How to Make a Toddler Smile

How to make a toddler smile. My last post focused mainly on the honest, daily challenges of getting the hang of this toddler thing. Whether you know me through the blog only or we’re close in real life, you know I don’t sugar coat things…especially when it comes to stories from the parenting trenches. I do not believe that it helps anyone to lie and say everything is perfect. It’s simply untrue and puts Pinterest-style pressure on the rest of us who are hanging by a proverbial thread many days.

Yet at the same time, being the mama to a vibrant and healthy toddler boy is awesome. I can’t compare it to having a girl but my little man is the coolest. I cannot get enough of how he’ll hold my finger when we walk places or his snuggles when I request, “put your head down on mama” when I am holding him. My heart bursts!

So beyond the tantrums, how do you make a toddler smile? What’s the secret? Even though this post is all about how I make MY toddler smile, I do hope one or two of our secrets work for you as well…

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Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries 

Straw sippy cups with pictures of pirates or space ships 

Copies of Things That Go, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way and The Little Dump Truck stashed everywhere 

Truck books in the backseat for reading while driving (my mom found some awesome mini ones with wheels in the Target dollar bin!) 

Backseat sing alongs 

Kitchen and living room dance parties 

Hiding in the closet to scare mom and dad 

Trying on dad’s work and tennis shoes every night 

Feeding the dog 

Hugging the dog before leaving for daycare 

Holding a battery-less remote control 

Playing with the monitor while mommy lays in bed for a few extra minutes 

Vacuums

Kitchen drawers, especially if they are filled with tupperware, blenders or turkey basters

Facetime with grandma and grandpa

Sledding and snowballs

Chopsticks at a sushi dinner 

“Dip dipping” grilled cheese into tomato soup 

Slides

Cousins  

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Here’s to toddler smiles and belly laughs…and a billion dollars to whoever can figure out a way to bottle up the magical sounds of those unstoppable giggles for the rest of time.

All Aboard the Toddler Express

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It’s heeeeeeere! The era of dramatically emotional “no’s” and emphatic “all done” screams minutes after a meal has been served are here.

Toddlerhood.

Somewhere between Rylan turning one in July, back-to-back travel for Mike and I throughout the fall and the holidays, my easy going baby developed some opinions…about everything.

To be fair, Rylan is still one of the happiest and flexible little guys around. I know I expect a LOT and am tough on him for sure. I’m told, by my mother, that I get my toughness from how she raised me starting at a very early age. His teachers rarely comment on negative behaviors and instead sing praises of his silliness and sweet nature. Every teacher we have offers time and time again to babysit. Perhaps they offer that to everyone but I’m convinced it means he’s a pretty good boy for them. Furthermore, about 99.9% of all reports from family who watch him say the same, with his not-so-shiny moments being pretty predictable (i.e., getting in the carseat, being told ‘no’ or not being able to do something with his older cousins).

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So does he save his outbursts primarily for mom and dad? Why is the breakfast we prepare for him so offensive yet morning snack at daycare so delicious? Why did I get hit this weekend when he didn’t get the answer he wanted from me? Why is everything answered with a no, even when he clearly wants to have or do what I am asking about? Why is the end of bath time like getting a shot at the doctor? WHY??!!

Some days Rylan, a little ball of always-changing emotion with legs, is endlessly amusing in his desire to communicate his frustration with us. But other times, especially with his new hitting for attention move, I have to seriously step aside and take a few breathes so that my reaction is purposeful…not just an outburst. It’s emotionally draining and I catch myself asking the question, am I doing anything right?

When Rylan was first born I was constantly texting a few close friends and coworkers for advice, desperate for a sanity check. These days I am doing a lot of the same. “How are you dealing with hitting” and “do you take away toys when they throw them” and “if they refuse to eat what you’ve cooked, do you just take the plate away” fill my cell phone text log.

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I’ve been around enough toddlers to know that our journey through toddlerhood is truly just beginning. We haven’t even left the crazy town station yet. But now that we’ve boarded the train Mike and I have some non negotiable rules we agree on and will try very hard to stick to consistently:

  • We’re not short order cooks. I’ll never prepare food I know Rylan despises but we’re trying extremely hard to raise a well-rounded eater.
  • We like to go out to eat, in public. Restaurant behavior is critically important.
  • No hitting. No exceptions.
  • Sleep makes the world go around and me, as a mom, an infinitely better human being. We are nearly 18 months into a strict schedule that began with BabyWise and we’re not deviating from it anytime soon.
  • Manners are important – we say please and thank you all the time.
  • We hug, cuddle, kiss and say “I love you” about a billion times per day, no matter how rushed, busy or tough. Also, we are never too busy for a family dance party in the kitchen.

