Checking In

2.15.2019

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I feel like my blog is one of those friends you've known so long that you don't have to talk regularly, but whenever you do talk you can pick right back up as though no time has passed. Of course, I realize it might not feel that way to you, but it does to me. Did you know I started this blog in May 2010? It's been almost nine years of blogging!

Speaking of things that have been going on a long time, Jordan and I met in January 2009, and last month he reminded me that we've known each other now for a whole decade. We started dating in the summer of 2009! We both have said that sometimes we wish we had met when we were younger so that we could have gotten married earlier and had kids when we were younger (I had R when I was 29 and J when I was 30), but also you can't help when you meet someone, and just thinking about all the things that had to happen basically throughout our entire lives for me to end up in Oklahoma and for us to meet at all blows my mind a little bit. But anyway, that actually has nothing to do with what I was planning to write this post about! ha.
We've had a really hard time in the evenings with R for the past year or so, which has been a contributing factor in my lack of blogging, because I just don't have the time. She will not stay in her room and go to sleep, and we keep having to try new things to see if this or that will work better---earlier bedtime, later bedtime, lying in her bed with her, shutting the door, leaving the door open, a light-up clock... I'm so not patient, and a lot of parenting seems to be trial and error, which annoys me.

Also annoying? Toddlers who make up the most ridiculous reasons to come out of bed 85 times before finally going to sleep!
At the beginning of February I flew to Saint Louis and had a girls' weekend with 2 friends of mine from college. There were supposed to be 4 of us, but our other friend's son got sick at the very last minute, so she wasn't able to come. We stayed at my friend Lauren's house, and our other friend drove down with her daughter from Chicago. I left the kids with Jordan and flew in Saturday morning and came back Monday night. We hadn't seen each other in over a year and a half (maybe close to two years even!), and it was so nice to have friend time with people who know you so well. I even took my running clothes and got in an hour run while I was there, which is good because I have a half marathon coming up at the end of April and need to get some long runs in.
On Valentine's Day, I bribed them with candy hearts to sit still for a picture. R played her part well, but J still doesn't totally get the concept of bribery so it went about as well as I could have hoped. Don't even say they are getting so big because THEY ARE NOT. They are still babies. Thank you.

My mom mailed two books to our house that arrived on Valentine's Day, one for R and one for J. I hadn't heard of either book, but they are super cute! It was perfect since I didn't have anything to give them, and R was excited. No, I don't do Valentine's baskets. Or Easter baskets, for that matter. I'm not against it, but I'm also cheap and not that on top of life at the moment to put together a cutesy gift for my kids for the Holiday of the Month. Next people are going to start doing St. Patrick's Day baskets. Actually that's probably already a thing.

Since I probably won't blog again for months, I feel like I need to keep going while I have you. What else... oh, I finally got the America's Test Kitchen cookie cookbook for Christmas from Jordan and have made a few things from it. The recipe is, as expected, amazingly specific. Things like, whisk for 30 seconds, let batter rest for 1 minute. Repeat 2 more times. But my cookies have come out looking exactly like the picture in the book! It's been fun to branch outside my usual Tollhouse recipe ;)
R built this tower last weekend completely on her own. As in, Jordan and I helped in no way. We don't have any other 3-year-old buildings to compare to, but we felt like this was showcasing some impressive architectural skills. Her daycare teachers have always said that she's really smart, so it's not just us being biased!

I suppose I could keep going, but I'll stop for now. I did want to check in and let you know that we are all alive, and no, I'm not pregnant. Not that anyone has asked, but in the blog world when someone disappears for a while, it's not unusual for them to come back and announce something. Nothing to see over here, people! Just working full time and trying to fit in all the things in the short time I have in the evenings after we finally get R down (J is so easy for the most part!). How it's the middle of February already I have no idea. Thanks so much if you're still hanging around to read these posts of mine!

