Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Burch Barn, always worth the drive

I can't believe I almost forgot to post about our trip to Burch Barn! We've gone to this place for three years now and it's about an hour away from where we live. I had heard about it on Facebook and then had a LOT of friends raving about it, so we went the first time when Penelope was just real little. It's grown steadily each year with more and more people driving to it, but the things they offer there get bigger every year. We look forward to our trip every year, even Olivia and Jackson talk about it. 

This year we were lucky because the weekend we could go it was 51 degrees, and that's crazy for October and as we guessed, it was pretty busy. We usually go out for lunch and then start driving so the little girls nap on our way there. That gives us a couple of hours there before they close. 
 Penelope was kind of grumpy that day but she perked up at the petting zoo. She was busy picking up corn on the ground to make sure all of the goats, cow, and pigs were adequately fed. Even Lucy really loved the goats, which kept trying to lick her. 
 They have this big corn pit to play in and Lucy would have stayed in there all day. 
 Penelope wanted no part of it even though every other year she's rolling around everywhere. 
 Quick picture of Matt and I. 
 They had these little tractor peddle cars and a little track for them to go on. Lucy was totally thrilled to be pushed around since her legs were too short to peddle. 
 Penelope literally sat like this and whined because she wasn't moving. Didn't want to peddle at all, just thought it should move because she's on it. 

So that was fun. 
 They had these home made tire swings and Lucy had the time of her life swinging on those. Penelope.. not so much. She cried because hers was spinning. 
 Olivia and Jackson mostly did their own thing like the big slides and the corn maze so we hardly saw them. At one point Matt and I heard their laughs, clear across the place, and wandered over to see what was going on. There they were, both of them, in this hamster wheel thing trying to roll it across. Now, when we came in I saw a small baby, maybe just shy of one, rolling along just fine on its own. It took TWO of my kids to roll it. And there they are, laughing hysterically, falling on their faces, falling out of the wheel, Olivia banging her head on the side.... they were a mess. 
 I convinced them to stop embarrassing all of us and go play chess. 

So that's what they did. They played like 3 or 4 games and people were giving them suggestions. Then one kid took Olivia's place to play Jackson, and Jackson promptly lost in about five moves.
 I did manage to take some good selfies with all of the kids, though!
 This was supposed to be just Olivia and I but Penelope popped it at the right moment. 
 Jackson said he wants this one framed for his room. 
 Lucy wanted a picture with her mini-donut. Matt stood in line for awhile to get these and they did not disappoint. 
A very nice woman offered to take our picture with my phone by the side. She took five and this was the best one. I'm not even kidding. So much for Christmas card contender. HA!

On the ride back everyone fell asleep and it was nice. It ended up being a really great day for it and I'm glad we got to go. 

Hopefully I'll share a couple of trick or treat photos with you tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Willy Wonka Chocolate Library and a Scarium.

We had a lot of pre-Halloween fun this weekend and I am completely people'd out if I'm being honest. We were going to go to a Halloween carnival Sunday evening and no. I just couldn't do it. 

At least I'm learning to say no when I hit my limit. 

On Saturday we went to our local library which hosts a little trick or treat event for kids. We've gone every year it's been happening and it's a fun event. This year the library got a bit of a makeover so the entrance and exit of the event was kind of a nightmare. I really hope that next year they think of a better way to do it. It always has a theme and this year it was Willy Wonka and they do SUCH a good job with the decorations and characters!
 I didn't get many pictures in there because I wanted to keep the line moving since it was so congested but I snapped this one as soon as you enter the room. The girls were pretty much in awe over it and kept pointing different things out. 
 They got a bunch of candy which they ate all of before nap time. 

So that was fun. 
 Our happy little pineapple. 
 And our beautiful little Elsa. 

I ended up taking a four hour nap on Saturday because I wasn't feeling well and when I woke up I felt like I got hit by the flu. Which doesn't mean I have the flu, it could be my endocrine issues or my auto-immune issues all of which have symptoms that mimic the flu so that's always fun... trying to decipher what I need to do. 

