Archive | September 2016

Wisely using my child free time

Today I have actually done so many of the things my head says one should do .


  • Got up a little early to read and snuggle with Niamh
  • I made healthy lunches for kids
  • ate breakfast on the go, but, ate breakfast
  • dropped off and hugged 5 kids at school
  • worked out with a friend who totally made the workout possible by pulling out equipment for me too
  • Showered!  before noon!
  • met up with friends for an hour
  • took a 1 mile walk where I got 5 pokimon
  • Finished an awesome biography on Birdseye
  • ate lunch with my husband
  • answered a few pressing e-mails
  • did a work call

And now I look toward a major project – swapping kid rooms – that I’ve been trying to get underway for weeks.  The bed is here, the mattress arrived this afternoon, I cleaned the kitchen last night so that’s still good and I have a ‘free’ hour before my first sewing lesson student arrives.

This week has been decent in rhythm.  I’m working out more if not at normal/regular times.  I can spend time with the kids doing individual things because I can get some of the annoying chore things done faster solo.  Work is increasing since I’m onboarding a new client so I have way more setup work than normal but its also fun.  I still need to work out my computer time because if I’m not with Fiona I tend to work all day non stop and if I’m with Fiona I can’t break away as regularly as I used to.  I’ll get that dialed in sooner or later 🙂

So thats my life right now.  I need to do some posts on projects I’m working on because the big Halloween holiday is coming and we have a few new hobbies going that are totally worth talking about but I’m too busy doing to get writing.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  Mine will involve a chainsaw!

This weekend made up for last weekend


nap – no sleeping but there is a resting girl

beard – it is not getting compliments, I fear it is here for a while

cat – still alive and getting checked out next week.  Kudos to Aminavast.

House – starting to look good every day, making progress on the black hole corners


This is going to be a bit of a brag, and, a very picture heavy post, but, I am super proud of my girls.  For the past few years, I’ve done the 5k at their school and they were my cheering section.  This year I was actually thinking about skipping (see my list of injury from last weekend) but Tuesday Niamh and Zoe were very excited to sign up and both promised they would run with me.  So I paid the fees and signed them up and crossed my fingers.

Both girls ran!  We started in the front of the group and stayed pretty consistent.  We passed people even.  At mile 1 we had a 9min pace and that was about where Zoe asked just how long this run would be.  There is no way to really describe a distance to a kid, they just have to experience it.  I was very confident that they could both do a mile, it was the second and third that were a question.



waiting on the 8am start line


Mile 2 we still stuck together.  I downloaded some music the night before and played it out loud for the run since setting them up with music and headphones was just not going to work.  I got ‘kids bob’ so I knew it was unoffensive and I think the others generally around us also enjoyed it. Toward the second half of the second mile, Zoe needed some walking breaks so Niamh took off with the gym teacher who was at our pace for a while.  Niamh finished in 32 minutes and 59 seconds!  She said she only walked a tiny bit and that has to be true because 33min is good even for an adult!



running girls!


Mile 3 was hard on Zoe, but, she kept going.  I think she was bored as much as anything.  The weather was perfect, we sang and skipped and I helped her run the majority of mile 3 and we finished in 36min.  I could have gone faster alone, but, I was very happy to run with my kids.  Lars and stroller Fiona finished 1st of the walking group so everyone had a good start to the day.

Saturday started early with that 5k and continued strong.  Lars went to workout and the kids wanted to ride bikes. They rode around the block for nearly 2 hours straight. They now officially have the hang of bike riding.  I was quite tempted to take everyone to the pool so we could have a triathalon, but, we already had plans to go apple picking.


We went picking at our favorite local orchard.  I like that its free to get in, the hay ride is inexpensive, the store is not overly tempting, and the apples are awesome.  It is also very ‘no fuss’ and really only has a few extras but it makes a perfect afternoon.  We brought friends with us so for this particular outing, we outnumbered the kids 2:1.

Apple picking was not the end of the day.  We had a games night planned so the kids got dinner and then too much tv and we had a bunch of friends over.  By 9pm I was yawning but I powered through!



please note my giant table extension that I made this week.


Sunday we were lazy for the morning but we had plans to meet up with an old friend who moved south of the cities.  We met at a midway point at the Mississippi river dam park and it is a wonderful place for kids with bikes.  There was a good ride across the river and down and around to a park with plenty of picnic areas.  The kids had not seen each other for almost 3 years and they were shy to start but by the end, there was “love yous!” and hugs for all.



8 years and still friends!


We called the day a little bit early because everyone was having a good time but it looked like we were coming up to the end of good behavior.  I love when we make the right call because 10 min out of the park it started pouring, and, all 3 kids were asleep in the car.  Since we happened to be by our mecca of a fabric store we stopped in and procured fabric for 3 Halloween costumes BUT I can’t officially talk about them until after tomorrow because that is my sisters birthday, and that is the rule.


So busy, so fun, so outside and athletic and just a good weekend.  In between things we ate and cleaned and got some things done for each activity but in general it was a recharging energizing weekend.


On Vampires


For something that ‘does not exist’ there seem to be a lot of conscious on what they are, do, look like, etc.  If someone deviates from the vampire stereotype, like making them sparkle, they catch no end of hell because apparently, you can’t make up new facets to a fictional character.

Where does this collective agreement on vampire life come from?

I read a lot.  I don’t ever change my side widget over there but I’m long past the Outlander series that didn’t actually have any vampires but did have a zombie adventure in one novella.  I read the entire Dresden series, including short stories, and his vampires all conform, he does, however, break out different types of vampires and have ‘reds’ ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’. The Reds are the common ones, Blacks are more evil versions but with all the sunlight and blood issues.  Whites are energy drinkers – that was a new one for me but…

635520038055890005-day-shift-cover-artCharlaine Harris, who is most famous for the Sookie Stackhouse Vampire novels that True Blood is (loosely) based on also has a few other series that I love all the more.  Recently she published a new series, Midnight Texas, that is in the same Vampires are ‘out of the coffin’ world but includes a vampire that can eat energy.  So unless Mr Butcher and Ms Harris conspired there is yet another vampire class being acknowledged with distinct characteristics.


I also read the Laundry Files, a series by Charles Stross.  It is a good series and I like the premise of an underground organization fighting extra-worldly things that are a threat to us.  In a middle book of the series Vampires come in and he does not change the general stereotype of pros (strong, mind control) and cons (sunlight), but, he offers a more scientific explanation for the condition.  Harris and most others allude to a virus that causes vampirism but Stross takes it a step further and I like his explanation overall.  Pushing the envelope just a bit but keeping pretty close to what we all define as a vampire.

In the carpool drive, I decided we need some entertainment so I checked out an audio book series A-Z mysteries.  I highly recommend this for the lower elementary group, the stories are short and well written.  We have 15min in the car so each story lasts a little over a week.  This week’s story is what put me on this thought; there is a vampire in town and the 3 protagonists know all about vampires including that they dislike garlic.  Is this how the stereotype is passed to each generation?  Children’s authors conforming to, and passing on, the myth of vampire.  I actually don’t know how this one ends yet, I’m sure he isn’t really a vampire, but still my kids are getting indoctrinated.

So what is the deal?  How did such a hard and fast set of ideas happen with allegedly no basis in reality?  Or are there vampires and I’ve just never run up on one?   Just so many books and movies and common culture that can’t be denied.  But hey, passing it on to the next generation all the same.

The weekend that tried to kill me

But was otherwise really pretty nice…

So this is a list of complaints.  I normally don’t like to list complaints but this actually is so many it wraps around to funny.  Seriously!  I wanted to just quit the weekend!


