– Week one of solo parenting is accomplished. Nobody died and nothing caught on fire, so I’m counting it as a success. It was significantly harder by the end than it was in the beginning as I experienced the spectrum of nap failures, extreme neediness, health malfunctions, anxiety run wild, and that one day where I just didn’t bother to get dressed at all. In terms of survival we definitely passed with flying colors, but I’d still like to do better in terms of productivity and having an actual life. In this case by “productivity” I’m including things like bathing Isobel regularly, making dinner, planning activities, and keeping the television off for most of the day. TV was definitely a crutch I leaned on while I was stretching my solo parenting legs, and I don’t feel guilty about that for one minute, but I definitely want to cut back. The goal is to live life, not watch it happen to others on a screen. So far, this week has a much, much larger life-to-TV ratio.
– I am officially baby crazy. You may have noticed from the massive amounts of photos I post of him on Instagram. I can’t help it. He is just so smooshable. It’s a sorry/not sorry sort of situation.
– My proudest accomplishment of last week was my first solo trip to the grocery store with both kiddos in tow. It was a lot of work but herein lies the difference between something requiring a lot of effort and something being difficult. It wasn’t hard but it was a lot more complicated, with many more steps involved, and it took twice as long as it does when Anthony is there to help, and about four times as long as shopping by myself. It’s a lot of fun, though, because I really enjoy shopping with Isobel. When everyone is fed and rested and in a good mood it’s a really fun thing to do together.
– Isobel has dealt pretty well with the changes in her life since Elias came along, but one of the ways in which you can see her struggle with the adjustment is by becoming frustratingly clingy. It drives me nuts and I’m trying to cultivate patience by reminding myself that it will pass with time. Hopefully. Eventually.
– We had a spectacular mail week as we received one present for the kiddos from our friend Becky, who is currently teaching English via the JET Programme in Japan, and our online friends Todd & Asia on the East Coast. You might remember me mention this family before as Todd is a ladybug scientist and he kindly agreed to let me interview him last year regarding introducing ladybugs to your garden on the blog. I met he and his lovely wife Asia on Flickr years ago, and have followed loved following their family from afar. They are such great, great people and were kind enough to send Isobel these fantastic ladybug leg warmers. She was thrilled to receive them and eagerly volunteered to open the package that came for Elias (an adorable toddler shirt featuring carrots – also perfect). When she wasn’t looking, I quickly hid the bar of good chocolate and bag of peanut brittle they sent for Anthony and I to enjoy (I love me some secret eating!). Becky, a friend Anthony met through Borders who has the perfect sarcastic wit and a knack for storytelling, sent Elias a blanket featuring Kumamon, a Japanese bear cartoon that is the mascot of her Prefecture. I love that the Japanese have a mascot for everything, even their address. She must have sensed that Isobel would be disappointed if nothing came for her so she sent along some special non-slip glittery pink Hello Kitty chopsticks. As soon as she saw them, all became right with the world. I’ve said it before but it’s true – we know the best people.
– We’ve already had our first heat-wave of the year and we’re hardly into May. Anthony has already lugged the AC units down from storage and they’ve made all the difference. We’ll probably all end up sleeping out in the living room for part of this year. We’re anticipating a hot, dry summer.
– I’m sort of torn between wanting to write about some of my health issues and the more recent fiascoes involving doctors fleeing from our insurance like we have the plague, the very real possibility I will have to go to the ER to get more Crohn’s meds, and the fact that I will require hospitalization if I don’t get them, but it’s long and involved and I don’t know if I can do it without turning the post into an enormous rant. In the past I have shared my health struggles in the hopes of reaching people and normalizing mental and physical illness, and I have also shared my story to gain support and to be frank about my life. But this isn’t a health blog and I just don’t know if I could write in a way that is engaging and honest without being off-putting. I have a friend who can and does with grace and aplomb. I’ve been venting about it on twitter (one of twitter’s finest uses – the complaint receptacle) so if you see me not at my best over there that’s why.
– Last Saturday was Free Comic Book day, and a new comic book store opened up in town just in time to celebrate. We haven’t had a comic book shop or a games store in years and years, so this was pretty exciting. While I stayed home with the baby to get some work done, Anthony met up with Justin and they took the kids to collect their free issues. Some local cosplayers were on hand and one of them dressed as Harley Quinn from Batman – someone both Isobel and Kingston recognized immediately. They were fascinated and terrified, thrilled yet shy, and spent a majority of their time there playing hide-and-seek-tag with her and shouting “Harley Quinn is REAL!” while their fathers browsed through the bins. Isobel picked up a super sweet Avatar: The Last Airbender comic but was disappointed to miss out on the Hello Kitty and My Little Pony copies (her mother may have been secretly disappointed, too).
Sponsor Spotlight: Little Big Bazaar. These are a few of my favorite things.
Follow Friday: In the Garden with Jenn. Spending a little time reading in the garden after a day of thrifting. Also -tweets.
Scrapbook: Home Life. Ten photos of home.
Snapshot: 04.30.14. Birthday coupons, bouncy seats, and Mister Squishy.
The Spring Thaw. Good news is here at last. (Why am I terrified?)
Scrapbook: Garden gold. My garden is full of treasure.
Not one, but two new books to be published by late author Octavia Butler. One of my all-time favorite authors. I cannot wait! Via @nprnews
Look birdy. An app that might solve the eternal problem of getting your child to look at the camera. Via camera-wieldin’ Ellen
15 Smart & inexpensive kitchen goods to buy at Ikea. I always drool over their kitchen goods. I have their large cutting board and use it constantly.
Cleaning tarnished silver. I find tarnished silver goods all the time while thrifting.
Patterns on Mars. Nature, even on other planets, is a work of art.
Bacon and Pea Pizza. I will be making this. Oh yes. I will definitely be making this.
Snapshot 05.29.13. We had so many adventures last year. Every week seemed packed with activity.
Recipe: Preschool Potluck Seasoned Rice and Vegetable Salad. The smug satisfaction of bringing home and empty bowl after a potluck with children.
Scrapbook: Kite Misadventures. Nobody knew Angela was a secret kite-wielding wizard-savant, not even Angela.
Thrifty Giving: Spring Housewarming. My absolute favorite occasion to shop for.
Recipe: Fresh Basil Corn Salad. Everyone loves this. Perfect for summer.
Productivity Creepin’: My Tips for Coping with Stress and Anxiety. Every so often I reread my own advice to stay on track.