New Olympic Sport Suggestions

The news that wrestling will be cut from the summer 2020 Olympics has people reeling across the globe. I’m not one of those people, as I know nothing about wrestling (except that wrestlers wear outfits that look like they were vaguely modeled after old fashioned male bathing suits), but I imagine that for those who’ve made wrestling at the Olympics a life-long goal, this can be upsetting.

With this gaping hole left in the Olympic line-up, I’d like to add some options for the Olympic committee to consider when thinking about which new sport should be represented.

1. Cart Pushing. This would be more dramatic in the winter games, because if pushing a cart full of warehouse store goodies with four kids in tow is a workout, doing the same thing through six inches of salty slush surely requires near-Herculean strength and stamina. I envision this event will be as suspenseful as my old favorite TV show, Supermarket Sweep.

2. Seat Belt Buckling, Toddler Style. Have you ever had to buckle a 30 pound, screaming, bucking child into a convertible booster? It requires agility and poise, and being heavier than the child only gives a slight advantage to the buckler. Competition will be more authentic if held in a public place, like a Target parking lot, so passerby can cast judgmental glances at the athletes.

3. All Day Laundry Marathons. Anyone can run 26 miles with empty arms. Come on. But try going up and down the stairs with baskets full of smelly clothes, dodging Legos that might cripple you, 1,567 times in one day as you locate, sort, wash, fold, and put away clothes and linens for a house full of people.

4. Seal Liner Removal. You know those discs of thick paper that cover, say, a jar of peanut butter or a new bottle of ketchup? They have either microscopic tabs along the edges or a pull-up half-circle that lead a person to believe access to the food within will be simple. I’d like this sport to be added just so I can see if other people really can remove those seals without harming themselves or without the seals ending up in 203 small pieces. Because I can’t.

What would you like to see at the 2020 Summer Olympics?

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What’s In a Name? Changing Your Name Back (or Not) After a Divorce

When I filed for divorce in 2011, I had to answer a question about whether I’d want to change my name after the divorce. I hesitated but wrote, “Yes,” and then didn’t think about it again for months. Zachary and I reconciled, living together and going to counseling but the efforts couldn’t surmount the challenges and almost a year after I first told Zachary I wanted a divorce, I told him again that I didn’t want to be married.

The original divorce proceedings had never been canceled, merely put on hold. So I did not have to reply about my name change again, but this time I leaned toward keeping Zachary’s last name. I’d have the same last name as the kids, I wouldn’t have to go to the hassle of changing my name on every single document that exists with my identity. Bank accounts, social security card, driver’s license, emails, business forms, emergency contact information for the kids, credit cards. Admittedly, I like the way his last name sounds with my first better than the pairing with my maiden name. I’d envision going back to my maiden name and it made me feel childish, young in a not-so-positive way. Like I’d be erasing the last ten years of my life. I went back and forth. Some days I was sure I’d keep his name, others I was ready to change.

After the decision had been made to move forward with the divorce, the therapist Zachary and I had been going to for couples counseling recommended a book called The Good Divorce by Constance Ahrons, Ph.D. Her book is based on twenty years of research on divorced couples and is full of facts and data, interspersed between vignettes about the couples she profiles. I highly recommend it for any parent facing a divorce. One fact really struck me – she said that 50% of divorced men are remarried within one year of the legal divorce. Not just dating or engaged, but actually married again. Within one year.

And I knew that I did not want to be the old Mrs. Marceaux if and when Zachary remarries. That is what tipped the scale. His family has stopped speaking to me so I don’t feel a connection to “their” last name. I won’t feel like any less of a mother to my children if our names don’t match. I have friends who are married but kept their maiden names – they are fantastic mothers and the name issue has nothing to do with that.

I did worry about how the kids would take it, but I recalled a conversation we had last summer, before the divorce decision was renewed. My daughter asked me why Grandpa, my dad, haa a different last name than us. Because their other grandparents, Zachary’s parents, had the same last name. I explained how often women change their names when they get married.

So when it came time to tell the kids that I’d be changing my name back to Pearson, I stuck to that reasoning. There was no need to get into my emotions behind it or sound sad about it – I didn’t want the kids to think this was a bad thing. Just a fact.

One night as we sat down for dinner I said to the kids, “Do you remember when we were talking about last names, and how women will sometimes change their last names when they get married?” The kids’ heads bobbed yes as they ate.

