Let’s talk about Zoloft

Disclaimer:  this is a personal thing that I want to talk about and it helps to process by writing and sharing.  Please know that my intention is a MILLION percent not to offend anyone in any way.  But I know this can be a sensitive subject, and I’m so sorry if anything comes out weird.  That’s truly not what I meant.

So I mentioned to the Health Unit here that I’ve been having more trouble on planes.  It’s not the end of the world.  I’m still flying regularly.  But I usually deal with it by forgetting that I have an issue until the next flight and then white knuckling my way through it.  I wanted to try to be proactive.  Get in front of the issue.  You know, responsible adulting.

The told me that the regional psychologist would be visiting soon and would I like an appointment?  I said, sign me up!

So I had my appointment . . .

Continue reading

How we Pack

So we went to Penang Island in Malaysia last week.  It was incredible.  Definitely recommend.

As we prepped for the trip, I realized we have gotten into a packing formula of sorts.  Not only that, but we’ve honed our division of labor on who packs what.

So here is our formula.  This is how two adults pack themselves and two kids into two duffels and two carry-on book bags.

Continue reading

Enjoying the moment in Turin

10.20_turin 6

I really really really try not to do this.  I promise I do.

But I can’t help thinking that certain things, particularly travel-related things, will be easier in just a few years.

And I know.  I’m working on enjoying the moments.  I swear.  But you just have these little niggling thoughts, ya know?

Continue reading

How to fight jet lag LIKE A BOSS

1.12_Mac collage_jet lag

Ya’ll, my mom is coming this week!  She has to eat all the pasta, drink all the wine, and spend all the time with grandkids.  I’ve discovered that I can just barely squeeze between the carseats so we have plans to visit gardens and we just booked a trip to Tuscany.  I won’t be able to feel my legs, but it is going to be legend – wait for it and grab your pizza – DARY.

All of this means she needs to hit the ground running.  Which is not easy to do when you are six time zones off your game.  Also, unfortunately, traveling east is harder to recover from.

To come up with a game plan, I took to the internets to devise a foolproof jet lag battle strategy.  Here’s the best advice I could find.

Prepare before you go.  Some suggest shifting your schedule before you go.  Others say–and I agree–that there is no point giving yourself jet lag before you leave.  My mom is a busy lady.  She doesn’t have time to mess around with schedule shifting.

But there are things she can do.  Leaving home well rested seems like a sound strategy.  Unfortunately, if I know my mom, she’ll be running around until the last minute getting things ready and taking care of loose ends.  But please try, Mom!  Get some sleep, eat decently, you know the deal.  We have a washer/dryer.  Once I figure out how to undo the child lock Henry somehow turned on this morning, I promise I’ll wash your clothes every day if you want.  No need to stress on packing!  (Except for all those things I keep asking you to bring.  OK, good talk, thanks in advance.)

On the plane.  Sleep is a good strategy.  Some suggest sleep aids, but my mom is a little crunchy and she won’t have time to test these before so drugs are out.  Busting out the noise canceling headphones and sleep mask could help.

I know your vacation starts on the plane, but avoiding caffeine and booze should helpDrink water like it’s your job.

And jump into your new schedule on the plane.  Several sites recommend resetting your watch immediately when you board.  The jet lag is all in your head, Cricket-san.

At arrival.  My mom’s flight gets in at 8:00 AM.  That means she has a long day ahead of her.  The answer seems to be sunlight.  The internets tout sunlight as being one of the best ways to hasten your transition.  But not just indiscriminate sunlight.  For my mom, an eastbound traveler, she should avoid morning sun and get afternoon sunScience types even go as far to wear sunglasses on the plane and at arrival to limit morning sun.  My mom likes the sun.  And sunglasses.  If we can keep her from napping, it shouldn’t be hard to get her outside in the afternoon.  Hopefully we won’t be having another rainy day.

Some suggest faking the sun by taking melatonin.  I don’t see this being in our strategy though.  One, crunchy.  Two, if you mess up or mistime your dose, it could actually set you back on your jet lag journey.

