Grad School Days

Smell ya later, Grad School

Hey Internetters! Thank you all for the Yay Phillip! comments. Phillip LOVES it when he gets a mention. His department convocation ceremony was Thursday night, Friday night we had a bunch of friends over for pizza, beer and kid-wearing-out (turns out the circular-ish floor plan in our house makes a great track), and Saturday night we made dinner for family and demolished a Costco cake. It was super fun to see friends Phillip hasn't seen in months and pretty awesome to finally have enough room (barely - the dining room isn't QUITE big enough) to host my parents and brothers and sisters. Plus we made GROWN UP FOOD that everyone actually seemed to LIKE. This is a big deal for me, since I basically know how to make five different kinds of pasta and... toast. And I suppose I should mention it was Phillip who actually COOKED the salmon, but I did find the recipe and make the glaze, if that counts. Also the arugula salad. Am not totally incompetent food-wise.

But today I crashed. I thought I was doing well, but after church I just sort of sank onto the couch and wasn't sure I would ever get up. Kind of a bummer, since we'd talked about taking the kids down the trail at the end of our street. It leads down into a ravine with a creek at the bottom and I've been nervous to take both kids by myself. Well, Phillip ended up taking both kids by himself while I draped myself across the sofa and watched another episode of Drop Dead Diva. Apparently the creek was The Awesome so I'll have to go down there eventually.

Anyway, I feel like I should have a nice summing up of Grad School, but I think it's going to be a while. Maybe years? Especially processing the last several months - I know I blogged it all (and good thing, because I'll probably block it out) but I'm not at all ready to really THINK about it. And I know you have to have plenty of space and distance before you can really analyze how something affected you. When I was tweeting from the graduation ceremony some of you were all "it went so fast!" and honestly I was thinking the same thing. It's over already?! But then again, parts of it dragged, and I think we'd both say that the last two years have featured some of the roughest stretches of Being Married.

What I think I CAN say, at this point, is that by the end, even though the end in many ways was the most demanding (what with the unexpected house stuff and the unexpected weeks of illness) we were understanding each other. There was a pronounced difference between the spring of the first year, when I was Angry All The Time, and the spring of the second year, when I'd sort of made my peace (or become used to it) AND I felt reasonably confident that Phillip understood my concerns. Growth! Is lovely!

Also it's been a treat to have Phillip all to ourselves all weekend. No Saturday classes, no group meetings, no phone calls, no Skyping... how novel! I didn't know if I would really NOTICE that he was around more, but I definitely did this weekend and you guys, it's so great! For one thing, it's so nice to have help. Someone to entertain the kids while I'm making lunch or cleaning up, or someone to help carry the groceries in, or someone to help break up fights. For another, he's just much MUCH better at playing with the kids. He and Jack rode bikes this afternoon, he builds with them and does puzzles and reads and just generally lasts much longer than I do. It's also nice being able to leave one kid at home and take the other out - just Molly and I went grocery shopping tonight and did some bonding in the bakery department.

It's looking to be a busy summer - in a few weeks the annual Old Friends From Italy Plus Out Of Town Relatives Marathon begins at my parents' house, requiring a lot of visiting and driving. We still have to plan our retreat weekend with friends, our weekend away without kids, and (Phillip doesn't know this yet!) my weekend with my girlfriends in a downtown hotel (where we will sleep, eat, and sleep some more.) Oh, and that week-long class Phillip has to take at the end of this month to OFFICIALLY graduate.

And I'd say that life will go back to normal in the fall, but Third Baby will arrive... I guess there's never really going BACK to normal, just starting NEW normals.

Small Item of Bloggy Business: my laptop refuses to cooperate with our new wireless, so I've been blogging from Phillip's laptop, Jack's laptop (my old one) and now this one from Phillip's work that he somehow inherited. I've noticed that on two out of the three I can't create paragraph breaks the normal way and I have to create section breaks (<br />) and I have a feeling this is what causes Elizabeth's Occasional Emails of Consternation re: no paragraph breaks in the feed. But they are there on the blog! So I don't know. Phillip has promised to put MY laptop back in working order, which I think means rebuilding the entire thing, which I can't really think about. But anyway. I'm sorry if you're encountering any Annoyingness.

