Thursday, September 21, 2017

Blogging

Confession: I am horribly embarrassed to admit that I blog. 

As in, I literally NEVER EVER EVER mention it 
unless by total accident 
and then I try to back-track out of the conversation 
to avoid disclosing any more details about this embarrassing online habit. 

Some of my very best friends have no idea that I blog. 
Adam knows I blog, 
but has never read it, 
and wouldn't even know how to find it in a google search. 

If I find out that someone I know does read my blog 
(waiving HI to my cousin and my sister) 
my first reaction is sheer embarrassment. 

I thought I was alone in this embarrassment,
but then I read that Grace Patton feels the same (her post here). 
And if the Super Blogger Grace Patton can be embarrassed, 
then little ol' me with 10 readers (that may be generous)
 can be embarrassed too. 


SO WHY IS THIS

1. I still think blogging has a "weird" stigma. 
(Which Grace alluded to in her post.) 
If someone's application said "blogger," 
I would immediately imagine a sad, isolated housewife 
who sits at home knitting mittens for her etsy site. 

This vision is completely contrary to every blogger I know and follow. 
I can't identify any "weird blogs"
and, quite the opposite, 
all the bloggers I follow are really cool people, 
and if I met them in person I may get like celebrity-fan-awkward in awe of their coolness. 
So why do I still think it's weird? 
Well for one, Adam doesn't help. 


2. Adam makes fun of my blogging and "blog friends."
He's not mean about it, 
but if I ever say "oh one of my blog friends..." 
he'll give me that arched-eyebrow look that says 
"my wife be crazy.

The best part about all this is that Adam follows a UNIFORM BLOG. 
Yes, you got that right. 
There is a blog out there dedicated to blogging about sports uniforms
So maybe I should take back that I don't know any weird blogs... 
there is one: Uni-Watch, the uniform blog. 


3. I use people in my life as examples to talk about
I have on multiple occasions used the term 
"I have a girlfriend who..." 
or 
"I observed a family who..." 
And I'm positive my closest friends and family 
could figure out pretty quickly who that person is. 
I try to never say anything negative, 
but if I found out that someone was writing about ME, 
well, I might get my dander up too. 


4. I have a big mouth and lots of opinions. 
I say a lot in my blog, 
that I may not say in person. 
 Example: 
political views,
 child nutrition, 
and why the hell some people make staying home sound so hard. 
If the conversation came up, 
I would state my opinion, 
but I try to only fly my Crazy Flag on the internet. 


Overall, I'll say this: 
I find it comforting and therapeutic to blog my life to "strangers", 
but blogging my life to in-person friends and family just feels ODD

I really love blogging 
and I love when people comment on my blog, 
to know that I do have people who read my thoughts. 
Maybe that 10 followers is pushing it, but I think I have a solid 5! 
I'll take it! 

I don't EVER want to become a Super Blogger. 
I don't want sponsors or generate ad money or any of that. 
Being a Super Blogger attracts too much negativity 
and "seagulls" (those who fly in, make a bunch of noise, and shit all over the place). 
Fortunately, with my steller iPhone photography skills 
and my bumbling writing style, 
I think I'm safe in the world of "nondescript mom blogger." 

All this said: 
I would like to extend a THANK YOU to those who read my blog. 
I appreciate it! 



Me the Mom Blogger and my Two Subjects. 
Oliver be like: "Mom you aren't putting this on the blog, are you?"

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Early Intervention

Finally circling back to Oliver's Early Intervention appointment from over two weeks ago. 
(I wanted to have the official report in my hand to reference.)


To reiterate, 
Oliver was referred to Early Intervention by our pediatrician due to his speech delay. 
At 15 months old, Oliver spoke ZERO words.
And, nearly 17 months old now, he still has no words 
other than "woof" for a dog and "uh oh" (used correctly!). 



Diagnosis

The cause of the speech delay is due to Oliver's weak jaw. 
The therapists used the term "low tone" or "slack jaw", 
but simply he has a weak jaw. 
It's why he only makes vowels sounds 
(ohhh ahh ehhh are all open-mouth sounds). 
It's also why he drools ALL THE FREAKING TIME. 
Like a permanent drool bib on all his shirts. 

