Things I Can Accomplish When I Don’t Work for a Week

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I took all of last week off work because it was the week of Jacob’s birthday and I hadn’t taken a week straight of vacation time since last year for his birthday so I felt like I was long overdue. Long weekends are nice and all but I think every once in awhile it takes a full week of disconnecting to come back feeling refreshed. The jury is still out on whether I feel refreshed, but back to it I have to go anyway!

We had no plans to leave town the whole week so I had been adding to what I refer to as my adulting to do list for a few weeks, but really wouldn’t have felt one bit guilty if the only thing I accomplished all week was having fun with my guys. I’m happy to be able to report that I made it about halfway through my adulting to do list with things like getting Jacob’s 2 year well check appointment in, getting an oil change for my car, and finally dropping off the car load of stuff at Goodwill that I’d been driving around with for a week. For fun though, here are a few things I’m proud of accomplishing that weren’t a part of the list!

1. Bake a cake. I don’t really enjoy baking but the bug bit me for Jacob’s birthday. The recipe was easy (important for my skill level) and allergy friendly – I’ll share it soon!

2. Watch the entire season of Stranger Things. I’d been wanting to watch the Netflix series for awhile but the whole work and not being able to stay awake past 9:30pm deal made that difficult. On the days my husband took off work too, this is how we spent Jacob’s naptime. Feeling late to the party, but glad we finally got to watch it. Weird show, but that’s the point so if that’s your thing then I’d recommend it. My husband described it as a combination of X-Files and ET which is probably pretty accurate!

3. Learn how to work the Roku. I’ll admit that I’m one of those moms who thought she wouldn’t rely on screen time, but with a busy toddler I just find myself giving into it especially in the mornings when I just want to move slowly and drink my coffee in peace. Plus it increases the chances that he’ll curl up with me. 😉 So last week I finally learned how to use the Roku remote to turn on his beloved choo-choos (Chuggington) before we’d get ready to get out of the house and go do something fun.

4. Paint my nails on only one hand – true story. But don’t worry, it’s just clear nail strengthener. I finally took off my chipped nail polish and decided to give my nails a bit of a break with just some nail strengthener. I made it through one hand during bathtime and then just never made it back to the other one which is probably a whole new special kind of lazy, even for me.

5. Have enough energy to stay up past my no later than 10pm bedtime. The work week grind had been leaving me ready to throw in the towel and head to bed by around 9:30 each night, and while usually keeping up with an active toddler is more physically exhausting I found myself willing and able to stay up and it became a regular thing to stay up later (for me, we’re still talking in bed by 11 most nights here!). Positives of that include more quality time together. Negatives include that if I don’t revert right back that I will probably be hurting this week!

6. Took a 5 minute nap. I’ve never been much of a napper, not even back in college. I feel like my approach is usually just once I’m up, I’m up for the day and I’d rather just go to bed earlier that night. But on my last vacation day of the week I decided to drift off while Jacob was taking his nap, only to be startled awake from the sound of a kid crying on a commercial thinking it was him. Still a win in my book.

Currently

Finally feeling a little bit inspired and able to function after kicking bronchitis and the most annoying cough ever and being on day 3 of a week long vacation with nowhere to be but our own city! To celebrate I’m linking up for Currently with Anne and Catherine

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Discovering

That as much as I love hanging out with my kid, that alone time with my husband is really really fun too. It took us two years, but we finally had a night away by ourselves in Cleveland for a Cavs game. Finding a really great deal on hotwire sealed the overnight deal rather than drive back to my in-laws house that night, and man it was appreciated. A view like this from our room (and a 32nd floor rooftop bar with an outdoor patio) made it really easy to feel good about being away.

Celebrating

I was really hoping I’d be able to say a World Series title for the Cleveland Indians for my life long fan of a husband, but judging by the current score I’m going to say that’s not very likely – I’ll gladly be wrong though! So instead we’re watching Stranger Things and I wrapped presents and blew up balloons in preparation for Jacob’s birthday tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he walks downstairs in the morning.

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Starting

To read again! A good magazine for leisure, and I just picked up Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. I’m not very far into it so far but it’s been nice to do some reading after I put Jacob down for the night, while my husband watches about every sport televised right now – with football season in full swing, professional basketball just starting, and his beloved Cleveland Indians being in the World Series hes had plenty of options to keep us busy!

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Wearing

Buying cute new flats for the fall has held off the urge to wear boots as soon as October hit so if it’s during the work week it’s been skinny jeans (they recently approved a year round jeans policy at work!) with one of these pairs of shoes (I have all 3 colors) and probably a black tee and some kind of sweater. I’m working on a post to show you what I live in on the weekends, but think mostly distressed denim. Here’s an example of how the I merged the two, even if it was only done by force due to forgetting my sneakers for a weekend away.

