Monthly Archives: January 2016

strategies for the morning routine

At our house we have 2 types of kids –  an early bird


and a night owl.


The 10 year old wakes up at 6am religiously, no matter what time she goes to bed. The 12 year old is hard to wake up because he is at his best after 9pm…homework, making music, etc.

These differences make the morning routine a bit challenging. I am sure some of you also share this issue, so here are some of the things I do to make the morning run more smoothly. You are welcome in advance!

  1. Have a set time that all screens go away each night. This was easier in theory for us. We started off having a time that screens (i.e., phones, tablets) came downstairs. But one of our sneaky kiddos would come down after we went to bed and retrieve said screens. Sigh. So, I went to Wal Mart (a necessary evil from time to time) and purchased a lock box. Not a box with a key, but 2 codes that only mom knows. Screens go in at 9pm and can only be retrieved once all morning expectations have been completed.
  2.  Make coffee the night before. It makes SUCH a difference folks. You wake up and that magical liquid is immediately ready for consumption.
  3.  When it is time to leave, simply set the house alarm which means that children only have 60 seconds to get themselves ready and out the door.  At our house, this might mean that one is exiting the house while still dressing. But we are out the door in 60 seconds.
  4.  If you are doing school carpool, pack breakfast and other morning routines to be completed in the car. Examples: lotion, vitamins, deodorant. We have lotion and deodorant and lotion, and chapstick, on hand at all times in the car. These preteen years can be tricky.
  5.  I tell my children that they have 5 mins before carpool even when they actually have 10 minutes. Lying is a good strategy sometimes. Don’t judge. My heart is always happy when both kiddos are ready to go to school right on time….but they think they are 5 minutes early.

I hope I can one day be a mom that does not have to yell in the morning. Right now that seems like a lofty goal 😉


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

my bday gift

My in laws always send me money for my birthday. I usually just deposit the checks for family funds, but this year I had something specific that I wanted. A window bird feeder. I did some research and found one that I wanted. Check out my first visitor.


And then my next visitor.


He was not welcome!

Thankfully a few adjustments in placement fixed the problem. I hope my gift does not keep me from doing any writing in my office 🙂



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

who really killed Hae Min Lee?

Rahul and I binged watched Making a Murderer on Netflix last month. Completely and totally addictive. I had a friend ask what I thought of the Serial Season One podcasts. I vaguely remember people posting about them last fall, but I could not figure out how to do podcasts on my phone. Please stop laughing. But after Making a Murderer, I was willing to figure it out.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 7.17.02 PM

Once I finished Serial One, I dove right into Undisclosed Season One. Both podcasts are about the same case, but told from different perspectives. Serial is more of a story told from an NPR journalist. Undisclosed told from the perspective of 3 lawyers.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 5.03.58 PM

Here are my thoughts after listening to both podcasts.

  1. I learned more from Undisclosed. That is not to say that Serial was not good. Undisclosed would never have happened without Serial. But seriously, how else could a lay person like me learn things like Brady violations and lividity evidence?
  2. Adnan Seyed did not commit the crime. Now, I would like to outline a few theories of who committed the crime.
  3. Jay Wilds did not do it either. However, I am not convinced that he was a part of the murder in some way. He is and was a shady guy who was not afraid to lie. But I feel strongly that he inserted himself into this story for some reason and the State of MD built their case on his lies. Remember what Susan discovered in listening to his police recordings? Tap, tap, tap whenever his story did not match the state’s evidence.

What I want more information on are the online Asian chat rooms that Hae Min was actively involved in at the time of her death. They were never investigated. Colin Miller’s theory is that Hae Min left school that day in January and could not offer Adnan a ride as planned because her “plans changed.” But no one has come forward to say that he/she was the person. That person is most likely her killer.

Then, there was the boyfriend Don (Adnan was the ex boyfriend). In Serial, Don has an alibi. But in Undisclosed, Susan does some digging and discovers that, in fact, he does not really. His time card for that day was not available, but when the State persisted, one was created by the manager of his store. This person also was his step mother. Oh, and that time card did not look like any others the company issued. Hmmmm.

But regardless of my layperson theories, I am super happy that Adnan is getting an appeal with competent counsel. Witness Asia Mclean will testify.

I also hope that I am never wrongly accused of a crime. If I learned anything from Serial and Undisclosed it is that you hope to never be on the wrong side of the law….especially if you are Muslim. No one who has been a part of this case can argue that being Muslim was not an issue.

Podcasts… a fun way to do dishes, laundry, school carpool. You can be a mom and use your brain too!




1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

more birds!

I put out some bird seed today since it was sunny and the temps were much warmer. Check out my visitors. First up, the blue jay.



The tufted titmouse.


And the downy woodpecker.


Other birds not photographed: Carolina Wren, Dark Eyed Junco, Black capped Chickadee, Cardinal, White breasted Nuthatch.

I ordered a window feeder with some birthday money. I cannot wait to get it set up!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

the birthday-versary

Most folks know that Rahul and I eloped on my 30th birthday. It was snowing that day too. I woke up to some super special cards this morning.

Then I did something completely crazy… I went for a run….on the treadmill since we are snowed in. But if felt soooo good. I have been told by my chiropractor and trainer that I am no longer a runner. It is just too much for my back, knees, etc. But I miss it SO MUCH. Don’t tell on me.


The rest of the day was spent hanging out in the snow and watching the birds.


Rahul made an amazing dinner, but honestly the best part of the day was a happy bday text from my brother. Things between us have been tense since my mom’s death. We had differing approaches to her mental illness. He was the enabler, I was the realistic one. But this reaching out seems important. I have such a small family, and I want my children to know my side of the family, but that has been so hard to make happen. Today seems like a good first step.

I am feeling so happy and fortunate on this 13th wedding anniversary.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Don the plumber

Kathy, 2 posts in 2 days. You have inspired me. Thanks my friend 🙂

We woke up today with no water. It has been cold, but not cold enough to freeze the water pipes. But thinking that had to be the reason, I turned on the faucets to get the water running. The temps were in the mid 40s today, so when we still did not have water at 1pm I called the plumber.

And not just any plumber. Don the plumber. He answers his phone immediately, comes as soon as he can (no 3 hr time frame) and teaches me the reason behind the problem. And, he puts me to work. Today I had to get my hair dryer and extension cord to help thaw the well head.

He gets excited when he can solve a problem. You can see it in his face. And he loves our kids. He has seen them grow up over the years. He first came to help us with water problems when Aidan was in Kindergarten and Samantha was in pre-K.

He looks a bit like the handyman from One Day at a Time.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 8.34.30 PM

But our water problem was not freezing, instead a faulty pressure gauge. Not a problem for Don. He made a quick trip to Lowes for a new gauge and also picked us up some vegan cupcakes.


Samantha (AKA Sparkle Rainbow) really liked the cupcakes 🙂

So life is all good as we prepare for the first major storm of 2016. Fingers crossed we keep power!



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

the puzzle

I love puzzles. I really do. I am visual and putting them together comes easily for me…until this last puzzle. I purchased it at one of the Sanibel gift shops. It was 55o pieces and a photograph of the shells on the beach at low tide. What a great way to remember our trip, right? Wrong.

A month later the puzzle was not complete, for 2 reasons. 1) too many false positives. This means pieces look like they fit, but they are not actually in the right spot. 2) you cannot use the photograph on the box to help you fill in the pieces. But I was determined. And I had already purchased a frame for it, and had a place to hang it.

We all worked on it, but Aidan and his visual brain was the best at finding the pieces. 3 weeks in, I started offering bribes to both children to get it completed. Do not judge. I have never given up on a puzzle, but I came close this time.

Here are Samantha and Ila working on it this weekend. And yes, this is how excited we all would get when we found a matching piece.

This past week I would find empty plates of Indian spinach next to the puzzle when I would wake up in the middle of the night to let the dog out to pee. And 12+ more pieces would be in place. Go night owl Aidan!

This past weekend, I am not proud that there was a puzzle meltdown on my part and the part of Samantha. I won’t share these details, but after briefly considering throwing all the pieces back in the box, I simply moved the partly completed puzzle to Aidan’s room. What a smart move. He has to give up all technology when I go to bed (between 8:30-9pm) so for the past 3 nights he has been working on it well into the night.

There were about 30 pieces left today, and I was determined to complete it. And I did!


Puzzle complete. And it might be the last one.

PS – On my regular grocery store run today, I ran into one of my biggest blog fans. Apparently, my blog is a good help with middle of the night insomnia. Not that reading my posts puts someone to sleep. Geez. Sweet Kathy reads my posts when she cannot sleep, loves the posts and curses me when I get busy with work and life and do not post fast enough for her. Her hug made my day!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized