5 on a Friday: Big and Little

February 25, 2022

1- Big = the news. Obviously, the Russia/Ukraine situation is extremely scary and is impacting real people just trying to go about their everyday lives, which is heartbreaking. That said, I am trying not to go back to my CNN-refreshing ways of spring 2020 because . . well, they just do not help anyone (other than CNN, I guess). I am listening to Up First daily (usually in the shower!) and am just trying to appreciate each day, including the relative safety I usually take for granted. As distressing as everything is, I don’t feel like there is much from my vantage point to do about it.

2- Evenings. We went out Tuesday night and I STILL feel tired! I still feel it was worth it. I need to do something about my current evening routine, though — primarily the part where I procrastinate in bringing the kids upstairs and then get really ornery that everyone isn’t instantly in bed.

When we go up at 7:30 and start the process everything works out better. I think I need to set an alarm of some kind reminding me of this. ALSO: I am thinking our move will be a natural stopping point for our habit of lying in the kids’ rooms at night. There will be 3 rooms and 2 parents so the option won’t even be there for everyone to have a parent there . . .

3- TV. Um, I miss TV. Josh and I haven’t watched anything in quite some time (see item #2, too busy lying on our kids’ floors). I think we might get an Apple TV trial and dive into Ted Lasso (2 years after everyone else, why not?). I also want to watch Inventing Anna (multiple friends recommended) and The Sex Lives of College Girls. Anyone have current recs?

(PS: I have barely read, nor have I watched much of anything this past month. I have not been on Insta. Honestly, I am not sure what I HAVE been doing. A lot of CNN refreshing, e-mail checking, and reading of random Reddit threads (ugh)).

4- I ordered a new planner to review! I am not planning on switching planners (probably) but I have been wanting to take a deep dive into MakseLife for quite some time and decided to go for it. Review to come on a future ep.

6 month undated

5- I think I will attempt to send in our tax documents this weekend (we work with an accounting firm). It just occurred to me that April 15 is not that far away. Adulting is fun . . .


  • Reply Coree February 25, 2022 at 6:10 am

    I don’t watch loads of TV – a similarly early bedtime – so I feel you on being 2 years behind on everyone else. We’ve been watching Superstore, it’s smart, and funny, and low time investment.

    I’m a political scientist (although not focused on Eastern Europe) and am struggling to resist the constant scroll. I think a single podcast update is a super smart move. We should, as citizens of the world, inform ourselves, but minute by minute analysis isn’t helpful.

    • Reply Jen February 25, 2022 at 8:56 am

      Totally agree on the way to stay informed without being ovewhelmed by it. It’s a fine balance because worrying over something you can’t change is really not helpful but finding a way to help or act in way that it doesn’t feel like burying my head in the sand feels tough too.
      I actually, similar to Sarah, really controlled my instagram use with a timer for a while but noticed I was starting to scroll the news instead of Instagram which was way worse for my mental health. I culled my Instagram to be things I enjoy and took the timer off – because if I need a distraction it might as well be things I like – like running, cooking, happy news stories and friends’ photos. Oh and I downloaded books to my e-reader so that i would put down my phone. The phone is just so convenient though.

  • Reply Susannah Williams February 25, 2022 at 7:18 am

    Just looked at the Makse site. Looking forward to your review, as I think this might be the unicorn planner for me! Oh, and I still sit in my 3.5 year old’s room while he goes to sleep. Luckily the other 3 do not require it anymore. Good luck!

  • Reply Amy February 25, 2022 at 7:28 am

    On Apple TV we really enjoyed Acapulco. It’s an upbeat show (and some scenes will give you practice with Spanish comprehension from your Duolingo studies!)

  • Reply Gwinne February 25, 2022 at 7:34 am

    TV recs: Station eleven is brilliant. I just started Superstoree and really like it.

    fwiw, I need to be upstairs when Tiny Boy goes to sleep. He’s 10…. I didn’t leave his room until 9? Bedtime is just hard.

    • Reply YS February 25, 2022 at 8:02 am

      I have heard excellent reviews about Station Eleven! Someone actually described it as transcendant.

  • Reply Grateful Kae February 25, 2022 at 7:57 am

    I’m curious- what do the kids do if you just tuck them in and then basically say, Ok, night! and then leave their room? Do they like, complain? Come out after you? Stage protests? 🙂 Or what happens? I’m just curious, We’ve never done the “lie on the floor thing”, although mine are 12 and 13 and still like us to go and “tuck them in”, which does involve sitting or lying on the bed next to them for a minute or two to chat/ hugs. But then we just leave, crack the door open and they go to sleep. This has been our nighttime routine for years now. We did have our fair share of night-time issues though with my older son (used to come into our room at night in the middle of the night forEVER!!). I remember thinking it would never end. But it finally did, magically!

