Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Unscheduled Fun February 15, 2019

We have a lot of fun together as a family. We go to trampoline parks and to shows and museums. We plan beach vacations and camping trips and in the next couple of weeks we’ll be going to the circus. It seems though, that having unscheduled fun with the kids is getting rarer and rarer. You know what I mean by unscheduled? The times when you don’t have a plan but you end up building a fort out of sheets and pillows or making funny hats for stuffed animal toys. The regular – free – EVERY DAY fun.

Now that the boys are 11 and 12 (gasp!), our “at home” time often revolves around making sure that all the things that NEED to be done, get done. The dinner and the homework and the chores. Whatever extra time there is, gets used up with me binging Netflix and them playing video games.

I know that one reason for this is that building forts and making play-doh pies just doesn’t cut it for pre-teens. But I also think lazy parenting is another reason. I’ve been at this parenting thing for 12 years and I’m tired. Tired physically yes, but also tired of putting legos together and pushing trains on tracks.  You parents of older kids remember all the “floor time” you used to spend.

When you have a new baby, everything is so exciting. You want to spend every minute with them. Teaching them and watching them and exploring with them. You love going to the park and pushing them on swings and you love hearing them giggle when you play peek-a-boo. You’d do anything for that giggle. You absolutely love feeding them pureed green peas and seeing the mess they make and you marvel at the green poop that follows. After a while though, you begin to love getting back to yourself. You don’t love your children any less. Not one iota. But you love that your children can now entertain themselves and make themselves sandwiches. You love that you can roam the Target aisles in peace and don’t have to spend any time looking at stupid transformers that cost too much for the 10 minutes that your child will actually play with it even though they are telling you that they NEED it and will for sure this time play with it for eternity.

 

How much together time is the right amount? I want us to be close. I want our bond to be strong. I want the boys to have a joyful life full of sibling and parent interaction. I want ME time.

 

I don’t have the answers. I am playing this all by air. I will say though that last week, Shaunie and Jay baked some cinnamon rolls together. It was nice. Also one day last week, I put my phone down, my feet up and Ace read me a story. It too was nice.

 

Then this week, Shaunie had to go to New Jersey on some family business. On Wednesday evening, Jay and I sat together and assembled candy grams for his class for Valentines Day. While we were assembling, we talked. Just he and I. We don’t get that a lot. With one Mom gone, the remaining 3 of us ended up having a slumber party in my room. We are not a co-sleeping family so this was a real departure from the norm. Plus, it was a school night. (What?!?!) It was such a hit that we did it again last night.

 

I really hope that we’re getting it (mostly) right. I hope we’re not being too hard on them; but pushing them enough. I hope we give them enough of their own space; while not making them feel alienated. I hope we force them out of their comfort zones often enough to spark an adventurous spirit; while honouring their own, specific, interests. I hope we enforce necessary routines; while allowing for (and even encouraging) flexibility and spontaneity.

 

Do all parents feel this way? How do you guys manage it?

 

When the alarm went off this morning and Jay rolled over to me and snuggled for a couple of minutes, I knew I had made the right call in agreeing to the “sleepover”. It was just so delicious. But sometimes the answers are harder to decipher; especially when they tell you that all they want to do is have electronics time.

 

No Holiday Stress Over Here December 20, 2018

A couple of school concerts

FINALLY getting the kids passport applications done and mailed

Mailing off the only Christmas gift I had that needed mailing

Receiving our annual Christmas cake from my Aunt in Jamaica

Already eating ALL of the annual Christmas cake we got in the mail from my Aunt in Jamaica

Making an ugly Christmas sweater

Indulging in Spirit Week at each kids school – (Every day there’s a theme they have to dress like)

Finding (too large to match the rest of the display) plastic toy animals mixed in with my African wicker nativity scene

