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Tonight was the last night I put my babies to bed in our little house.

After 10 years of living here, 4 of them mostly alone, we are moving on.

In the past year and a half I’ve:

-Experienced the very painful but necessary end to a long term relationship.

-Tried online dating again but quickly stopped because it so easily results in roller coaster emotional fuckery.  Wanting so badly to have The Connection with someone and just feeling Meh is very disheartening.

-Met the person with said Connection and fell crazy in love.

-Felt like writing about all these things in excruciating detail but only in an anonymous way and is that even possible on the internet anymore?  I don’t know, I still don’t even like having a Smart phone and am creeped out when I google something and it shows up in ads on my Facebook.

-Stopped working at a job at a “really cool” place, because like all other office jobs I’ve had in my life, I found myself in disbelief how people could really care so much about this shit, and hated sitting at a computer all day.  Went back to taking care of babies and was instantly happier, even though I don’t see myself as a career nanny.

-Talked constantly with new love about our future together…  where we wanted to live and schools for the kids (he also has an 8 yr. old daughter) took hours and hours of discussion.

-Finally got divorced.

-Bought a house.  That we found by an absolute stroke of luck, wasn’t even on the market yet, we walked in and felt like it was home.

So that’s where we’re at.  Every day I feel like the luckiest girl ever.  (And also, though I’m not prone to anxiety, feel like something bad will have to follow all this luck.  But that is not the way life works right?)

The kids are great, same as ever.  They are very excited about the move and our newly blended family.

Jane is almost 8 1/2, so easy going, smart, wise beyond her years, has more patience than I do.  She started taking piano lessons in January and I’m so impressed with her progress.  It’s inspired me to play more too.  She also picked up knitting somehow, which I have no clue how to do, and has been making these impressive beaded necklaces in summer camp.

Aiden is 4 3/4… (how is my BABY almost 5?  I won’t believe it.)  He’s still my baby.  He still has some fat in his cheeks and hands and likes to sit on my lap and says things like “tobbler” and “chickmunk” and calls his soon to be step sister “Bivien”.  He is loud and intense and talks all the time and loves to run fast and hit/throw/catch balls (and is good at it), but is also a total sweetheart which is especially apparent when he’s around the 10 month old we watch.

He is very gentle around her and all I hear is “Mama, look she’s holding a toy!  Mama, look, she’s standing up!  Mama, look I made her smile!  Mama, look at her little chubby knees!  Mama, can I rub her head while you feed her?”

For some reason I felt like updating in this place after so long, even during the chaotic days before the move.  I find it really interesting to look back on how I thought in old posts, how much life has changed.  And don’t they say that is the only constant.


2017 Recap?!

Wow, a whole year since I’ve written here.  I’m sure a lot has happened, but in many ways life is the same.

Still sort of staying home with the kids (although Jane is in 1st grade and Aiden goes to daycare part time) while doing some nanny work on the side and trying to figure out what I *really* want to do with my life.


One major event was that I got a sweet job last summer.  Awesome company, fun co-workers, nearby, flexible schedule.  It was a huge and stressful change for me having to learn a ton of new things and being in a new environment, but I was really starting to settle in, only to get laid off before x-mas.

That was really disappointing and made for a stressful holiday season, but I’ve been trying to do a lot of self care and soul searching and trying to be ok with all the uncertainty of the future…  hard for me as a “planner”.

Nathan and I are still married, still separated, mostly amicable.  We’ve held off on the divorce mostly due me not having health insurance, but it is inevitable.  Both of us are in new relationships, which adds it’s own kind of stress, but I think is good overall.

Just realized I mentioned “stress” in each of the last 3 paragraphs.  That’s certainly appropriate at this point in my life.  But despite having a lot of emotions all over the place, I’ve managed to stay healthy with a good support system, enough time away from the kids, a regular workout schedule, etc.


She patiently helps him do big kid projects  =)  

Speaking of the kids!  They are great, not much has changed.  Jane is as sweet and smart as ever and loves school.  She definitely seems more grown up, more reserved, more aware of the nuances of social situations.  She will hug me and tell me she loves me all the time, but it’s not the same as Aiden’s uncontained enthusiasm when he sees me and runs for a hug and wants “all my nuggles”.  He is 3 now, was easily potty trained last spring, loves his preschool, which makes me SO happy.  He still talks all the time and wants my attention nonstop and drives me nuts, but every day I savor his still fat baby cheeks and the little dimples in his fingers and the way he fits perfectly on my lap.  I know it won’t last as long as I want it to.

aiden batman hat

He also loves everything superhero, weapons, and being loud.  


Loves to be with his sister and do what she’s doing!  