  1. Fiona et all would not let me sleep in, this is normal, 1 in 10 Saturdays I get to actually sleep past 7am but it sets the tone.
  2. We had an event to go to, it was close so Lars went with Niamh who was actually ready and I fought the other two into outfits and car after lunch.  Nothing really out of the ordinary so far, don’t worry, it gets better 🙂
  3. At the event a giant pole, I’m talking 12-14f tall and 3×3 around, fell on my head and knocked me over.  Yeah, that did not feel nice.
  4. To add insult to injury, I fell on my bottom hard enough that it hurt as much as my skull.
  5. Lars had an evening commitment but I stayed home (no sitter and pole to the head) and all kids went to bed and I was ready for a nice early night BUT 30min after Fiona was asleep she was awake, and, awake until midnight no matter what I did.
  6. At 3am the cat, who should not be in my room, was next to my ear making a very slurpy licking sound and I pushed him off the bed to lick himself elsewhere.  He jumps very quickly back because he left his MOUSE in my bed!
  7. Displeasure at chasing a cat with mouse out of the room coupled with the fact that this cat is on a LOW PROTEIN diet and Mouse is 100%, not low protein.  He ate everything but the tail.  He left that for me.  Thanks.
  8. Since I’m awake at 3am I browse Facebook and see an announcement that would be annoying in any case but double bad at 3am after my ‘fun’ day.
  9. Tired the next day(nothing new) I am putting fresh sliders on the chairs and one slips and wacks me hard on all 10 toes…
  10. Then I’m hungry and don’t feel like real cooking so I put a pop tart in the toaster over.  Can you guess?  knuckle burn!
  11. Finally, since we know the mice are back, I set a bunch of traps and guess what?  One snaps on my finger.

There really were good points all over the place.  We had a great time at the pool, I had a nice run, we finished a game we had been working on, the kids were mostly good, the weather was great but just somehow …


I’m cautiously optimistic about this weekend, but, don’t want to jinx myself.

Productive things done today 

Only this

She is on top of me, I’m trapped. 

Week 1 complete!


Sleeping – maybe someday but not today (or this week)

naps – Fiona took one on her own!  all the other days she was a mess or crashed somewhere.  PreK is hard work.

Workouts – actually got in 2 solid ones this week

bathwater – they are actually getting better at doing this alone but I need a 10min timer for each or its a 3 hour extravaganza.  Also… Zoe likes cold baths?  Crazy kid.


This was a very very long week.  I feel like every day is 4 days.  There is my morning day where I get up and get ready and make between one and three lunches and snacks and then drive the carpool (that is going well btw) and get home again and start part 2 of the day.  Depending on the day I either have a ‘normal’ parenting day, or, a free floating get all the things done no kid day (still not used to those) but this part of the day is unique because of how quiet it is.  Part 3 begins when the kids appear home again and I think the musical ‘bring in the noise, bring in the funk’ (aside from a musical journey of African American history in

Part 3 begins when the kids appear home again and I think the musical ‘bring in the noise, bring in the funk’ (aside from a musical journey of African American history in the us) was possibly an ode to kids coming home.  3 separate stories told at 110% volume with all the comedy and tragedy you can handle.  Juggling the needs of the 3 is an ever evolving process when there is only 1 of me.  Cookies help.  I probably get bad mom points for letting them dunk in my coffee (and then drink half) but I know I need some caffeine around 4 and I’m too lazy to make tea.  Although tea might be a good idea now that I think about it.  This part of the day is technically only from 3:45 to about 8:30/9pm but those 4-5 hours seriously feel like a whole day.  There is play, there is clean up, there are 2 feedings (snack and dinner), reading time, there is bath time and books and shows and some nights jujitsu or a workout and some nights girl scouts and you get the picture.

Part 4 of the day is semi post child.  I can’t wait for the day when bed time is bed time and they magically get put away in their box and don’t come out until 7am.  The bedtime box seems to have holes right now so we can’t watch Walking Dead until after 10 when we are sure they are actually asleep.  Lars and I still eat sans children most nights, it just more relaxing to put them to bed and then eat.  Dinner and then grown up TV and conversation about the day or the show or the news.  Time when my brain can move on from cleaning or Dora and think about other things.  This week I actually went to a SchoolBoard subcommittee and a PTO meeting so it felt like my brain was eating  candy there was so much good stuff going on!  I hate to short change my time with Lars (or other adults) because it is also when I get to recharge so I always end up pushing it until 11:30 and in bed steal a few more minutes to read my book so I usually see midnight most nights.

It is a full and crazy day, almost every day.  Summer long days are a different brand.  With such different segments each day it feels like Fiona started school 3 weeks ago instead of 5 days ago.  In a few weeks the routine will be more routine but right now there is a certain shine to the novelty of everything.

Now on to the weekend.  Another subroutine we need to tweak for the school year.  The autumn weather is being perfect so we need to take advantage but we also need to work in all the things displaced by school.  And now I need to go make lunch and I apparently the cat is stuck to the bed?  The fun never stops, just gets suspiciously quiet sometimes.