Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!!

This holiday!  I love it so much!

Here are a few pics of Jack, Cooper, and Dorothy at their school's trunk or treat, as well as some shots of Ben and me out with friends.  We are planning a cozy evening of trick-or-treating with family and friends, and I will share pictures OF COURSE in a couple of days.  Hope you get all of the good candy!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

man cold and no-nonsense pumpkins

I have not been able to breathe through my nose for at least six days.  I wake myself up coughing and prevent myself from falling asleep the same way.  I blow my nose and wash my hands so many times a day that I had to put vats of hand lotion by all of the sinks (but I bought scented lotion and it makes me sneeze, and all of the things start over again).  I am basically only drinking coffee for its throat-soothing properties and have added tea to my nightly routine.  I THINK I HAVE A MAN COLD.  SEND HELP.  I need to take to my bed for at least a week.

But!  Instead!  We had pumpkins to carve.

I dreaded the thought of scooping out guts because this was pre-lotion-by-the-sink, and I didn't want to have to keep washing my bleeding hands.  This dread colored and organized the whole experience for me and made it the neatest, most efficient pumpkin scraping ever.

 First, I confirmed that none of the kids wanted anything to do with pumpkin guts: check, check, check, check (even though Harry has a scooper with his literal name on it-- like, taped on it?? whyyyyy?)  Then, I assembled my supplies: 5 pumpkins, freshly washed, a bunch of trash bags to cover the kitchen island, the garbage can, some knives and spoons, a colander for seeds, a couple of dishtowels for my hands, a big apron. Finally, I basically ignored everything else in the whole house and just assembly lined the pumpkins: lids cut, guts scraped, seeds salvaged.  5 times in a row.  No extra hand washing needed.

Harry and Jack went downstairs to skulk (I assume-- this is pretty much what they do all of the time), and Dorothy and Cooper had a charming and delightful tea party for Dorothy's dolls with Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, and water.  They were so excited to get all of the supplies and handle all of their own spill and refills that a new era of independence has dawned.

By the time Ben got home with pizzas, all of the pumpkins were ready to go, and some seeds were roasting in the oven (with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel spice-- a huge YES).  We ate pizza and then Ben and the kids carved pumpkins while I cleaned the kitchen.  NO MESS.  NO FUSS.  decorative gourd season achievement unlocked.

MOVIE NIGHT.  Bam. Could there be a more wholesome family fall fun night ever?  NOT POSSIBLE.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A SAHM for a Day

The kids all had a day off of school and it was the most retro awesome day ever.


(Although, I have to tell you, not enough time has really passed to write a glowing report of the day because Harry brought a friend with us for the afternoon, and Cooper ad Jack turned into Cooper and jack-shaped monsters with jealous lightening eyes and the ability to tantrum in public with no regard for their own sense of dignity.  IT SUUUUUUUUCKED.)

(But still it was nice to have everyone at home because what am I going to do when all of my kids are too old for the kiddie room at the library?  I CANNOT EVEN.)

We started the day by realizing that even though it is decorative gourd season, all we had on our porch were the two pumpkins we grew in the backyard and the two that the little kids snagged on a field trip. 

I planned to take the kids to our favorite little pumpkin patch for more, but then when I checked their hours on their website, I noted that they were OUT OF PUMPKINS.  This is where I had a teeny little dilemma because I actually didn't want to go to one of those damn pumpkin circus places with the donuts and the ice cream sundaes and the trampolines and the giant vats of corn kernels and the playgrounds.  I JUST WANTED TO GET A PUMPKIN AND MAYBE A PICTURE. (And I mean, I would have eaten a frigging donut).

Dorothy and Cooper were dressed up in anticipation of a library dance party.  And!  Neither of them wanted to wear their ACTUAL costumes. They also both left their coats at home.

Harry and Jack were too cool (and, technically, too old) for the dance party, so they just went to hang out in the teen section and read books (I think the only time they truly think it's cool to read books is when they are semi-unsupervised at the library).

Dorothy loved the dance party and was all over that dance floor.  Cooper, though, is JUST LIKE ME and I love him so much.

Cooper left the dance party to hang with Harry, who promptly forgot about him, and when I found him at a table with a huge stack of books, he said, "Someone should be watching me."  TOTES.

We ran home from the library for a frantic lunch because we underestimated how long the morning would take and planned to pick up a friend of Harry's for the zoo, donuts, and a hike.  SPOILER ALERT: Everyone freaked out and we only made it to the zoo.  No donuts.  And we came back home so the kids could chill the eff out and Harry and his friend could play cards and basketball and I made Oreo brownies instead of donuts but OH MY GOD. 

But seriously!  Walking around the zoo with a pack of kids and a purse full of snacks feeling put upon.  IT WAS JUST LIKE THE GOOD OLD DAYS.  I even called Ben to scream at him for being at work just like I used to. What a lovely and nostalgic day.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

What We're Eating This Week 44/52

Our fancy steak dinner plans were spoiled by Ben's work conference that we wrote down wrong on the calendar (SO UNLIKE US)  (ACTUALLY JUST LIKE US).

So, we are trying it again on Sunday.

