A Little Mid-Solo Parenting Adventure Update!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Since this morning is, roughly, the halfway point, in this solo parenting adventure - I thought I would post a little update on how we're doing around here without Matt.

It's...not that bad?

The days are fine - it's really not too big of a difference from the usual routine.

But the nights. Boy howdy, the nights!

We had a fun first day on Sunday: hanging out at church, visiting with friends, and having a football party (to watch the Cowboys win! And tragically lose Romo for a long long time.) Low key evening where we just had dinner, straightened up, and talked to Matt on Facetime.

But we were in the middle of a heat wave. In the Bay Area, where we have no AC or good insulation, that translates to Days of Misery.

The first night John didn't sleep until after 9pm (normal is 8pm). Wake ups at 10:45, 12:15, 1:00, 4:30, and finally 6:15.

Remember that post where I said I don't fall asleep quickly, and thus Matt does a lot of the nighttime parenting? Yeah, that reasoning still stands. Got MAYBE two hours of sleep that first night.

I was not a very happy camper the next morning.

Breakfast also brought a learning curve. Apparently "cereal" does NOT mean Cheerios (silly mommy). "Cereal" only refers to store brand Honey Bunches of Oats.

Matt, being the awesome husband that he is, had insisted on setting up some babysitting time for two of the mornings he was gone. I thought it wasn't necessary before he left, but I was very very wrong. It was the best thing ever.

We had a sitter we used to have a lot, so she already knew the ropes about our complicated cloth diapers and baby carrier. She took the kids out for park time and picnic before it got too hot, and I got to get in some blessed quiet time.

I still can't nap on demand, so napping didn't happen, but I did manage to do things like: go to the grocery store (by myself!) and get the milk and bananas we needed to get through the day, and do laundry. I even got a flu shot! And got some caramel chocolate treats because they give you a 20% off coupon when you get a flu shot at CVS. Seems like they would like me to get a treat, so I think I will.

Kids took a good nap, and it felt more like we were back on track by the afternoon.

We made a chocolate cake as a just for fun thing for mom and kids. We still have plenty left for movie night!
John insisted on putting most of the sprinkles, very carefully, in the center of the cake.
It occurred to me that I manage to cook a pretty decent dinner without Matt on regular days, then I should totally be able to do it while he's away too! We made this Honey Garlic Chicken. So good!

I changed the recipe a little bit by cutting the chicken into nugget size, and I didn't bother with dredging the chicken with egg. I have found the secret to getting that delicious crispy texture is to fry them twice! I cook them mostly through, let them cool off a little bit on a plate with a paper towel, then put them back in the flour dredge and fry them again. It takes a little longer, but the results are so so worth it!

Next time I would also make some rice because the sauce also turned out really delicious!

Yummies! Also lots of steamed green beans from the farm box. Green beans are like crack for my kids, but only if you put NOTHING on them. I put butter on them once and they did not like it. Lesson learned. 
This is how John felt about getting to have cake.
Last night was a better night. I was feeling discouraged with an 11:45 wake up, but they held it together until almost 6:00 after that. I'll take it!

The kids really really miss their Dad. Therese will scoot down the hall saying "Dada, Dada!" if she hears the outer door close in the afternoon. John had taken to asking more and more frequently "Where is Dad?" Thank goodness for Facetime and Skype! It helps that they can see him and say goodnight to him.

We have movie night to look forward to this evening, and another sitter break tomorrow morning. We're doing it!


  1. Oh man, that heat wave sounds awful! I'm glad that you all are doing well, though! It sounds like a fun time!

  2. Fall! So excited for all it has in store for us this year. Would love to see pictures of your party when it is up and running!

    1. I failed on taking pictures of all of the parties! This is what happens when people bring too much delicious food that keep my hands busy.
      We ARE having Michaelmas party today, and there will be LOTS of pictures of that! Stay tuned!

  3. Kirby, I'm enjoying your blog!

    My husband is gone for about four days out of every month for National Guard duty. I've learned how to do it just fine without any big snags, and it's become just part of our routine. But the one thing I have a lot of trouble with (that you overcame on the first night!) is working up the will to make a real dinner when it's just me, a 3-year-old, and a 1-year-old.

    You know, like a family dinner. The kind we have every other night of the year. The kind with 3 things on a plate, requiring at least a little prep time, made with love and more than 3 ingredients, all that.

    With my kids so little, I just can't summon the motivation to do a true cooking job for people who won't be the least bit impressed by my efforts. De-boned roasted chicken with the nice crispy skin and a green bean salad? Or frozen chicken nuggets with a plop of mustard? I would never think of tossing that at my grown husband for dinner, but the fact is, these little boys don't care. So 90% of the time, I do something like boil pasta, toss in some frozen peas, and call it a night. Then I feel guilty. And do it again the next night.

    My husband has a minimum of 2.5 more years in the guard. I tell myself that as my boys get older, I will just naturally work myself up to making real family food when my husband is gone. But it's my secret fear that I won't!

    1. Hi Mary! Glad to see you around here!

      Honestly, I prowl all of the military wife blogs whenever I know Matt is going to have some days/nights away from home. Part of it is to pick up tips, but the other part is just to realize how little I have to complain about.


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