Thursday, December 20, 2018


Well, 2018 was not the best year of blogging, but I love this questions recap that Lisa and Amber did, so I'm going to join in!

1. What did you do on your birthday?
I had a great birthday this year. On the day of my sister babysat Jack for a bit while I went and browsed at a local bookstore and then bought myself a cake :) I celebrated that night with family and then the next morning we went to the Cape. We ended up with beautiful weather and went over on a boat to Martha's Vineyard for the day. At night, my parents babysit where Eric and I went to the restaurant we had our rehearsal dinner. It was such a great few day celebration and probably more than I deserved for 34 ;)

2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why?
So many great memories from this year! We had a goal to do 1 Eric and Kelly date and 1 "family date" per month- a lot of these stand out in my mind as happy memories, especially more than one family walk around Walden Pond. I also have mostly good memories of spending days with the boys, especially our fun Spanish class we took. Max doesn't remember much but Jack still says "adios!" when saying "bye" to toys or other things (we say "adios shower!" when it's time to get out). I loved doing jogging stroller runs with Jack, chatting on Marco Polo, somehow attempting to have my kids not kill each other on the days they were both home (well, maybe those aren't happy memories). In the summer, we enjoyed Caroline's wedding- both kids made it down the aisle which was a major accomplishment and I survived giving a speech. Eric and I took an amazing trip to Bermuda that was the best "last hurrah" ever before I went back to work. I have strong memories of the transition back to work- it was great to feel productive again and see my work friends. It was hard to leave Jack and transition him to school. The second half of the year was more of a blur, but it was fun to see both boys enjoying school. We had a fun trip to New Hampshire and Santa's Village. We loved seeing Santa come by fire truck, getting our tree etc. The boys got a new cousin in September. It was fun to see their reactions to a new baby in the family. Jack loves him so much as long as his mummy is not holding him LOL. 

There were some hard times too. Toddler tantrums. Preschool attitude. Just being dang exhausted of children sometimes. Of logistics and being in charge of everything. But, like most times, these don't stand out as much when I look back on the year. 

3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
I think I'm going to beat my previous number of books read. That counts, right? I went to Bermuda, never been there before. In Bermuda I rode on the back of a motorcycle and went scuba diving. I've done both before but not in years. I survived working full time with 2 children. I also survived my entire family getting the stomach bug at once, that had never happened before... hope it never does again, lol. 

4. What did you want and get?
I wanted lots of time with my little family this year, I got that for sure. I wanted more time with just Eric and I, I got that. I wanted to work out consistently and I did that, though it was still far less than before I had kids. I wanted to make time for reading this year and I did. 

5. What did you want and not get?
Relaxation? Lol... I know, hopeless. 

6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year?
I'd like more time to myself and more time with friends. We shall see if I can make this happen. 

7.  Did you make new year’s resolutions, and did you keep them? Will you make more for next year?
Yes, I resolved to do a monthy date with Eric and a monthly family date. I wasn't perfect at keeping track but I'm pretty sure we met this goal! I'm still thinking on what my goals will be for next year but I think they will have something to do with my answer to question 6. I also plan to maintain the monthly dates. 

8.  What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Survival? I really need to step it up next year on the achievement part...
Actually, here's another one, between last year and this year I think I've *finally* reached the point where cooking can be an enjoyable process. It used to be that when I cooked I was chained to the recipe, measuring everything, failing half the time in the end and then getting really frustrated. Now, most of the things I make actually turn out good and dare I say, sometimes I even enjoy cooking. I feel like I have some basic knowledge now of what will work, what my family will like etc. That's probably not a big accomplishment to others but I basically have no home related skills so, now I have maybe half of one, still not a gourmet chef. 

