Archive for the ‘Blessed and possessed’ Category

The tradition we got suckered into.

March 28, 2017

I spent half my drive into work trying to figure it out: was it the first free program to get yanked, or had a short grant finally ended? Today is STAAR testing day – statewide mandatory testing of all non-testable skills and subjects of all classes ever classed. Or something. NOT BIG ON MANDATORY ONE-SIZE FITS ALL TESTIACNG. (Can ya tell?) And every other year, since Gracie was in 3rd grade and we kicked off on this adventure, the girls got a voucher for a few breakfast value meal from McDonald’s. This year? No coupons.

I actually tried (and think I succeeded at) mathing it out – if it was a five-year grant, and it started the year Gracie was in school, that means this would be the first year post-grant. Thus, no coupons. Maybe it was a grant funded by McDonald’s, aimed at getting good breakfasts every year into kiddos on test days in major cities. Maybe some other major city gets to start their five-year run this year. Maybe it was funded by the city and they put it on the chopping block. Maybe our school’s free breakfast program for every student was so successful they didn’t need to pay twice for the same advantage. Maybe not enough of the coupons were being redeemed. Dude, I better not have been the only parent dragging my butt outta bed early on test day!

Because I totally got suckered in. I think I did it the first year and it was a catastrophe – buying breakfast for the Bee-meister Meister-Burger because her sister had a coupon – and then made Gracie late or me late or something. And so I wasn’t going to do it the next year, but the Ex offered. And then it was a tradition and we all just kinda made it work for two days. Yes, eating a good breakfast is a good thing. But forcing little kids to get up 30 minutes early? A little counter-intuitive.

But! Test day. If the kids wanted to get up early, then fine. My sleep schedule has been so screwy, I didn’t care. Of course, then I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 a.freakin’m., and really could have used that extra thirty minutes, but whatevs. I could pull it together. I even remembered to tell the Ex what the plan was for the morning, in case the girls were a little early or a little late. And offered to grab something for them or especially for the girls’ niece – because I believe walking into someone’s house with delicious breakfast food is rude, unless you’re going to share. Especially when one of the peoples is a three-year-old who wants whatever her aunties have!

Except, I don’t think the warning that the girls might be early really hit home because we pulled up to the house and it was dark-dark. “Dad sleeps until 6:30,” Gracie announced. “But I told him!” I whined. And then, as it hit me, “Uh…is the house alarm gonna go off if you use your key to go in?” “I think so,” she answered in a way that took all the doubt out of “think”. I thought we might be a few minutes early, but not 15-20 minutes. The only times I’ve gone through the drive-through, there’s been a huge back-up…probably because of the free coupons. I had no idea I was only going to need five extra minutes, or we all coulda slept in a bit more.

Dang it.

It was kinda funny when the three of us girls just looked at each other, collectively shrugged, and then Bee started handing out sausage biscuits. The hot cakes were a little messy for the car, but breakfast sandwiches? No problem. So we got to eat breakfast together in the dark of the car, idling in their dad’s neighborhood (sorry, neighbors, if that was keeping any of you up).

At least I don’t have to worry about it for another whole year. The girls get to spend the night with their dad tonight and the breakfast tradition baton is all his. Mwa ha ha!

Well…that’s one way to cure it.

March 27, 2017

Have I mentioned? In the midst of everything else going on (or maybe because of it), I’ve had a bit of insomnia. Or, I did…until last night happened.

Yesterday was a bit of a weird day. It was scattered. The girls had church, during which I took the most glorious nap. (Napping hasn’t be a problem for my insomnia. And yes, I can hear you: but not napping has no effect on whether or not I sleep at night) When the girls came home, they had lunch, and worked on a few chores.

Oh, and that’s when I might have mentioned to them that it was supposed to tornado on our heads later. Our tor:con was 5 and, yeah. Not really happy about it, but at least it wasn’t all day? I had things to do!

