Friday, October 28, 2016

A comedy of WTFs

A smattering of WTF things that all happened in ONE day. 

***

Adam worked until 2:30am so I did preschool dropoff
and then planned to go shopping after. 
Oliver had pooped and, now that he is on solids, 
his poop is that think mushy "toothpaste" poop. 
For some sleep deprived reason, I decided the best place to change him would be the front seat of the car, with me sitting in the driver seat, and all the doors closed because it was cold out. 
It was, by far, the most awkward diaper change I'd ever attempted. 
The poop was everything
And... 
...I ran out of wipes 
... AND ripped a tag off his diaper. 

That should have been my first clue the day was going to be interesting. 

***

A few hours later, both kids down for nap (er, quiet time), 
 I settled down for lunch. 
I was almost done my salad
 (organic lettuce, tomato, cucumber, feta, homemade dressing), 
when I noticed that the lettuce on my fork was a bit spiky. 
I pulled on it and... 
oh yes, there was a large dead grasshopper in my salad. 

Yes, that thing was on my fork, 
and I almost ate it

*** 

Feeling pretty done with the day, 
I opted to forgo any quality parenting post-nap 
and instead took Aaron out for ice cream. 
I found this adorable little frozen yogurt shop nearby 
("Top This" in Lafayette Hill).
 No one was there except the two teenage girls working, 
and they were so sweet with Aaron. 
When the girl was refilling all the toppings, 
Aaron was asking her questions about the candies (per his usual self) 
and she kept giving him little samples of Reese's pieces, hot fudge, etc. 

Finally, time to go, Aaron had to go to the bathroom, 
so we headed back to the small bath. 
He pooped, of course. 
Washed hands and headed back to the shop. 
Another teenage couple was there by now. 
Aaron walked right up to the friendly girl employee, 
and in that nice quiet little shop,  
and announced at the top of his lungs, 
with great zeal: 
"I pooped!" 

It's a good thing I don't embarrass easily. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SAHM vs Working Mom: Splitting Responsibilities

In my little miniseries comparing Working Mom vs SAHM 
(HBO show coming soon), 
I wanted to touch on one of the big factors in me staying home: 

Splitting of responsibilities between parents. 




This of course varies WILDLY from couple to couple. 
For example, blogger Kate Baer does not consider household duties to be her job
 (mentioned in a post here), 
which kind of startled me when I read that, 
but I really like how she explained it and it made sense to me. 

Sometimes there are other than non-traditional role splits, 
like a husband who has a lighter work schedule and thus does a majority of the childcare,
 or a husband who does all the cooking. 
Every couple has to find what works for them. 


Adam and I maintain a highly traditional family role. 
I do 98% of the cooking (that 2% is for grilling). 
I do 100% of the errands. 
I do 100% of the finances 
(Adam has absolutely no idea what's going on with our money). 
I do 95% of the housework (that 5% is mowing the lawn). 


(Pause here to note that I am clearly an embarrassment to the feminist movement.)


Now while these %s may sound reasonable for a SAHM, 
the tricky part was that we naturally held to them when I was working
So there I was working a 8-9 hour day, 
and then coming home to cook, clean, manage finances, and run errands. 

Probably the closest we ever came to a split 
was when Adam was in law school and I was working, 
where he took over grocery shopping and some errands, 
but I still held 100% of the finances, cooking, and house up-keep. 
(Which, for the record, was significantly harder to keep the house neat while he was home all day, versus an empty house when we were both working)


So the question becomes...

Why? 
Why not split it? 

A mix of many different answers, including:
 - I like to do it 
- I'm a control freak 
- I'm far more efficient 
- I'm significantly better at these tasks
- My standards are higher than Adam's (particularly for home tidiness)

And now, a big part of it, is simply Adam's job. 
Big Law Firm World has super shitty hours. 
It's really hard for me to imagine doing laundry after getting home at midnight. 