9.  What was your biggest lesson?
The first is that it really benefits me when I have a schedule/plan. This isn't that surprising but at the same time I've always prided myself on being a flexible person. That said, I've noticed it helps me to have a routine. For example, it really helped me to plan monthly dates for Eric and I. Having that plan made it happen, and it helped me whenever I felt like Eric and I never have any quality time together, because I could remind myself it had never really be much longer than a month since at least SOME quality time was had. I also started doing monthly meal plans this year with a weekly check in and grocery list. This worked really well too and eliminated the decision fatigue of figuring out wtf to eat every single week. 
The second thing I learned was how to balance our weekends. I have found that if I divide the weekend into 4 parts (Sat morning, Sat afternoon, Sun morning, Sun afternoon) we should have plans for no more than 2 of these parts in order for all 4 of us to be happy. We really enjoyed some lazy Saturday mornings. We are not Saturday morning kid activity people, at least for now! 

10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed?
Talking to Eric. Talking to friends on Marco Polo or texting. Reading. Maybe too much internet scrolling. To do lists. 

This was fun to fill out. Please play along or answer some questions in the comments! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer Bucket List: Swan Boats and Strawberry Picking

It's not even "official" summer and the boys and I have already done a couple of our Summer Bucket List items. The first was reading Make Way for Ducklings and then going into Boston to visit the swan boats and the duckling statues. Max was at the perfect age for this- he was super into the book when we read it and excited to see the ducklings.

We had a beautiful day to visit Boston, and my original plan was to park and take the train in because I thought that would be the most fun for the kids, but the train station parking was full so we regrouped and just kept driving. I used it as an opportunity to talk to Max about the word "flexible" in the car, ha. Once at the Boston Common, we headed straight for the swan boats. Max had been on the swan boats when he was much younger but didn't remember it. I was happy and impressed that both boys sat down on the boat and thought it was fun to look at all the buildings around and the islands in the pond. There were a few ducks around so Max thought they might be Quack, Ouack, Jack and MaX (we may have told him that Mac = Max since Jack had his own duck in the book- he will figure out that's not true soon enough because he knows how to read his name). After the swan boats, we rode the carousel which was a little rickety, but the kids didn't mind. Then we headed over to find the ducklings. Max said that was his favorite part of the day and even though this happened a few weeks ago he was talking earlier today about "remember when we ate a little snack next to the ducklings?" 

On the way home, we were talking about what we saw and the books and Max referred to Mr. and Mrs. Mallard as "the teachers." After a bit of questioning, I realized that he thought they were the teachers because they are called "Mr. and Mrs." and the only people he refers to this way are teachers. I love child mix ups. 

This morning we crossed off another item on our list: strawberry picking. I've been meaning to do this for literally YEARS but berry picking season is so short and it's during one of my busiest times of the year at work so it never actually happens. The boys got a little taste of it when we picked up our CSA last week because we got to pick a small container of strawberries there. They enjoyed it so I decided to take them to a small farm in town called Meadow Mist Farm. It's so small you have to call ahead, but they were very friendly when I called. When we arrived, they gave us a couple of containers and showed us how to remove the blankets from the strawberry patches (they are there to keep the animals from eating the yummy strawberries). Max enjoyed that the farmer told us looking for red strawberries is like a "treasure hunt." Jack really wanted to eat the strawberries but settled for squishing them when I told him we weren't supposed to eat until we pay ;) 

After we picked our strawberries- which by the way is the type of activity with a 1 year old that's fun for less than 10 minutes and then you frantically grab as many as possible before he squishes them all- we headed over to check out some of the animals. We got to see a lot of chickens, some sheep and even some baby cows. Max thought it was pretty funny that even baby cows are bigger than him! 

Another great thing about the farm is they have special education students on some of their school days. I'm not sure exactly how the program works- I think that the kids are helping to work and also learning at the same time. As a result we got a very sweet high school girl who showed us to the baby cows. Definitely the type of place I like to support! 

I'm excited for Eric to start joining us on our summer adventures next week when school gets out for him! Hopefully I'll be back to report how we are doing :) I'm starting to think I might want to add a few extra things to the list ha ha. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Summer Bucket List 2018 and First Wedding of the Year!

