Life, parenting

Finding Balance in the Every Day

Well, somehow, we made it to November 30th – my last day of blogging for the month. I missed only two days, not too bad!

And I didn’t stress Mr. KK out too much either, so that’s a win in this house.

I usually use this post to do some sort of wrap up of the blog month, or of the year that is so quickly coming to an end, or my perspective on the year ahead. One year I wrote what could be the first chapter of my novel. Sometimes we celebrate my cancer-versary.

This year, I just wanted to share that I’m having trouble finding balance: balance of my work, mom, wife, and “me” lives.

One hypothesis is that we are fully back to “normal” and life is busy again and the juggling is even harder. Another thought is that I’m a year older and it’s just harder, if that’s possible. Or, I’m prioritizing different things and that is tugging at my psyche.

You should know that I really like my job. I work for a surrogacy and egg donation agency as a Marketing Director, and I manage our company’s brand, website, and oversee all of our paid and organic marketing, social media, marketing materials, you name it. I have such passion for what we do: enabling those who cannot be parents on their own to have the child(ren) they’ve dreamed of. It’s pretty powerful, especially compared to my last job at a marketing agency where I was selling M&M’S.

The thing about work is that it just never ends. I am hella busy, and it’s hard finding a stopping point each day. There’s always one more web page I could create, or another email I could answer. But if I don’t stick to a schedule, my work life will start to creep into my home life, when I must turn the switch from Boss to Mom. It’s bad enough that Little Mister is home a solid hour plus before my work day even ends, it’s like moving mountains to get him to do homework while someone isn’t sitting next to him, all while trying to keep him off of every electronic device within 30 miles.

If I stop working at 5pm (which honestly feels like the middle of the day since emails continue to roll in until 8pm or 9pm) then it’s immediate Mom mode. We need to get homework done, maybe play with Little Mister, get dinner together, eat and clean up, Little Mister watches a show, then the bedtime routine with 20 minutes of reading under the covers. And that’s if we don’t have an activity after school, like Scouts or Basketball. Even a haircut could throw a wrench in the mix. Once Little Mister is tucked away in bed, I usually hop on the computer again to address any urgent needs, or finish the project I left hanging a few hours ago. If it’s November, it’s also time to write a blog post, unless I did that early in the morning before work, which means I did that instead of going kickboxing. But there are mornings that I can’t kickbox AND shower before work (not enough time!) so I have to choose between them. This time of year I’m trying to get holiday shopping done online (who has time to go to a store??), and before bed is the time to do it, especially if I need Mr. KK’s input. Sometimes we’ll watch 10 minutes of a show before I fall asleep (and many nights, we are re-watching the same 10 minutes 3 days in a row because I just can’t keep my eyes open).

Let’s not forget there are things that I like to do, even if I don’t do them that often. Like getting a manicure, or mindlessly wandering the aisles of Target, or reading. Or vacation planning. Or party planning. Or changing my closet for the seasons. Or folding the basket of clothes that’s been staring at me for a week. (Am I the only one who eventually wears enough clothes out of the clean basket until it’s a manageable size to put away?)

That’s a long-winded way of saying: there’s just not enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do!

Since we didn’t win the billion dollar lottery, and Mr. KK tells me I have about 137 more years of working until I can retire, how can I find balance.

As I said, I love my job, but good lord I would retire TOMORROW if I could. I think about my parents and in-laws who are all retired and have every day to themselves to do things and it makes me sad (for me) and jealous (of them). They can go to lunch whenever they want! They can organize a closet on a Tuesday afternoon! Get a manicure on a Thursday morning. Hit the gym at noon on Friday. If I have to wait until I’m of retirement age (probably in my 90s according to Mr. KK), I won’t have the energy to do anything!

I want to be retired now while I have interests and hobbies, and the strength and mobility to DO things. I don’t want to be bent over and frail when I finally have all the time in the world to enjoy life. I will have missed everything I’m looking forward to!

I even have a short list of retirement jobs that I think I’d be great at:

  • Personal grocery shopper
  • Audio book narrator
  • Vacation planner
  • Food/shopping/travel blogger
  • Novelist (finally!)

I know I’m not alone. How does everyone find balance to the point that they feel they are giving the appropriate % of themselves to everyone and everything in their lives? So that no one feels slighted, even yourself? That you feel like you’re contributing well to work and enriching your child’s life? That you’re present even when you can’t be present?

