Thursday, December 01, 2016

November: What I Read/Listened To

After the election, I didn't think I could ever be happy enough to read again, but life is surprising.

*A* books are audiobooks, by the way.

The top 10 books on this list are all sensational-- you should read them.

*A*13.  Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot:  Terrible.

*A*12.  Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot:  Almost as bad.

*A*11.  Mine Are Spectacular by Janice Kaplan:  SERIOUSLY NOT GOOD.

*A*10.  All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda:  A passable thriller.  It kept me guessing, and the format was particularly challenging in audiobook form-- I would have liked this better if I would have read it, I think.

9.  How to Party With an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings:  Such an odd, sweet book.  It does a really good job of capturing playgroup politics.

8.  HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes:  LOVED THIS.  I also have the book she wrote about her time at State, but everyone says this one is better.  I will keep you posted.

*A*7.  Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger:  SCARY

*A*6.  Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close:  Loved this-- if you haven't read Jennifer Close, you really should.  Her voice is excellent.

*A*5.  The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson:  I am in love with Joshilyn Jackson.  There.  I said it.  This book features the characters in Someone Else's Love Story, so read that one first.

*A*4. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld:  Late to the party on this one, but it is AMAZING.

3.  Today Will be Different by Maria Semple:  Not as good as Bernadette but still hilarious and touching and weird.

*A*2.  The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware:  OMG read this!  SO!  SCARY!

1.  Commonwealth by Ann Patchett:  Brilliant and perfect and Anne Tyler-y.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

OMG this day.

THIS DAY can go fuck itself.

I mean, I just ate a column of red-filling Oreos, and I am STILL grumpy.  Also, now I can't cross "eat sensibly" off my to-do list, damnit.

Lemme give you a little timeline:

1:40: wake up to a honking sound coming from the living room.  Go back to sleep because it;s not like we're going to be robbed by geese.

3:00:  honking followed by gagging.  Realize it's the dog.  Ben says he'll clean whatever it is up in the morning.

5:00 more honking and gagging.

5:43:  I wake up 2 minutes before my alarm, stumble through adding a fleece sweatshirt to my workout clothes/pajamas, find a head flashlight and a fleece headband/ear cover, put my earphones in and cue up the latest terrifying book I listen to while walking in the dark, add Uggs and a coat, check on the dog who seems to be fine, start a load of laundry in the pitch black laundry room.  I go for walk, leaving myself just enough time to shower and get dressed before the bog kids will be back from their walk and expecting breakfast.

6:50:  I come home sweaty and cold to see Ben using fucking laundry stain fighter spray (WHAT THE FUCK)  on the ottoman.  I realize he's cleaning up dog puke.  Which is, apparently, everywhere.  Some of it has Reese's PB cup wrappers in it, but I am not worried because I remember leaving them on the coach last night, so I know she didn't eat any chocolate.  She is still honking, but we assume that she has something stuck in her throat or something.  The boys overslept and have to do math work, so they forgo their walk, and she goes outside happily.

7:15:  Breakfast.  Spilling.  Fighting.  Screaming.

7:40:  I pack lunches amid the scremaing, etc.

7:45:  I go downstairs with Harry and Jack to supervise their dressing routine so they don't spend all their time killing each other.  I find the basement TRASHED and PEE everywhere in the bathroom.

8:15:  I distractedly send them to school while still cleaning up the hellhole they live in.

8:30:  I get Cooper and Dorothy ready for school and realize the dog barfed all over her (pretty gross anyway) bed.  So, I throw it away.

8:45:  I take Cooper and Dorothy to school late.

9:00:  I come home to see that the dog has puked more on the deck and call the vet who can't see us until 2.

10:00:  I run out the door leaving the house a total mess upstairs-- breakfast out, beds unmade, etc-- and drive straight to Homegoods for a new dog bed.

10:40:  I come back home and frantically clean the house before I have to go get Dorothy and Cooper-- there is laundry switching, etc. happening.  The dog continues to honk and barf.

11:15:  Run to get the little kids-- this is always a pain in the butt and includes meltdowns-- usually just from them.

11:40:  Home with less than an hour before we have to go to dance.  Laundry, lunch, clean up, fights.

