Tag Archives: writing

Resolution Update, a little late

Here’s the June-ish update.

  1. Reduce overall monthly expenses by 10%.  We don’t qualify for Making Home Affordable, so now we’re looking at a standard refi.  I should know more this week.    We’re generally doing okay on this, but I’m still trying to tighten up a little more.
  2. Move forward with our adoption. As you know, Daniel is here!  For the next six months, we will have monthly visits with his social worker and our social worker and will likely legalize the adoption next spring.  We are settling in pretty well.  Daniel seems to be getting attached to us, we’re improving at managing three kids at once (luckily, they rarely all need me simultaneously) and Madeline and Daniel behave just as you would expect siblings to– that is, they are best friends one moment, wrestling like baby bears the next and tattling on each other the next (“Daniel took my bucket!  Madeline touched me!”)
  3. Make more things from scratch. I am slacking here.  I bought bread.  Purchased bread does, however, make a much better peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  It has been sooooo hot in our area that I haven’t had the motivation to turn on the oven.
  4. Landscape. Need more woodchips.  Front yard looks better since the removal of overgrown bushes.  Picture soon.
  5. Reduce our paper towel habit. The greatest evidence of our success is John’s recent statement, “You know, I don’t even miss paper towels.” 

And, dear readers (all 11 of you), we still want to go viral.  Admittedly, this particular post is more for Mr. AFT’s and my benefit, but if you know someone who might appreciate my pith (perhaps another exhausted parent of 3 under 5?), please forward!  Since we’ve pretty well succeeded on #5,  I may have to add a new goal– PUBLISH.



k and the AFTHOTW crew


I Went to Work and It Was Okay

It is the tail end of day 2 in my back-to-work saga.  M and C seem quite thrilled with their new day care provider and already my Spanish is improving!  Today I even understood a joke in Spanish about Charlotte’s lack of teeth.  Teeth and day care are big topic in Massachusetts lately (I’m sure that sounds very odd to anyone who isn’t the parent of a young child who attends day care in MA.)  Mads, apparently, does a lot of bailando during the day.

Astonishingly, work hasn’t been as awful as I feared.  It seems very clear to me now that being pregnant absolutely drained me last fall.  John is actually coming to work with me for a few days to do some observations for school. He is working with some of the students that I taught in the fall and they’ve asked him if I was as mean at home.  Good husband, he’s been lying and saying that I was a dream to live with, even in the moments before the induction.

I do wish the day was about three hours longer.  I’m madly typing this at 10:43 p.m and I didn’t prep the writing samples that I really wanted to for class tomorrow.  And if I was staying on top of things, I’d also fold a load of laundry before I went to bed.  Not happening.  I’m holding off on broad comments like “this is impossible” or “this is totally doable” until we settle into an actual routine– and John isn’t around to help with day care drop off and pick up.

My ability to be pithy here seems to have fallen off in the last few days.  I’m sorry.  Hang in there with me folks– snark will return as equilibrium is reached!

To make up for my lack of insight, I’ll throw in some gratuitous photos of Team AFTHOTW.  Because I know you’re just reading for the pics anyway. . .

A man outnumbered

Notice that Mads is paying attention neither to me nor to her father.  I suspect she is riveted by Curious George.  Girl’s got priorities.

Think of me at 7:35 a.m., molding young minds.

Be Here, Get There

As part of a virtual weight-loss support group (I’m not actively trying to lose weight right now, but my friends are and I love them and think they are hysterical so we’re all in this together), my friend Barbara shared something from www.zenhabits.net called “How to Make the Most of the Fresh Start of a New Year.”  It reminded me of what I should be doing every day– focusing on where I am in the moment.

In general, I kind of stink at this.  I always have a to do list in my head– “Okay, now I need to make the bed and then get clean clothes for Madeline and feed the dogs and empty the dishwasher”–  instead of fully focusing on whatever it is I might be doing at that moment.  Part of it is feeling like I never have enough time to do all of the things I need to do, which is almost certainly a false pressure because while I have lots of things I should or could do, really the most important and only absolutely necessary thing is to take care of the girls.  And taking care of them is an ongoing job, so when I should be completely focused on them, I’m often busy thinking about making beds and finding clean clothes and feeding the dogs and emptying the dishwasher.

I imagine that is a common issue for mothers of young children.  There is a lot to do just to keep them safe, clean, warm and fed and then there’s all of this other “stuff.”  I should relish every second I get to spend just being their mommy, but I don’t.  Partially because sometimes it is so all fired boring.  How many times can I do the peek-a-boo bag and look for the elephant and the lady bug?  How many times can I draw a straight line? (M likes it when I draw straight lines — “Mommy draw straight line!”)

So I will try to be here in every moment.  Step one – be here and write this post, instead of thinking about how I should be doing the peek-a-boo bag or drawing a straight line. (PS I did take a break and send an email in the midst of writing.)

Barb’s post also reminded me of another shortcoming and therefore another goal– get there.  I start lots of things and feel like they never get completed or come to any purposeful end.  I often feel that way about writing.  In my year in Boston Teachers Write (a program that no longer exists), my essays started strong and snarky.  My colleagues told me that they liked the scenarios, the voice.  But as I worked on the essays, I got bored and wanted to abandon the concepts.  I felt like my own writing had something to say, but I could never say it.  I never got “there.”  This could be just my perception.  Do these blog posts get “there”?

So that’s the other thing I’m working on– getting “there”, making my mental plans into reality.  I confess, I don’t know what that looks like in terms of my writing.   But right now, I can’t be “here” anymore.  I have to help M and I’m going to try and only do that for a few minutes.