Sunday, February 19, 2017

60 and sunny in Wisconsin in February. Yikes.

We are enjoying end times weather this weekend-- 60 and sunny and all of the snow in the neighborhood is gone except in our back yard which only sees sun for like 5 minutes a day, and not even 5 full minutes because the trees are usually in the way.

The kids played outside all day and got filthy, especially Jack who was so dirty that he stayed outside from noon to 5:30 and came in for a quick shower before he ate amazing amount of dinner and collapsed in bed.

He and Cooper  event went to the school park and ran into Jack's friend (whose dad was at the park with him because most parents are not terrible like us), and they were all in shorts and flip flops and had a surreal snowball fight with dirty playground snow.

I got to say things like "close the door" and "stop running in an out" and "throw away your popsicle wrapper," and these are all spring things to say.  It's supposed to snow next week #theplanetisdying.

Jack's amazing Friday morning dog walking outfit
 On Friday afternoon, Cooper went to coach speech with Ben, and I was SO TIRED.  I tried really hard to get Dorothy to snuggle on the couch with me and watch the Trolls movie, but, alas.  The 55-degree afternoon beckoned her.
 So we loaded up Caroline and went to the park
 She chatted the whole way.
 Ben and Cooper and Jack had the Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet (Cooper canNOT WAIT until he's a Scout), so Harry and Dorothy enjoyed Dairy Queen OUTSIDE at NIGHT in FEBRUARY.  SO WEIRD.

Something else weird:  I was not even tempted a teeny bit to have a bite of their ice cream.  WHO AM I?  Also, I have been weighing myself even though the Whole30 says NOT to weight myself during the 30 days, but I am clearly a bit disordered about my body or I wouldn't be doing this in the first place, and my weight loss has stalled at 7 pounds, around the same time I have discovered the magic of berries with coconut flakes and almond butter.  Go fig.  But!  I really want to lose 12 pounds because that is my immediate weight loss need.  The rest can be slow.  But 12 pounds will get me to where I was when I first got a Fitbit (eff you, Fitbit!  I shake my fist at you!) and thought I was fat to begin with.  And!  Another weird thing:  Last night I made cookies and did not eat one speck of dough or have a single bite (and they were flat and terrible for the first time in 2017, which is a sign that if I want to make good cookies, I need to EAT THE DOUGH). I WAS tempted to eat it, especially when the cookies came out flat and I decided not to make the last dozen or so in the mixing bowl.  I had to immediately fill it up with soap and water to keep my fat fingers out of there).

 Jack read his entire library book lying on the front porch amid snack refuse.  Pretty much my perfect day.
 Congrats to lucky commenter #12 Teresa!  You win Nakturnal's $50 gift certificate!  Email me at for the deets!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Whole30 Kool Aid is DELICIOUS.

The Whole30 is changing my life.

Not only is it making me less up in arms about the horrible shit show that is our political nightmare (because I am hungry and also thinking about what the hell I am going to eat next), but it is doing exactly what it promises to do, and it is changing my relationship to food.  Seriously, this plan promises total food freedom, and I GET IT.  On the one hand, I am even more enslaved to food because I am trying to figure out what in the hell I can eat and when I have time to cook and eat it, but in a larger sense, I am free from french fries (and donuts and brownies and mindless handfuls of kid food all day long) because those things are literally off the table for me.

I LIKE coconut milk in my coffee BETTER than cow's milk.  When I am hungry, a handful of almonds or cashews and a couple of cuties is the perfect snack.  A bowl full of berries mixed with almond butter is heavenly.  When I eat eggs and meat for breakfast with lots of veggies sauteed in lard, I am not hungry until mid-afternoon.  I am going through spinach by the pound, and I eat protein at every meal and snack.  These are wonderful, healthy habits that I think I will be able to put into practice for the rest of my life.

Also!  Larabars at the world's perfect snack, especially with a piece of fruit and some more nuts.

It's nice to never have sugar crashes, and my cravings are basically gone.  When the rest of the family devoured 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies last week, I was momentarily jealous, but the feeling passed quickly, and I had an extra cutie or two as I cleaned up dinner.  I have made pancakes and brownies and sugar cookies and bread machine white bread and garlic bread and stuffing and basmati rice and mac and cheese and frozen pizzas, and none of it calls to me.  Harry's blueberry bagel slathered with cream cheese looked pretty effing delicious this morning, and my mouth even watered a little, but I sat down to two eggs scrambled with spinach, onion, green pepper, and chicken apple sausage plus a huge bowl of mixed berries with almond butter, and I felt great.

But seriously.  This barbecue sauce is coming back to my life in March.  And the occasional donut.

Jack was on a student panel at a parent forum at his school last night, and he was predictably adorable.  When asked how to improve the school, he suggested that all students be allowed to use the elevator.

