Friday, September 30, 2016

Welp. It Finally Happened. We Forgot a kid.

I took Cooper to the doctor for his 5-year well-child visit, and I brought along a couple of school forms that needed a signature, and I was shocked when our doctor's nurse explained that the pediatrician couldn't sign Dorothy's form because it had been over 18 months since her last visit.  18 months?!  But her last visit was in March, right?  Right.  March of 2015.  When she turned 2.  **head desk**

4 kids is a lot of kids-- too many kids to remember to take to the damn doctor, apparently.

OOPS.  I actually like taking my kids to their well visits-- we make a day of it, or at least a morning.  Harry and I always go out for lunch; Jack and I have breakfast at our favorite greasy spoon.  I had big plans to keep Cooper out of nursery school and hang out just the two of us, which is why I pretended to drop him off in his classroom like normal, leaving him for the 2 minutes it took me to drop Dorothy of in her room (because she will just barely almost most of the time go to school without that many years-- if we screwed up the routine and just dropped her off, she would have lost her shit big time) and then snagging him just as he sat down to a tray full of lavender flubber and plastic scissors.  I should have just kept them both home and dragged her along with us, though, since she needed a check up of her own.  Damn it.

Cooper's visit was fine until he found out he had to get a flu shot (I got a flu shot at my very own doctor's appointment, the first time in like a decade that I haven't gotten a flu shot at the pediatrician's office), and then it was NOT FINE.  After a sucker, a sticker, a bike helmet, a Bucky sticker for his bike helmet, a Frappucino, Ninja Turtle rain boots, carte blanche in the Wal Mart candy aisle to gather supplies for his sleepover tomorrow, and a tiny little Power Ranger, he started to regain the use of his left arm, the little faker.

**TOTAL DIGRESSION:  Madison friends!  Did you know you can buy $10 bike helmets and strollers and car seats at cost and tons of other safety gear at the Kohl's Safety Center at the children's hospital?!  I am definitely finding out about this place about 10 years too late.**

But seriously, how did I forget to take Dorothy to the doctor?  Usually Jack is the only kid we sometimes forget about (because he is so easy and agreeable--squeaky wheels, you know).

Every time I buy whipped cream for waffles and pies, everyone just squirts the whole damn can in their mouths.

 As you can seen, Harry is all about the bass.
 I missed the memo that moms are supposed to dress cute for flag football last weekend, and that's a dumb memo, so I plan to look similarly shitty tomorrow, too.
 Jack called me away from the dishes because he spotted this amazing sunset out the downstairs window and thought we should go take a picture.  Indeed.
 Posing by his clean desk at open house.
 Posing by his puzzle piece at open house.
 Morning walk:
The night before picture day, she got out her fox dress to wear and said, "Oh, I wish I would have gotten those fox shoes at Old navy the other day," and this struck me as so adorable (because she hadn't been toOld Navy in several days, and I didn't even see the shoes in question at the time), that I ran to the store and got them as soon as she went to bed.  The one thing that has made it easier for her to go to school is her new fall wardrobe.  She can't wait to go show it off.  SUCH A GIRL.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Food food food food! Cookies, this time.

I have a backlog of pictures and realized that they are all sort of about the same thing.  Food.

Which is no surprise because I went to the doctor last week and found out that I am the absolutely fattest I have been in my entire not-pregnant life.  My doctor even checked my thyroid, but it was fine.  So now I have no choice but to blame the wine and cheese and cookie dough.  I am doing this totally insane thing where I don't cheat on MyFitnessPal, but let's face it, I have written those exact words before.  Probably a couple of times.

Well, I guess that's not a picture of food.  But they're AT THE TABLE.
 All Dorothy and Cooper wanted to do yesterday after school was decorate Valentine cookies (I KNOW).  So, before I dropped them off, I made both sugar cookie dough and chocolate chip cookie dough and threw them in the fridge to wait for us.  (I was so impressed with myself, by the way, considering I also cleaned the whole house got us all dressed, and went to work while the kids were at school.)

And even though I felt really put upon, I was glad I took their request for dough seriously because they were so damn cute rolling out the dough, putting the cookies on sheets, coloring the icing that I whipped up, and frosting and sprinkling their cookies:

 Life with preschoolers is delicious.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fun on the Farm

 Thanks to Dairy Carrie, who invited us, along with a really awesome group of local bloggers, to spend a fun-packed day at Schuster's Farm on Sunday, we have gotten a huge jump start on fall.

I have already made a pumpkin pie from a pumpkin with a perfect lard crust, for example.  But I did not take a picture of it because it was ugly.  BUT DELICIOUS.

I digress.  As usual.

We went to the farm for lunch, play time, and pumpkins-- a few of our favorite things.

