Tuesday, February 28, 2023


 Thanks for your comments on my snow day rant— I loved the whole conversation.

Minnie cannot go to Target without falling in love with a puffy dress and wearing it with mismatched leggings and gym socks. NEVER CHANGE, MINNIE.

Above is what real Sconnies wear outside to shovel snow, and below, please find Minnie checking under Cooper’s bed for monsters with his reading light, something she does every single day.
I found a roll of washi tape and a stack of old pictures while tidying my office today, and now every surface has a row of impossibly tiny kid faces taped to it.

After reading Nicole’s wonderful favorite things post, I bought this eye serum, and it is changing my life. No more Preparation H under my eyes, that’s for sure.
Also! My daily moisturizer is no longer available on Amazon or at Target (has it been discontinued?? No, don’t tell me), so I switched to ROC. Will I hate it? Stay tuned. 
IS THAT TOOTHPASTE IN THE FOREGROUND? I think so. I blame Ben. Forget separate beds and bring on separate bathrooms.

It’s the sliver of tummy for me.

I mean. What do YOU wear to the grocery store?

I put paper on the table to keep Minnie busy while I cleaned up dinner, and then Jack used the space for algebra, and it was adorable

I am probably in a meeting or at baby swim class while you read this. LIVING THE DREAM, my friends.

Monday, February 27, 2023

5 on a Monday: Snow Day Rants

I wrote this last week and didn't post it because it was so ranty, but...  

1. I love snow days-- LOVE THEM-- but the middle-class moms pearl-clutching about them on social media is driving me bonkers. I especially hate when the social media complaints are framed as "the children need to be at school" or "we just wanted a little normal today." Um. Lady. Did we not just come off of like 2 years of virtual school???  A couple of days? Probably fine. Just say what you mean: MY KIDS BEING HOME FROM SCHOOL WHEN I AM USED TO HAVING THEM IN CARE INFRINGES ON MY TIME AND MAKES ME ANXIOUS AND KIND OF ANNOYED. Also? It is normal for children to be in their homes with their grown-ups. It's, like, literally where we live. Together.

2. I love snow days, but boy do they expose AGAIN how much we need our schools to do and how incredibly angry we get when they cannot rise to the impossible task. Like, let's not worry that corporate America is still organized round the myth of the disembodied worker without any care needs (for himself or other people) because we can BOARD OUR CHILDREN AT SCHOOL DURING MOST OF THE WORK DAY and at after-school programs that are pretty pricey for places that pay untrained workers minimum wage for the other few hours and pretend that things are mostly ok. But then! SCHOOLS CLOSE and we realize there is a HUGE PROBLEM with an economy that demands dual earners but does not give any shits about childcare because that is lady work. And what do we do? RAGE AGAINST SCHOOLS for closing their doors. (Also-- remember this expensive wrap-care thing in a minute because it makes me stabby when people can buy into a classist system (literally and figuratively) when it serves them and their own nuclear family but then pretend to be super concerned about all children when they have an unexpected childcare-free day or 3. Demand better childcare support for everyone every day-- vote for it. Harass your reps about it. Hassle your company for it. Organize your colleagues to ask for it collectively. Spend your money at companies that treat their workers like connected humans.).

3. I love snow days because I am living the most privileged of privileged lives and can love them. My kids are mostly neuro-typical (bad executive function doesn't impair a snow day!). My job is not an asshole. My spouse can sort of be around, too. We have plenty to eat and lots of fun things to do. We have a warm house and resources to fund a plan B if the power goes out. Everything is going right for us to enjoy a snow day (or 2 in a row followed by a teacher in-service which is what happened this week), and I wish everyone could feel happy to have their kids home because kids should look back at snow days with uncomplicated joy-- what a fun, cozy surprise they are! Also! I wish we could direct our collective anger at a system (late-stage capitalism? neo-liberalism? dying democracy?) that isn't serving us instead of at schools or at moms who like a houseful of kids. My happiness isn't making your school close, you know? Also, MADISON'S INABILITY TO CLEAR THE SNOW FROM THE STREETS is the bad guy here. So at least let's rage against city officials who only plow side streets when we have 3 inches of snow but don't make exceptions for ICE. And! All workers should be able to cope with unexpected care needs as they pop up without fearing repercussions at work. We need to demand a better system.

4. I love snow days, but I hate social media middle class lady tears imploring fellow moms to think of children from underserved populations when what they mean to say is MY KIDS BEING HOME FROM SCHOOL WHEN I AM USED TO HAVING THEM IN CARE INFRINGES ON MY TIME AND MAKES ME ANXIOUS AND KIND OF ANNOYED.  I have a lot of issues with my kids' school district, but I absolutely think that decision makers take the needs of all kids into consideration when they close school. They know that kids are from houses where food is scarce. They know little kids might be left alone or in not ideal care circumstances because their parents have to work. They know that the pandemic and access to resources for virtual schools widened existing achievement gaps. And they still make the call to close school for public safety. It's a sad vestige of COVID that we have lost the ability to trust the decision makers.


