The New Normal

(Author’s note: This piece is relatively long and boring. And so is the author.)

The McKinney household has begun to settle into its new routines with varying degrees of success, but it has been smooth for the most part.

If you’re keeping score, I’m working Monday, Friday, and Saturday every week, and Wednesday every other week. Kat is working all weekdays except alternating Wednesdays and is working Mondays and Fridays from the local office.

When I leave for work around noon on Mondays and Fridays, I drop the boys off at a sitter a few blocks from here where they stay until K gets off work at 5:00. The sitter V. is very nice and seems to handle the boys pretty well considering she has her own three-year-old high energy son.

With our incomes down and our outgoes up, we have entered into the super-lean period of family finances. The hardest part so far are those little purchases you don’t normally think about: a treat at the grocery store, an extra energy drink at work, something irresistibly cute for the boys, whatever. We’re also reviewing our monthly expenses and saving where we can. We just got our phone plan knocked down and sadly DirecTV will be turned off when our contract is up in a month.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been actively looking for a new job in quite a while. I’d like to just blame it on being too busy and tired, and while those are certainly big factors, the enormity of figuring out how to approach my awkward schedule with a potential employer, not to mention trying to avoid jobs where I’m at work until 2 a.m., has weighed me down emotionally. I even managed to get brought on to a transcription service where I can work from home, but between housework, the boys, and convincing myself that blogs and things are more important, I haven’t even started learning how the system works!

Aside from a minor cold we passed around at the end of our Florida trip our little family has been in pretty good health. Miles’ torticollis is getting stretched out very well with exercise at home and his PT each week; hopefully we’ll be able to stop going soon, although he seems to have a pretty good time with all the attention and new toys. The only real concern at the moment is the flat head syndrome he acquired as a result of the torticollis, which caused him to keep his head in the same position from utero until a month and half or so ago, which caused his skull to get a flat spot. He has almost a full range of motion with his head and neck, but this late in the game we’re looking into special helmets (think braces but for your skull). The problem is that these things are wicked expensive, not covered by most insurance plans, and there is quite a bit of debate as to whether they even help. That’s not even mentioning the pain, discomfort, and sweat our poor little guy (and his parents) would have to go through. We’ll be consulting at least our pediatrician and our PT, and may look for other professional opinions in the area.

The boys began teething a few weeks ago, which is a bit early, but here it is. We’ve had to resort to Orajel a few times, but for the most part they seem content gnawing on whatever they can get their hands on, including their parents and each other.

If you haven’t seen their monthly growth pictures, check out my last post. Kat and I have been both impressed at how much they’ve grown and how…um…”rustic” they were when they were newborns. I’ve always been one of those guys who thinks all newborn babies are “rustic” (some more “rustic” than others), and when the boys were born I thought they were pretty cute and finally understood the “it’s different when they’re yours” thing. Looking back, I think evolution tricked us into mistaking “rustic” babies for cute babies so we didn’t just leave them on the plains for saber-toothed cats or carnivorous gazelles to eat. Now I’m wondering if they’ve really gotten cuter or if they’ve merely gotten less “rustic”.

All I know is that they’re the cutest babies from any time ever on Earth anywhere.

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