A Morning in the Life: Friday, January 25, 2019

1.25.2019


I thought it would be fun for me to document one of our mornings and have it here on the blog for me to look back on later. I know not everyone likes “day in the life” posts, and if I’m being completely honest with you, I actually had to stop reading any such posts from SAHMs because they always bummed me out. I don’t know if that sounds rude or self-pitying, but it’s just the truth so there it is. Anyway, J is 19 months old, and I do feel like I’ve gotten a pretty solid system and rhythm down for our mornings. It’s not always easy, but at the same time a part of me knows that I really am going to miss these days of waking up to their sweet little voices calling “mama."

Obviously not every single morning looks like this. For one thing, my gym schedule is MWF, and on days I don’t go to the gym I set my alarm for 6:15, and you can just skip all the morning shower and gym parts on those days. Sometimes the kids are in a great mood, and everything goes pretty smoothly. Sometimes they are super cranky, and it’s a major struggle. I think this morning was in the middle of those: it wasn’t the easiest, but it could have been worse.

Friday, January 25, 2019

4:40 – my alarm goes off. I lie there for a minute, and then Jordan nudges me, so I get up. I’ve already laid out my workout clothes in the bathroom, so I quickly change, brush my teeth, put my contacts in, and quietly go into the kitchen.

5:00 – For some reason I can never remember to set a hair tie out, so I turn the flashlight on my phone and sneak back into our bedroom to find one. Then I get a drink of water, put on my coat, and head out. I usually waste 5 minutes or so checking my phone before leaving, which I’m always annoyed at myself for but haven’t actually stopped doing.

5:15/5:20 – Arrive at the gym, put my purse, etc. in the locker, and hop on a treadmill. There is one particular machine that I always try to get that is in the middle of 3 channels: ESPN 2 (showing the Golic & Wingo radio live), Fox News, and TBS (showing Everybody Loves Raymond).

You all know I’m a conservative, but I’ll tell you that I find Fox News obnoxious. It’s so clearly biased toward everything Republication and against anything Democratic, and it’s just obvious that news outlets of all sides are feeding us information with a spin. I try to keep that in mind when I read or watch news headlines until I can research the actual story myself. That being said, I like being able to watch some sports, some lighthearted comedy, and stay up to date on the world while on my runs.

6:00 – I’m done on the treadmill. I usually start out at a 5.5 jog for 5 minutes or so to warm up, then do the majority of the run around 6.0-6.5, and then in the last 10 minutes or so, I gradually increase my speed .2 every minute or so, until I’m running faster at 7.5-8.0. Then I walk at 3.5 for five minutes or so to cool down. I’m signed up for the OKC half marathon at the end of April and will need to start getting in some long weekends runs soon. You know, in my spare time ;)

6:00-6:15 – Lift some weights, stretch, and get my stuff out of the locker. I’ve never really been a weights kind of person; generally I just like running. But I try to at least use the pullup machine and do some arm stuff since I’m already at the gym anyway.

6:25 – Back home. Drink some water and find something to eat. Although this morning I drank some Kombucha! They had it at Aldi again for cheap, so I bought a few bottles. I don’t know what exactly the health benefits are supposed to be, but it’s yummy.

6:30 – Hop in the shower. Jordan is up and getting ready. He sets his alarm for 6:15 but then usually snoozes it a bit and is up and out the door by 6:45.

6:40 – Out of the shower, pack up an order from a sale I made on Kidizen the night before, look at my phone again and be annoyed with myself for doing that.

6:50 – R bursts into the bedroom and I hear J crying “mama.” (They both pretty much wake up between 6:50 and 7:10 every day. But depending on when they wake up and who wakes up first, I vary my system of getting them changed and dressed slightly.) I quickly finish getting dressed and go get him. R is lying on our bed with a pillow over her face and telling me that the light is too bright. I bring J into the bedroom, and we lie down on the bed together and snuggle for a few minutes.

7:00 - I take J into the nursery to get changed and dressed. R goes into the bathroom and says she wants to brush her teeth. It used to be such an enormous fight to get her to brush her teeth; I’m talking we would have to sit on her and hold her face while she screamed and flailed around. Thankfully things have improved in that area for the most part.