The official report on his communication development: 
"Oliver demonstrates an open mouth posture with his tongue resting in the bottom of his mouth; he also drools continually throughout the day.  He needs to produce a range of sounds to begin to produce words.

Additional comments about his "adaptive development": 
"He tends to stuff his mouth. Initially, he used more of a munch pattern to chew.  As he ate more, he began to use an emerging rotary chew pattern.  Upon swallowing, he demonstrates a tongue thrust."

I did bring up that he's nursed for 16 months now 
(and still going strong) 
and I was surprised that hasn't helped strengthen his jaw, 
since breastfeeding is significantly harder than bottle feeding. 
And she did confirm that yes, it helps, 
but sometimes kids need even more that that. 


So what now

Well, Oliver is still pretty young. 
There's a chance he could self correct in the coming months. 
There's also a chance (a high one) that he may go for speech therapy in a few months. 
I am obviously fine with either of these. 


What can we do to help

Basically, we need to strengthen Oliver's jaw muscle. 

A sampling of suggestions from the report: 
Expand our use of straw cups and give him thicker things such as shakes. 
He needs chewy foods that really take a lot of work to eat. 
Also we need to cut his food into "french fry stripes" which encourages ripping and chewing. 
Play with silly sounds, animal sounds, etc 
Avoid on demand speech ("say ___" or "what's this?"). 


Overall Notes from Visit

Attending the visit was a social coordinator, 
speech therapist, 
and physical therapist. 
All of us sat around the basement, 
each of them on their laptop, 
taking turns interacting with Oliver, 
watching him play, 
and typing up observatioins. 

Oliver LOVED the early intervention visit. 
He absolutely lit up with all this attention and praise, 
and definitely liked showing off to his admirers. 

The report starts off with: 
"Oliver is a sweet, social, active little boy.
Maybe they write that about all their observations, 
but it was so nice to read that about Oliver. 

The report was very positive overall. 
It was fun reading their observations 
and also knowing that Oliver is doing great 
(apart from the mouth thing). 

The visit was also extremely educational for me
not just about Oliver's current communication, 
but about the vast observations of development at this age. 


Other Things I Learned

Oliver walks backwards
and the Phystical Therapist nearly jumped up in excitement. 
She said: "I always have to answer whether the child can walk backwards, 
and I rarely see it on a first visit, 
but there he DID IT!" 
Apparently it's important for spatial awareness. 
Oliver does it like a gearing up or winding up, 
where he backs up 
and then charges forward going : "ahhh!" 


The shaking the head "no" is extremely important
Adam and I have always said "no" and that's that. 
But the shaking the head is critical to learn "no" 
so now every time I say "no" (and I say it a lot!) 
I shake my head so emphatically that I get dizzy lol. 
In response, Oliver is beginning to imitate back which is good! 


Overall, we parents have a bad habit of introducing toys too early. 
The therapist pulled out stacking cups and shape sorter, 
and I said : "Oh we have those but we packed them away." 
And she explained that parents have a habit of introducing toys before the kid is really ready for it, 
then we pack them away far too soon. 

Another example of this: 
Aaron has really gotten into using Oliver's Little People for stories and scene setups. 
Most Little People are bought for kids between 18 months and 3 years 
(we packed his away years ago) 
but now at age 4 is when he can really create elaborate scene stories with him. 
Overall a cool observation. 
And yes, I did unpack our stacking cups and shape sorter for Oliver. 
He loves them! 


There was so much more interesting stuff they said.
And if I think of it, 
I'll come back here and update this. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

7 hours without children

Another 7 hours without children! 
Adam went golfing 
and dropped the boys off with my parents. 
And I consumed 7 oz of speed Mountain Dew. 


My big project was a Kitchen-to-Basement Reorganization
When we moved in, I unpacked my kitchen into [logically] the kitchen
and then the overflow excess went to the closets in the basement. 

Over time, I realized my kitchen was bogged down with a lot of "entertainment" dishes 
(serving bowls, platters, gravy boats, etc) 
which we do use for parties, 
but we aren't in the stage of life where we entertain every week 
(more like every other month... at best). 

Meanwhile, our lunch box and toddler feeding gear had grown, 
although still smashed into the same cupboard as before. 

