The Day in Numbers

  • Times Natasha woke me up last night: 2
  • Hours I lay awake trying to go back go sleep: 2
  • Minutes the girls waited to ask me for breakfast after waking me up: <1
  • Times I “asked” S to get ready for school: 5-10 (felt like 100!)
  • Total times I shoveled the driveway and sidewalk: 2
  • Total school drop-offs and pickups: 4 (two each)
  • Minutes to spare before the tardy bell rang at S’s school: 4 (way better than last Friday when S slipped in with 10 seconds to go, no joke)
  • Cups of coffee I downed: 3 (two were half-caf at least)
  • Paint samples I bought at Sherwin-Williams: 1 (but that makes 4 in the last 2-3 weeks and we still need one more because it’s just not quite right)
  • Times I seriously panicked because S’ school sent a message saying after school activities were canceled and I didn’t see it until 5pm: 1 (fortunately, it was an aftercare day [which means S can stay till 6pm] and not an activity day, but I didn’t remember that until after I flew out the door hyperventilating and swearing)
  • Times S stopped to eat snow off the ground: +/-4
  • Minutes the girls played horsie: +/-30
  • Paper diamonds I cut and colored with S for her school project: +/-100 (why is 100 days of school even a thing?!)
  • Glasses of wine I drank: 1

On the Menu This Week

I’ve been meal planning for a while now; it’s pretty much a necessity. I don’t have time to go grocery shopping mid-week, so I plan out (more or less) what we’ll eat and then get all the necessary ingredients on the weekend. The key is actually making a few of the recipes on Sunday before the week starts.

Of course, no matter how well I plan, things inevitably change and the girls complain about some (or a lot) of it. I’m trying to be better about freezing food we don’t eat, but sometimes I forget.

Here are some of the things on tap for this week:

  • Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffins (new recipe, but it works with ingredients we already have; we’ll see how it turns out!)
  • Pineapple-banana smoothies (with coconut milk, spinach and maybe a bit of lime juice; no recipe — just blending on the fly)
  • Crock Pot Tomato Soup (normally I do this in the crock pot but today I did it on the stove; hope it’s as good!) and quesadillas (we’re out of bread for grilled cheese)
  • Italian Orzo Spinach Soup (another new one that’s been Pinned for a while; made it this afternoon and it’s a bit bland so will need to liven it up, maybe with beans or sausage, some lemon juice and parmesan)
  • Spinach Artichoke Chicken (easy and somewhat adaptable; e.g., I used ricotta this time instead of greek yogurt because that’s what I had)
  • Mediterranean Roasted Chicken Breasts w/ Tomatoes & Cannelini Beans (also easy and quite flavorful; one time I used cauliflower instead of beans and it worked well)
  • Mahi Mahi with Coconut Lime Rice (this is a new one; don’t have the ingredients for the salsa, which is a bummer so will top with avocado)

We’ll fill in the holes with cereal, eggs, pancakes, turkey sausage, fruit, yogurt, mac ‘n cheese, frozen tortilla-crusted fish, and whatever else the kids will actually eat.

What’s on your menu this week?

Natasha’s First Haircut

I waited much longer to take Natasha for her first haircut than I did for Shelby. I just couldn’t bear to part with N’s ringlets. Finally, though, the tangles and crying in the mornings became too much.

N freaked out leading up to the haircut; she thought it was going to hurt. Nothing I said could calm her down; even her cousins tried to little avail. But by the time we went she was less hysterical; super grumpy would be an apt description.

Papa Joe and Auntie N came with us. N tolerated the cut but made it obvious she wasn’t thrilled about it. The horsie and toys were the best part. The cut didn’t take long, though, and soon enough we were on our way, almost like it had been no big deal.

Sigh. #bittersweet


Ear Infections: An End of January Thing or Just a Coincidence?

Neither of the girls has really had trouble with their ears. Shelby had one, maybe two ear infections when she was younger and Natasha has had two — one of which we caught very early on.

