Floor Renovation and a Big Kid Room

We are in the midst of a small home renovation project right now, replacing the carpeting in our two small bedrooms with hardwoods. These are 1) the kids’ room and 2) the office/guest room. It’s been easy enough to empty out the guest room and strip the carpet, so that room has been ready for a while now.

Well, “easy” enough. We did have to deal with our Monica Geller closet of shame and my husband’s 800-pound desk.

monicascloset

The more challenging part, though, has been figuring out the logistics of getting the kids’ room empty because — you know — they sleep in there. We’ve already removed a lot of furniture from the room, including the giant IKEA cube shelf that was doing business as a makeshift dresser and bookshelf. It’s now going to reside in the garage as an organizer and the kids will get my old dressers whenever CW and I get around to buying new ones for ourselves. We took out the futon as well, and got everything off the closet floor (e.g. bins of old clothing, a diaper storage cart). The only things remaining? The cribs.

The floor guys are going to be here early Friday morning*, so we are going to probably remove the cribs tonight and have the kids sleep in the playroom, then put them back in their room Friday night when the floors are done. Of course, moving the cribs out the doorway will entail disassembling them, then re-assembling them in the playroom, then disassembling them, then re-assembling them as toddler beds in the bedroom.

As toddler beds. Yup. That’s happening. It’s time. L has been able to climb out for several months now, and I know one is advised to switch to a bed once the kid can climb out of the crib, for safety reasons, we haven’t done it yet. Honestly, I had a little talk with L and he basically stopped doing it. But it’s still time. Here’s how their room looked before they were born, and it hasn’t changed much since. But things are happening!

After this project is complete, they’ll have toddler beds and real dressers, maybe a bean bag chair. The big IKEA shelf and the diaper changing table will be gone. The bird mobiles I made when I was pregnant are going to be transformed somehow, though details remain to be seen on that one. I suppose we’re moving toward their “big kid room.” But how could they possibly already be big kids?

Updates to come.

*As of this current posting, my husband has texted me to let me know that the floor guys tried to push the install date back to Monday and he got them to re-agree to Friday. So. Let’s hope they do show up as planned, then.

Nobody Told Me

Back in the heyday of blogging, when I read all the popular mom blogs (despite being myself single and without child, in those days), everyone used to write about Things Nobody Told Them. Bloggers pulled back the curtains on some shit back then, man. You know, literal shit like pooping on the delivery table. Figurative shit like the fact that breastfeeding was often difficult and painful. The sleep deprivation, constant worry, and PPD. All of a sudden, women were talking about things that had previously been, at best, only whispered about.

So since I read all of this stuff years ago (I liked reading about other women’s lives, even if not immediately relevant to my own), I figured I had a pretty good handle on the Things Nobody Tells Us category of pregnancy and parenthood. I was prepared.

But as you might guess, there was something about which Nobody Told Me: the sheer strenuous physicality of absolutely everything. The way you and your parenthood are inseparable from your body. The way your body never, ever gets a break.

I’m not referring really to breastfeeding, sleep, or even carrying a pregnancy. I mean the little daily bullshit. For example:

  • Wrestling a child into/out of a diaper
  • Wrestling a child into/out of clothing or pajamas or a coat or shoes
  • Wrestling a child into/out of a car seat or a stroller or a high chair or a booster seat or a shopping cart
  • Wrestling a child into/out of a crib or a bathtub
  • Picking up a limp-noodling child who is now a textbook example of passive resistance
  • Applying sunscreen to a squirming child
  • Brushing or styling the hair of a squirming child
  • Brushing the teeth of a child whose jaws are clamped down tighter than the jaws of an alligator
  • Lifting a child onto/off of a public toilet
  • Wiping the butt of a child who, instead of staying in the approved downward-dog-style wiping posture, is insisting on doing a series of unpredictable vinyasas
  • Holding a child up high enough to reach the counter and sink in a public restroom while they dawdle over hand washing and drying
  • Dodging the jammy hands of a child who is trying to use your white blouse as a napkin five minutes before you need to leave for work
  • Being bitten
  • Being slapped
  • Having the eyeglasses slapped right off of your face
  • Having handfuls of hair ripped out of your head
  • Being head-butted in the mouth

In the past month, I’ve been head-butted in the mouth twice, most recently last night. That seems like a lot of head-butting and fat lips, doesn’t it? And nothing will flip my rage switch faster than being suddenly physically hurt like that. Inside my head, it’s like a bomb goes off. Outside my head, I just yelp in pain and then speak very calmly and carefully to everyone around me while also glaring at them pretty hard as I dramatically count my remaining teeth and apply ice to the affected area. Which is an unsatisfying vent for my frustrations, so here we are.

