Monday, October 30, 2023

Sandwich Parenting

 On one hand, we are staying up late waiting for our high school sophomore to be done at his fall play cast party.

On the other hand, our 3 year-old has a bad dream and needs to sleep in my bed at 4 am.


This past weekend, we enjoyed a robust mix of big and little-kid stuff. 

First, though, another dance dress up day on Thursday:

Friday morning, Minnie reminded us that “hot chocolate” is her favorite thing about fall (even though she had never in her entire life had hot chocolate), and Dorothy asked for a cozy breakfast. Sooooo, I went with a high/low version of cozy breakfast, kind of like those IG outfit posts with $30 jeans and a $750 blazer.

We did delicious homemade stovetop cocoa and cinnamon rolls from a tube (yay/**whomp whomp**)

Then it was the moment Minnie has been waiting for her whole life since she found out it was a thing: COSTUME DAY AT SCHOOL!!

Side note: Minnie’s beloved teacher was out sick, so they had a sub AND everyone looked different in costumes AND they were making witches’ brew for snack— so many changes. I left a very discombobulated group of 3 year olds (and did not look back because 3 hours of freedom goes FAST).

Friday night, Dorothy and I went with Harry to see Jack’s fall play (Rumors by Neil Simon). It was darling, and Jack played an excellent tough guy.

Saturday morning, Cooper scored four goals to open his hockey season, and we tagged along for excellent donuts 

(Why yes, that IS a formal holiday dress from Costco, why do you ask?)

I went shopping (jeans! A sweater! A cute tunic! Ridiculous hot pink platform Mary Janes!) while Ben took one for the team and supervised pumpkin carving

The it was BEN’S turn to watch the play (with Coop who missed opening night for hockey practice)
We planned to go out while Jack was at his cast party, but the party went from10-12 and most bars near us close at 11. SO GREAT **eye roll**. 

We ended up dropping him off, going home to take showers and out on our pajamas, and then going back to get him. Harry was like oh cool I stayed home to babysit for that, and we agreed. And yet, sandwich parenting, you know??

Hey— by the way— catch me at Elisabeth’s blog today!!!!

Friday, October 27, 2023

5 on a Friday: Things That Sucked About Yesterday

 1. It rained all day. ALL DAY. And I had the muppet-looking pigtails to prove it.

2. I decided to only record 3 lectures in a super fancy recording studio and knock off early to go to Costco because my family ate 2 boxes of Halloween candy bars, and our dinner menu said “something from Costco.” I got SOAKED walking from the fancy recording studio to my building and decided to see if the software I needed was on the podcast suite computer in our media center, thinking I could record without the terrible walk at least and sort of at my leisure. It wasn’t, so I stopped by someone’s office to ask them if it could be and to see if the university had a license for the software for my own computer. It did!! I suddenly pictured myself recording lectures in my closet on rainy days instead of getting soaked on campus, needing to schedule rooms in advance, etc. BUT. To install the software, I needed a key, etc. I decided to stay on campus and get my computer ready with IT supervision. This sucked because it was time less well spent than either recording more OR shopping. But just wait…

3. To install the software, I needed to update my iOS. Which completely crashed my Mac Book Air. That’s 5 years old and scheduled to be replaced next week but also hasn’t been backed up for 1300 days because I AM STUPID.**

4. IT has my computer. . . Indefinitely? Also I was at work past 6 and never went to Costco.

5. Harry lost his wallet which had my Target card in it, and I was stuck in  horrible loop of trying to cancel the card without the card (I instantly deleted it from my app because STUPID which meant I had no card numbers anywhere) and a bunch of automated menus that couldn’t help me without my card numbers and BLERGH!

** Most things are in the cloud, I am pretty sure. BUT STILL. GAH. (The data is still on my machine, so eventually, all will be fine, and my new computer is GOLD (Starlight), but still— NOT IDEAL when I am crunched for TIME. LONG, DEDICATED WORK DAYS do not grow on trees.

**Harry got a new ID at school, got a temporary drivers license online, and went to the bank and got a new ATM card, after freezing and then unlocking his account. Adulting 101!!

5 things that do not suck— 2023-2024 SCHOOL PICTURES:

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Brain dump with cute costumed kids

 Ben is finishing up his current job and preparing to start his new job, and I am just in a holding pattern, noting parts of my current schedule that were desperately in need of a change AND ALSO mourning things we HAVE to change.

