Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Hey, blog. Long time no see.

Have I mentioned that I have 40 students this semester?  This might not seem like much to someone like say MY HUSBAND who teaches 6 classes a semester and has 120 students.  But for me, who is used to teaching ONE CLASS with 25 students, 40 is a big jump.  See, I redesigned the upper-level criticism class I teach to be half online, half in-person.  As a result, I can accommodate more students but still achieve the chummy discussion-like setting I enjoy. It's really cool and fun except that I am ALWAYS on the discussion board or grading something, and I still don't know everyone's names.

Today, I worked from home under a huge pile of grading and with crippling PMS.  I have had PMS for days now, but today, it was so bad, I could not even make a decision about which shade of dark red nail polish to take with me to my pedicure appointment.  I felt like my life was really rough even though Ben was on kid duty, and I worked a full day in my jammies then took a long, long walk, got my nails done, and went to the movies.  I mean, seriously.

As has become our usual state of affairs, we have been busy as a one-armed paper hanger this week.  Every week.  Also, nobody uses that comparison anymore, huh?

Look who's NOT been busy.
 It should come as no surprise that Dorothy is over her high chair.  She uses the big girl potty and sleeps in a big girl bed.
 But hot DAMN does she make a big mess.
Beatrix doesn't mind.
 We discovered a new favorite park that is about 3000 steps or so away from home (round trip)
 Bossy Dorothy loves it.
 They all do, really
 Tiny Professor Baby Henry came to visit.
 Cooper modeled my favorite summer lipstick
 We went to a really fun 5K at the kids' school on Saturday and then took a screamy trip to Costco and a mildly traumatizing because everyone was screaming trip to a pizza place.
 I got up at 4:30 yesterday and worked a 10-hour day before going to a PTO meeting where I managed to take a picture of myself from inside my purse without using my hands.  Hmm.

Friday, October 02, 2015

September: What I Read

I read some good shit this month.  But I am starting to feel like I read so many books so quickly that I can't remember any of the details. But one book I do remember is Still Alice, so my memory lapses are freaky.

I am trying really hard to lose weight after I reached near-pregnancy numbers thanks to all the summer booze, and I have stopped drinking except for 1 days a week, AND THIS IS THE DAY, so.  I thought you should know that.

10.  Survive the Night by Danielle Vega:  DO NOT EVEN BOTHER.

9.  Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid:  Meh.

8.  Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont:  I just.  It wasn't awesome.

7.  The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi:  Funny, but I could not suspend my disbelief quite this much.

6.  So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson:  FASCINATING! The best nonfiction book I have read in awhile.

5. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg: W.O.W.  You should probably just go ahead and read this one.

4.  Summerlong by Dean Bakopaulos:  I LOVED this book about Grinnell, Iowa-- it almost a little reminded me of my favorite favorite Richard Russo.

3.  Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll:  I loved this book!  I HATED the main character, but I couldn't stop thinking about her.

2.  Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet: SO good.  About a freshman in college and her Cuban family-- a terrific coming-of-age story.

1.  Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal:  Oh, I loved this so much.  A book you'll remember forever.

ETA:  That's 112 books so far this year.  THAT I REMEMBER.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Terrible horrible no good-- you get the idea

I am so annoyed right now. The babies and I are sitting in the car while Jack has football practice. My plan was to run around a little and get some more steps since I have been at work sitting on my  ass ALL DAY but here I am, on my ass again and destined for the treadmill. Or elliptical. Same diff. But, anyway, the reason we are in the car is because it is dusk and too cold to be comfortable playing at the park even with light Northface coats and pumpkin hats.


Dorothy! Has her first school-related virus. She threw up twice yesterday and has been fairly miserable all day. Poor little thing. 
Cooper had his 4 year check up today and got a boatload of vaccines. He was not brave at all, but we told him he was, like you do. 

Yesterday, I dropped my earring while I was putting it on, and it vanished! I was upset pretty quickly because I timed my morning pretty exactly and I was looking forward to being worked it, showered, made up and accessorized before breakfast so I could clean up the breakfast mess before the preschool drop off gamut. That way, the 2.5 hours a day where all the kids were gone would be MINE FOR THE TAKING. 

Instead I wasted so much time crawling around on the bathroom floor that I was getting super antsy. So I shouted not very gently for Ben. Which made Dorothy cry. I assumed I had just startled her until Ben started shouting. I dashed out of our room to see her standing in the hall next to/inside of a volcano of brown vomit. It was horrifying. And Cooper stepped in it OF COURSE. 

I took off my scarf and rolled up my jeans and put her in the tub/scrubbed the floor and walls while Ben resumed earring searching. He couldn't find it, and I was super pissy, especially because every time I clean up the puke, I get sick myself in about 3 days. 

I stayed home with pukey  and kept Cooper home too so we didn't have to leave and took the second shower of my morning to wash off the puke. 

I looked everywhere for the earring. I took apart both sinks. I worried that it was on my scarf (although I swore I heard it hit the ground in a muffled way) which I flung off onto my unmade bed, so I searched all the bedding and even removed the duvet cover. I cleaned out the vacuum canister, vacuumed everywhere and went through the canister with a flashlight. I got a voodoo doll worth of hair out of both sink drains. I looked everywhere. 

Then I called the insurance agent because the earrings are scheduled on our policy and he talked me out of filing a claim right away because he said they always turn up somewhere. 

Dorothy seemed better, so we took all the kids to an elementary school dinner fundraiser at Chipotle. All the kids' friends were there, and they had a rowdy blast. But Dorothy  and Cooper were a handful, and it took 40 minutes to get our food because of a big online order. At the exact second Ben brought the food to our table, Dorothy puked again. All over everything/everyone/Ben, etc. 

She is notthrowing up today (YET) and her night was uneventful-- even though we    tented her room with sheets just in case. 

While I was at work today, Ben thought of the one place we hadn't looked for my earring,  AND HE FOUND IT:

My hero!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The book fair is OVER!

The Scholastic book fair at the boys' school has eaten my life.  But last night was the last night, and now my life is mine again.  I will spare you the details because seriously.  It was a book fair.

It was a big week.

I decided to finally get my fat ass in check and I bought Shakeology shakes, and they are AMAZING.  They taste great, and you can mix up the recipe a bit for different flavors. And-- and this is the best part-- they have cut my junk food cravings in half, and they keep me full all day!  Except for today when I decided to drink wine and eat salami and chocolate chips after the kids went to bed, I have had NO ALCOHOL, and I have eaten between 1100 and 1300 calories, a good 1500 below what my Fitbit tells me I have burned.  I have lost 2 pounds (but gained like 6 this summer, so I have a way to go).  But here's the best, best part-- I HAVEN'T BEEN HUNGRY or felt deprived and crabby at all!!  These shakes make me feel so full.  I eat one for lunch because lunch is where my eating has spiraled out of control, but on days I need to work in my office, I have one for breakfast and pack a sack lunch.  Seriously awesome.  I have finally stopped lying to My Fitness Pal.

Last night, Harry and Jack had a slumber party, and everyone was up late because we went to the last night of the book fair and a literacy event at school.  And today? Everyone was a mess.  The boys woke Ben and me up at 5:45 because our room is right above Harry and Jack's.  We had to feed everyone breakfast, walk the dog and all the friends hime, pick up donuts and coffee, and make it to Harry's soccer game by 8:30.  Then we came home and scrambled to clean up the kitchen and basement, grocery shop, and throw together crockpot chicken noodle soup and pumpkin brownies before parting ways so Ben could take Harry to football and the rest of us could go to Jack's soccer game.  We met up at Jack's football game and then came home for a screamy dinner and outside playtime before finally, mercifully, putting everyone to bed.

We have been just as crabby as the kids, by the way.  I was so annoyed that Dorothy wouldn't stop stepping on the juice boxes we brought for Harry's soccer team that I scooped her under my arm and dragged everyone to the car to look at iPads and shriek.  IT WAS SO FUN.

Earlier in the week, we had nursery school picture day, and these 2 wore the outfits they chose.

 I caved and bought Coper a box of corn dogs at the store, but I only serve them with fruit and veggie smoothies.  Ugh.
 Not sure what was going on with her lunch and her Paw Patrol guy.
 Aaaaand it's my favorite outfit of the week.  He looks like a dancer.
 Oh, yeah.  The Cub Scouts seem less horrifying than they have been at a national level, so we let Jack join, despite serious misgivings.  He hasn't gotten his book, slide, and scarf.  So that's why I am procrastinating on the patches.
 Literacy game days!  Volunteers sign up to babysit grade levels for 2-hours at a time so teachers can give assessments to individual kids.  It was really fun the first couple of times, but now I feel obligated.
 Dress as your favorite book character.  A wild thing:
 And Almanzo Wilder
 Bought a thing of cream cheese the size of my fruit bowl at Costco because it's not pretty when we run out of cream cheese in the morning.  Fortunately that won't happen for another 3 pounds.
 A healthy snack for the soccer sneauxflakes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Worst tooth fairy ever

Jack ripped a tooth out of his face because his friend lost one and because he wanted more money to spend at the school book fair.  That almost made me feel bad enough to tell him he didn't have to use his allowance money and tooth money to buy books because I would buy him anything he wanted.  Then I realized that his tooth money and his allowance money is actually my money.  And I DID buy him books on top of the ones he chose.  So.

Besides, I have way worse tooth-related things to feel bad about.

WE FORGOT TO PUT MONEY UNDER JACK'S PILLOW on Sunday night, even though Jack lost his tooth and Ben replaced it with a tooth from the creepy as fuck box of teeth he apparently keeps in the closet, and I told Facebook abut this and hilarity ensued.  

Monday morning, Jack woke up and found only his tooth under his pillow and cried softly in his bed for a few minutes.  Meanwhile , Ben realized with a jolt that he forgot the cash and sprinted downstairs to nonchalantly drop a twenty on Jack's dresser under the guise of enquiring about the tooth fairy.  Then I told Jack, slightly mollified by the $20 but still confused, that the TF left his tooth probably because she knew he felt terrible about dropping the last tooth he lost in the pool drain in Hilton Head.  And he believed me! And then Monday night, Ben left a note from the TF thanking Jack for holding onto the tooth another day, and he took the tooth and left another $5 for good measure.  Today, Jack wrote a thank-you note for the TF and told me he hopes it makes her leave more money tonight.  Erm.
 Cooper built a chair out of tinker toys.  Dorothy asked him if it was a potty.
 Harry and I made another vat of tomato sauce from garden tomatoes.
 Then he and I went to a fundraiser for a friend who is traveling to Peru to do acupuncture in the rain forest.
 I am running the book fair at the big kids' school this week.  It's the biggest fundraiser of the year besides the one Ben and I chair in April, a ton of work, and also really fun.  Dorothy and Cooper spent 5 hours at student preview day yesterday, and they entertained themselves the whole time.
 Books are the best.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

#3's #4, Part 3

The picture above is Jack at school. I volunteer in his classroom on Friday mornings (giving spelling tests 3 kids at a time, which is both tedious and adorable), and jack got done with his spelling test and spelling packet, so he set up shop in the reading corner.

Below, we have Cooper at Old Navy, where I took him and Dorothy to pick out clothes to wear for their school pictures on Wednesday.  Dorothy picked a way less silly outfit than I was hoping she would.
We went to target to find Cooper some socks he would deign to wear to his bouncy house birthday party.  Start Wars knee socks for the win.
I pretty much love his whole party ensemble.
Dorothy scampered right in, one of the big kids.
Wind tunnel.  Jack brought his BFF to the party, and Harrison and his friend chose to go to a different party.  But I couldn't blame them-- their friend was turning 10 and having a baseball party, so.

I kept trying to get a picture of all of my children.  No dice.

I did a lot of sliding.

Cooper had a mild sock-related meltdown mid-party.
He really liked his Transformers cake.
Science is hilarious.
A pretty much group shot.
He was very serious when we sang.
Almost a good one!

He was SO SWEET during present opening even though he is really shy and hates to be the center of attention in public.  He said thank you to each friend after he opened the gift-- really cute.
Here are some randoms from Ben's camera:

Then, you guys, the most bloggable event happened that I TOOK ABSOLUTELY NO PICTURES OF.

Virginia and her awesome family came over for dinner!  Her children were all adorable and wonderfully behaved.  And Dorothy and Cooper were both over tired and horrible and screamed the whole time.  But still!  It was so fun!  And as soon as they left, I started kicking myself for the lack of pictures.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!