Last week on the podcast, Caroline and I discussed "summer bucket lists"- why we make them, and a few things on our list for this year. My two main reasons for making a bucket list are:
1. So I will actually do fun stuff
2. So I will not ask the question every day, "what should we do today?" 
I am not the type of person who has to cross everything off, it's more like a list of things that would be fun to do and hopefully I'll get to ask many as possible.

So here it is!

Summer Bucket List 2018

Go to a Red Sox Game
Read "Make Way for Ducklings," then go see the ducklings and ride the swan boats
Davis Farmland
Strawberry Picking
Enjoy a CSA- already signed up!
Swim- in the ocean, in Walden Pond, in a lake
Go to a concert- not sure if this will be an outdoor concert with kids, or a nighttime one
Stay at a hotel
Run before the kids wake up
Visit Barnstable Brewing Company
Read a book that takes place at the beach
Visit Titcomb Books on 6A
Roast marshmallows with Max
Visit a splash park
Go on an all-outdoor date
Eat at Riverview Cafe in Sandwich (visit Jam Kitchen, fish hatchery or Heritage Gardens at the same time)
Walk out to the beach at Brewster Natural History Museum
Ice Cube Painting Outside
See an author speak

I'll also try to avoid an epic August breakdown, but that's probably not likely since I usually have one after just a few months off!

Technically it's a few more days until Memorial Day but this past weekend felt summer-esque, beginning with a fun day trip on Thursday to see my friends Alli and Chris and their super cute baby Aaron.

We met up in Newburyport, which is a super cute North Shore town. I've spent some time in Newburyport on Plum Island but I didn't even realize I don't think I had ever been to the downtown area. I will definitely be back with Eric and both kids!
Friday was my cousin's wedding. They had a BEAUTIFUL night, and gorgeous sunset. It was also fun to see the whole family and do some dancing. But I am definitely old because after a few beers and staying up waayyy past my bedtime on Saturday I was feeling blah, ha ha. Luckily kids make you move anyway, so we went over to Eric's parents to pick up the boys and go out to a hibachi restaurant. The food was just okay but the entertainment for both boys was definitely worth it, ha ha.

Sunday was spent playing with our new water table and having neighborhood friends over for dinner. All in all a good weekend.

I'm in a good workout grove right now, so I'd like to keep that up this week. I also have to keep up my reading because I have several books from the library right now. I noticed I haven't been reading to the boys as much because we've been outside a lot (they always get books at bedtime so it's not that it's none, just less). I'm going to try to fit in a couple of extra books a day with Jack- it only takes about 1 minute to read him a book, so it's still doable even with a lot of outside time. I also want to plan a few fun things to do on the upcoming long weekend- it looks like we are going to get a lot of rain so I don't want to sit around and sulk, ha ha.

How was your weekend? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Happy Mother's Day 2018

Sunday was Mother's Day :) We had a good day and I was reminded, as I often am, how much happier Sundays are when they are busy and filled with plans instead of another day of getting things done and worrying about the week ahead. Yes, I still have the Sunday blues even though I "stay home" these days. In the morning we visited Eric's mom and his Nana. His Nana cracks me up- when we came in she's like "its not my birthday for another month! Oh yea, Mother's Day!" She's almost 93 and she really loves birthdays! (Maybe others more than her own)

In the afternoon we had lunch-dinner with my family and then went over to my parents after lunch for some photos and hanging out. Caroline got a lot of good ones!

This is my new favorite picture of me and Max. I can't believe that soon he will be too big for me to pick up! I actually really love his age now- though I've been known to say that a lot about different ages with him, so hopefully even more fun is yet to come!

