Tuesday, March 24, 2020

But What Do You Do All Day? (Plague Addition)

We’ve been living in a post-apocalyptic hellscape for over a week now.
Things could be worse. We are healthy. We currently have TP.
The days are long but the days seem longer now.
So, what do I do all day with all my “time off?”

It rained all day today so this is the “inside version.”
The nice-weather version involves a lot more random outside time. 

7am the usual morning lineup.
JKJKJKJK I love Tangled.
But I am awoken by the boy who tells me the sun is rising
and it’s time for wake up and he’d like two waffles
and “all the syrup.” Somehow I do this wrong.
When his rage and sorrow subsides, we read
or he makes loud noises with legos while everyone else sleeps. 

8am the girl wanders out of her (my) bed and also must be fed.
The boy does not like that I am in the kitchen
and not helping him build a lego McMansion.

8:30 “Free Play”
(Mom lies listlessly on the couch, reading the horrible internet news while children run rampant.)

9am or when the screaming gets to be too loud, SCHOOL time.
We are honestly not pushing this too hard.
My kids are little and they don’t need much beyond play.
But they’ve been into the myriad of online resources
and will often comply with writing friends’ letters as literacy time
or playing Sleeping Queens as math time. 


10am WFH FTW WTF I am an online tutor and actually get to take spring break,
but last week, I tried to teach for two hours a day while the kids had media time
and only interrupted me two-three times an hour to ask for snacks or just to say hi. 


CRAFT TIME: We glue some shit.
We draw some shit.
Mo Willems is my new lord and savior and has been teaching online classes.
We make collages that show our innermost feelings.
I’m only a week into this disaster and I’m already out of craft ideas.
Tomorrow we are going to make treasure boxes or something out of amazon boxes
and whatever leftover feathers we have lying around after our fairy house craft today. 

11am-12pmish or whenever we get too bored: LUNCH TIME!
Without going to the store multiple times a week,
we are about to run out of fresh produce and dairy, but for the moment, lunchtime is normal.
I will have to come up with some creative solutions to my excessively sensitive eaters.
Mostly, they’re going to starve or have to live off gummy vitamins and crackers. 

Midday: NAPTIME for the boy.
It subsides when I give up on naptime and he joins his sister for...

There’s lots on the internet these days, y’all.
Mine like when celebrities they don’t recognize read them stories.
Alice’s amazing kindergarten teachers has been reading books and sending content.
We also have to care for some disgusting meal worms for her class project.
They are thus-far still alive but I don’t have much hope for them. 


We’ve been favoring family photo albums lately.
It’s only a little depressing seeing all the places we used to go.
Card games. 

(take anti-anxiety meds. Drink a tea) 

Read a book or maybe two or three. Add a few new paintings to our gallery. 

MEDIA TIME (again, in some cases). I meal prep during this time with my remaining supplies.
Or I go on the internet and try to find more things to amuse these creatures.
Or I read the internet. Scroll scroll scroll. 

4pm. Is it too early for dinner?
They don’t like it.
The cheese is wrong. The beans are not the right kind of beans. 

4:30 when did we last bathe you? Bath! 

5pm Pajama wrestling. This ends in EVENING TANTRUM.


So many dishes.
I sweep again by then it’s like 7:15?

Everyone gets their meds and kids go the F to sleep. 

8-8:30 Everyone in bed? Cool. Read. TV. Movie.
Tidy. Omg the laundry. 

10pm Medicate. Fall into a stress-filled slumber.


Just wondering…when will my life begin (again)?

Thursday, January 2, 2020

PARTY like you're 14 in 1999

The following is an only slightly edited excerpt from my journal over New Year's 1999.

New Year’s Eve 1999

“We’re gonna PARTY like it’s 1999...hold up--IT IS!” 

The next time I talk to you, it’ll be the new millenium. 

I just got home from Old Navy. When I was in the dressing room I was outside my door waiting for Mom,
when I recognized this guy who’d just disappeared into a dressing room.
He was wearing a red hat and a baseball shirt that said… (insert name of boy)
It was (boy’s name)!!! My heart began to race and made sure my hair was nice (it wasn’t, but oh well).
I was already wearing good clothes.
When my mom came back I tried on clothes again, and when she left, I was standing outside the door again.
She’d been gone a while. So I turned around to ask Reba where she went.
When I turned back (boy) the cutie was headed out the door.
Why did I have to turn around when I did?
I could have said “hi” to him! I was pretty pissed at myself. But I got to see him--that’s kind of a plus.
Tonight, we’re going to the McMahons. I have to paint my nails. 


