What I've come to realize is that there are a whole lot more things that need to get done than there are hours in the day. Of course everyone feels that way these days. Buuuut....When you have a medical complex kid with special needs there are a lot of additional demands on top of all the normal demands of life, so the problem that everyone faces of having not enough time becomes an even bigger problem. Things can easily get out of balance.
A huge problem for me has been that my husband has worked a rather extreme amount of hours over the years. He went from starting a business in his off hours (while working full time) to working for company after company that required periods of intense hours to meet deadline after deadline. In addition he had a hobby (though he did get paid for it) that kept him away several days a week for half the year. Once Ainsley was born this became an even bigger problem, that was quite difficult to solve because of course he needed a job. Try as I might I really couldn't compensate for the imbalance it caused.
Thankfully in May Steve was offered a job outside the video game industry. Last week was his first week at the new job and so far so good, he made it home at a "normal" time, by like 6:30. It's been SO nice. I really hope this is truly a new beginning for our family. One with more balance. And that it will mean greater happiness for all of us including Steve.
He had a week off between his old job and the new one. We had to play catch-up from all the time he's been gone. Ther is a lot to do falling into the categories of : records and paperwork, Ainsley's stuff, things we need to buy for the house, house maintenance and.....yard work. Lots and lots of that one. There is now no doubt in my mind that we were foolish to buy a house with a yard that requires so much upkeep. Yes, the house was perfect for Ainsley's needs but the yard is so big it's like trying to maintain your own park. Parks are nice....to visit, not to own. Especially when you are already time challenged. One day I'll post pictures of the whole thing so you can see what we're up against. What we need is an AstroTurf lawn with a few flower pots. Not 3/4 of an acre to weed and prune. But what's done is done and we plan to stay.
We've decided we need to enjoy this yard more to make it "worth it". We are "summerfying". The last day of school is fast approaching. I'm looking forward a fantastic summer with lots of family time.
We consulted with the landscaper who did the original installation to get some ideas because the trees and plants are becoming overgrown, then spent the rest of the day doing mowing, pruning and weeding. I worked until it got dark, in the rain, and only made a tiny dent. Sigh.
In some ways it was therapeutic being outside in the rain being physical. But I have to be in the right frame of mind otherwise, to be honest, it feels more like a chore. I'm not sure if you can tell how wet and muddy I was.
Steve installed a hot tub cover lift so we can open it more easily when he is not around. I hope that means we'll get more use from the hot tub. Sadly I'm usually too tired to go in it by the end of a long day.
We had no chairs for side patio where the fire pit is. So we spent a day looking for chairs while the kids were at school (And getting work clothes for Steve. I hate shopping for stuff like that with kids.). I just couldn't see spending a fortune on chairs for an area we seldom use. So we opted to buy from Lowe's for a fraction of the cost.
I think they look really good. Do you see the size of my hostas?! I think they've been here since the house was built 30 years ago.
We had to clean the fire pit. It was full of sludge. And rust. And covered in dirt. Adrian and I set out to clean it and Ainsley got upset because she wanted to help. So I let her. It was so cute!
It turns out that the real reason we weren't using the patio or the fire pit was we needed chairs. Go figure. Later in the week we roasted smores. It was awesome!
I think if Ainsley could talk she would say, "Roasting marshmallows is reeeallllly boring."
She licked the marshmallow but that was enough Smore for her. She can eat graham crackers now but I think the marshmallow was too much for her.
But not these guys!
Adrian had a boring day so we made it up to him with Smores. He was so happy. It's the little things. And that's what we are going to try to do more of. While we still take care of the other things that have to be done.
I thought I would quickly clean the barbecue before pulling some weeds(hence the weird outfit). But that turned into an all day job. Since it hasn't been cleaned regularly it caused corrosion to some of the parts.
Like these. And the burners themselves which have HOLES burned through (explains the problems we were having with hot spots). Today I called and found out it would cost nearly $1000 to replace the parts. Let that be a warning: keep your grill clean!
The kids goofed off while I worked. Ainsley LOVES to pester her brother!
She pinned him!
I hosed off all the toys that were covered in spider webs. Ainsley found the golf set and packed it into her walker and set off to the lawn to go "golfing". Too cute!
Lately baseball has been taking a toll on our time. The practice and game schedule changes from week to week. Usually there is some combination 3 times a week but you never know when.
This weekend was a nightmare because it was Evie's ballet recital on Friday night and Sunday afternoon but it also turned out to be the baseball tournament. We chose tickets for Friday then found out Adrian had a game. I kept one ticket for myself. Evie had a sleep over party that night which I had to rush her to afterward. I swapped out the rest of the tickets for Sunday hoping Adrian would be able to go. Then it turned Adrian's team lost Friday so they had a game on Sunday too, at the same time so after all that he couldn't go. If I'd known I'd have left it the way it was. My sister wasn't able to watch Ainsley so she had to go too. She was pretty well behaved for the first hour then things got "fun".
Luckily the baseball stadium was right across from the theater so it actually wasn't too bad. His team lost 14 to 13 so baseball season is over. Secretly I'm glad.
The crazy schedule made for a great photo op.
Evie on stage.
I think I deserve the mom of the year award for sitting through the 2+ hour performance TWICE.
Sadly our favorite post-recital/end of season place, Ruby's Diner closed so we went to Red Robin. The service was terrible but it was still a good time celebrating the end of the season(s).
Evie is super excited because I have her enrolled in Pre-Pointe class this summer. Since she was 2 she wanted to dance en pointe. After 9 years of dance classes she finally gets to start. I hope she likes it and doesn't quit after all this time.
She is also going to start taking guitar lessons and she's super excited about that.
AND Friday I got the call that she got into that special Arts school for next year. It is located in the next town and will surely require a time commitment. As if life wasn't challenging enough. Thankfully we have friends who attend there and they are letting us join their carpool which will help ease the pain. Evie is an artsy kid so I think she will flourish there and be worth it.
We got Adrian signed up for fall soccer so I'm anticipating with both those things going on, fall is going to be crazy but I'm trying not to think about it and just get ready to enjoy the summer. For those of you whose summers have already started I hope yours is off to a great start!
There is lots of "medical stuff" going on with Ainsley but I'll save those posts for another time since this one is long enough.