Why is my body so tired? When will my body feel less tired? When will I stop worrying about my offspring (accidentally, but still) physically assaulting me? Will I make it through the next couple of decades with all my original teeth? More importantly, why did nobody tell me?

Don’t worry, though: I did hear about the importance of cherishing every moment.

 

What’s Going On

Fall semester starts today, technically, but for me it starts tomorrow. I’m in back-to-school mode, which is one of the best modes of all. I love the start of a new school year, don’t you?

Here’s what’s been happening this spring and summer:

I went to New Orleans with my BFFs! we all turned 40 this year, so we decided to ring in the new decade with a ladies’ trip. We rented a lovely and perfect house on the bayou where we could hang out at night listening to the noises of the wildlife or relaxing in the hot tub. In town, we ate all the delicious food and drank all the beautiful drinks and had generally an amazing time. We need to do this every year now.

My kiddos started a new daycare/preschool. They started attending at the beginning of the summer, during the “summer camp” mode, which meant they got to have splash days and popsicles on Fridays and they loved it. Now the daycare’s new preschool year has started and E&L moved up to a new class and started taking Gymnastics (they offer classes as part of the preschool extracurriculars) and it feels like basically the next time I turn around they’ll be off to college. They’re doing wonderfully. They’re mostly daytime potty trained at this point now, too — one twin completely; the other uses a pull-up at naptime — and that’s probably not something I’ll write much more about here on the wide-open internet, but suffice it to say: YAY.

We took our summer road trip to Iowa to visit my in-laws and survived the long days in the car thanks to my iPad and Netflix’s selection of animated movies available for offline viewing. The kids had a blast playing on the farm and riding all the various farm vehicles with Papa.

I’ve been reading exclusively women writers this year, and although there are a couple of books on my shelf waiting for when the man-ban is lifted, it’s been completely refreshing. These are a few of my favorites so far.

So what’s new with you?

Year in Review: 2017

I have a couple of posts backlogged, but I just realized I hadn’t done my year in review questionnaire yet! Most of you reading know what this is and have done it yourself (or at least read others’ posts), as it’s gone around this corner of the internet for over a decade. You know the drill.

Previous years’ answers are available here: (200720082009201020112012201320142015, 2016). Over time I have modified and  deleted some of the original questions, but here’s what I’m working with this year:

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Placed (second) in the overall women’s rankings of a 5K, won a named award at work, watched my children see the ocean for the first time.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, I wrote:

“For the coming year, I would like to focus on making more gains in terms of health and fitness. I made some progress toward that in the last few months of 2016, and, after taking a bit of a break for the holidays, I’m getting moving again now. Healthier, smarter eating and lots of activity, mainly running, yoga, and barre3 for right now.”

Hey, I did pretty well on those!

This year, I’d like to: Get a general practitioner so I can stop going to urgent care, spend less on frivolous purchases. Keep up my yoga practice. Race in another 5K and a 10K, as I’m now in a new age group!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A lot of ladies on the internet and a couple of work friends, too.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year.

5. What places did you visit?

Atlanta and Birmingham (mainly for shopping), the Gulf Coast (friend visit), Iowa (family visit), and St. Louis (quick friend visit on the way home from Iowa). Was that really it? I’ll have to do better next year. Good thing I already have plans for a ladies’ weekend with my BFFs in May.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

A sane president, mainly. I would also appreciate more time alone and a more organized house.

7. What days from 2017 will you always remember?

January 20. December 12.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I credit the voters and hard-working Democrats in Alabama for this: electing a Democratic senator for the first time in 25 years.

I also got officially promoted and won a named, college-level teaching award, which is pretty sweet.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I have really struggled with healthy eating this year, although I don’t consider it a failure. Just a struggle.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My entire family was sick for the first half of the year after the kids started daycare, thanks to them spending each day in a petrie dish of viruses (and “building their immune systems”). I personally had at least 3-4 stomach bugs, two sinus infections, two ear infections, and pneumonia. Plus my usual persistent hacking cough that lasts 3-6 weeks every time I get a respiratory virus. It was the sickest year of my life.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Does daycare count?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The kids’ did, often. My husband’s. The aforementioned Alabama voters.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Daycare. It’s more than our mortgage.

14. What did you get really excited about?

The Senate election and turning 40, both of which happened on the same day.

15. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Anything from Moana, and yes I blame the children.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Angrier.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, technically. More income but less of it leftover.

