Thursday, October 14, 2021

Thursday House and Thursday Mood

Kelsey at Rising Shining wrote a great post about Thursday House that really resonated with me. I realized that not only does my house sort of fall apart by the end of the week, so, too, does my mood, my whole mindset. I am ready for a couple of days to veg and do nothing and catch up on housework, but I still have to slog through 2 more days of doing all the things. This morning, Ben even thought that today was Saturday.

So, I did my very best to banish the Thursdays by:

  • Doing a quick tidy of bedrooms with Pledge and the vacuum as well as a very bleachy bathroom wipe-down.
  • Baking some banana muffins to weed out old fruit and make the house smell great.
  • Walking for an hour with a friend
  • Waking with the kids during nap
  • Doing the crappiest tasks on my work to-do list first
  • Laying off the coffee before I got the shakes
  • Appreciating my very toddliest of toddlers.
Ok, I do that last one every day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A little obsessed.

 I might be obsessed with Minnie eating.

Add in pigtails, and forget it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Mask Anxiety

 I have been spending a not insignificant amount of money on masks for the fam. Harry and Jack wear NIOSH medical respirator n95s-- a new one very day. I also wear these to lecture, although lecture is only an hour, so I can reuse the same one a few times. Ben also wears them to meetings, and he, too, can wear a mask more than once in these cases.

In my building and around campus, I wear KN95s, as does Ben. Harry and Jack wear these any time they are inside anywhere that's not school and even when they hang out outside with friends.

Dorothy and Cooper wear KN95s on the deck at swimming and dive, at dance class, and when they play outside with friends, run into the library, etc.

Now here's where the anxiety comes in: It is sometimes hard to source these masks because everyone is buying them for their sneauxflakes. The kiddie KNs and the medical masks are both occasionally difficult to track down and always expensive. The adult KN95s are more plentiful, but you have to make sure you are buying legit masks (SAME WITH THE N95s). It's not as easy as filling a cart and checking out, especially when you figure in shipping delays, back order situations, etc.

BUT YOU GUYS. I am both the only person in my family who has a sense of how much money and work this all is AND the only person who KEEPS TRACK OF MY GD MASK. Like, every time I open a car or van door, I see the cupholders, door pockets, and FLOOR littered with rare, expensive masks, and it makes my head explode.

Finally, Ben and I talked about it, and I said he could either stop wasting masks and help me keep track of the kids' or he could stop teasing me about mask shipments and charges. He chose to stop caring about how many masks I order and how much they cost, and this has eased some of my tension. BUT NOT ALL OF IT. HOW HARD IS IT TO HANG ON TO YOUR EFFING MASK for a few swim practices or trips to the store?

Really hard, apparently.

And after that rant, let me give you Harry at a virtual debate tournament and Minnie playing tiny piano:

Monday, October 11, 2021

Bebe Sleep

 Last night was SO GOOD!

Minnie woke up at 12:26 (which was awful because I went to sleep at 11:16), but I didn't go and get her. I watched her (dispassionately, if we are being honest) on the monitor, and she settled fast and went back to sleep. hen she woke up AGAIN at 2:38 (and if you are thinking holy cow, Sarah, this is a good night? THEN WELCOME TO MY WORLD), and I went to her room and rubbed her back for literally 15 seconds, and she went back to sleep. When she woke up at 4:16 (yes, for realz, this was a GOOD NIGHT), I fed her because my breasts were full and also I won't be home to feed her all day. AND THEN SHE SLEPT UNTIL SEVEN AM.

I woke up at 5:45 to exercise. I got dressed. I started the morning tidy, and Minnie slept soundly through it all. I HOPE THIS HAPPENS AGAIN.

We started bath at 7:27 last night, and she was out by 8:10-- the key, perhaps??

WISH ME LUCK. I am literally too old for this.

(those are the faces we make when one of eats an entire dandelion fluff head)

Friday, October 08, 2021

Ugh. Witching Hour

 There is always a point in the afternoon when the kids turn into horrible little jerks, no matter how good they have been up to that point. And, like, every day I am surprised when it happens, which is just silly. Any ideas for what we can do when the boreds destroy our chill vibe? We try to go outside, but rain has foiled these plans the last few days. One day we made a cloud since Cooper was studying clouds anyway. Another day, we did indoor hula-hooping and took turns choosing songs for each other. Both kids have book projects they're working on, so those help. The main issue is that this happens most often during nap time, a time that I am frantically working  and also feel entitled to some "me" time. Other ideas? Kiwico maybe? (literally just paused what I was doing to order a Halloween crate. THAT WILL KILL ONE DAY. I need stuff that's genuinely fun but also does not require me to participate heavily. So, you know, a unicorn.

Whale spout
Lost in a good book:

Thursday, October 07, 2021


 I just FaceTimed Minnie, and it was a terrible mistake. She was so happy to see me at first, but then you could see her little mind whirring, and she realized that I was on the phone and not at home, and I asked her to blow me kisses, and she started to cry and said no no no and shook her little head. It was SO SAD, and I really just wanted to come home and squeeze her.

