COVID, Kids will be kids, Life, Little Mister, NaBloPoMo, Pandemic, parenting

Should Kids 5-11 Get the COVID 19 Vaccine?

Last month, we were all invited for dinner at the house of Little Mister’s bestest friend. It was October and still warm, so the plan was to eat outside. However, Mother Nature was like, “Oh no, you’re not!” and it proceeded to be rainy and cold. The soirée became an inside party.

Little Mister asked me before we getting ready to leave, “Do I have to wear my mask inside?”

I hesitated for only a second. We knew the family, and I know how conscientious they are. And I make my family practically live in a bubble, so…

“Not tonight,” I replied.

Little Mister’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. “I DON’T??? Hooray! This is the best day ever!”

And my heart broke a little bit.

Never did I imagine that my child’s “best day ever” would be not having to wear a mask at a playdate.

Now that we are back in school in person full time, he is wearing a mask all day long. And guess what? It doesn’t bother him. When we venture out of the house, he puts his mask on while we are still in the car, driving to our destination. At his annual pediatrician’s appointment, she wanted to look in his mouth and asked him to remove his mask quickly. “Will I get the virus if I do?” he asked sincerely.

With the news that the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use on children 5-11 years old, you’d think we’d all be running to get in line. But, I’m not running. Or even fast walking. I’m meandering at a leisurely pace…using the time it takes me to get there gather up as much information as I can.

I should be thrilled! A vaccine! To help prevent COVID! So why am I hesitating? For starters, I am 100% fine doing something to myself, however, when it comes to my child, that’s a different story. What if he has an adverse reaction? Why wasn’t the test group larger? Do they know enough about the effects of the vaccine on the Littles?

Also – but not as important – is Little Mister’s fear of needles and the self-induced anxiety he gives himself whenever he thinks he needs a shot. Someday I’ll tell you about getting the flu shot this year…

A mom friend to whom I was telling about my hesitation, shared this article with me, which is basically the 5-11 COVID-19 Vaccine Guide for Dummies. And I appreciate this non-scientific explanation of what is going on with the vaccine and the young test groups.

Giving the COVID-19 Vaccine to young children is such a personal decision. I’m not sure what the availability of the vaccine will do for the mask mandate in school – will it be removed? Because if the answer is yes, that would definitely sway my decision. Because as much as I want to believe first graders are awesome about mask wearing – and they are pretty good – I know little kids can’t help but be on top of each other…and the few times I’ve been in the school I’ve seen mediocre mask wearing at best by lots of the kids.

I have booked Little Mister an appointment for his first vaccine. We have a few weeks to think it over and make a final decision. If we do it, he’ll be fully vaccinated by Christmas. And a COVID-free holiday sounds amazing!

Life, Pandemic, parenting, sleep, Type A

I Don’t Come with an “Off” Button

My social feeds are filled with blog posts and articles about how totally over everything Moms are. And I’m a sucker and I read every one of them, finding myself nodding along and whispering “Ohmygod yes!” I prefer the articles that do not Dad/Partner bash. In our house Mr. KK and I share most of the duties, however, I’m still exhausted; not because he’s not doing his share, but because he is not even aware of the running to-do list in my head. Because for all the wonderful things Mr. KK is, a mind reader he is not.

This exhaustion is both mental and emotional. I’m tired of being prepared. I’m tired of mentally trying to predict our family’s needs before they even have them. I’m fatigued from trying to “get ahead” for busy days and holidays.

Momming is hard.

I don’t want this to be taken that it’s just “Moms” who are like this because that’s sexist and leaves out too many modern-day households. It’s a personality trait, that this Mom (unfortunately) happens to have.

It’s not you, it’s 100% me.