Watching a 1970’s Christmas movie

Getting to the end of a really good book – And then starting another

Sleeping in

Deciding to stay home and be lazy all weekend

But then …

Going to Church and really appreciating the spirit/vibe/nature of the Church we attend

Eating out (aka not cooking) both on Saturday and Sunday

Finishing a knitting project that’s been languishing

Getting new (bigger for a bigger project) knitting needles and new yarn

Going to the mall to do some shopping for an older family friend

Falling in love with a new Bath and Body Works scent

Getting a quick 20 minute massage

Wondering if I should go back and get more of that same scent so I have extra in case they discontinue it

Getting roped into a work holiday pot luck lunch; complete with ugly Christmas sweater and gift exchange

Finalizing some plans for trips we’re taking early next year

RELAXING

 

 

Just some of the things that’s been happening since my last post on Dec 11th.

This was a no frills post because I’m in a take it easy mood at this point.

Really hope you guys are not all stressed out.

 

Breathe In. Breathe Out. Close Your Eyes. Listen To Music. Read A Book. Take A Walk. Do The Thing That Relaxes You.

 

Work Life Balance November 1, 2018

Enjoy it. The kids grow up so fast.

You really should eat better and exercise.

Don’t stay in an abusive relationship.

Save money and maintain good credit.

 

All good advice. All things that people say to help others and all things that people already know to be true or right. BUT. Also all things that can be super hard to fully appreciate when you are in the thick of just getting through each day.

I get it. Oh, do I get it. I’ve been guilty of wishing away time and waiting for the kids to get older because in that moment, things were just so incredibly difficult. I’ve not eaten for weeks because I was stressed out and I am so bad at working out that it’s not even worth mentioning. I had never been to the doctor for a check-up until about 2 weeks ago when Shaunie made an appointment and forced my hand. I’ve never been in an abusive relationship but there were definitely some unhealthy situations that I allowed to linger for too long. And I took a long time to get my financial situation in order; (Well into my 30’s).

 

Making these positive changes gives you such a different life though that once you’ve done it, you get severely annoyed at yourself for not doing it sooner.

 

Don’t be a slave to your job. Take time off. Create a good work/life balance.

More advice that well-meaning people give and that we all know to be valid. Then we go back to our 2 hour commutes and our 12 hour work days and our 160 hours of built up vacation time.

 

I spent nearly 3 years in that life. Leaving home before 6 am and not getting home till after 6 pm. At home, things kept moving. The wheels kept spinning. I just missed A LOT of it. For 2 years, I told myself that I really needed to start looking for a new job and then I didn’t for one reason or another.

3 weeks ago I started a new job and it’s been indescribable.

 

I get to sleep in a little longer in the morning and I still get home when it’s light outside.

I sometimes make dinner for my family and clean up and can still find a minute to sit and watch some TV or read a chapter of my book before it gets dark.

 

I get to drop my boy off to school and hear him marvel at the colours of the sky when we step outside. This morning it was glorious shades of hot pink and bright blue.

For the entire month of October, there was a family who lives next to Jays school who used a skeleton family to depict various fun activities. They changed it every day. It was so fun. Jay and I loved pulling up to see what the skeleton family was up to each day.

 

Ace and I get a few minutes in the morning to chit chat before he heads out to the bus stop. It’s invaluable. Yesterday I spent some time talking with him and one of his friends as they waited for the bus.

The boys and I have gone on Burger King and Taco Bell dates in the afternoons and we were able to do a make-up tennis lesson on Monday evening.

The tutor can come earlier in the afternoon so that we can have more time before bed to either get things done or just hang out.

 

Simple things really. But oh my gosh they are the BEST things.

 

I know in the vast majority of cases, people need to learn lessons in their own time; not because someone told them to. We all make moves when we are truly ready to do them. As one of my best friends told me recently, “I know I complain about being fat, but if it was really a problem to me, I’d do something about it.” I do understand that. But if there is anything I can do or say to encourage you to take the step you’ve been wanting to take – but have been procrastinating on – please let me know. I’ll do or say it.

