Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A harrowing tale and some pictures.

Yesterday, 90% of my diet was cookies and chocolate chips.  I think I might be hormonally imbalanced.

Today Ben had to teach, so I took all 4 kids to swimming lessons, which was kind of a bummer because I usually sit by the deep end and chat with other moms while H and J swim and Ben and the babies hang out at home and make lunch.  Taking Cooper and Dorothy means I have to stand in cold water up to my ankles and referee fights over plastic buckets and boats and stop Dorothy from throwing all of the towels in the pool eleventy bullion times.

Swimming lessons end dangerously close to nap time, and Dorothy has been known to fall asleep in the car on the 3 minute drove from the pool to our house, wake up totally refreshed, and refuse to sleep at all for the rest of the day.  Or she falls asleep and I have to magic her into bed with more nursing while the boys run wild all over the house and Cooper falls apart because it is his lunch and nap time too. Or everyone screams while I throw food at them and the pre-nap minutes are hectic and un-fun.

So today, I was prepared.

I made lunch when I was still cleaning up breakfast and plastic wrapped 4 little plates of PB&J sandwiches with no crust, yogurt tubes, peach slices, strawberries, and chocolate chip cookies and stacked them in the fridge.  I packed Dorothy's swim suit in my pool bag along with dry clothes for Cooper, who can wear his swim suit to the pool because he can be trusted not to pee in his swim diaper on the way there.  Dorothy?  Not so much.  Usually, I just take her in her suit anyway and chance a leak (SO CLASSY-- both what I do with her diaper situation AND that pun) and change her into dry clothes at home, but I wanted to get her home dry and ready to eat, and I couldn't take her in her suit because we had to walk to school and pick up the big boys from gymnastics before lessons, and, you know, the whole wet swim diaper thing.  Fascinating detail, huh?

My point is, I put a lot of thought into how to make the morning go smoothly.  I even loaded up the car while feeding everyone a snack outside before we left so no one would freak out when denied snack bar snacks.  I made sure the big boys changed at home and left their dry clothes in the laundry room so they could get dressed for lunch.   I even set the table with cups and napkins so I could plop everyone's plate down the second we walked in the door.  I even went to lessons early so they could all play together in the shallow end before the big boys had to go to class. I WAS PREPARED.

It was pleasant at the pool.  I chatted with a really sweet nanny while Cooper played with her 3-year-old charge.  The kid asked me once what Cooper said when Coop told him he was going to get goggles (sounds like cockles), but other than that, they chatted and played happily for 30 minutes.  Dorothy splashed and stacked the towels a hundred times by the edge of the water and danced and very seriously walked the perimeter of the baby end  to say hi to everyone she saw.  Harry and Jack both appeared to be swimming well and following directions.  I was so proud of myself and my can-do attitude.

And then I took Cooper and Dorothy into the locker room to put on their dry clothes and all hell broke loose.

Cooper didn't know that he was getting dressed at the pool instead of going home wet like usual, and he was really not pleased to have to go in the ladies' locker room with me instead of walking through the boys' with the big kids. Then when he did know he was getting dressed, HE DID NOT LIKE IT. Dorothy HATES getting her diaper changed anyway, and she really disliked the benches in the changing room.

Cooper stood next to me screaming at the top of his lungs while I dressed a squealing Dorothy and talked to him like I imagined Daniel Tiger's mom might (I can't understand you when you scream at me, but if you use your big boy words, I can help you) and then Dorothy ran away while I dressed Cooper and I had to leave him yelling on the bench with one arm in his shirt to go snatch her away from the water's edge.  I also left him sitting on the floor screaming FLIP FLOP because his flip-flops were incorrectly positioned on his toes while I grabbed Dorothy out of a bathroom stall.  A mom down the street with 2 little kids roughly Coop and Dorothy's ages who might be pregnant with number three said , "Oh, this is a rough transition, huh?" and I murmured something about them being hungry, but I wanted to scream KEEP THAT BABY IN THERE!  YOU DON'T WANT MORE OF THIS! but I didn't, mainly because  am not 100% sure she is pregnant, not because that's a crazy thing to think/scream. which it is, but my filter dissolved with all the shrieking. 

