Monday, August 31, 2015

Week in the Life 2015 | Wednesday

Wednesday | August 19, 2015

Happy 35th birthday, Reagan! 
Reagan is still participating in the exercise, working an 11 am-11 pm shift, so we opted for a breakfast celebration. His preferred birthday meal is tuna avocado salad followed by eggless raisin cake with cream cheese frosting, just the way his grandma used to make it for him. Given the early morning hour we opted for the cake, minus frosting. He'll get his tuna dinner another night. 

Love this. Love these two. A happy snuggle while Aidan read Reagan his birthday card.

Our first family bike ride in a while. Aidan is still sporting his training wheels but we discussed the possibility of removing them. He says soon. He's grown an inch in the past 2 months. Time to raise the seat again. 

Aidan watches shows a couple times a week. This morning he chose Little Einsteins. I like that the show focuses on classical music in an engaging way. As Aidan gets older he interacts with shows more, following the prompts from characters. Here he is keeping time with the beat of the music. 
Most days Reagan comes home for lunch. This week Reagan has been packing enough for lunch and dinner to tide him through his 12-14 hour shifts. 

I made my peace with Blogger this morning. A few hours sleep, renewed resolved, and more time messing with formatting got me to a place I can live in for the moment. Back to photo work. Turned on the most recent video from Ali Edwards's Story subscription series (Build) and started in on the photos from yesterday. 

Our days involve a lot of this. 
And this.
As Aidan gets older he is able to take responsibility for more projects. Today he switched out the batteries on his books, identifying battery polarity and practicing proper installation.
This week saw me cooking a lot of meat. I'm switching up our meal plans and planning ahead again. I like having the food ready to go at dinner time but I do feel like I've been a bit of a slave to the kitchen these past few days. 
Making the trek to Lela's house. It's a well-traveled path.
The dining table is a collecting spot for piles. Today's assortment includes the pool bag, my camera bag, the box for our new dustbuster, Aidan's allowance jars, reading materials for co-op prep, and the remnants of lunch. I worked on the blog while Aidan ate. Missing from the picture is a bowl with more grape stems than grapes. Aidan is a grape monster.
During the day our sink often looks like this. I prefer to do dishes in batches, usually while listening to online class videos or podcasts at night. I used to be fine leaving them overnight but I prefer to come down to a clean kitchen in the morning these days. 

Aidan voted for another combined quiet time/bedtime. I didn't put up much of a fight. It's been working for us and, with the scheduling all funky this week, it doesn't really matter. As long as he keeps a good attitude, I'm fine. I did remind him that we would be going back to our regularly scheduled life next week. That means a daily routine of school, lunch, quiet time, and then play. He assures me he won't throw a fit about it. I want to believe him. I really do. 
One of their favorite activities is picking the grass (we are constantly trying to redirect them to the weeds) and building nests for their play or imaginary animals.
Today they watered the nest to help it grow. 
Most days involve this. They can spend hours up here in his room. Sometimes I listen from the hallway, just outside of their view. I love the world they play in. 
THUMP! The jumping has begun. We've approved feet-first jumping from the top bunk. 
Every kid's dream 
His interest in The Jungle Book is recent. He and Boppa watched it in July, now he's hooked. Wondering when to introduce him to the real story, minus the Disney spin. 
Of course, all things Frozen still reign.

I smile every time I open the door to my recently reorganized pantry. 
This structured happiness counters my kitchen table piles. 
The fridge was looking pretty good too...
...and then maintenance showed up to fix our fridge (which for the past two years has done a really good job of acting like another freezer for anything that was unfortunate enough to be tucked in the back half of the unit) so everything came out. 
Seemed like as good a time as any to do a little reorganizing here too. This is how it goes for me. There is always something that grabs my organizing attention. 
This pot is part of a set gifted to us by my parents for our wedding 9 years ago. I prefer non-stick or cast iron pans but the three pots get daily use and still look and work great. I'll probably have these forever. I love them.

No bath, no matter the duration, is complete without toys. Animals are his favorite. Orcas, the non-whale whale, have had top-billing for the past few months but whales in general (or animals with whale in their name) play a prominent role in all bath times. It started with the whale shark 2 years ago and has been steady ever since. 

