Thursday, November 30, 2017

Notes from a busy little week.

Thanks for the suggestions yesterday-- I think I have almost figured it out.

Also!  Please comment on my giveaway post here.  I'd like to get 30 comments before I pick a winner.

I didn't realize how disconnected from work I was after 5 days off until I went to the office on Monday and tried to slip back into things.  I left myself a really helpful list of things to do on Monday and notes about where I was on various projects, and that helped.  But my whole rhythm has been off all week.  Still!  Only 3 more lectures left to give and then a final exam to proctor and my large lecture class is done!  I have a speech contest (which means a really late night) and a grading meeting for my large class that I direct and then nothing but break, friends.  Phew!  Tuesday, I submitted a manuscript review to a journal, write a letter of rec for a student, updated course materials for my large course in the spring, wrote the last exam for my current lecture class, caught up on a million emails, and did lecture prep-- it was a total gauntlet of a day, and my entire goal in life is to have like 3 days while the kids are in school that I have nothing to do all morning while Dorothy is at preschool but sit on my couch and mouth breathe at the TV.

In other news, I HAVE KOHLS CASH and something I want to buy at Kohls.  Amazing.  This has never happened to me before.

Also!  Finally saw Bad Moms Christmas.  LOVED IT.  But when it comes to movies, I am a total simpleton, so.

The only pic I took the other day was of my own huge bun.  I was super impressed with myself
 Aw, Dorothy.  Always a willing selfie partner.
 She totally loves me-- can't you tell?  Also, my hair is so ratty I may wind up with a mom bob.
 I felt bad that the cookies were from a box, so I tried to up the after school snack presentation.

 Library hold scores!  I hit the jackpot today and will be super busy reading in December.
 We could not even for one more day with the Thanksgiving leftovers, so we went to Subway, natch!
 I LOVE being her cheetos and mustard napkin.
 I am not trying to be a Scrooge, but we have had ZERO time to get a tree.  And this outdoor wreath hung up inside is about as far as I have gotten.  Super.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hanukkah Theme Nights

Ok, you guys.

I am killing myself trying to avoid the trap of buying too much stuff but also having Hanukkah be a delightful string of surprises. 

This year, I decided to theme it out.

In no particular order we'll have
Crazy slipper night (this one is self explanatory)
As-seen-on-TV night ( sham wows for all-- not really, but kind of)
Game night (I think this one is going to be mega-cheap because I found one game we can all play and plan to also do an ice cream sundae bar)
Book night (can't all be winners, kids)
Dinner and a movie night (the kids might ask how is this night different from all other nights, and I will tell them to SAVE IT FOR PASSOVER)
Water park night


Anybody have a good idea for another night or two? 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend: SUNDAY, lovely SUNDAY

Last day!  Of the weekend that started on a Tuesday!

The kids were restless and fighty Sunday morning, and it was GORGEOUS-- bright blue skies and comfortably crisp temps.  So, I dragged the whole family BACK to the park by the lake.

We started on the turf field for a game of family football (our second of the weekend, since Ben and the boys played with friends on Thursday morning and it doesn't get anymore American than that, does it?)

We also had relay races, and nobody let Dorothy win, so she fell in a heap on the field like a collapsed lawn ornament.
Then, FINALLY, after 2 visits to this place, the kids consented to walk on the lakeshore path for a little while
 It was so beautiful I can't believe we live here and this is where I work.
 I tried hard to get a group shot of everyone's faces, but I had to mostly settle for selfies.

 Weird lounge chairs by a gorgeous new dorm (not the building behind the lounge chairs, a building I didn't even take a picture of because that caption is stupid)
 We saw a bald eagle.  For awhile it sat in a tree, and then it soared around the middle of the lake, I think just for our viewing pleasure.  Instead of taking a picture of it, I took a picture of Ben creeping through the brush to take a picture of it.  Seems silly now in retrospect.
 Look at that perfect water!
 Jack is always up to pose for a pic, bless his little heart.
 Ben and Cooper and Harry went to Harry's hockey game, and I made a turkey tetrazzini and all of these pot pies for the freezer (AND WE STILL HAVE TURKEY!!)
 Dorothy and Jack built these:
 We also went to Michael's for a new wreath, and Jack got a teeny little tree with teeny little lights for his bedroom.  He, of course, had some little elves hep him decorate it.
 Then, there I was, just minding my own business when My Fitness Pal piped up with this.  Eff you, My Fitness Pal.  Nobody likes that guy.  (Note I don't have to weight myself because I threw on a pair of jeans to run errands and they were jeans I haven't worn in forever.  BECAUSE THEY'RE SIZE 4).

Don't forget to enter my Picket Fence giveaway by commenting on this post! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend: Friday and Saturday

Cooper has been hoarding tooth fairy money for awhile now, and he decided that Black Friday was the day to spend it because Harry told him there are big sales on Black Friday, and he thought he could make his $23 stretch further.
My mom and I had just spent a brutal 2+ hours at Kohls (brutal because the line wrapped all the way around the damn store-- LITERALLY-- but we had fought our way through the masses to find what we wanted, so we decided to stand in it), so I was reluctant to head to Target.  For good reason, it turned out, because Target was wall-to-wall bargain hunters.  After 45 minutes, Cooper finally found a Hex Bug and some Transformers, but when we got to the line, we found out his Hex Bug was $10 more than he thought.  OF COURSE I bought it anyway because I could not stand another selection process.

