Thursday, October 17, 2019

Bullet points from the week

  • We finally played bar trivia last night for the first time in forever, and it was as fun as I remember.  I freaking love bar trivia. Also, we got last place (well, second-to-last, but actual last left at halftime), so we will have to keep playing. GROWTH MINDSET.
  • I am not sure I am going to actually make my reading goal this year because I cannot even make myself read at all these days. I am limping through October.
  • It's been almost a year since I got a haircut, so I am that lady.
  • My bad eating habits are creeping back, especially with sweets, especially especially with sweets that I make. I have yet to eat anything snacky out of the pantry, but for some reason, chocolate chips straight out of the bag and any homemade baked good are OK in my head.  I have made 3 batches of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, frosted oatmeal cookie bars, brownies, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, banana pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, regular chocolate chip cookies, and cut-out sugar cookies.  IN THE LAST 2 WEEKS.
  • In other news, I am planning another round of Whole30 for January.
  • Speaking of! I am a little bit in love with Melissa Urban's podcast Do the Thing.  It's really motivating, and I don't think I have gotten to the food freedom stage of Whole30 where I can effortlessly eat what I want to feel and look how I want, but I think I could get there with a few more rounds. 
  • I had the most social day ever yesterday, and I may need to withdraw from people-ing for awhile to recover hashtag introvert.  I had lunch with a friend (excellent food, wonderful conversation), then I met up with 2 book club friends at the library while our kids went to Pokemon club.  Then we played trivia!  I am totally proud of myself for ditching FOMO and filling up my social calendar.  Also, give me a weekend of PJ's and movies on the couch, please.
Our week so far in pictures:

Jack and me at a meeting-- also, he turned ELEVEN AND A HALF yesterday.

 Spooky tights from the Target dollar spot.  Spooky pose model's own.
 Ben and I had a lunch date, and we both came from work.  He wore normal grown up work clothes.
 I wore jeans and sneakers.
 Yay lunch date!
 Seaweed salad
 Forbidden fig sushi roll (fall sushi!  the best ever!)
 Spicy crunchy salmon, an old favorite standby:
 Such a pretty girl:
 Yes, yes she did wear a Pikachu costume to school like it was clothes.  Because POKEMON CLUB.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Fall family photos!

It's fall family picture season DAMNIT.

This year to challenge myself, Ben and I decided to buy exactly nothing new for ourselves, and we let all of the kids pick out whatever the hell they wanted with no consideration for theme or matching.  RISK TAKERS, right?

We booked with an awesome local photographer, met her in a gorgeous location, and enjoyed the most efficient photo shoot in recent memory.

And the pics!  Look at them!

So, since I am all about CHECKING ALL OF THE THINGS OFF MY LIST, I decided that since I had these amazing family photos, I would see if there were any great card deals right now, and I found one.

I made a holiday card right away-- like, spent the 90 minutes that I usually do work before the kids get up making cards-- and then hemmed and hawed about ordering them because the site wasn't offering free shipping in conjunction with any other deals, which totally rubbed me the wrong way.  Amazon Prime has made me hate to pay for shipping in all contexts.

  I spent my drive to work complaining to THREE customer service agents about the free shipping bait and switch, but when I got to my office, I ordered the cards anyway.

Not only did Ben make fun of me for ordering them so early, he also was like I bet they jacked up their prices and then did a fake discount to get all the sucklers like you-- he is so sweet to me.  And then he said casually, I hope you don't have any typos.

I didn't think much of this conversation until10:30 at night in shower when I was like OH MY GOD I DIDN'T PUT JACK'S NAME ON THE CARD.  I leapt out of the shower and ran to check my digital proof, and sure enough, I signed everyone's name-- EVEN THE DOG'S-- but not Jack's.

I called customer service, who first told me that my order was already in process and then took pity on me and issued credit on my account so I could order them again for free.  The only rub? I HAD TO PAY SHIPPING.  AGAIN.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Cozy fall weekend


I am about 90% DONE with my Hanukkah shopping!  This is YUGE for me in October.  I have also gone out of my way to snatch up stocking stuffers and gifts for extended family when I see them instead of waiting until the December rush.  December me is going to be THRILLED, but, as you can tell from the caps and the exclamation points, October me is also pretty effing stoked.

It got C O L D here this weekend, and I LOVED it. We had the coziest weekend I could possibly imagine with lots of baking and cooking and general togetherness.  My one complaint is that it was too wet to have a fire either night and also that The Righteous Gemstones is over.  What will I do without that delight half hour of full frontal nudity every Sunday night?

First grade!  Not tool old for a themed Thanksgiving jumper, but old enough to choose her own book from the school library and read it.  Is anything in this entire planet better than a first-grader?

 Jack remains my very favorite grocery shopping companion.  He's the cutest.

