Friday, October 30, 2020

Books I Read (October)

Story before diving in. 
Aaron and I went to see a rheumatologist for his fevers 
(he's ok, it's not a big deal). 
When the doctor walks in, 
we are both sitting there reading. 
I've got "Oona Out of Order" 
and Aaron has "Blood of Olympus" (a Percy Jackson book). 
The doctor stops and stares at us
then exclaims: 
"It's so refreshing seeing people read real books!" 

I thought of how many patients this doctor sees a day 
and to be this shocked to see real books? 
A sad world we live in. 

 Total Books Read for October: 3

Truths I Never Told You 
By Kelly Rimmer

I read this in 24 hours. 
It was so gripping 
and I could not put it down. 
It hit me in all the feels 
and I SOBBED through the end. 
I still get choked up thinking about it now. 

Severe trigger warning: Postpartum Depression. 

Oona Out of Order 
By Margarita Montimore

It's hard to find a unique, unpredictable storyline 
and this was totally it. 
I just loved that the premise was unlike anything I'd read. 
This was the second book this month 
that kept me up wayyyy past my bedtime 
because I had to finish it
I just wish there was an epilogue, 
because I would have loved to know 
what happened to some of the characters who pop up. 

The Book of Longings 
By Sue Monk Kidd 

After my book club gals just raved about this book, 
I finally caved and read it. 
It was slow to start, 
but it builds throughout the storyline 
and the last 1/4 was easily my favorite. 

It's a story about Jesus' wife 
(meant to be fictional, of course). 
I really liked that, other than two pivotal moments, 
there was no overlap with Biblical stories. 
It was really beautifully done 
and I was very vested in all of the characters' outcome. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My Barnacle

Carson is my little barnacle. 
He is attached to me at all times, 
whether on my hip 
or strapped to my chest (or back) in the boba carrier. 

I remember this stage of life so well with Oliver. 
Except Oliver was different because he hated everyone else.
Daddy was dead to him. 
Grandma and Mom Mom couldn't go near him.  
Oliver was a true Velcro baby 
(and I wrote all about it here). 

While Carson will still scream if I leave the room, 
he does not hate everyone else. 
He's perfectly content to hang with Daddy 
or be cared for by Mom Mom, Grandma, 
or the 13-year-old neighbor babysitter. 
He can be passed around at the park 
(in our little covid bubble of friends)

At home, though, Carson is happiest when just attached to me. 
And thanks to virtual schooling (soon to be hybrid), 
we are home a lot
Carson gets hauled from room to room, 
where I plop him on the floor 
and attempt to complete a single task 
before he gets into wires or cords 
or somewhere he's not supposed to be. 

Then he's hoisted back onto my hip 
and taken off to our next destination 
to complete yet another task. 

The longest I can get him off my hip 
is when he is in the highchair 
and I'm cooking something 
and feeding him the scraps of whatever. 
Raw onions, cheese, cut-up grapes, etc. 

How do I feel about my little Barnacle? 

Sometimes I am annoyed. 
I base a lot of my self worth on my productivity, 
so it's hard to not get stuff done. 
I hate a messy house 
but it's hard to be a one-handed clean freak. 

When I find myself getting really worked up over it, 
I remind myself over and over that 
this is normal

Back in the time of villages, 
long before modern society split us up into independent units, 
babies were raised to be little barnacles. 
If they weren't being worn by their mothers, 
they was a plethora of aunts and grandmas 
all keen to hold said baby. 
I like to think that every village had a Grandma Baby Whisperer. 
You know that grandma (or grandpa) that can calm any baby? 
I'm sure there was at least one in every village. 
Nowadays, even with grandparents just down the road, 
we still live in our independent homes where it's just us. 
So my little Barnacle has just me to attach himself to. 

And if all that above doesn't work, 
I remind myself that this stage is fleeting. 
Oliver was the worst Velcro baby, 
but he has grown into such a confident, independent child*. 
Just like Carson finally stopped waking up at 5am (hallelujah), 
someday he will no longer be attached to my hip. 

In the meantime, he's my little Barnacle 
and I love him. 

*Let's be clear, Oliver is still up my butt every second at home 
but he is thrilled to be dropped off to play at friends houses 
or do sleepovers at grandparents without us. 
His confident side shows through when he wanders too far into rivers 
or tries climbing equipment that makes me super nervous. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Fall Musings

I am so late to this. 
Natasha and Allena already did it 
and I can't be left out. 