So that’s the high level recap.  I’ll have to do a “Day in the Life” now that I have some more time on my hands.  One reason for the lack of posts was after I started working I felt SO BUSY even though it was only 4 days/week.  No idea how all you people do it working 40+ hours/week, with commutes, whether single or two working parents… it felt like there was barely time for anything else!  Not exactly how I want to live my life, but time will tell how everything falls into place…


Trip to L.A to visit old friends + new baby!  



Also got to go on a 2 day trip to Austin, TX!


Friday, Feb. 3rd

Aiden:  2 years, 4 mos.

Jane:  Almost 6

Me:  Almost 34 1/2

6:45:  Wake up to Aiden singing in his crib.  It is a miracle!  This child is usually sooo cranky when he wakes up, the first thing I’ve been hearing in the morning for at least a year is whining and crying so this is amazing.  Does it possibly have something to do with the fact that I completely weaned him last week?  Strangely not sad at all about this huge milestone of my “baby” growing up.  It was just time.  I told him the milk was all gone and he accepted it.


7:00:  Aiden runs right to the fridge and says “my eat my eat!”  The first thing Jane says is “Can you give me a hint about what’s in my lunch?”  It’s Friday, the only day I make her lunch for school, because they serve pizza and she’s decided she doesn’t like it.  So she gets super excited when I pack her a lunch with a treat and a note  =)

Aiden is nonstop energy and talking.  He climbs on the stool and starts playing with cups “2 cups! 2 cups right here!”  Jane asks him if he can count to 3 and he says “1, 3, 2, 3….”

And whenever he does something he feels accomplished about he says “Look!  Dadadalaaaa!”


7:10:  Time for a diaper change and getting out of jammies.  It takes forever because he insists on picking out his own diaper and clothes and then changing his mind 5 times.

7:15:  The little girl we watch a couple times a week arrives, she is Aiden’s age and super sweet and mellow.  Get breakfast started for everyone.


Loudly demanding to help with the microwave.


Quietly doing a word search (but does ask me how to spell something every minute).

7:30:  First meltdown of the day (surprised it took this long!)  Sister is standing on the stool and he does not like that…


7:35:  Finally make some tea nearly an hour after waking up…  :-/

8:00:  Breakfast is over and cleaned up, Jane’s lunch is made, I send the kids to watch a show so I can check my e-mail and maybe poop in peace.


8:05:  Toddlers are not distracted by the show and running crazy all over the house.

8:15:  I get out the tinker toys and Aiden asks me for help about 1000 times when the piece he puts in falls out “this not working!!”.

8:20:  Decide for some reason I feel like there is extra time this morning so I should do my clay mask in an ongoing attempt to control my sensitive oily breakout prone skin.  It only takes like 10 min. but I get around to doing it once every few months.


8:25:  Write a thank you note to my aunt for some gifts she sent the kids while my mask is drying and tantrums are happening all over the house, mostly from Aiden, of course.

8:35:  As soon as I HAVE to wipe off the mask because it’s drying and becoming uncomfortable, Jane goes in the bathroom to poop.  One of the only times I wish we had 2 bathrooms…  luckily she says it’s fine if I come in to wash my face!

8:40:  Wipe gobs of snot from Aiden’s nose, a scene which will repeat dozens of times today.

8:50:  Chat on FB and the phone with some friends about plans for today.

9:00:  Get in the shower

9:20:  Out of shower, dressed, toddlers are fighting over a hat, Jane is annoyed with them saying “give me my space, I need my space!”  (ha, wonder who she heard that from….)

9:40:  Suddenly rush is on to get out of the house, I’m in a hurry trying to get myself and our bag ready, more fighting from the kids, Aiden trips over something as he does every 5 minutes and says “owie owie owieeeeeee”.  He is not hurt.  I also realize I need to eat before we leave so shove some leftover dinner (rice, beans, roasted veggies) in my mouth.

9:55:  My friend drops off her 4 yr. old who I’m also watching today.

10:03:  Finally out the door, four kids in winter gear, a relief to be in the car except they are still fighting because Jane is in the middle in the back and Aiden is putting his mitten in her face.

10:13:  Drop Jane off at school.  She can take the bus, which she does some days and comes at 9:15 (long ride), so it’s kind of convenient I can choose to take her to the bus stop early or school later depending on our schedule.

10:20:  Arrive at our local Rec Center where they have an “open gym” time for the kids.  I settle in and talk to my mom friends, there are a lot of us here today.  The kids are actually fairly well behaved and someone has brought in chocolate mint creamer for the coffee (as an alternative to the nasty powdered creamer the rec center provides), so it is a good day.  Simple pleasures.



12:40:  Home.

12:50:  My neighbor stops over to drop something off.  She works from home and has no kids, observes Aiden having yet another tantrum and getting a time out for taking a toy away from his friend, and says “how do you do this all day?”  I say “I don’t know.  I yell sometimes.  And today is easier because I’m done at 5:00.”  She says I am a good mom and that makes me feel better.