So the girls looked at the sky and shrugged their shoulders and moved on with their afternoons. Bee worked on laundry, Gracie went to Costco with me [she had requested, by the way, that we now call her The Man Of The House because she is the strongest and could move the giant dog food bag by herself]. Then we went home, unloaded the car and looked at the sky again.

Not much going on.

So I went for a run, spent my energy, showered, sent the girls through their showers early, in case it was storming later, and checked the radar. Yeah, there they were – storms off to our west. Just about the same time that I saw the storms on the radar, my weather radio went off with a tornado watch. And then a severe thunderstorm warning for counties north and south. I couldn’t tell by the radar, but it looked possible that the storms would split and miss us. So just in case…

I took a quick poll and decided to order pizza. The good kind I had to go pick up. Which meant I would just miss the storms coming back. At least, I would if the line held.

Of Bee and I went. We grabbed our goodies and headed back. The wind was up, the clouds were gray, but nothing terrible. We ate our pizza undisturbed.

Well – not really. The NOAA weather alarm went off every few minutes. Everyone else was getting slammed with storms but us! So I read my book and shut off the alarm every time it went off, but those times were slowing down.

And that’s when it happened – I put my head down on my bed for just for a moment. I even left my finger holding my page in my book. I just needed a ten-minute nap.

My “ten minutes” was interrupted some untold time later by the weather radio. Gracie ran in and we listened. I told her I was just resting my eyes. I think she got the message by how sleepy I seemed when I was trying to shut off the beeping.

The alarm went off again, and I honestly couldn’t tell you which girl I talked to.Someone came in. We talked, I shut the alarm off, and I closed my eyes again.

When I opened them the next time, it was dark in my room. I looked at the clock. It was midnight. I got up and went out into the living room – Fenway was asleep, the kitchen was shut down, the locks all on, and the alarm was set. The girls did an awesome job getting the house shut down, even if they didn’t wake me up. Even the alarm clock in Bee’s room was turned on.

Yep, that’s one way to nap.

I must have needed it. I was exhausted. Too many nights where I wasn’t sleeping. Still! I can’t believe the girls had picked up and then shut down the house. They set the alarm and did everyone a grown-up would do. Well – almost. They didn’t turn on the outside light before setting the alarm, but I bet they didn’t even know I did that. I was so proud of them!

I asked them this morning if they really went to bed at 9pm (normal bedtime) and they swore they did. I asked them why they didn’t wake me up and reassured them that they are allowed to wake me. Bee says she opened the door at bedtime and said “Mom?” once. I didn’t move. So she shrugged her shoulders (again) and just went to bed.

After checking on the house at midnight, I went back to bed and slept until 5a. Not bad. I went to bed three hours earlier than I would have, and only got up one hour earlier. And all of those hours were filled with sleep!

The other funny bit is that after an entire day of staring at the sky and being “excited” (uh, “anxious”, Katie – get it right), I slept through the whole thing! Bee said it never stormed, and Gracie said it was just windy (which explained why the extra security pole was wedged under the back door). I missed the wind and the storms missed us. But not everyone – my phone was lit up with messages and tweets about hail storms and thunderstorms and everything else. Uhhh…glad I’m not northeast? Because it sounded unfun. You know – as I WAS SLEEPING!

I shouldn’t brag too loud about that, or this sleep thing will disappear!

Spring break is broken.

March 13, 2017

I don’t know if I can write when I’m this tired. And, you guys, I am exhausted, no matter how you say it. Tarrrrd, as you’d hear down here. Tie-yid, as you’d hear back home.  Mmmphmph, as you’d hear muffled against my pillow.

I knew taking such a late nap yesterday was a mistake. The problem was, I was so exhausted yesterday that I nearly as dangerous behind the wheel, and I knew I wanted Lebanese food later. So I need a nap. At 2 p.m. On a Sunday, without a day off behind it to buffer any wonky sleep patterns I created.

