Sunday, September 23, 2018

What We're Eating This Week 39/52

The baking continues!

I made these cookies (kids loved them; my grad students loved them.  I did not love them-- maybe the first cookie ever that is too sweet?)

I made 60 of these muffins (Cooper wanted to take them to school because he was VIP last week, and the kids also wanted some for home, but I did not think they would eat 38 muffins so quickly.  Also, I used brown sugar).

For Monday's meeting, I am choosing between these cookies and these.  BOTH WINNERS.

Chicken and noodles, brussels sprouts, jarred peached because they just GO
Crock pot Italian beef sandwiches, coleslaw, pasta salad
Salsa chicken in the crock pot for tacos, chips, salsa, guac

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Video of the Week

Behold, my Wisconsin accent dontchaknow:

Friday, September 21, 2018

Tiny Dancer Redux

The other day after school, I took advantage of a rare stint as the responding parent (my schedule has me working several evenings, meaning I am rarely home when the kids get home, and I thought I would like it, but, um, turns out I miss the chaos of backpacks and lunch boxes and clamoring little voices telling me about their days) and helped Dorothy practice getting ready for dance.

Her class is RIGHT after school.  Like, 18 minutes after the last bell rings.  It's about an 11-minute drive to dance, so she has SEVEN MINUTES to get home, put her stuff on, and jump in the car. YIKES.

Cooper bought a magic 8 ball with some of his birthday money, and Dorothy quizzes it incessantly about whether she'll be good at dance this year.  At first I thought she meant well-behaved, but then I realized she meant, like, good.  How cute/terrifying s that?

I cleared my schedule to be able to take her because she needs help, I would imagine, changing from ballet shoes to tap shoes, and it's her first year in a big kid class; her adorable little preschool classes were mid-afternoon and easy to attend on time).  But then, of course, a meeting popped up on my calendar that I couldn't refuse.  Ben will take her, in between running other kids other places (it's a day when they all have an activity).  Part of me feels guilty because there are 12 dance classes this semester, and I can got to 7 of them.  Part of me just doesn't want to miss it because our dance class ritual was something I came to love the past 2 years.

If I am being honest, the practice was for her to see if she can get her ballet slippers on (NOPE) and off (yes, but she just sort of flings them behind her, and I cannot imagine this will be any different in the studio, so I wrote her name inside them) and her tap shoes on (YES).  I also wanted to see if she could handle the sensory prison of her tights (yes, if they're footless) and put on her own leotard (sort of-- yes if it is already right-side out, but I suck at laundry, so).  But mostly, I just wanted to see this:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ah, first week of school mom. She leaves some big, fussy shoes to fill.

Read me on Madison Moms Blog talking overachieving the first week of school and UNDER-achieving the rest of the year.

Here's the link.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I am missing 3 years of photos!


Not in my Photos library.

No in the iPhoto library that's taking up like 900 gigs of my computer and is called "other," maddeningly, on my storage toolbar.

Not in the Cloud.


Ben has been making fun of me for printing pictures every month at Walgreens, but those pictures?  ARE THE ONLY ONES WE HAVE!

I am going through my online Walgreens photo stash and re-adding them to my library, which is harder than it sounds because I never paid attention to naming conventions, and that's biting me in the ass right now.  Also me with a baby Cooper?  FRESH FACED AND I HAD A THIGH GAP WHAT THE HELL?  These last seven years have been cruel (and also wonderful and amazing and I would not change the for the world). (But that thigh gap tho).

I discovered this loss when Cooper had to do a VIP project for first grade this weekend, and he needed a photo of himself just born, and the best I could do was a 1-month pic that I grabbed off of Facebook.  (Although I a pretty sure we posted a pic of Cooper do freshly born he was still all covered in vernix.)

Anyway I am busy, is what I am saying.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cooper's! Seventh! Birthday! Party!

We survived it, and I feel like I need a button proclaiming that very sentiment.

I remember Cooper's 5th birthday party when I invited all of his tiny little 4K classmates to a giant trampoline park filled with big kids.  I thought THAT was stressful.  It turns out, compared to Dave and Busters, that was A WALK IN THE PARK.  A quiet walk, save the chirping birds.  On a sunny day.  With my best friend.

HOLY CATS was Dave and Busters scary from a parent perspective.  When Dorothy said she wanted to have her next party there, I almost burst into hysterical tears.  I am going to spend between now and March convincing her that she wants a HOME PARTY.  Gah.

