Thursday, August 31, 2017

Play dates and donations

I always feel so proud of myself when I blog about events that happened less than a week ago, so I'm forcing myself to write this instead of watching TV just so I can feel that internal pride.  The second I'm done, though, I'm going to start watching Feud: Bette and Joan.  I finished Fargo (Season 3) last night and The People vs OJ Simpson earlier this week.  My TV and movie watching catch up plan is going splendidly. 

Back to last Friday. August 25th. I went to Tempe Marketplace and Trader Joe's in the early afternoon.  As I was driving home I saw this truck.  If I was a car thief I would have stolen it.  I need to drive this every day.  Or maybe just have somebody come paint that pig on my car.
That evening my friend Elisa came up from Tucson to stay with us with her two boys, Max and Theo.  Elisa's husband had been out of town for two weeks so she needed a little "out of the house" time. 

Spencer was a bit too old and cool to really get in on the play time, but the younger boys had a lot of fun together. 

Spencer was quite helpful with Theo (two years old) though.  Especially reading to him. 

We sent Theo home with a bunch of Thomas the Train stuff because Elliott never really got into Thomas. 

Elliott and Max asked if Max could sleep in Elliott's room, so we set up a bed on the floor.  Theo needed to test it out first.

Amazingly, both kids slept in there together all night. 

It was Max's first "sleepover" although his mom was right across the hallway. 
On Saturday the 26th Elliott had a playdate at our house.  He has become good friends with a kid named Malcolm in kindergarten, so Malcom's dad brought him over for about 3 hours. We're planning another one at their house during Spencer's birthday party next weekend. 

Unfortunately I have 0.0 pictures from Saturday. 

On Sunday the 27th I made blueberry scones for breakfast (grain, sugar and dairy free). 

I used the very last drop of McCormick vanilla.  It took exactly a year to use the whole bottle, which I find awesome and fascinating. I opened the new vanilla we bought in Mexico, but I'm fearful about using it since a lot of Mexican vanilla has coumarin in it and will kill you.  I bought it at the Sam's Club in Rocky Point.  What do you think? Safe or not?

Michael and I have become obsessed with making our own cold brew coffee at home. It's been quite the process.  Maybe I'll do a whole post about it.  Anyway, we got a new cold brew filter that fits in a mason jar.  This was the first batch. 
We spent Sunday afternoon cleaning out our closet and putting together a give-away pile for Salvation Army.  I'm finally letting go of these candle holders.  I bought them either the December that we got married (but before we got married) or the next December which was our first Christmas/1st anniversary.  And as I type this I think I might go take them out of the pile and keep them for another year.  Maybe I will get skinny jar candles to put in them.  I just can't seem to let go. 
We have the water tables to our neighbors.  We got the one on the right when Spencer was 18 months old in 2009, and the one on the left when we moved into this house, so probably early 2013. 

I'm equal parts: good riddance and sad my babies have outgrown water tables. 
The pile for pick-up.  The stack of dresses on the right are formal dresses I'm going to donate to A Cinderella Affair, so girls can wear them to the prom. 

Including the whole outfit from Travis and Brendan's wedding.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back in control

Last week, after the eclipse,  I finally felt like our lives were back in an orderly fashion and not spinning out of control.  Mostly because Ginger was doing so much better and we were past the "critical" phase, but also because it was a pretty boring week and nothing major happened. 

I worked on Tuesday.  I finally got my schedule made.  It's a terrible task every year involving making sure I don't schedule kids during their recess, lunch, intervention time, resource time, occupational therapy, physical therapy or counseling times.  I have to make sure I get all their minutes in.  And teachers don't want them to miss any academic time ever.  They have to be seen during the school day.  So yeah, figure that out. 
I didn't take these pictures.  I think Spencer did.  You can see the new kitchen curtains in the background though.  So that's a plus. 

I'm pretty sure Elliott took this one. 

The kids and I went in the pool that night after dinner. 

Look!  Ginger even felt well enough to be out there with us. 
I worked on Wednesday too.  There are seriously no pictures to show for the entire day.  That's how boring it was.  

