Habits life Parenting


April 29, 2021

Things that are going well

Operation 100, Revisited.  After starting my Insta-break, reducing my phone’s screen time became instantly easier.  Imagine that.  I spent a few days oddly flitting back between email and feedly, but the device’s compelling nature became approximately 80% less compelling.  I haven’t hit the target every single day, but I’ve done much better than before.  I allow myself a Friday night Insta session on my computer – mostly to scroll through a few planner accounts that I follow, because a) it’s fun and b) staying up to date on new releases feels important for BLP!  One might think I’d be sucked in for hours but that was not the case last Friday nor the Friday before that. 

My usual end-of-the-month negativity.  I certainly did not hit a bulls-eye on all of my April goals, but somehow I have not experienced the low moods that often punctuate the end of a month for me. 

Running?  Maybe?  I did end up surviving the virtual 5K last weekend, finishing in a not-terribly-blazing 28:04, which is ~9:03 pace.  But for whatever reason, I am interested in running faster again after being sort of over it for the past year (since COVID hit, really).  At Josh’s encouragement, I started a “Fitness” training plan from Daniels Running Formula (one running nerd bible).  I know I am not likely to run as fast as I did in my late 20s when I had youth on my side AND the time and wherewithal to train 40+ miles/week much of the time. But I still have hopes of improving my pace from where I currently am! And the pursuit of improvement itself makes me happy.

Getting ready to leave in the mornings.  3x/week Josh and I have been driving all 3 kids to school (our nanny drives the other 2, often when we have early meetings or OR times in his case).  The two drop-offs haven’t been too bad now that G moved up to the 3-6 class and doesn’t need to be walked to the gate!  When it’s my day (like today), I leave with all 3 at 7:25 and we drop Annabel @ ~7:35 and the other two @ ~7:50-8:00.  Their school is on the way to my hospital/office, so this allows me to get to clinic on time!  I made checklists for several days which I think helped certain family members (ahem C) to understand the discrete tasks involved in getting ready.  

He and A get ‘points’ if they are dressed by 7:05 (fewer points if 7:15, and none after that) and ready to leave entirely by 7:20.  Points may be redeemed at a cash value at Target or Michael’s or exchanged for experiences of their choice (ie ice skating trip).   I am not entirely sure if they are motivated by the points or if it’s just the concrete steps are more laid out.  Either way, it has been better.

still hugging trees

Things that are going not-as-well!

(Alternate optimistic title: Works In Progress?)

Bedtime.  Because of course if mornings are better, something else has to give, right?  On nights that Josh is not home, it goes reasonably well.  I have to be pretty businesslike about it, but can usually get through books & teeth & reading to the big kids by 8:30 or so.  HOWEVER on nights Josh is home, G will cry until he lies next to her.   Last night Josh and I tried to watch This Is Us and got interrupted approximately 10 minutes in.  We have threatened to put her back in her own room (and we showed her the Door Monkey . . .) and may have to re-demonstrate that to her because not getting any time without the kids together before 9:00 or later is not working for me.  

(Yes, she does still nap on school days – 20 minutes, we are told.  I could try to put the kibosh on that.  Was thinking of trying to at least get to the end of the school year without making too many waves  . . . though now that she’s in the bigger kid classroom it should be less of a big deal if she doesn’t nap.  Certainly the 5-6 year olds better not be napping!)

$$$.  OMG spending allll my money, honey.  Mostly this refers to my allowance.  But still.  I definitely feel the drive to spend and I have noticed prices are a bit higher (on kids’ clothes, for example).  It does not help that I have been buying planners to review at a brisk clip (Simplified review coming up!).  I just . . . want more.  I want to get massages!  I want running gear (and am approaching a ‘need’ when it comes to new shoes).  I want to plan travel.  We are paying school tuition x 3 next year and currently paying for other related specialists. But I do not want to ramp our spending up TOO much from 2020 levels.   I think some increase is reasonable & expected, but I do not want to blow past our savings goals.

In the less optimistic realm . . .did anyone else see this!?  I am . . . astounded.  I have never heard of the school.  So (%*&#$ embarrassing for south FL.


  • Reply Maxine April 29, 2021 at 8:19 am

    For what it’s worth, if my newly-4-year-old naps for even 10 minutes (usually if they fall asleep in the car if we are driving somewhere in the afternoon), bedtime is 10x harder and it seems very difficult for them to fall asleep. That 20 minute nap for G may be consequential. Solidarity.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 29, 2021 at 9:12 am

      Yeah I wonder about that. If she doesn’t take the 20 min nap AT school I suspect she’d fall sleep on the way home (15 min drive) which would be later in day and possibly worse. Aghghgh!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns April 29, 2021 at 8:44 am

    OMG, that south Florida school!!! Freaking insane!!!!! I just can’t get over how much bad information is floating around out there and being touted as the truth. It’s so maddening. I hope there is major backlash over that decision.

