life Planners

And Now For Some Other Things!

December 5, 2020

1- SLEEP. So, as I mentioned, we have continued to struggle with G’s sleep. I loved the suggestion of a sleep consultant but haven’t gone there because Josh has not wanted to (yet, anyway). And he DOES take over a large portion of middle-of-the-night duties, so it’s hard to argue.

That said — we had a few bad nights this past week, and on both Tuesday and Thursday she was so tired at school that they noted she was falling asleep at lunch (at 11 am). So we starting thinking about other solutions (including something to temporarily hold her door closed, though neither of us really want to do that).

BUT yesterday I thought – hey, maybe she’d want to sleep with A&C. I framed it as a sleepover and read books to them all at once. I also told her that if she leaves the room even once then the sleepover is over. (I made her repeat this concept several times.) We set up her crib/toddler bed mattress on the floor next to the big kids’ bunk beds.

AND — amazingly enough — IT ACTUALLY WORKED! NOT sure if this was just a fluke, so I’m not claiming victory yet. But hey — it was one good night after a slew of bad ones. She’s still in bed now and no parental intervention was needed to help her stay there overnight.

Here’s to hoping that tonight is a repeat.

2- First patron sub! I am now a proud supporter of Planners and Wine 🙂 I think this is the first time I’ve ever joined a Patreon group, but I wanted their extra bonus episodes and just felt like supporting their venture. It’s such a fun and honest podcast (and the hosts have planner love that is infectious).

3- I have every reason to believe that the next 2 weeks are going to be very, very hectic. Aghigh! All the more reason I want to get G to sleep. There are 2 double residency interview days, 5 packed patient days, 16 mid-year feedback meetings (these are super important!), several important work meetings, 2 coaching classes and MORE between Monday and winter break (which for me is 12/23 – 1/3). I also want to get ahead with BLP although honestly all of this might mean I need to take my own ‘rest’ advice and take a mini-hiatus for a week or two!

I am going to have to really lean in to time blocking and possibly add in some slightly longer work days to get everything done.

4- CONSUMERISM. %#$(&, I feel myself getting sucked in by all of the buying for the holidays. There’s also something about breaking the consumerism seal — you resist for so long and then once you splurge on something (ahem AirPod Pros) you just want everything.

(Just me? Guessing not, but who knows.)

I do find it helps to have a “Things I Want” list in Apple notes. Sort of scratches the itch to just put things on the list. Sort of.

5- Other lists. SPEAKING OF LISTS, I haven’t really started to dive into the notes pages in my Wonderland222 yet, but I want to set things up for the new year! Things I like to track in there:




purchase ideas / wish list (ie, #4)

kid outing ideas

maybe list of possible people to invite for outdoor meetups w/ kids

camp/activity ideas

gift ideas for others

reading ideas (though I now find the blog is a great venue for tracking both reading plans & books finished!)

Quintiles lists

someday/maybe list

maybe another 100 dreams list (whatever happened to my old ones? hmm.)

work projects

RVU productivity (not great this year – hopefully better in 2021)

more I am sure! Anyone have great ideas of things to track/collect yearly?


Josh is on call – but is going to take C to soccer. The rest of the day is fairly up for grabs but definitely plan to spend some of it outside.

C in his new glasses! He is thrilled to be able to see more now. How many days until they break? (I got the warranty!)


  • Reply Joy December 5, 2020 at 6:38 am

    I love your lists! I keep a list of books I’ve read in a separate book dedicated to books and reading. I don’t keep a list of books I want to read on paper nor any other lists, but that’s a great addition to my planner. I’m inspired to start lists in my 2021 planner.

    I hope the sleep solution works.

    • Reply Amanda December 5, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      I also keep a separate “book notebook”. To me, the biggest advantage is that it is cumulative, whereas I feel like the list(s) of books read would get lost if I wrote them in my annual planner. It’s fun to look back and realize a book I thought I read recently was actually a few years ago. Keeping track of books I want to read would be a good list within an annual planner.

  • Reply KGC December 5, 2020 at 7:20 am

    I’m one of the big advocates for help with sleep (mostly because I drank the kool aid and totally believe in the idea that sleep consultants can help since it worked for my kiddo) but am curious as to Josh’s reasoning for not wanting to try a consultant? Is he just…way better at functioning with broken sleep than you (or I!)?

    One caveat: my consultant experience (which, by the way, was watching four online courses and implementing strategies…I never needed the one-on-one consultation that is also offered) was at the newborn age. We set good foundations and they seemed to carry those through as they age, though the younger is 20 months and still in a crib. I have no idea what it looks like to solve sleep problems for an older kid, though the reviews of the person I used are all very positive even at those older ages!