Mooooommmmy I huuuuuuungry

A lot of the, ah, Second Trimester Symptoms I experienced last time around are showing up again. Mainly the ones where my mental health is not up to par. I am on drugs, precisely BECAUSE of the insanity of last time, so it's not at ALL comparable, but I recognize it, I blame it on pregnancy, I know it's not forever, but it still super duper sucks. 

A first-time-pregnant friend of mine was asking if it was normal to feel so depressed and - God forgive me - I couldn't help launching into my Second Pregnancy Mental Health Affliction and sweeping statements about sometimes "PPD" shows up before you are post-partum anything blah blah blah, shut up me! I normally think I'm pretty decent about not having to infect every conversation with My Own Personal Experience (maybe? shush, people who know me in real life!) but I could not help myself and I was ashamed. Especially when it became clear that my friend just had a lot going on in GENERAL, not just PREGNANT-WISE, and clearly did not need to hear my tale of woe. Which had nothing to do with Normal People Depression. Or anything remotely related to HER. Gah.

At least Phillip is coming home tonight and holy wow, tomorrow is JUNE NINTH. I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around The End of Grad School. I think partly because he still has a week-long class in July and partly because he still goes to WORK and all that. I wondered if I would feel a difference, but the last couple weeks when he was home WERE really different. He ditched a lot of school and work because the rest of us were puking our guts out... I suppose that's an extraordinary circumstance. But still. Just the idea of him being home on Saturday mornings is kind of thrilling. 

In other news, my hair has grown out so much and yes I KNOW it's looking shaggy and unkempt, but I've officially decided I have neither the time nor the funds to get my hair cut every month. Besides, being pregnant and all I have awesome hair and maybe it will grow out a little faster and sometimes I kick myself for chopping it all off when I did. I could have waited till it was already falling out all over the place and looking like a stringy wet dog! 

I've also decided I need to own some necklaces. And not just charms on chains. After a lifetime of not wearing necklaces, mostly because I don't need to draw anyone's eyes THERE, ahem, I'm feeling saucy. I'm liking those big colorful necklaces I see on Etsy, and now when I get dressed I always think, "What this outfit needs is a STATEMENT NECKLACE." Ugh. I am rolling my eyes at my own self. 

All of this makes me realize I have no idea what to wear to Phillip's graduation ceremony. On one hand, it's Seattle. Jeans! On the other hand, I LIKE TO LOOK NICE SOMETIMES.

LA LA LA can you tell I'm just killing time before I have to put the kids to bed? Despicable Me is almost over, and since neither one napped today, off to bed we go. After that I have a half a pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream in my freezer and a Netflix streaming account with the entire first season of Drop Dead Diva. I'm more into reading these days, but since I've spent most of my day immersed in Unbroken, I think I need a frothy, high calorie break. 

And oh look! NOW the sun is coming out! At seven o'clock! HOW CONVENIENT! Where were you when I was desperate to keep my kids from killing each other? HMMM? We could have used some tricycle weather then!

P.S. Phillip and I are planning a Post-Grad School Alone Trip, most likely to the Bay Area, in the late summer. But I am sort of thinking maybe there is somewhere nearby? Driveable? That we should visit instead? I think I am taken with a blog post I just read about beach houses. Perhaps I need to fly to LA. 


Juuuuuuune Niiiiiiiinth!

There's a teenage boy mowing the yard that backs up to ours and I'm restraining myself from running out onto the deck and shrieking, "MOW OURS TOO!" I mean, I COULD, but I'm wearing pajamas and, well, it just seems a little awkward.

Our yard is looking pretty shabby, but that's just one thing on the JUNE NINTH list. We started making it today, unintentionally. Phillip's clearing off the dining room table and I'm making my patented Half Irritated Sigh about the mess and Phillip mutters, "June ninth." We're looking at the boxes and tubs in our bedroom that really need to go downstairs, once we do a little bit of organizing, but we sigh and say, "June ninth." We dream up new furniture ideas or things we want to do in the kitchen, but shake our heads and say, "June ninth." We talk about the new automatic accounts we need to set up, but when we're done we say, "June ninth." June ninth is going to be one very busy day.

