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Out with the Old

A few weeks ago, in an anxiety induced grocery spree, I found myself standing in front of our deep freezer with multiple items I needed to cram inside.  Our freezer was already pretty full, but I hadn't consulted said freezer before ordering more items, so I was having a hard time playing frozen potato Tetris and needed to get rid of whatever superfluous items we had shoved in the back.  I pulled out a half full bag of ice, some scraps of ham from multiple New Year's past that never made it into stock or whatever I was saving it for, and a gallon size freezer bag full of frozen breast milk.
I have two children, and I breastfed them both for a time, but it was for me the hardest part of motherhood.  The actual nursing of my children was fine, easier with the second for sure, but the act of pumping breast milk out of my body induced such anxiety, frustration, and depression that it clouds both postpartum periods with my kids.  
My first kid lost over ten percent of her body weight…
Recent posts

My House is a Daycare

I am the anti-Santa.
I don't mean I hate Christmas.  This has nothing to do with the holidays, and in fact I love yule time as much as the next person, but I have been sneaking into our living room at night and removing bags full of toys.  And you know what, no one has noticed.
I'm not throwing these toys away or donating them, but I am making them disappear for a certain amount of time, usually until my kids seem bored with what's on offer in our play area, then "new" toys magically re-appear where the old ones once were.  I know toy rotation is nothing new for parents, but until I started doing it I didn't realize how smart it was.
As I sit and write this, there are currently seven soft bins jam packed with toys, a giant play yard full of toys, a pack and play full of toys, and a massive cardboard pirate ship all in our living room.  We are currently living in a daycare.  This is something we're fully embracing, though, because our kids are now home indefi…

How Much TV is Too Much?

My three year old comes padding down the hallway, bleary eyed and curly hair wild.  Her first stop of the day is into our office, where she will ask my husband, "Can I watch TV?"
Unfortunately for her, the answer to that really depends on the day.  If it's the weekend, we're more inclined to start off with cartoons.  If it's the weekday and mommy and daddy have early meetings, then it's likely that PBS is coming on.  If her parents (aka us) are feeling particularly anxious about amount of television she's been consuming lately, then the battle begins.
"No, we're not going to watch TV right now," I'll say to her, and her face will drop.
"But why?"
"Well, Mommy has lots of meetings this afternoon, and you'll get to watch plenty of TV then."
"Can I play video games?"
"No! No screens!" I will exclaim in frustration.
"But I looooove screens," she will fire back.
What have I done?? I'll think.
L…

Book Review: The Ghost Map

During the first few weeks of the pandemic, I lost my ability to focus on books.  Slowly, as this life has become routine and the fearful news scrolling has been contained to a few minutes a day, I have gone back to books.  So, when trying to decide what to read, I was inspired by a recommendation from the Reading Glasses Podcast.  In times of crisis, we look to things in the past that may be similar to what we are experiencing, hoping to learn something or find solace in the struggle of the generations before us. 
The Ghost Map is the story of how cholera ripped through a large swath of London in the 1800's, but it is also how politics and pseudo-science threatened to destroy the lives of thousands of people.  It follows the gripping tale of a doctor searching for the source of cholera transmission, even as he was ridiculed and dissuaded by his contemporaries.  It's also a tale of urban planning and how systemic poverty and classism manifested in architecture that created a br…

Love in the Time of Corona

After being home for months on end, and being way too scared of this virus to consider going out and celebrating at a real restaurant, my husband and I marked the occasion of our fifth wedding anniversary from the comfort and safety of our couch this weekend.  We joked that we'll probably still be there for our fifteen year anniversary in December, but secretly I'm sure we both want this to be over so we can leave the house. I'm coming out of the weekend really refreshed and happy, which is pretty typical.  In the pre-pandemic times, before the Ups and Downs, I enjoyed weekends, but they drained me.  One day was usually spend running around all over town picking up items we needed for the week, going to parks and the library, and taking our three year old to swim class.  We'd catch up on massive loads of laundry and try our best to tidy the house, but by Monday we were usually ill prepared to start the work week and always playing catch up.
Things are slower now.  Laundr…

Spend vs Save

This pandemic has me really confused.
When I start to think about the economic implications of this global catastrophe, I want to save every last penny, plant a victory garden, and start feeding my family rice and beans for every meal.  Then, in the same minute, I start to worry that if I don't continue purchasing items and eating out (which I am really not doing), everything will grind to a halt and make it so much worse.  What are we supposed to do?
If I had the security that our jobs would not be impacted, I would be happily supporting local businesses by doing home improvement projects, ordering things online, and sending gifts and cards to loved ones.  I don't have that security, though.  So far, we've been okay, but if businesses and developers decide to put their construction projects on hold, much like I'm doing with my typical purchases, then there will be a huge drop in demand for architects.  
There's also the fear that with every new package we receive and…

An Ornamental Back Yard

"You'll never break into my castle, Witch!" my three year old screamed from her perch in the tree house.
"Well then," I cried back, "I'll just steal your baby!"
I leapt over to the swing set and pulled the one year old out of her seat.  She squealed with delight as I ran into the far side of our yard.
"Oh no!  Not my baby!" the three year old yelled as she slid down the bright yellow slide and ran at me full force.
What proceeded was ten full minutes of me running around the back yard holding a giggling baby as her sister tried to catch me and tickle me to death.  I finally relented, setting the baby safely into her play yard and falling on the ground, where the three year old proceeded to jump on me and claim, "I won! I won!"
I looked up to see my husband standing on the back porch, all the stress of the day melting away as he watched his ladies enjoy the fresh air.  
"Daddy!  You're an evil dragon!" the three year old…