Monday, April 29, 2019

Finding the Balance (Bike)

Imogen turned 1.5 this month! We are all having a blast with her personality showing more and more. We've got more language, more dancing, more snuggles, more reading, and yes, more screaming and crying. Where she is developmentally shines a huge light on the extremes of joy and frustration, and learning to find a balance between them. It's got us thinking about the current balancing acts we have going on.

Beasties on balance bikes - April 28, 2019

Gifting and Spoiling

We recognize the privilege we have that these are thoughtful decisions we can make. Do we give things to Everett and Imogen simply because they want them (or we want to give them)? Do we limit gifts and expenses to avoid spoiling? Right now we are somewhere in the middle, but it's a struggle. We want to give our kids things that make them happy, to share things that make us happy.

We probably give them too much stuff. To try to hold ourselves a little more accountable, we attempt to tie new items and gifts to... something. A holiday (Easter!) or an achievement (chores!) become excuses to give them things we've stockpiled. We're also taking advantage of the half-birthday. 

Half-birthday cake - April 29, 2019 

Imogen turned 1.5, and to celebrate we had cupcakes and gave her a gift. From us she got a balance bike, a helmet, and a stuffed animal (she loooooooooooves stuffed animals). She's getting bigger and much more curious about scooters and bikes, so it made sense to get her one and we are happy to have an "excuse" to tie it to.

Work and Life

We've done pretty well at protecting our "life" time. We leave work on time most days and we stay off our phones and computers until Everett and Imogen are in bed. Even then, we have to watch it. Too much night time work takes away from our time together as a couple, takes away our recharge, and makes the evening chores more rushed and stressful. 

Both of us are traveling more now for work. We deferred on a lot of trips the past few years, but now we don't have a solid excuse to keep opting out of travel. That said, we try to limit it to meaningful travel. 

Happy Hollow - April 27, 2019

Then there's the weekends. We protect those mightily. Those days are our key times with Everett and Imogen and we take advantage. We go on adventures, take gym and swim classes, play, talk, read, all the things. Sometimes the return to day care and work on Monday feels like the break after a jam packed couple of days.

Grief and Joy

The waves of grief are mostly predictable now. We expect them at certain times of year or when other triggers crop up. We've had years learning how it feels, and now we can spot some of the precursors a little better - when the balance is starting to get out of whack. It's not a problem to be fixed, but a reality to acknowledge.

Sometimes we are just more sad. Sometimes the baseline pulls down a little and our energy turns inward.

Egg hunt - April 20, 2019

On the other side of the balance, the joys are sometimes more extreme as well. We can sit more with the sweet side of bittersweet a little more often. We can remember and love Obie without breaking down.

If we actually stop and think about that fact, it hurts. Sometimes it is easier not to analyze and assess everything, and just move through the time. Not always, just sometimes. You know, balance.

Loving her new balance bike - April 28, 2019 

Waiting for the Easter Bunny - April 13, 2019

Imogen LOVES climbing around - April 28, 2019