A Day in the Life... Summer 2016



In a few weeks I will return to work and Sawyer to daycare, so I thought it would be fun to document what a typical day looks right now. I actually really enjoy reading these posts on other blogs, I guess we are all a bit nosey at the end of the day. Plus I really love looking back at the ones that I've done in the past to see how life has changed. Like the first one before I had a kid? Oh my. An hour on the couch reading blogs? Sheesh. 

Typically, Sawyer and I are pretty busy during the week. I try to take one day to stay at home, do one or two "big" (Wild Animal Park, a trip to the science museum, etc...) outings a week, and then a few smaller, more local things, so that we are back for naps and often pool time as well. He does well out and about and I like to stay busy, so this sort of balance works well. 

The other day was really typical for a "fun activity in the morning and get things done around the house day" with a two-year-old, so I thought it would work well for one of these posts. 

6:50 am- Sawyer wakes me up. This is actually a miracle; usually he is up at 6, or earlier. Knock on wood, but he's been sleeping for a solid ten to ten-and-a-half hours for several weeks now and it has been a life-saver for me. I have slept better this summer than I have since he was born.

7:00-8:30 I had a really hard time getting moving today, since I was up sneezing my head off and praying I wasn't getting sick until late the night before. Nonetheless, the show must go on. We have breakfast, I feed the dogs, unload the dishwasher, and I write out my to-do list while drinking coffee. I write a to-do list of some sort every single day, always. 

8:30-9:00 Chores: laundry, vacuuming, tidying up

9:00-9:30 I put the gate up in Sawyer's room so he can play while I get ready for the day. When I'm ready I get him dressed as well. We are usually up and dressed much earlier, but this is just how it worked out today/


9:30-11:15 We drive to an indoor trampoline park called Sky Zone and spend an hour jumping. It's so much fun- for $8 we can both jump and he actually gets the concept now, so it's a blast watching him hop around and fall. I get in a good little work out as well. 

11:15-12:00 We say good bye to the trampolines and head to the grocery store so I can buy the ingredients for some treats to take to a friend's house the next day and and a few things I need for dinner. 

12:00-1:00 Sawyer and I have lunch (lately we've been doing a "snack lunch" sort of hodgepodge for him, since he can be picky. I made him a plate with crackers, blueberries, yogurt, string cheese, and pepperoni and he tried some of everything, which is all I ask). After we eat we make Golden Graham S'mores Bars for tomorrow.

1:00-1:30 Get Sawyer down for a nap (read a few stories and then he insists on holding my hand through his crib until he nods off; I'm sure I'm probably like setting him up for a life of sleeping failures, but it's super cute and he's still falling asleep on his own, quietly, in his bed, SO I'LL TAKE IT) and get ready to work out.

1:30-3:00 Thirty minutes on the treadmill (some jogging, some sprinting, some slow hill walking), twenty-five minutes of restorative yoga, and thirty minutes floating around the pool with my book.

3:00-4:00 Sawyer wakes up, but when I go to get him I can tell he's still sleepy. We sit in his rocker and he falls asleep on me, so I just sit in there and read.



4:00-4:30 The kid is up, so we eat ice cream and play with LEGOS and his magnet board (he has gotten so much use out of this!).



4:30- 5:30 Sawyer keeps playing while I clean the hell out of my kitchen. Every once in awhile I take a break and play with him and every once in awhile he takes a break and grabs a towel to "scrub" something. We have a good thing going.

5:30-6:00 Play around with Sawyer and the dogs, switch laundry over, check the mail.



6:00-7:30 Make Sawyer's dinner (chicken and mashed potatoes) and ours, for when Scott comes home later (Honey Balsamic Peach and Chicken that was delicious, with couscous. This meal had a lot more prep than I might typically choose to do, but it's summer so I have the flexibility at night).

7:30-8:00 Walk dogs while Scott and Sawyer play. It's been way too hot to do this lately, and Scott is usually home a bit later, but tonight it all works. 

8:00-8:30 Bathe Sawyer, clean up toys together, put him to bed.

8:30-10:30 Shower, watch Love with Scott on Netflix, go to bed.

10:30-11:00 Lay in bed and think/worry about things I can't do anything about until tomorrow. Par for the course... 







Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts



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1. I want to see Bad Moms, but I think most of my fellow moms are too busy being good moms (kidding, kidding, good moms can see movies too) to go with me, especially since many of us our teachers and are getting ready to start the school year.

2. Today kicks off several busy days. We are going to a friend's house to swim for the afternoon, tomorrow we are going up to UCLA to walk around and have lunch with an old friend from where I worked, Friday we are going to the OC Fair, and Saturday I have a hair appointment that generally lasts for hours. But it's all good stuff, some I'm not complaining (except about the heat; I might complain about that).

3. I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about discovering Boden. I bought a dress shirt covered in trees to wear under blazers this fall and am refusing to let myself look anymore until I get paid in a few days. 

4. Last Saturday Scott and I had plans to go to lunch and then to The Broad in Downtown LA, but as the morning drug on the traffic got worse and the weather hotter. Eventually, I pulled the plug and just knew driving out there would be more stressful than fun, so I suggested driving to Newport Beach for lunch and to hang out instead. It ended up being relaxing and fun with less time in the car.

5. Sunday we took Sawyer to see The Secret Life of Pets, since we abandoned him for awhile on Saturday. I packed a huge bag of Honey Nut Cheerios with some mini M&Ms on the bottom and the kid sat still for the entire movie. I was really surprised, but he loves dogs and he loves candy, so I guess for him it was a win-win.

6. I have done yoga every single day for eight days with the DownDog Ap and I feel so much better. I have some residual pain from an accident years and years ago, that has been flaring up lately so it's been good to loosen everything up and keep working on my flexibility. I know I won't be able to sustain this commitment to practice when school begins, and that makes me a little sad.

7. Sawyer always blows on his food when it's hot and he's started doing that outside, too, since it's been in the upper 90s for awhile now. I told him we weren't going to walk around at the shopping center we go to because it was hot out and he began walking up to everything and blowing on it, trying to cool the world down. Spoiler alert: it didn't work. But it was cute. 

8. I have decided to get a tree tattoo on my neck, so I can cover it when I need to but also so that it's visible as well, unlike my other one. I just can't decide what kind of tree. I'm in no rush and have to find someone to do it, as well, but I do sort of wish I had made this decision a few months ago so I could have had it done this summer.

9. My friend does a 50-mile walk for MS every year and I think I'm going to join her in 2017. I thought about doing it this November, but I need to fundraise and have my toe fixed first. 

10. I'm reading The Prisoners of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and I had forgotten how much fun he is. Sixty pages in and such an enjoyable read so far. 

Hostess Cupcake Ice Cream Recipe



You guys know the story- I love to cook but could never have an actual cooking blog, so sometimes the baker/cook in me hijacks a post or two with a recipe. 

Today is a good one. I promise. 

There was once this recipe of Full House where Michelle is trying to cook and is putting different combinations of food together, all of them bad (up until the end where she probably makes something the whole family loves and the studio audience goes "awww" together). Anyway, you get the gist; there are a lot of good foods that should never be paired together. But  vanilla ice cream and Hostess Cupcakes? This is a combination you should most definitely try. My husband had some last night and said it was good as anything you'd buy from a store. Sawyer also gave rave reviews. 

First of all, there are lots of different ice cream makers out there, but I have found that the attachment for my KitchenAid Stand Mixer is by far the best. I also have some ice cream containers from Sur la Table that have nice silicone tops that are airtight and easy to clean. I keep the attachment bowl in the freezer at all times so that it stays as cold as it possibly can be and that I'm ready to go if the ice-cream making mood strikes me. It is definitely not cheap, but you get what you pay for, as with many things in life. 

This is a no-cook recipe, so if raw eggs bother you... don't make it. Or I guess you could go the more custard-y route, but this is the best recipe I've used and have never gotten sick.  

Recipe

3 Hostess Cupcakes, frozen for at least a few hours
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup 2% milk 
1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract 

1. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl for two minutes

2. Add in half the sugar, whisk a few seconds, add in the rest. Continue to whisk  for another minute until blended.

3. Whisk in vanilla, cream, and milk, adding a little at a time and then whisking as you go

4. Add the mixture to the ice cream maker. If you are using the same as I am, I pull it out of the freezer at this point so that it doesn't increase in temperature at all. Turn on and let stir for fifteen minutes.

