“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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9 thoughts on ““What do you do all day?”

  1. She is too damn cute! But I’m sure a handful lol. “What do you do all day?” I’ve been off work since sept 2016 and I too had the same plans! I was going to conquer the world… except I didn’t 😂 Instead I got a divorce & moved across the country Hahahaha but I’m sure you’re nowhere near such drastic changes. Enjoy your time off 💜

  2. Just don’t forget a potty chair and one of those potty insert things (which we haven’t bought yet). And if you want a play time in the Denver area, let us know. Our 3 year old doesn’t get out enough. lol

  3. I’m glad to see this post. 🙂 Charlotte is getting so big! (And the Mothers’ Day outfit is adorable.)

    We love the Potette Plus for on-the-go potty training. For road trips, those reusable magnet boards—Magnetic Create-A-Scene, I think they’re called—are excellent (we got one of those lap trays for kids, to catch the falling pieces). Water Wow! is always popular, and of course music (headphones can make it exciting if you have a device, and also less annoying for you) and snacks. All the snacks. Our big kid loves podcasts now; I know they make ones geared for littles (I’ve heard good things about Story Pirates). If you have a tray, Hot Wheels type cars will entertain for a little while. Also Post-its and sticky dots and paper (crayons too, but sticky things are more novel). Last few road trips we’ve taken my wife ended up going to the discount store and picking up used toys—those puzzle things that you slide tiles around in, something with buttons that made noise that we would never have in our house but were willing to live with in the car, and a mini MagnaDoodle. Currently Julia is obsessed with this plastic Easter egg that somehow ended up in her seat pockets (she’s still rear-facing, but has one of those back-of-the-seat compartment thingies (mostly to match her sister’s) with toys in the pockets that she raids every time she climbs in) and likes to put various things in and take them out and figure out how to close the eggs again (note: can lead to screaming if they are not easy to close).

    When we drove from Monterey to Tahoe last summer, we made notations of local playgrounds en route. Even if they weren’t worthy of stopping at (read: a slide and a patch of grass), it was good to know where they were just in case. Tricky balance between providing an opportunity to stretch legs and the whining about not wanting to get back in the car, though. And thus concludeth my tips for road trips with almost-three-year-olds.

  4. Omg 3?! How. How??
    I love how you can still see the same Charlotte in her that was there at 2 and 1. Those features just keep strengthening and deepening and it’s so cool.
    I understand the weirdness of (f)unemployment. You expect so much from yourself, and yet somehow there are still only so many hours in a day. But your wife is right – soon you’ll be employed again and you won’t have this chance to just *be*.

  5. That picture of her eating totally has my heart! I love how you can see her free spirit in all of her pictures! My niece was that way when she was little and although I know it can be challenging she is now 12 and she is the strongest, most mature 12 year old I’ve ever met. She isn’t afraid to challenge how people think and with everything she has went through the past couple years she has handled it better than most adult I know would have.

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