Ah look at that gorgeous 1960s tile (gag)

Almost the entire top shelf was moved to the basement. 
Then the lunch boxes were unpacked, 
toddler feeding sorted out, 
and reorganized to a setup with much more open space. 



Then... the basement. 

We have two wide closets on one side of our play area 
(Basement House Tour here). 
I pulled everything out, 
sorted it, 
cleaned the cob webs off the shelves, 
and vacuumed the carpet in the closets.  

(First I got to play a game called
 "where does my cleaning lady keep the vacuum??")


Those wire shelves extend through both closets, 
creating this kind of awkward space behind the wall, 
which does allow more storage, 
although not particularly useful storage. 



4 Categories of stuff: 
Kitchen Overlfow/Entertainment, 
Seasonal House Decor, 
Old Toys, 
and Swim/Beach gear. 

At this point, I realized I needed a little more "containment." 
So I made a quickie run to IKEA 
and sped-walk that giant ass store for 5 cheap clear storage bins. 

End result: 



Little Projects

The remaining projects were "little shit" that I've been wanting to do, 
but haven't taken the time to do it. 

- Hammering a nail into the office wall to hang my shoe calendar 
- Repairing the "foot" on my smoothie blender 
- Rearranging our collection of canvas bags 


Other Stuffs

- clean the house (chronologically, this was done before all the above) 
- light laundry 
- dark laundry 
- blankets laundry
- empty dishwasher 
- make Aaron's daycare lunch for Monday
- make Adam's work lunch for Monday


Meanwhile, 
Aaron and Oliver had a grand old time with Grandma and Grandpa. 
Aaron played with my verrrry old collection of Little People 
(the original style that were definitely choking size) . 


He also went to church with my mom, 
who continued our tradition of going for donuts afterwards 
(because nothing encourages spirituality like donuts). 


I'm pretty sure Oliver's favorite thing was playing with 
my dad's collection of 500 different TV remotes. 
My dad has 3 VCRs and 3 (4?) DVD players 
plus the normal TV remotes and cable box remotes. 

I ask, when was the last time you saw a VCR?



I suppose to be fair I should add photos of Adam playing golf, 
so... 


Yes, I do amuse myself. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Emotions


This past week or so I've been experiencing a wide array of emotions.  
Only one applies to my direct situation, 
but the others are felt just as strong. 

I struggled with how to sort them here, 
because at any one point, 
you could find me pacing my house in anger 
or 
jumping up and down in happiness & relief
or 
crying in the face of sadness & terror. 

No one emotion has dominated the other. 
So I decided to list them alphabetically herein. 

(Note: this is written as of Friday night... 
I clarify because I suspect some emotions will continue to be added over the weekend.) 


A is Anger. 

This week President Trump has moved to end DACA. 
DACA protects those who were brought here as children, 
and have graduated in our schools 
or served in our military. 
(See specific guidelines here

Why why WHY do we want to evict these people? 
These were children
These people have grown up a part of our American system. 
Some of them have ever protected our country through military service. 
Why in the world do we see fit to attack them
And if I hear one little "wimper" about money I will lose. my. mind. 
Money is not more important than people's lives. 
I don't ever want to hear that shit. 

I understand there is some controversy in how DACA was created, 
but I do NOT believe the answer is just wiping it clean. 
Clean it up, fix it up, but don't wipe it out. 

Next letter... 


H is for Happiness. 
R is for Relief. 

This is two-fold. 

First I want to address that Oliver's Early Intervention went well this morning. 
I am going to wait until I get the full report to blog about it 
(so I can use proper lingo), 
but the good news is that they identified the cause of his delayed speech 
and it can be treated with speech therapy. 
I love to hear news like this. 
His brain is fine. 
His motor skills are great. 
It's a physical issue that can be treated with therapy. 
I'm all in! 



Second aspect of happiness / relief: 
Hearing that Amanda in Houston was spared from Harvey's worst. 
I've never lived through a major hurricane 
(I mean, we had mild water damage in our old basement thanks to Hurricane Sandy and Irene, but there was zero safety risk and really, it was minimal.) 
I was stalking her social media feed constantly 
and in the end, her family as safe! 
 She chronicled her adventures with great writing like she always does (see here). 


