Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Books I Read (February)



168 Hours 
by Laura Vanderkam 

Ahhh, this book! 
This book inspired me like Marie Kondo did in the fall of 2015
(except in a totally different way). 

The timing was absolutely perfect on this book. 
One of my New Year's resolutions was to do a time study on myself, 
and was struggling to figure out how that went. 
And then a blog I follow (but can't remember which one! AH!) 
mentioned this book and I immediately got it out from the library. 

I find this book fascinating, from a statistics / observation perspective. 
I will say that I came to many different conclusions she did 
(particularly about raising kids, housework, etc) 
but the studies and stories she presents are very inspiring. 

And most importantly, I learned how to do a time study on myself!
(Results to come soon...) 





The Devil Wears Prada 
by Lauren Weisberger 

I had read this book years ago after the movie came out 
but decided I needed a refresher before "Revenge." 

I adore the movie but it is vastly different than the book. 

Even the story-lines are dramatically altered, 
although I maintain that both are great stories even if they aren't similar. 
The movie is chic, artsy, and all around beautiful. 
Meryl Streep is beyond outstanding. 
The movie has twinges of humor and sarcasm, 
but the book so so so much more. 
The book is so freaking hilarious with sarcasm dripping from every line. 
I have laughed out loud both times reading the book. 




Revenge Wears Prada 
by Lauren Weisberger 

I'm a little torn on this. 
On one hand, I think the storyline could have been a good independent book. 
But after "Devil Wears Prada," it just felt like a forced sequel. 
It had all the drama of Devil Wears Prada,
 but none of the humor. 
The first book as positively dripping with sarcasm and this, 
well, it was just not the same. 
Probably as a stand-alone book I would have liked it better. 



You'll Grow Out of It 
by Jessi Klein

OK book despite never having heard of Jessi Klein. 

Some of it didn't resonate with me at all and some of it was hilarious. 
Her poodle vs wolf chapter is pure gold 
(I'm a wolf, absolutely). 
And some of her "secrets" about womanhood made me crack up. 
Other chapters I couldn't relate to. 
And then there were chapters that were fairly awkward, 
like her porn chapter. 
It was just... weird. 
So yeah, some good, some meh, some... no. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lazy Parenting


I've fallen into this trap I'm calling lazy parenting
I'm not sure how I got here but I need to make a conscious effort to get out. 


I've stopped doing this I used to find very important. 
These are things that I think are very important for developing children, 
yet I've ceased to do things on a regular basis. 
Not because I've changed my mind on parenting, 
but just because I'm lazy


Examples

Read to Oliver every night

Aaron will never let us "forget" to read but Oliver? 
I'm ashamed to say he's been read to maybe a handful of times. 
When it comes to nap and bed, 
breastfeeding takes long enough that I just want to rush through to that. 
The crazy thing is that most baby books 
(like Sandra Boynton or Dr Seuss Board books)
 take a whopping 30-45 seconds to read. 
Yet I've been skipping this vital step in bedtime routine. 
And I can see it reflected in Oliver that he never wants to sit, 
which Aaron was already doing at his age (and still is!). 



Brush Teeth before Nap. 

Children should brush their teeth twice a day. 
Many parents do this in the morning, 
but to me, the act of going back upstairs after breakfast is too much effort. 
Instead, I always made Aaron brush his teeth before nap. 
Or at least, I did. 
I cannot remember the last time he brushed his teeth at nap. 
Bed, yes.  Nap, no. 


Always get Down to the Child's Height. 

Embarrassingly, this was brought to my attention by Prince William
who does it even when scolded by his grandmother. 
(Yes, I'm getting parenting tidbits from the Royal Family.) 
I know in my mind that this is verrry important for children to be heard, 
and for them to hear you. 
Yet I quit doing this long ago
 (probably when I was pregnant and couldn't get down!) 
and I imagine my failure to do this may in some small way contribute to the deterioration of Aaron's listening skills. 


