Thursday, March 27, 2014

The king of all wild things

Well.  My son called me a fool last night.

I think it was because I "boss him around."

It couldn't, of course, be because I parent him and limit his amount of screen time and the number of times he can watch Johnny Test, which is an obnoxious show, in case you were wondering.

I tried to discuss with him the differences between parenting and bossing and I did well for about a minute.  However, all through my calm presentation he insisted that I am just mean.

And then I sent him to his room because I'LL SHOW YOU MEAN, BOY.

Guys.  It's getting a bit ridiculous.  My children have turned into wild monsters.  I mean, they weren't the most calm children to begin with, but they've taken it to a whole new level.

Adele has started screaming again when I drop her off in the morning.  And yesterday I had to deal with her throwing a fit because Sebastian's after-school teacher offered her one sucker, but instead she took two, and I attempted to make her put one back.  She refused.  And refused.  And screamed.  And then I pried both suckers out of her vice grip to give back to the teacher because fine then, you don't get any.  And her screaming advanced to a whole new level.

I had to carry her out to the car, kicking, screaming, etc., while holding two bags of wet clothes because she'd peed herself during naptime again, and whatever papers Sebastian gave me to hold, and that shoe she attempted to throw at her brother.

And then we got home and for some reason Sebastian felt like I wasn't overwhelmed enough and started acting out because I wouldn't let him play on YouTube because you don't know where your innocent searches will lead.  But no, it is only because I am a mean, mean mother who only likes to boss him around and steal all of his joy and also I am a fool because of course.

I think that Sebastian is acting like this because it's his way of working through the change associated with me going back to work.  And it is a change.  It's an adjustment that will take time.  But holy hell it sucks now.

He is leaving on Saturday to go to Florida for a week with my mom and my nieces.  It's the longest he's been away from me and the furthest he's gone.

I am nervous and jealous all at the same time.

Also, maybe just a little bit relieved to have an end to a bit of the drama.  Or at least I will be for the first couple of days and then I will miss him so much that I will need to lie in his bed and stare at all his artwork that he has drawn on his walls without permission.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Motherhood and More: Being true to yourself*

I’m a bit of a sci-fi bug. It’s not something I realized about myself until recently, as in the last couple years or so.

I mean, you’d think it would have been obvious, but I believe I spent too much of my life trying to pretend I was much cooler than I actually am.

But when your favorite movies as a child are “Labyrinth” and “The Neverending Story,” and when you may or may not have named your eldest child after the boy in one of those movies (Bastian, not Atreyu, if you must know) it’s time to admit to yourself exactly who you are.

And then there were the unicorns, all of the mystical unicorns that were a huge part of my childhood. And the short stories I wrote are full of time travel. And “The Hobbit.”

Ahem. I guess you get the picture.

So far, my son seems to have no such problems with his identity as a nerd. True, he’s only 5, but he’s strong in who he is. I hope he never outgrows that strength of character.

We’ve stayed pretty heavily on “Star Wars” for the past few years, but he’s also strayed to “Pok√©mon and Beyblade,” which I honestly still don’t understand. Something about spinning somethings?

He’s also been begging me to allow him to read the Harry Potter books. I told him he could do it when he’s 7 or 8, but he insists now that he can read he’s totally ready. I’m still waiting, no matter how much I want to discuss it all with him. Wizards! Potions! Magic! I have so much to say.

When I was younger, it was imperative, in a ridiculous, angsty teen way, that I fit in. Or rather, that I don’t fit in, but in a cool, hippie, alternative way, not a dorky, light-saber, spaceship, “Dark Shadows” way.

And that’s not to say that I wasn’t a hippie alterna-chic. I was. I embodied the tie-dye-wearing, guitar-playing, song-writing, hemp jewelry making, yoga-practicing persona. But I refused to admit I also loved fantasy and science fiction.

