Sunday, August 21, 2022

Fall Wardrobe Ideas

*Note: This content is not created by me; it was the work of a consultant I paid.



Sloan 100% Wool Long Sleeve Crew

Other colors and options available on this page

Betabrand black sheep wrap sweater

This is the wrap sweater I have even in the same size. However, because it is on Poshmark, it is not returnable.

Women's Nonstop Convertible Sweater Cardi-Wrap

A belted cardigan. And it has pockets!  This is mostly polyester versus wool (less temperature regulating).


Hope & Henry Women's Corduroy Button Front Skirt

Daily Ritual Women's Terry Cotton and Modal Drawstring Sweatshirt Skirt

Perhaps a good skirt for just hanging around the house

Or this skort might be another option – especially with kids around or sitting on the bed.

Boot-Cut | Six-Button Dress Pant Yoga Pants (Black)

Comfy pants for home, conferences, or the labs. There are other options on this site as well.

7/8th Pocket Legging

They also have a full-length legging without a pocket. This is the same brand as the merino long sleeve tee.


Square-Toe Heeled Oxfords

Thought these might work for conferences, though not sure you’ll like the heel. These are the knit uppers. Different colors available, and other styles, too.

*Note: This content is not created by me; it was the work of a consultant I paid.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Dining Room Moodboards

 Sources for Version A:

Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Bear at Age 7

A. His Schedule – He likes to sleep in and stay up late. In the summer (a school-free and low-stress time), he's been going to bed at 9 p.m. (sometimes even later) and waking at 8:15 a.m., then leaving for camp at 8:30 a.m. He doesn't want to go to bed alone so he'll frequently try to convince his dad and that we should go to bed when he does.

B. His Size – He's wearing size 7 clothes and size 1.5 shoes (size 1 soccer cleats though).

C. His Personality – It's so hard to pin doesn his personality since he's a complicated guy. At heart, I think he's a good person, but he feels his emotions strongly, and sometimes his actions don't match his heart. He's funny, creative, motivated, and clever, but also defensive and skeptical.

D. His Favorite Things
  • Colors: His favorite colors are red, rainbow, and gold.
  • Shows and Movies: He likes watching Aphmau and other YouTube gamers. He still likes Troll Hunters. He tries to avoid liking anything that his younger sister enjoys watching.
  • Books: His learning to read is delayed, likely due to a learning disability such as Dyslexia. He currently likes being read a book about pirates.
  • Toys and Play: He had a watergun-themed birthday party, so I'd say he likes waterguns/waterballoons in addition to Nerf guns. He really wants to build things. He keeps wanting me to search for "buiding supplies" on Amazon.
  • Art: He likes creating art. He uses a lot of colors when he does. He built a pretty interesting shark out of Model Magic clay this week.
  • Activities: He is an active guy except for when he is on his computer, in which case he hyper-focuses. In addition to video games, he likes to swim.
  • Time of Day: I'd say he's a night owl.
  • Bedding: He likes sharing my fleece blanket which is super soft and has rainbow ice cream cones on it. Yesterday, he received a blue tie-dye fleece blanket that he likes. We're still in the habbit of using only blankets and fitted sheets without flat sheets (aka top sheets).
  • Clothing: He is somewhat creative with his clothing, prefering to stand out. Today he wore an orange long-sleeved flannel button-up shirt to soccer. In summer. I think he chose it simply because he was sure that no one else would be wearing anything similar.
  • Foods: He's a pretty picky eater but some things he likes are milk, fruit, chips, spaghetti, and rice. He used to like fries but even those have lost some appeal for him.
  • Animals: He likes our pets, especially our cat. He will make our pet rabbit a "bunny salad" (it's mostly lettuce and carrots). He hugs our dog. I don't know if he has a "favorite" animal but I'll ask him.
  • Heroes/Characters: The Hulk. Definitely The Hulk. Sometimes he gets to play as Hulk in the Lego Avengers video game we have for the XBox. I think he likes Iron Man too.
E. Things He Does Not Like – He would rather lead than follow. So, I'd say "following" is disliked. I think he enjoys being a contrarian - he still dislikes pizza and chocolate. I think he knows that he's not catching on with regard to reading as much as his classmates (the school told us he seems to "be aware") and I think that bothers him deeply.

