Last week the kids went back to school for Thursday and Friday. My brain treated Thursday like a ‘Monday’ but it was a sick joke because I wanted to do all the normal week stuff in 2 days and that isn’t possible.
This Monday I think we were 5min early for school, like the doors were hardly open, I was very ready to get back to my life.
On the other hand, one really does get used to the company and Monday was productive but on the lonely side. Not so lonely that when #3 said she was too tired to go to school today I didn’t stand firm but I’m glad that regardless of the mess, fighting and general frustration I do still miss them.
I can’t help but think back on church when they would have ‘Ordinary time’ and whether the church agrees with me, January – March are the epitome of ordinary. Because there is very little innate excitement I do tend to invent things to do. There is freedom in the unstructured time and like an empty fish tank, I’m adding fish until its an aquarium of epic proportions.
Boring as it might sound, I actually am looking forward to getting my cabinets organized. You may think I should say ‘re’ organized but there is still stuff that is where it was unpacked from boxes and definitely not optimized. My goal is 1 a day, that is pretty easy, that should fit in around this and that. Up first was the odd corner cupboard. If you aren’t careful you have to crawl in to get the stuff in the far back corners. I’ve put my least used items in the way back top, and two very large pots in the back corner bottom. I added a freestanding shelf to better use the right-hand side and that has all my pie and cake dishes and front left are all the muffin tins and cookie sheets. Finally, the air fryer, a christmas gift that I love, air frying is just so fast! I’ve used it nearly every day and not just for novelty items like fried oreos, it is pretty great for frozen eggrolls too.
Trite as it might sound, I was a sloth for December when it came to exercise. The flu and travel ate half the month but before that, I actually met with a friend for a workout and we went shopping instead! Vacation Mom, my workout buddy, also had a shift in the schedule so our routine is out of wack and I need to get back to it. I’m off to a good start, I did a workout on Sunday while the kids swam (and if they were fighting I couldn’t hear it, yes, it was that sort of day). Monday does offer a perfect evening opportunity when #2 and #3 are at gymnastics. I have a workout plan for Wednesday too and things are looking good for going with Lars today and Friday. We had a discussion about the price of our family Y (gym with pool etc) membership. One of us wonders if the price is worth it based on how often we all go, one of us thinks that we should just use it more. I’m not saying who ‘won’ because I think exercising more makes us all winners. I should not sound so smug, I need to get over the fact that time spent working out is time I’m not using to clean or do or fix or any number of things I’ll prioritize over myself. So, if you come over and it isn’t tidy, please forgive me, I’m working a bit more on living a longer life then leading a spotless life. (this is hard)
The ordinary time will fill up fast. We are already getting info about girl scout cookies, the lobby dates are out, I have a conference for school board stuff next week and last but not least there is a big event this weekend we are having friends over for and there are lots of fun little events within the event to prep for. I’m starting my pile of ‘don’t forget’ today as well. I also need to do our yearbook and calender, the goal for finishing is before end of January.
This first week back feels pretty odd. I have muscle memory of all the activities so I don’t think I’ll forget anyone anywhere. Back to gymnastics Monday, choir Tuesday, jujitsu Wednesday, my board meetings Thursday and Fridays are flexible but fill in fast. I’m looking forward to at least a few weeks of school and the opportunity to get ahead on some stuff. How do you fill your ‘ordinary time’?
Since last June when the Y was opened locally, I had to re-do my fitness routine. There were plenty of other wrenches in that machine too: summer is always crazy, kids needing different things, new school schedules, clients that I need to take care of etc. I think I have found a decent balance and, at least right now, I’ve got a pretty good handle on things.
For my record to look back on, and, if you would like to know what a stay at home mom/freelancer does to not devolve into a pile of fat here are some notes/thoughts
- FitBit. I have worn it for a year (and gone through 3, but, they replaced under warranty so I’m not too mad). I like the tracker, it tells me many cool stats even if it won’t acknowledge some workout classes as ‘workouts’ but the added interaction with a few friends in groups, and, challenges to myself to meet the goals has helped. I average over 50k steps a week these days
- Kids. So kids at home definitely HELP my step count because I’m going going going. With 3 in school 3 days a week I notice the days I need to motivate myself to not just sit at the computer. Warning to office workers! you probably don’t move around enough. I know if I do a sit and work day I hardly get 2k steps and that is mostly before and after work time doing stuff with the kids.