I showed you guys on Friday the cards we (and I really mean WE) made for Eric's grandmothers. I also did little books (I think they were $15 each) for Eric's mom and my mom from Max and Jack. The books are from Pinhole Press and have space for 10 photos. Then, inside there are lots of prompts. Max is at a perfect age for this activity because a lot of his answers are funny, or just will be fun to look back on in a few years. I think this is something I'll probably do for the next few years- and soon Jack will be able to answer himself, this year I just made up his answers ;)

This week ends with my cousins wedding on Friday, but in the meantime I have a lot of little "to dos." I want to continue my 4 weekly workouts (two walk/runs and two lifting sessions) and this week I need to read A LOT. I'm finally into my book and I have about 4 that came to my Kindle from the library, so I need to prioritize reading for a few weeks. I'm also hoping to finalize my summer bucket list and post about it as well. If you missed it, Caroline and I discussed bucket lists on our podcast last week.

What have you got on the agenda this week?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Small Moments, Week of May 11th

Thanks to everyone who told me my photos weren't working in the last couple of posts. It's because I was trying to take the easy way and cut and paste from Google Photos. Sadly, that was showing up for me but no one else. Hopefully they are working now that I'm downloading them first. Let me know if that's not the case! 

It was a pretty good week- BEAUTIFUL weather. I was able to get in my workouts. I have not yet completed my summer bucket list but I'm hoping that will be done by the end of the weekend. For some weird reason I felt like I was playing catch up all this week, but maybe that's just the state of mind I'm destined to live in right now ha ha. 

A few fun small moments this week: 
*After dinner on Thursday nights, Eric's mom likes to take the boys to a ramp and stairs they love to play on. They delight in running up and down it and sometimes when Eric and his brother join, being thrown up and down as well. 

*When I was a kid my Dad traveled a lot for work and he always used to send us postcards from wherever he was. I loved to collect those postcards and credit them (and my Dad in general) for getting me interested in geography and traveling. This Spring my parents have been traveling a lot and now Max is getting the postcards from my Dad. He loves to get mail and hear what they say, and we decided it would be fun to put them up on his wall.

*Our Wednesday adventure this week was the Stoneham Zoo. Both boys enjoyed looking at the animals. Anytime we couldn't see an animal, Max would declare, "that's because it's camouflaged mommy!" Thank you Usborne Secrets of Animal Camouflage Book ;) 

*Multiple trips to the park this week- once to our neighborhood park with friends and also to another local park with friends. It was the perfect weather for playing outside and both boys are at good ages for independent (ish- in Jack's case) play at the park. It's hard to imagine back in the fall when we were visiting parks that Jack couldn't walk yet so it was hard for him to do really anything without me. They have also been loving our swing set in the backyard, which has been so nice to have for shorter outside play times or just meeting up with the neighbors in the after school hours. 

*Mother's Day is on Sunday and I always try to do a card from the boys to their great-grandmothers (Eric's grandmothers), usually I aim to be very low key since they are happy with anything but this year I stupidly decided to consult Pinterest. In my kindergarten class I have firm rules that the kids have to do more work than me when it comes to art projects and this was definitely not the case here. Both boys enjoyed painting with Duplos, but after that I had to do all the printing, cutting, gluing etc. Oh well, at least they turned out cute!

We didn't something small for the grandmothers too, but I'll share that after Mother's Day. We usually see them on Mother's Day so I don't always do something but I found something too cute to pass up this year. Especially because Max is becoming old enough that the things he says are funny :)

How was your week? Any happy moments to share? 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Weekend and Week Ahead, May 7 2018

The weather is PERFECTION right now. It doesn't happen often so I have to document it.

If you were on the edge of your seat wondering how work went last week- the answer is good. The logistics were a little crazy, as I find is the case for any "working parents" (or maybe that's just me). But, it was a lot of fun to do something different with my day and get to see all my work friends. It gave me a pretty accurate picture of what the adjustment is going to look like in September, and I'd say it's going to be big but I will get used to it... probably by October ha ha. 