He loves his baths: short, get-clean ones; long play baths; and everything in-between. He doesn't necessarily like the get-clean portion of the bath. It is one more thing we are handing over responsibility on. He definitely likes the rinsing off part. Usually it involves diving but waterfalls factor in occasionally, too. 
Our master bedroom is a work-in-progress. I'm pretty happy with the direction it's going, especially when it is picked up and put together. It has a tropical-ish vibe which appeals to my desire for color and Reagan's preference for calm neutrals. Still working out the wall decorations. I might have that figured out by the time we move next summer. Maybe. 
The exercise wrapped up early. Reagan made it home around 5:30 pm, in time to rest a bit while Aidan finished his bath. I like it when he takes a breather. He works hard at his job and for our family. These fleeting moments are well-deserved.

With Reagan home in time for dinner, we reverted back to our usual Aidan/Daddy bedtime routine. While they were upstairs working through the steps, I stayed downstairs to continue cooking and cleaning. At one point during the routine Aidan, attempting to stall, exclaimed to Reagan: "You used to love it when we would play when I was young." I love how relative things are for a 4.5 year-old. 
Finally discovered what zoodles are all about. My first go was too salty but I was otherwise pleasantly surprised. I'll be making them again, with a few modifications the next time. 

In other news, which only my mom is likely to appreciate,  I finally threw away the pajama pants that have been with me since my pregnancy. Multiple holes and shredded hems finally convinced me but I had a little moment before releasing them into the trash can. Those pajama pants have been through a lot with me these past 5.5 years. :-(

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Week in the Life 2015 | Tuesday

Tuesday | August 18, 2015

I'm awake but I refuse to open my eyes. Thank goodness for my eye mask (yes, it looks like a mini bra) which keeps the morning light at bay. We still haven't figured out a way to hang curtains in our room with our furniture configuration so it's eye masks to the rescue for both of us. I'm tired. Really tired. Late nights and early mornings don't mix well for me anymore. It's easier for me when Reagan is home, on his regular schedule, or all the way gone. I have a terrible time getting to sleep on the nights when he just works late. My brain knows he's coming home and doesn't seem to be able to shut-off until he does. 

It's 6:30 now. There is a pile of work waiting for me downstairs but I ignore that in favor of grabbing the iPad and scrolling through Week in the Life (WITL) blog posts that appeared overnight, starting with Ali Edwards. Reagan is awake and reading next to me. It's nice to have some quiet time with him while we are both conscious.

 The first thing I do every morning when I come downstairs. Our house doesn't have great light during most of the day so I try to enjoy it while I've got it. 

7:04 am: Time to stop reading and get on with the day. On school days, Tuesday and Thursday for this week but switching to Tuesday-Friday beginning next week, Aidan gets a gentle wake-up around 7 am. For both schools, Honolulu Children's Discovery Center and the Kailua co-op, we have to leave our house around 8:05 to get to where we need to be on time. Aidan takes some time to get rolling in the morning. Trial and error has shown it is better to wake him up earlier and let him come-to gently rather than let him sleep longer and then race him through the morning routine.

He is unusually perky again this morning, popping downstairs right away, ready to help with chores after a morning mama snuggle but before eating breakfast. Aidan and I water the plants while Reagan makes breakfast. The boys are having eggs and bacon (hold the yolk for Aidan). This is Reagan's go-to breakfast on mornings when he has a little extra time. I'm not hungry yet. I'm also suffering from indecision. Nothing sounds particularly tasty this morning. I hold off on eating for a while until inspiration hits. In the meantime, I pour a glass of iced soy milk with a splash of the Tazo Chai Tea blend. It's like a coffee house date but on the cheap and not nearly as sweet. 

Cilantro, day 2. Currently sporting some decoration of the picked flower variety. 
Some days he wants to use the hose, some days he wants to use his watering can. 
Today is a watering can day. 

 I currently have greek basil, thai basil, and sweet basil growing in the garden. I gave up deadheading the flowers ages ago. I don't notice a significant change in taste and the bees LOVE all the flowers. 
 Limes! So excited to start picking them. 
 More a jungle than a garden at the moment but I love it!

 "What's in our package, Mama?"
 "A new dustbuster! Mama, we got a new dustbuster! Hooray!!" Indeed, we did. The old one served us well for 4 years but can no longer hold a charge. I actually felt a little sad throwing the old one away. It's seen us through a lot of messes over the years. 
Aidan grabbed the bubble wrap and went to town. That used to be the end of play but now that he's had some experience walking dogs and picking up poop we have a new scenario to work through. "Mama, you be the dog, okay? Go poop, pretend poop, and I will pick it up." This said as he sticks his hand in one of the popped pockets and play 'scoops'. Crazy kid. 