(fortune cookie taped in reads, “Emphasize on your creativity”)

It’s JAN 1. 


Y2K will be AOK! 

It’s now 1:49 am and I just got home a little while ago from Amber’s. Rachel’s family was there, too.
WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! The new BSB (backstreet boys) video premiered!
First, though, MTV declared the #1 song of ‘99 and it’s….drumroll please…

It’s on RIGHT NOW! That’s one of my fave songs now. 

Anywho, the new song is “Show me the Meaning of Being Lonely.” It was sad. 

(lengthy shot for shot description of music video that is two pages long)

Nothing bad happened anywhere in the world. All is good. Sigh. I’m going to think about Backstreet Boys now. 


“I tried to think of how old I’d be when the clock struck 12 in the year 2y”

I 4got to tell you about how we all ran around Ruby Hill at midnight screaming and singing! It was SO fun!
We also made a terribly embarrassing video of us singing and dancing to BSB songs. I hope they don’t send it.
The Disney concert was on. 


Well this morning I turned on the TV and the BSB video was about to come on so I taped it and have seen it
twice since...yea... 


(cut out picture of Harry Potter on one page and Felicity on the other)

Jessie and I watched A Chorus Line and now I’m singing a song from it “What I Did for Love.” 

At supercuts today, there was this really cute guy sitting across from me. I was in a pissy mood because at
Borders, I didn’t have time to find anything plus my mom was sitting right there and his dad was there so I
couldn’t flirt at all. 

In the movie place, I saw Velvet Goldmine: Christain Bale’s latest movie. I want to see it SOO bad but my mom
won’t let me. Maybe I’ll get her to rent it and I’ll watch it with her and close my eyes at the bad parts.
It’s so stupid that she still makes me do that. I don’t care about sex scenes.
Is it going to corrupt me if I watch them? Sheesh! I just want to watch Christian dearest. (sigh).


Sunday, September 15, 2019

For Your Listening Enjoyment (music edition)

I can’t sit and listen to voices all day so there are music breaks in my new lifestyle as a professional driver who doesn’t get paid. Also, the children don’t listen to podcasts (unless you can think of some good kid ones) so we jam when they’re in the car.

Current favorites:

Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls: That’s right. Harry Potter themed rock music. I am a proud Ravenclaw, but my favorite song might be “Just a Hufflepuff.” YOU’RE WELCOME.

Lizzo. Because I am cool and young and hip, yeah? No? Well you might say Lizzo is not kid friendly and you would not be wrong but also, it’s body positive and has math (“What’s two plus two?” The song calls and, along with the music, they call, “FOUR! Three, Two, One!”)

I’m trying to bring back Queen Friday which is something we did when I drove carpool my senior year of high school in a Ford Taurus station wagon which held eight including two rear facing in the back. That car was great because it could fit the whole cast of Brighton Beach Memoirs. 

Musical of the Day: the kids are obsessed with Seussical but I’m trying to get them into others like Matilda, Into the Woods, Newsies, Annie, Peter Pan, etc. They also really like and know most of the words to “Waving Through a Window.”

Acoustic Covers: MAN do I love a good acoustic cover. The other covers that we have been enjoying are by Cinematic Pop which takes a pop song like “Friday, I’m in Love” and covers it in the style of a movie soundtrack. Epic.

Hamildrops: What are Hamildrops? https://www.hamildrops.com/ I have gotten in trouble with “The Benjamin Franklin Song” because, while she is learning about history, it’s probably not good that I caught my five year old drawing and singing to herself, “Do you know who the fuck I am? Do you know who the fuck I am? Do you know who the fuck I am? I am Benjamin Fucking Franklin!”

“New” Guys: Jukebox the Ghost, Bleachers, Taylor Swift (the blonde loves TSwift duh), Mika, Sara Bareilles, Lana Del Rey.

“Old” Guys: Beatles, ABBA, Cake, Dave Matthews, Joni Mitchell, Backstreet Boys, Barenaked Ladies, Wham!, Elton John.

Really old: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong.

WHAT ELSE? What do the children need in their musical education?