    • Reply CNM February 25, 2022 at 10:36 am

      Not SHU, obviously, but this is what happens to us. I do not sleep in my 3rd old’s bed, but I sit in a rocking chair in her room until she falls asleep. If she is not asleep, she will start crying and yelling, and comes out of her bed/room to find us.

      • Reply CNM February 25, 2022 at 10:37 am

        oops I meant 3 year old!
        Also, our almost 10 year old does not need this. He will go into his bed, I’ll tuck him in and say goodnight. He typically reads in bed until he falls asleep, as he still likes to sleep with a light on, which is fine with us!

  • Reply Taryn February 25, 2022 at 8:46 am

    I watch lots of TV so I have far too many recommendations. I will say that Ted Lasso and The Sex Lives of College Girls are both fantastic and I think you’ll enjoy them! If you’re already getting Apple TV, Mythic Quest and The Afterparty are both a lot of fun. There seems to be a trend with comedy murder mysteries lately. Only Murders in the Building is delightful!

  • Reply Kari February 25, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Search Party and The Other Two (both on HBO) are my favorite things I’ve watched in a while!!

  • Reply omdg February 25, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Killing Eve
    Handmaids Tale
    Call the Midwife
    The Chair
    Ted Lasso

    The answer to what you’ve been doing with your time is: working your little butt off. This is why you are tired. 😉

    • Reply KGC February 25, 2022 at 9:14 am

      Oh my gosh, if I could give one million votes to Call the Midwife, I would. It is so so good, but I feel like not as well known. I binged the first several seasons on maternity leave with my first and seeing it pop up on my DVR every once in a while now brings me so much joy! It makes me strangely nostalgic for a time during which I wasn’t alive (community! mothers helping each other!) BUT ALSO makes me very grateful for more modern medical care and my ability to have a full-time job outside the home.

      • Reply omdg February 25, 2022 at 9:34 am

        As someone who occasionally has to provide anesthesia care on the labor floor, I find myself watching Call the Midwife and thinking, where are all the hemorrhages? Fevers? Arrest of descents? And it annoys me mildly that they make it seem like labor lasts like 5 minutes. Also, doctors = always brusque and bad, drug abusing, incompetent. Midwives = kind and always good, always catch doctor’s incompetence and never make wrong decisions themselves.

        DESPITE ALL OF THAT, I love this show and cannot get enough of it. It makes me feel grateful in how far we’ve come with respect to both women’s rights (like… you’re actually permitted to be a mom AND hold a job now), and pediatric medicine. We are just so, so, so much better at caring for babies and children with medical problems now. I really cannot imagine knowing that a baby had congenital heart disease, but not knowing what the anatomy really is. And it’s really fascinating watching how much… everything(!) changed between 1957 and 1967 — which was only 10y before I was born!

        • Reply KGC February 25, 2022 at 9:47 am

          Ironically, the ONE bad experience I had with my prenatal care (I see a large group at Big Academic Medical Center) was with a midwife (misinformation, bad attitude, threw her MD colleagues under the bus in conversation). I agree that they typically are portrayed as the kinder, gentler, right-er party compared to docs. Which may be true sometimes! But also not all the time. I’m with you though – despite some of the inaccuracies in the show (or may mis-portrayals) I would literally watch it every day for the rest of my life. So fascinating. So good. Maybe of particular interest since I work in healthcare (genetics), but no medical background required to enjoy it. Does make me wonder if I could have just had a breech delivery rather than the planned c-section required by my hospital =)

          (clearly I had a lot to say about this show. so rare to find someone else who watches it! Sarah, give it a try!!)

        • Reply Katherine B February 25, 2022 at 9:50 am

          British reader here but I have never watched CTM, though my daughters love it. I do love a BBC podcast called “Fortunately with Fi and Jane”, well worth a listen for any feminists out there. Only about 250 back episodes to listen to if you decide you like it, all available on BBC Sounds for free! Last summer they did a brilliant interview with Heidi Thomas who has been the scriptwriter on CTM since day one – fascinating to listen to.

      • Reply Erin February 25, 2022 at 3:18 pm

        Ted Lasso is brilliant. I’ve also recently enjoyed Station Eleven (loved the book and the show did not disappoint), The Chair, and Only Murders in the Building. We are in the middle of Inventing Anna and enjoying it so far.

  • Reply Carolyn Cohen February 25, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Thanks for sharing your five for today. So relateable, Sarah — especially with the internal struggle to be informed and yet resist the constant updates and scrolling.

    If you’re getting Apple+, The Morning Show is also great! I read somewhere that Netflix considers its prime competitor our relationships! However, I think mine with my husband is *strengthened* when we come together at the end of the day to watch something together!

