Friday, September 27, 2019

Can I cram 9 New Year's Resolutions in the next 95 days?

Short answer: NO because some of them were ongoing goals, and I have already failed them.  Also, some of my resolutions just sucked.

Ok.  Here's what I am working with in terms of unmet goals:

1.  Print my pictures monthly.  I have printed zero pictures.
2. Do yoga everyday.  Oops.
3. Move or at least pain the basement and redecorate boys' bathroom.  I did buy a new shower curtain and hand towel, but other wise absolutely not.
4.  Watch all the Oscar movies before the Oscars.We didn't see Vice until after the fact.
5.  Record 24 POTY podcasts episodes.  We took that in another direction and quit.
6.  Work on my abs.  There were literally 3 days where I did sit ups.
7.  Get a puppy.  Whut.
8.  Take vitamins.  LOLOLOLOLOLOL.  But!  I have focused on healthy eating, especially over the last 5 months.
9.  Find perfect black heels.  I forgot about this one, but I sort of like it...

I made 19 resolutions and have kept 10 of them.  Still, nine outstanding resolutions really bugs me.  I am going to commit to doing #1 for sure, keeping my eyes peeled for #9, and working #2 and #6 into my weekly routine.
#3, #7-- those are nuts.
#8: I mean listen.  Are vitamins even good for me?
#4, #5: Those ships have sailed.


What about you?  Any resolutions that stuck around?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Hello, Fall.

 I wish we could hang on to this weather forever.  I mean, how many days in a calendar year are sweatshirt dress weather, you know?  N O T   E N O U G H.
 Dorothy is back in the dance studio 2 days a week, taking jazz, hip hop (pictured), tap, and ballet.  Most of the kids she has been in class with since preschool are on the dance team this year, and I have to tell you that was not on my radar for her (nor was it recommended in her "classes for next year" email) but now I have FOMO.  WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH ME?  SHE IS SIX.  But, I have to say, she is happy as a little clam at dance and I love it so much.
Dorothy and Cooper and I are devouring Ramona Quimby, Age 8, which I know is toward the tail end of the series, but I started with it because it is my hands-down favorite.  We have Ramona the Pest at the top of the pile to read next, though.
 Harry and Jack had school pictures, which they apparently thought were in smell-o-vision because HOLY AXE.


 Dorothy told me at pick-up yesterday that she needed a nap.
 And immediately fell asleep on the way to pick the boys up at Harry's volleyball practice/their Macbeth auditions and take everyone to Dorothy's soccer practice.
Then she was sound asleep three paragraphs into Ramona, even though we are on the last chapter, and the kids cannot wait to wrap it up.

PLEASE DO NOT LET HER BE SICK.  I am a working mom who actually has a TON of work to do right now but will totally stay home as long as I need to, which is a page right out of Mrs. Quimby's world and hey wait a minute WHO ARE THESE BOOKS FOR ANYWAY?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Fall family fun! And a new selfie obsession!

I got a new phone, and the kids and I have been taking near constant portrait mode selfies.  And!  Can I just say?  Nothing will make you question your desire to grow old gracefully despite spending every summer like a lizard drying out in the sun like a portrait mode selfie.  Woof!

Seriously though, we took a silly amount of selfies:






 I could not stop taking pictures of Dorothy, all dirty from school and apr├Ęs-school Oreos



Finally!  We had time to do some Traditional Family Fall Fun activities, mainly APPLE PICKING
 



 Dorothy could not stop making fun of my overalls.







 This is pretty much perfect.
 LOOK AT THESE LITTLE BABIES.
Oh, I love Halloween so much. 

I replaced lat year's family beach pics with old Halloween shots:
And added a few other touches

Friday, September 20, 2019

Hilarious/Horrifying Couch Saga Post Script

Despite my saying that the reason they couldn't keep a cushion was because the couch needed to be whole to go to a new home, no one wanted it.

