This is the Day

There is finally an answer to the ultimate question we’ve all asked for years: today.

Today is the day Cyrus’s button, that fucking port in his stomach where the feeding tube has been hooked up thousands of times, is coming out. Fuck. I’ll even do some math. The tube was inserted about 6 times a day for nearly 8 years…2,735 times is a conservative estimate. For more than two years, the first two of his life, he had to be hooked up to a pump for a better part of the day. Then came the bolus feeds. Then came those times when he’d be out of the house for more than a couple of hours and someone would’ve forgotten the tube. There would be a trip back to the house to retrieve it.

His life revolved around that goddamn tube. If the button broke, which it did many times, he couldn’t eat until it was reinserted, either at home or at a hospital. There were times it fell out and the hole closed and had to be re stretched. There were times when the tube that connected to the button would break. There were so many fucking times that he’d cough in the middle of a feeding and milky liquid would fly everywhere. My house smelled like the sweet rottenness of dairy, soaked into the carpets, the couches, the beds, the sheets, his clothes. There were times when I forgot to feed him.

It was hard to find a babysitter; the tube is a scary thing. He had to go to a particular preschool because they were willing to tube him while others didn’t have the insurance coverage for it. My dad has never tubed him. Very few of you have ever done it. He had to have a doctor’s note in order for the nurse at his school to give him water. Tap water. A doctor’s note. He needed a doctor’s note when he required more tube food in the day. In order for the school to feed him, a doctor had to say so. A doctor has controlled most of his food intake: how much, when, what, how. Until Gaby came, made a nutritious, real smoothie. Of course, I had the instinct to ask the doctor, anyone in a white coat, if it was okay. I had to ask if it was okay to feed my kid. I had to relearn that part of myself.

As I wrote a bit earlier, he has gone without a full day’s feeding since October 1st. It was that time that he was given a tube, secretly, while he was sleeping. When his button broke on November 27th, that seemed a sign that it was time. He hasn’t used the button since.

His eighth birthday is in 15 days. He got the tube in July of 2010. That’s a lot of years for everyone to have to deal with that thing.

He is really excited.

It feels impossible to tell you how ecstatic I am about this. Today is the shedding of the last layer of weighted sadness I still wear from the NICU. The final symbol of all that pain, all of those muddy days of mere existence.

Since he was born, people have said eventually he’d outgrow all of his preemie problems. I was naive to think that they meant “soon.” I suppose in the span of his life, 8 years isn’t a long time to deal with all that’s been thrown at him. For me, though, that’s been the first 8 years of my parenting experience. Doctors, therapists, surgeries. That’s all I’ve known. That’s all he’s known. That’s all you’ve known of him, too.

That’s not even 1/100th of who he his.

If you see me this week and I’m staring into space, I promise I am not sad. If you see me crying, I’m not sad. If you see me drinking too much, I am not sad. I’m light and airy. I am made of sunshine.

The grass is turning green. The buds are forming. The birds are singing. Cyrus’s long winter is over.

The long days of sunshine that pull life from under the dark soil are finally here.




Going Dark: Day The Last

It’s January 31st. This is the last night of our going dark challenge. Neither kid is with us tonight to offer some illuminating thought about the process. I guess it’ll just be up to Gaby and me to tell you about our experience.

The first two weeks were hard. I don’t think we even cheated in that time. We got some cards and letters. We played some board games. It was hard adjusting to the kids’ constant conversation about things we don’t always care about. Gaby worked her ass off making bread. We even cleaned a lot more than usual. We sat around the kitchen table together, wondering what to do with our time. We lamented about how we missed the screens.

After the 15th, we got a little looser with our rules. Gaby checked and used her phone all day since it was her birthday. I did the same for mine on the 18th.

I admit that I streamed some spotify once or twice to my sweet bluetooth speaker. I used my phone several time to set my fitbit alarm so as not to wake up the whole house (cats included) super early in the morning. Some of those times, I accidentally hit the facebook app button.

The kids, I know without asking, have enjoyed having a home phone. Cyrus loves to answer it and hang up immediately if you’re not someone living in this house, Erika’s dad, or my parents. But, honestly, when he talks to Mom and Dad he is usually very short with his conversation. “HellOOOOOO. Hi. Do you love the Cardinals? By the way, bye!”

I’m pretty sure Erika cheated last weekend when she had a friend over; they slept in the basement and I found the t.v (and every single fucking light) on the next morning. We never confronted her.

