Thursday, August 31, 2017

Notes from the trenches.

Yesterday did not turn into quite the total shit show I was worried it would because Ben and I were both done early enough to come home together-- Ben swung by campus and picked me up, saving me a walk to the parking garage on teetering heels which was a total end-of-the-day relief.

Then I could the gather junior high schooler and all of his school supplies and take him to get his schedule.  Easy peasy.  He is in a 6th grade section that stays upstairs in the huge school building (there are like 600 kids in this school), in their own cozy little sixth-grade hallway.  He has homeroom and then 2 classes back-to-back with his homeroom teacher.  Then the whole 6th grade has lunch together, and then they move in their little homeroom cohort to the rest of their academic subjects before having art, music, band/choir/orchestra with other 6th graders.  It's a good set up, I think.  And Harry has 3 good friends in his cohort, so that has lessened his anxiety in a big way.

I still have questions about junior high, and I talked about some of them on this week's POTY, so check out the podcast and email us your advice at  (You can also listen to us on iTunes or on our website).

Baseball selfie:  (Jack and Harry are both playing Little League fall season-- SO MUCH BASEBALL)
 This was supposed to be a picture of Beatrix barking at the mean dog in the oven whose reflection she caught site of randomly, but she ran away.
 My morning started off PERFECTLY yesterday.
 He LOVES taking selfies with me.
 I wish I had taken a bathroom selfie of my whole outfit because I loved it, but, alas.  I did not actually wear that headband, btw.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Second day of school pictures are a thing, right?

You know what?  If second day of school pictures aren't a thing, then they should be.  And hell, in a little while here, we might even take third day of school pictures.  WHO KNOWS.

I actually saw Dorothy going out the door yesterday and thought damn she's cute.  I should take a picture.  So I did in our ridiculous laundry room that leads to our even more ridiculous garage and should probably never BE pictured.  And yet.
 She poses like a tiny Instagram model.  And also she does her own makeup.
 THE CURLS FELL OUR OF MY HAIR AGAIN.  Today, I am going to not drive to work in curlers because once they're not hot anymore, there's no point in wearing them.
 When you need  jean jacket to make your dress meetings-appropriate, MAYBE WEAR A DIFFERENT DRESS.
Today is a total cluster fuck in the making.  Ben and the kids are driving me to work after we drop Dorothy at preschool. Then Ben is going to race home and work a little and also fold laundry before picking Dorothy up at school and dropping her off at home with a babysitter who will take all the kids to the pool for lunch and hanging out.  Ben then has to tach his class, run home, get EVERYONE and take them to Harry's junior high open house.  Then the whole gang is coming back downtown to pick me up at work and probably eat a picnic dinner on campus.  It'll be our third picnic dinner this week because SPORTSBALL.

Sounds like a scheduling nightmare, but I bet it's gonna be fun.  HAHAHAHAHA.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Dorothy's first day of 4K! Also a hair rant and a work retrospective.

 Public school don;t start until Tuesday next week, but the privates got back in business yesterday, meaning Dorothy got to wear her Dorothy dress (Thank you, Target) and GO TO SCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!  She was obviously really excited.
 Also do you lover her kitten heels or what?
 OMG.  I kind of want to eat her still, like in this picture when her hot sticky little hands still look doughy.  But those moments are getting fewer and further between because she is much more kid than baby these days.
 She's getting taller, and she barely even has a chubby tummy anymore.
 I took about 75 more of these pictures, if you can believe it, and I am sure you can.
 But these are my absolutely favorites.
 Okay now.  Enough about her.  Let's talk about me.  And my hair that I cannot do.  I wore curlers yesterday morning all the way downtown.  I literally took them out in the parking lot of the kosher bakery where I was stopping to grab a million donuts to take to my meeting and put them in a ziploc bag and went about my day.

Ben snapped this pic before I left for work.  And then posted in on FB.  He;s the best.

But!!  This is my hair by lunch time.  ALMOST STRAIGHT.
 And by the end of the day-- just a huge frizzed out ball.  But oh my gosh it was fun to wear real clothes.  No idea what's wrong with my face in that pic, BTW.
 Instead of rolling my hair up the normal way, I put the curler at the root and held it vertically and then wrapped the hair around it.  The google told me this would create wave and not big bottom-heavy show choir curls.  Today I am going to try it like usual and see what happens.  I wasted almost all of a 90-minute lunch break yesterday watching YouTube videos and trying to curl it with my back up office straightener AND IT DIDN'T WORK.  I blame my wrists.

