Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

My little guy is still too young to really get the whole Halloween thing, and since I'm not really a fan of the holiday I don't see any reason to go crazy with Halloween inspired activities, etc. They are doing a parade and party at his daycare, so we'll see how that goes. He may or may not wear his costume, a hand-me-down Elmo from an older cousin.

My family always made a big deal out of every holiday when we were kids, so I would like to make them special for him when he's old enough to notice/care. I bought him some little Halloween stuffed guys at the grocery store ($5 a piece spread out over 4 weeks felt like a reasonable expense for holiday fun). He completely ignored the first two (jack o' lantern and skeleton), but when we got home with Frankenstein he gave him some kisses. So even though he's not super interested in them yet, he might be next year!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Emergency Preparedness

I am pretty much the exact opposite of a prepper. I wait until the very last moment before I buy what I need, be it food, gas, or toiletries.

I wait until the gas light comes on before I fill up the tank.

I wait until there are no more boxes of tissues in the closet (current situation) and only a roll or two of toilet paper left to buy more.

I don't keep food stocked in the larder. No cans of vegetables or soup, no jars of sauce. I have one spare box of pasta, mainly because it's whole wheat, which sounded like a good idea at the store and a horrible idea at home. I do have a few things in the freezer, but in the case of a true emergency I might not be able to rely on electricity.

I have one small flashlight (the kind with the holster that goes on your belt) and one easily accessible candle (there are likely more in the house somewhere, but that might not be hugely helpful if the power goes out at night). There are a few batteries of various sizes, although some might be getting up there in age.

I do own a wild edibles book, a tent, a sleeping bag, and various other camping gear that hasn't been used in years. I don't believe the gear collection includes a cooking stove or water filtration system. There is definitely a head lamp though.

The only items I buy in advance of need are diapers and baby wipes because daycare notifies me when their supplies are GONE, not LOW. I have to keep a supply on hand because I don't have time to go to the store during the week. They clearly subscribe to the same level of preparedness as I do.

It's hard for me to worry about having these things on hand when everything is so readily available. I've never experienced a situation that prevented me from getting to the store. We've never lost power for more than a few days. Having said that, it might be a good idea to throw a few extra cans of food in the cart occasionally. Even I can probably handle that.

Post inspired by Swistle.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lunchtime Reads

There was measurable snow on my car this morning, so my days of sitting outside to read on lunch may well be over for the season. I wish I had had time to snap a few pictures because it was lovely. The first snow on leaves and phragmites is always so visually appealing, but as usual we were running late and there was no time for even cell phone photography. My little man slept poorly and had some boogers this morning, which means we could both be in for some long, sleepless nights if he is coming down with something. Oh, the joys of daycare.

When I don't go outside for lunch I stay at my desk to eat and read, which means I don't get a break from the office or a change in scenery. I also get interrupted at least once, usually more, to do work-related things since I am so visible. I need to come up with an alternative location so I can escape and have a real lunch break at least occasionally (there is no break room).

I started a new book today, part of a trilogy on loan from my sister. My initial impressions are not exactly positive. While interesting, it is very dark and dreary, and even a little confusing. Honestly, if it were a library book I might be returning it after one reading session. But since it came on recommendation of my sister I will hold out hope for improvement.



Are you reading anything good these days?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Weekends

Weekends are for unwinding and spending time with my son.

The rain was relentless on Saturday. We went to Target for baby wipes and Kraft Parmesan cheese (my favorite grocery store doesn't keep it in stock in hopes that I will buy their store brand, which is never gonna happen). I tried putting my son in his full-body rain suit so we could play outside, but he was inexplicably terrified by it. By the time Sunday rolled around I was DESPERATE to get us outside.

After our usual grocery store run, we met my father, sister, and nephew at the pumpkin patch. The rain was gone, but in its place was a ferocious wind. I bundled my little guy up, but even so it wasn't the most enjoyable weather. We loaded 3 pumpkins in the car and headed back home for lunch and nap while the others went for a hay ride and played in the corn maze. I was sad to cut our outing short, but I am a firm believer in the importance of sticking to meal and nap schedules.

Hot cider to help me warm up.
The wind had died down by the time my son woke from his nap, but I didn't want to drive anywhere else. Plus, it'd been a full week since we had time to play in the yard and I wanted to be home and available for him to have a visit from his father. So snack bar in hand we went outside to romp in the leaves and stayed out until it was time to cook dinner (or you know, boil water for pasta). I had splurged on his favorite pasta sauce, so we both ended the weekend with nice full bellies.







Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Being Present

I'm struggling with how little time I have to spend with my son. And knowing that this precious little time will continue to decrease as he spends more time with his father and less time at home with me.

During the week the little time we have together is broken into two chunks: before work and after work. During both of those times I'm distracted and not solely focused on the time with my son. I am fully aware of the distraction and am constantly trying to bring my focus back to him, but it's so hard.