Actually, that's just the HALF of it. Do you know what's happening on Thursday, June ninth? Oh, I will TELL you. Phillip will be in a meeting that morning on the East Coast, fly home when it's over, and head directly, and I do mean DIRECTLY, to his convocation ceremony. I am for serious, people. He gets off the plane, heads to campus, puts on his cap and gown, and I will SEE HIM THERE.

The original plan was to fly home Wednesday evening, but then some important Work Team from Somewhere Far Away decided to visit the East Coast office as well, and that is the only overlapping day of their respective trips, and it's really IMPORTANT that Phillip meet these people, so he delayed his flight a day. When he told me this I just stared in amazement. And then I said, "June ninth. I will be pleasant about everything until June ninth."

We're also still sick, if you're interested. This is the Bug From Hell. Well, the kids are better at least, though it was touch and go this weekend. There was a big family party planned for Sunday at my brother's house in Port Angeles, and we were all dying to go, if only because we've been stuck at home for what feels like YEARS, but Jack was STILL acting miserable on Friday. I am not used to this. I am used to full on stomach flu, about 24 hours, then a miraculous recovery and life as usual. This is more like... half the stomach flu, then a week of Various Types of Intestinal Distress and Many Phone Calls To The Doctor's Office To Ask WTH? Jack perked up big time on Saturday and didn't display any of the, uh, contagious factors, so we woke up early on Sunday and took the ferry to the peninsula.

I'm glad we did, even if I spent half the time moaning on my brother's couch because 1) I still have a stomachache and 2) he has a brand new house full of brand new furniture and maybe I would ALSO like to walk into a furniture store and outfit my entire house in an afternoon. WHY NOT? 

But my family is always a blast and the kids were adorable and Phillip didn't start to feel sick until the drive home. I was almost in tears, you guys. Because I am still not 100% and Phillip has something like nine thousand things to do in the next two weeks and WAAAAAHHHH!

However! As per usual! Phillip's version of The Plague is (so far) a stripped down, sorry impostor. Has HE had to retch over a toilet at four in the morning? Nope! Not that I WANT him to, seriously, I AM BEING VERY NICE ABOUT THIS and YES HE IS STILL FEELING UNWELL and YES I AM TOO TAKING CARE OF HIM but jeez louise. It must be all the fortification via Lays Potato Chips.

We ARE going back to preschool tomorrow, goshdarnit. We WILL go back to Normal-Ish. I might even make plans to see friends this week. HOW NOVEL! Tonight we ventured out to the mall (ooooh!) and it would have been wonderful even if I HADN'T scored the cutest sundresses ever at the Crazy 8 sale, and even if we HADN'T more or less decided on buying a sectional from the Macy's furniture department. (EEEEE!!!) YAY FOR BEING OUT OF THE HOUSE!

And now it's time for my nightly Tums dosage. How was your weekend?

Packing shmacking

You know how I said I was going to pack this week while Phillip was gone? HEE!

One afternoon I packed up all of my Normal clothes, and while that was a huge-ish chore, I just filled up my closet with maternity clothes (which had been living in two large baskets next to my bed.) So it's not like that accomplished MUCH. And it was also mildly depressing since I have strong doubts I will ever see those normal clothes again. I know right now you are formulating your Rah Rah You Can Do It! comment, but I'm serious. That was a lot of work and I'm not sure I have it in me all over again. I REALLY like cake. 

Then today I tried to get a little more motivated. I packed one box of living room books, but I will probably need three or four more boxes to finish that off. And I packed up nearly everything in the sideboard - tablecloths, napkins, bar accessories, vases, candles, stuff like that. But since that stuff was all out of the way anyway, it doesn't look like I packed much of anything. Which is mildly depressing. 

There's still a lot of time before we actually LIVE in the new house, so it's hard trying to figure out what I can pack this far out. Books are good, but not the kid books because we read those a lot. Can't do clothes or sheets or towels, which means I can't pack any of the fancy dishes because I need to wrap them in all the sheets and towels. Can't pack food, can't pack toys (not too many, anyway), can't pack coats. Tonight Phillip said, "Just start packing up all the little stuff, the odds and ends!" Which... well those are the HARD things to pack. I don't want to pack THAT stuff. 