 

You won’t be sorry. I promise.

 

And now I need to seriously get into some sort of workout routine – And stick to it.

 

What’s Been Up? October 17, 2018

What should I write about?

I could mention that one of Ace’s friends was giving him props and said “You my nigga” to which Ace promptly responded, “No.  I’m not.  I don’t like that word.” And how proud I was of him that he spoke up even though it was from a friend and not intended to be demeaning or insulting and even though it had the potential to turn what had been a pleasant moment into something more serious and uncomfortable.

I could tell you that Jay came home complaining about another student and during his rant, he said among other things, “… he’s retarded” and I was completely taken aback by that word choice.  I let Jay finish and then we had a discussion about the word “retard” and that it’s not the correct word to use because it’s insulting to people who have an actual medical issue or disability.  I suggested other words that he could use instead and was very pleased when he said, “Oh yes, that makes sense.  I won’t use that word anymore.  Well, he’s a total jerk and you should talk to his mom.”

 

 

Ooh, can we talk about how Jay had a project at school where he was supposed to make a plant cell model?  At least, that’s what he told me the project was.  I spent time on the weekend getting necessary supplies.  I took a minute to complain about having to do a project on Facebook.  We built (what I thought) was an awesome plant cell and Jay took it to school.  ONLY FOR IT TO BE WRONG.  Ugh!  I got a call from the teacher explaining that Jay had not accurately understood what the project was so we need to do it all over.  There is a part of me that fully appreciates how willing the teachers are to give us more time and how they tried to not make it into a big deal by saying “He just took the assignment too literally and you know, once he has an idea in his head, he gets stuck on that.  We won’t grade his project until Thursday so you can work on it.  It won’t take too long.  And we’ll talk with him today and give him some examples and maybe have him look at some of the other kids projects to make sure he understands before he comes home.”  There is also a part of me that’s like “NOOOOOO.  NO MORE PROJECTS!!!!!!  How bad would it really be if he got a zero this one timeAnd seriously, who gives 5th graders nothing but verbal instructions on a project?  Not everyone processes the same way.  It would have been lovely if, in addition, to the verbal instructions given in class, they also sent home written instructionsPlus, I feel badly for him because he really hates not understanding things because it makes him feel stupid; which he certainly is NOT, so having to do the entire thing again will not go over well.”  (Spoiler alert:  I won’t actually let him get a zero.)  But this will make 3 projects in 5 days.  2 of which needed to be done the night before they were due so that’s no fun for Mom.

 

Let’s end on a high note.

The 15 minute commute is going swimmingly.  Yesterday, I got home at 4:30, and was able to take the boys to Chuck E Cheese for Jays school spirit night.  They had a great time, which means I had a great time.  We got home and were all ready for bed by 8, after having done homework, cleaned the bathroom, taken out garbage, had a very fun pillow fight, done nightly reading, talked on the phone, ironed clothes and tidied rooms.

This morning, I set my alarm for 7am, showered/dressed, hung out with the older boy a little bit while I made tea and then we both walked out the door together.  I made it to work at 7:55.  Simply wonderful!!!

 

3 out of 3 October 4, 2018

Last Sunday was a pretty quiet and uneventful day.  To be honest, the entire weekend had been pretty quiet and uneventful.  There was lots of electronics time and lots of time spent in pajamas and lots of “every man for themself” where food was concerned.

 

One of the few times we left the house was when Jay and I went for a bike ride on Sunday evening.  It seemed like a great idea BEFORE we went.  1) Fresh air.  2) Exercise.  3) Bonding Time.

The reality of it was somewhat different.

 

I mean, it was still good, but also:

As soon as we got the bikes from the back yard and brought them to the front, Jay announced that he needed a snack break.  I stood there watching him munch on Doritos.  Finally he put the bag with the remaining chips in his cargo pocket and we were off.  OK good.