Gaby is scrolling through her phone right now. So. I guess we’re really done.

I’ve missed Netflix. A lot. And turning on the t.v. on Sundays just to see what noise is on. We have only local channels, but sometimes I enjoy a random college basketball game. I don’t care about football, but the noise sounds like home. Cyrus, of course, loves to watch a full game.

Cyrus has missed video games, but has been amazing at self monitoring. If he sees a phone lying around, he tattles, “Ummmmm, you said no electronics…”  This morning he asked if the stove is an electronic.

The thing I’ve enjoyed most is not having a t.v. or video game on right after school, or coming home from work. We’ve eaten dinners together. At the beginning, we played games and wrote letters after dinner. Then, well, we just started going to bed earlier. Like old time farmers. It’s dark, so there’s nothing to do but sleep.

Erika has been reading a little bit more and going to sleep around 8:30 because that’s when Gaby and I go to sleep now (since I get up at 4:30 most of the week). With it still being pretty dark here in the evenings, Cyrus goes to sleep well before 8. It’s 7:00 p.m. right now, and I’m ready to call it a day.

I’ve been reading, too. I read one whole book, 3/4 of another, and maybe 1/4 of a new one. That’s a whole lot for me. I haven’t read this much since grad school. And, as some of you have asked: I finished Half Broke Horses, by Jeanette Walls, am 3/4 of the way through Hungry for the World by Kim Barnes, and have started Hunger by Roxane Gay. The first book was recommended and given to me by a friend. That was about 10 years ago. I’ve owned Kim Barnes’ book for more than 10 years, and she even signed it at a reading in Fairbanks. Roxane’s book is new, so it’s nice to read something that hasn’t been guilt-tripping me from my bookshelf.

Gaby says she’s ready to go back but doesn’t want to lose her pen pals. She wants to keep up the good work making our own white bread, too. She loves the house phone because she loves to hear the kids answer and wonder who it is. She wants to implement a schedule for having our phones turned on/off. I like the idea of the times when we can or cannot be on our phones/screens. I wouldn’t even mind if we went weekdays without screens and just allowed them on the weekends.

As for me, I’ve enjoyed blogging about the experience, but it’s taken me away from responding to some letters. I’m sorry. I will. I promise.

So, friends. I recommend you try it. As with forming any new, healthy habit, it sucks. It’s hard. It’s a lot of work. It feels like a huge sacrifice. But you’ll get used to it. You’ll sink into new rhythms. You’ll cheat a little to find out what’s best for you.

Slowing down so drastically on my social media consumption has been phenomenal; I have less anxiety. I reach for my phone less often. I got into only one, tiny political facebook fight. (when I did, I spent too much time thinking about what to respond) I don’t want that kind of bullshit to take up space in my head anymore. I’m busy enough worrying about feeding Cyrus enough food, about helping Erika plan her high school classes, about cleaning up after the cats, about being a good and present partner to Gaby.

The times I’ve scrolled through facebook I’ve thought, “I can live without knowing all of this.”  The news, well, I get that from the radio without all of the bullshit comments from stupid people. Knowing what you had for dinner and where you had it, I mean, that’s cool, but I don’t love you or hate you any more for it. Maybe I’ve missed out on some events, but I don’t know, so I didn’t really miss them.

And, who knew, the fewer things you say on social media, the smaller and smaller you become. No one comments. No one “likes” your post. No one bothers you.

I bet you were so busy seeing everything else, you didn’t even miss us.

Maybe that’s why we social media at all: so we’re not forgotten.


Photo from molepoet


Going Dark: Days 17-23. Tide Pods and other obviously bad choices

By now you’ve probably lost interest. Or, maybe you figured that we just cut the cord for real. In less exciting, but very real news, we’ve been busy and I’ve been too tired to type.

So much has happened that I can’t even remember. I had a birthday last week. Then the weather was 65 degrees. Then we made a lot of food.

We’re still getting cards and letters from you all. One awful day, I opened the mailbox and found one million of Gaby’s fancy cards returned. I guess the cardstock was too heavy. So, we’re sorry. She broke down and went to the post office and bought what she needed. Those should be on their way now. And this time, they should get there.

There have been a lot of nice moments: the kids doing homework together at the kitchen table, each one shouting questions at me at the same time. We all played Monopoly Millionaire the other day, too. We’re still enjoying Karuba, even Gaby and I play it when we’re alone.