So, as a recap: 
I worked a full 8-9 hours day, 
then came home to all the cooking, finances, errands, laundry, and the rest of housework. 


One of the HUGE benefits of me staying home, 
is that it allows me to do 100% of these things I was already doing, 
but now I actually have time to do it

I'm not staying up to 10pm every night cooking and housework. 
My weekends are no longer packed with errands. 

Instead, our weekends are filled with fun activities 
(except this weekend where we painted our dinning room, sigh!). 
My weeknights are things I enjoy
like blogging and reading. 
R-E-L-A-X. 

So that's one of the [many many] reasons I made the move to SAHM. 
I'm always curious how others split it all up!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SAHM vs Working Mom: Sick Days

IMO, there's one area where Working Mom wins hands down.  

Sick days. 


It started Monday with a sore throat, 
followed by mass congestion and a waterfall of snot. 
Last night I took NyQuil and while I slept 10 wonderful hours, 
today I woke up feeling like I got hit by a dump truck. 
At first I thought the crappy feeling was a NyQuil hangover. 
But as the day wears on, 
I know it isn't. 
I'm just damn sick. 
 
Are you on snapchat? 
I'm theColeBin and my snaps are never interesting    


So let's pull up a comparison here. 

Working Mom sick day: 
Assuming you can actually not work that day 
(I once worked year-end close with a 102 fever)...
you can ship the kids off to whatever daycare or sitter they normally attend, 
and then lie on the couch in peace and silence, 
occasionally answering an email or IM as needed by work.

And by the end of the day, 
when the kids come home, 
you may or may not feel better, 
but at least you had 8 hours of peace. 

Now, let's talk SAHM. 
HAHAHAHAHAHA. 
Nope. 

I originally had planned to take Aaron to an indoor play area, 
but I bribed him with: "Would you like to watch a movie instead?" 
And since movies/TV are so rare in our house, 
he jumped at the chance. 

He's watching Lion King now. 
In total peace and quiet. 

Great, one kid down
Not onto this one... 


About a 5 minutes attention span for a movie 
(Screw the American Pediatric Society that says kids under 2 should have no screen time)

So uh... what now? 

Fortunately he entertains well enough. 
And also takes nice long naps (hallelujah). 

Now I just need to get through the rest of today... 
Let's see, how many movies do we own? 
Oh hello, Neflix, looks like we'll be utilizing your entire Kids section today... 

Anyone want to ship me some chicken soup? 
Kelsey posted about this amazing whole30 chicken soup this morning. 
I don't care about whole30 but it looks delicious 
and I'd love for someone to come over and make it for me!       


Monday, October 17, 2016

WIDN: Fall 2016 Edition

First up, an important bit of news if you don't follow me on facebook, 
WE SOLD OUR TOWNHOME. 
It was on the market for THREE days before we signed paperwork, 
and 30 days later (last week) held settlement. 
I was a little sad to see it go, 
but mostly relieved it's not hanging over our heads. 

The gratutitous before-and-after. 
Engaged Emily buying the townhome in Nov 2010. 
Oct 2016: leaving the townhome married with 2 kids. 


Anyway, back to the main post... 
Another edition of WIDN. 

Making
Baby food. 
Oliver turns 6 months today so... 
HELLO, SOLIDS! 
I wrote a freakin' novel documenting my process with Aaron, 
which is quite helpful since I remember zero. 
We tried avocado this weekend and Oliver was having none of it. 
To be fair, I don't like avocado, 
and therefore he hasn't had any taste of this green mush either in utereo or in breastmilk. 
Tomorrow we start sweet potatoes, 
so hopefully that has more success! 



Drinking
I'm normally a wine girl, 
but this season of fall is meant for beer. 
Something about the start of football just begs for a beer. 
So I've been buying a few of my favorites, 
like ShockTop, Harpoon's UFO, and Sly Fox's Helles. 


