Wednesday, June 16, 2021





He had a lovely, low key birthday, starting with a breakfast party:

And presents!

(Dorothy loves a good breakfast party)
15 presents, because, you know FIFTEEN.

Blogger uploaded in random order. I snapped this pic before I went to bed. I love setting up the breakfast part on birthday eve,
We started a new tradition where I don't cook birthday breakfast, but I will order whatever the birthday kid wants. Harry wanted take and bake croissants from Pasture and Plenty, an excellent choice.
He is having a birthday party in our actual basement tomorrow night because he and Jack and some fiends are FULLY VAXXED TOMORROW! And that is also something to celebrate.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Stackable Rings and Other Memory Jewelry

 Recently, a dear friend of mine lost her dog who has been her companion of many years. Immediately, a group of friends sprang into action, trying to decide how we could help her through a difficult time. Since we are all college friends who live far apart from each other, it's hard to physically be present in times of need. One friend was able to drive in and take photos to commemorate the dog his last weekend, but the rest of us wanted to express our support with a gift of some kind. Right away, we thought about memory jewelry, and we were shocked to see just how many options exist.

For years, I have sort of poo-pooed sentimental jewelry, thinking, maybe, that it is too "mom-like," but 43 must be the age that mom-like stops being a bad thing because I have been thinking out using memory jewelry for myself as well, as a way to have a wearable reminder of all of these kids, besides the stretch marks. (J/K-- I ACTUALLY HAVE NO STRETCH MARKS, but my tummy is jello, so there's that).

Anyway, into the rabbit hole I went.

In terms of non-mom mom jewelry, these stackable rings from AU-Rate are the clear winner.

I think my favorite thing would be to do 5 of these:

Stackable Rings AU-Rate

But all of the stacking rings are so cute that 5 different rose gold rings in a stack would be good, too.

To commemorate a lost pet OR to really get literal about the mom jewelry thing, Lisa Leonard stackable rings are clutch.

Not going to lie, I really love these in white gold:

I also really dig the look of these necklaces, even though it's hard for me to get behind the letter necklace trend. If I had to choose, I would go with Tiny Tags
I guess whatever I choose needs to be tiny since I need to wear ALMOST A HALF DOZEN OF THEM, and it's not like I could just leave one kid off. SO I guess the old tip about getting dressed and removing a piece of jewelry doesn't apply.

After getting sucked down an Etsy vortex of jewelry made from pet cremains, we decided our friend should pick out her own memory jewelry to remember her sweet companion because the options are limitless. Still, I think memory jewelry-- particularly stackable rings-- is a terrific way to be sentimental and mom-like, but still retain a sense of your own style.

This post is part of a partnership between Harry Times and Responsival. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Dance recital day!

 We kept Dorothy home in Zoom dance school until mid-April, and ever since she went back to the studio, she has been the happiest kid in the world. Today was her dance recital, and we were so, so proud of her. She made so much progress, especially since she got off Zoom.

The recital was outdoors, and Dorothy was the only kid in a mask, which I thought was nuts. But I let her take it off because it was 60,000 degrees outside, and her costumes both had jackets.

Ben stayed home with Minnie, and the boys and I sat on the face of the sun to watch. (And fight-- they fought SO MUCH)

Speaking of dancing! Minnie is in love with Lizzo's "Good as Hell" and dances every time she hears it. I took a short video, but these pics are hilarious:

Friday, June 11, 2021

Designing our summer

I put all of the kids' summer stuff (swim team, dive team, tournament baseball, water ballet) on the calendar and almost quit everything. I know we will get into a new normal, but I swear to you, I feel nostalgic for the school year already.

At least my routine was predictable.

Here is Minnie scratching her ear with Dorothy's shoe. **shrug**
I really need to remember to bring her some clothes.
By this time next month, we will have slid into a new normal. I know this! But right now, I wonder how we are going to get everyone where they need to be and stay sane and mind the nap schedule as also do a little work plus also exercise. GAH. Wish us  luck!

We are doing Summer at Hogwarts-- home school style. We're starting with Care of Magical Creatures and plan to also do a Herbology unit, some arithmancy (MATH) and lots of reading. We also developed themes for our days:

Minecraft Monday (I have to grade for 2 summer classes, so hopefully this will help)

Cold Treat Tuesday: So many ice cream shops and smoothie places to try!

Water Wednesday: Sprinkler! Blow up pool! Splash pads!

Library Thursday: No alliteration

Fun Fun Friday: NO idea what will make it fun! fun! But we shall see...

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Sweaty baseball baby and other snaps

 I just ordered Crumbl for immediate pickup and then realized Ben has the van and hence the baby seat and THAT is how unused we are to leaving each other. Re-entry is going to be WILD.

This baby loves everything. Even pool selfies and laundry.

Also, as predicted, Beatrix likes Minnie much better now that she eats solid foods. Beatrix deosn't even mind wearing the occasional avocado slice.

How freaking sweet is sweaty baseball baby?

Monday, June 07, 2021

Cheers to weekends!

 How cute that they?

I had to take all of the children to baseball tonight, and I was really dreading it. But! I got them Culvers for dinner and fed Minnie applesauce and yogurt while she hung out in her stroller, and it was... fine? It made me think about how many times that very same night would have already played out if it wasn't for COVID. File under silver linings.

My mom and aunt came to visit last weekend, and I took ZERO pictures. But! We had fun and went to the pool which was a raging shit show. SO MANY DRUNK PEOPLE! So much food all over the deck. THERE WERE PEOPLE WITH COOLERS. I mean.

I am so happy that Minnie loves the pool because I do not have a backup plan.

Also, listen, I really need a long-sleeved swimsuit
Cheers to more days like this!

Friday, June 04, 2021

Second shots/changing my COIVD mindset

 Harry and Jack got their second shots yesterday morning!!

In 2 weeks, Harry plans to have an actual BIRTHDAY PARTY maybe even INSIDE THE HOUSE.

But. Tomorrow, I am sending Dorothy to a birthday party at a friend's house-- probably without a mask. Or at least, it's a water party, and they are eating, so I can't imagine she'll actually WEAR a mask. The invite said masks optional. 

I am also itching to enroll Minnie in a Little Gym class.

And, our county has eliminated mask mandates, so I went mask-less in HyVee, which was weird and wonderful.

So, here is my basic thinking: Ben and I are protected. Our parents are protected. Old heart condition Harry is on his way to being protected, as is spreads-like-an-adult-adolescent Jack. The data says that if elementary schoolers do get COVID, they will be fine. So. We are getting ready to live our lives again.

We have been living our lives, in fact. AND THE KIDS HAVE A COLD TO PROVE IT. Yes, I took them to the doc for a COVID test and kept them isolated (and masked, actually) until the results came in. And yes, they are negative. 

I think this is the right thing to do now when unvaccinated kids get sick. Isolate. Mask. Test. Repeat. The new normal?

I am trying to reframe COVID. It's not a moral failing. It's not a death sentence. It's a disease that's terrible for older people, but the kids are likely going to be fine. And the risks of being shut ins are starting to outweigh the risks of getting back out in the world. At least for us in our most vaxxed county that has no community spread. What about you?