On Sunday we went to Scarium at the Aquarium. I've always wanted to take Olivia and Jackson to this but never did because I mostly forgot about it. But this year I have been looking for things to do with Penelope and Lucy to get them more used to being out of the house because I haven't been doing a good job with that. Those two are actually quite sheltered. 
 I know they've been to the aquarium once before but they were both pretty little so didn't understand how cool this place was. This time they were AMAZED. So much so that I'm thinking we need to get a membership for next year. 
 We went to all of the touch pools and their favorites were the jelly fish and the sturgeon (who are oddly friendly and really like belly rubs which is totally strange). They spent a lot of time looking at the animals and the fish. They went to all of the trick or treat stations, and all but 4 handed out non-candy treats, which was really nice. They got fruit snacks, juice box, tootsie roll, and a sucker, but then they got necklaces, rings, tattoos, stickers, notebooks, all kind of cool stuff kids like collecting. So that was really nice especially if you have an allergy prone child and trick or treating isn't fun for them. 
We spent about an hour there and of course nobody wanted to cooperate for a picture. But they also played some games which really surprised me because they normally shy from that. Matt mentioned that this year we haven't really used the stroller so much for them and I hadn't even thought of that. This definitely wasn't stroller friendly with so many people, but it's weird to think that (once again) we're coming to the age where we don't need that stuff anymore. 

I feel so much more reluctant to get rid of it because I know that this is really it. I mean, when Olivia and Jackson were that age it was like, cool- it's gone, but you know, we're young enough to know that MAYBE it could happen. Then it did happen (twice) and I'm having to go through all of those emotions again. It kind of feels cruel in a way. On the other hand, I'm so mentally and emotionally done with this needy stage that I just want to rush through it... then I feel awful knowing I'll never get these days back. 

Sigh. 

Heavy stuff to think about. 

But that's basically how we've been celebrating Halloween. Tomorrow we go trick or treating and I hope to get a couple of pictures at least!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Boo at the Zoo 2018

As indifferent as I am about Halloween, I feel like we do a LOT of Halloween activities every year. Mostly so I can justify the expense of the costumes, even more so when I'm buying four of them every year. I thought maybe this would be the year Olivia is over it (she's 13 now) but nope- she's all about it. She has plans to trick or treat with a friend but they don't want to walk about with Penelope and Lucy (Jackson is opting to go with Olivia and her friend), which is kind of bittersweet if I'm being honest. More on that on another day. 

One of the favorite things is Boo at the Zoo. We've gone every year since Olivia's first Halloween when she was just shy of two months old. (Yeah, we brought her. She had a pumpkin hat and she slept most of it.) Some years it's really gorgeous, sunny, warmish fall weather and then other years it's cold, windy, drizzling... like this year! It's held on two different Saturdays in October so you can gamble on the weather. If it's crappy the first weekend you can try to hold out and hope for better weather the next weekend. This year I wanted to go the first weekend because it was so nice out but Matt was working and of COURSE the second weekend was awful weather. I'm so grateful we got there right as it was opening because we were able to get around (most) of the zoo in 47 minutes and leave. 

I was freezing and the kids were all completely over the wind. 
 Lucy is a pineapple this year. I feel like this is probably my last year (ever) of choice of costume so when I saw this online I absolutely HAD to get it. Surprisingly, she loves it and has no qualms about putting it on. 
 I can't remember if she's actually been to the zoo yet but she was all about it. She loved the bugs the best, but she really liked looking at each exhibit carefully. She so respectful and kind of the animals, sure to not be loud and rambunctious around the exhibits. Penelope on the other hand.... let's just say when you think of "which one of these is not like the others", Penelope should be the one that comes to mind immediately. 
 Penelope pretty much hung with Olivia the whole time and Jackson ran into a lot of things. 
 The BEST was this table. Penelope is dressed as Elsa and everyone got that right away. Olivia is actually a fawn, she knew she wanted to be that months ago and this was the only non-slutty fawn costume I could find. Anyways, people apparently had a hard time with that. This guy (can't really see him) was like, "Oh there's Elsa! Oh, so you must be... that reindeer? What's his name? SVEN! You're Sven!"

