Brain Dump

When all else fails and I have not blogged in a while- there is always the brain dump.

The rarely seen (or taken) photo of just us

1.  How about this weather?  Mid-80’s for the high, in the middle of October.  WTH.  It seems I was premature on busting out the flannel sheets and down comforter a couple of weeks ago.  

The up side is that I got to go through my clothes and bag up a bunch of warm-weather stuff I didn’t wear much and pass it on elsewhere.  I am way into doing that sort of thing, as you may know.

2.  I’m back to a cash system for some of our budget areas.  Time to curb some of that impulse spending.  There is nothing like going back through my credit card statement and adding up all of those little purchases to the tune of hundreds of dollars for the month of September…  I am a pretty firm believer that knowledge is power, even if it made me slightly sick to my stomach to see the final tally.  

The ultimate side eye to the craw dad; camping 2016

I maintain that sometimes you gotta throw money at the problem, but this last stretch has gotten out of hand.  I withdrew cash for my personal spending, spending for the kids, and home purchases.  We have a debit account for our groceries, which keeps me on track with my spending there every month.  

3.  I read 11 books in September and have read 5 so far this month.  I read I Let You Go in a day, because I got all sucked in before realizing it was a suspense/thriller type book (never ever what I like to read).  But I had to know what happened!  Other notables: A Man Called Ove, The One in a Million Boy, Scary Close, Before We Visit the Goddess, and Love Warrior*.  All brought to you by your local public library.  Scary Close and Love Warrior are both memoirs and I liked a lot about both of them.  Hate to say it, but I didn’t actually LOVE Love Warrior.  Just liked it.  No offense, Oprah.  

*I am not linking to all of those titles on Amazon because I am lazy.  

Pretty into the pigtails these days

4.  A few other factors that have allowed for extra reading time: my rad husband took the three oldest kids on two separate camping trips.  I went to Bermuda with my dad, sister, and numero tres for four days (what is this life I am living?!?!) And I am mostly staying off Facebook during the weekdays.  (Here’s where I am embarrassed about how much time I have given over to Facebook, ESPECIALLY during election season.  That does not serve me well.) 

Bermuda was okay… If you go for that sort of thing…

Twinning with Poppies

5.  I have said something to this effect before, but I increasingly see life on the other side.  We are in the last stretch of diapers, nap times, 5 point harness car seats, and frantic bedtime searches for the lovey.  We are crossing over into more independence and into some headier parenting.  It’s not just kneeling down to break up a fight over a toy; it is also talking about anxiety and uncertain friendships and “I’m not sure I believe in God” sort of things.  It is bittersweet, for sure.  

My kids are extremely fun little humans and I am so thankful for our little crew here.  What a crazy gift (and responsibility) to be their mom. 

Life on our street. His name is Maestro, btw, and he pooped in our yard.

Two Excellent Push Present Ideas

1.  Never ever use the phrase “Push Present” again.  That word choice makes me uncomfortable.  Just get your wife a present, okay?  She had the baby, get her something.  Don’t call it the poorly-named “push present”.  Ick.  Just don’t.

2.  Oh-you want an actual gift idea?  Here you go.  But- bad news- this is only applicable if this is your second (or third or fourth) baby.  But typing out “Two Excellent Push Present Ideas If Your Wife Just Had Your Second (or Third or Fourth) Baby” seemed excessive.

Here’s my idea: When that newborn baby is a few weeks old, and nursing/bottle-feeding has been established, and baby is healthy- take your older child(ren) and get out of town for a few days.  Leave your wife at home with that new baby.  Give her time in a quiet house, with no toddler waking her up at 6:30 a.m. after she has been up feeding the baby all night.  Give her time to feed the baby and go back to bed- all day if she wants to.  

This would not have felt lovely and glorious after my first was born, but subsequent babies?  Heck yes. 

My husband took the older three out of town for six whole days, when our youngest was six weeks old.  She had been home from the hospital for a few weeks at that point, was gaining weight like a champ, and doing all of the cute things that babies do.  Leaving me alone with my youngest one was heaven.  I took long walks around Charlottesville with her bundled in the Bjorn, I enjoyed hours upon hours of quiet in my own house (a rarity, and maybe only enticing for an introvert, now that I think about it), and finished little nesting projects that had been waylaid by numero cuatro’s sudden arrival.  She napped on my chest as I watched Netflix.  I got up with her at 5:00 a.m. and didn’t care- because I could go back to bed pretty much any old time that day. 

It was the absolute best thing ever.

So there you go.  The dreamy present my husband gave me, after our youngest’ arrival.   

Does that appeal to anyone else?  Or- who would opt for good old-fashioned jewelry over the scenario I just described?

  P.S.- Yesterday we switched the kids’ bedrooms around and I found this while cleaning a certain child’s bed.  Tucked neatly into a sparkly Easter egg: two frosted mini wheats, some shredded cheddar, and one kernel of dried corn.  What could it possibly mean?

What I Like About My Bullet Journal

I like keeping a book log!  

I have read 33 books this year.  I record the title, author, and date that I finished it.  If I like the book a lot, I put a star next to it.  

worth documenting

That’s it.  No ratings.  Pen and paper, because I don’t want another thing that entices me to be online. 

I also have a section called “Books to Read” where I- wait for it- write down titles of books I want to read.  I get a lot of ideas from Modern Mrs Darcy, but also from browsing Barnes and Noble, or seeing a friend recommend something on Facebook.  We are in walking distance to two libraries and I have a fairly consistent list of books on hold.  

Writing down the books I have read motivates me to read more.  I don’t know why, but it does.  I like seeing those journal pages filled up with what I see as a record of time well spent.  

Other categories in my bullet journal:

Gift ideas

House and kid spending (we don’t do the cash envelope system anymore, so this keeps me generally aware if I am staying in our budgeted amounts)

Birthday planning 

The bullet journal means I am not searching for which legal pad or envelope I wrote that list on a week ago.  It’s all in one place, and I like that.

i love how easy entertainment can be at this stage

I also use it for occasional memorable quotes, such as “I hate the world when it is raining outside.” (Sometimes I do too!) or my son remarking “Your sister is kind of nicer than you because she paid for my Spider-Man coloring book.” Finally, at a soccer game a few weeks ago:

“Mommy, did you see that incest?” 



“Oh.  Yeah.”