Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Five: Self-Care

I'm not a fan of the term "self-care," which is so widely used these days. For me it's more about staying sane. I know I've talked about this before, but here are some of the things that help me keep my head above the water:
  1. Chocolate. See also: ice cream, cake, cookies.
  2. Starbucks Green Tea Lattes. Yes, I spend too much money at Starbucks. But if it helps me be a better person/mom, maybe it's worth it. It's not frickin' heroin or Jack Daniels, after all.
  3. TV. Three days a week I get to watch TV for an hour or two. I unplug my brain and stare at the idiot box. Not thinking is nice sometimes.
  4. Leaving the office for 59 minutes most days during lunch. Mostly to read, with a short walk thrown in.
  5. Target. This one's a bit of a stretch, but I was really struggling to come up with a 5th item. Target (easily combined with #2) is somewhere to go when the weather is not ideal, or we need to get out of the house, or I need some chocolate (#1).
If you're wondering why I haven't included any outdoorsy type activities (hiking!) on this list, it's because while I firmly believe getting my son outside is super important, it is currently far from relaxing. It's more like wrangling and watching for mosquitoes and very little looking up or around or noticing my surroundings. It's a lot of effort.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Lunchtime Reading

I'd earned a free drink from Starbucks ages ago, but I hadn't been in a healthy enough state to enjoy it. Finally today I felt up to it (although my sinuses may disagree) and zipped down the hill on my lunch break. I'm still reveling in the joys of the mobile app on which I can place my order and pick it up at the counter without standing in line or interacting with people (the horror). Or at least that's how it was previously. Today, sadly, I was forced to speak with a barista to retrieve my drink, which I could see in a newly designated area out of my reach. People must have been stealing drinks, thus spoiling some of the appeal of mobile ordering. Crappy people, always ruining good stuff for the rest of us.

After securing my green tea frapp I walked back up the hill in search of an unoccupied bench in the shade. I passed a good handful positioned on the hill at an angle. No thanks. I've done enough camping in my lifetime with the tent set up on a slight hill to know that a similarly situated bench would irk me to no end. I can't be sliding off one end of the bench for my whole reading session.

This book is bewildering. It is interesting, occasionally humorous and also a bit dull at times. I'm just shy of halfway through it and frankly, can see no real point to it's meandering existence. Hopefully this becomes more clear SOON.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

2017 To-Do List: July

  1. Rearrange/clean the family room to make it a usable space 
    1. Move books down there to make it a library/family room?
  2. Get rid of items we don't use and/or don't like 
    1. clothes
    2. furniture *
    3. kitchenware
  3. Read at least 24 books - 20/24 **
  4. Develop a system to ensure bills get paid in a timely fashion DONE 
  5. Hang wall art 
  6. Hang some sort of window treatment (curtains? blinds?) in family room DONE - 3/19/2017
  7. Blog at least once a week - 29/52 
  8. Purchase new bras
  9. Purchase new underwear DONE - 2/5/2017
  10. Go on a date
  11. Go swimming, preferably in a natural body of water
  12. Take my son camping in a tent in the woods for at least one night
  13. Frame a picture of my son for my desk at work DONE - 1/17/2017
  14. Go to the Adirondacks
  15. Take my son to the zoo DONE - 1/14/2017
  16. Install anti-tip straps on the TV
  17. Open a 529 account for my son DONE - 3/8/2017
  18. Visit Second Home Nature Center at least once a month - 7/12 ***
* I finally got rid of the coffee table and end tables that have been hogging up space in the garage. This past weekend we were expecting no rain so my boss suggested I put them at the curb. I decided it was worth a shot as the worst that could happen was me wasting 5 minutes hauling them down and back if it didn't work. I carried them down Saturday morning while playing outside with my son, but I hadn't thought to make a FREE sign in advance. When we went in for lunch I made the sign, planning to dash out as soon as he was down for his nap. But alas, they were gone by then. Success! But I can't mark this as done because there are other pieces of furniture that still need to be evicted.

** Dang! I finished 4 books in July. Go me.

*** Our monthly trip to the nature center didn't go as planned. My son wanted to go inside (ugh), but I eventually got him headed down a trail (not the one I'd hoped for but any trail is better than going inside). But after about 50 yards he turned around and insisted on going back. I decided it wasn't worth the fight, so back we went. We putzed around the flower gardens, sat in the Adirondack chairs, and climbed on rocks. It wasn't what I had in mind, but we were still outside and that's the important part (I guess).

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Saying Goodbye

My son has started coming to the window of his classroom to wave goodbye to me as I drive past. There is a set of small wooden stairs that a teacher will put under the window and then they open it for him. I pull to the side of the entrance road and open the passenger window so I can wave and call out to him. It's super sweet, but it's almost twice as hard to leave him now because I have to tear myself away from him twice: once in the classroom and again as I drive away from the window. This morning the teachers were busy so there were no stairs to climb and no open window for me to call "I love you!" through. There was only his little head bouncing up over the window sill as he jumped up and down trying to see me and his little hand waving goodbye.

I hate leaving him. I hate that I have to leave him to go to a job I don't care about. I work because I have to in order to keep a roof over our heads and food on our plates. Maybe it would be easier to leave him if I was going to do something worthwhile or interesting, but my position is almost entirely unnecessary. I spend all day waiting to see him, then our evening goes by in a flash, and suddenly it's bedtime. I never want it to be bedtime because it means our time together is over for another day. I can't wait for him to wake up in the morning so I can hug him and kiss him and hear him laugh for a few minutes before we rush off to school and work. There is never enough time together.

One night when I was tucking him in and he wasn't feeling well I told him "I am always, always right here if you need me." It has become one of the things we repeat to each other before saying goodnight most nights. This morning he said it over and over in the car on the way to school. Always, little buddy. Always.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Eating: I meal-prepped four lunches for this week: white rice, frozen veggies (two days of broccoli, then two days of brussel sprouts), and two hard boiled eggs for the first three days. Tomorrow I'll eat a frozen pot pie.

Watching: Salvation, a new summer drama on CBS. I was hooked after only a few minutes of the pilot. Hopefully the second episode is equally captivating.

Reading: Nothing! Well, only because I finished the book I was reading (French by Heart by Rebecca Ramsey) on lunch. I will start a new (as yet undetermined) book tomorrow.

Listening: I listened to my first ever podcast, Literaticast. (About: Literary Agent Jennifer Laughran and her friends dish about the world of Children's Publishing.) Podcasts have never appealed to me, but I was sorting through old papers at work, and figured I'd give it a whirl.

Playing: In the pool. And by pool I mean one of the bright blue plastic kiddie pools. Only my son doesn't get in it. He uses it to scoop water out of using vessels of all different sizes and materials.

Saying: "Don't touch. Just look at it." At which point my son waves at whatever item we are referring to and says hi.

Laughing at: My son singing "Slippery Fish" 87 times in a row.

Loving: Spending my lunch hours outside every day. Seeing my son's language skills develop. Eating ice cream.

Looking forward to: October

What are you up to these days?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lunchtime Reading

The bench I usually sit on during lunch is in dappled sunlight, which is still too much sun for me when it is hot out. Today I varied my walking route and happened upon a charming spot in FULL SHADE. The only downside being the noise from a nearby building (air system? fans? I dunno, but SO LOUD). The other minor issue was that the bench itself is falling apart. Twice while I was sitting on it, one end of the seat dropped several inches. Oh well, charm and shade are more important than stability, right?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Five

  1. We've been purging at the office. Now that I've been in my current position for a full year I finally feel comfortable deciding what I need to keep and what I DO NOT. The ladies that staffed the office previously were of the print-every-email variety. The oldest one I disposed of yesterday was from 3/15/99. They also printed off our website for crying out loud. Now if only I could translate some of this energy to my house...
  2. I haven't been meal prepping my lunches because I can't possibly use the oven when it's already 77 degrees inside the house (or hotter!). But I need to come up with cheaper alternatives to buying five frozen meals a week. And it can't involve peanut butter because that's what my son and I eat for lunch every Saturday and Sunday.
  3. I have many times mentioned my love of Le Tour de France on this blog, but this may well be the least I've watched it in countless years. I'm averaging 5-10 minutes a day, which is far from satisfying, but the only way I could watch more is to stay up later and NOPE, not gonna happen. I need my sleep.
  4. Cute/funny things my son has said/done recently: 
    1. The other day, as we approached the playground he said, "Hi playground. What are you doing, playground?"
    2. "Look at the tiny, little bird!" He said, while pointing at a butterfly.
    3. He routinely tries to grab things out of books. He gets upset as his little fingers scrabble across the page, "Grab it! Grab it!"
  5. He is all of a sudden on a Thomas kick. I don't know who to blame for this (his school? his father?), but I am not pleased with this development. Yes, it's certainly the lesser of evils when it comes to cartoons (gak!), but it's tedious. I actually enjoy Daniel Tiger, and I cannot say the same for Thomas.