Interestingly, the granddaddy of ear infections happened exactly a year ago to Natasha. And guess who has another one to the day? Yep, N. The good news is that she’s handling this one like a champ (so far!).

She woke me up at 6am yesterday to tell me her ear hurt. I half believed her (mostly because I was still half asleep); I dosed her before school with ibuprofen and she seemed fine. I mentioned her ear hurting when I dropped her off and told her teachers to call me if she complained during the day. I didn’t hear anything.

But N came home from school and mentioned her ear hurting, unprompted. Great. Of course the doctor was closed now for the day, so I gave N ibuprofen at bed and hoped for the best. She slept great. (As did I. Woot!)

And then this morning N complained about her ear again, so I called and got her an appointment for mid-morning. Seemed like the responsible thing to do!

However, when I came back from volunteering at S’s school to grab a snack and get Natasha she was all smiles, galloping around the house. I thought for sure she had pulled a fast one on me and this had all been a ploy to get out of going to school. I actually felt foolish that I was taking her to the doctor!

But we had an appointment and it’s just down the street, so we went. It was the fastest we’ve ever been seen in all the years we’ve been going. Amazing! (Bonus.) N clocked in at 33 lbs. and change. No fever. Talked enthusiastically about horses to everyone she saw. Didn’t seem to be in any discomfort. It’s cool, I like co-pays.


The doctor checked N’s good ear first; it looked fine. And then lo and behold, she announced that N did indeed have an infection in the other. I was stunned. Little girl was telling the truth! (Hope that lasts quite a while longer.)

Since she was in such good spirits and not running a fever, the doc didn’t recommend a course of antibiotics. She called in an Rx just in case, but she said unless N’s symptoms change the infection should just run its course.

Could this really be the easiest ear infection ever? Time will tell, as N complained about her ear at bed even after I had given her ibuprofen. Fingers crossed that I haven’t just jinxed everything and set us up for a repeat of last year!

Tangentially related coincidences:

  • If you look at the blog post from a year ago you’ll see S wearing a hot pink shirt/dress with white stripes. Natasha wore the exact thing today, which is extra random because I just pulled it out of the basement two nights ago. Weird!
  • S is learning about the five senses at school this week. Guess which one she studied yesterday? Yep, hearing and the ear.

Eerily coincidental, no?


Day in the Life: January 2016 Edition

I wasn’t going to do this round of Day in the Life (DITL), but then I figured why not? Yes, it takes time to put it together, but we’re only at this phase of life once, so it’s worth the work to document.

The Basics:

  • Date: Saturday, January 23
  • Location: Home (Colorado)
  • Natasha: 3.5 years old
  • Shelby: 5.5 years old
  • Type of weekend day: Pretty ordinary

The Details:

6:45am: I woke up just before the girls and relished being able to lay in bed for a few minutes in the quiet. It didn’t last long. Shelby burst in and yelled, “Mommy, you have to see this!” I thought something was wrong. Turns out she just wanted me to see the sunrise. It was a good one! Sadly, I managed to squish Natasha’s hand in the sliding glass door in my haste to pop out on the deck and take a picture. #momfail


Since we were up and short on groceries I thought it would be fun to go to breakfast somewhere special, plus that would give Chris a chance to sleep in. His sleep has been pretty broken and on the short side lately.

7:00am: I tried to motivate the kids to get out the door somewhat quickly because the restaurant I had in mind (Snooze) is very popular and the line gets long fast, plus we had to drive to Denver. N was no problem, but S was distracted by every shiny object known to man, just like on a school day. Oy. At least N occupied herself by singing and “reading” a book while we waited on S.

7:30am: We were in the car! Not terrible. S read a Pinkalicious book to us on the drive. She only needed help with a few words, which she spelled out loud. I’m so impressed with how quickly she’s learned to read since kindergarten started. N got upset that she couldn’t see the pictures. Honestly.