  • Reply Michelle December 5, 2020 at 7:32 am

    My second son is just older than your G, and we finally solved his sleep problems at around age 2.75. He wouldn’t sleep through the night from 2-2.75, even though we sleep trained him as an infant and had a blissful almost 2 years of sleep. We tried everything, and finally landed on melatonin gummies! Seriously saved our lives

    • Reply Elizabeth December 5, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Melatonin gummies!!! My 2.5yo was also a great sleeper until 3 months ago and we have been trying everything but I have never heard of melatonin gummies! I’m going to read about them and probably give them a try! Thank you!

      • Reply Michelle December 5, 2020 at 11:59 am

        Yesss they are the best, and pediatrician approved! We have been doing half a gummy (it says for ages 3+), and it works like magic! I think some kids just produce less melatonin, and after almost a year with broken sleep, everyone in the family was suffering, especially our almost 3yr old! My older son is a great sleeper and he didn’t need any melatonin, so I didn’t even know it was an option!

        • Reply Elizabeth December 5, 2020 at 4:40 pm

          I’m totally emailing our ped right now. Same with our first kid who is 4 – awesome sleeper and always has been. Number two is a different story. Thank you!

    • Reply Jenny December 7, 2020 at 11:44 am

      Same here — my daughter had tremendous issues with going to sleep starting around age 3, and after months of struggle, we started having her take either a full or a half of a 1mg gummy per night. It broke through the difficulty like magic and helped establish going to bed easily as a new habit, and we were eventually able to drop them. I just started doing the same thing with my son who just turned 3 and is exhibiting the same signs.

  • Reply Rachel December 5, 2020 at 8:05 am

    The door monkey is really great. It costs like 5 on Amazon and it keeps them out but it’s not like a lock. Hang in there. 3 year old sleep struggles are brutal and it feels like there are no good answers unlike the baby ages.

    • Reply Charlotte December 6, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      Came here to say the same thing. We’ve used them with both kids. Also helps with airflow for the heat/a/c to have the doors propped open a bit. We adjust it so the kids can’t reach it if we want them to stay in the room.

  • Reply Lisa December 5, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Love the glasses! My 5- year-old recently got his first glasses and choose that exact style. They’ve taken a beating but haven’t broken yet (though we also got the warranty!).

  • Reply Ashley December 5, 2020 at 9:57 am

    For an extra pair of glasses for my kiddo, I used I think but there are a lot of discount sites out there. She likes the $40 pair better than the $280 ones from the office. Nice to have an extra pair when 1 goes missing

  • Reply Katie December 5, 2020 at 10:04 am

    I love your creative sleeper over solution. My husband and I are seeing a sleep consultant today for our 8 month old. I’ve resisted because similarly my husband is hesitant and he handles most night wakings (he’s a saint). But I’m ready for the whole family to get better sleep!

  • Reply Katie G December 5, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Our now 5 year old sleeps with her older brothers… it has been going on for 2 years. She would not stay in her room and bed time was awful, terrible, no good for anyone.

    Now we read books and listen to music in one room and they all go to sleep. At some point they will want their own space (I think??) but right now they are happy and well rested and I don’t dread bedtime as much as I used to!

  • Reply TAS December 5, 2020 at 10:27 am

    C looks so cute in his glasses!! I remember that feeling when you get your first pair and realize you hadn’t been seeing the world clearly.

  • Reply Heather December 5, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Good for you on getting the warranty! I found it to be worth every penny. My son got his first pair just before he turned six. I believe they replaced the lenses once and the frames four times in the first year. That’s in addition to probably 4-5 visits to have his frames adjusted after he bent them. Here’s hoping C is a little gentler. 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 5, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Gentle and Cameron do not go in the same sentence 🙂 🙂

      • Reply Heather December 6, 2020 at 2:59 pm

        Ha! I hear you. My son is 8 now, got his new glasses in August and I’m thrilled that we lasted until this week for first frame replacement of his current pair (we did have one repair in October, but that was just an office visit).

  • Reply Sam December 5, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Sounds like a great sleep solution for the moment! I also try to write things down that I want to buy, but it does feel easy to get sucked into consumerism. I am listening to the most recent episode of the With Intention podcast all about embracing a less consumerist holiday season, and I’m finding it helpful to explicitly seek out those types of narratives to counter wanting to buy all the things.

  • Reply Jessica December 5, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    I track this digitally, but articles to read.