I change J’s diaper and get him dressed. Then I take clothes into the bathroom for R. I have found this is KEY to my success in the mornings. While I have R “trapped,” so to speak, in the bathroom, we can go potty, brush teeth and hair, and get dressed while I keep both kids in the same area. Although today we didn’t get to the hair portion of the routine, and she went to daycare looking like a bit of a crazy person. Note: I never got around to drying my wet hair, so I look like a bit of a crazy person also.

7:10 – We are all in the kitchen, and the two little people are starting to melt down. They both wake up ravenous, and even though they eat breakfast at daycare, I still have to have something to give them in the mornings or they completely freak out. I swear half of my grocery budget goes toward bananas and blueberries. I also pretty much always have muffins frozen in the freezer. You all know I’m a muffin addict! I open R’s banana, and she sits at the counter.

7:20 – J is losing it. Apparently me offering him a banana was highly insulting, and he immediately threw it across the room and fell on the floor sobbing. I tell him that we don’t throw food and if he wants his banana back, he needs to stop crying and say please. That’s works about as well as you might think. He glares at me and throws himself on the ground again. Meanwhile, R has grabbed the loaf of bread off the counter and is crushing it to her chest asking me to make her a sandwich. I say no, she’s going to eat at daycare.

7:25 – I’m holding J in my lap while he calms down. When he’s stopped crying I tell him that if he wants his banana, he needs to say please. He signs please, and he gets the banana back. I cut up some strawberries for them too.

7:35 – I throw some random leftovers from the fridge into a canvas bag for my lunch. I realized I left my actual lunch bag at work in the fridge yesterday.

7:40 – I open the garage door and start my car to get it warmed up. Then I start putting all the things in my front seat: J’s diaper bag, R’s backpack, my purse, my lunch bag, the Kidizen package, the book I’m going to read during lunch… I race back to their bedroom to grab socks for R and J and myself (I forgot I was wearing my moccasins up to that point). R is reading a book on the coffee table and, BLESS HER, not getting into something she shouldn’t or making a mess somewhere. J is following me around crying for mama and wanting to be picked up. (I don't know what the pink headband is about, but she keeps wanting to wear it like that. Don't ask!)

7:45 – I put J in his carseat and give him a book. He doesn’t have socks or shoes on yet because when I tried to put them on he shouted “NO” and ran away, and I don’t have time for that nonsense.

7:50 – I race around the house turning off all the lights and tell R we are leaving. She starts crying saying she wants socks because “my feet are gonna be cold.” I give her the socks, but she says she doesn’t know how to put them on, which is ridiculous and annoying because she obviously does know how to put socks on. I don’t have time to argue with her, so I put her socks on and carry her to the car while she sings a made-up song about elephants. She requests that I put her scarf around the top of her carseat because her ears are cold.

7:53 – I forgot to give J his morning does of antibiotic for his ear infection, so I race back inside and fill up the syringe and give it to him quickly.

7:55 – We pull out of the driveway! It’s always my goal to be leaving by 8:00.

8:10 – It was a good traffic day, and it takes only 15 minutes to get to daycare. I pull into the parking lot and look back at J. His face is all red, and he’s grunting. I ask him if he’s okay, and he pats his front and says “poo poo.” Excellent.

I unbuckle R, get J out, and grab their bags. I can definitely smell the poop. Please note: he is still not wearing shoes or socks.

I hold R’s hand while carrying J and the bags across the parking lot. When we get to his class, he immediately runs over to his teacher and informs her that he has pooped. She scoops him up and puts him on the changing table. We got to daycare right as breakfast was ending, so the toddlers are wandering around, some are still eating, some are crying, and it’s pretty chaotic. I turn around just as one of them knocks his sippy cup on the ground. The top pops off, and a full glass of milk spills all over the floor. I’m the closest, so I grab the kid by the arm to keep him from stepping in the milk. 

