Monday, August 30, 2021

Big girl car seat!

 I went to the mall yesterday, and when I came home, I was like holy sh*t Ben, there were people there without masks and people just like sitting around and eating with their masks off and he was like what the actual f**k why did you stay there, and I? HAD NO GOOD ANSWER. Some sort of mall fugue state? It's my happy place? I am vaxxed and wearing a KN95? I LOVE TO SHOP? I hate to pay shipping?

So now I am sure I will get sick.  GAH.

Apropos of nothing, though, check out my big girl in her big girl car seat:

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Well Check

 Minnie, who is working on using a spoon, had her 1-year physical. She's dreamy. 20 pounds, 9.5 ounces, 29 inches long. She got 4 vaccines (flu, chicken pox hepatitis, and her first MMR), and she had an unsuccessful blood draw to get a lead level. NOT THE MOST FUN EVER.

Friday, August 27, 2021


I went to work! Like a person in the world!
It was very humid.
I loved it.

The end.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

My last day of summer break

My AirPods are the most tempting things in the world. Look at her little toes.
She's the world's sweetest person.
Eating breakfast like a froggy:
You guys! It's PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE SEASON, and Jack likes it as much as I do.

 We almost bought a puppy today but walked it back because omfg that would have been a lot. But also, if there ever was a time for an emotional support animal, this is it.

Welcome week starts tomorrow you guys. So, all the stress of working full time hours away from home AND ALSO A PANDEMIC. I cannot wait.

Ok, so maybe one more post about school

 So, like, there's the very understandable sentiment afoot that COVID is here to stay, and we need to figure out how to live with it because we will never have zero cases, blah blah blah. And, most people I know are interpreting that to mean SEND YOUR UNVACCINATED KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL despite a really contagious strain of the virus ripping through your community, and I just feel like maybe? That's not the right interpretation.

Maybe for us, normal is school at home (our district does not have a virtual option for elementary schoolers, just for KIDS OLD ENOUGH TO BE VACCINATED, and I cannot even type that without turning into the head exploding emoji) but also dance team, swim team, baseball, and dive team. What is the point of having the privilege of time and resources if I am just going to send them off like lambs to the slaughter?

I hav to tell you, it was pictures of a cute little swim team social event on Facebook that made my excitement about the school year finally crumble. 

I have been telling myself all of the things everyone is telling themselves: my district has a mask mandates; over half my family is vaccinated; vaccine rates in my county are really high; my giant university found no evidence of COVID spreading in academic settings last year, so probably the same can be said of K-12; no one is in after care or riding the bus, etc.

(And the kids, by the way! They really  want to go back. Cooper also really  wants to eat Cocoa Pebbles for every meal, so, like, they aren't great at translating desire to policy, but whatever.)

Then, fall sports season started at the high school, and I saw pictures of swim team members at a team event unmasked and cheek-to-cheek and I thought oh no. WHAT DOES THE AFTER PARTY LOOK LIKE? And that's girls' swimming. What about boys' football? The parent parties. The kid parties. Pre-gaming at bars. Students at games. 


We don't need school to be childcare. We have the access to time and resources for them to learn at home. They do not have to go to school. As I write this, I realize that even though I think the high school is the riskiest place to be, I am more worried about my two little kids. Like, I think Harry and Jack will be OK and will wear their masks, and the vaccine will still offer them protection, etc. It just seems like such a bad idea to send unvaccinated kids to in-person school.

Or does it?

Is the little voice telling me to keep them home just my anxiety? Should I listen to it or tell it to shut up?

Here is what I am doing:

Focusing on what I can control.

I can control the quality of masks I buy. I can control making sure no one rides the bus. I can control what extra curricular activities everyone joins. I can control making a backup plan for the family if the school situation becomes untenable. I can set up a plan for when we would change school options ahead of time, so I don't make a reactive, less rational decision. I can decide my elementary schoolers are not doing unmasked lunch and recess and pick them up for an hour midday to eat and run around, especially on bad weather days. I can follow people I disagree with on social media (anti-maskers, for example) and see that they are kind, loving people who also want the best for their kids.

What are you doing to feel good about the school year?

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

SO angsty about school.

Minnie had her first donut on Sunday-- she's a fan.

She also enjoyed squash and spaghetti sauce.

And, I mean, there's always cream cheese.
I AM SO WORRIED ABOUT SCHOOL. We dropped their supplies off today, and I wanted to be like NEVER MIND. The nurse asked if Cooper was going to bring an inhaler to school and I was like NO. IF HE NEEDS AN INHALER, I WON'T SEND HIM. Which is exactly how I felt when I was packing up the boxes of Kleenex each classroom requested-- NO ONE SHOULD NEED THESE BECAUSE THEIR RUNNY NOSES SHOULD STAY HOME.

Bring on Pfizer for the under 12 crowd, please.

Have you read this hand-wringing essay from The Atlantic yet? What did you think?


