Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Hello from the beach

 I think this post will have fewer complaints than usual because I am writing it from bed, with the balcony doors open, listening to the ocean and watching dolphins jump in the water. I can hear my family screaming DOLPHIN every time one surfaces (at least 3– so close we can see that they are grey) from the kitchen balcony where Ben is making their breakfast. It’s pretty great.

Those are pics from last night on the beach right outside where we took the two least objectionable kids after telling Minnie the ice cream store across the street was closed (LIES) and putting her to bed at 8 pm (7pm where she is from) and telling the other two boys to fight it out among themselves, spoils to the  victor, etc (not sure what they were even fighting about but it went on all day.)

After the sun set, we sent Dorothy and Cooper upstairs with a round of ice cream concoctions for themselves and the big boys and went back to the bar for drinks and our own dessert. Vacay with bigger kids has its perks.
Salty Dog ice cream might be better than Babcock, and that is not something I say lightly, you guys.

So far we have eaten it every night.

Friday, June 14, 2024

5 on a Friday: HAPPY18th BIRTHDAY HARRY! (24/52)

 Harry is 18 today. That means this blog is also an adult today! A HUGE DAY YOU GUYS. I hope this blog does not spend all of its money on Lotto tickets or get drafted.

In honor of such a momentous occasion, here are 5 favorite pictures of Harry that have all graced the pages of his digital over-share of a baby book.

1. With my dad at CVS: Oh boy do I miss my dad, you guys. I only thought of him eleventy billion times graduation weekend, mostly when I was fervently wishing that we will all gather to celebrate Harry's college graduation in 4 years-- the very same group of people-- I want all of us together again. He was there, of course, in all of us-- especially Jon who Gar'd out on his Taco Bell run. HOW MANY TIMES did my dad take Ben and me through a drive through when he was our college DD (TOO MANY TO COUNT).

2.  With baby Minnie: He is a really excellent big brother, and watching him take care of his younger siblings is a joy.

3. Carrying on our love of competitive forensics and crushing it in high school competition (and getting a college scholarship to compete, although that's not pictured)

4. Winning the Little League season championship with his Coach Dad (He made the game-ending catch on third base, in fact).. Harry has always loved being on sportsball teams, and, like Ben, he has never met a sport he doesn't want to coach or provide color commentary for. His encyclopedic sports knowledge is impressive, and I love that he still loves baseball cards. He is still friends with kids from that very team, in fact, some of whom will play baseball in college. Core memory for sure.

5. This iconic shot of Harry in the PICU when he had to have his pericardial effusion drained in first grade. Speaking of core memories! Harry's weird heart thing (pretty sure that's the official diagnosis; I am a doctor, after all-- but, you know, not that kind) has made him more responsible, more resilient, and more apt to appreciate the small things.

Happy birthday, Harry!! 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dance! Recital! WEEEEEEKEND!!


The above picture of post-recital Minnie basically sums it up: The recital was amazing and we all needed a large drink after.


We missed the dress rehearsal (for graduation), which is usually Dorothy's and my favorite day of the year because we gorge on pancakes afterwards. But! We made up for it with post-recital brunch, and I was able to run Minnie by the theater on Friday to practice her dance on the stage and see the backstage quick change area. The college-tuition-amount of money we spend on dance team is worth it just to be in the wings for the recital-- so much more fun than the basement dressing rooms.

Some post-show adoration:

Me, creeping in the wings:

Minnie explained the rules of go fish and dealt the cards LOL
OMG you guys. SO CUTE.

Look at all these beautiful teachers watching the preschool dancers-- heart eyes.
Modeling their costumes at home before the show:

So happy we had such a large crowd in the audience

YAY!! Another lovely recital at Move Out Loud!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Graduation weekend! A delight.

Dorothy spent the whole day in bed on Friday while family gathered in our house— first Ben’s parents, then my brother and his partner and their brand new pupppppppy, then my mom and her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s son and his partner. Languishing just like someone with scarlet fever should. **head desk**


He is the CUTEST little 4 month old Australian shepherd. 
Bites only a little.
I ran out  for last minute hostess things when Ben’s parents took Minnie to the zoo and Ben and Caleb tucked themselves away in separate corners to work remotely. I also got the sickie some reading material
Some lunch supplies. THE ESSENTIALS

Minnie spent much of the day directing her grandparents as they built castles and train tracks.

 I was concerned about what to do for dinner, since the restaurant we picked for graduation is a fancy pizza place, and pizza is my usual default for a large group. We had a party of 15 (including Dorothy, who felt WAY BETTER after 3 doses and 24 hours on amoxicillin), so I grabbed cookies, chips, a veggie tray, and a fruit bowl from Costco** and ordered sandwiches from the boys’ favorite sub shop— all to eat picnic style at a brewery that calls itself Wisconsin’s backyard. It was SUPER CROWDED, but Ben’s parents and the older kids staked out an excellent spot. We bought beers and soda, goofed around with a football near a cute little pond, and listened to a local band. PERFECT.

After the grandparents went to bed, we had a few cocktails in the backyard, and Harry tried on a variety of shirts, ties, and shoes with his regalia before deciding to borrow a tie from Ben, wear his favorite shirt, and appropriate some of Ben’s shoes (none of his final sartorial choices are pictured here).

A friend of Harry’s called to ask for a sober ride home from a grad party, and it was really late, so we told Harry he had to bring an adult with him (even though none of the adults was up to operating a motor vehicle.) He chose my brother, who ended up footing the bill for a Taco Bell run, hoping to sober up the kid, and I think the former fraternity prez was a terrific choice. The rest of us drank tiny bottles of Fireball (a pantry staple at my super classy house) and ate leftover lunch pie while arguing that we were each actually the cool one and the person H should have picked LOL.

Final outfit decision:
Grad party favors:

Graduation day was cool and rainy, but we could not let the weather dampen our spirits. 

We actually got to the giant arena dome EARLY which is not usually a thing my kids are familiar with

For a ceremony with 500 graduates, the pomp and circumstance was efficient.

We planned plenty of time for pictures

After pics, we braved graduation exit traffic and met 8 more well wishers (Ben’s sister’s fam and my aunt, as well as Steve’s son and his wife) for a 21-person lunch at Lucille, which was the perfect venue.

(My dress was def too big and I really wish I had tried on  smaller sizes, but I really really love it anyway)

We had cake back at our house and handed out our Eau Claire swag but OF COURSE forgot to take a pic of everyone in their hats.

We spent the rest of the night eating leftovers, drinking a variety of local beers that Ben has been collecting for weeks, and playing euchre with big cards.

A prefect graduation weekend!

**Shout out to Costco because you guys! We served MOST OF THE PREPARED FOODS they sell for Thursday and Friday lunch and Friday dinner accessories, as well as off-meal snacks all weekend long. **chef’s kiss**