Reading
The Harry Potter series. 
Just finished Chamber of Secrets (#2) 
and picking up Goblet of Fire (#3) tomorrow. 
I'm loving it. 
I remember about 60% of the plot, 
mainly "this is how it ends" but I forget how they arrive at the ending. 
Still makes a great read. 
I can't remember if it's book #3 or book #4 I hated as a tweenager, 
but I am determined to power through this time. 


Wanting
Don't laugh. 
But I'm dying to start Christmas shopping. 
I love it. 
I love the mass online ordering. 
I love watching boxes pour in. 
I love decide what wrapping paper fits the person. 
(yes, I am THAT crazy)
Do they make Professional Gift Shopper as a job? 
Sign me up!


Watching
This Is Us. 
And it's soooooooooooo good. 
I missed the bandwagon on Parenthood, 
and later regretted it. 
So when the blog world started going crazy about this show, 
I was not to be left out. 
I cry and laugh every episode. 
Adam won't even be in the same room as me if I'm watching it. 


Listening To
Classic rock is all the rage for me right now. 
ACDC. 
Guns N' Roses. 
Journey. 
Just lovin' the old school feeling. 


Eating
Bagel, cream cheese, & lox. 
Ever since Yom Kippur, 
I have been craving lox like crazy. 
And it took me a bit to figure out that lox is actually slightly different than plain smoked salmon. 
But not to fear, Wegmans has me covered! 




Smelling
Fire. 
One of the many things we love about our new house is the back patio. 
Adam and I have been loving quiet nights out back with a fire. 
It was tough in the summer with all the mosquitos, 
but as it gets cooler, 
it's been WONDERFUL. 



Wishing
I could find a way to like raw vegetables. 
In an ironic twist, my 3-year-old loves raw vegetables. 
Celery, bell peppers, broccoli... even raw onion! 
Me? 
Nah. 
Unless it's a crudites tray with a big fat glob of dip, I'll pass thanks. 
I prefer my vegetables cooked, 
which while still healthy, 
isn't quite as healthy as raw. 
I've tried some make-at-home greek-yogurt base dips, 
which all taste like crap. 
I'm wondering if I just cave and buy the storebought dip, 
if that'll entice me to eat more raw. 
Or does the over-processed dip negate the health benefits of raw? 


Enjoying
Too cliche, but yes, I'm thoroughly enjoying the return of fall. 
It's as though Mother Nature actually looked at a calendar for once. 
The air is crisp. 
The mornings are chilly (perfect running weather!). 
The afternoons are warm (perfect playground weather!). 
I don't do pumpkin spice lattes 
(ok ok, I do put pumpkin spice in my chai latte), 
but I do a lot of other basic white girl fall shit
Like football and bonfires (see above). 


Loving
For the first time EVER, we used my Mommy Cheryl's china. 
We hosted a thank-you dinner to both our parents for all their help in moving us, 
and decided that since we finally had a formal dining room 
(a feature lacking in our little townhome) 
we should celebrate with china. 
I love my Mommy Cheryl's china so much 
and it is such a pleasure to finally use it. 




Needing
To go to bed earlier. 
Remember how I posted about my back-in-the-habit goals
Well I'm blogging more, 
reading more, 
eating better (not great, just better), 
and have run twice a week (not great either, but marginal improvement). 
But I still haven't gone to bed earlier. 
Lots of excuses on my part, 
but the worst is Adam working late. 
I just don't like to go to bed if he's not home. 
Unfortunately I have no control over his work schedule, 
so I just need to suck it up and go to bed without him. 
Ugh. 


Wearing
These boots
Yes they are Target brand. 
I just love a boot with straps, 
and have totally jumped on the ankle boot bandwagon. 
I've been admiring these boots for a few months, 
and when I saw them 20% off (plus 5% redcard), 
I snatched them up. 
They are COMFY and AMAZING. 
Not quite chase-children-at-the-park material, 
but definitely the run-out-for-errands material. 


