“What do you do all day?”

I had lunch with a friend (former coworker) on Wednesday and he asked me that question, to which I replied, “Um… stuff?” with a shrug of my shoulders.

Not working for the past 6 weeks has been nothing like what I thought it would be. I imagined luxurious lounging, tons of writing, exercise, knitting/crafting, photography projects, meal prepping, a spotless house… you get the idea. Basically, I imagined that the 6-ish hours Charlotte spends at preschool each day would be like some magical time warp in which I could Get Shit Done.

Surprise! It’s not like that at all!

I’ve done a lot of cleaning and organizing since we’ve been home the past few weeks, but it feels like that’s all I do. That and run errands. And of course the laundry…. so many loads of laundry.

Catch keeps telling me to take some time to just be, but every time I try I think of ten thousand other things that need to be taken care of and I know I’ll feel better if I just do them. It’s a vicious circle. I also have this neat new tendency to open a drawer/closet/cupboard and decide that moment is the exact moment that it all needs to be cleaned out and reorganized. Tuesday was the junk drawer. Wednesday was the baking drawer and the Tupperware cabinet. Thursday was the pantry.

I’m pretty sure I’ll find the proper balance of things right as it’s time to go back to work… and even though I’m floundering a bit at the moment, I can honestly say that I would be THRILLED to never have to work again. It won’t happen, but damn it would be nice.

In other news, Charlotte will be 3 in about 2 months and she is completely psycho. I mean that in the most loving way, of course. This is a challenging age. She is pushing limits, challenging rules, and just generally stubborn and difficult… except when she isn’t, and in those times she is basically just the most amazing kid ever. Basically, we have a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on. We just never know which one we’re going to get. It’s exhausting.

She peed in the potty three times last night without any fight at all, so at least that’s giving us a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I think I’ll maybe go hard core potty training boot camp on her next weekend.

On June 1st, we’re headed off on a major road trip. We have yet to figure out exactly where we’re going, but the ultimate destination is my SIL’s ranch in northern Colorado. We’re thinking we’re going to make a huge loop that will take us to the Grand Canyon, then SIL’s, then Tahoe, then home. Catch needs to be home on the 16th so she can teach a workshop that week, but otherwise, we are free as birds and can go where we want for as long as we want. Mind you, we’re doing it with a dog and a potty training almost-3 year old, so you know… we’ll see. We have high hopes, but reasonable expectations.

(Side note: I will gladly take allllll of your tips for road trips with a young kid!)

Tonight, Catch and I are chaperoning her school’s grad night at Universal Studios (HARRY POTTER WORLD HERE I COME!) and the kiddo is spending the night at Grammy’s house without us for the first time. (The previous 2 overnights were at our house while we stayed at a hotel.) I have no idea how I’m going to manage to stay awake until 3 am, but I imagine it will involve at least a gallon of coffee. I’m excited, though. I kind of hope this opens doors to more grandparent overnights in the future.

Anyway, here’s a few pictures from the last few weeks… it’s been a whirlwind!

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Getting crafty for Catch’s birthday. Charlotte painted paper plates with shaving cream and food coloring and I got a little carried away with the rest.

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Please tell me there are other kids out there around her age that still make this big of a mess when they eat?

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I attempted to make bath bombs a few months ago and they were a total disaster. I followed a different “recipe” this time and they turned out great! Charlotte loooooves bath bombs, but they’re so dang expensive–now I know how to do it much cheaper!

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Mother’s Day

Tonight as she was falling asleep, Charlotte rolled over to face me, stroked my arm softly and whispered, “You’re so beautiful, mama.”

Motherhood is complex. It’s exhausting and exhilarating and depleting and fulfilling and too much and not enough and… well, fill-in the blank with any number of things and it’s those too.

There are moments when I wonder what we were thinking bringing a child into this world. Like when her full plate of dinner has gone untouched and she is begging for a pre-bedtime snack. Or when she’s on the floor screaming because she wants to wear gingerbread man knee socks with her shorts and tank top and I tried to put on plain old white ankle socks. Or when I look at her and ask her not to _______ and she gets that look in her eye like some invisible force has double dog dared her to do it anyway and then she does and all hell breaks loose.

And then there are moments like that one tonight when it all feels so right.

I can imagine my life without Charlotte in it. A life where I am well rested and have disposable income. A life where I get to sit on the couch with my wife in the evenings and watch a few shows while we enjoy a bottle of wine. A life with less laundry and more happy hours. Sometimes, that life is so tempting.

But then my little girl whispers, “Snuggle me, mama,” and her little fingers reach out for mine and her presence fills every bit of space I have inside me. She makes me whole in a way that all of the disposable income in the world never could.

Catch is sick, so tonight, I am going to crawl into bed with my little girl. She will dig her heels into my rib cage and lie perpendicular on the mattress so that I only have about 2 inches of space at the edge of the bed, but I will savor every last second of that closeness.

My baby girl.

I am so incredibly lucky to be her mother.

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The Unemployment Chronicles, Week 4 (I think?)

(I wrote this on Monday morning but forgot to hit publish!)

This morning, Twix and I dropped Charlotte off at school, went for a good long walk at the park, and now we’re sitting outside at Corner Bakery drinking coffee and eating bacon. (Coffee for me, bacon for her.)

I can’t even remember the last time I got to take Twix out for breakfast alone. It probably sounds silly that I’m talking about going out for breakfast with my dog, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. It’s nice to have company, and it’s nice to have the time to enjoy the company.

We moved back into our house on Saturday morning after 4 weeks at my mom’s. The bathroom isn’t quite finished, but the basics are all working great. The new shower is AMAZING. We are so used to showering in a 30″ square (seriously–that’s how small our shower was) that the new shower feels absolutely luxurious. We have a rain shower head with a separate handheld shower that we can use for rinsing Charlotte’s hair when we bathe her (among other things), and it’s a total game changer. I will do a separate post all about the bathroom when it’s completely finished because it deserves it. I am crazy proud of our design choices. Everything came together better than I could have hoped.

This week, I’m going to focus on getting our home life put back together. 4 weeks of construction plus moving in and out has created a ton of chaos and mess. We’ve also been sanding/painting the guest room doors, so I really need to get that finished. There are some parts of the house where you could legit make snow angels in the construction dust.