S is for Sadness. 

Years ago I started following Brittany's blog Windtraveler
who lives with her husband, her daughter Isla, 
and twins Haven & Mira on a sailboat in the Caribbean. 

Through her public facebook page
she has chronicled the death and destruction as Cat 5 Hurricane Irma hit her island
and It. Is. Just. Mind. Blowing. 

It is heart-breaking and terrifying. 
I'm not smart enough to figure how to link a video in blogspot 
(I'm sure some 5 year old could teach me how to do it) 
but go to her most recent post and LISTEN TO THE SOUND of the hurricane. 
JUST LISTEN TO IT. 

The Caribbean doesn't get much press in our media, 
for a number of reasons (they are small, they aren't us, etc) 
but also because there is so little feed because there's no service to communicate. 
The death toll started out low and keeps climbing as they find the bodies. 
Oh and another hurricane is on it's way, 
and everyone has no home. 
At all. 
The islands are rushing for evacuations but there isn't the infrastructure to do it. 
It's a horrible situation. 


W is for Worry. 

This weekend Irma is expected to hit Florida. 

Now, let me back up here a bit. 
I am the LAST PERSON to ever prepare for storms. 
Granted, as I said, I've never lived through a major hurricane. 
I have experienced 3 of the top 4 blizzards in Philadelphia. 
The first 2, I didn't buy a damn thing. 
This last time, Jan 2016
I got milk (for cereals) and bread (for sandwiches) 
and beer (because husbands need shoveling fuel) 
but I've never bought water,
 secured my house, 
or did anything in particular 
besides mock the weather forecasters 
and laugh at everyone panicking. 


So if I'm worried about a hurricane, 
then that means something. 
(It also could mean I'm a bored SAHM - VERY LIKELY TOO.) 

Yes, I'm worried about Hurricane Irma. 
I'm worried about friends and family in Florida that are riding it out. 
I know that the highways are like an apocalypse, 
but after watching what it did to the Caribbean, 
I can't help but quiver a little. 

All in all,
I hope it's all a big bust. 
That Irma fizzles out to some remnant of tropical storm, 
and everyone gets pissed that they did all that prep work for nothing. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Early Intervention




This kid. 
He is 16.5 months old. 

I've mentioned a few times about how challenging he has been at this age. 
He is stubborn and defiant. 
He is clingy and hates being away from me. 
He has opinions but he can't communicate them. 
As in, Oliver doesn't talk at all
No words. 
Not even a "dada" or a "more" or (everyone's favorite) "no." 
It's amazing how much we hate "no"... except when our kid isn't talking. 

He'll babble away all he wants, 
"ga ga ba ba ah ah ah" 
but if you ask him to repeat "mama?" he'll just stare at you. 


At his 15 month checkup, 
his pediatrician introduced me to Early Intervention. 
Paid for by our taxes, it's a free service through our county 
that sends in a team to evaluate Oliver for any developmental delays. 
(If you're curious, the PA website is here)

I had never heard of early intervention beforehand, 
but all of a sudden it pops up everywhere. 
Bridget mentioned briefly about her son being an early intervention student, 
and then my next door neighbor mentioned how great their speech therapy was for her daughter. 

Our pediatrician explained it as such: 
"He is probably fine
For most of my patients, 
between the time the parent calls to setup the appointment, 
and the appointment occurs 6 weeks later, 
the kid is jabbering up a storm. 
This is just checking a box." 


Well, it's been 6 weeks and Oliver still has no words
He's started to "woof" when we ask what a dog says. 
And I'm almost tempted to write "woof" in his baby book as his first word. 
But really, that's it. 


How worried am I? 
On a scale of 1-10, 
I'd mark myself at a 4. 

I know that speech varies great from child-to-child. 
I know that there's still plenty of time for the speech explosion to happen. 
But... 
BUT... 
when I see boys and girls younger than him, 
sometimes by several months, 
repeating "no" 
and "more" 
and "ball" 
and "dog" 
while Oliver says nothing...
 well... it's hard to not worry. 


So this Friday, a small team of 3 will descend upon my house for 1-2 hours, 
to assess and see what's the deal with our chubby man. 
So... wish us luck! 
Or rather... wish Oliver luck! 

