Friday, November 30, 2012

Why do I keep baking things?

Yesterday, I made no-bake haystack cookies, and they were too hard.  So today, I made them again, and they were too soft.  Coop and I ate them off wax paper with a spoon.  To compensate, I made monster cookies, each one with 1/4 cup of dough.  And I have eaten 2, which is the equivalent of 10 normal sized cookies.  Give or take.


Chrismukkah!  It's happening!
We went to the same adorable tree farm we go to every year and got an adorable fir?  spruce?  It's not a pine.  Kids were excited.
Pretty sure that's our tree in front
Even more sure that's it on our car
100% sure that's it in our living room
Ben put the lights on, but we are going to let the kids do the ornaments after basketball, a zombie thing on campus, and hockey.   Our plan for Cooper is to put only unbreakables on the bottom 3 feet.  Otherwise, he's got free reign. 

We had to rearrange the whole darn room for this tree-- is that normal?  Do people just move stuff around for a whole month?  Because it kind of drives me nuts.  Last year, we had room for 2 trees without moving anything, but I think we had less stuff.  I WANT TO PURGE.  (And not from the cookies).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clearly, they got my crafting abilities

Before bed, Harry and Jack worked hard on some more card stock crafts-- these are ornaments they made to go on the laundry room door to replace our dried up fall leaf graph.

They took their work very seriously.

Here is a mitten that I made last night.  The colors look better in person (the mitten is golder, and the cuff is red and white), and when all 17 of them are together with different colors and patterned cuffs, they look kind of shabby chic and cute.  Or that's what I am telling myself. They also look kind of gluey and misshapen, but there is a reason that I am not an elementary school teacher myself, and you're looking at it.   On the other side they say "Our teacher is great because," and the kids are supposed to complete the sentence. Then, I am going to string them all together (with either yarn or brown twine) and give them to her with a class gift card.  Since I volunteer in the classroom every week, if anyone hasn't turned in a mitten the week before winter break, I can make one with them real quick.
Jack's finished ornament.  One thing he has definitely learned in 4K is how to glue stick the shit out of something.
Harry's.  God he loves glue and glitter.
So this afternoon, I am lying on the floor propped up on a pillow reading Glamour while the kids play around me, and Jack says he wants to read magazines with me.  He grabs November's Glamour off the shelf and says, "That girl is hot."

I look up, shocked.

He is staring at Taylor Swift on the cover.  "That's Taylor Swift," I say.

"Taylor Swift?" he asks.  "She's a real person?"

"Yes?" I say, unsure what the hell he's talking about.

"I hear her on radio Disney.  I love her," he says.  "I am going to marry her.  She's a singer.  Do you think she has a billion dollars?"


"She's a billionaire and a teenager?  Wow."

I help him find her spread inside the magazine, and he looks at it until dinner saying. "Taylor Swift.  Taylor.  My Taylor," over and over.

After dinner we come back downstairs and he says he needs to check on his baby.  I assume he means the doll he and Cooper have been playing with lately.  Nope.  He's still talking about Taylor Swift.

What the hell?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I finally finally finally ordered our holiday cards tonight-- it's been killing me not to have them, especially when cards have started to arrive. Ben is also so relieved because he has been wanting me to shut the hell up about holiday cards, and now I can.  (But I might not because I LOVE stationary!)

I also spent my whole night doing a craft project, which is risky for me because I suck at crafts.  BUT I am a room mom in Harry's class, and I am coordinating the teacher gift, and the next thing I know, I am sitting in front of the TV with a pile of cardstock and scrapbook paper making mittens and assembling elaborate information packets to go home (and hopefully come back) via backpack mail.  There are limits to my glue stick and straight-line cutting abilities, so I hope none of the parents laughs at me when they unpack their envelopes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This is the most disgusting sustained pregnancy craving I have ever experienced:  chili cheese Fritos.  I mean, gah.  Regular Fritos would be gross enough, but chili cheese?  What's next? Funyuns?  And I have to eat them in secret because I am not going to let the kids eat that crap.  I just ate lunch in my office and demolished the little baggie of them I packed, which means they're all gone from my house, and I am NOT buying more.  Except, of course, I AM buying more, possibly on my way home, so I can enjoy them with with the turkey frame soup I stayed up late making.

Harry came bursting into our room at the crack of 5 this morning (which totally sucked for me because my alarm was scheduled to go off at 5:30, so I never really went back to sleep) to report that he woke up and his tooth fell out (?).

Not this first tooth he ever got:
But the one right next to it:

Our friend Dan told Harry a few weeks ago that the tooth fairy leaves $20 a tooth.  Hahaha, right?  Would have been except that a special snowflake (perhaps the specialest of snowflakes) in Harry's class actually DOES get a $20 from the tooth fairy (wrapped up in a ribbon, no less) every time he drops a tooth, so Harry assumes that's what he'll get, too.  And he's right.  Who am I to ruin the magic, especially as we prepare to enter the season of magical lies to small children?  So, thanks a lot, Dan and Snowflake.  Kids have a lot of teeth.

Picture of Harry's first tooth from this blog on 1-26-07, a time when we were downright gleeful about buying our condo that we still own and will probably never be able to sell ever.  Ah, nostalgia.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monkey, always

Jack wore his old monkey costume instead of a coat yesterday.  "It haves long sleeves.  It haves gloves," he told me indignantly when I asked him if he'd like a coat. "I'm wearing another pair of pants," he reminded me.

