Show up or shut up; what is that saying? It’s a good one. I recently decided to start giving myself participation awards. Showing up seems a battle that everyone is fighting- how do we move from social media to a social event? There are so many moving parts when it comes to attending something as a family. It can be immobilizing to get pants on a toddler so we can go to the park; once we’re there it’s worth it for the family, for sanity, for sleeping. Personal goals of parents can fall behind as we put the needs/ desires of family first. A child acting out can be debilitating for personal goals. So I made it a family goal, we all have to be involved in things we are all interested in.
Here we are at Sen. Dean Heller’s office.
One of the great reasons for being back in the states is the opportunity to stand with others and multiply our community voice. Another is the chance to meet with government representatives. I’ve been watching the VoteRunLead videos. They are so informative and interactive; full of great questions that get my gears going after listening to the videos. One question that stayed with me was from the first video; “Where do you show up in your community?” My first answer was online. I know it’s not what was meant but it struck me funny. I want to be more engaged and active in Reno- that’s not going to happen sitting behind a screen.
Before it started
Monday night we took the boys to a vigil in the City Plaza. I was too engaged to take many photos. We gathered and meet a few folks, more than 500 people attended. It was nice. Members of The Quiet Choir lead the group in, ‘I can’t Keep Quiet’, ‘This Little Light of Mine’, and ‘Imagine’. It was beautiful. For ‘This Little Light of Mine’ bats were flying overhead. It was right at dusk when all the candles were being lit.
Yesterday we (Wyll, the baby and I) had the pleasure of joining up with the Moms Clean Air Force here in Reno. We all went to meet Nevada Senator Dean Heller. Sen. Heller was busy with something so we met with Michael Lienhard, a regional representative. Michael, as he introduced himself, took a lot of notes, smiled, and promised to pass our concerns forward. In the meeting we, representing Moms Clean Air Force, talked about our concerns for the future of air and water in Nevada. It’s effects on public health were frequently noted. The focus was around cuts to the EPA and how that will affect us down the line. It’s been a long time since I had a meeting with a government official, my skills are a little rusty. Please check out the video of our meeting through the Nevada Moms Clean Air Force facebook group.
With the Elder in daycare and Wyll working, the baby and I get stuck with the house chores. We go shopping once a week and try to keep laundry down to three times a week. As much as we try not to, sweeping, mopping and dishes seem to be everyday chores.
The weather has been tres hot in Reno and I’ve been opting for things I can make in the instant pot. Yesterday I made red pepper hummus, falafels (yes the bean balls), and baba ganoush in the Instant Pot. I felt so professional! We fixed them up in pitas with cucumber, tomatoes and homemade tzatziki. Everyone loved it. We ate most of the pita but nothing like a flour tortilla to step up and be a wrap. Hurray for quick lunches!
Last night I made a big pot of yogurt in my sleep. It was so easy. We have things to go with it like apples, bananas, grapes which the baby has now learned he can grab them out of the fridge. This morning we had overnight rolled oats. They were so good and easy. Fridge cold and peanut butter chocolate, just mix together with equal parts oat and ‘milk’ (I did a cup rice milk with 1/4 cup PB and 1/4 cup chocolate pudding I made) and chill in the fridge. I will definitely be doubling it next time.
Beets are in the Instant Pot right now. So easy to steam them up then throw them in a vinegar marinade. I’ve been ‘roasting ‘ many vegetables this way, bell peppers, garlic heads and all my side veg- potatoes, carrots, squash, corn. It takes about an hour to do a pot of beans from dry with the Instant Pot. It’s easy to take whatever veg and beans then heat it up on the stove either in a tortilla with cheese or in a bowl with avocado.
Brown rice is easy to make in there too but I haven’t mastered white rice. I haven’t mastered the one pot pasta meal either but boy am I trying. I guess I’ll just keep a few pots and pans for the stove.
Over the last month, I’ve pursued old and new ways to find enjoyment in my adult life. July started out with the bold ambition of having my partner teach me Ruby on Rails; it’s a computer programming language that has proven beneficial in my household. Wowza, so stressful. It’s one thing to have a tutor glaring down at you; it’s way more intense when it’s your spouse! Two weeks after the initial start we realized it wasn’t working for either of us.
This coincided with putting our oldest into daycare, he hated it. Talk about grueling; every morning ‘I don’t want to go. I don’t like it there.’ Broke my heart. We called mulligan on that, too, scraping a month long plan. It just felt like all the things were wrong. Learning Ruby wasn’t going well. The toddler was extremely unhappy. He spent all his extra time telling us about what he didn’t want to do. I had connected with some mom groups in Reno, maybe I had abandoned them too quickly. Let’s give it another try.
The morning started out with the now very common daycare diatribe. I called the provider and cut ties; back to full time mom of two. As a family we went grocery shopping then ate pizza at the park. It was a good morning. Later that afternoon, our fist choice center called and said they had a surprise opening starting on Monday. We just gave up, now what!?! Do we try again? There were still chips to throw down, so much to discuss. So many un-turned stones. As parents, we talked through it. What did we think we could get out of it? How could it be beneficial?
I still wanted to prove myself, but at a mother’s pace. A mother’s pace includes child disruptions and the weight of the ‘mental load’. Duties as house manager come first, taking precedent over my desires to learn a new skill or make money. While rigorously studying the house went feral. It drove me crazy while I was trying to be focused on learning. So, regroup: I work on house stuff while the younger is awake. I work on me stuff while he sleeps like blogging and learning to code. While the older is at the center I can do house business and focus on what makes me happy. He likes this set up more. No tears today- first day of week 2. I met a few moms who are interested in coming over once a week to work. I’m excited to see where it goes.