Monday, April 25, 2016

Des Moines Weekend.

My whole family (well, most of us) decided to come to Des Moines to visit my grandma and go to Seder at her temple for Passover last weekend.  We made these plans 5 or 6 weeks ago when my little brother Jon and his partner Caleb booked their tickets from New York. My aunt sent us menus so we could lock in our dinner choices.  Ben and I contemplated buying the kids shoes that aren't filthy and maybe some khaki pants.  And, most of all, I complained.  Basically to anyone who would listen.  That I didn't want to take the kids to temple because they are little heathens who wouldn't know how to behave and would be so embarrassing and don't need nice clothes in any other context so they'd be a waste of money and blah blah blah.

And then my grandma had a stroke.

And Seder at the temple was off the table.  And of course, that's when I realized that it was a table I really did want to be at, actually.

Since we already had hotel rooms and plane tickets and plans to see each other and since we wanted to see my grandma even more than usual (and, I mean, we usually want to see her pretty badly since over half of us live far to far-ish away), we met up in Des Moines anyway and ate pizza for Passover (I KNOW) and visited her in the hospital and talked about her move to a rehab facility and made bad jokes and tried to cheer each other up and ate to much and drank just enough.

These stooges always enjoy a good road trip.
 Seder!  The most relaxed on ever.
 We met up at my grandma's house for dinner and the kids played ball in the backyard with my aunt and my cousin's boyfriend.
 Dorothy's new thing is blowing dandelion fuzz, and it;s pretty cute.
 I love that she wore her heels to the pool
 You know I am addicted to mid-air pool shots.  GET READY FOR SUMMER.
 The kids love it when I get in, which makes me think I should get in more often.
 My brother and Caleb and my parents came with us to the Blank Park Zoo which would have been funner if any of the food places were open because we were HANGRY.

 Jack was holding his breath like a seal.
 The merry go round!
 Which Dorothy HATES
 Cooper had a massive fit about not going into the gift shop that was really about being HANGRY
 So we went to the Drake Diner for fatty food (I had a deep fried grilled cheese with mayo) and milkshakes.  Also, Jack has adopted Ben's trick of taking a picture of himself when I ask him to take a picture of me.

 After lunch, we tried to get the 5 cousins in a pic.
 This was the closest we came
 As long as we were right by Drake, we checked out the campus and interrupted my cousin Molly's studying.
 Ben took one for the team and stayed in with the kids to have room service (but Harry and jack ended up having the time of their lives hiking with my aunt and eating at the mall food court where they reported they had Dairy Queen Blizzards in a medium-- they said this really pointedly because I make them get smalls because I am a mean old witch, obvs) and I went out to Noah's a family favorite restaurant and somewhere I always went with my grandma after shows.
 My roommate took advantage of my absence to take up 75% of a king-sized bed.
 She brought her own luggage.

 We came home to baseball, soccer skills training, and another baseball game and then hit the ground running this morning with work, volunteer projects at school, and so much laundry.  The end of the semester if a doozy this year.
This weekend was not the weekend we thought it would be, and it was sad and scary, but I have a great family.  They're all so damn funny.  Thank goodness,  Because, as Truvy says in Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears in my favorite emotion.:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cloudy with chance of WHERE ARE MY DAMN PICTURES?

The Cloud is driving me CRAZY.  My pictures are uploading in a totally random way.  FOR EXAMPLE.  I have none of the pictures I took of Jack at his adorable music concert yesterday, but I have all of these selfies of me and the other 3 kids watching him:

 And anyway, the boys all got haircuts after school yesterday (cue angels singing), so those pics are totally irrelevant anyway.

Cooper was getting a little bit mullet-y, so I told Harry and Jack they needed to come with and get trims.  I told them I did not care what they did with their hair as long as they got their bangs trimmed out of their eyes.  On the way to Sports Clips, they were talking about getting their initials shaved in their hair, but then they emerged from the chair (after a shampoo and a hot towel on the face) with totally shirt, respectable do's.  Kind of a relief if you want to know the truth.

And if the Cloud wasn't such an asshole, I would show you pictures.

So, I'll leave you with this one instead:

Monday, April 18, 2016

So much has happened since we last spoke.

 Ben and I made a TON of lightsabers out of pool noodles for Jack's birthday party.
 Dorothy and Cooper celebrated hat day at preschool.
 Seriously, you guys.  A TON of lightsabers.
 The kids and I attended a picnic on random no-school Friday with Dorothy's class, and it was predictably darling.

 JACK HAD HIS EIGHTH BIRTHDAY PARTY and there were around 40 kids there.  In retrospect, it would have been good to know exactly how many kids we had because I had a few panicky minutes before the parents came back where I worried that we had lost a few.  BUT WE DIDN'T!  (We did almost lose Dorothy, but luckily she was trapped at the very top of this big hamster cage looking climbing castle and couldn't figure out how to get down the slide.)
 Ben and I wasted approximately NO TIME jumping on the Pogo Balls.  I mean, seriously.  POGO BALLS?!

 The kids loved throwing themselves off this huge jumping platform and making me take pictures.
 Chaos ensued when we proffered the lightsabers.
 Ben thought he was General Grievous.
 Of course Cooper put a sword in his pants.  I mean.
 Who had more fun?  Ben?
 Or the birthday boy?  (In a BB8 shirt.  Get it?  Because he turned 8?)
 Dorothy was totes ready for some cake.
 Some of the boys didn't even eat dinner becaus thye were glued to the video game screens.  Oops.
 Basically, all she did was climb on things and scream "Ta Da!"
 We tired to take a group shot, but there were so many swords.
 The next morning was Jack;s actual 8th birthday.  We had breakfast donuts at our favorite bakery.
 Then Jack had a baseball scrimmage, Dorothy had dance, and I had to run home and frost some more CAKE.
 The grandparents all came over for lunch and general chaos.
 My brother brought rockets to launch, and the kids used binoculars to watch the launch and track the rocket to retrieve it because they take rocketry super seriously.  As you can tell by Cooper's penchant for LOOKING THE WRONG WAY through the binoculars.
 You guys!  Baby Henry can WALK now!
 We went out with my parents after the kids went to bed.

 And the next morning everyone convened at their hotel to swim before BOTH BIG BOYS had Little League scrimmage games.  Which lasted the rest of the damn day.

Harry took a quick hot tub before suiting up for baseball.
 Cooper freaking loves this pool.  I would totally buy a winter membership if such a thing existed.
 SO CUTE in that pristine uniform.
 I really am having a hard time believing he is 8.
 Ben and Henry share a smile,
 Seriously.  EIGHT!?!
 My dad wheeled the kids upstairs to change.
 Harry and I watched Jack's game while the little kids and Ben hung out at the playground.
 Jack scored!
 Then he came home to begin his arduous talk of writing one million thank you notes and putting together his star student poster board.
 We finished the weekend with a barbecue with friends.
 And unicorns, which are the perfect metaphor for spring in Wisconsin.