You know those battery-operated toys where you record a message and then, every time you push a button, the short phrase/noise you’ve recorded is played back?
I need one of those buttons for the following message: I can’t believe it’s Friday. Where did the week go? I am exhausted! In lieu of a button, here goes:
I can’t believe it’s Friday.
Where did the week go?
I am exhausted!
DST | I feel nothing but fear and loathing when it comes to time changes. Whether the time is going forward, backward, up, down, or sideways – it doesn’t matter. I HATE THEM ALL. Every time change messes up my sleep and leaves me feeling exhausted and grumpy and wondering WHY DO WE STILL DO THIS? We have electric lights. Can’t we let time march on without throwing our nation(s) into a tailspin of accidents and heart attacks and very cranky parents? It should be easier for me now that the kids are older…but I’m also older and a lot crankier about the whole debacle.
I guess we could just move to Saskatchewan, a province full of civilized people who know it is asinine* to change clocks every six months! *I realize it is not this simple and a permanent DST would have negative impacts as well, including VERY dark commutes to school in some regions which would come with many risks. So I guess what I’m really asking for is DST to be abolished in Nova Scotia…
SKIING | Last Friday, Abby and I went back to the slopes (Levi had a birthday party to attend and friends graciously helped transport him back/forth so Abby and I could sneak away to ski). It was great! I think I fit in 15 runs…and not a single time did I ski with Abby. We bumped into some friends when we arrived and she opted to ski with pint-sized companions. My parents (now with Levi in tow, post-birthday party) came to our place for a supper of waffles and pancakes and two-bite brownies (because the kids believed it was imperative we have dessert…after having waffles?!).
I had full intentions of taking Abby back to the ski hill last night and the conditions would have been perfect – lots of fresh snow. But, alas, I did not have enough energy to pull it off…
WORK | I ended up having a busy week, which was not necessarily ideal with the kids off on March Break. I put in a stretch of time on Sunday and had an inbox full of scheduled e-mails to go out the next morning. I avoid working on weekends as much as possible, but it felt wonderful to wake up Monday morning knowing a number of items were simultaneously getting crossed off my list. A few stalled tasks moved forward, I was able to finalize several big to-do’s and I was able to proactively start work on some upcoming projects. I mostly worked first thing in the mornings and at night which certainly contributed to my energy crash mid-week (see below). There were also several tough situations where I thought I was being proactive but ended up unknowingly blindsiding a partner (in one case, we had signed an updated agreement with a partner last fall; the contract specified new responsibilities their accounting department would be assuming – but the signed agreement was never circulated to the accounting department and they were completely unaware. So when I very cheerfully sent my “Just touching base to remind you of the upcoming deadline; I’ll reach out with a formal request in a few weeks. Let me know if you have questions!!“e-mail…there were questions.
MARCH BREAK | The kids were off all week and I think it went well. Definitely my favourite March Break in recent memory. Abby had a drama camp that ran from 9-3 pm each day. She really enjoyed this and it was worth every penny to find an engaging way for her to spend the time off school (with all the snow days, it’s not like she hasn’t had plenty of days to lounge at home). Levi lived his best life – playing a lot in the neighbourhood (at one point reinjuring his wrist while being goalie in a neighbourhood soccer game – déjà vu because he fractured it being goalie in a neighbourhood soccer game several years ago; thankfully, after icing and wrapping it for a few days, he seems fully recovered) and then attending a morning camp at our church Tuesday/Wednesday. I was asked to help out at the same camp. Full disclosure: I was kinda dreading this. Being around kids tends to suck my energy tank dry very quickly, but it was a total blast. Nerf wars, crafts, trick shots in the gym; science experiments, small groups, music, snacks, and some of the sweetest kids imaginable (170 kids!!!). How is helping care for a group of 170 kids easier, in many ways, than taking care of my two at home? Also, I have discovered one of the best ways to get your heart rate elevated and fit in a HIIT workout is to play Nerf with 40 Grade 2s and 3s and about a dozen teenage leaders. Let’s just say…I’m very competitive and am not one for showing mercy…especially if the target happens to be my 8-year-old son (we were on opposing teams).