I swear to god I should have gotten a picture of Olivia's face because she was not pleased. Meanwhile Jackson and I are laughing so hard. We keep calling her Sven for fun now. 

She doesn't think it's funny. 
So Olivia is a fawn, Penelope is Elsa, we have Lucy the pineapple, and Jackson is an octopus. He also knew he wanted to be an octopus months ago and would you believe that's a really hard costume to find? Everyone thought he was a squid though and he didn't like that. Overall though they all got a lot of compliments on their costumes. 

Also adorable? Lucy went trick or treating last year but she was only one so she didn't really get it. This year she can't say "trick or treat" but she holds her bucket out and smiles. Who wouldn't just give her all of their candy? She's adorable! Last year Penelope was all about saying "treat", knowing full well she wanted no part in a trick. This year.. she's gotten shy and doesn't say anything. She's pretty excited about candy though. Lucy takes one bite and throws it away. She's not really one for sweets but she wants to participate. Olivia and Jackson know the deal of course and the candy swap negotiations are always fun to listen to. Especially when I swoop in and take what I want and call it taxation. 

Never to young to learn about taxation. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

One step closer to the loony bin... or prison. Thanks, family.

Before I get into today's post, my latest post for Duluth Moms Blog is live! It's Meal Planning for Dummies and I think you'll like it. 

I know many moms are going to relate to this post because we've all been there. It happens to all of us. I know it used to bother me before but I was able to take this kind of thing in stride a little easier, but post AFE I give absolutely no craps and I'm just done. 

I'm physically, mentally, emotionally done with it. 

I am so close to losing it on my family and I don't even think they care. Maybe I have to go ballistic on them for them to get it? My poor psychiatrist always asks if I feel rage and I have to say every day. I always get the blank stare because he's not sure what to think about that but it's true. Every single day I am brought to the brink of rage and it's my family. It's not anyone else, it's the people who live in this house. 
 The recycling. We have a paper bag that we collect our recycling in and then when it's full, someone takes it out. As of late my family have given that up and they now leave it on the windowsill. I'm not sure who they think is going to take care of it, but it drives me crazy. The bag is RIGHT THERE. But you see, that makes the bag full and logically they'd have to take it out. Nobody wants to take it out so they do this creative bit and wonder why I get angry. 
 I don't actually eat a lot of food. If I eat once a day I'm doing pretty good. Sometimes all I want is a small bowl of cereal. But I can't even have that because everyone leaves the box open and it goes stale. It's so infuriating. 
 Alright, this was Lucy. Lucy colored on my brand new, expensive grown up lamps. I mean, if the light is on you can't see it but once you turn it off there it is. Thanks, Lucy. 
 This was no help from my family, this was ALL ME. I worked all weekend doing laundry, folding it, putting it away (or in people's rooms). I had to take a picture to document the fact that it happened. It actually happened. A family of six and an empty laundry basket. 

It didn't last long. Actually only until the morning when Olivia filled it. She filled it with stuff I told her to put away early in the week and I know damn well she hadn't worn. I swear to god that girl is going to send me to the brink because of her laundry. 
 Someone didn't even have the decency to put a new roll on top. I mean, I have no expectations a roll would be changed but you could at least get us halfway there with a roll on top. 

Not my family. 
I sweep my floors every day. I mop every other day. I am so physically exhausted from doing both of these things so frequently. It's not like I can skip it because I have this pile of dirt on my kitchen floor EVERY DAY. 

I tried to sweep it into a heart to boost morale. 

It didn't work. 

You guys. 

