life Work

5 on a Friday

September 6, 2019

Links / loves / thoughts!

1- Feedly boards. A couple of month ago, the blog reader feedly introduced a new feature – the ability to save blog posts to “boards.” I jumped in and started to make some monthly collections, as I often like to share links here and this seemed like a good way to corral interesting posts.

Here’s September so far:


The actual links above are OMDG’s post on 100 airways (I find that fascinating as I never really attained the skill of intubation but now I understand why — just didn’t do enough!), an interesting Digital Minimalism-inspired success story, and about 387423 good breakfast ideas from Love and Lemons.

2- Another board:

our EC whiteboard in its messy glory!

The whiteboards I ordered from EC came! They are sturdy and the design is very functional. The kids are loving putting checkmarks next to the tasks. We decided together that if they have a day with everything done (or close to eveything), then they will earn a green smiley face. Annabel made a bunch of coupons and I assigned smiley face values to them — ie, “10 smiles” = trip to target to get a small toy. She then organized them in a homemade coupon book (this actually really impressed me).

The honeymoon phase may be over because while I will not disclose private details, no green smiles were earned last night. But I still think it’s helpful for them to be able to refer to the checklist of what they have to do! We haven’t even hung it up yet – they are running into the office to put checkmarks down. I also have another board for weekly events which we are in desperate need of because with the 2 kids doing our local basketball league all the sudden it seems like we have 8 million practices and games to contend with. (Oops. But they both really like it.)

If you are interested in ordering and want to fuel my ability to try more EC products, here is my referral link.

3- Bedtime. On that note, OMG we have to move bedtime earlier. I feel like both kids are so tired and the late bedtime isn’t doing me (or Josh) any favors, either.

I honestly think C needs ~11 hrs of sleep and A needs ~10.5. And they are not good at catching up on weekends (mysteriously they seem more motivated to get up when there’s no school . . .).

I think “get in bed on time” may need to be added to the checklist.

4- A few notes on work. Some of you asked about work. Currently, I am 0.4FTE clinical (doing mostly outpatient peds endo) and 0.5FTE GME in my program director role. Right now I just feel very lucky to have gotten into GME and am trying my best to learn to be a great residency program director, because I do think it’s a role one grows into over years (not an overnight success kind of thing). I continue to really try to corral most of my work into the ~8:30 – 5 pm time frame, and I do think I’m naturally kind of efficient (I can focus pretty well for longer periods and can write quickly, and I find that planning ahead REALLY helps with a lot of things, too).

But it’s also a learning curve. It helps to think back to my own PD, who was new at it when she became PD my 2nd year of residency (similar to my own residents, we had a transition between my 1st and 2nd year!). Looking back I’m sure she was green but she did a great job and is still in her role 11 years later! I am actually going to a PD meeting (there’s an American Association for Pediatric Program Directors, can you believe it?) and am really looking forward to learning and connecting with others, hopefully also some others from newer programs or new to their role.

5- FRIDAY. It’s the weekend! And yes, at this juncture we’ve got the next 2 days pretty packed. I think this may be the new normal for the next 13 years or so. Not going to lie – I mostly like it.


  • Reply Mara September 6, 2019 at 6:13 am

    Enjoying the daily posts!

  • Reply Kate September 6, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Hi Sarah, love your blog and posts. I was curious how you fit in free play with the items on the checklist and general life during the week. I’m a big believer in that and we are home starting at 3:30 till bedtime around 7:30. It sounds like a generous chunk of time, but when you squeeze in all the things (dinner, cleaning up, bathing, etc) and have to add homework, reading log, and other after school academics, I get annoyed at the lack of free play time. My first grader has a sheet of homework a night which gets done and we read books at bedtime, but then comes the request to practice sight words, flash cards, additional reading….. oye.

  • Reply omdg September 6, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Aw! Thanks for the link! What I said about 100 airways is also true for other procedures, though there is some translation of certain skills (like finding your needle tip using the ultrasound) that translate from one procedure to another. Note: 100 is really the minimum number. Some people need more. Your skills will still continue to evolve after you do your first 100, such that after 100, you’ll probably be good at easy versions of that procedure, but still struggle with more difficult situations. I’m still getting better at ultrasound IVs and a lines in neonates. Those are often still quite challenging for me.