Also, I had that lovely feeling by the weekend that I was excited for it to come and really deserved to relax, which was a nice feeling! We had a great weekend. Friday, we celebrated my sister in law becoming a citizen :) Saturday, a quick walk/run in the morning, a party at Max's school, some relaxing during nap time and then a trip into Boston to ride the merry go round and eat in the North End at Pellinos. We stumbled upon this restaurant last time we were there and they were SO nice in there. Plus the food is good. 

Sunday, we mostly just got house stuff done and then we got to go on a date at Gustazos, a Cuban restaurant. I have no idea if it's authentic Cuban food, but if it is- I need to go to Cuba because it is SO good. 

Last week my goals were to do 3 workouts (I did 4, woo), read more (check- I read the book The Dry by Jane Harper, perfect for reminding me to read because it's hard to put down) and to eat less chips (I did eat less chips but I ate more desserts so...)

Early last week I also listened to the audiobook I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam. She talks a lot about planning for the things you want to do first, making sure those things happen and then filling in the chores etc during the extra time left, instead of the other way around. I did that last week and I hope to continue that going forward. Also being interested in a book helps me be on Facebook less, which is important. 

This week I'm aiming for 4 workouts (2 strength, 2 walks or walk/runs), continue reading a lot and make a list of things I want to do this spring/summer and also a shorter list of activities to do with the boys on Wednesdays when I have them both home but no regular activities scheduled. I'll share those lists later this week. I'd also love if Jack would sleep a little better this week but I suppose I can't control that...

What do you have on tap for this week? Are you having beautiful weather where you are? 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Small Moments, Week of May 4th

It was a lovely and balanced week. Three days spent mostly with the boys. Two days at work meeting next year's kindergarten kids. Some really cute ones! Hopefully they will help me get back into the grove in a few months. Not the best week of sleep, but we are focusing on the positive here ;)

A few lovely moments I want to remember from this week:

*watching Max grab Jack's hand to go down the double slide together at the park

*the boys riding the seesaw together at the park near Caroline's house

*Max: I drew a picture of all of us at school. You were really grumpy.
Me: Why was I grumpy?
Max: Because Jack and Dada and I were upside down

*discovering that going for ice cream would be a lot more fun and less messy if I just get both boys a chocolate shake ha ha

*the number of times that Max said he "miss-ed" Jack on Thursday night while Jack was having a sleepover

*getting to see all my work friends Thursday and Friday, and basically hang out with them all day Thursday and Friday- hanging out with fun adults is really the best

*seeing old students smiling faces in the hallways

*spending time with family to celebrate my sister in law becoming a citizen! (see also: 4th of July pics done, ha ha)

What were some of your best moments of the week?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

On My Mind, May 2018

^Another birthday party this weekend!

My mind feels really busy these days. It seems like every minute of every day (and sometimes night) someone needs me, mostly Max and Jack, of course. When there is a quiet minute, I'm either too drained to enjoy it or I need to bust out one million logistics. People tell me when I go back to work I'll naturally have less time to worry about the logistics. I wish I could worry about them less now, to be honest.

^Jack wants to be just like his big brother.

This weekend was good. I did some consignment sale shopping with my friend on Saturday. It was a bit crazy (think: lining up for 30 minutes before, practically running in and then waiting at least an hour in line to check out) but I did better than usual in what I left with, so that's good. Saturday night we had an impromptu neighbor date- ordered some food, ate in the driveway while we watched the kids play. Add this to the list of reasons I like having open space on my schedule. Sunday I organized kids clothes (why is this a NEVER ENDING job?!) and then we had another birthday party (see photo above).

This past week I tried to focus on:

Getting in my work outs. I aimed for 2 longer walks, 1 upper body and 1 lower body lift. I completed all 4. I even ran a bit during one of my walks. I'd like to build up to running 2 miles or so for the summer months so I can squeeze in a quick work out before the kids wake up (maybe). 

Less than 30 minutes per day of Facebook. Not quite, but I was under 40 minutes. I hate to say I still think this is big progress. Sad, really. 

Less chips. I had far less. No zero but far less. I call this a win. Trader Joes Sweet Potato chips- seriously, don't buy them. PSA to help your clothes fit this summer. 