Having a toddler is such a ridiculous delight.

She is a constant source of amusement and delight. Even when the teenagers are cranky and teenager-y, she makes them laugh. She gives hugs and kisses. She toddles all the way around the block. She says yes and no and is pretty good at telling us specifically what she wants and needs. She's just so perfect. Gah.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Covid Booster Day!

 I got my COVID booster shot today, so cross your fingers that I don't get sick because I scheduled it with no regard for childcare, workload, etc. Because, clearly, I am a freaking genius. Also, I wore an outfit that requires serious work if I want to pee, and my arm is starting to hurt. So, great planning all around.

I am doing that thing I do where cooking and cleaning creeps in to time I have set aside for more worthwhile pursuits. Anyone have a way to NOT do that? It happens on days I go to the office AND on days I stay home, and it's really frustrating.

Ok-- apropos of nothing, here is my favorite thing right now: MINNIE PLAYING BALL:

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Theme Days

 We had so much fun with our themed summer days that we decided to theme our weekdays during this first semester of the school year as well. Dorothy and Cooper are not thrilled to still be at Zoom school (and after spending SEVEN HOURS on Zoom last week in addition to the TWO HOURS I always spend there, I totally get it). Having themed days gives us all something to look forward to.

Here's our first semester plan:

Minecraft Monday: this continues to be a much-anticipated day and helps us deal with screen regulation. They can have their iPads whenever the heck they want on this day, so we don't have to worry about it the rest of the week (when they cannot have iPads or personal screens of any kind)

Fast Food Tuesday: we originally thought this would be a good lunch treat for Dorothy and Cooper, but it is slowly morphing into Takeout Tuesday for the whole family because Tuesday night can only be described in expletives.

Sweet Treat Wednesday: In the summer, this was Cold Treat Wednesday, inspired by Kelsey from The Girl Next Door podcast and the blog Rising Shining.We expanded to sweet treat because we may not want ice cream in the winter (BUT WE MIGHT, which is why sweet treat is open-ended). So far, this has meant cinnamon rolls for breakfast, monster cookies for afternoon snack, pumpkin muffins, etc. We haven't actually gone somewhere to buy a sweet treat yet.

Library Thursday: We skipped this one last week because I had the aforementioned Zooms, but usually we go over lunch, pack a picnic, take a walk on the paths behind the library, and replenish our book stash. Besides the doctor's office, the library is the only place Minnie has ever been inside, and she's a fan. Soon,I am going to have to let her walk around and experience the books with her own two hands, but I don't know if the world is ready for that yet.

Field Trip Friday: So far we have gone exciting places like the the pediatrician's office for a flu shot and to the Starbuck's drive thru. Clearly, I need to up my game OR lower everyone's expectations.

Harry and Jack took a field trip inside Target while I picked up a curbside order, and that was a thrill ride.

Does it count as a field trip if you are just walking around your own neighborhood?

Monday, October 04, 2021

I will never be on time. There, I said it.

  I don't know what the takeaway is here after the morning I had, but I think it is this: I will never leave the house on time, even if everything goes magically perfectly on my end because too much is out of my control, so I need to stop stressing about it. Being on time is unattainable. I am never going to be a fashion model or a soap opera actress, and I don't stress about those things. Why should I get hung up about being on time? I SHOULD NOT. It is equally out of the realm of possibility.

This morning, for example, was so smooth. Minnie woke up at 3:43, so after I was up with her for 20 minutes, I reset my alarm from 5:20 to 5:45 and went right back to sleep. I jumped out of bed and started the laundry, only a little pissed at Past Sarah for not sorting and pre-loading the washer, and I hopped on the elliptical, after reminding my coffee pot to start brewing at 6:14.

I know I wear a mask most of the day at work, so I made sure to drink my 28-ounce water bottle, refill it with mostly ice and stick in my lunch bag (Past Sarah packed an awesome hummus and spinach bowl with roaster squash AND roasted corn). I also made a coffee and chocolate milk Yeti to go, and ate a piece of 9 grain bread with peanut butter and a Greek yogurt. It was only like 6:40, and I was so on time.

I spent a few pleasant minutes with Ben and Minnie, the only other people up, and because I worked out instead of watching the news, I spent 15 minutes painstakingly straightening my hair even though it is super humid and for sure going to rain. I also drank 2 more 12-ounce tumblers of water and put my makeup on. Then, as the kids woke up and trickled into the kitchen for breakfast, I made beds and wiped down their bathrooms. I even nursed Minnie one more time and had a few extra minutes (because Past Sarah packed her work bag before she went to bed) to give Dorothy a pretty awesome Elsa side braid. By this point in my morning, it was 7:25, and I was completely on schedule.


A child who will remain nameless but whom I usually take to high school on my way out the door, did something stupid somewhere in his room (the details are sketchy here-- not sure what was happening-- a fight between roomies perhaps?) and wound up with a large piece of newspaper (newspaper-like substance? maybe something worse?) in his eye that he could not get out. (I was pretty annoyed because the same nameless child just took a safety test in AP chemistry, where he learned HOW TO WASH HIS EYE with a cup and also with the eye wash faucet THAT LOOKS LIKE THE ONE WE HAVE IN OUR KITCHEN and I know he took this test because I get automated grade book updates about his progress, exacerbating my normal helicopter tendencies-- but that is another post for another day). 