Friday, September 13, 2019

For Your Listening Enjoyment (Podcast Reviews)

I’ve been driving much more recently. Two kids at two schools, exercise in the suburbs, three different places where I teach, errands, therapy, etc. I drive at least an hour a day and it’s usually more like two. So I’ve upped my listening game.

Do you know what kind of learner you are? I am a kinesthetic, visual, musical learner. I learn by doing, seeing, and singing about it. Most of my SAT vocab knowledge came from Sondheim musicals. I am NOT auditory. I space the fffff out when people talk at me. So podcasts are hard. I don’t like the chit chat ones. I don’t like the side stories. I get lost in those. I’ve started the process of finding ones I like/don’t and will discuss them here. PLEASE comment with your suggestions for more and some that are kid friendly. I will do a follow up post on our music discoveries (Spoiler: Kids love Lizzo).

The Moth: Overall, this one works the best for me. There’s a short, concise narrative. It’s usually either funny or touching but not too depressing or topical. These serve me well on errand runs or while cooking.

Babysitter’s Club Club: I wanted to love this podcast where two dudes seriously discuss the children’s books but I couldn’t make it more than thirty minutes into the first one because HOLY TANGENT BATMAN. I could not follow the thread.

My Favorite Murder: TOOO MAAAAANY SIDE CONVOS! I wanted to love these ladies and I think I would have fun with them socially but, if you’re gonna tell me a story, tell me a story.

Queens of Adventure: drag queens play DnD. What could be better? I enjoyed this one but wouldn’t listen to it all the time because the narrative, like actual DnD is meandering and there are lots of side quests.

Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert: I started with the Ben Platt one and it was very clear that Dax does not really care about Broadway (bc he said so) so this wasn’t a good starter. Then I tried a few more of people he has worked with and likes and they were better. Dax always sounds kinda bored with the people but I think that’s just his voice.

Conan O’Brien Needs Friend: I like Conan and his potential friends. Sometimes they talk about things that were funny but they don’t do the funny thing and I didn’t see it so I get bored but I overall like the discourse.

Show People: VERY specific: a dude talks with Broadway stars about being on Broadway. I love the ones of the people I’ve seen but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you LOVE Broadway.

My Little Tony’s: same vein--super SUPER specific discussion of Broadway seasons. It works for me when they discuss a year I went to NY and saw shows.

Creative Processing with Joseph Gordon Levitt: The one I listened to bored me to death because I had only seen one movie of the guy they were talking to but I like the IDEA of talking about the creative process with JGL. I will try one more.

LeVar Burton Reads: Delightful. When his voice first began, I had a sensory flashback to being a kid watching Reading Rainbow. I have only listened to one short story, called “Sea Girls.” One girl is a human and one girl is a mermaid. I loved it and I love hearing Geordi Laforge tell me stories again.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

But What Do You Do All Day? (School Edition)

Guess what? It finally happened. The girl has gone off to kindergarten. She's doing fine. I mean, she's exhausted and comes home with most of her lunch uneaten, but she's doing fine and has little cute friends and seems to enjoy it.

I was totally planning to write a saccharine post about how proud I am of my big baby and how ready she is and how much I cried (I didn't) and missed her (also didn't) ....but....instead..........howwww abouuuuut.....


If it wasn't stuck in your head then, it is now.

My classes don't start for a week and that's actually great because this has been really an adjustment for ME!

I maybe low key judged some moms who stay home after their kids go to school BUT NO MORE. I have been completely busy, y'all.

Here's my day, and maybe it looks like all other SAHM (learn the acronyms) days but also, I really, really want to go up to every mom in the kinder class and ask them what they did all day in a minute by minute break down because I'm desperately curious but I'm also trying to figure out exactly which ones are gonna be my friends for the next one to twelve years so I'm trying to play it coy at the moment.

6:40 Awake with the dawn/the cries of the boy who, every night before bed, says to me, "When I scream, it's time to get up!" He runs as loudly as possible for someone weighing under 40lbs into my room and then complains that I'm taking too long peeing.

6:45 I make his breakfast first because I don't have it in me to parent a three year old with a lesson on patience first thing. Then I make coffee and husband's, my, and the girl's breakfast in that order.

6:50 Before the coffee is done brewing, the boy is done eating and requests being changed into clothes that I have to psychically intuit to fit his whim and then becomes possessed by a demon unless I let him watch a show on the kindle and usually I haven't had coffee or food at this point and I let him so I can do all the other things.