Limit my usage of no 

This is so much more vague, 
but I noticed the other day how much I'm say no. 
And I don't like it. 
Just like any phrase in the English language, 
if you use it too often, it loses its meaning. 
There was a time in my parenting career where 
I reserved the word "NO" for only the most dire of situations like. 
"You'll get hit by a car and die" dire. 
Now I say "no" to pretty much everything. 
I'm sure a large amount of this is my protection of Oliver. 
"No, you can't roll off the couch or you'll roll onto Oliver." 
"No, you can't kick the ball." 
"No, you can't use the pencil as a gun.*" 

*Side note: WHY must all little boys turn everything into a wearpon?

I want to find a way to pull back on my automatic "no"-ing, 
although I suspect of the four things I've noted, 
this will be the hardest of all. 
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WIDN: Winter 2017 Edition

WIDN: Winter 2017 Edition. 


Making:



Shrimp! 
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to start making more seafood. 
I tried Wegman's Blush Shrimp with Zucchini noodles which was very good. 
(Pictured: squash noodles instead of zucchini, not as good)
Adam said it needed rice (or real pasta, not spiraled veggie pasta), 
which was true, but the actual shrimp themselves came out great. 
Win! 


Drinking:


Kevita Probiotic. 
I was drinking kombucha but kombucha has caffeine, 
and we all know I'm psycho on caffeine. 
So I switched to their probiotic drinks which are fizzy goodness, 
without the caffeine. 
They are expensive but ah-maz-ing. 


Reading:



The Opposite of Spoiled 
by Ron Lieber 
(or rather, I will be once I pick it up from the library tomorrow)
I'm debating whether to start Aaron on an allowance when he turns 4. 
There seems to be a sad lack of resources on this topic. 
All of your thoughts are welcome, 
whether it's your own children 
or your own experience as a child! 


Wanting:
My new purse to hurry up and ship!!! 

With bonus money this year, 
Adam and I decided that in addition to our usual 
"save up for house renovations," 
we would treat ourselves to something new. 
Adam got new golf clubs 
and I got a new NON-MOM purse. 
It is everything I've wanted. 
Kate Spade. 
Leather. 
PINK. 
All the heart-eye-emojis!


Watching
Harry Potter. 
After reading the books a few months back, 
I decided to delve into the movies (I'd only ever seen the first). 
It's fun to see how Hollywood transforms the books.  


Listening To
My Running Playlist for the last month: 
Higher Ground - Red Hot Chili Peppers 
Any Way You Want It - Journey 
Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard 
You Really Got Me - Van Halen 
Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi 
Highway to Hell - ACDC 
Thunderstruck - ACDC 
Shook Me All Night Long - ACDC 
Paradise City - Guns N Roses 
Dream On - Aerosmith 
Breaking the Law - Judas Priest 
Running Free - Iron Maiden 
We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister

Eating

NEW FAVORITE SALAD: 


- Sweet Butter Lettuce 
 - Clementine wedges 
- Caramelized walnuts 
(walnuts + maple syrup + cinnamon broiled in toaster oven) 
- Goat cheese 
- Dried Cranberries 
- Homemade Balsamic Dressing 
(2 Tbs balsamic + 1 tsp Dijon + 1 tsp maple syrup + 1/2 cup olive oil = 8 servings)


Smelling:

SWEAT 



Sticky, smelly sweat. 
Gross, I know. 
The yoga studio by my house specializes only in HOT power yoga. 
Like HOT HOT HOT. 
Like SLIPPING ON MY MAT IN SWEAT HOT. 
But man it feels good!


Wishing 

... That as a nation, that we could learn from our mistakes. 
In WWII, we turned away so many Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. 
We turned them away because they could be Nazis
And certainly our national security was top priority! 
After all, we were at WAR! 
But I wonder how many Jewish lives would have been spared, 
if we had not let our fear rule our policy? 
Why can't we learn from our mistakes? 

(You thought I'd let one blog post go without a refugee comment? You'd be wrong!)


Enjoying 
Global Warming. 
Sorry sorry, I know this is a problem. 
A big problem. 
But when its 67 degrees in February... 
it's just SO NICE. 