So, all aboard the toddler express I guess! Where is the bar car on this ride?

Blogging Struggles

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I’ve been quiet here on Lex & Learn. Really quiet.

Sure, the holidays give all of us hobby bloggers (that is how I categorize myself) a bit of a reprieve because everyone is running around like chickens with no heads. However, even before that my cadence had dropped significantly. The first huge drop, of course, was when Rylan was born. Then it plummeted again when I went back to work after a 12-week maternity leave. Once Rylan turned one and our monthly pictures and milestone posts stopped I barely squeaked out a post per month.

There are a lot of reasons for this. I am busy from the moment my alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. until Rylan is zipped into his sleep save at 7:30 p.m.. After that I am borderline brain dead once Rylan is down, dishes are done, nightly laundry is started and work emails are triaged one more time. All I want is to turn off my laptop, turn on Apple TV and veg.

Beyond those totally standard and mundane mommy woes, I blog when I am inspired. I haven’t kept this site up with the hopes of attracting advertisers or free samples. I have kept it up because I am a communicator by nature and I love to share what makes me tick. From recipes and fashion to everything Rylan, I have never lost that giddy, “I hope people like it” feeling before I hit publish on a post.

Yet lately nothing that I start to type has seemed overly interesting…

Rylan is thriving but at the same time we’re somewhat baffled by his new favorite word being “no” and the phase of hitting to get attention. I’ve ordered two books that come highly recommended but they are still sitting unopened. Freezer meals are saving our post-workday lives and you should absolutely make this Slow Cooker Red Lentil curry right now…but is writing a blog post about the curry worth delaying my 30 minutes of Apple TV with Mike before I inevitably fall asleep on the couch? I’m not sure.

All of this said, I do not want to turn off Lex & Learn. I want to keep sharing what is working for our family and also reach out for support when I’m hitting my head against a wall. I vow to keep my computer open for just a few minutes longer a couple nights a week to reconnect with why Lex & Learn has given me a sense of pride for so long. I want to hear from you about why you read my personal blog and what else, if anything, you like to come here to see. Please, your input means a lot!

Thanks for bearing with me as I figure out the next phase of my hobby blogging!

Not Your Perfect Christmas Mom

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I love Christmas. The lights. The music. The times when people take an extra moment to smile or hold a door for you. Putting up the tree and turning on the twinkling house lights after a long day at work. I love it all. And when you have a child who stares at lights and decorations with pure wonder, it’s hard not to get even more swept up in the magic. I feel like I am getting another shot at my childhood as Rylan begins to grasp each holiday with more excitement and curiosity.

Yes, the holidays are also stressful. There is never enough time to accomplish all the things that the crafty Pinterest moms seem to finish. Do not even get me started on Martha Stewart Magazine’s holiday issue. The day I buy twine and create my own Christmas tags from fresh cinnamon sticks is the day you can…well…that will simply never happen. Even more, finding the perfect gift has always been a source of anxiety each year. I obsess over getting it right for each person on my list.

But not this year.

There will be no “12 days of Christmas cookies” from a gourmet food magazine baking in our oven. I will not simmer homemade hot apple cider and as of Dec. 15, not a single Christmas movie has been watched. Rylan, age 16 months, may or may not make it to Santa’s lap this year. In the past few weeks I’ve barely clung to a gym schedule and it isn’t looking any better this week as we juggle late-afternoon meetings, early-morning daycare conferences and outings with friends who we do not see much of anymore. I went from a strict cleanse to York Peppermint Patties and Malbec. A dear friend is bringing a present for me to use in a girls-night-out gift exchange because she knew I’d never make it to the store. Speaking of stores, if a gift wasn’t on Amazon Prime or found during my two hours of shopping two weekends ago, it won’t be under the tree. Rylan made no holiday crafts for his grandparents nor did I get to that personalized 2015 Shutterfly family calendar I swore we’d give as gifts this year.

We simply do not have the time or energy to let the holidays turn into a holi-daze. I refuse to “give in” to the pressure of creating the perfect Hallmark-worthy holiday. Lord knows as parents we are under enough pressure every single day of the year.