  • Reply Lori C September 6, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I really like the board with check marks. Have been debating a sticker chart or similar particularly for my 4 year olds bedtime, but this encompasses the other routine elements which I love. May use some washi tape and dry erase/sharpies and create my own on an old white board!

  • Reply Emily September 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Love the chart. Does Cameron have HW in K? What does the behavior check mark mean? Do they get a check if they were generally on good behavior for the day, or is it more about specific types of behaviors you want them to show/avoid?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 6, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      Sadly yes re HW in K. Yesterday he had to write 3 words that ended with AT in his journal with illustrations. The day before he had to write 1 sentence using each word: we, to, can. I can’t imagine how hard this would be for a kid who didn’t go to preschool! He’s in a regular public school class.

      • Reply Emily September 6, 2019 at 5:25 pm

        Yikes, my K hasn’t had any homework yet (2.5 weeks into school year) and my first grader has it a couple times a week (mainly math practice). I think with K they are really starting slow b/c it’s a primarily low SES public school in which many (most?) of the children haven’t had preschool. Definitely not writing sentences for HW! The K teacher did say at the beginning of the year that her definition of “homework” in K is that she just wants the kids to practice reading with their parents at home–but no specific assignments, which makes me happy.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 6, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      Behavior is a fairly holistic sort of thing (and I’m not below saying “you will lose the green check if you don’t stop that …). Being nice to each other. Not hitting. Etc.

  • Reply Liz B. September 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    1 – What a useful post for your readers who read other blogs! I’m not much of a blog reader, but I love podcasts. I would love a post about what you’re currently listening to and why you are interested in certain pods.

    2 – The EC whiteboard is so adorable and functional! I really need to set something like this up for my 8 y/o. I’ve made him a daily task list (basically, just a piece of printer paper in an erasable sleeve), and it works greatly when he remembers to use it. I think if I hung something up on the wall in our mudhall (which he calls his office, because of the computer we have set up in the space), he would be more likely to use it daily. Hoping he’ll enjoy using the Hobonichi A6 Weekly Supplement he chose for 2020! His school has implemented student planners this year for grades 3-5, so he’s getting the planning bug early!!!!

    3 – I feel the same way about bedtime for our 8 y/o, and he already goes to bed pretty early (8:30)! He’s woken up pretty tired two days this week after 10 hours of sleep, which has usually been more than enough. I’m wondering if he’s going through a growth spurt or if the academic load of 3rd grade is just more exhausting. Luckily for us, his school district has never been too much into homework, other than big projects (i.e., gifted and talented, science, etc.). We may try putting him to bed at 8:00, the same time as his nearly 23-month-old sister (who sleeps like a champ…hallelujah!). He’s a rule-follower, so I don’t think he’ll put up much of a fight, if at all.

    4 – I love listening to and reading about your ongoing growth in your big job! I’ve been a speech-language pathologist in the schools for nearly 20 years and have held several different positions from traditional therapist to supervisor. While I loved the mentoring aspect of the supervisory position and getting the opportunity to lead other SLPs, I did not love dealing directly with leadership who made impactful decisions across several disciplines/programs without fully understanding the needs of each field.

    5 – TGIF!!!!!! Fridays are my paperwork days at work. While I love seeing students during the week, I equally love entering therapy notes (which I know is crazy to some!), reflecting on my week, and planning a general structure for the following week.

    I agree with the posts above – I am really enjoying the daily posts! So, thank you!

    • Reply Katie Hingst September 7, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Yay! I’m another speech language pathologist- going on year 5 in the schools!

      I’m loving the daily posts, Sarah!

  • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly September 6, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Yes! Early bedtimes for the win. Not sure I mentioned it but I moved my new Kindergartner’s bedtime 30 minutes earlier (7:30 instead of 8) and it has made us all SO much happier. She was napping for an hour at daycare so she was a MESS losing that.

    I love the chart too, going to check out that referral link. 🙂

  • Reply Ana September 6, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    So you use your planner the way I use a combination of my planner/journal. The daily pages may work for me…I’ll have to reconsider the fancy planner life!
    I got each kid a small weekly whiteboard & put their tasks and checkboxes as well, they promptly ignored it. I’ll have to have some actual incentives.
    Also, hooray! Thanks for alerting me that OMDG is back to blogging, I’d have completely missed it otherwise 🙂

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