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading fiction. Spending time outside.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Reading the comments. Retail therapy.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

My dad and brother visited a few days prior to Christmas, but for the actual holiday, it was just the four of us (which I like). We went to a Christmas Eve service at a new-to-us church and then CW and I made ourselves a fancy dinner after the kids went to bed. On Christmas morning, we had cinnamon rolls and mimosas and opened gifts. It was really great. Two year olds are fantastic at Christmas. Not so much in church, though.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

I rewatched Gilmore Girls so I could enjoy it alongside the Gilmore Guys podcast, which was great. As for newer stuff, I fell in love with The Good Place and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

21. What was the best book you read?

I barely read anything this year, y’all. I started a comfort re-read of Harry Potter, which went by very slowly and took up my reading time for months, but I petered out somewhere in book 5, and then I haven’t read anything too special other than that. Just at the end of December, though, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was nice, and Dark Matter, which was fine I suppose. Meh.

22. What music did you get excited about?

I really liked new things by Sylvan Esso and St. Vincent this year.

23. What did you want and get?

A new MacBook Pro for Christmas, an unlimited yoga studio membership, and a Democratic senator.

24. What did you want and not get?

Impeachment.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?

I barely saw any movies that stick out in my memory, so I’m going to go with The Last Jedi and Wonder Woman as my top two I saw in the theater.

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I voted, ate donuts for breakfast, and then went to yoga. In the afternoon, my husband took me out for a nice lunch date and then I took a nap. He made me fish tacos for dinner (one of my favorites) and we had a lemon merengue pie. That night, we celebrated the election results. That weekend, we had people over for a small party with lots of prosecco and baked goods. I turned 40.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

A mix of some pre-pregnancy clothing and some bigger pants from Old Navy / leggings on days I don’t go to campus. Still not quite ready for most of my old pants.

28. What kept you sane?

Coffee, running, and Twitter.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I can’t think of anyone. I do miss Barack Obama, though.

30. What political issue stirred you the most?

What didn’t?! I have outrage exhaustion. I suppose the Alabama Senate race.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a couple of new people through CW’s work connection who seem like they could become good new friends.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

I need to get my own doctor and stop going to urgent care every time I catch something from the kids.

And, as I say every year, qui patitur vincit.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“I said, early to bed, bitches, early to rise
They make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

— Lin Manuel Miranda / The Decemberists

The End of November

It’s the last day of November, which means I’ve successfully made it through NaBloPoMo, publishing a post every day this month. I was hoping to get back in the habit of blogging (and personal writing in general), and I suppose I did that.

Most posts I cranked out were not that great though, for me. A lot of the time I just sat down with my phone app and typed some stuff into the WordPress text box without much thought. Some posts were dumps of photos I’d already posted on Instagram; others could just as easily been a series of tweets. (Although, to look at it another way: long Twitter threads really ought to be blog posts, so I think I’m in the right on this one.)

I’m not sure whether this exercise will get me back to regular blogging again, though: most of those posts typed right before bed only exist because I am a completer and couldn’t let myself get away with skipping out on my 30-day commitment. Now that the month is over, what’s to stop me from just whiling away that time on other social media? Nothing! Nothing’s to stop me!

But maybe this list of things I intended to blog about this month, but never got around to, will encourage me to come back and say some more things:

  • Yoga and the om
  • Favorite milestones and memories of the last 10 years (because I’m about to turn 40)
  • Morning people
  • Weight and body stuff
  • Dr. Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2 hats tutorial

We’ll see.

 

 

 

 

Gin Me

Last night I:

Got approximately zero sleep due to a sick, sad, and restless toddler who turned out to have an ear infection.

Spent some unknown number of hours cuddling said toddler on the futon in his room trying to get him to let me put him down in his bed.

Finally convinced him that I needed to leave the room “to go potty,” which he accepted. (Him: “Pee? Potty? Pee-poop-pee! PEEEEEE?!”)

Today I:

Forgot to put on shoes before I left the house and realized when dropping the well toddler at daycare that I was still wearing my slippers, so I had to make an emergency stop at Target before school.

Found out my fly was unzipped in between classes.

Left work early to come home and take care of my sick Buddy so CW could get some of his work done.

Ate chips and salsa for lunch and a piece of leftover apple pie as “lunch dessert.”

Watched like four episodes of Daniel Tiger.

Had to have a long spousal discussion about who stays home when a child is sick.

Sick Buddy

Buddy came home from daycare completely miserable and with a fever of 103. He’s definitely got some kind of respiratory infection going on and the pediatrician’s office said they’ve been seeing a lot of RSV right now.

My husband has an out-of-town overnight trip planned for tomorrow. If Buddy has to stay home from daycare and only one parent is available, then Booboo has to stay home, too, because the sick child can’t/shouldn’t go into the daycare classroom during drop-off or pick-up but also can’t be left alone in the car.

EVERYTHING IS FINE. FINE.