This year I committed myself to completing the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. In early January, I listed my book choices. Some of my undecided categories remain empty (for now), but I’ve decided to either read The Joy Luck Club or The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan for a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own. My mom recommended this author since her book themes often focus on mother and daughters. I’ve read a book or 2 by Amy Tan before, but not since high school.
Anyway, I checked 2 books off my list in January: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection) and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stuart (A book you can read in a day).
I wasn’t overly impressed by The Cursed Child, but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt that it might be better received as a play. The characters just didn’t have the same depth that they had in the original series. Likewise, the plot seemed very rushed to me since the play moved through several years at Hogwarts. I am very curious why Rowling opted to make this a play rather than a book.
The Mysterious Benedict Society receives an “okay” rating from me. Frankly, I was a little bored going through the story. The premise of the story seemed interesting enough, but I found myself often looking at how much I had left to read before I was done.
I didn’t complete any books for the challenge in February (I know I have 4 more days, but it ain’t happening). This doesn’t mean there has been lack of progress! I’ve been plugging away through The Pillars of the Earth (A book that’s more than 500 pages) and I’m now over halfway through. I have a couple of my reading challenge books reserved on my Kindle, so I’m hoping I can check off a few more categories in March!
It gets cold where we live. Recently we had a 20 degree day that felt downright balmy (and yesterday’s high of 40 degrees was practically tropical!). However, I strongly believe in the benefits of fresh air on a daily basis, so I’ve been dragging the girls outside despite the frigid temps. Layers are our friends around here.
After a couple of months of bundling the girls up, I feel confident that you too can get your kids outside in just 20 “simple” steps!
- The preschooler sits on the potty and the toddler gets a diaper change (you don’t want to hear “I have to go pee!” at the end of this process!).
- I put on long underwear, the preschooler is sent to put on an extra pair of pants and socks. I put an extra pair of leggings and socks on the toddler.
- Find the preschooler sitting in her room. Remind her that she was supposed to be getting pants and socks on.
- Answer “Why?” question.
- Gather snowpants, coats, mittens, hats, and scarves.
- Tell the preschooler that she has to put on her snowpants before putting on her boots and yes, she must wear her snow boots and not her sandals.
- Find the toddler who has now wandered away with one of her sister’s mittens. Wrestle her into her snowpants.
- Remind the preschooler that she was supposed to be putting on her snowpants and not her coat.
- Answer 5 “Why?” questions from the preschooler.
- Put on my own snowpants.
- Find the toddler who has wandered off with her sister’s boot and put on her scarf and hat.
- Tell the preschooler to put on her scarf before her mittens.
- Answer “Why?” question. Answer “Why?” question again.
- Help preschooler put on her mittens, coat, and hat.
- Find toddler to make sure she isn’t in grave peril.
- Help preschooler put on her boots. Send her into the garage so she doesn’t collapse from heat exhaustion before her sister and I are ready to go outside.
- Find toddler again and stuff her into her coat. Shove her mittens on her hands and boots on her feet.
- Try to find toddler’s hat as she howls at the injustice of having to wear snowgear. Put hat on toddler and watch her collapse from my cruelty.
- Finish putting on my scarf, hat, coat, gloves, and boots.
- Pick up toddler and join preschooler in the garage. Release the girls outside and hope we are outside longer than it took us to get ready.
For the record, I’m usually exhausted by the time I go outside. The silver lining is that first spring-like day is going to feel magical!*
*Really, this insane mission of taking littles outside in all weather is to create hardy kids. Fresh air is good for us, fresh air is good for us, fresh air is good for us. . .
I am currently convinced that Sweet Pea will, in fact, be the first child to go to college still nursing.
I kid. . mostly. . .
I generally try not to think too much about germs. Around here, I generally encourage some hand washing and try to prevent the girls from doing anything too disgusting like licking the toilet, but otherwise just let the whole germ thing play out naturally. What this really means is that you will see my kids eat food off of our floor and there may be a fair amount of dirt-eating occurring. Whatever happens, I try to be chill about it.
Well, until everyone starts losing their ever lovin’ minds about influenza.
Initially I try to ignore the reports. Flu? What flu? There’s no such thing as the flu? We go about our business as usual–shopping trips, playdates, doctor visits, etc. But after a few weeks of the spread of influenza it’s hard for even me to ignore the stories.
Rationally, I know that our little family is healthy and therefore unlikely to have severe complications from the flu. But I think fear wriggles into any parent’s heart whenever they hear of children dying from influenza. So I get nervous and start questioning leaving the house. Should I reschedule the well-child visit? Should I find a babysitter for the girls while I go grocery shopping? Should we just give up and stay inside until May?
Ultimately, I’ve decided to go with some slight precautions with prayer. So this past week my husband and I were trying to make a plan for his day off. “What should we do on Friday?” he asked.
I thought and then said, “Well, I need to do the monthly grocery run. We could make it a family outing and go to Chick-fil-a afterward. The girls could play in the play area since it will be cold again.”
My husband replied, “That sounds okay.”
I made a face. “Oh wait, flu. . .”
We decided to avoid the indoor play area. Instead, I just took Babykins to Aldi with me so we could have a Mother-Daughter outing while my husband had some bonding time with Sweet Pea. Babykins is mostly over the put-everything-in-mouth phase, so I figured the grocery store wouldn’t be too bad.
We got through Aldi without an incident. However, as we were driving back I heard Babykins’s little voice say, “Look, Mommy, look!” I glanced in the review mirror and saw this:
The moral of the story: Kids are gross and we’re all going to get influenza.