I don't even know what's happened to the last few (9?) days. I've been tired; my computer has remained closed. I read a lot, cooked a lot, worked out a lot, took a lot of baths. I had a PTA Board meeting on Tuesday night and then on Thursday I stopped at Loft while all the kids were at swimming, tried on 15 things, and then carefully put them all back. It was an enjoyable hour, but like people who find a new way of eating through 30-day diets, I've come to enjoy my non-spending. Also, we did our taxes last night and wowza, that whole not-spending-money thing is now extended through at least April.
Cora attended the PTA Board meeting with me on Tuesday and when I called out to her that it was time to go, she exclaimed, "Wait!! I not dressed yet!!" Then she emerged moments later, dressed in Queen Elsa's dress and Princess Rapunzel's shoes and announced, "Okay. I ready to go to meeting now." And so she was.
She picked out one of my fancier necklaces for me to wear, but I still felt sadly under-dressed.
Also last night, post-tax-bloodbath, Cora popped her first fever since babyhood. 99.6 at bedtime; 101.3 at 10 p.m.; 102.9 at midnight when I finally woke her up to give her some ibuprofen. "My head hurts mama." she told me, bewildered and shaky. I checked her again at 3 a.m. and her bed was soaked, her fever broken. I tucked her in a new sheet and she slept soundly until 8 a.m. when she spent her first ever preschool sick day playing cheerfully and independently with her princesses for hours and then accompanying her dad on a few errands while wearing her Belle dress. In the words (word) of James she was "chipper" and fever free all day, so hopefully she'll be back in school tomorrow, passing out her beloved Moana Valentine's and taking her first step towards total domination of her new Montessori Primary class.
Because oh yes, she's now in the big kid primary class. How is this possible when she's just a baby? As Landon said in the car on the way home from swimming when I told them Cora was moving up rooms, "Mom! That means it's Cora's LAST class until she's in KINDERGARTEN! Can you believe it? Next is KINDERGARTEN?!!". Then after a pause, "...I don't like that mom."
Me either buddy.
(Also, doesn't Landon suddenly look 14? This is from the zoo on Sunday- WHAT IS HAPPENING?!)
But back to earlier on Sunday, before taxes and fevers and finishing Catastrophe on Amazon (hilarious; highly highly recommend), I took a few hours to shop at the last chance Dillards at Ridgmar Mall that our nanny is always raving about. It was 1:00; we'd gone to the zoo and done all our grocery shopping, Cora was napping, James was working, and the big kids were doing work in the backyard (something about moving logs; this happens when you don't do something each parent asked you to do multiple times), so I headed out into the discount shopping mecca. Like a Ross on steroids, this place is INSANE. It's all the merchandise not sold at Dillards all over North Texas, ruthlessly organized by category, color, and size, and then heavily discounted off the lowest marked price.
So this dress? $129 originally, marked down to $45 and then 75% (75!!) off the final price, landing at $11.25. It was the most expensive thing I bought.
This dress? $69 to $15 to $3.75. $3.75.
Even on my diet I can allow myself to shop here on occasion. It's totally overwhelming and I desperately wanted to teleport my magical shopping mother to guide me, and it's exhausting and hot and the lines for the dressing rooms are long, but you get to be a modern day Indiana Jones! Searching for the Holy Grail! Or formal gown! Or both!
Unfortunately I didn't find any formals I liked, but I still walked out with 5 really cute dresses that I really love, that fit holes in my wardrobe left after last week's deep closet clean-out, and that all came to a total of $33. Original price total $419.
Next time I might even allow myself to look at separates, though I'm going to need to strap on a Camelbak and running belt full of granola bars before I go. Last chance Dillards is not for the weak. Also, I came home from my marathon to find two of my children on the roof. James had sent them up with a bottle of window and roll of paper towels. Our skylights look great and they didn't come down for another hour because flat roof >>>> any other place you could possibly play in our house.
And since apparently I'm taking the weekend in backwards order, I'll note that it did not help my endurance by starting my shopping quest day with a few hours at the zoo. It had been a few weeks since our last visit, so after lazing about in bed until 9, semi-listening through our closed door while the kids got their cereal and then watched their weekly bout of television (I may be depressed about Cora's refusal to stay 2, but big kids are the BEST), we decided to up our weekly dose of penguins and jungle cats.
I love our zoo. And they've embarked on an ambitious plan to make it even more amazing.
The kids just can't understand how incredible it is they get to live 4 miles from a zoo they can stop by whenever we want. Our Sunday morning stops are the best; we're the only people there for the first hour or so and the animals are SO active and it's so special to see, every single time. We don't even need a stroller or diaper bag anymore- just a cell phone, car keys, and a willingness to yell "no, don't climb on that Cora" a lot of times.
On Saturday we did our grocery-ing, went on a walk, taught a barre class (that was just me), and then enjoyed our next play in the fabulous Casa Manana children's series. This time it was Rapunzel and we loved it. Totally different from Tangled or the original Rapunzel story I read as a kid, this version was super funny and cute and involved a knight looking for a maiden to save and his sidekick, a hair stylist looking for the perfect head of hair, and a reference to #alternativefacts. It was a good time.
Cora, of course, was dressed for the occasion.
And now, as I continue my backwards retelling of time, we're at Friday! It started with a 6 hour counsel meeting in one of my cases, so I had to be fancy instead of in jeans or at home in my pj's. Then Landon decided to spend the night with a friend and James was coaching until 7 and I REALLY wanted the frozen margarita I've been craving since mid-December and I realized, I didn't have to wait for James! We could eat SEPARATELY! We never do that, and it took me at least 30 minutes of wishing we could go to happy hour to realize I could go to happy hour! With the girls! It could be a girls night out! I told them my plan and immediately dressed down from my work clothes, while they dressed up in their best.
A purse for everyone and we were off, Cora pulling a microphone out of hers when we got to the restaurant. Never know when you might need one.
And with Landon missing, we could even order queso and not listen to someone (LANDON) moan about how cheese is so gross and why does he have to look at it and ewwww cheese. I love him very much, but in this, he was not missed. Cheese for all!
I had a margarita, the girls had 3 tortillas apiece, and we split a tray of queso, bean dip, and salsa. It was $17 and it was MARVELOUS.
Then I texted Claire's best buds on our way out to come over in pj's to watch a princess movie and everyone piled on the couch to watch Aladdin. Cora was thrilled to be part of such a big girl activity and Claire was shocked when we let her stay up until 8:30 to finish the show. A fabulous Friday for everyone.
And now we're back to today. That was for sure the worst retelling of a weekend ever, but it's nearly midnight and I can't go back now. Pressing onward! Food for the week! This time with actual links to actual recipes!
Sun: Naked Spinach Quinoa Lasagna, garlic bread. We really liked this! A different take on yummy flavors, I subbed sliced zucchini for the mushrooms because mushrooms are terrible.
Mon: Chicken taco chili, assorted toppings.
Tues: Heart-shaped pasta with tomato cream sauce, salad, double chocolate brownies with ice cream sundaes. ALL the champagne after the kids are asleep, and then probably more sundaes.
Wed: Chicken soup with dumplings (skinnytaste cookbook)
Thurs: Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad (from a reader, I'm so excited to try this!), Trader Joe's veggie spring rolls
Fri: Meatloaf (trying another recipe because the kids keep asking about it; who knew meatloaf would be such a hit??), roasted sweet and russet potato wedges, roasted cauliflower and carrots. We're super into roasting things right now.
And with that I wish you a Happy Valentine's Day full of french fries and chocolate, washed down with champagne. And nachos and cookies. Or whatever you like best.
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