8 am: The morning music plays (National Anthem-plays every morning at 8 am on base). That's Aidan's cue that go-time is approaching. He suddenly realizes that he hasn't brushed his teeth or gotten dressed and starts scrambling around like a maniac. This is more like the little boy we are used to in the mornings. Reagan volunteered to take Aidan to school today so I pack Aidan's lunch while Reagan supervises the morning routine. Aidan requestes sunflower seeds, half a PB & J sandwich, and fruit (he gets a sliced pear-apple). I add water and a granola bar for his snack and then the boys are off, sort-of.

First we have to do the car seat shuffle. Aidan tries to get into his booster seat but, after being reminded that he can only ride in that for short trips, which this does not qualify for, he reluctantly sits down in his black car seat. He is perfectly capable of buckling himself in but doesn't always complete the task in a timely fashion. We have taken to playing a fun counting game to get him moving. I start counting slowly and he races to see if he can beat me. There is no set number and he usually asks for a counting reset several times during the process but he is always thrilled to be done buckling by the time I get to 3 or 4 (which is really like, 12, once resets are factored in) and the job gets done semi-quickly and without yelling. It works for now so we are sticking with it. Kisses and good wishes then the Subaru pushes back from the gate and we have lift-off.

8:15 am: I spend a brief moment contemplating my breakfast options again. Still not inspired or hungry, so I move on to the main task of the day: documenting. I'm lured down the Facebook rabbit hole briefly when I notice that a couple people have already commented on my post from yesterday (thanks, ladies!) plus, what's this? Jennifer Aniston is expecting her first child at 46? Nope, just kidding. It only takes me one click through to realize the tabloids got it wrong again. I would absolutely hate being a celebrity! I feel for them, especially the ones who aren't lunatics but continue to be hounded by the paparazzi anyway. Okay, 45 seconds wasted on that. Back to the task at hand.

I briefly consider being less prolific with my writing. I thoroughly enjoyed the WITL posts I read that were just pictures with a little blurb under each photo but, alas, that is just not my style. Maybe this is why I am so sporadic with writing. Enough time goes by that I forget that once I start writing, I have a really difficult time stopping. It can consume entire days if I let it. That might be helpful if I were writing a book but, currently, it is just the nonsense in my head pouring out onto paper (both real and electronic).

9:45 am: Starting to feel the pangs of hunger but still can't decide what to eat. Yeesh! Might be leftovers from last night. Those lettuce tacos were tasty. Reagan is upstairs cutting his hair (#1 all over) before showering and heading to work.

10:30 am: Finally got my breakfast. Tacos won. I can hear the washer churning away behind me. Reagan realized he was out of work shirts while getting ready for the day. The solution: he wore one that was minimally smelly and I started a load of laundry so he would have clean ones for tomorrow. Wasn't planning on this as a laundry day but such is life. Might as well just keep washing. Folding can some point. Probably Thursday night. That's how I roll.

Did some miscellaneous kitchen tasks while prepping my breakfast and found more things requiring my attention that shall be added to the to-do list. Now that I have the house to myself for a bit, I realize I neglected to take pictures of any of our getting ready routine. :( Maybe tomorrow.

11:15 am Time to get dressed and brush my teeth. My normal 5 minute routine prevails: throw on workout clothes, brush teeth, spray dry shampoo on my roots and put my hair up in a tucked ponytail, deodorant, face lotion, curl my eye lashes, put on blush, lip gloss, a swipe of gold eye shadow, and mascara. Done. I'm out the door at 11:36 am. That's a few minutes behind schedule but within the window of an on-time arrival.

 Driving through downtown Honolulu to pick up Aidan from school. Aidan and I like to switch up our route to keep things interesting. There are beautiful buildings here. Some day I am going to drop Aidan off at school and then just wander around downtown admiring them. 

 The saddest sight I see every week. Oahu has a huge homeless population. This particular tent city goes on for 7-8 blocks and largely surrounds the Honolulu Children's Discovery Center. Driving through it 4 times a week makes my stomach turn. What must it be like to live here?
 I arrive a few minutes early. I love Aidan's class and classroom. We are primarily homeschoolers but this monthly, themed STEM camp gives Aidan a larger social group (which he asked for), fun hands-on activities, and me some alone time. It's an all-around win. We will be continuing with it until we move.  Also, Libby, in case you were wondering where your doppelganger resided, she's here, doing an awesome job teaching Aidan's class. ;) 
 The kids made seed houses two weeks ago. Each seed got water, a pillow to sleep on, and lots of sunlight. It's been fun watching Aidan's seed grow. 
 Bumblebee backpack this week (he likes to change it up), his lunchbox, and those awesome sparkly red crocs. I love this kid!
 Pretty soon Aidan will be too old for me to post these kinds of pictures. I've already eliminated any full frontals but the behind shots are staying for the time being. He can roll his eyes at me later. 
 Aidan loves to dress up so the theater area of the Discovery Center is a huge draw for him (we stayed to play for a while). So many outfits to choose from. The sound and music controls are a delight. 