Loving 

MY NEW LILY JADE DIAPER BAG: 
Elizabeth in Camel with Jade interior. 
Such a beautiful bag. 
So incredibly functional. 
It amazes me every day with how perfect it is for a mom. 
(And yes, that makes two new purses this year.  It's a great year.) 


Needing
To finalize (and BUY) everything for our renovations next month. 
I absolutely cannot WAIT. 
GOODBYE 1960s broken slate floor in the front hall & bath. 



GOODBYE 1960s pink rusted sink that Aaron claims is "dirty." 



GOODBYE half-bath where they painted over the hideous wallpaper, 
and now it's all cracked and peeling. 
GOODBYE GOODBYE GOODBYE!



Wearing
Zella's New High Waist Leggings. 
I've always been a huge fan of Nordstrom's zella line, 
but I stumbled onto their high waist legging and OMG. 
The high waist is absolutely amazing for the mom muffin top, 
and also perfect for all those downward dogs in yoga classes. 
I have the splice leggings here, 
but I get the most compliments on the cut-out leggings


Book-marking
Beauty products
I'm 32 which means my youthful 20s are starting to fade, 
and I can see a few gray hairs starting to sprout. 
I've never been repulsed by the concept of aging, 
but I would like to do so gracefully
So I've become really into things like anti-aging serums, 
except I know nothing about anti-aging serums. 
I've been testing some products via Nordstrom's free samples, 
but I think I'm going to go with Philosophy's Time In a Bottle, 
based on the Cupcakes & Cashmere review here
Anyone else have some good serum recs?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Where'd you go? I miss you so...

I hope you sang that title...

Which is, btw, fairly laughable as I assume no one was wondering where I went, 
nor was anyone pining away for the ramblings of this blog. 

But to ME it feels like I haven't blogged in a while. 
I skipped exactly one week. 
Why you ask? 
(This is redundant.  No one is asking) 
Let me tell you! 

In order of importance...

1. The blogger app is malfunctioning. 
It's a pretty shitty app as it is, 
but it does the trick for bedtime nursing sessions 
when I drum up half a blogpost in my head and 
can whip out my phone to start it. 
This gives me a short list of drafts I can always build on. 
But recently it's been shutting down without reason (and without saving!). 


2. Political shit has my dander up. 
This recent travel ban has my panties all in bunch. 
It pisses me the hell off, 
and then I get pissed off that other people AREN'T pissed off. 

I took Aaron to church (a New Year's Resolution!) 
the first Sunday after Trump executed his ban, 
and when the pastor closed his sermon
 (a sermon about helping those in need...!) 
I was hoping for a brief prayer of 
"we pray for the refugees around the world" 
or 
"we pray for those homeless and abandoned" 
or 
well, something

On the flip side, 
when bloggers do write wonderful posts about the subject 
(Bridget writes a beauty here
I get pissed all over again because all the passion and emotions stirs up my own emotions too! 
AHHHH!!! 

In summary, I was too worked up to write a coherent blogpost. 
I've calmed down (a little) since then. 

Ok, QUICK,
 moving on from that topic...


3. We traded dreary PA winter for Florida! 
My in-laws flew me and the boys to Ft Lauderdale for 5 days of sunshine, 
pool time, 
beach time, 
great food, 
and plentiful wine. 

While I expected Aaron to have a blast 
I was blown away that my Velcro Baby would love it too. 
Oliver is the biggest water baby I've ever seen. 
He loved the pool (which I expected) 
but we got to the beach and not only did he love the sand 
(which Aaron hated) 
but he also LOVED the ocean waves. 
He would have sat in that wet sand for hours letting the waves roll over his chubby legs. 
It was so precious. 
So many beachgoers stopped to tell us how amazed they were at his happiness. 
Of course I have no smiling photo to document this (eye roll) 
so just trust me. 
The closest I have is this grainy video of him wiggling his legs and shaking his arms in excitement as he watches the waves roll in. 

video

Of course, the flip side to this lovely little vacation was the horror of an ER visit. 
I was changing Oliver's diaper on the bed, 
turned away to reach for wipes, 
and in a split second he dove over the side
and smacked his head on the ceramic floor. 
He went limp and we rushed him to the closest ER 10 minutes away. 
I was hyperventilating and sobbing by the time I ran him in. 
A quick check of vitals by the ER staff, 
a 3.5-hour wait, 
and a CT scan confirmed that he was indeed absolutely fine

Needless to say, I still have flashbacks of horror. 