Grumpy pants at the lake

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Books I Read (July-Aug)



The Nazi Officer's Wife 
by Edith Hahn Beer with Susan Dworkin

My first clarification before diving into this book was: 
"Will I be traumatized by child brutality of the Nazis?" 
When the answer was no, I decided to read it. 
It always amazes me that no matter how much WWII lit I read, 
I continue to find a storyline that I hadn't heard of before. 
This one, written by a Jewish woman who married a Nazi officer to stay safe, 
is a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 
Not just her secret identity, 
but also the Nazi rise to power in Vienna, 
all very fascinating. 



Number the Stars 
By Lois Lowry 

This was the first WWII/Holocaust lit I ever read. 
In fact, I was so young that when the main character, a 10 year old girl,
 asks her father where they are taking the Jews, 
And her father replied "I don't know but we know it's wrong" 
I went to my dad and asked where they took the Jews! 
My dad tried to explain "work camps" but at my young age, 
I didn't have any concept of what that meant
After reading this, I became intensely curious about what happened to all the Jewish people!

Therefore, this book holds a special place in my heart 
as the spark that set off my passion for WWII history. 

As an adult, you could easily read this in one sitting. 
It's a sweet wonderful glimpse into the good of humanity through a little girl's eyes during one of the worst times in history. 

Additionally, having read "A Year of Living Danishly" (reviewed here
it makes so much more sense how Denmark rallied behind it's Jews, 
and why this is a happy book! 




The Hate U Give 
By Angie Thomas 

This is a powerful book. 
Butttt it does start out slow. 
Like the action happens up front 
But then the "reaction" drags a bit, 
If that makes any sense
 (it doesn't, I know). 
Like usual though, once I hit halfway,
 I couldn't put it down and it turned into a verrrry late night read. 

It's also the kind of book I wish I could give to Teenage Emily or even Early-20s Emily. 
Hell, there's a lot of people in my current life I'd like to anonymously mail this to. 
The kind of book that makes you step back 
And say: "Hmm. I hadn't thought about that." 

So I'll say if this way: 
If there's one book you read this year, 
Make it this. 



Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine 
By Gail Honeyman 

I struggle to explain this book, 
so I'll just say that I really enjoyed it. 
I enjoyed how it unfolded 
and I enjoyed how it ended. 
It was all very good. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How Does She...?

Amber over at PB+J did this questionnaire 
as part of an interview for some fancy site or something, 
but I thought it was a cute glimpse into life so I, 
the ever creative one myself, 
decided to copy it. 

Of course, many of these questions assume I am 
(a) a fashionista 
(b) some trendy mom blogger 
which I am neither 
so you can go ahead and snicker at those ones. 


Tell us about yourself: 
Where do you live, age, marital status, number of kids and business.

I'm Emily, age 32, married to Adam, 
with 2 boys Aaron (4 years old) and Oliver (16 months old). 
We live in a suburb that borders Philadelphia
and I'm a stay-at-home-mom. 

Describe a day in the life of you.

We all are awake by 6:30, 
and either I go for a morning run, 
or (recently) Adam has started walking on the treadmill and lifting weights. 
Adam leaves to catch the train into Philly at 8 
and the kids and I go on a "PJ walk" where we circle on neighborhood in our PJs 
(don't worry, I throw on leggings), 
and after that I get ready (see below) 
then Oliver goes down for his morning nap (which he's starting to wean). 
After that, we are out-and-about until lunchtime, 
whether at playgrounds, indoor kid scapes, or shopping. 
After lunch, both kids go to "nap" (Aaron has "quiet time" in his room). 
After nap, we struggle to fill the Great Void until dinner, 
then dinner, bath, and bed by 7pm for the kiddos! 
Adam usually gets home between 7pm and 9pm so we will hang out together, 
watching tv or chatting it up. 
Aaron also goes to preschool 3 days a week 
so that gets squeezed in between 8am and noon. 


More PJ walk


Do you have help? A nanny or housekeeper? Family?