Guess what I created?

Wonky sleep patterns for the win.

It didn’t help that we sprang? sprung? sproohovened? forward, further breaking my sleeping habits. [Confession: my habits weren’t all that habitual. The delayed-sleep/early-wake insomniac will step aside now.] So, yes, I needed a nap yesterday at 3 p.m. clock time. Which was, uh, 2 p.m. body time. Not terrible, but not great. And, like I said, utterly exhausted. So I let myself lie down for just a few minutes. At 4-friggin-thirty, I got up. And I was tired again for bed at 8, so I didn’t think I’d done that much damage. Until I watched the clock tick by without any sleep. How can a person be that. tired. and not fall asleep? It baffles me.

I finally fell asleep about midnight. And woke up every thirty minutes or so. I’m sure that was incredibly restorative. At 3 a.m., my body could feel me mocking the sleep I was getting and decided to give up the ghost. There’s just a certain feeling that some not-sleeping has wherein it lacks the optimism that other not-sleep still maintains. In other words, sometimes I still hope I can fall back asleep, and sometimes I just know with absolute certainty that I won’t.

Last night – this morning – I knew I wouldn’t. And so I got up, popped on some bad TV, and gave myself an hour. An hour would still give myself two hours of sleeeeepy time after I went back to bed. It would be cool. That wasn’t too mean. Right? Except it took me a while before I fell back asleep and then when my alarm finally went off, I cried a little bit. And by “a little bit”, I mean that I thought about chucking my alarm across the room and calling in sick…

But I didn’t do that. I shut off the alarm clock, dragged myself through the motions of getting dressed, and then decided (the one morning I feel like breakfast) to forego it because I had time for either a nap or McDonald’s. The nap won.

I wish I could go ahead and skip coffee for another nap. That would be just what I needed. Just the ticket to get my spring break back on track. Because adulting for spring break? not how I think it’s supposed to be done.

Five for Friday.

March 3, 2017

Of course today would be Friday, the easiest day to blog, when I actually feel like myself and want to blog about something. Okay, let’s go with it and hopefully this Can-Do Katie is still here on Monday. (Or, you know, I write a coupla drafts in a few minutes…)

So what do we have shakin’ today? A few things! (Five, in fact, Sarcastic Katie would like you to know.) Ahem.

1. Poor pitiful penguin (that would be Gracie) is home with the stomach bug. It hit her like a truck last night – fine one minute at choir rehearsal, then halfway home she slumped against the door. I thought maybe she was tired from a long day, long week, but she said she didn’t feel good. She helped me move the trash bins back behind the house and then bolted for the bathroom, and that was pretty much the last time I saw her all night. She was still pukey this morning, and I’ve told her I trust her judgement when it comes to school or no school, so my penguin is home, making out with the toilet from the looks of things. [Side note: bet she doesn’t argue with me about cleaning the bathroom next time. Hmph.]

2. Before Gracie got all pukey, she was quite adorable. Yesterday she had a full-scale choir rehearsal for their competition that’s coming up. It’s like nerd Olympics, but for middle school choirs. They’re judged on a song they’ve rehearsed, a song they’re given, and a short bit of sight reading. And it’s all done full tilt – which is why Gracie needed black flats and why she was so adorable making all the arrangements like a little grown-up. First she arranged it so that she and a few friends were walking the two blocks to the high school (it really isn’t far and is a good [though busy] neighborhood, so as long as there’s a herd of them, I don’t mind a middle-of-the-day romp – they have to grow up some time), and then one of her bestie’s mom was going to drive them all (because she did mind about them walking alone), and so all I had to do was pick Gracie up at 6p because her dad was busy. She did that all on her own, made sure she had the shoes, and made sure she brought the shoes to school early enough so her choir teacher could hem her formal black choir smock dress.

