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This Week Happens, Sleep Eludes Me

Quinn Turns Four, Three is Banished
We have officially bid a final farewell to the threes, which is a nice way of saying we flipped Three the bird and gave a hearty, Don't let the door hit you on the way out! Three left behind some of its belongings (whining, writhing on the floor, public humiliation), but we're shipping those to Three some time in the next few days. I'm not too worried about it. Four is here now, and we're much more used to Four's quirks, since they've been around since Bryce first introduced us to his version of Two.

I Hold My Tongue, Victory is Mine
We celebrated Quinn's birthday with the infamous in-laws. Since we're in the process of packing to move, we told everyone to meet us at Quinn's favorite restaurant. Half an hour after the agreed-upon time, when our kids and their gang leader cousin (who had spent the day teaching Bryce all about how two older kids can have a great time destroying a younger kid's confidence, even (hell, especially) on his birthday - this family rocks!) were wailing about hunger pangs and throwing cutlery across the dining area, they finally showed up. My mother-in-law walked up to me in the middle of my attempt to convince Quinn that this restaurant really does have food and he really couldn't spend the next hour running circles around the table, grabbed my shoulder and said in a creepy, serious voice, "Are you going to keep me for your mother-in-law?" The tone of voice didn't match the sarcastic words, and I was distracted by the 35-pound child hanging from the right half of my body, not to mention the din of Chili's dinner hour as well as the screaming thought, YOU MEAN I HAVE A CHOICE? THEN HELL NO!, so I just looked at her while I tried to formulate an acceptable answer. She didn't like that, so she repeated her question, this time more seriously than before. Now I was getting confused, but mostly I felt like this was a prime example of how she puts people on the defensive every time she opens her mouth. What answer would possibly be okay? If we were great buddies who joked around with each other, I could answer any way I wanted to with no repercussions. In this case, if I said "no" to meet her sarcasm and make a joke of it, she'd be offended and awkward. If I said "yes" it would sound like I was taking her question too seriously, and she'd be offended and awkward! There is no correct answer - it's a constant power play with her. I went through this thought process while she stood there and waited for an answer to her stupid question, and I decided to say nothing. Finally her eyes darted away in frustration and she sputtered, "it's a joke! I'm late again." and went to her seat. "Oh!" I said. "I hadn't even noticed."

My Employer is Generous, I Lose Concept of Free Time
This is the time of year when everyone in my company gets a salary increase and an annual bonus. Because of a good year for the company and the fact that I think I was hired near the low end of the salary range for my position, I had two well-timed financial surprises this year, hence my general laid back attitude about buying the new house and taking on the expenses of moving. Not coincidentally, immediately after recovering from the shock of working for people who don't mind when I use my brain, who actually want to compensate me for such, I suddenly found myself buried in work. I'm no longer the "new" person in the group; I'm expected to train new people (which seems ludicrous to me since half the time I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing). This means if someone walks in with a question when I'm simultaneously participating in a conference call, typing up a report for a different project, and scheduling my next four consecutive days of meetings, I have to find a way to drop it all and hold a mini-training session. I'd much rather be buried in work than be bored at work, but I think this is the first time in my life that I've actually understood what that means. John used to call me just to say "hi," but now if he calls, he knows I'm expecting some specific information about something house-related - otherwise, he'll ask how I'm doing or somehow try casually to converse, and be greeted only with the sound of my rapidly firing keyboard. It's no real skin off his back, though. He has plenty to keep him busy these days: he is single-handedly packing our entire house while I spend my days and evenings rushing around like I'm someone important, when in reality I now know they pay people like me to do all the stuff they just don't want to do.

I Fight Law of Nature, Law Wins
Between the ice in January, the cold and my birthday in February, and the recent house buying and selling activities, my trips to the gym have become less and less frequent. This week I decided I was just making excuses, and sleepless nights and harbinger-of-illness sore throat be damned, I was going to get back on a decent workout schedule so as to avoid the summer time crying sessions before work every morning when my clothes mock me and dare me to try them on so they can stretch in disgusting cruelty. I happened to arrive at the gym just as a Strength Training class was starting. "I can do this!" I thought to my stupid self. "I worked with a trainer who thought I was in boot camp for four months - if I can get through that, I can handle a measly little women's Strength class." This would have actually been true - two months ago, when I was still strong and energetic after three solid months of almost daily workouts. In the past two months, though, I've barely made it to the gym three times a week, and then all I've done is moderate cardio on the treadmill - most of my muscle is gone, or at least covered in a lot more flab. The class started with squats, and I was a little concerned because of my knee, but to my pleasant surprise, my knee was fine - it was my quads that were the problem, shaking and quivering after two sets. Luckily the instructor moved on to lunges. And then shoulder presses. And then bench presses. And then push ups. And then crunches. And then some insane request that we balance with our back on a squishy half-ball with our heads and feet perfectly straight out, off the ground. I got through the class and was concerned at how much strength I'd lost in the past several weeks, but glad that I'd at least been able to do everything without keeling over. I was a little concerned when, 20 minutes later, I lifted the hair dryer to dry my hair and noticed a strange sensation in my arms, but the real problem came the next morning, when I couldn't get out of bed. I forced myself up and pretended my legs weren't shooting flames of pain through my entire body, but all day everyone at work that passed me on a way to a meeting looked at me with a pained expression and said, "what's wrong?" It might have been the limping, or the way I had to spend six awkwardly positioned minutes every time I wanted to sit down in a chair.