Thursday, October 19, 2017

Adorable all around

 Jack, above, joyfully playing outside before school.  I love that he plays with friends every morning and runs across the street when he hears the bell ring.  This is exactly what I envisioned would be the awesomest part of living across the street from a school.

Yesterday, Dorothy needed 3 vaccines (2 and a flu shot), and Cooper had to get a flu shot and it was SUPER DRAMATIC.  Dorothy SCREAMED at the top of her lungs and almost threw up from crying.  Cooper tried to be brave, but he cried, too.  IT WAS HELLISH.

So, we went to McDonald's.  PARENT OF THE YEAR right here.  But actually?  If you want to bribe your kid with McDonalds right now?  It's a good time to do it because they have both My Little Pony AND Rescue Bots.
 Dorothy pretty much kept that mask on for the rest of the day, which was also awesome to behold.
 When Harry and Jack got home from school, we took them to get shots, too, and neither of them flinched.  So, in a few years, flu shot season will be NBD.  Also, if you see Ben, SHAME HIM because the entire rest of the house got our shots.

We celebrated with a round of Blizzards.
 Then Ben got to take the boys to gymnastics, and I took Dorothy over to her school to paint pumpkins.  SO FUN.
 She freaking pink puffy hearts glitter.
 And she took the whole thing totally seriously.
 This was her "I ran out of glitter" face.
 Luckily, since the pain is washable, this baby is an INSIDE PUMPKIN.
 How cute are Cooper and Beatrix passed out together on the couch?
 Yesterday began cute with Jack playing outside and ended cute with a boy and his dog and his book. And then!  Harry got dressed in 3 layers of Cubs pride this morning plus a hat, meaning today started cute as well.  And THIS is why I had so many kids.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

End of an era

You GUYS!!

Our pediatrician is RETIRING!

How can he DO that?

We still need a pediatrician for 14 more years.  AT LEAST.

(It's OK-- we have another amazing doctor)

But it's totally weird to think that the doctor we have gone to for LITERALLY every sniffle for the last 11 years is not going to be the person we see anymore, KWIM?

And I mean we used to be SO SO SO DUMB.  We needed all the help we could get.  And this guy!  He was a YUGE help.  And now, we are at least smart enough to now what we don't know and ask for assistance.  Which is more than I can say for some people who are in charge of whole countries.

Apropos of nothing:  FINGER BERRIES:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jack is 9.5!! And I am tired.

I have seen a number of articles in my FB feed lately (and, no, I cannot find them right now) about the importance of sleep/the particular American tragedy of chronic sleep deprivation.  And I see myself in them.  I am always tired, and I have no good reason to keep me up at night. So!  I am going to fix it.  The problem, though, is that I am used to getting up early to work from 5-6:40-ish and I really miss those extra 100 minutes.  Which is how come, for example, I wrote yesterday's blog post this morning.  It's a work in progress.

Can you find the oatmeal on the floor in this pic?  I LOVE MY FLOOR.
 We went to my parents' house this weekend to take family pics on the Bradley campus.  The boys watched the Cubs lose their first game.
 We got up BRIGHT AND EARLY on Sunday to dress is coordinating colors and experience the frigid temps together as a family.
 Almost cute.
 We took warm up candids at my parents' house, and the kids were hard to wrangle.
 Also, Dorothy was getting sick and was practically transparent.
 BUT THE SHOW MUST GO ON.
 Yesterday!  Jack's half birthday! SO we celebrated with half a cake.
Do you guys remember when he was only a half?  I do.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Wheels on the Bus

On Friday, I had the pleasure (and I say that in all seriousness because spoiler alert, it really was a pleasure) of going to a pumpkin patch with Cooper;s completely precious kindergarten class,

It was my favorite kind of day-- gloomy so the apples and pumpkins really popped and cold enough for a sweater but not really cold at all.