I ended up having to leave Cooper (with Harry watching him) next to the clubhouse and run Jack and Dorothy to the car and then run back to get Cooper because he was just FREAKING OUT about his flip-flops (they are old Tevas of Jack's and they just don't quite work for him but he loves them and I threw them away when we got home-- don't tell him that) and needed to be carried but I didn't have the arms.

It really sucked is what I am trying to say.  The big boys were charming and delightful, though, because they could tell I was about a half a tantrum away from committing myself to the hospital after dropping the whole vanful of them at the nearest fire station.  Harry even road in the jump seat between the babies and kept them awake and sort of happy until we got home  where everyone ate their lunch.  The babies went to sleep. The big boys went downstairs.  I ate a bunch of chocolate chips from the bag and started at the Internet.

Ben dressed Dorothy like a little hipster the other day, and I LOVED it.
 Jack and his mini-me
 I told her to kiss the dragon.  She was skeptical.
 But she tried it.
 Harry was enthusiastic.
 Harry showed Dorothy how to smell the flowers
 She ended up kind of eating them
 4 kids on a dragon!
 Better picture-- Jack kept falling off.
 And falling down.
 Wizard-back-ride.
 I love these new Target carts-- so, so perfect for Dorothy and Cooper.  And room for more kids!
 Working on pooping on the potty.  Only once so far in Harry and Jack's bathroom, which features a counter top right next to the toilet, and Cooper whacked his head on it when he was flushing and has not pooped in the potty since.  Erm.
 Ben took the big kids camping with some friends and sent me this lovely picture of early morning fishing

 Skateboarding home from the park
 I rode in the jump seat on the way to the fair County Fair on Saturday, and we packed the van with its maximum 8 people. (and there's still room for luggage and pets).
 Ben, my mom, and the kids
 And one with me!
 Hanging on a fire truck
 I LOVE JACK'S HAT
Hahahahahaha.  A midway port-a-potty.  DREAMY.
 Ben loves rides.
 Standing in line and holding his own tickets.
 Jack and Cooper loved these cars.
 We can NEVER see a damn thing with this telescope.
 Ben.  Eating an ice cream cone in bed.  Be jealous.  He's all mine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

American Girl Sale again!

Looking at the bunch of pictures I have taken since I last posted, I realized we've had SO MUCH DAMN FUN.

On Wednesday, we checked out a new park!

On Thursday, Ben took the big boys camping with some of his favorite college friends and their kids (camping=MAJOR EEEW), and the babies and I stayed home (stayed home=went to Target and Whole Foods and the pool).

Friday, my parents came to town in anticaption of the AMERICAN GIRL BENEFIT SALE and we ate pizza and again went to the pool.

Saturday, my mom and I hit the sale bright an early-- we had 7:45 am tickets which is a big deal because that means all of the merchandise is still there, and we had our pick.  (They limit things, though, so we couldn't go too crazy).

After the sale, we all went to the county fair (county fair=dirty, awesome, and hot).

After the kids went to bed we grilled steaks and scallops and corn and had lots of wine.

And then it was TODAY.  Grocery shopping, pool, and grading for my online class (at the pool).

I have not cheated on my diet even once this week, and I have LOST NO WEIGHT.  This is crap, BTW.

 I have tons of cute pictures from all of these days, but I really need to work on my online class, so I'll just tell you about the most important thing: THE AMERICAN GIRL SALE.

You might remember that we went last year and started Dorothy's collection off with 4 dolls:  Rebecca, Kit, McKenna, and a Bitty Baby.  We also bought Cooper a Bitty Twin who looked just like him, and my mom got a My American Girl doll for a kid on her caseload, and I got one for my niece.

Then Santa brought Dorothy Saige, the 2013 Girl of the Year, bringing her up to 5 dolls.  Erm.

Then Saturday, this happened:
MOLLY AND EMILY!  Archived historical dolls!  That you cannot buy anymore!  And were not any cheaper than would be online or in the store.  ONLY YOU CAN'T GET THEM ONLINE OR IN THE STORE.  BECAUSE THEY ARE ARCHIVED.

Santa did not bring Dorothy any of Saige's choking hazard accessories, so I was super happy to pick them up at the sale, and I was proud of the deal I scored until I noticed that I paid a whopping $3 less than the price on the box.  Erm.  But I also found 2 of Molly's outfits (swimming and skating) for full retail price, BUT THEY ARE ARCHIVED, TOO.

