I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
So - yesterday was completely uneventful. I made it to the gym - kids in tow - now, everyone there knows them, which is nice. I did make Milo some manicotti with spinach AND some meatballs (after my iron-boosting conversation with the doctor yesterday morning) for dinner - he ate only plain pasta with a little cheese on it (everyone else ate what I made - a good thing). Baby steps - baby steps... We did field hockey carpool - baked a little - made popcorn and watched a movie - played in the "clubhouse". I abandoned a project to refinish a little apothecary cabinet that we found over the weekend - it is in bad shape - not worth a refinish. We did stay focused and on task, though - not as much milling (which leads to fighting, which leads to yelling). Olivia folded a bit of her laundry - cleaned her room a little (a good thing - because friends expecting a baby called us late night to have their daughter, Caroline - Olivia's friend, sleep over while they rushed off to the hospital - hoping, this time, it wasn't a false alarm - I will report back as soon as I hear this am :-) - though.... we did have three - yes, the ever-present Olivia B was here too - girls up until 2 am or so, giggling, etc.).
So - thanks, all, for the advice you have provided over the past week or so, regarding kids and "chores". I did enlist some help from my boys yesterday to dust, pick up toys, wipe up in the kitchen, etc. They actually seem to enjoy it. Also - and I don't know if I'm alone in this (but I'm asking advice again :-), but I have been taking out the old kindergarten and Pre-K workbooks for them - having them do a few exercises - or sometimes, I just put out some paper and pens and have Enzo practice his name and some numbers - other words (he needs to practice his writing - had trouble with a pencil grip last year) - I have Milo write too (he knows how to do his name and the focus for just a couple of minutes seems to help him calm down). They can also color or work on their own projects. In fact, I have these little work stations set up in the dining room (which, I think I've mentioned before, has become sort of an art room for us :-). Does anyone else do this? Provide the extra school practice OR get them to focus on some drawing or writing or something creative for a bit - take a break from the wild stuff? Might be overkill, but... they seem to like it.
Anyway... Photo: Still reminiscing - especially talking to the friends on their way to the hospital with the baby last night. Feels like yesterday that I had contractions with Lil for days - had to have my mom come into town - had to step up the painting process in her room (which I did alone, btw). I like how I can see my reflection in her little glasses :-) in this photo - can remember taking it :-). Again - probably not last summer but summer before that. I also remember when our friends gave us that onesie for her, saying it looked like us - a little preppy, a little punk. Ah... memories :-).
Oh... and... my Linked In success is still pretty pathetic as is my job hunt thus far.... We'll see......