Thursday, September 17, 2015


Dropped B off for his first day of KG this morning. I was shockingly near tears, as was G. He's gone to daycare every day for over 5 years, but this was different. They just---followed the teacher in all of a sudden and we didn't really get a goodbye. He's been so excited about for weeks now. All the teary parents were taken to the library for coffee and pastries and reassuring words from the administration. I know its going to be good but I'm worried about how he's adjusting. I initially thought I'd pick him up at dismissal but I also want to see how aftercare goes (see below) and we only have a few days this month, so I think I'll let him go and pick him up early-ish from there.  Poor L wanted to go to KG too and was being grumpy too.

Two of the moms I met at drop-off had negative reviews on the aftercare place I had chosen based on reviews by two other moms I met earlier in the year. It was about the director and how the place is run (slipshod). We'll see how it goes. Its not set in stone and we can always move him. They also recently expanded/moved so the overall director may not be the one in charge day-to-day of our location.
We're still trying to make use of some of our evenings while we still have light. I'll miss our city adventures when we have to start heading straight home because its dark & freezing. I need some ideas for things we can do at home that are not: dinner/nagging or chores.

So excited about seeing some really good friends next week. There is a crazy event happening in our city and everything is being shut down (including schools and even clinic) for several days so we decided to go visit my family. G & I are taking a road trip to visit a few friends in the middle, since 7 days in our small town with my parents & kids is really boring. On past visits I basically spent hours on end playing iphone games & internetting, so this will be an improvement.

Work. Ugh. Deadline coming up & can't concentrate. It will get done, it always does, right?

I'm going strong on my no-booze-at-home weekdays pact. its been about 6 weeks now! I don't even feel like a glass of wine. It helps that I've been really tired and just want to go to bed after I get the kids down (and they aren't down until 9ish).

I'm obsessed with the BuyNothing group on facebook. I've given a ton of stuff to someone that WANTS it (mostly kid stuff) and gotten some useful stuff, too (a box fan, kids books, pots for plants, colored pens for making lists/planning, an unopened brand new moisturizer, cleaning products). this involves making a post with a picture and then doing a little messaging to set up a pick up with the person who responds. The group is supposed to be "hyper-local" so its restricted to our immediate 'hood which makes the exchange easy to set up and is supposed to facilitate meeting & getting to know your neighbors. I actually met a couple that we are trying to get together with this weekend.

I also made $110 this week selling used baby stuff, and have a few more things up for grabs. If its in great condition and a big item, I just post it on the local moms group and see if I get hits. Most things sell quickly. I take any offer. You just write a post, no pictures necessary, so its easy. This money goes back into "kids, misc" category in our budget.

L has changed a LOT lately. His language has completely exploded but he still says some things adorably wrong. Like "gumbrella" or "for a lot of times" to mean "for a long time". He still uses "yesterday" to mean any time in the near or distant past and "tomorrow" to mean any time in the future. "Girl" is pronounced "guh-lurl". We saw our neighbor the other day and he just talked up a storm throwing out his entire life story "I get pizza and movie day at school on Fridays and my favorite movie is Lego Movie, no Toy Story, no Lion King, and I do swimming again on Saturday but last Saturday daddy brought B's swimming suit and it was too big and my birfday is OCTOBER FIFTH but its Monday so we are celebrating on Saturday or Sunday if it rains".

We've planned L's party and already got stuff together. for once, we are ON IT. Superhero party at the park. I got capes from Etsy for each kid. This part was pricey, I got $120 worth of capes ($6 a pop) but a much better favor than cheap dollar store crap. G designed these awesome invites (cartoon L in a batman cape with his signature lumpy socks & gray shoes) & had them printed & cut them himself. Gave them out today. We got rings to put on cupcakes we'll get from a grocery store, and pick up pizzas. Yay! I wish both boys had warm(ish) weather birthdays so we could just do this for every party.

Nine months into my clothes/shoes shopping ban, I am actually wanting to buy something new. I really want these boots for winter---they would transition from outdoor to indoor instead of wearing my ugly snow boots & having to bring nicer shoes for work:

I also suddenly need new sports bras (I feel bouncy when I run/jump) and have needed regular bras for years.  My drawer has a mishmash of bras 5-15 years old in sizes 32A (actually just threw these out, from med school marathon running days) to 36E (pregnancy). I assume my current size is somewhere in between (34B or C?) and only have a few left in this size.

I don't know where to get sports bras. The ones I have right now are random brands from Target that worked perfectly for about 3 years and now feel stretched out. I bought a new one from Old Navy that just isn't as supportive as I need.

I also would love some cute tops for weekend-wear. I've got tons of work-appropriate stuff & a few hang out at home tops but not much that is fun/cute for dates or outings. 

What's going on with you guys? If you are average in the chest area & run/work-out, where have you gotten the best value (best quality for the price) sports bras?

