Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby girls are so damn cute

I mean sure, baby boys are, too. But OMG Dorothy kills me these days with utter adorableness.

(Okay, but then there's this guy, too, who is pretty darn adorable.  He's actually so shy and self-conscious and vulnerably adorable that he makes me almost cry every time he smiles.)
 But Dorothy with balloons is irresistible, too.
 She was saying broon broon, too.
 Her clothes last SO LONG.  The tunic she is wearing was a dress last winter, and her leggings are some she has had since Christmas.  I really enjoy how her clothes can be re-purposed.  Just the addition of a cardigan and some legging and bam!  All her summer clothes are suddenly fall clothes.  And the mileage she is getting out of last year's dresses (they are too cute over skinny jeans) is amazing me.  When boys outgrow their clothes that's it-- the clothes are gone.
 Her rain gear is so cute I wish it rained everyday.
 But not really because the dog is too dumb to not eat my boots the whole time we walk in the rain.  Also, there's the whole WALKING IN THE RAIN part.
 Imagine these almost mother-daughter dresses with matching Minnetonka moccasin booties.  And now imagine our Christmas card.  I have to coordinate the boys, still (including a sweatsuit for Cooper only not a sweatshirt because those are "owie" and "yuck" so maybe a long sleeved t-shirt and track pants?)
Okay, seriously.  I am SO BUSY in every aspect of my life that I should not even be writing this right now, but since I have already posted these content-less pictures, I might as well keep going. You guys, I need some support.  I am getting ready to go on a girls' trip with my favorite internet friends from back in the day in a month.  And by getting ready I mean filling my Xanax prescription (literally.  called my doctor TODAY and got one) and thinking about buying plane tickets because the idea of flying across the country BY MYSELF scares the shit out of me.  Which is why I have procrastinated on the tickets even though we leave in 4 weeks and have had our trip planned for 6 months.  I have sent at least 6 borderline incoherent Facebook messages saying I can't go, but I REALLY WANT TO GO. I am afraid that I am going to buy the tickets (for a million dollars because I waited so long, but that's my damn fault) and then sabotage myself and not get on the plane and somehow blame it all on Ben and freak out big time.  I really don't want to sit at home and miss this great trip, but I cannot visualize myself actually going.  Does that make sense?  I think Amy and Becca and Sarah are tired of hearing me complain and vacillate.  I don't know what I am looking for here.  Support?  A pep talk?  Somebody besides Ben to tell me to quit being such a drama queen snowflake?  I am such a peach.  I bet you want to plan a vacation with me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cooper's party and assorted whining.

Harry lost his special snowflake lunchbox today, and I am irrationally annoyed.  Maybe not irrationally, actually, as he had his previous lunchbox which had LITERALLY 10 different plastic pieces/containers/lids for 3 years and never lost even the tiny dip container's lid.  But he has his new one-piece lunchbox for what? 2 weeks?  And it's gone, never to be seen again. (Probably).  (I think he threw it away).  (Who throws away a freaking lunchbox?)  (A kid with ADHD).

And because I am the catch of all catches, I bit Ben's head off about the whole thing (not Harry's) because I know that he won;t want me to buy a new lunchbox and ice pack and lunchbox carrying case, but I am going to, damnit, because it makes packing lunches fun, and isn't it about me?  ISN'T EVERYTHING ABOUT ME?

It was actually about Cooper this weekend, and I know you have already seen these pictures on Facebook, but HERE THEY ARE AGAIN.

Cooper is a very enthusiastic present opener

 I made a bunch of cookies and frosting and put out bowls of my favorite candy to decorate with.  That's about all of the party planning I did to be honest.

 The grandparents spent the afternoon assembling a giant tractor.
And the kids made cookies and then freaked out from all the sugar (damn you science-- that's a real thing, the sugar freakout).

 The tractor process was intense.
 Mayhem ensued

 Cooper played in the tractor box for a long time.

We planned to barbecue, but then the weather got cold overnight, and out week got insane, so we ordered everything-- meat and cheese tray, veggie tray, pizza, salad, fruit salad, cake.  Such a cop out and one we use quite frequently.

Also, Cooper specifically requested a white cake, and everyone knows that cake should be chocolate.  Sigh.

After the party, we went out with my parents, and I got completely shit hammered on bloody Marys and beer.  My dad insisted he was fine to drive home, but my mom and I walked across the golf course, which was lovely and a little bit sobering.  Not sober?  Every single person in the bar, all of our pool friends only they had clothes on so they were largely unrecognizable.  Especially because I was drunk.

Sunday was an October's bright blue weather day even though it's still the middle of September.  We celebrated by playing outside and park hopping.

And then it was Monday, and our Mondays are just so stereotypically Monday-ish.  3/4 of the kids need to be dressed and out the door early.  All 6 of us have to get up and get dressed and look presentable.  The dog needs a walk and some play time.  All of the little things in the house want to eat.  Last night, I laid out a breakfast assembly line.
It worked OK, but there was too much choice involved with the cereal selection.  Choices are bad for effifciency.  And I did have time for a workout, a shower, and some time with my makeup chisels, but I left the house a raptured-up-during-breakfast kind of disaster.    Can't win em all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cookies and Toddlers

You guys!  I have been making  chocolate chip cookies  on the regular for about 2 years in the effort to perfect them.  Today,  think I finally did.