And maybe at the time those two types of personalities were mutually exclusive. Or maybe they weren’t. I can’t say for sure. But I do know that now, in my older years full of introspective self-knowledge, they most definitely aren’t. I can’t really label myself, which I find to be absolutely refreshing. I am who I am and I like what I like. I’m obsessed with “Doctor Who,” but love to knit. “Game of Thrones” is my jam, but sewing is my sanity. And I enjoy a good “Lord of the Rings” marathon like nobody’s business, but still find time to make my own kombucha.

Because the point is not to fit into a specific mold. It’s to be who you are. It’s hard to see that when you’re still trying to figure out what that means to you. But once you do, it’s an amazing revelation.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on March 26, 2014.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

At least he won't need another haircut for awhile now

Sebastian decided on Friday night, while he was supposed to be sleeping but instead was coloring and cutting out many, many minecraft creepers,* that chopping up his hair was a delightful idea.

And by 'chopping' I mean CHOPPING:

I'm not really sure what possessed him, honestly.  I'd just trimmed his hair and he fought me on it because he wanted it to grow.  I'm normally all for long hair on boys, encourage it, in fact.  But his hair was growing out wonky and he looked like a deranged hobo and so I felt like the best course of action as I didn't have time to take him to a professional, and he won't sit still for it anyway, was to put the clippers on the longest setting and buzz through.

I didn't do a bad job, either.  I'd only missed a bit on his neck, but that was because by the time I got to that part he was completely incapable of standing still and I was in danger of slicing open the back of his neck.

But he hated the hair cut anyway, which whatever, child.

So the fact that he sat in his bed chopping his hair with his little child-sized scissors, as close as he could get it to his scalp, was surprising, to say the least.

He came downstairs, giggling, but not in humor, in nervousness.

"Look what I did to my hair!"  he said.

It was ... something.

And when he realized that it was completely irreversible and that we would have to buzz his entire head he proceeded to wail about how he didn't want to cut his hair.  For Thirty Minutes.

Of course, somehow, it became his parents' faults.  Because we were forcing him to do it.

I calmly explained to him that I was not the one who butchered his hair, that it was all his responsibility and that if he hadn't wanted a super-short hair cut then he shouldn't have taken scissors to his hair, and scattered the cuttings all over his dinosaur sheet.

(Seriously.  I still can't get all the hair off of that damn thing.  WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!)

So the next morning we held him down and buzzed off the rest of his chopped-off mane.

There was a small part of me that enjoyed it as his behavior has left something to be desired of late.  There's been biting and yelling and attitude and drawing on his walls even after he's been told not to.  He wrote "No Dads" in bright red crayon because he'd gotten in trouble for biting his sister, because she wouldn't stop trying to kick him out of his own hammock in the back yard.

So I was not displeased to hold him down and shave his head, is what I'm saying.

However, he's been a bit better lately, but I have to tell him that his first soccer practice has been cancelled tonight because of the weather, but his sister still gets to go to hers because her coach has access to an elementary school gym.

I expect more wailing.

*I have no idea what these are, but they are green and all over Sebastian's room.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Homemade Friday: Showoff Bag by made by rae

Guys, I think it's sewing season.

I don't mean to designate certain seasons to my "I need to make all of the things" addiction, but that's how my brain seems to work.

The yarn has been languishing and I've barely picked my knitting needles up in the last few weeks.  I feel a built guilty about it because I've got a couple of projects started and staring at me, telling me not to put them aside for newer projects.

However, I tell them to shut up and pull out my sewing machine.

Recently I decided I needed a larger bag because every Thursday I bring home two mugs and a travel mug and a planner and a notebook and whatever else has been thrown in my purse for that week.  Usually that means a large assortment of gum wrappers from my children.  And socks.

(Yes, I realize that is a lot of mugs.  I have my reasons.)

So my purse wasn't big enough for all of that.  Or rather, I could shove everything in it but felt the straps straining and stretching and protesting against my mistreatment.

Instead of buying one I thought it would be a good idea to sew one as I have lots of patterns and fabric and skillz.

And then I found the Showoff bag by made by rae.  No, do not ask me why I was searching out bag patterns when I already had some I could use.  I have no answer for that.

