Tag Archives: You

Five Things For 2015

January 6, 2015

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Every year I promise not to make any New Year’s resolutions, and every year I do it anyways. A hopeless romantic for new beginnings. (And maybe a bit of a narcissist, too).

A few things I’d like to do more of in 2015 ->

1) More clean eating. I am not a health expert and this is not a food/diet/weight/whole30 blog–but I would like to eat a few less processed foods and few more fruits and veggies every day. So far I’ve bought coconut oil and almond butter and am giving kale a 52nd chance. I like these recipes and this food mantra.

2) More day trips. Austin and I took a fun day trip to DC last weekend, reminding me how many places and things to do are accessible within hours from our home. I like this roadtrip site and this travel mantra.

3) More books. Roaming the library to find good books was fun 3.5 years ago. Now it is almost impossible with two small children trying to ruin the librarian’s day. I still haven’t given in to screen reading (yes, I know I’d love the kindle), so I either order my books on Amazon or request a dozen books from the library and pick them up when they’re ready. All my favorite books here and a few book reviews here.

4) More podcasts. One of my favorite things to do last year was listen to podcasts because I get so much done. A few months ago, I started the ever popular Serial podcast six episodes behind and caught up in one day while scrubbing the kitchen, organizing closets, and folding mounds of laundry. Now I won’t touch the dishes unless I have something to listen to. Other favorite podcasts are Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin and Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

5) More planned events. Guess what? We are doing a free trial of Netflix DVDs for a month (usually only do streaming). Do you want to come over and watch a movie? So far we’ve watched Her, some long Hobbit movie, and The Fault In Our Stars. One of them was good. Or we could watch the Golden Globes together. Tina! Amy! I’ll make margaritas! Oh and Valentine’s Day is coming up. Or more importantly, Galentines Day is coming up. Let’s plan a party! Make our own invitations! Cut out tiny paper hearts while binge watching Girls! Or we could meet at the park. Take the kids to the zoo. Someone must be having a birthday, right? Let’s find a babysitter and go out for tapas! Or plan a dinner date just to talk about Serial. Let’s put something on the calendar because if we don’t, I will sit here every night with one eye on a book and one eye on Friends and never, ever get up off the couch.

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What do you want more of this year?

The Social Media Mom (But Seriously, What Sippy Cup?)

November 25, 2014

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When you have spawn, especially young spawn, there are so many boring questions to answer. Like, are these pajamas warm enough? Should we try feeding her sweet potatoes again? Does my toddler think Daniel Tiger’s mom is nicer than me?

The problem is that even when the questions are boring and we know it doesn’t really matter–it’s easy to obsess over the answer. Analyze it from all angles. Turn sexy pillow talk into a 45 minute discussion on cold medicine.

And then every once in a while, desperation strikes and we turn into social media momsters.

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It is so embarrassing.

Last month I spent innumerable hours of my precious time thinking about the do’s and don’ts of pacifiers. Should I let her have them out of her bed? What about the car? Am I giving her a tooth gap? WILL SHE STILL NEED A PACIFIER IN HIGH SCHOOL.

I could have been watching The Mindy Project.

As far as sippy cups go, I am sadly serious.

We skipped sippy cups with Waylon. He went straight from the breast to regular cups and water bottles and we never looked back. It was glorious.

This time around, we have a bottle fed baby who apparently needs a transition. Of course we’d love to bottle feed her like a baby lamb until forever, but I’m trying to be realistic.

So far we have these guys and this one too. I know nothing. Any to recommend?

Are you ever that social media mom?

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How Do You Travel?

June 19, 2014

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There are a lot of ways to travel. Everyone has their own idea of what “good” travel means.

I have friends who will only vacation within the 50 states and others who prefer to travel internationally. I have friends who love cruises and all-inclusive resorts and others who hate them. I have one beautiful friend who says things like, “I will never, ever go to Disney World. It is so commercial and gross.” And I have another beautiful friend who would have gotten married there given the choice.

Some dream of backpacking though Europe. Others fantasize about visiting the Grand Canyon.

Many of us dream of both.

I know a lot of you love camping. Do you know what I love? Not camping.

I do believe there is a difference between travel versus vacation. The purpose of traveling being to explore and learn, the purpose of vacation to relax and pass the margarita.

I like to categorize “leaving the house for an extended period of time” into four categories:

1) Travel
2) Travel With Kids (or “Parenting In A Different Location”)
3) Vacation
4) Vacation With Kids (see #2)

Some of our ideas about traveling is influenced by our age. A new study shows millennials are more inclined to travel abroad, foregoing standard vacations in favor of extended, meaningful experiences.

Which is all lovely and nice as long as we’re not being asshats about it.

I remember a few years ago someone was talking about wanting to go to Italy and I felt that feeling in the pit of my stomach when you really want to contribute to the conversation but you don’t want to be the white-girl humblebragging about her white-girl education trips to Europe. So I kept my mouth shut. The truth is that no one cares if you’ve been to Italy unless they’ve also been to Italy or are planning to go to Italy and are wondering if they should exchange any money. I am telling you this out of love, because I’ve been there. I’ve taken incredible trips and seen incredible things and had to face the devastating reality that no one gives a shit.

I know it hurts. Console yourself with the fact that you have been to Italy.

