Monday, December 31, 2018

19 for 2019

19.  Less phone but more pictures!  I got a Canon Elph that's so teeny, I have no excuse for leaving it behind and also an SD card reader for my phone so I can have instant photo access when I do want to post.  Also, for the love of God PRINT THE EFFING PICTURES MY GOD.  Every month. (I have set up Google calendar reminders, so hopefully this will help?)
18.  19 dinner dates.
17.  Monthly pedicures
16.  Regular massages
15.  Cardio 5 days a week
14.  Yoga 3 days a week
13.  Read 200 books, at least 150 by women authors and at least 10 poetry
12.  Finish my novel.  FOR REALZ.  Also, I have been setting this goal and failing for YEARS now, and I wonder if it;s time to let it go?  Or at least figure out why I'm not meeting the goal?
11.  Do meaningful PD every quarter.  Just because I have a terminal degree doesn't mean I should be all done learning, right?!
10.  Girls nights out:  I want to say monthly, but I am in 2 book clubs, so that's 2 nights a month.  A GNO, too?  I mean, a girl can dream.
9.  Move.  Or come to terms with not moving.  Either way.  And both of these would including painting the basement and fixing up the boys' bathroom.
8.  Write poetry
7.  See all the Oscar nominees for best picture before the Oscars
6.  24 POTY podcasts
5.  Family movie nights (aim for 3 a month)
4.  WORK ON MY ABS for the first time in 12 years
3.  Get a puppy?  Why do I want to do this? Not sure.
2.  Remember my vitamins
1.  Find perfect black heels.

I have no idea why I numbered them backwards.  The 1 is clearly not the most important.  **shrugs**

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018: What I Read Top 10

I read TWO HUNDRED books this year!!

It was really hard to whittle this list all the way down to a top 10.  But!  Part of having discriminating taste is, um, discriminating, you know?  (That sounded waaaaay snobbier on the screen than in my head.)  So.  My top 10 books of 2018:  (IN ORDER)

(Also, I read and LOVED The Hate U Give this year, but it was published in early 2017, so it's really a 2017 book, not a 2018 book, you know?)

10. This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff:  This book was sad, charming, funny, and original.  I loved the characters, and it was a pleasure to read.

9.  #FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar:  I have a real soft spot for books where the narrator is a literal psychopath (I am looking at You, Caroline Kepnes), and this book did not disappoint.  It was gory and violent and perfectly hilarious.

8.  Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage Remember what I said about psycho narrators?  Well, I also really enjoy psycho kids, and this book features the scariest one since The Bad Seed

7.  Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith:  One of my resolutions was to read more poetry, and the poet laureate of the US is a good place to start.  These poems are both beautiful and approachable, and if you want to add more poetry to your list, this is a great place to start.

6.  Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister:  Oh my.  This book is a great, quick read, and I am using it in my large lecture class in the fall.

5.  The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer: Listen, this book is not The Interestings, but so few books are that it's not fair for me to hold that against it, you know?  Ultimately, the story and the characters stayed with me all year, and that's saying a lot.

4. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan:  This book is as good as every review says it is.  Better, maybe.  These are original characters and wonderful story.  I had to read the last 2 pages 4 times, and I am still not sure what happened.

3. Clock Dance by Anne Tyler:  This was Spool of Blue Thread good.  I fell in love with the main character right away, and then everyone in the book turned out to be a delight.

2.  Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser:  Okay, so this book was written in November of 2017, but it won the 2018 Pulitzer, so I feel like it can count with  2018 books.  And plus also, I LOVED IT SO MUCH.  Read this book, and don't be daunted by the length-- lots of it is notes.  Also, don't be daunted by the notes.

1.  The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai:  Oh, this book.  I loved every single word.  This might be the best book I have ever read, although Russo's Straight Man is still my very favorite book of all time.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Merry Little Chrismukkah

What a delightful holiday season!

We are finally home and unpacked with nothing on the calendar but hockey for the foreseeable, and that's lovely, too.  I have no idea what day or time it is, and the first thing on my to-do list for tomorrow is to reorient myself to time.

We kicked things off with a Christmas Eve-Eve ugly sweater skate, where Dorothy was delighted to find that the skills she is learning in her gym class roller blading unit are paying off on the ice, too.

 And Jack was only too happy to clown around with her and her skating aid seal.
 Hockey ice white is my favorite color.
 Ben and the minis.
 The next day we again donned our ugly sweaters to go to Ben's grandma's for Christmas Eve
 And then we came home to make some magic happen and fall into bed by 1 am (kids by 10:30).
 Early AM stocking sesh before the kids got out of their rooms.  Santa delivers al of the stockings to bedrooms so we can have a few more minutes of sleeeeeeeeeep.

