Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Grown up kids and a TV-watching dog

Every morning, the kids rush to the kitchen to search for their elf and eat a piece of chocolate from their advent calendars.  I'd clutch my pearls about the chocolate, but have you SEEN what's in your average box of breakfast cereal?  I mean.


 Preschool has totally paid off because Dorothy can dress herself in her own winter wear.  In fact!  She went outside and said she was going to shovel the driveway AND SHE REALLY DID IT.  Then she fell asleep in the car on the way to school.
 I went to lunch with a friend and her one-year-old, and she has this totally awesome restaurant kit in a lunchbox, all packed with perfectly distracting toys and some foo that's easy to restock.  GENIUS.
 Beatrix is continuing to adjust to having a tree where her bed should be.
 All of the sudden, this one is a KID.
 But it's OK because his little sister still sleeps in chaos like she did when she was a baby:
 I went to turn the TV off last night before I went to bed, and there was Bea, still watching it.

Monday, December 11, 2017

90th birthday fun!

The play Cakewalk opens with Lillian Hellman telling Dashiell Hammett that she wants a big jazz funeral.  I always liked that opening so much because I admired her sentiments-- a celebration of her life and a splashy one at that as a fitting farewell.  Now, though, I found something even better because it doesn't involve death and it happened in real life, so I could show my kids and say THAT!  DO THAT FOR ME!

A 90th birthday party with all of my kids and most of my grandkids and all of my great grandkids and cousins and nieces and nephews and lifelong girlfriends and even next door neighbors.

That's what Ben's grandma had on Sunday, and it was lovely.
 In this picture, Dorothy is talking to a nun.  Ben and I were sweating bullets.
 Then she asked us to take a selfie with her and we were like DUH.
One of many kids' tables.  LOOK AT HARRY AND JACK'S HAIR! 
 Grandkids being silly-- the whole family is silly and funny and rowdy.  Love it.  Ben's uncle got up to make a short speech calling the party to order and he said his mom asked him to say a prayer.  And also to keep it clean.  I can see myself having to remind a future grown up kid (cough cough Cooper cough cough) to keep profanity out of his BLESSING





It was a totally lovely day.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Early Bird Christmas

Ben's parents came for lunch on Saturday, and we exchanged presents with them before they go home to sunny Florida.  Seriously-- I am so jealous of their tans.  Retirement sounds amazing.

Ben's mom and Beatrix were twinning, which was awesome.
 We played a rousing game of Beat the Parents-- always fun.
 I actually set the table for fake Christmas lunch (I made this lasagna, which I have made before, but OF COURSE it was better last time, which always happens when I cook for other people).
 Oh, Dorothy.
 Everybody but Cooper say FAMLY CHRISTMAS!  Perfect.
 Harry and Jack went to get HAIRCUTS!!  I KNOW!!  And Dorothy and Cooper wrapped their sibling gift exchange gifts.  This year, the sibling gift exchange is the second night of Hanukkah, and I am pretty darn sure that everyone knows what they're getting already because these kids are LEAKERS.
 What says Chrismukkah season more than a Santa mug full of coca, whipped cream, and butterscotch schnapps?  NOTHING.
 Beatrix thinks she's a cat and keeps trying to get comfy on the tree skirt. Spoiler alert:  NOT HAPPENING.
 You guys.  The library had reindeer, and we stood in line for over an hour in the freezing cold (I actually think it was like 25 minute,s but it felt longer) and THIS!  THIS! was the picture we got.  Dorothy was committed to the line because she wanted to sit in the sleigh,  The rest of us were advocating for looking at the baby reindeer in the pen (SO CUTE!) touching the extra pair of antlers they had (SO CREEPY!) and then going inside to make reindeer headbands (SO CROWDED!) but Dorothy happily stood in line and then sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer all the way home.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Alone time with the big boys

This never happens!  But Harry and Jack and Cooper had a day off school, and Dorothy didn't.  We made the most of it by running some sibling gift exchange errands (interminable line at the craft store, but you guys, THIS IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR that I wrap cute presents.  I actually came home and wrapped an adorable hostess gift package--- and then the party got cancelled.  Wah-wah.)

Then!  We went bowling, which was so much for fun without a preschooler (no offense, preschooler).  Jack and Coop had just finished a bowling unit in gym class, so they were total pros, and we ordered some terrible bowling alley food delivered to our lane-- perfection!
 I wish I had taken more videos of Jack bowling-- so funny.  He's really really good at slapstick.





 You guys!  They fought over who got to hold Santa's sack!  I am so excited to not be the one who has to make the d*ck joke all the time!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Elf Blues

Oh, man.  We sort of have the Elf blues this year.  I mean, it's just kind of hard to get in the elf spirit.  Not for the kids, though-- they LOVE looking for Toofy and have lost quite a bit of sleep time over him.  Which, OF COURSE, makes us love him even more.

Here are our two most creative hiding places of the season:

And here's the post I wrote about him last year for Madison Moms Blog.

Ah, Toofy.  At least he's brining cute pajamas this year.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Book rut

I am kind of discouraged about my December reading. I mean, today is the 7th, so I have had an entire week of this month, and I still haven't read a single book.  I had big plans to read this:
This was one I've been waiting impatiently for because her History of Love was one of my favorites.  But I feel like I can't connect, and I am wondering if it's because of me or because of the book and me, you know?  Like, am I too dumb to appreciate this book?

This highlighted sentence is perfect, though:
How do you get out of a reading rut?

For me, when I am into a book, I can read it so fast-- less than a day-- and if I really love it, I am on to the next book as soon as I turn the last page.  Except for a book that slaughters me like, say, A Little Life from which I have STILL not recovered, and it's been almost 2 years.  But a book I don't like  or can't connect with throws me completely off my game.  I read magazines at lunch time or stare at my phone.  I fall straight to sleep at night. I spend any free time staring at HGTV.   It;s like my habits totally change.

It's not a question of not having time-- I think that's something we just say when we don't want to do the thing.  There's always time.  I have recently discovered this with my morning workout.  Sometimes I have to break it up a little bit, but those minutes are there for the taking if I look in unexpected places.

Happiness guru Gretchen Rubin says you should stop reading a book if you don't like it, and judging from her FB pots, she reads much more than I do and is busier to boot. I just can't quite make myself do it, though.  For some reason, I feel like once I have opened the book, I am in and that's it.

Thoughts about this book specifically or reading habits in general?  I'd love to hear them.  Also-- still taking comments on this giveaway post.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Blogging on my PHONE! Welcome to like 2005

Oh my god. There is a little sibling here at dance class with her dad and she is SOBBING and he doesn’t know how to comfort her and doesn’t seem to CARE that she’s the only kid here and is SO LOUD. Oh my GOD. 

I truly love it when Cooper borrows my photo and leaves me pictures like this. 

Last night was my department speech contest, AKA the one day of the semester that I need to be at work until almost midnight. I actually do love it. 

And also I can now totally recommend the Costco peppermint bark. 


Doesn’t he look scary?  It is all of the sudden freezing here. Like, one day it was warm and rainy and the next day BAM! Below freezing and so windy a Target receipt flew out of my bag in the parking lot. 

It is not my job to judge her hair preferences. I am just the lady who ties the bow. 


I have a hard time getting into this on my phone. It would be easier if I could, but I just can’t all of the way. 

Only a week left in the semester. A WEEK?! WHAT?! Next Friday, I will spend all darn day dealing with a final exam that I thankfully don’t have to grade. And then I am hosting my first ever book club meeting at my house, which is basically a dream come true. And then there’s nothing to do but bleed money and wait for an honors project to cross my desk. Bring on the egg nog, freinds.