Friday, May 31, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend!

We missed opening the pool on Memorial Day, but as I have mentioned before, I don't want to do any holidays like we did them last year, even the ones that we didn't celebrate with my dad.  The exception, logistically, might have to be the 4th of July, but we are efforting that as we speak.

And really?  I didn't miss the opening weekend of the pool because it is always a ZOO and makes me wish I belonged to a different pool.

Instead, we had a totally fun weekend in Pekin.

It's flowered shirt season!

 Do we class a place up, or what?
 Ice cream!
 A summer foods buffet!
 Trips to the park!
 Paper airplanes!
 An amazing $3 bloody bar
 And, of course, a quick trip to Bradley.

Happy summer soft-open!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Surviving summer-- I have a plan

 I excel at parenting from the couch.

Which is why the impending summer has me like:





I mean, I hope it will be all blue skies and picnics
 And also Barbie baths
 And fashion statements
But really the thought of all those days spreading out in front of us and me with work to do and no dedicated time to do it are making me crazy and they haven't even started yet.  Like, I am literally sitting around the house all day while the kids are at school, and I am preemptively stressed.


The kids are on board because they-- like me-- need a little structure in a day.
Library Monday: This one is self-explanatory.  I feel like we will, um, go to the library.  I need a regular library schedule or my holds list gets unwieldy and I lose things.  The kids need to sign up for a library reading program anyway.  And!  We don't have to go to the same library every Monday.  I mean, maybe we can hit them all before summer is through-- HOW THRILLING.
New Park Tuesday: Again, I bet you can tell what this means.  I really loved last summer's Bucky Hunt, and it was so great to explore places we usually would not.  So, that's the general idea here.
Water (that's not the pool we belong to) Wednesday:  We have a few fun public pools in this town and also some splash pads, and we are going to make it a point to check them out on Wednesday afternoons.  We also have a hose and a giant unicorn sprinkler.  NEED I SAY MORE?
Screen Time Thursday: This was Dorothy's suggestion, so I think she actually said Screen Time Fursday, which I like even better.  Basically, phones! tablets! video games!  TV! Maybe a movie or two at the theater!  Skies the limit with screens, and everyone wins.
Fun Fun Friday:  The kids are stoked about this one because they like pulling things out of bags.  Basically, we are going to brainstorm a whole bunch of free or cheap activities (museums! walking around campus! ice cream on the Terrace! bowling! board games! LEGO contests!) and put them in a decorated bag (Dorothy is all over the decorating).  Then the kids will draw a slip of paper from  the bag on Friday morning, and we will do the thing. This is especially good because Friday is the one day of the week they won't have swim lessons.

I am also going to print out blank weekly calendars, and we are going to take some time together on Monday mornings to fill them in (except FUN FUN FRIDAY because that would totally ruin it), so everyone knows what to expect, and we can use the weather forecast to help us plan things out.  It would be good, I think, to plan on doing the activities in the afternoon, generally, os we can spend the mornings doing swim and dive.  We will still have plenty of time to go to the pool, too, but I wouldn't hate it if we avoided peak sun at least a few days a week.

Another thing I want to do is have a pretty strict morning routine that mirrors school mornings to some degree.  I think no one will get any electronics or screens until they have eaten breakfast, cleaned their rooms, brushed their teeth, gotten dressed, done 20 minutes of reading, and done a math worksheet.

I need to get up early all summer, sadly.  That way I can check in on my online class, keep up with my adjunct class, work out, and get dressed before the kids wake up.  This is going to make me SO much happier and less stressed out, but it will take some getting used to.

I am not going to have time to write, I don't think, and I need to be OK with it.

I also need to schedule lots of fun nights out when Ben is not coaching baseball.  Wine with a friend. A movie with the girls.  A trip to the library by myself to bask in the quiet.  Bar trivia.  Date nights out.  Date nights in.  You get the idea.  I need to have a few rewards sprinkled through the week to keep me looking forward to summer and its freedoms.

Any other tops for surviving summer as a SAHM?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Side Eye for Summer

Dorothy's side eye in this pic is like EXACTLY how I feel about summer approaching.
Like, OK, I totally got all of the work done that I absolutely HAD to get done before summer, so I no longer feel like the days with the kids are going to kill me.  On the other hand, I am adjuncting online, teaching a real online class, and also getting ready to direct a speech camp in July, so there is no shortage of real work to do.  And also!  THERE ARE SO MANY KIDS.  And even though they are getting bigger every year, our house sure isn't.


We have swimming lessons and dive team to look forward to in the mornings and of course lots of pool time.  BUT THEN WHAT.

I read this today, and it totally rang true.  Maybe I can just open the door and shoo them outside every morning?

I think we will do a library day every week and also a new park every week.  And then there's a thing I want to try (Fun Fun Friday, maybe?) where we brainstorm a bunch of cheap to free activities and put them in a bag (that the little kids can decorate because they freaking love decorating bags) and draw every Friday morning.  The world is our oyster.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Micro Beauty

Since we talked last, Dorothy had dance pictures.