The Little Gym.

 You guys. We aren’t going to be able to keep Min in her preschool gymnastics class.

 I am irrationally sad about this. 

I mean, ok, we could keep her in. Like, logistically, it is sort of possible. BUT. Her preschool is very much not a daycare. And yet! She is going to go there every day— but as part of 2 different classes, the 3-day class she already attends and also a 2-day class taught by the same teacher. Soooo, she will have 2 different friend groups. 

Little Gym is during the 2-day class, and I could keep her out and send her to gym or pick her up early for gym BUT that seemed weird since then she would just have 1 day with her 2-day friends (and be the only kid there for 1 day), or she’d miss all the end of day stuff, which she truly loves at school, and I would have to cut out work time, which is silly when I am feeling the pinch. 

There are no Little Gym classes in our afternoon schedule sweet spot. There is a class in the evening one day a week, but our evenings are BANANAS, so that’s not really an option. We are going to try a Saturday class for a few weeks since we have an extra month on our billing cycle, but with hockey, etc, I am not sure we want a weekend commitment for her, especially since we are moving her swim lessons (def keeping her in those— she is on a roll) to Sunday.

A frustrating preschool schedule note: classes are either DURNG NURSERY SCHOOL HOURS (that 8-12 time frame) or DURING BIG KID ACTIVITIES (the 4-6 time frame). Like, both swim and gym are closed from 12-4. WHAT.

ANYWAY. We are losing the Little Gym, and I am super sad about it.

I will say that our current gym day is a cluster of a day for me, and having work time instead is going to be WONDERFUL. I do feel kind of frantic on my current days that move from Minnie’s school pick up to big kid activity hell with just the briefest stop at home, but it s a home-mom frantic since my work mom self gets plenty of time to function. More days like that will make work mom happy for sure, but home mom? Is going to need to outsource some STUFF.

Ben and I are taking a wait and see approach with a google doc to note scheduling and workload issues when they arise and plans to check in at intervals to see what’s working and what needs a tweak. We have bandaid fixes for my current semester, the spring with some breathing room to keep developing a rhythm, and plans to be efficient AF by fall 2024.

But really? I didn’t plan to just whine about my schedule. I wanted to dump some darling pics ahead of even more costumed revelry.

The girls’ dance studio does HALLOWEEN WEEK. This year, that means Tuesday-Thursday of this week and Monday next week are COSTUME DAYS (no class Tuesday, duh).

Dorothy lewk 1:

Minnie also went as a bunny to her dance class, and she wore Dorothy’s old ballet costume

Also, serious dancing Minnie KILLS ME. Here’s hip hop Minnie:

And ballet Minnie

Dorothy showed her true colors for dance day 2:
And! Minnie had a skill celebration class at the Little Gym, meaning parents got to go in (lovely), and she wore a costume. It was so cute that maybe we should just, um, never go back? Make a clean break?

Side note: I have been hanging onto that Pottery Barn Kids skeleton costume since COOPER was TWO, and finally! Minnie wanted to be a skeleton for her Little Gym class. ONLY I COULD NOT FIND THE MASK, which has been living in Dorothy’s top dresser drawer for EIGHT YEARS. But she broke her dresser and got a new one last weekend, and I moved the mask and LOST IT after 8 years of saving space in my brain to know where it was JUST IN CASE we had another fat skeleton. (Found it in the laundry room on a hook. THANK GOODNESS).

Halloween, 2015:

One more random thing: she chose maybe the ugliest dresser I have ever seen in my life (we went to a million local furniture stores and wanted one that was the same dimensions of her old dresser and and ready to come home instantly, so she didn’t have THAT many choices. Still.) YOU GUYS:

(There is a bed to match this baby that is rimmed in LED lights AND chrome. PRAY FOR ME).

Monday, October 23, 2023

Weekend whines

 Our COVID and flu vaccines (although I am SURE it was the COVID shot because I am a loyal flu shot recipient and this has never happened to me before) DESTROYED US this weekend. Well. Destroyed Ben and me, anyway. The kids were all fine (Minnie and Cooper might be coming down with something today (BECAUSE OF COURSE) but they were fine yesterday).

