Crunch Time

November 28, 2023

The next few weeks are going to be full

REALLY full. Reasons:

  • C is on two soccer teams. Being on one travel team was already a lot but his school season on top of it has been . . . even more. On the plus side, they don’t conflict at all (school games are right after school and over by 4:30; club team games are always later than that or on weekends). But still! That’s a LOT of soccer. For him and for all of us. He really enjoys being on both (his school team tends to win and that isn’t an experience he gets with the club team . . . I assume it will happen eventually though!)
  • Hanukkah. Gah, it’s next week. (A texted me to remind me yesterday. I guess the kids would prefer we start preparations!!!). Gifts purchased as of now: 0. Will start (online) shopping in earnest later this week.
  • Other holiday things. I want to do cards, plus there are office gifts / college friend gifts / nanny gift / service people gifts / teacher gifts to take care of. Most of these will involve giving cash but I still need to keep track of it and actually execute!
  • Birthdays. Josh AND Genevieve – and both during Hanukkah! OMG, it will be a gift explosion. At least I made G’s birthday super easy (at the gymnastics place where they go all the time). Just need to order the requested DQ ice cream cake.
  • Reflection season!! This is definitely high season for planning content! I absolutely love it, but it means I tend to be busier from a teaching/speaking perspective.
  • Planning needs abound for the rest of the year. We all knew 2024 was coming, but it’s at this point in the year when I start itching to solidify bigger plans in the coming year (camp, travel, days off). This takes work and time!
  • Podcast recording needs. Our sound team reasonably wants to take some vacation over the holidays, so that means supplying episodes in advance. Laura and I are great about this but I am not always as ahead for BLP (like this blog, the content there is less planned and more what I’m feeling passionate about at the time! I do prewrite outlines and think about what I will say, but generally not terribly far in advance of the episode due date.)

The good news is that I’m taking off from work Dec 19 – Jan 3. The first half will be largely solo parenting (kids have school Dec 19 though which will be nice!) and the second will be with Josh off as well — we are planning a relatively low key vacation to Amelia Island followed by an overnight for NYE on Miami Beach (lest anyone get the wrong idea that I am young and cool, I don’t mean at the clubs – I mean at my in-laws’ with the kids!).

The other good news is that much of the above stuff is GOOD stuff! Will try to just take things day by day + enjoy it.

Full day but generally good things! Playing with Kuretake Zig Clean Color dot markers lately and I cannot believe after a decade I finally learned how to handle gel pens in the Hobonichi without smudging everything (strategic use of paper to cover up where my hand would otherwise obliterate lines above where I am writing! #lefthanded)


  • Reply Coree November 28, 2023 at 6:19 am

    Oof, you and me both! That soccer schedule sounds intense.

    I always think December should be quiet workwise because teaching is done, but then I’ve got an away day, a conference, and 2 trips to London. Our bathroom is being redone – luckily mostly during one of my London trips because I don’t handle the upheaval well. And somehow I decided it would be fun to throw a party? Just a cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate open house on a Sunday AM, but those cinnamon rolls aren’t going to make themselves.

    My shopping is done and my husband has a random day off on Monday so he’s going to wrap presents (not many b/c we’re doing a trip as the big present) and do some prep.

    I need to sit down and think about 2024 – maybe on one of my 4 4-hour train rides. Just a notebook and pen.

    We leave on the 21st for my parents and I suspect we’ll have collapsed into a puddle of fatigue by the time we get on the plane. But my parents are great and will feed us nice food and let us sleep in, and hopefully we’ll get a bit of winter sun.

    • Reply Grateful Kae November 28, 2023 at 7:37 am

      COREE how is your shopping done?!?!? I am always so intrigued/jealous/ in awe of these super early, apparently very efficient shoppers. Sarah, I’m in your boat. I have bought zero gifts so far. 😩

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 28, 2023 at 8:34 am

        you’re in a better boat than me because Hanukkah is in 9 days!!!!! ahhhhh!! At least you have almost a month!

      • Reply Coree November 28, 2023 at 8:47 am

        I start early and buy very little. Honestly, everything would fit in a big tote bag at this point? I need a bottle of whisky for my husband, and I’m sure I’ll pick up a few books, but yep, it’s fairly straightforward.

        I bought Legoland gear off vinted and am going to mock up tickets for my son’s present and make a countdown calendar.

  • Reply Elizabeth Winthrop November 28, 2023 at 8:45 am

    Hi. I am a long-time reader with a daughter almost exactly A’s age (from Nico’s board way back when). Anyway, we are struggling with the phone issue. I notice you said A texted you. Does she have a phone? If so, when did that happen and what sort of rules have you set?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 28, 2023 at 2:13 pm

      hi and WOW fT board 🙂 I am still text friends with 5 ladies who all got pregnant at the same time from there. she got a flip phone last year and then my iPhone 12 mini when my camera broke (and then it stopped being broken so lucky her). rules: not at school, no social media. otherwise she already had an iPad so honestly not very different. she can’t just whip it out at a social event and scroll. it’s been honestly fine so far!

      • Reply omdg November 28, 2023 at 3:58 pm

        We have had a similar experience with our 11 yo girl. It’s honestly just been really nice to be able to text with her when she’s not on our home WiFi. If anything it has allowed her greater independence because we feel more comfortable letting her do things if she is able to text us if she needs something.

  • Reply Lisa's Yarns November 28, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    I’m glad you have a long holiday break to look forward to – and it’s during a great time of year for you with peak weather conditions! I don’t usually take time off during the holidays. We don’t travel since we spend Christmas with my husband’s family which is local so there isn’t a big need to take time off. And work can be pretty quiet which is nice. Plus it’s generally a not great time to be outside. Our 5yo has 11 days off from school but the after school program has full-day care 7 of those days. They do a great job planning fun things on those days off so I am glad it’s something we can utilize.

    Our youngest turns 3 on Sunday so I ordered the gifts for his birthday and we ordered one joint gift for the boys. We are major underbuyers when it comes to Christmas presents so that makes things easier for us. But the kids get so much from grand parents and extended family so we don’t feel the need to buy a lot of presents. But I need to figure out what else we will get the boys. I don’t feel a lot of pressure to have it done well in advance since we aren’t buying any big ticket items and if need be, I can walk a block to the Target by work. So I’m trying not to stress about it but the clock is ticking!!

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