Cooper wanted me to ride the bus with him because he has never in his special snowflake little life ridden a bus before.  I have to tell you, I was hesitant because a screaming bus full of five- and six-year-olds sounds awful and because my claustrophobia is no joke these days.  I knew I would be kind of freaked out sitting on the bus with all the windows up and the door closed NOT MOVING in front of school.  And I was, but it was OK because of the aforementioned screamy kids.

 I love all things apple and pumpkin and this particular orchard/patch is a favorite of ours, so I was as excited as the kids to go in the back room and see how they choose apples for cider versus for sale and how they squish the hell out of the cider apples.
 The walk-in apple cooler smelled so mamzing that I wasn't even scared when the farmer shut the door.
 Then we got to go on a hay ride!  The farmer said she might not have room for the parents, so I was like SWEET I can go shopping instead.
 But then she DID have room for me.  Phew!
 The views were lovely.
 Bees!  The farmer told the kids they are the real workers on the farm.
 This place has a u-pick garden!  Can't wait to go back this weekend.
 The only apple picking the kids did was out of this bushel
 But they clearly loved it anyway/
 Apples are so lovely.
 It as so cute to watch the kids eat the apples!
 Pie pumpkin!
 I LOVE pie pumpkins because I love pie!
 Luckily, I did get a chance to go to the apple store.
 The kids also had fun terrorizing chickens.
 A note about shoes!  Cooper loved the $14 Amazon velcro ones!  Thank goodness!  So!  I also bought him a pair of Uggs and will have him leave the blue ones in his locker for gym and we never have to worry about shoes or socks again until the first thaw which at this rate will be like June!  Yay!

On the way back to school, the whole bus burst into a spontaneous rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus," and it was the cutest thing that has ever happened in the history of the world.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lunch date

 Why yes, yes I do wake up this glamorous.  LOL LOL LOL.

Dorothy ad I had another day together because an unexpected meeting for Ben caused me to spend 2 hours mid-day picking up Dorothy and taking her to lunch with me.  A ROUGH JOB but somebody has to do it.  (Actually, it did sort of harsh my buzz because I had a lunch planned with a friend and her 11-month-old, and it was just supposed to be us and the baby, which would of course be quiet and delightful, 2 words you cannot use to describe a 4 year-old at a damn restaurant).
 We got a coffee first.
 And made a quick stop at the library.

I mean, I always play on the table, don't you?
 After lunch, we had a cupcake, and Ben met us at the bakery, which is when Dorothy realized she was going home with him and no back to work with me.  Oops.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Day of the girl child: the mindless consumption edition

Yesterday was the International Day of the Girl Child, so I celebrated mine by taking her to see My Little Pony: The Movie  and buy some fast fashion for picture that probably violates all manner of ethical guidelines because HOW ELSE COULD IT BE SO CHEAP.  So did I do it?  Is America great again?


Speaking of fast fashion, I am a repeat offender because I also went to H&M this week.  She doesn't even care that this dress is so big you can see all the way inside the sleeves and it barely skims the top if her boots.  So, that's awesome.  Also it was COLD yesterday and she had a Northface rain coat and fleece.  But, alas.
 She got a certificate, even, because the marketing for this movie is ON POINT.
 She tried on a billion dresses and went with the cap sleeved leopard number, accessorizing at home with a leopard headband and leopard tights-- all slightly different patterns I LOVE HER SO MUCH.
 She always poses with the headless friends on the way out.
Seriously you guys.  That movie.

I REALLY LIKED IT.

I mean YES, we both fell asleep in the middle and didn't miss the 25-40 minutes we snoozed through.  And YES it was hackneyed and just like the cartoon.  But.  Friendship is magic, and sisters are doing it for themselves.  These are some feminist ponies, you guys, and the message that girly is powerful is a great one. I hate the impulse to decry princess culture in favor of sportsball and to roll our eyes at girls in pink and encourage them to dress more like boys.  I LOVE the simultaneous embrace and subversion of hegemonic femininity though.  I mean, can a mass-market movie be subversive?  Maybe.  I just wish I had taken Cooper.  Because girls aren't the only ones who need to see ass-kicking glitter sparkles and hear about the power of kindness, you know?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

In retrospect, I drank too much coffee, probably.

I have had an unusually productive morning, even by my standards.

Before 10:00 am, I have:

  • Updated the attendance for my 200-person lecture.  This is hard because I am taking attendance in the slowest, most time consuming possible way, and then because it's a pain, I procrastinate, so today, I had to do 2 lectures-worth of reading and recording
  • Gotten 4 kids off to 3 different schools and made all of their beds and cleaned all of their bathrooms
  • Put dinner for the oldest 4 of us in the crockpot
  • Packed a picnic for the little 2 to eat at gymnastics
  • Worked on my adjunct class
  • Baked peanut butter M&M cookies because the banana choc chip muffins I made last night are already gone-- and!  Since I am still doing intermittent fasting, I have started doing all of my baking in my fasting window, and I am not eating ANYTHING while I bake.  This is huge for me because I used to eat easily 600 calories in dough and chocolate chips, etc.  And then, of course, I would not tell My Fitness Pal because who wants to own up to that?
  • Worked out
  • Lifted weights
  • Took a shower
  • Got dressed and put on makeup
  • Worked on my spring class
  • Read about ancient Greece
  • Done 4 loads of laundry, including a bunch of pee laundry
I mean, now I can basically slack for the rest of the damn day.  KIDDING.  Sort of.  I have a fridge water filter to change, a book to read for a blog review, and a novel to write.

World's cutest sweatpants from H&M where I stopped after work to get Dorothy something My Little Pony to wear to the movie (omfg).  I texted a pic of them to Ben to see if he thought Coop would like them.  He predicted that the legs would be TOO TIGHT TOO TIGHT TOO TIGHT.  But I bought them anyway along with an ill-advised rainbow unicorn sweatshirt for me and then Cooper hated them OF COURSE and I had to take them back but damn they're cute.  Also, If you "need" to buy licensed character clothing for your kid, I totally recommend H&M-- their stuff is generally cuter than most.
 Read this short story to your kids.  James Thurber.  Its in many Thurber anthologies-- this is from My Life and Hard Times, which is so funny and a breeze to read.
 Harry and Ben had hickey try outs last night. Well, Harry did, and ben helicoptered on over.  I made pancakes for the other 3 and didn't put chocolate chips in them because Dorothy has decided she only like chocolate chips on the side and doesn't want anyone else to eat them any other way.  So then Cooper was like, Oh we are having pancake faces, which, of course, I found charming.  I served the berries, but he added the pretzels.
 Beatrix woke up from a sound, smiling sleep (although not to sound-- see her perky little ears?)
 To bark her little face off at a pet food commercial that featured a golden retriever.
 I DID NOT EAT A CRUMB OF THESE!!
I have lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks of fasting intermittently, and it's awesome.  I am someone who can abstain more easily than I can indulge moderately because I live my entire life balanced at the edge of a slippery slope fallacy, so the 8-hour eating window works great. I also don't feel like I need to deprive myself when it's time to eat, so the 1200 calories that My Fitness Pal suggests I eat (1500 with exercise) go a LONG WAY.  If you are an upholder and an abstainer like me, I bet you'd like it, too. 

And!  Because I fast until 12 or 13:30, I have started drinking my coffee black, and we are going through a half-gallon LESS MILK.  And I never counted my coffee-milk calories because I figured it was just skim milk and just a little, but it was CUPS of milk a week.  CUPS.

And one more thing!  I was worried about staining my teeth with black coffee, so I started drinking it from a stainless steel straw and my mom said that would burn my lips and I was all whatever lady and IT DID.  So now I like my coffee tepid.  And by like I mean tolerate.