I am also remembering all the boxes we never unpacked in the garage. (And some of those we never unpacked from our move into the townhouse - giant box of Indigo Girls CDs, I'm thinking of you.) I have three boxes of my grandmother's china out there, plus all the holiday decorations and packed up baby clothes and sheet music and oh dear I completely forgot about the heaps of stuff stashed in the closet under the stairs. And the office closet. And Molly's closet. Oops. 

Wellll I still have another husband-less week to get organized! Wahoo!

I will now take this moment to add that I threatened both children with bodily harm AND removal to a cold, lonely, upstairs bedroom to sleep on a CRIB, read: BABY, mattress if they didn't shut themselves up and go to bed like a good little girl and boy. AND OH MY STARS IT'S WORKING. Note to self: talk something up as much as possible BEFORE the event. I forget that this is SO helpful with Jack. If I start telling him at 7am that he will be taking a nap that day, HE USUALLY DOES. And if I tell him that if he so much as starts a conversation with his sister a half hour past bedtime, even if it's about budget cuts or something equally enlightening, that he will be PUNISHED and REMOVED, it appears to work! I mean, I punish anyway, but it's the PREPARATION that seems to do wonders with this kid. He IS the one who is always telling me things like, "First I will finish this French fry, THEN I will eat a bite of my hamburger." 

I should also say that sleep has been rough this week, and Jack especially has been a less than doting brother, but things have improved a tiny bit each day and I'm nowhere near the end of my rope with them. As much as I keep hoping they're just reacting to the changes and expressing their own stress (they ARE my kids after all) I know I need to stay on top of it and be creative with changing things up and helping them out. Once we've reached the overtired, crying, whining, endlessly needy stage it's too late to get angry and ultimatum-ish! 

Anyway. All is well. Have a lovely weekend. I'll be sitting here attempting to conjure up a Packing Fairy.

My stupidity apparently knows no bounds

To top everything off, my dryer broke. And I didn't figure it out for three days. See, sometimes our [very old] dryer needs an extra cycle to get everything dry, especially if the load is full of towels like this one. So I wasn't surprised when it wasn't dry, I just turned it back on. 

But then it STILL wasn't dry. So I turned it back on again. Perhaps I thought to myself: Excellent! I CAN'T fold clothes right now!

But then it STILL wasn't dry. This time I pulled out the lint trap and oh dear, it was an inch thick. That must have been the problem. I cleaned it up and started the dryer again. 

Still not dry. I started it again and put my hand in two minutes later: COLD. 

Sooooo... on one hand, I don't care! I'm leaving! On the other hand, I stlil get to live here for two-ish more weeks. And I have small children. I've made arrangements to take my laundry, college student-style, to a friend's house Friday morning and after that, who knows. I may be knocking on YOUR dryer door. 

(Yes I know I should call my landlord. But I don't feel like it. I will make Phillip do this when he gets home. Shut up.)

I wrote about the Catholic school open house at Parenting today. The story deserves a few more details, which I will eventually outline here, but for now I'll just say: WHO KNOWS WHAT WE WILL DO.

Jack keeps whimpering in the middle of the night - I got up three times last night just to see that he was whining in his sleep. So then I'd go back to bed and NOT sleep. I'd think about carpet or schools or the various things on our calendar that I haven't yet figured out how to accomplish and it was all very STRESSFUL. I had to keep telling myself: Self! Go to sleep! Erase the brain! Erase the brain!

Not that that ever works.

I'm skilled at putting a good face on things, and when a friend called last night to check up on me, I told her that anticipating Phillip leaving is always harder than him actually being gone. For some reason I can focus on the day to day and not get too bogged down and it's fine and he comes back and everything is better. I'm certainly doing that this time, but I also feel very aware of Everything Else. I just feel like there is an abnormal amount of STUFF going on and for this reason I have given myself permission to have either a good cry or a doughnut when I get overwhelmed. I haven't cried (YET) but I'm also sort of proud of myself for accepting the fact that things are Hard Right Now. This was a big part of figuring out my anxiety stuff - telling yourself everything is fine when things are not fine is not exactly helpful. And may lead to irrational thoughts, sleepless nights, and inadvisable blog posts.

