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6 Points





Adding a point during a fun excursion to the Queens Zoo with friends.


I have been working on taking better care of my self physically and emotionally.

As a mother, I spend my days tending to the many needs of a tiny human. Often, those needs are completely ridiculous and extremely draining.

I am a wife, career counselor, editor, lover, friend and adventurer to my husband.

I take care of our dying cat, dispensing medication twice a day, subcutaneous fluids once a week, and playing with her every evening for at least 30 minutes, if not more.

I take care of our other healthy, yet high maintenance, cats.

I take care of the house, keeping it reasonably clean and functioning.

I keep everyone fed with home cooked meals.

I manage our calendars, plan menus and parties, go to doctors appointments, run errands, host play dates and more.

I do a lot for other people and too often very little for myself. On the days I do nothing for myself I am short tempered and have no energy left for my husband. After several days of this, I start to feel the panic welling up in my chest and begin questioning everything I am and do. My house and family do not run like a well-oiled machine when I fail to take care of myself. Instead, things grind to a halt.

A few weeks ago I developed a system for keeping tabs on self-care. Every morning I wake up with 6 points. Every time I do something for someone else or a chore, I deduct a point. Every time I do something for myself, I add a point. The things I “do” for myself are anything that supports me physically or emotionally. For example, going to the gym is +1. Taking Sabine on an adventure at our favorite park is a +1. Doing laundry, cooking dinner, etc. is a -1. Here is how today’s points will shake out:

+ 1 gym
– 1 get Sabine ready for and dropped at school
– 1 go to therapy (that is a -1 because it is EXHAUSTING)
– 1 pay bills
– 1 clean kitchen
+ 1 read on the couch for 20 minutes
+ 1 take time to blog
-1 pick Sabine up from school
– 1 run errands
+ 1 take Sabine to the playground (this is fun for us both)
– 1 cook dinner
– 1 get Sabine to bed

I don’t always break even with my points. Sometimes I am in the negative and sometimes the positive. What keeping track of the points does, though, is keep me aware on how I might be neglecting my needs. I have a little mental list of things I can do to replenish my points throughout the day if I realize I am in the red. Sometimes I’ll set Sabine up with an episode of Curious George and escape to the bathroom for a facial and 10 minutes of time with a book. Sometimes I’ll take her on an unplanned walk to the lake to feed the ducks. Little things that make my day happy and resonate with a something more – a clean face or a happy memory.

How do you manage self-care while parenting? What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself on a regular basis?

Scary Shit



Potty training has been a hot topic in our household as of late. The Professor seems to think it will just magically happen with nary a drip of pee or smear of poop on the rug. He is horrified by bodily excrement to a comedic level “BELLE!!! I NEED HELP WITH THIS DIAPER!!!!!!” is a weekly ordeal.

“Babe, you know there will be some mess when we potty train. You are going to have to clean pee or poo off of something that is not a tooshie. Unless I potty train while you are out of town.”

“Sounds like a good plan to me,” says the eternally helpful husband.

I know potty training will bring a good amount of stress to our already taxed marriage so we are putting it off.

We do have a cute little potty at home that Sabine uses to host “swimming” parties for her stuffed kitties. She also likes to sit on it while I shower and chat with me. I have found all kinds of toys in the potty and each time realize we might be missing the point with the potty.

Recently we started sitting on the potty every night before bath. She sits on her little potty and I sit on my grown up potty and together we sing Twinkle Twinkle and go pee. Or I pee and she pretends. Either way, it’s been quite a while since kitties swam in her potty so I think I’m making a little progress.

A few nights ago it was bath time and the Professor found Sabine hiding beside the couch.

“It’s bath time, Sabine! Come on!”

“Noooooo!” she cried. “I’m pooping!”

And then she starts making a really over dramatic grunting poop face so we think she is just full of beans.

“Then let’s go poop on the potty!” I cheer.

“Ok,” she says and marches off.

Once in the bathroom, we remove pants and diaper and she sits on the potty while I cheer her on. “Yay! Poop on the potty! GO SABINE”

She squeezes, she grimaces, her tooshie lifts ever so slightly and I see the BIGGEST POOP EVER coming out of her tiny little bum. “I SEE IT!” I cheer.

And then she looks down and sees it. One giant turd coming out of her bottom. One giant, stinky, glistening turd. And she loses it.

“AHHHHHHH!” she screams as she grabs my neck and starts to shake with terror. “SCARRRRRRYYYYYY!” She continues to sob, and poop, while holding my neck. Once the poop is done I carry my terrified child into the bedroom for pajamas and calming.

“It’s ok, Sabine. I’m so proud of my big girl! You pooped in the potty. So awesome! Let’s celebrate with ice cream tomorrow!”

“Poop in potty,” she sniffled. “So scary. No more potty. Poop in diaper.”

Since then she won’t go near the potty. She won’t even sit on it while I shower. Hopefully, time will heal these wounds and one day she will be able to poop in a toilet and not cry in terror. Until then, I ordered another shipment of diapers and am trying to forget the feeling of having a person take a dump while screaming and clutching my neck…. Neither of us may ever be the same.

Winter Storm Jonas



The blizzard did not disappoint, y’all!

Saturday morning we painted piggies, built Legos with Dada and laughed hysterically at my “muddy face.”

After a while bordem set in so we suited up and went into the courtyard to assess the snow. The courtyard did a great job shielding us from the wind and flying snow so Sabine could enjoy herself.


The snow was pretty deep at this point so we jumped around in big drifts and practiced snow walking on the recently shoveled sidewalk. Sabine had a blast!

I went back out during the peak of the storm to experience the high winds and whiteout conditions. These photos show very little and are testiment to the whiteout! (FYI, that is NOT Sabine in the center photo playing in the road!)

The rest of the day was spent watching movies, baking cookies and putting Sabine to bed early because you can only entertain a house-bound toddler for so many hours!

We awoke the next morning to more than two feet of snow in the Bronx. The last I heard, the Bronx had 27.6 inches, and I would believe it! First thing in the morning we drug Sabine down the hill to Van Cordtlant Park so we I could be the first person in NYC to run through a huge field with more than 2 feet of snow. Because I’m a huge kid at heart. Sabine was NOT happy to be out when the wind was still wipping so it was a quick, and rather tearful adventure. But I still romped, and hurled my adult body into snow drifts, and made my husband look the other way because, lord have mercy, who did he marry?



See that trail of footprints going off into the distance behind us? Yep. Mine! :)

That afternoon we walked a mile to our favorite area burger joint and then took Sabine to the snow covered playground. Hands-down the best thing was sliding down a very cold slide into a huge drift of snow. SO FUN!

I also recreated this photo from two years ago. My kid is growing up so fast!


Today the roads are a total mess in our neighborhood, but I still managed to get the car out and make it to the gym for a few hours this morning. The Professor was super kind and dug it out first for me.


Our car is under there!

I would rate my first blizzard ever as one of the top 5 things living here so far. Thanks NYC for fulfilling my childhood dream of more than two feet of snow, and for having a rockstar fleet of plows, salters and crew to make it possible to escape the house two days later!



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