Ever have one of those weeks that can best be summed up with the word AAAAAAAAHH!  Yeah, me too.  You work so hard to make life a good balance of work, play, and downtime, but sometimes the balance gets thrown off and even though you see it coming, you can’t do anything about it.

This week, every day is quadruple or quintuple booked and I am all amped up, hopping from foot to foot in my corner of the boxing ring, ready to face The Schedule, looking menacing and unnaturally beefed up in the other corner. 

Take today, for example.  It’s “bike to school” day for Vincenzo and Rocco, and they really wanted to do it but I’ve also got to get Leo to school five miles away at the exact same time and then somehow get back to the older boys’ school to volunteer 15 minutes after that.  Not to mention that the boys’ school requires that you have locks on bikes when they’re at school and I wasn’t about to go buy locks for their bikes for this one day even if I did have the extra 20 minutes in my schedule to do so, which I absolutely do not.  Today is a Wednesday, which is booked with volunteering, speech therapy after school, soccer after that, and at some point it became clear I had to buy espresso beans sometime during the day and forget about trying to exercise at all. 

But!  After several nights laying in bed not sleeping, (every day of the week is just like today, only with different problems) I realized that volunteering is canceled this week and that I could bike to school with V and R, Kevin could drive there with Leo to take the bikes home and to take Leo to school, and I could carry on down the trail on my own bike to Trader Joe’s, four miles away, to buy espresso beans and get my work-out in.  BOOM.  Not looking so menacing now, are you “The Schedule?!!”  BAM! 

Then tomorrow comes and it’s another fierce day of fighting, falling down, getting up, trying to look less beat up than I feel.

I don’t sleep anymore.  I just lay in bed, quivering a little, waiting for it to be a normal enough time to get out of bed.  Behind my closed eyes I feel like I’m trying to open one of those Japanese puzzle boxes, like if I just mentally push on this thing over here, it will all make sense, right?

As fight-ready as The Schedule is this week, next week gets even worse.  Oh, next week.  It’s teacher appreciation week, which I absolutely hate.  Am I the only one?  Teacher appreciation day would be great, but a whole week?  A whole week of remembering that one kid has  to bring in a flower on Monday, one kid on Wednesday, and one kid on Thursday; that I need to bake cinnamon rolls on Sunday and bring them in on Monday; that one kid has to wear yellow/green on Tuesday; that one kid has to bring a card on Friday; that I need to bake a quiche on Tuesday and deliver it one school Wednesday; that I need to bake cookies on Thursday and bring them to the other school Friday;  and also don’t forget to send in snacks for the boys’ classes on various days because it’s also state testing week.  Aaaaaah!

When I break it down, it’s actually not that bad.  Teacher appreciation week is an excuse to bake, and I love baking.  Biking to school was fun, and I even go to catch up with some other parents.  I love going to soccer practices and games, to swim lessons with the boys, to science fairs and school plays and family dance nights.  I love having the boys’ friends over and watch them turn the entire house into one gigantic pillow fort.  I love field trip Thursdays with Leo and errand Tuesdays.  I love volunteering at the boys’ schools.

I always get stressed about how we’re going to find time to make/eat dinner on these crazy days, but then I realize the lasagna can be made in the slow-cooker since we’ll be gone until 6 or the tamarind sauce from last night can just be thrown on some salmon for dinner tomorrow, and in the end when my family is all sitting around the dinner table, whether it’s 4PM or 8PM, I know that I made it all happen, and I went for a bike ride.  It’s a good feeling.

That’s what I’m thinking as I dish up dinner.  Then one of my boys pipes up, “I don’t like lasagna”–the same lasagna that took a sleepless hour of planning for and 6 hours to cook–and I just come unhinged and I CLOBBER him.

Well, you can please some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time…unless you serve them plain buttered noodles for dinner every night.   Then they will be very, very pleased.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE (Please note the lack of plain buttered noodles and imagine the amount of clobbering that is about to take place):
Leftovers, including…
Slow cooker lasagna
Chicken with orange tamarind glaze and rice
Pad See Ew
Green beans in cider vinaigrette with bacon
White chocolate macadamia nut cookies

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