Monday, May 30, 2016

If I was a good mom, I would be watching baseball, but I'm not, so I'm blogging on my phone

Beatrix got a BATH!! Here she is showing off her amazing underbite. 
Jack had an insect project at school that was adorable. 

Harry took his swim shirt off unbeknownst to me and he now has a blistering sunburn on his shoulders. Omg. It's terrible! That doesn't even HAPPEN to people in this day and age. And of course we feel terrible about it-- so neglectful. 

Saturday night we had a party, and I was super Becky Home Ec-y with my Pioneer Woman vodka lemonade and mason jars and apron. 

And there was so much food. 
And maybe a little booze. 
Super fun
Nobody tell Cooper that Ben was using his paci, okay? I don't know how Ben came to be using it in the first place. I think he confiscated it from Cooper mid party. 

I bounced out of bed and took Dorothy for the breakfast of champions the next morning. 

Then we hunkered down to watch Ghostbusters, which the kids had never seen before. 
This morning, Jack helped me make banana muffins with gusto. 
Then I did a quick drive by of a Memorial Day party with my tiny sidekick and left early to take Harry to baseball. Full. Circle. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tonsils, Day 4



The whining might kill me.

Cooper is probably going to be the only kid ever to GAIN weight when he gets his tonsils out because he is enjoying unfettered access to chocolate ice cream, scrambled eggs, jarred peaches, melted chocolate chips, eggless cookie dough, and all the yogurt tubes he can suck down his complaint hole.

Jack, though, had a really rough day today with no appetite-- even for a Popsicle and Sierra Mist slushie, which I thought would be a huge hit-- and constant ear pain.  He rotated ibuprofen and Tylenol, used a heating pad, and laid around in his bed/Ben's bed/the couch watching TV almost all day, which is pretty much his favorite thing to do in the whole world.  In a fit of boredom, I walked everyone across the street to pick up Harry, and a little girl from Jack's class saw him loitering and ran up to give him a hug and ask me if they could have a playdate and tell him the whole class made him a card. Sure enough, Harry had the card in his backpack, and it boosted Jack's spirits considerably.

Saturday and Sunday Harry and Dorothy and I got out of dodge.  Saturday, we all three went to Dorothy's ballet class, lunch at Panera, and the zoo.  Then we dropped Dorothy off at home and Harry and I went to baseball and dinner at the golf course restaurant. Sunday, Harry and I met all of our friends and their kids back at that same restaurant-- where the staff was not super happy when they told me and Harry to sit anywhere we liked and we were all, "actually there's 22 of us."

Today Ben went to work and Harry went to school, and the tonsil kids and Dorothy and I had a lazy, whiny day, which is pretty much what the rest of our week looks like.

Ballet for 3 year olds= CUTEST EVER like I always suspected.
 And snack after the zoo, natch.

 Golf course restaurant dinner.
 That's an 18-month dress
 Golf course restaurant dinner, take 2:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tonsils, day 1

 I think it's going to be hard to keep Cooper chill these next few days while his throat heals.  And Jack, too, for that matter.

Because yes, they BOTH got their tonsils and adenoids removed this morning, one right after the other, Cheaper by the Dozen style.

They took a tour of the hospital a couple of weeks ago, and because it is a children's hospital, they were totally charmed by the playroom and all the toys and iPads and DVD players and ridiculously friendly staffers, and they were EXCITED to go this morning, which made me feel terrible.

Wednesday before the tonsils, I took Dorothy and Cooper to the zoo for 3 hours, and we had the best time.
 Dorothy could have watched these bears all day.
 She loves being big enough for this park
 The penguins are always their favorite.
 It was also Beatrix's birthday
 Him, too.
 Cooper picked Ben to go back with him, and Jack picked me, so we both got to suit up.
 OMG the bags under my eyes.
 Poor Cooper is allergic to Ibuprofen, poor guy, so he's recovering with just Tylenol.  Gulp.
They are on a really stupidly staggered med schedule and are sleeping in Cooper's room.  Cross your fingers for a smooth night interrupted only by 3 alarms to give meds...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wonder how that PTO situation unfolded?

