What in the holy hell was I thinking?!

For 5 1/2 years, I’ve been mom to Connor. We had a rough start, with day-care, me working, and an on-and-off illness, but we’ve settled into a fairly nice routine. We’re still having some issues with listening, and following directions at school, but for the most part, Connor is a really good kid. He’s outgoing, confident, a genuinely sweet soul, and very opinionated. I have yet to meet an adult who doesn’t adore him within minutes. Not that any of that has anything whatsoever to do with me, it’s just who he is.

In June of last year, I found out I was pregnant. The timing wasn’t exactly great, but our little family was looking forward to having a little one running around again. Especially Connor – he made it well known that he would adore having a little sister. I figured having another baby wouldn’t be too difficult, as Connor loves to be helpful, and hubby is usually home nights and weekends.

Much to Connor’s disappointment, there would be no sister for him. I had Kyle in February of this year, and although he isn’t the sister Connor was hoping for, it’s very obvious that he loves his new brother. (Yes, that is our den, and yes, it’s very crowded with kid toys and furniture. Don’t judge – it’s gated off and child-proofed, so it’s basically a huge playpen!)

Kyle is now nearly 8-months-old, and Connor is going to be 6 in January. Now, I’ve never been one of those “Oh-My-God-We-Have-To-Be-Involved-With-Everything!” moms. I’ve always been a more laid back, roll-with-the-punches and do what activities Connor is interested in kind of moms.

I enrolled in an online university program in June. It’s an accelerated program, so although there is only 1 class at a time, I’ll still earn my bachelor’s degree in 4 years. I am considered a full-time student.

So, let’s do the math, shall we? 1 Kindergartner (half-days, which is really only long enough for me to blink) + 1 8mo boy + college course work + housework, cooking, blogging, etc. = 1 Very Busy Mamma

Fast-forward to 2 weeks ago, and for some friggin’ reason, I thought it would be a great idea to volunteer for Connor’s school and join the PTA. These all started at the same time. Anyone here think someone slipped me a pill that makes me the equivalent of insane? Yep, I thought so.

Fast-forward to this past weekend, and suddenly hubby’s boss has decided to grace him with more overtime than he can handle (he’s got a physical job, so overtime is great, but it leaves him totally wiped and pretty much as useful as a dirty diaper). Add to that the fact that he’s also got probably 3 or 4 weekends worth of side jobs going on, and I may as well be a single mother with a room-mate who is as helpful as Homer Simpson. Don’t get me wrong, I love hubby to pieces, and he does help out with the trash, dishes, etc.; but make him tired, achy and super-busy, and he basically turns into a snarky version of Garfield the cat on crack. Not a super-fun situation, to say the least.

Here’s what my day looked like yesterday…

  • Get up, get the boys up, fix Connor breakfast, and feed Kyle
  • Give Connor a bath (we usually do this at night, so today is an exception)
  • Try to get Connor dressed in less than 30 minutes
  • Change Kyle’s diaper and clothes
  • Bring Connor to Kindergarten (this recently included a public meltdown, but we’re finally not having those anymore!)
  • Try to get Kyle down for his nap
  • Read the rest of the required chapter for course work
  • Wake up Kyle and get him ready to go
  • Pick up Connor at school
  • Get the mail
  • Get Connor to put his school stuff and shoes away
  • Make lunch, feed Kyle
  • Eat
  • Clean up destroyed den (by now it’s around 1:30, and I’ve been up since 6:30)
  • Get Connor to clean up his dishes from lunch
  • Go through Connor’s JobChart with him, and discuss problem areas
  • Write outline for a paper due at midnight, experiencing something like 30 interruptions
  • Try to talk to hubby (his phone consistently hangs up on people, and our home phones all need new batteries, so it’s quite and adventure)
  • Put in a load of laundry that I now have to re-wash because I forgot about it
  • Start cutting out paper bones for Connor’s teacher (my homework, 🙂 )
  • Get Connor and Kyle snacks
  • Try to work on my paper, fail miserably
  • Help Connor with his homework (more like guiding – he pretty much gets it)
  • Finish cutting out paper bones
  • Vacuum den
  • Take a shower
  • Eat dinner, feed Kyle
  • Get the boys changed and in bed (it’s 8:30 at this point – how in the hell it got so late, I have no idea!)
  • Finally start working on my paper – couldn’t find any credible sources to use, but thankfully, it’s just a draft
  • Submit paper with 6 minutes to spare
  • Drag my ass to bed at midnight

