I was drowning in boredom at my job. And my sister was drowning in life - with 5 kids, a business, and a big calling. So, we decided to help each other out. And I think it was the best decision I've ever made. (That might be an exaggeration, but only a little.)
During the school year, I was there in the morning to help get the kids off to school, and then Lola and I would kick it all day. Doing laundry. Grocery shopping. VIsiting Grandpa Reeve. Going for walks. Taking naps. Reading stories. Playing with dolls. Swinging on the swings. Doing dishes. Making treats for when the other kids got home.
When I started, she was not quite a year old - still a baby. She would fall asleep on the drive to the school in the morning, if I drove around the neighborhood the long way. Then after awhile that wasn't working. We went through a phase where she would fall asleep in my arms, but if I tried to put her down she would wake up. So I spent several afternoons in the rocking chair with her asleep, checking facebook and email on my ipad. If I was smart enough to grab it before we went upstairs. Sometimes, when I forgot, I would fall asleep with her.
Now she is 2 years and 3 months old. She has turned into my little buddy. She is a great shopping buddy. We like Costco. Because it's fun, and we got good samples there. And I think she liked the bigger carts better. (I'm just making that up.) But, I love taking her shopping and talking to her as we go through the store. She is almost even answering me back these days. See, sometimes I like to talk to myself when I shop. So, if I have a kid that I'm talking to, it makes me seem less crazy. At least, that's what I tell myself. But, seriously, one day a few weeks ago, Lola was sick, but I needed to run to Costco. So after the older kids got home, I went by myself. And I missed my little shopping buddy. It wasn't nearly as fun without her. I just might have to steal her once in a while to go grocery shopping now.
Now it is summer. And summer is definitely harder. The kids are home more. There is lots of chasing kids to this and that. Lots of trying to get the kids to help me keep the house clean. And they think I am there to entertain them always. And they always want to go out to lunch. Or to Orange Leaf. Or Sub Zero. Or for snow cones. THat was a challenge last year, because I wanted to give in to them all the time. But that gets expensive. And its not very healthy. So, I had to learn to be strong, and not let them talk me into those things every day.
This year, I'm only getting two weeks of summer. So, we have partied a little bit. We went shopping one day. We went to the Museum of Natural Curiousity at Thanksgiving Point on Monday. Tomorrow Carson thinks we are going to the Parade of Homes. We'll see. We have to run Hailey to play practice. And probably do some laundry. And a little cleaning. But I want to have fun for my last day.
Example of summer fun:
The first day of summer, last week, I took the four youngest to the outlets in Lehi. They all have money burning holes in their pockets. Hailey has her own agenda, so she took of by herself the whole time. So I had Carson, Lindsey and Lola with me. Carson wanted to go to the Nike store. So, we went in there. And he found some basketball shoes that he wanted. So we tried to text Jeanette, to see if it would be ok to buy them. Meanwhile Lindsey and Lola are running around the store, bored. Lola tried to climb into the shelves of shoe boxes. She is little enough, she probably could have done it. And then I would have never found her again! Carson said he was done, so we left there. And went to find some girl-y stores for Lindsey. We went in one or two, but she wasn't sure what she wanted. Shoes, or shirts. She only had $13, so not much.
I had to change Lola's diaper, so we went to the bathroom. And found the family bathroom. It has two toilets in it, and a sink, and a big counter to change diapers. They thought it was so fun in there. Then Lindsey discovered the women's bathroom, and how massive and nice it was. So, we had to go explore in there. And take pictures sitting in the chairs. Carson went to the men's bathroom, after he peaked into the women's bathroom. There was much discussion about the differences between the men's and women's. The men's didn't have any nice chairs in there. He wanted to know why not. We seriously were in there for 15 minutes I'd say.
