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The quiet end of 2021

The last few weeks of 2021 were pretty quiet. Only a few folks were around at work, so I was pretty heads down on project stuff and had very few meetings. It also made my schedule a bit more flexible than usual, so I spent a few more evenings working so I could get outside during the day on the handful of sunny days that the end of the year brought. As a result, I’m feeling refreshed as I barrel into the new year, which is already coming at me fast.

I had a couple days off around Christmas and New Years, so I spent one of those evenings with MJ de-soldering the SLT card I have. There’s still more work to be done on it, since the cards appear to have been assembled by hand and in addition to the solder, I have 50 year old bent wire to wrangle to get all the little the resistors out.

It was fun getting some new toys (de-soldering tool!) and working on a project together. So much of our lives revolve around the kids and the house, the ability carving out some hobby time together right now is rare. I managed to snag a couple more SLT cards from Etsy this week, along with some lamps from the IBM s/360 that I’ll work to incorporate into jewelry once we get our soldering iron (ordered! But supply chain issues…).

I spent a lot of time with the kids too. I’m definitely struggling to balance how much time I spend on the floor playing with them, and the time I spend on chores during the day. They’re aged one and three, and I know this time won’t last forever, but I’m definitely getting burnt out by pushing all chores to after they go to bed. Doing dishes, folding laundry, and other chores can be done while keeping an eye on the boys and I also know how important it is that they grow up knowing that chores get done, and sometimes helping with them.

Still, a strong focus on time with the boys meant that Adam and I could make a gingerbread house together!

And do some art!

And jump in puddles!

And make muffins!

And play with the train!

We also had a rough few days with baby Aaron as he worked his way through a reaction to his Measles vaccines. Due to the pandemic-driven isolation, neither of the boys have gotten sick lately. Aaron hasn’t had so much as a cold. I forgot how hard it is to watch your little one struggle, and how exhausting it is when it interrupts their sleep and a fever puts them in a bad mood. Still, he’s generally a cheerful boy, and that personality is always dominant, even when he’s a little grumpy for a few days.

He does mostly sleep through the night now, which was a whole struggle this year. The wake-ups he does have don’t require us to go in, and he solidly wakes up around 6AM, in spite of our attempts to shift this later by adjusting his bed time. I don’t love this development, Adam always slept until 7AM once he settled into a routine, and I do not enjoy mornings. Still, everything I’ve read says that 6AM is fair game for little ones, and I just need to focus on getting to sleep by 10PM.

Right before New Years I went for a long walk with a friend. It’s something I hadn’t done in almost two years because of the pandemic, but I realized that I could really use the company outside of our household. It did cause some self-reflection on how much trauma we’ve all had these past couple years. Before the walk I was worried a bit that I’d unload a lot of feelings onto this friend that had been pent up for a couple years and look like a total mess. It may have happened, but it was OK. I think we’re all in a similar place, especially those of us who were particularly cooped up with small children, as much as we love them.