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.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

So, what you're saying is, reading this blog is an abortion-inducing activity

*but it’s cool, it’s not covered by the ACA*

Sonia Sotomayor granted a stay for some Roman Catholic nonprofit organizations who filed a lawsuit against the ACA contraception mandate.

The douchey lawyers for the nuns keeps talking about how they don’t want to be responsible for  accomodating their employees “abortion inducing drugs and devices.”


Abortion inducing drugs are like RU-486, which are not covered by the ACA. And abortion inducing devices are surgical devices (also not covered by the ACA) used by Ob-Gyns who sometimes risk their lives to provide this healthcare to three in ten women, and for nearly one in four pregnancies (interestingly, these stats that don’t change with restrictive legislation, according to research. The procedures generally just become more dangerous/deadly for women. But please, by all means continue with your misogynistic, restrictive legislation, “pro lifers!”) 

So what are they talking about? Freaking contraception and IUDs. Things that are technically NOT abortion inducing but ironically prevent ACTUAL abortions. What the heck, right? Their esoteric definition of abortion seems to be "anything that prevents new life from forming." So, by their logic, it is actually just a tiny pre-born baby step to the conclusion that reading this blog is an abortion-inducing activity. 

It is true. Because when you read this blog, you know what you aren't doing? Having sex. Well, maybe you are. In which case, maybe put the phone down, Mr./Ms. multitasker. But for the rest of you, unless you are already pregnant (because like Plan B, this blog can not end an existing pregnancy. For those of you in the cheap seats, AHEM HOBBY LOBBY, I’ll say it again this blog, like Plan B, cannot end an existing pregnancy.) this blog is preventing new life because it is preventing you from making babies by actively keeping you from having baby-making sex. Thus, it is an abortifacient. (those of you without a uterus, bet you didn’t know you could have an abortion. It is true. According to the religious fanatics, YOU CAN! Just ask the Becket Fund! They are probably having abortions RIGHT THIS SECOND!)

But don’t worry. The baby Jesus will forgive you. Just walk way from this post and have some unprotected, baby-making sex, sans contraception, ASAP. And hopefully, unlike me, you live in a state that is actually pro life, not in the sense that they restrict women’s rights, but in the sense that they do stuff that supports actual life. Meaning they expand medicaid to help people actually alive and stuff. Like the baby you hopefully will conceive after you close this browser. (high five, you baby-maker, you!)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Years

In keeping with tradition (also, this lets me just copy and paste last year’s New Year’s post and just add one new picture #lazy), here’s our family’s history in holiday pictures.

I was like a day pregnant with Hannah or something here. I have no idea because I can’t remember when I took this picture. But I found out I was pregnant with Hannah on Christmas day 2008. That was pretty exciting. I mean, it was until everyone kept asking me if it was intentional. What the heck, guys? That is such a weird question. And yeah, it was.

I don’t think we did Christmas cards this year because I had just sent out birth announcements. Like super late. Because that is how I roll.

And here is Hannah when she was like, 15 months old. And Maggie when she was entering her third trimester. Or as I like to think of it, Maggie’s quiet phase.

So this was some of my best work getting us dressed for family photos.

And this was when I was like, why am I paying other people to take our photos? We could have done this. In fact, Cork had to edit them. This year we took the pictures ourselves. Well, we got the camera ready and did the editing and my brother’s fiancĂ©e snapped the shot.

I think I’m going to take a photography course. Or not. We are sort of lazy like that. Anyway, when I went to buy that dress, I had the girls with me. Just me and the girls. So I brought them into the dressing room and Hannah is all: you are naked (she thinks anybody without a shirt on is naked. When we are on walks she asks me why half of the runners are naked). I like your bra. Your panties have flowers. Then they tried to crawl under the door and escape. And then I remembered why I do all my shopping online. Seriously. All of it. Anyway, you might have noticed Cork’s sweater. He’s like, I do what I want. I wear Santa sweaters. It’s true. He does.

Happy New Years, Y’all!