So I bought that pattern.  And then I didn't want to use any of the fabric I already had.  So I bought more fabric.

But look how pretty!

The pattern was easy and straightforward, and really enjoyable to sew.

I used a pink floral cotton fabric for the 'showoff' part that I found at a big box store for around $4 a yard.  The dark grey top and straps were something I already had.  The inner light grey is a cotton lining.

The pockets were a bit of an adjustment to the pattern, but that's all I changed.

I love the bag.  It's big enough to hold all of my mugs, which is nice, and it's strong enough not to struggle with whatever I throw in it.

(I've also sewn a dress since I made this bag. It's the Washi dress, also by made by rae.  Look for that next week!)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Paleoriffic

I haven't mentioned too much about being a Paleo diet follower here, if only because I don't feel like I follow it as well as I actually should because homemade pizza and cobbler and pie and wine and beer.

However, it actually is a large part of our life and I'm a big supporter, even if I enjoy our weekly Friday Homemade Pizza and a Movie Night.

We started this diet last summer when Chris was training for a triathlon.  We both wanted something that helped us feel better.  I started small, finding recipes that sounded good and easy. And then I bought a cookbook.  Then another one.  And another one.  And maybe another one just because.  I love them.  I have entirely too many, but in my defense, Christopher, most of them were free downloads.

My favorite book, hands down, is Practical Paleo.  It's a good starting point, describing what is happening in my stomach and why the foods I was eating were creating havoc IN MAH BELLAY. (Can I get a 'what up!' for super old movie references?)

It seems a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get used to finding food to cook that doesn't include all the stuff that upsets your stomach, it's actually much easier than you think.

And we aren't strictly paleo (see above.)  We also include dairy.  I won't drink a glass of milk because of how it makes me feel, but I do eat yogurt and drink kefir - both homemade from milk I get from my sister's cow.  They're stupid easy to make.

Check out Courtney's post on crockpot yogurt here.  Even if you don't have access to fresh, raw milk, you can easily use a gallon of milk from the store.  I like to strain my yogurt for hours and hours and hours to have a thick, greek yogurt, that's almost, but not quite, cream cheese.

Kefir is made by putting kefir grains in a jar, pouring milk over them, covering it with butter muslin or a coffee filter and waiting.  Strain out the grains and you have kefir.  Easy, delicious, healthy.

If you're curious, here is what I eat:

For breakfast, these days because it's much easier, I'll have a Larabar.  They're delicious and filling and only have 3 or 4 real! live! pronounceable! recognizable! ingredients!

When I have more time I also like to make smoothies.  This is my favorite:

Ridiculously Delicious Smoothie
-handful of ice
-1/2 cup of frozen fruit (I like mango)
-1 banana
-1/4-1/2 avocado
-1 cup of kefir
-multiple giant handfuls of greens - either kale or spinach
-sometimes I put in a scoop of vanilla protein power (not paleo) or chia seeds (adored by paleo people)
-whatever other vegetables I find - sometimes carrots, sometimes cucumbers
-water to make it all blend nicely

I'll drink half of this for breakfast, and the other half for lunch.  They are surprisingly filling and so delicious that I crave them.  Or maybe my body is craving the kale.  Whichever.  If I plan on eating something else for lunch then I'll half that recipe.  But usually my husband has taken any leftovers we have and I get squat.

If I don't have the smoothie or leftovers for lunch then I'll usually have eggs and kale.  I saute kale with coconut oil, salt and pepper until it's wilted and the edges are crispy, then I'll fry a couple of eggs and eat them together with hot sauce.

Dinners consist of a meat and a couple of vegetables.  The kids usually eat what we do for dinner - sometimes I'll give them toast or rice in addition, though.  Adele is pretty game to try new foods - night before last we ate cauliflower rice with italian sausage, red peppers and parsley.  It was absolutely delicious and she all but licked her bowl.  Sebastian, on the other hand, has formed some opinions about food and most of them are "That's gross.  I don't like that." He has to try everything, and I don't make him a separate meal, so hopefully, eventually he'll enlarge his food repertoire.