“Well, since Daddy and I won’t be married anymore, my name is going to change again. It will be the same last name as when I was born, the same last name Grandpa has.”

“So you won’t have the same last name as us?” Miles asked. He wasn’t upset, just quizzical.

“That’s right. But of course I will always be your mommy.”

“Okay,” the kids said. They had all the answers they needed. I sighed with relief and started to eat.

Then Grant looked at me. “So… you and Daddy won’t be married again?”

“Yes, honey, that’s right. Daddy I will never be married to each other,” I explained. I looked closely at Grant to see if this troubled him but his face was clear.

“That means you’re going to be a señorita!” he said, a big grin on his face, proud he could use a little bit of the Spanish he’s been learning at school.

Kids – they really do know sometimes what’s important and what’s not. My name is just a name, and whatever the reasons for dropping my married name, my kids know my love for them will never change based on the letters that follow “Heather” in my signature. To them I’ll always be Mom.

Goodbye, 2012 – Hello, 2013

Blog image for use on the www.everyday-commotion.com blog.

I don’t know that I’ve earned an end-of-the-year/let’s-toast-the-new-year post with this blog, as I’ve fallen quite behind. But the new year is always a good time for reflections and plans and I’ve been re-reading my posts from 2012 to try to piece together my memories of the last 365 days.

My first post last January was called “The New Year,” and I briefly shared that Zachary and I had been separated for several months in 2011. A hard post to write, even if it didn’t delve into personal feelings or details, and yet I was cautiously hopeful. As the year wore on, however, my positivity for our future together waned and hard decisions had to be made. When you are young and life as an adult is beginning it’s so easy to share news. “I got a new job!” and “We’re engaged!” and “I’m pregnant!” are joyous and the good words flow and the congratulations are intoxicating. Then there are situations which are more difficult to announce, and you wonder how – and even if – to do it. My brother and his wife lost their baby girl. Zachary and I are divorcing. These were the tough spots.

The decision to end our marriage will affect me, Zachary, the kids and our families for the rest of our lives. The decision, made in 2012, colors the direction of all my years from here until the end, but my 2013 may have the most upheaval in a short amount of time. This year I will need to figure out how to earn a living that will support me 100% of the time and the children 50% of the time. I will look for a home to house me and the kids. I might go back to using my maiden name (I change my mind almost daily on that issue).

Despite the heart-wrenching moments scattered throughout, 2012 brought joy, as well. My babies turned 9, 8, 6 and 3 and showed me every day what amazing little people they are growing to become. Jonah potty trained and now I’m free of diapers forever. Grant transformed from a wild-child kindergartener to a boisterous (but calmer) first grader who is proud of how far his reading skills have come along. Isla grew more confident in her gymnastics. Miles finally learned how to ride a bike. I made Lego Star Wars cake pops for Grant’s birthday party and they took forever and make me want to pull my hair out but resulted in one of my most popular blog posts ever.

I traveled to California for a friend’s wedding and got to experience gorgeous weather mid-winter. I visited family and friends in Texas. I made new friends and spent more time with old ones. My business doubled in sales. My sister had her first baby with her new husband, and my brother and his wife found out they are expecting a baby girl a year after they lost their daughter to stillbirth. I reached my lowest weight since getting married 10 years ago (let’s not talk about how the scale has inched up again, though, okay?). The kids and I spent time together having fun (and visiting urgent cares) at Disney World. I tried Zumba for the first time and loved it. My friends convinced me to go salsa dancing and I had fun even though I couldn’t keep up. I made bread for the first time and it was edible, even if it didn’t turn out as expected.

Did you make resolutions for 2013? I haven’t. I’m not a resolution girl. In November I joined a new gym and have been going when I am not with the kids. I’ll meal plan more now that the holidays and get-togethers are over for a while. I’m going to volunteer more not because it’s a new year but because I love it and I’ve found friends who love it just as much and, like exercise, it’s easier to get yourself out with others who are happy doing the same thing.

2013 will bring challenges and changes, less fun and more numerous than those I experienced in the 12-month period that saw me follow Zachary to two different states, get engaged and hold four different jobs.

I have absolutely no idea what my “Happy 2014!” post will include. My life is a notebook with a lot of blank lines ahead. There will be tears, there will be smiles, there will be mistakes and successes. I’ll probably lose and gain the same ten pounds a few times and I imagine I’ll say, on at least one occasion, that I need a desperately need vacation but I’ll be unable to take one and the next day I’ll be better, anyway. I’ll breathe in, I’ll breathe out.