That’s what I’m carrying into 2023 with me: how to find better balance. Finding the time to work out, be a good mom (whatever that means), be a superstar at work, be a great wife, all while squeezing in time for myself so I can stay sane.

I wish you all luck finding your balance in 2023! Until next year!

Life, Little Mister

Lies, Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

The Little Mister has entered into the life stage of lying.

Nothing major, more like little white lies.

Questions Little Mister will lie about when answering on any given day:

“Did you wash your hands?”
“Did you brush your teeth?”
“Did you put your clothes in the hamper?”
“Did you eat all your fruit?”
“Did you hand in your homework?”
“Did you clean up your toys?”
“Are you lying to me right now?”

And the best part is, he’s a HORRIBLE liar; which, I suppose, is good qualify for a kid to have. Though I imagine he will perfect this skill as he gets older. He’s not quite sophisticated enough to know that if he lies about brushing his teeth and I check his toothbrush and it’s dry, that’s he’s caught, and that he should have wet the toothbrush before we had this conversation.

I like to have fun with him when he’s “stretching the truth”, asking him to look me directly in the eye and tell me again. To which he will make his eyes as wide as they will go and he will stare at me with his creepy bugged-out eyes and repeat himself.

The little bugger is impervious to guilt, too!

Our conversations go something like this:

ME: “Did you wash your hands?”

LM: “Yep!” (Nope)

ME: “Why didn’t I hear the faucet go on?”

LM: “Because I turned it on really low and it was quiet.” (Again, nope)

ME: “Can I smell your hands?”

LM: “You don’t need to. They’re clean, I swear.” (Nope!)

ME: “You’re sure?”

LM: “Why don’t you believe me?”

ME: “I do believe you. Do you know why? Because I know you wouldn’t never lie to me.”

LM: “That’s right. I wouldn’t lie to you.” (Still lying)


LM: “Well, I guess I could wash them again.”

I know lying is part of growing up and seeing what you can get away with. Little Mister tests us every day – how much can he get away with before one of us cracks!

But I guess I can’t really say anything, since there are small, white lies we tell the Little Mister when necessary. Things like:

“That store is closed today.”
“They are sold out of that toy.”
“We don’t have any ice cream.”
“Moms see and hear and know everything.”

(That last one if my favorite)


The Craziest Things I’ve Seen Online

I spend quite a bit of time online during the wee, dark hours of the morning while my house is still asleep. After my daily Wordle and Quordle, I start surfing. During this time of year, I’m scouring house rental sites for our next family vacation house and looking for great Christmas gifts. I am often side-tracked by the ridiculous headlines I read, and – in the case of vacation houses – some of the photos that I see.

Here’s my round up of the craziest things I’ve read or seen online lately.

From the “Overpriced Vacation Home” Category

There’s a tie for this one. Check out the price tags on these homes…per night. One is in Nantucket and one is in Connecticut, just in case you thought these home were in some exotic locale. Nope!

We are definitely not among those who can afford a week’s vacation with a $70K price tag. I mean, I’m dying to spend a week in Nantucket and all, but $10,000/night?

From the “What in the Hell Goes on at This House” Category

Still on vacation homes. Last year I wrote this post about being the family’s travel agent, and how I meticulously search houses on VRBO and Airbnb, and how so many things in the photos – if you look closely – can really turn me off. It’s amazes me the photos that someone will post to “sell” the idea of renting their home. What are they thinking?

During my search this year, I came across these two hilarious photos.

You know what makes me want to rent a house? A plastic steak dinner! I’m not going to lie – they would have had me at the orange chairs (my favorite color). but the salisbury steak and faux lettuce leaves really take this to the next level of ridiculousness.

For this house, I feel like they are completely missing the mark when advertising the highlights. The listing offers “Camp fires and porch swings! Pool”. However, I think they buried the lead here….how could they NOT mention that this house comes with Santa Claus! I was questioning the $1,140/night price tag, but now that I see the big man in red is part of the deal, this house is a steal!

From the “What About My Shopping Habits Makes You Think I Would Be Interested in This” Category

Is there anything better than the “sponsored” posts in your feeds, and the “We think you’ll really like this!” suggestions?

Here are two of my recent favorites.