12:40:  Head to dance with a giant bag of toys for Cooper and work for me.

2:00: SPRINT out of the dance studio, race home, grab dog, go to vet to learn that she has KENNEL COUGH even though she is vaccinated.  She leaves with a script for antibiotics, probiotics, and cough suppressant.  I leave $150 poorer.

3:20:  Screech into the driveway with seconds to spare before the big kids get home.

3:30:  Jack to tutor

3:35:  Mad dash to put away laundry, put the new dog bed away and dig out and wash an old one from the basement because she can't puke all over her new one on the first day, make snacks, wash lunch boxes, unpacks dance bag, clean out laundry room, etc.

4:00:  Feed Cooper pre-hockey dinner

4:10:  Wrestle Cooper into his hockey clothes

4:20:  Pick Jack up.

4:30:  Drop Cooper at hockey only Ben isn't there yet, so I actually have to take everyone inside and jam him into his skates and helmet.

5:10:  Get gas in car on the way home in wind and snow OF COURSE

5:15:  Feed the rest of the kids and cram in a quick salad.  Sit down to bitch on this blog for a few minutes before I need to clean up dinner and more dog vomit (the vet said she'll only puke for a FEW MORE DAYS).  Then I drive the hockey carpool and have to get Jack from gymnastics.  I should be home by 9.  When I will, of course, start drinking.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Limping toward the finish

I just wrote my December post for Madison Moms Blog (not up yet, obvi because it is still November as evidenced by my sad limp across the NaBloPoMo finish line), and I realized that I don't miss our Elf on the Shelf and am not looking forward to his impending arrival.

Also?  I ned to go through all of my old hard drives an make sure every picture I have ever taken of my kids is safely in the cloud no matter how much that costs.  Winter break goals.

Additionally, scouring my photos for shots of Toofy makes me realize we need to move our couch to a totally new position to accommodate a tree, and I am also excited about that.  Ben will be THRILLED.

Story time yesterday featured books about being sick, prompting Dorothy to launch into several time-that-I-puked stories.  But thank good ness for story time because it was the only cute 30-minutes of my crazy busy day, giving me the opportunity to snap the one and only picture I took in the last 24 hours.  Yikes.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thirty-One! Totally lives up to the hype!

You guys!

I have THE BEST holiday shopping idea for you!

You should buy a Thirty-One bag-- or several-- for just about everyone on your list.

I have recently fallen in love with the Picnic Thermal Tote and the Large Utility Tote, both of which have made packing for trips, going to parties, and doing the weekend hockey shuffle so much easier.

The Picnic Thermal Tote will hold 6 bottles of wine-- more than even I need for a day!-- or two two-liters or a bunch of food for, say, 4 hungry kids.  And the Large Utility Tote is perfect for Costco trips, bringing Dorothy's toys to -- you guessed it-- hockey games, and packing for weekend trips.  I love them both and am already eyeing the catalogue for more-- monogrammed-- additions.

We loaded the Large Utility Toe up to take drinks and a cheese tray and a gag gift to a Christmas party-- and when I put my Uggs on for the tipsy walk home, I could fling my sparkly gold heels in there, too.
 The next morning, I packed the adorable Picnic Thermal to the gills with a lunch for 3/4 of the kids to enjoy ether at or on the way home from hockey.
 I could even fit plates and napkins!  We're suddenly so civilized!
 And I packed the Utility Tote full of Dorothy's toys.
 And as an added bonus, I don't have to stuff my huge purse with our stuff (that never fits, requiring us to also bring super classy reusable shopping bags) and I can carry my often-neglected smaller purses instead.
 Both bags even joined us on our Thanksgiving trip-- one with American Girl dolls and Crockpot (natch), and the other with car snacks galore.

I was supplied with these bags for review, but the delight is all my own.  These bags are terrific and a perfect addition to your holiday wish list!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Last Thanksgiving post for serious

Want to occupy your kids at breakfast?  Have them eat their raspberries with chop sticks.
 Cooper and I took a super long walk yesterday to two different school playgrounds and then I carried him back to my parents' house on my back and my shoulder hurts so bad it makes me want to cry a little.

 We took another trip to Bradley because why not

 Santa pic:
 Ready to drive through the Festival of Lights
 One more breakfast stop