Getting into gear

standard October 13, 2011 3 responses

If I could sit down and work as soon as I’m out of the shower and have poured myself my first cup of tea I could get so much done. I’m so productive that early in the morning. My brain is engaged. Thoughts are flowing. Ideas are blooming.

But, other than answering a few emails between morning tasks, any actual sitting at the computer and working has to wait until the kids are up, fed, dressed, hair brushed, and schlepped to their various destinations.

So, to recap, I’m primed and ready for work at 7am. I only sit down and open my computer at 9.

And by 9? My brain is all over the place.  It takes actual effort to focus my eyes on the computer and even once they’re there it’s hard to decide what to do.


There’s some facebooking.

A little tweeting.

I check in with groups and friends on Skype.

I open my email fifteen million times and somehow never actually read anything.

I open the Blogger editor and start thinking of something to say.

I close the Blogger editor and forget my ideas.

I read a blog or two.

I check out an article or three.

I drink my coffee.

Sometimes I drink my coffee with a friend who’s wandered in.

And finally, at long last, my brain aligns with my eyes and my fingers and I start typing.

First an email, then a comment, a post might start to brew in the back of my head.

I start to remember things that I need to do, want to do. I start to really focus.

Of course by then I’ve been sitting at my corner table at Starbucks for two hours and I start to feel a bit self conscious about taking up the space, but I don’t let that stop me. Breaking my concentration at this point would signal the end of the work day. It just takes me too long to get into anything.


Two hours later, hungry and most likely doing the potty dance, I’ll still be at that table, wondering if I should just cave and buy a yogurt or risk taking a break for a real lunch. The decision is usually based on how much work I’ve accomplished and how much more needs to be done.

I’ve eaten a lot of Starbucks yogurts.

I’ve overstayed my welcome many, many days.

I just hope they won’t ever get tired of me. Who knows how long it would take me to get to work anywhere else.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot to do. I’ve been here for two hours already and this is the first thing I’ve finished.

Starting the morning just right

standard October 11, 2011 1 response

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit

My alarm always chirps too early for my tastes. 6:15am to be specific. The kid has to be at school by 8:30, which means we have to be out the door just before 8, which means they get up at 7, which in turn means that if I’m not up by 6:15 I don’t have time to shower, primp, and have breakfast before having to be on.

And if I don’t have breakfast, I get cranky. Really, really cranky.

Seriously, just ask the kids.

And yes, I do need the full 45 minutes to get ready. 5 minutes for breakfast and 40 minutes for my morning routine. 

You know, the morning primping routine? Come on. You know you have one too.

Mine starts with a shower. Probably a longer shower than necessary, complete with shampoo, conditioner, face cleaning, some shaving, and endless standing under the water, waiting for my brain to engage.

In the fall that usually takes longer than in the summer. The thought of getting out of the warm shower and stepping into the cold and dark bathroom is so rarely appealing.

But then I finally do and I start the rest of the routine. Lotion for my legs, lotion for my arms, cream for my face. Anything to keep my skin soft and smooth. The colder months have a tendency to dehydrate my legs, rendering them scaly and decidedly un-sexy. Lotion… in obsessive quantities if you ask my husband… is the only solution to the issue.

So I indulge.

Then I have a micro-trantrum because once my hands are nice and greasy it’s virtually impossible to turn the thingy on my deodorant. (What? I mentioned that I got cranky before breakfast!)

It’s not a stellar routine. I don’t use products that cost a zillion dollars. I don’t even always use the same products from month to month. But the routine is what keeps me grounded. When I get up in the morning, I’m groggy, sleepy, and wishing I could spend the day in bed. By the time I emerge from the bathroom my brain has engaged, I know what’s expected of me, and I’m ready to face it all… usually with a smile.

So, yes, I could sleep until 7 every day, and it’s tempting, especially in Autumn when it starts to still be dark at 6am, but I’ll trade feeling grounded for a little sleep any day. 

My hair hasn’t been this short since 2009, but my smile is still as big.

Thank you to Walgreens for sponsoring this blog post. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

Raging Fever Kills Routine

standard October 5, 2011 2 responses

The fever started on Friday night. Well, there was a fever the week before, but it came and went so fast it was hardly noticeable. This fever has decided that it wants us to notice.

Saturday afternoon, the fever raged, turning Little L into a hot sack of potatoes in my arms as we toured Berkeley with the visiting family.

Sunday the fever raged as we sat around the house, cooped up and itching to get out.

Monday it spiked to 104.9.

Today it hovered in the 104s again.

We don’t worry. We don’t panic. We dish out water and Motrin and wait to see if the little girl perks up. When she hops up off the couch to go dress her doll we breathe easy.

Four days though. Four days and no end in sight of this bizarre virus. I’m canceling plans right and left and working around her needs for cuddles and love.

My routine was in the air because of the family’s visit and now it hangs there, waiting for Little L to recover, for daycare to be an option again.

I miss my table at Starbucks.

I miss having a vague idea of what I’ll accomplish during the day.

But if I’m really honest, I’m kind of enjoying this down-time with my baby. When the fever isn’t too bad she’s fun to cuddle.

Reading at the end of the day

standard December 22, 2010 2 responses

In recent months I’ve started turning away from reading board books to the girls at night and have started spending more time reading chapter books. Instead of cuddling on the couch to read a huge stack of books, we brush teeth first and then head to their cozy bedroom. C climbs into bed and I pull out a puzzle for Little L.

While C can completely sit through an entire chapter with no pictures, Little L gets much too squirmy and whiny for my tastes. She works on her puzzle and listens to the story; little hands busy enough to let the story flow uninterrupted.

I was an avid reader as a kid – still am really – and I love that C is getting into these chapter books. I started by focusing on classics like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, but recently we’ve been reading stories about girls just like mine – spunky, funny, and always sure they’re behaving just right even when they’re not. Juny B Jones and Clementine are our current favorites, but I’m expanding our horizons and loving discovering this new genre.

C is learning to read. She can already sound out basic board books and I see in the not so distant future the time when she’ll be reading these books to herself. But for now I’m treasuring those quiet moments in their room, with Little L at my feet and C lying beside me, as I share stories of girls just like them.

This post was sponsored by Kabongo, a wonderful online world of brain-boosting games for reading, in support of developing reading skills in kids.