Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Micro Beauty

Since we talked last, Dorothy had dance pictures.

And shortly after I snapped these on the way to the official pics, I noticed that her ballet shoes are bloody, which is kind of awesome in a black swan way, but also I ordered new ones.

Also, she is wearing the rainbow sequined number for Halloween, she has decided and will be a rainbow and I am so excited to paint her face and hair.

And one more also, her teacher fixed her bags before the tap picture because I am useless.

We came home from dance and washed off her makeup and Dorothy got to do her first face mask, courtesy of a lovely friend who got both of us masks for my birthday.  (I actually adore doing masks.  I use the Trader Joe's sheet mask at least once a week-- and if you haven't tried it, TREAT YOURSELF ASAP-- and I have an Aveda mask I love.)  I have to admit, it was fun to do this with Dorothy, and she also loved it.

The next day, she asked me to curl her hair before school, and this started innocently enough but then suddenly I was curling her hair and then as my friend said on Instagram, she was ready for community theater.  The dowager role.  In the early 90s.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

I had an acupuncture facial party-- did you even know that was a thing??

Oh my goodness!  Three lovely friends threw me an acupuncture facial rejuvenation acupuncture party with snacks and a gorgeous, delicious cake, and it was THE BEST.

I didn't even want to celebrate my bday, but we also have a trivia double date coming up next week, and I feel really supported and it's great.

Also, you guys.  My skin looks Whole30 awesome, and I am definitely eating carbs.  DO THE FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cheers to 41

Last month for Jack's birthday, we started a tradition of going out as a family to play bar trivia for our birthday dinners.  We even found a place that plays lightening trivia-- one 1 minute per question-- and it is PERFECT with the kids.  This is a seriously great tradition, and you would be surprised how handy kids are at trivia-- Harry has rando sports questions on lock, and he knew a Gandhi question that Ben and I had no clue about.  Plus kids know things that are common knowledge for their age groups but become trivia when you're old.  Like the types of triangles.  Or elements whose periodic table abbreviations are only vowels.

So, long story short, we did that last night for my bday and then Ben and I came home and got way too drunk on a bottle of champagne and watched the last ever Veep, which was hilarious, of course, but also sad because it's over, and I am just not handling endings well right now.

I spent the morning shopping.  I had a Sephora gift card from Ben's parents, and I got my Sephora bday gift, my Avdea bday gift, my Starbucks bday drink, etc.  And then I bought a shower curtain and a couple of pics for Dorothy and Cooper's bathroom-- it was a leisurely morning, and I barely even felt guilty about my decision to cancel Harry and Jack's dentist appointments because I did not want to spend a chunk of my kid-free time driving all the hell over town.

Also, Ben bought me the sunglasses I ran over last summer and have missed ever since.

 Listen, I have never hung a straight picture, and I never will.

 I watched baseball in the sun, wrapped in a quilt with a box of donut holes.  YES PLEASE.
 TRIVIA!! Team Happy Birthday Mommy (Dorothy picked the name, and it was suuuper embarrassing repeated a million times on the mic) got 5th, but we were 3rd going into the final round **sad trombone**
I got to use my spring form pan again, and you know that's, like, a special thrill.

Cheers to 41!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A lovely Mother's Day after all.

This is my plan: to spend all 2019 holidays DIFFERENTLY than I spent them in 2018.  I think this is the only way I will be able to be even a little bit celebratory.

Up first: Mother's Day.  Last year, we were in Peoria with my mom and dad.  Also Jon and Caleb and a bunch of friends from college who came all the way to P-town to celebrate my 40th.

This year, we met up with my mom in Des Moines to see my grandam and two of my mom's sibs.  And Cooper thinks my uncle Lee is the world's funniest human, so that was adorable.

4 generations!  So cool!
 As usual, Blogger has uploaded my photos in totally random order, and I am too lazy to fix them.  Here are Dorothy and Cooper living their best lives at Target after school on Friday while we grabbed a few weekend supplies.  Also, Dorothy is the queen of under eye circles lately, but we have been TOO BUSY to put anyone to bed before like 9.
 I read this book in the car and LOVED it.  You should read it.
 We dropped Bea off at the boarder on the way.  STILL IN THE CONE OF SHAME.
 Zombie Burger!
 West Elm while we waited for our Zombie Burger table
 The puns were my favorite!
 After the bloody Mary
 Dorothy got right to work chalking the crap out of my aunt's driveway.
 Love these cocktail napkins
 HOTEL POOL.  Their favorite.
 We really know how to class up a hotel room.  Spoiler alert: we found Cooper's other shoe.  Eventually.
 Trying for an early morning hot tub selfie
 General merriment!
 You bet I ate a donut in the hot tub like the pimp from Deuce Bigalow
 Visiting Bomma at the nursing home

 Everyone was tired on the way home.
One day at a time, friends.  Tomorrow, I am 41.  I didn't really want to celebrate, but Ben talked me into it, and my friends have been lifesavers-- I have 3 separate nights out coming up, thank goodness.

When we snapped this picture a year ago tomorrow, I had no idea how the year would end. Which, I guess, is why I should celebrate 41, right? 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Spoiler Alert: STILL SAD

Speaking of reading.  It is the 10th of the month and I am plodding through just one book. WHAT IN THE HELL.

But, conversely, I have wasted more time than I ever have in my entire life scrolling mindlessly through social media.  I am just about up to the class prep red line, though, where I will suddenly have to snap to attention because I have NO TIME LEFT to do anything at all.  Gah.