The point I am making is that the "sale" is not totally a sale.  But you get to jostle other shoppers and grab things in a warehouse, and you get your ticket times by lottery after mailing in your ticket requests (my mom got the 3rd group in!!  so lucky!!) and there are really strict limits on your purchases (1 girl of the year (whom we already had from Santa), 1 historical doll, 2 Bitty Twins or Babies, and 8 My American Girl Dolls per person.  You could also have all the books you wanted, and 4 sets of boxed doll clothes, no repeats).  Molly, Emily, and Saige were full price (BUT ARCHIVED!!); the rest of the historical dolls were a better deal (but we could not have them because I got Molly and my mom got Emily, and they counted toward the limit-- next year, my mom wants Julie, and I want Caroline). The My AGs were half price, but I think those would be more fun to buy at the actual store, and then pick out clothes for the doll and Dorothy to match each other and eat a creeptastic lunch together where the doll gets served like it's a person.  The Bitty Twins were a good deal, but the Bitty Babies were only $5 cheaper than usual.  And I already told you the clothes were almost full price.  BUT THE THRILL.  THE THRILL IS PRICELESS.

(I am really pissed at myself for not buying Molly's adorable yellow Jenny Lind bed.  It was only $75 but I passed it up because we don't really have space for it until we no longer have that huge recliner in her room and Dorothy wouldn't really care about it.  Both sensible reasons.  But there were only a few, and IT IS ALSO ARCHIVED.)


After we emerged victorious with our giant shopping bags full of dolls and clothes plus a tutu and a slew of bows for Dorothy that my mom bought from a parking lot vendor, we had a celebratory breakfast and took our dolls into the restaurant and opened them up and did creepy shit like take their pictures and put Molly's glasses on.  IT WAS SO FUN.

Now my 16 month-old has 9 American Girl dolls, and I can't even pretend like they were a good bargain.  Guilt-free shopping, though, because the proceeds benefit our children's museum; I have wanted these dolls since I was 12, and my mom and I have the best time getting them.  And we can buy ARCHIVED dolls who are ARCHIVED.  Don't know if I mentioned that.




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Okay. My Fitness Pal for serious (again).

I woke up with a headache and told Ben I probably shouldn't drink tequila on a random weeknight.  He laughed and asked how weekdays are different than weekends, and I realized he was right. Nowhere to go.  Might trade pajamas for swimsuits.  Lovely.  But I feel the same pull of professional responsibility on Saturdays and Sundays-- the things that make teaching online awesome also make it stressful.

Slightly hungover, it was harder than usual to deal with Cooper's request of "Eggs.  I help.  Me high."

As you can see from the above picture, that means he wants to crack the eggs, pour in the milk, add salt and pepper, and whisk the whole damn thing up while sitting on the counter.  Which he did, of course, because I am a sucker for that baby man.

Yesterday Ben had to teach, and I asked Harry and Jack if they wanted to stay home from their summer enrichment gymnastics class because I didn't want to have to get dressed and go pick them up (SO LAZY) and because they do such a good job of entertaining the babies (again, SO LAZY). They looked at me like I was crazy because they are having so! much! fun! at gymnastics.  It's pretty cute.

Speaking of lazy, while Harry and Ben were at the doctor and Jack and Cooper were warring in the toy room, I dozed off on the basement couch and woke up with a start realizing I had no idea where Dorothy was.

I found her:


 Cooper slays me.  He is a big boy by day and a baby by night.
In my last post, I mentioned that I had done everything but eat less to try to lose weight.  And I wasn't really kidding.  I have been using My Fitness Pal on my phone to track calories and exercise, but I have been cheating like hell.  For a year.  Well, that's not true.  This time last year, I lost 11 pounds and then started cheating like hell.  The good news is I kept the weight off, but the bad news is, I really would like to lose 18 more pounds and be 5 pounds lighter than I claim to be on my drivers license.

So, I am back on the MFP, but this time, I am NOT CHEATING. I am also working out everyday, but I am not going to count my exercise calories because I kind of think that's bullshit.  But if I run out of calories and still want to have a beer, I have 350 calories in the bank, KWIM?  MFP says if I want to lose 2 pounds a week (AND I DO), then I need to eat 1200 calories a day, which is not a lot of calories.  Ben is trying to lose a similar amount, and he gets 2200. This is unfair.  (I know it's really not, but damn does it make it hard for me to eat healthy sometimes).

