Sunday, August 17, 2014

This weekend...

Jesse and I were child free for a bit this weekend so we took a long bike ride (for me) from our house, around lake of the Isles, and back home and then decided to head back (by car) for a little picnic (we also did a bunch of work on my rental property with the help of my dad - he totally rocks for always being there for us). It was a little buggy and hot, but I took a few pictures while we were at Lake of the Isles and plan to go back more often. It's been years since I've spent time in this area and yet it's only a few miles from my house.



I crouched down to get this shot, and smelled... urine. Turned around to find a wet spot right behind me. Gross.




On Sunday we headed out to Shakopee for Jesse's family picnic. Last year Jesse was gone for this event, but I went with Riley and she had the most epic breakdown when we left. This year she fell on the playground and would not stop crying. So yet again, I left with a screaming kid. Both times I think lack of sleep was a culprit, but she's been tired plenty of times without totally losing it so, yeah... we'll try again next year.

I always wonder if people are irritated by me taking pictures - haha - it sure looks like they don't like it here. 


Cool contraption that you blow up, add ice, and then put your food in. So clever.


Thankfully, Riley seemed to reset even though she only slept for about 10 minutes in the car. It was a good weekend overall even with moments of exhaustion (not just on Riley's part). Now we head into a week where we finally have to bring Riley to the hospital to have her dental work done (we've been trying to avoid this if possible). Jesse and I are a little nervous as she needs to have anesthesia, but she's excited that she gets to wear her pajamas to the 'dentist appointment'. Please wish us luck that she doesn't freak out while there. I just want to deal with these dental issues (and not have her look like jaws in the end since there are a lot of crowns happening). She's such an awesome kid and I feel bad that I gave her crappy genes, but I know we'll get past this - like everything else.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Shenanigans

Last weekend started with one commitment and then grew to two... and then to three and that's when the weekend started to sound less fun. I love summer, especially the weekends, but all the activities can add up fast. I felt bad that we cancelled the one thing that I initially thought we really should have gone to - a 50th anniversary party for Jesse's aunt and uncle, but we'll be seeing that same family at a large picnic this upcoming weekend so I guess we can pass on our congratulations then. What we did do, is have a play date with some of Riley's school friends, go to a party to see my nephew and his wife who were in town, and on Sunday we just had fun as a family.

A couple weeks ago Riley and a few of her friends at school all wore dresses on the same day. This somehow led to them to determine that they needed to have a play date. They mentioned it to Jesse when he came to pick Riley up and Riley proceeded to mention it over and over for the next week. Jesse finally put together an invite and we had our first official play date with a few of her friends.

I felt bad that we didn't invite more of her friends, but this was really the perfect amount of girls: Riley, three of her friends from school, and a sister. We told parents they could stay or drop their girls off - one left, but the others stayed. One happened to be a woman who used to work at my company and rode my bus (and later at my nephew's party I would see another former co-worker - either it's a small world or my company is bigger than I think it is). Jesse was a little bummed there weren't any dad's that came over and I sort of was too, but it all worked out.

I will say, though, that since Jesse and I are introverts having to host a number of strangers can be slightly painful. We aren't small talk people so initial conversations often feel awkward and exhausting. My close friends can tell you that I have no problem carrying on a conversation, but it's these introductory conversations that are just darn hard for me. And because I was the mom and only other moms showed up most of the conversing fell on me.


Luckily, one of the women was a talker and really helped keep the conversation going. I felt a little lost at times because as one of the hosts I often had to get up and attend to snacks or kids stuff, but for the most part this was one of the least painful small talk conversations I've had so I'll call that a win for the adult side of this party.


As for the girls? They had a blast. There was a lot of excited screeching that I'm sure my neighbors were just loving, and there were no tears - which to me is a huge win when you get 5 overly excited girls together. They seemed a little bummed when the party ended, but with promises of another play date on the horizon their thoughts seemed to leap to what they would do when then next gathered as a group. Even the adults agreed that we should get the girls together and even talked dates. 


Later that day we went to my sister's house for a family gathering. Her son, Michael, is in the Navy and stationed in San Diego and he and his wife were in town visiting.







My chalice for the evening

Riley takes a 'rest' every afternoon even if she doesn't nap, but this day she was so wound up that I think she was still bouncing off the walls during rest time. So it didn't surprise me that she complained of being tired while at Michael's party. She got a little crabby, but we sent her outside to play with her cousins (who are actually her second cousins) and a little game of bags and she was back to her happy self.