Not that anyone asked, but here is my official party review:


1.  The kids had a wonderful time.  That's what 2 hours of unlimited video games will do for you.
2.  The food was amazingly kid-friendly.  We had giant platters of french fries, cheeseburgers, cheese pizzas, and chicken tenders.  Plus unlimited lemonade, Sprite, and water.  Plus a Pokemon cake.  I MEAN COME ON.  It's practically paradise.
3.  The staff was lovely and helpful and so, so, so accommodating.
4.  The place was super clean.
5.  No decorating required!  We just had to bring the cake and a camera!
6.  I did not have to get party favors because all of the kids bought garbage from the prize shop with their tickets.
7.  I only let Cooper invite 6 kids.  (Because a party for 10 kids at D&B is pretty damn expensive) And then one of the kids cancelled and I let Jack bring a friend instead and THANK GOODNESS because 5 kids was PLENTY of little kids to watch.  Which brings me to


1.  The tables for lunch were really far away from the games, which was awkward.
2.  The place started out empty, but by the end of the 2-hour party, it was crowded
3.  Seven is old enough for a drop-off party, but 7 ear-olds are pretty squirrelly.  And most of Cooper's friends are 6.
4.  It was really hard to keep tabs on all of the kids all of the time.  Ben took Cooper and 2 friends.  Jack and his friend watched a kid.  Harry watched a kid.  I kept an eye on Dorothy and a second-grade girl and also did laps, counting all of the kids every 10 minutes or so.  CONSTANT VIGILANCE.


I mean, besides the fact that we will probably all get the stomach flu any second from touching all the machines and also eating, the worst part about the whole party was that the whole place is a kidnapper's dream.  It would be SO EASY for a kid to go missing from the sprawling, dim arcade.  My heart was in my throat basically the whole party.  It took HOURS for me to unclench.


The kids LOVED this party.  But!  There is a reason that most parents avoid this place like the plague.  I think Harry's friends would love it.  I think if Jack wanted to take a couple of friends there for games and dinner before a sleepover, it would be awesome.  I think 7 is TOO LITTLE for a Dave and Buster's party-- because it nearly killed the 7 year-old's parents.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tuesdays with Harry

Harry and I have resumed our Tuesday after school adventures.  Sadly, we are going to have to make them every-other week as the semester ramps up because I have a committee meeting on Tuesdays twice a month that is going to slice right into my work time.  Also my office hours.  My life is one big ball of scheduling snafus.

But!  This first Tuesday was tricky because I challenged myself to spend zero dollars last week.  It is, sadly, a challenge I lost because I spent $1.29 on an iTunes song for my Bucky movie (an iTunes song, by the damn way, that I ALREADY OWNED), $30 to fill up the van (a deal indeed since I used my grocery store gas station points for $.80 off per gallon), $21 on dinner for Dorothy, and Cooper, and me (at a local pancake place one night when I just could not even), and $5 to have coffee with a friend on Friday. Still!  $58 for the whole week is a YUGE improvement over the last few weeks, when I have spent at least $50 EVERY DAMN DAY.  (And, might I add, had absolutely NOTHING to show for it-- it's not like I am buying things--mostly just bullshit for the house that gets used up in seconds).

So, anyway, I had a shoestring budget for our adventure.  We ended up getting a milkshake at the union (him-- I ate about half of the fresh-baked oatmeal cookies I brought along for snacking purposes) and going to the free art museum on campus (So, I guess I spent $62 if you add in the milkshake, but half of that was GAS, which I feel like should not even count.  The rest was food or food related things NO WONDER I AM NOT LOSING WEIGHT).

I just want to ask myself HOW I have been at this university for 15 years and have never before checked out this art museum.  It's gorgeous and has a regular collection that really impressed us (we barely skimmed the surface and need to go back) and gets awesome traveling exhibits.  Right now, there's a beautiful Renaissance Italy exhibition that we both loved, and we saw a smaller exhibition of resistance prints that is soon-to-be replaced.   We can't wait to go back, is what I am saying.

I said these looked like something from Homegoods, and Harry was all, "Without the genitalia."

 Platform shoes!
 Aristotle and Phyllis:
 There were even Renaissance board games like this Most Royall and Pleasant Game of Y Goose
 And then!  We started wandering through the galleries and we found this!  After driving all the way to the National Gallery so Jack could see his favorite artist in real life!  There has been a big green Marilyn right by our house all along!
Also we saw a for-real Botticelli Madonna (a really big one) and other masters whose names escape me because despite my art history gen ed class in undergrad, I know nothing about art. Or,  I guess I should say, I know enough to know I know nothing.  Which is why I should go to museums with Harry, who just speaks his mind about what he sees and doesn't judge himself.  He saw a panel from a 15th century wedding chest and was all "Oh look a dog fight.  No, wait.  I guess that's actually a pig dog."  BRILLIANT.