Thursday, May 31, 2012

Loose Ends and Micro Cupcakes

1.  Rachel had a good time at the dance and a better time at the amusement park the next day.  I have seen one picture of her from the dance - she looks lovely and happy but you can't see the fantastic hair or the whole outfit.

2.  The Pampered Chef party was swell - the thing I was forgetting to do was take a shower after cleaning all day.  The consultant walked in, and I said, "Oh!" and abandoned her for 15 minutes to walk through the shower.  And the thing I was most worried about DID happen - I had so much hostess cash to spend that I really struggled with finding things to spend it on in the catalog.  I suppose there are worse problems.

3.  Still no picture of JC in his costume.  He had to skip the LARP event this month because it coincided with the Memorial Day parade.  If you are going to be in Marching Band, you have to march in the parade.  It was hot, though not as hot as last year.  The director didn't let them take off their jackets during the speeches, but he did let them march without their helmets.

4.  We had two snow days this week.  I suppose it would be more accurate to say that we had two days given back because we didn't use all our snow days this year, but it's more fun the other way.  William only got one - his school was closed for several extra days after the snowstorm in October because the power lines were down.  Yesterday, after he left for school, Rachel and JC and I (and a friend) went to New York City.  Mostly, we went to a Japanese bookstore with an excellent Manga selection (Rachel is a little obsessed).  But we also got lunch, of course, and found some tasty little cupcakes.  REALLY little cupcakes, they're barely a mouthful.  That means, of course, that you can have more than one, so you can try several varieties.  We got a dozen for the four of us, and simplified by ordering three kinds.  Yum.  But since they're smaller than mini cupcakes, I decided they were micro cupcakes.

5.  We also went up the Empire State Building because we were there and we had time.  Touristy, but really, you have to go.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Girls Are Different

We have tried fairly hard to raise our children "non-gendered".  Within reason.  I fix things around the house, John does laundry, we try not to label things as "man's work" or "women's work".  I bought a dollhouse for Rachel and didn't comment when William played with it more than she did.  They all played with trucks.


Tonight is the 8th grade dance.  It is the culminating social event of the Middle School.  It also takes place as part of an overnight trip to an amusement park, which only adds to the complexity.

When JC went, the biggest issue was teaching him how to tie his tie.  John practiced with him several times, but I ended up printing out instructions from online just in case.  Turned out that JC did fine on his own but a couple of his roommates borrowed the instructions.  Beyond that?  Nothing - didn't worry about what to wear - dress pants, shirt, dress shoes, tie.  All the boys wore the same thing.

Now it's Rachel's turn.  It's been a bit of drama, and I will fully admit that it is mostly my fault.  You see, she's not really a girly-girl.  She is perfectly happy to head off to school with her hair in a very simple ponytail, no makeup, no earrings, t-shirt and jeans.  Her fashion sense leans toward "tomboy", and "modest" which is just fine with us.  (Have you SEEN what teenage girls wear these days?  OMG!!!)  Having watched several friends with girls go through 8th grade dance prep in previous years, I was concerned that if she didn't amp it up a bit, she was going to feel uncomfortable and out of place.

So we talked and shopped and finally found a compromise outfit that is perfectly Rachel but fancy enough (skirt and boat-neck top).  She actually liked the dangly earrings and bracelet that coordinated.  And I talked her into getting her hair done - the school lets parents take the kids out of school for an hour to get their hair done during the school day before they leave.  We tried painting her nails last night to match her top, but she mangled one nail almost immediately so we took it all off and just put on clear shiny undercoat (actually much more age-appropriate).  I gave her a crash course in makeup application and am hoping her roommates may provide some guidance.  She got her hair done today.

There's about a million bobby pins and about half a can of hairspray (maybe more) so I think it will last until the dance.

Because, you see, the worst thing about all this?  Since the dance takes place at the hotel at the amusement park, I don't get to see her all dressed up!  They had a full day of school (sort of, it was pretty relaxed from the sounds of it), then loaded up the buses and left from school right afterwards.  They all had to bring their luggage to school in the morning (to get inspected for contraband) and will dress for the dance there.  Buffet dinner, dance, then tomorrow morning they will hit the park for most of the day.  Back on the buses, and call your parents about 15 minutes before you arrive back at school tomorrow evening.

It's been a lot of angst and some arguing, at least for me.  But I think she will be comfortably appropriate - I don't think there's many things more uncomfortable than being under dressed for an occasion.  Especially when you're 14.  I hope she has a really good time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I'm having a Pampered Chef party tonight. (Pampered Chef sells kitchen Tools and gadgets and such at home parties). I'm not having a party because I'm dying to get lots of kitchen gadgets, I'm having a party because I really needed a kick in the pants to get the house cleaned up. It's 2:45 in the afternoon, and I need to vacuum the back hallway, change the litter box, and move just a couple of things around. I've cleaned the kitchen and living room, the front hall looks good, (almost) all the piles of stuff are gone, and I'm just about ready. I've even baked my blondes and cooked the bacon for the consultant to use in her demo tonight. Unbelievable. Have I just jinxed myself?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ten Things on Friday

1.  I fixed the washing machine yesterday.  John had noticed that the upper agitator was not, well, agitating.  He figured out that it was likely the agitator dogs (little plastic cams), particularly since there were little broken pieces of them floating around the inside of the agitator.  I found the appliance repair store that carried parts, called to confirm they had them in stock, purchased them ($16.05 including tax!), found the YouTube video that showed how to open up the agitator to get to them, and installed them.  We are now agitated.  At least, our laundry is.

2.  I am a bad blogger.  I took no pictures of the process.

3.  I still have no pictures of JC in his costume.  It did, however, survive its trip through the washing machine (perhaps because there wasn't much agitation?), so there is still hope.

4.  My sister has officially finished her doctorate in education, and actually has her degree in her hands. I am insanely proud that we have a Ph.D. in the family.  And hugely impressed with her fortitude.  I was going to get my doctorate - I wimped out pretty early in the process, and I didn't even have kids at the time!

5.  There is photographic evidence of the graduation, and the degree, thanks to my mother. Does this make her a better blogger than me?

6.  And perhaps the best thing?  My sister has a job!

7.  John's birthday is tomorrow.  He has requested no presents, doesn't want to go out to dinner, and says that "if I make a cake, he will eat it."  I am sorely tempted to leave the event completely unacknowledged, except then I am afraid he will do the same for Mother's Day.

8.  My only request for Mother's Day is to not have to cook.  I am sure that there have been no preparations for any of my children (or my spouse) to cook, and I am also sure that there have been no reservations made anywhere for Mother's Day brunch.  I don't know what we're doing, but I'm not cooking.

9.  I have invited my friends over for a Pampered Chef party on Wednesday.  This is less a crass grab for hostess cash and more a last-ditch attempt to motivate myself to actually CLEAN the house.  It is working, but there is much left to be done.

10.  Perhaps I should expand my Mother's Day request to include help with the housecleaning?  It's only a gift if they don't whine about it, and I don't think I can push my luck that far.