Her cousin, Jackson, was just her speed. She usually loves getting a little wild with some of her other cousins, but she needed a mellower friend this night. We don't get to see this guy too often, but we should make it a priority to do so.





Hi Michael! I barely got to say more than a couple sentences to you, but it was good to see you!

Around 6:30 Riley announced that she wanted to home to bed. She was done and wouldn't even say goodbye to anyone. Basically, walked out the door and wouldn't come back. It's been awhile since she was so adamant about going to sleep.

The next day was when we were supposed to go to the 50th wedding anniversary. Instead, Riley announced on Saturday night that she wanted to go to the "rainbow park" in the morning so I suggested we also check out the splash pad which is nearby and then have a picnic. She was quite excited, but I think Jesse had plans of hanging out at home doing stuff around the house. I kind of 'sad faced' him into joining us and was grateful I did because hauling a 4 year old, towels, a change of clothes, and a cooler in a wagon might have been too much for me... plus we enjoyed his company.



Looks like a sad selection of food, but was actually really good

She had to check out if the tree trunk had a carving like the "Giving Tree" book.

We went back home and enjoyed the rest of our wonderful, lazy Sunday.

Just the three of us

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Day in the Life - Summer 2014

Time for another Day in the Life post as hosted by Navigating the Mothership. This will likely be one of the most boring Day in the Life's I've done. I wanted to document another weekday since it's been almost a year since I started working from home. Additionally, I decided it would be good to document my 'late day'. I normally work 8:30 - 4:30, except on Tuesdays when I work 11 - 8. It's my least favorite day of the week and usually the hardest on my body. My body likes structure and a regular schedule and this day throws it out of whack so I tend to feel crappy at the end of the day. However, since working from home I will say that this has improved. Also, I took most of my pictures with my point and shoot camera and after looking through them it appears I may have dropped that camera one too many times as a lot of them were fuzzy. *sigh*. Also, I didn't really get any pictures with me in them. Oh, I took some selfies, but nobody needs to see the way they turned out. Haha. Uh, no. At any rate, here's what a Tuesday looks like for me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Riley is almost 4.5 years old
I'm 42 and Jesse is 39



2:46 - As usual I wake a couple times during the night.


5:23 - Up again. Each time I go to the bathroom in case that's what's woken me, but sometimes it's really because the cat heater has made me too hot. Tonight I fall right back to sleep after putting my eye mask on (I don't want to be woken by the morning light) so it doesn't feel too disturbing, but I do remember feeling really uncomfortable as my left shoulder has been bothering me. This means I mostly sleep on my right side or my back, but I have a hard time falling asleep on my back. Unfortunately, I often wake up on my back with my left arm above my head which seems to aggravate my shoulder.

Oh, and I also had a lot of dreams this night. I don't remember any of them, but I know a couple people from my past were in them. When I dream like this I know I'm not getting a deep sleep.


6:44 - Wake up as Jesse is heading into Riley's room to wake her up. We let her sleep until 7:20 the day before and then had to rush her out of the house and that didn't go so well. She usually wakes just after 6 am, but has been staying up pretty late recently so we've seen a lot of 7 am wake ups instead which is just fine by me. I actually thought this would be an earlier morning as she crashed early the night before. I usually leave her room around 7:30 (or just after) after we've completed her bedtime rituals, but she was in melt down mode the night before and would not let me leave. She doesn't usually act that way so I knew something was up. I stayed and cuddled with her and tried to get her to explain what was going on instead of whining, when she shared "I want you more". Yes, that's my heart you hear breaking into a million little pieces. I did spend some time with her earlier in the evening at the park and played in the yard with her, but I couldn't help but think about how I was making dinner while Jesse was helping her write or how I was folding laundry while Jesse was reading her a book. Mommy guilt, I guess - even though those things need to get done.  Anyhoo, she fell asleep a couple minutes later which confirmed my theory that she was overtired.

After Jesse woke her up she came into our room and climbed onto our just made bed. I was tempted to just crawl right back into bed with her, but we had work and school and things to do. I put my gym clothes on and cleaned up a little upstairs before heading down for breakfast.


But first I decide to prop open our deck door for the cats. I recently moved a chair from there, through the house, and out in the back yard to clean with the hose and discovered that it had a wasp's nest under the arm. Luckily I didn't get stung then, but one of them had been stuck between the door and the screen door. When I tried to walk around him he stung me. I haven't been stung in a long time, but man did it hurt. Luckily, it didn't last long though.