7am wake the girl who is DEEPLY asleep and force her to pee and eat and then she asks me to "dress her like a baby" and wanders in to watch the show. Make lunches for all except me. Yes, they are in bento boxes. No they are not cutesy and containing sandwiches shaped like pandas.

7:10 Bye Husband. Everyone lightly acknowledges his departure. The boy asks for yogurt. I give the boy yogurt because #calcium

7:30 abandon any uneaten food/undranken coffee and throw on clothes. These last couple days I've tried to wear "real" clothes because, you know, I'm in the market for friends and maybe I should dress for them. You notice I didn't shower?

7:40 pry the kindle from their hands and brush and floss teeth (#dentistkids), put on shoes, and we leave.

7:50 I have to drive the girl to elementary school because she got into a "public focus option" which is liiiiike  public school in that it's free and unlike a public school in that there's no bus.

8:10 Arrive at school, unload children, brace for the sound of the bell that sets my sensory processing disordered kids into anxiety mode, and go to the classroom. Do the routine of filling water, hanging coats, etc. I could get to school later but I guarantee a good parking spot by getting there early and that's worth my time, I think.

8:30 The teacher opens the door and lets the girl in. The boy begins to cry because of a combo of "I want to go to kindergarten. I miss my sister! I want to stay and play! I don't want to go to this school! This school is too big! I don't want to go to my school! The bell is loud!" And I carry him out of there as the other parents give me sympathy smiles.  Drive the boy to preschool as he weeps.

8:45 Drop the boy at preschool. Everyone remarks on how dressed up I am. My standards are lower for the preschool crowd who has seen me through all disgusting trimesters of being pregnant with the boy, the post-surgical post-partum year, the year of tantrums of having a 1 and 3 year old, and every day since.

9am walk in the door of my SILENT HOUSE. Sprawl on the couch.


- laundry
- groceries
- dishes
- food prep
- tidying
- "work" (social media for the dental practice, prep for said classes)
- one day this week I went to breakfast with a friend and we were giddy with our freedom
- somehow there's more laundry and dishes already
- stretch
- go on the internet
- learn what podcasts are because.....

2:40 Get back in the car to go get the girl.  Listen to a podcast. Find it delightful. Maybe I am going to be okay driving 2 hours a day somehow to get these kids to and from school.

3pm Snag a good parking spot. Go to the girl's classroom sans screaming three year old. Pick up the exhausted limp noodle that is my daughter. Somehow this takes fifteen minutes.

3:15 Drive home. Get precious few details about her day.

3:30 Arrive home. Read with the girl. My favorite part of the day.

4:20 leave to get the boy from preschool. Lose the girl in the preschool playground because she misses her old life. Somehow this takes fifteen minutes

4:45 Arrive back home. Feed the feral beasts as fast as possible. Attempt to make grown-up dinner.

5pm ALL CHAOS DESCENDS UPON US. Everyone is tired, the food hasn't hit their systems yet, and it's ALL TOO MUCH!

6pm or whenever. Daddy's home! Somehow the dishwasher is going but there's a sink full of dishes and every toy and book in the house is on the floor and I've lost my shit and the girl is in timeout for trying to curb stomp her brother and the boy is dressed as Spiderman.

6:30 eat grown up dinner (because I give up on the whole "eat together thing") while the children play angelically in the next room. They play angelically when the next thing is:

7pm bedtime for the boy! Read the books, "tell a story about (insert random assortment of objects and people)", sing (he currently always wants "Til There Was You"), tuck in, and, as I leave, he whispers, "When I scream, it's time to get up!"

7:30 Read (or watch Dark Crystal) with the girl. Let her chill the F ouuuuut.

8:30 Alls quiet (except the girl's super loud audio book). Netflix and scroll on our phones.

10pm read in bed. Sleep?


We don't even have any extracurriculars at this point! And no appointments this week. And I didn't have to appear at work!

Did you want to know? I don't care. But what did you do all day? No really...did I do it right? Is this what we do all day?

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Workin' Moms

First and foremost, Workin' Moms on Netflix is the greatest thing to happen to moms since the yoga pant.

ALSO. Here we are...the home stretch. Almost back to school and back to my sorta work. I work part time. I call it "underemployed" but really I am part time and I need to own that because I DO LOTS OF THINGS when I'm not actively at my place(s) of employment.

