Sunday, August 07, 2022

Why can’t it be summer forever?

What are we going to do without the pool?? As we head into the final month of summer, the college lifeguards go back to school; pool hours get fewer and farther between, and September looms, bringing with it the last pool day of the year, new routines, early bedtimes, and SO MANY THINGS TO BUY FOR SCHOOL. 

We are not even a teeny bit ready for school, by the way. I mean, I signed the kids up and paid their fees, but we aren’t even going to be in town for the in-person schedule and photo day at the high school, and we haven’t bought a single item from any classroom supply list. Cooper has a new pair of shoes, but no one else does. No one has ANY fall clothes that even a little bit fit them.

 I think we’re just going to have a rolling start this year.

Do you like her outfit? A nightgown as 2 skirts. Her choice, obvi.

Minnie commandeered Dorothy’s new doll and insists that she be served a meal as well.

Dorothy is very very very patient

Ben and I went out for our 17th anniversary. We have occasionally been sneaking out to eat at the golf course restaurant here and there, but Saturday night was the first time since the pandemic that we went out for grown up food. It was a delight. And then we brought home a variety of cake slices from the grocery store bakery to share with our babysitters— a perfectly low key anniversary celebration. So low key I didn’t even take any pictures. Except of my old fashioned, which was not awesome but did make me remember how much I love old fashioneds.


Friday, August 05, 2022

Mirror mirror on the car

 The rear view mirror on my minivan broke a few months ago. I mean, it didn’t totally break. Like, it was still on the windshield, but you couldn’t adjust it very well, and it wouldn’t really stay adjusted. We called the dealer to get it fixed, but they were like oh the van is so new we have to order the part, and then, honestly, we dropped the ball and just sort of drove the car with a janky mirror. (I mean, no sort of about it— that’s exactly what we did). Then a couple weeks ago, a really rough car wash damaged the air conditioning vent on the driver’s side, so we really needed to get the car fixed (and also, we needed an oil change). We took it in on Monday and didn’t pick it up until Wednesday (because they called us on Tuesday and told us they didn’t have a part for the mirror).

Well, imagine my surprise when, on the way to The Little Gym with Dorothy, Minnie, and Cooper in the car on Thursday, I adjusted the mirror in a completely normal way as I was exiting the freeway, and this happened:


We called Harry after class (he was definitely not awake before class), and asked him to bring tape

And now it looks so great

I love this for me.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Summer summer summer

 Maybe it’s because Ben and I met each other when we were 15 and 16, but having a high school kid who goes out on dates feels heavy, you know? Like, having an extra driver in the house is AMAZING when Dorothy needs a ride to dance or I need to hand off my Target Red card to someone who can go to the store and grab a few things or — like this week— when we have to drop a car off for service. But then it’s after their work (which is like 9pm) and they are going out with friends and won’t be home until super late or they’re negotiating for a later curfew for a a date and man! Am I old enough for this?

I took Cooper shoes shopping Tuesday which is always an ordeal. THESE WERE ALL REJECTS.

She’s so good at relaxing

I also took Minnie shoe shopping, and she was much easier to satisfy. She liked the only shoes in Stride Rite that fit on her double extra wide foot— luckily, because special ordering was the only other option.

Do you love Dorothy’s shrine to herself?

It rained yesterday afternoon, and we played both Clue and Ticket to Ride, and Dorothy won them both!!!

All I wanted to do was read my book during the nap time peace and quiet, but Dorothy said she’s been wanting to play a board game all summer (we’ve had pretty perfect pool weather most days), and even Jack and Harry were playing. So my hands were tied, is what I’m saying.

We managed to sneak in some zoo and donut time on Tuesday, too

Summer! Time stands still and also is gone in a blink.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Dreaming of work time

 Everybody schedules work emails to send the next morning when the only time they have to work is in the middle of the damn night after the kids finally go to bed, right? Right? RIGHT?? (I am always weirded out by late night emails, so I also try not to send them).

This is a funny picture. Like, what is actually even happening here?

Now that swim and dive teams aren’t practicing every darn day, Dorothy and Cooper have been having friends over like Before Times, and even though it’s messy and there’s lots of running in and out, it’s just so delightfully normal. Like, how did we live without this for so long.

Real talk: I have worked a lot a lot a lot this summer, and I have just, like, magicked the time up. I mean, it’s early mornings. Late nights. Nap times. Random hours where the baby watches Disney Princess movies (OMG I KNOW you don’t have to tell me). So, not really magic at all.

 I had a great run of going to campus 2 mornings a week to teach, but now that class is over, and it’s easier for all of the other people in my house if I work from home all of the days and YIKES YIKES YIKES.

I’m not really complaining. I chose not to send Dorothy and Cooper to camp because I think they have wonderful summers at home. We choose not to send Minnie to childcare or nursery school, and I really am happy with that choice and think that for us it is unquestionably the right one. BUT SOMETIMES (like now, before vacation, when there are eleventy billion loose ends to tie up to be ready to sail into fall basically the second I get done shaking the sand out of everybody’s stuff) I JUST NEED TO THINK ABOUT WORK THINGS WITHOUT ANYONE NEEDING ME.

