Friday, February 27, 2015


*Not Safe For If You Are Eating Something

Yesterday as I mentioned it was freezing outside.  When Ryan came down from putting the big kids to bed I told him that I should go to the Y to do my olympic race walking but that what I really wanted was to open my new Tempranillo and read Harry Potter in my pajamas.  Ryan told me that if I went to the Y and walked that when I got home I could take a shower and put on my pajamas and then he and I could have that Tempranillo together and watch John Oliver.  This seemed like a reasonably good deal and also I didn't want to deal with the Stiff Back of Doom when I woke up in the morning, which is what happens if I skip olympic race walking, so I went to the Y.

Side note, I bought some earphones and found a station on Pandora called "Power Workout".  Life. Changed.  I do love the Van Morrison Radio station I listen to all day, but a bunch seventies pot smoking music does little to motivate me through minutes 21-45 of olympic power walking.  Dirty, NSFW rap and hip hop is JUST THE THING.

When I got home I took a long, very hot shower that felt amazing and when I got out I reached for the brand new, fresh from the laundry, towel I had laid out for myself as a little treat.  When I dried off my face I thought I smelled something unusual.  I continued drying off thinking "I don't like that smell but I can't put my finger on what it is."

Finally, after I had dried off my face and arms I had a horrible realization.  Puke.  The towel smelled like puke.

I gave it a slightly more direct sniff for confirmation.  TOTALLY PUKE.

Somehow, the towel I used to clean up the downstairs bathroom after Charley somehow managed to get puke everywhere EXCEPT the toilet went through the washer and dryer WHILE RETAINING THAT HORRIBLE SMELL.  So, as you do in these situations, I flung it to the other side of the bathroom in disgust, turned the shower back on, and scrubbed my entire upper body and face with Ryan's heavily scented Dove soap because my unscented hippie olive oil soap WAS NOT GOING TO DO THE JOB.


Lesson learned: use paper towels next time (paper towels would have been LAUGHABLY inadequate, however).

Also: These pictures are kind of embarrassing but you've been through four pregnancies with me so what the heck.

As part of my recovery from my day of gardening, I now have to wear this piece of pink tape on my shoulder for the next four days. You can't tell from the picture but it goes down to the middle of my back on the other side. I like to style it with apathy and accessorize with whatever, because it is freaking magical. I have not wanted to die from shoulder pain ONCE in the car since the physical therapist taped me up. And that is saying something.

Also, I have been forbidden to empty the dishwasher by my physical therapist, Ryan, and my dad. Things are getting out of hand.

Not that you can get more out of hand than a puke-smelling towel, but seriously, the Super Fund people will be calling any minute now.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SAHM day. Like riding a bike.

Today started out warm enough to skip coats and it seemed like maybe we were about to see the light at the end of the February tunnel, but then as James and Mary and I enjoyed lunch out at Noodles and Co I happened to look out the window just as the wind hauled around to the north, whipping leaves and dirt all across the parking lot.  The sky clouded over ominously.  I wanted to yell "NOOOOOOOO" dramatically like someone witnessing a horrible accident in a movie, but instead I just sank into my seat with sad resignation.  I checked the forecast on my phone, which confirmed that we had already reached our high temperature for the day and were on the way back down to the upper twenties.  Suckfest.

James and Mary had well-checks today and since James was home sick already I decided to keep Mary home with me too.  Here are some things I have forgotten about being a full-time stay at home parent:

*A thirty minute trip to Trader Joe's can be punctuated by three (3!!) bathroom visits for the same, long-potty trained, child.  Someone must have been slipping him espresso while I was not looking because hand to god I learned YEARS ago to purposely dehydrate the children before running errands.

*Somehow "dinner ingredients" cost $52.  Apparently, in addition to black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, we are also having two boxes of Joe Joes, some honeycrisp apple juice, a bag of pirate's booty, and a loaf of banana bread.  Also I forgot *actual* bananas.

