MidSummer Musings

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday night, July 24, and I am sitting at my desk ready to crack those knuckles and get back to work trying to dig out of the editing pile of sessions from June and July. Pandora is playing the Ingrid Michaelson station--- so so consistently good, you guys-- and I am ready to work. Except.....

Except I haven't written, for myself or for you guys, in AGES. My brain is rusty and dusty and itchy and hungry. The trap of waiting too long to write begets a tendency to keep waiting even longer, until something TRANSCENDENT presents itself as a good "come back" topic, and that's just silly. Most of this ordinary life isn't TRANSCENDENT, really... by anyone else's standards. It's just life. My ordinary life. And even if I DID have some stunning things to share and report, that would involve making room to edit and prepare some great photos to go along with the post... like photos of the Grand Tetons mountain range I got to spend time in last month.... Or photos of my kids in this incredibly beautiful shady, flowered glen that I took them to earlier this summer (and subjected them to poison ivy and ticks and heat rash to make the photos happen. So yeah. Sometimes the photo that speaks a thousand words still isn't really telling the truth. Ha!) 

So then NOT writing begets more NOT writing, and suddenly it's the middle of summer and y'all have given up on me, which is bad enough, but worse, I've lost the chance to sort through my chaotic and emotional inner self that is always there, always ready to benefit from some good, cathartic, stream-of-consciousness writing to help me find my center again. 

But seriously--- why don't I make time to write more often? Journal, blog, blurt... something. 

I blame the pesky kids. 

And my natural tendency to be a bit lazy. 

I choose Spider Solitaire on my phone above healthy self-time journaling. 


I guess you could also blame the 34.5 week pregnancy cookin' over here, too. And the 100+ degree humid gross terrible hateful summer dog days heat. Those are probably a huge part of it. 

In fact, the heat, the belly (and the beginning of achy hips and ribs and winded walking), and the constancy of three very vocal, very vibrant (read: needy) kids this month, adding in the actual potty training of one of those kids, have pushed me into this restless inertia wherein we have been home a LOT, together a LOT, and not finding much fresh, inspired mojo as we sit in the house doing the same things day in and day out. 

Now that Quinn is showing signs of being able to handle outings in his new underwear, with his new skillz, we fully plan to brave the heat and GET OUT OF THE HOUSE a bit this coming week. Thank heavens. But even with planned outings, there are things I am mentally itchy for, thinking about, planning on.... sort of that crazy nesting urge beginning..... But I am finding it VERY HARD to make the physical and emotional parts of me catch up to this mental buzzing. 

A few of the things rattling around my chaotic brain, as I plan ahead to baby arriving (due Sept. 1!!) and school starting again and other current affairs in our Southerland world here in STL. 

1. A big one--- getting ready to move kids around and redesign the rooms. We've decided (probably because we're insane) to integrate Quinn into the Lucy/Noah room so baby can have Quinn's tiny single room, and still keep our guest room. The big room will become a "bunkhouse" of sorts, with three beds on one wall, and a whole row of IKEA shelves opposite (not as tall as the photo here, but the same clean white style here.)

 I've decided to begin the process of moving furniture and setting up the three-kid room, getting rid of old stuff and making it look cohesive.. and to begin NOW before baby arrives, though I have also decided NOT to set up the nursery yet. I think I'm not ready for Quinn to actually move into the kids room yet. This summer on our road trip, he was the number one problem child every single night when all three had to share a room, and I..... I'm just not ready to do that again yet. My newborns take a few weeks/months to need their own room/crib, so I can wait til later fall to set up the baby room. But if I can have Quinn's "new spot" set up early, he can begin getting used to the idea while still getting to sleep in his usual spot for a bit longer. It might also help him feel less "replaced" when the baby arrives. 

So my mind is stewing on all the things I want to set up, what I want to get rid of, how I want to freshen the decor, etc. I just need to figure out how to find the TIME AND ENERGY, physically, to match my mental plans.  

2.Related to #1, in planning a fresh "look" for the 3-kid bunkhouse room, I've latched onto the idea of making them all matching patchwork quilts to tie the whole room together. This is my inspiration photo:

 I plan to make all three basically the same, but sneak in a few more pinks to Lucy's quilt. Noah's will be XL twin, and Lucy's and Quinn's will be toddler bed sized. And this feels like a CRAZY undertaking with only 5 weeks til baby, but every time I really THINK about it, these are easy. EASY. And my BFF Melanie is willing to quilt them after I make the tops. Which leaves just the binding, which is handwork in front of the TV anyway. So really, this is not impossible. And I REALLLLLLY want to do this. Okay. Tomorrow. I'm beginning cutting tomorrow. No more excuses. 