So everything is not fine, but as soon as I accept that, I go right on to Doing It and I know things will EVENTUALLY be fine. This is a hard part and sometimes I look at websites full of sparkly jewelry so when I tell my husband he owes me I can tell him exactly WHAT he owes me. 

But right now the kids are in the bath tub and we might be late for preschool and life goes on. 

Temporary, as-soon-as-I-post-this-I-will-be-fine blog freakout

First, I will tell you that Phillip came home from work, was unfazed by the fact that the kids slept till five and his wife did not have dinner ready, and took the children to Costco for hot dogs. As soon as I write this out I will be scooping myself a gigantic bowl of ice cream and watching The Good Wife on Hulu. 

He also went to Costco to buy luggage. I knew he was going to be out of town all next week. What I just found out tonight is that he'll be gone all of the following week as well. I thought it was a two night trip. It's four nights. 

I wrote about this for Parenting and was afraid to read the (hardly any, natch) comments because HELLO, AT LEAST MY HUSBAND HAS A JOB, AM BIG FAT WHINER. But, uh, now I am REALLY freaked out. 

Because while he's gone I still have two kids, a third one sucking all available energy, and an entire house to pack up. Phillip gets home from his second trip three days before our house closes. (And he'll be traveling after that week as well.) 

I've decided that I need to actually think about this and plan stuff out because OMG two weeks. So. Okay, first thing is I need to get back all the moving boxes from the last person we lent them to, so I CAN pack up. I need to buy packing tape. This will keep me occupied. And I basically did it all by myself last time (although I wasn't pregnant) and I wouldn't say packing is Phillip's forte anyway sooooo yes, this will be fine. 

I will hang my head and flat out ask my friends to watch out for me. One of them always has us for dinner when Phillip is gone and obvs I will be taking advantage of that. I need to be better about planning morning playdates in advance. 

My mom is working right now, but we can probably do an overnight at their house if I'm really exhausted, especially because the second week is preschool spring break and I won't have to figure out how to get Jack back to Seattle in time. My in-laws are still Monday superstars, which is good because I have appointments on the Mondays. And I have a sister with a weird work schedule - maybe I can bribe her into hanging out with us a few times. 

I will not feel bad about the television. I will pray for nice weather so the kids can play outside. I will stock up on chicken nuggets and cereal. 

Anything that happens with the house will be better by virtue of our kick ass agent. 

The whole time I can look forward to being in our big new house in just a few weeks. 

I will not stress too hard about the state of THIS house. 

Okay. I feel better. I can do this. And now I'm going to eat ice cream and listen to the quiet. 

So guilty I feel the need to confess via blog

If you are a SAHM, or any mom really, who lives far from family, you don't want to read this. I'M JUST SAYING. 

We went to visit Phillip's mom today. His dad is visiting other family and his mom is home alone and because they drive up EVERY MONDAY and TAKE US OUT TO DINNER, we figured the least we could do was drive to HER. So we did. The kids and I showed up at ten and then...

Yeah. The kids disappeared into The Toys At Nai Nai's House and Nai Nai was playing with them and/or cooking dinner (there is always much cooking when Phillip is coming for dinner) and I never know what to do with myself. I bring a book, I bring my computer, I bring "work". I sat at the kitchen island entering receipts into my budget spreadsheet and paying a few bills. I caught up on Twitter. I read a few blog posts. I thought about doing Actual Writing and then decided it against it. I drummed my fingers on the counter. 

Phillip's parents own the most glorious couch in the world and I could seriously burrow into it and stay there an entire day. And lots of times I do - with a book or a computer or the newspaper or a TV show. But it LOOKS bad, you know. To be so IDLE, especially at your MIL's house. 

But the thing is, my in-laws are ALL ABOUT me being idle. It's a bizarre world over there, I'm telling you. I never do the dishes. I never help cook. I hardly ever pay attention to the kids. It's not like I don't TRY to help out or OFFER to be useful, but I'm never taken up on it. Sometimes I wonder if it's because they secretly think that letting me into the kitchen means dinner will be ruined, but when I DO get an explanation it's along the lines of, "No no no, you RELAX."

