I spend 24 hours alone and this is what happened

I just booked a hotel room for two nights in November. The hotel is about 5 minutes from my house. I will go for one night of utter solitude and then hand it off to Nick to take a night away from home. If it is in your means and you have also not been alone in 7 months, I recommend a 24 hour retreat. I can make this recommendation from my vast experience having done it for the first time 4 days ago. Here's a sampling of what I did during my 24-hour retreat: Wrote uninterrupted for several hours. Watched a documentary about Abraham Lincoln. Watched MTV's Ghosted, because I'm both high brow and low brow. Watched CNN because I am pretty middle brow too, if we're honest. Ordered a steak dinner and ate it in courses over the entire evening. Ate 6 Reese's cups (which are banned in our house due to allergy). Set an alarm for 10 a.m., the latest I could possibly sleep. (Woke up at 8 a.m. anyway.) Made every decision considering only what I wanted and not the wants and needs

What if

What if I turned this site in to a daily personal journal that no one reads instead of trying to keep it as a professional base that I never update? I mean, I can do what I want. Remember when blogging was different?

Day 5 of social isolation; Day 3 of no contact outside of household

Which day am I counting from? Day 5 since the world changed (for us) or Day 3 since our last possible exposure to the virus? Once we get into double-digit days it won't make much difference, will it. I thought I would use this blog for something, just a quick list of what's going on with us. 1. I'm ordering a dough hook so we can make bread. We have a subscription to ATK's Young Chef's Club  (not sponsored). When I signed up a few months ago, I thought it would be a good way to extend Lizzie's feeding and sensory therapy. Now... 2. Lizzie's therapy is suspended until this virus passes. She has come so far in the last 6 months with preschool and extra therapy. She will keep growing. I just wish... 3. She could be with her friends, teachers, and therapists. She asks about them every day. At least... 4. Mamie was able to Zoom with her teacher and class yesterday. I know her school is going to develop the best remote learning set up we could ask for. A

Happy Birthday Jelly Head

This weekend we celebrate Mamie's 6th birthday... how did that happen? It just happens. We cry and fight and make up songs. We learn to be brave together. And then you wake up on a Sunday morning and you have a 6-year-old in Hogwarts pajamas. A few years ago, I got to share how we decided to name/nickname Mamie. I Love My Kid's Unusual Name When she started kindergarten this year, her nickname was all but slayed by bureaucratic forms. Despite me only ever referring to her as Mamie, her school adults only ever call her Mary. I wanted to defend her at first, speak up for using her preferred name! Then she said, "No, I like Mary." And I thought, W ell why shouldn't she? It's the name we gave her.  So I guess we've adopted the compromise that many families of nicknamed kids have -- she is Mary at school and Mamie everywhere else. And I'm leaving it entirely up to her what she is called. She prefers not to be called Jelly Head, and I'm tryin

It's still hard to live far away from family, but here's what's different

Four years ago, I wrote about parenting without family nearby for Good Housekeeping: I Wish We Were Raising Our Daughter Closer to Family Now we have a second daughter, and we are still many many miles from their grandparents. It doesn't seem as hard now, and here's why: Grandparents and other family take the time and energy to visit us several times a year. Not more than a few months go by without someone bunking in our guest room, and the girls know and love all of their family. We make those trips too. When we haul these kids 12+ hours in the car, we like to stay a few weeks and make ourselves at home. Thankfully, we are always welcome. The girls' aunt is now only a few hours away. It makes such a difference to know someone is "close". For the kids, long distance relationships are the norm. They know how to FaceTime, and take full advantage of their grandparents' attention.  We've made "family" here. Friends turn into confidants, s

What I'm Reading: A Book That Takes Its Time and everything FLOW

A Book That Takes Its Time  from the editors of Flow Magazine ...and I am very much taking my time to read it. "Read" is not even the right word. I'm consuming it? Completing it? Frankly, I'm reading a few pages every few weeks and snipping, noting, and pondering as I go. I'm obsessed with everything from Flow -- the magazine itself, the annual Book for Paper Lovers, all the special editions and doodads. It is for people who love paper, graphic design, journaling, slowing down, planning, and quirky Euro vibes.

What I'm reading today

Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids by   Rebecca P. Cohen My kids don't need much excuse to get outside, but this helps me do it. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by   T Kira Madden This makes me want to be a better writer. The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion: The Essential Guide from the World's Most Famous Fabric Store by   Johnny Miller   (Photographer) ,    Tim Gunn   (Foreword) I bought this at Mood on a girls' trip to NYC a few years ago. It makes me want to be creative. Inspection by   Josh Malerman From the author of Bird Box; I'm listening to this one while I fold laundry this weekend.