Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Well, I'm Back

My business trip to Minneapolis was great! I got to meet some wonderful people who I'll be working with shortly! The trip was filled with missed opportunities, missed connecting flights, missing my family, but I really couldn't complain. It was a vacation for this full-time working mama! I got to stay at nice hotels, expense my meals, and a last-minute flight cancellation meant that I got to check out the Mall of America.

I met some wonderfully friendly folks in Minnesota -- a fellow mom who was in a similar traveling situation, a 75-year-old shuttle driver who had been in the airline business for over 50 years, the super flamboyant flight-delay guy who showered us with free gifts from Delta.

Ellie had sent Moosey with me, and I busied myself taking photos of him on various legs of the journey. I was surprised how much of a security item it came to be. Me and Moosey, like Tom Hanks and Wilson, survived the wild terminals together.

FaceTime with my family!
I came home to a messy apartment, and two people who were overjoyed to see me. It was great to be home, and I was ready for the weekend. Ellie climbed on me, hugged me, kissed my nose, my eyes. I held her like a baby in my arms, and she laughed out loud as I tickled her. It was then that I noticed her ridiculously swollen, white-spotted tonsils! Quick trip to the doctor confirmed it -- she has strep throat. Welcome home, Mama! Antibiotics, fluids, and rest. Fingers crossed that the rest of us have been inoculated via toddler smooches.

We were all tired and moody. Ellie through typical toddler temper tantrums, and I just wasn't quite ready to deal. I cried off and on, adjusting to re-entry of family life. Friday night, I climbed halfway into bed and fell asleep before my head reached the pillow. Mark had to move me so he could get in bed. Saturday was better, vacation excitement (1 week!), got the apartment cleaned, grocery shopping done. I feel like we're finally on the home stretch!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hello, My Belle

This morning, I'm sitting in an airport, waiting for my flight to leave to Philadelphia, then Minnesota! I miss you dearly but was so happy to see you this morning and rock you in the chair like a little baby, to laugh, and put you in the car, waving as I sent you off to day care!

I'll be home late tomorrow night and will give you snuggly hugs and kisses, even if you're asleep!

I want you to know that it's okay that you didn't want to send Banjo off with me on a plane. He feels safe with you, and I have Moose to keep me company!

I'm going to sign off now and get ready to board!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Two Weeks

Oh, dear readers. Has it really been 2 whole weeks since I've posted?

It must be, because our countdown-to-Florida-vacation chain has only 17 links left on it, and my Minnesota business trip is 2 days away!

Ellie is decked out in her Halloween costume and has already been the star princess at two Halloween parties. Where did my baby go?

I still don't feel used to this full-time schedule, though I'm more awake this week. I still roll out of bed as the sun is coming up and pray for five more minutes of sleep.

My little girl is growing up so fast, and suddenly I feel like I'm missing big moments. Always a give and take. Picking her up two hours later shouldn't be the end of the world, but it is hard some days. There isn't much time to play together, so I include her in dinner prep and all art projects. We run errands together more often.

We're closer in this way, surviving together, but she's growing up too fast. I can take her anywhere. I took her to the mall last week, let her eat dinner at Applebee's. Though the woman behind us seemed less than pleased to have a toddler sitting anywhere near her, Elle was an angel. She climbed up in her chair, unfolded her napkin, and said, "And how was your day, Mommy?" Oh, my heart. Too grown up. Slow down, sweet baby. I felt better after, when she insisted on riding in the mall cart that looked like a schoolbus, insisted she ride the mini carousel, and said, "Okay, Mommy, now just chase me in circles." I did, and she laughed her head off, much to the delight of the last few mall shoppers, headed toward the exit as the mall closed.

It seems like there are so many new things to write about, but I don't know where to begin. I'll update again soon. Promise.


If you're really missing me and E and our daily updates, you can always find us hanging out on Instagram and Twitter (@urmomisstrange). Our Facebook page mainly just has blog updates, but follow if you're worried you might miss one! :-)

Of course, I also blog for the BVT Moms Blog (my posts here -- stay tuned this week for a sweet E post), and we are busy, busy keeping up with the KidsArtSourceVT site, making connections in the community and, of course, making ART!

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mommy Offerings

So, for the first time in a long time, I don't feel like writing. In fact, I'm writing this sentence in the hopes that I'll just start and keep going...

I have a food hangover from the weekend, am reeling from Gone Girl, and feeling sleepy after spending a much-needed evening visiting with family.

This full-time thing is tough. I forgot what it was like to not want to do anything except work, play, and sleep. Dishes, laundry, meal prep... hardly a priority. I must choose carefully what I dedicate my time and energy to, because there is so little of it to go around.

I'm back in a 21-Day-Fix challenge group, to try to get in better shape for my vacation. I say it's so that I'll be able to walk around more comfortably without getting tired so easily, but the reality is that I hate my body when I look in the mirror. I still see a slender waist, relative to the size of my body, but my hips have gotten bigger. More importantly, I'm uncomfortable moving, getting up off the couch. I've put on 40lbs since last year.

I tell my reflection that it's fine, that everyone's bound to have a food-honeymoon after not being able to eat what they want without getting sick for most of their life. Since starting my Crohn's medication, I can eat what I want, when I want. Greasy foods, sweet foods, it doesn't matter, but it's time to limit those foods to a one-time weekend treat.

This morning, I put on my running shoes, mainly for warmth. It was freezing outside, I had to scrape ice off my car windows. I drove to work, then walked to the grocery store. I bought fruit and English muffins, almond butter, and fat-free coffee creamer. I walked the long way, took the stairs.

And suddenly, I'm walking, wearing running shoes, and carrying fruit around. Baby stepping to big change. My counselor said that I should take on one task at a time instead of trying to do everything at once. So, I am. I've been keeping up with dishes, with Mark's help, and trying to work my way around the apartment and clean up, but dishes is my one household chore for the week.

Oh, and the parenting thing? Well, that's been a breeze. I've realized that if I just let her do what she wants 90% of the time, my job becomes super easy. It also helps that I have a wonderful daughter who wants to do pretty reasonable things, like help me clean, or paint leaves. I even let her do the things that are seemingly unreasonable, like wash quarters in a colander. To her, these little things are big things. To me, they may seem small, but her little to-do list, just like mine, is teaching her how to do big things -- like thinking outside the box, coming up with creative solutions to problems, and being an all-around cool kid.

I think we're doing alright... especially since last night she celebrated my "birthday" early (it's in February) and surrounded me with a dozen pieces of Nini's pewter collectibles -- an altar of offerings to the great "Mommy." I'll continue trying to live up to that status!