We don't make our kids eat paleo.  As I said, for the most part they eat what we eat for dinner, but they eat cereal or toast for breakfast, and I'm not going to stand between Sebastian and his peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  I attempted to get him used to paleo bread, but it didn't go over well.  So for now I make wheat bread for him and Adele and don't worry about it too much.  They're good.  They're healthy.  They love chicken nuggets, but they also love apples and blueberries and blackberries and can eat their weight in cucumbers and broccoli.

On Fridays I make pizza, and sometimes a cobbler because my husband asks for dessert and also because I love cobbler.  They are not paleo in the least, but I also do not care.

Saturdays and Sundays are also a bit relaxed.  We're still mostly there on Saturday, but sometimes add in leftover cobbler and/or wine.  Sometimes I'll make some type of Paleo dessert so I don't feel too guilty. Sundays we're also mostly paleo, except for dinner.  Either it's at my parent's house and it's a free-for-all, or it's at home and we have a meal with some kind of non-paleo side.  And maybe cobbler.

So that's how we do it, for the most part.  Yes we cheat; no we are not crazy strict.

Mostly we want to feel good.  And this way of eating helps with that.

(The cobbler and wine help my emotions feel good so they can stay.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

You mean your house isn't covered in wine glasses by Monday? Weird.

I played hooky on Monday.

It wasn't planned, and really it was completely my husband's fault.

Well, maybe it wasn't completely his fault in that I guess he didn't plan to be horrifically sick and weak and whiny.  But really, when you train for a marathon and run double-digit miles every weekend, maybe you're breaking down your body, Christopher.  Just maybe.

So I guess it totally was his fault for being such a dedicated trainer.

Since I don't work on Mondays I usually take that time to catch up on all the housework that's leftover from the weekend because those days are full of stuff to do and also laziness and a mountain of laundry.  So by Monday my house is covered in leftover wine glasses, random socks, legos and baskets full of clean, unfolded laundry.

Sebastian is in school and Adele is in her preschool/daycare, so I have an awesome opportunity to get things done.

And I most definitely feel the pressure to get things done.

There's so much that needs to be completed on a daily basis, and we're all still trying to figure out how to manage the household now that I'm not home all day, every day to do everything.  So Mondays and Fridays are my catch-up days.

This Monday Chris was sick.  And I saw him laying down on the couch.  I mean, yes, he felt horrible.  But still, it looked nice.  I wanted to shut off the drill sergeant in my head telling me I had to clean everything before the kids were home and start dinner and make the bread for the week.

Also for some reason I can't clean when other people are sitting down around me, anyway.  Just can't do it.  Not possible.

So I kind of just ... joined him.  I sat down.

I didn't fold clothes.

I didn't wash dishes.

I didn't even pick up the random socks.  (Really, what is with my family?  If you take off your socks - PUT THEM IN THE DIRTY CLOTHES HAMPER, NOT ON DINING ROOM TABLE.)

The most work I did was cutting out a few patterns to sew.  (More to come on that.  I seem to have a new addiction.  I got it bad.)

I watched movies.  I watched television shows.  I may have knit a few rows on a shawl.  I had an actual conversation with my husband that wasn't interrupted by requests for snacks.

But mostly I relaxed.  I ignored my list.

It was quiet and peaceful and one of the nicest days I've had.

And then I picked up the children and they came home fighting and arguing and complaining and generally acting like the heathens I know and love.

But I'll always have the memory, right?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I still say manatees are terrifying

I hate to spend too much time discussing the weather, but I think the fact that it's in the 70s warrants a mention.  Especially since it's supposed to snow (again) (no really) (OMG) tomorrow night.  

Also, if we talk about the weather then I don't have to mention that I'm singlehandedly responsible for my water-bug of a son currently refusing to put his toes in the pool.

