One week.

I’m starting this post in a calm-ish half hour, the eye in the storm in you will. It’s Thursday afternoon, the husband is working and the children are at their respective childcare facilities. I just completed my last final paper, basically wrapping up my coursework for winter term. The dishes a done-ish and laundry is being washed. Beyond that the house is messy, but not a total sty. The day is rainy, pouring at times. I can see the last of Tuesday’s snowman in the backyard. I’m drinking my third cup of coffee (lame! cue tooth grinding) and on day 30 of my month of “whole” paleo eating.

I’m feeling a bit traumatized by my week.

I will preface this with the context that this is more than just a week. This is a stressful year, full of build-ups and let down–just a real rollercoaster. As far as the academic calendar goes I didn’t take/get an adequate winter break, I worked my field placement to stay ahead on my hours barring any kind of craziness in the month to come and spent a ton of time on applications for graduate school and associated scholarships. I started this term rather crispy round the edges.

Now the term is coming to a close. And I am burnt out. I’m also not taking a spring break (don’t worry, I’m smacking myself upside the head) because I’m starting my new job…which also includes my internship, la di da.

I feel a bit like I’ve been spinning and I’m going to try to ground myself by writing about this week. I need to see if it’s as crazy as it felt. I need to credit the support system I have that makes it possible. Maybe I need to share.

Saturday- I have an 8am dental appointment downtown. M wakes me up about six. She asks for a bath, which I give her. Then make breakfast, get dressed, grab everything I need for the three stops before coming home. I need to leave about 7:15 but it’s more like 7:30. I get my teeth cleaned and schedule a wisdom tooth extraction (yay?). After that I am meeting a friend for coffee at 9am that I haven’t seen since summer. I’m 15 minutes late. We talk until 10:15 when I absolutely have to go to meet my classmates (and friends) in the Pearl to work on a project. We are utilizing Tony’s workspace. He is there with the girls, waiting to set my computer up with printing capabilities. He is then going to meet the dads and kiddos of my partners at a play pace in SE. We hang out and joke around and they end up all going to Playdate PDX. We work on a poster board about breastfeeding (complete with pictures of ourselves in the act). We leave at 1:15. I drive K home to Tigard and return home myself. I make lunch. We get ready to head out at to a carnival across the street. Dot and I fight about brushing her hair. We decide it’s time she gets it cut (sigh). We leave. At this point it’s 3:10. The carnival ended at 3pm. We come home. I put M down for a [weird, late] nap and take a shower. We work on the paperwork for M starting daycare and I work on this intense background check for this other job. The girls play, I make an ground beef and egg casserole for breakfasts, we do dishes, eat dinner (Tony grills steak and I roast veggies), etc. Put the children to bed. I get a Whole30 post up. I watch Gossip Girl and go to bed.

Sunday: Pretty chill actually. It’s daylight savings, so everything is an hour off. I’m trying to do homework. Tony is trying to do contract work. Neither of us can get a things done with two children running around. It’s hard to engage when there’s so much on both of our plates. I write a two-page reflection. I blog even though I should be paper-writing. I write a page and a half of a final. We do our best to switch off. I make muffins with Dot. We pack M’s daycare stuff. I bread chicken thighs in coconut and almond flour and Tony breads chicken breasts in bread crumbs. I roast yams and apples. We eat dinner and watch Babe. Put the children down. I take my computer to bed with the best of intentions but do nothing productive.

Monday: M’s first day of daycare. We’re already running an hour later than normal. I’m up around 6:30. I’m due to be at a training at 8am but have decided that I’ll go late in favor of being at the babe’s first drop off. We do breakfast and get everyone ready for our day. Tony leaves just before 8am to drop Dot off (about ten minutes to the NW). I scramble out the door with M, her bag, the paperwork, my bag, my lunch and my thermos of coconut milk for my afternoon coffee.

We make it to M’s daycare (10-15 minutes to the SW) about 8:20. Tony meets us there. We do the drop-off thing. Emotions are high. I race off for my training. I get there at 9am, for three hours on commercial sexual exploitation of youth. Training ends at noon, but it’s closer to 12:30 before I get out. I’m headed to observe Domestic Violence Diversion court at 1:30pm. I park my car and call my mom to make sure she can pick M up from daycare Wednesday. She doesn’t answer so I leave a message. I call and make a haircut appointment for Dot the next day. I check my work email. I eat my lunch. I stop at a coffee shop to fill my thermos and head over to the courthouse.