 You know that we are not messing around about pumpkins.  Here we are in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.  We've been to Schuster's Farm before-- with the kids in 2013 and on a bus with all of our friends to go through the haunted forrest last year (completely and ridiculously fun-- can't wait to go again)-- and LOVED it, so everyone was excited to go again this fall.
 Even Cooper, who could not WAIT to get his hands on some pumpkins.
 He's been kind of Jekyll and Hyde lately.  Obvi.
 The kids saw this sweet little baby goat running toward us and said, "Mama!  Look! A sheep!"  Clearly they need to go to more farms.
 Dorothy almost lost her ever loving mind with glee when she saw the PEANUTS CUT OUT in the middle of the playground.  Not only does she love to stick her head in photo ops, but she also loves more than anything else in the whole world the Peanuts gang.  She was initially upset because "I WANT TO BE SALLY BROWN," but she handled disappointment well and settled for being all three of the ghosts, one at a slow, slow, slow time:

 It was threatening to storm (and did open up and pour on us as we were driving away), so we didn't have the heart to tell her that the awesome corn maze was Peanuts-themed in honor of the 50th anniversary of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," which I swear doesn't look a day over 42.

But really, check out this awesome maze on the farm's Facebook page.

Dorothy's favorite part of the day-- besides posing with her fave characters, was a tie between playing on the adorable playground and jumping on the jumping pillow.  She looks so much like Goldilocks here I expected this little playhouse to be full of bears.
 But I was really glad it wasn't.  Duh.

 She is not the only kid who likes to stick her face in a giant cut out:

 I have no idea what she's pointing at, but this picture is notable because it was one of like 2 I got of Harry, who was way to cool to hang out with us.  Instead, he shot apples at targets and played a really cool game where he got to throw all manner of balls in holes-- right up his alley.
 A Jacktridge in a pear tree.  Also, auto-correct thinks Jacktridge is a real word, so.
 Cooper loved the tire pit the most-- he crawled and jumped, and pretended to be Spiderman for almost an hour.
 The pig races!  Cracked up all up!
 The pigs were so FAST!  And Earnest.  And the farmer who owns the farm was hilarious calling the race.  He asked the kids if they liked the pigs, and they said yes.  Then he asked if they wanted to take the pigs home, and they said yes. So he advised us to come back in February and said we'd be able to take them home wrapped in white paper.  Ben laughed so hard that if it was me laughing like that I would have peed myself for sure.  Although we all know that might not be an accurate measure of hilarity.
 This is Dadding in action.  Ben is actually yelling at the kids to come pose for a photo.
 Which they did, and it was great.

We had lunch in the farm's historic round barn, which was built in 1903 and was lovely.  I accidentally took this cool picture because my phone was sitting on our table in selfie mode and I saw this on the screen and snapped.  Schuster's hosts weddings and other events, and I could completely imagine how perfectly beautiful the reception could be in this barn ablaze with twinkle lights.

 Lunch was delicious-- pulled pork that probably used to be racing around the track, potato soup, fresh apples, and of course warm apple cider donuts that were Dorothy-approved.

Ben couldn't wait to be done eating so he could ride the barrel train.  HE LOVES BARREL TRAINS.
 Look at Cooper's pocket bulging with rocks so aggressively that it almost fell off his shirt:
 Harry!  He deigned to see if he is as tall as I am.  AND HE'S NOT.

Dorothy drove the wooden car for quite some time, and she insisted that I be her passenger and I almost got stuck because I am a large passenger.

 She played this game where she could pump plastic duckies down the trough for a long time.

 And much to her delight, the guy manning this station played with her as many times as she wanted to.  He was so sweet with her-- that's something that makes this farm extra wonderful-- all of the people who work there are fun and nice and engaging.  Dorothy got to take a picture with a pumpkin princess, and the person working the jumping pillow raced her back and forth from end to end, making her dissolve into giggles.  When we picked out gourds to take home, a man made sure I had a recipe for my turban squash, and all of the kids got a chance to pet Annabelle the baby goat (not sheep!).

 Cooper was chortling with delight and streaked with dirt before the day was over.  And when he saw the delicious fudge and M&M-covered candy apples that accompanied us home, he was even more delighted, adding a layer of chocolate and caramel to his playground sand and pumpkin mud.

No trip to a pumpkin patch would be complete without, um,  PUMPKINS.  The weather kept us from taking a hay ride, but that was OK with Dorothy because she found the sweetest little pumpkin in the yard right away.

 And then the rest of us followed suit.

All 4 kids were asleep before our gourd-stuffed van hit the highway, and all 6 of us had a wonderful day at the farm.  Thank you so much to Carrie and Schuster's for having us!

If you live in or around Madison, you need to take the whole fam damily to Schuster's Farm-- and then get a sitter for the kids and bring the grown ups back to tour the haunted forest.  It's the kind of fall must-do that needs to top your bucket list-- and don't forget the fudge!