Survival Guide for the Professional Turned Stay at Home Mom; Parenting Survival Guide

Parenting Survival

I meant to write this post a couple of days ago, but then I needed to wait until I was having a day where I felt like I was more than just surviving. My kids are 11 and 13 and I still have days I feel like the joke’s on me. As I’m putting out fire after fire our house becomes more a blast zone than peaceful haven. Those are the-two-steps-forward, three-steps-back days or weeks and we all have them. And then you get a good night’s sleep and deal with your dissues {I explain those here} and forward the laundry, take a deep breath and feel like you’re back on track. My being a stay-at-home mom was not plan A for our family. When I became pregnant with Delaney, I was working a full time family practice, seeing patients at 3 hospitals before and/or after my full day, doing urgent care some nights and weekends, and taking call for our large group a week at a time every 7 weeks. I knew that schedule was completely incompatible with motherhood, but we thought I’d work 2 or 3 days a week and have my mom nanny. Then Delaney was born and reality set in.

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Funny Things Kids Say…The Mouths of Babes

Funny Things Kids Say…the Mouths of Babes

Kids say funny, amazing, blunt, insightful, crazy things. Hearing these things has been one of the many unexpected thrills of parenthood. These little people are so full of surprises and depth. I have been jotting notes through the years of some of our girls’ doozies, but it probably isn’t necessary because our family language has evolved to incorporate the best of them.

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Things that Make Me Laugh

I once heard a story about a neurosurgeon in a remote part of Alaska who wears a helmet every time he drives his car because he’s the only neurosurgeon around. I have no idea if this is true and can’t remember where I heard it, but I have been laughing about that for at least two decades. I don’t know why it tickles me so much. I guess it just charms me. There’s something so innocent and true and sensible about it. And quirky. He values his safety and health more than he worries about looking foolish. I love that. I think he’s someone I’d like to know.

I just love to laugh! Sometimes with no warning I will recall one of my favorite gems and just laugh right out loud. My girls like to guess what I’m laughing about. They know all my go-tos.

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The Tweedles and Other Sewing Successes and Fails

Some of my favorite things in life have been things at which I’m not very good. I loved gymnastics growing up even though I was a head taller than the rest of the team and about as graceful as a toddler. It was so much fun to see what I could make my body do and a thrill to fly through the air and manage to land safely. I loved the challenge, the feeling of power, the complexity of it, the competition against myself to always improve, the camaraderie of suffering through 4 hour workouts with my best friends. I also love riding a bike even though I almost fell off a cliff once when Scott and I were dating and I thought  it would be no problem to ride down a single track at break-neck speed with no experience or skill. I ended up clinging to a sappling for dear life and we decided it would be best if I walked my bike the rest of the way. Fail. I haven’t ridden much in my adult life. Still, every time I see someone dreamily peddling down a tree-lined street on TV, I remember that I am a bicycle lover at heart and make secret plans to get back to it. I also love to sew.

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Tunnel Vision: When Our Problems Keep Us in a Tunnel

Beautiful Tunnel; tunnel vision article

Do you ever feel like something that is hard in your life is keeping you in a tunnel? That all that you see and feel and think about is being seen and felt and thought through the filter and weight of that problem? That things which should be easy and should require little thought are somehow harder and more perplexing? That your feet are stuck in a thick bog and your brain is full of cobwebs? Me too.

I don’t live this way often. My circumstances don’t control my life as a rule, thank God. But when I’m worried about the health of one of my kids or I’m contemplating a weighty decision, I often feel paralyzed by those issues. Until recently, I saw this as a weakeness, a character defect even. I am a worrier and over-analyzer by nature, so I thought this was just something I didn’t deal with well or was a personal shortcoming. People in every day life don’t talk about it. The interactions we have are usually too fleeting or superficial (appropriately so) to delve below the surface and share what’s really going on in our depths. So when we feel this way, we often can’t see anyone else going through the same thing. And I don’t know about you,  but it never occurs to me to cut others slack because they might be in that boat. I heard a podcast earlier this week that dissects this phenomenon.

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Laundry Room Before and After

Laundry Room Before and After

laundry room before

Does this look familiar? I live in my laundry room. I am a folding sage. I feel like it might be the thing in life with which I have the very most experience next to sleep. With four of us and our various activities, laundry is a constant. I love language and puns and rhymes and alliteration, so I’ll lay one of my sayings on you now that never fails to make the eyes of one or both of my daughters roll into their sockets. It’s laundry quandary. If I am overwhelmed with baskets and baskets of clean laundry that are awaiting folding, I say I am in a laundry quandary.  When my kitchen is overwhelmed with dishes that need to be done, I say I’ve got dissues. I crack myself up! Anyway, another quandary is how to keep clean laundry from falling out of those overfilled baskets and landing behind the washer and dryer. This happens so often that I resorted to keeping Scott’s gigantic outdoor sized barbecue tongs in the laundry cabinet. When something goes down, I get the tongs, hike myself up tall, lay over the top of the dryer like someone who put their belly where their bottom goes in the saddle of a horse and reach down there into the dusty abyss to retrieve the lost item which is now full of lint and needs to be rewashed. The last time this happened, I had an idea!

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World’s Best Mashed Potatoes!

Winning Prize for the World's Best Mashed Potatoes

World’s Best Mashed Potatoes

I love to eat. It’s one of my favorite activities. Therefore, I am an enthusiastic if slightly lazy cook. This makes for someone who has gathered many recipes through the years that are delicious but not too fussy or involved. One of those is my mashed potato recipe. I don’t remember exactly where it came from originally, but not only is it delicious (just ask the 20ish people who eat them every Thanksgiving…hey, if it works, why vary?), it removes the element of last minute sweaty labor over a gigantic, steamy, hair-do wilting pile of potatoes that need to be made edible and remain hot in the last 10 minutes before eating can commence. You make them in the morning while you are still in your cozy clothes and guests won’t be arriving for hours. Then you plop them in your crock pot, set it on low, and forget about them until it’s time to eat. Sound good?  Read more

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Let Me Explain…

Me; creating cozy clothes

Creating Cozy Clothes

Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog! My name is Joanne and I am a stay-at-home mom to two daughters 11 and 13. I am married to a whip-smart, funny, and mischievous husband, Scott, who keeps me on my toes and never lets life get boring. Before our kids were born, I was a family physician and Scott is an endodontist. That’s root canals. Yup.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am about to embark upon something new and recently it’s come into focus. I designed a line of cozy loungewear for women who want to be comfortable at home in something soft, cute, flattering and supportive. Here is where I will share my know-nothing journey into apparel production as I go about making my ideas materialize into something I can wear.

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