Book-marking
A lot of bra-buying tips. 
Both the Mom Edit and Cupcakes & Cashmere posted about bras recently (here and here). 
The laughable part is that I have a solid year or so until I see a regular bra again. 
As long as I'm nursing,
 I'm firmly planted in the Old Faithful Bravado Silk Seamless
But at least I'll be prepared for when I return to the world of Normal Bras!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Our New Routine

As a curious individual, 
(because "curious" sounds better than "nosy" or "stalker"), 
I love reading about people's routines. 
Additionally, I like looking back at my own routines to see how they have changed. 
So here is my attempt to document my 

SAHM Routine with a 6-mo and 3-yo

Unlike the Working Mom routine
this routine varies WILDLY day-to-day. 
So this is quite long as I try to generalize our happenings. 

***

6:30-8:00

Aaron bounds into our bed when his clock turns green
Around this same time, Adam brings in Oliver from his nursery and I nurse him in bed. 

Generally, Adam is in charge of getting Aaron dressed, 
Oliver's diaper changed, and Aaron's breakfast. 
After breakfast, Aaron gets one Daniel Tiger or Thomas the Train episode. 



If I'm going to run, this is when I do it. 
I have two running loops (3-miles and 3.5-miles) 
which takes me about 35-50 minutes depending on how I'm feeling. 
If Adam has to leave early, I'll shower while Aaron is watching TV 
and take Oliver up with me to bounce in the bathroom doorway in his jumper. 

If Adam doesn't have to leave early or if I don't run, 
I'll shower and leisurely get ready in peace. 

Showering is an absolute TOP priority for me. 
Followed closely by makeup application. 

When I meet other moms (or read about them) who don't have time to shower, 
I'm just flabbergasted. 
Shower and makeup make me feel human. 

A friend of mine on maternity leave said: 
"I can't wait to go back to work and have a reason to shower and put on makeup." 

I decided long ago that my reason to shower and makeup is pure LIVING. 
If I am alive, there will be shower and makeup. 


8:00-12:00 MWF

MWF Aaron has preschool in the mornings. 
This is when I run most of my errands/shopping (with just Oliver - so easy!). 
I also will meet girlfriends (the ones with just babies) to hang out. 
And then every Friday I walk with my MIL who is watching our niece a few neighborhoods away. 




8:00-12:00 Tues/Thurs 

The non-preschool mornings, I always try to plan fun activities for Aaron. 
I am always amazed at how many activities there are for SAHM moms/kids. 
I'd like to put together a post of my findings, 
but it seems pretty silly because activities are so location-based.  

I try to only commit to one paid activity a week. 
So for example, we may do the Trampoline Park or Indoor Play Area on Tuesday, 
and then do library storytime or public play areas on Thursday. 

This is also the time I get together with girlfriends who have toddlers. 

 Smith Playhouse in Philadelphia (FREE) 

The Little Pod in North Wales - $10


12:00-1:00 

Preschool pickup or Lunch time. 


1:00-3:30ish

THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS NAPTIME. 

Oliver naps in his swing for about 1.5-2 hours. 



Aaron does not nap, but he spends time playing in his room 
(and we call it "naptime" anyway). 
Maybe about once a month, he'll actually fall asleep, but it's very rare. 

(as I was typing this, I snuck up and took of picture of him in his room.  This is the scene every single day)

I try to do 15-30 minutes of house pickup, 
and then dedicate the rest of the time to cooking dinner 
and/or computer-related things such as catching up our finances, long emails, online shopping, or blogging. 


3:30-6:00 

This is by far the hardest time of the day. 
I call it "The Great Void." 
The empty void between nap and dinner. 

Thanks to the steller traffic in the Philadelphia area, 
we are extremely limited on how far we can stray from the house. 
So we try to fill this time with local park visits, library visits, 
or a super-quick visit to our local tiny zoo



If the weather is super crappy, 
this is usually when I suggest coloring together. 