Friday, February 24, 2023

In the middle of 3 days of no school **yikes face**

 I wrote like a super ranty post about moms complaining about having their kids home from school for 2 snow days and a teacher in-service and scheduled it to post, but, I don’t know. It’s very ranty.

We sure did have 2 snow days in a row and then a teacher in-service though. Phew! That’s a whole lot for a work week.

I am addicted to the way Minnie asks for books. She reads one to herself for awhile and then finds me wherever I am and says “THIS BOOK. YOU READ IT ME.”

She is VERY into tea parties right now.
Reading to herself is the cutest.
She’s working on pouring.
YOU BET we busted out the bounce house. Only Dorothy and Minnie can bounce in it, but the boys had fun playing with Minnie and remembering their own bouncing days. TWO DAYS OF FUN.

We also got some mileage out of blanket forts

Also!! Never underestimate the power of some craft paper, colored pencils, and painter’s tape

Dorothy and Minnie both donned Dorothy’s old ballet costumes and did some pretty adorable dancing

We played Disney Trivia ad nauseam

Dorothy’s current read. She is also watching Outer Banks— she’s made it through both old seasons to start the new one on time.

But also she is playing Calico Critters in her Elsa castle. Nine on the very edge of 10 indeed.

Harry asked me to make crock pot Mac and cheese which no one else really likes. AND THEN HE SPENT THE NIGHT WITH HIS FRIEND AND LEFT US TO EAT IT. Cool cool.
Future goalie
That post-mani smile

Thursday, February 23, 2023

2023 Check In #2

 Things I have done:

Mani/pedi: I squeezed this in on an afternoon, and it was perfect. I felt a little bit anxious that I was using precious time without Min for something silly, but whatever.

Still faithfully exercising and avoiding coffee shops except for after TLG class. I am flossing like crazy, and my new electric toothbrush gets my teeth so clean it looks like there’s something caught between my front teeth but actually it is SPACE— so that’s ironic. Flossing great! Teeth look unflossed! My bday girlfriend trip has stalled and my college gf zoom calls are on hiatus because LIFE, but these get-together goals are still looming large. Literally HATE tracking my spending, but I am plugging away. So far, my first 2 weeks of the year were the cheapest and every other week makes me want to puke. The random surprise spending bombs! I cannot escape them. Most recently: black AF1s for one of Dorothy’s dances which just made me think about the shoes I am going to have to buy for all her other dances.

I have made a bit of progress on the brownie front. I just read this article and am psyched to try it. These were pretty good, especially with mint chip ice cream and chocolate sauce:

Also! Even though it’s annoying to me and kind of just gross, I have Minnie’s Minnie Mouse potty chair out all the time in her bathroom so she can try to use it whenever she’d like to. Reluctant progress on the potty front, I guess. I am ready to wean, but I am pretty sure she would like to nurse forever.

Still no Botox, but still obsessing about it. Ditto on the e-reader. House updates are non existent, but I am getting really really sick of my house in a way that usually precedes major action, so expect updates soon.

The only thing we have totally dropped the ball on so far is the water park visit. Dorothy got strep, so our weekend last month feel through. We begged her to have her birthday party at a water park, but she chose an arcade instead. So. WATER PARK— in the next 30 days? Maaaaaaaaybe. Spring break season is not when I want to go to the Dells— like, hey, you can get COVID and diarrhea AT THE SAME TIME.

Last Dells trip, approximately one million years ago: (I STILL WEAR THAT SWIMSUIT THO)
How about you? How are you goals/aspirations going? Gretchen Rubin calls 2/28 determination day because most people have given up the ghost on their New Year’s resolutions by then, and she says we can use that day to redouble our efforts instead. Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

High five to future me: the meal prep edition

 This shouldn't be so revolutionary to me, but old habits die hard, I guess.

Instead of passing out on the couch at like 9:00, I have been spending 30 or so minutes after I put the kids to bed and take a shower prepping the next day's dinner. Is this what I deeply want to be doing in my heart of hearts?  Um. No, not really. BUT. Dinner has to be prepped, and isn't it better to do the work with Ben's help and a glass of wine and no toddler running around getting hangry? I mean, yeah. It is.

And it has been a dream to just have dinner READY. Like, we had fish tacos, and the fish was prepped in the fridge waiting for the air fryer. I pre-made sauce and also pineapple salsa, and the whole dinner was on the table in less than 15 minutes. AND! Ben and Cooper could eat before hockey, and Minnie and I could eat with the boys later (Dorothy has a long night at dance and takes a packed lunch to eat between classes) because I could air fry the fish individually. One night, we had chicken salads with miso dressing, and I filled my covered veggie tray with all the toppings and cooked the chicken the night before. Tonight is slow cooker mac and cheese, and the mac and cheese sat ready to go in the crock pot over night waiting to be plugged in 3 hours before dinner. The chicken is all seasoned and is hanging out in a casserole dish anticipating its time in the oven,I’m sure, and the broccoli has been washed and cut and is chilling (LITERALLY— it’s in the fridge) on a cookie sheet with some butter, salt, and pepper.

