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The Grad School Days

This past weekend marked the start of a new era in the Cheung Household. I'll call it The Grad School Days. For the next two years, my husband will be working full time and attending class on Friday nights and Saturdays. I'll be home, holding down the fort, one hand changing the channel to Sesame Street and the other hand lifting my glass of wine.

Phillip is worried about how to put 100% into work, home and school, and I am going around micromanaging our schedules and free time, trying to make the most out of what we have. We're excited and anxious and intimidated. Mostly we're tired. If one child isn't waking up at 3am and wanting to snuggle, the other is tantrumming about having to go to bed in the first place. I don't think they've received the Pull Together and Cooperate Family Memo.

But I've written enough posts, here and elsewhere, detailing my various grad school-related woes. It's October, school has started, the air is crisp, the holidays are around the corner and all of that is energizing and motivating. What is it about this time of year that gets you organized and determined? We've let a lot of bewildering, frustrating things go all summer, but the school year has begun and we're making it work. Somehow.

We made sleep decisions: Phillip really needs the office to be an office, so the pack 'n play lives in our bedroom and if the kids won't sleep in the same room or someone wakes up howling in the middle of the night, I have an alternate space for Molly. We have a game plan for when Jack refuses dinner: make sure there's something on his plate we know he likes, make him sit with us for dinner, but let him graze afterwards if he wants. It's not perfect, but takes us out of the Dinner War we've been pointlessly fighting. (And your comments last week were SO helpful. THANK YOU.) And we've been organizing our space: Martha herself would be proud of my baby clothes storage skills these last couple of weeks, and we managed to paint, rearrange and decorate the office downstairs without discussion of divorce papers.

Even though I appear to be drowning in clutter and email and a sink full of sippy cups…


Mighty Maggie


…I'm feeling a little calmer on the inside.