photo-287My baby is 6 weeks old today. He’s growing quickly, and starting to smile and coo. We are getting into something closer to a routine. Not a total routine yet, but something. There’s often a long nap in the morning when the house is quiet (shockingly, older siblings are not great at maintaining a library-like atmosphere). There are shorter naps in the afternoon and evening. He’s sticking to eating roughly every 3 hours during the day, tanking up at night, and then sleeping. Even though I’m not doing the middle-of-the-night bottle, I’m noting the times it happens, and it’s getting later. He went from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. or so last night, and then woke to eat again at 5:45. Of course, there’s a lot of unpredictability to it, too. This morning he wound up sleeping in my arms after my quiet solo breakfast, so I just read and drank my rapidly cooling coffee that I couldn’t get up to refill. Sleeping infants are adorable.

I’m also slowly getting my normal self back. To inspire me to start running in earnest again, I’ve signed up for several races: the Broad Street 10-miler in early May, and then 2 half marathons this fall. I want to run the 10-miler faster than I have, so I’m setting goals for my treadmill runs. Yesterday, I did 2.5 miles at my target pace, and I stopped out of boredom and the need to adhere to our household schedule (someone had to do the preschool run), not fatigue.

I have a few links to share. First, I was excited about this review of The Cortlandt Boys from Lance Smith, aka “The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books.” He calls it a “terrific novel,” and “a book that is hard to put down…The writing style is crisp and easy to follow. The characters are well-developed … A terrific read that anyone would enjoy.” So that’s nice, though I’m particularly thrilled that he said “The basketball portions were well written as well, as the author’s knowledge of the game is evident when writing about the action on the court and what the players and coaches not in the game were doing. I felt like I was in the stands for that championship game.” Since I can’t claim to be a basketball expert, I’m glad that someone who does know more about it thought those scenes worked.

(If you haven’t read the book, would you do me a favor and order a copy? I appreciate your support as I try something new and outside my usual genre).

I wrote this week about a day in my life. The SHU Box chronicles her morning routine and her evening routine. The morning routine is particularly impressive. She manages to have me time, run, and do family breakfast all before an 8:30 a.m. start to work.

Wandering Scientist writes about how long commutes contribute, disproportionately, to women’s stress levels. Indeed, long commutes often nudge people into less prestigious or lower paying jobs, or even out of the workforce all together. I’m really glad that the work I do can be done from anywhere. That’s what makes it possible for me to semi-work right now. 

Elizabeth Saunders has a new productivity e-book out called How to Invest Your Time Like Money. In it, she talks about budgeting time in order to achieve the maximum return on investment. Long time readers here know that’s a metaphor I like. Some activities simply generate more good things over time than others. You want to spend your time doing these things.

Speaking of money, Sabrina of Rhodey Girl Tests has a post called “She never looks at a price tag.” The idea is that many sales and discounts lead us to buy things we don’t really need. For most consumer items, you can guess within a range what something will cost, especially in stores you’re relatively familiar with. So why be influenced by the price? Buy based on whether you need it or really want it. It’s an interesting mindset shift, and one worth contemplating.

Photo: Those cheeks! He’s also working on growing a double chin.



23 thoughts on “Mishmash

  1. Re: commuting. I know its not novel but I started listening to an audiobook (The Power of Habit) on my commute (1 hour both ways) this week. I had just been flicking around the radio stations and being bored and annoyed. I made a point to get to the library to pick out an audiobook and I feel that my driving time is less stressful as well as less boring and less….wasteful. I think non-fiction will work well for me on my commute.

    1. @Arden – Congrats on getting on the wagon! People who handle the commute well either turn it into me time or relationship time. They get in the habit of packing their listening material (or reading material if it’s public transit) when they pack their bags, or else drive with a spouse or friend. Can you imagine getting 10 hours of one-on-one time with a spouse weekly?

      Even with that, though, part of it just comes down to volume of hours, and having no one be near the kids during the day should something go wrong, or if there are school events to attend. I suppose the kids could commute too and go to a daycare near the office, but long car trips or public transit trips with kids are often extremely stressful as well so people don’t do that.

  2. I love the idea to not look at pricetags! I have so many “bargain” purchases that were just mistakes. Likewise, I have rarely regretted my splurge items.

  3. I finally ordered your novel and finished reading it a couple days ago. I really enjoyed it. I found myself looking forward to my reading time in the evenings and that’s always a sign I’ve got a good book. I smiled when the character Raina talked about the experiencing self and the remembering self. I thought that sounds like Laura.

    1. @Linda – thank you so much! Please tell your reader friends about it! And yes, a few of my musings might have made it in there. But no one is a time management freak 🙂

    1. @SHU – it is hard to get myself off bargain clothes shopping. I’m still digging Stitch Fix, though, and since they know the acceptable price range, I tend not to look at the actual prices until I’m checking out (when I’ve made my decisions).

  4. I am curious about how you set pace goals. I’m interested in moderately pushing myself for upcoming races. Are you following training guidelines a la Another Mother Runner, which, after an initial interest, I tired of? The AMR community is over-the-top for me in a way I cannot quite put my finger on.

