Thursday, November 14, 2019

19 for 2019 update

I was curious, so I looked...overall doing pretty well and looking forward to 20 for 20!

1. Compost. We've been doing this all year. Its cut down on our trash for sure. 

2. Get glasses Done. Next up: "remember to wear glasses" 

3. Use Instant Pot I use it pretty regularly. Not weekly, but definitely once/month. 

4. Laser bikini/legs Need to schedule my next appointment actually. 

5. Find a therapist Been going for a few months now and its very helpful overall

6. Reach xxx weight (i.e. jeans fit comfortably) Hahahah. work in progress. 

7. Read War and Peace. NO, I have no idea why I wanted to do this and not planning on it...

8. Drive our car once/month. Now that I drive for work twice/month I'll consider this goal met. 

9. Renew passports & get TSA precheck No! Have to get on this!!!

10. Try going without housecleaner X 6 months 11 months later I'm looking for a new one

11. One-on-one dates with kids once/season Did not do this at ALL this year. 

12. Date nights out twice/month Most months.

13. Go to play on Broadway with friends We saw "To Kill a Mockingbird" in May. It was great.

14. Go to the beach 2 day trips in September

15. Plan a holiday/winter trip somewhere warm We decided against this one to save up for next summer.

16. Camping with the dog Once in July and going again this month.

17. Summer road trip somewhere cool Our camping trip counted for this

18. Host brunch 3 times with different groups of friends. We try to do this regularly. Its fun and low-key

19. Submit 2 big grants Decided against this to focus on papers. Next year.

13 completed, 2 I am trying do to before the end of the year (lose weight/TSA pre-check) and 4 I abandoned (War & Peace, kid dates, grants, and winter trip). I'm actually pretty happy with the progress!

Monday, November 11, 2019


The happiness was short lived. Wednesday the NEW babysitter texted that her "other job" fell through and she can't commit to working part time for us without something else in the mix so she's looking for full time work. She did agree to cover the next 2 weeks and I am very very very grateful even though UGH.

So now we are going back to the drawing board. I have someone great (a friend's morning sitter) who is available MWF but...I need T/Th covered. We could send them to the karate studio but OMG they hate it there. Another girl who I didn't get around to interviewing last round is coming this evening. She's a college student in her senior year so hopefully won't need to leave for full time work, but I worry about reliability with the younguns.

The talk on Thursday was...OK. I dunno. Maybe not the right group for the subject? It was at 2 pm and 3 people were noticeably a group of about 15. Others were interested & asking questions but the 3 sleepyheads were really demoralizing. I then had a very quick meeting with a faculty member in the group (one of the sleepers) who had to leave in 15 minutes to pick up his kid but even THEN it was hard to fill the time because we literally had NOTHING in common with our professional interests so I just kept asking him questions about his research. And I got what seemed like the last seat on the crowded train and came home to pouring rain and blah.

This weekend I was on call. It...went. It was really busy and there were some complex patients and sad stories. I was mentally/emotionally/physically drained when I got home and NOT in the mood to deal with the moods of the children/husband. And there were MOODS. Apparently the kids misbehaved Sunday on errands and G yelled at them and took away treats/screen time and nobody was talking to each other when I got home. Sigh.

I did manage to get up early to work out both days which was honestly the best part of each day. And going to bed early. So at least there was that.

I'm still on consults all week but there are some breaks in the day (like...right now). And I'm NOT on call tonight (though back on T-Th) so I'm definitely planning on a glass of wine or two tonight. More later on: my 19 for 19 list and goals for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Happy Day

I'm writing this from a neighborhood cafe, where I came to get some work done while the sitter is hanging out with the boys. They had the day off school and I was originally planning to take the day completely off but panicked when I got behind last week and scheduled him to come for 6 hours.

But I spent 6 hours Saturday working on my talk was pretty much done. I polished it up a bit (I need to practice it tonight or tomorrow), and did a few more nagging things and...its 3 pm and I'm taking a little break and will start outlining my next paper since I've got another couple hours of paid childcare.

Maybe its the time change? But yesterday and today I felt great, lots of energy and motivation to get &*( done. This morning I did my work out (BB extreme, ABC---abs/butt/core, I love this one), took the kids with me to the store for a couple things we needed (and picked up litter on the way home), and made a nice Africa peanut stew for our dinner (I made it vegan but also cooked up chicken & added it to half of the stew so that kids will---hopefully-- eat it). I played 3 games of chess with B (he won 2/3) and had a snack and then it was time for work. I could get used to a day like this :)

I really am trying to enjoy it while I can because call starts Friday night (after a FULL day of clinic, no less) and its going to be a long weekend/week before I can relax again.