Well, let me just share with you the letter I sent to the PTO board, the school principal, and the teacher rep:

Hello All,

Thanks for the messages of support.  I could have really used a heads up—I definitely would not have run for board co-president, and the whole mess could have been avoided.  But, it wasn’t about making sure I wasn’t president of the board.  It was about making me feel terrible, and that’s the part that really hurts—the intent and the organized voting block.  What a mean thing to do!

When I was a kid in elementary school, my mom was in the PTA and was always a room mom for my class who made treats for my birthday and planned all of our class parties, and I remember how happy that made me feel.  I was so proud of her, and even though I was a good kid who loved school, it was always so comforting to have my mom pop in from time to time and be part of my school day.  I knew that when I had kids, I wanted to do the same thing for them.  Volunteering at the kids’ schools is a core part of my identity and something that has always made me really happy, despite the long hours and often thankless nature of the tasks.

This morning, though, it was really, really hard for me to even walk across the street and help Jack look for the coat he lost.

The faculty sent a clear message that I am not welcome at [big kids' school]—an ironic message, to be sure, given the SIP goal about community and family engagement, and it has really thrown me for a loop.

I really didn’t want to be president of the board for another year, and I was well aware of the term limit restrictions.  I asked people over and over again if they wanted the job, and we previewed the slate of officers at our exec meeting two weeks ago because I wanted to make sure people had a chance to tell me if they didn’t think I should run again because I didn’t want to look stupid at the election meeting.  I reached out to the Westside PTO list serve to ask what other PTOs did about term limits (answer:  they ignored them for uncontested elections), but I am such a rule follower that I thought it made more sense for a formal motion, which I thought was going to be a pretty pro-forma vote based on the responses I got when I canvassed the group.

It would have been the right thing to do to tell me before the meeting that I shouldn’t run again.  I would have been happy not to.  I am so embarrassed that I made that Power Point—I must have looked like such an idiot.

When [the school principal] called me before the meeting to ask me about paper ballots (this would have been a perfect time for a heads up, by the way), I didn’t know why they’d be necessary in an uncontested election, but I get it now.  The teachers wanted to say that having no co-president was better than having me volunteer my time, but they wanted to save a little face doing it.

I have heard from so many parents, and it means so much to me.  Thanks for your support.  I don’t know how to be a mom without being a mom who volunteers at school, so of course I will keep doing it even though I would kind of rather crawl into a hole. There were a thousand better ways to handle my further participation in the PTO, but don’t worry!  I will try to be annoyingly undeterred. 


Sunday, May 15, 2016

I'm 38!

 I totally love both of these pictures, the one above this caption and the one below.
 We had a totally great time at the Elks Club for my birthday-- we were supposed to play whiffle ball at this really cool stadium you can rent, but it was 30 and rainy, so we went to the Elks, which has pull tab lotto tickets, really stiff drinks, and amazing burgers.  Pretty much a perfect combo.
 The best friends are the ones who bake you gorgeous cakes.

 For breakfast, I had a flaming apple fritter
 and 2 of these huge donuts and another one when I came home from giving a final exam.
 Our usual date night picture:
 On the way to pick up friends to drive to dinner, Ben took me to the golf course bar where the bartender said, "It's the birthday girl!"and made this shot that tasted exactly like chocolate cake.
Seriously, you guys.  SUCH a fun night.  I hope the rest of 38 is this much fun!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


It is 9:17 am.

I am in a buzzing little coffee shop with a huge mug of steaming decaf.

I have already worked out for an hour of cardio, 10 minutes of abs, and 12 minutes of arms.

All of the children are at school, and our morning was drama-free, largely.

The house is reasonably picked up even though the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, and all of breakfast is piled in the sink.