I’ve been cheating a little. On my birthday I read all of your messages (thank you!). What’s weird, is I feel compelled to respond to each post individually, like I’ve been doing with the mail. That’s a new feeling for me. I mean, social media is so full of people saying things to you and at you. Sometimes we acknowledge them with a thumb’s up. Sometimes, we just let them live there, out in the ether. That’s the cool thing about the letters; they’re very personal. And you feel obligated as fuck to return one.

Once you cheat, even just a little, it sets off a cascade of bad habits. Just. Like. That.

If I set my fitbit alarm (I’ve been getting up at 4:30 and not wanting to wake up the whole house) before bed, I might accidentally hit the facebook app. And then have to throw the phone across the room. Once that happens, you need more.

At work, I’ve let myself check my phone too many times, and that just leads me to wanting to check it more and more and more.

Gaby’s phone is on her nightstand, charging. Before her birthday, it would’ve been downstairs in the basket.

If Cyrus sees a phone lying around he tattles, “Hey, no electronics!”

So, we have just a week left of January. I guess we’ve done it…mostly. I miss Netflix. But I don’t miss Cyrus being glued to the t.v. asking me to play a video game with him. I love not feeling the need to check my phone before bed and as soon as I wake up. Hell, I we’re all guilty of just waking up a bit in the middle of the night and reaching over for the phone. We tell ourselves we’re just checking the time, but then, maybe that instagram icon is there. Or a little message. And we go down the rabbit hole.

One great moment (with photo evidence not included in this post) was when Erika gave Cyrus a make-over. Since her foundation doesn’t really match his skin, he looked a little orange. But his lip color was nice. And his eyelashes are beautiful with mascara. She called him Donald Trump Junior. She even made his hair look windblown and thin.

I suppose that’s it for a while. I’m not sure what else there is to say. I promise, if nothing else, that I’ll write a final post when we’re done.

Hold up. I almost forgot to tell you. Remember when I published the first post and I put our address out onto the internet? Remember, Tia Carla, when you were like, “don’t do that!” And I was like, “eh.”


This is a bit weird, so bear with me. There is a person out there whom I’ve known but not really known for some years. She worked with me for a semester. Then she wrote a 90 page manuscript about how we met. Like, it had the kind of things I wrote about friends and celebrities when I was 14. “I love her, but in a friend, and totally Christian and nonsexual way.”  That’s the gist of the manuscript. She pursued a friendship, of sorts, with me. She wanted me to read her writing. I politely did what I could for about a year, then just stopped saying anything. After many messages from her, the last thing I wrote to her was, “I don’t want to be friends. Don’t contact me again.” But she did. Many more times and over the course of a year.

She sent me card. Because she reads this blog. And she found my address.

So, kids. Don’t eat laundry detergent, and definitely don’t put your personal information on the internets. Let that be a lesson to you.






Going Dark: Day 16. Shelter From the Storm

As you’ve heard me say many times now, weekends are the hardest.

This weekend was no exception.

Gaby did a lot of her side hustle. Erika was at her dad’s a lot. That left Cyrus and me a lot of time by ourselves. It’s good to have time when it’s just the two of us. Cyrus got his hair cut on Saturday, of course, and then the hilarious phone call asking for Ben Dover. But.

Sunday Gaby worked from 7-12. Erika was with Gaby. Then there were two.

As usual, Cyrus woke us up early, and repeatedly, asking when he could sleep in our bed. After Gaby left, he climbed in with me. He does this on occasion. I tell him that if he’s going to be in bed with me, he’s going to sleep. “Okay, Mom.”  But then comes the chatter. “Mom, did you have a bully when you were a kid?” “Did you like My Little Ponies when you were a little girl?”  “Did Joe Montana and Jerry Rice retire?”

There was a dusting of snow on the ground, but we got in the car anyway. I drove us to JJ’s Cafe where he had biscuits and gravy, and I ate the chicken friend steak covered in eggs, hash browns, cheese, and gravy. He ate a whole biscuit!  We sat side by side in the booth happily eating and watching big snowflakes fall outside. It was a wonderful time of just the two of us. I nearly cried at the amount of food he ate. I marveled at how he is finally old enough to carry on a conversation. I thought of the times when he was still in a car seat, and a feeding pump had to be taken everywhere. Those times are dead. Really fucking dead.