I'm not like I once was, I can't keep this up. I talk to people, explain how over it all I am and we're good for a day or two. Then people just stop and wait for me to lose it on them again. It's not a matter of just hiring someone, I literally cannot handle the stress of having someone in my house, touching my things. I just can't do it. I so badly want a one level home but the reality of that is that it isn't going to happen. I have to make what we've got work and I'm not kidding- I'm struggling. 

I am so, so grateful I have therapy on Monday. It feels like I haven't been there in forever and it's only been two weeks. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Things are shaking, bacon

I have a lot of stuff simmering on the proverbial stove right now and I'm a little overwhelmed. Considering I really burn a lot of stuff while for real cooking, I'm a little worried that me multi-tasking so many things right now is going to end badly all around. It's like my brain is refusing to acknowledge it isn't what it once was and is defiantly trying to prove otherwise. I sign up for things and start things without thinking any of it through and then later realize this is more than I can chew.

But.

Things have to change and they are only going to change if I work at it. So there's that. Here's a few things I've got going on:

  • I'm still on the PTO of Jackson's school. I'm only the Secretary but I feel kind of lame for not signing up for as many things as I used to. I at least know in that area I'm fairly maxed out. 
  • I'm thinking about joining the PTSA at Olivia's school. I haven't said anything to Matt because I know he would give me stink eye but I feel like I have no idea what's going on at that school and with Jackson going next year I really want to have a clue. We'll see. The next meeting is tomorrow so... we'll see. I'll leave it at that. 
  • Olivia is in a LOT of dance this year. That's actually not a bad thing because it's getting me out of the house two nights a week, even if it is just me sitting alone on a bench, I'm forced to put on pants and go. I'm getting some reading done while I'm there so that's kind of nice too. 
  • I have been working a LOT on my book. I really am struggling with this because my train of thought is really over the place and I can't focus on any one thing. I start writing something and then I get an idea for something else, so I'll do that. Then I forget what I was doing in the first place and where I was trying to go with it. I have an outline kind of worked out (mostly), I have a format kind of worked out for it and I've got some things written. It feels like a scattered mess right now but I'm confident I can get it together. 
  • I've been writing articles to get ahead for my commitment to the Duluth Moms Blog. As things post there I'll share them here so you can stay up to date on that, too! 
  • I have something percolating in regards to a Weightloss Challenge. I know I mentioned this last week or the week before, but I'm trying to get my ideas down on paper and actually commit to it and then bring it to you first. I'm hoping for a November 1 start, give or take a couple of days. I really, REALLY have to get serious about this and I feel like if I go this route I'm kind of forced into it and that might be helpful for others. Stay tuned. 
  • We are battling illness in our house, everyone is a coughing, booger mess. Lucy has it coming out of her eyes, she's got an eczema flare up right now, Penelope coughs all night, Olivia and I are coughing until we can't breathe, so far the boys seem to be doing alright, thankfully. 
  • As we come into November I have a LOT of appointments coming up and I'm kind of nervous about them. I have my lists of questions and I guess I don't know what to expect. I also need to get my follow up MRI done for my liver lesion or my... I'm not sure. Something in my mid-section. I'm losing track of it all, to be honest. But I know I  needed a six month follow up to see if anything changed so that's got to happen before the end of the year. 
I guess I'm starting to feel really overwhelmed with life and I'm wondering how I ever thrived on this. I know I did because I see my old Facebook posts and read my old blogs and I'm really in awe of who I used to be. I could seemingly do it all and now I can manage getting dressed and maybe one other thing and I feel like I conquered the world. Before I was all over town, running errands, cleaning, volunteering, book reviews, my Etsy shop, and making things for the school by myself. It was nuts. I don't know, maybe it wasn't because I clearly loved it but man... it really makes me feel inadequate now, that's for sure. 

Anyways. 