*We needed diapers too but since the weather went from pleasant and springlike to McMurdo Station in the course of a forty-five minute lunch I decided to skip Target on the way home.  She won't need more than one more diaper today, right?  Right?

*He also needed to go to the bathroom at the restaurant.  That's four trips to the potty in an hour.

*Everything takes three times as long as it should.  For instance: the drive from the pediatrician to the grocery store, which I had to do twice.  The first time we left, James said he wanted his after-shots treat to be "cookies from the place by the doctor" so I buckled them in, drove across the parking lot, and pulled into the adjacent parking lot where the cookie store was.  "NO NOT THIS COOKIE PLACE" he informed me.  He wanted the one in the basement of the doctor's office.  After some pointless explaining that there was no cookie store at the doctor's office I consented to driving back to the doctor's office to show him that the only thing in the basement of the doctor's office was a parking garage, then I proceeded to head for the grocery store.  A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE STORE, James decided he really did want to go to the first cookie place after all and since he had just had shots and I really like cookies, I decided to indulge him.  So we made a questionable U-Turn and headed back to the cookie store.  Imagine the expression on my face when we pulled into the parking lot and James became enraged because ONCE AGAIN I HAD CHOSEN THE WRONG COOKIE STORE.  I calmly explained that "This is THE ONLY COOKIE STORE BY THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE.  You have to the count of three to make a decision."  Ultimately I drove us back to the grocery store WITH NO COOKIES because I was not unbuckling two children only to have a sidewalk tantrum on my hands.

*Those stupid collapsible straws that come with the organic milk boxes were designed by someone who hates children.

*James keeps telling me the leg he got shots in hurts and is refusing to walk normally.  Of course I assumed (internally) that he was a big fakey mcfakerson, but every time Mary tries to get up some toddler speed she whimpers and points to the thigh they used for her shots.  Oops.

I think that's everything.  We had a really fun morning and now that Mary's napping I will have time to put some enchiladas together for dinner.  Then we will pick up Charley and Wes and then I have a physical therapy appointment which is good because I have been lifting allllls the kids this morning, which is strictly against the rules for the next three to five weeks, but what are you gonna do?

I might also make some sugar cookies because I'm feeling all domestic and stuff.  And I really need a reason to turn the oven on for a while because DANG.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

They tried to make me go to rehab

As part of my punishment for hurting my back, I am supposed to walk "vigorously" for forty-five minutes every single freaking day. When I raised my eyebrows, the universal sign for "ain't nobody got time for that," the physical therapist responded "You need to make time to take care of yourself" and I responded (in my head) "I've been trying to find an hour to go to Whole Foods to get a coffee and browse the batik print leggings for the last six months."

But as fortune would have it, Wes and James spent the entire four to six o'clock period screaming incoherently because the kids next door had company and were not available to play and by the time Ryan got home at six I WAS READY TO MAKE TIME TO CARE FOR MYSELF. UN-fortunately, I'm pretty sure the physical therapist didn't mean "Walk ten minutes to your friend's house, drink a glass of wine with her on the porch, then walk ten minutes home" even though the accompanying stress reduction that would result from that would arguably do at least something to relieve the tension in my back.

Before she prescribed Olympic race walking and prohibited me from lifting anything for the next four to six weeks, the therapist and I played twister for thirty minutes or so while she tried to figure out the source of my pain. She finally hit paydirt when she stabbed her thumbs into the vertebrae adjacent to Super Knot and I yelped in pain. DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER. It would appear to be some kind of disk problem, she said. Physical therapy twice a week, lots of rest and ice, and also I need to do cardio and work on my posture because swimsuit season will be here before you know it.

Other interesting factoids from my physical therapy visit today:

I am not supposed to lift any of the kids except for Mary and only in and out of her crib and car seat. Which basically means I can't take Wes out in public ever.

I have to drive with my right arm resting on a pillow in my lap. Because my right arm is kind of a diva.

I am not supposed to sweep or mop. This doubles as exposure therapy for my compulsive need for crap to not stick to my bare feet.

