Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why I'm Fat: A Poem

Today, coffee-shop sitting drags into hours.
Blueberry scone follows lunch's cheese
sprinkled salad, carb loaded panini, whole
latte expertly foam-heart-topped by dread-
locked barista whose jeans have day-old
pastry bulges like my genes.

Yesterday, cookie baking.  Banana bread, crumbs
from children's cess pool plates.  Delicious strep
on Teddy Grahams.  Snot with mozzarella stick's nubby
end. Soggy Kix. Contagious bagel corner.
Wine post-kid-bedtime whine. Soft cheese on salty
crackers.  Cookies standing at kitchen counter,
no witnesses.

Day before, marathon office sitting lured
me to walk in gray snow so wet
my Uggs soaked through, Fitbit
arm swinging over stairs and steps, moving
toward face-sized muffins.
I ate one, of course
before sitting again.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I had to break my no-liquor-midweek rule tonight because I was home with 3 kids (Harry has had a fever since Sunday) all day.  Well, all day after preschool.  And dayum. WHAT A DAY. I was wearing the "clothes" I SLEPT IN (which I wore to elementary school to pick up homework, preschool drop off and pick up, and the grocery store until 5:30 when I lured the kids into semi submission with dinner and took a shower and put on clean pajamas.

We are going to take Harry to the pediatrician tomorrow, and he sees his cardiologist for a follow-up on Friday, so I ma not too worried about him, but I wish his fever would go away.  He feels fine with Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but when it wears off, he has a tummy ache and a fever of 101-103.  He threw up Sunday and Monday, but Tuesday and today he just laid around feeling crappy.  I finally picked up school work for him this morning, and he spent the afternoon researching the Black Hawk War and starting his Wisconsin history research paper, taking a 4-page second-quarter math assessment that I have to run over to school tomorrow, writing in his reading log, and blowing through his weekly vocab and reading comprehension packets.  If he doesn't go to school tomorrow, he'll be done with both homework and school work before noon.  Plus he has almost solved Zelda on the Wii U.  So, it's been a productive week.

Oh!  And he learned to vacuum.  Instead of reminding Ben to vacuum the basement every Tuesday and Thursday, I have decided to pay Harry $1 extra allowance a week to do it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Techo Angst

Yesterday I dropped my phone like I do at least 8 times a week, and the screen shattered in a million pieces even though I have one of those dorky mom Speck cases with the lip around the edge.

I have Apple Care, so I figured the kids and I would run to the store and swap it out if repair was going to take too long.  I have done this before several times, so I didn't think it would be an issue.  I also checked first to see if there were any appointments.  But there weren't.  Until fucking Wednesday.

The kids and I included harry, by the way, who has stopped puking but has a fever, chills and body aches but had to go with us to the Little Gym to watch Dorothy and Cooper's class.  He isn;t coughing or expelling any sort of contagious fluids, and he feels fine with Tylenol, so I figured it was OK for him to sit in the lobby and play with this iPad.  No OK?  Waiting two fucking hours for an Apple Store walk-in appointment that would perfectly coincide with Jack needing to be picked up from school.

We all went home, and I planned to swing by on my way to campus and see if I could drop off my phone or get in virtual line for an after work appointment.  OF COURSE I got in line only to be texted that it was my turn when I was in the middle of a meeting 30 minutes away.  I planned to stop by AGAIN on my way home, but it snowed really bad and I didn't want to be skulking around the mall until 9pm.

So I have a broken phone, a Thursday appointment and plans to stalk the Apple Store and then do some work at a Starbucks across the street after I teach my class and go to meetings meetings meetings.  Because Wednesday?  Means I'll have 4 damn kids along.

I mena, you guys.  I have a busted phone and I don;t care how much they charge me to fix it.  I'll even get a new one-- JUST FIX MY FUCKING PHONE ALREADY.  It reminds me of the time my washer broke and I had to wait 5 days for a new one even though I wasn't even being a little bit picky.  Oompa Loompa.  Right now.  Etc.

On the plus side, The Little Gym was adorable, and I would show you a picture, but my computer is completely full and nothing more will download.  FML.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Let's go back to a simpler time.  A time before all the bacteria and viruses, the strep throat and vomiting.  So.  Much.  Vomiting.

On Friday, the kids had early dismissal, so we invited all of our friends over to go skating on the pond by our house and come over for snacks and Baileys.  I made cupcakes from scratch and cookies.  We bought a couple of Costco pizzas and some veggies and spinach dip. I made a big pot of spicy soup in case skating made everyone super cold.