Court gets done at over an hour early and I race to meet Dot and daddy at the first day’s daycare pick-up. I return the call I missed from my mom on the way. We get M together, load the girls in my car and Tony heads to the Timbers game while I drop by my parents’. We then go home and have leftovers for dinner. I put M to bed. Dot and I read the final chapters of Ramona’s World (we’re done with the series, tear!). I take a shower and have a snack and watch Gossip Girl. I got to bed with wet hair (oops!) at a late-for-me 10pm. Flipping daylight savings.

porltand snow oregon northwest march 2012 spring snow
The snowman Dot and Tony made in our backyard.

Tuesday: My alarm is set for 5:25, but M wakes me up beforehand. As I head back to my bed I notice snow outside, like inches of snow. I turn my alarm off because going to a 6am workout is not worth the risk. I “sleep in” until about seven (formally six). Typically on Tuesdays I drop the girls off at my mom’s and head to my internship but this week I’m taking the day off so my mom can watch them for a conference I’m attending on Friday. I start making breakfast. Everyone else goes out in the snow. M gets handed back in and we eat together. I blog about her first day at daycare while everyone else eats and hangs out after breakfast. My mom calls and invites us to dinner (it’s my brother’s birthday and their exchange student from a few years back is in town) and I plan to drop the girls off that afternoon, to be joined by their dad at dinnertime.

Because Tony stays home from work I’m able to go to the 10am workout class. The workout is 10 deadlifts at 60% of your 1rpm (I think I was at 105lb) followed by 10 burpee-bar-jumps for four rounds. I’m home about ten-to-eleven. M is napping. I throw different clothes on and rush out the door with Dot. We have to drop by a “nutritional fair” to pick up our WIC coupons for the next three months. We have to drive about twenty minutes (still snowing around our house), but then it’s a pretty quick in-and-out. From there I need to stop by the office to go briefly over a training we are doing the following morning. Dot has been wanting to see where I “work” (though no more quotations soon!) since September. We spend about thirty minutes talking and showing her my desk before scrambling off to be in time for her haircut. As soon as we left the house I realized she hadn’t eaten since breakfast so we run into a McDonalds and get her a happy meal. We make it to her appointment right on time at 12:30. Tony and M&M are waiting (besides the snow, he stayed home to go to the haircut). Snip, snip.

paleoparents.com paleo parents paleo whole30 paleolithic ground beef ground bacon eat like a dinosaur cookbook
50/50 burgers.

I take the girls home. I put M down for her afternoon nap and set Dot up with a book on her iPod for quiet time in her room. I head downstairs and make some lunch. I decide to try PaleoParents50/50 Bacon Burgers. I don’t eat lunch until 2:30pm. I’m supposed to bring the girls to my mom’s at 3pm so I can go to class and Tony can get some uninterrupted work time in before joining them over there for dinner. At 2:45 M finally falls asleep. I email the teacher of my 4pm class that I might be late today. I’m still eating lunch, drinking coffee and scouring the house for a printed photograph of myself from the last six months to include on this freaking background check that needs to be turned in that day. Lucky for me, Tony comes out of his office and says that he’ll take the girls.

I get it together (it being the background stuff, my schoolwork and my dinner) and head to the SE side of downtown. I park, walk a few blocks, take an elevator up a few floors, drop this paperwork off, and trek back to my car. I drive across the bridge to school. Park, walk a few blocks, take an elevator a few floors up. I’m only 5-10 minutes late. Class until 5pm. Then a thirty-minute break. Then class until 8:15pm. I don’t make it home until 8:45. I chat Dot about her night, get ready for bed, hear about the evening from T’s point of view, have a snack and watch a little TV with T and go to sleep.

social work crayon band-aid end of class activity
This is why I pay the big bucks for a college education. Yay, social work!

Wednesday: The training I’m co-presenting is at 8:30am. We are supposed to be there by 8:15. I get up at 6:30 (after being up one with M, once with D, and co-sleeping in M’s room from 4-6:30), get dressed and head downstairs to get a quick breakfast (thank god for that casserole with all these rushed mornings!). I pack my lunch and my dinner and my thermos with coconut milk. I leave (and leave daddy to do drop-offs x2). M’s daycare schedule is full days on Monday and 9-3 on Wednesday and Thursday.

We do our training until 10am and then do questions and staff cases for about a half hour after. Then I head to an 11am meeting with the supervisor of my volunteer position. I drive-thru Starbucks, then find a parking spot (the best is a few blocks away). It’s pouring and I only have enough change for :39 on the meter. I make it back to my car forty-five minutes later. Parking ticket. Motherfuck. Thank God it’s just $20. Unfortunately it’s my second in the past month. Bother. I head up to my internship. Checking, replying and composing emails. Eating lunch. Setting up a wordpress blog (lol!). Chatting with my supervisor. Meeting with my field liaison. Whatever whatever. I leave just after 5pm.

