remember that one of her friends died from her preschool class? And when she is old enough to process it and contemplate it, what will she say? What do these experiences mean to her?
No matter how she seems to process this, I'm just glad that I was open and honest about the whole thing with her. Even if death is hard to deal with a young age, it's better to be honest and factual and talk about our feelings then to pretend none of this has happenned.