What I haven’t shared with you is this: Cyrus is eating. Since October 1st, he’s been without a feeding tube in the day time (he got calories through it at night when he was asleep). And since November 27th, when his button broke at school, he’s gone totally without. He’s scheduled to have the button in his stomach removed on March 5. He now has an answer to the question you’ve all asked since his birth. The answer is March 5. Just a few weeks before his 8th birthday.

I’m telling you this because it’s stressful feeding him. He likes to eat, but it takes him a long time. So. A meal can last an hour or more. We have to use a 30 ml syringe to give him a caloric smoothie to supplement what he eats. But. He fucking eats. Tonight he ate a whole pear, and beans, cheese, and sour cream–and he squirted a teaspoon or more of sriracha into it. He ate it all. He said, “I love spicy food.” I’m so fucking proud. It’s exhausting, though. Counting his calories to make sure he gains weight.

Without Gaby, this tube removal would not be possible. When she came into his life 3 + years ago, she worried at his nutrition; he got pediasure through his feeding tube. Four times a day. Plus water. I’d consulted with a nutritionist to see about a more nutritious alternative, but no one really seemed to have one.

Gaby made one. She made a fatty, organic, healthy smoothie that had double the calories and no fucking corn syrup, which is the first ingredient in pediasure.

This was at least a year and a half ago. She fattened him up. But she didn’t stop there. She kept trying to feed him things that he liked, with added oils and fats.

Now, he eats half of his calories like we do, and half with one of many flavored, caloric smoothies. Without Gaby, I’m positive he would still be using pediasure. I can’t believe they feed that shit to people.

But, like I said, the food doesn’t just slide down. He chews forever. Sometimes he chipmunks it in his cheeks. Sometimes he makes some excuse that he has to go to the bathroom or that he’s really tired. It’s a challenge.

And sometimes that coupled with “Hey, mom hey, mom hey, mom hey, mom” and no one else there to absorb the kid energy is enough to make a person feel overwhelmed.

I mean, I struggle with depression and anxiety a bit any way. Loud noises, like talking and shouting, make me spaz out. I do everything in my power to shut it down. Like, Cyrus talkingtalkingtalking or when he clucks like a chicken for ten minutes, or just makes all of those noise while we’re all trying to play Karuba. Sometimes, it’s all too much for me. This weekend was one of those times. And Gaby’s birthday was yesterday.

So, I’d had two days already of a lot of kid time. I have a lot in my life to be anxious about right now, having to do with Cyrus. And, on top of that, birthdays have always been a little weird for me.

Yesterday I woke up to a cat putting his claws in the mattress, then Cyrus asking when he could sleep with me. Then the cat. Then Cyrus walking back in. This went on for an hour and a half and ended around 7:00 am on our day off. On Gaby’s birthday.

So, Cyrus and I made coffee. Gaby had some, turned on her phone, and got exactly one million phone calls from her family all across the world. She retreated to the bedroom, leaving just Cyrus and me again. He demanded we play balloony ball. I tried to clean up the kitchen as a birthday present for Gaby. He “hey mommed” me the whole time.

I’ll get to the bottom of this story now. I was grumpy all day but trying not to be because it was Gaby’s birthday. I know my history of not really liking birthdays, so I thought I was trying extra hard to be happy for her. We all went outside in the super cold and played snow volleyball and snow soccer.

Mom and Dad came and we all went out to dinner. Dinner was amazing. Cyrus even at salad. He ate fucking lettuce with shredded carrots. He called himself a baby brachiosaur. He roared and ate more vegetables while the rest of us shoved bloody steaks into our mouths.

And then a piece of cake came. With a little candle. And Mom and Gaby were singing happy birthday, quietly, and I started feeling that anxiety that I can’t describe to you, you just have to have it to understand.

I blew out the fucking candle.

I snuffed out my love’s birthday.

I’m telling you this intimate detail because I’m ashamed. And maybe you’ve done something just as shameful. Maybe you’ve also wished for just 20 minutes of silence from your beautiful child. Maybe, sometimes, everything can feel like too much and you do something utterly stupid.

Or maybe it’s just me.

So, it felt like a long weekend. There are no screens to hypnotize my child, so I must figure out how to make him have some time to himself. There are no screens for me to sit in front of and live somewhere else.

I have to be right here, with myself, by myself, with all of my feelings.

The woman who snuffed out her partner’s birthday.