V-Day (and also PJ day) in this one's class today.  I felt a little guilty because Cooper's friends all gave little trinkets with their cards (their special snowflake preschool does not allow candy), but I purposely didn't buy anything because I didn't want to give people more plastic junk.  Dorothy is also taking Valentines sans trinket, but it's kind of an unprincipled stance because I totally let the big kids take Nerds and suckers.
back to obsessing about food AND politics because have you seen the headlines today?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Maybe it's the coffee and the quiet talking, but I just love love.

Is it wrong that my favorite moment of the day might be right now when the rest of my family is asleep?  I have had my workout, and I am drinking my first cup of coffee, and I have almost an hour of time to cross things off my to-do list before everyone is awake and needs me to do all of the things.

This is another Wednesday of all of the things, only instead of the hockey/gymnastics shuffle, I have to take everyone to Harry and Jack's school because Jack is on a student panel that he's really excited about.  Gah.

The Whole30 is going better than I thought it would.  I mean, right this second I am starving, but we had an amazing V-Day dinner last night: (Also that's sparkling water with frozen raspberries, not wine.  For me.  Ben had wine.  My FAVORITE wine, actually).

 And there's nothing stopping me from eating a huge breakfast right now except my own laziness because this couch is comfy and the dog next to me is really warm.

I've been a little stressed about next year because we decided not to send Dorothy to full-day 4K, even though that's what we were leaning toward because it would be so nice to have more work time.  Instead, we decided to send her to afternoon 4K, which is less work time, but more mornings like this, so, it's a win, I guess.
Oh, Cooper.  He's really ricking that awesome pedicure.  he has also ripped all the knees out of his sweat pants right about at the exact moment that all the store have swept sweatpants off their shelves, so that's awesome.

I took the boys to see Lego Batman with friends yesterday night, and Ben took Dorothy to Build A Bear, where she has been DYING to build a Poppy doll from Trolls.  She got the Trolls DVD for V-day, and it was pretty much the best ever.  And yes, she is wearing my pink hat from the Women's March.  She calls it her kitty cat hat and tells everyone it's her mom's but I let her wear it.
Also!  You can still enter to win a $50 gift certificate from Nakturnal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I pink puffy heart this day

All it takes is one adorable class Valentines party for my faith in humanity to be restored.  It's really simple.  Take 22 kids and fill them up with sugar then make them play silly games, decorate treat bags, and pass out love notes to all their friends.  And everyone's happy.
 We did a bunch of minute to win it games-- they had to take hearts out of the bowl with chopsticks, suck them out with a straw, stack hearts into towers, and balance a cookie on their foreheads and get it into their mouths without using their hands.  All funny and adorable.

 Then they decorated cookies that I made.  Instant party success.
This is Jack's self portrait from the 100th day of school.  Pretty accurate:
Not only did I bake cookies, I also put little hearts on the kids' door with things we love about them

Because V-day is my FAVORITE.

Even my sweet college kids, who are juniors and seniors, remember the wonder of their elementary school Valentine parties.  I take a attendance by asking everyone a question that they have to rite the answer to because I have over 40 students, and it;s hard for me to see who's there at a glance.  Usually the question is germane to the subject material of the day, but today I asked them their favorite Valentine tradition, and over 30 of them write about grade school, decorating treat bags and boxes and passing out cards to their friends.  SO SWEET.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekend, in pictures.

Jack dressed up at a 100-year-old man for school last week, but Dorothy comes by her geriatric style naturally:

 The Jack had ANOTHER dress up day-- pajama day.  AND his class earned a show-and-tell day, so he put Pooh Bear in jammies and brought him, his fold out chair bed, and his entire wardrobe to school.
 Harry went on and on about how he was so glad he was wearing PJs to school so he could finally be comfy when all he wears to school are grubby sweats EVERYDAY.  Like, there was literally no difference between his normal outfits and this get-up except that he usually only sleeps in those pants but he has been known to wear them outside to play so who even knows?!
 This was the grocery order I had delivered on Friday.  What do you want to bet we are completely out of food by Wednesday afternoon?
 And also I bought tons of garbage for the kids' classes for V-Day.  Lots of groceries is what I'm saying.
 It's wrong to be jealous of your dog, right?
 Sometimes they're just so sweet.
 We had a hockey game in some far flung WI town, and we made bad nutritional choices (well, not me, because I am still firmly on the Whole30, but the kids definitely had Happy Meals).
 Cooper had a game on Sunday--he's the one in the way back
 And here he's the guy with his shirt tucked into his breezers.  4 and 5 y/o hockey is really really cute.
 Beatrix likes purloined English muffin pizzas so much she has to take them outside to eat them.
 Cooper and Jack are both having special weeks at school, so they worked hard on their posters while Beatrix looked on:
 Could he possibly smile any bigger?!
 He needed a mani/pedi to get ready for the big week.
 So proud of his poster!
 Dorothy's fire truck bed Charlotte celebrated another birthday over the weekend, and all of the furniture in Dorothy's room got dressed up to attend the party.  She slays me.