F. What He’s Thinking About – In his free time, when he's not deeply involved in his laptop or with the TV or XBox, he likes to think about buiding a Nerf base in our yard. It makes me sad to think that this will never become a reality for him - he's not going to be seven forever and eventually he'll grow out of this dream before we have the bandwidth and money to make it happen.

G. Surprises – It's somewhat surprising just how different each one of my kids' personalities is from the others. I would say that he gets along best with his older brother (SeriousKiddo) and gets along least well with his younger sister (Rosie). She says he's "so mean" to her, but really I think it's just that he wants to control her, and like any headstrong lady, she opposes this.

H. Best & Worst Things –
  • The best thing(s): He seems to like/love me. And he doesn't mind showing it. I know eventually, there will be a period where he distances himself from me (does it happen at 11? or 10?), but right now, he seems to think I'm cool enough to hang out with, even in front of his friends.
  • The worst thing(s): I wish he could read like his classmates. I know that he'll find professional success eventually - he's too smart not to. But the feeling of being "less than" is probably pretty painful for him.

I. Family and Friends – I feel weirdly unmoored to this area at this point. Some of my closest friends have moved away. I spend less time with my folks than I used to. I love our street and our neighbors. But at the same time, I long for a larger house that I can customize (it's hard to justify customizing a rental, e.g. paying to have the rooms painted). I don't know how to get to feeling a stronger sense of community both for myself and my kids. Is moving the answer? Or do I just have to lean in a little more? I've leaned in plenty over the years, but people always wind up moving away or getting too busy just the same. There's a community pool that I could join that might help? But it's so very expensive. And I could join the PTA. But that just seems like a fundraising operation, and I have very little to give in the way of funds or time right now.

J. Parenting or What I’m Doing Differently – I would say that the older I get, the more chill I get as a parent. At this point, very little phases me. I'm also a lot less apologetic about making parenting choices that I believe are the best for my kids, even if those choices are inconvenient for other people.

K. Milestones – He's about to lose his first tooth. It's pretty darned jiggly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

"The Chonker" at 19 Months Old

A. His Schedule – He usually wakes up at around 7 a.m. and goes to sleep for the night around 7:30 p.m. He takes a long morning nap at about 10 a.m. and usually does not wake until after 12:00 p.m.

B. His Size – He's wearing size 24-month clothes and size 6 shoes (though he's almost outgrown them). Currently, he's wearing size 5 Pampers.

C. His Personality – He is a charming fellow. He's so friendly. He greets everything and everyone with a smile, unless he's feeling hot (which can happen in our climate in the humid summer). As long as he is well-fed and well-rested, he's very content to just hang out and try to emulate the big kids, including sitting at the bench for meals, sitting on the couch, and feeding himself. We continue to affectionately call him "the Chonker" because he's both very interested in food and pretty sporty - he's learned to say the word "ball" before many other words.

D. His Favorite Things
  • Colors: He looks good in green and yellow.
  • Shows and Movies: He loves listening to music and therefore he loves Cocomelon.
  • Books: He sometimes tries to turn the pages of books like his oldest brother does. He would rather fumble with the pages than get help from an adult or listen to the story itself being read to him.
  • Toys and Play: He still seems to derive a lot of joy out of listening to his mobile. His other favorite toys include anything that is like a sword or a ball (especially softballs) and a pretend guitar which plays a random tune.
  • Art: He cannot be trusted with magic markers; ask me how I know.
  • Activities: He enjoys the company of others and doesn't like it when his people separate, e.g. if one of us goes downstairs.
  • Words: He reliably says "maam" (for "mom"), "daa" (for "dad"), "no," "ball," and "caa" (for "cat"). He seems to understand a lot and he says more words, but unreliably. 
  • Time of Day: He likes the early morning right when he wakes up. He also likes any time of day that involves being outdoors.
  • Bedding: He loves a mint-colored baby blanket from Target and recognizes that it is his (he will hug it when he sees it).
  • Clothing: He is rocking shorts and a t-shirt on most days. It's a treat to see his chubby, tanned legs.
  • Foods: He loves self-feeding, and enjoys berries, applesauce in a squeeze-pack, fruit snacks, Fruit by the Foot, and fries. He will try most foods and seems to like almost all foods except bread.
  • Animals: He likes our dog, he is obsessed with our cat and follows him around, and he is good friends with our pet bunny. He's really a kind, gentle little guy.
  • Heroes/Characters: I can't say.
E. Things He Does Not Like – He does not like seeing his people leave (e.g. me leaving the house to head to the grocery store). He also does not like it when items are taken away from him, such as the broom (it is kind of like a sword from his perspective, I think). He also does not seem particularly fond of swimming pools.