    Bedtime was going so well for us and now lately our son is really pushing back and will often scream at the top of his lungs when we leave his room – which sucks because his baby brother is next door and already sleeping. So we are trying to figure out how to establish rules/boundaries while minimizing the chance he wakes his brother up. He seems to go through this every 3-4 months and then it will just magically stop happening. Ay yi yi. Last night the baby woke up right before Paul went to bed so at one point both kids were screaming/crying. 🙁

  • Reply Rachel April 29, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Is Gs behavior okay if she sleeps at 830 and is up at 7 without a nap? Certainly kids have different sleep needs but it’s been sooo painful as my almost 4 year old gives up because she’s melting down by 6 pm and that’s too early for bed. Ugh 🙁

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 29, 2021 at 3:55 pm

      It is . . . not the best. And my kids have to be up no later than 6:50 to be on time for school!

  • Reply Kathryn K. April 29, 2021 at 9:53 am

    For what it’s worth, I’m also feeling the urge to spend money when I really haven’t felt that for quite a while and am pretty frugal by nature. I think in my case it’s a combo of summer approaching and life getting back to more normal? (For example, getting my hair cut and colored today when the last time I had that done was September, but when I wasn’t going many places and Covid was more of a concern I really didn’t have any desire to get it done .)

  • Reply JF April 29, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    I did read about that school – horrifying! I feel like I’m currently living in a microcosm of the misinformation out there — our nanny decided to refuse the Covid vaccine. She has a part-time job at Orangetheory and is around way more people than we’re comfortable with for her to not be vaccinated and be around our children. She decided to ask her former nanny family for their advice because the mom is a doctor (a pediatrician in Florida!!!!) who told her that she’d be better off getting Covid than the vaccine. Unbelievable and so irresponsible for a medical professional. So, long story short, we are finding a new nanny who is getting vaccinated.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 29, 2021 at 2:30 pm

      It would be a deal-breaker for me as well. I hope you can find someone great soon!

      • Reply L April 29, 2021 at 4:17 pm

        I’m an nurse and I have a nurse coworker who refuses to get vaccinated. It drives me nuts and it’s not fair to our patients.

        • Reply Irene April 29, 2021 at 9:58 pm

          I’m so sorry. That’s just infuriating and frustrating. We recently had to quarantine one of our kids (14 days despite negative tests because???) because a staff member who was in their room for some period of time got Covid. We are fairly sure this person is not vaccinated despite having been eligible for at least a couple months here. I am trying to be grateful we were all healthy (no one was infected) but it was disruptive to say the least.

  • Reply Brooke April 29, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Is it even legal to refuse to employ someone for getting medical treatment? This feels like a gross overstep for an employer (besides just being gross on lots of other levels).

    I also am spending money (within by budget, but still more than feels right). I had a return spree recently fueled by regret. I’m working on identifying the emotion I’m trying to fill before I order. Mine is also planners recently. I just need to use the ones I have. Ugh.

  • Reply mommybusmail April 30, 2021 at 6:45 am

    – Running: I feel you on this one. I’m steadily increasing my mileage each month. I tend to cram most of my miles at the end of the month because I get so wrapped up in whatever is thrown at me during the month. My plan for May is become more intentional and give each run a specific purpose (Hill repeat, Strides, Long/Easy run – etc).

    – Spending: I’ve noticed my spending shoots up whenever a new season comes along. I need to fill clothing gaps for the kids (or myself), new releases in the planner world, or trips/outings.

    -Bedtime: We struggle so HARD over here with our 3 yr old. She has NEVER liked bedtime. She will find any excuse to come out of her room after we tuck her in – e.g., breakfast orders, random thoughts, telling my husband and I to go to bed! She doesn’t nap (even though she could use one). We’ve pushed back her bedtime by 30min last night without any incident. We’ll see how long that lasts.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 30, 2021 at 9:27 am

      We only have two seasons here – hot and not as hot 🙂 So I can’t entirely use that excuse. Ha!

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) May 2, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Yes to the spending. I’m not a huge spender but April spending has been crazy! I almost didn’t want to even look at my budget.

    If you look at about 3 – 4 months of continual “overspending” on your discretionary fund, it may be time though to increase it a bit. That’s how I approach it anyway.

    I thought I was done spending but my daughter has outgrown everything – shoes, pants, tops, everything.

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