I know what you're thinking.  And no - I did not instill my ginormous fear of sharks into him.  I mean, I think it's totally normal to fear a shark biting your toes in the swimming pool, but still I did not want to burden my children with that.  I prefer to let them find out for themselves.

So I've always been careful to not talk about how scary they are.  I discuss how I don't like them, but that they only bite when they are punched in the face or if they think you are a tasty, tasty seal.  So nope.  Not sharks.

The issue was that he wanted to show me how far he could swim.  I don't always swim with Chris and the kids when they go to the indoor pool, so Sebastian likes to keep me up-to-date on his progress.  

The pool is in our gym, and Chris and I worked out while the kids played at the daycare.  I hadn't changed out of my workout clothes yet because I thought it would be too difficult with two children in the small changing room.  

So the kids jumped into the pool by themselves while I sat on the edge since Chris was swimming laps.  Adele had floaties on so she was fine.  But Sebastian, I guess I thought he was a bit more advanced than he actually was.  Plus I struggle daily with being the overprotective mother.  I make it a point to step back and let my kids do things themselves because that's the only way they'll learn.  And if I helicopter them I’m not teaching them how to be independent, functional adults.  This was a conversation I had with myself, in my head, in the two seconds after he said “Let me show you how far I can swim!” and before I said "Sure! Show me what you can do!"

This time I was wrong. 

Sebastian made it almost all the way to the ropes that separate the swimming pool with the lap swimmers.  I saw him start to struggle, and I knew he wasn't going to make it.

I got the lifeguard's attention, but apparently he thought I was just signaling him to watch Sebastian, instead of telling him that he needed to get my kid out of the pool right that second.

Sebastian was sort of treading water, but having trouble keeping his head up. He never went under, thank goodness.  He yelled out that he needed some help, which finally got the lifeguard in the pool. And everything was fine.  Totally fine. 

Except for my tender mother heart that wouldn't stop beating frantically.

And except for the fact that Sebastian refuses to go back into the water and I feel completely responsible.

I shouldn't have let him swim that far away from me alone.  I should have jumped in after him.  I should have just put my bathing suit on in the beginning.

I hope that this will not be a defining moment in his life, or if it is, that it doesn't affect him negatively.  

I am not a good swimmer, but Chris is.  And I want them to have that.  Because when you aren't comfortable in the water you fear it.  And I want my kids to snorkel and scuba dive without hyperventilating over a rock that looks like a manatee.  (The cows of the sea.  Yes, I was terrified of a manatee-shaped rock.) 

The lifeguard, who I am forever grateful to, told Sebastian that that's what got him started on his swimming career - he almost drowned in a friend’s pool.  Sebastian at that point understandably didn't want to do anything but go home and I’m not sure was paying attention, but I hope he heard what the lifeguard said.

I hope that he jumps back in, literally.  

I hope that this is another non-issue that I am overreacting about.  

(Weren't we supposed to be talking about the weather?)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Homemade Friday: Daughter gets skirts that may or may not be from a guilt-induced sew session

When Adele started daycare/preschool, she was required to wear a uniform.  I didn't think it would be that much of an issue because Sebastian had to wear one when he went to preschool, so we had a few pieces of clothing I thought she’d be able to wear.  But her sizing has suddenly skipped from “totally normal’ to ‘completely wonky.’  (That’s the technical term, of course.)

She went through a ridiculous growth spurt over the winter holidays, so much that all of the sudden none of her clothes fit.  Her 4T pants fit her in length, but not around the waist.  But the 5T pants are entirely too big and look ridiculous.  It could, possibly, be because the larger pants I've been trying on her are made for boys, as I've just been putting all of Sebastian’s pants on her since I didn't feel like buying a bunch of new stuff.  But I think that’s weird because they are tiny children so why should their clothing be made/sized so differently to cause this sort of problem for a mother who is just trying to cloth her children?

Sebastian also outgrew all of the pants I bought him at the beginning of the school year.  When he does wear them he shows some ankle.  Plus they’re too tight around the stomach, too.