I should "give myself a break" and "only bathe the kids every other day" and "not change the sheets so often." Um, yeah, I'll *start* giving myself a break on those things. (NOTE: I just changed James's sheets in the middle of writing this because they were wet, yes, but also because I am a REBEL)

I am supposed to "get the eight year old" to bring the groceries in from the car. Still considering this one.

I should teach the kids to load the dishwasher and also buy all new Fiestaware when that goes horribly awry.

Then there was the oddly specific "Don't drain the pasta water if you use the big stock pot. Get someone else to lift that thing." So that means no pasta except on weekends when Ryan is home, I guess.

Also it looks like my Bermuda scalping, shoveling, and carrying dorm fridges upstairs days are over permanently, which means we can never move someplace where it snows which is FINE WITH ME.

I will leave you with this picture I took while lying on the floor with my feet on a chair watching The Daily Show, another recommendation of the therapist. She said to do it for thirty minutes, but HA HA I fell asleep and was there for forty-five. I'm an overachiever.

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's possible Wes learned more than some of my students

The public schools in our area were closed for President's Day today, but my school was open for business as usual, which meant that Charley and Wes and a slew of other school-age kids were on campus with their parents. Not only did I see numerous other kids hanging out in the library, playing Minecraft in the dining hall, and scootering around on the sidewalks, I overheard students (not mine) saying things like "I am so glad I finally got to see her kids after hearing all her stories!"

Ryan told me that when he led James into his school this morning he told him that Charley and Wes were going to college today and James looked up with concern in his eyes and said to Ryan "Oh. Are they being punished?"

On the way into the building we happened upon a box of electrical components marked "free" on a table in the hallway and took the whole thing to my office. They passed a lovely forty-five minutes looking through the box and raiding my desk for scissors, paper clips, glue sticks, and pens. Both of them came up with several inventions while I sorted through my email and got ready for my meeting. Later, Ryan used the box to teach Charley how to solder and helped him create a circuit that displays numbers based on where you touch the end of a jumper wire. My house is a disaster but my eight year old can solder. This is called keeping your priorities straight.

Then I took them to the curriculum collection at the library and turned them loose to find some reading material to take to the hour-long meeting I had at nine. I settled them into some comfy chairs in the faculty lounge slightly worried about how it was going to go, but every time I turned to check on them they were engrossed in NEW! BOOKS! Charley had found a prized "Nate the Great" that he HADN'T EVEN READ YET and I didn't hear a PEEP out of him the entire time. And hearing Wes softly reading his Mo Willems books aloud while I talked with my junior faculty research group was THE BEST.

Our next stop was for hot chocolate and then we headed back to the science building (through the FREEZING RAINING OUTSIDE, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, TEXAS) because I had to teach my climate class. They sat in the first two seats in one of the rows in (coincidentally) the corner of the classroom where all the education majors sit and were immediately very popular. One of the girls gave Wes a ball during the lecture. Charley finished his Nate the Great and traded Wes for the ball. All of this happened during the lecture without me noticing. These kids are going to GO places (By the way, every time I say "go" they dissolve into hysterics because "GO" like "GO TO THE BATHROOM GETIT?" This made the whole morning completely hi-larious, because we had to "GO" to the library and then it was time to "GO" to the meeting then "GO" to class. It really never gets old). Aside from those antics (which I didn't even know were happening), they sat up and watched the entire hour-long lecture on atmospheric circulation even though SOME OF THE TWENTY-YEAR-OLDS were fast asleep. I even sort of forgot they were in there a couple of times because SO QUIET.

Wes told me after we left the classroom "After being in your class I think I want to be a college teacher too." Then after dinner, HOURS after my class, he drew these diagrams and brought them to me and said "I drew some high and low pressure systems. I'm going to go hang it up by my desk." YOU GUYS. I may ask this as a short answer and stipulate that if they don't do as well as my six year old they don't get credit. DANG.