8:00am: We parked a block and a half away and N started crying that she couldn’t walk because her legs hurt. Good gravy. Pancakes, girls — eye on the prize! Sadly, despite getting there “early” the wait was estimated at 45 minutes. Booooo. Not to fear, I came prepared  with snacks and crayons. Plus, we got to hang out at Union Station, where there was lots of space to be goofy and explore. The only thing I halfway lamented was that Terminal Bar wasn’t open. It looked pretty cool!

8:45am: We had a table! It was right by the door, but I wasn’t about to complain. We were hungry! They got our order in fairly quickly and our server even brought some miniature hot chocolates topped with loads of whipped cream for the girls. Unfortunately, I accidentally spilled N’s when they delivered the food. Oops. Shelby was a great big sister and poured half of what was left of hers in Natasha’s mug.

9:15am: Despite the big buildup to the special breakfast and lots of “I’m hungry” from Natasha all while we were waiting, guess who ate the least? Yep, the little nugget. Instead of inhaling her chocolate chip pancakes and fruit she ate a few bites and then complained about her legs. What? (She did this a lot over Christmas, too.) She was squirming in her chair and whining up a storm. At least Shelby ate well, as did I. But we had to move along lest N break down in a full-on fit. I begged her to eat more, telling her it would be really sad if she said, “I’m hungry” 10 minutes after we left. Sigh. Same story, different day. Mealtimes with her are frustrating.


9:45am: As a toddler Shelby loved to ride the bus, so we headed toward the car to drop off our stuff and then ride the free bus that goes along the 16th Street mall. Along the way we saw a homeless man (quite a few, actually). Living in the suburbs I sort of forgot about homelessness. I used to see it all the time living and working in San Francisco, but we’re pretty sheltered from it now. I was carrying our leftovers, which I had intended to bring home to Chris, but instead I offered them to the man we saw. It was a very small gesture, but it felt nice. Shelby was in awe. “That was really nice, mommy! You shared!” Yes, I told her, and you can, too. Natasha said, “Sometimes I share; sometimes I don’t.” Different context, but oh, so true.

10:00am: Our bus ride was somewhat short lived. Like so many things we try to do, N wasn’t really having it. S enjoyed it and mostly wanted to try to stand up without holding on. N was ready to get off after a few stops. Oh well, I tried!

10:30am: We piled back in the car and headed home. It was blissfully calm and uneventful.

11:00am: The girls started playing horsie the second they walked in the door. It is impressive how long playing horses has had staying power in our house. Months and months it’s been going on. Chris was awake and so took over keeping an eye on the girls while they ran around. I swiffered the floor, finished running a load of laundry and prepped some clothing returns that I had been needing to make for a couple of weeks.

Noon: I headed out to the mall to return the clothes. It’s one of my least favorite places to go but I bear it about twice a year, usually as a place to bring the girls to play. The irony is that I have terrible luck shopping online for clothes (seriously, how in the world do you ever know what size to order or how something will fit?), so you’d think in person shopping would be better, but it just makes me sweat and feel nervous. I have little patience for looking through racks of clothes and then I look at the price tag and think, really?

Mostly I resort to Target or I don’t even know where. I work from home, so it’s hard to justify spending much on clothes, but most of my pre-pregnancy pants are shot at this point — totally worn through. The problem, which took me to the mall in the first place, is that I cannot find regular pants to save my soul. I thought for sure skinny pants would’ve died an ugly death by now. Nope. I need slightly flared pants with a low waist. Somehow they are not to be found anywhere. Ugh. I try some possible contenders on at Banana Republic but they had a ridiculously high waist. Double ugh.


1:30pm: I made it home just in time to blend up a smoothie and herd the girls into the car for S’s gymnastics class at the rec center. We already missed the first class of the session last week (because I didn’t realize that’s when it started), so we needed to get moving!