5. While the ice cream is freezing, chop the Hostess Cupcakes into small pieces. Honestly, it doesn't really matter because they'll fall apart anyway, but mine were maybe 1/3 inch cubes. No need to be exact, at all.

6. After at least fifteen minutes of churning, your ice cream should be the consistency of a thick shake. Don't turn off the mixer! Add the cupcake chunks in slowly, giving the mixer time to stir in a handful at a time. 

7. After all the pieces have been added, let the mixer incorporate for a minute or so and then turn the machine off. Pour the ice cream with the help of a spatula into your ice cream container. Make sure it is sealed tightly! 

8. Freeze for eight hours and then enjoy! Homemade ice cream doesn't typically have the same longevity as your store-bought brands, so eat it within a few days. 


This recipe has been adapted from Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (1987)

What Did I Do? A Writing Challenge.



Last night as I was doing my usual "dick around on my phone for fifteen minutes while in bed but not asleep" routine (that I need to stop), an ad for something called the "Flash Fiction Challenge" popped up. Since I was obviously in the mood to waste time and not sleep, I clicked on the link. Basically, for a fee, you are entered in this contest that requires you to write 1,000 word stories over the course of a few days that are then judged and awarded points (everyone is on a team of fifteen people). Before the round starts, you are given three words: a genre, a location, and an object, which then must be involved in the story. You submit what you have written, are given your points and actual feedback, and after the first two rounds if you score enough points you get to move on. 

Why this is bad:
- The first round is this weekend and I'm fairly busy
- I have a feeling paying for this sort of stuff is stupid, but I have never even looked at a writing competition before, so I have no clue
- I am incredibly rusty; the most writing I do right now is for social media posts and this blog
- 1,000 words is... nothing. I tend to lean on the wordy side, so trimming the fat will be hard (but probably good) 

Why this is good: 
- It will force me to write at least two short stories over the next few months, which I could maybe turn into something else at some point
- It will be interesting to get feedback on my writing, which is something I haven't really experienced in a long time
- I have done these sorts of creative writing assignments with my students and they are actually a lot of fun
- While it may have been a rookie mistake to pay, this will actually motivate me to follow through (it's how I've forced myself to run so much over the years)

Wish me luck! 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts




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1. My mom and sister came down last weekend to watch Sawyer so we could go to a wedding and it was pretty great. It was fun to get dressed up, the venue was beautiful, the bar was open, the cupcakes were delicious, the (temporary) lack of 5:30 tiny wake-up call amazing, and it was nice to spend some time with my husband that didn't require me simultaneously doing ten other things while trying to have a conversation with him. The only sad part was the ferris wheel wasn't on, but still. 

2. I actually get to hang out with just my husband again on Saturday- we are going to The Broad and are going to try Perch for lunch. Once school starts it makes getting away for longer chunks more difficult, so I'm thankful we've had the childcare to do so.

3. I am almost scared to confess this, but I just can't get into Hamilton. If I was going to see a show, it wouldn't be that, and I tried listening to a few of the songs on iTunes and was compelled to download zero. I know, I'm sorry. 

4. I hear that to actually grow an avocado might take a decade, but the gimmicky nature behind the Avoseeder is sort of right up my alley. 

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5. I need these booties from Nordstroms, but they are already backordered and they haven't opened the semi-annual sale up to non-cardholders like myself, so who knows if it will happen. I'm actually sort of pissed they're being so stingy with how long the early access is and will never get a store-card because of this. 



6. Gwen Stefani's new album was only $7.99 so I downloaded it and I almost feel uncomfortable listening to it, since it's obviously one long middle-finger-in-the-air sort message to Gavin Rossdale. I hugely believe that private matters should remain private and this is anything but. 

7. I finally downloaded the app for the bank I have my savings account at and have made myself swear to deposit $5 every time I get a drink at Starbucks. 

8. & 9. I feel like it's my responsibility to report my findings on junk food you should buy, so, without further ado:




10. Tomorrow I am giving up real Sawyer-free day to hang out at home and wait for the plumber to unclog a partially clogged drain that is only diverting our AC condensation to the secondary drip line some of the time. As the kids would say, "FML."

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