A new chapter

When I married John and left Texas my little sister was just 11 years old. This month she’s staying with us here in California. Both to help with the kids and our transition from NPS to DLI (which, in some ways is much more intense than the post-grad school), and just to spend some good time with her. Let’s face it – I got totally spoiled that last four months of John’s time at NPS. Since we had moved closer to the school in June, his commute was much quicker, and we had a separate guest house where he could study instead of spending all day every day at school. It was really nice to have the flexibility and his nearly constant availability. Don’t get me wrong – he was busting his tail on his thesis. I wish I could remember the title right now – something about Cocolera Movements in Bolivia, I think…it was deep. But, having him home to bail me out in emergency situations where Liv would almost certainly be peeing on the floor, while Cliff perused the house for small objects to put in his mouth – all of course, while I was burning dinner…or lunch…or breakfast. Ah, the life of a stay at home mom who makes three from-scratch, grain-free meals a day. I’m trying to simplify. Really I am.

It was great having John home for the nearly six weeks between NPS and DLI, too. However, I’ve been worried about how I was going keep up with both kids and the house and the meals. It may not sound like a lot, but it can be very overwhelming at times! Cue: Ivy! My awesome little sister – 10 years younger than me, we didn’t often spend a lot of time together one-on-one because of our age difference. But since we’ve gotten older 10 years feels like a much smaller gap. It’s been so much fun having her here. The kids love her, of course. It’s Aunt Ivy this, and Aunt Ivy that, all day long!

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It was important to me to create some organized routines that I can maintain 90% on my own, and just rely on her for occasional support and entertainment for the kids. So far I think we're on the right track. I don't want to become dependent on help, but she's available and willing for when I need it, which is awesome. Ivy was here in time to watch the kids for the Birthday Ball last weekend, too, which was a huge help! Last night her and I went out to see Thor 2 and spend some time together. We biked down to the little theater here in town and grabbed a coffee before the movie started. I think it was the first time we'd hung out just the two of us. It has been so much fun getting to know her for the young woman she's growing into! This month is already going by too fast! And by the way, the movie was great (and the first one I've seen in theaters since Les Mis last December! Yay, I broke the "I-have-two-kids-two-and-under-so-I-never-get-out-to-see-movies" streak!) I know my family back home is missing Ivy, but we sure are enjoying her time with us here!

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