Instead, I am determined to start conversations about the many things we’re so lucky to have this season. Health being number one. If I could ask Santa for a healthy family and child every year I would do so without hesitation. Love being just as important as health, or some may argue even more so. I love my family and friends fiercely and this year has shown me first-hand that love isn’t a given. It must be nurtured and worked on every day.

It feels extremely liberating to admit a bit of failure, by Good Housekeeping standards, at the holidays. Will you join me?

Overdue Cleanse Recap and Life Lately

photo[1]I went from mindfully cleansing to the whirlwind of holiday travel and family time, and then just like that, it is December.

The Conscious Cleanse was certainly a bright spot, albeit difficult, in my fall. By the end of the 14 days I had stuck with it completely, aside from the optional transition weekends since weight loss was not my goal. Mike was a huge supporter by giving me time and space on the weekends to grocery shop and prep a significant amount of food. Certain recipes flopped (mushroom gravy) while others are now a forever staple in our kitchen (curried carrot soup). I didn’t get to the bottom of all my questions about food sensitivities but did confirm that I certainly feel much better without dairy, gluten and highly-processed foods. I have reintroduced just about everything given the holiday season but in significant moderation, especially coffee, sweet treats and generally unhealthy processed snacks.

If you need a reset, I urge you to consider the Conscious Cleanse. I won’t lie, it can feel like a lot of work so you need to be mentally prepared to shop and cook 99% of the time for the two weeks. But through this process you learn so much about yourself and the two weeks fly by quickly. You learn what triggers you to eat when you aren’t necessarily hungry, like boredom and stress. You learn that it doesn’t take up your entire weekend to prepare a few meals or pre-portion out salads and green smoothie packs for the week. You learn that a small piece of dried fruit or cup of herbal tea with honey can replace ice cream or a cookie for a sweet treat before bed. You learn that it’s worth the mental shift in how you approach food to feel lighter, more energized, less bloated and truly refreshed.

Cleanse aside, life is crazy but also fantastic. Mike and I are busy with work and I am trying to wrap my head around taking off from Denver most weekends in December and January to go skiing in Breckenridge. When will I cook, clean and do laundry at our house??!! First world problems, I know.

Rylan continues to thrive but also throw us for more loops, courtesy of general toddler craziness. Recent 16 month head-scratchers include:

  • Increased neediness being super clingy overall…especially in the morning and at night. However, his teachers have told us several times in the past month that he has been “very emotional” throughout the day, with little things sending him into a tizzy of tears
  • Crying whenever we set him down if he is not in the mood to play
  • Fake crying when we tell him to stop doing something or “no”
  • Exploring the reaction “no” gets when he says it to us or shakes his head when he doesn’t want to cooperate
  • Early wake time OR crying very hard at bedtime – these are sporadic but can quickly throw the day off track
  • Refusing to eat favorite foods, like yogurt, and a complete refusal to eat leftovers unless we space them out by at least one day in between
  • One month+ of a rash around his mouth that we’ve showed the doctor twice but can’t get to go away on our own

Mike and I spend more and more time looking at each other in disbelief. Thankfully we also chuckle, a lot, but there have been so many days when we’re simply stumped on how to handle these changes. We are on the same page on how we approach certain situations, such as meal time. Neither of us want to be short order cooks and the foods on Rylan’s plate are what stays. That said, I know much bigger battles are around the corner and I am nervous about having to make consistent discipline decisions sooner rather than later. Many friends have recommended reading Parenting With Love & Logic and I hope to find time to order and read it over the holidays.

Toddler tantrums aside, Rylan makes my heart explode with pride and love daily. He gives the sweetest hugs by leaning in his whole body without using his arms. He is so proud of himself when he learns a new word and spent most of Thanksgiving week yelling HHHAAAAMMMM for ham. He loves music and dances on demand. The way he says mama and dada is full of love and admiration. I want to bottle up his little voice forever.

I hope you have all been well and have happy holiday plans ahead!

Conscious Cleanse Check In

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I am writing this as I round out day seven of my Conscious Cleanse experience. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exhausted. But not from lack of food. Far from it in fact. I am worn out from the immense prep it takes on the weekend since weekdays do not allow much time for anything other than survival. This weekend I shopped on Saturday, prepared a slow cooker meal for Mike and Rylan and roasted beets. I should have done more on Saturday…

Sunday morning brought a rush of prep requiring the Vitamix since our kitchen is so close to Rylan’s room and blending during nap would lead to complete chaos. Homemade almond milk, zucchini hummus, beet hummus, dressing for the roasted beets and sunflower seed dressing for the week. I also snuck in my green smoothie for breakfast. It combined frozen pitted cherries, kale, spinach, banana and pear. Amazing.

Once Rylan was down for nap I quietly carried on with my prep — rainbow chard and white bean soup, salads through Wednesday, wild rice salad, cauliflower mashers (not my favorite), green smoothie packs for the week and pre-portioned veggie snack bags for easy snacking with hummus. Mike also lent a hand by making a batch of meatloaf in muffin tins for Rylan. There are a lot of great recipes on the Conscious Cleanse website if anything sounds appealing! You certainly don’t need to be cleansing to enjoy these.

Prep aside, this is an incredible program. My body is resetting more and more each day and I have never felt more hydrated. I am learning new habits, like grabbing a handful of veggies instead of always reaching for crackers or other carbs. I’ve learned that life is possible without coffee. Forgoing wine for more than a week at this point means I am sleeping sounder than ever.

I know I won’t stay free of coffee, cheese, wheat, wine and sweet treats forever. Life is too short and a hot cup of coffee hits the spot before a long day. Wine will flow through the holidays and I look forward to sharing in a few glasses with family and friends. And if the cleanse ended today, I think I’d opt for a big piece of garlic bread.

But I’ve learned that life doesn’t end when you cut out dairy, wheat, alcohol and processed foods. Reconnecting with salads, veggies and grains is more than possible with pre-planning. At this point of the cleanse I am learning so much still.

Here’s to the home stretch!

A New Journey: The Conscious Cleanse

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 2.07.52 PMMonths ago I was contacted by organizers of The Conscious Cleanse in Boulder, Colo., based on my blog. They gave me background on the concept and asked if I would be interested in participating in the November cleanse for free in exchange for talking about my journey.

 

At first I was skeptical and intended to decline the kind offer. I’ve been lucky post-baby and lost the weight quickly with regular exercise and a mostly-healthy diet. In fact, I struggled keeping enough weight on while breastfeeding in my final months and sought advice from a doctor and a nutritionist. “Cleanse” only meant weight loss to me at first and I imagined Mike and my parents being angry with me for choosing to give it a try.

So I responded to the email with my concerns and anticipated the Conscious Cleanse coach would bid me farewell. However, she responded with a lot more information about the benefits of this cleanse and pointed out that there are no restrictions to the amount of food you can eat during the 14 days. I was intrigued.

It has been a busy summer with lots of travel, adult beverages at weddings and on-the-go eating. I have always had my fair share of stomach problems and the endless summer and fall celebrations did me no favors. I’ve also noticed an uptick in my coffee cravings and sweets have been my downfall for as long as I can remember–made even harder to control while breastfeeding earlier this year.

Therefore, I decided to embrace the 14 day Conscious Cleanse with intentions other than weight loss. My intention is to clear my body of what I know doesn’t agree with me, but I consume anyway…mainly dairy. To take a break from alcohol before the holidays and test how gluten and wheat impact my digestion. To drink a lot more water and determine if my breakouts improve. To see how clean eating impacts my stress and anxiety levels along with sleep patterns. To rely less on frozen and prepared foods. To get out of my comfort zone and reconnect with scratch cooking despite our hectic dual-working household schedule and Rylan’s needs.

I intend to monitor my weight closely during the next 14 days to remain healthy and energized and focus on all of the other intentions that led me to accept the Conscious Cleanse challenge.

Day 1 begins tomorrow, Nov. 1, and I am glad that I’ve followed many of the recommended Transition Day tips. I cut out coffee last Thursday and seem to be through the headache phase. With just a few slips, I have mainly avoided processed sugar, gluten, wheat and dairy as well. The result? I won’t lie. I’ve been pretty fatigued up until today (Sunday) and experienced a lot of frustration at night when I would normally grab a “sweet treat” before bed. But I am committed to giving this my all for the next two weeks and once it is over, again embracing my 80/20 approach to eating that kept me feeling my best through my pregnancy and first months of Rylan’s life.