3. The dress! It was the dress that killed me, because Gracie hated it. As all choir members do, I believe. I told her how Kim and her choir friends (the Altos, natch) from college had dubbed the dresses the Black Frocks of Doom. Even Pukey Gracie collapsed in appreciative giggles at that. I offered to help her take off the BFOD because it still had pins in it (I had offered to help hem all the dresses when Gracie told me on Tuesday that her choir teacher was doing them all; because hemming sucks, I have a sewing machine, I know what I’m doing, and did I mention I know how much hemming sucks?), but Gracie said her teacher was tape-hemming. So I was a little surprised to see the dress was still pinned, but meh. Whatever. Gracie didn’t want my help anyway – the BFOD was off before I finished offering even. And when I asked her why she did it so fast and casually when there were pins in it!!!, she looked at me like I was nuts. She looked down at it and so I did too and then I noticed the pins were SAFETY PINS. Safety pins!!! What the man! Mum never used safety pins! We got straight pins and you learned pretty dang fast to stand still when Mum was pulling the dress over your head because pins hurt. Safety pins. Pfft. Those kids don’t even know.

4. So with Gracie running between the bathroom and sleep, glorious sleep!, in her bed, I was experiencing some major role reversal at my house last night. Usually Bee is in bed way early, gripping her emergency bucket (Bee’s migraines make her pukey), and Gracie is in the living room, chatting with me and playing Rummy 5000 (we have a constant tally going) while we watch TV and talk about our day. Last night, Bee was my companion, as she sat on the lounge chair, playing a game on her computer, while I ate a late dinner. We were chatting and watching TV and having a good time while she did whatever she was doing with her game, when suddenly I heard: “Sugarfingers!!” I about died laughing. It’s the cutest like fake bad word and Imma steal it.

5. It’s cold! [Here is where my sisters in Connecticut where it’s negative degrees reach through the screen and murder me.] I mean, not freezing, because 39°, but my point is that it was cold enough for me to wear my scarf! I’ve worn it a time or two, but this has been a pretty mild winter, so even though February is usually when we get our ice storms, I haven’t had a chance. This morning? Totally needed it. I thought about changing my shirt so I would match, but I decided I still wanted my orange stripes because they made me happy. And so matchy-people can bite me – it makes me happy, damnit. And it’s gonna be 70° later, so the scarf is temporary anyway.



I hope you all get to do something today that makes YOU happy!

Quote of the Day.

March 1, 2017

The setting: We’ve entered the land of the Gracie being able to wear some of my shoes and some of my smaller tshirts and cardigans – the kind of clothes you can “cheat” on a little. But mostly shoes. To the point that while the girl has her own everyday shoes, there’s no point in paying for a second set of dressy “church” shoes when I have an entire selection in my closet. And so…

Gracie: Mom, I need a pair of black flats for choir on Thursday night.
Me: Okay, let’s go take a look at what I have.
<We walk into my closet. Gracie starts looking at black shoes.>
Gracie: Hey. Half of these are too big, and half of them are too small, and why do you have so many sizes, and WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!
Me: Welcome to the rest of your life.

Heh. Women’s sizing. It’s a trip, kiddo.

Because I still can’t believe that happened.

February 15, 2017

Yes, this post is, like, two weeks late, but I still have thoughts. And daydreams, and squeals of joy, and jaw-dropping, gaping, lit-face kind of wonder.

My team, the Patriots, those guys so dear to my heart (even if I broke up with my fantasy husband) – they won the Superbowl. SERIOUSLY. They WON THE SUPERBOWL! I mean – !!!!!!

(And that’s with 10 days to pull myself together. I still just have handfuls of exclamation points. I’m trying.)

Brady (my new Ex), has been demure in his interviews, insisting it wasn’t his best game, and I have to agree – both with his assessment of the quality of play, and also with my loyalty as a fan. Some bad karma’s gonna come of this, and I fully expect it will be doled out in free agency.

