Raising a runner

I’ve never been a runner. I played a lot of sports growing up, mostly with an overwhelming lack of enthusiasm, and the one through-line is that I hated running of all kinds. I can remember the side aches, meandering my way through the one mile “run” in middle school gym class, dreading running as a punishment during every sports practice. Once I was in college I eventually decided to try to get in good enough shape to run a 5K, and I did, and that was enough for me. I’m someone who goes to the gym and does cardio but long stretches of running have never factored in heavily. Continue reading

Easy DIY photo strip valentines

Valentines Cards 2019

Valentine’s Day has never made my list of favorite holidays, but since having kids it feels like an excellent excuse for thematic crafting. For the past couple of years I’ve picked up some pre-cut hearts and loads of stickers and sequins and markers and let the kids go to town and drop whatever chaos they ended up creating into their classmates’ paper-bag mailboxes. This year the holiday coincided with an irrepressible urge to take on a creative project, so I decided to co-opt their valentines entirely. Continue reading

How do you raise kids to find joy in the ordinary?

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This morning when I dropped Jonah off, he told me that he doesn’t like school. It was the first time this year that I can recall him having said so, and it made me sad. He’s had a surprisingly positive experience in kindergarten so far (and I say “surprisingly” only because I had my doubts about the worksheet- and testing-centric culture of today’s public schools). I asked him what he didn’t like and he told me that it’s too hard (which is also surprising, since he’s whizzing through everything they’re teaching). I assured him that he’s doing great in school and that he can do hard things, which is when he took a turn for the existential and told me that most of the time he can’t find anything fun to do. I inquired as to whether we were still talking about school, but no, now he was talking about life in general. Continue reading

Jonah turns six

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Jonah was born the Saturday after Thanksgiving, exactly a week past his due date. So this year, the year that he turns six, was the first year since that his birthday has fallen on a Saturday.  For some reason that felt meaningful to me this year, though I can’t say why exactly. Every year I feel completely unprepared for our children to suddenly become a year older than they were. I know; it isn’t sudden, it’s a one-day-at-a-time sort of thing.  But it always feels abrupt. Continue reading

Finding our sweet spot

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I feel like I’m getting the hang of this solo-parenting weekends thing. We’ve had so many lovely people checking in on us, offering play-dates, asking if we need anything from the grocery store, but to my surprise we never seem to have much aimless down time – those moments in which the minutes seem to crawl by and you’re wondering what on earth to do with the kids now. Somehow our Saturdays and Sundays have felt rather full, in a good way.  Continue reading

The first weekend of solo-parenting

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Have I mentioned before that Kristin is doing a yoga teacher training program in Chicago this fall, and that she’ll be gone for nine weekends? I’ve been incredibly anxious about it, and it kicked off this weekend. To be honest it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I had plans Friday night and getting ready for the sitter and getting out of the house was much harder on my own, but the days went by fairly easily for the most part, and the weather has been so cool and beautifully fall-like that I was happy to skip the usual weekend field trips and stay home a bit more. Continue reading

The last days of preschool

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We’ve been counting down to summer since the days were in the twenties. Now the board reads “1 Day” and a strange combination of excitement and crushing sadness and worry is bouncing around in my brain. I’ve been worrying about tomorrow all week long; it’s Jonah’s last day of preschool, forever. It’s also the last morning for two months that I have to worry about getting all of the kids up and fed and dressed and out the door in time for me to get to work. And it’s the start of the long daylight evenings with no concern (ok, less concern) about bedtime, nights of catching fireflies in the yard and eating popsicles on the patio. It’s also the first summer that I’ve felt like we really have a growing number of friends here, lots of people I’m excited to spend time with all summer long. Continue reading

The beauty and the chaos

In my post the other day about gardening and being outdoors I mentioned that things hadn’t gone entirely as I’d hoped. By the time Monday rolled around things had gone from “not as planned” to “the wheels are off the bus.” I shared some of the more specific details of my overwhelm with a colleague on Monday and she said, “please blog about this when it’s over.” I hadn’t really considered that until she suggested it, but I know how important it is to share the hard stuff and not just the magic. Continue reading

Kids with guns

Jonah woke up under the weather today, with a low-grade fever and a headache, and a lack of appetite that’s the opposite of everyday-morning-Jonah. We aren’t sure what brought it on because he was 100% himself all day yesterday, but I’m watching him sleep from where I’m sitting and have spent time alternately stroking his head and back and bundling him up in blankets throughout the day.

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Last night we attended a “crappy dinner party” at the home of some friends. It was raucous and lovely, a house full of kids (four of theirs, three of ours, and four belonging to another family) and was the first time that we’d met their oldest child, a sweet boy of nearly eleven. Jonah focused in on him as well as two other boys, and inquired about his nerf gun arsenal. Jonah couldn’t wait to show me the secret nerf gun cabinet (hidden in the wall of their midcentury modern home), and towards the end of the evening all but the two youngest children suddenly made the collective decision to play outside (despite the 40-degree temperatures).  Continue reading