November 7, 2020
Planning some house renovations

Currently: November

Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHININGSneaking in a couple Halloween photos since I missed an October wrap up post.

Inspired by...

Conversations on Pantsuit Politics. I was really into this show around the 2016 election but cut back on all kinds of news consumption as the news felt increasingly alarming to me. Following the 2020 election and the relief I feel over Biden and Harris being elected I'm enjoying being somewhat up-to-date on the news again. Going forward I want to be a thoughtful news consumer and part of the conversation about finding what we have in common rather than focusing on differences. I love the thoughtful conversations between Beth and Sarah and have also been enjoying their archives. In particular this episode about abortion is a must-listen.


The West Wing in the middle of the night while I nurse Maeve. I've heard from several other moms that The West Wing was their "newborn show." It's so comforting. As if the show wasn't enough, sometimes after being up with Maeve I'll listen to The West Wing Weekly podcast to fall asleep.


I devoured Troubled Blood and loved being back in the Cormoran Strike world again. The book was 927 pages and I would have loved for it to be longer. I love the characters Cormoran, Robin, and supporting cast. I love the setting descriptions with the sprinkled-in details that keep me wondering, "Is that important to solve the case? Is that?" I love the plot twists and turns. I can't wait for the next installment. Now I'm in the middle of reading the hilarious essay collection Wow, No Thank You. I love how irreverent and honest it is. I also received my pre-order copy of the poetry collection What Kind of Woman this week and felt so many emotions reading it. It would be a great gift for a girl friend.

Thinking about...

Challenging behavior from the boys and how to best parent them through it. It's also hard to parse what might be resulting from online school and pandemic life and what's just normal development. Although I guess it's just all jumbled together. Parenting through 2020. Do I get a badge for that? At least getting through the last few weeks of the school semester and then a one month break (YES) is on the horizon.

Also thinking about whether life might be getting back to normal by next summer – perhaps in time for summer camps??? I dare not hope but also I cannot imagine another summer at home. And of course if next summer is normal that would mean we'd return to our normal school routine next fall. I need that to be reality (but at the same time am not counting on it just to be conservative).

Listening to...

Christmas music. Zero apologies. We need all the Christmas cheer in 2020.

Dream life...

Hmmm if I don't write down my dreams right away then I really have no recollection of them. Nothing stands out as of late.


I've been doing all my Christmas shopping so I've been putting a lot of thought into gifts and gift suggestions for family. I'm nearly done with Christmas shopping though, the earliest ever, and that feels good.

Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHINING
Currently: November | RISING*SHINING
Currently: November | RISING*SHINING

Cooking + eating + drinking...

My favorite snack lately is a Perfect bar in either dark chocolate peanut butter or chocolate chip cookie dough flavor. I love to eat one while sipping ice water from my Yeti. They are so filling! I made the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from Ambitious Kitchen. I also made a gorgeous cheese board (if I do say so myself) when I hosted a family backyard gathering. To celebrate my mom's birthday earlier this month I made my favorite chocolate cake. I made a childhood favorite: red beans and rice.

Otherwise I've been feeling a little bit blah about food. Earlier in the pandemic, and especially for the first few months of being post-partum and heartburn-free, food was a delightful comfort. Now I'm just kind of tired of the hamster wheel of making meals and grocery shopping and my children being such selective eaters. I think my blah feelings about food might be tied into being less physically active as well. I enjoy eating when I'm really hungry which high-intensity exercise brings on. I'm trying to jog a couple times per week but that's nowhere near what my activity was like pre-pandemic when I went to Orange Theory and High Fitness regularly.

Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHININGMaeve was very skeptical of my dad at first but now they are good friends. I'm curious to know if it's just typical development for her to be wary of new people or if it's because she never sees new people out in the world.

Grateful for...

I'm so thankful that we've been able to have my family here! When my mom leaves next week she will have been here for a month and my dad for a few weeks. My sister, her husband, and adorable baby were also able to visit. It was the first time the baby cousins were together! It felt stressful to wait for COVID tests and to consider what was safe and not but post-negative COVID tests I felt comfortable and the help and family time has been invaluable.

Also grateful for a new president in 2021. I continue to feel great relief that Joe Biden won the presidency. Even though my day to day life will continue to be challenging as the pandemic endures I look forward to seeing our country under different leadership. I'm hopeful that he will help steer us out of the worst impacts of the pandemic and that around the new year the first vaccines should start be distributed.

Currently: November | RISING*SHINING

What the boys are into...

The boys have started playing their first online video game (Wizard101) and I have mixed feelings. We weren't necessarily ready for this to happen but they played at their cousin's house then begged us to play at our house. (Of course we are the parents and could have said no but did feel okay enough with it that we allow them to play.) We allow them an hour of playing per day after their rest time. It seems innocuous and they think it's the funnest thing ever but just entering the world of gaming makes me a bit uneasy. Like with so many big parenting steps I envisioned anticipating this step, discussing it with Chris, coming up with an approach, and then sharing it with the boys. Instead what happens is suddenly the boys are into something or doing something and we have to figure out in real time how we feel and how we want to approach it.

I loved reading The Vanderbeeker's of 141st Street to the boys at night. A great recommendation from Anne!

Also, in early November Cedric got his cast off, woo hoo! (He broke his right wrist in October rollerblading. Did I mention that?)

Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHINING Currently: November | RISING*SHINING

What Maeve is doing...

Crawling! Pushing herself to up sitting from crawling. Trying lots of food and liking some of it. She loves her baby oatmeal mixed with peanut butter or with some fruit or veggie puree. Maeve is so curious and social. I'm once again floored to be reminded how much personality and presence babies have even before they are a year old. So far Maeve does a really good job entertaining herself with her toys (thank goodness given life right now!). She's crawling but not for long stretches yet so we can set her up on the big carpet with toys and easily keep an eye on her from the kitchen. I know that won't last for long. We think it's so cute how she will squawk to get our attention. She still only has two bottom teeth. Currently Maeve wears size 9 month clothes but at least for her pants I think she could use the next size up. Such a healthy, robust baby. So perfectly chunky. We just love her so much.

Maeve has also been sleeping really well. Gosh we've come a long way! It's satisfying to look back on our sleep journey now that sleep feels predictable. She's taking two naps a day and often sleeps for at least an hour for each, often over an hour for one of them. More frequently she's only waking up once at night. I don't mind the once-a-night wake ups and can already tell I'll miss them when they're over. It's such a sweet time to hold and nurse my sleepy, heavy baby. I enjoy the quiet while reading the news or watching The West Wing. Honestly it's often the most peaceful time of my day haha. The nighttime sleep routine feels especially good given how much she was up before we did sleep training.


The same things I have been: Our school routine. Being alone at my house. Writing consistently. Time to fully recharge and to bring that energy to the rest of my life. Looking ahead to December and my birthday I'm missing planning a day of my favorite things (getting my nails done, going out to lunch alone and reading, a date night with Chris). I'm trying to come up with a way to still feel like I get a day "off" full of enjoyable things.

Looking forward to...

Hosting Thanksgiving at our house in our backyard. We'll have having Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law and her family. They are already in our bubble and we all practice safe stay-at-home measures but all the adults and teenagers will also get COVID tests beforehand to practice extra precaution. Chris's parents will not join us to be extra cautious. I'm also looking forward to finishing my Christmas shopping and wrapping so that I can have as few obligations in December as possible. Hopefully together with the break from school the Christmas holidays will feel like a respite.


I hope you are finding little joys this month, friends!