The one teacher is changing J, and the other teacher rushes over and starts looking in the cabinets for a towel while I try to keep the ten toddlers who are now gathered around me from walking through the growing puddle of milk.

She throws a towel down over the milk, so I kiss J and leave with R. She runs down the hall to class, where two tables of 3-year-olds are sitting down eating pancakes and applesauce. She has been awesome at drop-offs lately and just runs inside and doesn’t even look back. Which I’m fine with. FINE. I’m fine. I stand at the window for a minute staring at her like an idiot trying to get her to look at me and wave before giving up.

8:20 – Because of the milk and diaper fiasco, it’s taken me longer than usual to leave the daycare, but I’m finally heading to work.

8:30 – I pull into the parking lot at 8:30 on the nose. It’s not even 9:00 in the morning, and I already feel like I worked enough for one day and want nothing more than to go home and crawl in bed. I make myself a bowl of oatmeal and get something to drink. Is it 5:00 yet? ;)

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our morning! It’s a lot of craziness, but I’m doing my best and somehow manage to get out the door by 8:00 the majority of the mornings. Hope you all have a great weekend!

By the Numbers: 2018

1.18.2019


I've been doing this post for the last couple of years and try to track the same things. It's interesting to compare! Let's get to it: 2018 in numbers!

<<< READING 
Total books read: 43 -- 16 nonfiction / 27 fiction 


Rereads: 5 (I started the Chronicles of Narnia series again and am loving it!)


Favorite nonfiction: It's not for everyone, but I devoured What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (it is also a short little book, so that helped how fast I read it)


Favorite fiction: so many good reads this year! I'll pick Murder at Brightwell by Ashely Weaver just because it's rare I find a clean murder mystery that's not insanely cheesy


Book review posts published in 2018 --> Check these out, because I read some great books this year! ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE

<<< SOCIAL MEDIA
Blog posts written: 71 (I just keep going lower and lower each year, guys)


Favorite blog posts:
Favorite Baby/Toddler Products for Ages 0-2
I'm a Different Mom than I Thought I'd Be
A Beautiful Inheritance
Fragile. Handle with Care
Mothering with Open Hands
(Just realized I used the exact same photo to open the bottom two posts! Oops)

Tweets: I don't even want to spend time doing this math... I maybe tweeted 3 or 4 times all year. I used to love Twitter, but the Trump/Clinton Election killed it for me, and I have never gotten back into it since.


Instagram posts: my number on this is impossible to count because I just went through an deleted a bunch of photos. This might be a topic for another day. Anyway, I guess I can't do the math on this one either.


<<< RUNNING
Races run: 2 (Thunder 1-mile fun run in February and OKC half marathon in April)
Miles run: I didn't keep track this year. Wow, this By the Numbers post is extremely lame! I apparently didn't keep track of anything LOL. 


I ran fairly consistently off and on (did that make sense? haha.) Anyway, I didn't ever take my watch with me, so I have honestly no idea how many miles I ran. Maybe 200? 

<<< TRAVEL
US States visited: 3 - Texas, Kansas, and Massachusetts 
US States visited that I'd never been to before: 0
Trips to Texas: 10! 
Plane flights: 5


Travel posts: Boston // Liverpool, UK // York, UK // Cambridge, UK // London

<<< BUDGETING
Total spent traveling to England: $4,438 MORE ON THAT HERE

Total spent on gas (for the year): $1,509.22
Average spent on groceries each month: $357 (I actually thought this would be higher! Not too bad!)


Average amount put into savings each month: $319 (Does not include the small percentage that goes automatically from my paycheck into my Roth account or the small monthly amount we put in R's and J's 529 college savings accounts)

_____

I really do mean a huge and giantly sincere thank you to everyone who has followed along this year! I hope that even though my posts are more spaced out these days, you still enjoy reading and feel connected in some way to this little space of mine. I'm pretty much an open book and happy to answer any questions or consider writing a full post on any topic if you ever want to leave a comment or shoot me an email! Here's to 2019!

