You asked, I will answer. Jarom had the day off today, so my routine was disrupted – in a good way – which is why I’m not blogging until way after the kids are in bed. Alright, here we go:
What kinds of lunches do you prepare for your two toddlers? – Jaime
I really hate putting a lot of effort into things, especially lunches. So we do lots of toddler-friendly (read: super easy) meals. Evan’s favorite is peanut butter & honey sandwiches with no skin (he means crust, and I only sometimes comply with that request), and June’s favorite is noodles. Any kind. We have boxes of cheesy pasta on hand, which I refuse to eat, especially when the kids want hot dog slices tossed in. Gross. Actually, I usually fix something else for myself. Unless we have chicken nuggets. Other things: pretzels & peanut butter, poached eggs or soft boiled eggs on toast, frozen pizza. In winter, we eat lots of clementines and canned fruit. When they’re in season, we love fresh peaches. Sometimes I can get the kids to also have string cheese (although June prefers Babybels), and they always love yogurt. I’m not great at doing vegetables with lunch . . . ever.
I hear your husband is super-awesome. What is it like being married to somebody so unabashedly amazing? – Totally Not Jarom
Quite honestly, it’s the best. But don’t tell Jarom – he’ll let it go to his head.
Are you two [Jarom and Mika] as witty to each other in real life or does it come out better online? – Renee
We’re mildly amusing when we’re just around each other, with a few moments of wittiness throughout the day. When we have an audience, real or online, the banter really gets going. It’s part of what makes us so charming.
What’s an average day like for you? – Nicole
I’m glad you asked this now and not a month or two ago, because things have been improving and I can pretend those horrible days didn’t happen. Lately Jarom has been leaving for work around 7:30, which is before the kids and I usually get up. But hearing him getting ready does sort of remind me that it’s morning, so I’m more ready to be conscious when June wakes up about 8. Some days Evan gets up first, but normally it’s June. We eat breakfast – cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, toast and eggs, or French toast if Jarom is home – and then the kids run free. In the past they each picked a show after breakfast while I tried to mentally prepare myself for the day, but recently, we’ve left Netflix off. Evan and June have played together really well, leaving me time to blog, read all the interesting things on the internet (there are very few, so it doesn’t take long), get dressed (but only some days! I confess to frequently staying in pajamas until the afternoon), and maybe even put contacts in. And, get this, for the last week I’ve even gotten cleaning done in the morning. I have energy then, and the kids keep each other occupied.
We’re pretty consistent about eating lunch at noon, after which June goes down for a nap. Or should I say . . . SHE USED TO. She gave up naps about a week ago. No me gusta! It’s sad and heartbreaking and horrible! When she did nap, Evan got to watch a movie, and I’d try to take a nap or read a book. Now our lives have been ruined by the no-nap thing, so depending on the day, I might turn on the tv anyway and let the kids each pick a show, especially if they’ve been playing nicely all morning. The playing goes on until about 3, when I suddenly run out of energy, the kids suddenly get fussy and start making messes, and the dog goes crazy because the mailman comes by.
I usually consider taking a caffeine pill around this time.
Instead, I give the kids a snack and try to imagine what we could eat for dinner. If Jarom has carpooled to work, and I have the car, hopefully I’ve planned at least slightly ahead and gotten some useful groceries. Otherwise, it’s time to mentally compare cupboard/fridge contents to recipes and see what we could make. When I have the energy, and the time, I try to start dinner before Jarom gets home. But Jarom is a much better cook than I am, so more often than not, I leave the actual cooking for him. I hope he doesn’t mind.
We’ve been strict lately about getting the kids to eat all of their dinner. They’ve come a long way, and a lot of times Evan eats everything without constant reminding. June subsists on pink milk, so it’s a struggle to get her to eat real food. But we’re getting there. After dinner, we try to all play together for a while, figure out what’s going on the next day, and get the kids settled down. Bedtime is somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30, depending on when Jarom got home, how long dinner took to make and eat, and how nice the kids were being. June definitely needs to go down closer to 7:30 now that she’s not taking a nap. This is how we do bedtime: kids get in pajamas, we read books in Evan’s room, we have family prayer, and then Jarom and I each take a kid. They both get songs, prayer, and a hug and kiss. June is pretty good about going to bed, and Evan is most of the time – but some nights, like tonight, he comes out of his room two or three times with extra requests. I assume this is typical.
You might wonder what I do during the day while the kids are playing. I know that I ought to spend more time playing with their toys with them, doing projects with them, and being hands-on. The truth is, I have a really hard time doing all of those things. I like to play with my kids – when we make up silly games, especially ones that don’t require a lot of thought or energy on my part. One recent favorite involves me sitting on the couch, shouting “Ready, set, go!” while the kids take turns running from Evan’s room into my arms. They usually shout something about Team Pteranodon and want me to act scared that they’ll crash into me. When I’m not being a lazy mom, I attempt housework (which I’m terrible at), read, or think of all the useful things I should do. That list is extremely long.
Why don’t you hang out with me more often? – Camile
Here are the reasons: 1. I’m a homebody, and I like staying at home. 2. My house is super messy and embarrassing. In the “I’d need to spend a few hours cleaning before I could even ask someone to come help me clean” way. Although, Jarom has spent many hours working with me lately, so the house is actually not embarrassing. 3. The house is, however, unswept, which seems unsafe for a crawling baby who I assume likes to put things in her mouth. 4. What it really comes down to is that I hate to invite someone over (even someone as likable and friendly as you) when the house isn’t pristine. Because I will feel like a failure. Therefore the kids and I hardly ever interact with people outside our family. I think there is a lot wrong with this picture, so I’m going to invite you over even though there are still messes here. How about Thursday afternoon?
How did Jarom propose? – Mika
I wrote down the story 2 days after he proposed. By the way, last Saturday was our 6-year engage-a-versary, if that’s a thing. We watched Stranger Than Fiction to celebrate – we were on our way to see it when Jarom popped the question.
When did you start keeping track of the books you read? – Mika
At the beginning of 2004. My family came out to Utah for Christmas, but only stayed for part of break – so I spent a few days alone in my dorm. I remember getting a letter from Jarom (who was on his mission in Korea at the time) and realizing that this was the person I wanted to make things work with. In an effort to improve myself, I started keeping track of what I was doing. I keep track of my books in a spreadsheet, which you can see here.
How did you potty-train Evan? – Mika
I waited a long time until he was obviously capable. I bribed with stickers and a star chart, as well as a trip to the zoo with me and to the dinosaur museum with Jarom once he was completely potty-trained. And when I got tired of waiting, I threw out all the diapers.
How do you handle meal-planning? – Mika
I don’t anymore. But when I do, rarely, I have another spreadsheet with a list of all the dishes I like (and some I haven’t tried), separated by main ingredient. I make a calendar for dinners and do a different main ingredient each night of the week: chicken, pork, beef, seafood, vegetarian, miscellaneous, and favorites. Sometimes I get really into it and plan out sides and leftovers for lunches and extra batches for freezer meals. Then I get overwhelmed after two days of this and we eat cereal for dinner.
Any other questions?