1:40:  Toddlers are asleep after our nap time routine (setting up beds and reading books).  I clean up the kitchen a little and literally lay down on the kitchen floor with a pillow to rest my mind and doze off for a few minutes because every other spot in the house is taken (4 yr. old is watching a show on the couch, Aiden asleep in the kids’ room, bonus toddler asleep in my room).

2:20:  As usual I only lay down for like 15 minutes and feel refreshed.  I make a lunch of spinach, chickpeas, avocado and sauerkraut.  Check my messages online, organize some papers and my to do list.

3:10:  Aiden wakes up and is a super crab as usual.  Like literally nothing will make this kid happy, even if he says yes he wants something, he just keeps crying.  Today I manage to console him by letting him eat raisins on my lap while watching tv for 5 minutes.

3:20:  He jumps off my lap and races into the bedroom, and I know he is pooping (for the 4th time today).  He peeks out the door and sees my knowing look and screams “NOOOOOO!”.


Waking up from naps is soooooo hard!

3:30:  Make Aiden a PB sandwich.


Finally…. Happy?

3:35:  Toddler #2 up.

3:45:  Make my very first phone calls to D.C. to oppose the appointment of Steve Bannon.  It feels empowering!  My FB feed has been full of friends urging others to call, and today one mom brought paper printouts to the rec center with phone numbers and talking points, so that’s what finally motivated me.

4:00:  Continued whining and fighting from the todddlers.

4:20:  Get everyone ready and out the door to drop off my two non-biological children and pick up my other one!

5:00:  Home.  Aiden has his like 25th tantrum of the day because he left a book in the car and instead of me waiting out in the cold for him to climb back in and get it, I reached in and got it for him.

5:05:  Nathan arrives, it’s his night to have the kids overnight.

5:15:  Freedom!  I putz around the house, clean a little, run a couple errands and get ready to go out with some friends.  We end up at a VFW playing darts, fun night but I’m past ready for bed by 11:00, as usual these days!


Writing this recap on the first day of snowfall here in MN.  It felt…  surprisingly normal, scraping off the car.  Even though we’ve had such a mild fall, still going to the park regularly.  Just two days ago my friend and I were sitting outside in sweaters, soaking up the warm near 60 degree sunshine.

We sometimes call them our park therapy sessions.  Without this group of stay at home moms, I would’ve either gone insane or gone back to work a long time ago.  The other day I told her I feel like I’m in limbo, I swing within the span of hours between feeling like I have nothing to complain about (healthy kids, good support system, ability to go to yoga regularly, we do not live in Venezuela or Somalia, etc. etc…)  and like I’m having an existential crisis  (what the hell am I doing in this life, omg I can’t read the news, the world is a terrifying place and people are evil, why did I have children, life is so hard and sad and what’s the point).



I guess it’s valid though that I am in limbo.  Things continue to be amicable between Nathan and I, we have a schedule with the kids that seems to be working for both of us, but no progress on the divorce.  I filled out some of the paperwork a couple months ago, but he didn’t do anything after that and I have no reason to push it.

Also in limbo with trying to “figure out what I want to do with my life”.  It happened to work out that I found some really great kids to nanny for this fall, so we are busy and not struggling too much for money, but I have an acute feeling that I need to be doing something more.  More than listening to whining (mostly my own kid), packing diaper bags, cutting up snacks, cleaning up messes.  I need to use my brain.  It’s just hard to figure it all out when I barely have time to do the laundry.

So, what else this fall?  Jane started Kindergarten.  To no one’s surprise she’s doing wonderful, loves it, and the whole thing has fit nicely with our schedule.


First day… Aiden wasn’t so sure!

Aiden turned two.  Aiden is exhausting to be around.  He is a good kid, a great, sweet, funny kid.  But so SO demanding, does not play on his own, talks nonstop, repeating things over and over and OVER, sometimes things you cannot understand, in your face, until his voice reaches this frustrated pitch and it does not stop no matter how many times you try to respond or validate what he is saying.  He’s also super clumsy, falling over every two minutes and saying “Mama owieeeeeeee” when he’s definitely not hurt.


Classic Grump Face

Another favorite phrase is “Myyyyyyyy do it.  NO Myyyyyy do it”.  (I mean, don’t you dare accidentally shut the door to the fridge if he was planning to do it!)

One of the funnier things is when he’ll lay on the floor, completely able to get up, but reach out his hand and say “Mama, help me peeeaaaaaase!”.



That’s about all for this fall.  And just like that, it’s winter.  And one of the things I’ve learned about life that’s both terrifying and fascinating is that you never know what can happen in a few short weeks or months, so I’m curious to see what my next update will bring.