Our deck needs some serious cleaning and a new railing

I go downstairs where I help Riley get ready: dressed, fed, make her lunch, etc while grabbing something to eat for myself. I want to eat some protein to keep me energized through my workout, but don't really have time for making eggs. I realize I had one hard boiled egg in the fridge so I eat that and a breakfast bar.






As I'm getting ready, I check Instagram and Timehop and discover that 5 years ago I announced my pregnancy on Facebook.


7:50 - I leave the house for the gym while Jesse leaves for work. He drops Riley off at school on the way there. I like going to the gym in the mornings as I can usually find a parking spot up close, but I would never be able to get up early enough when I have to work at 8:30. As I walk into the locker room a surge of professionally dressed women leave for work. Reminds me that I'm glad I don't have to get dressed up for work every day anymore.

The neighbor girl just gave her this backpack so she had to bring it to school.






Oh wait, here's a picture of me after all.

Num, banana granola protein shake

 8:40 - I leave the gym and head to my friend Liza's house. She's been supplying Riley with hand me down clothes. She has three girls and a boy, plus some of the clothes she gives me have gone through 3 girls before her kids got to them. So a lot of them are fairly worn, but they are a nice supplement to what we purchase on our own. I can never remember her address, but I always know her house as it looks like the house that has 4 kids in it - toys all over the front yard and her big SUV is covered in mom bumper stickers. When I arrive her youngest opens the door and is wearing the exact same skort that I put Riley in that day. Liza often buys multiple sizes of the same outfit so her girls can wear their favorites for years and now so can Riley. I return 4 bags of clothes (so she can pass them on to someone else) and pick up 5 bags.

Partial view of Lisa's yard


9:35 - I arrive home and start sorting the hand me down clothes for washing. I get a load in and then clean up around the house.


9:55 - Jump in the shower. So needed!

10:15 - We just got back from a weekend in southern MN where I took a bunch of pictures so I use this time to work on those pictures so I can put them in a blog post I am working on.


10:45 - Decide I better dry my hair, brush my teeth, and get ready to start work.

11:00 -  Now in my basement office I start work. I work with graduate level students and mostly email or take phone calls from them. I often have meetings, but not today. We are a few weeks into the new quarter so it's a little on the quiet side, but I do start my shift with a doozy of a call that takes up almost the whole first hour.

Sneaking this picture in - new table we bought in Harmony, MN


11:48 - Got to deliver good news to a student! I'm often trouble shooting or putting out fires so it's nice when I get to share good news.

12:15 - I take a break. We have a new system at work where another team helps manage our calendars. Before it was in place a lot of people had concerns that our schedules would be micro managed, but I actually like it because they schedule breaks for me. I was allowed to take them before, but almost never did. Also, as you can see in the picture below I have to work 12 - 8 on Friday. This is not the norm, but occasionally we have to work a late day on Friday or a Saturday. Dislike.


12:27 - Jesse comes home for lunch after taking Riley to the dentist. We've been dealing with Riley's bad teeth for some time. We took her to one dentist who suggested a children's dentist and that dentist suggested she go to the hospital to have the work done. I was ready to do so, but Jesse wanted to exhaust all other options. Plus, the dentist at the children's dentist office had a horrible bedside manner so we just wanted another opinion. We went back to our original dentist (where my mother in law works) and they were able to do some more work, but not all. It was finally suggested that we go to the University of Minnesota, but we had to wait as they weren't scheduling over part of the summer. We finally got her in today and it turns out she has 6 more cavities. GAH! Jesse said the dentist was baffled about this as well since we are doing all the right things when it comes to brushing and her diet. I know it's probably genetics (I have bad teeth, my birthmom had dentures by age 20...), but I hate that she's going through this. She never complains about her teeth, but I know we need to get them fixed asap. The dental office said they will have someone call us to schedule the hospital visit where Riley will need to be anesthetized so they can get all the work done. Thinking we should have just done this to begin with, but it's possible we would have had to go back to deal with these 6 new teeth. Also, this is when I feel bad that I knowingly produced a child that could have my genes. I hope she doesn't end up with the other crap I have.

12:30 - Break over. Back to work. Throughout the morning I've had a few more texts than usual as Josie, Rachel and I have been trying to set a date that we can all get together. By the end of the day we still have not settled on a date. Also, about this time a friend from Duluth texts me to ask if I want to meet her and her family in Coon Rapids the next day at a water park. Sounds fun, but I have to work so I let her know that. At some point I also hear Jesse leave and go back to work.

1:30 - On my normal work days I usually eat at noon, but since this is my late day I eat a little later, but try to not go too far off schedule. My colleagues usually take their late day lunches at 3:00 which certainly helps break up the day better. During lunch I eat left over tacos out on the deck. I am loving this summer weather and have been eating out here every chance I can get. I do want to get my southern MN blog post done so I head inside mid lunch to work on that as well.





I finally have a red tomato. It was delicious, btw.

I also grab the mail and find this flyer from JCPenney. I almost never shop there, but just bought Riley new shoes there two days prior. Nice timing JCPenney.


2:30 - Go back to work. This is so hard to do when I know how nice it is out, but also so much easier to do knowing that I can step outside so much easier than when I was on the 11th floor of a corporate building.

Also, I take some random pictures of the cats at some point during the day. When I first started working from home they spent all their time in the chair right outside my office door which I assumed they didn't do when I worked in downtown. They kept that up for quite a while until it got really cold and since that chair is near a leaky window they hightailed it upstairs over the winter. Now that it's warm again Lucy tends to spend more time downstairs with me, but sometimes they both are snuggled up on the chair. This day, Diablo stayed upstairs while Lucy was in the basement.



It's a really, really slow day. I usually have a project or several that I can turn my focus to during these slower times, but I am pretty much caught up with everything. This feels like a small miracle, but I also know that's going to make this a long day.

3:05 - I get a call from a colleague who recently came back from maternity leave. So glad she is back in the office. She works on another team, but we often collaborate. I know I can always trust what she says - she just really knows her stuff. While I'm on the phone with her, Jesse comes home for the day. Still jealous that he has such a flexible schedule and short work days.

3:20 - I hear Jesse's friend Tom stop by upstairs. I'm working on stuff so I don't go up to say 'hi' and he doesn't stay long anyway. Tom occasionally makes random drop by's and was featured in a previous Day in the Life doing so.

4:00 - Jesse leaves to go get Riley. He usually does this at 3:30, but I'm guessing since she was gone at the dentist for part of the day he decides to leave her at preschool a little longer than usual. I put in eye drops around this time as well since I my eyes are a slightly dryer than usual today. However, I'd like to note that when I was working in downtown I was putting in prescription eye drops twice a day and then supplementing with over the counter drops 3 more times a day. Now? I usually just put in my prescription drops twice a day.

4:15 - Jesse arrives home with Riley.

4:25 - Annoying buzzing on my work phone returns. I haven't had an issue with it for weeks and then Jesse asks me about it the day before and of course it starts up again. Also, I still have 3.5 hours to work. So slow.

4:45 - My head starts to hurt so I take some migraine meds and that seems to solve it. Jesse and Riley leave for a on bike ride around lake Calhoun. It's so slow that I'm guessing I could have gone with and I wouldn't have been missed. I would never do that of course.

5:27 - I get stuck on a call so I take my second break a little late. I make PB and J and do some more laundry. When I worked downtown I ended up doing several loads of laundry on Saturday's, but now I can throw a load in during a break and fold them during lunch. It has made my life so much more efficient and enjoyable to work from home. While on break I see that my vitamins have arrived. It's also nice to be home when deliveries come.




6:00 - Jesse and Riley come home. I am working on stuff for work, but am bored out of my mind. Day is going so slow. These days are not the norm at my work, at all.

6:50 -  Hungry and bored. Haven't had a phone call since 6.

7:00 - Another benefit of working from home is that I can take a couple minutes to run upstairs and say good night to my kid. When I worked in the office she was already in bed by the time I got home.


7:15 - I decide to work on mid year review. I never have ever felt like I had extra time to devote to this. This is truly an odd day.

8:00 - Yes! It's 8 pm. I haven't received a call in two hours. I log off, fold a little more laundry, and make a snack/second dinner because the PB and J didn't really do the trick.



8:20 - I sit down to blog as I watch The Deadliest Catch. Jesse and I used to watch this pre-baby and attempted to continue watching it when Riley was a baby, but it was during the height of her colicky time so we gave up since every evening was devoted to trying to comfort her for hours on end. The show recently became available via streaming so I started watching it again. Not sure what I like about it so much as each episode is a slight variation of every other episode, but I totally get sucked into it. The husband turned our office TV into a second monitor for me so I pull up Netflix to watch The Deadliest Catch and just move it over to the TV screen. It's pretty slick. Thanks husband!



9:00 - Riley's still up. This has become the norm. She knows that when her clock turns 9 she needs to  stop reading, and turn off her light, but sometimes she needs a little a little reminding so Jesse goes upstairs. I continue to work on my blog while watching TV. I often feel pretty useless after this late shift, but still have a hard time making it to bed by 10:00.

10:20 - Time for bed.