The rest of this week I'll share pictures from Boo at the Zoo (kids were adorable) and our visit to the Burch Barn in Spooner, Wisconsin (kids were adorable and hilarious). I hope you're having a good week. We're at hump day and I always feel like if we got to this point we can slide to the end of the week. This weekend is already shaping up to be bananas too, but that's alright. At least we're doing something, I suppose. Glad to be alive and all that. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Book Review: What If It's Us

I just need it on the official record that this? This is book 105 for the year. I have OFFICIALLY finished my Goodreads challenge for the year.

Don't be afraid to bring me cake or a gift. I'll accept either. Or both. Surprise me.

What If It's Us - Becky Albertalli

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

I am almost afraid to admit the next couple of things: I don't like Broadway plays (or any theater really) and I'm usually not a fan of LGBTQ books. 

Please don't hate me. 

I have to be clear it's not that I don't support the LGBTQ community, I absolutely do and I will fight for equal rights until my last day. It's just that in a book... it's not my thing. Just like historical anything puts me to sleep, and Jodi Picoult makes me want to throw a book into the dump personally (and Nicholas Sparks- fight me), and some paranormal stuff is just TOO weird, it's not my thing. 

BUT.

I actually kind of really liked this book. I really connected with Arthur right away because he's just so awkward and weird, he's literally everything that comes to mind when you think of an obviously gay young man. He's only in the city for the summer and he's not taking to it like he thought he would and he's losing touch with his friends back home. One accepts him for all that he is and the other (a guy) doesn't really and Arthur struggles a little bit with that and doesn't think his preference on who he is attracted to should come in the way of a long established friendship. He's just completely dorky and I liked him.

Ben is exactly the kind of kid I would expect to have lived in the city for awhile. He's a little bit jaded, has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, and he definitely doesn't believe the universe is out to help him. He's fresh out of a relationship that he thought was rock solid but definitely wasn't and so he's trying to figure out what's next. He's also realizing that once his best friend (who is totally OK with him being gay) gets into a relationship, that means he's kind of on his own for awhile... but he doesn't really know how to be alone, alone.

I feel like the first couple of chapters set the book up for a really great story... but fell just a bit short. While the romance itself was kind of cute and it felt like you were with Arthur through the book (it felt more like I was with Arthur than Ben, even though Ben has his own POV chapters... it just never felt like you were connected with Ben) and you just want things to work out. You feel dedicated to finding "box boy" with him and wanting the universe to work for them. I will say... Arthur has some stalker-like tendencies, which is creepy. I don't care who you are, some of his tactics to finding "box boy" are kind of weird. But this book is full of drama coming from parents, friends, miscommunication, the universe, cultural and religious differences, and it's weaved together like a good YA book should be.

Overall, I really liked it. Having never read anything else by Becky Albertalli or Adam Silvera (I know, guys- I know I'm behind in the times. Don't throw things at me.), I wasn't really sure what to expect of this. I know some people say there are mentions of their other books and of course I missed all of those because I was clueless, but if you are a fan of theirs, you have that to enjoy in this book as well. I'm going to give this one a solid 4 starts because I did find myself laughing throughout and for every one thing I didn't like, there were two things I did like to make up for it... which gives the book a good, angsty feel to it.
   

Monday, October 22, 2018

UMD Homecoming, can't feel my face

I can't remember if I talked about this but Olivia used to do the Just for Kix program here in Superior for the longest time and we took a lot of time to think about staying or changing this summer. Ultimately I left it to Olivia, because what do I know, and she wanted to try something a little harder. We ended up changing (at the last possible minute) to the Duluth program and so far, she's loving it. She's taking a LOT more classes this year (which is not cheap) and already her attitude about dance is totally different and she's practicing like crazy. Some of her friends ended up switching, too so that's been kind of a bonus. 