Happy 2013 to you all – whatever it brings you!

You and Your Free Cookies and Mini Shopping Carts…

Dear Grocery Store,

You are close to me, closer than any other grocery store has been my whole life. When I need something, no matter the time of day, you are there for me, like a slightly cold, florescent-lit rock.

Lately I’ve grown a bit too dependent on you, though. Because you never let me down and I know I can return to you when the need arises, I’ve become lazier. When I realize, from my spot in line at Checkout Lane 4, that I’ve forgotten something crucial for my dinner planned two nights away, I shrug and think to myself, “I’ll be back.” Most likely the very next day. Because I have four children who eat alarming amounts of food and I have a tendency to accidentally leave imperative ingredients off my lists. But you don’t judge. Your automatic doors open for me with a welcoming swish no matter how often I go through them. I’ll always find what I’m looking for when I roam your aisles.

Except for the time with the orzo. No orzo for days.

And there was that one time you stopped carrying the flour tortillas I like. The ones that have only have, like, 81, calories. But all was forgiven, because I asked you to bring them back and you did and now we’re okay.

I think we’re okay.

I mean, it’s not a huge deal, and I hate to bring it up, but I need to tell you about the grocery carts.

Maybe it is a big deal. Maybe I’m trying to spare your feelings because I can usually count on you and I don’t want to rock the boat.

All right. I’ll just come out and say it.

I hate your mini shopping carts. I hate them. Normally I like things scaled to a smaller size, even little salad dressing bottles or tiny ears of baby corn, but your child-sized carts have got to go.

When I saw them the first time, I had no idea. I thought, “Oh, how cute. Mini carts. My kids will love them.”

Oh yes, they love them. They love them so much they fight over who gets to push one when we go grocery shopping. Have you ever SEEN a woman pushing a normal cart through a store, trailed by four children who are having a hard time keeping their hands to themselves and wandering off to various aisles? Picture that mildly chaotic scene and then add four metal vehicles of torture.

First, there aren’t always four carts available. So the kids fight over who gets the stragglers with the wonky wheels and missing flags. Other shoppers gawk and I try to find a fair way to divide them while the two youngest boys threaten to brawl in front of the onions.

Second, I have to divide all of my groceries evenly amongst all the carts so no one feels left out. And Jonah thinks that since he has his own cart he’s free to make his own food selections from the shelves, which means we end up with a variety of vinegars and narrowly-missed catastrophes of the broken-glass-jar kind.

Third, without fail, at least one child will get “too tired” to continue pushing his or her cart, which means it ends up abandoned in an aisle and I must put all of that cart’s food into my cart. Until the kids say that’s not fair and I have to redistribute it to their carts.

Fourth, I repeat – have you ever SEEN a woman pushing a cart followed by four mini carts? Okay, that part is actually kind of cute, because my kids are ridiculously adorable. But they cause all kind of traffic jams because they don’t know how to follow Grocery Store Law and keep to the right sides of aisles in single file, and instead congregate in the middle of aisles and do wheelies and generally block every other shopper in the store. Which brings me back to them being cute, which helps them get away with their traffic jams, but it still makes grocery shopping with them take eight times as long as if the carts didn’t exist.

Fifth, the carts are on wheels and have no brakes. My ankles tell the tale by the bruises they bear. Your carts are heinous battering rams, plain and simple.

Don’t even get me started on your free cookies for kids.

No Time for Sentimentality

When Miles went to kindergarten four years ago, I cried. My oldest baby, my first to leave me and go off to be educated by someone other than a parent, was leaving the nest. I thought about how I wouldn’t be there if he got scared or if another child was unkind, and it kept me up late at night. I worried about whether he’d miss me or not, but hoped it wouldn’t be too much if he did. When Isla went off to school, I overbought adorable fall clothing and wondered if her tender heart would be overwhelmed with all the other kids in her class. Even Grant, my third, was the focus of my maternal concern before he stepped on the bus for the first time, my only kindergartener to not be driven to and from school. I carried him into bed with us after he fell asleep one night before school started, almost like the mom in I Love You Forever, because I wanted him to be my baby for just a little longer.