Dinosaur Babies



Aiden:  21 months today

Jane: Getting towards 5 1/2

Me:  Way too close to 34


7:15:  Wake up to Aiden whining from his crib, as usual, but am relieved to see it’s so “late” – sometimes he wakes up closer to 6 a.m. and is really not ready to be up.  I sit in the rocker and nurse him (he mostly still nurses only when waking up, but likes to do it for a long time then)…  realize I still feel so tired even though I went to bed at 11:00 and slept mostly ok – woke up after a couple anxious dreams and once to pee.  Life has just been wearing me down in general lately.  For no particular reason decide I should document this day…

7:45:  Jane is still asleep despite Aiden’s attempts to wake her up.  The first thing he usually says after nursing is “Jane?”.  She’s been sleeping on the couch lately (which is actually an IKEA pullout sleeper, so…  makes me feel less bad).  It’s a long story but basically involves me switching bedrooms around and being very slow to clean out the bedroom the kids will now share and get her a loft bed.  (And also because she doesn’t mind sleeping on the couch at all and…  who wants to mess with the sleeping arrangement when it’s working for everyone?)


Aiden’s next favorite thing besides his sister is balls and throwing them in hoops, so we move onto that…


8:00:  Jane is up and the whining begins.  “Aiden took my fan, he’s going to ruiiiiin it!”  Aiden whining “miiiine, miiiine!”.  Finally get myself a glass of water, wash my face, and makes the kids oatmeal.  Oh yes, and stop to lotion Jane’s back because she always complains about it being scratchy.

8:15:  Just as we’re sitting down to eat, notice we have a bunch of ants in one corner.  I am not happy, I’m in a mental state where I just don’t need one more thing to deal with.  And in addition to the normal ants (which at least I’m confident will go away with Borax/sugar solution), there are a few weird larger ants with wings I’ve never seen before which are really making my skin crawl.

8:20:  Sign onto the computer to find the Borax/sugar ant killer recipe and get a message about making a dish for a memorial luncheon on Friday.

(I have literally spent the last 5 minutes sitting here in bed, hugging myself, wondering how to describe this situation.  It still feels too awful for words.)

Two weeks ago, one of my good friends lost both of her kids in a house fire.

I have never had anything so tragic happen to someone close to me before.  I can’t go more than a few minutes without thinking about it, it’s always there, and my heart is just breaking for my friend.

On top of that (although my problems seem ridiculously petty in comparison…), Nathan and I have printed out our DIY divorce paperwork and started discussing specifics this week, my great aunt died a few weeks ago, and even though Nathan is assigned to work in our neighborhood, he regularly gets sent to the really dangerous part of the city and I just feel sick if I think about something happening to him.

And, I still have no idea what I’ll do for money when the divorce is final.  I think about it all the time, but the choices paralyze me.  Nathan having to work a completely random night shift schedule for the long term future doesn’t help either.

So…  those are the things weighing heavily on my mind as I go about my otherwise mundane stay at home mom day:

9:15: Drinking coffee, cleaning, fb chatting with a friend about child care…  feel like I am constantly scheduling.  And I am…  since Nathan’s schedule is completely random, we just take it week by week.  Usually he takes the kids overnight 2x/week (from about 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 a.m. because he has to sleep during the day), then we don’t see him 2 days, and the other 3 days he comes over from 5:00 – 7:30 before his night shift begins, so I have enough time to run errands or go to a yoga class.

10:00:  Finally get going to the gym.  I cannot emphasize how important this gym membership has been for my mental and physical health over the past few months.  I do about 45 min. of cardio and 30 min. of core and back exercises.  Thankfully all the back problems I was having over the winter are almost 100% gone.

11:45:  Pick them up from child care – one of my favorite parts of the day, because Aiden is SOOO happy to see me and they run down the hall like the cutest children ever and have fun riding the elevator and then Aiden yells “DIEEEE” and waves to all the people at the front desk on the way out.  Even though he has been able to say “B” words forever, for some reason bye is “DIE”.


We get in the car and are talking about the picnic potluck we’re going to for dinner and Jane asks what I’m making and I say pasta salad and she says can I have the cucumbers on the side and I say no they’ll all be mixed in and she starts WHINING SO DRAMATICALLY “Nooooooo!” And I snap that she should be grateful I’m making a nice dinner and we get to eat the park with our friends.

Then two minutes later she starts talking about what all the clouds looks like, but not to herself, following every statement with “Riiiiight, Mommyyyy?” as is the norm lately and I am very annoyed and say shhhh I can’t look at the clouds I’m driving let’s have some quiet time.