Apparently, Amazing thinks I live a WAY more fun life than I actually do. And the fact that Amazon thinks I’m invited to glamorous Roaring 20s Gatsby parties is rather humorous. Although, a girl can’t have too many feather boas.

I don’t normally shop at Nordstrom, but apparently they have something super special for me to buy! A sheer catsuit with strategically-placed velvet overlays. I was just thinking that I needed something new to wear for Thanksgiving and look at that. And only $1100? Such a steal. Plus, I could get it today with contactless curbside pick up. However, I imagine someone wearing this catsuit is not super concerned with contact-free interactions.

From the “This Can’t Be a Real Job” Category

What in the world is an “elegance expert”? Also, who needs an elegance expert? I imagine about 1% of our population. Also, talk to me about what “classy ladies” wear…what is this, 1950?

From the “Social Media Has Gotten Out Of Control” Category

I don’t know where to start with this one.

From the “Who Is Buying This Item” Category

I keep tissues in my car. I have a handy travel pack in my console. What I don’t have is a gigantic stuffed animal (how do you see to drive?) with tissues coming out of its ass.


Thank you, internet, for keeping it interesting.

Disney World, Family, Life, Little Mister, memories, Travel, Vacation

The Best Way to Do Disney World*

*The best way for our family. Your trip is likely completely different and equally amazing!

During the Fall of my Senior Year in college, I worked at Disney World in their College Program. I spent 5 months living and working at The Mouse House and I have to say – I loved every minute of it.

Why did I choose the Disney internship? Was I a Disney fanatic? Nope. Did I love the heat and humidity? Double nope. Did I want a unique experience here in the good ole USA where I could meet people and have fun? Ding, ding, ding!

Back when I was in the College Program at Disney, all the CPs lived in a magical place called Vista Way. For those of you old enough to understand this reference: it was like Melrose Place meets Animal House. Thousands of college kids living together in idyllic conditions – pools, gym, no adult supervision.

I worked at Blizzard Beach, a ski-lodge themed water park, operating the chair lift that brought guests in their swimsuits to the top of a “mountain” to some of the water slides. CPs work everywhere in the parks; I had friends who worked on Tower of Terror, drove the monorail, operated merchandise carts, drove the parking lot trams and sold Turkey legs in the Magic Kingdom.

After my 5-month stint, I returned one additional time 5 years later. And then, 20 years passed. I began thinking about taking Little Mister to Disney a few years ago, then there was a pandemic. So here we were, January of this year, and I thought, “What are we waiting for? He’s at the right age, let’s just do this!” So I contacted a Disney travel agent, and two days later, we were booked at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in late spring. And we kept it from Little Mister until 2 months before our trip (I just couldn’t keep that secret until the day before we left!)

Little Mister’s first time on a plane!

Why Did You Choose to Stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge?

When it came to hotels, there was no other place that would bring joy to Little Mister like the Animal Kingdom Lodge. There was a show on Disney + during the pandemic about the AKL, and how they care for the animals. Little Mister (LM) is SUCH a huge animal lover, that we watched every episode of this show. He would tell everyone, “I’m going to work at the Animal Kingdom when I grow up.” I love this dream for him, I hope it comes true.

Giraffes munching on dinner outside of our hotel room.

So to have the opportunity to stay at a hotel where you can watch giraffes, zebras and other animals whose names I don’t know from your balcony, it was the only option for us. Plus, LM wanted to visit the Animal Kingdom park 2 days during our stay, and that was only a 5-minute ride from our hotel.

Being the research queen that I am, I started listening to a podcast called Be Our Guest, run by travel agents (not the one I used) that was easy to listen to and filled with information about the parks. Having been away from Disney for 2 decades, I had A LOT to learn about the new park pass system, Genie Plus, dining reservations, and a million other things. I shared our trip details on an episode of this podcast!

You can listen to my podcast episode here.

It’s long, but really outlines how I approached our trip planning. A great listen when you’re walking the dog or sitting in traffic.

This was a trip of firsts: the first time Little Mister was going on a plane (he did great!), the first time I was back at Disney in 20 years, and the first time we were traveling after the pandemic. We were ready!