Austin and I have some different ideas of what it means to go away, which can make things a bit laborious. This summer our only plans to go away include a beach trip to Delaware with our kids and my parents because vacation (or “parenting in a different location”) is really only a vacation if you have help. And that is the truth.

How do you like to travel?

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What About Video Games?

March 6, 2014

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A few weeks ago Austin looked over at me and asked if we’re going to let our kids have video games. The conversation followed its normal pattern when it comes to parenting decisions:

Me: What?
Austin: I said are we going to let our kids play video games?
Me: I don’t know. What do you think?
Austin: I don’t know. Probably?
Me: I was thinking probably not.
Austin: Okay so probably not?
Me: Well, maybe…

Of course this isn’t a problem now. Our toddler has no idea what Nintendo is and our infant has no idea what her hand is, but it won’t be long.

Here’s the thing about video games, they can be the worst! They are added screentime, added violence, added non-imaginative, non-active, non-real life play.

They can also be really, really fun.

My sister and I weren’t allowed to have video games until all of a sudden we were. It was a long battle, and then one week before Christmas in the late 90s, my sister and I found the pile of gifts in my parents’ bedroom closet and in it was a brand new Nintendo 64. We danced up and down the hallway for a half hour.

Admittedly our experience with video games was pretty mild. We were two girly girls playing girly girl games like Mario and Yoshi story and Chameleon Twist. We weren’t addicted or obsessed with it. There were no war or machine gun games. It was just another fun thing to do.

We played well together.

Having a son changes things.  The simulated graphic violence in many games terrifies me. I hear you say that they are okay and it’s not real life and that research shows it doesn’t make kids more violent, and that’s great! I am not parenting your children. I’m just worried about mine.

The tiger mom in me wants to draw a hard line. Throw up my hands and say absolutely not and go practice your violin insteadBut the truth is I know it’s not all bad. I know it can be fun and harmless and family friendly. I know you can monitor the content and how long they play and still have fun, competent, imaginative children. I know we’ll probably have some sort of not-murdery game eventually.

I also know this is a sensitive topic. Many of our spouses or children or nieces and nephews play Mortal Kombat and are fine.

I know we want to protect those we love.

This is a safe space. What are your thoughts on video games?

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What Are Your Technology Boundaries?

February 4, 2014

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Once upon a time there were no cell phones or ipads or wireless routers or smart TVs. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Pinterest, no blogs. When you sat down at the table to eat, no one was looking at their lap to see if someone liked their picture of mashed potatoes on Instagram.

In a general sense, no one was addicted to technology.

There is the school of thought that those times were better, simpler, easier. That our addictions to these things have made us robotic, cold, and fat. There is truth in that, of course. The problem with that theory is that throughout history, humans have always had addictions. In the 60s it was cigarettes and hating women. In the 80s it was tye dye. Each generation simply replaces old vices with new ones.

That being said, we have a real problem on our hands and everybody knows it. A week doesn’t go by without another news article or blog piece about technology, millennials, and our incessant need to be connected without actually being connected at all. It is important. It is accurate. It can also be a little boring.

Here is the truth: most of us know there is a problem. We know we spend too much time glued to the Internet. We know we invest too much self worth in our Facebook likes. We know we spend too much time on our phones making it look like we’re not on our phones. We know, we know, we know.

That is the good news. Admitting there is a problem is always the first step.

The bad news is that most of us don’t know how or want to fix it.

I am no sage when it comes to creating technology boundaries, but it is an interesting discussion. Recently I sat with a group of women and we talked honestly about our addictions to our phones and social media. We admitted to checking Facebook at red lights and liking Instagrams during dinner conversations. Some of us even admitted to ignoring phone calls because of course we’d rather text. Texting gives us control, personal space, the ability to think before responding.

It felt good to confess. It felt even better to think about the reasons behind our habits.

I admit I go through phases with my connectivity on and off the screen. In the winter I am much more attached to my phone. It is cold, we are stuck inside, my toddler is trying to pour iced tea in a sock. I need an escape.

It also depends on the day, on the hour, on whether or not everyone else is live tweeting the Oscars. A lot of it honestly depends on the weather.

I am also much more inclined to stay glued to my phone in a crowd. My fellow introverts will agree that checking your email is ten times easier than making small talk about the benefits of juicing with your cousin’s friend’s sister who has lost so much weight oh my gosh.

I have tried to set up some technology boundaries and stick to them. For example: Don’t take the phone to bed. Turn off the computer whenever guests are over. Don’t check Facebook on the weekends.

It has been slow going, but if there’s one thing I know about changing your habits, it is to avoid setting unrealistic goals. Cutting out all your carbs is the fastest way to gain 15 pounds. Been there.

The whole thing is a work in progress and always an interesting discussion, especially when it comes to kids. Do you know girls in middle school purposely unfollow or don’t “like” their friend’s instagram pictures to hurt them? (I know a few adults who do that too).

We live in an ever changing world. We can’t move backwards. Who would want to? (Unless you’re a white heterosexual male, the olden times are pretty grim). We can only move forward and hope to have enough self awareness to remember the importance of the real world.

What are your technology boundaries?

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This discussion inspired by my book club’s most recent read Alone Together.