We have been slowly getting out the Chrsitmas stuff and packing up our fall decorations, and Dorothy has been overjoyed to welcome the North Pole, Hanukkah dinner, and manger Little People back to the fold.  She told me she was happy to be playing with the Baby Mummy again, and I thought maybe I should take the kids to see The Star.

 We all headed to the lake on Saturday, thinking the kids could get ice cream and the grown ups could get beer on the Terrace.  But-- DUH-- the union was closed for break.
 So we went to a bar.

 Where Dorothy played darts.
 And we strolled on State Street in balmy 62-degree weather, which made Jack jump for joy.
 More hotel pool Friday night-- I tried to get a better shot, but Harry kept hitting the ball at me.  And, of course, there were more leftovers.  There are leftovers still, in fact.
 Dorothy-- such a little ham.

After my parents went home Saturday, I loaded up my huge purse with candy and Gatorade and took the kids to see Coco, which is amazing and beautiful, and you should go see it, too.
 And even though it was much maligned, Dorothy love love loved the Frozen short.  She was transfixed, in fact.
 Jack is not sure that Coco was as good as Wonder, and I cried my face off through both of them.  Seriously, you should go.  To both.  Trust me on this one.

My friend and I took our kids back to the park by the lake after the movie Saturday afternoon to run them again.  Cooper spent a really long time screaming for It in the sewer, and Harry hand his friend played football on a turf field whose speakers were blasting the Badger game-- it was pretty cool.
 After the little kids went to bed, Harry, Jack, Ben, and I tried to make a dent in the rest of the fudge and had a Connect 4 tournament.  Jack was 4th.  I placed third, and Harry beat Ben in a tense 3-2 final series.
I haven't been this relaxed in a long time.

Well, I mean I WAS relaxed.  But Monday mornings come fast and early after 5 days off, you know?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

THANKSGIVING! The actual day

It is important to note that we wanted a lot of leftovers.

We have never hosted Thanksgiving before and traveling to people's houses for the holidays, you never get the leftovers you want.  Because we want a lot of them.  Some years have seen us making a new bird as soon as we got home, but that's a lot of work.  BOY IS IT, as we now know after making whole damn meal.

So, anyway, that's why I found 2 breasts soaking in my tub on Thursday morning.

 I left Ben to turkey prep and took the kids to my parents' hotel for breakfast and swimming.  And by the way, I totally thought they were going to get kicked out of the place because they were NOT COOL AT ALL, eating tons of waffles and mounds of bacon.
 Jack loves nothing more than a hotel breakfast, as I think I have mentioned here before
 Harry saw this infomercial for a sock sider thing for old people who have trouble putting on their socks and was all hey grandma, you;re old, you should use this thing.  HE'S THE BEST. 
 (But! His fascination with as seen on TV products led me to order the gifts for an as seen on TV night of Hanukkah!)

Cooper FINALLY let me wear his awesome turkey crown, and then about died laughing because I put it on backwards.
 The children, of course, needed to eat lunch (hot dogs and grilled cheese) even though the grown ups were walking around virtuously starving.  But my parents and I took noon as a good time to start drinking champagne.  And then we just didn't stop.  Pro-tip:  THIS IS THE PERFECT WAY TO HOST THANKSGIVING.
 Jack's fancy Thanksgiving outfit.  At first glance, you may think the best part if the disguise, but that's because you didn't see the free bounce house place socks. Most of the boys' socks are free bounce house place socks.
 I wore a totally fab dress from ThredUp, and I tried all day to get a good pic.  This was not it.
 SO PROUD OF HIS BIRD.  (Also those rolls on the stovetop totally over rose and turned into bread blobs.  Th only other FAIL besides the pie, and they still tasted fine)/
 I made punch for the kids because why should the grown ups get all the fun drinks?
 Pretty not totally sober here.
 Cooper loved helping himself to the punch.  My cabinets will forever be sticky, btw.
 Such a pretty little table!  My mom made the centerpiece.  Also, you guys, THE BREAD BASKET with my MUTANT ROLLS.
We put the apps out while my dad was on an ill-advised trip with all of the children to buy Nerf darts.
 And then everyone milled aorund and ate for awhile.
We also figured out where to set up the camera for a family shot.  That Cooper made perfect.

 Why yes, yes I would like more champagne.
 Sneaking upstairs to see about dinner.
 Another shot of the table and the rolls that almost ate us because I liked it.
 My little ham
 Cooper borrowed my camera and took a close up of the Jello that he also stuck his fat hand in
 I also found about 17 versions of this shot:
 Okay, how about ONE MORE TABLE SHOT?
The kids destroyed the basement with darts (THANKS, DAD), and I did some moderate clean up before we brought out the desserts.  And some fat asshole ate a piece of chocolate pie before I could even take a pic.  Oh wait  THAT WAS ME.
 She's so fancy, you guys.
In fact, this is her fancy pose:

If you look closely at the dessert pc, you will see that I put out my Christmas tree plates because dessert is technically AFTER THANKSGIVING dinner.  I am so clever!  

 And then we put the kids to bed and cleaned everything up at watched Get Out and ate almost all of the fudge.  (Just kidding.  My dad made literally 12 pounds of fudge-- I am still eating it-- it's the best).  Beatrix, as you can see, was totally into it.