CRASH + BURN | Despite how well things went at the camps, by Wednesday night I hit a major energy wall. I was just…exhausted. One child had made some less-than-ideal choices during an afternoon playdate (it was easier overall to have said child engaged with a friend, but still more logistics to juggle). I set the kids up with leftovers and then told them they had to fend for themselves. I literally laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling for almost an hour to decompress and then took a long shower and then laid on my bed for even longer! My body/mind got the break it needed and, thankfully, the kids rose to the occasion. They can sense when my resources are completely tapped out and go from being eager to command my time, to trying to go out of their way to help. Mid-evening I ran BOTH of our robovacuums simultaneously and mopped and read a book.
SOLO PARENTING | Talk about whiplash! So…John got home from Europe three days before we were to leave for Rome (he came home sick and isolated in the basement the whole time). Then we did Rome (amazing), and less than a week later he left for Europe again. He arrived home on Saturday afternoon…and Monday morning we dropped him off for a trip to Las Vegas (a conference). He got home yesterday and will be home for a while which is wonderful for everyone, but my head is spinning and his head doesn’t know what time it is! (from AST, Helsinki is +5; Las Vegas is -4). It also felt like a momentous week, because this specific conference in Las Vegas is the same one he attended just before the world shut down. He arrived home Friday, March 13th 2020…and then life was basically never the same again for the next 2.5+ years.
And it snowed! Several times while John was away. Which led to some grumpy shoveling from me. Aside from Nerf wars and dancing to music, this was the extent of my exercise for the week, so I should be grateful. And the snow was the especially beautiful kind!
MY PARENTS | The clock is ticking down and they’ll be going home soon. I’m trying hard to cram in lots of last-minute visits. On Monday morning, after dropping Abby off at drama camp, I was driving home and spotted my Dad walking to class (he’s auditing five upper-level history classes at the local university). What a thrill to pull over and stop to talk for a few minutes. Another time I stopped by to drop something off (and by something, I mean Levi) and Dad came to the top of the stairs offering me some of Mom’s homemade cookies which Abby and I munched on en route to the ski hill. Being able to engage in little – spontaneous – moments like this are my favourite part of having them live so close.
On Tuesday we went to my parents for a supper of homemade pizza. This took me back. Pizza was basically only served on Christmas Eve in my house growing up, and it was so nice to eat this nostalgic comfort food.
OTHER MISCELLANY |
- After we dropped John off at the airport, I told Levi I was going to take him out to Subway for lunch (both because it was fun and also – not going to lie – so I could cross off my “take each kid on a solo date” goal for the year). He asked if we could do McDonald’s instead because they have only just opened up an inside play space. So we went! The last time he played at McDonald’s HE WAS IN PRESCHOOL and now he’s in Grade 2 and has big words and big ideas and is getting taller every second. He loved it and happened to bump into some friends he doesn’t see very often.
- On three separate occasions over the last week, people took me aside (unexpectedly!) to say some very sweet things about one of the kids. All the comments were of the same general theme, and each time the words warmed my heart. They happened to be about the same child who then proceeded to make some less-than-ideal choices mid-week, so I know they have their moments on both ends of the spectrum. That said, if you ever feel led to encourage a parent, DO IT. Those meaningful observations meant a lot to me.
- Another highlight of March Break? When a sweet neighbour asked if the kids could come over for a few hours. I had no idea what she had planned; apparently, her husband isn’t a big fan of games, so she thought the kids could play with her! They ended up loving Bananagrams and table-top curling and each had one of her famous homemade PB Chocolate Chip Cookies with a glass of orange juice. She and her husband are set to retire in a few months and seem to view Abby and Levi as surrogate grandchildren. Bonus points because she sent cookies home with them which, if it’s even possible, were more delicious than usual.
And that’s…about it from the week.
Your turn. Have you been shoveling a lot lately? Does March 13th, 2020 stand out in your memory as the official start of COVID lockdowns? If you had to record a message for one of those pre-programmed buttons, what would you say? How do you feel about DST – ambivalent, happy, or angsty (and very, very tired)?