23 April 2012

A reflection on a decade

Ten years ago, I was working from home. I'd had on-and-off contractions all day, but they were a tease, getting my hopes up only to stall out the minute the ten minutes of resting was up.

I plopped on the couch and started editing the legal journal (shout outs to Cindy and Lona here!). At some point in the middle of a Supreme Court opinion on takings, I dozed off. I woke up at 5, decided I'd get up, start dinner in the kitchen, and finish editing.

My water broke as soon as I stood up.

Those pregnancy manuals (I'm looking at you, "What to Expect") that say your water rarely breaks haven't met me. Mine breaks every time, in a hellacious mess, and then the contractions *really* start.

I called my husband, who then was promptly pulled over on Caton Farm Road by a cop. Thus begins the story of our son's birth, with a frantic husband waving at the cop, a kindergartener in the car ready to tell the cop all about her new sibling to come, and my frantic walk through the neighborhood to find someone to watch her, because our people weren't answering their phone and we had no relatives nearby.

Ten years ago at 8 p.m., I caved and took pitocin when labor stalled AGAIN. Plus, the Cubs game on TV was awful and I wanted out of L&D before the game ended (joking, joking).

Our son was born soon after. He was chunky. He was a good eater, unlike his sister.

He was a charmer. Still is.

Ten years later, I'm looking at my witty little dude, who pops out with the strangest things. He listens intently to Nina Totenberg on NPR, to the point that my editing a legal journal was a help in parenting.

He is a hoot. He loves sports. Loves basketball, which has resulted in an injury that has sidelined him to playing the Wii versions for now. He enjoys tormenting his sisters, both younger and older. Often with puns. Bad ones. He is his father's son.

Ten years later, I'm slowly regaining my stamina and body. I managed to run two miles at a 12:30 pace in 80+ heat today. I brag, a bit, because I remember those first few days ten years ago, when I would have sworn I'd never maintain my sanity, much less get my body back in some semblance of shape.

Nothing is forever. Not the lack of sleep. Not the newborn smell. Not the ten-year-old wiseacre sitting across from me.

Enjoy the moments.

01 April 2012

The Five-minute Fix

Quick:  How many little, annoying things around your house could be fixed in five minutes?

Life intrudes. It piles up. The disaster of piles of stuff abounds.

Sadly, this is so true around here, I would like to cry.
Creators Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott have nailed it. 
In our house, too many to count. I have piles of toys that should be packed away. They are already sorted. Ready for storage (if we had decent storage).

Dishes that are in the drying rack that could be put away.

Ditto for the clean load of laundry in the dryer.

So often, I look at the piles of stuff to do and I can't bear it. I rant, I shout. I force the kids to do something.

Five minutes. Like three rounds of commercials. How hard can it be?

This weekend, I decided I was tackling the five-minute jobs. Oscillating fan that rattled and just needed to be tightened = fixed. Toilets beyond gross = clean. Dishes and laundry = dealt with.

I'm fixing the broken strap on my sundress next. Five-minute repair job, soon to be done.

This is going to become a regular weekend thing. I'm bringing the kids in next . . . two songs, upstairs, we clean up. If anything, at least when Grandma and Grandpa arrive, hopefully it won't be a disaster up there.