Here this skirt is lovingly styled with a pajama
top and Mimi the pillowpet.  And her brother.

The point of this is that my children need clothes.  Adele, specifically, needs bottoms.  Since she requires a uniform I can’t just stick her in some black leggings that may possibly, technically be too small but that aren't so small that they are uncomfortable, because leggings.

I was complaining about all of this to a friend of mine, and she suggested just putting Adele in skirts or jumpers.

I admit that the idea never actually crossed my mind.  But once she said it I realized that it was a perfect solution.  It made complete sense.  (Hello, my name is Jaime and I make things much harder than they are.  Also easy solutions are foreign to me.)

Adele exhibiting the Thomas stare.

Once I had a workable solution I made it even more workable and also cheaper by deciding sew the skirts myself.

I found khaki material at Wal-Mart for around $5 a yard.  I bought a couple of yards and made two skirts.  But there's tons left over so I can use it to make shorts when it warms up and long, elastic-waist pants, too, when I get a little time.  

I’d already used this particular pattern a couple of times before (Here is one.  The other one I made out of bicycle fabric that I also used for shorts for Sebastian.  The skirt has since been lost, although how you lose an entire skirt in this house, I have no idea.  If you see it anywhere, let me know.)

I measured Adele’s waist, and according to the pattern she was a size 6, so that’s what size I cut out of the fabric.  I cut two skirts out at once because I knew she’d need more than one, and I’d be better off just doing them both at the same time.

I'm not sure what's going on here.

Once I cut them out and really looked at the skirt pieces I realized that they were way too big.  I figured the best and easiest way to solve this was to just cut a few inches off of each side.  Adele was at school so I wasn't able to try anything on her, plus there’s really no way she’d stay still long enough for me to pin and whatnot anyway.  I cut more off of one skirt than the other, so even though I used the same pattern it looks like two different skirts. 

I also had to shorten the amount of elastic I used to make it at all wearable for her.  I don’t know if I am just really bad at taking measurements (probably) or if she’d just eaten a really big meal whenever I took the tape measure to her, but the sizing was horrible. 

Luckily I was able to make it work with a little shrug and a lot of “eh – it’ll be fine.”

Wrinkles mean they are loved.

So now I feel at least a little better about sending Adele to daycare, if only because she has a couple of items of clothing that fit correctly now.  (Let’s not talk about the polo shirts she’s required to wear, and the fact that none of the ones she has fit her because they are all huge.) (Let's also not talk about the fact that she still screams and cries so loudly when I drop her off that I can hear her all the way down the hallway. She has pretty skirts!)

Pattern: Simplicity Sew Simple 1968
Size: 6, but probably should have stuck with 4
Material: Khaki

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Random Thursday: I'm thinking the space needs a Doctor Who poster. Or something.

1. Do you know how weird it is to be out of the house?  By myself?  In nice clothes?  Talking with really awesome adults?

2. Guys, I'm working now.  Real live working.  The kind of working that brings in a decent paycheck and makes me feel all adult and stuff.

3. (Obviously.)

4. And it doesn't even matter that I haven't had much to do since my supervisor has been out all week. I'm pretty caught up on the news, so there's that.

5. I did get some editing to do today, so I felt super important.

6. I did not realize how much I missed it.

7. Words are cool.

8. It also doesn't even matter that my office is literally a storage closet, complete with a Christmas tree and decorations that I offered to set up.

9. I thought it would jazz up the space.

10. They said not now.

11. No really - it's a storage closet.  See:

12. I have no desire to change it.  It's all mine.

13. My own space, my own time, my own job.  My own desk.  My own laptop.  My own phone.

14. I taped up pictures of my children this morning to decorate the whiteness.

15. And then I was promptly kicked out because very important people needed to use the lab and I would disturb them on one of my many trips to get coffee.

16. Coffee is important, you know.  And I'd hate to be kept from partaking.

17. I've been assured that no one ever uses that room, but this is just a special week.

18. No matter.

19. Now I get to use the supervisor's fancy office since he's still out sick.

20. I'm pretending that it's mine.

21. That's totally normal, right?

22, I can't wait to get started.