Googling

Looking at the google search history on my phone kind of makes me laugh. Right now there’s lots of Cleveland related things from our little overnight getting away there last weekend, like our hotel location and lots of things food and drink related. Funny ones in there include one to convert something from military time, how the Munchkin 360 cup works (because I seriously got that thing out of the package and then couldn’t figure out how kids get the drink out of it, not my finest moment), ninja turtle names because my mom and I were trying to remember all of them, and lastly the trash pick up schedule. Why I can’t keep it straight is beyond me!

7 Things

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Linking up for 7 Quick Takes because…

1. When you’ve been sick for almost two weeks with what you thought was just a cold but really turned into bronchitis, then just throwing a few random thoughts out there feels like the best way to get back into blogging.

2. But it did earn me a day off work where I spent the entire afternoon curled up on the couch, doing nothing but watching the Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix, reading a magazine, painting my nails, and eating chocolate covered marshmallows from Trader Joe’s. So basically bronchitis = a vacation. Totally not worth it.

3. Jacob “decorated” the pumpkin pictured above with my mom a few weeks ago and now the kid loves pumpkins. He gets really excited now if he sees them and most days says “bye punkin!” to the one on our porch as we pull out of the driveway to head to daycare. Definitely in a cute season of toddler-hood right now!

4. File this under strange sightings, but yesterday on my drive home from work I saw a guy riding this thing down the road. I can’t say I knew that a moving elliptical was even a thing.

5. I mentioned that I did my nails, and I picked up the tip from Jolie’s IG stories a little while back to use Orly bonder base and then the Seche Vite top coat for nails that’ll last about a week. Bought it, did it, and the first round did last a full week. We’ll see how this round does, but so far I’m convinced that she’s onto something!

6. I wore the first blanket scarf of the season on a particularly chilly morning this week and for whatever reason I feel like that needs to be noted. Nevermind that it was too warm for it by noon and that the weekend’s forecast calls for 80 degrees.

7. Guys, I think I really want these in gray. I’d say I’ve officially converted to wearing comfortable shoes all the time (cute flats during the work week, cute sneakers on the weekend) and while I still love my black Converse it would nice to have another option.

7 Things

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Linking up for 7 Quick Takes

1. Is fall really here? We’ve had some cooler temperatures and it felt so good! Jacob and I made a quick trip home last weekend and the forecast was warm at our house in Central Ohio so although I had a sweater it was more for the a/c in the car. We got up to Northwest Ohio and there was a pretty cool breeze. I hadn’t grabbed a sweatshirt for him, so I headed to Kmart (the only store really close to my parents’ house) for one. At least he could use another sweatshirt for the fall and he loved telling Grammy and Grandpa that it had a dinosaur on it.

2. Speaking of trips back home, the quick trip was to pick up our share of a hog that was done being processed. My brother and his friend raise them and each year we split one with family. Since that means we’re restocked on really good bacon we made this mac and cheese recipe, one that’s been a favorite and one we’ve busted out every once in awhile since making it for Thanksgiving two years ago.

3. The university I work for implemented a summer dress code for the first time this year that allowed us to wear jeans every day through Labor Day. We just found out last Friday that they decided to make it permanent so it looks like my outfits probably just got a whole lot more boring. 😉

4. I’m taking on a green smoothie challenge starting tomorrow with Simple Green Smoothies to drink one green smoothie a day for 30 days. I signed up for it previously, but never followed through. I’m trying to take it more seriously this time around and actually put in some effort on prep work this weekend so I’m hoping that helps me stick with it.

5. Yesterday I took a vacation day and my mom came down to hang with Jacob and I. We took him to COSI for the first time, which is our Center of Science and Industry. Pretty cool place for kids! It was clear within the first few minutes that the family membership I paid for will be well worth it. Two and a half hours that kid ran around and we didn’t even make it out of the space specifically made for the 1st grade and under crew.

6. We watched the film Billions in Change in a lunch and learn session at work this week, which is about the philanthropy work that 5 hour energy founder Manoj Bhargava is doing. The film reported he has a net worth of over $4 billion and the guy has pledged to give 99% of his wealth to philanthropic causes, through work focusing on inventions to help meet basic needs like energy and clean water. Pretty interesting stuff!

7. Anybody have any good care package ideas to send to a college freshman? I have cousins who are about 20 years old than me on one side of the family who always looked out for me while I was in school and now they each of their oldest kids are in their freshman year of college, both far away from home. So far we’ve sent brownies but I’d like to get a little more creative throughout the year.

