Monday, March 02, 2015

March goal & goings-on

In January, I had a goal of reading each night, even if it was just for a few minutes.  It worked beautifully, and I finished 2 books.  In February, I never defined my goal but had a nebulous idea about decreasing online time.

. . . I know.

I kept trying to define specific limits, but could never decide on anything.  Then I tried to create rules for myself, but the rules became complicated -- leading me to find too many loopholes, and finally I just abandoned them altogether.  So, February was a fail.  (Of note, it was a double fail, because I sort of forgot about the whole reading thing and I'm still not finished with Flow.  But I'm almost there and going to flip back to fiction!!  SO ready!).

Anyway, this month I am going to use the Moment app to curtail iPhone screen time.  I appreciate the ironic silliness inherent in an iPhone app that helps keep you off of your iPhone, but . . . I need it.  I like the concrete simplicity of it.  And so far it's actually working!

screen shot from their site

Basically, the app tallies up minutes spent on the phone with an open screen.  It does require GPS enabling, which has caused many reviewers to complain, but thus far it has not been a big battery drain for me, and the app developers swear they do not take your location data (I'll just have to trust them).

It seems to be relatively accurate, and by just turning the screen off you can prevent it from counting minutes spent on screenless pursuits like podcasts/run tracking/playing music, so it really just gets at actual screen time.  My goal is to spend under 60 minutes/day, and maybe someday I'll really go for the goal and try to beat 30.

A few "moments" around here . . .

Other goings-on (in summary/list form):
* Cameron is 1!!  (We celebrated again this weekend, with family).  He is not yet walking; however he cruises like a champ and is freakishly fast at crawling.  He is sooooo into everything.  And sooooo happy.

* I am still barre obsessed.  I am currently doing ~4 runs/week (short, 3-5 mi each) and ~3 barre classes/week (1-2 online and 1-2 live at flybarre).

* Annabel is fully potty trained -- it was actually a sort of gradual process and that seemed to work for her.  But now we actually venture out without a pull-up at times -- incredible!  I might be able to go 2 weeks between orders!  (note:  Not at night.  I have a feeling this might take a long time, and I'm not pushing it.)

* Work is busy.  I have so many projects on the backburner right now (because so much time is spent doing clinical things and there is just not a lot of lull time to work on those things).  In truth, if I didn't have children I'm sure I would have more time for those extras.  BUT I also think that being a parent gives me a really important perspective as someone working in a pediatric field.  Interestingly, new patients almost always ask if I have children, and I often see them visibly perk up when I tell them I have 2.  So -- there's that.  In 18 years or so, maybe I will feel caught up and be SUPER productive :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

evening routine

While I am really happy with how our mornings tend to go around here, the post-work experience is . . . well, we'll just call it a work in progress.  Part of it is that -- as always -- I want too much!  I realize that with a rather productive morning that starts early, the evening is therefore limited, because sleep is non-negotiable.  For me, anyway.

Maybe I need to just make peace with the simple short evenings that are happening right now.  Here's the basic template:

5:45 pm Arrive home from work (though if traffic is bad, I can be closer to 6 pm).  G (our nanny) tells me about all of the cuteness/craziness that happened while I was away, and heads off.

6 pm PLAY.  Seriously, that's what we do.

Both kids, princess play, pretend play, chasing around balls, sometimes magnatiles/puzzles (currently limited because Mr C is a one-man wrecking crew and he is EFFICIENT, which infuriates his sister).  Once a week or so I FaceTime my parents so they can hang out (virtually) with us.

6:50 pm Cameron's bedtime routine:  warm milk (in a sippie cup -- no more bottles in this house!!), brush his 6 teeth, diaper, sleep sack, 2 books (w/ Annabel), and bed.  He is very easy and there is minimal if any protest.  (Never change, Mr C.  Never change.)

7 pm  C is asleep.  A gets a 30 minute allotment of screen time because -- honestly, it's a nice short break for me.  Right now I'm typing this post and drinking a glass of sauv blanc.  Ahhhh.  Sometimes Josh comes home at this point; other nights he comes home after A is in bed or much later.

7:30 pm  "Quality time" w/ A.  Interestingly, if Josh is home, she basically wants nothing to do with me.  But if it's just us, it's really nice.  We do some kind of play activity (trains, puzzle, pretend, etc) and then start her bedtime routine, which is considerably longer than Cameron's.  Typically it goes something like this:

Nighttime diaper
2 books+ (this can take a while, she will stop and ask lots of questions sometimes)
Frozen song in bed (on my phone - we are going to phase this out, I think)
Bed - typically at 8:30 or so

If Josh came home during this interval, I will often let them have their time together and hang out reading facebook/blogs/etc.  

8:30 pm  Dinner.  Either solo (meh) or with Josh (much nicer).  We are very very lucky in that our nanny likes to cook, so we usually heat up something she has made during the day, or eat leftovers.  (And yes -- she makes recipes from my favorite paleo cookbooks.  She is the best.)

9:00 pm Brief clean-up and then maybe one 30-minute TV show (The Mindy Project tonight, hopefully.  Or if I'm by myself - Jane the Virgin.)

9:30 pm In bed.  Read for 10 minutes, or until I'm about to pass out and fall asleep.

That's it.  I'm lame, what can I say?  Except that maybe this is enough right now.  In a little while when C is going to bed later, I could see us hitting the playground or going for an outside walk when it is light outside late.  But for now, this rather simple routine makes sense.  

I have added a weekly "night out" for myself on Thursdays when I work a little later and then go to barre, which I really like.  It's just one night a week, but it actually really helps me to know that 1/5 nights is not my responsibility.  

So that's it!  I would looooooooove some more ideas of how to use this (limited but precious) time.  What do other mothers of young children do in the evenings, and what do I have to look forward to when A&C are older?  Also -- curious about other kids' bedtimes!

New app:  moment

Finally, an iPhone use tracker!  I know what my goal is going to be for next month . . .

Monday, February 23, 2015


It's been a bit of a rough past 10 days -- hence the silence.  C has a double ear infection and all of us have been fighting viral crud of one sort or another.  There is no question that Survival Mode has been the default mode around here, and I don't even have the excuse of bitter cold that most of you do.  I'm also on day 7 of a call stretch (7 of 7 -- hoorah!) . . . so, there's that.

I hate hate HATE feeling like I have this past week.  Like I'm surviving -- just getting through -- waiting for the moments to pass by so that I can move onto greener pastures.  I suppose the truth is that some periods of time really ARE kind of lame.

Between work and sickness and just feeling overextended (Josh was on call the weekend before I was),  it's just been a slog.  But I am ready to recommit to some recentering and self-care.  

More mindfulness.
More intention.
Less screen-escape-time.
More carving out SPACE: between activities, between commitments, for me and for Josh/me together.

And with that, I am going to snuggle next to (sick) Annabel on the couch with her beloved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  More later - perhaps tomorrow, not in 10 days!

Over the last 2 weeks . . .

"I'm 1 and I'm awesome."