We got vaccinated at 1:20 on Saturday, en masse, and by 7pm, I had really bad leg pain and felt chilled. Ben mocked me (HE MOCKED ME!), and we worked together to put the kids to bed, but by the time we were bundled in blankets on the couch waiting for Harry to come home, he had a fever of 102 (SERVES HIM RIGHT THO), and I had the most terrible headache of my life.

Neither one of us slept well because we had just awful body aches (at one point, lying on my back, I could feel every vertebrae because EACH ONE WAS ACHING) and were FREEZING despite multiple layers. 

Sunday was more of the same. I didn’t even feel well enough to drink coffee, which is huge for me. I would take ibuprofen, feel a little better for a little while, and then feel rotten again until it was time to take Tylenol, etc. And my arm! OMGGGGGG. I couldn’t even lift it above my shoulder. 

We decided that next year, one of us will get vaccinated a few days before the rest of the group so that both adults aren’t out of commission at once because the very worst part was doing all of the usual Sunday things and feeling like death warmed over.

After dinner last night (pizza, natch), I took another dose of Tylenol because eff my liver, right? While I waited for my fever to break, I climbed into bed with Dorothy (she felt ok-ish compared to us but stayed mostly in bed in her jammies all day watching The Simpsons) and slept for an hour before it was time to put Minnie to bed, and that was my favorite time of the whole day (except for the 45 minutes I spent in a scalding hot epsom salt soak— thank you to the house-building Sarah who made sure we have super deep soaking tubs).

In the middle of the night on Saturday (or early Sunday morning?) Ben was moaning, I think I have COVID, which did make me laugh, even though laughing hurt my head. Cross your fingers that these vaccines do their jobs.

(Also, I have never had a shot reaction before— did this happen to anyone else? Maybe it was both at once? Maybe I got a different brand this time? JUST LUCKY?)

Friday, October 20, 2023

5 on a Friday: Things I am loving right now

 1. Baby dance. NEED I SAY MORE? LOOK AT THIS PICTURE? (Also the sign says September, but it was def October)

2. The Milio’s Snack-which— the perfect sized sandwich—FINALLY. Comes in SO HANDY when I do not have my ish together to assemble my lunch. WHICH IS ALL OF THE TIME.

3.  Salted caramel brownies— but the easy way. Use your favorite brownie mix and make it cakey with an extra egg. Line your fave baking pan with parchment and put half the mix in the pan. Then unwrap an entire freaking bag of Kraft caramel cubes and melt 3/4 of the bag with some (?) heavy whipping cream in the microwave. Spread the melted caramel over the brownie mix; sprinkle with kosher salt; top with the rest of the brownie mix. Bake it as you normally would and when the brownies come out, melt the other 1/4 bag of caramels and drizzle over the top. SO GOOD. Do not overcook though— they are better a little squishy than dry. I have made these twice recently, and I have no regrets.

4.  Two Good vanilla yogurt— it might be the perfect snack.

5. Clinique! I have not dabbled in this brand for decades, but I got a couple of moisturizers, plus a couple of lipsticks, an eyeliner,  and a mascara, and teenage me was ONTO SOMETHING.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023


 Minnie is like the most stereotypical pandemic baby who is now out in the wild around her peers. Every time someone coughs in her direction she needs antibiotics. An exaggeration, but barely. This week, it is an ear infection. 


(she was up for 2.5 hours in the middle of the night last night and oh my goodness.)

UGH. I swear I had a whole post planned in my head but then I WORKED instead of blogging LIKE A CHUMP, and now I do not remember anything. BOO.

Except! Pomodoro! I thought this time management method would be good for Jack because his AP history class as a pretty daunting notes assignment every week, and he hates getting started and often leaves a bunch of it until Thursday night/Friday morning despite having SEVEN DAYS to do it, etc. So I introduced him to this method where you work for 25 minutes and then take a short break, repeat, etc. He likes it OK, but I? LOVE IT.

I am grading my midterms myself instead of having my TA grade them because it is a new exam, and I want to see if the questions are assessing what I thought they were, etc, and the Pomodoro method is genius for grading— GENIUS, I tell you. My grading muscle is out of shape, so I have loved having a structure. (Also this is for my 100-person lecture, not the 68-section class I direct, so not as overwhelming as it seems).

That is how Minnie went to swim lessons the other day— I am THE WORST.

Minnie has The Force, by the way. AND SHE IS POTTY TRAINED! All of the sudden! It just clicked for her. Such a big girl.