We went all out for preparations. I think we bought every type of chip that exists in the world. Gracie made sour cream and onion dip, and Bee arranged everything and made some salsa. The family Superbowl pool was drawn up, squares were picked, and the excitement was through. the. roof.


And then: the game started.

It was not the best game.

I couldn’t believe (but kind of) that the dumpster fire of 2016/2017 was consuming my Superbowl. I mean, I knew Julio Jones was going to be a beast, but really? None of the Pats were going to show up?

At halftime, I removed myself from the game as an act of self-care. My anxiety couldn’t be quieted by any of the meds I fed it. I felt like a traitor, but I did it. I had to. I planted myself at my laptop in my room and followed the game on my phone. (Hey, I couldn’t remove myself entirely.) Gracie had abandoned the game, too, fleeing to her room in tears. Apparently, she also started FaceTime-ing with The Boyfriend as her own act of self-care. And this is kind of important to remember for later.

So there was Bee, our anti-football girl, sitting watching the game by herself. She would run in and tell me when something big happened. I explained why I had removed myself and she said she would only come in when we scored…which happened just as soon as I put on my good luck ring that I had worn during the last Superbowl, but forgot this time.

Yes, I am ridiculously superstitious about football. And since we had scored (and then again!) when I walked out of the room, and when I put on my ring…that meant I couldn’t go back. I can’t lie – that second score gave me a glimmer of hope. I started thinking that at least it wouldn’t feel like we got skunked. Every time Bee came tearing into the room with a score update, my heart beat a little faster. And that fourth quarter – !!!! Gracie had drifted back to the living room, and so I was trying to interpret the game from a room away based on my tweenager’s screams. Anyone with a tween knows that screams and squeals could be anything – good or bad. And they were a lot more instant than my twitter updates. “WHAT’S HAPPENING?!” I yelled back more than once. When we made that 2-point conversion, I started hoping way more than was healthy for me. If it didn’t come off, “crushed” wouldn’t begin to describe how hurt I’d feel.

Overtime. Slater won us the coin toss. And I knew. I knew after that 4th quarter momentum that there was no way we’d be denied. I hovered on the threshold of my room, superstitiously refusing to watch from the living room. Our comeback had been staged with me in the other room. I couldn’t jinx anything. But that moment. That moment when White crossed the plane of the endzone and everyone went nuts, HOLY MOTHER the scene at my house! There was jumping, screaming, yelling – it was chaos of the purest joy. I maybe yelled that Goodell could suck it, and then Gracie’s Boyfriend maybe chuckled from her phone where he was still on FaceTime. I was mortified – I haven’t even met the kid! – but went back to partying with a (slightly) cleaner mouth.


I ordered us all Superbowl Champions hoodies and shirts. I read every article I could find online. I made Gracie stay up to watch the post-game coverage with me. I maybe yelled “LET’S GO TO HOUSTON!” A 4-hour drive was totally do-able! Undoubtedly fans would still be partying when we got there. My kids somehow talked me out of that madcap adventure.

It was midnight before I went to sleep. And I still haven’t come down off this high. One day it will feel real. It will feel less like a daydream. But apparently two weeks isn’t nearly enough time. Not now. Not for a good while, I imagine. And I’m glad for it.

Monday morning hit hard.

February 13, 2017

Whewww, what a morning Casa de Katie experienced! I am thankful that all the childrens are dropped off and I am where I need to be for awhile.

Firstly, I slept last night. After getting maybe two hours of sleep each of the previous two nights, I slept hard. Like, so hard that when my alarm went off, I was still walking into things, trying to get everything done. It was like I was underwater. So that was fun.

I also had set my alarm 20 minutes earlier so I could straighten my (very short) hair that I chopped off. And I mean, chopped. I get 2-3 inches by straightening it, so that’s what I’m going to do. It’s like an adjustment period to the length.

