August 21, 2016

making time to blog, once I take care of everything else

At first glance the weekend didn't seem overly hectic.  I made a mental note that I would blog early Friday morning, if I was awake early enough.  We were hosting a few of Coach's siblings and their offspring for dinner Saturday afternoon.  I've been staying on top of the housework lately, so entertaining in our home seemed manageable.  I suppose I should clarify that by 'housework' I mean putting stuff away - in the right place instead of shoving it somewhere else so that I could deal with it at a later time.  Sorting thru paperwork on counter-tops, eliminating junk mail, tossing old grocery lists, and emptying my purse of useless receipts became a devoted past time of mine.  Before my freshly folded stacks of laundry could be kicked over on the family room floor or leaned on by a lounging body on the couch, I marched them upstairs to the appropriate bedroom.  In other words, the house wasn't actually clean, it was just less cluttered.

On Friday in order to make the most of one of the last days of summer, I created an enjoyable afternoon for my three youngest and their three close friends (who are also siblings of the same gender, same age as my three youngest) by driving them all downtown to the beach.  Our trip to the city would interfere with my workout class, so I opted to go for an early run outside in lieu of my class.  After my run, I needed to get my butt in gear and pack a lunch, towels, sand toys, and investigate online which beach we might attend.  I shifted my blog writing time to later that day at the beach.  I even packed my iPad safely in a large Ziploc in my beach bag.  My calculations of the limited housework I faced before our get together the next day allowed me to relax on the beach supervising these six goofballs for hours.  It was very windy and I put off my blog writing in order to flop on the blanket and read several chapters of the amazing book I am currently racing thru at lightning speed.  Thanks to the glare from the sun, way too much sand, and no beach chair, I caved on the blog writing on the beach.  I find it hard to utilize the iPad utilizing proper body mechanics minus a chair.  Can you tell I am married to a physical therapist?  

At last I assured the kids that we would need to head home as sleeping on the beach was not an option.  This leisurely departure well after rush hour meant that I struggled to get as much accomplished as I initially had hoped that night on the home-front.  Still I refused to feel the pressure of presenting a perfect abode to Coach's family members.  Knowing I had planned a menu of make-ahead dishes, I continued to remain cool. 

Ah, but the make-ahead dishes still required a devoted individual to prepare them.  I knew that.  Honestly.  With this thought in mind, I visited the grocery store to collect all the ingredients days in advance.  Yeah me.  My Friday beach excursion led to a late night of dessert prep, a major sweeping to de-sand the first floor, and little else.  With a bit of extra last minute effort, and a failed promise not to insist on offspring slave labor, the house and the food came together wonderfully.  Predictably I failed to type anything on my blog as I darted around the house getting things accomplished.  We laughed and joked all evening while the cousins ran around getting sweaty while entertaining one another.  When a pop exploded on the kitchen floor, I congratulated myself on not including a floor scrubbing BEFORE the party started.

Sunday's agenda included a trip to visit Laddie at college in the quad cities.  We weren't leaving until around lunch time, so with a clean house to admire I considered grabbing some keyboard time prior to climbing in the minivan.  Didn't happen.

Although I just dropped our oldest off ten days ago and homesickness wasn't an issue, we decided to bring the younger kids to see his room, meet his roommate, attend the welcome Mass at the Church on campus, and feast together at the school provided cookout.  Most students, including Laddie's roomie, arrived at school today.  We felt like it might be nice for Lad to have his family on hand while the other students settled in with the help of their family members.  I would never have considered this an important event, but at orientation back in June I overheard another set of parents ask if most of the athletes' folks return for the festivities on the actual move in day.

My husband, who earns his blog-moniker by regularly volunteering, agreed to coach Curly's soccer team this fall.  Curly's best friend's mom signed on to be his assistant.  I admit that I lost my focus after seeing the emailed schedule of soccer related events for the weekend in part due to our company Saturday night.  Once our guests had departed, I quickly moved my thought process down the weekend agenda to our drive to Iowa.  This morning I completely forgot to send Curly and Coach to the last minute player evaluations.  Assistant Coach, who had attended the evaluations and noted our absence, called to inform us that this somewhat disorganized league had chosen tonight as the assigned time for the draft.  Her call came in just as I was about to rally the troops into the car to head towards the cornfields of Iowa.  She offered to attend the draft since we wouldn't be back from our visit in time.  Her only request was that she read down the list of names to be sure she drafted kids that we agreed upon.  As far as Coach was concerned, he cares little about winning games so long as Curly enjoys playing with friends.  That said, none of us wanted a group of uncoachable, difficult kids on the roster.  I delayed our start time and reviewed the names with Ms. Assistant.  

At last we were en-route to Iowa.  Two minutes into the drive Mini sobbed that the book she is required to finish reading in time for the start of school this week wasn't in the bag she brought with her.  Words were said.  Tears flowed.  Voices were raised.  A quick exit was maneuvered followed by a brief stop back at home to grab the book.  A few minutes later, we were once again beginning our journey.  Coach had agreed to drive to campus, if I drove home.  I intended to type a post for my blog knowing I had ample time on the two and a half hour commute.  Before I began, I checked email on my phone and read a message from my college roommate who I haven't seen in ages.  I updated her thru a lengthy email and then nodded off.  I swear I did eventually type a bit, but we were practically pulling up to Lad's dorm when I had organized a few short paragraphs.

We accomplished our mission of seeing our son in record time, because Laddie had other ideas of how he wanted to spend his Sunday evening.  Checked out room, celebrated mass together, and shared a meal.  Lad announced his deep desire to squeeze a workout in before the dorm floor meeting scheduled by his resident advisor.  Reggie was a bit disappointed that Lad hadn't tossed the football around with him on the grassy section outside his dorm.  Mini wished she had accepted her cousin's invitation to attend the White Sox game and skipped the Iowa adventure entirely.  Curly thought we should just hang out somewhere without Laddie before heading home.  Needless to say we were back in the car in less than the time that it took to drive there.

In my mind I determined that it would be a perfect night to get comfortable in front of the computer until my blog entry was complete.  The closer the car got to home, the more important tasks I recalled.  I needed to address the laundry situation.  Damn . . . there was no lunch-meat or apples in the house.  Mini might actually make it home in time for her fiddle lesson, which would mean that I would drive her.  Knowing that I needed to babysit Monday morning, I reminded myself to set up the portable crib before I went to bed and install car seats in the van to make the morning run smoothly.  My blog visions began to fade once again.

The night I had scheduled for myself was a joke that I couldn't laugh about.  I got in touch with my sister in law who teaches Mini just as we were pulling in the driveway.  Yes, she could show up for a lesson in 25 minutes.  Hooray.  I changed my clothes and used the bathroom.  I dumped laundry into the dryer and started a load so that Eddie would have a clean set of golf clothes the next day for his after school match.  As I drove to the fiddle lesson I dictated a list of groceries I would pick up during the lesson even though my iPad was packed in my purse so that I could complete my blog post.

In my haste to slam the hatch on the minivan at the grocery store, I bopped myself in the head with the door.  I wasn't confident that I knew how long the lesson was meant to last, so I was rushing from the store.  Sometimes my mind moves so fast my body can't keep up.  Too bad I can't keep my blog up to tempo either.  Perhaps that will all fall into place if I just slow down, but first I have to . . . take care of everything else. 

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