Except, I spent a lot of time reminding him to stay to the side of the road – instead of riding down the middle.  We made it around the block one time and then he parked in front of our door claiming he needed to take another snack break.  As he was snacking on more chips, mosquitos were snacking on me.  Not so much fun.  Although it may have been entertaining for any neighbours watching me dance around and flail my arms.

I managed to get him back on the bike after a few minutes where there was more of me working over time to keep him out of the middle of the road.

*Please note it’s not a main road. There’s light traffic in our development and drivers are well aware that it’s a hot bed for kids playing outside but it’s still a little stressful for me as the parent.*

 

We were half way around one more block and Jay stopped riding because he couldn’t make it up the hill, plus he needed water.  Fortunately I had some.

As we walked towards home, he stopped repeatedly to watch a family of geese, to check out a little girl playing cornhole in her yard, to complain about the hill we were climbing, to ask me if I was sure he wouldn’t get run over by a car, to confirm that he’d get more snacks when we got home, to pose for pictures and to wave at children calling to us from their bedroom windows.

 

All in all, we were outside for over an hour and we didn’t go more than 3 blocks.

It was one on one time spent outside with the boy though and I still count it as exercise because the alternative was me sitting on the couch so I guess we hit 3 out of 3.

 

Birthday Buddies Bust September 27, 2018

A couple of weeks ago Jay came home from school with a flyer advertising “Breakfast With Buddies”.  Basically, students were allowed to invite someone (a non-student) to have breakfast with them in the school cafeteria.  As a mom who works a full time job, I rarely make it to these kinds of events.  I can’t remember the last time I chaperoned a trip. It’s been years.  I attend concert recitals and I’m always available if there is an issue where I have to meet with a teacher but I’ve never been to a field day or to the annual Thanksgiving lunch – And before today, I hadn’t been to a “Muffins with Mom” or any other fun breakfast gathering.

When the flyer came home, I knew I wanted to go.  This is Jays last year in elementary school which means it’s my last opportunity to engage in these kinds of activities with him.  Lately, I have been feeling a compulsion to make the most of the time we have here.  To NOT put things off.

I asked Jay if he’d like me to go with him and he gave me an enthusiastic yes.  I put it on my calendar and let my job know that I’d be in late.

 

Today was the day.

As we pulled into the parking lot, Jay told me that he hoped there would be bacon.  I told him I didn’t think there would be, but we would see.

When we filed into the cafeteria along with all the other families, Jay disappointedly said, “Aw man, all they have are donuts. Ugh!”

 

Jay got his donut, I got mine and a cup of coffee.  We sat and chit chatted for all of one minute before he said:

“You can go now if you need to.”

 

I told him that I hadn’t even finished my donut yet.  He said “Oh, I’ll sit with you while you finish.”  As if he was doing me a great favour.

As soon as I took the last bite he let me know that I could take my coffee to go.  He was over the breakfast.

Well.  OK then.

 

At least I got to sleep in for an extra 90 minutes – which I very much appreciated.

 

Sportsmanship August 14, 2018

Sunday was a beautiful day.  Warm and sunny.  Perfect for a trip to the pool with the kiddies.

Until it wasn’t.

We got there at about 3:30 pm and by 3:50 we were being ushered out of the water by the lifeguard due to thunder and lightning in the area.

We gathered our belongings and trekked it back across the parking lot to our house.  As we did so we discussed what we’d  do once we were showered and pajama’d.  We still wanted to have family time so we decided on a movie.  We’d spread a big blanket out on the living room floor and have snacks while we watched.

20 minutes later we lost power due to a serious storm that blew in.  I’m talking black skies, trees blown down and thunder and lightning loud and bright enough to even make me jump and I’m typically not bad at handling storms.

There was nothing left to do but play board games.  The last time we had played a game we went with Monopoly (Ace’s choice), so this time we opted for Jays favourite of Pictionary.