You know?

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

I had a Costco trip from hell, and I loved it

 While Ben, Dorothy, and Cooper were at All City swim last week, I took the remaining 3 kids to Costco, which was delightfully horrible.

The big boys were zero help and cost me at least $100 extra. I even asked Harry to grab skim milk while I was struggling under the weight of a box of organic baby milk and a flat of eggs, and he grabbed 4 gallons of chocolate milk instead. WTAF?

And thanks to Jack, we got 54 bags of chips, a 6-in-1 Disney Princess book that truly sucks to read to Minnie who insists on hearing every word of every page, and a bunch of Halloween-themed hot chocolate bombs.

Also I had to buy them lunch on the way out the door because they were almost late to work, and no one could help me unload anything, except Minnie and Beatrix, who were both, of course, giant hindrances.

Plus I forgot my card, and we stood in line forever to get a shopping pass; the only check out lines open were self-check and I was buying enough garbage for a Duggar family reunion; and Minnie lost her shit so emphatically that I had to open a pillow-sized bag of mini-cookies and let her take of her mask and start eating them right there in the cart.

And, reader, I loved every second of it because it felt so deliciously normal.

Monday, August 01, 2022

July: What I Read

 Summer reading at its finest this month, my friends. I relished the summer page-turners to the tune of just about a book a day— until the early July 20’s when the wheels fell off a bit, but WOW have we been busy. Also, it has been hot, and a storm knocked out our power for a couple of hours and I have been spending my time worrying about my air conditioner hitting my target temp of 67 degrees, OK? (We got the AC fixed, and I think it has been slowly breaking for awhile, and everyone is cold and wearing sweatshirts inside JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT)

THIS BOOK. A revelation: (But more about it below)

Maybe Read These:

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin: Meh. **Audio

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon: She’s good at churning out the spooky thrillers, and this was one that really freaked me out in places. **Audio

Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly: Adorable. But pretty predictable. **2022

The Lying Club by Annie Ward: This has everything I usually like— murder, private school dramZ, mom problems-- but it was just ok for me. **2022 

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton: This was so scary and suspenseful because the main character is NUTS and it’s hard to predict what she’ll do— really enjoyable listen. **Audio

Probably Read These:

Dusk, Night, Dawn by Anne Lamott: I really, really love her.

Cul-de-sac by Joy Fielding: LOVED this one and could not stop listening. **Audio

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center: I did not hate this one. **Audio

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan: This was slow for me until all of the sudden it wasn’t. A good thriller with characters who are more than their mystery types. **2022

Aurora by David Koepp: I flew through this one and am so excited for the movie. **2022

Happy for You by Claire Stanford: I have been wanting to read this one for months, but I kept forgetting to put it on hold. Finally, I did, and it was great. Funny, kind of sad, so satisfying. **2022

The Shore by Kate Runde: This was a lovely, spare little book. **2022

I Came All This Way To Meet You by Jami Attenberg: I love her books so much. This memoir was just ok for me, but I think it's because the audiobook narrator ( not the author) was kind of boring. **2022 **Audio

Definitely Read These:

So Happy for You by Celia Laskey: This one came up in my library search when I was requesting the Stanford book, so I got it, too, and I LOVED it. Such a funny critique of the neoliberal marriage industry. **2022

Are We There Yet by Kathleen West: Loved this gossipy novel set at a middle school and featuring lots of mom drama.

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand: Is it just me, or are her books getting better and better? After you have read a dozen or so of them, you start to recognize your old favorite characters who show up in the background, and I just admire that. **2022

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth: I always enjoy her books, but this one is her best yet. **2022

Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer: YES! This is a just a good, original read with good, original characters. **2022

Definitely Read These RIGHT AWAY

 Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild: So creepy and delightful— loved this completely insane narrator so much. **2022

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager: His best book yet, for sure. **2022 **Audio

New Kid by Jerry Craft: I started a banned books club for my middle grade readers with neighborhood friends, and this was out first pick. SO GREAT. Read it! (Preferably with the kids in your life).’]

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman: This book was both feel-good (yay!) and predictable (boo!), but I really like Abbi Waxman because she’s funny, and her characters are always charming. **2022 **Audio

Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris: So funny, of course. I also cried a couple of times. I read some of these essays in The New Yorker, but listening to him read them was a real treat. **Audio ** 2022

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder: OH MY GOODNESS. You all know I am weird about only choosing best-of books from the current year (as if I am a tastemaker LOLOLOLOL), but I cannot imagine reading a better book. It’s so weird and funny. Please read! **Audio

My faves this month:

This Month:

24 books

13 books published in 2022

 14 print and 10 audio

This Year:

150 books

60 books published in 2022

78 print books and 72 audiobooks