A Day in the Life

Maybe because I’m nosy, but I always think those day in the life type of posts are kind of interesting so I did one! It was fun, although in the spirit of full disclosure – don’t you dare expect anything crazy or exciting to be included, just the average day of this full time working wife and momma. 😉

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6:15am / 7:03am

Up and moving a little bit slowly. Jacob woke up last night and I was so tired I just took him into one of our spare rooms and slept with him for a bit. Time for a cup of coffee while I prep his lunch/snacks and mine for the day. Labeling for daycare is one of my least favorite tasks! I’m out of the shower and hear Jacob making noise.

This is around his usual wake up time so I’m not surprised, and am happy to grab him out of the crib and start his day with breakfast together before feeling guilty about too many cartoons and a little bit of playing on his own while I finish getting ready. I manage to curl my hair and still be ready early. That never happens!

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8:22am / 9:49am

Arrive at daycare to drop off Jacob and have to be at work by 9am on this particular day, with a 9am meeting starting off the day (I’m an Academic Advisor at a local university). We get free breakfast two days a week and this day is one of those, so we strategically scheduled our meeting to be able to grab something to eat/drink and meet there.

Meeting done! Coffee hasn’t sounded good lately so I passed on my usual second cup today and went for tea during my meeting instead. Stopping by the kitchen over in our building to add some more hot water to it before getting to work on some email.

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10:35am / 11:24am

Trivia time! Our team lead had started this tradition and when she retired this summer she passed the torch and the daily trivia calendar she used on to me. We had been so busy the past 2 months that we hadn’t all been able to get together to play a few rounds since July – we missed it! It’s a nice little break and mood lifter, and it’s a fun thing to spend a few minutes on as a team.

My ideal schedule is to eat parts of my lunch at different parts of the late morning/early afternoon. Ever since I was pregnant I can’t stand the feeling of being really full. Going for an almond butter, honey, and banana sandwich now while I bounce back to answer a few more emails.

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12:18pm / 4:05pm

I had $10 in super cash or whatever it’s called that expired the next day so I headed to Old navy on my actual lunch hour and they got me good! I went with my eye on a specific sweater and left with that, flats that match, a new gray vneck sweater that was on sale, and $6 gray tee because I’m not sure you can have too many at that price. Totally suckered myself in to spending more than I intended to, but at least they’re things I see myself wearing a lot this fall and winter.

Once I got back to work I had a 2 hour meeting with a student appointment right after. Time for a snack to get me through to the end of the day.

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6:24pm / 7:05pm

I left work at 6 and tried to snap an outfit picture on the way home, but the lighting wasn’t right so I’m pretty sure they’re a wash. I took a little bit of a back way home and due to a road closure got a little bit turned around in a borderline sketchy area! So yeah, almost lost in my own city. 😉

Our nightly routine is that my husband picks up Jacob from daycare and comes home and makes dinner, with me usually getting home as he’s cooking. After we eat the boys play a bit while I clean up from dinner and then it’s bath time for Jacob. My husband gets that going while I finish clean up, with me taking over not long after. As soon as Jacob sees my head pop through the bathroom door he looks at my husband and says “bye daddy!” and every night we think it’s hilarious. 🙂

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9:00pm / 10:09pm

When I was weaning Jacob from nursing to sleep I started the bad habit of laying down with him and watching a movie until he falls asleep and this process takes awhile. I keep thinking I’ll tackle it and make changes soon, but then something will throw us off our game and it’ll be right back to the survival mindset. Plus I love the snuggles! After heading upstairs around 8pm I finally have him asleep in his crib and it’s time for me to heat up my heating pad (perfect for achy shoulders) and turn on my current favorite show (Married at First Sight), and snack on a piece of no bake cheesecake my husband made (bless him).

Time for bed! This is later than I usually stay up because I just can’t hang anymore, but when my husband goes to bed early like he did tonight I’m like a teenager and just get caught up in whatever I’m doing and don’t go to bed on time. I put in my dry shampoo since my latest trick is to do it before bed so that I don’t look like I’m going gray by the morning and I head upstairs! Time to do it all over again tomorrow…

 

7 Things

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Linking up for 7 Quick Takes

1. I’m not one of those people who jumps on pumpkin flavored everything as soon as we hit September, but I did discover this week that McDonald’s has a pumpkin spice flavored syrup so now I’m not sure why I’d ever go back to Starbucks and have to pay more than $1 when I feel the need for a pumpkin flavored coffee drink.

