Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Changing the Routine: Tyrant Toddlers and Drunks

I should just give up entirely on writing about something interesting and instead just write about my everyday life. It goes like this:

  • Wake up when it’s dark
  • Shower, get dressed do hair and makeup
  • Take out the dog (This gets its own line because the dog is so freaking slow in the morning I have to block out 10 minutes for him to pee). 
  • Go to work and work all day (If I'm lucky I get a lunchtime workout in)
  • 11 hours later I get home, eat dinner, play with kids and put kids to bed (this is all about an hour and a half)
  • Watch TV and talk with hubby
  • Go to bed
  • Repeat

I could never make a dinner like this.
Not pictured: a glass of wine
I’m going out on a limb here and saying that my schedule looks pretty much like every other working mom’s schedule in the entire world, except that I’m really lucky in that I don’t have to take the kids to daycare or cook dinner. Husband stays home with them and cooks. I used to cook when he worked a million hours a week in an office, but it turns out I’m not a good cook, and so when the opportunity to work from home and not eat my cooking was available he jumped at it. I’m much better at drinking wine than cooking with it. Plus you don’t usually put wine in Hamburger Helper.

Sometimes I do the dishes, but that generally just pisses him off because I don’t do it “his way” or I put things back in the wrong place.

We’ve struck a balance with the kids and housework and going to work and it was working great for everyone. And then the girls turned into toddlers. Now the game has changed.

Where we used to have nice, quiet little girls who would play with toys, we now have 18-month-old monsters who know a dozen words, can climb things like lightning-fast monkeys, have obviously likes and dislikes, and those likes and dislikes change daily (or hourly). One has decided to fight us at every nap and bedtime. The other yells the second she is hungry. Both are independent, though one will let you help and the other won’t. At home they will hold hands and give kisses. In public they will run around like assholes, ignoring you, and scream bloody murder as soon as you pick them up.

Cupcake facial mask. 
Sometimes I am convinced that all the drinking I did with friends in my 20s was some kind of parenthood training. Sometimes they’re happy, then crying, then distracted, then asleep. They peed on their feet and may or may not vomit on any given day. For some reason at least one of them is never wearing pants. If they eat, there’s a 100% chance there is food in their hair and a 110% chance there is food on the floor. As soon as they’re done crying they love you even though they just hated you, and then they just pass out.

This weekend, after wresting them into their pajamas and carrying them upstairs, one under each arm like screaming footballs, I put them in their cribs. Later I admitted to Husband that I didn’t brush their teeth because I just couldn’t take another fight. He shrugged and said, “Who hasn’t gone to sleep without brushing their teeth?”

Yep, we’ve all done it. Especially after a long night out. Maybe my friends just partied a little too hard, but there were definitely some nights I let a friend fall asleep with their shoes still on. Drunks and toddlers. Eerily similar. The biggest difference is that these two are not going anywhere and each morning when I wake up after a few precious hours of sleep, I peek in on them before I go to work and they are precious, sleeping angels and I already can’t wait to come home and do it all over again, and if there happens to be a cocktail waiting when I walk in the door, even better.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Adulting in Logical Shoes

Once upon a time I walked everywhere in heels. And I mean everywhere. I would walk miles in platforms or 5 inch stilettos. Sometimes 5 inch platform stilettos. I took the bus and train in heels. I wore heels in rain, snow, sleet, day, night. If needed I could run in heels. More than a couple times I fell asleep still wearing heels.

In my late 20's I slowly started favoring shorter or thicker heels heels when I knew walking was going to be a thing. Then I found myself worrying about things like the pitch of the shoe, the level of the platform or lack thereof and whether or not my foot slid forward after hours of wear. Slowly I found myself favoring certain styles and spending more money on one good pair of heels than two or three shitty ones. Slowly I found a cobbler I love and started worrying about what kind of materials were used to make my shoes and what type on insole they have.

Slowly I was getting older.

Under my desk used to be empty. Now it's full
of shoes for every occasion. 
Having just celebrated by thirty-somthingth birthday and being securely settled into the mid-thirties, I find myself walking about a mile to the office from the train every day. I find myself chasing after toddlers who don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not you can wear heels on the grass. I find myself traipsing all over multiple floors of a downtown skyscraper, going to the gym at lunch and then walking a mile back to the train.

You know what’s awful for all these activities? Heels.

Sure, I still wear them in the office and to meetings. Sometimes I wear them through the airport so I can go straight off the plane to the office. I wear them when I go out with friends or my husband. I wear them shopping and whenever I’m not with my girls, but I am much pickier about what kinds of shoes I wear now.

I was talking to a colleague about shoes the other day and how the heels of your 20s retire and become more logical, more expensive, and are worn less often once you start to realize things like cheap shoes are bad for your feet, frostbite is not your friend and can do permanent damage, the sidewalk grates in Chicago are heels worst enemy, and there is no good way to ride a rush hour bus or El in heels if you don’t have a seat.

I still don’t fully embrace this new, logical, adult me who just bought a pair of supportive and logical walking shoes for those one mile speed walks to and from the train everyday. I still kind of hate the Sperry deck shoes I bought because they were a cute, sensible summer shoe to wear out with my girls. I shudder when I lace up my low wedge gladiators because there’s a sky-high pair that have only been worn four times this summer because it’s just not logical for me to be almost 6 feet tall to go to the park. I shed a tear when I think about all the shoes I don’t buy because they just don't make any damn sense in this new reality of being an adult.