    How to you plan/track infrequent recurring to-do items? E.g. check the smoke detector, check your cars fluids, etc. Things that happen less-than-monthly.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 5, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      Planner 🙂 just write them in. Though admittedly the two you mention … we don’t do! When the oil change light goes on I get the oil changed w fluid check 🙂

  • Reply Omdg December 5, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Ive heard that a lot of times the younger siblings sleep better when put in the same room as the older ones. I also had an attending who said his son started sleeping better when the dog was in his room. All anecdotal! I just hope you’ve found something that works for you.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 5, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      I will be soooo happy if this is the answer. My MIL just told me she put Josh’s younger brother with him and it worked .. a mere 43ish years ago.

  • Reply Erin December 5, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    We do “sleepover parties” for the kids on weekends and I do think it helps my four year old stay in one place all night. Also one thing that helps me with scratching the buy itch is pinning stuff I want to Pinterest on my shopping board. I rarely ever go back to buy! I’ve heard done people actually put things in their online shopping carts then walk away.

    • Reply Joy December 5, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      I fill carts all the time and then don’t look at them again for a day or two. If I still want it, and it’s still available, two days later, then I feel ok with buying it. It really helps.

    • Reply The Evely Pack December 6, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      i do that!! my amazon cart has like 80 items that have been “saved for later” haha!!

  • Reply Irene December 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Ohh let us know if the sleep over solution keeps working. We have talked about trying this for my younger kid who is clearly not getting enough sleep but it’s like some over night wake ups and some early mornings and we have been worried he’d wake up the older one in the mornings…

  • Reply Coco December 5, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    I’m in also in a shopping feast and feel zero bad about it as i haven’t done any this year!

  • Reply Diane C December 5, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    I am definitely a list maker too; I feel like I have a lot of the same lists that you mentioned. Two other things I like to track that are more reflective than proactive-
    -Meaningful quotes I come across. I often hear or read things that really speak to me, but if I don’t write it down, I forget them and then I feel it renders their profundity fleeting for me. So I’ve started writing these quotes down so I can revisit them.
    -new things I’ve learned to do. It helps remind me that I am still growing and figuring new things out. This year’s list included “opening an oyster with a butter knife” and “sewing masks”

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 6, 2020 at 5:36 am

      oh I LOVE your “new things I’ve learned” idea!!! Totally starting a page for this for 2021 🙂

  • Reply The Evely Pack December 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    we’ve also been having “slumber parties” for our kids! ironically, it’s the 5 year old that is benefitting from the presence of her almost 3 yr old brother!!! she used to sleep SOOO good!! but we hit a jag last christmas, and even now she comes into our bedroom multiple times a week “i’m scared”… so i thought maybe having her brother in the room would comfort her… not sure if it’s happening, but the trips to our room in the middle of the night at least for now have decreased! yay!! he’s in a pack n play in there now, but if it sticks, we may even get bunk beds! and i’ll use his room for my office/crafts/hobbies yay!!!

  • Reply The Evely Pack December 6, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    and oh! i’ll have to check out this planners and wine patron thing!!! you turned me on to their podcast, and the only thing i don’t like about it is waiting for more episodes!! i feel like they don’t do every week? love them tho!! thanks for the rec!!!!

  • Reply Lisa December 6, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Glad G had a better night and hope that continues. Sleep is so tough. Our son was waking up this summer and fall but knock on wood has been better lately. We brought the baby home yesterday and I was worried he would wake the toddler up during the night as the baby’s room is next to our toddler’s. The baby is sleeping in a bassinet in our room but we go into his room for diaper changes and feedings during the night. Luckily he did not wake the toddler last night. I hope that continues as I have heard others say their toddler had a sleep regression when becoming a brother/sister. Would like to avoid that as we are exhausted as is (got 1.5 hours of sleep on Friday night and 4 last night!). Oh newborns!!

  • Reply Shelly December 6, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    My son has nano frames that are bendy and basically indestructible. We would worry more about them getting left somewhere or lost than broken. The arms come off and then a headband can be attached for sports. He has them with transition lenses as he is sometimes light sensitive outdoors. They work great (I don’t get anything for mentioning them).

  • Reply Angie December 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    My second son struggled with sleep. He’s 4.5 and it’s finally getting better. Back in March I couldn’t take it anymore. He goes to sleep fine but was waking up constantly. I got him a toddler weighted blanket and it’s life changing. He immediately started sleeping through the night. Occasionally he wakes up once it overall he’s doing great.

  • Reply Jenn December 10, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Yes to the sleeping…we are currently mid-sleep training with our eight month old. I resisted for awhile because – my mama’s heart! – but I was really starting to struggle with my mood and honestly our marriage was suffering too! We are on night 4 of 14…I’m exhausted but it almost feels like giving birth – at least when you start to push you know you’re getting somewhere! Haha. Hope G gives you great nights from here on out!

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