And, let's be honest. 
By Friday I just pop in a movie because I'm done. 


6:00-7:00

Dinner. 

Often followed by a walk around the neighborhood. 



Shower for Aaron. 
Bath for Oliver. 

Books for both 
(Aaron picks out the books; 
Oliver tries to eat the books). 

Aaron goes to bed first, 
then I get ready for bed 
(make-up off, wash face, change clothes, etc), 
and then spend 20 minutes nursing Oliver for bed. 
Oliver still falls asleep nursing which I love and hope he never stops. 


7:00-10:00 

ME TIME! 

Maybe even ME + ADAM TIME if he escapes Big Law Firm World

First I'll do another quick house pickup and prep for tomorrow's outings. 
If there was anything urgent that didn't get done over nap, I'll do that now. 

Mostly I try to use this time to relax. 
I have fallen into the "This Is Us" addiction, 
which is the first TV show I have watched withOUT Adam since... 
um, before we were married? 
Seriously, that's how little TV I watch. 

I also use this time to read. 
And ever since I bought Adam a kindle for his birthday, 
now he reads with me, too! 

***

And that's it. 
That's my routine right now. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

SAHM vs Working Mom: Alone Time and Adult Conversations

I posted about SAHM being easier because of Control, 
and Allena brought up some very specific aspects of SAHM-hood that I also feared
(even if they didn't make my SAHM Fear Post)
I wrote her a mega-novel of an email response 
but realized I should probably just document my thoughts on it here. 
If only so Future SAHM-Veteran Emily can look back 
and know what SAHM-Amateur Emily was thinking.  


Alone Time

I'm surprised to say that I don't find this to be a problem at all. 
Aaron spends 2.5 hours in his room in the afternoon for "nap" 
(he rarely ever nap, he plays, but whatever, he's IN his room
and Oliver spends that time napping (actually napping) in the swing. 
This is my most alone time and even though I can't leave the house, I relish this time of silence and productivity. 



Then when Aaron is at preschool MWF mornings, 
I just have Oliver which feels so easy it's practically alone time. 
That's the time I do brunch with girlfriends, shopping trips, and all sorts of other things that are mind-numbingly difficult with a three-nager.

Sometimes I wish I had my babysitter to come in the afternoons (damn you, college!), 
but I don't miss her like I expected. 
Perhaps it's because Oliver won't take a bottle, and therefore leaving him is more trouble than it's worth. 

Perhaps its that both kids go to bed at 7pm, 
which gives me a solid 2+ hours of total alone time. 
I can have a glass of wine and just chill in whatever way I wish. 

So in the end, does the lack of alone time bother me? 
Nope. Not yet. 


Adult Conversations

I love me some adult conversations. 
I talk A LOT and it's always more fun to talk when someone is there to listen. 
When I used to work from home (infrequent as it was), 
I hated that my conversations were all via phone and IM. 
I much preferred wandering around the office and loitering at someone's desk. 

So how is it as a SAHM? 
Honestly, I don't know why, but it doesn't bother me a bit. 
I still get together with girlfriends for playdates
and I'm texting Adam like 24/7. 
But yes, some days I don't talk to another adult until Adam comes home, 
and I don't know why but it doesn't phase me. 

I asked my mother-in-law about this last week. 
She and I have similar personalities 
(both of us our Super-Extroverts and Super-Productive individuals)
and she said it never bothered her either. 
Perhaps we are just such social individuals that we create our own adult conversations without noticing?  I truly don't know the answer.  

Now, sometimes I don't want Aaron to TALK AT ALL.  
I mean, he's a chatterbox like his mama and sometimes I just need silence. 
Hence why that 2.5-hour "nap time" is like golden. 
And if I really start to lose my mind, there's always the back-up Daniel Tiger episodes. 
But overall, I like having someone to chat with! 


So that's my thoughts on those two topics. 

What other aspects of SAHM vs Working Mom can you think of?