Friday, June 28, 2019


I am on campus full-time with NO flexibility and ZERO access to my devices all week.

This has been... weird.

I really like what I am doing (so strange to not be the one to set the schedule, but I get it).


A house with 4 kids and 2 full-time parents working actual business hours?  SUCKS.

I am both so thankful that my real life is flexible and also so angry that so many people navigate this family-unfriendly reality everyday. 

 If this were our real life, we would have more routine childcare, which would help for sure.  We would also be used to it, of course.  And at the ages our kids are now,  everything from Sept-May would be easier because they would be in school all day anyway.  But!  I would not be able to volunteer in the classroom every week, or pop over with things they forgot, or keep the house tidy and the food homemade.  Ben and I would never see each other, except maybe a nod over laundry or on the way out the door to some practice or another.  Field trips would be a luxury, etc etc etc.  Why have we as a culture decided this is an OK way to live?

My life has gotten much harder and busier since Ben started working in a less flexible job, but without my own flexibility? I don't know how we would keep our heads above water on a regular basis. 

Here's a metaphor or the week, courtesy of the babysitter who wanted a clementine from the fruit bowl on my kitchen counter and now will probably never eat them again:


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Scenes from a weekend in Pekin

Listen, you guys.  If you are within a few miles of this place (WHAT ABOUT 50? IS 50 A FEW?) you need to go to here.  Not only is it like the only place outside of Disney World where you can get a Pineapple Dole Whip, but alsd, they have this thing called a cookie dough arctic swirl that's a huge styrofoam cup full of cookie dough slathered in sift serve ice cream.  I MEAN.
 Mineral Springs Park, also a must-visit place on our list.
 Cooper loved Toy Story 4 so much that he is making Forky art.
 I recognize by bias here, but trust me when I tell you that my mom's porch is an excellent place to indulge in happy hour.
 A little yard football.
 Dorothy wears one skate and uses baseball bats as balance aids, and I am here for that.
 Loud: a picture
 Such a pretty place to roller skate.

Saturday, June 22, 2019


 I told you about my summer survival plan, remember?  Well, today was the first FUN! FUN! FIRDAY!

Theme: Unicorns and Ice Cream

Or, more broadly, magical times and junk food.

Jack kicked it off with Donut Friday at dive team practice, which, luckily, is a weekly fun fun event.
fun fun friday

 I started us off strong with cinnamon rolls from a tube in FUN FUN shapes.

 And Dorothy finally got to pick from the Fun Fun Friday bag! 
 Which was kind of a disappointment because she drew Pump it Up, and their bounce time was unexpectedly cancelled.  So!  We made up a new rule on the fly that the person who gets to pick from the bag gets to decide the next activity if theirs is messed up through no fault of their own.  Kind of a cumbersome rule, but you get the idea.  She picked unicorn sprinkler, and a day was born.

First, math and journaling:
 Dorothy has started just randomly crafting when she is bored, and I love it so much.
 Unicorn time!!
 Totally normal.
 I need to do a good sweep of the back yard for dog poop and use this thing to water the garden.
I love that none of them is actually too cool for this thing.
 Ice cream, round 1!
Ice cream round 2:

We also hit up a different than usual library branch because the kids were all about finding Bucky there (a picture of Bucky that they could spot and then get a temporary tattoo for spotting) because the librarian who came to their school to talk about the summer reading program  made it sound like the most fun ever
We continued FUN FUN FRIDAY well into the evening-- fitting since it was the longest day of the year.

Jack had his first dive meet of the season and got second place with some really hard dives!

Dorothy is such a dedicated spectator:
Then we went to the golf course restaurant for dinner (I ate so much chicken bacon and ranch pizza that I may never eat again, but I am sooooo not sorry about it) and to the movies for a super late (for us) showing of Toy Story 4 at 8 pm.  WE LOVED THE MOVIE and you should see it right away.
Happy weekend!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Father's Day

I really thought Father's Day was going to be terrible.  Everyone says that all of the "firsts" are terrible.

I think, though, for the rest of my life I will remember the phone call telling me my dad died as the pinnacle of dad-grief terrible.  I had chills immediately and started shaking even though it was warm in my house.  I spent the whole night awake because when I woke up that morning, 15 hours before the call almost to the second, my dad had been alive, and I didn't want the last ever day with my dad in it to end.  That day did end, though, and the days marched on relentlessly after it, each one widening the gap between life with my dad and this awful without.

So, with all of that in mind, Father's Day was just another day in terms of grief.  It was also a great day to celebrate Ben, who is an excellent dad, of course.

We celebrated in a completely apropos way with a Little League game in the shadow of Miller Park.
 Coach Dad at his finest
I went to the concession stand, hoping for a hot chocolate or a coffee because it was FREEZING, and they had neither.  But!  They had cans of Miller Light.  As someone who has spent the past 6 summers watching kiddie baseball, let me tell you that a beer is exactly what this experience has been missing.  I mean, sure, I had a couple beers in my cooler for the post-game tailgate (On, Wisconsin!), but I bought one to drink during the game.

Like 2 innings in, a park worker came up to me and was all, "Ma'am, we have a no alcohol policy."

Listen.  I may be 41, but oh how I hate being ma'amed. Also, I am a total rule-follower, so I also hate breaking rules, especially ones I didn't really know about,

I told him I bought the beer at the concession stand, and he was like, "Did you really?"

I was stunned. 

Not only were all of the families from the game before us drinking and grilling in the parking lot, but so were all of the families from the game after us. If I wanted a beer and knew I couldn't have one in the park, I could have gone to the parking lot like the ole soak I appeared to be.  Plus, does he really think I would choose to drink Miller Light if I had infinite beer options?? Do I really look like a WI sports mom at last?

I suggested he talk to his concession guy, but also I felt like a HUGE LUSH.

(I was right though-- beer in the stands is precisely the cure for everything that ails you about kiddie baseball.)

(I also wish I had poked a hole in it with my keys and shot-gunned it right there.)

Look at that swing!
 Dorothy spent her entire first week's allowance on cotton candy, and she was pretty darn happy about it.
 After the game, we cooked out with Jack's team and celebrated his buddy's birthday, and then we came home for a fire, s'mores, and sparklers.

It was a pretty great day, after all.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Harrison is THIRTEEN. What.

 We had lovely, quiet, teen-y day celebrating Harrison on Friday.

 Cooper likes to light cakes now, so that's scary.
 So many candles he needed to wear shades.  I FEEL THAT.
 Dorothy and Cooper told Ben that they had a really fun day because they got to ride THREE ESCALATORS.
 Everybody loves Target
 Harry needed to take a trip to the mall to spend his birthday cash, so Dorothy was happy to find an old Build A Bear gift card she never used.  Also, SO SAD that this cute little store has been relocated to the middle of the mall, making it a significantly less adorable outing.
 Birthday dinner at a Mexican place downtown where I ate the best steak taco of my life.
The kids were huge fans of the table guac, which came in a cauldron that they ate before you could sail toil and trouble.

 One of many increasingly ridiculous photos.
 See what I mean?
Harry wanted to walk by the capitol and look at the newly raised Pride flags, so we did.

 Birthday kid and sibs:
 (Clearly Dorothy has birthday parties on the brain)
I made everyone take a picture across the street from the bar where Ben had his 40th bday party
Harry bought himself an Apple watch
 I don't think the kids have ever been to Chili's before (Harry has, but not the rest)  WHAT'S EVEN WRONG WITH ME?
 You are officially looking at the parents of a TEENAGER!!!