What’s going on around here…

I guess it has been a week since I did a “real” blog post. It might be another week before I do a real one again!

Life has just been complex lately. The good news is that yesterday my step counter clocked in at the highest it’s been since my “event” a month ago (9300 steps). The pain is manageable if I stop to rest for a bit, especially toward the late afternoon.

Of course, pausing to lie down in bed with my hot pad has been tricky with recent logistics. My husband went to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, leaving Friday — exciting for him. It was not a great weekend to be on solo parenting duty. I was singing in a concert and also had a dress rehearsal for that. There was an all-day robotics tournament, ending at an uncertain time. There was a climbing class, two birthday parties, two playdates, parkour, a Super Bowl party for a kid…I had booked a sitter but she got Covid. So…my parents came Saturday and my kids’ friends’ parents helped on Sunday (in one case taking one of my kids to a birthday party, and another parent hosted one of my kids for a nice long playdate while I hosted another one at my house). Having a kid who can drive is also amazing.

And sometimes I just knuckled through. I was not feeling great by Sunday night, but one kid needed to be picked up, and another driven to said Super Bowl party — so I picked up kid A, and my 16-year-old drove kid B. Then Kid A had his parkour class from 8-9 p.m. and he wanted to go, so I went and watched Usher on a small TV in the waiting area with the sound very low and the sound of gymnastics classes going in the background (thankfully not with the 4-year-old, the other big kids kept him!). Then after we came home at 9:30 p.m. I got the 4-year-old down and watched about 10 minutes of the Super Bowl until it went into overtime and I texted Kid B that I was sorry but I was coming to get him because I could not wait another 30 minutes. So I drove, got him, and we got home just as the game was ending. My husband had texted the other kids not to tell us how it ended so Kid B and I could watch the tape but…they forgot.

So, not my most relaxed Super Bowl experience. And the fun continued since B (nanny) hadn’t been feeling so hot and by Monday was definitely not feeling good. So she was out. Everyone had been up too late and then was up too early. I had a very full day and I was trying to figure out what I could cancel but I texted a back-up sitter who was in fact available for the afternoon. Which is good, because being exhausted and in pain and having to cancel physical therapy because you have no childcare just sounds wonderful all around.

Meanwhile, there was a storm brewing…we got an email from the district saying to prepare for a virtual school day on Tuesday. With my husband still gone (adding on a work trip to the Super Bowl fun) this was all just even more exciting. The kids brought their laptops home and sure enough, when I woke up at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning to check, that’s what the situation was. Fortunately, B was feeling better and has a car that can handle snow so she made it before the 9-year-old needed to start virtual school. He seemed to do OK with it with heavy supervision.

Anyway… the snow was beautiful. I managed to walk a bit outside and take pictures (see @lvanderkam on Instagram). It snowed about 4 weeks ago too, but I could not get outside to see it then because that’s when I was completely bed bound. So being able to go for some walks in the snow was a definite improvement. Recovery has been slow but at least it’s going in the right direction. I hope.

I probably won’t be posting again until next week, but if you’d like a daily dose of Laura (two doses in fact!), please check out the Before Breakfast podcast (new short episodes M-F, plus “second cup” repeats on Sat/Sun), and consider subscribing to the Vanderhacks newsletter over at Substack. There’s a free productivity tip four days a week, and a paywalled one on one day per week (current schedule, subject to change).

Today everyone is out of the house, husband is back home (he got me a box of dairy-free chocolates for Valentine’s Day) so hopefully the day should be reasonably productive…Which is good because the kids are about to be off again for a long weekend…Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

11 thoughts on “What’s going on around here…

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! Glad you are enjoying a day of calm and quiet after getting through a busy weekend! I think it’s easy in those moments to focus on how hard it feels, but you do such a great job of framing it as just a few busy hours out of the 168 hours we have each week. We all have those weekends but, if we plan, things will shift so others in our home can cover while we enjoy much needed time away. Hope you keep progressing in your recovery!

  2. That is a rough combo to solo parenting w/ a very full schedule while in pain! I am glad your parents could help out to make things a bit more manageable. We have yet to have a snow day. I think we’ve maybe had 10″ of snow total. We got 100″ last year so we are getting off very easy this year. My husband jokes that it’s our fault we are barely getting any snow because a) he took our snow blower in to get it tuned up in the fall and b) we finally bought a 4WD vehicle. So of course we’ve barely had any snow this year. I wouldn’t mind a little snow so we could take the boys sledding! But if we don’t get anymore that is fine, too!!

    I hope you continue to make progress and have less pain very soon!!

    1. @Lisa – I guess we get snow days when it snows because people are less used to driving in snow? And it’s really hilly around here. But there aren’t that many more weeks of winter now – knock on wood, but it almost never snows in the second half of March around here. So max one month to go!

  3. Yes, Ms. Laura Vanderkam, I do think that the pain is manageable if you stop to rest for a bit.
    I also think that it makes sense that you write just 1 blog post per week this month and the next month.
    I’m wondering though: Did you mean that there was a climbing class, two birthday arrangements, two playdates, parkour, etc., all of which took place in 2 days?
    Also, when you had booked a sitter, but she got Covid, do you mean that she was actually tested positive for Covid?

  4. Oh my goodness sounds like the perfect storm. How do you muster up the energy to manage everything? I admire your motivation. Especially by Sunday I would have waived the white flag and sat on my couch. I hope your husband had fun! It was quite the game. I’m sure it was ear splitting loud in there. I also hope your kids appreciate that they were able to experience their weekend with no hiccups despite everything going sideways. And lastly I’m glad YOU got out for some fresh air to enjoy the snow! Keep heating that back and hopefully you will be back to 100% in no time.

  5. I could not do that schedule in full (44 year old woman) health … my husband would have been missing the Super Bowl I’m afraid. I guess if it was a once in a lifetime chance or his team was playing I’d have insisted he go.
    Your energy and tenacity are always an inspiration. Get well soon!

  6. I hope you’re feeling better today. The thing that helped me the most with my back “going out” and my sciatica attacks was reading the Dr. Sarno books, such as The Divided Mind. Back pain is the worst! Take care.

  7. I’m sorry you had to go through all of this! I’ve definitely been there some weekends and I’m really inspired by how you pushed through all of the logsitics. Hope life becomes less complicated this week.

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