Here he is the last time he wore the monkey suit:
And here is Harry, Halloween 2008:
When Jack was a banana:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday, Random Sunday

  • As soon as it got cold here (and it's officially freaking freezing), I realized that I need to wear boots everyday and immediately ordered 2 more pairs of skinny jeans from Old Navy even though I swore I was not going to buy any more maternity clothes because it's basically like throwing money away because I will never be pregnant again after March.
  • Instead of buying each other Chrismukkah presents this year, Ben and I splurged on family pictures, and we met with the photographer today to order our package and view the proofs.  I was worried because I am such a fat pile of fat, but we got some excellent pictures-- mostly of the kids and I have a double chin even when I am looking up, but still-- great pics.  We got all the digital images, and I cannot wait to share!
  • Leftovers that we ate tonight were worth cooking a big meal for.  I especially like when everything is a little bit cold and all swirled on the plate together with some cranberry orange relish to kind of unite all the flavors.  
  • Turkey on sour dough with swiss, cranberry orange relish, mayo, mustard, red onion, and lettuce is the best sandwich ever.  No joke.
  • Cleaning up leftovers is more of a pain in the butt than cleaning up the full meal, I think because so many things needed new containers.  (The sweet potatoes will be the first to be eaten completely, followed closely by the stuffing). 
  •  I thought the above picture might have to be our Chrismukkah card shot if the pro-pics were bad, but I think we might possibly be in the clear (although I need to get the edited files and actually create the damn card, so I might be speaking too soon).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving wrap up

We actually took no pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner. I KNOW. But Cooper was HORRIBLE, and we had to leave like 2 hours after we got to my grandma's, which is a 5-hour drive away. Believe me when I tell you the table looked lovely and the food was delicious. And that we totally trashed the place and literally ate an ran. Because we are classy like that.

 We took the kids swimming at the hotel pool, which they all loved-- except Cooper really wanted us to let go of him, so he could swim like the big kids. Obviously, we couldn't do that, and he could NOT understand why. They were all snugly in bed at 7 pm, and Ben and I were installed in the little living room eating a bag of purloined desserts.

Then, he convinced me to go to the Wal Mart down the street from our hotel at 8 to gawk at Black Friday, which was LUDICROUS. A 2 hour line to check out! And no carts left, so people were hauling boxes around. NOTHING in this world could possibly be worth being crushed in a line for 2 hours to buy it.

At 9:30, we moved the big boys from the plush king-sized bed in the bedroom to the shitty fold-out couch in the outer room because we are selfish like that. We sneaked into the bedroom where Cooper was asleep in his pack n play and slept soundly until 2:13 am when Harry woke everyone the hell up by turning on the TV and coming in to tell us good morning. HE AND JACK DID NOT GO BACK TO SLEEP UNTIL 5. I know this because I went to the shitty pull out couch to sleep with them in the hopes that they would go the f to sleep. No dice. And I spent the whole night on a crappy couch with 80 pounds of kid, while Ben had a huge bed (and a partially awake baby).

We hung out for a little while the next morning and went to a fun park with my aunt. Then we jumped in the car and were home in time for dinner. I went to the grocery store after Cooper went down, and Ben and I spent the next few hours cooking a Thanksgiving redux for tonight.

Phew! An exhausting weekend. With delicious leftovers.

About the hats: When I volunteered in Jack's class on Wednesday, we made his.  Harry was captivated and kept talking about the one he made in kindergarten that I am sure is crammed in the important art projects box basement.  He asked me so wistfully where his might be on Thanksgiving morning that I immediately felt terrible for not doing it sooner, and we whipped up 2 more hats.
We broke our trip in Cedar Rapids to have a quick picnic at this cute little park that we always drive by.  Except for the ungodly terrible smell coming off the nearby cornfield when the wind blew a certain way, it was delightful.
Harry stopped to play air guitar.
Cooper was entranced by the large this (swingset).
Harry and Jack will eat anything outside.
Ben doled out the organic bear snacks.
I got to be Cooper's human high chair.
I wish my kids played baseball at this field.  Check out the drink menu at the snack bar.
2 windows worth of drink menus.
Ben and the kids ran the bases.
Ben kicked their asses.
Cooper enjoyed dessert on the this.
We might need a swingset, come to think of it.
You can almost make out my face under the pile of fat surrounding it.

And then we celebrated a family holiday so fast before our baby lost his shit. He ALWAYS loses his shit from like 4:20 until bedtime, but usually we're not around, you know, people.

 Here's a line wrapping around the store to check out at WalMart black Friday at like 8:45 pm.
We rallied for a next-day turkey hat shot.
Cooper freaking loves this samovar.  He remembered it from his last visit and could not wait to throw it on the floor and reassemble it.
Harry took this, admired the shot, and said, "I took a great picture."
Poor Harry.  He gets to be a this, too, when Cooper request pony rides.
Park!  It was so damn cold.
Baby park!  Cooper was thrilled to have age-appropriate playground equipment.
My aunt was wearing 2 coats.  That's how cold it was.
Harry displayed admirable commitment to his turkey hat.

Today, Harry wrote a Santa letter and took dictation for Jack's.

Jack got to put the letter in the box

And Harry got to raise the flag.  They took this division of labor very seriously.

We actually set the table for dinner tonight

And ate in the dim because Harry wanted to enjoy the candles.

Jack is also nothing if not committed to the turkey hat.  He also loved the pumpkin pie bars the most (so did I).

Cooper loved the dessert so much that he mastered fork use for it.  He searches out the bite:
Carefully shovels it in his face.
Gives himself a round of applause.
And throws in a Little-Gym-style ta-da!