Charley was a bit under the weather, so after a nice lunch in the dining hall, (Wes selected a mixed bowl of cocoa puffs and lucky charms with chocolate milk, a piece of apple dessert pizza, and an ice cream cone for his lunch. At my prodding he managed a couple bites of a hamburger for protein), we went home and put in a movie. Later, when the little kids came home, they seized the leftover popcorn and demanded a movie of their own. Since it's freaking disgusting outside I was more than happy to put a second movie on.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A little definance, lots of good food, some amazing kids. Pretty good weekend.

I woke up really bummed on Valentine's day because my back was really sore and one of the side effects of the steroids seems to be a raging case of PMS-like irritability. We didn't have any plans for the day, I hadn't planned a special breakfast, and I hadn't made cupcakes for the kids like I had wanted to. Somehow, I managed to explain all of this to Ryan calmly without any screeching or crying, and he made it a really, really nice day for all of us. After Wes's soccer game we headed to the fancy grocery store downtown, which is featuring chocolate this month. Wes and I were looking forward to this all week, so I popped a couple of anti-inflammatories and got in the car. I was rewarded with an amazing chocolate mousse cake that I took home for dessert and a dark chocolate and sea salt bar that Mary and I shared while the boys were on the playground. We also bought asparagus and bacon and some sourdough bread because it was a fancy dinner night, dangit. Then we hung out on the playground in the 80 degree sunshine and let the kids run wild.

Mary fully exercised her Fourth-Baby-Privilege. First she had to stay close, then she had to stay with James, and then, do you see Mary? Oh, there she is at the top of the slide.

James was looking cute, wearing clothes Wes wore like two weeks ago I swear.

Shortly after Charley and Wes went inside to get refills on their drinks we heard a familiar voice yelling "Mom!" and turned around to see them on top of the balcony. Erm.

Close up. It's so cute when they flout our instructions to come straight back and check in.

And then we went home where Ryan and Charley grilled dinner (grilled sesame chicken and bacon-wrapped asparagus) in the back yard. James asked me for four dollars then rode his bike to the end of our culdesac to buy a box of Samoas from our neighbor. While I was talking to the neighbor, I heard Charley and Ryan yell "WOOOAAAHHH!!" from like halfway down the street. Later Ryan asked me "Did you know the marinade we used was flammable?"

Naturally, we had a two-course dessert, beginning with chocolate fondue, which was an unqualified success. Also pictured: the place where I spilled the only tiny glass of wine I allowed myself (given all the druuugs I am on right now just so I can stand up) all the heck over the place. Sad.

The kids demolished two pounds of strawberries and an entire container of chocolate in less than five minutes like water buffaloes attacking a herd of gazelles at the watering hole. Or something.

I keep looking at these pictures and thinking it looks like we're having a party, but nope. There are that many people at every family dinner.

Speaking of parties, after we got the kids in bed, Ryan set me up on my chair with my assortment of pillows and ice packs and then brought in a plate of fancy Brie and crackers and a personalized beer tasting flight. We spent a pleasant hour listening to music and sipping different kinds of beer and then read quietly until bedtime. It was really the perfect Valentine's Day.

...until Mary awakened at two o'clock in the morning because she didn't have her lovey, which Ryan found after she went to bed and attempted to wash. After two hours of Mary angrily yelling (not crying, YELLING) from her crib (and after trying cuddling, patting, singing, ibuprofen, and the humidifier), I got the lovey out of the mixing bowl where it was soaking in a detergent solution on the counter, wrung it out, rinsed it under the tap, rolled it up in a dishtowel and wrung it out again, then tossed it in the crib still damp. Mary quieted immediately and fell asleep. In the morning we found a layer of gray sludge on the bottom of the mixing bowl. The lovey smells much better now.

To really make the weekend perfect, Charley played the prelude at church this morning with our friend Mrs. B. and Wes and James sang in the choir. It's amazing to watch them be such confident little people doing things they love!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Adventures of Super Knot, Volume 1

I'd like to introduce you to a new blog regular. It's name is Super Knot and it has lived between my right shoulder blade and spine for more than ten years. I think I was first introduced to Super Knot when I carried my dorm fridge up three flights of stairs by myself during move-in sophomore year.