I have a cleaning lady who comes every other week, 
and she is my saint that I could not live without.
My other two helpers are my in-laws and my sister. 
My in-laws live 15 minutes away 
and are always happy to take one or both kids for a few hours 
for appointments or field trips or whatever
(most recently: for my annual OBGYN appt)
My saintly sister comes once a week for 2 hours to babysit while I regain my sanity. 

How do you manage to have “me” time?

Nap time / Quiet time. 
I'm very strict about enforcing Aaron's 2-hour afternoon quiet time 
while Oliver takes his afternoon nap. 
Sometimes I have to be productive during this time (cooking dinner, etc) 
but sometimes I can veg out and use this for reading or blogging. 


How do you manage to make time to stay in shape? 
Do you workout? Diet?

Both! 
I count calories and try to balance indulgences with eating healthy 
(sometimes I fail... ok, a lot I fail). 

I also run very consistently which keeps me in the best shape. 
I can usually fit in a 3.5 mile run before Adam leaves for work, 
then on the weekends I do a 6+ mile run. 
Additionally, I have a 6-7am yoga class on Thursdays 
and I recently discovered a midday Barre class with child care! 
Woohoo! 


Do you get ready every day? 
Makeup, hair and curated outfits?  
If so, how do you do it with children? 

I take 30 minutes every day to shower and put on makeup. 
I don't do my hair (it air dries just fine) 
and my outfits have always been a simple jeans and tee. 

When Oliver was a baby, he would sit in the bouncer. 
As he got older, he moved to the doorway jumper, 
and just recently he outgrew the jumper 
and now sits in his crib "reading" books just as happy as ever. 
At age 4, Aaron can pretty much do whatever he wants during this time. 




Has your style changed after motherhood?

Before kids, I was always dressed to the 9s in tight pencil skirts, 
nice blouses, and high heels. 
After Aaron, I kept the high heels but toned down to trousers and sweaters. 
Then after Oliver, my wardrobe really changed when I became a SAHM 
and suddenly I was wearing jeans and tees all day long. 
I do think that becoming a SAHM has improved my casual wardrobe, 
because I now invest more into it, 
versus when I was only wearing it on weekends. 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate-flavored cereals. 
Yes you read that right. 
For as crazy healthy as we are 
(I wrote about our food habits here and here), 
I have a weak spot for chocolate-flavored cereals. 
I can turn down ice cream and candy and all that, 
but give me a box of chocolate-flavored chex and I'm all over it. 
I refuse to let my kids each this crap for breakfast, 
so I've stooped to buying and hiding them for myself as an afternoon treat. 
Maturity at its best. 


My cereal hiding spot.  Currently hiding chocolate-flavored chex and Reese's Puffs

If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings?

Now it's very easy, because Oliver only breastfeeds at wake-up, 
before each nap, and bed. 
And if I skip one, we are both fine. 

When he was little, I always breastfed before I left the house, 
ensuring he had a full belly wherever we went. 
And then I'd try to be home within 2 hours to nurse again. 


How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average?

I learned from my Time Study that I consistently get 8 hours a night. 


What is a priority for you, and what gets sacrificed? 
For example, everyone looks great but the house is a disaster, 
or the house is clean but work deadlines get pushed back.

We trade me working for staying home. 
If I was working, we could have nicer cars, 
our kitchen renovation could be done this year, 
and we could take a trip to Disney world every other year. 
Instead, we don't have the extra income, 
but I get to exercise, 
sleep 8 hours a night, 
make healthy meals, 
and keep a clean house. 
(I wrote a general overview of that here 
and then talked about the money part here)


Do you cook meals every day for your family? If so, how do you plan them?

Yes. 
I meal plan once a week on Sundays, shop on Mondays, 
and then build preparation into my schedule for the week. 
Some meals can be made during naptime. 
Some meals require 2-3 Daniel Tiger episodes to execute. 


Have you ever felt like you are losing yourself to motherhood and or life? 
If so, how did you bounce back?

Truthfully, no. 
I have felt like I was losing myself to my job, 
but never motherhood, no. 


Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how?

My husband brings home the money, 
mows the lawn, 
and tackles the very infrequent "this broke can you fix it?" request. 
That's it. 
We do not split the household duties 
and we are both ok with that. 
It was one of the driving factors in being a SAHM
 (wrote about that here). 


How do you manage motherhood and marriage?

