Friday, August 31, 2012

Getting through orientation week

I mentioned in my last post that I was a bit apprehensive about how orientation would go this week.  I'll be honest-- I was a bit more than apprehensive, I was mildly terrified. The past month has been great in so many ways-- getting to know our new neighborhood, new surroundings, meeting so many great people-- but they've also been really, really tough parenting-wise. Zach and I were both struggling with the kids who seemed to do nothing but fight and whine.  I just didn't seem to be handling all their normal kid stuff very well, and started stressing about how I was going to get through not just this week but the next several months of Zach being so busy with school (the first two semesters, Fall A and Fall B, are known for being incredibly, ridiculously intense).  Looking at his schedule for orientation was a bit of an eye-opener... I knew he would be busy but it's still shocking to see just how busy, already.

To give you a rundown:
Monday- We drove to campus together at 7:45am so I could go to a partner breakfast with the kids. He had orientation events till 5pm, then had a resumee intro session & peer review from 6:30-8:30pm (think he got home around 10-11pm after hanging out with people, too)
Tuesday- Zach was on campus from 8:30am till 4pm. We met up with him in Hanover for an hour before he had a study group meeting at 5, then a dinner event 6:30-9pm.
Wednesday- On campus from 8am till 5pm. There was an address and reception that evening from 6-8:30 but he skipped it to be home with us.
Thursday- This was their "fun" day- group-building activities at Dartmouth Skiway starting at 8:45am. We drove up at 4:30 to join them for dinner with the partners & families, came home around 7pm.
Friday- Today Zach had to be on campus at 9am and will be home around 6:30pm.

And it sounds like this will be about what we can expect for the the fall semesters.  Not only will he have lots to do for class, but there's also so many social events, info sessions and prep for finding their summer internship (including frequent trips to visit different firms & businesses), etc.  So yeah, feeling like I was struggling to keep up with just normal life and parenting duties when there were two of us around, I looked at this schedule for the week and was sure getting through the week would be hell.

To my surprise and amazement, the week's actually gone totally fine. I kinda feel like I kicked ass this week.  We had some fun things to do (including a few orientation events geared to partners & kids), we got out of the house, met up with a bunch of other families and kiddoes here in Sachem, I even kept up with household stuff like laundry and the dishes each day, etc.  I do give the kids a lot of credit for being in better, more cooperative moods which makes a huge difference-- big, big thanks to them for that.  But still.  I needed this week.  I needed to feel on top of things.  This week helped restore my confidence in myself as a competent (and even fun!) parent, like YES I do know what I'm doing, and I will be able to get us through the hectic-ness that will be business school for Zach.  I know not all weeks will feel like this, of course.  But this was just really nice and exactly what I needed.  Zach officially starts Fall A on Monday, and now I feel like I can look it in the eye and say, "Bring it on."

Here are a few pictures from the week:

Summer vacation is officially over...Ready for his first day of orientation. =)
All ready for his first day of orientation on Monday. Isn't he adorable? =P
A few of the Tiny Tuckies at the welcome breakfast this morning. @TuckSchool
Donovan playing with a few other Tiny Tuckies at the breakfast Monday morning.
Entertaining baby Maya (he *adores* her, so sweet!)
Donovan and our friend's 4 month old baby, whom Donovan LOVES. He is obsessed with her, wanting to be with her all the time and play with her and even calls her one of his new best friends. SWOON.
Putting big brother to work.
The monkey backpack has been unearthed.  It may come in quite useful with Quinn. And I honestly don't get why people get all up in arms about them.
It's finally cool enough to bake the blueberry muffin mix I've been wanting to use.
We baked! It was a mix from a box. But still! Yay domesticity!
Hiking through the woods.
Ok, think this one works way better (this could be addicting...)