What It’s Like Having Your Brain “On” All the Time

A typical day for me looks like this:

5:00am: Naturally wake up, no matter how many hours of sleep I’ve gotten.
5:01am: Start my morning routine: Check all 4 email accounts, delete junk, flag ones to address later; Scroll through social feeds to see what “news” broke overnight, see what dogs need a home (not that we’re looking) and vicariously live through friends who had an exciting night out. Check calendar of meetings for the day.
5:15am: Launch VRBO and Airbnb apps to continue the search for our family vacation house next summer. Find discouragement in how many houses are already fully booked for 2022.
5:45am: Support the economy! At any given time I have carts filled at at least 4 retailers. So-and-so has an upcoming birthday and we need a gift. Little Mister is outgrowing everything he owns. Didn’t Mr. KK say he needed socks? We’re running low on cleaning products.
6:00am: Good morning, Google! I use this time to “research” stuff for our lives, which can include: finding a place for a date night with Mr. KK; thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, I’d really like to change up what’s on the menu; where can we go to look at peak fall foliage this weekend; what was that book someone mentioned at work that I need to read? What gifts are new for boys this Christmas?
6:30am: FINALLY I can wake Mr. KK up for the day! I have SO MUCH to talk to him about from my morning activities!

And so it goes, every day. By the time I get out of bed, I’m mentally drained. Should I use that time to exercise? Probably. But if I get up then the dogs will wake up and get up and then Mr. KK has to get up and it’s a vicious cycle of tired, cranky beings who are up way earlier than they need to be. Plus, that vacation house isn’t going to book itself.

Why Can’t I Just Stop Thinking About Stuff?

Because it’s not how I’m wired. My brain just doesn’t shut off; there is ALWAYS something to be thinking about. This morning, I read this article about a mom doing nothing, and even in that nothingness, she did a bunch of things. But those things are second nature, so they don’t feel like chores or an item on a to-do list.

Even when I take some time to head out on my own – hit up TJ Maxx or Homegoods, or even the grocery store – I’m still thinking about everything else in my life except what I’m going. Mr. KK will get random texts from me while I’m shopping about an event a few months away, or a reminder to ask me about an item I read about in bed that morning.

Were You Able to Relax a Little During 2020?

Sort of.

I had more time to think about things (not sure if that’s a good thing, or a bad thing?) because we were doing less. Our weekends weren’t filled with playdates and soccer games or gatherings with friends. I had more time to be my crazy, Type A, controlling self. That’s good, right?

I liken my exhaustion to after a year of having more time to do things, that precious time was taken away. So now I’m back to doing the same amount of thinking/planning/researching/living in fewer available hours. We’re back to scheduling activities for Little Mister on weekends so he doesn’t turn into a hermit who only gets to play with and see his parents. Because as fun as I think I am, this kid needs to be with other kids, outside of our house, playing with friends his own age.

We’re back to going to the grocery store. Which – silly as it sounds – can sometimes be hard to fit into the weekend. While I loved the ease of online shopping and delivery, I want to squeeze my own avocados and ensure I get the correct food times when I’m unpacking the bags.

We’re in First Grade! In school, with daily drop off and pick up (at super inconvenient times!) and homework, which requires a good half hour a day to discuss said homework, complain about doing the homework, then completing the homework in 5 minutes.

We’re trying soccer! So we’re on the hook for one practice a week (on a Monday night…seriously, who has their shit together on a Monday for this?) and a game on Saturday.

Mr. KK and I are both super busy at work. So I find myself juggling schedules, finding time to be present with Little Mister in the few hours we have together, carving out work time when I can (sorry for the 10pm work emails, people!) and, oh yeah, doing all the other house stuff that needs to get done.

I’ve taken on the role of the Vice President of the PTA this year, and I’m Little Mister’s Room Captain. I know I don’t need to do this, but I want to do this – I want to be present in Little Mister’s school and community. So I carve out time for event planning and goody-bag making as well.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Hopefully to the couch, to take a nap. (But who am I kidding? I can’t even relax enough to take a nap!)

I will take it one day at a time. I will do what I can without sacrificing what’s important each day. Some days, Little Mister is emotional and needs more one-on-one time, other days he’s happy to take his iPad in the other room for a bit and chill by himself.

I will leave dishes in the sink if I can’t get to them.

I will leave laundry undone as long as we have underwear.

I will order take out if I’m too tired to cook.

I will say “no” to a 5pm meeting at work if I just can’t make it work with everything going on at home.

I will try and find time each day to get some type of exercise (even walking the dog!) because it makes me happy.

I will TRY and sleep until 5:30am each day. (But make no promises)

Life, Pandemic

What I Did in 2021: A Recap

Hello, November – otherwise known as the month I blog for 30 straight days and share mundane details of my life and bore you all to death!