Chicken breasts, cooked carrots, applesauce, salads
Pizza and candy, duh
Slow cooker chicken tikka masala, rice, naan.
Chile verde from Family Circle with corn bread and roasted butternut squash

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Morning Routine

Even though I have been unable to get my writing shit together this whole effing semester, it has been wonderfully, perfectly easy to fall into a fairly tranquil morning routine.  Here are the deets:

5:17 am: the coffee pot begins to percolate
5:22 am: my alarm goes off, and I stumble out of bed and into the bathroom t turn it off.  This short walk is the only thing that keeps me from going back into my warm bed.  I stagger into the laundry room and immediately start a load and then shamble to the kitchen for a giant cup of hot hot hot coffee with cinnamon.
5:30-6am: I sit on the couch under a blanket getting up only to refill my mug and do my most pressing work, even if sometimes that's just writing on my blog
6-6:30am: I work out on the elliptical in the basement.  I have to have some coffee and sitting on the couch time first or I cannot muster the will to follow through on this step.
6:30-6:45am: Pack Harry's lunch; make harry's breakfast; send Harry off to school.
6:45-7:10am: Always think I am going to exercise for another 12 or so minutes, but instead spend this time making 3 lunches and waking Jack, who starts his day logging reading minutes.  I also switch the laundry and get everyone's coats, back packs, etc, ready to go
 7:10-7:30am: Yoga/dog walking happens here, and that's exercise, right?!?
7:30-8:15am: Breakfast, dressing/grooming, cleaning bedrooms and bathrooms, switching the laundry again, etc.

If I play my cards right-- and I usually do-- the kids leave and the house is clean and all I have to do is get my own self ready.  Those are 3 packed hours, but they set me up for a really productive day.  If I could find 15 more minutes for cardio, I would be even happier...

Friday, October 26, 2018

Dorothy and Jack, Randomly

THANK YOU, Target for having tons of cute/cheap boots and booties with fur linings.  And! $14 slippers with reasonable soles that I am buying her to wear instead of flats because flats give her blisters because she will not wear tights or socks oh my god.  I don't know what the hell we are going to do in the spring/summer or when her feet start to stink, but right now today? She went to school in shoes that she likes and they are less than $30, so if she ruins them on the playground, I am not going to lose sleep.  All hail Target.
Also, I have a late night the night before picture day, so I can;t set Dorothy's hair in the rollers she likes.  So!  We practiced old lady curly hair with the curling iron this morning.  I LOVE IT.  Perfect hair for a Dorothy:
Also she is starting to not like leggings because of the seams and I swear to god I am going to have to home school her soon so she can sit around draped in a sheet or something.

He's a Harry-Potter-obsessed book worm!  I am so excited!  Finally!  One of them is! Although he is taking a short break from the series to read book 3 of Percy Jackson, and he's also on book 3 of The Hunger Games on audio book.  I get it, man.
 How he starts everyday.  ALL OF THE HEART EYES.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Cute little cub scouts

Jack's cub scout den is doing this darling little thing where each kid has to lead a meeting and teach something that will count toward the completion of their level (I realized typing this that I have no idea how to use BSA terminology, so I hope that makes sense).  Jack did cookies science, and it was darling.

We took Joanna Gaines' no-fail chocolate chip cookie recipe and split it in half.  One group used white sugar.  The other used brown sugar.  They hypothesized the results, were very serious about the process, and gobbled up all of the cookies after going outside to make Mentos explode in soda.
 So cute!
 So busy!
 Cooper had hockey, so harry had Dorothy duty.  MOAR PAINTING.
 Finally she was so riled up that I gave her the rare treat of unsupervised SnapChat time on my phone.  Don;t worry.  Like me, she is just in it for the filters.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Brussels Sprouts Your Kids Will Eat for Breakfast


Harry said the sweetest thing to me this morning.  He said ARE THERE ANY BRUSSELS SPROUTS LEFT? I WANT TO EAT THEM FOR BREAKFAST.

DUDE.  I never thought I would see the day.

Here's my super secret recipe:
 2lbs shredded sprouts (I just threw them in the processor after washing them-- I didn't even cut the ends-- and I pulsed, so most were shredded but some big pieces remained)
1/2 a stick of butter
some maple syrup (the real stuff, not Log Cabin)
4 pieces of cut bacon, chopped up with kitchen scissors
a bunch of Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel seasoning

Grease a 9x13 glass casserole dish and throw in the sprouts.  Toss with maple syrup.  Chop up your butter and throw it on top with the bacon.  Sprinkle liberally with seasoning.  Roast at 375 until they look done.  40 mins, maybe?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Painty little weekend

Dorothy has declared every Friday HAIR CHALK FRIDAY.  This week, she did the front, and I did the back, and it's been 4 days and her bangs are still a little green.

 Jack had PJ day on Friday.
 And it was, OF COURSE, movie night.  (Ben was at the gubernatorial debate, so the kids watched a terrible movie on HBO, and I read my book club book.)
 Best friends!
 On Saturday, I took them to Papa Murphy's, which they completely loved because for some reason, they have never been to Papa Murphy's before.  And now I want to take them there every $10 Tuesday because the concept fascinated them, AND they loved the pizza.
 I got take n bake pizza in anticipation of a date night-- Ben and I were dying to go out for dive bar burgers-- but the kids were not leave-the-house material.  Harry just got home from a 3-day field trip.  Jack was sick of being the only big kid to entertain Cooper and Dorothy, who were both tired and crabby after a week of school and the excitement of movie night, etc. 

A quick trip trip Target for paint supplies
 And a batch of salted caramel cookie bars, and we were back in business.
 On Sunday, it was Cooper's turn to be on the ice/
 I also went through the cDonald's drive through for the three little kids (Harry and I had bagel sandwiches because McDonald's is gross).
 YOU GUYS.  Seriously.  So much paint.
 Look at those paint-fueled smiles!
 This is Jack ready for diving lessons.
 Ah, McDonalds toy bounty.
 On the way to the library we stopped at a park so I could finish my scary book and the kids could join a game of hurl-crab-apples-at-random-kids that was already in progress.  A super nice police officer stopped by when he saw all the kids, hoping to play football with them, but no one had a football (which, I am pretty sure, was why they were throwing crabapples), so he gave them stickers instead.
I ended my weekend with a yummy dinner out of book club, after starting it with a move date with another friend.  Talk about perfect.