F. What He’s Thinking About – I don't know he's thinking about, but he's frequently smiling, revealing an adorable dimple on only one cheek.

G. Surprises – I guess it never ceases to amaze me how different each one of our kids' personalities is from the others. They truly are unique.

H. Best & Worst Things –
  • The best thing(s): Spending time with him - he's so cuddly.
  • The worst thing(s): I guess there's always going to be parental guilt for not being able to do or provide more for your kids. I wish I had more time to hang out with him.
I. Family and Friends – Right now, his social circle is basically our social circle. He has a couple of little cousins up north that are about his age - maybe they will be pals when they're older.

J. Parenting or What I’m Doing Differently
 – In general, I'm a more relaxed parent now than when we just had one or two, due in large part to having "been there and done that" and thus not being surprised or overwhelmed by new situations. I am trying to use the Lazy Genius system to focus in on what's important - this summer, to me that seems like nature hikes and going to the pool with my family.

K. Milestones – He started walking at the very end of April (so just over 16 months old) and now he can run.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Rosie at Age 4

A. Her Schedule – She seems like an early bird and a party animal. She'll wake up as soon as she hears anyone else is up (approximately 6:30 a.m.) and she usually takes a nap at 2 p.m. and goes to bed at 8 p.m. with coercion. Left to her own devices, she'd never go to sleep.

B. Her Size – She's wearing size 6 clothing but it's a little big on her. She's wearing size 11 shoes and they're getting tight.

C. Her Personality – She is a pretty outgoing, friendly child, who loves taking care of younger kids like she's a mommy. Her biggest interests currently seem to be 1. babies, and 2. puppies.

D. Her Favorite Things
  • Colors: Pink, red and turquoise.
  • Shows and Movies: She really likes Encanto and Turing Red.
  • Books: She has quite a few books on ponies.
  • Toys and Play: She likes sensory toys (kinetic sand, Play Doh, etc.) and tiny toys (dollhouse stuff, Calico Critters, tiny surprise toys from bath bombs, Barbie pets, etc.).
  • Art: She likes drawing and colors.
  • Activities: She is a social butterfly. She shows a preference towards playing with girls. She loves pending time with her biggest brother and her little brother.
  • Time of Day: She is an early bird.
  • Bedding: She has a pink blanket with birds on it and a rainbow-colored pillow.
  • Clothing: She'll wear anything but she tends to be a girlie-girl. Think pink cowgirl boots, leggings, and a t-shirt with flowers on it.
  • Foods: Besides milk, she likes chocolate chips, Oreos, Fruit by the Foot (which she calls "Fruit by the Toe"), and fruit snacks shaped like Scooby Doo.
  • Animals: She likes puppies, birds, and rabbits.
  • Heroes/Characters: Probably the red panda Mei from Turing Red.
E. Things She Does Not Like – Bedtime. Foods that are not her favorite foods.

F. What She’s Thinking About – She loves spending time with her grandparents and her little brother. She also adores her oldest brother because he's nice to her and tolerant with her.

G. Surprises – I'm kind of surprised she likes blue, even though it's my favorite, because she's such a girlie girl. I'm also surprised she's not more into jewelry - if I give her some, she either breaks it immediately by being rough with it, or forgets about it.

H. Best & Worst Things –
  • The best thing(s): She's a pretty happy person most of the time.
  • The worst thing(s): 1. She does not get along with our six-year-old - she calls him "mean" and he calls her "annoying." 2. She talks nonstop all day. 3. She has a pretty dramatic temper she she doesn't get her way (she gets so loud, huffing and puffing all over the house, stomping, and tossing items).
I. Family and Friends – She is getting to be good friends with the neighbor's daughters. I wish I saw my friends with kids more often so that she could get closer to their kids too.

J. Parenting or What I’m Doing Differently
 – I'm really loving the home-based childcare provider we have. I'm getting pressured to move her into a group daycare center, but I've had many unpleasant experiences with those with my older children (stress and overcrowding).

K. Milestones – She's learning to ride a balance bike.