I'm the kind of person that calculates how much sleep I will get if I go to bed at that exact moment each night. I've always been this way. In college I would set aside whatever notes I was studying, knowing my brain needed sleep or it wouldn't matter how much I crammed for the test.

So every morning while I read to my son my brain is calculating how much longer I can get away with reading to him before I have to wrestle him into a clean diaper and clothes. Then we go downstairs so I can make tea and an English muffin, after which we play or read for another couple minutes while I watch the clock to make sure I get us upstairs so I can dress and brush, all the while trying to figure out what I'm going to wear (if I need to take out the trash, stop for gas on the way to work, remember diapers or wipes for daycare, etc.).

After work it's the same sort of thing: when do I have to throw something in the microwave, when do I have to wrangle him into his highchair, when do I have to drag him upstairs to brush his teeth, etc. There is no time to JUST BE.

I'm so afraid when I look back on these years it will all be a blur. That in not being present in the little moments I won't be able to remember what his soft baby-toddler body feels like when I manage to steal a hug or the smell of his hair as I'm reading him his bedtime books. It's all going by so fast. I need to figure out a way to slow down and focus on him. Shut out the distractions. Be present. Every moment matters, and I feel like it is all just slipping away from me.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What I Ate Wednesday

Just for fun I thought I'd track and share what I ate yesterday. It was a normal Wednesday until I had a stressful and emotional exchange of words with my son's father, which left me with no appetite for dinner. Fortunately I had eaten quite a bit throughout the day and am no longer in any danger of wasting away. It was far from the healthiest food day, but I've had much worse!


Breakfast:
3/4 of English muffin with lots of butter (my son ate the rest)
mug of English breakfast tea with splash of milk and tiny bit of sugar

Morning snack:
mug of Chocolate mint oolong tea
overnight oats (oats, chia seeds, milk, maple syrup) in small Ball jar

Lunch:
orecchiette pasta with 3 slices of sharp cheddar
Twix minis (bite size) x3

Afternoon snacks:
fun sized M&M
Twix mini (bite size)

Dinner:
few bites of sweet potatoes
small bowl of cauliflower
one spoonful of canned peas

~1/4 jar of cookie butter (eaten with a spoon from the jar)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lunchtime Reads

I'm feeling pretty good about my to-be-read pile for the foreseeable future. This book is a sequel to one I read recently. I have a YA trilogy on loan from my sister and will request the sequel to the book I just finished from the library soon. So yay for borrowing all the YA!


The weather was spectacular for mid-October. I was wearing sandals and short-sleeves and sitting in the shade. Leaves were falling all around me as I read (note the one in my lap, not staged). It was a delightful way to spend my lunch hour.

Are you reading anything good these days?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekends

Weekends are for unwinding and spending time with family.

This weekend I did 87 loads of laundry (OK, yes, I'm exaggerating, but only slightly), enjoyed some much needed time with my son, and visited with my mom and her husband as they stopped in town on their way home from vacationing in Maine. We ate delicious food, got the latest updates on our Maine (and beyond) family, and enjoyed the lovely weather. My son and I walked at Second Home Nature Center, got more books from the library, and played at the neighborhood playground. 

Post-nap reading session.

At the restaurant Friday night.



Bog Trail

Bog Pond


Red Maple

New England aster

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lunchtime Reads

Today I used part of my lunch hour to get a flu shot because it was FREE. I hated missing the chance to spend every second outside while the weather is practically perfect, but at least I was able to read while standing in the long, snaking line. I got done with enough time to walk a lap around the Small Green College campus.

My current lunchtime read is the library book I picked up on Saturday. It is very readable and interesting, although I don't love that it switches between 3 main characters with such short chapters I have trouble adjusting. Regardless, I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Weekends

Weekends are for unwinding and spending time with my son.

On Saturday morning we popped into Target for my usual Green Tea Latte from Starbucks and then headed to the library. I'd been hoping to find the next book in the YA series I'd just finished, but my branch doesn't have a copy. They did have a copy of another YA I've been reading occasionally on my cell phone. Since I stare at a computer all day at work, I'm not anxious to stare at my phone on my lunch break, so I grabbed the book-on-paper version. Then we went to check out the kids section. And dur, why didn't anyone tell me there were fun things at the library besides books? Blocks and trains and stuffed animals, and needless to say, we'll be going back when we have more time. I do wish they opened earlier on the weekends. When your kid wakes up at 5:30am, waiting until 10am for things to open is not always ideal. We picked out a board book about pumpkins for him and then headed to our next destination.

I'd been hoping to do some walking at the nature center, but the rain put a damper on those plans as I can't find the hand-me-down raincoat from my nephew. I wouldn't mind a little drizzle, but it was pouring while we were at the library. So we went for the pancake breakfast only. My guy sat in a booster seat and ate like a bog boy. It was impressive and tasty.