1:50pm: We were five minutes late, of course. S darted inside and ran to join her class. She hadn’t been in gymnastics since last spring, but she didn’t miss a beat. Within minutes N started galloping like a horse and playing on the equipment by us. She’s not supposed to, but she wasn’t in anyone’s way (yet), so I let her. Eventually she had to come sit by me since S’s class was ready to do the obstacle course. N insisted on galloping next to the kids and neighing. Whatever. This continued until class was over. How she can gallop like a horse for 30 minutes but complain about her legs hurting while walking 1-1/2 city blocks is beyond me.

2:50pm: Home. The girls ran off to play. I decided to vacuum out the car; it was so needed. The girls got curious and decided to “help,” naturally.


3:15pm: Chris took the girls to Target to get them new tennis shoes. I moved on to other house chores like laundry and dishes and vacuuming the dining/living room. Yay, adulting. I popped a frozen lasagna into the oven for later.

4:15pm: Chris and the girls returned; they put on their new shoes and immediately headed out to play tennis before the sun set. I was starving, so I ate some lasagna and started going through the food ads and coupons for the week. I’m trying to start meal planning more around what’s on sale. Unfortunately, most of what’s on sale or that I see coupons for is not the kind of stuff we buy. I feel like I’m wasting my time. My eyes started drooping and I realized I was very, very tired.

4:50pm: Everyone was back and the girls were hungry. Lasagna for the win! And some cut up pears and milk. I resumed meal planning while they ate (i.e., searching Pinterest).

5:30pm: I gave up on the computer for a bit to do (more) dishes (do they ever stop?!) and switch the laundry again. Natasha started watching Lord of the Rings (the third one) upstairs while Shelby played downstairs.

6:30pm: After the neverending house chores I started prepping stuff for my 10k in the morning, including food (pb+j, hard-boiled eggs, overnight oatmeal for breakfast). And then Natasha yelled out that she had pooped. We’re trying to get her to learn to wipe herself, but I just ran up and wiped her this time. After that she was hungry; go figure! I got the girls applesauce and warned N that it was almost bedtime.


7:05pm: Bedtime for N. She immediately started throwing a fit. Yay. This is our normal these days. She hates going to bed. During the week I understand – she’s often not actually ready because she still naps at school. But as of last week we cut out her weekend nap (Chris’ good idea), so she was wiped out. Once up in her room she screamed and threw the lid to one of her storage cubes at me. I immediately took away bedtime stories. (She knows that the rule is no throwing things or kicking or hitting people when you’re mad, and it’s been an issue for a bit now.) That pissed her off to no end. She put jammies on but screamed while I tried to brush her teeth. Good times. The drama escalated upon getting into bed. And continued after we tucked her in and walked out. And kept up.

7:45pm: OMG. N was still screaming about going to bed! (And yes, she was in bed.) I relinquished nighttime parenting duty to Chris and started my bedtime routine. I was wiped and needed sleep before my race.

8:00pm: N was still screaming! Little girl, go the eff to bed! I heard voices talking; I assumed it was Chris talking her off a ledge and putting S to bed. I typed some quick notes about the day and then finished my meal planning for the week. (Seemed to take me forever this week.) My plan was to go grocery shopping and make a Costco run during the Broncos game the next day (the perks of not being a fan), so I needed to finish.

8:30pm: All was finally quiet. I turned out the light and turned on a show to fall asleep to. Buenas noches! (Note: I almost never go to bed this early. Normal is between 10pm and 11pm.)

Bonus edition, Sunday:

The weather was gorgeous for the race. Sunny and about 50 degrees. Pretty darned good for Denver metro in the winter! I really was hoping to break an hour but just couldn’t quite pull it off. There were hills — a big one halfway through — that nearly killed my legs. I was toast by the end. I clocked 1:01:xx (can’t remember exactly). I can honestly say I gave it my all. My goal this year is now to beat my time and break an hour. Should be doable.

And just for fun here are a few more pics from Sunday afternoon, which indeed included a trip to Costco and the grocery store with the girls. Let’s just say I earned my beer at dinner.

Want more Day in the Life posts? No problem!