The above list not only doesn’t include all the bottles and diaper changing, it is exactly why when hubby comes home and says “do you think you can put the laundry away this week?” I want to rip his face off. As you can see, I’m so busy I barely have time to try to complete a thought, let alone dedicate time to the friggin’ PTA! Yes, it was stressful, but I kind of enjoyed having so much to do as it made me feel highly productive – almost like a real outside-the-home job would. Still, at the end of it all, as I lie in bed trying to get my stupid, multi-tasking brain to stop telling me all the shit I would have to do today, I wonder what in the hell I was thinking – and I laugh.

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Crazy Busy

The next several weeks are going to be crazy-busy for me, but the up-side is that my boys are both thoroughly enjoying themselves because of it.

I signed Connor up for swimming lessons earlier this year, and unlike many learning situations, he’s taken to them like a *ahem* fish to water, lol. He’s also playing T-ball with the town Recreation Dept. He doesn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the swimming lessons, but with a little bribery (like kite-flying or roller skating afterwards), he’s a somewhat willing participant.

I have to admit, I’m seriously impressed with the town’s facilities and sports programs for kids. We have a huge complex of sports fields that are all interconnected by paved walkways, there are somewhat clean and non-stinky port-a-potty’s, a playground for younger kids, and several concession stands. Did I mention that this place is frickin’ huge? There must be a minimum of 20 different sports fields in this place! I was speaking to one of the t-ball coaches one day before practice, and he said if you walk throughout the complex and all the interconnecting paths, you’d have walked something like 2.6 miles! And that’s just this one particular recreation area…there are at least three others I know of, and that’s not all of them by a long stretch.The place where we do our swimming lessons is amazing, too. It’s a bunch of ponds connected by a through road, and each pond has a large grassy area with picnic tables and grills for cooking, a small beach, concession stand and restrooms, lifeguards, and roped off areas for the kids to swim in. The water is clean (there are even small fish swimming in the little inlets for the boys to try to catch!), and there’s plenty of shade for moms with babies. Just a warning…either make sure you bring plenty of money for the ice cream man, or that your kids know in advance that they’re not getting any ice cream, lol. My mother has come with us the past two days, and we’ve been having a ball.

That’s his swimming teacher. She’s got the patience of a saint!

Now to the important part of this post. Since Kyle was born, my life has gotten to be much more complicated. Not only because I now have two sons, but also because Connor is five now, and he’s got his own activities and schedule to keep. My mother said to me today…”I don’t know how you do all the packing and running around without losing your mind”.

There are a couple of things I do that make my life manageable so I only forget something if I happen to misplace an appointment card or don’t write something on the shopping list when I use the last of it or something silly like that.

First of all, I use Cozi.com. It’s a calendar, journal, to do list, and shopping list all in one place. You’re probably saying “big effing deal, I can do all that with Microsoft Outlook”, and normally I would agree. But…Cozi.com also has an Outlook toolbar add-on, so you can sync it with Outlook. It’s online so you can access it anywhere. And, they have iPhone and Android apps, a mobile website for Blackberries and Palms, the ability to have Cozi read you your shopping lists or appointments over your cell phone, and the ability to have Cozi send you a text message from your calendar, to do list or shopping list. Oh, and did I mention their sidebar gadget? In other words, this site rocks.

Unfortunately, I haven’t jumped on the cell-phone data usage bandwagon yet, so what I do is add all my appointments/to dos/shopping items to Cozi, then sync that with Outlook. I also use the iOutlook sidebar gadget just because I’m super-picky and like the way it looks better than the Cozi gadget.

So, here’s my answer. I worked out what things we do every day (dishes, laundry, meals, etc.), got us into a pretty good schedule for the daily stuff, sleeping and naps; make to-do lists as if my life depended on it, I prioritize, and I couldn’t live without my Outlook calendar.

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