Worth Reading: October 2014

Is it just me, or is October one of the busiest months of the year? I felt like we were moving at warp speed all month, and now it’s a straight shot to the holidays. So after you finish up your trick-or-treating and before you start pinning vigorously to your All Things Thanksgiving board, here are a few posts you might want to check out from around the Internet that made me laugh, cry, vigorously nod my head in agreement, or want to virtual-fist bump the author.

photo by alicejamieson via PhotoRee

Not sure what to dress up as tonight? You could pull one of these “sexy” mom costumes together pretty quickly.

Add some of these ideas into your morning routine for a happiness boost.

I loved reading these quotes about how parenting is different in the United States.

Maybe book club should be article club instead? I kind of love this idea.

This is in my crockpot right now.

A reminder that I need to use my stand-up desk more often.

Do you have a habits manifesto? This might be a fun project for the new year.

Since I’m the mom of a little girl, I’m just going to leave this here, in case I need it in the (very) near future.

And speaking of reading lists, Amy Poehler’s new book is definitely going on mine. (FYI. That’s an affiliate link.)

Happy Halloween everybody! Until November…

How Minecraft Saved My Weekends

By Gena Kittner

Note from Lou: This is so exciting! My very good friend from college/first roommate ever, who I’ve now known for 17 years, has written Mommy Sanest’s first-ever guest post, and of course, it’s amazing. Enjoy!

Even as I write this, please know, I’d rather be reading my slightly trashy Scottish romance novel. But instead, I’ll exchange a chapter of Outlander for the iPad and the chance to explain how Minecraft, the video game popular nationwide with children ages 7 to 47, saved my family’s weekends.

Minecraft Saved My Weekends | www.mommysanest.com

My 3-year-old daughter, Ellie, and I get lots of quality time. As a stay at home mom, I spend the week arranging outings, thinking of crafts and suggesting she play with her many games and toys. I also, at times, find myself counting the minutes until 4:30 p.m. when I feel minimally less guilty about turning on the TV and tuning in the entertainer of the moment — George, Mickey, Huckle, or Dora.

Weekends are much of the same. My husband is home and we take hikes, go out to lunch, and play in the yard. But for my 3-year-old, and I’m assuming for most preschoolers, there’s a certain need for constant entertainment, leaving little me time.

Having a couple hours to turn off your brain and engage in something mindless is crucial to recharge. I enjoy reading on the couch. My husband enjoys computer games. Most recently, Minecraft. (Although, for the record, he played it long before T-shirts starting showing up in Target).

So while we both have relatively simple ways of escape, it still often falls to me to fill in our daughter’s entertainment gaps. Not for my husband’s lack of trying, but largely because of our daughter’s “mommy-only” syndrome.

Enter Minecraft. I don’t remember how exactly it happened or why it worked, but one trying Saturday when I was exhausted and close to losing it, John asked Ellie if she “wanted to watch Daddy build his house.”

And so it began. On the weekends, sometimes for 10 minutes, other times for an hour, father and daughter herd cattle, plant wheat and fight zombies in the Minecraft world. They even build a “bed” for Ellie in her own Minecraft room that also houses armor stored in a “toy chest.”

Am I thrilled with the added screen time? No. Am I delighted beyond measure that father and daughter have found a quiet activity both can enjoy while I bank some quality couch time? You bet. In fact, this Minecraft bond has helped loosen Ellie’s clinginess to me. And for that, even I’d slay zombies.

Gena is a Midwest transplant living in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. When not killing scorpions, Gena writes about food and family. Follow her on Twitter @genakittner.