Without Gaby, my son would not be eating on his own. Without Gaby, I wouldn’t be eating so well with such small amount of effort. Without Gaby, there would be no Erika, no too-loud laughing, no one to check me when I’m wrong. No one to fight by my side, guns a’blazin’ when I’m right.

Tú eres mi refugio y mi verdad.


This is me after a half mile walk from my office to my car, after a long, screenless weekend.  I didn’t realize until today the lines I’ve earned under my eyes.




Going Dark: Day 13. Ben Dover

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Thursday was pretty awesome, and I meant to tell you then, but time got away from me. Due to a quick change in the weather-55 and raining to 30 degrees in just a few hours-the university sent people home at noon. So. Awesome.

Gaby and I cheated. Just a little. I sped to Hy-Vee when it was just around 34 degrees to buy us some frozen egg rolls. It’s only fair on a snow day to splurge a little, right? We discussed making our own eggrolls, since that’s the goal of this month, but when we realized we’d be alone, with no children (they were at the other parents’ houses), we decided to really take advantage of our time together. Or, as it turned out, the several hours we spent apart. I spent my time in the basement and Gaby was upstairs. Then we spent some time together. I made some martinis. We watched the rain become ice on our deck. We went to bed early.

Friday, well, I worked and so did Gaby. After work on Fridays, we like to go to happy hour, so we did that. We got home around 8. Erika talked to us for a while about teenage things, and then, exhausted, we went to bed.

The thing is, not having the internet and tv just seems kinda normal now. I feel like there isn’t much to write about. We’re almost half way now. It’s easy. I feel like we did it already.

But I still need to tell you this:

We’re communicating with more people now than we did before. We get several phone calls a day and usually a couple of letters. Gaby is meticulously producing cards every night. We’ve nearly used up the stamps we had. We love it.

Something too hilarious happened tonight when I was tucking Cyrus into bed. The phone rings. Gaby answers, “Who, I’m sorry?”  Then she says, “Ben…Dover?”  I tried my best not to crack up as I kissed Cyrus good night. I wondered who could be pranking us, and a had a good idea. Gaby laughed sooooo hard.  It was Natalie, Alison, and Helen. They were trying to reach Erika and said they spent a long time googling pranks that were PG. We told them when she’d be home, so they’re planning something even better.


In other news, not really related to us not having the internet, and maybe in violation of our goals, I submit this:

Yes. It’s adorable Cyrus. But it’s also the first time he’s allowed Amy to use the clippers and not just scissors. Because of the preemie stuff, and subsequently the helmet he had to wear a long time ago, he’s had some sensory issues with his head.  I’ve tried to bribe and beg him for years to let us use the clippers to give him a cool haircut, but he never could. Today, for some reason, Amy asked what he wanted and he said, “a mohawk.”  Amy looked at me for permission. Of course I said go for it. When she brought out the clippers he said, “Phew, Finally!!!”

I’m so proud of him that I cheated and uploaded this picture from my phone, which is not supposed to be turned on. Oh, well.

Anita Braik.

Going Dark: Day 10. One Third

A1xQKspxS0L._SL1500_It’s January 10th, so day 10 of our challenge.

We’ve gone 10 days without tv, tablets, video games, and cell phones at home. We’re 1/3 of the way through.  That might not seem like too much, but hey, it’s almost half. I guess.

Tonight Erika, Gaby, and I finally whipped out our new board game: Karuba.  Gaby was very wary at first, as she really doesn’t like board games and always says no. Erika groaned, even though she really does like them (and begs for us to play with her)…usually. I guess when an adult suggests it, it’s not as fun.

Erika called her dad. And this was a lovely moment. She grabbed two barstools and lay back, hanging her head off one end, her curly hair nearly touching the kitchen floor. She giggled. She complained. She twirled the phone cord around her finger. Gaby and I were like c’mon, let’s play already. And she totally said to her Dad, “sorry, my mom is begging me to play this game, so I have to go.”

Classic, vintage, teenage girl on the phone. She might as well have had a facemask on and nail polish at the ready.

Anyway, we started the game, and it didn’t take long before everyone was into it. But minutes later, we got a phone call from Alison and Natalie (old rugby friends of mine who visited the other night and told Erika what the yellow pages are and how to use them). They called to talk to Erika and only Erika. hahaha. We also got a post card in the mail from them today, from Hawaii! And we got another postcard from Audra! And she didn’t realize how small postcards were and apparently wrote another card immediately following.  So, that’s two pieces of mail from her.