 

Games are tricky for Jay.  And by extension, they are tricky for anyone playing with him.

 

He LOVES playing.

He HATES losing.

 

He was in a great mood when we set up.  We chose our partners; Me and Jay vs. Ace and Shaunie.  I rolled the die and were off.  Jay was to draw “laughing gas”.  Truth be told he did a fabulous job of it, but I wasn’t able to get it.  I took all the blame,  lavished praise on him for what a good job he’d done and we handed the die to our opponents.  The first thing Shaunie had to draw was a raccoon.  Jay was toppling over in fits of laughter before she put pen to paper.  He’s awesome at drawing animals and from prior games that we’ve played, he knows she’s … ahm … not awesome.  🙂

And so we continued for a while, having a great time laughing at each others attempts at drawing things like “face lift” and “loud” and “spend” and “yacht”.

Shaunie and Ace began to pull away from us though and Jays mood began to shift.  He was not pleased that I couldn’t guess his “record” and instead of laughing at me for not being able to properly draw a “hospital”, he just got mad.  I did guess “picnic” correctly but that was an all play round and Ace’s “tree” helped push me to get the correct word.  Since it’s pretty much established that Jay is the artist of the family, he did not take kindly to that.

 

We all tried to be as patient with his mood and attitude as we could be and I said all the things I needed to say.  I tried to engage him in laughing at Shaunie and Ace’s failed attempts at drawing and guessing.   I told him that he couldn’t get upset just because we were losing and that the game wasn’t over yet so we still had a chance and that you win some and you lose some …………………… blah blah blah.

Jay kept saying yes he understood. But he was not pleased and there was no hiding it.

Ace looked like he wanted to roll his eyes.  Not at me.  At the situation.  He’s 12 years old.  He doesn’t always have tolerance for his brother ruining good things.  He’s had a lot of it in his life.

 

Jay is like that at school also.  He often comes home with stories of being bullied.  I want to take his tales at face value but I also know that what he interprets as bullying could easily be:

 

They’re playing a game of dodgeball and someone hits him.  He gets angry about being out so takes a stand and doesn’t leave the court.  The other kids start yelling at him that he’s out and needs to go sit on the sidelines.  He yells back telling them that they are being mean and accuses them of bullying.

They’re playing a game of musical chairs and he makes it to the final 2 but in the end the other kid gets the final chair.  Someone celebrates the other child by saying … “Yay, you’re the winner” and Jay gets mad because what he hears is that he’s the loser so then he starts yelling at the kid complaining that the kid is being mean to him and calling him names.

Not bullying.

 

I know there’s some sore loser in all (or most) kids.  Of course it feels better to be the winner.  But Jay takes it to the extreme.  Like so many other things in his life.  It’s all or nothing.

 

I don’t know how to help him manage these emotions.  I don’t want to threaten that we’ll stop playing with him.  I don’t think that’s the way.  Just like I didn’t think avoiding restaurants or museums was the way to go when he was a tantrumming toddler.  Now we don’t have any of those worries.

I also won’t just let him win.  That’s not fair to Ace or anyone else playing and it’s simply just not my style to do that.

I can see how playing with him can look less than appealing to other people though.  As much as it breaks my heart to say this, I wouldn’t blame other kids if they didn’t want to invite or include him.

 

Any tips/tricks you can offer would be appreciated.  In the mean time, I’ll just keep doing what I always do.

Stick with it.  Play games.  Stay calm as he gets more and more agitated.  Encourage him to keep trying.  Explain to him for the 4238437th time what it means to be a good sportsman and how he can’t/won’t always win so he just needs to understand that and not be a grouch about it.

 

In the end, we did eke out a win in the Pictionary game so, for that day at least, a Jay sized crisis was averted.

 

Halloween Recap November 9, 2017

It’s been a while.  What to say?  What to say?

 

Things have been.