Will this habit last? I don't have super high hopes to be honest. If I can make it through one bout of PMS with meal prep still happening, then I think I have a chance... It takes like 60-some days for a habit to stick, right? So let’s see if I am still night-prepping meals in May? I am concerned it will be like school lunches. The kids were making their own, and then things got busy and I stepped in ONE DAY and suddenly it was SECOND SEMESTER and I was packing elementary bentos on the regular. That’s how it will happen, you know? One day I will skip prep to collapse on the couch and then suddenly its’ my 35th witching hour in a row managing raw meat and marinade and toddler TV requests and fifth grade long division and high school dramZ all at the same time.

This salad was THE BEST. I worked super late on Monday so I could just bring Coop home from dive practice on campus at 7, and this salad was waiting for me after I FINALY put the world’s most stalling-est toddler to bed. Arugula! Peppers! Carrots! Blanched snap peas! Mandarin oranges! Green onion! Tomato! Roasted chicken breast! Crunchy noodles! Miso dressing! A TASTE EXPLOSION.

Ben chopped the veggies while I cooked the chicken and prepped potatoes and cleaned up

Fish taco prep happening, and  another bonus! It’s so much easier to clean dinner up when the major prep mess is all dealt with the day before.

A few months ago I read The Lazy Genius Kitchen and ever since then, I have been psyching myself up to make my kitchen work better for me. It took a hot second because our kitchen is big with lots of  drawers and cabinets, and they were all a freaking mess.

Saturday, though, Minnie, Dorothy, and I were home alone all day doing NOTHING, and I finally got to work.

I took EVERYTHING down from above the cabinets (except the old crystal we have from Ben’s grandparents and the antique cookie jar from my grandma’s kitchen that I legit do not want to get broken) and found homes for it in the cabinets, and I got rid of 3 contractor’s bags full of stuff. Some broken, chipped, or otherwise decommissioned that could be recycled and a ton of donations. I only kept water bottles with lids,. And there is a WHOLE DRAWER just for lids and straws. I have another drawer just for baking needs (I CAN MEASURE ANYTHING NOW DOWN TO THE 1/8 tsp) and one for spoons, spatulas, and spoon rests located RIGHT NEXT TO THE STOVE DUH.

I can now grab a cookie jar when I have fresh bakes or actually use my juicer to make salsa instead of just squeezing limes with my hands and fishing out the seeds. THERE IS AN ENTIRE EMPTY SWATH OF COUNTER because I have room to store my chopper, blender, and sandwich maker out of sight. (I did not touch my 2 shameful spice cabinets because I could not bear it. SOMEDAY MAYBE).


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Well, actually, it turned out to be a whole sick WEEK

Is it even a snow day without a snow monster with a veggie face and “dick” arms? I DON’T THINK SO.

Scarlet fever or just that post-nap glow?
TFW the pool deck is your runway
I AM proud of our snow mound. Why do you ask?
Minnie, on her way to yoga class.
TFW the only outfit you’ll wear is in the wash
Dorothy only weights 20-some pounds more than Minnie.

I must say, my camera roll from last week is kind of puny. I think because I was kind of puny all week. I worked remotely all of the days and got a TON done, but I barely left the couch any day, expect to check all of my exercise boxes because I am nothing if not a rule follower. The thought of driving downtown, parking in my garage, walking to my office— it was very overwhelming. By the end of each day, I was exhausted and fell into bed, and, even though my cough persisted, I FINALLY started to feel ok by Saturday morning. YUCK. BUT THEN! I went to hockey on Saturday afternoon. Our local ice rink is in a bit of financial pickle since it is owned privately (surrounding rinks are city-owned-- at least partially-- and have plenty of funds for upkeep and expansion) and needs some serious work. Right now, to keep the ice cold, they are using a chiller outside in a semi-truck because the rink chiller is broken, and they can't have ANY HEAT in the building. It's SO COLD. Anyway, after the game, I couldn't get warm at all, had chills, and developed muscle aches. I felt almost as yucky as I did last week and went to bed at like 8:30.

Everyone else in my house (except Harry who also feels intermittently awful and makes me think it's a virus and not some sort of terminal thing that I only I have that has just revealed itself) bounced ALL THE WAY BACK within 24 hours. Again, YUCK.

I am so glad Minnie is not in daycare or preschool because I am sure our illness exposure would be worse, and I am not sure I could handle worse. She is all signed up to start 3K in the fall (!!!!) 3 mornings a week, so I am sure I will be complaining plenty about cold and flu season in like 8 short months. GET EXCITED, FRIENDS.