GABBY: Hey Mom: do you ever run readiness drills in your classes?

JULIE: What do you mean?

GABBY: Well, I was thinking. Like our teachers ask us to think about what we would do in different situations.

JULIE: Oh. Not really. Why?

GABBY: Well, because like I was thinking, one of the things they ask us is, what would you do if your teacher got hurt by someone?

JULIE: …..Okay…..

GABBY: And I was thinking, what would you say if you asked that question, and one of your students said, “I would avenge you”?

JULIE: …..I would say, “Thank you, that is correct.”

GABBY: That’s awesome. Okayseeyabye!!!!!!! [flounces off as though she’s settled an important matter]

It’s a strange new world our children are living in. Thank God they have a sense of humor about it.


    I know just how you feel.

    Last night, I was all “How did this happen?” and “What kind of person falls for this nonsense?” and “RIP USA” and all. I know how you feel. I am worried about all the things you’re worried about too.

    This morning, though, I have regained my perspective. Americans have persevered through way worse than a rogue orange buffoon sitting in the Oval Office. We have always worked to persevere.  We don’t give up: we keep believing, and we keep working, and we rise above. So we have 3 jobs now:

    1. Hope that we are wrong to call him the rogue orange buffoon. Hope that he is a president who can unite us all in a time of prosperity and peace.
    2. Believe that, even if he doesn’t, everything will eventually be okay.
    3. Continue to persevere. Continue to believe. Continue to rise.

    That’s what’s next for me, anyway. I send positive thoughts to the new president and all my best hopes for a successful term. I believe that, even if his time in office is exactly the giant dumpster fire I see in my nightmares, his term will end and we will get through it. And regardless of what happens in the Oval Office, I will continue to move forward.

      Fly The W

      I keep checking to see if my employer will allow us to stay home and celebrate today, but they must be too busy celebrating to put out that notice just yet. In the meantime:

      Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER give up.

        Halloween Crafting Redux

        I knew you would want to see how the girls’ costumes turned out:

        Addie J, the jellyfish.

        Addie J, the jellyfish.

        Lishie in her Day of the Dead costume.

        Lishie in her Day of the Dead costume.


        I TOTALLY thought these two costumes were going to end up as the, “Nailed it!!” side of a Pinterest Fails meme. I feel like I got away with something here. (To be fair: Cam, leaving for his friend’s house, came downstairs in a brown Hot Chocolate 5K hoodie– serving as his costume– and asked me what else he could do to look like Scooby-Doo. I just gave him a black dog nose and sent him on his way. That could easily fit the Pinterest Fails bill.)


          How Gabby handles Dave.

          [Background info: earlier this week, Gabby left a Post-It note that she had an after-school activity and needed a pickup. Dave read her the riot act about not planning ahead. I wasn’t home to witness, but from what I heard later, it was apparently quite the riot.]

          GABBY: Mom, when Dad gets off the phone, can you please tell him I have student council today?

          JULIE: …Okay…

          GABBY: So he has to pick me up at 3:45?

          JULIE: …Okaaaaaaay….

          GABBY: Oh! No, he already knows. He asked me to remind him, that’s all.

          JULIE: Oh. Okay, then.

          GABBY: Don’t worry. It’s not like I’m asking you to tame the beast or anything. I already tamed him.

          This is who we’re dealing with, folks. This is Peak Gabby right here.


            In Which Addie Has Big News

            ADDIE J: Mom!!!! Guess what!!!
            JULIE: What?
            ADDIE J: The Cubs are in the World Series!! They haven’t done that in, like, 400 years and they are going to play tonight!!
            JULIE: ……..Wow, that’s amazing! Thanks for telling me!
            ADDIE J: You should tell EVERYONE!
            Dear everyone: see above.

              Anniversary Surprise

              October 10 was our eighteenth anniversary. Dave and I didn’t go big this year: we made a reservation at a restaurant we’d been wanting to try. He had a lovely vase of flowers delivered to our table…. and okay fine I bought him a pack of performance socks BUT HE WANTED THEM I SWEAR. We had dinner, our waiter brought us shots and dessert on the house, and it was lovely.

              Just as lovely was what I saw upon coming home from work that day. The kids had the day off. This was on the front door:

              How much do you love that they cleaned the glass for me?

              I walked in to find this Happy Anniversary sign in the entryway:

              I didn't ask them how they hung this. I don't want to know.

              I didn’t ask them how they hung this. I don’t want to know.

              And then, on the kitchen table, I discovered that they had gone online, chosen a place for us to eat, picked out our meals….. and then they all went in together to pay for it:

              Me: ....Did you put alcohol in these drinks? Cam: .....Did you want us to or not want us to?

              Me: ….Did you put alcohol in these drinks?
              Cam: …..Did you want us to or not want us to?

              How sweet is this? The thought they put into this entire presentation, right? I mean, the fact that they printed and framed a photo of their parents made my black, cold heart grow three sizes.

              We of course did not allow them to pay for our dinner. We did, however, hug them to death. They are literally the best three kids on the face of the earth.

              This warm and golden memory is currently the only thing keeping me here at the kitchen table right now, thirty minutes past my bedtime, while I help Cam finish up his French presentation. Just saying.

                Halloween: Crafting is Scary

                So. Okay. As we all know, I am not necessarily crafty. It’s not that I can’t- it’s more like the activity of crafting makes me want to die. This is my Halloween nightmare: at every turn, I am required to freaking craft something.

                Exhibit A: Gabby wants to wear a Day of the Dead costume. We already bought the outfit itself– but as you know, the centerpiece of a DOTD costume is the elaborately painted face. Which I can do…. except that Gabby has chosen several different looks and is happily planning on our trying them all out in advance before settling on one. I…… do not feel like doing that.

                Exhibit B: Addie J has decided to be a jellyfish. A JELLYFISH. This sort of reminds me of the year that the girls wanted to be a goldfinch and a flamingo. Except that a jellyfish needs to light up, so, you know: more complicated. Because I am very, very smart, I have already enlisted my mom to help me with this situation. Stay tuned.

                Exhibit C: I am one of Addie J’s room parents. I would love to just show up and referee the pumpkin relay races, am I right? –But no: there’s a planning meeting (which I got out of attending because it’s my anniversary) and everyone who doesn’t attend the meeting is required to send in craft and game ideas.

                Just typing that sentence makes me want to go lie down.

                So anyway: from what I can tell, I am going to spend this weekend, and next weekend (and possibly the following weekend, I don’t even really know how much October is left) painting Gabby’s face repeatedly, and hot gluing sparkly shit to giant rolls of bubble wrap, and I think also building some kind of ring toss game? (Hopefully if I buy the ring toss game shit, put it all on the dining room table, and circle it hopelessly for thirty minutes or so, it will inspire Dave to take over. That’s my plan.) This, of course, in addition to lacrosse tournaments and dance practice and tae kwon do board breaking contests.

                In conclusion: I live in a world of nonstop glamour and excitement.

                  The Art of Forgetting Stuff

                  All three kids went through a time in their lives when they were constantly forgetting things: their homework at school. Their water bottles at practice. We would be headed to dance and Gabby would say, “…Oh. I don’t have my shoes.” Your shoes? We are going to an activity you cannot complete without your shoes, and you forgot them? Probably, the most egregious example would be the time Cam forgot his cleats for a lacrosse tournament. Which was three hours away. And he realized this at the hotel, at about 11:30pm, with his first game at 7:30 the next morning. Let me repeat: Cam had no shoes to wear for his lacrosse tournament.

                  That was a big one.

                  My mom has told me before that kids are just forgetful at this age. She raised five children to be responsible, productive adults– we’re all happily married, no divorces, gainfully employed, property owners– so I tend to put a lot of stock in her opinion. And I try, very hard, to be patient when my kids forget things. Here’s a brief rundown of just a few of the things the kids forgot this week:

                  • About ten minutes before I was leaving for yoga, I learned that Gabby borrowed my yoga mat and left it in Dave’s car. Dave (and his car) were about thirty minutes away at the time.
                  • Addie J forgot her lunch. So far this week she forgot it on Monday (but I ran it out to the car before she left), she forgot it on Tuesday (by the time we discovered it, her lunch period was over), and she forgot it today (but Dave put it in her bag while she was searching for her jacket).
                  • Addie J also forgot her jacket somewhere. That jacket which she fell in love with, and which she begged me for, and could not live without, just TWO WEEKS AGO. That jacket is gone.
                  • Cam: “Oh Mom: can you swing by and drop off a copy of my driver’s permit? I need it by today.”
                  • ME: Did you Lysol your bag like I asked you to do? KID: …..I’ll do it now.

                  Et cetera, ad infinitum.

                  Mom tells me I need to be patient. She reminds me how I left my purse everywhere at this age. So I work on my patience.

                  Via text just now: “Hey Mom: I forgot my poster that I made last night. If you don’t have time to bring it to school it’s okay.”




                    JULIE: How did today go?

                    GABBY: We’re still doing archery in gym, and I set the record for most arrows lost in one day.

                    JULIE: Way to reach for the stars, kid.

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