I could write pages and pages about this trip, but I’ll share the highlights below:

Animal Kingdom Lodge

This hotel is beautiful. And there was a scent in the lobby that I wish I could have bottled and brought home with me. I think there is a candle of that smell somewhere in Disney Springs, but we never made it there. We had a standard hotel room, but we had a balcony where we could sit and watch the animals. There literally were giraffes eating off a tree 30 feet from us! There were places all around the hotel where you could view the animals. The pool had a great water slide that LM loved. Some people stay away from AKL because the only park it’s near is the Animal Kingdom, and the only mode of transportation it has is busses. We never had a problem getting a bus, and barely had to wait. All of our trips to the parks were smooth and quick.

Day 1: Magic Kingdom

We arrived on a Tuesday, and spent the afternoon by the pool. We were rested and ready for our early entry into the MK on our first full park day. If you are early risers, doing early entry to the parks is the way to go. You get this perk with some of the hotels on Disney property. Highly recommend. It allowed us to hit the most popular rides first before the lines were long. For us, that ride was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a roller coaster-like ride through the coal mine. It’s a TON of fun, and LM loved it. We were able to ride it a second time later in the day, too. Our favorite rides were: Splash Mountain (we rode this one at least 3 times, that big drop at the end made Little Mister belly laugh and I could listen to that all day long); Big Thunder Mountain Railroad; Jungle Cruise; Pirates of the Caribbean; Buzz Lightyear; Haunted Mansion (Little Mister did NOT like this ride, too scary). All in all, it was a magical first experience at a Disney park for us as a family.

Day 2: Animal Kingdom

The sun wasn’t even up yet when we arrived on our first day!

Because we were doing 2 days in this park, we focused on attractions on Day 1, and then experiences on Day 2. We did early entry again (this park opens really early, so early entry was at like 7am, which meant getting on a bus at 6:30am, FYI), this time to secure our spot in line for Pandora (Avatar). The construction of this area, and everything to look at while you’re in the queue, is what makes Disney, Disney. It is awe-spiring and the attention to detail amazing. The ride…well, let’s say if you get motion sick like I do, it might not be your favorite. I needed a moment when we got off, but could appreciate why everyone loves this ride. LM had been talking about the safari since we told him we were coming to Disney, so it was our first stop after Pandora. And it didn’t disappoint! We saw every animal, even the lions (thank god)! We rounded out the day riding everything we could, having an early dinner, and escaping with only 1 souvenir.

Day 3: Animal Kingdom

Back again! We rode the safari again (equally as amazing, but a different experience with a different tour guide) and did the Caring For Giants experience, which allowed us to go behind the scenes at Disney (aka: backstage) and be up close and personal with the elephants. We learned all their names, how they are fed and cared for, and saw the from a platform that you can only access from this tour. I highly recommend doing one of these experiences, they’re usually small groups and interactive.


Much of Day 2 was spent with Little Mister earning his Wilderness Explorer badges. This is such a wonderful experience at the AK, and the “guides” at each station were simply the epitome of what Disney is all about. If you’ve seen the movie “Up”, you may remember Russell the Wilderness Explorer who was trying to earn his “Assisting the Elderly” badge. Well, the Animal Kingdom has set up about 15 or 20 “stations” around the park, and kids can use their guidebook to find them all, complete a little activity and learn about animals and conservation, and earn a badge. When you collect all of the badges you can get sworn in as a Senior Wilderness Explorer, and you recite an oath and it is the cutest thing ever and it made me cry watching Little Mister do this after working so hard to get all of his badges.

Day 4: Hollywood Studios

We love Slinky Dog Dash!

Fun fact: when I worked at Disney, this place was called MGM. It was also my favorite park, and we played here often because many of my friends worked here. This was our last park day, and we made the most of it. Early entry (again!) and we bolted to Slinky Dog Dash. This was probably my favorite ride of the whole trip. First, who doesn’t love Toy Story. Second, it is so FUN! We rode Slinky three times in a row! The Little Mister was belly laughing and whooping each time, it was so fun to see. We even rode Slinky one last time before we left the park – our final ride on our awesome trip. We also hit up Sci-Fi Drive In for lunch, Mr. KK did Rise of the Resistance, we did Frozen Ever After, Toy Story Mania, Micky & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. It was the perfect last park day to our trip.