I always start the month with a recap of what the year leading up to this momentous occasion looked like. I think we all were trying to find any semblance of normal again. And while we did start living again, I can’t help but feel I’m mentally and emotionally scarred from 2020.

Here is the 2021 recap…

Winter

We were still in cocoon mode, enjoying nights by the fireplace and pretending that a 30 degree day was warm enough to sit on a patio at a brewery. Pandemic Puppy Bruno was slowly finding his place in our home (and in our hearts) and turns out, he is an amazing snuggler (which is the way to Mr. KK’s heart).

We were still a few months away from our first COVID shot, so we stayed close to home. We avoided restaurants and any place inside and crowded. We played board games and made cocktails. We did crafts. We camped in the living room. We tried new recipes. We did remote kindergarten. We lit the fire pit and had friends over on a snow-covered patio when the temperatures in January reached a balmy 40 degrees. We freaked out with every sniffle and cough. We tried to make the best of it.

Spring

Spring brought optimism that maybe – just maybe – there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Mr. KK and I got vaccinated in March, which brought a small sliver of peace of mind, however with an unvaccinated child at home, not much in our lives changed. I ventured out for my marathon Target trips once again. (Whatever money we saved not going anywhere in 2020 was quickly spent at my 2021 Target visits. Sorry, not sorry).

I celebrated a birthday, though I’m still not convinced that if you don’t do out and celebrate for a full week and have the universe revolve around you, does your birthday even count? This year’s birthday saw Rocco – our older and smaller dog – literally almost die from what they think might have been a tick borne illness. Week of uncertainty and the cone of shame until finally they put him on doxycycline and he was like a NEW dog. He had his appetite back, and it hasn’t left since.

I feel I should mention that there were a few periods of tine this spring that BOTH dogs were wearing cones. It was ridiculous.

We had a flood in our living room when a pipe broke from our living room bar. Our beautiful hardwood floors buckled, even after having fans and humidifiers set up for a week straight.

The weather turned warmer and we could eat outside again! Patio living, here we come!

Summer

Whatever kindness the world – and Mother Nature – bestowed upon us during the pandemic last summer in the shape of the most glorious summer weather we’ve had in the last century, she violently and rudely took back. I can only speak for the Northeast, but the weather this summer SUCKED. It was either raining (all of Memorial Day weekend, literally almost every day for weeks on end) or it was muggy and humid, so much so that you couldn’t even bear to be outside or you’d be covered in a sheen of wetness. And don’t even get me started on my hair! No amount of hair serum existed to keep things under control this year.

A bright side to summer was our week away with friends to a little beach house we rented on the shore. Gorgeous beach days and beautiful sunsets, daily happy hours and morning walks. It was heaven.

Strawberry mojitos! What else were we going to do with all those strawberries we picked??

Mr. KK and I made it for our annual pilgrimage to Mystic, Connecticut. Where we sip adult beverages on a sailboat, then eat our weight in oysters.

And the best part? We were able to have some summer fun all while staying outside. Because I still refused to be unmasked for long periods of time inside (like eating a meal at a restaurant). If I could eat outside every day for the rest of my life, I totally would.

Fall

As we watched the world on its rollercoaster of COVID – lower deaths, Delta!, fewer hospitalizations, mask mandates back in place, vaccination requirements in cities and at companies – we prepared for the biggest unknown: in-person first grade for the Little Mister.

This year, when we were living with a highly-contagious variant of COVID, remote learning was not an option. It was all day in person school. Masked all day, but still. And you know what? Little Mister handled it like a champ. On Day 1 of morning school drop off, he literally slipped on his backpack, hopped out of the car with a “Bye, Mom!” and ran in the building, never looking back.

Me, at Little Mister’s desk, during Open House.

And here we are. It’s November, and we are on the cusp of my favorite holiday season. Last year, I skipped everything fall and went right to Christmas in early November because, well, COVID. This year, Little Mister and I decorated with “Fall Land”, though I’m counting the days until I can pack up the turkeys and take out the trees.

