28 February 2014

SQTF 79: Writing, Sleep, Productivity, and a Smashing Afternoon

We're five days into the 7 posts in 7 days challenge, and while finding time and inspiration has been difficult some days, I've honestly really enjoyed it so far. Writing is how I relax, the activity that lets me unwind; there's always something else to be doing, though, so it tends to feel selfish to intentionally set time aside for my own "fun" writing. By giving me the "excuse" to write every day this week, though, this challenge has shown me how important it is to find that time: I'm better able to respond to the many daily microcalamities of motherhood when I'm taking some time to "reset" every day.

Getting up with the sun may have been a virtue in agrarian society, but it is definitely not a virtue in solarly-bipolar Alaska. In the winter you'd be sleeping in until 10am or later, and as it gets into summer, never sleeping at all! If the past couple of mornings are any indication, Little Bear has made a connection between "beginning to be light outside" and "getting up time." Not acceptable, kid; not acceptable. I am so ridiculously tired today! He was begging for his normally-midday nap by 10 this morning, and of course I gave it to him, so... we will hope this doesn't throw off his sleep schedule further.

At least he woke me up before I was sent to Mars. People talk about pregnancy dreams being weird; I never noticed a difference, because mine are always weird. Maybe that's part of why I don't sleep well. Last night, for instance, some college friends and I were abducted by the Soviet Martian Colonization Project, put through "extreme harsh climate survival training" which involved a massive rusted-out factory inside a frigid waterfall in the middle of winter, and had been locked up in a secret underground facility to prepare for our one-way trip when I was suddenly woken up by the toddler sitting on my head.

After laughing at the possibility of accomplishing even half my to-do list yesterday, it all actually happened: laundry folded, fridge cleaned, cupboards organized, chicken dealt with. Little Bear was particularly helpful with those last two: He insisted on sitting on the counter next to me while I worked on the chicken, then as soon as my hands were messy, opened the cupboard above his head and proceeded to take out all of the spices, shake each one vigorously, and stack them in towers on the counter. It's hard to believe that, before he was born, my spices were all neatly arranged alphabetically and by jar size! The cupboard will probably never be that orderly again.

This weekend, one of my goals is to sit down with cookbooks and old menu plans and suggestions I've received and write up a tentative meal plan for suppers for all of Lent. Of course we can change things as we go, if it's really warm one week and I have three soups written down or something, but it would be one fewer thing to worry about this Lent. Because it's a penitential season, I'm not going to try to make a unique and exciting supper every night... I won't serve lentils every night either, but I'm not terribly opposed to rotating the same 15-20 meals for six weeks.

I really need to stop grumbling; it's unseemly, but even more, God looks out for me before I even think to ask. Today it was Mass. Driving Matt in this morning, I was lamenting the fact that I couldn't make it to Mass today; Little Bear woke up from his early nap in time for me to get us both into nicer clothes and head out the door. The goof pulled his mittens off three times while I was putting my coat and boots on and we got a later start than I wanted, and I grumbled about how we were going to be late; the roads were ice-free, traffic was light, and I hit every single traffic light green. 

Does anyone use "smashing" as an adjective anymore, at least without a cheesy fake British accent? They should. Little Bear and I definitely had a smashing afternoon today; for some reason which now escapes me, after noon Mass I decided that we should just stay in town until Matt got off work. First we went to the library; the particular picture book I was looking for was checked out, but Little Bear had fun watching the fish and turtles and I picked up a few things from the book sale, including the complete Tomie de Paola Mother Goose! We headed to Sam's Club next, but I wound up in a turn-only lane so we took a nice detour through JoAnn Fabrics. Little Bear was so excited about all of the shiny eggs in their Easter decor. After sauntering through Sam's it was 2:45, and I hadn't eaten anything since the bowl of porridge I'd shared with Little Bear for breakfast... I decided that Little Bear was old enough to learn about McDonalds play places. I nibbled a super-healthy lunch of French fries and a Shamrock Shake (the best thing about March, after Matt's birthday) while Little Bear had the time of his life playing on the toddler slide for a full hour. We took a leisurely detour-filled drive to the used bookstore thanks to exceptionally heavy traffic--the first territorial governor's funeral was today--and found some treasures there before heading to campus and running up and down the halls until it was close enough to 5 to head in to Matt's office. So much fun! I'm so glad that Little Bear got that super-early nap, and that he's getting old enough to have fun running around town.

As always, you can find lots more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary! Have a good weekend; if you're in the path of that big winter storm, stay warm!

I’m writing seven posts in seven days this week. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.

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