- Classes. In Shoreview I didn’t do classes because I didn’t want to rush to get there on time, they were an extra fee, and, they didn’t assure child care so I just contented myself with ‘doing my own thing’ and that was a good start. I got confidence on heavy squats and on the machines etc. BUT classes are way better. They push me to work longer, harder and different. When the Y opened and included classes (although the price of the Y reflects that!) I wanted to make sure I got my money worth and actually went to a class a week. I’m up to 2 regular classes and I try to get in a 3rd.
- ‘Date’ night. At Shoreview, Lars seldom went with me and usually only went with the kids swimming. He could also use more exercise in his life so we started picking a class *together* one night a week. Finding something we both like and can do/is challenged by is not easy but right now we are doing an ab class on Thursday nights. It is something we do together and working out with another person always makes it better (and you are less likely to blow it off). Lars also found another evening class he likes and I plan on joining it too once swim lessons are over because the timing just won’t work right now.
- Swim lessons. Speaking of those lessons, I still say that Lars teaching the girls was way better but Fiona needed a jump start and Niamh and Zoe needed some refining so we sprung for lessons this season. The hidden benefit is that 2x a week I am at the Y for an extra time and I can use that time well by working out. I do want to watch them learn so my options are more limited, but, I’ve found that there is a spin bike right at the window so I get a great view of classes and earn a few thousand steps.
- Older kids. I’ve had an elliptical for at least 10 years now and some years it is more like a towel rack but in the past 2, I’ve gotten good at setting them up for dinner, or, after dinner with a show and getting a solid 45min on days I don’t get to the gym. I like that I can leave them for a bit and I don’t (usually) have constant interruptions.
I think the key for me is accountability. Between the Fitbit and the company in classes, I do better. Classes push me to go longer too. The only real negatives right now are things I’m not sure how to solve; I have sold many hours a week to work, I also feel I need to clean since I’m home and between the two sometimes the workout gets skipped. I know that I’m the only one that cares if the house is clean but that is just something I can’t ever win on because I feel guilty for not doing the thing I’m not doing…
After all this I don’t think I’ve lost a pound, but, I do feel fitter and I am certainly stronger. No troubles carrying even my biggest girl. I think I’m also setting a decent example because I’ve heard all three parrot that we need to work out to be healthy and live a long time.
I just finished a HIIT class and boy, she was not kidding around. I suppose if I only make it to one class a week that one is a good one! Problem is now I can’t really move so all the things I have to do tonight (like eat, shower, parent) might not be at full speed.
I do want to update a few things here because yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by my own consistency when I searched my archives to find out when #1 and #2 started the overnight dry quest. My memory is decent but after enough time the details get fuzzy and thats how you end up with your MiL claiming that your husband was potty trained at 2 years old. Wishful thinking lady… you remember he was little, thats it! Anyway, Fiona has been putting on undies over night herself and surprising me with the fact, sometimes the surprise comes at 3am and sometimes at 7. I was the one holding her back insisting on the pull-up…. So we are now 6-8m behind when her sisters started, but, both of them took a while so I’m hoping that I’ll have fewer months of overnight stresses.
What is it with 3am? I seriously hate that time. I have slept just enough to not be able to go right back to sleep. I hated 3am feedings and I really hate 3am sheet changes. (to be honest, I change the sheets the next day, that night I clean up the kid and put a thick towel down doubled over. )
However, I can report that the Hot Tub is now back to normal. The heater quit due to the switch getting calcified. Stupid hard water… Not the best but not the worst and the repair guy had a replacement in his truck and it was done in an hour.
The dishwasher is still holding its water. I’m so glad I have a little shop vac to suck out the water with relative ease. If you were wondering, my dishwasher if very water efficient because it only uses 2gallons of water. Torn between plumber and appliance guy and given that we have a vague work around and we are going out of town, this might be something that gets put off until after vacation.
On the vacation front, I had a little meeting with the kids tonight and led them down the path of decisions to NOT put up a tree this year. We made a list of what we would do and what we would not and what we might do after we come back. The cuts were deep but necessary, I think they left the meeting feeling good though since they each got something they wanted anyway. Everyday is a count down and we are getting excited!
