Friday, August 22, 2008

Normal Life Restored

Clearly the week kicked my ass, hence no posting (and even worse, hardly any blog reading or Twitter tweeting). The Little One started school Monday morning, and it went smashingly well. I suppose it should have, given that she's been in a program since she was a toddler, and after a long boring summer at home she was hungry for playmates (her one friend down the street moved away, and most people we know traveled a lot so we didn't have many playdates or other social gatherings). She sat right down to playing and hardly even looked up as we each bent down to say goodbye.

We both admitted it felt a little weird to drive away without her, after the last month of her being with us constantly. But it was a great relief to realize that I don't have to feel as guilty now that she's of proper preschool age. Of course not all guilt is gone, as she's in after-care too. I hear that the mama guilt never really goes away no matter what you do. And once I arrived at my office, and soaked up the hours stretched before me of nothing to do but finally, FINALLY get some work done, I felt more than fine.

The week was crazybusy, but I didn't mind a bit, I was so happy to be back to our normal routine. The Little One adjusted well to her new class and school, loves her new teacher, and declares a new "best friend" every day. Our late days were a little harder on us, when she stays until 5 instead of the usual 3, but I know we'll soon get used to it and we really need a few days of longer working hours to get everything done. But she actually loved the "extra playtime" after naptime and even protested leaving at all when we picked her up on the first late day, much to our surprise.

We are now off to a celebratory end-of-the-week dinner out, where I intend to consume a large adult beverage or two and truly unwind for the first time in five days. I'm hoping to catch up on some blog reading over the weekend, so if I haven't visited yours in awhile please know I'll be coming by soon!

What about you? How did everyone's back-to-school week go?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back-to-School A-Go-Go

Yo peeps! I'm sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately, hardly posting at all. Work was to blame, but now my summer class is OVAH! Actually it was over last weekend, but we spent the week running back-to-school errands. I managed to sneak in some blog reading and twittering here and there, but that was about it.

I don't think I can convey to you the degree of my excitement, or rather GLEE about the Little One going back to school on Monday. This family just functions better with the normal routine where school and work schedules set the rhythm of the week. Neither the hubster nor I are well-suited to the work-at-home thing, and fortunately the Little One has loved school since starting at 18 months in toddler care. This will be the first year in true preschool with a proper curriculum, and we can't wait to watch her grow and blossom as she learns and makes new friends.

I'm a bit of a sap when it comes to back-to-school. I was one of those odd children who LOVED going back to school. I actually enjoyed selecting school supplies, and my favorite day of the year was not the last day of school but the first. I almost never slept the night before, too wound up with excitement, counting the minutes until I could go see my new room, explore my new desk, meet my new teacher. Yeah, looking back, I guess I was quite a little nerdlet about it all.

So I don't have to tell you then how much FUN I had this week taking the Little One out to choose new school things. I was even disappointed to find out that the supply fee covers everything so we had no supply shopping to do, not even for a box of crayons or a pair of safety scissors. (Not that we couldn't buy them for our home stash, but it's not quite the same thing if it's not headed for the backpack, you know.)

This weekend it's all about trying to get this mess of a home in order for the new year. I realize I'm destined to fail, but a mama's gotta have dreams. We did buy a dry-erase board for the fridge so I can stop making (and losing) multiple lists on paper, so we might start slightly more organized. I've mostly scaled the laundry mountain, so it's almost all clean. But will it all get put away before Monday? The kiddo is helping to get all of her toys at least in the various toy receptacles, though my plan to do a major toy purge and organize the remainder is probably never going to come to fruition. As for the mess of papers, files, articles, and books currently jammed into the office closet? I'm guessing I'll be putting off that organizational nightmare for yet another semester. It's almost an end-of-break tradition now, staring into that closet, shaking my head, and closing the door on it for another few months. It's time to settle back into the barely-controlled chaos that is "normal life" at Casa de Kaza. And I can't wait.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kickin' Ass and Namin' Names

Kick Ass Blogger Award

That's right peeps, Kaza kicks some ass. Followthatdog of From Stage Dives to Station Wagons says so, and that means it must be so!

I am deeply honored to be recognized for kicking ass, especially by such a dear bloggy friend. It was difficult to choose from my loooong blogroll list, but according to the rules I need to share the love, so I now pass the torch to the following bloggers:

1. Catnip (aka @AnnetteK), of Catnip & Coffee, my "fairy blogmother," who is such a generous soul and is kicking ass on so many levels.

2. Heather of Mindless Junque, who not only kicks ass as a blog friend but has the most kick ass hair of any blogger out there, holla!

3. Tiffany of The R Family Diaries, who writes her heart and mind and is my California soul sister, yo.

4. IrishKat of Sassy Irish Lassie, a kick ass chick and awesome bloggy friend whose take on life always makes me laugh.

5. Megan of Velveteen Mind, a kick ass mama whom I admire for her raw honesty and take-no-prisoners, call-it-like-I-see-it authenticity, which is coupled with a passion for encouraging newcomers and welcoming us all to the blogosphere.

To see the full list of kick ass blogs and tag your own favorites, hop on over to MammaDawg's award page. (And go visit MammaDawg's blog while you're at it!) Share the love people!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary Baby, Got You on My Miiiiinnnnd....

This one is just for the hubster, folks:

On this day, baby, I have just one thing to say to you:

Nunc scio quit sit amor.

Even more today than on the day several years ago that we started this adventure. I love you. Now let's go celebrate. (And then later we can work on that sib for the Little One! Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

An Unusually Productive Sunday

I realize I haven't posted much lately. I want to blame it on my summer teaching gig (which, I am delighted to say, will be over after I grade the finals next weekend), but I'm actually just a bit blocked lately. It seems many others are going through the same thing, and that the consensus is to blog through it, so I'm going to do exactly that.

I've had an oddly productive Sunday here. I usually spend the day relaxing before the week, but today I had a burst of energy and not only picked up the mess around the house but also planned out all of the back-to-school organizing we need to do in the next two weeks. It was a relief to finally capture all of those thoughts that have been buzzing around in my head and not only write them on lists but then type those lists neatly and tack them up on the fridge so the hubster and I can work on a game plan together.

I used to be this organized all of the time. I'm not good with cleaning, but I've always been great at organizing, and have always enjoyed it. And while I can (and will) ignore dust and soap scum for an embarrassingly long time, I hate the chaos of messy stacks of papers and books everywhere and feel mentally agitated every time I walk by yet another pile waiting for my attention. I used to have time to stay on top of organizing, and lived by my lists. But after becoming a mother, that all went out the window. Now, if I even have time to make a list, I can't even find it. Today I must have come across four different lists I had made sometime in the last six months, each one just adding to one of several piles of paper.

I can't blame it all on motherhood though. There is actually some truth to the image of the absentminded professor with an office full of papers and books in a state of disarray. By the time I acquired my Ph.D. I was already far less organized than I had been before, and juggling a heavy teaching load last year only added to the problem. I'm not sure what it's about, but I do know that life is far more complicated than ever before and I have a hard time staying on top of everything these days.

I am determined, however, to at least start this academic year with a tidy home, an organized office, and a plan in place for a more balanced life for each of us in this little family. Wish me luck. I'm going to need it!