Super Knot comes and goes--it's a major player in why pregnancy sucks so hard--but even on Super Knot-neutral days Ryan can find it and if he pushes just the right spot on my back with his thumb he knows I will melt into a puddle right there on the floor.

So. As I mentioned earlier this week, I did a little landscaping over the weekend. I thought I would be sore the next day, but I felt fine except for some soreness in my hands because I am a BOSS! I am in such good shape that even two hours of bermuda scalping doesn't bring me down.

Until Tuesday, when I felt a little twinge. Super Knot was awakening. A couple of times during my lab I leaned against the limestone pillar in the atrium where we were working and attempted to work it out myself. This looked like totally normal professor behavior, if you were curious.

Yesterday, it hurt a little more AND it woke me up several times in the night. Hrmm, this is new. So I busted out my trusty heating pad and started popping Advil like candy. I texted my friend C whose husband is a doctor and asked "How much Ibu can I take without actually killing myself?" I made sure to stay well within those limits and waited for the magic to happen.

Instead of magic I got another sleepless night and woke up unable to take a deep breath. As a special bonus, a cold front had come through and stirred up the cedar pollen meaning that I had to SNEEZE every two minutes all morning. Every sneeze brought with it a wave of pain through my shoulders and neck. I was not my most delightful mommy self during our morning routine.

After I dropped Mary and James off I realized I didn't have my backpack, so I returned home to get it, sneezing and wincing all the way. At home I swallowed another handful of advil, SLUNG MY BACKPACK OVER MY SHOULDER BECAUSE I AM STOOPID, then got in my car to drive to work. The moment I turned off my street I was in a massive traffic jam. As it turns out there were TWO WRECKS on the main road that takes me to the highway I need to go to school. I sneezed. I started crying. I nearly turned around and canceled my class right then and there, but I had promised to return exams and I kind of thought I was just being a big baby. So I texted Ryan. "I can't take a deep breath and it kills when I sneeze and I'm stuck in freaking traffic."

He responded "I am so sorry, would you like to have lunch together?" which was perfect.

I finished all my grading for my statics course before class and then realized five minutes before lecture that the lecture notes I thought I had prepared were merely figments of my imagination, since I had only read the chapter and not prepared a lesson. So, CRAP. I decided to make a long show out of going over exam solutions, then introduce the next chapter based on memory, then let them go early because DANG, I hurt.

In class I wasn't able to move my arm enough to reach the top of the board. Erasing was a whole body endeavor. And when I mishandled my textbook and reached abruptly to grab it I yelped "OUCH" so loudly that the student standing next to me looked VERY worried.

I gritted my teeth through a brief research meeting, cancelled tomorrow's class, then had lunch with Ryan and going home, where I arranged a bunch of pillows on the couch and promptly fell asleep. Twenty minutes later I awoke with SCREAMING PAIN in my shoulder. I used my good hand to push my head back to center then waited for the waves of pain to subside. They didn't, but I knew I had to get up and do something to help myself. When I tried to sit up it felt like someone was stabbing and twisting a knife into my back and while attempting to maneuver I dropped my phone on the floor next to the couch where it was painfully close yet impossible to get.

After some deliberation I counted to three, screamed the F word, and forced myself into a sitting position on the couch with my feet on the floor. Several minutes of involuntary loud crying later, I was able to stand up, make my way to the kitchen, find the Advil, and take some. Then I stood in the living room breathing through the waves of pain trying to figure out what to do. An attempt to bend over and get my phone was met with every muscle in my back screaming "haha eff you" so I shuffled next door to my friend's house and asked through gritted teeth if she would come over and pick my phone up off the floor for me. She seemed alarmed. So did Ryan when he picked up and I immediately began sobbing into the phone.He came home quickly and got me in the car to go to the doctor, where they saw Ryan HOLDING MY HEAD UP SO I COULD GET OUT OF THE CAR WITHOUT SCREAMING and brought a wheelchair for me to use. I felt ridiculous, but the thought that I could find a semi-workable position to sit in and then not have to move again for over an hour sounded amazing.