Don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway.  It will run through Sunday!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Christmas toys in February! Enter my giveaway!

In my ongoing attempts to prove that despite all of these children and all of these jobs, we TOTALLY have our lives together, I decided that there is no way we are going to feel the pinch of buying a bajillion Chrismukkah gifts  in the same month this year.  But!  We still want to buy a bajillion Chrismukkah gift because Christmas morning chaos is one of my favorite things about having a million children children.  Well, that and how often we get to celebrate a birthday.  Chocolate cake almost half the year! (Almost half because Dorothy and Ben share the same birthday birthday month).

This year, we are going to do the impossible thing that we have never ever managed to do-- we are going to stop hemorrhaging money between late November and late December, and instead, we are going to buy at least 2-- but hopefully more like 4-- gifts EVERY MONTH and squirrel them away until Christmas.

I know it's only February, but so far WE ARE DOING IT!  Last month, we bought 3 gifts for Dorothy and 2 for Cooper, and it felt AMAZING.  It felt so good, in fact, that I want to help you jump start your holiday shopping, too.  I suggest hitting up for Christmas toys, and to make that happen, I am offering a $50 gift certificate to  To win, all you have to do is comment on this post, and tell me your favorite Chrismukkah purchase from 2017.  This awesome giveaway is made possible by a partnership between this blog and Nakturnal.

In Chrismukkahs past, I have made the mistake of buying Dorothy toys that she's just not ready for.

Exhibit A:
 Exhibit B: (I mean, that particular doll was pretty good, but the American Girl behind her?  Not so much)
 And the quintessential exhibit C:
 This year though, I am reading real suggestions for developmentally appropriate toys and making a Pinterest board, even.  And!  I am not the only person on the internet who says early shopping is the thing to do!  But-- I might be the only person you know offering a giveaway to get you started, so don't forget to comment on your favorite Chrismukkah purchase from last year to be entered to win a $50 gift certificate.

In the interest of total honesty, I have to tell you that I am probably giving Dorothy the stuff I have already bought-- the Pinkalicious books, the Shimmer and Shine playset, and the giant pack of Disney Princess dolls-- for her birthday because another thing I want to do this year is curb the birthday spending.  I just invited all her little preschool friends over for a Trolls-themed tea party (IT'S GOING TO BE SO AWESOME), and I already have all her gifts, so I feel like this is a huge win in that column. Plus, I still have 2 gifts for Cooper that I bought in January, so I'm not ruining my Chrsimukkah resolution, either.  It's hard when you are shopping in advance for little kids to know what the heck they are going to be into when the holiday rolls around, and she loves all of those things RIGHT NOW, so I have kairos on my side.

Which reminds me!  The time is right for you to start your holiday shopping, too, with $50 from  All you have to do to enter is to comment about your favorite Chrismukkah purchase from 2016.  I can't wait to read your answers, and tell your friends to enter, too!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

100 days of school! And calories and whining.

I have a 365 project on Instagram that I managed to totally screw up and be off by like 5 pictures.  Today should be 273/265, and it's only 267/365.  SO ANNOYING.  Luckily it's TBT, so I can just add a whole bunch of pics, but I don't understand where I got thrown off.

I freaking HATE the Whole30, and also I think I am eating too much.  I just added my breakfast up on My Fitness Pal, and it's 470 calories.  My lunch is 389.  But since I am not snacking and we're having polish sausage for dinner and that sounds AWFUL, I should be at 1100 for the day with calories left over for an apple after dinner.  I AM SO LUCKY.  But seriously, if I gain weight on this diet, I am going to be seriously pissed.  And!  I am easily eating 7-8 servings of fruit and veggies a day, so that's amazing.  And this is basically the caloric pattern I have been following all month-- my enthusiasm for this food wanes along with my optimism as the day progresses.

I think I seriously want to get a "Nevertheless, she persisted." tattoo.  Who knew the entire history of feminism could be summed up in 3 words?  Also, the #shepersisted hashtag kind of makes me ragey because the amazing part and the part that packs the context is "nevertheless."

I have never used the word "compliance" more than I have in the last 9 days because that's what the Whole30 calls foods that fit the plan.  They are compliant foods.  I HATE THAT WORD.  I hate its implications, and I hate the tone.  I don't want to be a compliant person!  I want to raise hell!  And also eat some goddamned barbecue sauce.

Seriously, though, her styling skills are off the hook:
 And can you believe it;s the 100th day of school already?  Jack is a seriously cute old man, and FYI, a Stila eyeliner makes some good wrinkles.