Reality Check One Two, One Two @ Waiting on the Coffee, Sitting on the Couch – Webster

I was so excited to sit and write a post that started with something like “everybody agrees how bad I am at Mario Kart makes zero sense given how good (actually I would say stellar) I was driving through Idaho’s curves”.

But the reality is this post is coming by way of early morning time to write due to household cat management. It’s not really an inspired moment of reflection on our road trip home. (Trust me when I say, I have a lot to share on the days in between now and the post I wrote sitting on the couch on the front deck of our house in Bellingham.)

As I am writing this, I am interrupted by our resident cat coming *out of nowhere* and screeching as she pounced on new comer cat’s paw curiously poking out from the bottom of the basement door. Cat. Management.

We have this circus cycle of cats to litter box, cats to outside, cats to basement rotation going on as we (please dear God make this work) acquaint and blend our combined three cats.

Kids are blending fine. So fine that they apparently do not sleep and I hear both sets of new sisters rounding out their “all nighters” upstairs. Good. Grief.

Personally, I am recognizing this cat wake up call this morning as an introduction to being in front of a computer screen at 5:30a as I plan to work early once the kids are back in school so I can break mid day for a couple of hours to do the whole lunch, “what are you learning”, “let’s do science” thing.

The lunch part of that equation is especially important as the teens “free feed” which, you know, makes everything harder (per a cat article on how to introduce new cats…) The weeks we did an established lunch time during quarantine seemed to work out well.

….Except now I am not sure what meal you call what they eat at noon… per some quarantine inspired song lyrics I wrote, “dinner is breakfast, and breakfast is dinner, and lunch is all the time….”

All of this to say – The reality checks will happen. All nighters will meet all day zoom school starting Monday. The cats will eventually cross actual paths. My work schedule is going to have to get serious.

And with those upcoming cruxes (life is really just a climbing route), there are plenty of other new, less challenging, realities: that I am deeply charged by when all 5 kids are together, the humor David and I find in our combined calico of cats and kids, and the confidence we have in our current phase… being in the same bed every night. These are rich, live-giving things.

I, of course, have a short list of observations and sentimentalities to explore and share. I, of course, have things I am learning and leaning into. Specifically, this notion of “being the generous and just queen” and handling blips a little better… like when my stepdaughter assumed my chimichanga was hers and asked me to remove the toppings. Rather than being a generous and just queen “oh! I thought you had your dinner, here, let’s split it”, I forfeited my longed for Mexican, nearly cried and let that moment mean more than necessary.

I had the hardest time falling asleep that night processing how I wished I had assumed my power as the woman who will be showing this young girl how to be kind and fair and generous. Then feeling the relief that I get to try again the next day. Then the wash of “man, why did I act like one of the kids”, with then the relief of “now you know”.

Ah, the cycle of process and growth…

I do need to acknowledge the role of fatigue and hunger in those moments; causing me to not handle things as well as I did the winding roads in Idaho. It’s just plain science that I will have moments where reactions are human reactions and not the strategies of well rested royalty. It’s just, I suppose, a reality check to self care and to fold in and to communicate gently.

Anyway. It’s been a couple of days so I have a lot starting to bubble up and work itself out in words and phrasing. But it’s time to wrap it up and have a little coffee time with the husband.

…It is such a neat season to be paying attention. //

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According to Ellen (who did not sleep and is walking to Starbucks as we speak with Aria), I am waiting to knock out some cats with my Captain America shield.
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Scene from last night while three pizzas, 30 toasted raviolis, 1/4 watermelon, a quart of strawberries and salad were put out on the buffet. :)

Becoming a Stepmom @ the middle of sorting bins Webster 7.18

Been writing and processing the words “my husband” more than “being a wife” in recent weeks.

Reason for that is actually super clear to me. I became a wife before I met David. In the 7 years I was divorced or maybe 8, I became a woman who trusted herself, who learned to listen, who gave space to others, who took care of herself.

In those things, I became ready to be somebody’s wife. Those journals are where I learned that. Now I can marvel at the tide of him being husband… not boyfriend, not fiancé… husband. It’s fascinating.

But as the headband went on this morning and the sleeves rolled up, I found myself excited and motivated to get the house ready for the kids. Not the girls. The kids. Not Ellen and Lucy. Ellen Aria Lucy Kara and Maddox. 15, 14, 12, 11, 7.

I get to have a 7 year old again :)

I have gotten the house ready for the girls plenty of times. Week on / week off always afforded me a little Sunday practice of tidying and setting.

But this? This new ball game of getting the house ready for the kids has me daydreaming about decorating for Christmas with Kara, setting up Aria for supreme comfort and making the perfect balance of boy / man space for Maddox’s Star Wars toys and legos.

I’m setting aside the cookie and pancake stuff. Remembering the middle girls new love of “no bake chocolate cakes” and thinking of how to make their ingredients set up for them.. not just for the novelty and joy they would get from their own basket, but to prevent the surprise of all the sudden being out of vanilla when I go to use it.

It’s fun. David is down piddling in the shed and the yard. I’m about to put tunes back on and continue my evolution into stepmom, mom, mom of 5, “Erin”.

Christmas will be fun this year!
Current Sitch. :-/