Work-life deadlines

..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix). 

Naturally, I tried to do both – which was a fail

There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process.  PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?  

Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific).  Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May. 

~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done.  I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.  

There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have. 

“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future,  or at least through the end of June. 

How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity.  #SOS

~Bailey

It’s Hard Out There for a Toddler

On a typical day, my husband has already picked up Henry from daycare well before I get home. So when I walk in the door, the dog comes running and I can hear a “mama!!!” from somewhere inside the house. I get about 20 seconds to lose the work bag and winter coat before Henry rams into me at full speed for a big hug.

He’s a good hugger. Not a cuddler. But his hugs are pretty top notch. 

Henry is not at all impressed with his mother’s talents. Nor does he care I was working hard to get this done for a new best friend he hasn’t met yet.

However, the other night was a little different. The same exclamation of “mama!” happened and I walked around the corner to see him climbing the stairs to get to me. He got to the top. Stood up. Looked at me. And started to cry. And then proceeded to slowly cry walk toward me until he just collapsed into my arms. 
It’s amazing how much that can hurt one’s heart.
My husband said he had been having fun literally until that exact moment. This has happened a few times, in various ways, so I tried not to overthink it. And I had obviously googled it in the past. #helicoptermom
From what various discussion boards and mommy sites, it seems kids sometimes do the same things adults do. After working hard to keep himself together all day, following rules and being surrounded by other kids, coming home and being exhausted and within an hour of bedtime… we were all finally there and Henry felt like it was as safe time to just let loose. 

Done! I’ve become obsessed with less traditional colors being used for baby blankets.

I feel ya, bro. 
I really do. I wish I could say it gets easier. But that seems like a lie. Because I definitely have those days where I come home upset or exhausted from a deadline that has made me physically sick. Even though I love my job, it’s fair to still require a place where I feel comfortable enough to decompress and not get judged for it. 
It’s also one of the reasons why my husband can tell the difference between my normal resting knit face and my “OMG do not even think of coming near me or looking in my general direction” knit face. He gets me. 
Henry clearly doesn’t knit/crochet due to the lack of required dexterity at this point in his life, but he and I still share a few things that make us feel better after a long day: 
1. a good hug
2. a long bath
3. a good story
4. snacks on snacks on snacks
And when he turns 21, perhaps he can add wine to that list. 

I know I have.
What’s your go-to after a long day? 

-Amy

In the Middle of the Night

My husband would probably agree with the statement that, at times, I am somewhat overanxious about the mundane. This is probably one of the reasons why I’ve adapted to knitting and crochet – it’s good for my wellbeing

Quiet mornings are so necessary for my sanity.

But that still doesn’t stop the overly ridiculous thoughts from creeping in. And of course they don’t bother to come knocking until around 2am. 

As a bit of a study, I’ve been keeping track of the things keeping me up. Here are a few of the more obnoxious things: 

1. On a night we were scheduled to get a large amount of wet snow (5+ inches), I was awake and heard a few random creaks, leading me to believe that perhaps the heavy snow was going to cave in the roof of our house or garage. Who do you even call for such things? I tried to figure it out on my own. Right then. I still don’t know the answer.

2. Not being able to get my dog’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis. The vet says weekly cleanings at a minimum and here I am calling it a win if I can get one or two swipes in before she starts to growl and kick. My dog is too young to start losing teeth and I don’t particularly care to budget for extensive cleaning sessions. Panic ensued.

3. The teeny tiny zit I saw on my son’s face is somehow actually Hand Foot Mouth and neither Kyle or myself can afford to take off work the next day, let alone the rest of the week, and OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO. (This is a regularly occurring situation, but the particular ailment varies. As a side note, we’ve rarely had an issue figuring something like this out.) 

4. Did we lock the back door? Surely it’s locked. I was the last to let Polly in and of course I always lock it. But did I? Should I go check? Or is it a waste of time because if a burglar is going to show up at our house, they’re likely inside already. I wonder if the dog will actually react if she hears something with us here. *Turns on monitor to make sure the child has not been kidnapped.* Did I just hear something? Maybe I should wake up Kyle to go check.  (Side note: Never wake your husband to do this. He won’t.)

5. (On a night in a week where I was getting quite a few tension headaches) What if my headaches are something worse than just stress? What if I have a serious eye issue? Omg, I have noticed my one eye is worse than the other. What other symptoms do I have? Do I have double vision? Like, I can see my hand right now… but maybe I’m seeing two? I don’t know… is that two?!?! Am I seeing two right now? OH NO I USE MY EYES FOR EVERYTHING WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?? 

Each time I presented such worries to my husband the next day, he just looked at me like he was having the hardest time physically stopping his eyes from rolling. 

In other news, Kyle now brushes Polly’s teeth. So at least I can stop worrying about that one…

– Amy

The Express Train

My office is in downtown Chicago. Every day I take a metra train to and from work. Every day. For the past five years. For four of those years, I’ve been on the same train.

Back and forth. Back and forth.

Same repetitive pattern. Back and forth. Back and forth. Almost like crochet, in a way… #justgowithmeonthis

Baby boy blanket

The same thing… over and over…

So I often walk to and from the train in a trance. Listening to music. Talking on the phone. Not really a big deal as long as I’m on time.

And on the right train. Because sometimes… just sometimes… weird things happen and they switch the track my train is on.

Like last week. When I was on the phone. And got on the train.

My call ended. I browsed some headlines. Rummaged through my bag for a book. And finally, popped my head up to look out the window.

I did not recognize a thing. And immediately realized my huge, HUGE mistake. And even though I was perfectly safe, surrounded by people, the idea of not having any idea where I was going was absolutely terrifying.

So I casually turned to my seat partner. “Excuse me, I don’t normally take this specific train (to be fair, that wasn’t a lie). Can you tell me what the first stop is for this one?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s Lombard.”
“Perfect. Thank you!”

As you can guess, I did not want to go to Lombard, which is 35 minutes due west of the city. I do not live west of the city. I live north of the city. And I was heading the wrong way. During rush hour.

*Internal screaming*

After explaining where I was heading to my husband, he quickly replies, “GET OFF AT THE NEXT STOP!”

“THAT IS THE NEXT STOP!”

And so I expressed to Lombard. The train quickly taking me further and further away from home.

Total Cost of my mistake: 45 minutes, $35 in uber fees, an unbathed child and a cold dinner.

Luckily, that did give my husband enough time to get some wine chilled to the ideal temperature.

And then back and forth, back and forth I went with my current baby blanket project. Because routine is comforting. And mindless busy work is a great after a stressful day.

crochet baby blanket

Simple half double and singles. Back and forth. Back and forth. Over and over again.

Although it never hurts to double check your work from time to time. Or in other cases, the sign for your train.

-Amy