Thursday, August 15, 2019

School is Cool

I bought a light board at Aldi (like a light up letter board with letters you slide in to spell short messages). Its first message was "Happy Birthday Coco!" And now it reads "School is cool." Both girls are in school and it's just me and G hanging out at home. I'm managing to stay busy. My goals for today are to clean the bathroom, do some reading, and make a Target run.

I've been doing lots of contemplating and searching job possibilities and plenty of fretting and stressing out over it. Uncertainty is so hard for me. I remember talking to my old therapist about how I didn't need to have a contingency plan or answer for every future possibility. I could just trust Future Me to not be an idiot and figure out what was necessary when the time came. I had to return to that idea yesterday when my brain wouldn't stop spinning. We'll just let Future Me sort this out. She's not an idiot. It will be fine.

Meantime, I am doing my best to soak up the present with a baby who feels gigantic to me (she's all cheeks and thighs, basically, which are my favorite baby parts anyway).

Her sisters are still doting on her and fighting over who gets to hold her. I worry sometimes about the intense friendship and bond that Zuzu and Coco have with each other making Vieve feel like she's on the outside, but my hope is that they will both have a different and equally powerful bond with her.

The transition back to school has not felt as fraught and frantic as last year--I think because I'm not also transitioning back to work, so I'm better able to play the supportive role to David who has been dealing with more enrollment than expected, hiring more teachers at the last minute (literally the week before school starts), having a teacher accept a position and then decline it the next day (literally the day before school starts), and the general anxiety of getting the building and schedule and everything ready for the first day. Life is easier when one of us can be home getting dinner and taking care of bath time while the other one is losing their mind, answering e-mails and making a zillion phone calls.

It's also easier because Zuzu is not starting at a new school, so her nerves were minimal. She was nothing but excited for second grade and although we knew nothing about the second grade teachers, she feels that she got the best one.

The minor disappointment was that her one really good friend isn't in her class, but she has other buddies in class and sees her other friends at recess and after school care, so she's doing just fine. She told me the first day that she was a little nervous, but her favorite before-and-after-school teacher was there again (she'd mentioned last year that she was thinking about retiring so we weren't sure) so we were both happy to see her. Zuzu's drop off went smoothly and she loved the first day and was excited to go back for day 2. In fact, when I picked her up yesterday around 4:30pm (school gets out at 4pm), she was pissed off at me because they were playing Harry Potter and I interrupted their game. She asked me to please not pick her up before 5pm today. Ahem, well, okay then.

Of course my Coco-Puff is a kindergartener now and I'm not having as many huge emotions about that as I thought I would. Maybe because she's been eagerly anticipating kindergarten since she was three?

She's at her same little Montessori school with her same little bestie and she was up bright and early the first day asking me from the moment she opened her eyes if it was time to leave yet. So kindergarten drop off was easy breezy for her.

The girls are currently loving their gymnastics and ninja warrior classes and that was clearly driving their choice of future career (gymnastics coach and ninja teacher). It's also been driving evening entertainment around here as they were literally climbing door jambs yesterday as part of "ninja training" at home. We are back to having no screens during the week and the transition has not been as tricky as I'd feared. School gets out so late that there's not a lot of hours to fill and they have been wanting to play outside or ninja train, so it's been fine. We've never done a lot of TV in the evenings anyway, so I'm hoping it won't be a big issue. I'm still not sure how we'll navigate things once Zuzu starts asking for a phone and needing to do school work on a computer... it feels so far away right now, but I know it will be here in no time.

G continues to be the easiest baby. I had a friend watch her yesterday for an hour and a half while I took an important phone call and did some work stuff.  She was happy or asleep the whole time, which is basically her approach to life (if only I could be so zen!).

She does get fussy when her tummy is bothering her and in the evenings (dinner time! always!) before she dozes off. But anytime she cries, I know she needs to poop or sleep. It's nice to have a little creature who is needy but whose needs are simple and easy to fulfill. The only thing tricky about her right now is that she needs her fingernails trimmed (they are so sharp! and grow so fast! and she's drawn blood near one of her eyes!) and she's not particularly tolerant of that. I need to wait for her to fall asleep.

I've been worried about Cooper lately, as he tore his ACL (or the doggie version of the knee ligament). It's not that uncommon in dogs, but it left him unable to put any weight on it. He's been walking gingerly on it since going to the vet and getting some anti-inflammatory medication, but he's still unsteady. He's not a good candidate for surgery due to his age (13) and size (rather overweight). So we are just watching to make sure he can maintain mobility and isn't in any pain. So far, so good, although he sometimes needs help up the stairs.

The girls talk frankly and morbidly about his death, which is sometimes disturbing even though I try to take it in stride since we have worked hard to normalize talking about death/grief. But I was pretty upset after our vet visit and I did not particularly enjoy processing it with them the next day (especially because they were with us at the vet and were fighty and obnoxious the entire time the vet was explaining our options). I have a friend whose elderly dog healed up pretty well without surgery after the same injury (which can apparently occur in dogs without a specific violent injury--we have no idea what happened to Bubba, only that he started limping) so I'm feeling more hopeful.

I've missed writing here and my brain is often composing blog posts that I never find the time to sit down and write. It's hard to share my lap with a baby and a laptop, and I just can't do the posts on my phone. Plus I'm trying to do less phone time... the blessings and curses of modern technology. Anyway, I have lots of thoughts lately on getting older (I turned 39!!!) and on being completely 100% done having babies (so happy to never be pregnant again; asked David the other day if he'd consider adopting out of foster care and he looked at me like I was bonkers and said we can maybe have that conversation in five years). I'm still having ALL the intense feelings about my campus closing and doing a job search, particularly not knowing what kind of job I want but also realizing that I personally feel most fulfilled and happiest and least resentful and impatient when I work outside of the home. At the same time, I am treasuring these days with G, my last babe. (At least for the next five years. LOL. I don't know if I'm kidding or not.) I probably should be in therapy to process my feelings about having a third baby in a world facing climate catastrophe (guilty, selfish, optimistic, and scared), not to mention to the humanitarian crisis at our borders in this country and the general anxiety that taking my kids to school or the store is asking to get them shot. I also want to write about trying to get back into yoga, about how hard it is to practice self-care when you need it most, about trying to separate my sense of self-worth from my job/degree/outside approval. I could also write more about shopping at Aldi, about my desire to consume less and my desire to buy all the things, about my effort (and failure) to join a local writers' critique circle, and about how I want to paint the wood trim in my house but it feels so daunting and overwhelming even though I usually don't shy away from get 'er done projects.

All this to say, I have so many thoughts and hope I have time to do more writing in the near future! To those of you who have stuck around and are still reading this--thank you! xoxo


  1. You two are so adorable. I agree with you on the chubby cheeks and thighs.

  2. I'm not a mom, but I love reading your blog posts. Thanks for mentioning the idea that you can let your future self solve problems that (may) happen. I get caught up in "what if" a lot, but I'm going to try to remember that my future self will be able to solve those problems (if/when they occur). Good luck with your job search/career change/life adventure, and I hope many good things come your way!

  3. Ohhh, separating self worth from the whole job business...please tell me if you solve that one, I'm still working on it (in addition to separating self worth from [lack of] reproductive success lol, also working on that one). Baby G is the cutest!