While it’s been great “getting back to normal”, it’s been…exhausting. I find myself missing the easy days of 2020…when I felt like I had all the time in the world. Now, I can’t seem to be able to squeeze in a workout most days, and – if I’m being honest – sometimes a shower. Everyone is busy again, so we are seeing friends less, and trying to do too much in a weekend. The laundry piles up. Dishes decorate the sink. We find ourselves giving into the convenience of take out more often.

But these next 30 days, I’m committed to finding a routine again for writing, and sharing the absurdities that are my crazy life.

Life, Mornings, Mr. KK, NaBloPoMo, Screen time

Why I’m proud of my excessive “screen time”

‘Screen time’ is a buzzword, most often used by professionals and websites telling people how they are bad parents when their children get too much of it. Little Mister does not do a ton of screen time at home, however I question whether these experts who pooh-pooh ipads for kids have ever tried to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour, eat a meal at a restaurant while it was still hot, or just wanted 1 hour to get the grocery shopping done without having to answer the question, “Can we get this?” 3,728 times.

Now, adults are being judged on their screen time. It was either with one of the latest iPhones or one of the millions of updates that I started getting these weekly “Screen Time” alerts, where my phone would scold me tell me how much time I spent on my phone in the past week.

(by the way, that “5:41” at the top is AM folks, not PM)Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.41.24 AM

I spend a lot of time on my phone.

I am an early riser. I mean EARLY. (Don’t even get me started on Daylight Savings Time, when for the past 2 days I’ve basically woken up in the middle of the night).

And when I wake up, I need something to do to occupy my mind and time that is not loud or disruptive. Sometimes I read. But most times, I’m on my phone, scrolling, researching, planning.

Sure, I’m catching up on social media and reading articles that Facebook thinks I’ll like, and mentally shopping all of the goodies I see on Insta with the #targetdoesitagain.

But these early morning hours, these are the hours I’m most productive.

Here are some of the things I accomplish while the world still sleeps:

  • Catch up on all my emails that came in the night before
  • Check my calendar and mentally plan out the morning, and my day at work
  • Sign up for exercise classes for the upcoming days/week
  • Organize my photos and upload them to Shutterfly
  • During the holidays, get inspiration for gifts and make lists
  • Shop! I’m Amazon’s best customer before the sun comes up
  • Peruse family vacation houses
  • Make a grocery list
  • Research anything that Mr. KK and I have been taking about in the last few days: recipes for Thanksgiving, activities for the Little Mister, the new brewery opening up
  • Secretly look up and price out beach vacations
  • Silently LOL at the funniest things parents tweeted for the week on HuffPo

Of course, when Mr. KK finally wakes up, it’s likely I’ve been on my phone for a few hours by that point, so he barely has an eye open when I start bombarding him with questions, showing him recipes and asking him to look at the 37 links I texted him while he was sleeping.

Hey, if I’m going to be awake, I’m going to be productive.

Life, NaBloPoMo

Hello! Let me catch you up!

It’s Day 1 of NaBloPoMo – and I’m back blogging after almost a year off since last year’s month-long blogfest.

I always like to start the month off with a little recap of what I’ve been doing for the last year, besides sneaking off to Target and single-handedly keeping Amazon in business.

A year in review.

December

As always, it was a busy holiday season. We decided that we would indeed introduce the Elf on a Shelf into our home (more on that guy in another post). As predicted, I thoroughly enjoyed finding new and interesting places for his shenanigans. I’m looking forward to threatening my child with no presents spreading that holiday magic again this year!

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In true Little Mister fashion, he SLEPT IN on Christmas morning! Bright side: it gave Mr. KK and I a chance to make tea and coffee and sit in quiet for a few moments before the craziness began.

We have never been big fans of going out on New Year’s Eve; I think we’ve stayed in the last 10 years. Mr. KK will mix up some adult bevvies, I’ll cook up a tasty meal and we’ll play games and watch my all-time favorite reviews of all the people who died in the last year. Since Little Mister joined us, we’ve had the same plan, except our gourmet dinner includes pigs in a blanket and faux countdown at 9pm. But…we still have fun!

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January

I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon. Mr. KK bought me one for Christmas (unlike some women I LOVE getting kitchen stuff for Christmas! Bring on the appliances and gadgets!)

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I’ve mostly made soups (split pea, chicken, tortilla), artichokes (revolutionary!) and buffalo chicken.

February

We tried swim lessons, again.

And, once again, our child took swim lessons from land:

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That was about as close to the pool as he got. Each week he would sit there and watch the class. One week he dared to put his feet in the water (!) and the swim instructor pulled him in the pool. The parents around me started to cheer and clap (as they, too, watched him watch swim lessons for weeks). Little Mister, however, was NOT having it. He started to scream and cry and when she put him back on the tile he looked directly at me and yelled: “I am so ANGRY right now!” Then he stomped off to the women’s locker room, with as much dignity as possible while wearing a rubber tube around his midsection.

Bonus points for him being able to express his feelings?

March

Perhaps the biggest news of the year, was that we added to our family! Meet: Rocco!

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Rocco is a shelter dog, and we rescued him when he was just 3 1/2 months old. I was home alone one Friday night, throwing back cabernet and scrolling through Petfinder (like all the cool kids) when I came across his face. I immediately texted the link to Mr. KK who distractedly responded, “He’s cute!” Which I translated into, “YOU MUST GET THIS DOG RIGHT NOW.”

Fast forward two weeks from that fateful night, and I picked up this little 7-pound fur baby. And we haven’t looked back since.

You can follow his antics on Instagram @therealroccomars

April

Milestone birthday for me.

Moving on.

We also discovered the Little Mister’s love of roller coasters! Who would’ve thought this shy child who wouldn’t participate in swim lessons would become a coaster junkie??

I think Mr. KK and I squeezed our adult-sized bodies into this rickety kiddie roller coaster 5 times that night. My back still hasn’t recovered.

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May

It was a good year for beer. Lots of new, high-octane hoppy releases from some of our favorite breweries. Now that I’m up in Boston so often, it’s easy for me to pop over to one of our favorite breweries and grab whatever’s new.

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This was a Quadruple IPA.

Not double.

Not triple.

QUADRUPLE.

And it was delicious. Smooth, hoppy, no bitter after taste. And not to sound pretentious, but it drank like a double IPA.

Summer

We took our usual family vacation to Maine, where Max fall in love (that’s a post in itself!) There is just something about the southern coast of Maine in the summer. Between the food and beer scene in Portland, and the beaches in Cape Elizabeth, and that laid-back summer state of mind, it must may be the most amazing place on earth.

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September

If you know me at all, you know that if it involves a trip to Target, I’m down. And if it doesn’t have anything at all to do with Target, I will force fit that sh*t.

Because LM’s Grandmothers ruined Target for me, I now have to have “the toy talk” before we head to the Happiest Place on Earth. Armed with the understanding that we were only getting a backpack and a lunchbox for school, we strutted around the store show off our Toy Story stuff:

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And see that yellow price sticker? That’s CLEARANCE, kids.

BOOM.

October

The Little Mister turned 5! I’m not sure how that’s possible, because it feels like just yesterday we were given the side-eye in a Virginia hotel when we stopped for the night with a 3-day old baby.

If the objective of the day was to keep a big smile on Little Mister’s face, then mission accomplished. We rented a bouncy house, and Little Mister jumped in that thing from the minute it was inflated at 8:45am until they came to take it away at 5:45pm.

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I spent a little time jumping in this thing, too. And I’m embarrassed to say that I was WINDED after a minute of jumping.

And that my legs were sore the next day.

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There you have it – the year in review.

Get ready, folks. In the next 29 days I’ll write about my latest food obsession, college before technology, getting old and being told you’re old, and Little Mister’s thoughts on where babies come from.

Happy reading!

Life, NaBloPoMo

I hate how this world has changed me.

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I should premise this story by saying I’m a paranoid person by nature. When I travel alone I barricade the hotel room door. I triple-check the locks at night. I’m the one who asks, “Did you beep the car?” multiple times.

This morning I made an early morning grocery store run. I pushed my cart into the parking lot and stopped my cart behind my car so that I could load my groceries. There was a car backed into the spot next to me, lights on and running. As I started putting bags into the back of my car, the window of the car rolled down to reveal a woman inside.

“I love your glasses,” she said to me.

“Oh, thank you!” I told her, continuing to load my car. “They’re actually cheater readers because I’m old and I can’t see anymore!” I thought this would be the end of our conversation, but she pressed on.

“Where did you get them?” she asked.

“At The Loft,” I replied, hurrying up a bit.

“Is that in the mall? Where is The Loft?”

At this point, I started to get a little leery. Here’s where my train of thought went: a few months ago, a person was mugged in this very grocery store parking lot around 8am in the morning (it was 7:30am). I had just gotten money back when I paid the cashier. Had someone inside watched me? Who was behind me in line? Was this their getaway car? Is that why it was running? Did a husband and wife team work together? Was it her role to sit in the car and distract someone with small talk while her counterpart surprises them and robs them? Am I total nut job???

See, I told you I was paranoid!

I was trying to be nice, while checking out my surroundings, and getting the hell back in my car.

Also, for the record, my little cheater reader glasses ARE really nice. I do get lots of compliments on them.

“It’s in Milford,” I tell her, slamming my trunk. “In that little strip mall.”

I push my cart into the cart corral and hurry to my door, checking over my shoulder.

“See you later!” I tell her, hopping in my car and hitting the door lock.

Once I was safely inside, that’s when I started to feel badly. She really was just being nice, and here I was paranoid she was part of an elaborate mugging scheme.

The world has changed so much, and it’s disheartening. Ten years ago, I would never have had those crazy thoughts. I would have had a normal conversation with this woman without worrying that someone was watching me. I wouldn’t be cataloging in my mind everyone I saw after checkout who could have seen me get money from the cashier. (The fact that someone was robbed in that very parking lot didn’t help, either.)

When I look at what the world has become, I often wonder how any of us who grew up in the 80s are even alive. We left the house in the morning and came home for dinner. We didn’t have cell phones to check on (or for parents to track us).

It makes me sad for what the world is going to morph into as Little Mister gets older. Will he never feel safe outside? (Or, more likely, will I never feel safe letting him play outside?) When I was in middle school, I was considered a ‘walker’, which basically meant I walked to school. And, I would take the short cut to school, which meant walking through the woods. Can you imagine this happening today? A school saying it was ok for a 12-year-old to walk through the woods alone to school?

I know I will be a paranoid mother – probably more so than I have to be. Will he think I’m crowding him? Probably. Being over protective? Yep. Annoying? I’m sure. But it’s who I am for myself, and who I will undoubtedly be for Little Mister.

Mr. KK, NaBloPoMo

Day 28: What I love about Mr. KK

NaBloPoMo can be a stressful time in the KK household. The added pressure of coming up with new blog posts every day for 30 days – often at night, after we put the Little Mister to bed, when all I want to do is lay in a semi-comatose state on the couch – can wear on you.

What started out as an innocent question has turned into a bit of a joke. Every night I ask Mr. KK, “What should I write my blog post about today?” and every day he replies, “How about how much you love your husband?” He’s (mostly) kidding.

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So the joke is on him, today. I’m taking him up on his blog idea. And I’m writing an entire post about some of the things I love most about Mr. KK:

  • He’s an amazing father to our Little Mister. Even when LM was going through his ‘mommy phase’, and he didn’t so much as want to give Mr. KK the time of day, Mr. KK was patient (for the most part!), finding special times for just the two of them to hang out (and give Mom a bit of a break). Now they’re best buds.
  • He’s a perfectionist. I make fun of him for this, how we can’t hang something on the wall without using 47 tools and it taking 3 hours. But his attention to detail and desire to do things the right way, say a lot about who he is as a person, his integrity, and how he approaches his job and his life in general.
  • He’s a good sport when I make fun of him for “blowing leaves”. We have a term in our house: blowing leaves. I actually posted about it a few years ago. Blowing leaves is described as this: starting a task that bears no relevance whatsoever on the situation at hand, and having said task take up WAY too much time and energy, both of which you do not have. For example, we’re cleaning up the house when we have people coming over, and Mr. KK pulls out 3 months of bills and receipts and starts to organize them. REALLY???
  • He’s my biggest fan. When I told him I wanted to change careers a few years ago? He 100% supported me. He loves all the meals I cook. He doesn’t question my crazy ideas and decisions. He takes over when I have to travel for work like it’s no big deal. And he knows I don’t mean it when I act a little crazy.
  • He’s humble. Mr. KK never wants to be the center of attention. Even when he’s the smartest person the in room, knows the right way to do something, or is being told he’s wrong when he’s really right, he keeps quiet. He’ll usually choose the path that makes life easier for others, and not complain. Unlike his lovely wife. 🙂
  • He’s a good human. He was raised well (hats off to you, mother-in-law KK!) and he genuinely cares about other people’s feelings. I tend to push him to be a little more aggressive when it comes to advocating for himself, but that’s probably why we balance each other out so well.

I’ve probably embarrassed him enough, so I’ll stop now.

But as you can tell, he’s really pretty great.

Christmas, NaBloPoMo, shopping

kk’s favorite things: 2018 edition

Everyone is coming out with their best gifts of the season lists, so here are mine!

  1. Lou & Grey Poncho

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A girl can never have too many ponchos, that’s my motto. And, it’s in my signature color: GRAY.

2. Everlane Commuter Backpack

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Speaking of gray, I love the shade of this backpack, perfect for my trips to Boston. This compact size will make it easy for the train rides, and the outer pockets made it easy to reach water, my phone or kindle.

3. Turquoise utensils from WayfairScreen Shot 2018-11-18 at 9.04.17 AM

Our kitchen utensils are approaching 14 years old – which is like 150 in human years. This bright turquoise color will complement my orange stove perfectly.

4. Lap DeskScreen Shot 2018-11-24 at 8.28.57 PM

I haven’t had a lap desk since college, when I would write my papers on my Brother word processor on my bed. This lap desk would be perfect for the times I’m writing blog posts on the couch, trying to balance my lap top…like right now.

5. Anthropologie Spreaders

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These are almost too pretty to get dirty! I love the bright colors and patterns. One more reason to entertain.

6. Crate & Barrel Marble Cheese BoardScreen Shot 2018-11-25 at 5.44.08 PM

One of the gifts I gave to my mother-in-law recently was a square marble cheese board. Every time I’m at her house and it’s out on the table I’m so jealous – and mad that I didn’t get one for myself.

7. Opalhouse Holiday Wreath from Target

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I have resisted the urge to buy this about 73 times (even today, when it is 30% off!). I just love how fluffy and festive it is, everything Christmas should be.

8. Felt Laptop Sleeve

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Just when you thought I couldn’t add any more gray into my life, there’s this awesome laptop sleeve. My Mac will fit snuggly inside, and this case will fit snuggly inside the commuter backpack above.

9.  Scout Duffle Bag

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Oh, how I love me a Scout bag. This duffle is the perfect size for an overnight trip (hint, hint, Mr. KK!), with lots of pockets and a shoulder strap. And a cute little dachshund logo to boot.

10. L.L. Bean Cozy PajamasScreen Shot 2018-11-26 at 3.01.04 PM

I’m always cold, so these cozy flannel pajamas are perfect for me when the temperature drops below 55 degrees. Bonus: they come in petite sizes!

Hopefully you saw something here that would be perfect for someone on your list! Happy shopping!

Kids will be kids, NaBloPoMo

From the mouth of a 4 year old.

Ah, the uncensored, mostly hilarious – yet sometimes mean – mouth of a preschooler.

If you’re looking for honest feedback, find the nearest 4-year-old. They speak their minds, have no filter. They also pick up on things they hear and that you say to them, then turn around and use those same phrases in shockingly proper ways.

Here are some recent gems:

When he sees a toy commercial or a toy in a catalog. “I would like that toy from Santa! Wait, was is that toy? What does it do? Doesn’t matter, I still want it!”

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“I’ll take one of these, and one of these, and one of these…”

Little Mister was pretending that me and Mr. KK were babies. He woke us up and told us he needed to go to work. He put on my scarf, kissed us both good-bye and said, “Now don’t do anything I wouldn’t do when I was you!”

I was drying him off after his bath, and he ran to the bathroom before we put pajamas on. When he came back, he informed me, “AND, I didn’t even pee on the floor! Well, except that one drop, but that’s right in front of the toilet, so it’s ok.”

