Monday, February 18, 2013

The Longest Long Weekend Ever (and a Lost Tooth)

I love my children, I really do. Let me just say that first, to soften the blow of what I say next. Which is... I am SO tired of my children. So, so tired.

I had a long week at work last week, involving two VERY early wake-ups on Tuesday and Wednesday. Before I had fully recovered from that, M. winged his way off to Boston for the entire long weekend. He boards a return flight in about 20 minutes, and should (fingers crossed) be home by around dinner time tonight. The nearly 5 days that he has been gone took an eternity to go by. The kids and I survived, but I can't say that this was my easiest "single parenting" gig.

It was kicked off by Finn coming down with a cough/headache/fever on Thursday night. We've all had broken sleep for every single one of the last 4 nights (WHY can't modern medicine figure out a way to treat a cough, FTLOG), with me up multiple times each night for Finn AND Lucy (2 a.m. this morning ushered in a tearfully angry Lucy standing in the hall with her hands on her hips shouting at me that she "HAS TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!" - not understanding that I had turned my fan on to drown out the sounds of Finn's coughing after I administered less-than-helpful drugs, and couldn't hear her the first few times she called for me. It was magical and restful, as you can imagine). Finn only managed to stay fever-free without ibuprofen as of this morning, just in time for Lucy to start feeling horrible. I have a feeling we are ushering in another few days of sick kidness.

So to recap, not only were both kids home with me on Saturday and Sunday, but Finn was also home with me on Friday, and both kids are home with me today (gone are the days when I can just drop them both off at daycare on some of these minor holidays). Aside from a brief birthday party interlude and the guy at the grocery store fish counter, I've been bereft of adult conversation. I may order pizza tonight just so I can speak to someone over the age of 6.

We're capping the weekend off with a trip to the dentist today for both kids. Making it the seventh kid dental visit in a row that M. has squirreled his way out of. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

On a brighter note, THIS happened:

First lost tooth - one for the virtual baby book! February 18, 2013. Sorry for the slightly gory photos, but such is the nature of parenthood, I suppose. I have one excited Kindergartner who is eagerly anticipating his first visit from the Tooth Fairy tonight. Which M. will have to coordinate, as I plan to be officially off duty.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Musical Dresses

Watching the Grammy's and loving:
1) Adele - she is so beautiful and smart and SUCH a great example to girls everywhere. I heart her. And desperately want to know her baby's name, because I'm pyscho like that. Also I'd like to be her best friend. And sing like her, obvs. Basically, I could at any moment become crazy stalker-y over her.
2) Neil Patrick Harris - of course. Who doesn't love him? I would ALSO like to be best friends with him. And if we're making a list, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, too.
3) fun. - I've documented my love for them before. They sing with such enthusiasm and emotion, even if they are a little on the odd side.
4) Mumford and sons - how is the lead singer singing, playing guitar, and playing a drum with his foot? And do they really NOT have a drummer? I never would have known.

NOT loving:
1) Taylor Swift - something about her bugs me. She's too choreographed. It doesn't look like she has real, actual fun on stage
2) L.L. Cool J's monologue - though luckily I was able to fast forward through a bunch after I paused to TV to attend to a persnickety Lucy who insisted her blankets weren't arranged correctly.
3) J. Lo's dress - She'll be topping all the Worst Dressed lists, for sure.

But this is not a live-blogging of the Grammy's, this is a post to document Lucy's new clothing purchases from this weekend. While we were out (at Target, naturally), we kept an eye out for a dress that Lucy might be able to wear to my cousin's upcoming April wedding. We found one, and somehow in the process, Lucy conned us into buying not one but THREE new dresses for her. She is in seventh heaven. This is a prime time for adorable fancy girl dresses, what with the upcoming Easter holiday. We struck out in the boy's section, though - we'll have to hunt another day for a shirt/tie/vest/pants ensemble for Finn (he is less than excited about this, but I will prevail). Without further ado, Lucy's new dresses:

This dress is the contender for the wedding:

Sorry for the blurry photo - this is an adorable purple dress that might see some action on Easter sunday:

Here is Lucy showing off the purple dress in a video of her "swirling," the entire reason she likes wearing dresses:

And here is the one Lucy INSISTED we buy for her. She wore it today to a birthday party and got lots of compliments, mostly from adults wondering if it came in their size. I kind of agree, I'd wear it in a heartbeat:

Finn may not have gotten new finery to wear this weekend, but because of some stellar behavior at school over the past two weeks, he scored himself the Clone Trooper alarm clock that he's been begging for. He insisted on using it for Sunday morning, but apparently he was so excited that he was already well awake before it went off this morning:

And finally, bonus photo of Lucy snuggling with M. this morning. Dads are comfy:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I'm SUPER loopy, because I was up until about 1:45 a.m. last night working on worky stuff, and up again at the crack of dawn to head to a meeting in Arlington, VA. And I'm on the rag. Sooooo, ~ 3 hours of sleep plus stress plus fresh hormones, and this will be a slap-dash and likely nonsensical set of updates.

1) Finn's Kindergarten situation: This turned out to be much ado about nothing, as Finn is NOT moving to the newly created Kindergarten classroom. He is staying with his original teacher, as is his best friend. Plus he's been doing very well behavior-wise lately, and brought home an excellent report card last week. I will say that I did meet the new Kindergarten teacher, and heard how the transition for the kids moving would occur, and I was very reassured. She was lovely and positive and nice the way, magically, all Kindergarten teachers are (though I did question her choice to wear leggings as pants when meeting a large majority of the Kindergarten parents - coming from a person who has done this herself, but never in a "professional" setting, so...). The transition plan was thorough, and I would have been OK if Finn had been selected to change classrooms. But he was not, so there you go. And the upside is that his class size went from 28 to 23, so it's really a win/win for everyone.

2) Finn has his first loose tooth!!!!! And also, his first adult tooth. Which has started coming up through his gums behind the loose tooth, before it has fallen out. Blerg. I'm encouraging him to wiggle his tooth to make it more inclined to fall out, though M. thinks I'm crazy. But I don't want us to be faced with the possibility of Finn having to have a tooth pulled by the dentist if this thing doesn't come out on it's own, so wiggle encouragement it is. I need to lay in a stash of quarters and/or crisp dollar bills. I asked Facebook to tell me what the Tooth Fairy brings these days, but mainly got answers that I find unacceptable (i.e., too spendy). I'm pretty sure our Tooth Fairy brings $1 a tooth - that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

3) I signed up for Weight Watchers, again. Online only, not the in-person meetings. Things are getting desperate. Too many cupcakes and too little restraint. I also signed myself up for a 5K in April. I'm turning this ship around, stat! First "weigh-in" (aka me stepping on my bathroom scale) is tomorrow. Pretty sure the wine I had tonight and the potato chips DARPA served me today won't help, but at least I was a good girl the rest of the week. Which really just means I was good on Monday and Tuesday, since I didn't sign up until after the debauchery of this past weekend. I could have used Monday as my weigh-in day, but wanted to pick Thursday instead because strategically it's a much better day. You can let loose over the weekend [to a degree], and then still have plenty of time to walk the straight and narrow during the work week before the weigh-in.

I'd write more, but I'm beyond tired and going to bed now. It's a pitiful amount of updates, just three - not even sure why I numbered it, since you can barely even call it a list. But something is better than nothing, right?

Update to my updates: It is now Thursday morning, and since I've had some sleep (yay!), my mind is clear enough to remind me that I wanted to show you a photo of how Finn looked yesterday when he came home from participating in his after-school program's "Crazy Hair Club":

We get to look forward to similar such creations every Monday and Wednesday for the rest of the month. His hair was SO STIFF. He loved it. Cutie.

Also, I was down 5 pounds from Monday at my "weigh-in" (still can't take it seriously when it's just on my bathroom scale - I  feel like I need the technology and audience and sheer scale from the Biggest Loser weigh-ins) this morning. Pretty sure the pre-period water retention and salty Sunday Super Bowl food had a lot to do with that, but I'm taking it as a win anyway!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

An Early Spring, Badger Brew, and Buffalo Cauliflower

Now that I've paused from stuffing my face with fun Super Bowl food (Go Ravens. Except Ray Lewis, who can suck it), I will recap our weekend festivities.