    1. @Griffin – I am completely winging it. I’m adding between 0.5-1 miles at race pace every week. Then I’ll do some longer slower runs too. I followed a training plan for my marathon, but that seemed like a bigger deal than a half (I’ve completed several of those). I’m helped by the fact that I’m not running anywhere near my max pace so there’s a lot of room for error. I’ll check out Another Mother Runner. I’m learning about all sorts of online places (I didn’t know about mommyish until recently…) where I will no doubt soon be procrastinating.

  5. I love that period around 6 weeks when you start to be able to see personality just starting to develop rather than the blankness of newbornhood.

    I’ve signed up for a couple of races too – I did my first race at the start of the month. It was 5km and I was so slooow at 37min. But, it’s done and means I have a baseline to feel good about! Next race is 12km at the end of May, I’ve signed up for a running course starting at the end of March to keep motivated and see if a specific training program will help my pace. It’s 3 runs/week: 1 intervals session, 1 ‘strength’ session and one long run. Then I plan to do another flat 5km race in July and a harder (hilly) 12km in August. It’s better training in Perth in winter than summer. It’s too damn hot to run right now but winter is lovely. Minimum in winter is usually 8 to 12degC, max around 18 to 20C. I can’t wait for it to cool down! I’m over day after day of 35+ and humidity!

    1. @Zenmoo – nice work on completing the 5k. I made a goal to run 45 minutes yesterday, and ran it at that same pace (12 min miles – not sure what that is in kilometers). Running slow is nice. You can think!

  6. Thanks for the shout out!

    @Arden, I had podcasts that made the commute time interesting, but they sadly didn’t do a thing about getting dinner on the table or keeping the family evening routine on track. If I hadn’t quit my job, I was going to try to hire a mother’s helper to pick up one of the kids and start dinner. There just wasn’t enough time to commute, work a full day, pick up the kid whose pick up was my responsibility, and make dinner. In the end, I realized there were enough other things about that job that I disliked to make me decide to quit and start my own business instead.

    1. @Cloud — Sorry my comment about audio books in regards to your commute post was not in line with your situation/message. I also know that you weren’t scolding me either. 🙂 I was just excited to share my experience because it was one of those stupid things that *everyone* that pays attention to such things (eg: Laura’s blog readers) knows to use your commuting time wisely but I had never put it into practice. I’m so excited to hear more that I think it’s getting me out the door quicker.

      Glad that you found the right solution for you and your family.

      1. @Arden – it is one of those things that we know to do…and often don’t. I spent a few months of my life commuting almost daily from NYC to Chappaqua NY, which gave me close to an hour on the train to read. And yet I’d guess that about a third of the time I just forgot to bring something to read with me. I’d wind up reading those little subway newspapers (which took about 10 minutes total). What a waste! Knowing to do something and doing it are drastically different things, it turns out.

    2. @Cloud – I remember reading the blog during that period of decision making. There was a way to make it all work, but you realized you’d be outsourcing the part of the day you liked (walking with your kids) in order to spend time on something you didn’t (driving). Coupled with other things, that helped you make your decision.

  7. Audiobooks are great for the commute – but I can also recommend them for making the treadmill more interesting. I started listening to audiobooks after reading about a woman who used them on her long runs – she’d pick a good novel and only let herself listen while she ran – a great way to rack up the miles! ‘Born to run’ is perfect for running to 🙂 I also really enjoyed ‘The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks’. Some books woke better in print (eg I prefer to have yours on paper so I look at particular sections when I need inspiration) but Audible is great for allowing returns.

    1. @Lily- I’ll have to try that. I’m recording the audio book for I Know How She Does It in April, and I haven’t quite figured out how I’ll deal with the time log parts of it. I’m sure people have done audio of books with lots of graphs in them, so I’ll have to figure out an example to follow.

  8. I can’t believe its been six weeks already! My little guy is due to arrive next month. I can’t wait to sit and snuggle with him.

    It’s inspiring to see how much you accomplish while caring for a newborn. I’m planning on using my maternity leave to get ahead of some “side-hustle” projects while being free from the demands of my regular job.

    1. @Harmony- you’re almost there! It’s always a tension with a maternity leave. There is time to do other things, but you also don’t want to have too many expectations, since one loses some control of time with a newborn. Incidentally, I’m working on a post on side hustles. Stay tuned!

  9. You really should title this whole series, “The value of a night nurse.” Or, “Look at me! I have a baby that can be put down!” Seriously. I recall at 6 weeks old we had gotten exactly one stretch of 5 hours of sleep in a row. More typical was 2, at most. It’s really hard to do anything at all (let alone efficiently or well) when you’re that sleep deprived.

  10. March is my month to pick the book for my neighborhood book club, and I’m excited to share that I selected “The Cortlandt Boys.” You can count on at least 6 of us buying it! And given that it’s the book for March…and about basketball…we’ll be tying in a little March Madness when we meet to discuss. 🙂

    1. @Amy – that is awesome! Thanks! I really hope you guys enjoy it. Feel free to shoot me any questions you want answers to during your discussion.

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