A rare morning that Liam has not drifted down the stairs at 5:30 am to cuddle with us, and so of course I’m up at that time anyway. Craig is nestled in with me – he cried for me at 4-something and I fed him and then let him stay. This tends to happen to us – I’ll nurse him on my side and we’ll drift to sleep together, and then I’ll wake an hour later with him snuggled happily up into my armpit. I can confidently say he is the only human in the world who enjoys being tucked up in there. My little monkey, my little best friend.
I pick my way delicately out of the bed without waking him, fetch a glass of ice water, sit on the living room chair with a favorite old book for a minute, then remember the laundry needs doing, the week’s meals need planning, I’d better water the ferns on the porch so they can fortify themselves with H2O before the heat of the day sets in . . . sigh. The running commentary, the nagging internal Honey Do List. It never leaves me. I water the plants. I start the laundry. I settle back into the chair, ready to plan a week of meals, write up a grocery list, buy it all and put it all away and make some of it ahead of time. Life just churns ahead, doesn’t it? Once again I wish for the English 6-weeks’-vacation cultural norm, just to get off this train for a couple of days and not have it all be so urgent. I haven’t read a book, or exercised beyond a shuffling short weekend morning run, in sooooo long.
But. Best not wallow. Could be worse, could be better. We spent this past Friday night in NOLA, moving the Professor’s offices in the afternoon and spending the evening with friends, then sleeping in his tiny (seriously tiny – maybe 200 sf?) apartment, all up in each others’ business. I pretty much nursed the baby constantly all night so that he wouldn’t disturb anyone else with even a whimper – dealing with him through the wee hours is trouble enough, but if he’d woken the boys and they were grumpy and whining, I’d have lost my mind.
On Saturday morning we went swimming together in the apartment pool, then drove home to Alabama. In the afternoon I tried unsuccessfully to relax a bit while the children pestered me and the Professor mowed the lawn. We had leftovers for dinner, then I fell asleep on the couch shortly after the kids went to bed, exhausted, as always, after so many nights in a row of poor sleep. I’m kind of tired of straggling through the day with this poorly working body, I have to say.
The older kids and husband will be taking a week’s vacation just before school starts, heading to the Professor’s hometown to visit friends and family. I, as usual, have to stay here and work, but I’m hoping to use that week as an opportunity to kick-start a new period of self-care. My little self has had very little care of late – the kids take it all, everything I’ve got left over once work has had its fill. And an almost-36-year-old body needs attention to keep itself running smoothly. I am thinking of starting the day swimming laps each morning that week. I’ve never been good at keeping up a swimming routine, but I think I could do a week of it, especially since there is a nice pool in my building, and a nice locker room area (really the locker room of the spa) where I could dry my hair and get ready. After the boys return, first grade begins! We will have to start getting up at 5 am again to get Jack on the bus in time. I’m not going to be able to maintain such a crushing morning schedule unless I pull myself together somewhat, and do something about this constant burning low back pain.
So here’s my plan – when the boys are gone, I’ll start the week with a massage and a haircut. I’ll swim every morning before work – it’s my last week of summertime straggling into work late and I won’t feel guilty about it. Since I’m getting a much-needed haircut (and I’m going to chop a significant amount off, because my hair is ridiculously long right now), it won’t take so long to dry it before work. At night, after I put the little one to bed, I will do five minutes of yoga/meditation before putting my feet up with a glass of wine. It can be longer, but it has to be at least five minutes to earn that nightly wine. I am actually really looking forward to this. I think it’s a fun “kick-off” week. I’m not pregnant anymore, and I’m far enough post partum that I can start taking care of me again – I just have to carve out the time to do it.
The next week, when we start first grade/getting on the bus at the crack of dawn, I’ll be getting into work so much earlier, I’ll be able to spare a lunchtime workout again. That can be swimming or heading to the gym – both are across the street and easy. They have yoga classes and pilates classes, in addition to all the normal treadmills and such. I was doing this regularly before the pregnancy derailed it – it’s time to jump back in. HEALTH! WOO!
Everybody’s up now and we are moving on with the day. More swimming at the pool this morning, followed by turkey burgers on the grill, and then an evening baseball game. A perfect summer day. Quickly, here are the week’s meals, which is what I sat down here to do in the first place:
Today: Turkey burgers prepared by the husband, fried green tomatoes over basil goat cheese grits for lunch, and food at the baseball stadium for dinner
Monday: Pasta with jarred sauce and zucchini chunks, salad, bread
Tuesday: Asian Cobb salad – looks really fresh and good for summer
Wednesday: Creamy caprese quinoa bake
Thursday: Chicken soft tacos, salad
Friday: Chicken korma over rice (I cheat and use jarred sauce), broccoli