Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oh, Heeyyyyyy There.

Here are a few things I'd like to talk about:

What is UP with March and February having matched up dates and days of the week? It is making life confusing yet also making it easier to remember what day of the week certain dates fall on. But I keep flipping back and forth in my planner and forgetting which month I'm on.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it on here or not, but I found a crazy deal on flights to Phoenix and we booked a spring break trip to Arizona (in March). We'll stay with my aunt and uncle in Scottsdale, meet up with friends from Kansas City who will also be in Phoenix to watch some spring training games, and meet up with friends who are moving to Scottsdale and will be there to scope it out. I'm really looking forward to it--I think the girls are at a pretty easy travel stage and we should have a good time.

I swear I don't compare my kids except to marvel at how special and unique each of them is, but you guys, Coco in general is SO MUCH more chill than Zuzu. That's not to say that she doesn't have her moments, but Coco at age 2 is at least as easy as Zuzu at age 4, so that pretty much sums it up. Traveling with 2 year old Zuzu was dicey. Traveling with 2 year old Coco is going to be a cake walk.

(I hope those aren't famous last words... knocking on wood now).

I forgot to mention these when I was talking about favorite things around the house:

These light switch extenders do exactly what their name suggests--they extend down from the switch so your kid can turn on and off the light herself. At first I thought $20 for a 3-pack of glow-in-the-dark plastic moons on sticks was a bit steep. But I got so tired of "Moooooooooom, can you turn on the light?" and lights being left on all the time. So I ordered these and installed one in each of the girl's rooms and one in the bathroom. Game changer! It took a few days for David and I to get used to them, but now I don't even notice them.

I'm working on having my kids be more independent (Montessori school sent home an article about it). I know they are very capable, I just either get impatient or want to avoid a mess and so I intervene. But I'm really trying to step back from that. I bought a small glass pitcher (with a lid) for milk that I put in the fridge so they can pour their own without trying to lift the heavy gallon, and moved their cups to a kid-accessible cabinet. (This summer, they'll be cooking their own breakfast--I just have to figure out the best way for them to access the microwave for oatmeal and frozen pancakes since it's mounted above the stove...).

I finally saw Hidden Figures--I ended up going with friends to a Saturday morning show at 10:25am! It was great because I had a leisurely morning but after the movie I still had my whole day to be productive.

(Although, on this particular day, "productive" meant taking a tired and cranky four-year-old shopping for new athletic shoes. Is anyone surprised that this did not end well and we came home with zero new shoes? The little turkey flat out refused to try on any shoes that weren't pink and insisted on wearing pink tennis shoes to school today that are a size too small. After a tearful meltdown when I refused to spend $30 on a hideous silver pair that featured two characters from a cartoon that she has never actually seen, I was so fed up that I came home and ordered a few different pairs of shoes for her to try on and keep/reject at home.)

Saturday night, David and I saw Something Rotten at the Fox which was especially fun for me since I'm teaching Shakespeare this semester ("He's the Will of the people!"). We also ate at a nearby restaurant where we'd eaten a couple months ago before another show and split a pizza and a bottle of wine. It was really great, and it made me think about where I am on the spectrum of wanting novelty or wanting familiarity. I choose familiarity/predictability over novelty a LOT, you guys.

I don't know if it's because life in general feels busy, or if it's especially because the political climate makes me anxious, or if it's still a holdover from grief/trauma. Even when it comes to fun stuff, I'm just more apt to choose a place I've already been, a restaurant I know I like, and even order the same thing off the menu. Even the clothes I buy are starting to look the same--shirts in the same style or color or pattern (how much navy blue does the average person have in their closet?). I order the same flavor concrete every time I got to Ted Drewes (the All Shook Up--Reese's peanutbutter cups and banana). Am I just boring?

I'm not sure if it's a habit I need to resist, or something I can just rest in for the time being. I think especially because I'm making an effort to do more and do new things when it comes to political activism and social justice, I am not going to worry too much about the fact that I'm basically a boring person who enjoys routine.

In that regard: Despite the fact that I don't like talking on the phone to people I don't know, I've been calling my senators almost every day. I've found the website 5 Calls to be really helpful if you're not sure what issues are currently being discussed in Congress, or what exactly you want to say about them. You enter your zip code and then choose from the sidebar what you want to express your opinion about.

I called Roy Blunt on Friday to see if he would be holding a Town Hall meeting in St. Louis over the President's Day recess. He is only holding one online--on Twitter or Facebook. I think that stinks because it means he is unavailable to constituents like me who don't participate in those social media, and it stinks because he seems unwilling to meet his constituents face to face to answer questions and concerns about really BIG and important things that his party is pushing for--like repealing Affordable Care. But I now have his office (and Claire McCaskill's) on speed dial, and I leave a voicemail to talk or someone in their offices almost every day. It's going from an uncomfortable novelty to a familiar habit!

Politics aside, where you stand on the novelty/familiarity spectrum? Are you a creature of habit, or do you seek new adventures?


  1. The matching dates made me INSANE when I was doing syllabi because I was sure that I was screwing everything up. I, too, call my reps EVERYDAY, and I love the habit!!

  2. I find that since having little ones at home I too am more boring with my life choices. I blame it on being too tired to be adventurous. I am optimistically calling it a phase, rather than my new normal.

  3. After more than a decade of change being our only constant - I mean 13 years of moving house and frequently state every. single. year - we've finally been in one place for 2.5 years, and I feel like the experience of having favorites (local restaurants, particular shops and programs) has been such a soothing, comfortable thing for us all. Aaaaaand... I'm so ready to move to somewhere new and try different things, I can't stand the idea of being here for another full year.. except that I can. Lol. Bc it's SO nice to know what's going to happen next, and that it's almost certainly going to be something I like!

    (If you read the first part of my comment in a slow, soothing voice, and then speed up to a slightly maniacal speed at the "Aaaaaand"... then sllloooowww back down at "except," that's not only how it sounded in my brain, but also how it feels to do those things in my life... ;) )

  4. We have been in the same house for nearly 12 years, and Greg laughs at me because I must follow the same routine every night to sleep well (wash face, brush teeth, put on hand lotion and chapstick, insert ear plugs, read). I read the Dinner: A Love Story blog, and she has been talking about rituals for the past year. It's fun to frame things that way. I used to feel bored with our Sunday morning pancake breakfasts, but now I think of it as a little ritual I want to pass down to the kids.

    Despite my obsession with routine, I do love to travel, try news foods, sign up for new volunteer jobs. I've felt really stagnant in my life for a couple of years, and I'm working to try to make some big changes. It is hard though!

    1. Ritual is a much better way to frame this. I like it!