I guess this is all part of growing up though. Everyone told me it was coming when they would say ‘I don’t know how you can walk in those,” and “Just wait until your my age.” Well, I’m not quite that age yet, and I’m not ruling anything out, but it’s my plan to keep rocking heels for decades to come. They may get shorter, or more comfortable. Hell, maybe my entire work shoe collection can consist of Cole Haan Nike Air heels (seriously, you can run in them), but I hope that I’ll still have some shoes that make people stop and stare. And leopard. Every woman should own at least one pair of leopard heels. Also snakeskin. If I have to be an adult I'm at least going to keep it interesting. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Office Upgrade, Decorating Fail

This year I got an office for my birthday.

OK, so it wasn’t actually for my birthday, but the day before my birthday the IT guy came over and moved my computer and phone, gave me a bigger monitor and a keyboard with one shift key that only works if you punch the hell out of it, and I had to gather up my piles of paper and my drawer of shoes (how does that keep happening?) and moved into my own private space.

Now I have a door and can shut it for conference calls, or so I can eat lunch in private.

Now I can hang my coat on the back of the door instead of in the community coat closet where it comes out smelling of other people’s perfumes, cigarettes and other general odors.
This would be a great picture if someone wasn't crying
and everyone would look at the camera. 

Now I have four white walls staring at me, reminding me that I’m a crappy mom who can’t get her shit together and get some damn photos of her kids for her office.

I have a phone that is bursting with photos. There’s pictures of those kids sleeping, eating (they eat a lot), rolling around on the floor, looking at something outside, sitting on the potty, sitting in the bath, playing with other kids, playing alone, playing with each other, fighting, laughing, crying… and those were all taken in the past month.

Somehow despite all those photos I haven’t managed to buy any frames, upload them to Snapfish and have them printed. I can even have them delivered to the office. Or I heard the Walgreens app is good. My boss said if I do that she will walk to the Walgreens a block from my office and pick them up for me so that I have pictures in my office like a normal person. I walk past that Walgreens twice a day on my commute and I haven’t had those pictures printed.

This is all a very, very serious Mom Fail.

Chocolate cake. These kids are gross, I wouldn't put this pic up.
I guess part of it is that I have never been one to decorate my workspace. Then there’s the whole thing where I would actually have to take the time to sit down and sift through the eight billion photos I’ve taken of the twins since they were born 17 months ago. I just really suck at that whole photo thing despite the fact that I love photography and taking pictures. It’s the print part I seem to have issues with.

It’s that extra step. Plugging the camera in and uploading the photos somewhere. Placing the order. It takes time that I don’t have because “uploading photos” never becomes a calendar appointment in my phone.

I guess ultimately, photos are just something that’s never really been a priority. Everything in our house that’s framed, hung, decorated and otherwise not a wreck was taken care of by my husband. He hates having things half done or sitting around in some kind of limbo. It’s how our house got unpacked in a weekend and we have things planned out until the end of the year.

Maybe I should just put him in charge of getting photos for my office. The whole thing would be done in a day.  I’ll just continue to hide behind my computer, working, and behind my camera, capturing the parts of my life I never put on display.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Hunt for Little Shoes

This weekend we were getting ready to go out and as I was putting on shoes I noticed that S’s toes were almost to the end of her sandals. And I mean touching the very top inside. And they were hard to buckle.

Apparently the kid’s feet grew overnight and her two month old shoes no longer fit.

Of course I work all week, and Stride Rite is 30 minutes away which puts us straight into bedtime assuming I feed them dinner. That’s a recipe for two kids walking around Stride Rite screaming while trying to crawl under fixtures or just making circles while crying.

Yes, they do strange things when they’re tired.

Of course I need the shoes by Saturday because we have something to do, and I won’t have time in the morning with breakfast and naps and what not, mostly because I want to avoid being that person with two screaming children in a store. Of course there’s the internet, but free shipping is 5 days (i.e. after Saturday) and for some reason I feel like I need to see the shoes if I’m buying them without sizing the girls.

Lucky for me (or not) I work downtown, and while I am no longer on the shopping extravaganza that is the Magnificent Mile, I am walking distance from State Street, which has pretty much all the same affordable things and none of the stuff I can only dream of (Ferragamo, I’m talking about you).

So lunchtime at lunchtime I bolted over to State Street to hit up Nordstrom Rack, hoping for a great deal on something fabulous, which wasn’t going to happen because they don’t carry kids stuff. I had to break myself from the magnetic pull of their massive shoe selection and stay focused. What’s next?

Gap. They have kids shoes, right? Sure, if you want your kid to wear one of two shoe styles that don’t bend and may or may not be made of wood. Next.

TJ Maxx; good plan. I got a compliment on my haircut riding up the escalator. This is a good sign. Big kids section, also a good sign. No kids shoes. WTF? Why does Chicago feel kids don't need shoes? 

I am now running perilously low on time and am answering emails while walking through crowded stores, attempting to not run into slow moving shoppers who are obviously not on a lunch hour.

Down the escalator and into Burlington.  This place is some kind of insane basement warehouse and there are directional signs everywhere. I find the one that says Baby Depot and somehow end up in men’s suits. Back down a small staircase and around a corner I found it, and there they were. Racks and racks of shoes for children.

Of course the sizes I needed was one of the smallest sections, and once you took out white patent leather and anything with a wedge heel (because toddlers don't have enough issues with balance) there were only a few options left. Luckily they were cute and I managed to land a pair of OshKosh glitter shoes and leopard print Keds in the appropriate sizes so each kid now has one size larger shoe. That way when D’s shoes suddenly don’t fit next week she’ll have a pair waiting for her.

Of course when I got home we had dinner, a bath, read a couple books and went to bed, and it wasn’t until later that I realized that all my running around and I didn’t even try the new shoes on the girls. I guess that means we’re waiting until tonight to play dress up.

I also need to find time to go back to Nordstrom Rack and play shoe dress up during lunch and find some new shoes for myself. Mom deserves new shoes too, and there was a pair of gold Jimmy Choo heels that were calling my name.