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I know that it is spring because…

… every time I let the dogs out, Licorice comes back in covered in twigs and leaves and mysterious little burrs, all “I’M A WILD ANIMAL! YOU CAN’T TAME ME!” Meanwhile, Duncan comes back inside sneezing. Because he is a delicate puppy-flower, and he has hay fever.

… both children are suddenly complaining that they “don’t have any clothes that fit,” as if it’s somehow MY fault that they grew since last year. Also, at 15 and 17, they seem unable to grasp the concept that 10 minutes before the bus comes is not the most optimal time to start demanding I find them some larger shorts. (I’m good, but I’m not THAT good.) I bought Monkey 5 new pairs of shorts after confirming that, yes, every pair of shorts he had magically shrunk over the winter. The first morning he wore a pair, I asked him if they felt alright and he said, “Yes, they’re comfortable and easy to wear!” This prompted a conversation about the extreme (comparative) difficulty of wearing jeans (don’t ask me; I’m just as confused as you are), and for WEEKS he then appeared in the kitchen each morning, struck a pose, and announced that his shorts were easy to wear. I really have no idea what that’s about but it makes me laugh every time.

… tiny ants. TINY ANTS IN MY HOUSE EVERYWHERE OMG MAKE IT STOP.

… everyone suddenly seems very interested in their grades. I am amused by this. I mean, you couldn’t be bothered for the last 9 months, why start caring now? Er, I mean… great job, kids…? (Related: I think we’re all ready for this school year to be over.) (more…)

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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

… I have possibly lost my mind. But hey, it’s hard to tell. That’s the joy of living life just on a knife’s edge of sanity. Woooooo!

We’re counting down the days until school lets out, and I have been baking as if there’s no tomorrow. Or as if there’s a tomorrow BUT only if you have a LOT of decadent treats with which to meet it. Whatever. I have been back to the store for more butter THREE TIMES. My garage is filled with various containers of dozens and dozens of cookies, and an entire shelf of the fridge is covered in fudge. (Um, in appropriate receptacles. I did not just slather fudge on the shelves.) Tonight I’ll put goodies into festive buckets and soon all of these treats shall be delivered and perhaps the children will stop complaining that I didn’t make THEM any cookies. Maybe.

I both love and hate this time of year. It’s frantic, which I don’t like, but I get to do a lot of giving, which I very much like.

In fact, yesterday was Christmas. Sort of. I got to do something super-duper fun, and you can read about it on Alpha Mom. I’d tell you more, but I have eighty gazillion cookies left to frost and portion into containers, so, um, I’ll seeya later.

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Well, the house smells amazing

‘Tis the season for baking! I feel like my oven’s been on more often than it’s been off, the last few weeks, and this is because I love to torture myself with goodies I cannot eat. It appeals to the martyr in me, I guess. Yep. It’s all bake-o-rama, all the time up in here.

For one thing, it’s a good distraction. For another, the holidays are coming. And finally, there’s been some stuff to handle at school and you KNOW I don’t ever go to school without a basket of baked goods. It’s against my religion. Also, I figure we need all the help we can get.

So in a fit of whimsy—tongue firmly planted in my cheek (though I’m sure someone will come along any minute now to tell me what a horrible person I am for implying that everyone has time to bake)—I put together a handy guide for appropriate school meeting baking for you over at Alpha Mom. You have questions about muffins, and I have answers. (Or, you know, you don’t have any questions about muffins, but I’m going to pretend you do.)

Tangentially related: I’ve decided my mission to make the children fit for public consumption is coming along better than I’d dared to hope. I made… something casserole-ish… for dinner last night. It was various vegetables and I sprinkled cheese on top because cheese fixes everything, and the end result was weird. Rather than the chorus of YUCK and EW it probably deserved, I got “Well, it’s… fine” and “No, it’s good… but I don’t know that you want to put it into the rotation.” It’s almost like they’re civilized. And that was with made up foodstuffs that sort of looked like cat vomit. IMAGINE what a calculated and gooey treat can do!

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You say plantain-o, I say tornado

When I’m quiet here for too long, my dad calls me to make sure no one died. I always tell him that’s just silly; if someone died, I’d have something to blog about, after all. (For some reason he doesn’t find that as funny as I do….)

Life and the school year continue to WHOOSH past me at an alarming rate. Rest assured that I am not holding out on you on the end result of the dueling posters situation; the kids swear they haven’t gotten their grades back yet, and that particular teacher seems to not be using our online grade portal, so it remains a mystery. Of course, Chickadee did mention this morning just-a-little-bit-smugly that her poster is hanging up behind the teacher’s desk. Well, then.

In the meantime, I’m just over here working and spoiling the dogs and trying to pretend that I have a handle on everything. This leads to things like a recent dinner extravaganza that was TOTALLY worth the hassle. Or not. You can read about it over on Alpha Mom, because one thing that never changes no matter how hectic life gets is that if I do something stupid, I’m apt to share it with the Internet. You’re welcome.

