Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter 2014

These kids

They are my favorite little people ever. 

I broke my nearly five-year streak of avoiding holiday mall characters. Hannah asked to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap. So I let her. It was fine, I guess. We had a mommy-daughter date at her favorite place ever, the mall (what?!). And apparently one of her friends sat on the Easter Bunny's lap and told her about it at preschool so when she saw him and was like, he has glasses just like (whoever that bad influence friend was) said! She was so excited, so who was I to stand in her way?

And then the hunt.
 so cute.
even this guy is cute sometimes :)

My parents were awesome, they got the eggs and went out of their way to fill them with lots of non-candy goodness (like Disney princess toys, bouncy balls, and lots of other stuff our new puppy wants to chew on really badly). Except Hannah was disappointed because she wanted cherry chapstick and not blueberry chapstick (the indignities!) my mom was pretty sweet about it (I would have been like, you take that blueberry chapstick and you will like it! you hear me!? You tell that Easter Bunny thank you, right this second!) and she helped Hannah write this letter to the Easter Bunny, who quickly rectified the situation. And I might have taken the blueberry chapstick for myself (it smells delicious). Kids these days. There a bunch of softies. They are never gonna learn that when the Easter Bunny gives you blueberry chapstick, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and walk up hill both ways in the snow and make blueberry chapstick lemonade or something. But she did draw the Easter Bunny a couple hearts. So I guess it is okay.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Flower girls!

Someone who isn't completely self absorbed might label this post, "The wedding!" but, omg, let's be real, this was totally about the flower girls! Just kidding.

In all seriousness, my brother got married to someone really awesome, and we are all excited to have Katherine in our family. And Hannah seems to think that baby cousins (plural) are going to materialize any day now (because that is what comes after marriage, obviously). And almost as exciting, the girls got to get their hair done two days in a row (and then Hannah asked to get her hair done again on Sunday. To "celebrate the babies." of course.) And they got to get their nails done. (Some of them several times, ahem, Maggie, because they couldn't stop smudging them.) All in all, it was a magical weekend.

Maggie's hair looked awesome before her car seat nap. And then when she decided to pull out the bobby pins and flower hair clips. Also, she didn't feel like walking down the aisle. Oh, three-year olds.

Hannah and her Nana

almost all of the photos via my awesome new brother in law

Friday, April 4, 2014

Packing lunches

The girls started at their new school this week, which meant I had to start packing their lunches and snacks. I mean, I didn't have to pack their lunches. I could have bought them from the school (our old school provided them for free, but who is keeping track? um, ME. I am). The school has pretty yummy looking organic lunches you could buy. But I wasn't sure how far in advance I had to buy them or who I made the check to, I mean all these new rules are overwhelming. It's COOL. I'll be FINE. I promise. Also, they were kind of pricey, on top of the fact that everything about private school is pricey. Anyway, making their lunches seemed like something I could do that could be fun for them since this whole changing schools thing might be overwhelming for them too.

First the stuff. 
EasyLunchboxes Insulated Lunch Bag

These come in sets where they fit right in the bag. But the Ziplock lunch boxes are a lot cheaper and they fit in the insulated bag too.

and these are great for snacks
these are great for dressing or almond butter for dipping veggies
Here is where it gets fun:

stuff like this

and this
made it easy to make stuff like this
Well, maybe not easy. The fruit took a while. And then there's all this extra fruit. But I ate it, which I probably need to eat more fruit anyway, so that is probably good. I got most of these ideas from Pinterest. And there was all this "who has time for that!?" hate. And I'll admit, some if it was ridiculously too much time. But I felt like this was a special occassion and I wanted the girls to know I was thinking about them. And some of it took like NO TIME. And you don't need special stuff. Like this one.
I just threw in some left over carrots from dinner, some apples, and made a ham sandwich and used a cookie cutter to throw that duck on top. You don't really need to buy anything special if you have cookie cutters lying around.
This one wasn't too hard either, the puzzle piece cutter I found on amazon. Although I think I should have put the crackers in a baggie or a side compartment.

The puzzle piece sandwich cutter also came with the penguin cutter and an elephant cutter. The PB&J sushi rolls were kind of annoying to make and I don't think the girls cared enough about my hard work (you have to freeze them before you cut them or the PB&J squooshes out) to justify my effort. The penguins, however, were a much bigger hit. (note, that is actually almond butter because it is a peanut-free school. but so was their other schools, so I think they are just happy this isn't soynut butter. They don't even notice.)