Normally, I would have just gone to work and let Ben deal, which is 100% what he would do to me, and that's the right thing to do. EXCEPT. We thought the kid was going to have to go to effing urgent care for the large object in his eye, and someone would have to stay home with the other kids because we are not keeping our unvaxxed kids home from school just to drag our baby who cannot wear a mask to URGENT CARE with SICK PEOPLE in the middle of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

SO. I had to wait around until the thing came out of the eye (using non-lab-approved methods, I might add), and I feel like I wasted all of my past time getting ready to go to work because I LEFT A HALF HOUR LATE ANYWAY. **shakes fist at sky**

This kind of scenario is exactly what contributes to my general levels of frustration and anxiety. I can check all the boxes, cover all my bases, prepare in every possible way, AND SOMETHING GOES WRONG ANYWAY. A different something. A something I could never imagine or solve for.

Moving forward, the very best thing for me to do is realize this will always happen. There is no ideal morning-- I can repeat the form again and again, and it's never going to be perfect. I should still pack my lunch the night before when I am alone in the kitchen listening to an audio book because that's more fun than hanging out while all the kids eat breakfast where I will inevitably get sucked in to housework that isn't mine at that particular moment. BUT packing up, preparing, waking on time, etc-- those things don't mean I will have a smooth morning. It's not a clear if, then relationship, and I need to stop expecting things to work out that way. It's not about "deserving" an on time morning because I did everything "right," and I need to ditch this frame.

So, phew! Thanks kid with the weird chunk of something in your eye. I feel like I learned something this morning.

Grumpy morning Minnie, one of my favorite Minnies:

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Weekend recharge

 I feel like maybe I can handle another week of the insanity that is our fall semester thanks to a lovely weekend. Ben was a perfect partner this weekend and did all of the heavy lifting with the children and the various sports ball, and I had time to READ and listen to books and clean and prepare for the week ahead and it was great.

This week, I am looking forward to 

  • trying this casserole (I am SUCH a Midwest mom)
  • experimenting with hairstyles for Minnie
  • embarrassing the heck out of Harry while taking homecoming pictures
  • getting my October Book of the Month box
  • seeing Jack get his first Stitch Fix (I am just charmed that he even wanted one)
  • Baking something delicious with the blueberries I have in my fridge
  • Watching "LulaRich" without falling asleep on the couch (LOL)
This week, I am going to
  • use my planner
  • drink a ton of water
  • pack myself a vegetable-heavy lunch
  • remember to use sheet masks
  • get dressed before I take Jack to school
  • breathe when my watch suggests it
To get the week off to a good start, I got ahead of myself with the embarrassing homecoming pics #BestMomEvar

Friday, October 01, 2021

September: What I Read

 I finished my reading challenge this month, and I also ran out of Gamache books. Plus we started all of the activities and school all round. For these reasons, my reading month was lackluster. There were more than 2 weeks in a row where I didn't read anything. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE?! Thank goodness for audio books.


Buried Deep by Margot Hunt: Terrible. But that's what I get for trying to use my audible membership for free books. Seriously, you guys. How do you make the $16/month worth it? That's ONE BOOK and then crap?? (The kids and I are listening to The Birchbark House, which is terrific, and it looks, generally, like the kid content is better? But really, any Audible tips or free stuff that's not terrible would be greatly appreciated).

The Demon Next Door by Bryan Burrough: See above.


Cultish by Amanda Montell: This was enjoyable.

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting: NOT the movie that's coming out with this name, but really really cute romance. **Audio

The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry: I happened upon this one in the Libby app, and it got me through until me next book came along. I LOLed a few times, but it was really over-written. **Audio

The Child by Fiona Barton: I like her thrillers, and this is #2 in the Kate Waters series. It was a quick listen. **Audio


The Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse: Dorothy picked this one out for me because it looked scary but it turns out, this books is SO SAD. I liked it a lot, even though it is by a dude. **2021

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler: I had to listen to this on triple-time so it would keep my attention, but ultimately, it was so freaking funny that I liked it a lot. **2021 **Audio

The Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer: Was this total crap? YES. Did I devour  it by the pool? ALSO YES. 

The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer: Oh goodness this book is great. I loved it. It's an oldie (2008), so not a BOTY contender, but WOW-- I listened to this one, and it flew by. ** Audio

Broken in the Best Possible Way by Jenny Lawson: THIS WAS HER BEST BOOK EVER. It was touching and beautiful but also hilariously funny. **2021

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin: LOVED this-- breezy, quick, and clever. I read her Happy and You Know It last year and adored it, too.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: WOW. I listened to this semi-reluctantly when it came in from the library (Libby app-- the best) because I have not liked her other books. BUT THIS WAS SO GREAT YOU GUYS. **2021 **Audio