And shortly after I snapped these on the way to the official pics, I noticed that her ballet shoes are bloody, which is kind of awesome in a black swan way, but also I ordered new ones.

Also, she is wearing the rainbow sequined number for Halloween, she has decided and will be a rainbow and I am so excited to paint her face and hair.

And one more also, her teacher fixed her bags before the tap picture because I am useless.

We came home from dance and washed off her makeup and Dorothy got to do her first face mask, courtesy of a lovely friend who got both of us masks for my birthday.  (I actually adore doing masks.  I use the Trader Joe's sheet mask at least once a week-- and if you haven't tried it, TREAT YOURSELF ASAP-- and I have an Aveda mask I love.)  I have to admit, it was fun to do this with Dorothy, and she also loved it.

The next day, she asked me to curl her hair before school, and this started innocently enough but then suddenly I was curling her hair and then as my friend said on Instagram, she was ready for community theater.  The dowager role.  In the early 90s.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

I had an acupuncture facial party-- did you even know that was a thing??

Oh my goodness!  Three lovely friends threw me an acupuncture facial rejuvenation acupuncture party with snacks and a gorgeous, delicious cake, and it was THE BEST.

I didn't even want to celebrate my bday, but we also have a trivia double date coming up next week, and I feel really supported and it's great.

Also, you guys.  My skin looks Whole30 awesome, and I am definitely eating carbs.  DO THE FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cheers to 41

Last month for Jack's birthday, we started a tradition of going out as a family to play bar trivia for our birthday dinners.  We even found a place that plays lightening trivia-- one 1 minute per question-- and it is PERFECT with the kids.  This is a seriously great tradition, and you would be surprised how handy kids are at trivia-- Harry has rando sports questions on lock, and he knew a Gandhi question that Ben and I had no clue about.  Plus kids know things that are common knowledge for their age groups but become trivia when you're old.  Like the types of triangles.  Or elements whose periodic table abbreviations are only vowels.

So, long story short, we did that last night for my bday and then Ben and I came home and got way too drunk on a bottle of champagne and watched the last ever Veep, which was hilarious, of course, but also sad because it's over, and I am just not handling endings well right now.

I spent the morning shopping.  I had a Sephora gift card from Ben's parents, and I got my Sephora bday gift, my Avdea bday gift, my Starbucks bday drink, etc.  And then I bought a shower curtain and a couple of pics for Dorothy and Cooper's bathroom-- it was a leisurely morning, and I barely even felt guilty about my decision to cancel Harry and Jack's dentist appointments because I did not want to spend a chunk of my kid-free time driving all the hell over town.

Also, Ben bought me the sunglasses I ran over last summer and have missed ever since.

 Listen, I have never hung a straight picture, and I never will.

 I watched baseball in the sun, wrapped in a quilt with a box of donut holes.  YES PLEASE.
 TRIVIA!! Team Happy Birthday Mommy (Dorothy picked the name, and it was suuuper embarrassing repeated a million times on the mic) got 5th, but we were 3rd going into the final round **sad trombone**
I got to use my spring form pan again, and you know that's, like, a special thrill.

Cheers to 41!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A lovely Mother's Day after all.

This is my plan: to spend all 2019 holidays DIFFERENTLY than I spent them in 2018.  I think this is the only way I will be able to be even a little bit celebratory.

Up first: Mother's Day.  Last year, we were in Peoria with my mom and dad.  Also Jon and Caleb and a bunch of friends from college who came all the way to P-town to celebrate my 40th.

This year, we met up with my mom in Des Moines to see my grandam and two of my mom's sibs.  And Cooper thinks my uncle Lee is the world's funniest human, so that was adorable.

4 generations!  So cool!
 As usual, Blogger has uploaded my photos in totally random order, and I am too lazy to fix them.  Here are Dorothy and Cooper living their best lives at Target after school on Friday while we grabbed a few weekend supplies.  Also, Dorothy is the queen of under eye circles lately, but we have been TOO BUSY to put anyone to bed before like 9.
 I read this book in the car and LOVED it.  You should read it.
 We dropped Bea off at the boarder on the way.  STILL IN THE CONE OF SHAME.
 Zombie Burger!
 West Elm while we waited for our Zombie Burger table
 The puns were my favorite!
 After the bloody Mary
 Dorothy got right to work chalking the crap out of my aunt's driveway.
 Love these cocktail napkins
 HOTEL POOL.  Their favorite.
 We really know how to class up a hotel room.  Spoiler alert: we found Cooper's other shoe.  Eventually.
 Trying for an early morning hot tub selfie
 General merriment!
 You bet I ate a donut in the hot tub like the pimp from Deuce Bigalow
 Visiting Bomma at the nursing home

 Everyone was tired on the way home.
One day at a time, friends.  Tomorrow, I am 41.  I didn't really want to celebrate, but Ben talked me into it, and my friends have been lifesavers-- I have 3 separate nights out coming up, thank goodness.

When we snapped this picture a year ago tomorrow, I had no idea how the year would end. Which, I guess, is why I should celebrate 41, right?