And then when I picked Jack and Harry up, Jack was GREEN and said he needed to go lie down.  He had a 103 fever and vomited from the moment he walked in the door until 11:00 that night.

Saturday, I took him to urgent care because his sore throat and headache were out of control, and he was positive for strep.  The nurse swore that vomiting is a normal symptom; he got some antibiotics, and w went home.  Ben and I went out for a friend's 40th birthday party, and all was lovely.

Until I woke up with a raging hangover to the sound of Harry puking all over the clean dishes in the kitchen sink.

I took him to the doc, but NO STREP.  What he does have is a 103+ fever and a stomach ache.

So we have strep AND a horrible virus.

Lucky us?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This day. This never ending day.

Oh my god this day.

Part of my fatigue is that I made broccoli cheese soup for me and Ben to have for dinner and Harry and Jack had a late hockey practice and WE STILL HAVEN'T EATEN.

But the other part is that I got up at 5 to work out and have been home with the kids all day.  zOMG.

Usually I work at the office on Thursdays, but Ben had an all-day in-service.  So.  Work at home it was.  During my blessed 3 hours of everyone being in school this morning, I got into a really great writing groove at a coffee shop and then Harry called  to ask me to bring all his books on the Black Hawk War to school because some time opened up in his day to work on his project and since he got his books from the public library instead of the school library, they weren't just hanging out in his desk.

Dorothy has a fever and crapped all over Cooper's room.

I drove Harry, Jack, and a friend of Harry's to hickey practice where they were meeting Ben thank God, and Cooper smacked Jack the whole way there like some sort of wild animal who could not get over the novelty of three kids crammed 3 across in the way back.  Jack's eye was swollen even.  Then Cooper cried the whole way home and mot of the rest of the night because he wanted to stay at the hockey rink, too.

It's just been one of those days.

Good thing they're cute:
 (and that my soup smells so delicious)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Valentines! I am on top of my game this year for the first time ever!

I was complaining about Pinterest Valentines on Facebook, and Kate suggested I follow this tutorial.  So I did, and I made the cutest, easiest, CHEAPEST Valentines ever.  Usually, I just buy a box of whatever crappy character they want at Target and pass out heart shaped pretzels, but not this year!  This year we get quasi-homemade ones!  For $8!  (Plus candy, but still).

That was pretty much the triumph of my day.

The rest of the day was all about getting the kids off to school, running the preschool drop off/pick up gauntlet, and doing random housework and errands (after writing for 2 hours at the coffee shop!!!!!!).

We tried to pick up some viruses at the library:

 Spent a very serious hour painting aggressively while Jack was at his tutor's house

 And played fetch with the dog for over half an hour, which almost killed her.
A successful little Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bullet points without bullets

Losing weight is hard.

I have lost 2 pounds this week, but for awhile, I was in the 4.5 range, and that was exciting because this is the Anthropologie diet after all, and I was looking forward to cashing in on my first 5-pound prize.

But it turns out that phrase nothing tastes as good as skinny feels is a bunch of crap because homemade chocolate chip cookies do.

I worked on my book in the office today and FELL ASLEEP sitting upright in a chair.  So obviously, it's a great book.  I actually blame the semi-comfy chair in my office that I inherited from an old conference room.

Harry went to the doctor today for his effusion, which is GONE.  Thank goodness.  We go back on Friday next week because he is quitting the NSAIDs cold turkey.  Hopefully he never has another, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Tomorrow, I have to do something really hard: walk away from a dirty house and go to a coffee shop to write while the kids are in school.  I MUST resist the temptation to clean everything up and then use the leftover time for writing because there won't be any leftover time.

I also need to eat more food during the day so I am not starving and making bad choices in the early afternoon.

Goals.  I have them.

Coloring in our First Ladies coloring book, which Dorothy calls the scary princess book.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Back to school eve

It's back-to-school eve.  For me.  Ben doesn't go back until next week.

4 dozen-ish gooey (and still disconcertingly flat even though I mixed by hand AND chilled the dough) chocolate chip mom-guilt cookies cool on my kitchen counter.