At least one thing is going right so far this year

1.12.2019


Well I'll just say it. 

2019 has been a bit of a dud for me so far. On New Year's Eve I chipped my front tooth on a plate of jello. No, I'm not making that up. I repeat: JELLO. Strawberry jello, if you really want to know. That's the short version, which is all the information I want to share with the internet. We were at a friend's house playing The Office Olympics, and no, no one at the party was drinking. I only wish I had that excuse, but in fact I'm just an idiot who closed her eyes too early and smashed her face as hard as she could into a table, thank you goodbye.

So that happened on Monday. And I still stayed up until midnight to ring in the new year with my friends and Jordan and sparkling cider and, oh yes, a chunk of bone missing from my mouth. The dentist was closed on Tuesday because it was January 1. On Wednesday they called and scheduled me for first thing in the morning on Thursday. But THEN we had an ice storm, and they cancelled all Thursday appointments, and I only got in Friday at noon. I went to work Wednesday and Thursday and had a noticeable lisp. I was literally talking to Jordan and said the word "piece" like this: pieth. I wish I were making this up. I even wish I were lying a little bit to exaggerate and make this funnier. I AM NOT. It's all true.

I'm still traumatized and halfway convinced the rest of my teeth are going to fall out at any moment. It didn't help that sinus pressure from my cold is making all my teeth uber sensitive and achy. I keep dreaming about losing my teeth and blowing my nose for hours, except that last part is happening in real life. I probably won't be able to bite into an apple ever again, and I've been cutting my food into smaller pieces than the ones I give J.

This past week both Jordan and I have had the most miserable colds. I fell asleep with R every night at 8:30, and nothing whatsoever got done. On Thursday I went home early from work and took a nap all afternoon after stopping at Panera for soup. By Friday I was finally feeling better, but I'll just say it's a good thing I didn't make any 2019 resolutions because I would have broken them all already. Unless one of my resolutions was to eat ice cream every day, because I finally found a store selling Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip, and I bought some immediately. At least one thing is going right this year.

Saturday morning was cold and rainy, and R for some reason really wanted to go outside. She kept saying, "We just need to get our coats on and my rain boots and a hat. There is rain out there." I told her she was welcome to go, but I was staying inside, but then J saw R through the window and started freaking out (he loves being outside), so we all got bundled up. Both the kids loved it, and I have no idea why, but I decided to make the most of it and got out my good camera to take some pictures.
I hate that my first blog post of 2019 is basically me complaining about life, but it just hasn't been the greatest of starts to the new year, and I can't blog about anything else until I boldly proclaim my sorrows and share them with strangers on the internet. This is life as a millennial. I'm living the dream, people!

The new year is a time of reflection and setting goals for the year to come, and I'm probably slash definitely being way too hard on myself and overthinking this a lot, but for some reason this year I just feel bummed when I look back and see that old me is still the current me, and really I don't feel that I've improved much at all. There's nothing magical about January 1, but I still can't help but feel like something should be different or better, and then when it isn't I'm sad. Does that make any sense at all to anyone else?
Anyway, enough about that. I do truly hope your 2019 has gotten off to a better start than mine. It's not all that bad anyway, just life sometimes. I'm hoping this week we can finally start to get into a routine again after the holidays. I took down all the Christmas decorations, but we still have the tree up and lights on our house. I won't tell you whose job that is, but whoever he is better get on it.

I have really slowed down with blogging over the past 2 years, and 2018 was my lowest number of blog posts yet. I don't know what to say about that other than I write when I feel like I have something to say and when I want to choose to blog over something else in my spare time. That isn't as often as it once was, since these days there are a lot of things I like to do and many things I need to do, and there are only so many hours in which to do them.

I do think my next post will be 2018 Year in Numbers, because I've been doing those for the past few years and think it's so interesting to compare year to year, so check back for that!
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