One quick pic of everyone in front of the tree
 For what felt like HOURS.  Especially if you were Dorothy and just anted someone to unbox the first damn this you opened.
 Beatrix tried to eat yarn, which, WTF?
 There was much admiring of gifts.
 Lots of excitement.
 And Beatrix made sure t obe right there the whole time.
 My fave.  LOL.
 This is her "I just got a book" face,
 Finally!  They wanted to eat the Christmas morning pull apart cinnamon rolls.
 And we decided to take the dog (and Dorothy's new dolly) for a walk.
 And some more gifts (from Ben's grandma's house, since we had to leave early on Christmas Eve).
 Her pooping doll pooped!
 OMG!  I am a tween, and all I wanted was clothes!

Awesome!  A new place to stash his candy!

Harry was genuinely happy to see everything everyone unwrapped
 Favorite gift:  Hatchimals and a stroller/pooping doll.
 I got a new camera, in the hopes that I will not be sucked into my phone so often (ha!) and it takes great pictures!
We spent the whole day playing games, opening gifts, and just sort of lounging around.  And of course toasting the whole package of sloth and greed and contentment.

We got up early the net day to go to my parents' house to do it all again and celebrate my dad's 71st birthday.

Cooper is totally crazy about the cursive writing book Santa brought him in his stocking, so he got right to work first thing.
 Beatrix, being the pretty girl she is.

Matching outfits!

 General present hijinks

Champagne cocktails

Dorothy and her new doll that looks just like her.  She first named the doll Hazel, but then the chaged it to Leshawna.
 Cooper's new BFF
Jon modeling my dad's shoulder replacement surgery recovery chair
 Dude, this card game is really funny.

Friday, December 28, 2018

From the Archive: Christmas

This post originally appeared on December 27, 2011

Ah the joys of secular blended family Christmas.  Consumption, consumption, consumption.  It's all very patriotic.

Cooper slept well on the Christmas Eve for the first time in FOREVER (6:30-3 without a peep, a brief meal at 3 and back in his own bed until after the big kids woke up-- a dream baby, again.  Unfortunately, he was up every 20 MINUTES from 10 pm to 6 am on the 25th/26th, and last night, he was up 4 times between 11 and 1, slept from 1-4, and then came in my bed from 4-7 where he woke up every 20 minutes again.  FML).

I, however, could NOT sleep after 3 because I was so excited to see Harry and Jack's reaction to Santa. We spent all of Christmas Eve tracking his progress on my NORAD iPhone app, but they had strict instructions to stay in their beds until the clock in their room read 6-zero-zero.  The coffee pot turned on at 5:45 (we program it to warm itself up on school mornings but forgot to turn it off) and woke Ben up, so we decided to make coffee.  I went in to get H and J at 5:58, so they wouldn't wake up Coop when they bolted out of their room and found them both lying on their stomachs, chins propped on their hands, staring at the clock with giant eyes.

We all thundered downstairs with coffee and milk.  Ben made a pile of screwdrivers scissors, and batteries the night before, and my camera was charging beside my phone (the best way to capture video these days) and a pile of garbage bags just aching to be stuffed with wrap-- we were READY for the MAGIC.  So much magic.

Jack is pointing frantically to the huge dollhouse Santa seemed to have brought him.  Harry was stoked to find a barrel! of! monkeys! n one of his stockings.
What other wonders could the stocking hold?
Jack's heart's desire: the dollhouse he has been staring longingly at on the cover the the Sensational Beginnings catalog.
Harry wanted Dr. Dreadful's Zombie Lab so bad.  It's like a really messed up kitchen set-- you can make "edible" zombie boogers, brains, and barf.
The Lego castle of his dreams
Clearly Cooper has no idea what the hell is going on.
Look at Jack's little face.
Harry and Jack built Cooper this stuffed dog and then made it look gross with a Power Ranger costume
I tried to get them to eat some muffins, but instead, Harry made brains
It took us FOREVER to kind of clean up our mess and get in the car. We headed to Ben's parents for more present madness. The cousins had a ton of fun playing together, and Ben and I loved gorging ourselves on berry, berry, berry, berry (4 berry!) cheesecake from our favorite bakery (seriously, we need to stop going there-- we've been taking the kids out for breakfast and lunch and getting dessert a lot over break).
Jack has wanted this Batman cave forever
Cooper still has no clue
Harry was so excited to give the presents he made at school.
Cooper is working on sitting
With mixed results