A family's story

Posts tagged ‘routine’

Something New

So last week I took a step out of my comfort zone and tried a cardio kickboxing class with a fellow mom from my boys’ school. It was a small group at a tae kwon do center, and I liked the work out. Everyone was friendly and no one said anything about my jiggly middle and offbeat moves. It took me a couple of weeks to get comfortable with the idea, but I’m glad I made the change.

Today I returned for another class. This week was a little more intense, but I enjoyed it again. It’s good to step out and try new things. I need to remind myself to do that more often.

I often talk about my boys and their rigidity, but I am a creature of habit, myself. I like sticking to what I know versus trying or attempting something that I may not be familiar with. Know that feeling?

I know I drive my husband crazy with my hemming and hawing…and my resistance to change. Case in point??? Our dryer decided to bid us adieu this past weekend. I opened it so that I could leave the house and the motor decided to not work so much anymore. Waaah! I know it’s a 12 year old more basic model dryer, but still….couldn’t it hold on a while longer?!

We started to look at new appliances. Hubz isn’t sure that he can fix the problem sufficiently. In our search, we noticed that all of the fancy washer and dryers that we prefer won’t fit in our laundry space. See,  our house has a small laundry room off of the garage entry. It *should* have been made bigger and been a dual purpose mudroom/laundry room, but that isn’t the way it was set up. The house was built in 1988. Appliances were smaller back then. Soo0…that means we will have to move our laundry area to the basement if we want the cool see-through top loader and dryer–which we DO want because (a) it has larger capacity, (b) it’s more efficient and (c) Tate absolutely LOVES washers and dryers. We’ll have to get someone in to do the electric and water and gas hook ups. Hubz wants to put in a utility sink. BUT this means I have to go up and down TWO LEVELS to do our laundry. I know me. I know our kids. I’m afraid that our laundry will end up lying around in the basement getting musty and stinky.

I also am overwhelmed at the idea of having to convert the laundry area into a mud room. It should be easy enough, but it is full of stuff. We have way too much stuff around here. Most of the items in that laundry room should probably be donated or thrown out. And it definitely needs to be painted. And do we put in a bench or just a couple of chairs? Do we install a few cabinets or do shelving? What color should we paint it? While we are in there, should we clean out the mini-closet that is full of MORE STUFF?! (Yes, yes we should.)

But it’s all change. It’s all different. It’s all going to change our routine and the way I handle laundry. It really makes my heart race thinking about it.

Hubz is going to try to install a new motor in the dryer this weekend to give us a little time. Give ME a little time to visualize and get comfortable with a new set-up, new appliances, new look.  Change is good, right?!

Life is a Roller Coaster

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is in the original Parenthood movie. The elderly grandmother talks about how some people go around life as if it were a carousel, it predictably goes round and round, but doesn’t have much excitement. There are others who choose to ride the roller coaster, messy, unpredictable, but much more fun and adventurous. With the chaos going on around Steve Martin’s character, the camera shifts to make it appear that he’s on a roller coaster…and he looks pained…but his wife looks calm and is enjoying the ride. It is an excellent example of a metaphor.

Lately, I feel like the Steve Martin character. We are riding a humdinger of a roller coaster around here…complete with ups, downs, twists, and loads of unpredictable excitement. I am grimacing much of the time….I feel uneasy. I wish I could get off of this ride and opt for a little time on that carousel…but I know that is just not our ride.

Last week was the last day of the regular school year. I could feel myself inching up, up, up the rungs of the coaster. If we can just get through this ride…it will be easier. Only one more day…only one more hour…. And then the report cards came home. Words like “still struggles” “regression”, and “anxiety” peppered the boys’ notes and IEP progress reports. The free-fall of the coaster came. A pit formed in my stomach. Some screaming relieved the pressure as my own anxiety and concern peaked.

To be fair, we also saw phrases like, “works and tries hard”, “met goal”, and “really improving” on both boys’ reports. Both boys also achieved good grades in their respective favorite subject matter (Jake: science, social studies and art) (Tate: math). The coaster swerved to the side, promising a slightly smoother ride than I was imagining…I could catch my breath. The tension in my shoulders released. I felt the sun shine on my back.

Jake went to visit his grandparents and spend some time with his cousins at my in-laws other home in a resort area. He was missed. Tate and Cole bickered and fought and hit and whined a lot while Jake was gone. They missed their brother…the peacemaker. The one who helps keep life in our household at an even pitch. I missed him, too. I never realized how much I depended on Jake for help with his brothers…whether it was to mitigate some bickering or to fetch a snack or beverage for them while I was busy. I had constant demands on my attention, and I was feeling woozy. It was as if the roller coaster was spinning me round and round and upside down. I felt overwhelmed and frazzled. I clawed at, and clenched the safety bar with my hands…not letting go for dear life.

Hubz has continued to be swamped at the office. His absence around the house is hard, anway, but it adds a layer of complexity and difficulty when we’re in a state of flux and routine is shot and the boys are struggling to stay “together”. Hubz and I barely had time for each other several nights last week because he worked until 7 or 8 and then had to get online once he was home. Or he just needed to decompress and didn’t need to hear me rambling on and on about the frustrations of life with 2 boys who couldn’t agree on which tv show to watch that night. Again, that roller coaster threw me for a loop. I struggled to keep my balance.

Like any ride, however, there is promise for smooth sailing. Today, Jake started summer school. Tate starts ESY on Wednesday. We finally got Tate’s summer ABA schedule. It is still a bit sketchy, but something that I can at least use to walk Tate through his new routine. We’re going to make a visual schedule today. Cole is going to attend preschool day camp starting tomorrow, as well, so he won’t be as bored at home, either. That roller coaster slowed down a bit. We’re just coasting now…and the pit is gone from my stomach. I’m able to take a deep breath and enjoy some more of the scenery. I can smile and let some of my guard down. Not all of it, as I know that the next hill is coming…but today, in this moment, I can breathe and release my death-grip from the safety bar….

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