Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Weekend Recap Before the Halloween Pics Descend

Catching up on a few things that aren't Claire or shopping before we head out for some wet and rainy trick or treating. The kids are undaunted by the weather forecast and I'm counting on my ghost leggings and a yeti filled with hot toddy to get me through. But first, we revisit last Friday, when Cora's school held its first ever fall festival.

She was, of course, very excited. Sitting at a table with a whole bevy of princesses, I overheard her telling them, "When I go to Disenney Wurrld, I will be ALL the princesses." True that. One of my more difficult planning conundrums is knowing that Cora owns (or will own, after her birthday) 8 different princess dresses and only has 6 days to wear them. Princess problems right there.

The big kids were super excited for her- it delights them when she is delighted, so a good time was had by all. I tried to tell Landon he could sit at the big people table with me, "but I like this one," he said. I jumped at any excuse to be around adults >> children (still do, pretty much), but Landon is all in on the big brother gig and will forever be disappointed we did not have at least a dozen more kids.

She screamed when she saw her teacher (having been separated from her for a whole 4 minutes while I put her costume on in a different classroom) and Ms. Rosie told me that Cora is such a joy to teach and that every day when she first sees her, Cora tells her in a sweet, true, genuine voice, "Ms. Rosie, you look so beautiful today." "It's the best part of my morning," Ms. Rosie told us. And then two other teachers stopped us to tell us that Cora is always complimenting something about them. She's such an exuberant, busy little unicorn that sometimes I forget to comment on her sweetness. It's completely genuine and very much a dominant part of her very dominant personality.

Also a display of dominance- her walking up to her little male classmate in her gown and staring at him for a solid 2 minutes holding her skirts out until his mom nudged him and said "doesn't Cora look pretty in her dress?" "Um, yes?" "Thank you!" Cora said cheerfully before finally unlocking him from her gaze.

On Saturday we didn't have a soccer game (woot!), so we headed to a local brewery with friends to partake in their tour. It was a chilly day, so Cora dressed accordingly. The change in weather has really opened up a whole new world of outfit opportunities for her.

The "tour" is not really about a tour (though there is one), it's about the fact you can pay $10/adult, bring your kids for free, and get a pint glass with 3 refills of beer. Plus there's a live band and food trucks. It was a great time. It was also their Halloween party, so we got to see some hilarious and only occasionally inappropriate costumes on a gorgeous chilly day.

Ugly Pug is one of their popular beers and the Ugly Pug himself jumped into a few of our pictures!

At one point we noticed our friend and James were both "holding" a pair of their daughter's ear muffs. Really pulled the looks together.

A friend bought our kids a funnel cake and they attacked it like a pack of starving hyenas. Landon and Cora took turns licking the plate at the end. I understood completely.

I had two pints of beer (1.8 really) and that was PLENTY. I can't imagine three, but it was super fun and James even drank my last 0.2. He drinks like twice a year so that was momentous for everyone.

After that I tried to mainline diet coke to get my head back on straight and wrote a post about the Bear. Thirty minutes later I destroyed my kitchen trying to make a new pasta salad recipe to bring to a friend's potluck pumpkin carving party that was really delicious but also more involved than the beautifully lit recipe blog pictures led me to believe.

The party was great. I love an impromptu gathering of friends where all the food offerings come together and there's a beautiful night and spiced cider. Pumpkins optional. But James takes his pumpkin carving VERY seriously and I was glad he could honor that impulse while I drank cider in a social environment.

Then we got the kids in bed and binged THREE whole episodes of Stranger Things 2 which was the perfect cap to a really fun and festive day.

On Sunday we drove to Dallas to take Sir Winston to his new foster mom. She's the head of the Rescue Group and a really wonderful person with a huge heart, three bulldogs, and two other fosters. Winston is now part of a pack of 6. We held on to him a few extra days than we obviously intended, but we really wanted him to go to a good next stop and felt it was worth waiting for (she was out of town and then had guests until Saturday). We were just super vigilant about him and Cora which was exhausting and reminded us every hour of why we were making the right choice (not that we doubted) even though he was a perfect gentleman the whole time. It was a sad morning. Cora had a LOT of questions and was the most devastated of the three. We gave him hugs, filled Renae in on every detail of his life and preferences, pet all her bulldogs, and then said our goodbyes. It sucked and I cried. I adored that dog.

