February Break 2019

Okay, how did we fritter away all of February break? For the first time ever it felt like the week was over before we really got started.

I blame the kids’ sports schedules. M had her sectionals indoor track meet on the first Sunday of break, then another meet on Tuesday down in New York City. So with that business early in the week, she felt like her vacation was just beginning on Wednesday. Meanwhile J had a volleyball tournament in Boston over the last weekend of break, and her first game was so early on Friday that we left Friday morning, which became the effective end of slothful vacationing for everyone besides M. M, meanwhile, enjoyed Serenity Alone Time and fit in a third meet before the break was done.

In between all of that physical activity, both girls went crazy on their rooms as part of the Marie Kondo infection that’s leapt from the Netflix series to M to J. On the one hand, I am all for anything that inspires my kids to thoroughly clean their rooms. Absolutely. For sure. On the other hand, whenever they clean, it ends up being a huge pile of work for me.

For example, the girls had accumulated a crazy number of jeans over the years. Part of this is because I saved all of M’s jeans in hopes that J would adopt them, and then of course she didn’t, and part of it’s because we get hand-me-down jeans from family friends. And then going through which jeans to keep and which jeans to donate is a massive undertaking because it’s a pain in the neck to try everything on. Now, usually, I donate clothes three or four items at a time, and they’re not particularly great, so I just drop them into the gigantic donation bin down the street from me. This time, there were just way too many jeans, most of which were in excellent condition or, for those that weren’t, they had been distressed to tattered, fashionable perfection. So I knew that I had to make one of my trips to Things of My Very Own, but I know that they’re very fussy about having new or like-new clothing (and with good reason, because people who come there in need deserve really good stuff). Which meant laundering load after load of jeans as well as the best of the other clothing, then catching all of it before they got a chance to wrinkle in the dryer and folding it all nicely and putting it all in size order and, let me tell you, it was a project, and it wasn’t a project I’d planned on doing last week.

Along with their own rooms, the girls decided that they needed to clear out the spare closet that is half their stuff and half linens, and I was like, “Really?!? Could you please stop cleaning? Because I am still trying to catch up from all the other stuff.” And I know, I know: I should have assigned them the jeans-cleaning-and-sorting task, but at that point their rooms were so messy, and I wanted to let them focus on getting that sorted out. And by the time I’d taken a breath and checked upstairs again, the rooms had recovered but the spare closet was utterly wrecked.

The point is that between a massive decluttering/donation processing trip and a weekend away from home, my own room is a horror right now. I’m going to share this photo even though you may never be able to respect me again.

This pile is entirely blocking my path to and from my side of the bed. Chaos breeds chaos. The white and grey layers were the linens from the closet I have yet to re-home, then there’s the navy duffle that’s only been half-unpacked, and thrown on top is the towel that I flung aside just yesterday. I’d forgotten all about a meeting until about five minutes after its start time, at which point a shower was absolutely required because I’d just sweated my way through a JCC class and could not subject anyone to my proximity in good conscience without some morning grooming. In other words, I’m still playing catch-up from last week. I am hoping to get rid of this massive pile by tomorrow.

Ummm, what else? In addition to the massive clean-up efforts, both girls had fun hanging out with friends and watching more TV than usual throughout the week.

M’s track competitions went well: her girls’ team won sectionals for the fourth year in a row, and then her relay team ran a very fast time on a rather slow track. (This is another thing I’ve learned now that we are track parents–some tracks tend to be fast or slow based on how tight the turns are and what the surface is like, so if you run close to your PR on a “bad track,” it’s a good sign that you’ll do really well the next time you have a chance to compete on a faster track.)

Meanwhile, J’s volleyball team had some great games and some not-so-great games, but on the whole she seemed to be playing very well. Plus, she is very adorable about trying to get her team warmed up and fired up. I was particularly thrilled when I overheard a (clearly very knowledgeable and perceptive) coach tell his team, “Stay away from the libero. They’ve got a really great libero.” The last game of the weekend was a particular heartbreaker when basically none of the girls were playing their best, and then the game point was on a ball that would have been out except that J made the wrong move and reached for it, just barely grazing it with her fingers, which means it’s a point against our team instead of the other team. But to make things worse, the officials apparently didn’t see that she’d touched it, and so even though J confessed to touching the ball right away, the referee seemed unconvinced and consulted with both line judges in an excruciatingly endless conference that was probably less than two minutes, but was pure torture for my kid.

It was such a bummer ending that within an hour we’d bought her a $35 volleyball spiking-trainer-something-or-other and gotten ourself settled in for a big ol’ Asian fusion lunch at a place that turned out to be a chain, wagamama.

The food was pretty tasty, especially the ramen, but hands down, my favorite part of the meal was the Positive juice. We ordered one for J and then had to order a second one, and it was lovely and delightful. We talked about how we had to take note of what was in it to try to replicate it at home, so of course I just Googled and learned from here that it’s made from pineapple, apple, lime, spinach, and cucumber. But then, you guys! I also found the recipe online (it’s number 10)!! And now I am super-excited and I will probably need to buy myself a juicer. Or find a friend who can just loan me a juicer.

I think that a big, frothy glass of green juice would really make this massive pile of crap in my bedroom seem much more manageable.

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