Tracy of Shutterbean, a longtime inspiration for recipes and incorporating creativity every day. Her daily Instagram stories bring a touch of light to my day and I'm so impressed at the amount of content she creates.
Sarah's daily pandemic blog posts. She's on day 138 (as of writing this, maybe more by the time it publishes) which is such a bummer in terms of how long this is lasting but I'm thankful to see a new post from her each morning. I often look for them when I'm up nursing Maeve in the 3/4 a.m. hour since Sarah's on the east coast. I'd love to challenge myself to daily blogging at some point.
And by Kaileen who took a month-long social media sabbatical for the month of July. I've been on Instagram A LOT since having Maeve. I don't mind too much because I'm craving connection during this doubly isolating time of life with an infant + pandemic. Plus I'm sitting in a dark room for a few hours every day and during the night. But also I feel a little pull to be on social media less. I'm not ready to make any changes but Kaileen has inspired me to think about how social media fits into my life. Kaileen reflected on her social media sabbatical in her most recent podcast episode and she had some great take-aways.
During middle of the night nursing sessions I watched the new series The Babysitters Club and adored it. I was one of the many 90s tween girls who devoured many of The Babysitters Club books so the show was full of nostalgia while also reflecting great updates including a diverse cast and addressing a range of family situations. It made me feel excited to watch the series with Maeve one day. I think I'll see if Dash would be into it.
Now in the wee hours I'm working my way through the first season of Schitt's Creek. So far it's...okay. But I'm going to keep watching because so many people rave about it and I'll admit I am not quite yet convinced of the hype (I'm on episode 10 of the first season).
With the boys we watched Flight of the Navigator (one of Chris's childhood favorites), E.T., and Cool Runnings (they cracked up!). Classic movies for the win!
I read White Fragility for a bonus book club and not only learned a lot but enjoyed the book. What I liked about the book is how it makes clear how racism is baked into our society and how individuals perpetuate it even when they think they aren't (or refuse to see how they are). By having a better understanding of how racism is perpetuated I feel better equipped to examine my own biases, to work against the systemic white supremacy in our country, and to be more confident in speaking out against subtle racism or microaggressions.
Then I read The Island which I enjoyed but didn't find myself super eager to reach for. I did enjoy getting to know the female characters and how love and loss wove through their lives. After that I read The Mothers which explores the heartache of absent mothers and the impact on daughters. I really enjoyed it and would recommend. Now I'm reading the nonfiction The Power of Rituals which I am loving and is making me excited to elevate rituals in my life. I also just started The Heir Affair, the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Royal We which is one of my favorite books that I recommend to everyone. Follow me on Goodreads to keep up with my latest reads or on Instagram where I share what I read in the hashtag #kelseyreadinglately.
Sleep training. Working with our sleep coach, we're planning to embark on sleep training for Maeve when she's four month old in a couple of weeks. She's doing okay at night but never takes a nap in her crib. I want to establish healthy sleep habits for her and I'm starting to feel kind of desperate for predictable breaks during the day. Especially as we head into distance learning for the boys in mid-August.
Guided Peloton runs. These have been such a fun discovery. I find myself motivated to go for a run and am definitely running faster than I was without the coached runs. Now I see what all of you have been raving about!
Hmmm nothing of note. Although the night before my phone call with our sleep coach I did have dreams that I missed the call/couldn't get on Zoom to meet with her. So typical! I don't often remember or put a lot of stock in my dreams but this is a category in the It's Currently 2020 workbook that these prompts are based on.
Baby-led weaning. Even though we're a couple months away from feeding Maeve any food. I'm just excited!
Also researching ideas to celebrate Harry Potter's birthday on July 31! The boys are obsessed with Harry Potter and with little to look forward to I thought that this magical birthday was a perfect excuse to go all in on something fun. I ordered the boys house boxes from a local bakery and have been pinning ideas for how to make the day fun. I also want to get them robes. I'm thinking the day will include some HP-inspired foods (or maybe just regular food renamed haha), a few magical classes like Transfiguration (HP-theme crafts) and Potions (playing with baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar), a family spell duel (expelliarmus!), and watching a Harry Potter movie, of course. Loving traditions as I do I'm declaring this a new Team Wharton holiday. It's perfectly situated in the doldrums of summer and in a long stretch of time without any holidays. (Update since I drafted this post a couple weeks ago: We had such a great day of family fun and I'm planning a recap blog post with how we celebrated.)
