Monday, March 21, 2016


Tomorrow we get back to our regular routine, after The Bean having a week off for March Break. We spent the first part of the week at Jen's parents'. We drove up Friday night, Jen left Sunday (she had to be back for work), and the kids and I stayed through Wednesday to get a couple of extra days with Grandma and Grandpa.

The kids just love it there. The Bean was so joy-filled on Saturday morning when he was outside playing he kept exclaiming, "I'm just so happy!" Goodness, how that made me wish we lived closer. Sprout, always Grandma's girl, took to her even more this visit to the point of rejecting me for her. What a strange feeling! Apart from a GORGEOUS Saturday, the weather was pretty soggy, so most of our days were spent indoors, but the kids did enjoyed themselves, regardless. We went to see Zootopia one day and another day went to the play area at the local mall to burn off some steam. It went quickly, as our trips there do.

I am so glad that our kids enjoy spending time with Jen's family. I enjoy spending time with them too. I really lucked out in the in-law department. It's not something that I take for granted.

Things have certainly improved over the years with my mom. I know that the adult relationships will never be quite as comfortable as the ones we have with Jen's parents though. The kids, however, love their Oma and are always very happy to spend time with her. She's surprised me twice recently --once by apologizing for kicking me out. I never, ever thought that day would come. She seemed genuinely remorseful and it felt good (though that's not quite the right word) to finally have the injustice of the situation acknowledged. The second surprise is that she agreed to watch the kids for two nights when we go to Boston for our friends' wedding in April. I don't think The Bean and Sprout have registered the fact that they aren't coming to the wedding yet (we originally thought it was going to be kid-friendly, but as plans progressed it turned out not to be) and they'll likely be a little disappointed when that realization sets in, but I think knowing that they're going to have a few days with Oma will help soften the blow. I just hope Oma can handle things here!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my sister and I are still not speaking. There are issues, like the holidays, that make me feel disappointed that this is where things have progressed to, but I feel like the decision to cut ties has been the right one. The upcoming holiday along with watching our two kids interact this week has had me thinking about how my mom must feel about our estrangement. Still, I think I would be absolutely heartbroken if The Bean and Sprout found themselves in a similar situation as adults. Witnessing their sibling bond is one of my greatest joys. They have their moments, but overall they are so good with each other and I am so grateful for their relationship. I hope they remain close as they grow up. (My sister and I have always had a volatile relationship, which I thought we had outgrown, but I suppose not. My brother and I, much like Jen and her brother, get along fine, but are not close.)

Overall we're really lucky with family. My aunt is almost like another grandparent to the kids, and my cousins are like aunts and uncles. The biggest complaint is that so much of our family lives far away and we don't get to see them nearly as much as we'd like to.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


This afternoon the kids noticed that the bulbs we planted in the fall are beginning to sprout. While this week is forecast to be warm, I'm not counting on spring starting just yet. Still a new season is around the corner and with that come the awareness of time passing and the ever-pressing need to figure out a plan or at least pin down some firm possibilities for the coming year.

We registered Sprout for kindergarten a few weeks ago. It's a bit hard to believe that our three-year-old will be in full-time school in the fall. I also checked off the box indicating that we are interested in before and after school care for the kids. Not knowing what my work schedule will be, in seems prudent to get them on the wait list now and cancel the spots should we not need them rather than scramble to find care later.

There hasn't been any progress on the job front. A few weeks ago I did a big search and came up with a few new schools to apply to, but I still haven't updated my resume and sent out cover letters. (Well, I did for one that someone had told me might be hiring, but aside from that I have not.) I know it's important and I will do it, but it is a daunting task. I've been mulling over non-school teaching options --educational programming, tutoring and the like. Again, I need to search out all the possibilities, though there are a few I should get on sooner rather than later. Then there's the idea of going back to school. Tomorrow I'm hoping to finally make an appointment at a government office to see if I qualify for any assistance in going back to school. There's a program here that will job train for in-demand fields. I'm just not certain I want to work in any of those fields. It really is a mind shift. Hopefully after talking to someone I'll have a better sense as to whether that's something to pursue. I'd love to go back and get my Masters of Education or continue my Psychology Degree, but while potentially interesting, I don't see those as being something very practical options. It's hard to know.

Fortunately I'm feeling less crippled by this task than I did a month ago. The anti-depressants seem to be helping. I had some side effects -stomach pain the first week or two and then extreme fatigue for another week or two following that. I still feel like I'm more tired that I typically would be, but I seem to be adjusting. I find I'm a lot more patient with the kids and I have a more reasonable perspective on minor things that I was formerly getting upset about.

Not that everything is roses. My sister and I still are not speaking and I do not see a reconciliation in the near future. In fact, I have no interest in future contact with her unless she makes some indication that she is apologetic about the way she's treated us in the past and will try to show us more respect going forward. Fortunately we haven't had contact for several months now. Unfortunately Easter is coming up and my mom wants to get the family together. Jen and I agreed that we do not wish to join in the celebration if my sister will also be there. My regret is that this decision means that our kids are likely to miss out. It also brings into question how future celebrations will be handled. Thanksgiving. Christmas. I don't think it's fair that we'd always be the ones to bow out, but I also don't seeing her being compromising enough to take turns. I don't think it's fair: to us, to our kids, to my mom, but I also don't see another option. I guess we will see what the coming seasons hold.