Anyway. We played the game. Three times. And there were only three of us here tonight. And we’re 1/3 of the way through the challenge. There’s meaning here somewhere. I don’t know what it means.

*just now Gaby says, “I kinda wanna play that game again.”*

I’ve just asked Gaby what she has to say after 1/3 of our journey. She admits that she still wants the t.v. right before bed. She wants her show. Just a little bit. Just a little. She can quit any time.

I miss being able to see your posts immediately on facebook. When I post this, it publishes automatically to facebook and twitter. I have to wait until the next morning, when I’m waiting for my work computer to turn on, to see what people might’ve said.

Erika misses watching t.v., too. What she means by that is lying in her bed and watching Netflix on her laptop. Just now we asked if she liked playing the board game. She says she does, but says we can do that any time. When I suggested Gaby might be playing on her phone during the game without our challenge Erika said, “now the cards are her phone.”

Sometimes the thirteen year old yells about not having internet. Sometimes the thirteen year old is wise beyond her years.

See, there’s that number 3 again. I knew it meant something.

Going Dark: Days 8 & 9

Oh. Hi there.

I didn’t write last night because I didn’t have too much time. I’ve decided to work out. And I’ve decided to do it at 5:00 am. So, as you can imagine, I wanted to sleep a bit.

One of the great things about no cell phones at home is our home phone and Cyrus’s love of answering it. Any time it rings, which it seems to quite frequently, he screams, “I GOT IT!” Just like my childhood. He runs to answer it. “Hellllooooo,” he says in the way a 75 year old man would who is in the middle of smoking a cigar and hard of hearing.

The other cool thing, which Gaby just reminded me of, is how wonderful it is that the kids treat the home phone like it’s theirs. There is no caller i.d., so a phone call is exciting. We don’t know who it is. Mom and Dad have been calling Cyrus there a lot, and Erika’s dad only calls our house number now. Erika pretends she hates all of this, but I know she’s really enjoying having a phone. (Did I mention she doesn’t have her own, anyway? Which is unheard of for a 13 year old these days). Gaby also taught her how to *69. Mary, Gaby’s friend, called one night and told her how to pick up the other phone and listen in on phone calls. Erika’s mind was blown that this was even possible. Unfortunately for her, Gaby and I both have a lot of experience in this area and so we’re very good at detecting when the other line picks up.

So last night the phone rang, and Cyrus answered. Then I heard him say, “Who are you?” And then he said, “Chris?” And then I saw his face scrunch, like he couldn’t even be bothered with such a ridiculous phone call, especially since it wasn’t for him. He was ready to hang up, but I grabbed it from him. Phone etiquette is something we’re going to work on.

I was happy to hear the voices of some of my rugby teammates. They were all at McNally’s celebrating another teammate’s surgery. I asked them to talk to me like they were posting in the group facebook page. Instead, we had more of a real conversation. They said they missed me and wondered if our experiment meant I couldn’t come out to the bar. I don’t think it means that, but it’s funny that I do feel a bit isolated. I don’t get news the way I used to. I mean, I still listen to NPR when I’m driving to and from work, but I miss out on the other stories that I used to see on Facebook and then try to investigate.

There’s no constant stream of information and updates. My phone no longer makes 6 different noises that I can’t decipher. I no longer sit half-listening to what my family is saying while I’m wondering who texted, tweeted, instagramed, messaged, whatever. I don’t have constant hatred, either, wondering what the fucking cheeto-faced leader is doing. So, that’s really nice.

I got another card in the mail last night from a very good friend’s aunt and her partner: people I’ve met once. And just now I see that someone I don’t know commented on my blog that she was really enjoying reading.

As I told you, this weekend was very challenging. Weekdays are just fine. Only occasionally do Gaby and I stare longingly at the tv in our bed room.

I think after our month-long challenge, we’ll not only have better habits, but maybe make it a rule that no screens are allowed during the week. Or maybe not before dinner. Or some other big restrictions. We haven’t really decided yet. I mean, we’re only 9 days in.

The next big challenge will happen this weekend. We have a three day weekend and Gaby will be working quite a bit of it. That means me, “hey, mom,” and “this is the stupidest idea ever” will be hanging out a lot.

The weather is supposed to be more than 5 degrees, so I might resort to the phrase I heard from adults when I was growing up “go play outside.”