6:45am. Ugh. Waking up 30-45 minutes earlier to start the school rush is the hardest adjustment I make after the holidays, next to cutting out sugar. Laid in bed for a few minutes after the alarm trying to recall a strange dream I had, something about standing in front of a panel of judges who were rating how much I've accomplished since I graduated college. I didn't care much about the whole situation until I discovered one of the judges was my ex-boyfriend, the anesthesiologist. Oh boy. Remembered I needed to get a quick shower, so bounced out of bed to make up for the lost time. My schedule is already packed even without a shower.
7:10am. Girls got up. Tried to help them as little as possible, but the winter tights and sweaters do require a lot of mom tugging and pulling.
7:30am. Trooped downstairs and surveyed the breakfast scene. Chuckled at the ridiculous notion of having warm water with lemon, idea via goop, but then it occurred to me I needed something to drink with my vitamins anyhow. Downed vitamins with my lukewarm lemon water. Mmmmm. Kids had oatmeal with OJ (V) and cereal (C) for breakfast. Made myself Earl Grey in a travel mug and grabbed a banana for later.
8:00am. Congratulated myself on speedy preparation, then realized walking out the door that I still had wet hair. In 13 degF weather, that's a definite no-no.
8:06am. Leave the House, Round #2. It is so cold! This is the kind of cold that turns me into a whiny toddler who wants everyone to hurry UUUUP so I can get in the car 1/10 of a second faster. I can't think properly in this kind of weather. My behavior often involves stamping my feet and saying "AGGG" while staring up at the sky a lot. Sometimes we arrive at our destination--the frigid garage under our house (with no direct access to the house itself)--and I stare out the windshield for a few extra seconds, thinking how I can't do it one more time, I can't get everyone unbuckled and grab the backpack and put the mittens back on and where is your hat and oh yeah I forgot the garage door opener thingy so wait there and no you can't climb the mound of snow I want to get upstairs and oh God hurry up and walk next to me.
Charlie's car seat straps are completely, incredibly twisted beyond belief because I can't be bothered to care in this kind of cold to get them right again. It's not boogers-freezing, but it's cold enough that Vivi remarked on our way to school, "Hey Mommy! I saw a man who isn't wearing gloves!" EVERYONE is wearing gloves right now, even the crazy locals who wear flip flops when it's 40 degF outside.
8:14am. One kid down, one to go. Charlotte had morning preschool today, so we headed across town to drop her off. Along the way she sang a made-up song; it was to the tune of "Kling, Glockchen" but the words were all "Mom, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mom."
8:40am. Got to Charlie's school a full 20 minutes early. A few months back when it was warmer, I walked Vivi to school and by the time Charlotte and I walked back, it was time to leave again to drop Charlie off. These days I drive everywhere, meaning we get everywhere early. Gave Charlie my phone to play with while I ate my banana, drank my tea, and listened to more of my audiobook. On this day it was Diane Keaton's memoir, Then Again, and I love it. Almost done.
8:50am. Finally got out of the car, still 10 minutes early. While waiting outside the preschool room, chatted with another mom about her recent back injury. Extolled the benefits of yoga and pilates on core strength for the millionth time. Wondered whether I sound like an avocado-waving, crunchy granola chick. Probably.
9:00am. In charge of snack, brought cranberry orange bran muffins and clementines. Watched Charlie proudly lug the heavy bag into class, which was about as large as she was. Hulk!
9:10am. Ran to the library to try to get in 30 minutes of writing. Ended up spending most of the time in the movie section. After picking up Argo and Django Unchained, among others, settled on Annie Hall (see above: Diane Keaton memoir) and Frost/Nixon, which I still haven't seen, and a couple of Harry Potter films. Picked up the cookbook I forgot I put on hold.
9:45am. Drove to a friend's house for tea and conversation. Had my first cookie in nine days, a Trader Joe's shortbread snowman. Two, actually. Mmmmmm.
|Now you feel my pain, don't you, America?|
11:30am. Friend asked what I thought about getting Five Guys burgers for lunch. Without pause or an ounce of regret, told her HELL YES, IT'S ON.
Noon. Picked up the younger kids, headed back to friend's house to eat our greasy sack lunches. Consumed my cheeseburger and half of Charlie's and some french fries, followed by mint tea. Felt highly satisfied. Chatted some more.
Nearly 2:00pm. Realized I might be late to get Vivi from school. Rushed over, had 5 minutes to spare, waited in the car because it's so cold. Pondered how intimate my friend and I must be to spend so much of our conversations discussing our bodily functions. Chortled to myself about it, and Charlie asked "Why are you laughing?" Made a mental note to text my friend later, since Vivi was already coming out the door of the school. Teacher noted her progress on getting on her hat and coat more quickly. I cheerfully applauded her effort, and then somewhere in the back of my mind, if only a teeny tiny bit, I pondered how much closer she is to figuring out all the secrets of life and moving on.
2:15pm. On the way home, the girls sang only the first two lines of the chorus of "Go Tell it on the Mountain" over and over again. Vivi always enlivens the conversation; a few days ago, she asked why there were so many ninjas running around, and after a confused pause, I figured out she was referring to all the runners wearing ski masks. She assumed they must be ninjas assisting with some kind of trouble. Ha! I love the way kids think.
|My hand after being outside. It's called Reynaud's.|
4:30pm. With inspiration from my friend, offered to help Vivi make a cardboard house out of boxes from the recycling. Big hit! Charlie chased the cat around the house and generally ran amok. Amok on this day included finding her toddler scissors and cutting a small piece of paper into millimeter-sized scraps.
5:30pm. Tried a new way of getting the kids to clean: beat the timer! Verdict? Vivi thought it was fun and actually did beat the timer, Charlie burst into tears when the timer dinged. She has a thing with sudden noises.
|Charlie, wearing my hat and inspecting the contents of Vivi's lunch.|
6:00pm. Breakfast for Supper! While I was preparing the meal, Vivi sang "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, turtles in a half shell, turtle power" about 75 times until I eventually crumbled and asked her, in a voice that was higher pitched than usual, if she would pretty please stop or sing something else. She started humming it instead. Nate came home and started making our grown-up dinner, pork goulash.
7:00pm. Role-swapped. Nate read library books to the girls while I started a pot of sweet & sour red cabbage. Vivi gave me a spontaneous hug and told me she loves me, making me all verklempt.
7:30pm. Bedtime for the kiddos! Nate brought both girls upstairs on separate piggyback rides. After a few days of turmoil following the installation of new bunk beds, it's back to smooth sailing with the bedtime routine.
7:45pm. Came downstairs and made us a drink--Gosling's, red grapefruit juice, cranberry syrup, ice; still a favorite--while Nate finished up making dinner.
8:00pm. This dinner might be the best thing I've ever eaten. More on the dish later; short version is it's braised pork with sauerkraut, paprika, and caraway seeds. Told Nate he's a better cook than me. He disagreed. One of his most charming qualities is not allowing me to put myself down.
8:30pm. Watched DVRed "Top Chef" episode while folding more laundry.
9:30pm. Started Harry Potter 3 but got sleepy and went to bed.