Sunday, November 23, 2014

Conference weekend: the unprofessional parts

Here is Dorothy sleeping on the couch the day we left all 4 kids with my parents and went by ourselves to Chicago for 2 whole nights. It was totally amazing. 

Unfortunately, the picture below is our shitty view from one of our 7th floor hotel room windows. The other window had a sort of lake view which was worse in a way because it made us feel bad about the room we could have had on the 23rd floor. But we didn't have that room because I lost my shit on the exec level elevator crammed with convention goers using it to go to the fucking 5th floor. So we asked for a room we could walk to and spent the whole weekend going up 7 floors by the service stairs. 
Thursday night we went out with our friend Dawn which made us feel about12 years younger because we all used to hang out together in Oxford Ohio. 

I also got to seey fabulous friend Amy who took her general fabulousness to a new level in a full-length mink. So jealous.   Also, she's the funnest. 
OMG American Girl!! I have been getting emails telling me to hurry up and get the girl of the year before she's gone, so I did. But maybe there was not really a rush given the inventory. Oops. 
We were totally tourists. 
And only bought for the kids. Sigh. 
Dinner last night was so much fun. 
And then I found myself eating second dinner at a dive bar at 1:30. Oops?


My high school speech coach!!
Then this morning I put my mom pants back on. Literally. 
Look at all the kid crap. 
Breakfast with Ben's grandma and it's back to the grind. 










Saturday, November 22, 2014

Third grade is real life

It's a sure sign we need to wash Harry's hockey gear when he wears it and the dog cannot stop licking him.

It sometimes freaks me out that he is in third grade.  I mean, you guys, I remember third grade.

I don't remember much about school before that year, only a couple of snap shots.  I remember how it felt to read I See Sam books in kindergarten-- the first word I figured out totally on my own was mouse, and then I could get house, and the whole world just opened right up right there at my desk.  I remember playing around the world with math facts in first grade and distinctly enjoying how it self to kick someone's ass in a competition.  I remember reading Dear Mr. Henshaw out loud to the fourth graders when I was in first grade, too-- I really liked reading to them, but I think they thought I was weird.  In second grade, I read Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret, and I was so engrossed in the book that I did not know the whole class had left the room to go to music.  Oops.

But third grade-- I remember it all.  Mrs. Piper had us keep a tiny notebook with a new vocabulary word everyday, and she would give each kid one M&M when she introduced the new word.  We had to come up with a sentence that used the words, and we would write that sentence in our notebooks.  I wrote "The rock is unique," and she told me you couldn't really call a rock unique, and to this day, I think WTF, lady?  We learned how to write in cursive, and I could NOT figure out how to make a cursive "r."  We were practicing at our desks, and I remember thinking oh god please don;t let her pick me to write the letter on the board, and she did!  She did pick me, and I was super embarrassed because my "r" totally sucked.  I wrote my first report in that class, on orangutans, researched using my family's living-room set of World Book  encyclopedias and illustrated with my Crayola markers.  For my gifted and talented class, I wrote a paper comparing West Side Story to Romeo and Juliet, and I made a killer diorama with a Ken and a gawky off-brand Barbie to represent a scene from Mr. Popper's Penguins.  In Mrs. Piper's class, we played board games during indoor recess, and we memorized Shel Silverstein poetry to recite to the class-- I still know a few by heart 28 years later.  I read 2 books-of-a-lifetime during silent reading time:  Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry and Where the Red Fern Grows, and my best friend from third grade was my matron of honor.

Third grade was real, and I wonder what he is going to remember.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Toddlers, man

I think Cooper has transitioned to preschooler from toddler since, you know, he goes to preschool and generally pees in the potty and walks places on his own about 99% of the time and can reliably do small tasks like go find his mittens and throw away his own gum wrappers.  I mean, he chews gum.

Luckily, though, Dorothy is still a toddler.  She has been a toddler since she was 10 months old and started toddling. I am glad, too, because I LOVE toddlers.  I love how dignified they are with their eating like people and wearing clothes like people and trying to do things for themselves like people.  But I also love how totally and completely incompetent they are at doing all of those things.

Dorothy is particularly lovable because she is so serious and grumpy.  She said no to everything instinctively and then she crosses her little arms and takes time to consider.  Then, and only then, do we sometimes get a yesh or a whole-body nod.  Except stuff she's not supposed to be doing-- she loves doing that and if you ask her if she wants to do it, she will always say yes.  She was really clingy and didn't want me to put her down the other day before I went to work, but I had to go get dressed.  I didn't want her to scream for Ben, so I tried to engage her in an activity.  Did she want to sit at the table and color?  No, huh-uh.  Did she want to sit on the couch and watch Curious George?  No, huh-uh./  Did she want to thrown a ball for the dog?  No, huh-uh.  Did she want to go in Cooper's room and dump out his sock drawer and then pull the drawer out, turn it upside down, and jump off of it?  Yesh. Yesh she did, and she stomped right off to do it.

Here are some of my favorite recent shots of her toddlerness in all its mulleted glory.
'



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chrismukkah card outtakes

Here are the pictures that did NOT make it into our card this year:






I mean, I would not want to spoil the surprise of our ACTUAL pictures because I know you rip open our envelope as soon as you find it in your mailbox in breathless anticipation.  You with anticipation, not our envelope or mailbox.  Modifiers.  Not always i the right places.

I used a new vendor this year, seduced by a sale and glowing write-ups making the round of the perfect mom mom-blogs I read, but I got an email telling me I should carefully review my purchase and then NO LINK TO A PROOF.  So now I am really worried that it is a typo'd misspelled mess.  Falalalala.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Night, night

Gah.

Since I got home from work today after stopping at Aveda for personal care products and the grocery store for necessary food prep supplies, I have made a double batch of pizza dough in the bread machine and helped 4 little people make their own pizzas that they even rolled out themselves (SO MICH FLOUR),  2 batches of Rice Krispie treats, 2 batches of chocolate chip brownies, 1 Pioneer Woman spaghetti chicken casserole, 1 tossed salad, 1 pan of olive-oil-drenched, kosher-salt-sprinkled broccoli to roast,  a huge pot of chicken noodle soup, and a lovely ginger ale and vodka cocktail.  I have also wrestled 1 kid into 2 hockey skates and1 helmet and watched another practice math facts and eat M&Ms during practice while freezing our butts off in the rink only to step outside into the below-zero temps.

And now, I am going to bed.

Well, first I am going to clean the mess of 3 days of dinner prep.  THEN I am going to bed.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Before school

The boys wore some cute little matching man sweaters today, and I took about a million pictures of them.  Note how the photo shoot quickly dissolves into chaos:







 Meanwhile, Dorothy was ransacking her room, natch.