2. Are Adidas Superstars officially back? I keep seeing them online and those were my favorite back in high school. Like wear them everyday and keep them sparkling clean with soft scrub type of favorite. Anyone else?

3. Old Navy is dangerous right now – have you guys been in lately?! I’ve had lunchtime trips over the past few weeks and both times I walk out spending way more than I should. I now have 3 pairs of these shoes that I’ve added to my closet and finally decided I loved this sweater and went for it after seeing several bloggers wear it in ways I really loved. Heads up though if you’re thinking about buying it too, my normal size felt too sloppy through the shoulders so I sized down one size and it still has the loose fitting feel I was going for but doesn’t look sloppy, and the sleeves are still long enough!

4. This week we upped our parenting game and we’ve been winding down with Jacob by taking turns reading books with him before bed, with my husband and I each picking our favorites. I went for Goodnight Moon and taught him to find the mouse in every scene like my dad used to do with my brother and I. By the second time we read the book I’d tell him to find the mouse and I knew when he’d found it because he just started giggling, then I would ask to show me and he’d point to it. So cute!

5. I’m grateful that even though I live about 2 hours from my hometown, that 2 of my best friends from childhood live in the same city. Lately we’ve had plenty of group texts to stay connected, but it’s gotten harder and harder to get together as often as we used to. We finally just planned another girls night in a couple of weeks and I’m super excited for it…countdown is on!

6. It’s officially fall and I just continue staring wistfully at my fall/winter Pinterest board waiting for the temperature to dip low enough to wear some layers, because if you take a look at what I’ve pinned it seems like I’ll probably live in distressed denim and layers in alternative shades of black, gray, tan, burgundy, and olive green.

7. Found this article thanks to Bridget’s blog post on Friday and it made me laugh and want to hang out with Bill Murray!

An Attitude Check

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I’m in tune with myself enough that I can recognize when I’m in a funk, but that’s only half the battle with the other half being checking yourself and making changes to your attitude. I’m right in that sweet spot lately, I know I need to shake things up a bit but I can’t just bring myself to do it. A lunchtime walk to get out the office, an actual work out, or true time to myself or just a few of the things that I think will make a difference but yet here I am again, having great intentions and then just not following through.

So I’ll get there and make those changes I need, I’m sure of it but in the meantime it’s taken some willpower to stop my bad attitude from being projected onto those around me, specifically my poor husband since by default he’s usually the victim. Yesterday was a perfect example – Jacob was being particularly hyper and the weather hadn’t been great so we hadn’t gotten to do much outside like I try to do on the weekends. I was right in the middle of trying to get laundry folded and put away upstairs with Jacob playing nearby while my husband tackled some chores downstairs. Jacob would run from room to room then make moves for the stairs (we never installed a baby gate and now I feel like we’ve gone so long without it that we’d have a pretty frustrated toddler if we installed one) so I would drop the clothes I was folding, hold his hand to walk downstairs, but then he’d change his mind a few steps down and dash upstairs again. He did this on repeat and I was in no mood for it.

Right at that moment my husband walked up and suggested we go to our favorite bar/restaurant to watch his beloved Cleveland Browns since they weren’t televised locally on a station we have access to. Without thinking my immediate response was “yeah, that sounds like a blast at naptime” with the sarcasm obviously layered on thick. I followed that up with some bitchy venting through text with one of my closest friends – I’m not proud, but it helped – and then decided to relax, just go with it and we knew at worst he’d act like a tired toddler and we’d have to leave.

I’m happy to report that all turned out well and nobody lost their ever loving mind! The 3 of us had lunch together and made it through sometime in the second quarter of the football game, then Jacob and I headed out for a walk while my husband watched the rest of the game. The benefit to our location is that favorite bar/restaurant is in the outdoor mall in our city so we had plenty to distract us. We visited the toy train display they have, listened to some of a free concert going on, and discovered a wooden train track upstairs at Barnes & Noble that probably could’ve kept him occupied for hours.

He was interested long enough for me to get to go into H&M and of course I couldn’t find anything for myself at a time when I would’ve felt zero guilt buying something for me because you know, if daddy gets to hang out at a bar and watch football then mommy definitely deserves something new from H&M. 😉 But nothing! I did find the Star Wars pajamas he’s wearing in the picture above though (can’t find them online though) and although I care nothing about anything Star Wars related, I have such a weakness for buying clothes for Jacob that I know my husband will think are awesome that I just couldn’t help myself.

By the time we met back up we were all feeling good and enjoyed the chance to get out of the house for an afternoon. So let that be my lesson learned – never underestimate your toddler’s ability to be a champ (but be prepared for him not to be) and just relax every once in awhile, right?!