January 24, 2009

It's almost February? Seriously?

I know, I know. It's been far too long. I can't believe how adding even one small addition to my schedule throws everything out of whack. Clearly I've reached the breaking point, where adding something means subtracting something else! Unfortunately, that something else has been blogging, and to a lesser extent, cleaning my house!

Gone are the sweet, relaxing, nothing-to-worry-about days of my early maternity leave - say hello to the OHMYGOD-I-only-have-7-to-9-weeks-left all out panic. Somehow, I have to figure out what to do with my life in that time. Clearly, I have still work- with a recession coming (and doomsday radio guests telling me to take all the money out of the bank and store it in a safe at home), I have little choice, although once Ian is done his parental leave it will strongly depend on what the cost of childcare ends up being. Speaking of - I checked out the new daycare by my house, and it's $1200 per month for kids under the age of 2. SERIOUSLY???? PLUS $800 for Lili, PLUS $350 for before/after school care for Cohen (assuming they could get him in) PLUS $800 for Cohen in the summer...

Seriously! Now, hopefully I can find a decent dayhome that will take all three for less than $1800, or else we're pooched.

Anyway - there is a small part of me that is looking forward to going back to work. I like using my brain to do things beyond figuring out how to keep Cohen and Lili from arguing over the last juice-box. One thing is for certain:
I love learning!

I'm taking an intro course in the evenings right now, and wow, is it ever different from my University days! I find myself completely riveted to everything the instructor says, and I was excited to do my first project (although it wasn't all that successful...but I took a risk and committed!). I love being back in school, learning new things. I think even when I'm working I'll try and find a way to keep taking this program, even if it is online.

As for the kids - well, Cohen is doing well, although he's somewhat embroiled in Grade 1 politics/popularity issues currently. He's loving hockey - in fact, all he watches on TV these days are sports updates. Lili is doing well also - she started her art class last week (surprise surprise, it's her favourite activity), and is doing very well at violin, although sometimes she learns so quickly that it's hard for me or her teacher to keep her interest.

And Luci... Luci is 8 months old already! What the???? And she's amazing. She's not crawling yet (phew), nor does she have any teeth. And in fact, I just started her on solids (as in, rice cereal and baby food) recently... and I'm SO glad I waited. Very little mess, and she likes everything. Cohen and Lili got started at 4 months... boy, coulda saved myself some trouble and waited!

Anyway, I'll try and post some pictures this week, now that my first project is over I have a little down time.

More updates to come... hopefully!

January 13, 2009

Dead to the world for a week!

What a week!!!!!!

Disaster struck. It all started Tuesday, when I noticed the beginnings of a sore throat. I shrugged it off as another cold trying to ruin my day... but I don't have time for colds, so I usually just keep right on going, and the cold gives up.

Not this time.

By the time I managed to get Cohen to Kodaly, I no longer had a voice, and I started to get the chills. Horrible, horrible feeling! When we got home, I managed to convince Cohen to watch Luci, and both Cohen and Lili got themselves a snack, got their PJs on, and tucked me in on the couch. As soon as I got the kids to bed, I attempted to go to bed too. No luck. At all. Of course, Ian was on nights, so I was on my own. Probably for the best, as I tossed and turned all night, aching all over.

Wednesday was a write-off. In fact, Ian didn't go in to work because I was absolutely incapable of looking after Luci. I spent Wednesday and Thursday and most of Friday in bed. Friday eve I was feeling somewhat better, and Ian was having poker night, so I was up and about, making them food and hanging out with Lee. Saturday, I was determined that I was getting better, and made a trip to the mall to return my dishes (they clashed with my walls... but it was all worth it, as I found a set I love even more). Big mistake - when we got home, I was feeling so much worse. Saturday night was absolutely terrible - if I knew it wouldn't have hurt more, I would have cried the entire time. My throat was in agony. I was drinking gallons of ice water with no relief. I was taking about 1200mgs of Ibuprofen each day with no relief. After another sleepless night, Sunday morning I woke up and headed straight for the doctor.

He wasn't impressed that I waited so long. Strep throat, and a severe case of it. He wrote me a presciption, told me to pick up extra-strength Ibuprofen AND Tylonol, and to spend no less than 3 days in bed. (Ha. Ha. Ha.)