He loves signs. What is it with little boys & signs?





After his nap and the rain we played in the yard for a little bit and he got to stomp through some puddles in his dinosaur boots.

On Sunday morning we did our grocery shopping as usual and played outside for few minutes before lunch. After nap I put him in the stroller to check out the newly renovated neighborhood park. He refused to get in the baby swing but happily rode on my lap in the regular one. Then he hopped down and climbed the stairs, presenting me with a big parenting moment. He wanted to go down the slide and I did not (my wrist still hurts from the last time I took him down that slide), so my only choice was to let him go by himself without any help and without anyone at the bottom to catch him (single parenting, yo). He did great and he loved it. Phew. After climbing the stairs and going down the slide a second time, he was done and went back to the stroller. Short attention span, this one.







And that was pretty much it for our weekend. How was yours?

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Friday Five

1. Two of my music class mom friends are pregnant with their second babies. And one is actively trying (IVF). We all took a babies music class together. All of us were first time moms. I was the oldest mom and had the oldest baby (by a few days). Now I'm the only single mom, although I haven't told them that my husband left me. Because it's hard to slip that kind of news into our group texts between all the big sister, big brother announcements.

2. I cut a few wispy strands of my son's hair this morning. I always sweep his hair to one side, but others do not and a few of the longer strands were getting in his eyes. I have no interest in giving him a real, official haircut. But at the same time, this was the first time I cut his hair and I wanted to save the tiny bits. But as it turns out, snipping a few hairs while holding a struggling toddler doesn't result in a nicely kept locket of hair. Oh well, maybe next time.

3. This morning I dropped him off in his infant classroom for the last time. Yesterday they moved his belongings to the toddler room, so his old shelf belongs to another boy now. In his new room he has a cubby with a shelf and a hook. So much more grown up. He's been a "toddler" for a while now, but the moving of classrooms still feels like a milestone of sorts. My baby isn't really a baby any more.

4. On my lunch break I like to walk over to Small Green College (where I got my BS) to read. The campus feels like home to me. Sometimes I catch a whiff of fallen leaves in the sun and cooking exhaust from the cafe and I'm transported back 20 years. And seriously, how can it be TWENTY years? How is that possible?

5. As much as I love being there, it makes me sad when I have to walk back to my office. I wish I had done something with my degree. I wish I was more than just an office lady. But right now, the thing that matters is that I have an income and a fairly low stress job. Because the thing that matters the most is my son. My job/career means nothing compared to him.

Happy Friday y'all!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

ISO: Pen Pal

I keep thinking about dating. Obsessing over men from my past and random men I encounter in my daily life.

But then I come to my senses. How would a man fit into my life right now? I barely have enough time in the day to get my son and myself to and from daycare/work, feed us dinner, squeeze in a few minutes of playtime and book reading before I have to put him to bed. Then I run around picking up toys and getting ready for work the next day. I shower, crawl in bed, and start all over again the next morning.

It's unlikely anyone else would find me and my life interesting right now even if there was somehow time for them. But I miss feeling like I matter to someone. (Other than blood relatives because yes, I know I matter to you people. You can stop flapping your hands now.)

I am 40 years old with a toddler. I might as well be invisible. I just want someone to SEE me, care about me, make me feel special. It's been a long time since I had a partner who was happy to be with me. Feeling like a burden on someone does a number to your self-worth. 

Maybe what I need is a pen pal. Someone to email and text, without the bothersome real life implications. Because I'm sure there are a lot of single men out there dying for a pen pal. 

Monday, October 03, 2016

Weekends

Weekends are for unwinding and spending time with my son.

On Saturday morning we made one of our regular trips to Target for a Green Tea Latte and some odds & ends. I'd recently downloaded the Cartwheel app for my phone and was so distracted by trying to figure out how to use it (old person alert!) that I forgot about the actual paper coupon in my bag for $10 off which expired THAT day. I remembered just as I was about to pull into my neighborhood. For $10 I was absolutely turning the car around and dragging my toddler back into Target. For sure.

After his nap I wanted to get us both outside, but I didn't feel like driving far. I just wanted to be outside, somewhere other than our yard. It shouldn't be so difficult to find a spot of trees, etc. to romp around in. I finally settled on a nearby golf community with access to Nature Conservancy land.

I believe this is fake water but still picturesque from the right angle.

My guy is going through what I hope is a phase in which he only wants to go back, not forward. So I carried him as far as I felt like and then set him down. He took off back towards the car and we had a nice little walk (until he decided he wanted to explore off the side of the trail that was choked with poison ivy and I was forced to carry him away).

And off he goes!

Admire the poison ivy, but please do not touch!
The little guy slept poorly Saturday night, coughing on and off all night, so Sunday we did our grocery shopping and played in the yard and generally took it easy. Hopefully his boogers let up soon.

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.