Today started with a shopping trip that kept my mainly to the perimeter of the store, avoiding packaged foods, dairy, etc. Once home I made big batches of quinoa and brown rice for the week, along with pre-portioned salads for dinner and lunch. I also downed the most delicious green smoothie I’ve ever had. The Conscious Cleanse recipe called for spinach, banana, blueberries and a bit of raw almond butter. It was like a milkshake! Then I used my Vitamix to make homemade hummus and pre-sliced veggies for easy snacking. Tonight I’ll broil salmon, make a quick pesto for zucchini noodles and break out the Vitamix again for a raw carrot soup to serve over quinoa on cold nights. My fridge is bursting with vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables. It is going to be a good week.

I look forward to sharing periodic updates here. Let me know if you have questions about this cleanse and I’ll share my honest opinions!

Sparrow Park Goods & Co Review

Disclosure: I was generously given a product to review and keep, but all opinions expressed are completely my own. 

It is hard for me to believe that I have blog readers beyond my family and a few close friends. While my teeny tiny corner of the Internet is just that, small, it means a great deal to me that what I share means something. Therefore, I was shocked and truly appreciative when I received an email from a CU Delta Gamma alum, Jennifer Andersen, who has kept an eye on my blog for the past few years.

Her note was extremely thoughtful about how hard it is to maintain a blog and congratulated me on this feat. Jenn also filled me in on the exciting launch of her own company, Sparrow Park Goods & Co, and extended a very kind offer to test and review a beautiful Roll-Up Blanket

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From the second I clicked through to the Sparrow Park Goods & Co website I was intrigued. I am as girly as they come and love gifts and products that feel extra special, and aren’t mass-produced and owned by a million other people.

Jenn has created an American-made lifestyle company with a passionate focus on supporting other local small businesses. Her products are designed in Oklahoma City and produced by a small manufacturer in Chicago. Bright, fun and chic are three words that summarize what you’ll find on the site now and in the future as Jenn introduces new products soon, such as table runners and linen napkins–all of which will be gorgeous no doubt.

She let me choose the Roll-Up Blanket that best suited our style and I selected Indigo Dot after a lot of back-and-forth because I also loved the Capri and Elephant Parade patterns. As soon as the box arrived I could not wait to enjoy it with Rylan as he absolutely loves being outdoors. Stylish? Beyond! But function is also important given the investment. My favorite features:

  • Large enough for several adults or a family: 72”x57”
  • Water-resistant bottom – I am not a fan of a wet butt after sitting in damp grass at the park or outdoor concerts
  • Machine washable versus several competitors that are dry clean or spot clean (Hello! Have you watched a kid eat before?)
  • Roll-up and buckle design, with built-in straps for carrying, makes it neat and easy to store in the car or a closet

Colorado is experiencing the most beautiful and warm October. Afternoons scream for outdoor play, picnics and long walks to admire the changing colors. Last weekend my mom and dad were in Denver for just a day and we took advantage of our backyard after Rylan’s nap. It was the perfect time to use my blanket!

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Rylan was happy as could be that his afternoon snack was served up picnic style. Kona was thrilled to have his little sidekick in the grass with him and waited patiently next to the blanket for dropped crumbs. The cotton top is extremely soft and you can instantly see and feel that everything about the blanket design is thoughtful and of the utmost quality. The zippered pouch is adorable and when we take this to outdoor concerts next summer it will be the perfect place to stash a phone or even a bit of cash. I also can’t say enough about the fact it is waterproof.

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Jenn is onto something and I am honored that she chose me to help her spread the word about the launch of Sparrow Park Goods & Co. I am also thrilled that she created a 10% off discount code (LexAndLearn) for all of you to use in Step #2 of the checkout process.

As we enter the season of shopping for gifts, the Roll-Up Blanket is perfect for outdoor loving moms and moms-to-be who appreciate when chic style meets function! I would also love to gift a blanket like this for engagements or weddings with a nice bottle of champagne and some outdoor wine glasses.

Supporting small, women-owned businesses with an American-made philosphy like Sparrow Park Goods & Co feels great and it’s important to do so when you can. Jenn, thank you for making Lex & Learn a part of your launch journey. I wish you all the best and can’t wait for the new products to be introduced!

Be sure to follow Sparrow Park Goods & Co. on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Featured on Breadwinning Mama Series

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You guys. Have you ever formed a new blogger crush, only to have that person reach out and offer to feature YOU as part of your favorite series on their blog? Me either…until today!