I am dressed with makeup and accessories even though a preschool picnic is the only other place I have to be today.

What I should be doing is working on a huge work project that I will work on momentarily.  It's just that the school year is ending, and with it our sweet little routine that I always feel like we are only just getting comfortable in right before it's over.  And this is one of the last coffee shop mornings on my schedule until September probably, so I thought I'd check in here because it's always one of my favorite places to be.  What's more indulgent than blogging in a coffee shop while the kids are all in school?  (I mean, ok, I just thought of like 12 things, but you get the point).

I am using my giant MacBook Pro in stead of my sweet little MacBook Air, so my phone is thrilled and is syncing 4500 pictures (because that's how long it's been since I've used this computer-- 4500 pictures ago), and they are flying by in my Photos window, and it;s so cute to see spring break onward streaming across my screen.  We look so happy in drive-by.

To the work project!

Monday, May 09, 2016

The best Mother's Day weekend ever. I say that every year. But seriously.

I have had some pretty wonderful Mother's Days.  And I mean wonderful because of my healthy, vibrant family and all the amazeballs gifts my awesome husband gets me because my birthday and Mother's Day often overlap (because clearly I was the best Mother's Day present EVAR).  I am not above thinking days are awesome just because I get presents on those days.  I got push presents and liked them despite (because of?) the name, people.

My first Mother's Day was also my 29th birthday, and I don't remember what I got, but I do know that I was young and fantastically thin.

My second Mother's Day was two short days before my 30th birthday when I had a 3-week old (colicky) baby and was still fabulously thin with awesome boobs.  And I got this wonderful right-hand ring.

My third Mother's Day was definitely eclipsed by defending my dissertation, graduating, and being the commencement speaker at the Kohl Center.  But those things were pretty cool, and I scored amazing flowers and fabulous earrings.  AND A DOCTORATE.

My fourth Mother's Day was my introduction to the world of iPad.  And also I had to give a final exam.

My fifth Mother's Day was a day where I was pregnant with Cooper and STILL SKINNIER THAN I AM NOW.  Also, I had excellent hair and was gifted 2 gorgeous preschool-made broaches.

My sixth Mother's Day was my birthday again, which always means THE BEST PRESENTS.  Also, I had a new baby and was STILL SKINNER THAN I AM NOW.  We began my favorite fancy brunch tradition on this day, too, and the kids have been told that this tradition must continue FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

My seventh Mother's Day I made myself twinkies and Cooper left whipped cream footprints at fancy brunch.

My eighth Mother's Day was more fancy brunch.  And I thought I was really fat but I was STILL SKINNIER THAN I AM NOW.  But I still wear that dress.  Erm.

Last year, my ninth Mother's Day, was also my birthday weekend, so I had a party for 37; we did fancy brunch, and our friends threw a raucous barbecue where there was shot-ski action, and I first played Spot It for dollars.  Pretty darn fun.

Bu this year, MY TENTH MOTHER'S DAY, was one for the history books.

We started on Saturday with a Kentucky Derby party.
 As you can see, I was not on the same page as everyone else.
 Ben got me the new book by my favorite author in the world:
 And then!  After brunch, Ben dropped me off at the Barrymore Theater at noon for a 3:00 curtain, and I didn't see my sweet little kiddies again until this morning.

Listen to Your Mother was everything I hoped it would be and more.  I loved being onstage again and performing for a real audience.  I was really funny, and it felt great.  The other writers in the show SLAYED and made everyone cry. Even though I am fatter than I have been since a third trimester (fatter, probably than Cooper and Jack's third trimester), I felt pretty.
 My friends came with flowers and a stiff drink waiting for me as soon as I came off the stage.
 My mom was here, and she and Ben and I went to the same rowdy Mother's Day barbecue our friends threw last year.  Ben came home early to put the kids to bed:
 And the flowers he got me?  THE MOST GORGEOUS FLOWERS I HAVE EVER GOTTEN (juice box for scale):