The other cool thing is they got to dance in the UMD Homecoming parade this fall and Olivia has wanted to do a parade so she was super excited about that. 
So we all loaded up and got her there on time! (This is us after dropping Liv off... and you can't see Matt because my arms are short for the selfie.. whoops!) It was completely freezing and I absolutely hate being outdoors for the most part so I wasn't loving this.  
Olivia and crew got to practice for a bit before they started. Olivia was talking about being cold and I brought out my own "back in my day" story about marching in the Christmas City of the North parade in basically a sequined bathing suit so wearing pants is a luxury! Not surprisingly, she was not impressed.  
 I was so impressed at how well they all did for only learning this in just a handful of class periods!
 Olivia and her friend Abby- friends since Kindergarten! Same age, totally different heights! HA! 
 While Olivia was off practicing we killed time by walking the parade route a few times and found a good spot to sit and watch. It dawned on me that morning that this was the first parade both Penelope and Lucy were able to actually watch and try to catch candy. I don't think Lucy has ever even been to a parade. They had no idea why they were sitting on a curb but once candy started getting thrown at them they were all about it. 
 It was kind of fun walking around the UMD campus because Jackson told me that's the school he really wants to go to, and he said Olivia wants to go to UW-Madison (#1 party school in the nation...awesome). 
 UMD cheerleaders and dancers are always super fun to watch, and they go to competitions often and it's well deserved. They are really good. 
 I didn't get any pictures of my own because they were running past me so a friend captured these of the girls and they look so good!
This one is maybe my favorite. 

They all did a really great job, especially considering it was the first parade for a lot of them. 

This year Olivia is doing kick, jazz, hip hop, ballet, and lyrical dancing. If there is a special session this spring I'm sure she'll want to do that, too. So far we're spread out over two days a week and I thought it would be a pain in the rear but it's actually not been that bad. I'm getting some reading done, some notes for the book done, meal planning, and burning brain cells trolling the internet for useless information. 

It's been nice to have quiet time back again. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Way back when I started this blog in 2008 my only goal was to put up cute pictures of my kids and tell funny stories so my family who don't live near us could be up to date. Somewhere around 2010 I started gaining a lot of followers and it was mostly because I was sassy and snarky.

I still am... just differently.

I know it sounds stupid but dying on the table really changes you. Honestly, sometimes I'm physically and mentally too tired to really care about anything. But I have noticed that I'm generally nicer.

I will admit that sometimes having a brain injury doesn't allow me to stop and thinking something through before I say it. I've struggled with that but I feel like I'm getting better as time goes on.

I hate to say that I'm having a Perez Hilton moment but I am. I know I've had a few comments of people asking me when is sassy Sara coming back. I've ignored them for the most part and I know I blogged about maybe it's maturity or age, and the more I think about what it is... the less that I care.

I just know I'm going to be nicer. I'm going to be more productive. I'm going to be more positive, I want to lift people up.

But I swear to god, if you're wearing a romper I'm going to let you know you look ridiculous. I may even follow you to the bathroom and crack jokes about you being naked just to go pee. Because that's what real friends do. OBVIOUSLY. 

I'm going to be starting a fitness challenge pretty soon. It's going to be old school, I might even bring back the vlogs... that's assuming I can figure out how I did them in the first place. I will always give you the good and the bad. There's always going to be bad and I will never shy away from sharing that because what I am, and what I will always be, is 100% authentic. What you get on the blog is what you'll get in real life. Except in real life I'm not always wearing pants, or clean clothes for that matter, and my hair is in a messy bun so often it retains the shape when I take my ponytail holder out. I'm going to focus on giving you really good content but still have fun. 

I will always encourage people to email me if they have a topic they'd like to see me write about (sarastrand9438 AT hotmail DOT com) and I will see what I can do. 

I feel like I'm entering an entirely new season of my life and it's kind of weird, like I'm physically turning around a corner. And it's OK. I'm OK with this because I'm not the same gal I was all those years ago so hopefully you'll help me figure out what I'm supposed to do next. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Movies and Harry Potter- do it up!

We have had kind of a busy two weeks which is why I didn't post much of anything last week and was quiet on the Facebook page this weekend. 