Our Last Day

Our last day was a Sunday, and our flight was early evening. We had a delicious character brunch at Topolino’s (highly recommend!). And just a week before we came to Disney, they reinstated character hugs! So the characters were able to come right up to our table and interact with us, and Little Mister who was shy at first, eventually started calling them all over for hugs. We spent the rest of the day by the pool until it was time to head to the airport.

Dining in Disney World

There are about 4,389 places to eat in Disney; everything from pretzel carts to fine dining. Where you choose to eat is personal to you and your family. For us, we planned one nice sit down meal a day. That could be lunch or dinner. I love to eat and go to nice restaurants, and I didn’t want this vacation to be any different. On this trip we ate at: California Grill in the Contemporary Hotel (great view, wonderful experience, delicious food, and our most expensive meal); Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (get the bread service! the food was delicious and we sat at a window and watched the animal roaming and having dinner); Tiffins and Yak & Yeti at the Animal Kingdom (both good!); Sci-Fi Drive In at Hollywood Studios (so fun! nice and casual); Topolino’s Terrance at the Riviera Resort (amazing brunch…everything was delicious!).

Why didn’t you go to EPCOT, you may be wondering. For this trip, it didn’t feel like the right park for us to spend a day. We were very focused on animals, and really enjoyed 2 days at the AK. Plus, it leaves something for us to do next time!

All in all, this trip was nothing short of perfect. Little Mister was the perfect age (7), we went on a non-school-vacation week so it wasn’t insanely busy (but it was cheer competition week so it was still crowded with teenagers!). We did everything we wanted to do, at our own pace. On the first day I clocked 19,000 steps!

Again, the link to the podcast about my trip is here.

Disney, I hope to see you real soon!

Life, Maine, NaBloPoMo, Patio, pizza, Travel, Vacation

It’s Blog Writing Month!

Happy November 2022!

How did we get here? How is it time to stress myself out for 30 straight days again?? Why don’t I write blog posts all year and just post them daily during November?

All great questions!

Each year I like to kick off the month with a little recap of what the last 12 months have looked like over here, just so we’re all starting from the same place.

First, some statistics:

  • Number of vacations and getaways: 4
  • Number of decks built on the house: 1
  • Number of coyotes living in our backyard: 1
  • Number of poolside cocktails enjoyed: not enough
  • Number of trips to Target: too many

And now, here’s the 2022 recap:

We kicked off the new year and resolved to get back to living life!

We were putting 2020 and 2021 behind us! We hosted our families, had delicious surf and turn for dinner, played games, and then watched the ball drop in Times Square 17 times so that I could take a video of Little Mister counting down – on the first year he stayed up until midnight!

I tried a Meal Kit for a hot second.

The meal kit I chose had a “healthy eating” theme, so right there my expectations were set relatively low. The kit itself was…fine. I felt it took a long time to create dinner, longer than it would have if I were just making something on my own. Also, the delivery day for my zip code was Fridays. And since all rules for eating go out the window Thursday Friday night until Sunday night, this was not a good option for us. Those are prime ordering take out and eating out days, I would just feel too guilty having “healthy” food in a kit going to waste in my fridge.

I made a cutting board wall in the kitchen!

We remodeled our kitchen 10 years ago before we moved in. And since Mr. KK starts to hyperventilate when I mention something like refreshing the backsplash or getting new bar stools, wall decor felt like a safer option. And voila! Thank you, Hobby Lobby, for the cheap & chic cutting boards that don’t fall off the wall!

We made pizza in our new pizza oven!

We received this amazing ooni pizza oven from family for Christmas. Once it was warm enough outside, we had our first make-our-own-pizza night on the patio!

We used store-bought dough for our first run out of the gate (knowing we’d likely burn half of the pizzas) but we eventually got the hang of it. It was one of my favorite nights this year because we hung out as a family, had some yummy cocktails, got our hands dirty making pizzas, ate way too much pizza, and watched a movie outside. Perfection!

We lost our first tooth!

This was a BIG DEAL. This tooth was loose for so long…I thought we’d have it forever. I know Little Mister was nervous to lose it outside of the house, and as luck would have it, he lost it at camp, eating pizza (at least it was enjoying one of his favorite pastimes). It flew out onto the floor and he was able to put it in a bag and bring it home.

And we had to make sure the tooth fairy visited (who makes a killing these day, I will say!). So not only did we put our tooth out for her, we wrote her a handy note to make sure she knew exactly where the tooth was!