I don't want to celebrate my birthday this year because I am just not feeling celebratory.  And yet.  My birthday is coming.  Luckily, I scheduled dentist appointments for Jack and harry, so I will have some time to be grumpy and put-upon.

I am barely even taking pictures.

I had a funny post about  Take Your Kid to Work day, and I took GOBS of pictures of that.  But then, you know, my dad died that very night, and now I cannot even look at any of those pics.  Not yet, anyway.

Before my dad died, I was kicking some Whole30 ass, so my phone is full of food pics.  But, like, not pretty ones. Like these:

So much penis shaped food and so much kale.  Bah.  Now I am eating carbs again and feel kind of gross about it but also give zero cares about meal planning or prep.  So, there's that.

Rainbow day at dance (also the day my dad died, but it's pretty cute)
Baseball season is upon us!  Dorothy likes to literally roll in the dirt like a cute little farm animal while the boys play. 

Harry is umping whenever he can to save up for a new phone (SO CUTE)

 Remember what I said about food prep?  We are eating crap all of the time.
 On a literally brighter note, Ben is LOVING the rainbow of sunglasses her got for his birthday
Dorothy wears a pair of my dad's reading glasses almost everyday
At his choir concert, Harry almost couldn't sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" because he took a second to think about the meaning of the song.
Jack and Cooper had a screaming fist fight on the front lawn this morning as their dog walk ended.  No picture because I had to, you know, intervene.

Beatrix still has an ulcer on her eye, and we are going on week three of the effing cone of shame and it's driving me nuts.  She doesn't seem to mind.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

April: What I read

Here's another terrible grief side effect:  I DON'T WANT TO READ.  Can you even?  I don't know what to say about it except... who cares?

But still, April was a good reading month:

13. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley:  Meh.  You can probably skip this one.

12. When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon by Joshua D. Mezrich: I wanted to like this-- I really did.  But the eugenics stuff was just too much for me to brush off casually like the author did.

11. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson: I was not as riveted by this as the rave reviews suggest I should be, but I could appreciate how intricately crafted it was.

10. Trust Exercise by Susan Choi:  This was not as good as the reviews led me to believe it would be, either.  **shrug**

9. The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman:  This is sad.

8. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich:  I loved this and read it to help Harry with a book report.

7. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen:  Yep.  Scary.

6. Inheritance by Dani Shapiro:  This is a really buzz-y book and for good reason.  Read it!

5. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin:  Still awesome and worth a re-read for you as well.

4. Watching You by Lisa Jewell:  She is one of my very favorite thriller authors, and this did not disappoint.

3. Never Tell by Lisa Gardner:  A new DD Warren book?  Heaven!

2. The DNA of You and Me by Andrea Rothman:  I LOVED THIS ONE.  Such a sad, sweet love story.

1. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reed:  THIS IS THE BOOK TO BEAT IN 2019.  Also, you should read all of this author's books and be amazed because they are all excellent.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Grief navigation tips: some to share, and I want some more, please

1.  Don't beat yourself up about falling off the whole30 wagon because all of the food and vodka you're surrounded with the the first few days after a loved one dies.  You are only human.  Also, life is obviously short.

2.  Preparation H works great for puffy grief eyes.  I am also eying one of these facial rollers, and I bought a gel bead sleep mask that I can put in the freezer.

3.  You can actually be too sad to sleep.  Did you know that?  The night my dad died, I was up almost the whole time.  I would drift off for a second, have a weird dream, startle a little, and then remember that my dad was dead and be wide awake and so, so sad.

4.  You can also get grief acne, so that's a thing.

5.  I know I was just complaining about too much booze and carbs, but the grief diet is a good one.  Except, you know, that it sucks so bad.  I am too sad to want to eat and also feel a little sick all of the time.  MY JEANS FIT GREAT. Hashtag fucked up relationship with food.

6.  Kids express grief by being assholes, which is kind of stressful, but no big deal when you remember that as freaked out as you are, they are probably ten thousand times more freaked out than you can even imagine.

7.  Mindfulness helps.  If I can focus on the present moment, I can be mostly OK.

8.  People are going to give you the grief eyes and ask you how you are doing, and the best way to respond is to say "I feel terrible.  This is terrible."  It cuts through you pretending to be OK and them offering some bad advice.  You can both just kind of agree that death sucks, and the conversations are generally really soothing and pleasant.

9.  There's no wrong way to grieve.  Want to go through dirty tub after dirty tub of pictures from the garage?  That's OK.  Want to be super annoyed about the never ending picture bins?  That's OK, too.  Don't judge your feelings.  Just try to ride them out.  Like that one time in college when mushrooms were nothing like you thought they'd be.

10.  Make like Elsa and let it go.  If the me of April 24th knew how infrequently the me of May 5 cleans her house, she'd be scandalized.  Also, I wear giant sunglasses everywhere because I am constantly crying, and I am pretty OK with that.

Ok, that's what I've thought of in the last 10 days.  (I SAW MY DAD 2 WEEKS AGO TODAY AND HE WAS FINE AND WE WENT OUT TO LUNCH AND I HUGGED HIM AND TOOK PICTURES AND THIS SUCKS SO BAD).  What tips do you have?  How do you stop yourself from being overwhelmed by the enormity and the permanence of the loss?  That's where I am really struggling.