Monday, May 21, 2012


The clock moves in double time on Sundays for my husband and me. It is the only day of the week we have to spend together. Mike is an independent contractor (he sells bread for BIMBO Bakeries, which owns Arnold bread) and he works Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. He doesn't get those things I take for granted from the workplace: sick time, vacation time, benefits, etc. (That means I provide those things for us, making my job very important to our family.) We haven't taken a vacation since our honeymoon six years ago. It's a grind. It's a challenge. But we'll always have Sundays. We toyed with naming our second daughter Sunday. It's an important day for us. That does mean, however, that there is a lot of pressure on us to make each Sunday all it can be. We try to pack in quality time with the kids, chores, some sort of project, and couple time (which usually includes ending the day sitting together on the love seat watching some good TV -- Game of Thrones!). I love the Boromir meme, "One does not simply be productive on Sunday." Find it here:

(Yes, I am a geek. I love Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones -- including the books; I devoured all five, -- Star Wars, etc.)

This Sunday wasn't as productive as I would have liked because my 18 month old has been sick with a sore throat and persistently high fever. We get the results of the strep culture today. Poor little peanut. The kiddos are priority #1. I did, however, put the first coat of paint on the railings of our front entry that my 73 year old dad built for me. I'll be detailing that project in a separate post. I didn't get painting until 6 p.m., so only the first coat went on. But it already looks great and has polished and woken up my dull porch. I hesitate to call it a porch; it's really just more of a set of cement stairs with an overhang. But I'm going to make it the best darn set of cement stairs and overhang around! It's a work in progress.

I should confess that every Sunday my girls go to my mother-in-law's house to stay overnight. That is a luxury for which I am extremely grateful. It gives Mike and me time to get stuff done without having to worry about the little one climbing the stairs, falling down the stairs, eating rocks, drinking the toilet water, etc., or feeling bad because her big sister wants to play Candy Land, soccer, make cards, bake something, etc. It is a kids' fantasy land at Grammy Steph's (and Grampy Tom's). They get to bond and Mike and I get to bond as well as accomplish something on the long list of to do's. Plus, we can wake up on Monday morning and get ready for work without also getting the whole troop ready. Like I said, it's a luxury. It's also a part of what is keeping our marriage strong. A marriage without face time is a cold, grey institution.

Here is a picture of my now 4 year old daughter Fin in the backyard wonderland that is Grammy Steph's house, including her own play cottage. That doorbell actually works. She has it rough over there!

It may also help to explain that because Mike is a "bread man" and because his truck route begins in a warehouse about 60 miles away from our house in another state (Massachusetts), that he has to go to bed early and is out of the house by 5 a.m. latest each work day. When I get up with the kids, he is already gone. So, I fly solo in the mornings. It's like a whole day of work before a whole day of work. Props to single parents. He also gets home earlier than I do, though, and is able to pick the kids up from Grammie's house before I get home. And he gets to be with the girls all day on Wednesdays. I get a ride to and from work from him and the girls on Wednesdays as well, which is awesome. In terms of managing the demands put on us by work and kids, our schedule is quite handy. In terms of spending time together, however, it doesn't allow for much togetherness. Again, Sundays, very important.

So, thus begins another work week. I work at a university and we are approaching Commencement weekend, which is a busy time. After Memorial Day, we begin summer hours, which means I have to be at work a half hour earlier, but I get out an hour earlier too. I cannot express how much getting out at 4 p.m. versus 5 p.m. increases the quality of my family's life. It's only an hour, but the breathing room it creates in the evening is so awesome. I LOVE summer hours, almost as much as my husband does. The extra hour in the evening is a noticeable tension reliever for everyone.

On Memorial Day weekend, Mike and I will have two days in a row with each other! He gets Memorial Day and Labor Day off. These are the only guaranteed two days in a row we have with each other during the year. My plan is to complete the railing painting and begin working on the girls' new shared room. Details to follow. Have a great week!

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