Thursday, January 18, 2018

Snow Day Part Deux

Yep, 4 inches shuts this place down for a while.  In my effort to streamline by adding an inclement weather policy, I only saw the one obvious downside (no money).  I failed to account for the fact that the other kiddos by their simple presence entertains my child for a healthy part of the day.  So we were now on day 2 of mommy as primary source of entertainment.

The day started out well.  After she played with her toys for a while I busted out some Pinterest inspired sensory and motor skills activities:




This kept her entertained for a while, but then I had to do some schoolwork so had to improvise which led to the non-Pinteresty "Post it note pull down"  and "Shoelace slurp".

  

Thank goodness her jogging stroller is amazing and made it over the snow and ice that continues to linger in our hood so we made it out of the house later in the day for walk.  After a walk, some books, and some songs things kinda took a nose dive from there...



Tomorrow schools are closed again, but it supposed to warm up.  We are blowing this popsicle stand for sure!!!





Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow Day!

Snow days have a new connotation now that I work with people who are not affiliated with schools.  I had one kiddo today and another family made an attempt but couldn't get out of their hilly neighborhood.   Four inches of snow is a big deal in these parts! 

As a result of today's events I have created a child care policy that aligns me with the local school district.  If they are delayed, I delay opening.  If they are closed, I am closed.  Half of my families do work with the school district and one of the others have school aged kids as well so instead of living in a "Who's going to show up?" mindset, I have decided to make it clear.  Our school district is huge though which means that sometimes they close and our part of the world is absolutely fine so I may end up modifying later, but for now I have a game plan.

We took Isabella out in the snow and she was pretty not impressed.  She especially did not like it when we gave her a taste.  Frozen flip flop ice cube things?  Yes!  Frozen washcloth?  Yes!  Snow?  "That is where I draw the line, mommy and daddy!"

We had no sled and the good hill is a fair hike away so we will save that experience for when she is older.  That means we got to spend most of the snow day from my favorite vantage point--inside:).









Sunday, January 14, 2018

Couch Dates

Other then our gym "dates", J.T. and I went out on two actual dates since Isabella was born.  Both in December.

For a little while at the end of the summer we made an attempt to do regular couch dates.  Now these couch dates were not code for "Netflix and Chill", rather it was an attempt to spend time together and actually talk which not surprisingly became tricker once you add J.T.'s new job, plus my night classes, plus Isabella's arrival.  Also, currently our babysitting budget is being zapped up by going to the gym and the hour between when I leave for class and JT is done with work so going out is not generally an option, so we landed on the Couch Date concept.

Our intentions were good, but our follow through was weak. 

It ended up becoming a:

"What do you want to do?"

"I don't know...what do you want to do."

Cue one or both of us randomly searching ideas for couch dates and tossing out ideas which may or may not have been met with much enthusiasm and our enthusiasm waned rather quickly.

So in 2018 we are attempting to resume our couch dates; however, after exhausting our go to last Saturday night (playing a game) I found an idea to streamline the process.    The Date Night Jar.


Last week I ordered the craft sticks via Amazon prime (still waiting on the jar) and last night's date night consisted of us filling out the sticks for future list.  The rule starting next Saturday is whatever is selected we must do.  We also went ahead and ordered any of the necessary items (for example a Star Wars model and puzzle to put together) right then from Amazon.  

I like that we already have things set and also, as lame as it is, like the mystery/surprise element.  Looking forward to next week's date...wonder what it will be?



Saturday, January 13, 2018

9 Months



"This is my supermodel pouty face"


"Or I can dance for you"


"Come on up puppies"


"Don't mind if we do!"

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Oops

You know how new parents in a fog of activity and sleep interruptions/deprivation make minor error in judgement.   You know like forgetting return the video to the RedBox or failing to pay a bill.  Well I think I may just committed my biggest new parent induced oops yet.

I took four classes last semester and made it out alive by the skin of my teeth.  At least that is how it felt. 

So this semester I was looking forward to only taking three classes along with my comprehensive exam (comps).  A classmate who is trying to complete the program in the same timeframe told me that her advisor suggested taking a required course called "Dissertation Proposal" along with comps.  I had it slated for next Fall, but figured I guess I should follow the advice and signed myself up.  I guess I didn't give much though to what a dissertation proposal WAS.  I assumed it was some kind of outline or extended abstract.  Assumed is such a dangerous word!