So today I took myself to the movies. I LOVE going to the movies and I totally do not mind going by myself, especially when it's the middle of a weekday and the theater has maybe four people in it and the movie is excellent. ('The Fighter'. Highly recommend.)

I had an awesome time hanging out with just me, but not without a large serving of guilt. I mean, it's not like I don't OFTEN have time to myself. Family and friends abound. Sure my husband is crazy busy, but seriously. I have as much free time as I ask for. AM SPOILED. 

But never as spoiled as when I come back from a movie, in the middle of the day, while someone is watching and feeding my children for free, and that exact person blows off my apologies re: three-hour disappearance with a quick, "This is your DAY OFF."

A NORMAL person would do a happy dance while counting her lucky stars and plastering her in-laws with sloppy kisses, but I am writing a GUILTY BLOG POST. I am so guilty I couldn't even tell my MIL where I WAS all afternoon. She thinks I was running ERRANDS. And she probably wouldn't even CARE if I was out seeing a movie. AND SHE KNOWS I HAVE A BLOG AND EXACTLY WHERE TO FIND IT. 

I love love love my family, if that isn't totally obvious from everything I've ever written. But Phillip's family is still this crazy new experience, even if I've known them for nearly ten years. My family is huge and loud, theirs is small and quiet. In my family I'm the oldest and often organizing or planning or arranging, but in Phillip's family I'm the youngest and no one expects me to be or do anything. It's like I am SUPPOSED to be lazy. I thought this would be hard. I AM an oldest child and I am most DECIDEDLY an anal-retentive control freak. But for some reason, Phillip's family feels like a break from all that. This was always most obvious when I was doing really bad on the anxiety front. For whatever reason, sinking into that couch in my in-laws' family room was like magic medicine. I could actually NAP on that thing. And anxious people are incapable of naps! 

Anyway. I am really really lucky. I know this. I try not to take it for granted. When people talk about how crazy Phillip's schedule is and how crazy mine is as a result, I always mention the fact that we have two sets of super involved grandparents and THANK GOD. There's just no way we can do this without them. I don't know how other people DO. 

When I came home from my movie, the kids were upstairs and Nai Nai was with them. I took myself and my book to my favorite couch, and ten minutes later I was asleep. I heard my MIL come downstairs a few times to poke around in the kitchen, but she left me alone. And when I finally got up and tried to act like I was paying attention to my own children, she said, "Everything's FINE, go sit DOWN, it's your day OFF."

So! Don't mind if I do! 

A long slog

Even with grad school eating up most of his not-working time, Phillip still puts the kids to bed. He has night class twice a week, but otherwise he is home and he does the whole bedtime routine by himself. Sometimes I am cleaning up dinner, sometimes I'm running in the garage, sometimes I'm zoned out on the couch with the laptop, but other than a kiss good night, I don't participate. 

In addition! If someone wakes up in the middle of the night? Phillip deals with it. It wasn't that way when they were tiny babies, but I think when Molly was born, Phillip took on all the Jack wakings. And as Molly became a better sleeper, he started doing them all. It wasn't anything we officially decided - I think it was just a combination of habitually dealing with Jack and also Phillip understanding that it takes me hours to fall back asleep whereas it takes him seconds. (UNFAIR.) 

In MORE addition! If a kid wakes up before Phillip heads to work, which occasionally happens even though he goes to work awfully early, he'll get them out of bed and at least stick them in bed with me, ensuring that I can get five minutes to acclimate to the morning before I have to get out of bed. 

When Phillip is not here, these are the hardest things. The bedtime/nighttime/early morning things. I suppose that only makes sense, since I'm used to doing everything ELSE on my own. 

I put the kids down about fifteen minutes ago and I'm waiting for Jack to fall asleep before I start cleaning up dinner, since the kitchen is right outside his room. Molly's been taking a long time to fall asleep this week, probably because I've been putting them to bed earlier. She's happy to go to bed, but she's talking to herself for a long time, putting her babies to bed, reading her mountain of books, doing whatever the heck she does in the dark. And you know how I meant to go running this week after bedtime? Yeah. Turns out I can't shut off my brain when I know one of them is still awake, when the potential for having to drop everything and change a diaper or find a pacifier or turn on the music still exists. Running is not the escape I need it to be when a kid is still up. She's asleep by nine or nine-thirty, but by then I've transitioned to MY bedtime. Sure, I'm watching Foyle's War on my laptop in bed (shut up) but at least I'm warm and cozy and drifting off. 