I packed my giant tote bag with a phone charger; some headphones; my favorite sunglasses; 7 lipsticks; a handful of bobby pins; a couple of pens I stole out of Ben's basket of shit on top of his dresser; that weird cord that plugs my Mac into the super smart podium in my classroom; a slew of syllabi and handouts just in case my 5:00 alarm doesn't get me worked out, fed, dressed, and on campus in enough time to hit my office; cute high heeled booties to replace the Uggs I'll walk a half-mile to class in; my trusty Tiffany-blue Klean Kanteen; my stream-of-consciousness red Moleskine notebook; and, soon, my  320-calorie lunch of a smoked turkey sandwich, a huge bag of baby carrots, an apple, and a pear and this very computer.

I hung my dress, tights, scarf, and necklace haphazardly on my closet door and hope that the steam from my shower smooths out any last minute wrinkles.  I have even laid out my earrings and rings and swear I am going to charge my Fitbit tonight.

I did my adjunct online work tonight.  Sent a welcome message to my real students.  Emailed all my PTO board members and assembled agendas for our meetings tomorrow night.  Rescheduled a meeting for a public speaking seminar I am giving for a campus group to accommodate taking harry to the cardiologist.  Made sure Jack is current with his homework and set the boys up to have a successful homework time when they wake up in the morning.  Blocked off 2 hours a day 4 days a week to write and swear I am not going to do petty worky things or screw around on the internet marinating in horrible guilt instead.

Spring semester is getting REAL.

But not today!  Today we went swimming at my parents' hotel despite the below zero temps and then drove to the Jelly Belly warehouse to take a tour and buy that stupid game where you have to eat gross flavored beans.  Such a fun day!!

All of the kids loved the pool, but Cooper was especially delighted and delightful, running around in the water feature, jumping in the "deep" end, and eating the tops of 8 donuts.  Then he fell down and almost bit through his lip and spent the rest of the time sitting sadly in the hot tub.  He was holding a towel to his mouth, ad it was a little red when he pulled it away.  He looked at it and started shrieking "BLOOD! BLOOD!  BLOOD!"  That kids HATES to bleed his own blood.  He kept coming up to me and asking, "Is blood still coming out?" for hours afterward.

 A friend of ours smoked a turkey breast four us, and Beatrix wasted no time grabbing a piece.
 After dinner Dorothy danced to "Better When I'm Dancing" for at least 40 minutes.  Like she does almost every night.
 The warehouse tour was really lame (REALLY LAME), but we got o ride a train, so the kids totally loved it.  I played the gross jelly bean game along with them in the car on the way home until I got a moldy cheese jelly bean.  Then it was all over for me.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I missed 2 days!

Ok, Friday was really blah.  The big kids went to school.  I worked out and got a pedicure.  Ben worked and hung with the kids in the afternoon.  We took the kids to see Norm of the North with friends, and it was maybe the worst movie I have ever seen and then our friends' 4 year-old puked everywhere at the very end of the movie and all of the rest of the kids wanted to stay in the vomit smelling theater and see the end of the worst move we have ever seen.  So, that was fun.

 But then Ben and I had a date night after the kids went to bed.

Saturday was adorable.  ADORABLE.

We played hockey with neighborhood kids on a pond by our house that a friend of ours shoveled.

 Harry won a hockey game at home.  We had a babysitter for the 3 little kids and watched the game by ourselves so we could go to a Packer party afterwards.

  We took Harry along to play with the other kids and we basically had a fun date night-- the men watched the game and the women and Ben played Cards Against Humanity.

Today, I took Dorothy to urgent care because she has been holding her pee and becoming hysterical when we ask her to go to the bathroom.  I thought she had a UTI.  Turns out she's just a control freak.
I spent 45 minutes in a gross bathroom trying to get her to pee in a cup with no success.  Then I bought 2 princess dresses at Costco and spent $50 at Claires on prizes her her prize box, made a sticker chart with construction paper and a Sharpie, and bam!  She has peed in the potty 3 times of her own volition and is only 2 stickers away from her first prize.  She also scratched her face open in 2 new places today in a rage fit over peeing/putting on her coat, so we started a sticker chart for not picking her owies, too.  SHE IS A REAL CHALLENGE.

She also got to go to her bestest friend from preschool's birthday party, and my parents came over tonight.

Tomorrow, we have a tour of the Jelly Belly warehouse and swimming at my parents' hotel on tap, so look out world!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Work again. Sigh.

I am annoyed but not surprised that I forgot to blog yesterday. I mean, NOTHING happened. 

Cooper and Harry stayed home from school. Jack and Dorothy went to school. Ben was home with the kids, and I worked all day. 