23. Like really, full-on started.

24. (Can you tell I'm almost squeeing?)

25. Because I am.

(My random posts are totally not random.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's easier because it's harder

I thought it would be much easier than it was. 
I’ve spent the past three and a half years desperate for time to myself.  I would have days were all I wanted was some time to clear my head of the constant chatter and noise that comes with staying at home with two small children.
And I felt so horrible about that need to be away from my kids.  I’ve made no secret about how difficult my youngest can be – my wild girl, my fierce little lady.  And the thought of having a break with nothing whatsoever to do filled me with glee transposed with extreme guilt. 
The excitement I felt with starting a new job, with being out in the world again was palpable.  But then I also felt like I wasn’t being mother enough to my kids.  I shouldn’t want to be away, right?  I should prefer to stay where I was. 
I gave myself a week to get Adele used to being in daycare before I started work.  I thought I could ease her into it, going part time before she went for a full day.  And that way I could also have free time - glorious, uninterrupted time where I would do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted with no one wiping their snot on my pants or ‘brushing’ my hair until I’d lost half of it.* 
The first day I dropped her off was much, much more difficult than I’d anticipated.  She cried, which I expected, because this was a completely new situation that I was thrusting her into.  But I did not expect the tightening in my own stomach, my own tears, or my inability to do anything all day but focus on wondering what she was doing, and how she was feeling.
I’m hard on myself.  I know it.  But a lot of times I feel like I’m not sensitive enough.  I mean, I know I’m crazy sensitive in certain respects, but I worry that I’ve lost that sensitivity, or even empathy, when it comes to my own children.  I worry that I focus too much on what I have to do rather than what it would be fun to do.  I don’t play very well with my kids. Or rather, I don't play well energetically.  I’ll read them whatever books they want me to, or work puzzles and have tea parties, but I probably won’t let them tackle me.  As my son says, “Mommy doesn’t wrestle.”
But as I was saying, I worry that I am too eager to be away from them, and that I’m not enjoying them as I should be.  I love them and want to make them extraordinarily happy, but I also want a break from them.  And that makes me feel bad.
So my excitement over my own free time quickly was downgraded when I realized that I missed my little girl.  I missed her face and her smile and her sweet kisses.  I missed her climbing on the sink in the bathroom to get her own bandaids because I wouldn’t get her a 10th one.  I missed her dancing and singing and our tree tent tea parties.  And then my son wasn’t there in the afternoon as he normally was, and I missed that, too.  I missed being with him to ask about his day and peek in his backpack.  I missed him begging to watch just one more show. 
It was too quiet.  And I was too bored.  I couldn’t do anything.  I couldn’t make myself do anything.  And all I wanted to do was pick up the kids.  I looked forward to the time to pick them up.
It was a strange feeling for me.  It was the longest I’d ever continually been away from Adele, and the longest I’d been away from Sebastian since he was little.  This is, of course, except for their sleepovers with their grandparents but those don’t count because they spend the entire time being spoiled.
But that yearning for the kids caused me to feel much better, like I wasn’t as horrible at this motherhood thing as I originally thought.  And that has actually made it easier to leave them, if that makes sense.
I do miss my kids.  And it’s been really hard being away from them.
But oh, I’m so happy to be back at work.  I was thinking earlier that this is the perfect place for me.  I used to work at Western and always loved working in that environment.  I loved being around people who were learning, who were growing.  And I loved being in the academic atmosphere.  I was sad to leave it. 
But I also loved working in the newspaper environment.  I loved creating and design and writing.  And this job incorporates both of those aspects – I get to work at a college again, and I get to be creative. 
So nobody pinch me because I don't want to wake up.
* An aside – every time Adele sees me sitting at the computer in our house she’ll run and get the detangler spray and a brush and her box of hair things and "fix" my hair for me.  It is tortuously painful but so adorable that I allow it.  Plus she always apologizes when she pulls my hair.