That wasn’t a mistake of a sentence.  That’s what I meant to write.  Things have just BEEN.

 

I’ve been trying to get through each day with as much cheer as possible.  Some days it’s easier than others.

 

Let’s talk about Halloween though.  That was good.  It lasted for 5 days.  As a matter of fact, I could probably count up to last night because Jay was still wearing and playing in his costume.

The Friday before Halloween we went to a Trunk or Treat at Ace’s old school.  I’m not sure if we were technically supposed to go or if it’s only open to current students but we did go and the kids had a good time.  Ace said hello to a few of his past teachers but forgot that they couldn’t tell who was under the mask.  Jay got lots of compliments on his costume.  He was in compliment heaven.  It happened every time he went out in it.

Speaking of Jays costume.  He decided months ago that he wanted to be a character from his favourite video game.  A costume for said character is not available in stores so it had to be made.  Here is a side by side of Ace & Jay in costume and Jays costume inspiration.  I think we nailed it.  And by we, I mean Shaunie.

You can’t see the flames on his head very well, but Ace is Ghost Rider.

 

PhotoGrid_1510244226648.jpg

 

After the Trunk or Treat we went to a festival at the local YMCA.  There were games and bouncy things and a haunted house and a hay ride.  The plan was to leave at 7:30.  Pushing the kids past their bed time is not usually a good idea but everyone was having a good time and behaving well, so we stayed until nearly 9pm.

Saturday found us at a Celtic festival.  I don’t know how or why.  It just happened.  Kilts and iron workers and giant turkey legs and bagpipes and Highland Games.  It was cool.  Then we went to a cute little shopping district in Richmond that was hosting a Halloween thing and a zombie walk.  THEN we went to a mall that was hosting yet another Halloween thing.  We skipped out before the movie started.  (Hotel Transylvania).  We just couldn’t take anymore.  We, being the adults.

 

Then on Tuesday we did the traditional trick or treating around the neighbourhood.  It was nice.  The kids got way too much candy but that’s kind of the point I guess.

 

On November first, Jay announced that this Halloween had been the best ever and was already musing about what he’d dress up as next year.  When I told him he should give it some time before making a decision he said:  OK, I’ll decide in January.

 

Our DMV Summer July 12, 2017

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Family,Marriage,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 11:36 am
Tags: , ,

Lost camera, aching feet, bad bruise on hip, scratched knee, drinking contaminated water, bug bites, and sore finger tips – All in the last 2 weeks.

We’ve been having a great summer.

That’s not me being sarcastic.  We really have been having a good time.

 

I lost my water proof camera when we went river tubing.  It was my fault.  I rested it down in the drink pocket of the tube to help Jay and the next thing you know we both fell over and there went all my pictures from trips taken over the past 3 years.  I dived down trying to retrieve it, but river water moves quickly and it’s sandy and well, maybe it will wash up in China and someone else will get to use it.  Good for them.

Besides that little mishap, the tubing was relaxing and beautiful and the kiddos had a blast.

 

The aching feet and the contaminated water came about when we decided to spend the day touring the National Mall in Washington DC.  We’d been there a few times to various museums – Sometimes with the kids and sometimes not.  This trip though was because Ace has been asking to go to the Air & Space Museum and I’ve been wanting to take them to see the Lincoln Memorial and White House.  We decided to take the train into the city which only added to the fun for the kids.

Following the museum we got ice-cream and headed towards the other end of the mall.  Along the way we stopped to dip our feet in a big fountain, saw some trapeze artists from the circus doing a free show outside, bought over-priced pizza and iced coffee and posed for pictures.  After what felt like a lifetime we made it to the World War II memorial which I had never really checked out before.  It’s pretty cool in that there’s a big water fountain in the middle and then columns with each state etched into it.  People were finding the state they were from to take pictures.  By that point, we were so tired, even though we could see New Jersey, we couldn’t walk to New Jersey.  Oh well.  Did I mention that it was hot and sunny?  No?  Oh, well it was.