Pro-tip: if you’re going to start the whole tooth fairy scheme, get the tooth pillow that hangs on the door knob and is easily accessible by parents when the child is sleeping. None of this “under the pillow” business.

We went to Disney World!

This will be its own post because I have so much to say about Disney, but what I can say is that 8 was the perfect age for us. We were so excited to go to the Animal Kingdom that we spent TWO WHOLE DAYS there. You read that correctly. TWO DAYS. Hakuna Matata!

I ate my favorite lobster roll in Portland, Maine!

This is the best lobster roll on the planet, and it comes from a little lobster food truck called Bite Into Maine, at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

I eat a lot of lobster rolls during the summer. I like to try them wherever I am. But this one here, will always be my favorite. They also have a hot option if you prefer a Connecticut style, but the cold Maine-style is ah-may-zing.

We went on our annual family vacation!

That’s right, we packed up the parents and hauled them off to Cape Cod! We experienced a 100 degree 100% humidity heatwave the first 4 days of the trip, so thankfully the house had the most amazing pool which is where we spent all of our time.

Mr. KK and I had our annual vacation Cribbage tournament (he won as usual) and the cocktails and beers were plentiful!

That’s a quick wrap. Welcome to November…a post a day for 30 days.

Challenge accepted!

Christmas, Decorating, Elf on the Shelf, Life, NaBloPoMo

November Blog Wrap Up

Well, I (sort of) made it: 30 posts in 30 days (well, more like 27 posts in 30 days, but who’s counting???)

So on this very last day, I leave you with a summary of the month, that didn’t make the blog.

The Elf Is Back on the Shelf

He arrived the Sunday after Thanksgiving and has already been into lots of mischief. I have a love/hate relationship with this Elf. I love being creative and making him do fun things every day, however, I hate when my “Move Elf” alarm goes off every night (and occasionally after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch!). One BIG benefit of the Elf is that Little Mister pops out of bed each morning to look for him (instead of waxing on each morning for 20 minutes how it’s not fair that he has to get up and go to school), and is dressed, fed, and teeth brushed 20 minutes before we need to leave for school.

I leave with this Elf Inspo from years past (our elf was masked in 2020 because, well, COVID):

We Decorated for Christmas

In lieu of sharing my entire living room Winter Wonderland, I leave you with one of my favorite nooks: My Ode to Boston.

I Have Completely Abandoned Any Thoughts of Eating Healthy

Who wants salad when it gets cold? Not this girl. And who can stay on track with so many reasons to have a cocktail, the multitude of cheeseboards I’ll encounter, and the ease of ordering take out instead of cooking because truly, online shopping is exhausting.

This is my favorite fried chicken sandwich from Mikro Depot, who also happens to have the very best french fries in the universe.

I mean, COME ON.

We Have Officially Become a White Board Family

I never imagined I’d succumb to the white board, let alone hang it on my refrigerator; but, here we are. Even with one kid and barely any type of sports or extra curricular activities, our white board is filled with appointments, reminders to return library books, and notes when we are eating the school lunch (LOVE the days I don’t have to make a lunch). My favorite part of the white board is when it’s gleaming – all empty and clean – and awaiting it’s monthly mark up.

I’m the Note in the Lunchbox Mom

It’s me, the Mom putting notes in his lunchbox or snack bag every day. Sometimes I wish him a good day, sometimes I draw a silly picture, and other times, I make Mom jokes:

Made that one up myself!

I Tried to Enjoy the Small Things

Whether it was reading an extra book in bed with Little Mister (and not writing a blog post for the night), or keeping the dogs outside a little extra on the morning walk to enjoy the sunrise, I tried to be present and in the moment. I think that’s my New Year’s resolution this year: be more present. Make more time for what’s important. And to clean out the hall closet.

This beautiful scene is literally in my backyard.

If you read even one of these posts this month, I hope you laughed a little, found a new favorite thing for yourself, or maybe tried a new recipe. Cheers to the end of blog month – and best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Life, NaBloPoMo

The New(ish) 2021 Me

I started blogging everyday for 30 days during the month of November a bunch of years ago. There was a real thing called “NaBloPoMo” (in case you see me mention it), which is short for “National Blog Posting Month”. They have since done away with this, but I kept up the tradition because 1. I love to write and 2. Having a goal made me accountable.