For their snacks, I joined Nature Box. My review is sort of, "meh." The girls will eat the stuff I got, which is cool. But most of the stuff I got, I probably could have found at H.E.B. (a Texas grocery chain), Trader Joe's, or wherever. for the same or less money. I guess it is good for trying new things I might not otherwise have experimented with for their snacks. But I don't know if I'm going to keep my membership.

Usually for snacks we also do yogurt (gogurt. put it in their box from the freezer and its ready to eat by snack time), Maggie likes apple sauce and cheese. Hannah doesn't like either of those. I mean cheese? Who doesn't like cheese? Her toddler card has been official revoked. I don't even understand that. She loves apples and peanut (almond) butter. So she'll be eating a lot of that, I guess. I also got a thermos for Annie's Homegrown Macaroni or left over pasta or whatever. They love that Mac'n Cheese so much they try and eat it for breakfast. That's nasty. You gotta keep on eye on that.

Alright, that is all my advice from one whole week of making lunches.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Our Last Day at Our First School

Today was pretty emotional for me. It was the girls’ last day at their preschool. Those teachers, classmates, and parents are like a second family to us. The decision to leave was really hard for me. I can’t even write about it. I just. Here are pictures.

This is Maggie’s teacher who gives her the adorable pig tails and
braids that I can never replicate on my own.
(the bun I did as a lice-prevention measure, if Miss India did it, it would have looked way cuter)

And then she had all the kids make this poster. Gosh. I just, I can’t. So many feels.

And she taught both the girls when they were babies. BABIES!!

And Hannah’s teachers had the kids make this for her.  Goodness.

oh my goodness, we are going to miss her so much.
And we already miss Brittane who is on maternity leave.
She was Hannah’s teacher in the very beginning and end.
She is also super smart. Like most of the teachers here. This school is really awesome.
GAH. this is hard. 


Friday, March 28, 2014

Big Decisions and Little Sacrifices

In Texas, you have to turn five by September first to start Kindergarten in the public school system. Hannah, unfortunately, just barely missed that cut off by virtue of the fact that she refused to evacuate my uterus in a timely fashion. And as a result, we have to shell out for an extra year of preschool or private school.

I know the whole, red shirting kindergartners or not is an uncontroversial thing. And everyone seems to have an opinion or knows about some article or maybe they read that chapter in the Malcolm Gladwell book Outliers (btw, he’s a shill for Big Tobacco). Well, Hannah has no plans to become a professional soccer player, so I think we are all gonna be alright here.

Anyway. After a lot of freaking out and researching and visiting, we found a school we liked that also had a daycare for Maggie so we could do one drop off. But still. Change is hard for me. Like really, really hard. We have been with our old preschool since Hannah turned one. This is a big deal for me. I also have to start packing snacks and lunches, and all this other stuff in our lives is about to change (like how much disposable income I have when J.Crew has a 25% off sale. Bummer.). And it is a Spanish immersion schools, so I’m hoping that goes over well. But weirdly, the thing I’m taking the hardest is the school uniforms.

I’ve always had a policy that the girls get to pick out their own outfits. Sometimes it is really hard for me. Like when I bought a really cute outfit, and they split it up and wear the shirt with the WRONG SKIRT. And I might say, “But did you see the pretty skirt over there? Isn’t that…cute? No. No. Never mind. This is your decision." No matter how hard it hurts my heart to see that adorable outfit go to waste. 

But it is also kind of hysterical. Once Hannah put together this wild outfit. She was mixing patterns and colors in ways that were just amazing. And by amazing, I mean, well. Colorful? Like red and navy blue striped leggings with a white and black polka dot shirt and a purple floral skirt. And then she added some accessories. But the best part was when she stepped back after she put on her bracelet and hair clip and said, “Perfect!” 

And another time, Maggie had a red and black lady bug top and pink and blue floral leggings (pictured above). And when she finished pulling the leggings up she looked down at herself and said, “All my friends will think I look so cute!”

Gosh. I’m going to miss that. I mean, I guess they can mix and match navy blue and white to their hearts content? 


But they do look pretty cute in their new school uniforms. So there is that. And I guess they can put together fancy, expressive outfits after school and on the weekends.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Give me evidence-based medicine, or give me death! But just not lice.