The doctor came in and I tried to be polite as possible without the ability to turn my head in greeting or shake hands without swearing loudly. He asked where it hurt and I asked Ryan to show him where Super Knot was. The doctor ran his fingers over my shoulder blade and when he reached Super Knot he exclaimed "WOW. That's there all the time?" "All the time." answered Ryan.

The doctor tortured me through a few exercises to isolate the source of the problem (my whole freaking shoulder STOP TOUCHING ME. I felt like my cat when he had an infection. If I could have crawled under a bed and hissed at and bitten anyone who came near me I would have) then prescribed no fewer than FOUR DRUGS to get me functioning again. I have a steroid, a painkiller, an anti-inflamatory, and a muscle relaxer. And once I can stand up without Ryan's help, I go to physical therapy. Apparently it's not normal to have a knot in your back for more than ten years.

Then Ryan rolled me out to the car, held my head while I climbed in, and drove me home where I sat very very still on the couch for the rest of the day. When I have to get up to pee he comes over and holds my head and upper back steady, which keeps the waves of stabbing pain from coming back.

He also made Pioneer Woman mac and cheese for everyone, including my dad, who had came over to pick up Charley and Wes, while I asked helpful and not at all overbearing questions from the next room. "Did you grate the cheese yet?" "What about tempering in the egg, do you know how to do that?" "Is the roux thickening, it's supposed to coat the back of a spoon!" I am a delight.

The kids sprang into action with the helpfulness. Wes made his lunch for tomorrow, Charley brought me his lovey. Ryan brought me dinner. My dad put Mary to bed. Charley and Wes went to bed with no fuss. And Ryan went to the store and came home with four different kinds of ice packs and some codeine. I'm a lucky lucky lady.

The first dose of anti-inflamatory has been very helpful in that I am now able to unclench my shoulders away from my ears and can find a comfortable position propped up on the couch with every pillow from our bed. THIS IS PROGRESS BELIEVE IT OR NOT. And now I'm gonna take my muscle relaxer. Bye bye George, see you next Tuesday.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Yes, I think the kids really are always that dirty

The weather finally warmed up again, much to my relief, as I pretty much lose interest in winter around New Year's Eve every year and proceed to get pissed off every time the temperature dares drop below fifty for the rest of the year. Until October or so when I start bitching about how it's always stupid hot and October should be cold. I spend a lot of energy being irrationally annoyed by the weather. Like the three weeks at the beginning of the semester I spent shivering in skirts because I refused to buy a new pair of tights because "winter is almost over." Yes, I teach a climate course. Anyway, we celebrated our unseasonably warm day by playing outside until it got dark. After riding bikes for an hour or two, all the kids wanted to play with this awesome box of Legos Miss N brought over and when I invited all the kids inside they told me "it's too NICE to play inside!" so we put the Legos out on the porch and had a blast. Later I threw a cheese pizza out there with them. Five minutes after that they returned an empty cardboard circle.

On Saturday morning we had a playground workday at the kids' school. Other workdays I have attended have involved planting pansies along the sidewalk and perhaps, if you really wanted to be ambitious, windexing something. This workday was slightly different in that we started by hauling rocks uphill across the playground, did a little something called "scalping bermuda grass" in the middle, which involves using a shovel to jackhammer off the top inch of topsoil, inch by inch, until you've "scalped" an area roughly the size of a tennis court and you are hoping Javert will stop by with your yellow ticket of leave soon, and then finished up with some good old fashioned mulch raking.

We tried to leave Mary in the Gaga pit, which she couldn't get out of, but she started screaming the second I tried to walk away. She ended up screaming a lot since the whole playground was a really big, unfun toddler obstacle course and also I think she is getting molars. Not the best day for Mary. Started out good though.

Ryan manned the wheelbarrow and a pack of kids whose job it was to walk around collecting rocks for a landscape border. Mary loved this job. Until she didn't.

