Sunday, February 21, 2016

Work Update and the Usual Recap

These two are becoming friendlier and friendlier.

After a meltdown, sometimes you just need to stack some wipes.

 We tried these pancakes and all LOVED them. I highly recommend them if you're trying to get more greens!

On Thursday evening we took a long walk through the neighborhood--one of our favorite family activities. Marshall hasn't figured out how to run yet, but he's practicing every day, and it's hilarious. To me he looks like a combination of being a tiny pirate with a peg leg and having one leg shorter than the other. He's working on it.

Friday we kept things pretty mellow, from what I remember. Terry picked up some tilapia on his way home and we made this super simple fish recipe (if you aren't super excited about fish but like pesto, try this one. It's easy to cook and a very mild way to enjoy fish). Marshall loved it! Yes, he's a great eater, but of course he has his picky moments, too. He's always been hit or miss about meat, including fish, so I wasn't sure what to expect here. Turns out he loves the pesto, so he just kept asking for "more pesto!"--and of course that pesto came with fish! He also scarfed down some serious broccoli this weekend, and I had a little moment of panic that I will not be able to afford to feed this child in the future. I already struggle to make enough for Terry; wish us luck there.

(ignore the bib--he is a Giants fan, through and through!)

Saturday morning we agreed to get up and out early for a jog, and we actually followed through. By 7ish we were out the door for a quick jog to campus to play hide-and-seek in the Sculpture Garden.

We met a group of older men with their dogs who clearly meet up every weekend to turn the place into a dog park. It was awesome. Marshall wanted to introduce them to his dog! Check out that Labradoodle!

Then we hustled (walked, though) home to get ready for the day. I dropped Terry and Marshall off at swim, then ran a few errands. Then we all headed up the freeway for our friends' daughter's first birthday party! We were super late because of traffic, but we still had a great time watching Marshall play and celebrating the sweet birthday girl.

Marshall wasn't so keen on napping, but thankfully he finally fell asleep around 2:30, and Terry and I each took a nap too! I am fairly certain we haven't all napped together more than once since Marshall was born. Terry hates naps, and I always feel like I have a million other things to do, but we were beat. My nap turned into almost an hour, and it was totally worth the groggy feeling the rest of the afternoon.

This morning we took our time waking up (well, getting up--Marshall and Scout had us up before six, unfortunately), and we hung around the house a while. We planned out some meals, and Terry jumped in to help, which almost always results in a request for a new meal, and this time he chose several we've never tried! It'll be a week of experimentation. We hit up the grocery store and the farmer's market, the latter mostly for breakfast burritos because they are out of this world. Chorizo and egg and spinach and cheese...YUM.

Even though it was early, when we asked Marshall if he wanted to play on the playground next to the market he said, "Home," in the sweetest little voice. We called it an early morning and headed out, and sure enough this little guy fell asleep about five minutes from home. Is there anything more precious than a sleeping child?

Of course, that five minute nap meant he took nearly an hour to actually fall asleep at naptime, but he still slept, which gave Terry and me over two hours to get some major meal prep done in the kitchen. I love meal prep time, but it was way better to have Terry in there helping me! He gladly handled all the chopping and roasting while I took other tasks. Here's what we did:

- chopped and roasted sweet potatoes to make sweet potato, farro, & feta salads
- cooked farro for the salads
- prepped salad bowls for the salads so we can grab and go
- made chia seed pudding (a first for me--we tried it tonight but it wasn't set enough yet so I'll let you know the final verdict later)
- cooked meatballs for this recipe (one of the newbies in our line up this week)
- made these muffins
- chopped and roasted the vegetables for potato leek soup (I'll make the actual soup later this week)

It was a busy couple of hours, but hopefully we'll be glad to have it all done, including all those dishes. Later this evening I made overnight oats so that tomorrow will be extra easy, because we're starting a new routine!

Since I started work back in November, Terry has been taking Marshall to AND from day care. He's been able to flex his work schedule to make it work, but he won't be able to do that anymore, starting tomorrow. Instead, Terry will leave earlier and I'll take Marshall to school. Then I'll come home, drop off the car, and walk to work. Terry will still pick up Marshall at the end of the day. We aren't totally sure it'll all work. I have no idea what to expect with getting out of the house with Marshall on my own (normally we're both home to grab last minute items and help each other with morning meltdowns from our emotional toddler), and I am not entirely convinced that traffic will be kind to me all the time to allow me to get to work on time. Luckily my office and boss are super understanding, and I think the occasional traffic jam will be no big deal, but if it looks like the new schedule isn't working I'll have to start driving to work (and also paying for parking--boo). I have grown to loooooove my walks to and from work, so I would be very sad to see them go, but we're going to figure out what works best for Marshall, so wish us luck!

And on that note I thought I'd give a little update about how work is going. I'm a little less than four months in to working full time post-baby, and I would say I'm fairly well adjusted. I still feel like the new guy in my office, because I am, but I am growing more confident with each passing week. I am an academic advisor, so while I mostly have the rules and policies down I am still learning the nuances of our department and all the little tricks that you can really only pick up with experience. My boss is a wealth of knowledge, as is my coworker, so I'm trying to soak up all I can. Sometimes I miss being alone--I used to have several hours during nap every day to be by myself, and now I'm in an office with at least two other people all day--but I'm adjusting to that like anything else. It's another reason I appreciate walking to work; it's as close as I get to alone time.

There are times when I feel a little sad about not being with Marshall, but it's because I miss him, not the other way around. From what we can tell, Marshall is totally content at his school, and he is so loved and well cared for by the staff. Today at Trader Joe's we ran into one of his teachers, and Marshall was so sweet and shy saying hi to her. I can tell he's comfortable and safe and learning a lot at day care, so I feel really good about the decision to go back to work for his sake. It's also nice to feel more financially stable and to be contributing to our income. I really struggled with that part of not working; I felt like I was only spending money and not providing anything. Of course, I know I was doing plenty to make our family run, but this balance works a little better for us and for me.

The schedule was tough at first--I felt super stressed about getting everything done each night to prepare for the following day. Now I'm a little more relaxed about it, and I put some stuff off until morning or just wing a dinner or two during the week. We still try to work out at least 3-4 times during the week and once or twice on weekends, because it keeps us healthy and sane. But there are sacrifices, too, like less time to relax and less sleep than we probably need. But we're finding what works. Mostly I am perfectly happy at my job, and even happier to come home at the end of the day to my favorite people. I always always always wish I could have more time with Terry and Marshall, but that will always be the case. We're doing the best we can with the time we do get, and I'm incredibly lucky to have found a job that truly does maximize my time with them because I'm so close to home and able to leave work at work. Maybe that won't always be the case, so I am taking advantage while I can!

And now I am off to sleep to start another week. Four and a half weeks until our big trip to the Grand Canyon! I can't wait.


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