Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quick update from the working mom trenches


But it is midnight and I have to get up before 6 to work again for the third straight day in a row (and these are like real business hour days, even), so I will give you the quick version.

COOPER LEARNED TO READ and subsequently got his own library card.

I got an awesome awesome shirt from my friend Wendy.

I almost devoured Dorothy at Dairy Queen.

And, I finally covered me grays by getting blond highlights (I KNOW-- no picture, though because it hasn't uploaded and I must go to bed.  More later!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Today is m last day of summer vacation!

How can that be?????

I have meetings M-W and F next week and then start my regular teaching and meeting schedule next Tuesday.  I am so looking forward to doing my hair and makeup and wearing pretty clothes again and having tim to write again, but I am so going to miss the kiddies and our super fun summer of awesome.  Basically, just cross apply all of the feelings I wrote about here.

Last night, I attended my fourth and final back to school night, and we are all sorts of acclimated and excited.  Dorothy saw me packing up a gallon Ziploc of extra clothes, socks, and undies for her classroom, and she said, 'Oh good.  I need those in case I poop my pants."

Yesterday, Ben had a break in his before-the-semester meeting schedule, and I went to work to box up last semester's junk for shredding and make room for the junk I will accumulate this semester, print my syllabus and course schedule, and assemble materials for my meeting marathon.  I was done by early afternoon, so I took myself to see Florence Foster Jenkins, and I totally loved it.  I'm not sure Ben would have, even though he basically loves Hugh Grant, so I am glad I went alone.  Also, I just really like going to movies on my own.

Before I left for work, Dorothy insisted I wear some old red platform shoes from Old Navy instead of the boring Birks I always wear:

I liked them so much I added lipstick to match and thought I should wear them more often. Then the strap broke on my way into the movies.  Which is why you should never buy shoes at Old Navy, I guess.

Also, my toes are painted with nude polish (and a top coat of sparkles) because I went to the pedicure place I always go to with a friend and my nail tech CUT THE SHIT out of my foots and then told me I must have come in like that, so I left without getting my nails done at all (obvi because SEPSIS) and had to cut, file and paint them at home LIKE A PEASANT.  In short, I am looking for a new nail salon.  As soon as my foot heals (obvi because SEPSIS).

We are planning to clean up the house from Jack's Bear Den sleepover (omfg) (and also during the sleepover, Ben and I watched The Boss with Harry, which was wildly inappropriate but pretty funny), go to the library, eat the rest of the quadruple batch of buttermilk pancakes I made for breakfast (the boy scouts woke up still full from pizza, cheeseballs, and candy-- go fig), get ice cream, and close down the pool because summer is slipping away!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

An ordinary day

I only took 2 pictures today, and sometimes that's a sign that the day was terrible, but today was only terribly ordinary in a really poignant way because our whole routine is about to be demolished next week.

In some ways, it has been demolished already because Ben had in-service Monday and Tuesday this week and starts classes tomorrow, so it has just been me and the kids.  We have been a little busy with beginning of the year conferences for all4 classrooms, but mainly, we have been going to the pool and running errands like always, not in any sort of hurry ever.  AND IT'S SO NICE.

We had to make an unceremonious exit from the park after dinner while Ben was coaching baseball because Cooper pulled down Jack's shorts AND underwear (and the playground was crowded with baseball families and people at school for their goal-setting conferences).  Then Jack and Dorothy got ice cream and Cooper didn't because duh.  And he was pissed off about it and everybody screamed until it was finally, blessedly bedtime.

Jack and I are reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and it is even better than I remember it being.

I went to the grocery store to return a Redbox movie (Miracles from Heaven which I would rather chew my own arm off than watch but Harry and Jack really waned to see it because their friends all told them it was awesome), get a new Redbox movie (Angry Birds, which is terrible and there's no way the kids are going to watch it again), and get the ingredients for these cookies (which may be jumping the season a bit, but they sound AMAZING.  On a whim, we ran into Barnes and Noble to buy everyone a back-to-school book or two.

 Dorothy and Cooper got a story about a kid scared to go to preschool (are they trying to tell me something?) and a sticker book and Ninja Turtle figure respectively.  Harry got the James Patterson book that will be a movie next month, and Jack grabbed a Flat Stanley.  I got the Beverly Cleary, and I am glad I did.

