Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fog Lifting

I have been feeling oddly happy lately. 

Not that I don't have reasons to be happy - I have countless reasons.  But I have also had some reasons to be sad.  And angry.  And then add in an emotional breakdown and an acute anxiety episode and I've been hanging on by a thread a lot of the time. 

But for the past few weeks, I've just been calm. 

In early July my insomnia came back with a vengeance and I have been back on sleeping pills ever since.  I HATE this.  I HATE taking a pill to go to sleep.  I have accepted having to take other medications in my life, but these sleeping pills just make me angry.  The ones I take aren't technically "addicting," but for me, I think they are mentally addicting because I start to feel like I can't sleep without them.  So each night becomes a challenge - can I do it?  Which inevitably means no, I can't, because when you think about sleep, it doesn't come. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Changes Are A'Coming

The end of the summer is nearing.  Pools are closing, vacations are ending, and the sun is setting a bit earlier every day.  But with every ending comes new beginnings, right?

I've got a whole slew of changes going on.

My baby boy will embark on his fourth year in a little over a week, which was commemorated this weekend with the fourth birthday party we have thrown in his honor.

This same baby boy is starting his new preschool on Wednesday.  I am far more petrified than he is. But he will be fine.

His new preschool is an afternoon program which means a new schedule for all of us.  It means lazy mornings and hectic afternoons and the official end of Braden's naps.  

And in just a few months, my other baby boy - my oh my god how are you almost two, you were only crawling yesterday baby boy - will be starting a 2's program in the mornings.  This means tears for him, tears for me, and the prospect of a few hours a week without any children. 

Which only makes me feel like I should have another child for some reason.  Luckily common sense and rationality are winning out on that one, for now.

And there are some major changes on the horizon for me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Your Turn - Diane's Story

"Your Turn" is a series of posts where readers share their stories of parenthood, work, the struggle for a balance, or just life generally.  If you are interested in contributing a story, please email me at or click here.

All through high school I assumed, and told my family and friends, that I planned to attend the University of British Columbia to become a lawyer.  At the time, I assumed that I would be a full-fledged lawyer by the time I was about 25 years old.  My time frame was a bit off.  I actually was called to the bar when I was 46.

As planned, I finished first-year University at 18. As not planned, I married and was five months pregnant at the end of that year.  I then dropped out of school and had four more children in the next six years.  My children ranged in age from three to 11 when my marriage fell apart.

Sadly, but fortunately for me, my father’s elderly bookkeeper died and I inherited the job.  I worked for my father for the next 10 years until he retired.  I could have looked for another bookkeeping job, but I was so bored that I actually hoped that the books would not balance so I would have the challenge of looking for the error.

It was time for a change.  After discussing it with my children, I decided to make an enormous change and go back to school.  It was not an easy decision. When I was going over the pros and cons, I said to my oldest son, “I will be 45 when I graduate.”  His response, “You will be 45 whether or not you go back to school,” helped me make the decision to give it a go.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Squeezing the Last Bit Out of Summer

Last month I looked at our calendar and saw a bunch of blank dates in August.  Blank meaning no travel, no family obligations, and the most frightening of all, no camp.  That's right.  I was facing two weeks of long days with both boys, where all activities would need to be planned by me.  

I really was not into it.  

So I filled the calendar up quickly, and for the past two weeks, I have been on the move.  In fact, by the time the week is up, I will have been through five states in ten days.  

The first stop on my east coast road trip was State College, Pennsylvania, for a weekend away with friends.  This was a seven hour round trip car ride, solo, which I actually enjoyed.  Three and a half hour blocks of time with no one's mouth to feed or ass to wipe doesn't happen for me often.  So I actually relished the journey, and had an amazing time.  

After my weekend of debauchery, I swung back to DC to pick up the kids and head out the next morning for another joyous seven hour car trip to destination number 2: Wilmington, NC.  My husband had to work (the nerve!), so I did this trip solo.  It was painful, no doubt about it.  I had to pull over every time Braden wanted a new DVD, had to pee, or just generally whined to the point that I couldn't take it anymore.  Casey was relatively calm, as long as I flung goldfish over my head towards him and broke out in song upon demand.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Ocean Ate My Glasses

The title pretty much says it all.  But since I have my own little space here on the internet to bitch about whatever it is I want, allow me to vent.