The moment I have been dreading since I became I mom has finally happened. Hannah's PreK class had an infectious disease notice on the parent board this Monday notifying everyone that there was a confirmed case of head lice.


And I found out yesterday there were three more confirmed cases. I've been digging through her hair like this ever since:

I know stomach bugs seem like the worst. But at least you know they will end. Lice? That could go on forever, basically. Like I don't know if you've seen Hannah's hair lately (probably not because I quit blogging for a few months, but she has a ton of it. A ton.) but I'm pretty sure our family could have lice indefinitely.

Anyway, those of you who know me, know I'm pretty staunchly Team Evidence-Based Medicine (we vaccinate on time every time, baby). I hate all things lacking the support of peer-reviewed medical journals. I hate all things that go against science, the advice of established medical associations, statistics, and logic. So obviously, the first thing I did when I saw that lice was going around was flip the f*&% out.

Then I called my doctor.

His nurse recommended this stuff called Lice Ice. I'm a big fan of second opinions (more on that in a forthcoming post), so I grabbed a bottle and some other stuff and asked the pharmacist. My first question was, is this stuff homeopathic?

He looked it over and said. "Kind of." He had the same "meh" look on our faces. It's not diluted to the point of uselessness like actual homeopathy. It's just not medicine. Which is fine, I guess, because she isn't technically (to my knowledge) infected. Yet. Lice Ice is a gel with tea tree oil. Then we found some Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Leave-In Conditioner Spray which also has tea tree oil and peppermint. Worst case scenario she'll have minty fresh ballerina bun for a couple weeks. In case lice have a delicate sense of smell? I don't know.

Actually, I do know. Because lice.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Boring babies and bad mommies and daddies

Tonight in our house… 
Cork: There are too many girls in this house. We need some boys. Maggie, do you want a brother? 
Maggie: What kind of brother? 
Cork: um? A baby brother. 
Maggie: NO! They are boring! 
Hannah: Yeah! Babies take too long to get big and mommies and daddies don’t pay any attention to their big kids. 
me: Huh. Tell us how you really feel.

when the girls were less articulate

I mean, they are only two and four. And as friends like to point out, the perfect age for me to have another kid. But shoot, you guys. I just don’t know. For one thing, they are also the perfect age for me to stop having kids. I’m torn.

Sometimes I read those quiverful-ish religious blogs where they are like “have a billion kids or you hate the baby Jesus”; and then sometimes I think about my Intro Bio professor who sort of implied that having more than one kid is ecologically irresponsible. And I wish I could introduce them to each other. With their young earth creationism, dinosaurs on the ark, mini-Duggar families and his family of three and his math and science. 

On the one hand, how could I not love another child? And I never imagined Maggie would be my last (and then the colic, etc happened). So I never allowed myself the dramatic, “this is my last EVERYTHING!” while pregnant and parenting a baby. Also, I came form a big family and it was (and still is!) great having so many siblings.

On the other hand, I came from a big family. And it was hard sometimes. I honestly don’t know how my mom did it (four kids in five years, my brother and I barely a year apart). I remember how getting sick was a mixed bag. Because you were sick (obvs) but mom paid attention to you! And getting attention wasn’t easy when there were four of you. And I think that is also why I get a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach when I get to that line in the Tina Fey's prayer for her daughter: "May she be beautiful, but not damaged. For it is the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty.” Because not getting enough attention can very likely cause said damage. 

God help me (and that f*&$ing soccer coach) if any of my kids end up in that kind of situation because I had too many kids to give them the attention they needed from me (and forced the older kids to raise the younger ones and such). Having two kids so close together has already pushed me in ways I wasn’t prepared for, and made me unable to parent Hannah the ways I wished I could have and probably would have if she had been an only child a little longer (but I never would have been able to parent Maggie that way, as I often remind myself, as a second child myself). And I don’t know how I feel about all that sometimes. I’m sure some moms can handle it way better than I have. And I’m sure that having a sister, and learning patiences and all that has helped her in other ways. But still.

And that only touches on how the decision to have more kids affects the girls. Not really even touching how it affects me, Cork, our careers, our marriage, and then the ways that will in turn affect the girls even more. I mean, seriously. I’d just like to go ahead and not think about it and leave it up to the God of Oops Babies. Or something.

update: and so of course Cork’s answer to all this was to get out the old baby videos. Come on. That isn’t even fair.