12:00:  We stop at the park right near our house to pick up free lunches given out by the school district.  They give them out to all kids at so many parks in our city, it’s a great program.  I actually don’t care about the “free” part so much as the “I don’t have to prepare anything, wash any dishes, or have another mess in my house” part.

Very happily surprised to run into some of our regular park friends even though this isn’t our “regular” park, so we have good company for lunch.


(side note, usually we hang out at the park in the morning and stay for lunch, but today was a rare day with no extra kids, and I had the kids alone all day, and a potluck planned for dinner, so we did the gym in the morning)

1:00:  Home.

1:20:  Aiden naps, Jane watches a show, I lay in bed for 20 minutes to rest.

1:45:  Jane comes to find me in the kitchen and tells me very emphatically that I must write down that there will be a new Nature Cats show starting on July 11th.

2:10:  I finish taking a shower.

2:20:  Make a salad (spinach, chickpeas, nooch, sauerkraut, and avocado) and sit down to eat.

2:30:  Jane is responsible enough to stop watching tv on her own after 1 hour and joins me in the kitchen.

2:40:  Aiden wakes up after a predictable 1 hr. 15 min. nap.  I’m not complaining, because lots of days we’ve battled the 45 min. nap and then much of the rest of the day is NOT FUN.  But occasionally he sleeps 2 hours and actually wakes up happy and those days are a real treat!

3:45:  Spent the past hour snacking, making dish for potluck, generally getting ready to go…

4:00:  Super antsy to get out of the house, but have almost an hour until we need to go, so we go outside to do some yard work.  Another thing stressing me out is I have no clue how to do yard work and mine is starting to look like shit.  Nathan has been extremely nice to keep helping me out with it, but I feel like I need to make a plan to stay on top of it…

5:00:  Off to the park.  I forgot to take any pictures after lunch today.  It’s a potluck for my sit swap group so the next couple hours fly by talking and chasing toddlers.  The standout event is that I sit directly on a splinter on the wood bench and am convinced it’s lodged in my butt cheek and one of the awesome moms I have only met a handful of times offers to check it out for me.  “Just pull your pants down, I don’t care”.  Hahahaaaa.

7:30:  Home, bedtime routines start.  Aiden doesn’t really have a routine.  I try to get him to read books but he never sits still for them.  I finally just put him in bed with his bottle and he whines for a few minutes and is sleeping.  Jane’s takes a little longer but she’s in bed by 8:30…

8:30:  But it’s taking her forever to sleep tonight.  Her feet are hot (it was not hot out today… lower 70’s)  and she is tired of fanning them, she wants an ice pack.  She wants to sleep on the wood floor, her bed is too hot.  She keeps talking to me from the other room.  Finally falls asleep sometime after 9 p.m.

9:00 – 10:30:  I clean up, have a snack, have some tea, write this post.  Still have to put in all the pictures, but will do that and read a little and go to sleep about 11:00….





And now that it’s Spring, time to recap our last few months.  Nothing much has changed, weekday schedule is usually as follows:  Jane goes to school in the morning, Aiden takes a nap (he just turned 18 mos. and has only consistently dropped the morning nap within the past couple weeks) we pick up Cole on the 3 days we watch him, have lunch, go see friends, come home.  Nathan has been working the night shift, which starts at 8 p.m. so lots of nights he comes over about 5:00 to hang out with the kids while I go to yoga or run errands.

On the weekends we hang out with family a lot, almost every weekend Jane has a sleepover at my mom’s or grandma’s house.

Notable events:

-My sister had her baby!!!  I’m now an auntie.  It’s been interesting seeing the transition to motherhood close up but from an outside perspective – I don’t envy her.  Baby J is healthy but fussy, a lot like Jane was.  I sent her a link to this post I wrote when Jane was 3 weeks old, I’m so happy I kept the blog, otherwise I’d never remember.


-Jane turned 5!  (Wow I have had this blog for a long time.)  Besides the family parties, we celebrated her birthday at a hotel.  Her first time staying in one!  We just had a few friends come for swimming and pizza, then the two of us stayed overnight, it was awesome.

5th bday

-Went to the chiropractor quite a bit.  I’m still wary of them, but this issue was so obviously related to misalignment.  Around x-mas my whole right side, from toes up to neck, started getting sore and it coincided exactly with Aiden getting heavier and me carrying him on my left hip.  This malfunction of my body, even though it wasn’t severe, along with Aiden becoming a toddler…made me think I am really really done with having kids.

-Went to a girls’ weekend (well, I only went for 24 hours due to Nathan’s work schedule), but it is worth mentioning because these ladies are a huge part of my every day life and I don’t know what I’d do without them.


-This is more of a “lack of” notable event – somehow all 3 of us managed to avoid getting sick this winter.  Sure, runny noses and mild coughs and occasional day long fever, but nothing like the flu, norovirus, strep, plague-like things that the rest of the neighborhood seemed to have all the time.  I AM SO THANKFUL!!!  (KNOCK ON WOOD).