This week I have to work two days. Hi, it's my first time working for more than 2 hours since November 2016. CRAZY. It will be good though. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and seeing if teaching is like riding a bike? I think it is. But I have no way of knowing because before this the longest break I ever took was 12 week maternity leave with Max. Anyway, I'm going to make my goals realistic next week because the two days I'm working are the 2 days I usually accomplish the most because I only have Jack home. 

This week I'll aim for 3 solid work outs: upper body, lower body, and 1 longer walk/run. I'll continue to eat less chips. I'm not going to set any particular Facebook goal but I am going to aim to read more, which usually cuts down on my Facebook time by default. I need a good, can't put it down book. I just finished An American Marriage which was good, but didn't fully suck me in. I started a new book that was a Kindle First deal- and I think I'm going to stop reading it because I really need something that reallllly pulls me in so I get off my dang phone. I do have an audio book going- I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam. Really, really good so far.

Hope everyone has a good week! What's on your mind these days?

^Max reading to his stuffed animals (Snuggles and big Snuggles). Brothers often are not a good influence on each other, but in this case Jack's recent interest in stuffed animals has rubbed off on his big brother.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Birthday Party Weekend

Hello, friends! I'm glad to see I still have a *few* readers of this blog out there :) I've noticed that blogging has an important trait for me right now. It's a physical rest (which I need, chasing around 2 children is exhausting) but feels like I'm doing something other than just strolling Facebook. My time on FB was down a LOT last week (mainly because I'm tracking it using an app called Moment) and I want to keep that up. The first few days I used it I was spending over an hour a day on Facebook and I'm down to about 20 minutes. That feels like the right amount for checking in with actual friends, but not scrolling through people I don't care about and/or seeing the same post several times. 

It was a birthday party weekend here in our house. Normally I would never RSVP yes for 3 birthday parties in one weekend, but they were all ones we really wanted to attend and actually, it was pretty fun! First on Saturday we headed down to my best friend's daughter's 3rd birthday. We had to arrive a little early in order to fit in the 2 parties but it ended up being nice because the boys had a chance to play with her kids for awhile on their own and we got to chat/help finish the set up. 

On Sunday we had a party for one of Max's friend's from school. I have a love/hate relationship with those parties since I don't know the other parents well, and I typically can't bring Jack so it feels like special time with Max being kind of wasted. BUT, I know it's important for his relationships to go and he loves it so I try to say yes when it makes sense. Yesterday was the ideal party because it was at a park, so Jack could easily come along and Eric was able to plow through a bunch of house stuff while we were gone, so that was perfect. I heard on the Best of Both Worlds podcast... or was it on Happier? (I'm currently obsessed with both) that the more often you see people the closer you feel to them (apparently this is true even if you didn't really like each other at first, fun fact) and that seems to be true in this case. The more often I attend these parties, the more I enjoy going and talking with the other parents there. I am definitely the type of person who makes friends with people/feels closer to them the more often we see each other so, I just need to put in the time, I guess. 

This week I am going to try to focus on healthy(ish) eating, a couple of walks, 2 solid workouts and less than 30 minutes per day of Facebook. I'm also in process of figuring out how I can start having Max help make his own lunch- I'll let you know if that starts to happen.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Self Improvement Updates

One of the reasons I miss blogging was that I feel like it was a public-ish way to keep track of goals and things I was thinking about. Since having kids I've had a lot less time to think about goals and a lot less control of them actually happening but I've still accomplished a couple of small things along the way. 

I still keep up pretty well with planning/calendar stuff. I'm currently using a bullet journal but I already purchased a Get to Work Book for next school year because that system was working super well for me at work before I had Jack. In case you are wondering my bullet journal is the least fancy thing ever. On one side of the page I have a "To Do" list for the week, on the bottom some weeks I'll write meal plans and work outs, some weeks I don't. On the right side of the page I have more of a weekly calendar. I also use Google Calendar for appointments etc since this journal really only goes a week at a time.

