I recently met up with a former colleague/old friend for coffee after more than a year not seeing or speaking to each other. There wasn’t a falling out, or anything dramatic like that. Life just got busy and pulled us in two different directions over the last many months, and then one day I got an e-mail from LinkedIn bullying me to congratulate said friend on a new job title, and I was like, oh jeez, has it really been that long since I last caught up with her? I mean, hell, I’d since gotten pregnant again, we sold our house and moved, I lost my job at the company where we once sat across an aisle from each other, I had the baby, I lost a mother-in-law to cancer, and I started doing freelance marketing work from home. Yep, it’d been far too long.
My life sure looks a whole lot different now, as does hers, than when we last got together, but it didn’t take long to get her up to speed with my goings-on because she’s the kind of person who really listens when you tell a story and remembers the details about you that make you, well, you, so it didn’t really matter that so much time had passed. What mattered was that our two-hour coffee date felt like old times. We didn’t have to give each other the back story about the things that had happened during all that time when we weren’t in touch. We just talked while sipping our respective caffeinated beverages, and it was really nice reconnecting with an old friend.
That’s how I think about my blog, like an old friend, always here waiting for me to reconnect. But, sometimes the thought of trying to catch up this space with everything that’s happened while I’ve been busy is daunting. I worry that if I don’t fill in the gaps, my life is going to read like a TV show whose writers went on a strike in the middle of the season, leaving the viewer, or in this case, the reader, wondering if the baby from the first episode is the same baby in this episode, as he can’t possibly already be 8 months old, can he? (Oh, he can.) How did that happen, writer? A segue would be nice. Sheesh.
I think if I’m going to continue writing here — and I DO want to keep writing here, because I miss it terribly, and I think I’m in a good place to pick it back up again — I’m just going to have to write the CliffsNotes version of the last many months, or else this post will be thousands of words long and take two hours to read. I’ll just have to think of you, reader, like that old friend of mine and pretend we’re catching up over coffee. Sound good?
First off, the kids. KIDS. As in, I have two of them now. Two boys, to be more accurate. Sometimes that fact still blows my mind. Milo, who I’ve written about all of two times (Sad Second Child Syndrome), is 8 months old. He’s a peach of a baby, just the sweetest little dude who is trying to do everything all at once. He’s very close to crawling, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he skipped it altogether in favor of bipedal means of getting around. We keep thinking teeth are going to pop through, as surely that will explain why he sleeps so crappy at night, but no pearly whites to speak of yet, which means he’s a terrible sleeper for other reasons, likely because his parents are too lazy to actually train him. (Truth.) He started eating solids a little before he turned 6 months old, but it wasn’t until last week that he finally seemed interested, and all of a sudden he’s insatiable. At his well-baby check-ups, he’s measured middle of the road for weight, and top of the charts for height, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his newfound interest in Real People foods pushes him up some percentage points on the scale. Seems like he’s bulking up now for a big growth spurt in advance of some hardcore mobility. Also, he’s the cutest, and I can’t wait to tell you more about him.
Then there is Rowan, who is going to be 5 next week. I’m planning to write his annual birthday letter, so I’m going to save a lot of details about him until then, but guys? He’s a bonafide KID now. He’s really grown up a lot in the last year, particularly in the past three months since starting Montessori preschool. He got a haircut the other day, and it reminded me of a haircut he got when he was 3, so I did a side-by-side comparison, and HOO BOY. Heart.breaker.
Can you even handle it? More on Rowan soon.
I alluded to this earlier, but my work situation is VASTLY different now than it was a year ago. I wrote about my layoff and how it took the wind out of my sails, but after awhile, I realized what a freaking blessing it was that my former company let me go. It was definitely the kick in the pants I didn’t know I needed to branch out and do something different.
After Milo was born, I started hearing back from companies to which I’d applied for jobs, and while one of the very first in-person interviews I went to didn’t end in an offer for a full-time job, it did present me with the opportunity to work for this company in a freelance capacity instead. I’d never seriously considered freelance as a viable option for me. Could I do the work from home AND take care of a baby? I was dubious. But I took a leap of faith, and since July, I’ve worked as an independent marketing consultant/project manager for this large utility company, and it’s going pretty well. I bill just enough hours, 15 or so per week, that I don’t have to put Milo in daycare, and I bill at a rate much higher than I’ve ever made before, which means I take home about the same per week that I did when I worked full-time. D’oh. That math’s real nice.
But, freelance can be hard, especially now that Milo is more mobile and active. His naps are unpredictable and vary wildly in length, so sometimes I have to do my work at night or early in the morning, which is tough because of Milo’s aforementioned crappy sleeping. (SO TIRED.) Earlier this week, though, I had a two-hour conference call with my client and colleagues, and during that time, I also managed to change a poopy diaper, nurse Milo, AND put him down for a nap, all while on the clock. I high-fived myself that day, but other days are quite the shitshow (literally!), and if I’m going to keep doing freelance at this pace without losing my mind, I have to find a babysitter for a few hours a week on my meeting days.
Or, I’ll have to find a full-time job and put him in full-time care. More on that soon, too, as this topic probably deserves its own post.
Roth is doing well considering what he went through in August with the loss of his mom. He’s working a lot, sometimes early morning hours, which is hard when Milo doesn’t sleep well the night before. He’s a trooper, though, as he handles the lack of sleep much better than I do. Ahem.
We’re kind of in the baby barracks these days, so life isn’t very glamorous and our fatigues are covered in mysterious fluids. (Spit-up? Pee? Pureed peas? Who knows!) Some nights we manage to get both boys in bed and asleep before 8:30 and then enjoy a little kid-free down time before collapsing into bed ourselves, which I consider a WIN. I’m finding that I’m happiest when things are calm and copacetic, a rarity as parents of two young children.
For Christmas this year, we’re headed to my mom’s down in California. We haven’t spent the holidays there since we moved to Seattle (I think?), so it’ll be a change of pace from what we usually do, which is drive for a dozen hours or more to visit Roth’s family. We’re flying this time, and even though tickets cost SO MUCH MONEY, I’m grateful to not spend forever in the car with the kids. It’ll be great to stay with my mom and stepdad, visit my brother (who I haven’t seen in a long time), and see a bunch of friends, too.
That’s about it. No big whoop.
I’ve missed you. What are you up to, old friend?