So because I was up early, I walked out to the security alarm, shut it off, let the dog out, got the dog’s breakfast and basically just started the morning at Casa de Katie. I always check the cracks under the girls’ doors to make sure they’re up. Usually they’re both out on the couch by the time I walk out there, but this morning there was only Bee’s light on under her door, and Gracie’s was dark. I thought about waking her up, just to be safe, but she never forgets her alarm, and I had set mine much earlier than usual. Probably her alarm just usually wasn’t going off yet.

You know where this is going.

I got ready and walked out into the kitchen and living room at my usual time. There’s Bee on the couch, playing Minecraft. But no Gracie.

I walked to her room. Darkness in the crack under the door. Ominous confirmation. I fling open the door (sorry, Gracie) and if I can describe my tone, it was gently frantic. “Gracie!! It’s 6:30!!” Really it was 6:24, and yes, those 6 minutes are important. It was a half-hour later than she usually gets up. She didn’t have tennis, so her carpool from her dad’s house was a little later. We had some wiggle room. But I didn’t want to be late either. I urged her to get ready as fast as she could, and hoo boy was she flying around.

Of course, Fenway chose this morning to be one of the mornings she refused to go outside. Thankfully, she happily pranced out the door when Bee put on her shoes and went with her. I hate reinforcing that trick, but I really couldn’t deal with it this morning.

I put some cereal in a baggie for Gracie to wear in the car. She came flying out of her room, hair brushed and all dressed…in shorts and a tshirt. (She did have a sweatshirt that she threw on the couch to bring with her.) I reminded her again that it was supposed to be a lot colder today. High of 54°, not the 80s we had all weekend. She said she had pants on the chair and she would change at her dad’s house. But we’ve been having an issue with all their clothes ending up at their dad’s house and having nothing at ours. (Stepmom just sent back an entire canvas bag filled with Bee’s clothes after she went through her laundry and dresser, bless her heart!) So I made Gracie change right then. No shorts necessary. Especially since her cough is getting less asthma-y and more head-cold-y. (Poor pitiful penguin.) She grumbled and I swear to god actually stomped her foot, but she changed.

Gracie came flying back into the kitchen, four minutes before we were supposed to leave, and started making her lunch. “Shoes first,” I told her. She takes forever with her shoes in the morning. “But I can put them on in the car!” Nope. She was mad, but she can buy lunch at school; she just prefers to take one. Shoes were on in record time, and lunch was assembled. I nixed some of her snacks because three cake-type snack? Nope. I might need to supervise a little better because the rule has always been two healthy snacks and one “good” one. They used to be good about it, but…

And so it came to be that we actually left the house on time. Gracie had her arms crossed in the car, but assured me she wasn’t mad at me, she was mad at her alarm for not going off. She even checked it. I suggested setting her phone for 5 minutes after her alarm tomorrow, just to be sure the alarm clock wasn’t malfunctioning. I mean, it is just a cheapo $5 clock from a box store. It might be the clock’s fault.

But really, I think it’s Monday’s fault. Monday morning – eesh!  Here’s hoping for a better day for all of us. I’m choosing happy. Please comply, Universe.

This is getting to be a Sunday night ritual.

January 30, 2017

Last night was a good, good night. I made my Twice-Stolen Peruvian Roast Chicken for dinner, and the girls didn’t even complain. I warned them we’d be having more family dinners, and they said they didn’t mind – even though they preferred “easy” dinners where they could have waffles or heat up leftovers. They don’t even like chicken right now, but they didn’t complain. And don’t say anything, but I think Gracie liked the Peruvian flavor. It does make a difference when you cook your chicken skin-on.

After our sit-down dinner, Gracie sat down to watch the SAG Award show. I offered up the big TV, and asked Bee if she wanted to come craft in my bedroom with me. It’s what we did the last time there was an awards show, and we had a lot of fun. Bless that girl, she did want to hang out with her mama. So she grabbed a sew-your-own pillow kit she got for Christmas, and I grabbed some scrapbooking supplies, and off we went.