 We made fall cut-out cookies and vanilla-cinnamon-pumpkin-spice frosting.

 Also!  I made my grandpa's spaghetti sauce and dough in the bread machine, and we had THE BEST Saturday night pizzas.
 We also watched Sky High and shared some giant apples.
 Ellen Tebbits! As good as I remembered.
 Ben and I closed out Saturday with champagne and Happy Death Day to You
 Cooper and I turned the rest of the spaghetti sauce into stuffed shells, which were a major crowd pleaser.
 And Cooper liked the shells, the sausage, and the sauce, but he needed to eat them all seaprately.
 Dorothy and I also used the bread machine to make a load of French bread, as long as we dragged the machine up from the basement.
 All of the boys (and Beatrix) watched Shaun of the Dead, which is really not appropriate for Cooper, but damn it's funny.
And there you have it-- a super cozy weekend.  Next weekend is supposed to be warmer, so we hope to go to our favorite pumpkin patch to eat donuts get pumpkins, but!  If it doesn't warm up, we are just getting them from Whole Foods where we can at least snap pics on bales of organic hay.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bring it, fall

It's going to be cold here in the next couple of days, and I have to tell you that I am excited about it.  I know I will be shocked that I even said such a thing when we are going on month 84 of winter, but right now?  I am here for soup and muffin season.  Plus I bought myself an adorable new dress coat, got Dorothy a mid-weight coat between her fleece-lined windbreaker and her long Lands End down coat, found a slim down puffer for Harry that fills the same void, and snagged a 12-pack of knit gloves on Amazon to coast through November.  WE ARE READY.  (Cooper needs a winter coat, though-- he has a North Face fall/spring coat, but he needs one for the super cold days, so think of me if you see a ridiculous Gap/Old Navy/Land End sale).

You all know I love anything Gretchen Rubin, right?  Well, one of the things she talks about on her podcast is the idea of a season of sacrifice.  It's like a way to tell yourself your happiness in just deferred, not nonexistent, and it works really well if you are in a busy work season, for example.  In many ways, this time of small children and busy schedules is a season of sacrifice.  I sacrifice my own creative work time, for example, and Ben and I  sacrifice a lot of time together in favor of kiddie activities, etc.  In some ways, the season of sacrifice frame works for me  but it reminds me that there is light at the end of this busy tunnel. But!  I think it also makes me focus on the nagging inconveniences of my day instead of relishing in this time that we are all together under the same roof and living these luxuriously mundane days.  You know what I mean?  Instead of focusing on the things about each day that are stressful or difficult to navigate, I am going to try really hard to remind myself-- and the kids-- about all of the things that went right.

To that end, last night, we played rose-bud-thorn at the dinner table, and Dorothy was equally excited about getting a new student in her class today AND about school lunch today.  (I  make them be in charge of the school lunch calendar, and if they want to buy lunch, they need to tell me before I pack the next day's food.  Dorothy has been intimidated by the menu because her teacher doesn't use pictures anymore, and she hasn't been sure that she could read the choices.  But she CAN! So not only is she excited about the grab and go menu option (grab and go is a yogurt, a cheese stick, some fruit, some veggies, and some kind of muffin), but she is so proud of herself for reading and planning it),.  And her ebullience over these two really basic things-- another student in an already kind of crowded classroom and a school lunch menu she likes-- was so sweet and wonderful and such a perfect reminder that this is a happy epoch.

Could I love this Gymboree dress from a friend more?  No.  No I could not.

 Cooper wanted a portrait mode selfie, and I had no makeup on, but still!  I did not refuse because I am a giver.
 Dorothy has a renewed interest in play doh, and I have a renewed interest in baking literal heaps of fall sweets.
 Makeup and sunglasses- way better.
 Jack is totally a mini college kid here, and I love it!
 After school was Very Serious Dance Time.
 Dorothy, realizing she has a narwhal collection, not just a stuffed narwhal.  Funny how those things creep up on you.
One second I was annoyed because I had to walk so far on campus, and the next second I was like HOLY COW IT'S GORGEOUS HERE.
 Messy office or place where I am going to write the funniest coming-of-middle-age novel ever?  OR BOTH?
 Could I love this dance look more?  Again, no.  No I could not.
 This dog!  I think fall is her favorite season, too.
 Metal straws! Climbing the VSCO ladder.
 Beatrix awlays appreciates a hot breakfast.
 Hockey tryouts!

 It was Caroline's birthday yesterday
 She celebrated with a tea party.
 Ben and I had wine by the fire, and we were joinded by our dog who thinks she's a human.

 A perfect way to end the day.
 Speaking of being busy: THIS IS NOT THE ONLY PICNIC OUT OF THE CAR the kids will eat this week.  GAH.