I head straight over to where the support group I co-facilitate meets. I take my “dinner” in the room we always occupy from 5:30 on in case anyone is early. My co-facilitator is in Vegas this week (lucky!) so I’m on my own. Group starts at 6pm. It’s supposed to go until 7:30 but runs over until 8 tonight. I’m yawning. I get home about 8:30. Both kids are asleep. I head upstairs to get out of the heels I’ve been wearing all day and wash my face. I get a snack and crawl into bed. We watch the Office. I don’t even have it in me to talk about my day.

workout daily interval exercise 50 dip 50 push-ups 50 push press 400 meter runThursday: I sleep in M’s room for a couple hours in the middle of the night. My alarm goes off at 5:25 but I turn it off. I don’t go back to sleep and get up at 5:40. I rush to get my workout clothes on, brush my teeth and make my hair looks remotely decent (at this point it’s almost three-days dirty), put my shoes on, fill my water bottle, grab my keys and get out the door by 5:50. The workout today is 50 dips, 50 push-ups, 50 push presses and two 400m sprints. When we run it is dark and pouring. I’m glad I haven’t showered yet.

I get home at 7am. The house is quiet so I hop in the shower. Before I can undress Dot comes in. I turn a show on for her and take a shower. Then I throw together a breakfast of leftovers. T heads off with Dot and I’ve got M to get to daycare by nine. I do my first solo drop off and head towards home to write the remaining 4.5 pages of a final paper due today (um, that never happens. Sign that things are crazy). I get gas and drive thru a Black Rock. Come home, write my paper, dick around online, do laundry and dishes and catch up on emails simultaneously. I make myself lunch. At 1:15 I finish my paper and spend 45 minutes on the house. Then I spend thirty minutes starting this blog (I get to “Sunday”).

sick swollen crusty goopy toddler fifteen month old doctors office prescribed ointment
Poor M with double pink eye at the doctor's office.

I rush out the door at 2:40 to make M’s 3 o’clock pick-up. I’m planning to drop by my parents to pick something up and talk to my mom about tomorrow, visit my grandparents, maybe hit the grocery store and be home in time to make dinner. When I walk into the room the providers tell my they’re pretty sure M has pink eye. Fuck. She looks miserable. I get her to the car and call the doctor. I drive the two minutes to my mom’s house. I make an appointment for 3:45. Run in, say Hi, run out. Drive to the doctor’s. We are fifteen minutes early. Wait. Get called back. The doctor comes in and while she is confirming pink eye so does Tony. He can’t stay away 🙂

We leave the doctor’s office around 4:20. T takes M to Target to get her script. I go to pick Dot up. I stop by home to pee and continue on. Get D, go back home. It’s 5pm. I start dinner. We eat and T heads out on an errand. I clean up as the girls destroy the house. At 7pm we head upstairs and I put a sleepy M to bed. About 7:30 T comes home and I start Annie for Dot. We both sit with her and “watch” on our laptops. I do this. At 8:30 we turn it off and he takes her upstairs. It’s now almost nine and I’m still writing. Really I need to be headed to bed.

Friday: I intend to make the 6am workout (sprints, joy). I then need to leave the house at 8am to get to the Convention Center around 8:30 for the NASW conference that lasts all day. My mom was going to watch the girls but it sounds like now T is going to stay home due to the pink eye and my mom is going to come over for a few hours in the afternoon so him and D can go see the Lorax. I have no idea when I’ll be home, probably dinnertime. At which point I will need to scramble to pack and procure food items for the next morning.

Saturday and Sunday: The plan is (though with sickness wreaking havoc this may fall through) to go to the beach with my two mom-friends and our combined five kiddos. No dads. Good togetherness for us and the chillins, good alone time for the dads. And maybe someday we can make the moms-only thing work.

And then Monday I officially start my position and everything is back in full swing.

To be honest I feel somewhat more at peace than I did when I began this post this afternoon. Which doesn’t actually make any sense considering how crazy even my calm day got! It’s actually quite helpful to try to type a whole few days out because I feel like I can’t even breathe sometimes and I can kind of see that to be true. What looks doable on paper quickly morphs into chaos when you throw kids, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. into the mix.

God it’s been a crazy week. Next week has got to be more gentle.

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