Sometime during the mulch raking we found we were spending most of our time keeping the kids from fighting and/or maiming themselves, so we decided to call it a day. I was slightly horrified when I looked in the mirror back at the car so I captured it for posterity.

Oh right, during the workday Ryan took Wes to soccer. He took Mary too. Wes's tongue is out in every single picture. I heart him.

After the workday we headed to a Mexican restaurant for nachos and tea and I let James talk me into buying three boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Wes insisted I take a picture of him with this box he picked out and I'm glad I did because they are gone now I couldn't remember what they were called but THEY WERE AMAZING. I really must send one of the kids over to our neighbor's to get me some more.

Today was in the low eighties and I finished up a big project at work (an extended abstract I thought was due the 20th was actually due TODAY. I figured out my mistake LAST NIGHT AT NINE O'CLOCK. There were some tense moments today but I got it done) so we headed to Sonic for drinks after school and then hit the playground with some friends. Then Charley went to piano and the rest of us came home for even MORE outside playtime. Followed by fish tacos and even more backyard fun. This is why Mary looks like a chimney sweep in a Dickens novel.

By the way, the six of us ate FIFTEEN fish filets for dinner tonight. FIFTEEN. That's like an entire aquarium. Thank goodness they come in thirty-packs. Also, this afternoon I called over the fence to Wes, who was jumping with our neighbor on their trampoline, to ask if James was over there with him (which is where he was supposed to be but I didn't see him on the trampoline), Wes said that he was, so I went back inside and as I was walking past an open living room window I heard a funny noise and looked out to see James PEEING IN THE BUSHES on the complete opposite side of the house from where the trampoline house is. Thanks for catching that one, Wes.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

This post is about pants

You guys. When I was pregnant with Mary my friend gave me these awesome yoga pants that quickly turned into my go-to fashion staple for all occasions. Since I wasn't allowed to work out for the first trimester and wasn't *able* to work out for the other two trimesters due to mah wonky pelvis, actual exercise didn't make the list, but I wore those pants for lounging, for kid care, for dropoff, for pickup, for grocery shopping. Heck, I wore them to work on multiple occasions like when my longest maternity shirts were clean and I could hide the logo on the waistband and also when I stopped caring about anything other than my next infusion of refined carbohydrates and/or breakfast tacos.  They were comfy and flattering and LONG and knowing my friend's impeccable taste, nothing I would ever buy for myself.

I wore them religiously through the postpartum period when the need to dress and/or pee one-handed was a factor. 

And then one day my favorite pants just disappeared.  Since I had recently done a major "give all the maternity clothes to charity" run (the third time I have done that in a fit of WE ARE SO DONE OMGah, which is why I've bought three infant gyms in my life AND ONLY THREE) I figured I had accidentally donated them.  Obviously this was disappointing, because they were my FAVORITE PANTS, but I tried to keep things in perspective: I could buy another pair of nice yoga pants if I really needed them, which makes me relatively lucky in global terms, and someone at the children's home scored some really awesome pants, and I hoped that made them happy.

When I wasn't being all zen and one with humanity I was just annoyed that I had to wear jeans when hanging around the house on cold days instead of my nice stretchy turkey pants.

Then last week we took Ryan's car to get new tires at a place that was next to Goodwill, which is my favorite little place for professional wear.  We popped in for a look around and I ended up finding a cute and flattering sweater, a great button down shirt in a cheerful pattern, and a FREAKING BODEN DRESS.  This is my second Boden dress find at a thrift store.  This one was $8 and the other was $10 and I FREAKING LOVE THEM both so much.

So I took my new finds home and was hanging them in my closet when I thought I should do a little edit/organization.  So I rearranged things into categories and pulled out some things to donate, hung all the scarves back up, refolded the sweaters, and pulled out all the no-longer-functioning shoes.