I looked back through the years of this blog to Welcome Week, and wow, it used to be a way bigger headache/juggle.  Part of that is the timing of the academic year (Ben started earlier, and he had more online classes now), and part of that is the ease of having bigger kids.

When Harry was tiny, I brought him with me.  My first year of doing my actual job with my actual PhD got off to a rough start because I got the wrong textbooks and only discovered them the day before my meetings started (hahahahahaha),  but the actual week was good, I think because we had a regular babysitter, our normal sitter, and it was different to have her come over everyday, but still pretty routine.  In 2010, we must have had our sitter, too, because all I was nervous about was getting my ID picture taken (WTF?).  In 2011, I took an early maternity leave because I thought for sure I would have Cooper in August-- LOLz for days-- so no Welcome Week for me.  2012 gives me hives just to read about, and we were kind of flying bling because we didn't have a regular sitter by hat point. We had grad students we sued a lot for nights out, but no day time helpers or anything.  In 2013, my parents had to come for a week and babysit Dorothy IN MY BUILDING so I could feed her periodically and ALSO we had to have a sitter at home. 2014 didn't muster a blog mention.  2015 had a babysitter FAIL that caused me to take all the kids to work (gaaaaaaaah).  Last year was busy but generally unremarkable.

Next year-- we might not even need a sitter at all because Harry will, be 12 and Jack 10 and "babies" 5 and almost 7.  This week we only need a sitter for a few hours 2 afternoons, and it is crazy to think about, but Harry could handle those few hours next year.  SO WEIRD.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back to work.

 We TOTALLY missed sunflower days this ear. They were all jusssssssst about dead by time we showed up, phones in hand-- literally.

 I have really squeezable cheeks, obvi.

 Dorothy, who loves the texture of just about anything, is not a fan of naked tomatoes.
 Leap is TERRIBLE.  Do not see it.  DO NOT.
 These old Trio blocks have been in storage for so long that they are fun again.

 Flour:  way better than naked tomatoes.
 I got my hair cut and colored!
 Harry put his name on all of his back-to-school supplies.
 Jack and Cooper enjoyed some simul-screen time.

 Ugh you guys I had to go to work at 8:30am like a grown up with a job, and I forgot EVERYTHING.  My parking pass.  My allergy meds  My feminine hygiene products.  MY HAIR SPRAY.  I had to hit up Walgreens on my way to the office.  But you know what I didn't forget?  DONUTS for my new staff.  So, I got the important stuff.

Also, my hairdresser curled my hair and it looked amazing but I canNOT do it myslelf. I have tried a flat iron, a curling iron, and also hot rollers.  Can you help?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Summer Bucket List

The other day while the 5 of us were walking around the lakeshore path on campus waiting for Ben to get home from work and join us for ice cream on the terrace, I realized something.  THESE KIDS ARE NOT HIKERS.  We walked for maaaaaaaayve 6 and a half minutes before everyone needed to rest their tired little legs.
 The kids-- especially the 3 youngest kids-- are obsessed with NPR's Wow in the World podcast, and this episode told them they should feed ducks kale, not bread.  So, they packed a ziploc of kale and took it with us.
 The ducks were sort of meh about the whole thing, but fellow Terrace-goers looked at us like we were crazy litterbugs, and Harry and Dorothy ate it by the handful.  So, win?
 We were really there for this, the Freshman 15 sundae, featuring 15 scoops of Babcock ice cream, 5 toppings, and an entire can of whipped cream.
 The have been waiting for it all summer
 And it didn't disappoint.
 We abstained, mostly, because 4 kids gross up a giant sundae pretty fast.
 Their enthusiasm waned, but they wanted to see how much they could eat.
 Dorothy dropped out first
 And insisted I take her picture
 On both big chairs.
 Cooper was the last man standing!
 I LOVE when he meditates.
 Jack, in a quiet moment of after-dinner reading.  He has recently started the Wimpy Kid series and is in love.
 Cooper reminded me that it was his turn to come to the office with me.  Kind of bad timing since my pre-semester meetings start next week, and I have a LOT of work to do, but he's such a cute and agreeable date-- how could I refuse?

We started with lunch at Mickie's-- my fave.
 The his flip flop broke in the middle of a kid product wasteland.
 We hobbled up the street to a cute little novelty store that happened to have these weird fish clogs that almost fit him.  PERFECT.
 He played on Harry's computer while I did various work and then he helped me add to my photo wall and left filthy foot prints on my office credenza.
 Luckily I have a bottle of spray cleaner in my file cabinet (of course I do) and could clean it right off.  And we came home to a million boys in our front yard, and this kid still in her jammies: