Monday, June 28, 2010

12 Years Later, We're Sleeping Apart

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. Last year, we picked up take-out and went to a park for the first time with our three sons. This year we were camping. The camping was great. Really, it was! We had good weather, good friends, great campsite, and excellent food. The only bad thing was our sleeping arrangements.

This was our first time in our new tent trailer. It was also the first real time we would be camping as a family of 5. Before we left I had assumed we would have the older boys share one bed, Brandon and I would share one bed, and Finn would sleep on the table/bed. Jack and Micah were used to sharing a bed from when we went camping in the Westy. I had also received a piece of advice from a friend that I thought was an excellent idea. She told me before our trip that she wished they had had their boys share the king bed, and her and her husband share the double. The idea being that the boys would be able to share the king bed much longer. Great idea in theory.

The first night of camping is unbelievably exciting. We are sleeping outside. There is a fire, and hotdogs, and smores! We are up way past our bedtime and chock full of adrenaline. This does not lead to a successful bedtime. After watching my three year old open the door and peek out repeatedly I just gave up and went to bed. I laid down on the double bed with Finn, thinking I would nurse him to sleep and then put him in the little bed. While I was laying there nursing him, listening to my husband and friends laugh by the campfire, Micah was racing back and forth across the tent trailer. Seriously racing. Complete with "ready, set, go!" I am going to admit that my frustration at my husband was a little bit high right then.

When he finally came in to go to bed he found his pillow on the floor of the tent trailer as I not so sweetly whispered "you're sleeping with Jack". Because Micah had claimed the table/bed. Finn was finally asleep with me. And there was no way I was moving over to squeeze into the double bed with baby, husband, and me.

Two nights later it was our anniversary night. Our boys had fallen into the routine of sleeping where they did on the first night, and so had Brandon and I. As we said "goodnight" to each other, standing in the middle of the tent trailer, kissed, and got into our respective beds, I had to laugh. This is not how I thought we would be sleeping 12 years into our marriage. But even then, falling asleep huddled under 2 sleeping bags for warmth, surrounded by all my boys, there is no place I would rather be.

12 years, 9 cars, 4 homes, 3 boys, 2 dogs, 1 very happy life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today's Dilemma

Have you ever had one of those days when the clothes in your closet seem to be in anarchy against you? On my way to Bellevue today I was talking on the phone to my sister, illegally of course, and we shared a brief moment of commiserating over how today's clothes choices were just not good. I told her from the moment I put on my outfit this morning I knew it was wrong. She laughed and said, that if you wear it you go through the day feeling bad because you do not like the way you look. I said, yes, but I am still wearing it.

What could be wrong with a t-shirt, capris, and light weight, white, sweatshirt. Sounds good, all looks good on the bed, but something about when I put it on wasn't right. Could be that since having my 3rd baby (and yes that was a year ago) crew neck t-shirts just do not look right. They seem to highlight too many round places but do not have the benefit of a v-neck. At least with a v-neck I can pretend there might be some distractability with the skin that is showing. With a crew neck, nothing. But we are going camping this weekend, I already have baskets of clothes waiting to be washed, and I knew this was an outfit I wasn't planning on packing. To change clothes seemed silly.

So off I went. It didn't help that I stopped at the Whole Foods in Bellevue to pick up one item. Whole Foods shopping is stressful enough, going to the one in Bellevue takes it to a whole different level. Everyone there seems to be getting out of an SUV of some sort, in 7 jeans, with big sunglasses pushed in their hair. I felt even less positive about my outfit after that.

On the way home eating lunch in the car, I accidentally spilled some on myself. Oh, no, now my shirt is dirty. I guess I am going to have to change when I get home. That is too bad. I had one more errand to run, a trip into Target for some camping supplies. Darn those Target people, before I could get to the camping gear, I had to walk by the clothes. And well, there was a sale, and I hate my clothes, so I had to buy some new tank tops. White ones of course. How this will help my t-shirt issue, I couldn't figure out but felt that some new white tank tops would be the answer.

After I got home I put on a new tank top, a v-neck shirt. Oh, good, I think this works. Then I look in a mirror. Nope, not with the capris. Not good at all. I think I can wear this while I am at home but I will have to change before I go to a meeting tonight. Can't be seen wearing this. Actually, I can't even step out of my bedroom wearing this. Try on a pair of jeans instead. I figure I can roll up the bottoms, like capris. I am sure I have seen people do this who are hip. I am sure I can do it too. This time I actually make it out of the bedroom, but when I walk by the only full length mirror in the house, I realize not good at all. These pants can not be rolled up like capris, that look does not work.

Now what. I actually have a skirt my husband bought me for my birthday. He loves it. I am sure I would too if I exercised at all and was as fit as he was. As it is, it is another of my "at home" outfits. But I could wear it until this evening, no problem. Once I thought of a skirt, I remembered my go-to denim skirt. Bought it at the Gap too many years ago to mention.

Denim skirt on, new tank top, check; v-neck shirt, good. I am finally happy with my outfit. What a relief. I go outside to get my son who is so helpful and is watering his bike.
Wait, it is hot outside? When did it get hot? I can't wear this shirt, it has 3/4 sleeves, I am going to sweat. I will be too hot! UGH! What should I do???