This year the only first is that Grant will be in school all day long, instead of half day like last year. All three older kids are still at the same school, riding the same bus. Grant has Isla’s old teacher, and Isla has Miles’ old teacher. Besides new shoes, we didn’t need to buy much – Isla and Miles still fit into almost all of their clothes from last year, and Grant gets hand-me-downs. Only Isla needed school supplies, because the boys’ teachers requested checks for communal supplies, instead.

So this year, the first day of school arrived almost out of nowhere. I wasn’t worried, the kids weren’t worried, we were prepared. We located the backpacks and the lunch boxes, cut the tags off the new gym shoes. Woke the kids up at 7 this morning and had unhurried breakfasts. Miles and Grant had selected matching first day of school shirts, and Isla wore a boldly-colored dress that will probably never enter the school building again because she’s not, most days, a fan of dresses.

“This is going so well,” I thought. I had no tinges of sadness, because I knew the kids looked forward to school, though I did wish summer vacation could have lasted a month or two longer.

The kids and their backpacks were ready 10 minutes before the bus arrival time printed on the cards they’d been instructed to carry with them the first two weeks of school. I grabbed my camera and we headed out the door to take a photo on the porch, and give good-bye and good luck hugs.

But the bus had already arrived. Early by a good eight minutes, it waited at the end of the street. Isla panicked; the boys began to run. “Wait for me!” I called, but the boy either didn’t hear me or didn’t want to wait. They stepped confidently onto the bus without a look back to me or Zachary or Jonah as we trailed behind. Isla gave a little wave and then, she, too, was gone.

My smooth, tear-free morning wavered in front of me as the bus pulled away. No kisses to their cheeks, no whispered words of encouragement, no bright-eyed first day of school photo. They were gone. I blinked back tears and walked to the house.

Now they are off, discovered the newness of their classes and breathing in the scent of freshly sharpened pencils. Jonah is going to daycare this afternoon.

The kids are fine, I’m fine, we had our little non-event this morning and just like that, summer is gone.

A post for Just Write, a weekly free-writing exercise, which is about all I have time for these days.

Do Not Follow

I took my daughter along for my jog the other night. The air was light and cool and reminded me that soon autumn will replace summer and the leaves will start to fall off the trees, so I’d better take the time to enjoy their greenery and the sunshine now.

I ran up a hill; my daughter pedaled with all her strength to make it. At the top we caught our breath and then prepared for the easier glide back to the bottom.

A boy on a bike, a boy about her age, came from nothing and whizzed past her and down a grassy hill.

“Hi!” he called. She yelled hello back, then looked after him as his head disappeared down the slope and her own bike veered off the pavement.  For a moment she teetered and almost lost her balance as her wheels rolled unexpectedly into the sod, but she righted herself and rode on.

“Phew,” she said. “That was a close one. I accidentally almost followed him and fell!”

“Good save,” I said.

But what I wanted to say was, “Do not follow anyone. Travel together if you’re on the same path, but don’t change your course for anyone else. You may not be able to find your way back again.”
Written to participate in Just Write, a weekly free-writing exercise.

I’m Busy, How About You?

In a world where being busy is practically a competitive sport, I feel like I’m stating the glaringly obvious when I declare, “I’ve got a lot going on, people!” What with the four children, the job that is creeping into full-time territory, life in general, and some stressful situations. Typical life.  You can relate? I’m sure you can – I don’t think I can name a single person who is not busy. Or maybe I just shouldn’t name those people for fear of them thinking I’m calling them lazy. Don’t worry – I don’t mean you.

Anyway, I’m posting to say I’ve been too busy to post. Too occupied to even write future posts, which I’d liked to do, or photograph new recipes or read more than three sentences in a book in one sitting. When school starts in a few weeks, my daytime hours will be filled with more dedicated work time, but school comes with its own set of time-suckers, like homework and having to be places on time and all that. Luckily the kids are really excited to go, though I have to admit I fear I’m going to miss them a little more this year while they’re off learning.

I leave you with this comic from today’s Star Tribune. Baby Blues is a favorite – always spot on. This one was so me, I laughed out loud. Honest.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you when I see you!

The Advance

Big changes in the last two weeks here. My babies astound me with their capacity to learn and just go and get more grown up.

Most monumental – Jonah is potty trained. This, people, is a shocker. Both Miles and Grant were nearly four by the time they ditched the diapers, and it was with great struggle that they weren’t older than four.

