For the last week or so, I've been meaning to take a second to talk about Stella starting "Baby School." Sarah did a great job encapsulating the first week or so in the last entry, and Stella is actually adjusting to the new situation and schedule pretty readily; but at the same time I thought that it was worth mentioning that -in some ways- this transition has been as big of a change for me as it has been for her.
For the last 20-odd months, I've been more-or-less a stay at home dad. Sure, Tirza was watching Stella several days a week, and Sarah was home on most Fridays, and sure I was working part time. But most days involved at least a couple hours of Stella and I bumming around together; trying to keep busy or find a fun way to pass an afternoon. But, for better or worse, with Stella beginning Day Care, that's all changed.
The first couple of half-days that I took Stella to Day Care were mainly just exciting and fun. It was a change in the routine for both of us, and Stella seemed to enjoy the space and experience. But, when that Thursday and Friday rolled around, it began to hit me more that my little sidekick was leaving me. And, by Monday, when she had her first full day of child care, as I watched her diligently follow Sarah down the front walk on their way to the car, I suddenly felt the lump rising in my throat and my vision started to mist up.
Then, as the car pulled out of the driveway, it was just me in a quiet house by myself.
...Although, to be fair, our house wasn't quiet for long. That same week, with my dad working as the general contractor, we began the first stage of our basement remodel. This stage, which we are now probably halfway through involves turning the large basement rec-room into two bedrooms. Demolition, carpentry, electrical work, cement-cutting, heating duct rerouting... the last two weeks have been marked by a flurry of activity in basement. Previously, while I worked in the basement and listened to Stella and the nanny's daughter, Natalie, crash around upstairs, I thought it got loud; but that doesn't even begin to hold a candle to trying to work upstairs while electric drills and saws whine and roar beneath my feet.
A view of the basement before the remodel...
...and roughly the same view about a week later. I'm pretty sure we will do an entry about the remodel specifically, so I won't go into too much detail here.)
The remodel, combined with trying to get started working again, my first on-site contract in about two years, a ton of activity with my drawing group the Bureau of Drawers and packed weekends (the Annual Lake Phuckalia Camping Trip, the Annual Whidbey Island Country Club Party) have led to me feeling like I'm in a perpetual state of flux. People keep asking me how I like my new routine, but it's hard to give them answer since I seem to be unable to establish any sort of routine. It's made for an exciting couple of weeks, but also an exhausting couple of weeks.
The Annual Lake Phuckalia Camping trip. This years trip was marked by a creepy van guy, bee swarms and probably too much whiskey. But, Stella has become quite the little camper, and enjoyed spending time with her doppelganger, Ryder.
Me and fellow Bureaucrat, Nikki, hold up a long communal drawing that was created as part of our illustration groups activity at a recent Seattle Art Museum event.
This entry seems a little off, maybe a bit unfocused. But, maybe that's appropriate. I'm sure things will settle down sometime soon. And, I'm sure that -at some point- I'll get used not hanging out with Stella during my weekdays. Still, right now, I'm just trying to roll with the changes, stay flexible and not get overwhelmed.
And enjoy my evening and weekends with my favorite two ladies.
Stella riding on my shoulders at the Phuckalia Camping Trip.
Sarah and I enjoy our 5-year bottle of wine... a wedding gift from our friends Justin and Yachi. Love you, honey!
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