On Thursday at work I was playing Vocab Bingo with some 1st graders.  One of my kids told me he likes to put butter all over his hands and then lick it off.  OK.  Interesting. 
I made a loaf of grain free bread that night.  The recipe is a keeper.  It was delicious and the texture was perfect.  Michael and I have done more than 30 days of the Whole 30.  We're going to take a two day break for birthdays next week, and then right back at it. 

Thursday night Spencer and I ran a bunch of errands after dinner.  We went to Pet Club for more food for Ginger.  I bought her these cookies.  She hated them. 

We actually had a fun Friday and then a fun Saturday, but that will be for next time.  There's pictures from Friday, but not Saturday, so it'll be like a 45 second post. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mostly boring, with an eclipse thrown in

I think the stress of the last two weeks has addled my brain, because I cannot remember any single detail about what we did on Sunday.  

I know we didn't leave Ginger alone, but beyond that who knows?

Elliott waited until the backyard was in the shade and then spent some time outside. 

He apparently didn't get dressed that day, because this was right before dinner. 

This was a lot of fun.  He just sat in his house and squeezed the horn on his trike. 

Sunday night we started working on Spencer's birthday invitations. He's having a Pokemon party for his 10th and I had the brilliant idea to make homemade invitations. 
Monday was the eclipse.  I can remember that.  

I had asked my dad if we could borrow all of his welding glass to watch the eclipse.  Then he just casually strolled into his workshop and found a pile of eclipse glasses from 1992.  I can actually remember using these things in 7th grade. 
I tried to use the welding glass in front of my phone to take a picture before the eclipse started. It did not work. 
Putting a pair of eclipse glasses in front of the phone worked better.  But the sun was still quite tiny.  I'm not making any money off of this image. 
The eclipse in the Phoenix area was at it's highest concentration (is that the best word?  I don't think so) at 10:33 so I went to the kid's school at 10:25 and checked them out of class.  Then we just stood in the entryway, looked, and then I sent them back to class. 

You can see it's not round. 

I did a selfie with the sun.  I was using glasses in front of my phone, but it came out all weird. 

Monday night we finally finished the invitations.  Never again with the homemade invitations!  Never.  Again. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Staying home

After Ginger's official diagnosis of Valley Fever, and with her continuing to slip and fall, we decided we couldn't leave her alone at all until........well, we didn't know how long.  

I stopped at The Uprooted Kitchen on Thursday evening after picking up Ginger's medication from the vet.  You might remember that it is the restaurant owned by Elliott's former occupational therapist, Chad, and his wife. I was explaining to them what was going on with Ginger and how stressed I was and that I needed somebody to watch her for one hour on Friday so I could do to the dentist.  I had made several calls already and nobody could do it.  Then a friend of their's showed up to buy dinner and he overheard us talking. Out of nowhere he volunteered to come watch Ginger.  I looked at Chad with questioning eyes and he said that he had known both of us for about two years and he thought it was fine for both sides. 

So that is how it came to be that this guy Marc came to my house on Friday morning and dog-sat Ginger for an hour. I didn't even know his last name until he left his business card for me.  And then the business card led me to his Facebook page where I borrowed his picture.  
Ginger and Marc had a great time together.  He worked on his laptop and she napped.  

After he left she gave me some looks like, what the heck just happened around this place?

Saturday was a busy day.  In addition to keeping a watchful eye on Ginger, Michael and I cleaned the whole house (me) and the whole yard (him). 

At 3:00 my sisterhood friends came over for a poolside cocktail party. 

Garnishes for the drinks. 

Fruit kebab stir sticks for drinks.  

Plastic glasses with umbrellas and booze in the background. 


So, after 2.5 hours of sitting at the kitchen table and talking we went out by the pool to take a picture.  
The 2 minutes we were out there was the total amount of time we spent by the pool.  Oops.  The pool party that wasn't.  

Ginger enjoyed our company.  
Right after the sisterhood left I started making dinner because my friend and former supervisor, Marva, was in town from Dallas.  She had dinner with us and spent the night.  

Elliott made a welcome sign for her. 

This is the only picture I took, but it was taken after midnight, so we obviously had a good time.