Jonah is totally into super heroes. On a whim I bought him some underwear with Iron Man and Wolverine and The Hulk. He wrinkled his nose into his cutest, most endearing quizzical face. “‘I’m going to wear UNDERWEARS?” he asked, laughing.

He immediately put them on. Peed in them about fifteen minutes later.

“It’s okay. I have more,” he announced. He marched up to his room to choose a new pair. Peed in those about two hours later.

Within a week he was staying totally dry, day and night. Jonah turns three this fall. This is astounding.

Of course, last night he had an accident at the baseball field, and then two overnight, but, still, for the first time in over nine years, I don’t have to buy diapers. I’ll mop up a little pee here and there for that milestone.

And then – Miles and Isla learned to ride their bikes without training wheels. Yes, Miles is 9 and many children his age have been wheeling around their driveways without support for years by this point. But Miles is a cautious and somewhat shy child. He did not want the older neighbor boys to see him practicing (and falling) on our street. Zachary took all the kids to the park last weekend determined to get Miles up on just two wheels. After a fall and short-lived refusal to get back up in the saddle, Miles was tooling on the bike path all on his own. When Zachary texted me the news, I nearly cried.

Today I’ve been working. Jonah and Grant are at daycare but Miles and Isla wanted to ride bikes. Miles assured me he could take Isla’s training wheels off, and they disappeared into the front yard, all giggles and plans.

“Mom!” Isla squealed as she ran into the house later. “I fell down and scraped my knee, but it’s okay! I can ride my bike! I rode all the way down the street and back without falling!” My girl, following right behind her big brother, up on two wheels now, as well. They can be partners in crime now, as they’ve always been, cruising down the street in their helmets.

And then – Grant learned how to tie his shoes. I can take no credit for this. Zachary has some masterful skill to teach kids to do this in one day, and we decided it was time for Grant to do this before he entered first grade in the fall. The same day Miles rode his bike solo for the first time, Grant ditched the Velcro sneakers.

My babies haven’t been babies for a while, but this week they are proving this with a fast and sharp ferocity. I want to catch them and hold them and marvel at their learning and also whisper, “Slow down, slow down, come back.”

Written to participate in Just Write, a weekly exercise in free writing.

Don’t Complain, Lest Someone Assume You Hate Your Children

This week I encountered two situations in which it was implied that I am a horrible person if I do not adore every loud, raucous moment with my children.

In one scenario, mothers who work outside of the home wrote on a message board that stay at home moms who complain about anything related to their children should not have had kids at all. The assumption was that stay at home moms have such luxurious, stress-free lives that any of them who could claim they were worn out, or tired of the screaming going on 16 hours a day, were too selfish to have procreated in the first place. The attitude was, “If you’re going to complain about your life, you shouldn’t have chosen to stay home with your kids.”

The second occurrence was more personal. I received a comment on my last blog post which made it clear the commenter thought I found my children’s lives trivial since I dared try to joke about an evening that was so full of mishaps I had to laugh or I might have cried. Her words stung – she implied I would rather spend time on Pinterest than go to my son’s baseball game. I think most people can read the humor and intent into my post, but for those who also misinterpreted my words, let me clarify for you – I want to be at my son’s games. I love him and am proud of him and wish I could cheer every single move he makes. My blog post was about being unable to cheer every move because I was busy chasing other children. It’s about the difficulties I had one night because my younger children didn’t listen to my pleas that they stay in my sight. I was at the game, but my poor Miles would barely have known it. I was too busy locating and disciplining runaway kids. That does not mean I hate going to baseball games, or that I’m going to stop going to baseball games. It means baseball games, when I’m the only parent keeping track of my four, are stressful.

Moms of any variety work hard, and I’m not going to get into who has it harder, because it’s not a contest. This isn’t about The Mommy Wars. But while it’s acceptable for moms who work outside of the home to complain about the stresses of their office jobs, or the difficulties in parenting while working those jobs, it is apparently completely abhorrent for a stay at home mom (ahem, work at home mom) to utter a single negative word about the stresses of entertaining, feeding, protecting and cleaning up after children all day, every day.

I love my children, but there is nothing easy about this gig. Just because most of the time I enjoy spending time with them and feel fortunate to be able to do so as much as I do, it doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to need breaks, or that I don’t have bad days, or that certain moments make me want to scream in frustration, like any other person in the working world.