I think I need to get up and motivate the children to bed. It is Lars’s guys night but he fed them and they were in PJ’s by the time I got back from the workout so I can nearly taste my girlie TV waiting after kids are in bed.
Since I remember that today is actually Thursday, and, it has been a busy week I might as well use this format today.
This post brought to you by the letter S;
- School board meeting! It is one of my new hobbies to go to local meetings. I’ve met a good bunch of people and if you are going to be surrounded by politics, they might as well be meaningful.
- Spin class! Last week and this week Lars and I went together. The class is at a time we can both do and with the winter closing in we need an activity. I put my step counter on my ankle and got pretty good results, not perfect count, but I’m over 8k after the class when I went in at 4ish so a solid 4k steps.
- Social Media! First ‘normal’ week with all my clients and things are going pretty well. I still can’t believe that I’m actually getting paid to post on facebook and Instagram… it isn’t exactly easy because I still need to pull together all the things etc, but, I really do enjoy it. I like putting on all the different company hats and playing the game from their perspective.
There is more going on of course. We celebrated our favorite babysitters birthday today, she is now old enough to leave home alone in charge of kids (before she was a mothers helper with another adult around every time). We are also looking at Thanksgiving plans and I’m figuring out the month of November in general. Need to save something for tomorrow and Walking Dead is waiting for me just after bed time is achieved.
Weather; gray like my mood
nap; in progress – the car ride from the gym always knocks her out
workouts; heavy lifting and core and arms done for the day.
Today was my last in a long line of workouts at Shoreview, the beginning of the end of my era of time with little little kids at home. We joined when Zoe was 1, we have had a thanksgiving dinner there in the community room, 2 birthday parties, I went swimming 1 day before Fiona was born and Niamh and Zoe both learned to swim there.
Going to Shoreview was one of the constants in my weekly routine. We would all go and I would get 1 hour to workout and take a shower alone and then pick them up from kidcare and we would go to the indoor playground and then lunch and then home. Every week for nearly 3 years. I joke that getting stronger was a byproduct because I really went for the 1-hour break and felt obligated to workout to ‘earn’ it. I went sick, I went tired, I went because in a world of ever-changing variables it was a constant I could count on. I started staying home with a newborn, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old and ZERO network. The ladies at kid care were some of the only people that would happily take away my crushing responsibility of 3 mini tornados.
As the kids got older and each one started school reasons to go to Shoreview changed too. What was once a way to escape the chaos of 3 for an hour turned into a way to fill the time for my lonely last child at home. At one time my only evening of peace was when Lars took them all to Shoreview, that ended when we just had so many evenings full but the fact that he had an easy place to go meant I had a weeknight to recenter the house.
Today I said goodbye mentally and verbally 🙂
Goodbye Squat rack where I learned about heavy weights
Good bye indoor playground, that baby I nursed in the corner is now holding the door open.
Goodbye long walk through the gym where you have do dodge stray basketballs. And bye to ‘the band’ and all the other people I have absolutely no knowledge of their name but I’ve seen them weekly for years. Goodbye elevated track that I walked endless laps with an infant strapped to me and later Niamh had her first taste of independence when I let her run one lap alone…
Goodbye freeweights and machines and bank of tv’s that never had anything good on
Goodbye endless stairs that make you instantly sweat but burn a bazillion calories
Goodbye kidcare friends, the machines and weights can be easily replaced but nobody else will ever hold my babies for me
Goodbye $1 coffee and the string of cafe ladies that all learned how I like it (with ice). This is the only place EVER that knew what I would order before I ordered it and how I like my coffee. And goodbye lunchs after workout and play~
Our YMCA is built and opens in 10 days. I’m sure it will be great too, and like I tell the kids; “Don’t be sad its over, be happy it happened”. Next year I won’t need kid care and the Y is only 5min from home so I can actually go more often and easily. Shoreview was there for what I needed, when I needed it, and it isn’t disappearing! I just won’t go every week anymore – now it will be a place we go for the great playground(s) every once and a while (unless this whole Y thing doesn’t work out, then I’m back 🙂