The good news is that I can make these 1200 calories last all day by eating a TON of green leafy veggies and lean proteins.   Yesterday, only 30% of my caloric intake came from carbs.  Pretty sure that was the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and the handful of animal crackers I ate at breakfast.

Ben and I planned a couch date to finally watch the Veronica Mars movie (LOVED it), and I saved all day for the 712 calories I needed for nachos made with red bell peppers (and a half cup of shredded cheese, possibly my favorite 220 calories of the day) and the single, loaded margarita I slurped right down.  It was worth it because I ate a huge egg white, spinach, gouda, and ham omelet for breakfast and a large salad with green leaf lettuce, celery, and 4 ounces of chicken for lunch, and a tablespoon of chocolate chips when I thought I was going to be too crabby to function in the afternoon. Today I will be able to add in some snacks since we have no gluttonous dinner plans.

For the first time since Cooper was born in September 2011, I can feel my appetite going back to normal.  Breastfeeding has always made me crazy hungry, and now that Dorothy is down to 3 times a day and not at all at night and not really nursing for very long, I think it is finally FINALLY easier for me to eat reasonable amounts of food.  I nursed Cooper well into my pregnancy with Dorothy (BECAUSE HE WAS ONLY 9 MONTHS OLD WHEN I GOT PREGNANT).  Then I was pregnant and hungry.  And then I have been nursing Dorothy since March 2013. Slowly slowly slowly it is starting to just be me in this body again and eating for one when you've been eating for 2 is refreshing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cooper goes potty like a real boy!

I have been up since 5:30 to grade for my online classes, and you know what? I AM STILL NOT DONE.

But no matter.  I need to stop now because I have to work out before swim lessons this morning.

Lately, I am working out because I like it and I like how it makes me feel, not for weight loss.  Because I CAN'T LOSE WEIGHT.  I have tried everything except eating less.  Ha!  When fall comes, I am going to buy awesome new clothes not because I am skinny but because it is fall and fuck it.  This is the size I am.  For now at least.  Not eating (many) carbs has made me eat so many more vegetables.  You would not believe the amount of greens we go through around here.  I am feeling pretty healthy and awesome despite the number on the scale, so I think that's a win.

Speaking of WIN--- Cooper is no longer wearing diapers.  I would say potty-trained, but that would imply some sort of parental effort, and really?  We started putting a diaper on him the other morning, and he said, "No.  I go potty."  And, yeah, pretty much.

Today it is Monday, and he is wearing Baby Gap Monday undies.  I have missed seeing impossibly small underpants in the washer since the boys grew up and started wearing boxers.

Look at her shadow! She looks like a teeny monster!

 They played trucks for a long time last night while I lounged on the warm cement behind them, Harry played football with a bunch of rowdy kids, and Jack went down the water slide a hundred times.
 Then they all had a popsicle, mainly because Cooper was having one because he fell down on his way to the potty and smashed his face.  But still made it in plenty of time!
 Jack's outfit yesterday: an open bathrobe and  the bottoms to a dinosaur Halloween costume.
 Sweet, sweet baby.
 A few reasonable accessories.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

So many pictures of summer fun

We had such a fun night out the other night doing a quintessential summer thing-- having dinner on the Terrace followed by ice cream and a walk by the lake.

It's not fun at all (AT ALL) to take Dorothy and Cooper anywhere in public, but it actually WAS fun to eat burgers and brats and hotdogs and corn with them outside right in front of a really noisy jazz quartet who drowned them out.

 Fun and also overwhelming.


Why yes.  Yes that is a pitcher of beer.







Today, I took Jack and Cooper to a kiddie cooking class at Whole Foods.  They LOVED it and took the whole thing very seriously.






Yesterday was rainy, so I took the big boys to Maleficent which was WONDERFUL.  And I really want to see Annie, BTW.
I love her tutu bathing suit.
And her pigtails.



The whole time she was in this swing, Cooper kept saying "I help!  I help!" and then swinging her into the deck.  SO HELPFUL.




Tonight we went out for a few hours without the kids for the first time in quite awhile.  IT WAS LOVELY.