JUST AS THE KIDS WERE WALKING OUT THE DOOR FOR SCHOOL, the large item pick up garbage truck came by.  I was envisioning a humane sort of crane situation where my giant item would be whisked away in one piece with more opportunities for a family to love it.  Instead, the large item pick up truck was a huge wood chipper thing for ITEMS, and it ATE OUR COUCH right in front of everyone's betrayed little  eyes.  I can still hear the sound of truck chewing up the wood frame and slurping down the couch's beloved pillows.

Next time I will call the thrift store and arrange for pick up.

When I gave Coop his smoothie, Jack said, "That's a generous pour."

Back to school night!

In-house study hall

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Resilience. Or not.

Have you ever felt like maybe you are raising kids who aren't as, um, resilient as you thought they were?

Like grit and growth mindset,"resilient" is a parenting buzzword and one that relies on access to a certain class status but is passed off as something we should all be able to attain if we just worked hard enough. It's this exact reason that I don't pay attention to these parenting buzzwords.  Or at least, I say I don't pay attention  to them but really I check them silently against my own kids.  (Can they stick with  hard task?  Well, sort of, if you take into account the fact that nothing in their little lives is actually hard.  Do they have a growth mindset?  I mean, you guys, they live in a child-centered bubble that offers them sixty-five billion chances to do the same task and get better at it.  THE GROWTH MINDSET HAS BEEN PROVIDED).

I always assumed they were as resilient as the next special freaking snowflake whose parents' entire lives revolved around their happiness and the nurturing of their potential.

Until, that is, we replaced our basement couch and all hell broke loose.

THE KIDS HAVE BEEN MOURNING THE OLD COUCH FOR WEEKS.  Like, rending of garments mourning.  Ben wanted to save a grimy old cushion for them because he is a better person than I am and remembers being beyond sad when his parents sold his childhood home, but not me.  WHERE WOULD WE PUT A NASTY OLD COUCH CUSHION?  Why should we condemn our couch to the trash heap if someone wants it for their own basement?  WHY ARE WE CRYING ABOUT A COUCH?

WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK?

The old couch was 8 and should have been kicked to the curb at 4-and-a-half, after three kids poured sippy cups of milk on it and left food in it (we found those baby puff things that no one has eaten for at least 4 years in the bottom of it when Ben sliced open the fabric to let all of the crumbs out like it was a big plush toaster).

The kids say they had favorite spots.  No couch would be just like the old one.  They liked kicking each other in the face and fighting about who would sit in the corner.

After school yesterday, Jack sat on the new couch and SOBBED because it wasn't the same.

I JUST.

I CANNOT EVEN.

WHAT??

I  was unprepared.

To help them cope, I bought pillows and a basket of throw blankets so everyone would be extra cozy and just sort of threw up my hands.  I hope they will all bond with the new couch, and since watching screens with their mouths open is everyone's favorite way to spend time as a family, I think the odds are pretty good.

Also, Ben and I are patting each other on the back pretty aggressively because we put function over form when we got these (SUPER COMFY) fake suede little numbers that are probably off-gassing something toxic but have really comfortable pillowy arms (like me!) and we swear that when the 5-year protection plan lapses, we will get new ones but we all know these couches will be here for the next decade no matter how much teenage boy funk they soak up.  Unless Jack takes them to college.




(And actually, I do of course think this is may be not about the couch and more about being freaked out by change after losing their grandpa.  I know my dad's death is always on their minds.  We played a special game of rose, bud, thorn on Cooper's bday eve (we play that game every night at dinner after I read about it in Family Circle because I am read-about-dinner-table-conversation-starters-in-my-magazine-that-advertises-paper-panties-for-bladder-leaks year old) and asked him to reflect on his whole year.  He said the worst thing that happened to him (his thorn) was that his iPad was glitchy.  All 3 other kids were like DUDE.  ALSO YOUR GRANDPA DIED. And we laughed and laughed.  Also, my dad totally made fun of how gross that old couch was.  FOR LITERAL YEARS.)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cooper's birthday sleepover and more pictures of my food

My wise friend Julie wrote a fantastic blog post about why sleepovers are the worst and I really agree with her. Nevertheless, Cooper wanted one for his birthday.  