Working for the first time since mid- December was too much for me, and I went to be at 9:20, only to be awoken at 3:55 by a sick Dorothy who took Tylenol for her 102 fever and went back to bed. I had to turn off my 5:00 alarm, though, and am just now on the elliptical. Likely no way in hell I will be dressed and on time for my nine o'clock meeting, but you know me. I like a good challenge. 

In diet news, not eating after dinner and eating only 1200 calories kind of sucks. I was so hungry before lunch yesterday, and I was also so hungry after lunch. But! I am .5 pounds away from my first Anthropologie award!! And we have a lot of parties and stuff on the schedule between now and early next month, so I can really use it!

It was so cold yesterday and I forgot a hat. Here I am dramatically bundled to walk to the parking garage:

I came home to delicious leftover pork chop sandwiches and 4 kids playing happily. Having a house spouse is the best. 

Cooper made an awesome Geo Trax town:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


And just like that, we are plagued.  

Jack has a weird rash around his face that's probably impetigo or something totally gross:
 Cooper has strep throat, and, not to be outdone, Harrison has a pericardial effusion and a terrible virus, his first effusion in 18 months and his first effusion since he started on the weird gout medication that was supposed to make the effusions go away.
 Dorothy feels OK still, but she had a 99.9 temeperature today, and her tonsils look a bit like raw meat.
 I spent 2 hours at the pediatrician with Cooper and brought Harry along for a strep test just in case (negative), got a referral for a second opinion cardiologist in Milwaukee, and got a referral to the pediatric dermatologist for Dorothy who still has an open wound on her damn nose.  Ben and Harry spent the whole afternoon at the cardiologist yesterday for an echocardiogram and a long conversation.  And tomorrow?  I bet you a million dollars that Dorothy and Jack will need to be seen by a medical professional.
But you know what else happens tomorrow?  I GO BACK TO WORK!  Yay?

We were supposed to go on a Jelly Belly warehouse tour today, but the bacteria and viruses kept us away, so we've tentatively rescheduled for MLK day.  I have only eaten 954 calories, most of them vegetables, and that's a lot of vegetables, so I feel kind of full and look forward to a 166-calorie glass of pinot grigio and the State of the Union tonight.

Of course we are worried about Harry and trying not to show it so he doesn't freak out because as you might imagine, chest pains really freak him out.

Mostly we just want a good night's sleep.  Cooper came in our room at 3 yesterday, and it wasn't until 4 that we realized (after not sleeping for an hour) that he was sick and gave him medicine and put him back in his own bed.  We finally fell back to sleep at 4:30 only to be woken up by Dorothy at 5:40 because she has forgotten how to sleep ever since she went back to preschool last week.  Since I am setting a 5:20 alarm to workout and get dressed and get to work by 8:30, I feel like that full night thing?  Not going to happen tonight.

In any case, wish us luck.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The scale doesn't lie, but I sure wish it did.

Oh you guys.  I finally stepped on the scale.

I have been dreading it because my pants are all too tight.  My shirts ride up and pull in the arms, and I have cellulite on my STOMACH.

10 pounds.


Since last year at this time.


So, I have instituted what I call the Anthropologie diet.  From now on, for every 5 pounds I lose, I am going to buy whatever the heck I want at Anthro--one item for every 5 pounds.  Since I now want to lose THIRTY FREAKING POUNDS instead of the much more reasonable sounding twenty pounds.  I AM GOING BACKWARDS HERE, PEOPLE.

I decided to kick it off today by stopping there on my way home from lunch with some friends (MY LIFE IS SO HARD).  I bought a really cute flowy little blouse (in a size small-- THINGS COULD BE WORSE) on clearance and fell in love with a full-price little ruffly number that I hope to buy in 7-10 days.

At lunch today, I ate salad with everything but the vegetables on the side and only used about half of the balsamic vinaigrette, none of the walnuts and none of the blue cheese.  I had a side of Brussels sprouts and a million glasses of water.  Breakfast was an English muffin and an orange. I had an apple for a snack and a huge bowl of turkey soup with veggies and spinach dip for dinner.  I have eaten 6 Lifesavers (90 calories), 5 mini Hershey bars (210 calories) and some pirate booty out of the kids' bowls before I realized how  much weight I have gained (130 calories).  All told, that's 1330, and 430 of them were total garbage.  Ben is making an amazing cheese, apple, and sausage snack for him and Harry to eat while they watch the Clemson/Alabama game, and I have to be on a different level of the house.  That's how hungry I am.