3. Meanwhile, our precious kitten, swiftly becoming a grown cat, has been peeing on our couch. Who knows why. Many cat-owner friends have mentioned that cats reacting to pregnant human owners is a really real thing, so I'm crossing my fingers she's just acting out because I'm emitting some kind of pheromone that makes her feel territorial. Good heavens, I don't even know. Because if she keeps up this behavior even after I've had a baby, we're going to have to make some hard decisions about the cat. But meanwhile, my crabby pregnant nose CANNOT HANDLE the cat pee living room anymore, so I have couches on my mind.

 I keep spinning ideas around and around... how to replace part or all of the current couch without risking a new couch also getting peed on? Do we take out half the couch now? Craigslist-hunt for a temporary fix? Just use bean bags from now on? cover the existing couch in foil and duct tape? Move away? 

Needless to say, I feel very restless and dissatisfied with the current situation, so I think about this a lot. I think we've landed on a plan, but I am not for sure. I'll keep you posted. 

4.After a week of mostly staying home, due to Quinn and potty training, I am READY TO GET OUT. So I have outings on my mind. 

This week we will definitely hit our local pool, maybe more than once. How cute is it?! (None of my kids are swim-skilled enough to do that tree-rope, but Noah loves the waterside. And the little kid area is totally engaging for Lucy and Quinn. 

I also think we'll go to the library one morning, and if it's a really rainy week like it's starting to hint at on my weather app,  we might head to the Science Center. I'm not keen on lots of walking at this point in the pregnancy, but we can stick to the Discovery Room maybe and I can sit lots. (What a slug I am!)

And there's always Pokemon Go. And we are TOTALLY doing it the "hot, uncomfortable pregnant lady" way: in the air-conditioned minivan, with a hands-free holder, where we pull into parking lots and troll around parks a LOT, and only hunt for Pokemon when the car is not moving, I promise. I can't even feel apologetic that we're doing it this way. I cannot bring myself to be out in this heat and humidity for long enough otherwise. And this has become a major family activity. Noah and I are the primary players, sharing our account, but Lucy and Quinn watch that phone like it's an in-car DVD player and LOVE the whole process as entertainment. Every time we catch a Pokemon, Quinn calls out "GOTCHA!" like the app says. And Lucy likes to say, "Oh, it's a feisty one!" when one of them pops out of the Pokeball and avoids capture. We're all thoroughly entertained. So we can always go out on a Poke-Hunt when we're really feeling cabin-fevery. 

Ultimately, the theme to my itchy nesting brain these past few weeks: wishing I just had more TIME and SPACE to get things in order and declutter and clean and make pretty things. It's incredibly draining to just maintain a home with all three kids home all summer, all while incubating a baby. And beyond the nesting instincts eating at me, I miss having energy and great weather to go out and have adventures with my kiddos. If I'm going to have them around all the time, I wish at least we could be doing more fun things... making more art, exploring more nature, reading more great books. But it all comes back to me being hot and tired and achy and we end up doing so much less. Lots of Legos and magnatiles and drawing and play doh.... Lots of extending the one-hour Minecraft time to two hours instead. Lots of Pokemon Go to make errands more interesting. Lots of just letting go and trying not to drive each other crazy. Lots of not making dinner, opting for sandwiches or cereal instead. 

It's a precarious place to be, emotionally. It's a good lesson in letting go. Letting it be what it is. I'll need to be doing that a LOT once baby arrives. But it's also a hard place for someone like me-- a thinker and a maker, a DOER. I feel a niggling sense of failure threading through these slow, repetitive days, unmarked by obvious PROGRESS. I am not easily able to center myself into the moment and just be grateful for what is happening right then. It should be a gift to just be home with my babies, watching them free play, communicate, laugh, and want to tell me all sorts of things. I should be grateful for every "slow moment", for soon I will feel a more constant frenzy just to manage a new baby AND a new school year for my TWO school kids.... 

But I'm hard-wired to crave marked and obvious productivity as a mark of a day well done. And I feel frustrated by my own plodding pace, my own need to rest more. My own current state of inertia. 

I am going to work on that this week. Both changing my inner-criticism when it IS slow and I AM doing "nothing".... But also on trying to chip away at a few projects and outings, to help bring some balance back after these past few weeks of imbalance. Maybe the rainy weather (and infinitesimal decrease in temperature) this week will help. 

Cutting quilt squares. Maybe building a toddler bed for Quinn. Library visit. Being in a swimming pool. Maybe booking a prenatal massage. Things to look towards this week. All shall be well. 

And.... publishing a blog post for the first time since April. Let's begin there. BAM.
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