What the kids are like right now:

Aiden:  OMG having a toddler is hard.  It crept up on me slowly (he was such an easy baby!)  until I realized he was driving me insane every day.  There is lots and lots of whining, grunting, climbing on things he shouldn’t be, pulling on my leg, pulling on my shirt (still nursing), generally destroying the entire house.




Of course he also has his cute moments.  Basically when he’s not doing any of the above, which is about 5% of the time.  When he sees or hears a dog he says “ooo ahhh ooo ahh ooo” and sounds just like monkey.  He likes to take the sponge and “help clean” and also to throw his empty bottle in the sink.  He likes to yell “no” when doing things like trying to flush the toilet or hitting his sister.  He likes to hit and push Jane whenever she is touching me  =(.  He loves anything stick or sword-like and will hand you one so you’ll “fight” with him.  (No idea where he got this.  He doesn’t watch tv and Jane doesn’t do it.)  He LOVES balls and will play catch as eagerly as a dog.  He has a great arm and will consistently throw directly to you, with force.  He doesn’t have a ton of words yet and doesn’t seem to be adding new ones quickly.  In comparison, Jane had just started speaking in complete sentences at 18 mos.!

Jane:  Is as sweet and helpful as always.  Sometimes I feel like she’s the adult.  She can see immediately when I’m getting frustrated with Aiden and will come over and rub my back.  Lots of times when we’re getting ready to go somewhere I’ll talk out loud what we need to do “Aiden, you need socks”  and the next thing I know Jane will appear with socks for me.


She loves to play with her friends and has gotten really good at reading beginner sorts of books.  She’s always asking me how to spell things and drawing pictures for everyone we know.  I’m so proud of her and really have nothing negative to say.  She has been a little more emotional lately, but only if she’s tired or you try to correct her about something, she’ll cry easily.  Mostly, she’s the perfect kid  =).  It’s still hard for me to be around her all day though, because she constantly wants to talk about well…  5 year old things… which is hard to engage with for a long period of time.  Good thing we get together with friends a lot!

That’s about all, I have to say the winter went a better than I thought it would.  We are already planning ahead for summer…

first day of the season 3-7

Early March, already hanging at the park – I hope my toddler sleeps in the middle of it all like the two in this pic!


I thought a couple days before x-mas seemed an appropriate time as ever to document our Fall…  which has basically stretched until now, we’ve had such mild weather, going to the park in t-shirts into November and no accumulating snowfall.  I’m grateful for it, makes everything a little easier and less depressing with all the cold and darkness and changes in our lives.

They say the first holidays post-divorce (or separation, in my case) are the hardest, but I think Halloween was the hardest for me because it was always sort of “our” holiday.

johnson st halloween

But that is long past and I got through it, as I will the next two weeks and the bleak months of Jan. and Feb., I suppose.

Jane started a pre-k program through the Minneapolis Public Schools where she goes every day from 9-12.  She loves it, I love it.  Our neighbor who has two kids going to the same school and also works mornings there, walks over to pick her up, then she takes the bus home, so I never have to bundle up Aiden to leave the house.  (Thankfully, because it’s a physical struggle these days to get my almost 15 mo. old dressed.)

We are watching a 4 yr. old boy 3 days/wk., so I pick him up from his preschool right before Jane gets off the bus.  Then we have lunch and really our only “inside” activity so far this cold season has been meeting friends at the library for like 1.5 hours before Aiden has to take his second nap around 2:30.

The librarians hate us.  I think they expect a parent to come in with their single child and play with them the whole time.  Instead 3 or 4 of us show up with our herd of children and let them play (in the separate kids area!) amongst themselves while we try to talk.  Yeah once in awhile one of them shrieks loudly or escapes to the lobby, but…  they’re kids!  We have been scolded so many times like schoolchildren ourselves, it’s hard not to laugh.


The mom of the boy I watch just happens to work at my favorite yoga studio so has given me an unlimited pass as partial payment.  I could not be happier with this, because it’s very expensive, and it’s saving my sanity so much right now.  I am still really struggling with the separation and Aiden is going through a tough phase where he’s into everything and absolutely SHRIEKS, like the worst ear piercing sound, if he’s even the tiniest bit frustrated.  So if I know I get to go to yoga at the end of the day it helps so much.  It’s like my therapy, I probably cry at some point during half the sessions, good thing it is dark and everyone is so sweaty you can’t tell.

elsies santa 2

Nathan got his own apartment in Sept. so our finances are worse than ever, considering we were barely able to pay the bills before.  He’s in the middle of a 5 month post-graduation training period where he rides along with another officer and the schedule is completely random.  He just started working nights but luckily the station is close and shift starts at 8:00 p.m. so he can come over before his shift to hang out with the kids so I get a break at the end of my day.