When I raise my voice to tell a story about how my energetic toddler ran through the home improvement store and I couldn’t get my shopping done, it’s like the waitress complaining to her friends that a kid ran circles around her tables during her lunch shift and she had a hard time getting to her customers. When I write about feeling exasperated when the kids turn up their noses at the dinner I spent an hour making, it’s like the communications coordinator saying she wanted to cry when she was told to go back to the drawing board after her boss dissed the copy in her newsletter article. When I whine that I had to pick up 723 pieces of toy food for the sixth time in two hours while also doing laundry and trying to help another kid with homework, it’s like the nurse who tells her husband at night about the patient who clicked the call button 723 times while she was trying to help other patients at the same time.  My children are precious to me, but it doesn’t mean their behavior is precious 100% of the time. I don’t adore my children any less just because I sometimes need to be alone, or want to get out of the house with people who aren’t going to wipe their snot on my pants. If there are women out there who think it’s fun to clean up after poop accidents, or enjoy it when their young children dash off in crowded places, or are happy to scrape congealed cereal off of hardwood floors for the ninth day in a row, I might suspect they are taking illegal levels of mood-altering drugs.

I love my children. They are, hands down, the most important people in my life, and my work as their mother is the most important work I will ever do. Being a mother rewards me in ways no other job beforehand did – the kids draw me pictures with hearts and families holding hands and fantastical creatures and guns (that’s the boys for you), they tell me I’m the best cooker ever when I make meals they like, and I get an ample amount of hugs and kisses each day. No one ever hugged me when I worked at Express in the mall, I can tell you that.

I get to watch my kids grow, miraculously, day after day and year after year, into incredible people with their own separate personalities and dreams and strengths. Mundane things that adults no longer find magical become amazing again when I get to see them through the eyes of my children – like puddles and daddy long legs and puppets. But I also have challenges unlike any other I found in jobs that earned paychecks. And I sometimes need to complain about those challenges so that someone can tell me everything will be okay, or laugh with me at the absurdity of it all, or just to say, “Girl, I’ve been there, sorry you had a bad day.”

This post was written to participate in Just Write, a free writing exercise put on my The Extraordinary Ordinary.

The Harried Mother Lunch Special

I’ve neglected my blog this week. I neglected a lot of things this week. Multiple clients threw projects at me all at once so I’ve been cramming in work when I can, but Jonah was sick all last weekend and Zachary was out of town so I fell quite behind. Except for one night, I don’t think I went to bed before 1 or 2 am for more than a week, then had to wake at 6:30. My mind was so exhausted on Wednesday night that I found I could barely spell anything correctly, like using the word “huge” for “hug” or “fase” for “face.”

When life is hectic like this, there’s a triage process I have to go through, where I choose which parts of my life are essential or can be saved, or which I can do without or don’t stand a chance at being accomplished. One of the first things I cut is exercise, sadly. Even though I know it will make me feel better and reduce stress, I also fear it will make me more tired, which means I wouldn’t be able to pull a marathon work session from 9 pm until midnight. Sleep also gets cut because, as a mom who works from home and has four children, the evening hours are often the only ones I can snag if I want some uninterrupted time to be productive.

And then there’s eating. Or eating well, I should say. When I don’t plan ahead and I’m mind-numbingly busy, food slips. This morning I had cold cereal instead of my usual eggs or oatmeal. Nothing awful about cold cereal, it wasn’t neon-colored or filled with 158 grams of sugar, but not as filling. Wednesday I didn’t have time to eat dinner until 10:15 at night. I was in an unfamiliar town an hour from home and my options were gas stations or fast food. It was raining and Arby’s had a drive through, so I chose Arby’s.

With no time to really make dinners this week, I had no dinners to photograph, and no time to write down recipes, either. So, behold, my lunch special a few times this week.

Those are crusts of my children’s sandwiches, atop the newspaper it took me three days to read. I believe that’s some sort of low, though I’m inclined to call myself  “eco-friendly” since I’m saving the crusts from the trash, as my kids won’t eat them.

Isla had a birthday party to go to today and Zachary is at work, so I hired a mother’s helper to play with the boys this morning so I could strike a few more work items off my list. I should have a fairly low-key week in comparison, which will hopefully mean the return of sleep, exercise and real meals.

Of course, the last day of school is on Friday.

 

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