4. Stomach Bug From Hell

The flight home from Florida I felt queasy. 
But given my Terror of Flying, I didn't think much of it. 
My first clue was when we stopped at Panera on the drive home 
and I wasn't really hungry, 
which is surprising because I am ALWAYS HUNGRY

Long story short, 
I was wrecked with such pain it was like a flashback to childbirth. 
Then Aaron started vomiting. 
Then the next day Oliver had diarrhea, then vomiting. 
The day after that, Adam was on his deathbed. 

Needless to say, there was no bubbly this Valentine's Day. 

And now that we seem to have recovered, 
I hope to return to our regularly scheduled routine. 
Good news is that I'm actively doing a time study of myself 
(another New Year's Resolution!) 
with the goal that I will have even more time for blogging in the future. 
Which will hopefully produce much more enlightening posts than this one?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

SAHM vs Working Mom: Separation Anxiety

SAHM vs Working Mom: 
Separation Anxiety 

Fun fact: my brain insists that "separation" has 2 Es and 1 A. 
Thank you, spellcheck, and I apologize in advance if I miss any throughout this post. 

I know just what you're thinking. 
"Oh yes, her baby has separation anxiety because he's with his mom all day." 
And yes does. 
And he HATES when I leave him. 

But no, believe it or not, 
this is about MY separation anxiety. 

I already knew staying home, 
I was increasing the liklihood that my baby would be used to 
MOMMY AND ONLY MOMMY, 
and I had accepted that might be the case. 
What I did not expect, 
was that it would be a two-way street. 


As a working mom, 
I was used to leaving Aaron. 
I left him 5 days a week for 9 hours a day, 
sometimes up to 12 hours if I had an MBA class that night. 
He was left with grandmothers, with Adam, 
with babysitters, etc. 
And yes I would miss him 
and I hated pumping because pumping sucks, 
but aside from the initial transition at 8-weeks, 
I wasn't particularly emotional about it. 
(Or so I remember.) 


Then contrast that to staying home. 
I was in a yoga class the other week, 
while the babysitter was feeding Aaron and Oliver dinner. 
And the whole class all I could think was: 
"What if she doesn't cut the pasta small enough and Oliver chokes?" 
My mind became so fixated on this that I almost left class to check my phone. 
Like seriously, it's an hour class
And for pete's sake, it's YOGA where I'm supposed to let the outside world go

Sometimes I don't fixate on fatal events, 
but rather just stress that he's upset. 
Oliver basically doesn't cry with me. 
He fuses. 
He whines. 
But he really does not cry. 
Perched on mommy's hip is basically his favorite place in the world. 


So if he's NOT on my hip, 
I stress about if he's freaking out. 
Funny, I don't actually stress about HIS misery, 
but about the misery of his poor caregiver. 

Remember when I said we needed to say a prayer for my sister 
who was putting him to bed for the first time in months? 
It went fine. 
Or so she tells me. 
Unless she lied. 
(Ahem.)


Now, before you think I never want to leave my baby. 
Not true. 
I love to get out. 
I love when my sister comes on Wednesdays 
and I go get my nails done or go shopping 
or ride IN THE CAR IN SILENCE. 
And I love date nights on the weekends. 
and I absolutely can't wait to go to DC for a girls weekend in March. 
It's all so GLORIOUS. 

BUT once I leave... I worry. 

So yes, my baby is mommy-clingy because he's with me all day. 
But in turn, I've become baby-clingy because I'm with HIM all day. 

Eeek.