Healthy Living
A couple of things I'd like to work on right now are healthy eating and exercise. I'm aiming extremely low because these are two areas that have been SO much harder than I thought they would be when I had kids. I've consistently maintained 2x a week of strength training for years now so I feel like that's pretty solid. Eric and I do an upper body work out on Sundays, alternating chest and triceps one week and back and biceps the next (Eric does the thing we don't do on Sunday later in the week, I do not). Then, on Wednesday or Thursday I'll do a leg workout. These both take under 20 minutes and work well because they can be done in my house, mostly with my kids running around in the basement with me/us. I also do a lot of walks, though I don't think walking with Max quite counts as a workout. My goal for this spring is to do at least 1 walk with Jack per week that is either a partial run OR over 2 miles (likely both). Two miles doesn't sound like much but it's hard to do in my small neighborhood without going down a GIANT hill, and once I go down that it's become less of a leisurely walk and more of an actual work out (that will likely be a bit longer than 2 miles) so that's my reason for picking that number. Basically I need to motivate myself to go down the hill, even if I reward myself with Starbucks passion tea on some of those days.

On the healthy eating front my issue is being at home all day. I've gotten myself in a bad habit of having chips (currently obsessed with Trader Joe's sweet potato chips) at lunch every day. I would never do this if I was at work because I'd feel like everyone was judging me for eating chips every day lol. So, I'm going to try for chips only 2x per week now. I hid them in the guest room closet so that I can't go back for them during nap time without waking Jack up. Ha.

Phone Use
I downloaded the "Moment" app on my phone to see how much I was using my phone in a day. It's not good. Not good at all. Some screen time is okay. I love checking in with friends throughout the day on Marco Polo. I use a calendar and daily to do list on my phone. But, I need to cut the random scrolling a lot. I have to think about how I'm going to do this. Send any tips my way. I'm a moderator so getting rid of Facebook won't work, ha ha. I know part of this is a life season because again, when I go back to work I just simply can't spend as much time on my phone and currently my phone is a good tool for connection.

What are some things you are currently working on? How much time do you think you spend on your phone per day?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Family Dates

Lately I've just been kind of missing blogging, so here I am. No idea if this will be a thing. Maybe it will.
You know how the busier you are, the more you get done? Or is that just me? I keep feeling like I'm wasting too much time on social media and need other things to occupy my mind. But at night even reading sometimes feels like too much energy. So, I decided I was going to do the #100dayproject and write every day. Which I've mostly been doing even if some days it's just a few minutes of writing. But, I feel so unmotivated to write for only myself. Thus, today I'm here. I suppose I may still be writing for myself here, ha. 
I've also been thinking maybe I should make it 100 Days of doing something for myself. Scrolling on Facebook doesn't count. I could write, work out, paint my nails... I probably wouldn't count reading since I already do that every day. I need something to motivate me to work out more. I've been averaging 2 days a week for years now. I don't count walking, but maybe I could make walks longer and then count them. I wonder if Jack would approve of that? I'm feeling very aware of my return to work in a few months and I have some things on my list to accomplish before that happens (both work related, and not). But a mix between "too much" time and children who never let me accomplish anything with any actual regularity make it so difficult.

One of my "goals" this year was to do one date (Eric and I) and one family date (us + kids) per month. We got off to a very rough start in January with a failed attempt to go bowling (the wait was 3 hours) so after that we decided we would bundle up and do outdoor dates to avoid overly crowded and germy locations. My original plan was to incorporate doing something fun with a restaurant, and that has happened some, but not all, of the times. Eric and I are on track to have at least one date a month (sometimes more!)... though we haven't had one yet in April so I need to get on that!

Here are the "family dates" that have been successful this year. Our first was to the outdoor ice skating rink in town:

In early February we managed to bundle up on a very cold day and go to the Great Meadow Wildlife Refuge in Concord. There is a small tower to climb, and the boys love to just throw rocks into water wherever we are. 