Little Mister brought his stuffed monkey in the car with him on the way to daycare. I let him know that he needed to leave his monkey in the car when he went into school. His response, “Ok, but I don’t want your girlfriends playing with my monkey all day.” Oh boy.

 

Never a dull moment in this house!

NaBloPoMo

Since when is the movie theater your second living room?

Fun fact about me: I am HORRIBLE when it come to movie trivia. Unless your questions are about Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Meet the Parents, Wedding Crashers, The Hangover or Pitch Perfect (the original), I’m pretty much useless. Don’t ever pick me for a teammate for movie trivia night.

On average, Mr. KK and I average possibly less than one movie per year. Some of you are probably gasping at this, because you frequent the movies and have seen all nominees come awards season. Us? Unless there is a movie that we are dying to see/features one of our most favorite actors, we’ll maybe catch it on tv.

Just because we’re not big movie buffs, we don’t want to project that onto the Little Mister. So today, we took him to his very first movie: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

We really talked this event up to the Little Mister. He has a tendency to be excited about something for a while, but when it’s ‘go time’ – i.e., time to change out of his pajamas and actually leave the house – he all of a sudden doesn’t want to go.

Needless to say, we made this movie event feel better than the second coming of the Lord. And Little Mister was right there with us.

Not being seasoned movie goers, I was under the impression that we could just go to our local movie theater and purchase tickets for the movie that was starting in 20 minutes. You know, how you used to be able to go to the movies. Oh, but no. Now, all off the tickets must be bought online (fine) and you choose your seats ahead of time. When I checked Saturday night, all shows in our theater only had seats in the front row available. I was not taking Little Mister to his first movie experience and making him sit in the neck-ache first row.

We ended up getting online tickets to a theater one town over, where we didn’t have to choose our tickets ahead of time. And guess what? It was fine. In fact, there was only a few families in the theater when we arrived, trough-sized popcorn in hand.

This is when I met the most annoying movie goers on the planet. If I wasn’t with my child, I would have truly said something snarky to them because they deserved it.

Not the best view in this video, but you can see how they have basically moved into the movie theater.

The theater was not large, and all of the seating was accessible by one aisle along the left side of the theater. We found a row that was occupied on one side by a family but had 5 free seats all the way against the wall.

Let me set the scene for you: the family consisted of 7 women of varying ages, who more or less appeared to have moved into the movie theater, claiming the row as their new home. Each one was reclined in the movie seats (fine), legs propped up, pretending people weren’t trying to get into their row. They had brought blankets with them from home (BLANKETS – like the ones from their couches), and the walkway in front of them and the seats was littered with backpacks (yes, BACKPACKS) so much so, that no one could walk through if they tried (let alone my 4 year old who could trip on air).

As I tried to enter the row, the mother hen – who was sitting on the end – looked at me with a look that said, “Really? You’re going to come in our row?” (I could have slapped her on that look alone.)

“Do you think we could get by?” I asked, as Little Mister asked loudly, “Are we going to sit here???”

She looked down the row to the empty seats, then to all of the shit on the floor, then to me. “We figured anyone wanting to sit there would enter from the other side.” She said, then went back to sipping her soda.

“This is the only way into the row,” I pointed out.

She made a half-hearted attempt to look down the aisle and then back at me. Her little brood at there avoiding looking at us, staring at their phones and stuffing popcorn in their faces.

“Come on, buddy,” I said to Little Mister, guiding him up the stairs. “We’ll find another place to sit.”

“Yeah,” the mother said to me. “That would probably be best.”

ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME????

We sat in the row behind them, close enough that I could hear her nasally, annoying voice, but far enough away that I could shoot secret looks to Mr. KK and complain about her.

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that the movies were now a place where you practically MOVED IN with your family wearing basically pajamas (as an adult) and bringing half of your living room blankets with you.

Annoying family aside, Little Mister had a great first time at the movies! I’m pretty sure the big tub of popcorn was his favorite part of the day, but he was totally into the movie. He didn’t say a word from the time the lights went down until they came back up

We’re ready for the next movie, and now we’re prepared. I know I need to buy and reserve seats at some theaters a week ahead of time, and I know the family that we need to avoid at all costs. Oh, and we’ll be leaving our blankets at home, thank you very much.