Parenthood: A November Update

I haven’t written one of these in a while. Every day I see the kids do things that I hope I’ll remember in 30 years because they are so funny or interesting or bizarre but at the same time part of parenthood is that everything becomes a bit of a happy haze.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how, if he has not made it already, soon Critter will have his first true “memory.” The kind that he will look back on in 25 years as that flimsy little scrap of childhood that is the first time color came out of the void.

Meanwhile, he is deeply invested in the belief that when he wears sunglasses he is invisible. I cannot bring myself to shatter this illusion, so for now it is a Very Dramatic Playalong. When they’re on We Can’t See Him.

Glitter meanwhile has dedicated herself to a life of walking everywhere and has a deep interest in her shoes. She always wants to be wearing them or carrying them around. She can tell if she is wearing her pajamas and thus not shoes and this is disappointing to her. But she also realizes she cannot wear her shoes with footie jams on so hats off to her for being a smarty pants.

If we are having a pajama morning, she will locate her shirt and drape it over her neck like a cloak and to her this is the same as fully getting dressed. She is very proud of this accomplishment.

Critter seems to see Glitter as an actual human being now that she is upright and walking everywhere. He still gets frustrated with her (and oh God now she really can get into everything) but it seems to be different/better than when she was just crawling.

Generally I am not concerned by gendered toys but the other day I noticed Glitter (age: 14 mos) in the last two months has received several toys that involve dressing a doll. Critter (age: 2.5 years) has received zero. Isn’t getting dressed something that everyone needs to learn? Also I had literally no idea this was a thing until these toys finally arrived in our life?

Now that we are here in this new place: a big toddler and very small toddler, things finally feel easier. I am sure this feeling of relief will disappear no later than the end of January when Glitter will be down to one nap a day if she is not already there. But every milestone (sleeping through the night, weaning, turning one) makes life with two simpler.

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Some Things

Did you know we are having an early winter and I don’t take scenic photos any longer because the sight of road salt does not motivate me? In all seriousness I don’t have enough summer photos to get us through this winter so I need to start snapping.

On Saturday night, when it was all of 23 degrees outside I slept out to raise money for our local non-profit, Interfaith Outreach. To read more about my fundraiser or to donate, click here. I failed to take any photos but it was chilly, I was honored to join and I ended up sleeping for a grand total of 2.5 hours (though the first half hour was me trying to warm up and fall asleep). The evening was punctuated by the sweet sound of snow plows.

If you ever watched the recreational dance class scene in Center Stage and actually wished you were in the class (me!) then this dance workout is for you. I found it because YouTube suggested it after my normal yoga/dance cardio workout. I tried it last night and y’all IT IS GOING IN THE ROTATION. Also: I really did sweat and it really was fun.

Going into the weekend there was a strong possibility Marcus was going to be on a business trip for the middle of this week and now he is not so frankly y’all I am kicking back and relaxing.

Happy Monday.

What I’ve Been Reading

Everyone go read A World Lit Only By Fire. It is a great narrative history, I learned so many new things. It is definitely worth the time.

Without further adieu the latest group of reads.

A World Lit Only by Fire by William Manchester

The Plantagenets by Dan Jones

Shaky Ground by Bethany McLean

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

Friday Food Round-Up!

Honestly, I don’t know how we ended up cooking so little this week. And yet there was so much food in our house? A mystery.

I also took some time to bake cookies with Critter on Tuesday and froze a few logs of cookie dough so I am looking forward to working my way through those.

Monday – Sesame Chicken Noodles from Cravings, Steamed Broccoli

As always, I made this with peanut butter instead of tahini.

Wednesday – Tuna Melts, Tots, Salad

I finally got the motivation to make salad dressing this week and that was a great life choice.

Some Things

I took no photos of note this week so here is one of Lake Michigan from July. Also I forgot to press publish yesterday so here is a belated post!

Really wild weekend y’all. I hosted a mother blessing for a sweet friend expecting her second baby and it was hoot but also I think it is the first non-birthday party-party I have had in this house since we moved?

DST ended. We started switching the kids on Thursday night by moving bedtime 15 minutes (and then following with naps) so that by Sunday they would be back on track. Let it be known that navigating children through time changes is awful in case you did not already know that on a very personal level. I will say that on Sunday since we had already done the work they were just fine.

We kicked off the weekend with me and Critter stopping by Goodwill to load up on 75% off costumes to establish a dress up bin in out basement play room. I also grabbed some gear for the kids. Is thrift shopping for kids’ gear something we want to hear more about on the blog in the future or no? Regardless Critter now has a nice Nautica pullover sweater waiting for him when he moves into the next size.

I also did an inventory of Glitter’s current clothing in the next size up because we still have some sourcing to do despite all of the hand me downs.

I finally managed to schedule a haircut for myself (it’s next weekend) and it literally cannot come soon enough. This is a personal failing, but I always wait until I hate my hair to schedule these appointments.

Happy Tuesday.

Friday Food Round-Up!

This week brought to you by the side vegetable, spinach. I also made a batch of chili in the slow cooker on Sunday so we would have a few extra lunches!

Friday – Spicy Chicken and Chips from Farmhouse Rules with Garlicky Wilted Spinach

Haven’t made this recipe in AGES. It is a good one.

Tuesday – Spice Rubbed Parmesan Chicken Breasts and Buffalo Smashies from Cravings: Hungry for More, Garlicky Wilted Spinach

I tried marinating the chicken this time instead of just topping it with the spice rub/paste and it turned out pretty good that way.

Wednesday – Black Bean and Mushroom Enchilada Casserole from Cravings: Hungry for More

So tasty, but I think we probably should have just ordered a pizza to make Halloween a bit easier.

Thursday – Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Potato Mash from Cravings: Hungry for More, Garlicky Wilted Spinach

Once again I made this in the crockpot with a chuck roast. YOLO.

Miscellaneous – Autumn “Dates” Night Bread from Farmhouse Rules

I made these with Critter. It is supposed to be a loaf but muffins were just faster.

Some Things

Last night Marie and I went to see a live recording of Call Your Girlfriend. It was great and we realized we were so old when she read the fine print and it was doors at 7, show at 8. Questions: Would we need coffees to survive? Answer: Yes. Would we ever get to fall asleep? Answer: We actually made it back to the suburbs by 9:55 PM (NOT THAT WE WERE KEEPING TRACK). We also got to grab dinner before and tried poke bowls for the first time and those were pretty great. Would eat again.

That capped off a long week last week with Marcus’ business trip, and then a weekend that also included a family party, a tot-Halloween party with my sorority sisters, and a baby shower.

It has been…a lot.

But. Back to the coffee thing! This was also my first afternoon coffee in…a month. (1) That latte tasted GOOD. (2) I am glad I didn’t get the extra shot of espresso. (3) It destroyed my sleep as expected. I will be muscling through this afternoon sans-coffee and I know going to bed tonight will be a collapse into bed-style experience.

On the topic of sleep I have forgotten to mention that In August I stopped looking at my phone in bed when the lights are off. Another thing I have not missed at all and another thing I think has been helping me to sleep better.

Y’all are you doing any weird sleep things that allow you to sleep better? If so, please feel free to share in the comments.

We are now getting ready for another three days of very aggressive Halloween celebrating. We’re going to an office party with the kids this afternoon, tomorrow is Wear Your Costume To Music Class Day and a party with my playgroup, and then there is you know…actual Halloween.