Wednesday, November 26, 2014

There was a dog?

MB: Here, you'll like this. 

Me: You are correct. 

MB: I thought you'd appreciate it. 

Me: There's nothing about that photo I don't like. 

MB: The dog probably sheds a lot. 

Me: Don't even care. 

MB: You were probably like, "There's a dog in the picture?"

Me: Actually, I saw that the title said "and a cute puppy" and had to look again for the dog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Too soon!

It snowed overnight Sunday into Monday, enough that school was canceled and Nico woke up begging to go play outside. Elliott's Kindermusik teacher, who is probably from somewhere up north, did not cancel class, so we went to that first. Afterwards, both boys did get to go play in the snow. I felt quite smug about having full snow kits in appropriate sizes for each of them. Elliott was rather skeptical of the whole affair and lasted about 20 minutes before attempting to go back into the house by himself. Nico had to be ordered inside for lunch after an hour and a half, and then asked to go back out in the afternoon. I still maintain that it's too early for snow and overnight lows of 10 degrees here in the Upper South, but at least the kids got their snow day. (And it's supposed to be in the 40s tomorrow, so I'll curtail my complaining.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Things I like a lot right now

I've had this post open and unfinished on my laptop for ten days now. I think that's a pretty good illustration of how things are going vis my "sit down and have writing time in the evenings" success rate.

But let's not waste words or time on that, lest this entry never, ever be completed.

1. I discovered the Unfuck Your Habitat website and tumblr via facebook about a month ago and I am now gently obsessed. I have the #UfYH tag open in a Safari tab on my phone so I can refresh it every day and look at people's before and after cleaning photos. It's funny - the site simultaneously helps me feel hugely relieved over the state of my dwelling (which is clearly and undeniably not all that messy, relatively speaking) and motivates me to follow the site author's advice and clean things up more often. Her rule of thumb is that any room that takes more than 20 minutes to reset to a pleasant state counts as messy, which seems fair. I'm still crap at remembering to take before photos of my own work, which then makes the after photos rather superfluous, but at least I am producing some before and after results. I don't think I'll be ready for my shelter magazine spread anytime soon, but a few areas of the house are the cleanest they've been in ages. I feel like this new approach is helping me to change the way I think about my messes in a small but significant way, to look for different ways to deal with them rather than continuing to move piles around my house. I'm also coming to realize that a lot of tiny, steady improvements ultimately add up to the same overall result as one big sweeping cleaning spree, and they take a lot less time and energy. (Plus it's not as frustrating when they inevitably don't last due to the constant creep of entropy.)

tiny improvement, large sense of satisfaction

2. I recently read The Girl With All the Gifts and loved it, even though there were parts that made me literally squirm in my seat while I was reading. I didn't see the ending coming, either, which is always a nice surprise. I figured it wouldn't be all unicorns and rainbows but I did not anticipate the last turn it took. Five stars, wholly recommend. Unless you don't like fast zombies. Then, perhaps not.

3. Right now I'm working on What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. At least three times already I've had to assure my coworkers I was laughing at the book rather than at them. I'm thinking about buying a copy so that we have it on hand for the boys to read when they're older.

4. I discovered Manhattan Nest via a link on another blog, and I want to take a day off to sit on the couch in my pajamas reading every post in his archive. Then I want to hire him to renovate my kitchen and bathroom.

5. A friend alerted me to the existence of the #29daysofcomplaining hashtag / meme on facebook and it's pretty much the best new holiday tradition ever. I'm actually a really grateful person, but I still roll my eyes at the thirty days of gratitude posts, especially toward the end of the month where it's obvious that everyone's grasping. About a dozen people have already left comments to say they find the daily complaints hilarious, which was the entire point.

6. This happened and I couldn't put it on facebook because I'm friends with MB's mamaw.

7. One of my UfYH-inspired cleaning projects was to deal with the huge stack of preschool art that was living on our dining room buffet. I felt somewhat stymied because I definitely didn't want to save it all, but I felt a little bad about not wanting to save it all. Then I remembered that ages ago someone recommended an app for archiving one's child's precious creations. A cursory google search led to this article, and based on the descriptions I chose and purchased ArtKive for $4.99, the most I've ever spent on an app. I'm pretty sure I won't have any buyer's remorse. I took all of Nico's previously-enshrined art projects down from the playroom blinds, put everything into ArtKive, ruthlessly archived and culled the new stuff, and then hung up the new elite favorites. Done.

Saturday, November 01, 2014


I'm feeling a little sheepish about only posting on this blog once during the entire month of October. That's just embarrassing, and the poor old girl deserves better, I'm sure. I've seen so many of my favorite bloggers slowly give up posting as their kids grew older and I used to think it was a lack of material as babies turned into big kids. But no, at least for me it's that we are too busy doing things to save time to write about the things we're doing. And care and feeding and upkeep of the house takes a lot of time, too, so then by the time I finally sit down at the end of the night I'm usually so tired I immediately fall asleep on the couch. But I still love this little blog and I hope to do better this month.

With no clever lead-in, here's what we did during the most perfect October in memory:

Somewhere along the way my baby turned fully into a toddler and I'm not sure I approve:

October 19 - fall photos...get these children a modeling contract!

After pictures we went to the pumpkin patch, where Elliott insisted he could carry his own pumpkin:

(Maybe still a baby some of the time)

It turns out 4 3/4 is an excellent age for helping to make and decorate cookies.

We were unexpectedly given free amusement park tickets for the last Sunday of the month, so we went. There was an awesome corn maze, which MB and the kids loved. I have to say, I now understand why it's such a serious crisis when a kid wanders off into a cornfield in Iowa. This thing was serious business. They even had a guy up on an aerial lift watching for distress flags in case anyone got lost in the maze. I'm pretty sure all three boys want to go back next year.

Very intently collecting and lining up tiny pumpkins:

Elliott loves carousels, it turns out. He went around four times in a row while Nico was having a bowl of blue ice cream.

Both kids are very into blocks right now. It's awesome.

This was Elliott's first year to trick-or-treat, and he was a champ. He carried his pumpkin bucket up and down with the bigger kids and hung in until we all decided we were cold and it was time to go home. I'm absurdly sad that I can't magically make these costumes fit them again next year.

I got to wrap up the Halloween season with a grownup pumpkin carving party at Laura Danger's house. It was a lot of fun hanging out and my skunk-o-lantern won first prize.

Not bad, autumn...not bad at all.