This week has felt harder than the others. I think the others took place when I was sort of always mad at Phillip for being gone, and to Be Fine while he was away for a week felt like fighting back, or avenging myself or something. But I'm not mad now, I'm just Resigned To The Fact, and I'm tired and I miss him and I know this grad school deal is more than half over, but I am ready for it to be over NOW. 

He comes home tomorrow afternoon, which means I can get an hour to myself after dinner. I intend to spend it in the garage, chipping off the untold number of carby pounds I've put on this week. Tonight I started to feel that weird jittery feeling you get when you haven't physically exerted yourself in forever. Like I WANTED to shadowbox with Jillian or something, but I'm exhausted. I can start taking care of myself tomorrow. 

I'm not sure how people do this regular business travel thing. Or residencies. Or 80 hour work weeks. Phillip's job is demanding right now, and yes we have the grad school thing, but that has an end point. I don't know what I'd do if this was just LIFE, you know? Or if we had to do it for years and years. I feel even more weary just thinking about it. 

In some respects I'm cut out for it. I don't need other people around to be okay. We've seen a few friends this week and I rely on my internet people, but I'm really okay not having anyone to talk to in the evenings. I don't really feel lonely, hardly ever. So it helps, I think, to be an introverted, internal-processor blogger type. But it's beginning to wear on even me. I really miss my husband. Even though he's usually home, even though we make great use of the grandparents, I don't get to talk to him all that often. I don't always feel like I know what's going on with him, and since I feel like what I'm doing isn't very important, I try not to weigh him down with too much of what's going on with me. Neither of us are very happy about that arrangement. 

But maybe one day I will write about the amazing things I've seen in my husband in the last year and a half. The awesome conversations we HAVE had. The things we both geek out on, the things he's learned, the things he's aspiring to be. I don't know what the tangible benefits will be from a master's degree, but both of us would say it's already worth it. It's just really hard right now. 

In which the burn out is delayed by naps

I don't know what this time change whining is all about. Do you know what the time change gave ME today? NAPS. Nap PLURAL. About two holy hours worth of no one needing me for anything and LO it was TRANSFORMATIVE. Both kids woke up from their naps (NAPS!) around five (FIVE!) and instead of flipping out about how late it was or how I was screwed for bedtime, I was simply... refreshed! So when I brought Molly into Jack's room and asked them what we should do with our evening and Jack said "play my card game!" I chirped, "WHY NOT?!"

And I didn't just play one matching card game, I played TWO matching card games. TWO. GAMES. With one small person who thinks he should get to look at ALL the cards and one small person who turns over the two exact cards on every turn. I mean, truly, a lesser person would have driven the nearest pair of blunt kiddie scissors into her eyeballs by the fourth turn, but not me! I got NAPS!

The time change meant the kids were up at 6:30, but most days I'm up at 6:30 anyway. And it meant we weren't rushing around all crazylike for preschool. And yeah, Molly fell asleep in the car on the way home from Costco and only woke up when the preschool teacher delivered Jack to the car, but who cares! There were naps! 

The unfortunate thing is that today was probably it for preschooler napping, and it sucks to be reminded of how absolutely glorious it is. SIGH.

But it was especially good since Team Cheung is sort of running out of steam over here. Between work, school, questionable mental health and various bloggy unmentionables, Phillip and I could really use a break. Not really a break from our kids, although all the stuff going on does make it hard to be our best around them. It'd just be awesome to take a day or two and go some place where work can't call you and papers aren't due and anxiety doesn't exist and just CHILL. And talk, since time for conversation is in short supply. 

I hear, though, that that place doesn't exactly exist and perhaps we need to take what we can get, which at this point looks like a weekend at my parents' house and a nice dinner out using a gift card Phillip received for his birthday. Everyone should be so lucky, I know, to have family nearby, and family who WANTS you and your kids to spend multiple nights in their house. It'll be good, but I have this huge bummer of a feeling that this is just what things are going to be like until school's out for good. SEND WINE.