Then I had to return a shirt at Columbia, so we went there for a minute. Carson then decides that he needs to go back to the Nike store, because he didn't look at everything. (We had since chatted with Matt, and decided to let Matt take care of buying shoes for Carson.) Lindsey didn't want to go back in there, she still wanted to buy something. Gap was her next choice. Then, Hailey came and found us and was done, wanting to go to Target instead because she wasn't finding anything at the outlets. Lola is done at this point, but I sent the girls back to Gap for a minute, and let Carson go look in Nike one more time.
We did end up going to Target, and Old Navy. Hailey did find some things. I think Lindsey bought something. And when we were done at Old Navy, Hailey walked out and said, "Can we got to Dollar Tree now?" I said, "No way. We are done. I'm done feeling like a circus!" So we went home.
And that's how summer is at that house. It's a circus. A good circus, but still a circus. I like feeling like a circus sometimes. But three or four kids at Target, who have opinions and wants and needs, is very different from one cute two-year-old who mostly sits in the cart and goes wherever I want to go and doesn't complain too much.
It seems like it should be more significant. And yes, things will not be the same after this. But I will still see them often. Maybe not quite as often as now. But maybe, after I move down there, I will be closer, so I will still see them plenty. So, it seems big. But really its not. But it is.
I've been feeling sad and melancholy tonight. And I wasn't sure why. But, I decided it was because of this. It's the end of something good. And that makes me sad. And, it's ok to be sad. It's ok to cry about it. Even though I know it is the right thing to do. And there are good things ahead. (I hope so at least.)
I am taking on new job responsibilities at work. Which is really scary. But also really good. I'm taking over for a girl who has been working full time. Some people are skeptical that I will be able to do it all. And I must admit that I've had my doubts, too. But, I know that this girl spends many hours bored, and working on a tedious archiving project, because she has nothing else to do. So, I am confident that I can do both. My main worry is if the deadlines all pile up on the same day, things could get a little hairy. But, if I keep on top of everything, I don't think it will be a problem. I'm going to be doing the pre-press work. So all the files end up with me, and I will prep them for the printer, and upload them to the printer's site so they can take them and make the books. And along with that is several archiving processes that have to happen. Putting the files in a few different places, so different people can access them. So, it will be new and different. And a good challenge for me.
When I was feeling sad earlier, I decided that I needed to write down my thoughts and feelings tonight. I know, I'm a horrible blogger. But, I blogged right around the time that I started this nanny venture. So I thought it would be fitting to blog as this chapter is coming to a close. And, I know, it is really for me. For my own mental clarity. To write down what I'm thinking. I should do it more, I know.
I also think my mood is being affected by all the other drama surrounding me these days. We are selling grandpa's house. My house for the last 5.5 years. Grandpa's house for the last 26 years. Lots of memories here. It is sad. It is also time. I know that. I am ready for a change. I'm ready to not be roaming around this giant house with just me in it. I'm ready to downsize my belongings a little bit, and live in a smalller space. I'm ready to not commute 45 minutes to work. I'm ready to be closer to Rachelle, and Jeanette, and grandpa. I'm not ready to leave my ward. And my friends here. I'm ready to make new friends, and have new experiences somewhere else.
Rachelle just texted me and asked how I was feeling. And that made me really cry. Just knowing that she was thinking about me tonight, knowing i would be sad, brought more emotion to the forefront. A good cry is therapeutic, right? I was thinking earlier about being sad, and decided that I would just let myself feel the emotions tonight. And be sad for a little while. But, one of the hard parts about living alone is that I don't have anyone here to talk about things with. To tell them I'm feeling sad, and I want to cry. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. To know that they are aware of you and how you are feeling. I will be forever grateful for my sisters for filling that role for me. When I need it most.
What should I do tomorrow with the kids? I should end on a high note, but so far, I have no idea what that is going to be. But one thing I do know, I'm going to enjoy the day, whatever happens. I'm going to soak it up. Circus and all. I love those kids. It has been fun to pretend, for just a little while, that I'm a mom, doing mom things, two days a week.