Wagon ride.
Wagon ride.
Yellow galoshes, green apple.
Yellow galoshes, green apple (playing at the Dartmouth Skiway yesterday, in the new boots that came in the mail a couple days ago and are the ONLY shoes he'll allow to touch his feet right now)
Umm.....?? I don't even know. (Check out his shirt, though! =P)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where I show off pretty pictures of the Tuck campus

Yesterday morning we all went to Tuck for registration for the new students and partners.  I've been wanting to take pictures of the campus, so I seized the opportunity.  I'm both excited and also a bit jealous that Zach gets to spend his days here for the next two years.
Looking at the Connecticut river and Vermont on the other side (this is right next to the student parking lot)
The stairs up to campus from the lot. 
These stairs are no joke...
Pretty buildings, pretty trees.
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I *love* this porch. 

Orientation is this week. Zach's schedule is pretty jam-packed-- he'll be busy on campus pretty much from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, and there's stuff going on almost every evening as well.  There are several events throughout the week for the partners (and kids), though unfortunately many of them won't work for us to join in on because of timing and logistics. For example, most of the stuff in the evening starts at 6:30 or 7pm which is right when we start bedtime.  We have one sitter we could call (and are working on building up a longer list), but honestly getting both kids to bed solo is a challenge for Zach or me and I don't want to throw that at a brand-new babysitter (really missing BB and Sasha right now, for many reasons but this is one of them).  So I'm feeling a little bummed about missing out.  I'm also a little apprehensive about what this next week will be like, since Zach will be busy but D won't start his school yet, so it'll be me and the kids on our own all day and most evenings.  I'm trying to plan ahead so we'll have plenty to do to keep us busy throughout the week.  (This is when I need to remind myself of all the other moms in my same shoes who live right here next to me, whose doors I should be knocking on this week)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Picking blueberries and apples with the grandparents

Zach's parents have been here with us the past week, to see our new digs and help out while Zach was away on his trip last week. We've shown them around some of the sights (downtown Hanover, the Montshire Museum of Science, etc) and then yesterday we went to Riverview Farms to pick some blueberries and apples. I even brought my camera along this time (fancy that!).

Susan got stung by a bee which may color her enthusiasm for fruit picking.  But other than that it was a pretty fun time, and a gorgeous day.  We'll have to go back in the fall for pumpkins, too. =)

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Friday, August 17, 2012

A Walk in the Woods, take 2

Last month I posted pictures of us hiking in the woods, and at the end promised go back with my DSLR.  Well, a couple weeks ago we did, and here (finally) are those photos:

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Donovan took this last one. =)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our day in pictures

Recently Donovan asked to go for a walk in the dark, so yesterday morning we set out at 5:30am, shortly after he and Quinn woke up, and headed out in thew near-darkness.  By then it was already getting light, but D brought the flashlight anyway so we could see.  We walked and raced and talked and noticed the shapes of the leaves on the trees along the sidewalk and the dense fog that obscured the big trees up ahead.
5:30am walk. Foggy morning (no tilt-shift on this one, just fog-blur)
We played with the neighbors at around noon. I forget who was outside first this particular instance, but often one of us will be outside and the other will join and the kids have a grand time (when mine aren't snatching toys from each other and crashing the toy trucks into everything along their way...ok , ok so they get along well enough....most of the time).
Playdate w/ the neighbors. One of the few moments when they weren't stealing each others' toys...
We had an oreo or two in the afternoon as a treat (how do kids instinctively know to open the cookie up and eat it as two pieces? Both D and Q do this and I can't remember anyone ever showing them to do so), went to the Dartmouth bookstore to check out the train table and pick up a book on motorcycles (Quinn's current obsession, above any other motor vehicles), and played in the lawn out front where Q had a grand time experimenting with gravity.
Is it just kid instinct to eat Oreos as 2 pieces? He was really enjoying this little game, lol.
See, you read all that and it sounds like we had this great day with all these activities and outdoor playtime and fun things to do, and I don't even have to ruin it by mentioning that we also watched like 5 hours of TV (well, mostly D... Quinn still doesn't have that much of an attention span for TV watching).  I would feel bad about it, but well when they're awake for 14 hours of the day that's just a LOT of time to fill.  And at least he chooses cool stuff to watch-- lately it's been mostly Top Gear or the Walking with Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Beasts/Monsters series (netflix streaming FTW! And I guess BBC, too).

So, yeah. That's basically what we've been up to lately.


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