First, we took time out from our weekly Saturday morning scramble to check in with the Groundhog. Did you know there are TWO official groundhogs? I did not, until yesterday. But there are, apparently, and both Punxsutawny Phil and Staten Island Chuck seem to agree that there will NOT be 6 more weeks of winter. Do we attribute that to lack of a shadow, or global warming? Don't know, don't care - it's been cold enough around here that I'm happy either way! Though I must say that I'm probably not the only one who would welcome an early spring - my poor daffodils have been quite confused by the whole oscillation between ridiculously warm and ridiculously cold, and I think I can see the new green shoots they recently put up actually shivering. It's sad.

Saturday we readied ourselves for a party in honor of the Grand Opening of the Badger Brewery, aka the inaguaral showing off of M.'s home brew skills, aka an excuse to have friends over and drink beer. I made lots of food, we tidied up the house, and Lucy put on a party dress. I went a wee bit overboard with some of the smaller details - sort of ran with a whole "theme," as you'll see in a moment. I got sucked into the Pinterest-inspired madness of Baker's Twine (it's just so damn cute), and tried my hand at DIY cake stands with near disastrous results. Let's just say that I very nearly spray painted a significant portion of our dining room and outside deck with red spray paint. I ended up with two functional, cheap, and cute (if you don't look to closely) cake stands, but I'm not sure the trade-offs were worth it. DIY projects are much easier when it's not 16 degrees and dark outside... Anyway, on to the photos:

The moniker "Badger Brewery" is inspired by M.'s alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, and the school colors are red and white. Home brewed beer is bottled into plain brown bottles, so to dress them up a little and give us the option of keeping track of the type of beer in a given bottle once we have more than one made, I ordered some custom hang tags from My Own Labels:

The tags (tied on with red and white baker's twine) say "EST. 2013" on the first line and "BADGER" below. Kind of cute, right? Plus, they are reusable, so I think of this as more of an investment than a frivolous party detail ;-) (I don't, really).

Then I got even more rididulous, and ordered matching napkins and coasters from For Your Party:

I covered the tables with brown Kraft paper and decorated with red, white, and yellow flowers in mason jars and beer bottles:

Again with the baker's twine. I'm hooked.

For drinks, we had M.'s beer (of course), some wine that went pretty much untouched, sparkling water, and juice boxes for the kids. The party began at around 5, so we had a pretty hearty spread - Crockpot BBQ chicken with rolls and coleslaw, mini hot dogs in mini buns for the kids, spinach balls (Nat! I used your recipe!), little spinach and artichoke tortilla crisp appetizers from Wegmans, cream cheese and hot pepper jelly (Stonewall Kitchens) with crackers, homemade soft pretzels, and fruit.

And finally, hiding in the back there on the fateful cake stands, were two types of cupcakes: Chocolate Guinness cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and Blue Moon cupcakes. Yes - beer flavored cupcakes. I changed the recipes a little bit by leaving out the beer that was called for in the frosting - even though it was only a small amount, it seemed unwise to feed that to kids :-). I didn't worry about the beer in the cake mix, since the alcohol gets cooked out. They were awesome. I've eaten too many:


The party was lots of fun, and I got a chance to catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in a while. The kids (there were 10 including ours) all got along pretty well, and happily made a mess of our basement level. Which was MORE than fine with me, as it meant they were relatively occupied. M. and I crashed soon after the last guests left, as Lucy had deemed it necessary to wake us up about 6 times the night before.  She then repeated the feat on Saturday night, too, so M. and I spent a lot of today absolutely exhausted. Turns out she has a cold, and as of tonight, possibly an ear infection, too. We may be making a trip to the doctor's office tomorrow...

Exhaustion aside, we rallied enough to follow the American tradition of eating food and watching the Super Bowl tonight. I fed the kids leftovers from last night's party, and M. and I scarfed an entire plate of something I've been wanting to try - Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. I'm a fan of the buffalo flavor, something I discovered long after I stopped eating meat when I happened to try the delight that is Buffalo Shrimp on a vacation in Florida. M. is a wing fan, but rarely orders any since he's always the only one that eats them. I've been seeing various recipes for Buffalo Cauliflower on the web, and finally got around to trying one. I used the one from Skinnytaste, and it was fan-freaking-tastic. I ate so much of it that I'm going to poop fire tomorrow. You've been warned.

M. already has a second beer fermenting as we speak - I'll need to think of some way to top myself when we crack in to that one. Whatever I do, I'm sure there will be baker's twine involved.