    And you suggested Makse for me! I don’t use the planner, but bought the companion notebooks and am liking the goal setting system a lot, as it aligns well with the wellness wheel I use with health coaching clients (that may be why you suggested it for me!)

    Thanks for the tax nudge! I’ll at least put it into my planner….

  • Reply Emily February 25, 2022 at 9:50 am

    Sex Lives of College Girls is fantastic. I am watching Abbott Elementary now which is really cute and funny.

  • Reply Diane February 25, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Only Murders in the Building on Hulu is delightful. It might be fun for you since it features Steve Martin and Martin Short making a podcast.
    On Apple, Schmigadoon was another show I really loved.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns February 25, 2022 at 10:06 am

    I am LOVING Younger on Hulu. It’s set in the publishing industry and is about a woman in her 40s who pretends she is 26 so she can get a job. The episodes are about 25 minutes I think and it’s just delightful! I also loved Call the Midwife. I watched most of it while pregnant which was an odd time to watch it! It made me appreciate modern medicine. I probably would have died if I was alive during that time since I had a massive blood clot at 34 weeks and a genetic condition that predisposes me to blood clots.

    Bedtime was going fine in our house, then on our AZ trip we shared a room with the 4yo since the 1yo was up so much. I would lay with the 4yo until he fell asleep since he was anxious about the new environment. Now he insists that one of us stays until he falls asleep. It makes bedtime so so so long and now my husband and I don’t really get time together alone after bedtime. It doesn’t help that he is still napping at school. We ask them to make the nap as short as possible and have him read books/play at the table quietly/etc. He was just not tired last night, but it’s hard to push his bedtime back knowing he needs to be up by 6:20. Although this morning the 1yo was up screaming at 5:40 so we were all up plenty early. Last night I sat in the 4yos room for 55 minutes waiting for him to fall asleep. Every time I thought he was asleep, I would quietly get up and he’s say “no don’t go.” I talked to another friend who went through this with her daughter and she said it was a phase that eventually ended. But it was definitely the low of my week – especially last night when I forgot to bring my phone up. I could have discretely read on my phone if I had it up with me so I was extra frustrated to just be sitting there doing nothing! We used to do check ins 10 minutes after he went to bed, but if we try to do that now, he gets out of bed and tries to come downstairs so I don’t see how we can get out of staying in his room. le sigh.

  • Reply L. February 25, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Two of our kids who needed attention/adult presence at bedtime did well with audiobooks. We cycled through various approaches – a CD player, a bluetooth speaker connected to my phone in the living room (the range didn’t need to be long), eventually their own devices. For my youngest, especially, we’d turn it on and I’d stay for a short while rubbing her back and then leave. The continuity of the audiobooks, and the repetition from one night to another, was helpful for her and made it easier for her to be in there alone. Bonus: I really enjoyed some of the books, and listening to audiobooks is as good as reading for brain development, understanding narrative, exposure to different kinds of life experiences.

  • Reply K W February 25, 2022 at 10:51 am

    I’m currently enjoying “The Guilded Age” on HBOMax 🙂

  • Reply Nelle February 25, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Apple has a great comedy/ murder mystery show now called The Afterparty with Tiffany Haddish, Ilana Glazer, a huge cast. I’ve been liking that. And the WeWork fictional series is going to start in a few weeks!

    But my big bingewatch recently has been The Amazing Race. I started watching the new season (interrupted by COVID, but fairly normal considering everything) and it reminded me how much I used to enjoy it so I’m going to go back and watch some of the old seasons. Nice to think about places to travel even if we’re not going anywhere for the moment!

  • Reply Irene February 25, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    I’m a major softy in general but we are working on having our newly 4 year old fall asleep on his own. Right now he will “practice” on his own for 10 minutes and then if he’s still up I sit with him. He falls asleep during the 10 minutes about half the time. I do 10 minute checks for my older kid but never sit with them. They like knowing we will be back because both kids occasionally have trouble falling asleep when they are stressed and can end up lying there for a while. I think by 4 they can definitely sit with a little reassurance.

  • Reply Caroline February 25, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    I would invite you to reconsider whether it’s the case that there’s nothing you can do. A few ideas:
    -donate to the International Rescue Fund:
    -organize your work to donate medical supplies:
    -get your kids involved, with a lemonade stand, cookie stand or bake sale to support Ukrainian kids:

    It’s easy to become overwhelmed but it’s braver (and personally makes me feel better) to so spend even the shortest amount of time or smallest amount of money doing something. And the danger of apathy is real and grave.

  • Reply Brooke February 27, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    I love Makselife, so I’m excited to see your review. I find it works really well for me to do monthly goal setting in Powersheets and then translate that into weekly actions in Makselife in a more detailed way than Powersheets really supports.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2022 at 8:27 am

      That does sounds like a lovely combo!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.