Life lately is hectic and a wee bit stressful. There is little time for any creative pursuits – little time for anything that’s not my full-time job and my family.
Our weekdays are crazed. My wife started grad school in January, so we do a lot of handing off the kids – I get home at 4:45(ish) on Mondays through Thursdays, and Tamara immediately leaves for class. Then over the weekends, she has lots of homework, so I try to keep all three (still can’t believe we have THREE) boys occupied so that she can get work done. Sometimes, we venture out for play dates or adventures, and sometimes we just have a marathon play session at home.
It’s been extremely hard to drag myself out of bed early for writing or exercise, especially with the baby not yet sleeping through the night. It’s early April as I write this, and both the infant sleep AND the early morning wake-up routine are improving – hence my ability to complete this post, my first in over a month.
Here’s what’s happening lately:
What I’ve been reading lately:
The most interesting thing happened in my reading life during February 2022 – I got on a nonfiction reading kick. Usually, I am all about fiction; I read nonfiction occasionally when I am interested in learning more about a topic, but I usually struggle to get through an entire book. Sometimes, I have a few nonfiction titles that I’m listening to or reading while I read fiction, but it typically takes me a long time to finish a nonfiction book.
Then, last month, I picked up Empire Of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe after numerous recommendations. Oh, my goodness, what a BOOK. It centers on the Sackler family and their role in the opioid epidemic, and it reads like a suspenseful novel – a “this can’t be nonfiction” quality to the events that occur. Highly recommend. For a few weeks after this, I was devouring nonfiction – first, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (highly recommend) and then Killers of the Flower Moon (highly recommend). After that, I hit a bit of a rut – I started Reading Lolita in Tehran, The Nineties, and In The Garden of Beasts, all excellent… However, I noticed that my reading pace was slowing, and that is usually a sign that I need to move on. Hopefully I will return to those three. For now, I am devouring A Flicker In The Dark by Stacy Willingham, a new thriller.
What the boys have been reading:
Everything about dinosaurs and animals! We found a great new series called What If You Had Animal _____?, and we discovered it in a cool way. On the nights when I am doing bedtime solo, we all read a book together on the couch, and then Edgar watches or listens to a book on the iPad while I read to Jonas in bed. In his perusings of YouTube, he discovered the book What If You Had Animal Teeth? and he loooved it. I immediately requested the entire series from the library and both of the boys have really enjoyed them. Edgar likes to say that he like “nonfiction books” recently, and it’s true – he’s enjoyed reading about the Titanic, dinosaurs, and all things animal facts. Jonas has also been loving the books written by Martin and Chris Kratt of Wild Kratts.
What we’ve been watching:
My current favorite is the hilarious new show Abbott Elementary. I also have discovered two shows that are older, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep watching either. First of all, there’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine – I found the first two seasons HILARIOUS, but then I have not loved Season 3 – if you’re a fan and I should keep going, please tell me! The other show I’ve been re-watching is The Mindy Project; similarly, the episodes seem less funny to me in Season 2, but I love the first season – debating whether or not to keep watching.
What I’m grateful for:
Spring! Our afternoons are moving outdoors more often, with the boys playing with mud and water and tracking dirt into the kitchen. It is messy and oh-so-fun. I am definitely still adjusting to the whole “taking care of a baby while parenting two big kids” thing, and it’s been hard to motivate to join the boys outside with the baby when the weather’s been cool or cold or windy. So happy to be having warmer days when we can all be cozy and playful outdoors together!
What I’m looking forward to:
Oh, my goodness, spring break! Ten blissful days of rest, play, and recovery, followed by the home stretch at school – once we return from spring break, it will be just about eight weeks until summertime.
Happy spring, everyone!