This weekend Hazel went to to her friend, Ethan’s Birthday party. Open play in a fieldhouse - bounce houses, batting practice, and free reign to run. It was awesome (and just the mid-blizzard energy release my 2 year old needed)!
It was the first time I have attended a birthday party as a mother of the guest. I went in not really knowing anyone (which was fine since Z is my buddy)… but I ended up meeting a bunch of great new people…moms and dads from our school and around our neighborhood. It is amazing how much parents/parents of toddlers have in common.
They served cotton candy.
Hazel inhaled her cone of sugar…then asked for second one.
I asked if she was joking.
And then she laughed.
It was like she saw the absurdity in her own request.
She did however try (and nearly succeed) to sneak a cupcake out when we left the party.
Leave the keys under the mat. I’ll take this loft exactly as it is.
Spoiler alert: Ave’s favorite color is COLOR.
Rooted in the mythology and culture of ancient Greece and India, KRYSOS + CHANDI takes its name from the Greek God of gold, Khrysos and the Hindi word for silver, Chandi.
Good Dog, Carl
by Alexandra Day
We love this book in our home.
It’s a picture book about a mom who leaves Carl the dog to babysit while she runs a quick errand (um?) and the mischief that ensues. It’s the sweetest little story…once you get past the fundamental premise :)
Carl is Fee’s favorite - it is always her first bedtime story pick. There are no printed words but we have developed our own pseudo-script for each page…little moments of interactions built in
Left page: we cuckoo together - just like Grandma H’s clock!
Last night I got to thinking…
Simon and I trade off which daughter we put to bed every night or two. Meaning Felix hears the story told from two different perspectives. Mom’s Carl and Dad’s Carl. Only she knows the little differences in the words we chose and rhythm we use….or possible variations to the plot itself.
It must be sort of a trip for a child to learn that not everyone sees the world in the same way. #lifelessons
for fantasy | wmagazine
A cartoon by Liza Donnelly. | newyorker
Take a look at photos of the polar vortex’s impact across the country: http://nyr.kr/1lNzjqe
Above: Ice builds up along Lake Michigan at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach, as temperatures fall below zero. Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty.
sending prayers and love to our friends in their time of loss.
Celebrating the awesome life of David’s mother. The matriarch.
My mother was the making of me. She was so true and so sure of me, I felt that I had someone to live for - someone I must not disappoint. The memory of my mother will always be a blessing to me.
-Thomas A. Edison
Rest in Peace dear Leona
It seems like this must be a peak season for scale sales.
Assuming that is true, I felt like it was an appropriate time to give a plug for what has become my most trusted weight loss/maintenance companion. I have used the same Eat Smart Precision Digital Scale (referral) for about 4 years now - it has seen me through the lb ups and downs of two pregnancies, a new job and several Christmas cookie seasons . It is reliable and consistent and most importantly, provides an objective data point for me to use to influence my food choices for the day.
I know “they” say not to weigh yourself everyday, but I fervidly disagree with this rule. For me, regular check-ins have been an essential part of managing my weight. I have a 5 pound range where i feel most comfortable…and the deal I made with myself is that I will try to not exceed the high end of that range or fall below the low. When I see the number on the scale drift closer to the upper end, I make some healthier choices…and when it approaches the lower end, I cut myself some slack.
Some may say this practice makes me a slave to the scale, but that is simply not true.. Stepping on the scale daily informs and empowers me to make small changes(easy changes) to stay within my goal.
And with this practice,
Diets have been replaced by good old fashioned smart choices…AND the freedom to enjoy donuts when I so choose. :)
(This may go without saying, but I think you all are beautiful JUST THE WAY YOU ARE! Be healthy…Be strong…Be HOWEVER you want to be. I just wanted to share the above for those looking to make some changes in this great new year!)
We are amidst a polar vortex. You may have heard.
-38 with wind chill. Too cold for schools or commutes.
Work from Home Monday. That’s not easy with two toddlers.
We let the girls put on a movie (some movies) and have a pretty quiet day. They were cozy…happy.
I on the other hand, started the day super stressed about not being in the office, but things worked out well-enough….
I mean, the view doesn’t get much better than this. :)
Thankfully the girls didn’t get too stir crazy and I was able to get work done (I even found a minute to sweep-up lingering pine needles and box-up any final traces of Christmas..which felt like a huge personal win)
After finishing our work, we set out on two mini snow adventures
- We tested if it was cold enough for poured water to freeze before hitting the ground. It did not. The experiment was underwhelming. (Update: I should have used boiling colored water!)