That is life right now.  I used to be such a planner, for the long term future, but I am trying to accept that it’s no longer in my control.  We’ll see what kind of permanent shift Nathan gets in the spring.  We have enough savings to get by until then, but realistically I need to think about getting a job once Jane starts kindergarten and putting Aiden in daycare.  It breaks my heart and I barely have enough energy to make dinner and get the laundry done much less think about a career change, but…  trying not to worry about it too much now.  We’ll see what happens in a few months.



One Year


My sweet, sweet baby.  I was so emotional about him turning one.  He was such an easy baby and I enjoyed it so much this second time around, and it very well might be my last.  This year has gone so fast and been so tumultuous, but I was so lucky to be able to keep staying at home with both my babies.

It’s hard to write this post without a lot of comparison to Jane at this age.  She started doing everything early and he seems to have stayed a baby longer, no complaints on my part!


He started scooting around a few months ago, got pretty fast, and never learned how to crawl.  I wasn’t concerned about that, but then he would hardly ever bear weight on his legs and at almost a year still wasn’t pulling up to stand.  At his year appointment the doc moved his legs all over and said “yup, looks like he’s double jointed in his knees and hips.  great if he wants to be a gymnast, but not so easy to learn to stand.”

He learned immediately after that and now it’s all he wants to do  =).  Usually at the park (park meaning our three hour sessions where adults sit on picnic blankets and kids ideally go play) he sits right by me, sometimes playing in the grass, sometimes crawling all over me, until I finally get him to nap somehow and get a break.  But today, for the first time ever, he scooted himself all the way across the playground to where the big kids were, pulling himself up on the toys and bottom of the slides, and was happy like that for the better part of an hour.  I couldn’t stop staring, couldn’t believe it, my baby suddenly off on his own!


Words:  His favorite word is Da Deeeee, which he says whenever he is excited about anything, but especially when he sees Nathan.  He lunges out of my arms to get to him, it is so sweet.  Next favorite word is “down!”.  He’ll throw something down and say it, and if you act astonished and say “oh!  you threw it down!”  and give it back he’ll laugh so hard and do it over and over again.  We sit on the bed in the morning and I’ll say “Aiden down?” and he’ll get the cutest mischievous look on his face and fall over, so proud of himself for the joke.

He also babbles “Mamama” and we have heard him say “light” and “balloon” and “hi” but that’s all I can think of now.

Sleep is ok, he goes to bed about 6:30 or 7:00, now always falling asleep with a bottle.  He wakes up about 3:30 a.m. and it’s been awhile (couple months?) since I’ve been able to nurse him back to sleep.  He’ll nurse, but scream when I put him back in the crib, so I’ve been making a bottle then out of desperation even though I know he doesn’t need it and it’s a bad habit to get into.  Sometimes he also wakes very early a.m., pre 6:00 when I know he isn’t rested so I do the same thing then.  Now that I’m writing it out this seems excessive and is very disruptive to my sleep so I should try to remedy that…

Other than nighttime he takes a consistent 1 hr. 15 min. nap two hours after waking up, and usually an afternoon nap but it’s also usually on the go so gets cut short – he’ll fall asleep in the car but not for longer than 30-45 minutes.

Aiden 1 yr

He still doesn’t have any teeth!  But I’ve started giving him all the real people food just in softer form.  He’s not picky but seems to have lost interest in bland things like cheerios, meanwhile will happily eat tangy garlic hummus or curried tofu.

Of course he loves his sister so much, but who wouldn’t?  She is so sweet and funny and mature – she really does help take care of him and is always watching out for him.  I hear my voice in hers, she’ll reprimand him, “Aiden, no, that is not a toy!” and always make sure to put the roll of toilet paper or whatever out of reach.  Today he dumped a bag of magnetic letters all over the floor, most of which were safe to play with but there were a few random smaller magnets in the bottom I hadn’t noticed.  When I went into Jane’s room I saw that she had separated every one of the dozen or so smaller magnets out of the mess and put them up where he couldn’t reach.  She makes me such a proud and happy mama!!

(How were they ever this small?!)


One last thing I want to note about Aiden that I hope he never stops doing – laying his head on my chest whenever he is tired or feeling shy.  This is probably such a common baby thing to do, but I don’t remember Jane doing it, and my heart my fills with love every time it happens, I can hardly help saying out loud “ohhhh, my baby”.