After attending class tonight I learned that Dissertation Proposal means drafting the first 3 CHAPTERS of your actual dissertation.  Cue nervous laughter and heart palpitations.

So the lightened load I dreamed about last semester suddenly just got a pretty health dose of reality and it ain't pretty.  In looking at the up side- one of my courses is an independent study for which I am writing a literature review so I will attempt to write it in a way so that it can stand in for or possibly even serve as chapter 2 of my dissertation.  Other than that I got nothing in the way of positive prospects.

Is it May, yet?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Weekly Home Blessing...with Robots


Now that there is less stuff up in this place, I can focus keeping it clean and tidy.  In November I restarted my attempts at using the FlyLady system of home organization/cleaning.  However, in retrospect instead of reading all the words and following the advice that was being offered I wound up trying to do it MY way.   This turned into basically an iteration of what I had been doing that WASN'T work-ugh.

So this time I downloaded the app and am trying it just the way it is written-what a novel concept!

Already I am feeling better.  Time wise I feel like it is a wash, but productivity wise and sense of accomplishment wise (which is surprisingly important) is infinitely improved.

Instead of doing a thorough cleaning of a room each day, I am now doing a "one hour" home blessing one day a week:


The robots help keep the actual work to under an hour.  Robots you say?  Yes, robots.  When we were both working J.T. was responsible for the floors.  This led to him ordering a Roomba and Braava.  



For some reason, I was hesitant to use them.  I guess I felt like if I didn't do the floors "the old-fashioned way",  I wasn't doing them right.  However, that led to my not doing them sooo... robots it is!

Then for 15 minutes a day I do deeper cleaning in the assigned "zone".  There a list of chores and I just set a timer and get done what I can in that 15 minutes.  I may have to do 3 five minute spurts depending on the babies, but only time will tell!

I think the problem with the one room a day thing was that the house never FELT clean.  By the time I got to the last room, it was time to clean the first one again.  There is a lot of be said for the feeling of accomplishment along with the contentment a basically clean house can bring.



Thursday, January 4, 2018

Life Savers

There are two carryovers from 2017 that I will be bringing into my new streamlined 2018: 

Alexa and Amazon Prime.

I have always been a fan of two-day delivery Amazon Prime provides, but over the last 9 months it has been essential.  I may not always get the best deals, but on the days when I have kids all day and class at night and the chances of getting to the store in the near future is nil all I have to do is place an order with prime and I have it in 2 days.  It was particularly helpful during my recent organizational frenzy. 

For instance I have been moving around a stack of race bibs and medals for going on two years now because I envisioned making a DIY display.  Well clearly that wasn't EVER going to happen, so when I was cleaning out my desk a searched amazon and found a cute binder designed to display them.  Bam, ordered it.  I also have some memorabilia such as ultrasound pics, our hospital bracelets, baby shower invite, baby hat, etc. that I had been meaning to frame or put into a shadow box.  Bam, ordered one.

I heart Amazon Prime.  Along, the same vein I heart Alexa.

I ordered Alexa somewhat on a whim last summer during their Amazon Prime Day in July.  It was half off and I figured "What the heck.  It may be useful since my hands will be full a lot.".  It has been more than useful, it has been amazing!

The love affair began with the music.  From anywhere in our downstairs and even from the top of the stairs I can play any song I want.  When the babies were tiny it allowed my to play white noise, ocean waves or other calming tunes without moving from my spot.  It also allowed me to hold "circle time" by just calling out the names of songs I thought the kids would like.  If it wasn't for "Alexa, what's the news?", I would have spent most of last fall in the dark regarding current events.  She has also saved my sanity by allowing me to randomly call out things for our shopping list as the need arises "Alexa, add diapers to the shopping list!" as I am changing Isabella or "Alexa, add cooking spray to shopping list," as I am making dinner.

Over time I realized she would give me reminders if I set them and gives me notification so I know whether to go to the door when someone knocks or if it's just a package being delivered.

I use Alexa with such frequency that when I say "Alexa", Isabella immediately looks over the counter where she is kept.  Actually, that may be a sign I need to use Alexa a bit less.  But I don't see that happening anytime soon...