I have been feeling like a really crappy mom for oh... two years. I feel tremendous guilt over this and I know it's not rational but here we are. I feel bad because Olivia and Jackson knew me as a great mom always doing awesome stuff and now they have this version. Then I feel guilty Penelope and Lucy will only know this version and will never get that super fun mom because I'm not capable any more. So yeah. It's complicated and weird but I'm trying to come to grips with it. 

But I'm trying. I'm trying really hard to make sure they don't feel like I'm just leaving them without a mom at all. 
 They had been wanting to see The House With A Clock In Its Walls as soon as they saw a preview, and of COURSE we can't ever go on the cheap $5 days because Olivia has dance. 

Sigh. 

I had to pay full price. FULL PRICE AT A THEATER. 

I know you know that pain. 

Then we had to buy snacks. Do you know how much snacks were? 

$60. 

SIXTY DOLLARS. 

All for popcorn and drinks. Not even larges! God. They want to see Goosebumps 2 (click on that if you want to watch it on Prime Video!) but good god I don't know if I can willingly for that much money over again.  

That was Wednesday. 

While I was there I had gotten a message from my old boss who is working at a local bookstore now saying she had someone buy four tickets to this Harry Potter event they were doing and wanted to donate them. She thought of us and messaged me. Penelope and Lucy are nightmares beyond 5 p.m. so that definitely is a no go, but Olivia and Jackson are into Harry Potter so I thought they'd like it. 

So we went. 
 It was a lot of fun, it had a bunch of themed games and snacks. Olivia was easily the worst at the Quidditch game. 
 Jackson raked in a ton of tickets playing games. 
 Olivia is surprisingly freakishly talented at keeping a balloon afloat with a wand (or pencil because she didn't have a wand). That game was definitely her jam. 
 Jackson was much better at the Quidditch game and he clearly had a technique down. 
Oh! And they got sorted- Jackson is Hufflepuff and Olivia is Ravenclaw, both pretty accurate for their personalities. 

That was a really fun night out. It felt so weird to be out of the house 4 of the 5 days last week. Then we had a busy weekend, more on that tomorrow, so I was pretty winded by Sunday afternoon. Ugh. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lucy goes to (toddler) school

Now that Penelope is in pre-school, Lucy is starting to feel kind of left out. I've taken her on a handful of shopping adventures but no joke, EVERY DAY she thinks she's going to school too. Fortunately where I live we have a pretty great community program aimed at babies and toddlers and they have play groups and such. I signed Lucy up for an "Early Explorers" class and it's only one day a week for an hour and a half or so. It's kind of nice because we call it school and she's all about it. 
 Seriously you guys, she puts her empty backpack on and she wants to go. 
 They always have a sensory table area (this week was paint, which she's never done before), a story, crafts, and a snack. They also get a free play time and the parents separate and do our own parent tips type thing. I remember doing this with Olivia and Jackson and back then it was Fridays (handy because I had Fridays off) and it was my life line to other new moms, I learned a LOT about child development and parenting in general and I really credit those parent sessions for my ability to raise Olivia and Jackson to be as great as they are. 
 Anyways. 

Lucy is pretty excited about this and she loves running from new toy to new toy. She especially loves this ride on thing and she is all over the classroom with it. 
Of course she's all about snack. She sees someone getting napkins out and she's dropping everything in her hands and going for snack. Ha! 

She's basically the only non-verbal kid there. She's not totally non-verbal, she can say a few words but she's not stringing them together in any kind of sentence. She's not helpless, she can make it known what she wants/needs and it's really easy to figure that out so I know her brain is firing, we just have to get words coming out a little faster. 

It's actually been good for me because I'm gaining a little more confidence taking her places. I still tire out ridiculously fast. I'm also noticing the more tired I am, the less clear my head is... if that makes sense. I get confused easier, I can't put together thoughts and have it come out coherently, and I get more forgetful. I'm trying to write all of this down so I can tell my doctors because they always ask how my memory and cognitive function is and my automatic answer is "fine" but it's really not. I have to remember (ha!) to give them this information. So I'm trying to get better at that, too.