Reading Weekend

5 on a Friday: Taylor et al

November 11, 2022

1- Taylor Swift is coming. Somehow — and I honestly don’t know how — I missed this announcement! Since currently TS is where my musical interests and the kids’ seem to overlap the most, I think we will try to attend Tampa’s performance as a family. Just booked a (refundable) hotel so hopefully we can get tickets!!!

I keep seeing “ERAS” and thinking of the residency application platform with the same name but recognize most are not having this issue

(My kids are so lucky! My first concert was Tori Amos and I think I was 14. I believe my dad dropped off / picked up at the Tower Theater (the internet suggests maybe it was this one!). How we found each other afterwards in the pre-cell phone era? Not sure! I think the rule was wait at a certain corner at an exact time. We did have watches. Thx dad.)

((I would totally see Tori again right now.))

2- YouTube thoughts. Valuable comments and discussion yesterday, thank you! I do think G does not benefit from YouTube and it produces a certain zombie-like experience for her that is not good. She even commented at one point that the family she was watching “had better lives” than her own? UMMM. So – I am going to drive a hard line on this one for now. We will still allow her to watch shows like Bluey and movies and play games at times. But no more YouTube.

I do not put this in the same camp as Rainbow Loom tutorials or hamster-care how-tos (Annabel’s picks). C is actually more likely to be playing Roblox or Minecraft with friends than watching a video, so it’s honestly mostly G. Who is not even FIVE yet! I do not think either of the other kids even had their own iPad at that age . . .

3- Holiday fun list! Laura’s is up! I don’t typically do a holiday fun list (I guess I tend to embed some of our fun into my Quintile goals so seasonal lists don’t always feel necessary?) but, I will try to get in the following 4 holiday-ish goals:

  • Make a recipe with each kid. One at a time, instead of all 3 clamoring to crack the last egg and then knocking the entire bowl onto the floor leading to everyone crying, including me (IYKYK).
  • Have a growth mindset for our ski trip and set the expectation for the kids as well! It’s a learning experience and I haven’t skied in over 15 years so I’m basically starting as a clean slate. (Yes, we are all doing lessons – including Josh and me. 3 days for Genevieve and 2 for everyone else.)
  • Send out cards by MONDAY! We are doing Thanksgiving cards so – it’s time. (I’ve already designed it and have entered 90% of the addresses but I’m waiting on some addresses that Josh needs to confirm/procure!)
  • Enjoy the parties. I got really burned out on parties in 2019. Then parties weren’t a thing for a while. Now I am ready to connect and feel grateful to be able to get to do it! Josh and I are actually attending a fundraising ball for our health system this weekend, so I guess that will kick things off! (One pandemic bonus: I can wear outfits from 2018-19 and probably no one will remember them. This is necessary because I spent all of my 2022 allowance on ski clothing.)

4- Running fast. You know what’s fun? Running fast! My training plan today had me doing fast (to me) intervals with a lot of rest and I have to say it felt pretty exhilarating to ramp up the treadmill to ~7:06/mi pace. (The specifics of this workout were: 3 x (600m @ 7:25/mi, 3 min recovery, 400m @ 7:15/mi, 3 min recovery, 200m @ 7:06/mi) with recovery between each set. So lots of rest, but fast – for me – during the speed parts).

5- Almost done with this:

I have somewhat mixed feelings about it, particularly the way she centered things around her own parenting experiences (2 parent family with 1 neurotypical child and plenty of resources, and she made it seem like the hardest thing in the world). But I enjoyed the parts about getting children to contribute more to household operations and also about “alloparents” and in how many cultures the loads is shared very differently than it is in most western nations.


  • Reply Jules November 11, 2022 at 10:11 am

    I couldn’t agree more about YouTube. My kids are now 8.5 and 10.5 and I have never let them watch YT (other than art hub for kids and kids yoga). They get plenty of other screen time (mainly tv and movies but some iPad games and Switch), so I’m not a no tech person. I just really believe YT has an overall negative effect on their behavior, and also there is too much bad on there, I’m not interested in having to monitor their screen time to the level I would need to if they were on YT to make sure they don’t get into something they shouldn’t. And it’s just all around easier to have a hard No than to try to give them limits.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns November 11, 2022 at 10:59 am

    I have feelings similar to Kae’s comment from yesterday. Sometimes comment threads about screen time stress me out/make me feel kind of bad. Our son does have an iPad and he gets to use it during quiet time on the weekends but he only has access to ABC mouse and PBS kids. So I feel fine w/ him using it and it gives us all a break on the weekends as he gets screen time while the toddler naps. He doesn’t use Youtube except to watch one video/night with us next to him – it’s either a paw patrol clip or stupidly a paw patrol toys video. I don’t love those but I figure one/day is not going to make a big difference.