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Car trouble

 So, about 2 and a half hours after hitting publish on that last post, I dropped Dorothy off at dance and headed to Target to pick up a curbside order on the way home. Thankfully, Ben was able to keep Minnie home with him. I say thankfully because a half-mile from Target, as I creeped along at under 8 miles an hour on a busy street between stop lights, a teenage drive RAMMED INTO THE BACK OF MY CAR, throwing me into the car in front of me, who was thrown into the car in front of her, who was thrown into the car in front of him. A 5-car pileup, and I was the sandwich car.

Thank God there were no kids in my car.

Thank God I was going slow enough for the air bags to not deploy and break my face, that we have good insurance, that Harry could come home from work and watch the baby so Ben could come pick me up, that the fourth car in the lineup was a security guard on the way to the medical clinic he protects-- he was so, so helpful before the (wonderful, kind, helpful) police officer arrived on the scene.

It was so scary. One minute I was driving down the street listening to a podcast and the next I was thrown forward in my seat so hard my sunglasses flew off my face and then was thrown backwards so roughly my hair came out of its top knot. I sat there for a second, stunned, watching my arm swell and bruise and wondering what just happened.

We found out midday Friday that the car is a total loss, and we immediately flew into car buying mode because WE HAVE 5 KIDS and both of us need to start going to our campuses soon and the kids need to start going to their various schools AND CARS ARE REALLY HARD TO FIND THESE DAYS. For example, the nice salesman we have worked with at Toyota for a decade on minivans told me he would order what I wanted right away and I could get it in sixteen weeks. What.

I spent all afternoon calling dealers, and Ben ran out first thing Saturday morning, starting at Honda... which is the only place he ended up visiting. He drove an Odyssey, agreed to the terms, and said he'd be back with me at nap time to make it official. And that's exactly what we did. I bought it before I even drove it.


The driver had a tall SUV and it hit me above the bumper, causing the back of my car to crumple.

Would I have chosen navy blue if I had my pick of all the colors? Probably not. But I really do love this van-- and so do the kids

Car wrecks are awful even when no one is seriously hurt, even when you have insurance and can replace your ride, etc. I feel very lucky to be OK and to have a new car already. It could have been so much worse.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Aaaaaaaall the anxiety

 I AM SO NERVOUS about school starting again. LIKE SO NERVOUS. HOLY SHIT.

I thought things would be easier this August, you know? Now I wish we had sent them back last spring because then I would not feel so bad about keeping them home this fall. As of right now, we are NOT keeping them home this fall, BTW. They want to go. Dorothy said she would rather get COVID than stay home, and I think the rest of them feel the same way. BUT I WANT TO KEEP THEM HOME.

Things I am doing to manage my anxiety:


Buying kiddie KN95 masks by the 100s.



We dressed alike:

Cooper on his hover board is the funniest thing she has ever seen

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Big girl

Minnie spent a ton of time outside for her birthday, and she LOVED it. In fact, it is so hard to bring her inside now from walks or the car. She sees a toy or a ball in the garage, and all she wants to do is crawl around outside in the dirt.
She loves her new water table like no other.


Monday, August 16, 2021

Such a fun party!

 More pics to come, I promise

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The Big 0-1: A Photo Dump

 We got Dorothy a present and gave it to her first thing in the morning before Minnie even opened anything. I am pretty sure this made the day fabulous because she was so happy all day long.

Ben's parents came to celebrate, so that also made the day extra special.

Minnie had presents, banana bread, two good naps, pizza for dinner, a trip to the pool and lots of time to hang out with her favorite people.

Today, we are celebrating her with a back yard party-- more about that later. In the meantime, photos from yesterday:

Friday, August 13, 2021

Happy first birthday, Minnie Marigold

 Minnie is an unqualified delight. What else can I say?

At the time, I thought her birth was hard and that it took too long. But she? Wasn't ready to come out yet. Once she realized we were forcing the issue, she arrived quickly, easily, joyfully. And that has been her experience on this planet so far. 

When she is ready to do something, she does it quietly and without fanfare or fuss. Talking. Sitting up. Waving. Blowing kisses. Showing us that she is so big. Getting teeth, Sleeping in her own bed, etc. Maybe we are ready for her to meet those milestones before she is, but she doesn't really care about our timelines.

She spent, for example, the first 3 month of her life sleeping in my arms or on my person, including 12 hours overnight. She would start the night on my lap while Ben and I watched TV, and then the two of us would go to bed together in my bed, and she'd snuggle into the crook of my arm all night long. And then! Right around the time I stated to worry about her ever rolling over, she started rolling and sleeping happily on her tummy in her crib. 

(Also, I miss those months of always having her close to me. I saw a meme about women spending more time nursing the first year of a baby's life than we do working a full time job, and I think the meme was meant to stir feeling about patriarchy and uncompensated mothering, but all it did was make me wish I could relive Minnie's first year and spend those hours nursing again).

She talks quite a bit for someone so tiny, and her receptive language skills are even better. She crawls SO FAST, and even though e are excited for her to walk, we will miss the sound of her hands slapping the floor. I love when she pulls up on my legs-- her feather light touch and the way she says Mamamamama. She calls herself Ninnie, but only when she really wants something-- she will reach for it and demand Ninnie!

Here's her very first picture:

And the last one on my camera roll at this exact second:

Our first family photo from last August 14th, before she had ever even been inside the house:

And, of course, the monthly Minnies: