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Archive for the ‘Mommyhood’ Category

This is how Zane tried to leave the house today. It is 20 degrees out there.

This is how Zane tried to leave the house today. It is 20 degrees out there.

 

Megan hooked him up with a more weather appropriate outfit.

Megan hooked him up with a more weather appropriate outfit.

 

 

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It Is Spreading

The headache started this morning. The sore throat a couple of hours later.  For the final punch – the fever. The Brennan house is officially the sick house.

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As a work at home mom, I sometimes have the luxury of setting my schedule by the weather, working in the morning while it is cold out and then working out later in the day when the temperatures rising.  But most days I live by these.  Between the clocks on the first floor of my home and the ever present iPhone with times and alarms set to keep me in line, you might think I would never be late for anything.  Sadly, you would be wrong.

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I bought my first trainer 8 years ago when my older two were still too young to leave home alone while I roade.  After eight years we have finally worn that out and bought our second one.  Thank goodness we did. So often the trainer is the perfect fix when I have just a few minutes to get a workout in. Today I had exactly 45 minutes of free time, 45 minutes to get my sweat on.

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Roll Tide Baby!

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In anticipation of the National Championship came Megan and I dressed in our gear and then proceeded to have a day that was beyond busy. The good news is that wearing the gear brings our team good luck. On another note, Blaise stayed home from work to help me with somethings which meant he and Zane had a nice morning playing on the Kindle Fire together. One of the nicest things about keeping this Year in the Life journal is that it doubles as a gratitude journal. I am so very thankful for this family.

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Summer is coming.  I can’t wait.  I love summer days and the fact that with the kids out of school there is very little structure.  I love the idea that we can wake up with no plans and end up at the ocean or on a trail in the middle of the woods.  I love that we can truly fly by the seat of our pants.  The truth is I have been looking forward to this summer since the kids started school last year, more specifically since they started school, religious education and soccer practice last September.

I hate the school year.  I hate that Zane (my two year old and I) are limited in our outings to being back by the time the big kids get home from school.  I hate soccer practice, the hours I spend in a car knowing exactly where I am going and what I am doing which, since I am not the one playing soccer, is standing around doing nothing for an hour and a half then turning the car around rushing home to eat dinner at nine o’clock at night and going to bed. The weekends in the fall, winter and spring are no better, soccer, indoor soccer and more soccer.  There is no spontaneity to those seasons.

But summer is brilliant.  In the summer I can go to sleep with no idea what I will be doing the next day, wake up to find that it is another beautiful day and head out on an adventure.  We can bike in DC.  We can go to the Eastern Shore and have lunch in St. Michael’s.  We can go for a hike in Gun Powder Falls State Park.  There are a thousand things to do and nothing to stop us.  I love the summer.

But, now the kids are getting bigger and the commitments begin to creep.  There are sports camps that are optional – except not really, if you want to make the high school soccer team.  There are running sessions that are optional but again, not really if you want to make varsity cross country.  My husband, who I love dearly, has also started creeping into my summer plans.  He sends me emails about camps, pick up games and training sessions.  He asks me whether the kids are practicing.  I answer as civilly as possible that the summer is the summer.  That it is the one time that even mom gets a break.  That the kids will not become fat, lazy, non-soccer playing losers if they take the break as it was intended.  And then I feel guilty.

Already, I feel guilty and I know that this will be the end of my summer, the summer that I have looked forward to for months now.  I know that I will make it to the pool maybe twice.  That I will spend hours standing beside a soccer pitch.  That the summer will end I will once again miss the beauty of Gun Powder Falls State Park.  But until it happens, I will still fantasize about my perfect summer.

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Checking on the kids

I startle awake and find myself on the couch again. The lights are off. The television still on but barely audible. I remember now, it was a trick I play with myself. “I won’t fall asleep on the couch again but the TV is just too loud,” I tell myself. “I won’t fall asleep on the couch but that light is just too bright. I won’t go to sleep on the couch tonight but it won’t hurt to close my eyes for just a minute.”

But still I find myself on the couch coming back to reality, wondering how it is that I wake up right in the middle of the weather every night. Is it coincidence or an internal clock of some sort? Deciding simultaneously that it doesn’t really matter what it is and that it is probably the music they play to introduce the weather, I slowly sit up and look around making a silent list of things that have to be done before I go up.

First on the list is to clear my head. Don’t think about anything that might wake me up more. Don’t think about the other lists that await me. Don’t open my eyes all the way. That way I can still sleep when I make it up stairs.

Crossing the room to go into the kitchen I realize the dogs haven’t gone out. Dogs with less bladder control than Aunt Sally either go out now or wake us up at five to be let out. Searching the house for the dogs the list begins to grow and spread its tentacles across the room. Pick up the baby’s toys he has strewn across the floor between the time I picked them up last and when I put him to bed. Oh, and there is another sippy cup full of milk. Before I even pick it up I know that means I will clean the kitchen, just a little, before I finally make it up the stairs. Just throw the cup and the other things the older children and my husband have left sitting around into the dishwasher. And I might as well start the dishwasher. Great, the dishwasher is full. Better empty that and if I am going to do that I might as well set the table for breakfast.

With the kitchen cleaned and the table set I rush to the back door to let the dogs in before they wake up the neighbors. With the dogs placed quietly back on their couch in the basement it is time to lock up. This is the when the public service advertisements begin to play in my head. What happens in the middle of the night if there is a fire? Will the path to the doors be clear? Of course not. So I pick up the back packs and shoes and place them carefully to the side of the door. Placing the kid’s coats just on top so they will be completely ready to go in the morning.

With all the lights off and the doors locked I head up the stairs, arms full of things I have picked up downstairs. Two birds with one stone, right? I enter each of their rooms with their things in tow and place them out of the exit path but where they are sure to see them in the morning, kiss them each on the head and move on to the next room.

Finally, fumbling in the dark of my own room, listening to the increasingly loud snoring coming from my bed and trying not to trip over the things that litter my own exit path, I make it to the closet where I dump running shoes, slippers and dress shoes, look at the mess that is my closet and decide that tomorrow I really will clean it out. Heading to the bathroom I brush and floss, brush my hair so maybe it will be less of a rat’s nest in the morning and once again head into the obstacle course that has become my room.

Maybe this is why I fall asleep on the couch at night. Maybe it is my way of resting up for the work of making it up the stairs at the end of the day. Maybe it is the sleep I need because it is the sleep I don’t have to think about and plan for. Maybe.

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