I had to cancel girls night (yeah, you know it's serious when...). Cohen had his first "real" hockey game (Ian made me stay home, but I couldn't do it - Cohen looked too sad - so I drove there myself and watched the first 2/3 before I got too cold and had to go home), I missed a friends' daughter's first birthday party... and I feel totally behind on everything.

The house, oh the house. It was a disaster. Last night I finally started feeling human again (aka stoned on painkillers), and in a whirlwind of energy, spent 2 hours cleaning. Of course, I'm paying the price today, but I'm still glad I did it. The only thing worse than being sick at home is being sick in a filthy home.

My throat still hurts a lot - probably I'll start feeling an improvement tomorrow - but the fever is gone, and the world is in focus again. I can't remember the last time I was that sick! It's horrible! At least I know now that I do make a difference in this family... (hopefully Ian knows it too). I am so happy to get back to packing lunches, signing field trip forms, sweeping floors and folding laundry.

And working on my secret project ;) to be revealed soon...

Oh well. Better last week than this week - I start classes tomorrow. Exciting!

January 5, 2009

Happy 2009

I despise it when I fall behind on blogging! There is just so much going on, it's hard to keep track of it all!

We had a fantastic Christmas, and having said that, I'm SO relieved it's over. In fact, if I would have had my way, I would have packed up all the decorations on boxing day. It was EXHAUSTING this year! But worth it. We did pack it all up on New Years Day. I'm happy to have my house back to normal. Ha!

For New Years eve this year, Ian and I did... nothing. We dislike fighting the crowds anyways, and trying to find a sitter is pretty much impossible. Instead, we had some of the kids' friends over during the day, and then just drank some wine/beer and played Wii together. It was quite nice.

And so, here we are in 2009. I have a host of resolutions - but I have not yet had a chance to think clearly about them and put them on paper. There are the obvious ones - eating well, exercising... but I think it goes beyond that. Thank goodness I no longer have to add "quit smoking". 2 years this February! Amazing.

I have a lot of major decisions to make this year - mostly related to my career and my kids. I've made one decision already - I'm closing the door on my music career - or furthering it, anyways. My friend Gail put it nicely on her blog recently - basically, music is an all-or-nothing career. I just have too many other interests to give music the attention it deserves. I will still play with the ensembles I'm with, and teach whenever I can.

The first major step in this decision was to go through all of my music stuff. Boxes and boxes and boxes! The hardest step was throwing out all of my grad school applications - beautiful, glossy brochures from Juilliard, Eastman, Arizona, Louisiana... it broke my heart a little. But I kept reminding myself - I'm just making room for new dreams and goals in my life. Holding on to all of this stuff was causing indecision and clutter in my brain and my heart!

Once that was complete, I made a spreadsheet of all of my music supplies, decided which pieces I couldn't life without, and then emailed every flutist I knew. I'm selling it all. All of it! Out of sight, out of mind. I will always be a musician in my soul - and I have no regrets (having said that, I sure wish I'd done a double-degree in business admin or something)... how could I? Most of my closest friends I met through music. I've experienced the most amazing highs playing the flute. I have memories that I will carry with me forever.

So now what? Well, time is running out on that question. Ian wants to take at least 1.5 months of parental leave - which means I might be back at work as early as March 1. My heart breaks at the thought of leaving Luci. However - if Ian makes good on his word, I'll come home to a clean house and a hot meal every night. ! Seriously, I'm hopeful that work isn't as stressful when I don't have to try and do everything else as well.

A few other job opportunities have come up as well, both of which would mean going back to work a lot sooner than March. I feel like a fool, thinking about cutting my leave short, but sometimes there are opportunities that you just can't ignore.

And, I'm planning on taking some courses in the meantime. I've scrapped the idea of nursing - for now - because the reality is that I can't afford 4 more years of school. There's just no way.

I am starting 2009 a completely different person than I was last year. I've done so much thinking since starting my leave! Finally, some time to breathe, some time to look back and more importantly, to look forward. I feel like for the first time in years, I've had a chance to actually sit back, and think! It's like I've been living life in this odd bubble. It's so nice, but it also means I have time to consider all of the options and consequences, whereas typically in the past I would just act on instinct all of the time, and if it didn't work out, well, onward!

And so, I hope you'll keep tuning into this blog to see where the year takes the Swaffield family! So much adventure to come, I'm sure. Luci will be crawling any day (god help us all), Cohen has learned how to read, and Lili wants to take Karate lessons. Ian wants to take a cooking class, and me... well, we'll have to see!

Happy New Year everyone!

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