- Inspired by Kathleen, we opened the sliding door and filled a big bowl with snow from our back porch…which we then transformed into SnowsCream (snow ice cream). It was kind of gross but totally fun! A silly thing to do with the girls to make the day feel snow-special.
It was the warmest coldest day I think I have ever had.
(Pssst…Hi Auntie El! If you are reading this - Hi! We miss you. Look - I found some batteries and now the girls are obsessed with Cuddles the monkey! I am pretty sure Felix thinks she’s real. And hey, while you are saving lives, we are snowed in. Enjoy your travels…be safe. xo)
On Saturday morning, we took advantage of the brief break in the snow (and last day of +0 degree weather) to get some errands done. I snapped this pic of Fee on our way into Target.
A few tangentially related things:
- Felix cracks me up. Let’s just say, my youngest daughter isn’t afraid of bold choices!
- A new Target recently opened just a few blocks from our house…blocks, I say! I can make it door to door in less than 4 minutes. It is the single best addition to my life since the birth of my daughters. :)
- Speaking of Target - they had 90% off Xmas decorations. I got a bunch of felted garland for $1 a spool. I didn’t know I could feel so fiscally responsible while buying decorative accessories!
- Fee’s sweater is from Gap Kids but we scored it for $0.25 at Goodwill.
- I picked out that hat for Felix to wear on Saturday, but the shades were all her doing, Those are the decorate-your-own Fancy Nancy sunglasses my girls got for Christmas. If you are in the market for a $12 gift with BIG impact for a little girl (Age 2-8, I think), these get enthusiastic thumbs up from me and Fee!
- Felix has 4 big teeth coming in right now and whole apples have become her go-to source for teething relief. You don’t hear me complaining…and surprisingly she hasn’t complained much either. Thus far she has had a far easier time with teething than Hazel.
Mostly, I just wanted this photo to live on my blog :)
DAILY PIC: Could this classic, flat-bottom paper bag be the most important, influential object ever conceived by a woman? In MoMA’s show called "Designing Modern Women", the 1871 patent for the machine to make it is credited to one Margaret E. Knight, working at the Union Paper Bag Machine Company, in Philadelphia. More eyes must have settled on such a bag than have ever taken in the Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David. And could you carry your lunch to school if all you had to wrap it was a Monet? (Museum of Modern Art, gift of Duro Bag Manufacturing Company)
White hole | via: simoncpage
Hi Anonymous. We do.
This is actually one of the most common questions I get in my ask-me queue. So let me expand, a little….
We have a wonderful woman who has worked with us since Hazel was about 5 months old. Our nanny came to us as a referral from a lifelong family friend - and she has been a great fit for our family. We love her.
She comes to our house 4 days a week and my girls get to spend every Wednesday with my mom (who lives about 4 blocks away from us). In addition to the priceless family time, Grandma Wednesday helps us bring down our childcare costs a little and it let’s our nanny work the 4 day work-week she was looking for….
Our nanny has school aged children of her own, so she works 8:15 - 5:30. Regularly, Simon and/or I need more time than that at the office- so we switch off who is on nanny hand-off duty. One of us usually heads to work early…one of us stays at the office a little later…deciding on who gets which slot (or both) is the ongoing negotiation of our life. It gets a little stressful*, but we make it work. It is a relief to know if we were ever in a bind or say, I got delayed during business travel, my mama could cover for us. (*I am fully aware that relatively speaking this “stress” doesn’t register anywhere meaningful on the absolute pain scale, but it is what we deal with and so I share.)
And then, of course, there is school!
Hazel started pre pre school a few months ago. As of this week, she will be in class 3 days a week (up from 2). I am thrilled we got into the additional day - Hazel adores her school and friends. We drop her off on our way to work, and the school is just a short walk from where we live - an easy walk for our Nanny and Fee who pick Z up around 3:00 on school days ((when the weather is ridiculous, we work out a ride situation)).
With Hazel out of the house a couple of days a week and Felix still on a 2-a-naps-a-day schedule, our nanny also helps out with light housework. She unloads the dishwasher, folds the laundry, helps Hazel make her bed…that sort of stuff. I’m not gonna lie - it’s so nice!
All things considered, we have a great set-up, but even so - it isn’t easy being a working parent. Hell, it isn’t easy being a parent! Knowing that my children are well-cared for and that I get to come home to a peaceful/tidy environment makes it possible for me to focus on the things I need to do at work then hustle home and be present for our family time. For that I am immensely grateful!
…So for those who have ever asked, or wondered, how we make it work in our household (right now, at least) - here you have it, the Childcare situation for our 1 & 2 year olds.