Chris and I have been saying to each other that we are on our dinner game. Dinner is a highlight of my day, every day! It feels like we've honed in on some particularly delicious, filling, and nourishing meals full of vegetables, beans, lentils, and vegetarian proteins. We've also been doing a great job of using up all the groceries that we buy every week at the store. I'm not exactly sure why we're doing a better job now compared to pre-pandemic because we've always eaten the majority of our meals at home. Whatever the reason it feels great to be eating well and to have minimal food waste.
A few favorite recipes include the black bean soup that we've been making for years from Moosewood Cooks Everyday (perhaps I'll share the recipe in a future post), this amazing bean salad (please please plan to make it for yourself soon), tofu egg roll bowl, and a spicy red lentil stew (recipe shared by a friend and not online). For three weeks running I've also made this sweet potato-apple bake and cut it into eight slabs to reheat for breakfasts. It tastes like sweet potato casserole, has no sugar, and is filling. It's lovely a side of two veggie sausage links along with my morning coffee.
We've also treated ourselves to takeout from favorite local vegetarian eatery The Uprooted Kitchen. Their food is veggie packed, delicious, and wonderfully unique. Recent favorites were veggie-packed pad thai and a roasted veggie-pesto-foccasia pizza. They always have Friday night specials and I find myself getting excited to hear what that week's special is going to be. We love supporting the wonderful people running Uprooted Kitchen and having someone else cook us a delicious meal one night per week. Win win!
Finally, I took the boys to check out the new dessert spot Balboa's in Mesa which is run by a friend of mine that I know through High Fitness. Their inspiration comes from the frozen banana spots on the California boardwalks ("There's always money in the banana stand!" for those of you in the know ;) ). You choose a frozen banana or an ice cream bar and then choose your toppings like crushed Oreo, sprinkles, peanuts, crushed pretzels, sweet cereals, etc and can get a drizzle on top too if you'd like. They also have churro bars (like the moistest brownie you've ever had but tasted exactly like a churro – it was OMG) and chocolate chip cookies that look amazing.
Being able to exercise and having the time (post-bedtime), and motivation to do it. Grateful for Chris working from home and how engaged he is at home even as he's managing work.
Grateful to have made a decision about school (an online program through a local charter school) and to at least eliminate one element of uncertainty in our lives. Although I will admit I don't love that we are leaving our public school district for the year.
What the boys are into...
My dad sent two classic toys: a Magic 8 Ball and an Etch-a-sketch both of which have been hits. Then a neighbor friend set up a Zoom hangout for Dash and Cedric with his boys and they dropped off a Battleship board so they could play – genius! We didn't own Battleship before but I'm going to buy it. They have also loved the animal guessing game Guess in 10 from my mother-in-law.
In the past month the boys did two virtual theater camps with the themes of Hogwarts and Legos. I was impressed at how the teacher engaged the kids through a screen and did notice the boys engaging in pretend play inspired by the camps. But also: this was supposed to be our first summer of real summer camps and I'm looking forward to that (hopefully!!) next summer.
What Maeve is doing...
Intently taking in her environment. Laughing occasionally! Holding her head up really well at tummy time (or belly time as Dash calls it). Sitting up in her stroller instead of in her car seat (although with some blankets on her sides for support). Drooling a lot and being very mouthy – sucking on her hands or your hands if she can get them. Grabbing a toy and bringing it to her mouth. Rolling back to front, always to the left. Chatting and shrieking. Able to sit on our hip pretty well. Continues to be calm and alert and doesn't fuss unless she's tired, hungry, or needs a new dipe.
Planning travel. Being able to take the boys ANYWHERE to burn off energy. Also missing our green backyard now that our winter grass has died. With a baby and the heat we've been ignoring our backyard and it's not a very lovely sight out the back door.
Looking forward to...
Getting through sleep training and getting more sleep + consistent daytime breaks. The heat breaking (haha that won't be until November...).