Kerry at Breadwinning Mama writes a fantastic ‘Her Juggle’ series in which she profiles other working moms in a Q&A format. She reached out to me via Twitter to ask if I’d be interested in sharing my perspective and I jumped at the chance. A few nights later I stayed up way past my self-imposed bedtime to answer the questions. The process felt therapeutic and uplifting.

I hope you’ll take a moment and head over to Breadwinning Mama today to read my ‘Her Juggle’ Q&A. And while you’re there, sign up to receive her latest posts by email. I know I’m way too busy these days for the nightly blogroll reading I used to do, so waking up to her fresh perspective, advice and journey is refreshing and motivating.

Thank you, Kerry, for this honor!

Our Days at 14.5 Months

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Recently I’ve become slightly obsessed with finding and following other working mom bloggers and social media influencers. Two that I am especially loving right now are Breadwinning Mama and What Would Gwyeneth Do. Breadwinning Mama has a “Her Juggle” series spotlighting working mamas and how they juggle, struggle and thrive. Reading the Q&A’s has felt like a big hug lately. I love seeing when other moms wake up, how they handle household chores and where they too feel like work or family is getting all their attention–never quite equaling out. When Mike is not traveling and my morning meeting schedule allows for a workout, a “favorite” day tends to look a little something like this.

  • 5:30 a.m. – One or both of our alarms go off. We hit snooze in denial
  • 5:50 a.m. – Mike hits the shower
  • 6 a.m. – I get up, make the bed and throw on workout clothes
  • Pre-6:50 a.m. – I try to fit in a variety of tasks, such as packing my lunch, starting a load of laundry, sorting mail, starting the dishwasher, meal prep for dinner, and preparing Rylan’s breakfast
  • 6:50 a.m. – I head to the gym and Mike takes over where I left off on breakfast for Rylan
  • 7 a.m. – Some sort of spin/barre/yoga class clears my head for the day and then I shower and get ready at work
  • 7:30 a.m. (ish) – Mike gets Rylan dressed and takes him to daycare across town (We love our daycare but did not count on the traffic when we thought it was only slightly out of they way. It can be a nightmare)
  • 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. (ish) – Calls, meetings, emails, more meetings, media pitching, writing, planning…in PR no two days are ever the same but it’s fast-paced and the days fly by
  • 5:15 p.m. – I bolt out and fight traffic to get Rylan, then fight it home and hope to be in the door by 6 p.m. or a bit after
  • 6:15 p.m. (ish) – Rush to get something resembling nourishment on Rylan’s plate before he totally loses it. We’ve now started giving him a small snack so that I can try and cook more rather than dump random things on his dish
  • 6: 45 p.m. – Bath
  • 7:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. – Play in Ry’s room or at least attempt to play depending on how well he napped at daycare
  • 7:15 p.m. – 7:25 p.m. – Accept Rylan’s eye rubbing, give him a bottle (you got me…haven’t cut that last one out yet) and put him down for the night
  • 7:30 p.m. – bed – My bedtime is all over the place. Some nights I barely make it to 8:30 p.m. while others I stay up past 10 p.m. to work or watch TV with Mike. I always regret staying up past about 9 p.m. though. And during this time I finish my morning to-do’s…laundry, meal prep (tonight I roasted butternut squash for tomorrow), email triage, blogging, organizing, cleaning. Basically, I can’t sit still. No time for that

Woo hoo (sarcastically typed). When I decide to have a “take care of me morning” at the gym (once or twice a week) I get very little time with Rylan overall. Not much changes if I flip this and workout at night either. So I am down to about two – three workouts a week, sometimes four depending on our weekend, and try to make the most out of them by taking as hard of classes as I can. When Mike travels there is typically no working out with drop off and pickup duty. I shower by 5:45 a.m. at the very latest when he is out of town and tend to fall into bed around 8:30 p.m.

Balance, my friends, is a misleading word. For years I chased balance, even before having Rylan, and failed to achieve it. So instead I am in a reset mode. At work I am 100% in and know it’s okay that I don’t always have time to stop and think about Rylan during the hectic days. At home I am increasingly strict with myself and Mike about putting down the damn phones unless something is urgent with a client or media. 

It feels good to give you a glimpse into our days right now. For me, reading about how other moms juggle is inspiring so I hope my approach to the chaos us helpful to you as well.

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