Monday, April 30, 2018

My little artist

Last week Sydney off-handedly mentioned that her art was selected for display in a local kids art festival. She seemed kind of surprised we'd want to see it, which is the most middle-child-y thing ever. Eli was out of town with scouts so we took the girls. I love this art festival. It's all messy and frenetic energy.
Averson surprised us all at this watercolor station by thoughtfully painting a still life (and not her usual macabre subject matter, thank God)

Pretty thrilled with her bracelet

Ribbon wand dancing (that's Syd in the beanie and knee socks)

"Purple Koi Fish"

Once we got to the exhibit, we realized that hers was the ONLY second graders to be displayed. My sweet, humble girl. I'm so proud of her! 

Take Your Kid to Work Day (FIRST TIME EVER!)

Now that I don't work inside a prison (much) my kids can actually participate in Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day! 
Cubicle selfie!

My key card was a big hit, as were the empty cubicles that they commandeered and the copy machine. 

The department put on a career fair for the kids, with everything from IT to Telemedicine. 

Learning how to take off soiled gloves. A very universal skill

Telemedicine. Syd is still a little traumatized after seeing the inside of her ear. Eli notsomuch.
 The Fire Department and the K-9 unit were there and let the kids practice. No pictures of the drug sniffing dogs, but it was really, really cool.

Because it was a special occasion, we went out to lunch. I learned that there is a place that sells homemade ice cream within walking distance of my office. I will likely regret knowing this, but OMG. 

Afterwards the kids said that it would have been cool to actually watch me work. I hated to tell them that all that time I spent looking at my computer WAS my work. Adulting is glamorous. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Tiny Dancer

Averson has been talking for awhile about wanting to "dance ballet." In true me fashion, I put her off assuming that at some point she'd change focus, hopefully to something cheaper or with a more comfortable waiting area. But then last week I was besieged by a particularly strong bout of retail therapy contrasted with an aversion to cluttering my house any further. God bless Groupon, which netted me two months of combination ballet/tap classes at a local dance school. 

Averson was THRILLED. Like, Christmas excited. So excited that it was catching, and by Wednesday morning I was squee-ing right along with her. She went with me to get her shoes (ballet slippers AND tap shoes!) and her leotard and tiny pink tights. She carefully packed all her things in an old Vera Bradley bag I had in the closet. Yesterday she was waiting for me, by the door, bag in hand, when I got home from work and she didn't complain even once when I pulled her hair back, as requested by her dance teacher. On the way there, she asked if I'd sit where she could see me, so that if she got shy she'd feel brave. See? Total squee!

We pulled up to the teeny little dance school and it was everything I'd hoped for. She was gifted with a tiny little tutu (leopard print). The whole row of little dancers was so sweet, but Averson was the most earnest. She studied the teacher's footwork and worked so hard to emulate it. And this school does actual dance, so she was plie-ing and doing arm work and the tap session was a din of bunny hops and heel taps. It's amazing.
So excited!

She was so upset that today wasn't a dance class day, but brightened up when I told her she could practice anytime. Seriously, cutest thing ever. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Easy like a Sunday morning

Imagine it. It's a quiet Sunday morning. I peacefully wake in the early hours of the morning. The house is quiet as I carefully pad my way to the kitchen. The kitchen is clean and I make the most wonderful cup of coffee. I peacefully sip my coffee at the kitchen table as the sun rises. I flip through a magazine or read a chapter or two of whatever book I'm working on. Maybe a child or two wakes and joins me, contentedly coloring at the table or *gasp* reading their own book.

This has happened approximately one time, and it was glorious. So glorious that I'm a little sorry that I experienced it, for the contrast of what my Sunday mornings usually look like. I'm awoken in the wee hours by a whisper-screamed, "MOM! Why did you let me sleep on the couch?!" (spoiler alert: because she's heavy, I'm lazy, and I had no intention of trying to navigate the minefield that is her bedroom floor.) Then one, or more, of my unwashed children crawls into bed with us and proceeds to flop about like a dying fish for as long as it takes for me to remember that this is never a sweet, peaceful cuddling experience.

So then I shuffle to my kitchen, where I push aside all the crap leftover from our movie night the night before. Rather than my serene pinterest vision, it's reminiscent of a college apartment, only with more produce. I make a pot of coffee that, although it's passable, never tastes as good as that one time that I made the best coffee ever and promptly forgot everything that went into it. I debate between trying to hide at the kitchen table or in a corner of the couch and settle at the table. It's slightly less cluttered, and besides one of my children has inexplicably grown seven sizes, so that her barely 4 foot tall body somehow occupies 2/3 of my approximately 14 feet of couch. Two dogs occupy the other 1/3. Her sister is stomping around the house, righteously indignant about some slight that happened probably before she was even born, but I'll never know because rather than tell me what's wrong she just yells, "My life is ruined!" My sweet tween, who smells like a man but still likes to hug his mom, ambles out of his room with questions of how I intend to entertain them for the day. This one at least has learned to read my response and quickly retreats back to his room.

The girls have made up and play a raucous game of "butt scoot" which seems to consist of dragging each other around on the floor. I hiss "QUIET!" as there are still some members of this family who are able to continue sleeping. They do not quiet, but they do change activities. Now they're working together on an art project that uses both computer paper and glitter, and quite honestly, I'm letting them for the sole reason that they aren't needing me for anything. The boy is in his room pretending like I don't know that he's on his phone even though we have a "no screens first thing in the morning" rule. The dogs are sleeping in the girls' bed and probably chewing on their blankets or covering their sheets with slobber. I promise that I will regret this later, but for now I'm going to make another passable cup of coffee.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

There is no cohesive theme to this post

It would appear that I've got some pretty serious writer's block, and the only way to break through writers' block is to write. So I bring you the ever popular random stream of consciousness

I'm doing this new thing for my class where, instead of power points going over the assigned reading, I'm creating a class outline with activities and discussion questions. It's basically the greatest thing ever and it's making teaching SO EASY. Grading, notsomuch, but the teaching and prep for class has been awesome. So five years, and maybe I'm figuring it out a little?

We went to Easter church on Saturday night, leaving Sunday morning free to glaze my first ever bundt cake and make twenty thousand deviled eggs. It was still crazy busy, but there was a teeny tiny break in the crowd right in front of the art wall, and there was a lovely woman standing there who looked like she'd understand when I asked her to take our picture. OMG. You guys. She took two pictures and they were AMAZING. I can't tell if it's a sign of the sweet spot with the kids' ages or if it was a miracle, but everyone is looking at the camera AND smiling (not grimacing).

I got my first gel manicure a couple weeks ago. Does anyone do these? I have friends who swear by it, but I wasn't impressed. They cut my nails into a weird shape (do fancy ladies have corners on their nails?) and the polish wasn't as long lasting as I thought it would be. I got a chip the first day, which I went back and had fixed and that they blamed on my nails being too short (because they cut them short.) Then like a week and a half later they started to peel off. It was weird. I sort of want to try again because I think maybe it was the salon, but on the other hand, maybe I'm just not meant to be that fancy? Do any of you know?

I also have a serious furniture dilemma. I inherited a bedroom set from my dad that is going into our guest room. It has a bed frame, dresser, and nightstand and is easily the most grown-up (read not from IKEA or a FB marketplace) bedroom furniture in our house. BUT, in that room is also my hope chest,the bookshelf that serves as my home office, and a family heirloom-ish coffee table. It can't all fit in there, but I have no idea with what to do with the other stuff. Anyone want to come to my house and rearrange my furniture? I'll make you bundt cake!
The face you make when you get soda at the restaurant