Thursday, October 30, 2014

He Gets Me

Yesterday, just as I was walking out of the office, lunch still uneaten in hand, Brad called. He asked if I could meet him for lunch somewhere--my pick. Yes. Yes, that is exactly what I needed.

We just went to a little place downtown--nothing fancy, just great sandwiches. We talked about work and nothing in particular. We went to vote. We were home in time to get the kids off the bus and do the afternoon and evening routines. It really wasn't anything extraordinary.

Except it was.

I am running on fumes. There's a lot of sadness around me. Our little family is thriving, but the sadness around me is getting to be a bit much. Work is still insane, and the housework is mounting. Families I know are dealing with things they shouldn't have to face. I can feel myself slipping into a funk, and I'm fighting to stay out. Thankfully, Brad is right there beside me pulling me out. He knows when I need a little extra of him, and for that I am forever grateful.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ninja Hiding Spot

Monday, Issa set about reorganizing our DVDs. That left an empty hole that clearly needed to be filled with something while the DVDs were scattered about the floor:
He used his stealth ninja skills to hide.

Oh how I love this boy. He certainly keeps life interesting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Horrors

Last night was pumpkin carving night at our house. It's always a bit of an adventure--but this year even more so. Remember those super cool unique pumpkins we chose at the patch? It appears that super cool unique pumpkins have super thick walls. Like three to four inch walls. Just getting the tops off required multiples knives, spoons, and shenanigans:
(Yes, Issa is sporting an eyeliner mustache. It's costume week at dance, and that was the best we could do for tumble, Most of our costumes would have been a safety hazard while flipping.)

Daddy and I pitched scooping them so we could still roast the seeds, but then we suggested that perhaps we could just paint them. The children would have none of that. Enter the power tools:
My floor suffered greatly:
But we ended up with great pumpkins that actually tell a story. Evan's (the far right) is an eyeball eating monster. Issa's (to Evan's left), just had its eyeballs eaten by Evan's. Daddy's (uncarved) is Issa's brain. And mine (far left) is the queen who is quite horrified by the scene:
Evan was very proud of his gruesome creation:
Issa was approproately horrified:
And we are all pretty proud of the final result:

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Little Early Halloween Fun

We started celebrating Halloween in earnest this weekend! The fun started Saturday night with a friend's Halloween party. Guests had been encouraged to come in costume, and we decided to be a family of pirates:


 We had much fun at the bonfire, and then Saturday we headed to Boo at the Zoo. (The picture of Issa above was actually taken there. Saturday night was not a good picture taking window for her.)

When we got there, each child was given a treat bag, and there were fun games to play for Halloween prizes at the entrance. We also had a ghost scavenger hunt throughout the zoo. We spent the rest of the day visiting animals and looking for the ghost cut outs.

I would not mess with this pirate princess:
 I would take my chances with the pirate prince, though:
 He doesn't really do scary:
 The Kid Zone at the zoo had some cool photo ops set up:


 But truly, we had the most fun with the animals. The weather was fabulous, and the animals were out and about. We finally got to watch the otters play:
 And we went to the aviary for the first time:
 We had such fun finding all the beautiful birds tucked in among the foliage:
 But the lions stole the show:
 They had cubs!
 We spent a long time watching the four cubs play:
 While Mama was in the thick of the playing, Daddy took a nap in the sun:
 They were so fun to watch:
They found a joint left over from lunch and tussled over that, and then they played stalk and pounce. It was adorable.

Every time we go to this zoo we see something new, and yesterday was no exception! Today, we are enjoying a day at home. The kids had the day off, and I decided to take it, too. Daddy is working, but he is working from the couch so all is well with the world!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy Early Birthday

Tomorrow is a very special day at our house: Daddy's birthday! Our plan was to celebrate tomorrow, but the kids had chosen their gifts last week and clearly waiting another 24 hours to give them to him was absolutely torture. So, they presented their gifts this morning: Mousetrap and an Angry Birds Jenga game. They put so much thought into these gifts. We have been playing more board games as a family, and they wanted to get Daddy some new ones. Issa remembered that he mentioned he loved Mousetrap as a kid, and Evan knew Daddy likes building, too. Such sweet children.

Tomorrow, he and I are going out for breakfast after we drop the kids off, and being the awesome Daddy that he is he wants to cook dinner with the kids for his birthday. We will make a Chinese feast and then probably play the new games.

And that is one of the many reasons I love this man. He doesn't choose to go out with friends or go to his favorite restaurant. What he wants for his birthday is to spend time with his family. Since it's Chinese, he will do the lion's share of the cooking. He will tuck kids into bed after extra snuggles because they will be all over him since his birthday--and he'll love it.

When we were 17, I couldn't have imagined the life we have now. We knew we would be together, but the crazy chaos we have created is better than I dreamed, and I am so very, very grateful that he chose me to be his partner in the everyday as well as the big stuff.

I love you, sweetheart. Here's to many happy returns on the day; 35 looks great on you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nervous Wreck

I'm a wreck this morning, even though my head knows I have no reason to be.

It's a bit of a big day at work. We have a guest lecturer coming in for a colloquium, and I recommended him. I heard him speak years ago as a very young teacher, and he absolutely changed the way I graded. I'm hoping he's as good as I remember!

Before he comes, we are having a reception for Teaching Fellows alumnae. By all accounts, it's an easy event for me. The Alumnae Office did all of the planning and detail work. I truly just have to show up. But I'm a wreck. I don't mind small talk and social functions like this in my personal life or even when I'm playing the good wife at one of Brad's events. I actually enjoy them. Going as the current director for a group of alumnae I don't know is making me queasy, though. It's not logical, but I'm dreading it.

It doesn't help that I won't get to see my kiddos tonight. Our new, fantabulous babysitter will get them off the bus and do all the running; Brad will be home to have dinner with them and tuck them in. Dinner is already in the crockpot, and I know they will have a great afternoon and evening. I just hate that I'm missing it for an event that has me on edge.

I try not to wish days away, but I'm kind of ready for this one to be over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Confession

Just to keep it completely real here, I have a confession:

I have no idea what Issa's damn hermit crab's name is.

In my defense, we've been through a few hermit crabs, and  I do nothing with him anymore. Issa has been taking care of this one completely solo, and he is thriving. In fact, Brad pointed out that he's lasted longer and grown more than any crab to date; I think he was implying that perhaps I had fussed a couple other things to death in our house a la the initial series of betta fish. Aside from observing whatever cool hermit crab thing he is doing that Issa needs me to see right now, I have zero interaction with our crustacean family member.

Then this week, I realized I have completely forgotten the bugger's name. I know we had a couple of Hermes and then a Squirmy, and I feel like this might still be Tiny, but I also feel like Tiny might have been the last one. If it's not Tiny, I have no idea.

Now, I could just ask Issa, but I'm certain that would cause quite the rancor. And so...I'm hoping she just casually drops his name in conversation. However, I think she suspects I might not know because I asked how her crab was, and she worked very hard to not say his name.

Curse having smart kids and a horrible memory!