Well, obviously, blog about it. A 4th outfit of the day seems extreme, even to me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Different Perspective

Today I had a playdate at our house. The boys were keeping themselves entertained, her baby was sleeping, mine was climbing the stairs, and we were enjoying a cup of coffee. The normal mom topics were being discussed: how are you doing, is the baby sleeping, what does your husband do. But then I asked if she planned to return to work in a couple of years. My friend began by saying, oh yes, she misses work, loves to work. I was nodding, thinking I know where this conversation is going. Already planning to add my opinion; how even though I love to work it is a long day, I am tired, boys are crazy, blah, blah, blah. But she threw me a curve ball. My friend explained that after working all day she went to pick up her 2nd son at daycare and when he saw her he broke out into a huge grin. The same thing happened when she went to school to pick up her 1st son. In my mind, I was thinking, obviously you quit your job to stay home.

Nope, she went on to tell me that by seeing her boys so happy to see her she was filled with incredible energy. She had energy to care for them, play with them, and love them. I believe (and I hope I understand this right) that working actually made her better at mothering than when she is home all day.

I thought about how I am welcomed home by my boys. Instead of counting the minutes and hours until bedtime, wondering if it is wrong to watch a movie marathon, and being on a first name basis with the pizza guy. What if I came home thinking of how good it was to be back with my boys. How much they missed me and were glad to see me. I know the baby is always happy when I come home. If he is awake he stops whatever he is doing and puts his arms up and cries to be held. Big smiles from him as soon as he is in my arms. The other two depend on the activity of the moment. Their Oh-cho is the babysitter and always brings a craft with her. Several times I have arrived home too early and been told craft time was not over and it was obvious I was not welcomed. Lately, I have been hearing "what did you bring me?" from my oldest son. I have been in the habit of stopping for coffee and getting a butterhorn for the boys. But still, once Oh-cho is gone, their are hugs, kisses, playtime (okay it isn't all rosy) but they are happy to see me.

As I go into my last day of work this year, and still unsure if I will have a job next year, I take what my friend said with me. I will come home and (try) to gain energy from my boys excited to have me back, rather than focus on how tired I am.

It does help that tomorrow I do not see any kids, and will probably spend a large part of the day reading blogs and checking facebook. Maybe even go to lunch with my co-workers. Not so bad, not so bad.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Never Satisfied

Last Thursday, while at work, I wrote an email to my husband asking about the boys. It was 10:05, my first break of the day and my first moment to think of everyone left at home.

I wrote my usual: Hey, how's it going, what are your plans, etc.
Then I wrote: How are the boys? I miss them.
As soon as I finished writing, I paused, laughed and then wrote: That is funny considering how much I complained about them this week.

See, we had just come home from Seaside on Monday night. Tuesday morning as the boys are obviously gearing up for a day of it, I told my husband I would go to work and he could stay home. Ha-ha, just joking, but not really. He left and I took all 3 kids grocery shopping. This is something I have not done since last summer. The last time the 4 of us went grocery shopping, I had Finn in the baby Bjorn, Micah in the cart, and Jack walking. We did so-so, until checkout. When the cart was empty of all groceries, Micah was still sitting in the top, Jack climbed on the side, pulled the entire cart over and caused one of the biggest stirs in a grocery store I have ever seen. Anyone at any of the checkout stands came rushing over. Some helped pick up the cart, some tried to get Micah (who was screaming) out of the cart, and I was just trying to pay and get out of the store. The guy who always tells me not to let the boys ride on the outside of the cart walked by and I said, I know, I know. I have avoided the store since, but desperation and no milk in the house drove us to attempt it again. We did not do that bad this time, but if you happened to be at the grocery store you heard over and over, "Jack, Micah don't touch, please walk, stop running, I am leaving, no Jamba Juice unless you behave!" (only slight exaggeration).

On Wednesday we went to Costco. This is an errand I am completely confident in, the cart has room for 2 of my kids for goodness sake! I had Finn and Jack in the cart and Micah walking. Yep, the 1 year old and 5 year old were riding. Before we even made it into the store Micah had run headlong into someone's cart, as he was running while facing backwards and I was saying, "Micah, you are too far". Walked into the store with him holding onto my leg crying. Plus we got off schedule this day and ended up with no naps.

By Thursday I was glad to go to work. Wear normal clothes, put in my contacts, make an effort with my hair. All the good stuff. But by 10:00 there I am writing how much I missed the boys. I was already assessing the weather outside to see if it was nice enough to plan a walk or a trip to the park when I got home.

When I am home I think how much nicer it would be to be at work. I envy my husband each day when he gets on his bike and pedals away. I am already counting down the hours until he is home again. But then when I get to work all I can think about is my boys. When did they wake up? What did the have for breakfast? Did Jack miss me? Did Finn wake up smiling and laughing? Where are you going on your adventure today? Tell them I love them and will be home after naps.

Never just satisfied with where I am am in the here and now.