EVENTUALLY – (It is a LONG walk) – We got to the base of the Lincoln Memorial and it was time to climb the 87 steps that take you to the top.  *Fun fact* : 87 is equal to the “fourscore and seven years” from Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.

Even though my entire party was complaining about being tired, it was well worth the journey.  Jay announced that it had been a dream of his to see the statue (who knew?) and we all enjoyed the view of the Washington Monument from that vantage point.

But people, we still weren’t done walking.  We had to walk almost the entire way BACK to get to the nearest Metro stop.  Whew!  That’s when we came into contact with the contaminated water at a drinking fountain.  I don’t want to embarrass anyone though so I’ll leave that story alone.

 

We spent last Sunday at “our river”.  (A different one from the tubing).  I love the river.  We packed a cooler and found a new (not crowded) spot and just hung out.  There was a little water fall area that the kids kept sliding down.  I succumbed to peer pressure and decided to give it a try.  That’s where the hip bruise came from.  Hello rocks.  Note to self, leave kid things to kids.

We had snacks and climbed rocks and just spent a lovely afternoon with nature.  We closed out the day with a fire in the backyard and a bushel of crabs.  (Hot dogs cooked on the fire for the kids).  *Insert bug bites – despite those tiki bug torch thingys – and sore finger tips.*  We remedied the bug bite situation with bug spray and just dealt with the sharp edges of the crabs because – deliciousness.  And beer.  Beer helps to dull crab finger pain.

 

Yesterday we dressed up as cows to get free Chik-Fil-A and hit up a local fun place which included go karts and video games.  We have tickets to attend a reggae & wine festival and are hoping the weather is good enough for us to make it to a water park soon.

 

I hope everyone has been making the most of their summer; short as it is.  That doesn’t mean we are not thinking ahead to Christmas though so if anyone wants to gift us nut crackers for next summers crab eating, that would be just lovely 🙂

 

 

 

 

(p.s.  The DMV is DC, Maryland and Virginia)

 

Four, Three, Two … Home November 21, 2016

FOUR weekends ago we drove 3 hours south to North Carolina.  We spent the weekend with friends I’ve known my entire life (pretty much).  It was awesome!

THREE weekends ago we drove 4 hours north to New Jersey.  We spent the weekend with family who we love and miss.  It was awesome!

TWO weekends ago we drove one and a half hours to Maryland.  We spent the weekend with friends who were visiting from Canada as well as friends who really are the definition of family.   It was awesome!

 

All that awesomeness wore us out.

This past weekend we stayed home.  As wonderful as it is to see all the people we love, it’s exhausting working all week and then travelling all weekend.

 

I started my Saturday with the surprise gift of a massage.  Yay and thank you honey!

That was followed by some long over due home tidying, unpacking and decorating.  We moved over 6 months ago.  The place was still bland and we still had boxes in the kitchen, nothing on the walls and plastic bags cluttering the living room.  It didn’t feel like home.

In our living room, we now have yellow and red lamps, red side tables, artwork hanging above our renovated couch and we have plant life.  We printed and framed a family picture which is now on display.  We hung curtains and got new throw pillows. Basically, we now have a comfortable space to relax that reflects some of our personality.

On Sunday, we slept in while the kids happily relaxed on electronics.  We had a huge Jamaican brunch of ackee, saltfish, plaintains, callaloo and dumplins.  We settled down in our now, warm and welcoming living room to watch a movie.  It was actually a good one.  Creed.

Overall, it was a really nice weekend.  Just us.  Nothing fancy.  But so very much needed.

 

This will be a short work and school week since Thursday and Friday are Thanksgiving holidays here in the USA.  We have tickets to visit a new museum in DC on Saturday.  Other than that, we have no plans to go anywhere.  We don’t mind one bit.  We will be quite happy to stay home and have 3 no frills days.