Two weird things have happened since I made this change.  First, I reached for my black boyfriend sweater the other day and when I put it on I noticed that it had holes in the shoulder JUST LIKE the one I used to have last year that Mary spit up on and it took me so long to wash it her stomach acid ATE THE FABRIC.  I thought I lost that too but it MAGICALLY REAPPEARED.  Just for confirmation, I found the NEW black boyfriend sweater with NO HOLES shortly after that (black boyfriend sweaters are an item I always replace immediately, like toilet paper or wine).

AND THEN TODAY!  I was looking for something to wear to school.  I was looking for a shirt when I came across a pair of pants on a hanger.  They were black and stretchy.  They had the orange logo.   THEY WERE MY FAVORITE PANTS.  They were BACK.  It was MAGIC.

I asked Ryan "Did you find some of my pants with your things in the closet?"

He said "Oh yeah, I found those black pants a couple of days ago, are they yours?"

They have been missing for OVER A YEAR.  And Mr. Nonchalant waited for DAYS to tell me.

It was ALL I COULD DO to put on a dress and sweater for work.  The SECOND I got home I ran upstairs for a happy reunion with my pants.  I am wearing them right now.  They are just as wonderful as they always have been.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Lots going on here you guys.  Mary's transitioning to a big girl room at school today/this week, I just got back from a Junior Faculty Research Group meeting, which is always simultaneously energizing and exhausting slash terrifying, Charley is prepping "How Great Thou Art" for the Children's Sabbath in two weeks, I have to read an entire book about viruses by tomorrow at noon, James needs his classroom cubby redone because some punk kid picked all the felt off the one we made him originally (I got up early and cut a "J" out of some cute fabric to hot glue to the front only to realize that I'd cut it out backwards.  Picture me, standing in my kitchen in the predawn hours, wearing my pajamas, squinting at a fabric "J" and willing it to look like an actual letter.  I am so glad I didn't have to Google "the letter j" but it almost came to that.  Have I told you how much I heart my Keurig?), Wes is still loving soccer and I'm about to sign him up for the next session, which involves actual practices and games at individual times and locations.  And DUDE.  Between all of the things I literally have to CUT MYSELF OFF around eleven o'clock every night because I HAVE TO SLEEP.  And that's not just a comfort issue, that's a behaving like a grownup issue. 

I'm teaching adiabatic ascent today in my climate class, which is always one of my favorite classes for no particular reason other than I can teach the HECK out of adiabatic ascent.  Probably because it took me so long to figure it out in the first place.  Last week was tons of fun too because we talked about radiation and I got to bring in my huge globe and lamp to show them how the tilt of the earth affects seasons and all that and the more you move around the classroom the better they pay attention, especially if you are holding a giant two-foot diameter globe and turning the lights on and off a lot.  Also, we spent the second lecture of the week crammed into a lab (labs are designed for 20 students, I have 40), some students sitting on desks and the floor, to do an albedo lab that demonstrated answers to a bunch of really awesome questions they answered in class.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.  A couple of students even TOLD ME IT WAS FUN.  Also someone's lab setup started smoking and we couldn't figure out why.  FUN!  SO FUN!

Lest you think I'm tooting my own horn, the other class I am teaching, statics, is a prep and is also the first quantitative class I've ever taught and the first upper level course I've ever taught.  You can see why I am eager to celebrate my successes in other areas.

Statics: When you want to know if you can sweat through your clothes in the winter.

Thankfully that class has an exam this week which means tomorrow will likely be spent going over example problems, I don't have to prep for Thursday, and they won't have any homework to grade for next week.  I FEEL LIKE I'M ON VACATION.

In other news, Wes has been ON FIRE with the witticisms recently.  Some of my favorites:

"When I need to pick my nose at school but don't want my teacher to see, I do this: " (sticks tongue in nostril)

"When we got Mary, life got a little bit funner."

"When I was over at Kylie's house, we played with her Barbie action figures."

"I kissed T today, but not on the lips this time" followed the next day by "I broke up with B" because apparently kindergarten is a year-long episode of the Young and the Restless.

Anyway.  Now I'm going to grade climate journals/enter statics grades/plan the statics exam/figure out dinner/make a chore chart for each kid/read the book I need read by tomorrow.  One of those things.