1. Very, very few things are more important than slowing my pace and enjoying the fresh air when I can. The other day, I was getting sort of stressed again because it was so late and we hadn't even started school (because I hadn't even planned school). [Sidenote: I know lots of people with kids my kids' age don't really plan but I try to incorporate a lot of different things, I recently realized how much more I gave Annie at his age than I am giving Graves and I want to work on that, my personality sort of necessitates it, and I spent several years in the School of Ed and well, old habits die hard.] So I kicked the kids outside (well, I kicked AP out; Graves was begging). And then I kicked myself out. And then Minnie came over for a (lovely) spontaneous visit and I realized it was time to throw in the towel and reassess our plans for the day. I decided to let them continue to just free play and I leisurely planned school/our week (something I rarely attempt when they're up/around me). They were more content than they've been in a long time and I've was more at peace and WAY less snappy when they were difficult than I have been in awhile, probably the better part of a month. The tree outside was without a single leaf (Annie pointed out to me that it was "ready for Winter") and I realized I hadn't even looked at it in weeks.
2. For the first time ever, Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year isn't, well, a word. Y'all, it's the crying smiley face Emoji! What is the world coming to?!? Apparently, it beat out "on fleek", "lumbersexual", and "refugee". Um, what? No really, I think it's kind of neat. The president of Oxford Dictionaries said that this Emoji "embodies the 'playfulness and intimacy that characterizes emoji-using culture". I've said this before, but my dad has become able to communicate his emotions in an entirely different way since the evolution of Emojis. He's a proud graduate of the "John Wayne School of Manhood" but he'll blow you a smiley kiss or do a tear face like it ain't no thang.
3. Sixty seven degrees (inside the house) is too cold for me. This is the other side of being so cold-natured. I can tolerate Peyton setting the thermostat at 80-82 degrees in the Summer-- but this is what Winter looks like. Y'all, this was INSIDE my own house! The kids and P walk around in their skivvies, basically, and I'm in this pouffy down jacket Cookie gave me for Brooklyn!
Actually, this is funny but Brooklyn sort of spoiled me. Yes, it was FRIGID outside, but the co-op was SUPER warm (probably much too hot for most people- Peyton would open windows some days). They have heat control laws in NYC and the building was full of old people and I used to joke about it being a stuffy geriatric ward. But I'd prefer that any day to a cold, dark house.
4. Winter is really hard for me. I thought it was mostly living in a really cold climate and of course living in the Northeast did come with its own set of problems, but it hasn't been super easy this year for me either. It just makes me twitchy. I was telling a friend that I can feel my back tightening up and I feel like my brain is tightening as well. Not really, but I do feel like I don't have as much headspace. I guess I use a lot of energy just fighting the cold and dealing with the the early nights and all. I'm pretty sure if I lived in like Minnesota or somewhere I'd need to be on something or at least have one of those fake sun lamps.
5. (Seemingly) big things nearly paralyze me with anxiety. I was talking to my mom about a somewhat daunting situation they're facing and it made me think of my own life and how big (or more accurately, seemingly big) things can really paralyze me. I'm just NOT a big picture person. I have to focus on details or I get so overwhelmed. I think Peyton is a lot more of a big picture person, so that helps. We were talking about cleaning out the attic, and honestly if it was up to me, I'd leave it for months, years. But he's got a plan for how to do it. He made the plan about how to move back, too. I'm sure it would have taken way longer and there would have been a lot more tears if I had to figure it out myself.
6. Related: we have way too much stuff. We actually did start on the attic, finally, and it's been just absurd. [This is the kids' clothes just from their first two years.]
7. Emotional labor is a thing and if you lean introverted, the holidays may require quite a bit of it. Interestingly enough, like the day before I read this post I heard someone on the radio talking about idea of emotional labor, which I had never heard until then. The person on the radio was using in (what I think is) it's more traditional sense (i.e. actual jobs that require one to put up a facade- and labor emotionally- as part of the vocation; this is probably found in many professions but we see it alot in the service industry, such as baristas at Starbucks who have to keep smiling NO MATTER WHAT).
8. Big boy church clothes are actually quite fun. We're transistioning out of jon jons and I got Graves some suspenders because I just did not have it in me to buy a belt for him yet. And I love the little sweater vests much more than I anticipated.
9. Potatoes are pretty much my go-to pregnancy food. I've been basically living off baked potatoes, french fries, tater tots, and mashed potatoes. Give me a break, it's what I can tolerate at this point! Oh and expect a full post on pregnancy eats soon.
10. Black Friday just isn't as crazy anymore thanks to the ease online shopping. I actually also heard an interview on our public radio station and the woman was saying that it's been years since a mall, in the traditional sense, has opened in the United States. That baffled me but we had to make a trip to our local mall awhile back and it was near deserted. It made me think of those creepy (but sort of amazing) urban decay photos of like shopping malls in Detroit.