November and the start of Q5 (plus some Halloween pix!)

November 1, 2019

New month.

New Quarter! (And one my favorite quarters, at that.)

I have decided that I am tabling my NaBoProMo (National Book Proposal Month) until January. While I love that there is a widespread movement of others writing in November, I suspect this month is going to be insane. And I want to set myself up for success, not failure!

SO – I will spend the next two months in preparation mode and also cleaning up the blog-related projects that will support a proposal (especially an EMAIL LIST/newsletter – I am determined to roll this out by the end of 2019 and now have all of the pieces in place!). January 1st, BoProMo will be ON.

November will contain:

  • More half marathon training
  • First trip with Annabel! (I feel like I’ve been waiting for this for years!) — we are headed to NC for the weekend for my sister’s baby shower! The weather looks cool and glorious and I am excited for this one-on-one time with her.
  • A visit from my parents
  • Thanksgiving (yesss, love that holiday)
  • Residency interviews (4 more days!)
  • Onboarding of our new coordinator (yay!!)
  • A grand rounds presentation (need to get on that)
  • Reflection & goal-setting (yes I start this in November)
  • About 324837 work events.


Out in the neighborhood as a Royal Family

Halloween report! I volunteered in C’s class for their party (fun, and he was so happy) and we all wore costumes last night! Family costumes are the norm in Miami Beach but we were definitely outliers in our more low-key neighborhood. It was a lot of fun, though, and it helped us meet/talk with more neighbors.

The kids had so much fun — Genevieve caught on immediately to trick-or-treating and it was amazing to watch. She also caught on immediately to the concept of candy. It is much harder to shield your third kid from such things!

Speaking of candy . . . I have not yet decided on our policy with respect to the candy for Annabel & Cameron. I know it’s all rather disgusting (basically a mix of corn syrup and artificial *#@#) and I would prefer they not eat it daily for the next several months. I used to allow them to pick 10 or so pieces and then put the rest in a vague “for later as a treat” pile that they then eventually forgot about. (PS: my own personal candy policy is to eat a few pieces on Halloween, and then move on. I greatly enjoyed the Reese’s PB cup and mini Butterfingers that I sampled!)

Fortunately they didn’t collect a terribly obscene amount, so . . . maybe I will just see what happens if we allow one piece per night (in lieu of their usual dark chocolate square!) if they choose. This is how I ate my candy as a kid and seem to have lived to tell the tale . . . for G, I feel more strongly about keeping it away (she’s just so young!) but the big kids typically have their ‘piece’ of dark chocolate after she goes to bed, so it should work out ok.

Finally, thank you for all of your Evening tips! I think my biggest struggles are all related to Genevieve and the age gap we have. Many of the things that are fun for A&C are just HARD with G. And their sleep needs are not equal at this point. I honestly think some of this is only going to be solved by . . . TIME. And not that much time, either. 2 years from now, she will be almost 4, C will be 7.5, and A will be 9.5. And I suspect our evenings will be full and rarely boring.

I do think that in the meantime, I will work on enacting some more strategies. Particularly picking a night or two each week to just get out and do something, even if it’s a walk around the block. (Notably, my willingness to do this very much coincides with the start of our 6 month stretch of Mostly Good Weather — the nightly storms of the summer just make me want to cower inside of our house and do nothing).

G at school! (Yes, she wore two different costumes because her Montessori school required her to wear “something fall or from nature”)
Trick or Treat Crew


  • Reply gwinne November 1, 2019 at 8:51 am

    I know Josh isn’t always around in the evenings but could you potentially divide-and-conquer on some nights,with respect to evening activities? Also, I do realize not-quite-2 is tricky….but the age gap between your kids isn’t THAT big (at least from my perspective with almost 8 and almost 16); we necessarily do what the littlest is capable of as a family activity (i.e. game night involves Monopoly Junior, not the full game). They tend to agree on all things involving treats.

    I’m also undecided if I’m going to do a writing month this month or wait until December/January…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 1, 2019 at 3:10 pm

      I guess you’re right, the gap isn’t tricky. Toddlers are! (For me anyway). But it’s short and extremely cute. And still worth it 🙂

      On some nights I just have josh do the big kids and I’ll do G. We could probably divide and conquer more. Or maybe it’s just the nights where I’m alone that stand out. I should track and get some objective data on what actually happens. 🙂

  • Reply Laura November 1, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    I don’t put too many restrictions on the Halloween candy. I put the bags in the pantry and my experience is they’ll be in there for a few days and then will lose interest once their favorites are gone. That’s why we still had a consolidated bag of last year’s candy by Halloween this year!

  • Reply omdg November 1, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    How did you come up with the piece of dark chocolate rule? Dyl would rather have no sweets than eat dark chocolate. She’s much more of a white or milk chocolate kind of girl. She also doesn’t like jolly ranchers (!) as I found out this morning. Or peanut butter cups.


    Love the family costume. My husband is a jackass and dressed up as some Iron Maiden (Think except he wore a straight jacket). He had to take off the mask because he was scaring little children. She dressed up as a clown (I made the costume, believe it or not!!), and was super adorable.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 1, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Honestly the dark chocolate is what I grew up eating and love so it’s what we buy. Plus it does have a little less sugar :). The kids are used to it and love it- the Theo brand, xoxoxo brand, or the endangered species brand. Even the flavors like mint orange ginger etc. We are always stocked w it and often all eat a square before they go to bed. It’s my go to treat too 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 1, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Not liking pb cups !!! Wow!!!

      • Reply omdg November 1, 2019 at 3:43 pm

        I know right! Insane!

  • Reply Helen Thomas November 2, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    I actually don’t mind our food allergies when it comes to this holiday. My peanut allergic kiddo is 9 so it’s the norm to him to basically hand the entire thing over, I pick out the few things he can eat (always food dye stuff!) and I give him better quality, safe treats 😉

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