Every year I stressed myself out to meet the goal of writing a blog post every single day. Weekends we were busy? Check. Days when I was consumed with work and wanted to go to sleep at 8pm? Check. Nights when we’d go out and not get home until after 10pm? Check.

It was exhausting. But I did, because I held myself to the high standards and expectations that I HAD to do it, because I said I would do it. Even when Little Mister was just 3 weeks old, I blogged every night. There a photo of me in his nursery, typing away on my computer while Mr. KK rocked him to sleep.

I don’t know if its the residual pandemic effect, or that I’m just plain tired, but this is the first year I’ve ever missed a day blogging. In fact, I’ve missed TWO days so far this month, which is unheard of.

But last night, I just didn’t have it in me. I had a jam-packed day that started with waking at 5:30am, showering and getting dressed, sneaking in Christmas shopping at Target before picking Little Mister up from his sleepover at my parents’ house, then off to his first COVID vaccine, back home to fold laundry, then lunch and shopping with a friend, then back home for dinner and a movie – our first official viewing of The Grinch (my favorite!) this holiday season – before heading off to bed.

Last year me would NOT be cool, but 2021 me wanted to be present, watch a movie with Little Mister, and not stress herself out. And you know what? I’m okay with it.

I write these blog posts for myself; and while I hope someone reads them and maybe gets a chuckle, I want to capture these moments. Because who knows…maybe I will write that novel one day and these blog posts will prove to be very beneficial in remembering my life (since I may be in my eighties by the time I get my act together).

My early New Year’s resolution is: to be more present, and let things go. Focus on the things I want to do, that make me happy; and not stress about the things I can’t do, or can’t control.

This has proven to be especially hard when it comes to work. I am used to a life of working and working until all hours to get things finished, so much so, that it would take over my life. I have made a conscious effort to “shut down” at dinnertime, to spend time with my family, help Little Mister with homework, read together and get myself ready for the day ahead. My boss suggested that I remove my work email from my phone, but I’m not quite ready to get that crazy. I still need to know what’s going on.

This time of year, especially, requires all sorts of attention. From scouting Black Friday deals, planning out holiday meals, mentally listing out everyone’s gifts (and then shopping for them) and making sure we remember to participate in pajama day at school, bring in canned goods for the food drive and do my “Room Parent” duties and organize a class gift for the teacher – all while making sure we have our favorite sweatshirt clean for school, a little note goes into the lunch box every day and the dog gets a walk at least once a day.

I have 9 days left of blogging every day, and I plan to do my best. I have a few blog topics brewing and hope to be able to share them all. And if I can’t, I’m okay with that (and hopefully you are, too).

Kids will be kids, Life, Little Mister, NaBloPoMo

How Kids Drive Their Parents Crazy

This is a normal conversation in our house:

ME: “Little Mister, what would you like for breakfast? Waffle? Banana? Coffee cake?”

LITTLE MISTER: “I don’t want breakfast.”

(15 minutes later, as we’re getting ready to leave for school…)

LITTLE MISTER: (in tears) “Why didn’t you give me breakfast?”

ME: “You said you didn’t want breakfast!”

LITTLE MISTER: (wailing) “But I’m hungry! I can’t believe you’re not going to give me breakfast. You’re making me so sad right now!”

True story.

This is not an isolated incident. There was the time Little Mister asked for noodles for dinner, and when we gave him noodles, he freaked out because he got what he wanted for dinner.

Or the time I gave him his red sweatshirt and he said he wanted to wear his camo sweatshirt, and he cried the entire way to school because I wouldn’t let him wear his red sweatshirt.

No joke, kids can make you feel like you’re losing your ever-loving mind sometimes!

But the fun doesn’t stop there!

Apparently, you can forget about using reverse psychology, because that doesn’t work. Case in point:

One night, when Little Mister’s ears were apparently not working, we told him that he lost his screen time. “Well, guess what?” he said. “I didn’t want to watch anything anyway. I wanted to read.”

How, exactly, am I supposed to respond to that?

Hobby, Life, NaBloPoMo

I Need a Hobby

Last year my social feed was filled with friends with extra time on their hands, who took up a hobby.

I was not one of those folks.

However, now that life is resuming and calendars are filling up and I have very little time for myself, I have decided that I need to find myself a nice little hobby.