Friday, November 1, 2019


Well, I didn't get much work done this week but I hired a babysitter. We met her yesterday, and while I was going to meet 2 more people this weekend, one already canceled and I got nervous, and she seemed great so I snapped her up before someone else did!

I am feeling incredibly relieved right now, and looking forward to finishing up here and going home for pizza/movie/wine night.

I will have to work this weekend, since I'm giving a talk next week that I have not even started preparing. But we have a family bike ride with my cousin, and a date night planned Saturday as well.
Also the incessant drizzle finally moved on, and its crisp and cool and sunny, which always cheers me up (it was nearly 80 degrees yesterday, the kids were broiling in their halloween costumes!)

I did NOT go trick or treating, so I owe one to G for going out for HOURS with the boys. I sat on the stoop to hand out candy for a little while but got bored since not too many people came by, so I just put a big bin of it outside (people don't really knock in our neighborhood, people just hang out outside and its usually really fun, but it was sparse this year).

G and I need a new TV show to watch together that is on Hulu or Amazon (we temporarily got rid of Netflix and HBO), any recs? I love when we have a show we look forward to watching a few times a week and we haven't done that since we watched Chernobyl this summer.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Uncertainty/Change and needing support

So, for those who've been keeping up, we decided to hire an after school sitter this year, and its been working out fantastic! He brings them home, supervises homework, takes them to activities, and is really good at keeping them active with park trips, bike rides, and indoor activities on the rainy days. Many of our friends have met him and say he's awesome and my kids straight up love him.

Literally after I wrote yesterday's post, I got an email from him giving me 2 weeks notice. He had been working for us in addition to another park time job. That job was ending and he landed a full time gig. Which makes total sense! He can't live off our 15 hours/week. But damn, now I have to find someone new.

And thus, my panic spiral began, as I called after care places near by to hear they have a waitlist, and placed an ad that no one was responding to hour after hour and I looked at my schedule trying to figure out how I would cover the FOUR half days this month even if they could stay at the school's after care on the other days.

Literally my whole day began to revolve around alternatively taking action to deal with this logistical issue and fretting about "what if" it didn't work out. And all I got from G was a text back "oh no, that sucks". And later that evening when I mentioned how stressed I was we made a generic remark like "Uncertainty is just part of life, its just a matter of dealing with it productively".

Turns out (shocking!) I really needed someone to commiserate with me, and tell me it was OK, and maybe offer to help? But I didn't realize it at the time and I got snippy and had a headache and went to bed early.  When I thought about it this morning, I realized that maybe I did the same thing a couple weeks ago while G worked on a home repair issue that was stressful and $$$ and involved a lot of time and coordinating on his part. I got to keep working and say "oh no, that sucks" while he spent hours calling plumbers, and the insurance, and then going home when they came to see the issue. Maybe he needed something more from me? Its great to have that division of labor so no one person is overwhelmed, but in a marriage, we probably do owe each other a little more than "sucks to be you, good luck with that", right?

My therapist says that was very astute of me, and I need to talk to him about it, so that we can work on being more supportive of each other while we deal with stress & uncertainty. On the one hand, sure, healthy relationships do require communication. On the other hand, ugh. That is NOT our strong suit as a couple (you may ask us what IS our strong suit and I...have no answer for you).

Anyways, just venting I guess. And I've got 4 phone interviews lined up in the next 2 days with promising candidates who did eventually respond to my ad. My new goal is to find someone good---but also just a bit cheaper so we can hire a housecleaner again because I'm over it.

Monday, October 28, 2019


Pretty good weekend, though I was extremely tired all day Saturday because G and I were out late Friday and had to wake up extra early to volunteer at our school fundraiser 5K.

Come From Away was AWESOME. I loved it, highly recommend. G also loved it, and he's not really the musical theater type. The show was much shorter than I had planned (only one act, no intermission) so instead of going home and getting to sleep, we went to a nearby bar for a couple of drinks and hence, the late night.