Adam and I are on the same page for almost every parenting decision 
(as I'm writing this, I can't think of a single parenting topic we disagree on) 
so that aspect has not been hard at all. 

When it comes to making time for "us", 
we have fallen into a habit where when the kids are in bed, 
we hang out together. 
We don't go our separate ways 
(occasionally I have to finish up cleaning the kitchen 
and he'll go putt golf balls in the basement, 
but that's no more than 20 minutes). 
A lot of our hangout is just watching TV together, 
but we'll give commentary to each other 
or pause the TV when we remember to tell each other something. 

We don't do a lot of Date Nights (as in, hardly ever) 
but we do try to plan a getaway weekend once a year. 




Do you work? 
Do you work in an office or at home? 
What does your work consist of and how do you get it done during the week?

Nope. 


Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? 
if so, how do you meet new mommy friends?

My closest friends have remained relatively unchanged, 
although I did add a "mommy friend" from prenatal yoga, 
and we've become extremely close through kid swaps
family bonfire/sleepover nights, 
and the occasional mommy date night out at the bar. 

I'd say I've dropped a lot of my "peripheral friends" if that makes sense. 
The ones where, pre kids, we occasionally got together with but weren't that close overall. 
Now, if you aren't an integral part of my life, I just don't have time, sorry. 

I have struggled with with SAHM-Dating, which I wrote about here
And that situation remains about the same. 


What’s the least favorite household chore you dread doing?

I'd say cleaning the bathrooms or mopping the floor, 
but since my cleaning lady does that, 
I don't think that counts anymore. 

So in terms of actual chore that I still do: 
kitchen clean-up. 

In order, from most-hated to least: 
1. Sweeping the floor. 
2. Emptying the dishwasher 
3. Washing dishes. 
4. Washing counters. Yet I do it every day, sometimes multiple times a day, 
because I can't stand a dirty kitchen so I suck it up. 

As a side note: laundry is my FAVORITE household chore, 
and people give me the weird side eye when I say that. 
But no, I LOVE LAUNDRY. 


Describe a recent experience when you didn’t have it “all together” 
and how you handled it all.

I'm a very level-headed person, 
so when the worst comes to worst, 
I'm pretty good at pulling up my boot straps and just gritting it through. 
So I don't have any crazy funny stories of puke disasters 
or explosion poops. 

My most precarious time is the Great Void, 
between nap and dinner, 
where we can't stray too far from the house, 
but we're all kind of DONE with being home. 
We try to hit up the library or setup sprinklers outside, 
but no matter what I'm counting the minutes until dinner. 
Friday afternoons are the worst, 
and I started a Disney Classics movie tradition that has helped a lot. 




Fill in the blank: As a mother, it's a luxury to __________________

Go out with friends. 
I would do this so much more if I could, 
but it just doesn't happen that much. 
Some of it is my friends, 
most of which are Working Moms who just crash on weekends. 
Some of it is guilt because I want to spend time with Adam in the evenings. 
Either way, it combines to being an infrequent event. 


What is your philosophy on balance and does it exist in your home?

I believe balance is everything
Balancing TV time 
(i.e.: if we have a TV heavy day one day, having none the next) 
Balancing healthy eating with fun treats. 
Balancing productive time with "me" time. 

Sometimes it exists, sometimes it doesn't. 
Sometimes I feel run ragged, 
and sometimes I feel rejuvenated. 


What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish?

I want to run a marathon some day. 
And then, when that is done, I want to start triathlons 
(except I can't swim so... lol). 

I want to learn a lot of random skills, 
like take wine classes, 
bar-tending classes, 
and horseback riding lessons. 
I want to learn how to golf, 
so that when the kids are gone, 
Adam and I can golf together. 

(And I need professional lessons because if Adam tries to teach me, 
he'll end up hospitalized with a concussion when I hit him with my golf club)


What is one thing that keeps you sane?

Every Wednesday my sister comes over after work and watches the boys. 
I get about 1.5 to myself and IT. IS. GOLDEN. 
Sometimes I treat myself to pedicures and manicures. 
Recently I've been using it to do some long 9+ mile runs. 
It is a wonderful time and I can't imagine my week without it. 

My saint of a sister