2 sticks melted butter
2 eggs at room temp (this is key, I think)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour (spoon the flour into the measuring cup and err on the scant side)
1/2 tsp salt
some cinnamon (not very much, but I did not measure)
1 heaping heaping tsp baking soda
 2-ish BAGS semi-sweet chips (Whole Foods store brand.  Could use 2 full bags, but today, I think I ate a half a bag while making the cookies so it was more like a bag and a half-- WHY CAN'T I LOSE WEIGHT??)

Preheat oven to 375.  No rush on the preheating because you have to leave the dough in the fridge for awhile. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Mix together melted butter and sugars by hand with a big spoon.  Barely mix.  Add egg and vanilla.  Stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.  Fold into liquid mixture.  Add chips.  EAT A TON of raw dough and wonder why your stomach hurts and you are not hungry for dinner.  You have to refrigerate this dough for at least 3 hours, which is crucial but kind of a bummer. Make teeny little teaspoon cookies because they will get super flat and spready.  You can make about 7 dozen, and they are like 92-ish calories a cookie.  Bake at 375 for 8 minutes (7 minutes on the bottom rack).  Let them finish cooking on the cookie sheets until you get aound to putting  them on cooling racks.  The last 2 or 3 dozen (depending on your cookie sheet stash) will probably stay on the cookie sheets until they are all gone which should be soon because DAMN.

And there you have it.  The culmination of countless batches of cookies and many, many recipes.  My personal cookie nirvana.

Ok, so, there's the cookies.

Now, the toddler.

 My sweet little baby has turned into one.
 Full-on.  She's a kid.
 A kid whose hair fits into a ponytail and who stole one of my old purses.  It's a really good size for her.

She's pretty rough and tumble-- "rock" is a a prominent word in her vocabulary because she loves rocks.

She still nurses, but she certainly doesn't ft neatly in my arms.

She loves to hide which can be scary as hell, and she adores her puppy. Her brothers are her favorite, and she gives the sweetest back-patting hugs.

 Toddlers are the BEST-- I think kids get exponentially cuter until age 3, and Dorothy is exploding lately.  But wasn't she JUST a baby?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Cooper is 3?!

My sweet, sweet, sweet little boy Cooper turned 3 today.

I can still remember how it felt to be overdue with him, how huge and lumbering I was, how nervous I felt when my OB told me he would be induced on September 12 or 13 depending on hospital availability and my non stress test and BPP scheduled for September 10, how tentatively excited I was to wake up in the middle of the night with contractions and sneak downstairs to watch Everybody's Fine. I remember how triumphant I felt after his med-free delivery.  I went med-free with Jack after getting an epidural with Harry, and I was scared I wouldn't be able to do it again.  But med-free childbirth is a wonderful, empowering, primal experience, and of the whole 12-ish hours, only a couple of them really sucked. 

From the first moment he was born, Cooper loved to suck.  He was a wonderful breast feeder and GAINED weight in the hospital.  Who does that?  He went home addicted to the pacifier, and the only time I let him out of my arms in the hospital was when he had his hearing screen and Hep B vaccine.  Once I put him down in his little plastic box so I could take a shower, but he didn't like that, and I held him next to me for the next, oh, 11 months.  Ben stayed home with the other boys,  so it was just Cooper and me at the hospital.  I held him for 48 hours and watched daytime TV and ate deli sandwiches on trays.  A perfect baby moon.

He has been a wonderful child from the start.  By 2 weeks old he was sleeping 10 hours overnight.  He lived in a Moby Wrap and the Ergo for at least 4 months, and he loved to watched the big boys whirl around him.  He was so delightful that we decided to throw caution to the wind and have another baby, and we made this choice when he was only 4 months old.  In retrospect, I am so glad it took us 5 months to get pregnant with Dorothy because damn that would have been a lot of baby in a short year.

For the past 18 months or so, we have been concerned about his speech.  Starting this week, a therapist will come to our home every week.  We have already seen him make great strides, and he delights us everyday with new words and phrases.  Today when he opened his birthday gifts, he exclaimed over and named all of his presents-- such a far cry from last year when he was so, so silent.  My favorite thing he says is "What the heck?"  But I also really like when he holds up his imperious hand and says "Wheat" (wait), and his rendition of "Let it Go" is fantastic.  He is charming and funny with a devilish sense of humor and a killer smile.  (I think he said fuck at dinner tonight.  I pretended not to hear him because it is hard to sensor a speech delayed child, which is why he says "die" so much when playing "guys."  That, and all the Walking Dead  and Boardwalk Empire he watched with Ben before he could talk).

Everyday, I think I could not possibly love him more and then he does something ridiculously cute, and I DO.  Like when he comes out of bed after nap all stompy and red and crabby and disheveled with pillow wrinkles on his face.  I could eat him up.

Anyway, he turned 3 today and had presents, breakfast cupcakes, a celebration at school, and dinner at our favorite birthday bar.

Edited:  I just re-read Coop's birth story, and I forgot to mention there that our nurse, Corky, had to be called in from home because it was so packed, that Ben made a horrible joke at my expense when I was pushing, and Corky gave him the world's dirtiest look, and that Cooper was GREEN when he was born.  You're welcome.