1 pm: Closing time for the Discovery Center. Time for Costco. I used to love going to Costco. Then we moved here. The closest/most convenient location happens to be the busiest Costco in the country. It is crazy no matter what time of day we go. Costco is something I survive now. Aidan and I always reward ourselves when we've made it through in one piece. Meltdowns don't even count here.

 Aidan got a new dress-up outfit to replace this awesomeness (photo taken in April 2015)

because he and his friends have all outgrown the Power Rangers suit. He doesn't give a hoot about superheros. He thinks the A on the Captain America outfit he just got stands for Aidan. None of the grown-ups in his life care to disabuse him of the notion.
He usually decides to stay in the cart during check out and then changes his mind at the most inconvenient time. 
Usually we have to wait in much longer lines. What a treat. 
We survived! A berry smoothie for Aidan and a latte freeze for me. Peace out, Costco. 
We'll see you next week. 
Home, sweet home. 

Aidan opted for delayed quiet time again so after putting away the groceries and a little playtime at home, we headed to the pool. We arrived at 3:40 pm. 
Lela was waiting for him.
Sara and Estelle. Part of the Onizuka BFF crew and directly related to Lela, so there's that. I have a hard time thinking of anything cuter than Estelle in her swim get-up and goggles. The picture doesn't do it justice but those who've seen it in person will understand. 
I love this kind of light-play through dark, billowy clouds. Awesome!
Grabbing a few photos before jumping in...
...but wait, what's that? A potty accident has occurred and playtime is done. We depart at 3:54 pm. That's been a lovely 14 minutes at the pool. 
After running back home to get my wallet, we fill up the tank. 

Aidan is still pleading with me to take him back to the pool but we have the "accidents end playtime" rule for a reason. Aidan had been doing really well listening to his body's cues (following a strict enforcement of the aforementioned rule) but we've noticed a backward slide on that lately and we are putting the brakes on it before it gets out of hand again.

I was really proud of myself for the way I handled the whole situation. I stayed calm, remained firm, and validated his feelings. When we got home I gave him a big hug and suggested that when he was ready, we could come up with different choices for the next time. He choked out an: "Okay," before going back to pleading. I honestly thought this was going to end in me lecturing him later but, no. He totally floored me by popping into the kitchen an hour later and spontaneously role-playing alternate situations with carrot slices. He figured out the solution on his own.  
Aidan loves to check the mailbox. He's not quite tall enough to reach it yet so I lift him up to insert the key. His attention is short. He decided picking kukui nuts from the tree was more fun. 
4:30 pm Aidan runs off to play with James, a new neighbor. I take a look around the house and let out a deep sigh at the mess that's accumulated, again. I start in on the dishes and the piles before turning my attention to cooking another meal.

5:45 pm: Aidan eats his untouched sandwich from lunch, a slice of special cheese pizza, and a pile of broccoli for dinner. I keep slogging through laundry and cooking duty while he eats.
At 6:30 the timer starts for bedtime routine. He hams it up a bit in the mirror when he notices me taking pictures. One of these days I am going to make him that routine chart I keep thinking about. Really. I swear it. One of these days....

6:57 pm: I am back downstairs, having finished reading The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat for Aidan along with my other Mama duties. He says he wants to go straight to sleep. Ok. We'll see.

My dinner consists of BBQ Chinese pork and roasted veggies. Once clean up is done, the remainder of my evening is spent cursing Blogger and researching other blogging options. It was not spent enjoying the process of WITL (or making headway on it) and that frustrates me. I want to share this project with others but not if it impedes my joy of doing it. Going to have to think this one through a bit more.

Reagan is late getting home. After midnight, in fact. That's nice. I get to wish him a happy 35th birthday 12 minutes into the day. I turn the iPad off (broke my own rule because I was so keyed-up about the blog issue), cuddle up to my handsome, no longer younger-in-number husband, and go to sleep. During the night, I dream of laundry.