Fall & Halloween Musings

1) Favorite Fall Tradition? 

I have a note in my phone of all our favorite fall things to do. 
Obviously COVID has rained on many of these, 
specifically the local festivals. 

If I had to pick one, 
it would be apple picking at the small organic orchard. 
Thanks to global warming and our ridiculously hot summer, 
the apples were all picked out before we got to go! 
I'm super bummed to have missed it this year
and want to make it a priority next year. 

2) Favorite Halloween Tradition? 

It's really tie between trick-or-treating 
and pumpkin carving. 
It wouldn't be Halloween without either of those things. 

3) What will Halloween look like this year for you and your family

My neighborhood is filled with COVID-conscious parents  
determined to keep Halloween alive. 
My neighbor did the research 
and came up with a "CDC-approved" trick-or-treating solution. 
We are in the process of making signs 
and will be distributing to all 120 houses in our neighborhood. 

4) Share your favorite fall recipe. 

My mom's pumpkin bread is too long to type 
but my favorite pumpkin spice muffin recipe is here
As always, gotta give Amanda the credit. 

5) Favorite fall fashion staple

Slip-on, no-socks brown booties. 
I used to buy expensive booties through Nordstrom 
but I'd absolutely destroy them in a year. 
Now I buy a cheap pair from Target every year 
and they are equally good. 
This year's pair is here 
(I have "cognac" which appears to be sold out). 

6) Favorite Halloween Costume 

For me: 
When I was like 7 or 8, I dressed up as a bush. 
I had a costume from a school play 
and decided to wear it. 
Gosh I wish I could find the photo. 

For my kids: 
Aaron, age 18 months, as a baby golfer. 
 Adam is still pissed that I got rid of it after he wore it 
and brings it up every single Halloween. 

7) Favorite Halloween Candy 

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups 
followed in close second by Kit Kat Bars. 

8) Favorite Family Halloween Movie?

The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. 

9) Scary movies? Yes or No?

Hell no. 
I am the biggest movie wimp ever. 
No scary movies. 
No slasher movies.  
No suspense movies. 
No children-in-peril movies. 
Nothing that could remotely spark my wild imagination. 

10) Favorite fall beverage 

Beer: Pumpking 
Spiked: Spiked Hot Apple Cider
Non-alcoholic: Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

Tuesday, October 6, 2020


 Carson has been waking up at 5am for two weeks now. 
Life is a lot different starting at 5am. 
But I don't mind it. 

Neither Aaron nor Oliver ever did this 5am wake-up consistently. 
Maybe a day here or there, 
but certainly not a week straight, 
much less two weeks straight. 

We've tried all the usual stuff: 
going to bed later, 
going to bed earlier, 
adding light, 
reducing light, 
adjusting naps,  
Until all that was left was to embrace it. 

By 5:05am, Carson starts crying over the monitor. 
On the rare days he "sleeps in" until 5:15am, 
I'm already wide awake at 5:05. 
My body just knows

I bring Carson into our bed to nurse
while I do the normal phone check 
(overnight texts, emails, weather, IG, etc). 
Then it's diaper-change 
head downstairs to the kitchen, 
plop Carson in his high chair, 
and hand him toys or cheerios to entertain him. 

I've accomplished quite a variety of things at this hour. 
When the windows are still black and the house is silent 
(except for the cheerios being thrown on the floor).  
I have roasted my Misfits veggies, 
prepped salads,
swept the floors (does the dirt multiply overnight?), 

Eventually the rest of the house stirs (around 6:30) 
and then our day resumes its normal rhythm.

I like this early start to my day. 
Knocking stuff off my to-do list first thing. 
My morning run is also better because I'm not half-asleep. 

The only part I don't like? 
Going to bed at 9pm. 

I'm really strict at prioritizing 8 hours of sleep 
and it is REALLY HARD going to bed at 9pm. 

It means I have to be in my bed by 8:15 
if I want to do my journal, 
plan tomorrow's food log, 
and all the other end-of-day stuff on my phone
as well as leave time for me to read a little
(currently: Oona Out of Order). 

I don't know how long this will go on. 
A month? 
Daylight Savings Time hits us Nov 1st 
and I'm a weeeee bit worried 
but we will see!