I am back to wearing my damn Fitbit and using My Fitness Pal without cheating.  My goal is to burn 1000 calories more than I eat everyday.  This was easier in the early fall when in was possible to go outside without crying from the cold.  Right now, I have only burned 2100 calories today, so I am going to hop back on the elliptical for a little while.  I'd like to make it up to 2600 a day, so I could eat more food.  At the very least, I need to spend my calories more wisely-- all the junk food today took up room that I could have given to celery and peanut butter, string cheese, almonds, things that would make me feel full and not just sad.

But the biggest thing is to not let the kids know I am trying to lose weight because I don't want them to think that bodies are bad.  Dorothy and Cooper saw me doing crunches today and asked what the hell was going on and I said I was doing exercises to make myself stronger, and they did them too.  And they have never seen me do crunches because it has been like 4 years.  I HAVE CELLULITE ON MY STOMACH.  Gah.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A slew of hockey pics

This weekend was all about the hockey (4 games total at 2 different rinks in 2 different cities), but there was also other stuff.  Like grocery shopping because we live on the EDGE.

At Costco today, I saw a cute family with 4 little boys, and the mom was so thin and stylish!  And they had all produce and healthy food.  2 flats of apples, a ton of clementines, all of the berries, greens, chicken, salmon, etc.  And my cart was jammed with wine and a mega box of (organic!) burritos.  I mean, it was hard to not compare myself and feel bad about my fitness choices.  Also, I was very hungry and went to 2 stores and packed the Prius solidly full of food that we don't even have room for in 2 fridges, the pantry, and our storage room.  But I planned no real meals, so we will be eating frozen (organic!) crap in between hockey practices.

It is so cold here that the dog held her pee from 11 last night until 10 this morning, meaning it is officially UTI cold in Wisconsin.

HARRY'S TEAM WON THEIR HOCKEY TOURNAMENT!  And Harry scored a tie-breaking goal in the third period.  Then another kid scored a goal, and they won 4-2.  The other team pulled their goalie in the last minute so they could have more players on the ice, and Ben and I, a little disoriented from coming in late because we rushed across town from Jack's game where he was the goalie (Harry went to the game with our friends/neighbors who also have a kid on the team), were screaming "SHOOT IT!" to our kids during face off because we thought it was only the second period.  We suck.  But!  Harry's team does NOT.  Jack was a good goalie sort of, also.  I mean, he let a lot of goals go by, but he also didn't seem to care, and he doesn't feel pain like a normal person, so he stopped one with his face. With some goalie clinics and a summer of tennis and baseball, I think he could be a good little goalie someday.  He still has another full year at the level he plays at now, and kids still rotate through all the positions.  Goalies don't start to specialize until they're in Harry's age bracket.  Which is good because HAVE YOU SEEN HOW MUCH GOALIE PADS COST?

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Hockey Mom

We have spent the weekend attending a hockey tournament at a rink 38 minutes from our front door, meaning we basically had a normal weekend with more hockey games than usual. Harry's team plays for the championship tomorrow afternoon, and Ben and I have practically screamed ourselves hoarse. 

Harry's pretty excited, too. 

Friday, January 08, 2016


 I made cookies yesterday.  They were delicious but almost completely flat.

Speaking of flat cookies, I picked the boys up early to take them mini golfing because why not?  And also, Jack gets a prize every time he reads 7 books.  He had a cookies the size if his face.  Like you do.
 Harry had an ice cream cone.  In the middle of winter.  Because he is a Sconnie.
 They drove some motorized boats.  Very seriously.
 Posing in cheese:

 Driving the Weiner Mobile
 Almost falling in the water feature:
Harry had an awesome hockey game tonight, the first in a weekend-long tournament.  They were losing by 3 goals for the whole game (4-1), but in the last 2 minutes they tied the score.  Then they survived 3 minutes of scoreless overtime and finally WON a shoot out.  It was so intense!  They play another game tomorrow, and we can't wait. Especially Ben who was loudly flirting with expulsion.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

All about me.

I had my first massage of the year today, and it was an excellent idea.  Aaah.

I also had my first male massage therapist and you know what?  I prefer a woman.

I spent 4 hours making dinner today.  WHAT IN THE HELL.

I call this one me and my bitches:
 Jack and Ben had hockey last night, and the rest of us played Pie Face. It was super fun:

Tomorrow is the last day that Ben and I have with no kids home in the morning. We're planning a day date to celebrate.  Winter break is the best.