All 3 boys ran the 5K, I was very proud of L, who had signed up for the kids run (one loop, about 1.5 miles) but ran the longer distance. And I helped keep cars off the course and cheered on everyone. I love this annual event, people run in costumes which is great, and its just a fun neighborhood feel-good vibe.

It was a beautiful day, so we took advantage and took the dog to a nearby state park for a hike, and then lunch (and some delicious pumpkin beer) at a brewery. After that I was SPENT and laid in bed for a while and then laid on the couch while we watched a movie. I can't believe one night short of sleep knocked me out that much, but there you have it.

I slept for many hours and Sunday felt much better. It was a rainy stay-at-home day and we organized physically and logistically, cooked & cleaned, and painted pumpkins! Halloween is almost certainly going to be rainy this year, which is a real bummer. I may stay home and hand out candy, I don't really feel like dressing up and walking around with a rain poncho and umbrella. The boys chose Marvel Avengers as their theme, L will be Captain America and B will be Thor. G got an eye patch for Nick Fury. They want me to go as Black Widow but I'm not super into the idea of wearing skin tight clothing right now. There is nothing in the world that would keep the kids from their trick-or-treating, so I'm hoping G will go with them so I can chill.

This week is less clinic-heavy, so I've got a LOT of writing and analyzing to do. If only I was feeling focused. Monday mornings are hard.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Better Than The Alternative?

Turns out I have osteoarthritis in my thumb. I though I had just "hurt something" but eventually got an Xray since its been going on for months and there it is. Osteophytes. So its only going to get worse over time and I have to go back to texting with my index finger like an old lady.

Which I apparently am because I think I'm in (peri?)menopause! I stopped my hormonal BC this July and have not had a real period since. My other thought is that my rather mild (discovered during IF workup) PCOS has worsened with my recent weight gain. So I'm going to start with trying to losing said weight, and see if my period returns. By then it'll time for my annual exam and I can ask for labs.

Which leads me back to therapy, and how I deal with my emotions with food & alcohol and that I need to get more comfortable with discomfort so that I can break those patterns and move on. I'm frustrated that I haven't figured this out by now, but turns out I wasn't taught a damn thing about dealing with emotions as a child, so here I am. The goal is to put some space between my feelings and my immediate need to make them go away. So that I can figure out what it is I really need. Which probably isn't more chips or wine.

I did a BeachBody workout this morning after more than a week off and it was a struggle! I also did push ups for the first time in a couple months (I was trying to keep pressure off my achy shoulder) and I could barely do 10 on my toes. Welp. It sucks that my hard-earned strength is so easily lost but I'm going to commit to doing this exact workout (21 day fix, upper fix) once/week so I can build back up.

On a positive note, we (the whole fam) went and saw Hamilton this weekend and it was amazing! G & I saw it in NY last year but we decided to take the kids, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they behaved & how much they enjoyed it (after last year's Lion King fiasco). B was rapt the entire time, and is begging to go back one day. L got really squirmy and said it was "great...but too long" and I had a lot of stress trying to keep him from accidentally kicking the seat of the guy in front of us who kept turning around & admonishing him during the first act. Maybe because of that, but I enjoyed the second half much more this time. So many tears.

The first show of our Broadway subscription is this week, too, and I'm really excited to see Come From Away with G. Though I'm taking the train back into town from a meeting and will barely be able to drop my stuff off and grab a slice of pizza before we have to be at the theater. I love theater.

Last but not least---I got myself out of a reading rut with 2 enjoyable books this week. I read "The Other Americans" by Leila Lamini. It was sad, and quiet, had a bit of drama/tension, and touched on a lot of tough topics in a very gentle not-in-your-face way. It was a short read, and the character development wasn't as deep, unfortunately. I'm still not sure if I like any of the characters, but maybe that's the point? I'd like to read more by her.

The second was pure fluff teenage romance---"What If its Us" by Becky Albertalli (of "Simon vs...") and Adam Silvera (who is new to me). "Simon" is one of my favorite books ever, and this had a similar vibe. Like Dawson's Creek in written form, the characters are so precocious and self-aware for their age! But the romance was beautiful, I'm a sucker for "first love" stories. It reminded me a lot of "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell. I stayed up way too late Sunday night with this one, because it just made me happy to keep reading.

Now I have no e-books left for a bit, so I'll actually have to pick up a real book & turn my own pages like a sucker. The next e-book up on my Overdrive holds list is still 2 weeks away. (#librarypeopleproblems)