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Things I did this weekend

Alternately, Stuff I did while avoiding doing actual work.
Or even, I am super productive when I’m procrastinating.

* Missed seeing a friend on her birthday because I am so disorganized.
* Apologized to said friend and made plans for later this week.
* Realized I hadn’t seen another friend in far too long; made more plans.
* Talked with a third friend about future plans when she returns from a trip.
* Spent a full five minutes marveling at how far I’ve come since my cave-dwelling hermit days because THREE FRIENDS! PLANS! SOCIAL! WOOOOOO!
* Stripped all beds, washed sheets, made up all beds.
* Laid down on freshly made bed wondering if there is anything better in the whole world than fresh, clean sheets on an unrumpled bed.
* Was immediately joined by a dog with muddy paws. (You know in cartoons how there’s an audible *POP* when a character’s happy bubble is burst? It was like that.)
* Did more laundry.
* Stalked my husband’s social media to see how his trip was going.
* Talked to my husband on the phone and assured him that I wasn’t worried at all.
* Texted with my daughter during the car parts of their journey (Her: I’m boooored! Me: Try talking to Otto…?) and enjoyed the radio silence that signified having-too-much-fun-to-talk during the non-car parts. (more…)

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It’s a little-known fact…

… that there are actually FIVE horsemen of the Apocalypse. No one really likes to talk about the fifth guy, though, because he doesn’t technically ride a horse. He rides an elliptical.

(He’s in killer shape, but has a hard time keeping up with the other four. You understand.)

I bring this up because I’ve apparently become one of those people who exercises. I’m not sure how it happened, but clearly it’s a sign of the Apocalypse. Before the world ends, I figured I would write about it for Alpha Mom. The end days are nigh! Thank goodness I’ll now have the stamina to run from the terror for a while.

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Gravity sucks

I’m having one of those “Oh, we are getting older and saggier and falling apart” sorts of weeks. To wit: I finally got my hair cut! It looks great! But I’m astounded anew by how gray it is. (Does that seem weird? I didn’t so much get my hair trimmed as I had it… de-bushed. Thinned/textured/layered, so that after the cut it was the same length as before but there was half as much of it. And for some reason the gray seems more prominent now. Because OLD.

Fortunately I am saved from feeling completely decrepit by the fact that Otto just got a new pair of glasses, and for the first time he’s gotten progressive lenses. His new frames are adorable—he’s always adorable, so that wasn’t hard—but he’s still getting used to to the lenses, so he spends a lot of time adjusting his head this way and that, and somehow watching him do that (okay, fine, laughing at him while he does that) is helping me to feel less old. Because at least I don’t have confusing glasses.

If I were smoother, now there would be a great segue here to encourage you to check out this this round-up of healthy dessert recipes I did for Alpha Mom, but all I can say is that there used to be a time when I could just eat an entire box of cookies and not gain an ounce, and that time… is long past. So now I have to be a little more judicious with my choices (without giving up dessert).

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Thawing out

Questions on my mind today:
1) Will the kids ever have school again?
2) Will Duncan ever stop being perplexed by snow and ice?
3) At what point do I have to stop eating potato chips and resume regular living?
4) How is it possible that we’ve been holed up for days and I’ve still accomplished absolutely nothing productive?

Truly, my mind is a deep philosophical well.

While we continue with storm clean-up, I have a great vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe over at Alpha Mom that even the resident carnivores love. I made it last weekend, before the storm hit, because once you’re iced in, you can’t be expected to cook anything more complicated than hot dogs. That’s the rule.

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Weekend update, citrus-scented for your enjoyment

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but my life is pretty exciting. Try not to be jealous.

On Friday I spent most of the day fruit-wrangling, because nothing says “marching band fundraiser” like a gazillion cases of fruit that need to be sorted and counted and loaded into people’s cars and such. I was killing a couple of birds with one stone, really, because Monkey and I both went in to help AND we had a couple of teacher meetings in preparation for his January start at Chickie’s school AND he got to hang out in the band room with some of the kids he’ll be in class with next semester, so it was all good, really.

It was just that after we did that, then we also had to spend the weekend delivering the fruit that Chickadee sold, along with everything else we were trying to get done this weekend. I love how the idea is that “the kids go out and fundraise,” but in reality—WEIRD!—cases of grapefruit are heavy and I can’t exactly just send her out with her little red wagon to go make deliveries. Especially because we do not have a little red wagon. (more…)

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Yeah, I have no idea where it comes from

You remember how surprised we were when Chickadee got her ADD diagnosis? All, “How in the world did THAT happen?” It’s a puzzle, truly. You could’ve knocked me over with the proverbial feather, at the time, and yet…

… yesterday I had a lot of work to get done and so of course by lunchtime I’d wandered into the kitchen and laid waste to about three pounds of butter. Huh.

But, uh, I was totally WORKING, see, because ’tis the season for baking, and I’ve got your holiday cookie recipes right here. I’m a giver. And that’s totally what I meant to do and was completely productive. Or something. Yes. Um. Can I offer you a cookie…?

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