The ocean ate my fucking glasses.

Two days ago my dad, Braden, Casey and I headed to Carolina beach to take in some waves. The water was warm, the sun was shining, and I had this warm, fuzzy, oh, isn't this a beautiful day kind of feeling.

The waves were crashing close to the shore, so I decided to be daring and carry Braden out a bit deeper so we could glide over the waves like a slide right before they broke.  He loved it, I loved it, and I'm thinking, oh, this is just so invigorating, I am so glad I am alive and young and


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Old Ladies

I'm not one to get all hung up on getting older.  Age is just a number, right?  And besides, I feel young.  I still get IDed occasionally.  I can (sometimes) fit into clothes I wore in college.  I read US magazine and watch Jersey Shore.

But last weekend?  Man, did I feel old.

I should preface by saying that this past weekend was one of the best I've had in a while, notwithstanding my middle-aged-ness.  I went to Penn State for a long overdue girls weekend with four of my best friends from college.  I had been looking forward to this weekend for a LONG time. I couldn't wait to be with old friends, take a break from reality, and pretend that I was a carefree, happy go-lucky, college student whose greatest stress was where to get my next drink.  After the year I have had, I needed this.

Just the sight of it was refreshing.  Arriving in State College that first night felt like coming home. Sure, it has changed a little.  But looking at my friends and looking at the campus and breathing in the air - it was easy to pretend no time had passed.  I was back there again.  And it felt so, so good.

Of course, I assumed that everyone else would assume we were college students.  I mean, we could blend right in, right?

Um, no.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some Days

Some days at home are HARD.  Really hard.  I go through the motions and try to get out of the house, but really I am tired and hungry and bored.  I make meals the kids don't eat and put the TV on more often than I should.   The days are long and my husband works late and I put the kids to bed and then turn on crappy television and start the whole thing over again the next day.  On those days, I sometimes fantasize of another life - one I used to have, or one I could have had. Not that I want that life per se, but it's one that seems so out of reach that it is interesting to ponder.

But some days are completely awesome.

Some days I have to pinch myself that I am so lucky to be spending my life, my time, with these two amazing little boys.  I take pictures and videos and email them out to family.  I literally billow over with happiness when Braden makes Casey laugh, and we do crazy things like all pile in my bed and watch TV or go out for ice cream or take a trip to the pool at 7pm.  Because why not?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Conquering the Pool

We are lucky enough to have our community pool about four houses down from us.  Super convenient, right?  A luxury!  But to be honest, this summer I was dreading it.

I was SCARED.  No other way to put it.  I knew we would have to go to the pool because, come on, it's right there, and what kind of parent would I be if I denied my children of their summer of leisure?  But I had major doubts about my ability to watch both kids simultaneously by myself.

Casey is a runner.  He has no fear and will basically run face first into the pool if left to his own devices. And Braden?  At 3.5 he has a healthy dose of fear, but that doesn't seem to stop him from jumping, running, and drinking pool water.  Between the two of them, it seemed I would be facing a constant game of Sophie's choice.

At the beginning of the summer, I only went to the pool when I had someone else with me - my husband, a friend, a visiting relative.  But then I realized that was ridiculous.  I saw other women alone with two plus children - if they could do it, why not me?  I resolved to tackle the pool solo.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Small World

The older I get, the more I realize what a small world it is.

My former boss from London now lives a mile away from me in suburban Maryland.  The father of a child at Braden's new preschool went to high school with my husband in New York.  And my favorite - when my husband and I were staying at a B&B in Byron Bay, Australia, we ran into two friends from law school - staying in the room next to us.

I could go on and on.  It seems to be happening more and more as I get older, and it always gives me a happy feeling when it does.  I don't know why.

It happened again this morning.

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