But last spring, I worked full time for three months. I had a long-term-sub position at a private school nearby, an experience I called "teacher vacation" because they fed me lunch and the building was all one temperature. I also kept all my tutoring clients.

What was MOM time on MWF became mostly work time and what was ONE MOM became FOUR people:
- husband who took three long lunches to accommodate my afternoon class.
- his parents who I asked to help out because they are the best in-laws ever and also because they are free
- a friend from college who graciously agreed to nanny for us part time and my children only broke her spirit SOME of the days

- cook (like at all)
- clean
- kid-clothes shop
- go on dates (bc I used up all my childcare favors and $$ on covering my work schedule)
- stay awake past 10pm
- wake up later than 6am

- buy work-appropriate clothes (because leggings as pants seemed wrong)
- exercise (about half as much as before)
- organize mental and physical health care for 3/4 family members (Doctor Husband is on his own)
- attend IFEP, IEP, and evaluations for each of my children
- attend bi-monthly therapy sessions for our family
- ALL THE LAUNDRY FOR SOME REASON (friend nanny offered to help with this, in her defense, and I think in-laws did, too, but I was never READY to give up this glorious task)
- attended four weddings
- went to Disneyworld (see previous post)

IT WAS EXHAUSTING YOU GUYS. And, yeah, if it was a forever-job thing, I'd have put the kids in daycare full time and it would have been more effective. And, yeah, the girl is going to kinder in a week and that's free.

Between pick up and drop off and OT and therapy and doctor's appointments and sick days and soccer practice and swim lessons, I don't actually have that many hours a week where I'm not with a kid considering they will both be "full time students" after Labor Day.


I don't know.

Mental load, I guess. Feminism. The patriarchy.


If you are a working parent. An "underemployed," part-time, unemployed, stay at home, or any combination I can't think of. RESPECT to you. THIS SHIT IS INTENSE. It is not easy for ANY of us. No one (I know) has it easy.

SO you do you. And you're going a good job. Whatever that job may be.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Summertime and the livin' is.....crazy.
Kids are jumping and the anxiety is high.
Your daddy's workin' and your momma's unshowered.
So hush little children, don't you cry.

But, like, I like my kids, right?

I mean....you can LOVE someone more than yourself but you still can sorta kinda....feel exhausted by them on all levels.

Summer livin' had me a blast.
Summer livin' happened not so fast.
I have this girl, crazy and free.
I have this boy, cute as can be.
Summer dreams. ripped at the seams
by those, those summer fights.

Wella wella wella.

On Monday the kids went to camp and got separated for fighting.

Later that day, the girl went full manic demon nightmare child on me for the 1000000000000000 time this summer.

Would you like to recommend some literature to me? The Whole Brain Child, perhaps? WELL YEAH I GET IT HER ENTIRE BRAIN IS AMYGDALA RIGHT NOW.

Maybe a book called, No Bad Kids. This book will perhaps teach me not to feel shame about disciplining my children because I will do so WITH RESPECT.

Respectfully, girl child, would you ever so kindly stop biting me? I understand that you have flipped your lid due to underlying anxiety about leaving the safety of preschool and embarking on the glorious and terrifying journey into kinder.

How about the very clearly titled, How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk?

Me: I see you are out of your mind with rage. That must be really frustrating for you that I won't let you gouge out your brother's eyes. I wish I could let you gouge out all our eyes so the whole world could be blind. Why don't we come up with a solution together? Here, draw your feelings and we will feed it to the worry monster.

It's a cruel (cruel) summer.

The boy, of course. refuses to comply with swim lessons. Yesterday, he (somewhat sweetly) cowered in my bosom for the whole thirty minutes. But, last lesson, he spent the whole class actively trying to sabotage the class. He left the group, threw toys in the pool, and, when we told him to stop, he began the process of putting alllllll theeeee pooooool waaaater in his mouth and spitting it at the teacher and classmates. A JOY.

Now, it's not all bad. My insta will paint the most gorgeous picture of our garden, filled with yummy veggies (that they will not eat). Insta will also show you the delightful trip to the beach, where my feral children can really run free. Other "perfect internet life" highlights include a movie in the park (the three year old started a mosh pit and went home with a bloody eyebrow, but it really was the highlight of their lives), my escape to New York (siiiiiigh), and, of course, an adorable video of the girl in her ballet outfit. She hates ballet, turns out, but, really, who were we kidding, she's a hip hop girl at heart.


Two weeks to go.