Memorial Day weekend highlights

photo-339Over the next four days, I’ll be posting about my “672-hour Challenge.” I logged my time for four weeks to see if I could see trends. Seeing my life spelled out in Excel was eye-opening as it always is, and I can see which of the stories I tell myself are both true and untrue.

But in the meantime, a few highlights from this 3-day weekend:

My husband took all four kids to swim lessons on Saturday morning, which meant I got 3 hours to myself (the baby isn’t in swim lessons; he just tagged along). I used hour one to nap, hour two to go for a trail run (the honeysuckle is starting to bloom!), and hour three to sign book plates that I’m mailing to people who pre-ordered I Know How She Does It. I am grateful for the volume of pre-orders but wow, this is quite an undertaking! I especially love the requests to write something specific, sometimes for friends or for the reader herself. I’ve wished people well in their career journeys, and encouraged people in their writing. I enjoy imagining the stories behind these requests.

I took 3 of the kids to CVS on Saturday afternoon to pick up a prescription. While there, I bought two copies of More magazine, which I am in. It was fun showing my kids the glamorous photo of Mommy, who was looking decidedly non-glamorous in my ponytailed, kids-hanging-off-me, please-fill-my-prescription-quickly state.

We attempted our first bike ride as a family of six. My 8-year-old got a bike for his recent birthday, and so we loaded everything into two cars and drove to Valley Forge. The 8-year-old did fine on his new bike, though there was much drama (there always is, even if he’s doing fine. I tell him to stay to the right and he howls that “Mommy, you’re making it so hard, you’re making me so nervous!” Um, OK). Unfortunately, the 4-month-old isn’t quite big enough to sit upright in the Burley, and despite my 3-year-old’s attempts to put the pacifier in his mouth, he screamed for big chunks of the ride. My 5-year-old pedaled nicely on the tag-along behind me. It was a lot of effort, but I think good to try. I have high hopes that this will be better by fall.

Also in the category of “good to attempt if not exactly flawless in execution”: our first beach trip as a family of six. We drove to Sandy Hook in northern Jersey to meet my brother, who took the ferry down from NYC. The weather looked very promising, but then turned out to be cold. I have no idea what happened. It was sunny and supposed to be 80, but something about the wind made sitting by the water just frigid, and we wound up only staying on the beach for about 2 hours. We took a short walk and went to see the fort. I sat in the car with the sleeping baby while my brother and husband took the other kids to see the cannons. I take what me time I can get. The drive was long, but the baby only started screaming 10 minutes before we got home.

My husband and I are trying to do in-home date nights. We got the kids into bed by 8:30 Friday and Saturday, and on Friday we sat outside on the porch talking for about two hours. On Saturday he cooked me an amazing dinner: mussels in wine and cream sauce, with lobster as the main course. Wow. Another nice move: I’ve had several bad nights of kid wake-ups lately, so Sunday to Monday I asked him to please just deal with the baby and let me sleep until 6. I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow at 10 p.m., and my husband handed me the baby at 6:15. I have no idea what transpired in there, but sleeping for 8 hours was great!

We agreed to split Monday, so I took the a.m. shift. I took the four kids to a local playground, and they found friends both new and already known to play with. Then my husband took them to a Memorial Day festival in the afternoon, and I sat on the porch with a beer doing some work. It felt relaxing and productive at the same time. I’m writing this after cranking out an essay I needed to write; the rest of the day should include swimming and a cookout. I hope you had a great weekend!

If you like my blog, you might also like my next book, I Know How She Does It. Pre-order by June 2 and you can join my book club with perks including an autographed book plate, advanced excerpts, and access to two webinars around launch. Pre-orders help authors by showing booksellers that there is interest in a book. Thanks for reading!

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