Here’s my partner-in-crime. You can see the friendship character on the pillow kit. Bee looks all serious because she’s trying not to knot her string because it was awfully tangly.

We watched the rest of Anne of Green Gables and the Bee-girl really got into it (and my heart rejoiced!). I answered her questions best I could as I worked on my own projects:

And then there was this one, which kinda encapsulated all the scrapbooking I had gotten done this weekend:

The journaling reads:

This is the first I’ve scrapbooked in a long time. More than a year. And there are… There are pictures I’m not using. Pages I’m not creating. It’s a choice. A conscious choice. It hurts to think about Jeff and X-man. It hurts to even write their names. Trying to recreate 2016 – with them or without them – is painful. The absences and gaping holes are painful. The pictures that include them, even if I leave them out of my running commentary – those are painful. I have no way of knowing, right now, what is more painful or less painful. It’s all painful. All of it.


So my choice is to not include them in as many things as I can. My energy in faking happiness in the journalism prompts is low. I save it for hte few I feel I can’t skip.


So there are gaping holes. So what. And I’ll keep pushing through. Because at least I’m scrapbooking at all. At least I’m me again.

I find it’s much easier to be Brave when I have my Bee-girl around. She and I had fun. I like hanging out with her and seeing how her mind turns. It’s an important year – she’s right on the brink of growing up and becoming a tween. And besides that – she’s Bee! She’s sneaky and devious and hilarious and she has this way of unsettling you any time you feel like you have the least bit of balance. You never know what you’re going to talk about. And she has a terrible poker face, so you can always see what’s behind all the machinations of her thinking. It’s like playing in a giant funhouse, these nights full of conversation.

The fact that it’s all happening during a night of crafting? That’s just icing on the cake. Mmmm….cake.

#24in48 Readathon: Mission complete!

January 23, 2017

I was going to write about how Gracie, Bee, and I watched the Patriots annihilate the Steelers to advance to Superbowl LI, but we still have to win the Superbowl, and I don’t want to anger the Football Gods. Because I really want Goodell to have to hand the trophy to Tom Brady on the podium.

So we won’t talk about that, because: laden with superstition. Instead, we’ll talk about our the #24in48 Readathon we participated in! We had a blast! The girls and I jumped the gun and started Friday night. We got three hours in, and I finished my first book – a smutty romance, which was just the thing to get my mind off of other things that might have been happening Friday. Ahem.

On Saturday, the girls and I went all. out. We all wore literary shirts (Bee had to borrow one of my short-sleeve shirts to wear over a long-sleeve shirt), and I passed out literary socks for everyone to wear. (Who knew I had so many?!) We were dressed to impress!


[For those who can’t see, mine is a Hermione Granger quote that says “When in doubt, go to the library”, Bee is wearing my “Team: Don’t Read Crappy Books” tee, and Gracie’s is her new Alice shirt.]

Then we tucked in. I spent Saturday reading all of the March graphic novels by John Lewis. Bee finished reading The Gunslinger, although when I questioned her about it, the graphic novel seems a bit different from the novel. So Imma have to read it before I give away certain plot points. [Uh, like the No Traveling Alone rule.] And Gracie finished reading Taken, about a teen who’s kidnapped and locked in a trunk. And lemme tell you how glad I am that I don’t have a trunk because Gracie desperately wanted to see if she could get out of one. Sigh. Teens!

After awhile, I convinced the kiddos to come out of their reading lairs. Bee spent the day switching between her bed and the couch, and Gracie had made a nest in our Book Nook – the spot behind the lounge chair, against the half wall and near the fire place. It’s the coziest, nookiest nook in the house.

Eventually we went to the library, to break up the day, and left with piles of books. Naturally. Then we treated ourselves to an early sushi dinner, because we had forgotten to eat lunch. (Reading good books will do that.) Then it was back home to read, read, read.

