Some days it feels like there's just a little too much going on.
I went back to work a few ago - part time - but really, full time when you think about it - Lilly's in school about 25 hours a week and I'm working about 25 hours a week. So, not much time leftover. Which makes the extra tasks - grocery shopping, laundry, showering, thinking - extended into the extra hours in the day. Luckily the work itself is ideal - it's exactly what I was doing before, except on a limited scale (which makes me happy that I won't miss Washington legislation this year) so there's no learning curve involved here - I like what I'm doing and I'm good at it (I think). But, the hardship is taking what I've done in the past 6 months - making the family the number one priority - and reshaking the balance a tiny bit to fit it all in again. It's not bad, but it's just an adjustment - meals aren't always homemade, house isn't always clean, Jon's picking up things from the store a little more often - but it's all doable. And I feel lucky that I get to balance the work I love with the family I love.
So if that were that, it wouldn't be too much. But the rest of "life" is overextending us, I think.
When I say we live like tourists, this is what I mean: we are living very transitionally. Because we've moved every year for 4 years, we haven't had any pictures on our walls in years. Our furniture for two of the four years has been temporary furniture (because it's almost as hard to bring furniture into Manhattan as it is to New Zealand). Friends have been even harder to come by - although we've been somewhat lucky at times - but for the most part, weekends are filled with us finding things to do to entertain ourselves. Like tourists.
(One thing that Jon pointed out to me some time ago - was that it's just as hard to entertain a little kid at home as it is out - and, he'd rather be out. So, there we go.)
This weekend, for example. I was busy Saturday organizing pictures (I'm in the process of sorting through about 10,000 moments of Lilly's live and it's exhausting!). So that's a process in itself; but I promised myself when I stopped working that I would finally get photo albums and baby books made for Lilly (and going back to work is not an excuse!). We're about to move for the last time in a month, Lilly is about to turn 5 in a month; it's time we had some pictures of her life printed out.
Meanwhile, Jon Sherman took his beautiful daughter out for the day. Like tourists, they went all over the city - multiple parks, carousel, the Intrepid for a Fleet Week event (they caught the cast of Wicked singing), and scored last minute tickets to Mary Poppins (Lilly's 3rd time this year).
Today, I am still uploading miscellanous pictures to snapfish (that I discovered had previously gone missing in yesterday's organization). But that didn't stop us from jumping on the F train down through Brooklyn to Coney Island. Of course. Lilly played in the sand with two little girls who spoke no English (I believe they were actually Italian tourists, which is prepping her for her Italian adventure in July, right?). She loved building castles. Then we went on the huge ferris wheel, and a bunch of "kiddie" rides that were so intense that we could barely handle them.
Afterwards, we came back uptown so Jon could go to softball practice, Lilly took a mini nap, and I made dinner - a healthy meal of whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce from Italy, and sauteed onions, asparagus, red peppers, and carrots. I even took the vegetables and pureed them into the sauce for Lilly's portion, so she got an extra boost of vegetables. So, being super mom is also on my plate.
So we're exhausted. A normal family after all this excitement would chill out and relax.
So why are we, tomorrow morning at 6:30 am, getting in a taxi headed for Penn Station to get on a train that will take us to Sesame Place - the Sesame Street theme park? Because we have nothing better to do, apparently, and Lilly can hang out with her cousin Matthew amongst all the other preschoolers in the Northeast.
And in the next few weeks, we will be busy packing for our move in just one month, getting ready to celebrate Lilly's birthday (no big party this year - just tickets for 10 to Mamma Mia on Broadway, of course), celebrating my best friend's wedding in Atlanta, finishing up the school year for Lilly and Jon's job here, and moving into our new house. And, apparently, sorting through a gamillion pictures of Miss Lilly Lou - which is harder than it seems, because she is just so adorable in each one, and every single picture I look at, I remember the background story, and take a minute to appreciate every part of who that little girl is. I love her so much, and am so glad we've had such great adventures over the past 5 years.
While July will bring on it's own busy-ness, I look forward to the "only" thing that we have to do is settle in and settle down for the first few weeks. Get to know the neighborhood because DC will be our home for good (hopefully!). And two weeks after that, really relax - as only we can - with our European adventure.
And after that, life. While we can still do touristy things, I'm hoping in theory we'll do more play dates. More time hanging out at the pool. (Note to self: find a local pool.) More time looking through our photo albums that memorialize the past 5 years, remembering how amazing our times have been, but enjoying that we can finally just live our lives.