And then we drove home and made ourselves busy putting the finishing touches on the garage.

I love the space now. Here's just a little flashback of the horrors of old:

And now - light bright and super organized. All the things on the wall and shelves!

Who knew you could love a detached garage so much? I love all of it and just want to spend time gazing at the hooks and racks and shelving. James is about to fill it up with his Bricks and Swags, but it will still be beautiful.

Just like my dress that came in the mail for our Disney Christmas Party? I LOVE it. It even made me smile on Sunday afternoon when I was feeling sad.

11 more days until we leave. I'm as excited as the kids. I need to go get the kids' costumes on, so I leave you with food (which is really always the best thing to be left with.) Happy Halloween!

Friday: Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac- a new family favorite we first tried a few weeks ago, made even better by colder weather to eat it with.
Saturday: Mediterranean Bean and Pasta Salad- we ended up at a friend's for a pumpkin carving potluck, so I made this up based on the linked recipe, but added a pound of whole wheat rotini, doubled the dressing, and added kalamata olives and crumbled feta (and left out the chickpeas because I hate them and I was the one making it). It was great! And paired well with all the other random things people brought, I just love when that happens.
Sunday: Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches- everyone loves these; I make them on individual ciabatta rolls and used a rotisserie chicken and Costco's pesto (because it is the best ever, including homemade, for serious), with fruit and chips on the side. Sunday was a draining day; this was a delicious, light, and comforting meal.
Monday: Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas- the homemade enchilada sauce is insanely good, Claire ate a whole extra enchilada just to get more of it.
Tuesday: Halloween! Chili pot luck at a friend's.
Wednesday: Creamy Ham and Potato Soup- except I'm using thick slice smoked deli turkey because I don't like ham, biscuits on the side.
Thursday: Baked breaded chicken breasts (from Costco), cauliflower mashed potatoes (from the frozen section of TJ's, heat per directions, then add a half circle of Herb Boursin cheese and a bunch of fried onions, stir together, and start eating out of the bowl), steamed broccoli, rolls.
Friday: Pasta or something else quick and easy before our school's fall festival begins!


  1. So excited to hear all about Disney! By the way, I feel like you haven't done a work post in a while. I'm also a lawyer and love those posts :) Have a great week!

    1. Thanks! What in particular do you miss? I feel like even when I was at the firm and could talk more, I mostly talked about the schedule and how/if it was ruining my life at the time. Since that doesn't happen anymore, it's so true that I rarely mention it. It's like that 45 hours a week is just invisible... there's a lot I can't talk about, but if you have any work-related prompts, you want to throw out, I'd be happy to try!

  2. We would go back to our room at least once per day for a nap/recharge. If you have the luggage space, that is an option for the more outfit than days issue. Also, one of my kids ripped their shirt somehow (like a wrestler--split it open). You may need emergency back-ups. Good luck!

    1. Ha, I have an extra Cinderella dress for Cora that's from Gap (so like a regular dress, but with an attached tutu and Cinderella's face on it because why not) that I'd planned to throw in the bag as a back-up for Cora each day. Good to know that is a worthwhile use of space! We're so excited - only 6 more days to go!

  3. Gosh I love your blog. It is one of the few blogs that talks about kids in a positive, fun light.

    1. Aww thank you, this was really sweet to read! We enjoy the heck out of them that's for sure. At least 88% of the time.

  4. Love the Halloween pix, and I'm so excited for your Disney trip + recap! We've done Disney twice but with younger kids (14m and 3 years, and then 3 years + 4.75 years). Since we have similar age spacing, I can't wait to see what it would look like going when mine are 3-4 + 7 + 9!

    1. Thanks! And me too!! I feel like this is such a good range of ages- Landon is still excited about the magic and the make believe (mostly because he's a very sweet and enthusiastic older brother, but also just because he's still young enough to be excited), Claire is right in the mix, and Cora will full on believe she is meeting all the real-life princesses but is also old enough to be out of diapers, naps, and any toddler-related accessories. We can't wait!!