Following the wildlife refuge we headed to one of our favorite breweries: Battle Road Brew House in Maynard which we discovered last summer. 

We spent the rest of February in Florida, which I'm hoping to blog about soon. But in March we had to bundle again, this time to walk around Walden Pond. With all the wind we got that month, there was quite a lot of climbing over fallen trees but it was a beautiful day and a lot of fun exercise. 

A lot of sledding also happened in March, but I'm not sure if it's really considered a family date if all you have to do is step out your back door, ha ha.

I'm looking forward to the nicer weather because that always means easier planning for family adventures. But, it also has a be a bit more intentional since we tend to be a lot busier in the spring and summer months. Hope we can keep up once a month dates! 

What are your favorite family date ideas? If you are local, send recommendations my way- or even if you aren't, you never know when we will want to go on a trip ;) 

Also, shout out to my sister Caroline who fixed my blog so it doesn't have any crazy photobucket error messages anymore.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jack: 1 Year!

I'm a little late but I couldn't let the 1 year time pass without documenting what Jack has been up to. I am trying to figure out how I'm going to document my kids in the future. I make photo books, but I want to have a place I write things down too. It seems like the electronic method works well for me, but I also worry as they get older I won't want to write things so publicly. I enjoy sharing with friends and family, and I doubt anyone else is reading at this point but I don't like the idea that anyone could at any time... even in 20 years ha ha. So, if you know of any fun computer based ways to document, please share!

Jack turned 1 on November 22, 2017. It's hard to remember exactly what he was doing at that time, so I'll just talk about him now, which is pretty similar.

Jack loves to be out and about and watch everything happening around him. He loves to go for walks and happily sits in the stroller for long periods of time (unlike his brother!) His favorite kind of walk is when Max is standing on the stroller and he can watch him, but he will happily watch anything else going on. If he is in a crabby mood at home, going out and doing basically anything is the cure for him. Even at home, he is pretty easy. He can be clingy and like to be held some days, but mostly since learning how to crawl he has been happy to explore the house, take everything out of cabinets, unroll all of the toilet paper and systematically destroy all of Max's organization ;) 

Speaking of the brothers, they still get along reasonably well. Max still likes to take toys away from Jack and he gets mad most of the time, though sometimes he lets it slide. Jack is entertained by Max and could probably watch him all day. My favorite is when one of them laughs and then the other laughs and then the laughing goes back and forth. This happened for awhile the other day except they were both making fake farting noises and laughing. That's when I really knew I had 2 boys!

Jack has really slow played the walking thing. He took his first steps around 13 months, and a week or so later started really walking around. Just in this last week or so (13.5 months) he has decided to use walking to actually get around at least about half of the time. He is a bit wobbly, but he is really into it and even picks up things while he is walking and throws a basketball into the basketball hoop. Of course I'm already imagining he will be into sports when he gets older... who knows if I'll be right. His process of learning to walk was different than Max's. Jack learned to stand first and was doing that for quite awhile before he gained the courage to take a few steps. Now that he is walking, he is pretty confident about it. Just this morning he climbed up on Max's trampoline and started jumping on it. That didn't take long!

Jack continues to love listening to books. He will now pick up a book he likes and bring it over to me and say "eh?" which I interpret to mean, "read?" He loves some of his old favorites the Mirror Me book, Dear Zoo and some new favorites including a book I made for him with his favorite people in it, a touchy feely animal book, the Dada book and the Mama book. He is even willing to sit through some of Max's books sometimes. 

Jack's first birthday party was a lot of fun! We invited his grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousin. Max helped make the decorations and the cake. He handed out all the party hats, opened all of Jack's presents and helped blow out the candles. Max loves other people's birthdays even more than his own, so he was super happy about the whole thing. It seemed like Jack was too! He didn't mind at all when we sang "Happy Birthday!" I guess he's ready for his second year of life!