Random Things

February 3, 2021

1- Annabel has done better than expected with her palate expander. Yay! I know braces may be worse. I think they are next but am not sure of the exact timeline. We will see.

2- I REALLY like Anxious People so far. Maybe as much as Bear Town / Us Against You.

3- I wanted to take a moment and clarify my 20 minute ‘getting ready’ routine! I think this amount of time is accurate (though I am going to time myself more specifically this morning, a la Kae).

Here are my ‘secrets’:

a) I listen to Up First in the shower. (Yes, in the shower. I rest my phone on a ledge, but it’s waterproof anyway.) I listen on 1.5 speed which means this takes about 8 minutes. If I get to the end I know it’s time to get out!!

b) I do nothing to my hair. Well, on a daily basis. I get it Japanese straightened every 6 months which means that I can get away with doing nothing and have straight non-frizzy hair with no drying/straightening/etc. Recall that it’s not usually cold here, so going out with wettish hair on the way to work is not typically a big deal. So – I guess I save a lot of time that way!

4- Valentine’s Day Treasure Hunt – some of you asked about this! This is a tradition from my childhood. The ‘treasure’ is typically a Valentine’s heart with chocolates, though I’ve bought little toys on occasion. The ‘hunt’ is a series of clues leading from one place to another. This works better once at least one child can read, though I have used pictorial clues in the pre-literate years! It’s a fun tradition and I highly recommend. Josh and I don’t usually go out on V-day but we enjoy this holiday as a family thing!

5- WINTER! Every fall I miss the seasons – and then the moment we actually get some (intermittent, mildly) cold temps I remember how much I detest ‘real’ winter. Low of 39! Of the 3 kids, only Annabel has a proper winter coat (not sure how that happened) so will have to layer up the other 2 . . . agh.

Going to layer up and attempt a run.


  • Reply Lori C February 3, 2021 at 6:54 am

    Good morning! I’ve now officially built in reading your blog to my morning routine and it’s become a real treat! I love the treasure hunt idea! My kids are 5 and 3 and excited for Valentines Day so I think it’s the perfect time to start something like this. Plus, the delayed gratification of the hunt may fend off the opening of candy followed by, “I just opened a present where are the rest?!?!”

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns February 3, 2021 at 9:19 am

    I know 39 is cold for you guys but I am yearning for that kind of low! Ha! But I know this is your nice season and you pay for it in the summer. Our high this Sunday on MN is -6!!!! Unreal. We have been really lucky with lots of highs in the 15-30 range which is ‘nice’ for us Minnesotans. We are paying for it this next week. 🙁

    Thanks for the info on the treat hunt. I might start that next year when our son is 4. I don’t have the motivation or access to a printer to do it this year! I want to do something special though. It’s nice that it falls on a Sunday. We have never been a ‘go out for Valentine’s day’ couple. I worked in a restaurant in college and that was one of the busiest months but man it was an annoying night to work. People would get mad about waiting for a table or slower food and I wanted to say – isn’t this day about enjoying time with your loved one??? It was so weird. I usually make a special meal but might be mailing it in this year since that is a bad time of day for our baby!

    Is your hair pretty straight naturally? I have naturally wavy hair so I don’t know if the Japanese straightening would work on my hair. Would love to have straight, smooth hair without blow drying!! I can not get ready in 20 minutes. It’s more like 40 for me but I rarely ‘got ready’ when I worked from home unless I had a video call. So that was nice and saved me a ton of time!

  • Reply Susan February 3, 2021 at 10:18 am

    I am also interested in knowing more about the hair straightening. Growing up I had straight hair, but now in my 40’s (thanks to hormones or something changing over time?) it is frissy, curly, and downright kinky. I’ve seen you mention the process before and always wondered more about it.

  • Reply KGC February 3, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Ha, I love that your 20-minute get-ready routine became such a topic of interest (admittedly, I was one of many in the comments who fueled this!). And I’d LOVE to time myself to see what it is for me, though I have a feeling that mine is frequently interrupted unless I manage to complete the whole thing before the kids wake up.

    Also, re: podcasts in the shower – I found an unexpected hack, which is to put my phone in a suction-cup basketball hoop that is in there for my kids. I put the hoop up high enough on the glass shower door that it doesn’t get wet and I can hear the phone way better than if I put it on the top edge of the door (which is my only other choice and is also somewhat precarious!). I seriously felt like a million bucks the day I figured this out and my husband thought I was crazy (and also doesn’t understand the joy of a shower podcast!).

  • Reply Perfectly Cromulent Name February 3, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Re: Podcasts in the shower- I got a waterproof bluetooth speaker and it changed the game! I got mine on Groupon for ten bucks, but you can order them online pretty cheap. It has a suction thingy and is rechargeable. I love it.

  • Reply rose February 3, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    How long is an average ‘palate expander treatment’ time frame? I had assumed somehow 6-9 months but wondering if am totally out of touch and flat wrong. THANKS

  • Reply Heather February 3, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    So funny because I did not like Anxious People at all and I have loved all of his other books. I found the characters to be annoying and I couldn’t connect with them at all.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 3, 2021 at 6:40 pm

      Interesting! I actually did not like A Man Called Ove but loved Bear Town & Us Against You. I do see what you’re saying about the characters – but I liked Jim & Jack! And the robber 🙂

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