I ended the day with 15 hours of reading (if you count the time carried over from the night before), and the girls 10 hours. Not bad!

Sunday I read a Janet Evanovitch mystery and then called an early end to our Readathon because the reading wasn’t doing much for my sinus headache. I was supposed to sneak in a visit with some friends of ours, but I just couldn’t socialize. Not even fake-socialize. So we grocery-shopped and watched football.

Final book tallies! Me: 5 books, 20 hours. Gracie: 2 books, 12 hours. Bee: 4 books, 12 hours.

I am so proud of my squinkies for hanging in there! I know an entire weekend of reading isn’t high up there on their favorite ways to spend a weekend, but they do like the clout of saying they joined a Grown-up Book Event. I like that I “tricked” them into reading and got to spend so much time with them. Good job, us!

Here’s to reading! And many more readathons in our future.


Five for Friday.

January 20, 2017

This week went by fast, you guys. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been so busy, or what, but it’s been nice!  Except how’m I gonna duplicate it next week if I don’t know how I made it happen??

While I’m puzzling that out, let’s see what we have going on…

1. Bee-girl is off on a crazy adventure today. The fifth-grade class (the upper-classmen at her school) traditionally go to an outdoor activity camp in the spring. I’m not sure why it was moved to January this year, but we’re rolling with it. They get to participate in archery, hiking, and all sorts of experiments and fun. It’s a gorgeous day outside – clear with a high of 73°. Baby girl is gonna have a blast!

2. And I know this because I spent last night last-minute planning with Bee-girl and with the help of my teacher friends. (Have a few in your village if you don’t already guys – they’re invaluable!) Bee made her lunch and I sat and wondered what we were going to do with her phone. Bee doesn’t get back until 5:45ish tonight. I was gonna have her call me when she was at school since I’m only a 3-minute drive away. But I don’t exactly want her losing her phone while she’s running around like a maniac. So I texted Kim G., the girls’ second mama who just happens to teach up there. I told Kim I wasn’t sure if a crossbody purse was allowed. She didn’t know either, and suggested a jacket with pockets that snap or zipper. I countered that this is BEE we’re talking about – the girl would put it down somewhere and lose it and her phone. So then Kim G. said to text Bee’s teacher, that it wasn’t too late at night (it kind of was) – and she knew because she had started texting her with my questions. NO ONE has better teachers at their school than my kids! Bee gets to take her crossbody purse. Her phone, emergency/gift shop money, and tissues have all been secured.

3. Gracie-girl, on the other hand, lost some phone time last night. We’re having a problem lately with remembering to bring our stuff home from Dad’s. Even if I remind everyone. So when Gracie had to wear her pajama bottoms to her Dad’s because her tennis pants were over there, I kinda lost it a little. Every trick I’ve tried to motivate Gracie has failed. And she’s my “responsible one” who doesn’t do this! In light of that, I’m trying to give her a break, but my patience has worn thin. So Gracie lost her phone for an hour last night. And you know what? She remembered to bring home her stuff.

4. I tried a new curl creme last night and it’s NOT working. The Pantene BB Curl Creme (or whatever it’s called) is certainly soft and touchable…but it does not tame the wild mess of “curls” (can I call them curls? in this state?) that are rioting from my head in directions that should not be followed. And the FRIZZ. Good god. A hair elastic will be making an appearance very, very soon.

5. I am ignoring the news today. I am finding my happy place and staying there. If anything happens that I straight-up NEED to know, someone text me. Don’t even call, because I’m screening those, too. Happy place is sacred. Happy place is necessary. Happy place includes a readathon that starts right after work and school. So: YAY HAPPY PLACE!!! You guys are welcome to join me, if you want. Because my Happy Place is all about inclusion.

So there you go guys. A few things rattling around my brain. Now tell me – what are YOU GUYS up to? How are you spending your day? Where is YOUR happy place?