And of course, we had the pool.  WHAT WILL WE DO WITHOUT THE POOL?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Another lovely summer weekend.

 I am working on making poop emoji cupcakes before anyone has a birthday-- these were a solid first attempt.  And the frosting was perfect because the secret to perfect frosting is espresso powder.  Just a pinch.
 I am going to miss the pool so much I can't stand it.
 I feel kind of stupid because the very last Friday of the damn summer (because Ben is working this Friday), I realized the trampoline park by us has $10 bouncing for 2 kids and a parent for 3 hours.  THREE HOURS?!  Dorothy and Cooper and I could have been doing this ALL SUMMER!

 It's hard to take cute pictures of your kids bouncing when you are also bouncing.
 I had to put dollars bills in the wind tunnel machine but WORTH IT, obvs.

 These foam blocks are so, so, so gross.  I am always scared of what surely lurks beneath them.

 Cooper LOVED the rock wall.  LOVED it.  And, you know he has a thing about socks-- meaning that he hates socks-- and he LOVES the special trampoline park socks and has worn them every time they have been clean since Friday which is everyday, of course, because I am amazing at the laundry.

 Then, as if the day wasn't already awesome, the shaved ice truck went down our street at the exact second the kids finished eating and started whining for dessert.
 Sunday was a crisp 70 degrees, so we went to this totally amazing stationary carnival in a neighboring town.  It's basically the best ever.
 Dorothy is generally scared of rides but she loved a moon bounce
 I was so sad she didn't want to go on the Tilt a Whirl because I love that one, although she did tell me this morning, apropos of nothing, that she wanted to try it next time.
 She finally warmed up to Kiddie Land

 Although her enthusiasm waned when the boys convinced her to go on the kiddie coaster, which she hated.  I didn't get a picture of her hatred, though, because I was laughing too hard.
 Harry and Jack hated the Ferris Wheel so badly that I had to tell the carnie to let them off, which he did by putting the whole wheel into warp speed until they spun around again.
 Strangely, they were totally cool with this rickety old thing:
 All smiles on a the world's oldest living wooden roller coaster

And on the kiddie coaster

Jack and Girl Jack on the fire trucks--they went pretty fast...

Cooper is a sucker for a slide with bags

Dinner was... a challenge.
 Finally solved the cube.
 These two and their overpriced candy bars.  I AM GOING TO MISS THEM SO MUCH.
 We totally lost Cooper the other day and were concerned.  Until we checked under Jack's covers.

Friday, August 19, 2016

OK-- NOW we're ready for school

So Jack has been excited to have his whole Bear Den over for a sleepover before school starts for like, a month.  And a couple of weeks ago, we found out that the whole pack is having an ice cream social at the park by our house.  So, I mean, it seemed like a no-brainer that the den would just walk home with Jack after and sleep over, right?  Except I could NOT make myself email everyone and invite them because I really like my sleep.  I am the WORST.  Anyway: TL;DR, I sent the damn email and the party is ON.

I just, it's like... I have this vision of being the awesome mom with the house full of kids and chaos, but it turns out I just really like my quiet nights and clean basement.  It's something I am working on, I swear.  I want the kids to feel like they can always have a friend over for dinner or a sleepover on the weekends, so, that's a goal for this upcoming school year.  RELAX and entertain more.  I have gotten a lot better at having grown up friends over, so I just need to turn my attention to kids.

SPEAKING OF PAYING ATTENTION TO KIDS, Jack built some sort of fort out of yard waste yesterday:
He is really putting those Boy Scout skills to work.

We went to the big kids' school to pick up the school supplies we bought through a fundraiser, fond out who their teachers are, and sign up for beginning of the year conferences-- and the conference sign up happened on Chromebooks, which was awesome because they are already in my google calendar and not awesome because they used to happen on paper, and it was easier to tell who was in what class-- and it was sad and weird.  I feel so strange in that building after 5 years of feeling totally welcome, relaxed, and at home.  Such a shame.

But!  The kids are thrilled about the new year and spent a cute little hour labeling their supplies when they got home.  5th and 3rd grade, here they come!  Especially because Harry FINALLY found a pair of shoes he will deign to wear.  He found them on Zappos, after we toured the mall for 3 hours and he tried on every shoe in about 5 stores.  Fun times.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Take my kids to work, part 4/4

So, apparently, I have some sad feels about sending the kids back to school next week.  Read all about them here.