My new hobby needs to fit the following criteria:

  • I need to be able to do this hobby at home
  • This hobby cannot require any additional time out of my day
  • Hobby must be relatively easy and inexpensive

Based on this list, I introduce my future hobby: knitting.

While I’m not yet ready to join official Stitch & Bitch groups (as much as I want to, I just love the name!), I can confidently say that knitting:

  • is something I can do at home
  • is something I can do while I’m doing something else (ie: watching TV at night)
  • may take time to learn, but once I get the hang of it might be therapeutic

For my very first knitting project, I think I will order a scarf-making kit from Stitch & Story:

I’m excited about this project! A long time ago I started knitting with one of my friends, but I never kept it up. but I’m ready to start again and actually produce something! First, a scarf! Then, a knit banana hat!

Plus, I just read Sutton Foster’s memoir, Hooked, which – you guessed it! – is about knitting!

Hopefully, I finish this knitting project before next November so I can share it on the blog!

Age, getting old, Life, NaBloPoMo

You’re Only As Old As You Feel…Until They Tell You Otherwise.

They say age is just a number.

But then they also tell you – in a variety of ways – that no matter how young you feel, you are, in fact, OLD.

I remember the first time I was Ma’amed. I was awkwardly ordering at a Starbucks with their exclusive sizing language when the extremely young barista said, “Here’s your change, Ma’am.” The word rang in my ears. I silently repeated the word in different voices and tones in my head. I was far to young to be a Ma’am…wasn’t I?

Oh, but society is tricky! Just when you’re feeling good and young and NOT your age, whammo! It’s time for a medical test that “people your age” start to have. Or, if you’re a woman and you’re pregnant at age 35 or later, you are considered of “Advance Maternal Age” and quickly shuffled off to a “special” office with “expert” doctors and “personalized” care. You’re suddenly in a decade that is being called “[YOUR AGE] is the new [INSERT YOUNGER DECADE HERE]”.

Personally, while I know that time is passing, I still have a misconceived notion of how long ago things happened. This is me exactly:

I can’t be the only one who is time-challenged.

I have a headshot that I use that Mr. KK took of me over a decade ago that I still unabashedly use because 1. I love this photo of me and 2. In some weird way, I still think I look like this. (Sad, I know.) I feel like almost no time has passed, when in reality, a dozen years have gone by and our lives have changed so much (we had a kid, which contributed to me no longer looking as young and relaxed as I do in that photo), so perhaps I hang onto that photo because I wish I STILL looked like that. I also still have the blue scarf.

Interestingly, while my mind may still feel young(ish), my body hasn’t gotten the message because GOOD LORD why do so many things hurt? And when one thing starts to feel better (my back), something else starts to hurt (my shoulder). Speaking of shoulders, a few years back I was having so much shoulder pain I went to see a massage therapist who basically said, “You have frozen shoulder. It happens to women around your age.” Hmph!

Physical aging aside (eye sight, crawling out of bed every morning, constant nerve pain), I am aging out of “cool” social platforms. Case in point: TikTok. I just…can’t. I mean, I do, a bit, for my job. But personally, no thank you. I already have ZERO time in my life, and I imagine a constant stream of videos that never, ever stop would be such a time suck out of my life, that I would open TikTok on Tuesday, and before I knew it, it was Thursday afternoon and I haven’t slept or eaten, and Little Mister has lost 2 teeth.

I suppose in a few years, Little Mister will be my tie to all things social and cool. He’ll want to be on the latest social platform that is yet to be invented by some future 17 year old billionaire. I’ll have all the knowledge of cool parent phone spyware and be not only up on what he’s doing, but still somewhat cool. When we have dance parties now in our kitchen – and Little Mister asks me to “Please don’t sing” and “Do you have to dance like that?”, I like to tell him how much I’m looking forward to chaperoning his school dances and busting out with some signature moves while he and his friends look on. Fun fact: I will absolutely do this.

I will continue to use my out-of-date headshot (maybe even for my obituary?), and remain young mentally. Fashionably, I will age; I will wear what’s comfortable, even if everyone is hating on skinny jeans and I still have a pair I feel halfway decent in.

And I will still let myself think that 1980 was twenty years ago, and that me and millennials are “around the same age” because, well, why not?