Five on a Friday: Feeling Peaceful

June 7, 2024

We’re going to do today’s Friday 5 as more of a coffee chat style than a list of recs/links. Here we go!

#1: I feel peaceful today!

Wow, maybe I didn’t realize how much pressure the usual hustle and bustle of the school year carries — because I feel this unexpected sense of relief today. Maybe this is amplified because the May/end-of-year period is just so filled with STUFF. Q3 is really and officially here and I am into it already.

#2: I felt inspired by a great podcast ep this morning

I listened to today’s Organize 365 episode – Pick Your Meaty Summer Project – and felt inspired AND validated. I also laughed as I had recorded my own summer-themed BLP episode earlier in the week and shared some ideas about this season, including my feelings that Summer Cleaning (as opposed to spring cleaning) should be a thing. Lisa and I definitely think alike.

#3: Possible album of the summer: CharliXCX brat.

I’ve been playing Ariana Grande’s latest on repeat lately when they don’t have other requests (kids like it, I like it, we are all happy) but I think it’s time for something new. I heard parts of 2 songs on this morning’s NPR All Songs and liked what I heard so far.

Yes, the album cover is supposed to look like a blurry 1990s graphic made in MS Paint or Print Shop. (Anyone else remember Print Shop? I would use that now. Oh wow it still exists!)

#4 Weekend plans:

  • Take kids shopping for Father’s Day gifts
  • Longish run (Saturday) plus at least one strength training session
  • Declutter SOMETHING
  • Read lots of Still Life
  • Not much else. We are working on being less ridiculous about restaurant spending so I don’t think we will eat out other than maybe one night of takeout.

#5 Hive Update

G’s face is improved (yay) but hives continue. Most cases are not caused by anything obvious but we are taking her for testing (blood, not skin) Monday. Which will be not very fun but at least it’s at my workplace. Grateful that Zyrtec helps and glad we formally got in with the allergy specialist, sometimes it can be tempting to just ‘curbside’ because it’s easy to do that to start with, but honestly there’s something comforting about being an actual patient and having a plan. I kept thinking they would go away and I didn’t want to overreact but it has been 2 months and it was time.

PS: I just got a notification that C’s basketball camp for next week is . . . cancelled. With no alternative camp offered! GAHH! Guess he may get an additional week of less structure. Ahh well. He can play basketball in our driveway . . .

HAPPY end-of-school for those of you on a similar calendar and for those a few weeks behind – I promise, it’s coming!!!


  • Reply Rebecca June 7, 2024 at 12:54 pm

    You probably already know this but chronic hives that don’t have a specific external trigger (ie idiopathic hives) are totally a thing – I developed this a few years ago. Thankfully daily Claritin (sometimes several a day, with the approval of my dermatologist+allergist) mostly keep them under control for me.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 7, 2024 at 1:12 pm

      Yes that may be the answer (though the allergist told us Zyrtec or generic Zyrtec specifically!) . Thankfully it does seem to help some

  • Reply Amanda June 7, 2024 at 1:20 pm

    My LOs were only in pre-school/Pre-K and I still felt a sense of relief when it was done. I have a question if you don’t mind – our nanny will be home with them (ages 5.5 and 2) and my newborn once I go back to work in 2 weeks (baby will be 12 weeks). The 5YO has 4 weeks of camp but otherwise everyone will be home. We do have some grandparents willing to help when needed. How have you handled screen time with your nanny in the past, esp when kids were young? We’ve generally expected her not to turn the TV on since we’re paying her, but I feel like that will have to change some over the summer with the newborn. Do you or does anyone else have any specific recommendations for how to set expectations that will both keep the nanny happy/sane but also not lead to a screen spiral?

    As an aside we’re also trying to cut down on take-out/restaurant spending. It’s hard!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 7, 2024 at 4:06 pm

      Yeah, at those ages we would allow very limited screens but to be honest other than Covid by age 3-4 or so I just sent to camp on top of nanny! Might want to set specific parameters for when screens okay? By hours or circumstances?

  • Reply Lisa's Yarns June 7, 2024 at 2:29 pm

    I hope the blood draw goes ok! Fingers crossed! Helps it’s at your clinic, plus your kids seem pretty hearty, like I think they did not cry when they got their covid vaccines? We had to do a blood draw on my 3yo to check for celiac and they did not get enough blood after the first draw so had to do it on his other arm. OMG the screaming… it was so bad. But their veins are so tiny and I am sure it’s so scary for them.

    That is frustrating about camp being canceled! Good thing you have your nanny! All of my conversations w/ other parents about camps only makes me feel even better about our school-based solution which is easy peasy and also pretty cheap. At some point our son might complain of being bored but so far he’s thrilled to go back again this summer, plus the theme is the olympics so I’d like to attend as well. Ha.

  • Reply Sophie June 7, 2024 at 4:40 pm

    How can they just do that… cancel a camp? Hope they had a good reason! Yes very lucky for your layers of childcare. Hooray for change of pace and a sense of peace, that’s wonderful. Looking forward to your BLP episode about planning summer, even though I’m entering winter it’s out nice outdoor weather season, so it will have some relevance, and also it’s fun to get ideas for later in the year.

  • Reply jennystancampiano June 7, 2024 at 9:32 pm

    Yes, Q3 is officially here and it is a relief!!! The summer is so much easier for me, since both my kids are old enough to do their own thing. I’ve definitely been enjoying the later wakeups.
    I’ve been liking your podcast recs, so I’ll listen to this one.
    UGH on the hives!!! I think I mentioned that when I was around 20 I had terrible, terrible hives for about a year (I basically had to keep myself constantly medicated- my boyfriend (at the time) got whatever he wanted from his father, who was a doctor.). I think I took seldane? It was a non-drowsy antihistamine. The hives were never explained and eventually went away on their own. And I’ve never had them since. Anyway, I hope you get this straightened out. I know how frustrating it can be!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 9, 2024 at 7:57 am

      that is crazy! SO FREAKING MYSTERIOUS. Seldane has been taken off the market as it caused arrhythmias (I remember this bc my dad took it – he has a crazy cat allergy – and I think did in fact get those arrhythmias!)

  • Reply Lara Savic June 8, 2024 at 12:10 am

    I’m sure you know all the tricks but making sure she is well hydrated for the blood draw will help. My oldest developed idiopathic hives and Zyrtec is very effective. Very stressful time for us as my middle child has multiple food allergies (which we overcame thanks to Food Allergy Institute) but thankfully oldest is free of any food allergies. Wishing you the best!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 9, 2024 at 7:56 am

      thank you Lara!! Yes thank GOODNESS for Zyrtec!!

  • Reply Elizabeth June 9, 2024 at 4:05 pm

    Chiming in to say I also got random hives from July 2021 to December of 2021 that was really awful at times. I cycled through all the second generation antihistamines (at high doses as prescribed by an allergist) but the drug that finally worked was Singular, weirdly (I guess it’s an antihistamine). It’s so annoying and kind of scary in the ‘I mean this is fine probably but also really annoying and also hopefully not something scarier’ way. Hope it resolves for G soon!

  • Reply RH June 10, 2024 at 11:54 am

    Husband developed chronic idiopathic urticaria a few years ago. After 6 months of taking so much medication (and still failing to keep it under control, like he could barely go to work), he started a monthly injection of Xolair which has been a miracle drug! No idea if he’ll have to continue the injections forever.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 10, 2024 at 1:23 pm

      Yes! The allergist mentioned this could be an option if they ever become severe or not responsive to 2nd gen antihistamines. Right now Zyrtec seems to mostly work but great to know about other options.

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