Bringing our “A” guest game could help my mom as well.  We’ll have the room ready with the light blocking shades and comphy sheets.  When it is finally time to sleep, I’ll do everything I can to make it a good night.  Absence of crying children sadly not guaranteed.

So that’s the plan.  Hope my mom isn’t burning the candle at both ends getting ready, promise her plenty of wine in Italy if she can avoid on the plan, and run her ragged in the afternoon sun when she gets here.  I have trained minions who excel at running people ragged.  Ideally, my mom would power through Day 1 and go to bed close to a normal time.  If she’s majorly flagging, we may negotiate a short nap.  Sounds fun, right?  OK, ready, break!  Ya’ll my mom is coming!!!!

Any other jet lag fighting words of wisdom?  I’ll let you know how it goes!

The answer is always Henry

Why is there a deflated balloon in the refrigerator?

Why is there a metal spoon in the couch cushions?

Why is the veggie steamer on my nightstand?

Henry.  The answer is always Henry.

12.19_henry 2

Oh, Henry.  It feels not long ago that you turned two and now you are two and a quarter.  You are a force of life.  You are always on the go.  “Mas running” is still one of your favorite games.  Lately, you want to climb everything in sight.  I do the best I can to spot you while wearing a baby.  Thankfully no damage too serious yet, but we do call you Head-Injury-Henry for a reason.


You still love balls.  Kicking is your jam and you always get comments on your skillz, but you have picked up your throwing and catching game as well.  You love trains and motos and planes.  Especially planes.  You pore over your Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, each page exclaiming “Airplane!  Airplane!  Look at that airplane!”  We read a lot too, which I love because reading is awesome and it is one of the only times you let me cuddle.

12.19_henry 6

I can’t believe how much you talk.  You can tell me what colors the airplanes are and that they are landing in the water or zooming in the sky.  We really do have somewhat legitimate conversations.  Very recently you started putting your “please” sentences together and can say things like “can I have my sticker book please?”  Color me impressed.

You are very social.  You have a circle of friends here that you seem delighted to see.  Sometimes it takes you a little bit to warm up, but I’m always amazed how eager you are to seek out new playmates.  You fearlessly stalked some kids at the market in Munich, and after I translated for you, you and your new buds ran around terrorizing the patrons at the gluhbier stand.  (More on gluhbier later; shocking to no one, hot beer is NOT as delicious as hot wine.)  You’ve been approaching Italian kids at the playgrounds too.  We are working on getting you into daycare for a morning or two each week.  This is less about giving me a break and more about giving you some more peeps to run around with.  (Particularly until you turn three and we have to decide if we want to go the pricey private preschool route.)

12.19_henry 3

I’d say you are generally mild-mannered, for a toddler, but you do have your share of meltdowns.  I’m always blown away by how food-motivated you are.  I can flash one M&M and you will happily climb obediently into your stroller.  I don’t love bribing you and try to avoid it, but sometimes one M&M or cracker is a pretty reasonable price to pay for compliance.

I think you’ve been growing.  I haven’t measured you lately, but you can reach more elevator buttons than when we got here.  You certainly feel a bit heavier.  And you have so much hair!  I love that you have enough hair that it can get messed up.  We’ll do a haircut someday.  But not yet.

12.19_henry 4

Things are never boring with you around.  I have honed negotiation skills that I never dreamed I would need.  (Seriously, I think “getting toddlers to do things” should be a legitimate resume bullet.)  For example, in between when I started writing this and now, you had an EPIC meltdown that was solved when I eventually got you to eat and sang a spur-of-the-moment-creation “I’m a pizza monster.”  (To be released next year.  See you at the Grammies, suckas!  That’s the awards one for music again, right?)  You kept cracking up and your giggles were so sweet that it almost made up for the previous half hour of screaming and hating everything.  (Haha, not even close.  But it was a welcome, joyful sound.)

12.19_henry 5

Life with you can be tiring, but it is very fun.  It is certainly never dull.

Love, Mom