Instead of wallowing, I have decided to mark items off my to-do list as fast as I can.  So far 3/4 of them have new shoes; everyone is registered for school, and they all got hair cuts today.  I bought new cheapy lunch boxes for Dorothy and Cooper, who only eat lunch at preschool once in a blue moon, and I ordered replacement tiny dip containers and ice packs for the big kids' Planet Boxes.  I even ordered a new chalkboard to take my sacred first day of school pics. All that remains is to make sure all the boys have something cute to wear on the first day and find Harry some shoes that cost less than $150 because I am mean like that.

Yesterday, I took Cooper to work, completing just under the wire my promise to take everyone before summer ended.

Again, the cafeteria was a huge hit.  Cooper was thrilled that he could eat all of his favorite foods in the same meal (the salad was mine):

He watched Netflix while I did some administrative stuff for my class, and then we went shoes shopping.  A great day.

Harry flamed out last night, but Jack was up for Skip Bo.  God I love Skip Bo.
The fog was so beautiful this morning-- it looked like something I could just dive right into.
 Here are the little scruffies before their trims.
And after (they barely got any taken off):

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A grown up overnight and a fun little weekend

On Wednesday, we loaded up both cars and headed to my parents' house to drop the kids off overnight (!).  This was big news for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I drove the Prius with harry in the back and an audio book blaring, and it was the first time I have driven on the interstate since I had kids.  What can I say?  I am an old lady.  Also, the trip was a big deal because it's the first time we have left all 4 kids overnight, I am pretty sure.

We eased into things with a ton of our favorite pizza in the world. 
Harry and Jack always sleep so cute in my brother's old room:
 We went to Chicago with friends to see a Cubs/Cards game.  It was super fun. Ben and I walked all the hell over Lincoln Park in 104-degree heat looking for a bar that was open at noon, but we were like 2 blocks off of most places and could only find an empty dive.  No matter, I had a bloody mary and Ben had beers, and we were hydrated enough to walk to lunch where we met our friends, and I had a grey hound.  After lunch, we went to MOAR bars before dragging our drunk, sweaty selves ot the game.
 The game that lasted for 11 unbearably hot innings.  I thought I was going to literally die.  Also, nothing is served after the 7th inning (duh), so we were all sober and hungry by the end of the game.  But!  The game got out at 11:30, and by the time things had cleared out in Wrigleyville (we waited in a bar, duh), it was after midnight.  When we finally made it back to our hotel, we eschewed the rooftop bar in favor of a 24-hour pancake house a few blocks away.  After spending 12 hours drinking (which?  Not something I am ever going to do again-- that's for college kids only), eggs and hash browns were the perfect answer.  And also sleep.  Lots of sleep.
 We stayed in the cutest hipster hotel EVER.
 My parents were happy to see us when we finally made it home the next afternoon.  We left early but were delayed by rain, found out my parents were taking the kids to see Pete's Dragon in the afternoon, stopped to see my high school BFF at her insurance agency, and stopped for a lovely grown up lunch.  Dinner was clearly kind of a mess (but really, really good):
 Dorothy was talking all day about that big white dress with the tiara, and I didn't know what she meant until I realized she discovered my wedding stuff in one of the closets upstairs. She wanted to try it on and casually mentioned that I should to.  So:
She wanted to bring it home and then suggested that I wear it next time I go to a wedding.  And she didn't even see it with crinolines underneath.
 I wasn't sure what Harry was so smiley about
 But then he revealed that sweet little Gizmo was snuggled under his blanket.
 Harry and I finished our book in the car on the way home Saturday, and we barely had time to recover from the previous 2 days before we ran downtown to meet friends for sushi.  Only the sushi place had a 2 HOUR WAIT?! IN MADISON?!  So we settled for fancy pizza.
 Jack surprised us all before breakfast:
 We promised the kids they could close down the pool tonight because it;s the last night the pool will be open until 8:45.

 But only the 3 boys and I made it to the end.  Dorothy and Ben had too many mosquito bits.

I am SO SAD that summer is almost over!