And that's pretty much all he wanted.  

I admit, the thought was initially really appealing.  SO cheap!  So little planning on my part! Such a small, manageable party!

So, of course, he had a sleepover last weekend, the first sleepover for every kid on the list.  Yikes, right?!  I mean, what are the odds they would all stay?!  Except for one kiddo, though, who decided in advance to do a sleep under and go home before bedtime, the rest of them all stayed the night!!  At breakfast, one little boy told me that he was going to call home, but it turned out to be more fun than he thought it would be (!!!)

And I am really glad the kids had fun because NO MORE SLEEPOVERS EVER AGAIN OH MY GOD.  I mean, I am terrible at standing my ground, so I am sure we will have more sleepovers once I forget how tired and crabby and fighty ALL FOUR of my kids were yesterday.

Jack and Cooper and Cooper's friends STAYED UP UNTIL 2:30 AM.  THAT'S SO LATE.

They were just talking and laughing and playing Bey Blades (we turned the TV and video games off at 11:30 and based on experience with Harry and Jack's friends, that meant magical sleepy time. HA HA HA.  Look out for the class of 2032), but OH MY GOSH.  2:30 is THE NEXT DAY, and Ben and I had no idea how to even stay up.  We dozed but also felt we had to be sort of awake because except for Cooper and Jack, these kids are SEVEN which is way too young to be totally unsupervised.

We even ran them around the neighborhood for an hour on a scavenger hunt and did a LEGO building competition and made s'mores outside, thinking all of these things would wear them out.  Also, we loaded them up with junk food and ice cream cake, even though most of them had already had dinner, and let them eat candy while they watched their bedtime movie.  And then we sat around like rookies thinking why won't they go to sleep?

Harry slept on the upstairs couch, which is where Dorothy fell asleep around 10:30 (we carried her to her bed in her sleeping bag, and when she got up the next morning, she left behind the outline of her body in Nerds candy), and everyone was HORRIBLE on Sunday, starting at about 2pm and lasting all the way through bedtime.  GAH.

Dorothy spent her Friday all hair chalked up because she has declared every Friday of the school year to be HAIR CHALK FRIDAY again

 Cooper clearly loves hugs:
 Ha!  Beatrix!
 Oh my gosh!  Make this hot nut cereal, recipe HERE
 It's wrong to want my dog's life. And yet.
 Ok.  I love Whole30.  I feel amazing.  I have lost over 15 pounds since this time last year (still mostly the grief diet and speech camp probably, but this month has certainly helped).  But you guys!  ALL I DO IS CUT UP FRUIT AND VEGGIES.
 Coper made birthday party favors, a comic book  and a set of trading cards, all featuring the weather phenomena people he likes to draw, and I love them so much.  We went to the copy shop and made them for the whole party, and of course I kept a set for myself.  Behold:






 Oh look!  More food.  Use a potato as a hamburger bun-- you will not regret it!
 Soccer Saturday!
 Was I jealous of their Culvers?  YES.  YES I WAS.
 I took a stolen moment on the way to the grocery store(s) to have a compliant almond milk latte and center myself.  And make lists.  And then I still went like $100 over budget.  GAH.
 I picked these up for the sleepover because I clearly have willpower of steel.
 SO MANY SNACKS.
 Can you even believe this popped?
 Scavenger hunt!  NO ONE with a Ring doorbell answered the door.  Go figure.  Also someone gave us a whole pack of hot dogs instead of just the one on the list, and the neighbors in general were amused and very helpful.
 Jack on crutches and I brought up the rear.
 CAKE!
 OMG I wanted to eat this.
 Cooper has never blown and likely will never blow out his own candle.
 Dorothy's private sleepover
 SO TIRED.
 Healthy breakfast!
 The last hurrah for this grubby old couch that is being replaced T O M O R R O W!!
 Again with the hot nut cereal
 Lunch yesterday, a classic. (Aidells chicken apple sausage-- a Whole30 MUST)
 I had to take Harry to the mall to buy jeans.  God help me.

 OMG so good!