    Thanks for the heads up on TS! I hadn’t heard about her tour since I live under a rock these days. But I see she is coming to Minneapolis next June so I will plan to see her! Our 4.5 yo is a huge fan but I am going to wait until he’s a bit older to take him to a concert. He also really wants to see Brandi Carlile live! So he seems to have good taste in music so far! I certainly have a huge influence on him. But how fun for your whole family to go. I did not go to a concert until I was 12, I think? And it was a Christmas band – I only went because a friend invited me. And then I don’t think I went to another concert until I was in college.

  • Reply Megan November 11, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    100% agree on your growth mindset for skiing! We took it up as a family a couple years ago (live in MN) with our 6 & 9 yo at the time (4yo started last year) and I hadn’t skied in years. First I thought I had the wrong boots bc they were not comfortable and my shins were dying – nope, ski boots just aren’t comfy. And of course gear matters for the kids: I would suggest all the options with neck warmers, masks, hand warmers, foot warmers and you can use what works for each. Our youngest doesn’t like anything touching her neck so harder for her to stay warm…sigh. We also talked to the kids about how when you start it might be hard and not fun immediately but it will get less hard and more fun as the day goes on. Will be excited to hear about it!

  • Reply Beth November 11, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    Love the family concert plan! I am doing something similar with my 10 year old and FIL next year. We are really excited about it.

    And agreed on the skiing growth mindset. In my experience, the ski school makes it really fun for the kids and much easier for the parents. Ski school taught my kids to clip into their skis, ride the chairlift and (of course) to actually ski. They also take a lot of snack and warmup breaks.

  • Reply Coco November 11, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    i always feel anxious before speed workouts but feel accomplished after it’s done. whenever there’s rest in between sets, I like it. tempo is harder for me.

  • Reply Amelia K. November 12, 2022 at 5:34 am

    I 👏 you for making it through Hunt, Gather, Parent. I had the same frustration with this book and the negativity got to me around page 120. I abandoned and moved on. I just finished Work Parent Thrive and it is my new favorite “parenting” book. It’s a yearly reread for sure!

  • Reply haya November 12, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    I hadn’t heard about that book before, but now I am kind of intrigued.
    We are a two parent household with plenty of resources and one possibly/probably neurotypical child, and parenting is still freaking hard.
    yes, other people have more challenging lives for all kinds of reasons, but that does not make my experience any less valid. Society has conditioned me to be ashamed of how hard I find it/not ask for help or for my needs to be met because I think I shouldn’t need it (because other people manage doing more without it) etc. We need to work on normalizing the opposite.

    I was watching some garbage on YouTube the other day and there was an Ellen D interview with Meghan Markle. She said she was told that having one kid “is a hobby and two kids is parenting”
    WTF! no.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 12, 2022 at 2:53 pm

      Totally fair. I guess . . . something about it made me feel a little weird/put off about how she depicted things and the challenges. Hard to put a finger on it!

      • Reply Milly November 12, 2022 at 3:05 pm

        As a fellow parent of one child, I do agree with the previous poster on societal conditioning. I just keep quiet when parent friends with more children talk about being tired, etc. because I “only” have one.

        You may have felt weird because, to you, having “just” one would be easier than your family setup with three children. While I have not read the book and can’t comment, your critique wording of it did make me bristle.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 12, 2022 at 3:31 pm

          totally fair! And I’ve had some very challenging moments that only involved one kid so . . definitely not saying it’s in any way easy. (less expensive and less logistically complex? yes. easy? No.) I also found going from 0-1 kid far harder than any other transition. Maybe it was more like – she in theory had a great set up and I could tell even before she left on her travels that she was making things harder on herself than necessary. Thinking every moment had to be a learning opportunity. Trying to keep up with peers. Feeling guilty about childcare. Etc.

  • Reply Dana November 12, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    My son looks things up on YouTube the way we google when we have a question. He plays video games and he googles for hints or locations of random special objects in the game. He literally researches with YouTube and it’s weird but cool to see. (He’s between C and A in age, just saying there’s good uses for YouTube not just mindless watching.)

  • Reply Jen November 14, 2022 at 12:32 am

    I agree with your thoughts on Hunt, Gather, Parent. There was something off about the tone of certain sections that rubbed me the wrong way too. I’m a mom of one toddler with a second baby on the way, so I’m in a similar phase of parenting as her and I still abandoned the book at about 50% because I didn’t like the tone….

  • Reply Brooke Kent November 14, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Since we live in Colorado, my husband created this Youtube playlist for our relatives/friends who come to visit who are either new to skiing/snowboarding, or haven’t skied in a long time.

    The videos are extremely helpful, but if you have time to watch only one video, I’d watch the video on how to properly try on ski boots. (The #1 mistakes I see people make, is not getting their heel seated far enough back into the “pocket” of the boot, and then it makes the rest of your day miserable.)

    Wishing you a great time on your ski trip!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 14, 2022 at 1:33 pm

      Omg this is amazing – thank you!

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