Friday, September 4, 2015


Our kids have been obsessed with watermelon this summer. We've bought one practically every week started  July 1st. Lately it feels like each weekly watermelon may be the last. We've spent many evenings sitting on the front steps,  big juicy slices in hand, letting the juice drip down our chins. Watermelon, ripe juicy peaches, popsicles, ice cream...its like summer is made for sweet drippy yumminess. And we've been taking big bites, ignoring the mess and the heat.

Even I've been digging in. Despite my tendency to want to eat my watermelon in small neat cubes with a fork, I decided the last few weeks to just dive into summer.  We're in vacation mode. I'm trying so hard, and sometimes succeeding, at turning off that constant clock in my head.

We've had lots of late nights. City adventures. "Dinner" consisting of  bars found in the bottom of bags, street-vendor soft pretzels, and ice cream.   Last week we had the amusement park field trip, a library trip, picnic in the park, and a splash park. This week L and I went to one park while G & B ended up at city hall with happy hour (for him) and a water sculpture/splash play (for B). L was jealous so we went back last night, and G & I had drinks while the boys ran through the fountain, split a huge sandwich, and ran around some more until the sun came down (so early! its happening already...). Then we went home & ate ice cream.

I loved this post, about a different kind of summer. I feel like we are on the cusp of this. Things are just a tiny bit easier. I see the possibility of the next few years ahead of us and simultaneously see the loss coming soon after.

The kids have a 4 day weekend. G & the boys are on some adventures right now, while I'm at work. Tomorrow we take an overnight trip to TheBigCity. We're taking a bus there late-morning, staying with G's cousins, and bus back Sunday evening. I don't want to worry about time, money, or food while we're there. I want to enjoy our last days of summer, before we jump into B's kindergarden and my grand deadlines and the ever shorter and chillier days.

The berry season, the watermelon season, the summer of parenting...its all so short.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Little Miss Perfect?

I never considered myself a perfectionist. I am the queen of "good enough" when it comes to work products, house cleaning, etc... (ask  my husband). I'll put in the 50% of the work to get to 90% done quickly, maybe add another 5% (if I have time) and move on. Some call it half-assedness.  I call it efficiency. Its how I get everything done and still have time for my family, exercise, hobbies, and sleep.

My therapist disagrees and thinks I do indeed hold myself to very high standards and get anxious at my inability to meet them. I was skeptical for a while. But thinking through how weird I've gotten with the budget thing...which by the way is exactly how I got weird with the calorie counting thing...which is similar to recurring patterns of similar behavior throughout my life...I had a thought.

I don't know if its called "perfectionism" or something else, but its about control. When other things in my life get out of control, I seize on small areas that I can manipulate. And I get a lot of satisfaction from "winning" at these things. Staying in my calorie count, saving $100 off my grocery bill, logging 20K steps a day...little boost to self-esteem that helps motivate me in meeting bigger goals.

There is a huge undercurrent of stress in my professional life right now, with uncertain funding, and papers rejected, and experiments disproving hypotheses. I'm not sure what's going to happen to me next July when my current funding runs out. I don't actually want to talk about this, but its a background. This situation is in many ways out of my control. Yes, I'm trying to write grants, papers, modify experiments, find new areas to focus on...but whether or not its going to work? I can't say with any certainty. I recall feeling this way during our infertility and way before that when all (I mean ALL) my friends were pairing up and I wondered if I'd ever meet a partner or be the 5th (7th, 9th, 11th, 19th...seriously ALL my friends) wheel forever. 

So I turn back to the things that I can modify. And when it works---when I'm meeting my standards of frugality or nutrition or fitness, I feel good about myself & can translate that into productivity and creative thinking. But when it backfires---when I slip up and eat something "bad" (ugh) or my pants are tight or we go over budget---I feel deflated, unworthy, like a failure. And THAT translates to wanting to give up, what's the point, I'm never going to succeed, etc...

Areas that I think I tend towards this perfectionism/control include but are not limited to: money, food, fitness, body image (I could write a whole post about this, I thought I was over it but I'm decidedly not), parenting (not yelling, feeding healthy foods, no screen time, planning activities, etc...) and even my attitude (this is the one my therapist picked up on---I get down on myself for being negative/ungrateful/pessimistic/etc...). I rotate through one or two of these and get really hung up on them for a while, and then I get exhausted, give up, and move on through the cycle.

I like holding myself to high standards---it motivates me to improve--but I also realize that I need to keep things in perspective. Spending $50 more on a self-imposed budget shouldn't lead to self-flagellation (or worse, husband-abuse) nor should 200 extra calories. My kids get over it if I yell at them, and an extra movie or ice cream won't doom them to childhood obesity. And my body...well, absent some serious plastic surgery, the wrinkly belly pooch is here to stay.

Is this really perfectionism or something else? Isn't it normal? If not, is the answer something sappy like "be kind to myself" or "give myself grace" (ugh).