It was my favorite when he was a newborn too, seems like so long ago:



It flew by, of course. I wanted to get down at least one day in the life to capture it. I recorded this more than a month ago:

Thursday, August 13th

Me:  Almost 33.  Jane:  Almost 4.5  Aiden:  10.5 months

6:00 a.m.:  Aiden’s up.  Our current sleeping arrangement is his crib right next to my bed, so this means I’m up too.  Way too early for me, I’ve been hoping to somehow get his wakeup time closer to 7:00 but for now…  I’ve had a lot more 9:30 p.m. bedtimes than I ever thought I would.  He also still wakes once during the night but goes back to sleep right away if I nurse him.

6:45:  Move into the kitchen after nursing in bed awhile then playing in the living room.  (Well, me snoozing on the couch while hoping Aiden entertains himself for as long as possible.)

He doesn't crawl, just butt scoots.

He doesn’t crawl, just butt scoots.

6:55:  Jane gets up and still wearing this watch some grandma gave her the day before, talking immediately about how it says a different time than the kitchen clock.  She’s really into telling time and is pretty good at it!


7:00:  Trying to wash my face, but everyone is in the bathroom with me and Aiden is currently obsessed with putting his hands on the toilet.  At least he hasn’t started to pull up on things yet.

7:15:  Feed AD breakfast – oatmeal with pureed fruit.  Still no teeth!

7:30:  Jane gets her morning show (something 25 minutes off pbs kids) with starter breakfast of cheerios and milk, I clean the kitchen and cut up a cantaloupe for the park later.  AD starts getting fussy and I put him in the jumper.


8:00:  Jane and Aiden play together (she is still such an amazing big sister, always helpful and makes the baby laugh like no one else), I make a pot of quinoa for later, and browse this Simply Natural Baby Food book because Aiden is SO into solids lately and I’ve forgotten what I used to feed Jane at this age.


8:20:  Tell Jane we need to make a card and pick a birthday present for one of our best friend’s parties tomorrow.  I love this group of friends so much, it’s standard practice for us to tell the kids to pick one of their own toys to give away for someone’s birthday present.  It’s frugal, a nice lesson for the kids, and saves us a trip to the store!

8:30:  Jane gets her real breakfast of oatmeal, pb, flax, molasses, and fruit.

8:40:  Aiden is very ready for his morning nap.  My supply seems to have gone down with starting solids, but he’s still so hungry we’re supplementing with formula, just like with Jane.  I make his bottle and Jane says “Mama, I can carry that bottle, since you’re carrying a baby.”  Soooo sweet!  She always needs to give him a kiss goodnight before his nap too.

9:00:  Get in the shower.  Jane comes in to say “Mom know what?” for like the 50th time this morning.  I’m really ready for school to start.

9:20:  Out of shower, drink coffee, chat with a friend about swapping child care on FB.

9:35:  Talk on the phone to another friend.

9:45:  Jane gets picked up for a 4 day summer school session, which she’s going to with the 5 yr. old we’re watching about 4 days/wk. this summer.  The other girl’s parents bring them to the class and then I pick them up and watch their daughter for the rest of the day.

10:00:  Aiden wakes up.

Selfie in my at home lounge clothes. I wear these shorts pretty much every day.

Selfie in my at home lounge clothes. I wear these shorts pretty much every day.

11:30:  A friend through my child care swap group drops off her daughter, same age as Jane, then we leave shortly after to pick up the other two girls and go to the park.  (My life is so full of kids!)

The Park is the same one we always go to, our home away from home for the past three summers.  We probably spend at least 2-3 hours here about three times per week.  It’s the kind of place where you don’t really have to make plans to meet people, but you know at least a couple of your friends will be there.  I can’t describe how much I love our neighborhood and the community of parents here.

Kids running to line up for the food truck.

Kids running to line up for the food truck.





^Don’t let babies push babies in strollers  😉

2:30:  Home from the park.

Notes get spotty here.  I probably let the girls watch a show to have a rest.  Their parents come to pick them up about 4:00 and 4:30.

5:00:  Nathan comes over after work.  I suppose this is where I mention he no longer lives with us.  It’s not something I feel comfortable going into detail about on the blog, but basically he announced suddenly at the beginning of Feb. that he didn’t want to be married anymore.  Nothing I did could change his mind.  He moved out at the beginning of the summer.  It’s been rough, of course, but we’ve settled into a routine where he comes over to help with bedtime a few nights a week and lately things have been mostly amicable.

5:30:  Nathan takes the kids to his gym.

5:45:  I leave on my bike to go to yoga.

6:30:  Yoga.

7:30:  Yoga done and bike to the co-op for some groceries.  It’s Thursday and our regular girls’ night at the neighborhood bar, but I’m resisting their texts because I have a bunch of plans over the next 3 days for my birthday weekend and don’t want to be tired.

8:40:  Home, put groceries away, shower, eat (quinoa/kale/hummus/nooch/sauerkraut bowl), play on the internet, go to bed.