Mar 26, 2014

This month

March, you devil. I really had high hopes for this month, but it turned on me somewhere at the beginning and entered a downward spiral until a few days ago, when I was finally able to come up for air. Mark's arms are still busted and nothing has happened around the house with me taking care of the family and also being sick this month, too. But don't feel too bad for us. We called in the reinforcements and Papa arrived last Friday, bright-eyed and ready to help us patch things back together! I'm so grateful he is retired and such a giving soul to leave his life behind for a few weeks to help out his family. I admire him so much and I'm paying close attention while he's here to pick up some Papa tips to make life better.
Tip #1: Get window planters. It will make you feel happier to take care of something and feel better about being a good neighbor.
Tip #2: Say hello to everyone you pass on the street. Even if it's not the English way, it's the American way and don't forget you are American, Julie. (We've been on the receiving end of some funny looks from Brits not used to people exchanging greetings!)
Tip #3: Let Henry eat all the candy. Wait...I'm not listening to that one.
Tip #4: Be spontaneous. Have a picnic in the backyard. Book a cruise if you feel like it.
Tip #5: Don't let your dishes sit around, just clean them as soon as you use them and then your kitchen is always clean!

Those are just a few I've picked up so far. It's nice to have Papa here to help us all feel a little happier and remember how to let loose and have a little fun in life!

Mar 6, 2014

4 years

Happy anniversary to my love. Four years! I'm loving this new chapter of our lives in London. We've faced many ups and downs, especially in this past year, but those moments where it just got to be too much just strengthened us. Life is beautiful, but it has its moments of - "I can't!". I'm so lucky to have someone by my side who loves me unconditionally even during the hard times and who, it turns out, is also one hell of a father. Jackpot. If someone would have told me that after marrying Mark we'd be going on one adventure after another and have a little Henry to tag along with us, I would have married him the moment I met him when I was 20 years old!

Mar 3, 2014

Catching up

Blogging has been the last thing on my mind lately. Survival is pretty much the name of the game these days. I should be thanking my brilliant genius for making us go to Paris last month, because it will be awhile before we roadtrip again! Let me recap the 3 things that have left me a little unhinged:

1. We got back to London from Paris on a Friday night and Mark left for Tokyo Saturday morning. He was gone for a week, and during that time I totally killed it. Did some job research, meal planning, started reading 2 different books (The Invisible Man and Nora Ephron's Heartburn), and planned a fun activity every day to do with Henry. It was a good week, but I was ready for Mark to come back on Friday evening and be my husband and Henry's Dad. :)

2. The following Monday, Mark was a little late getting home from work, and I hear a knock at the door. I open the door and it is Mark with his bicycle, and blood and scrapes on his legs, hands, and arms. He'd crashed his bike in the rainy commute home, and after a trip to the emergency room, found out he broke his right thumb and his left arm. So. That was about a week ago. He had surgery on his hand on Friday. It's basically been a crazy mess around here for the past week. Henry always reminds him - Dada fall down, Doctor fix it. Mark couldn't even open anything or dress himself or feed himself the first few days, but his arm is slowly healing (luckily it was just a radial head fracture, and not the radius itself) and he's devised some funny ways to feed himself and brush his teeth. I admire his tenacity and creativity, I really do.

3. The biggest and dumbest thing of all: I've been talking with Henry about giving his pacifier to the baby animals at the zoo, or the baby fishies in the river (he is 27 months old and we try to just keep the pacifier to naps and night night time only, but he's been more insistent about it lately during the day and has lots of tantrums all the time. I'm over it!), so Thursday morning when we were standing in front of the Globe Theatre watching boats pass by us, and he chucked his pacifier right into the Thames. And I thought, well this is it - it's time to get rid of Henry's baba. He used to go straight down for naps and sleep for 3 hours, but now there is weeping and wailing and down to only about 2 hours of nap time. And night night time has turned into an epic excuse factory to keep him from bed, and I basically have to put him down laughing or he will be too sad and just cry cry cry. It breaks my heart! But we are 5 days in now, and there's no turning back. It's getting better now.
Whenever he asks me for his baba, I ask - where is your baba?
In the river! Threw it off the bridge!
At the zoo with baby animals!
It doesn't help that my dad has totally laid the guilt trip on me for taking it away from him - comparing it to someone throwing my iphone into the Thames. Rude.

Anyway, it's been a crazy past week, and I'm ready to turn a page. I have a few things on my radar that are just for me, which help me feel more like a human and less like a caretaker with nothing left to give. Taking care of a toddler and a broken husband is a lot of work and I have not taken care of myself at all the past 2 weeks. I really need to learn the art of balancing taking care of others and not letting myself fall by the wayside. It is a complete mystery to me.