Weekend Open Thread

What are you up to this weekend?

We kicked ours off by taking the kids to an insanely crowded amusement park. Then we ditched them at my parents house and went to see Zero Dark Thirty (never have I been so tense when I know how the story ends! Great flick). We capped off our date night by eating at our favorite chicken and waffle place.

Today we intend to catch another matinee before we have to go get the kids. It’s Oscar movie season y’all! w00t!

Chat away!

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60 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Remember back in November, when H had that big project assigned? And he made a careful plan to get it done before his Jan. 3 due date, worked diligently a little bit at a time so it wasn’t too overwhelming, and finished it before break so it didn’t hang over his head and have to be done during the last weekend of the year?

    Yeah. Me neither.

      • It’s only 10:40 and he’s already in tears and yelling at me. He was supposed to read a book- which isn’t an issue, he reads like crazy- and do sticky notes about the major plot points, then turn that into a “Creative, fun, plot map!”

        Great. ‘Cause nothing says fun like listing out the elements of a story.

        I sent him to his room for the yelling. He’s never going to get this done. I’m ready to let him fail, honestly, except that the school is so effed up that they’ll use this as a tool to keep him out of the extension programs. Never mind that dyspraxic kids are typically poorly organized and have trouble with big projects. His 504 says they’re supposed to help him organize his steps, but apparently, a 4 page packet with a trait analytic rubric (lots of boxes describing good, fair, poor and exemplary work) is enough.

        This has all the markings of a really bad day. DH is going to get up any minute and realize how far behind H is on this, then he’s going to lose his temper with H (for not getting ahead of this) and with me (for not making sure he got ahead of it).

        I’m going to need more coffee.

        • OY – so sorry about this – S has gotten so much better at this, but also his school is pretty good at scaffolding long projects for Middle School students (I assume that once he’s in HS the scaffolding will fade away).

          And in total sympathy as you get pushed between DH and DS. My two were home all week (while I worked) and still none of S’s vacation homework got done. He’s doing it now, because I’m here reminding, but it would not have occurred to DH to remind him one day this week.

          • He ended up making a reasonable plan for each day between now and Tuesday and knocked out what was on the list for today. It’s so the same process I used in school though- he started with the “final” piece and is now faking the outline, the rough draft, and the “reading notes” (stickies) complete with remarkably accurate predictions about what’s going to happen next in the story. I don’t so much care how it gets done, just that he gets all the pieces completed and ready to turn in.

  2. Hey friends–we’re leaving on our trip today, just one day late. The found time yesterday turned out to be pretty nice. I had packed up a good bit of our stuff the day before, so it was a leisurely packing of things here and there (so many kid things–ugh). And now Clara is taking things out of their bins as it all sits in the living room ready to go in the car. Oh well. Lucy is still feeling bad, but not nearly as feverish as yesterday. Ibuprofined her up and now we’re just hitting the road. Hopefully being a little sick will mean she’ll nap some on the drive. And Clara woke up early, so maybe she’ll take a morning nap for once.

    So, yay! We still get to hang with our friends. I think we’re meeting them in Tupelo, MS, so it’s more on our way than their house is. I’ll wave to kitschy Elvis stuff for y’all!

  3. My Mom cancelled her visit to us this weekend because the cold I had, and fought off, last weekend, became bronchitis (and asthma) in her. Blech. It’s a bummer for a lot of reasons – hate her being sick and alone (altho bro can visit), hate the way she sounds on the phone, hate that she’s just far enough away that I can’t just run over to check on her, hate that she’s alone on NYE (just another reminder that my Dad isn’t there), and feel guilty that we brought the bug into her house.

    In other news, I am making a soup inspired by, but in no way really resembling Elisa’s squash stew – I’m using pureed pumpkin instead of chunks of squash, pinto beans instead of white beans, and jarred sofrito instead of homemade. I’ll let you all know later how it turns out!

  4. I don’t wanna go home. So relaxed and stress free at my parents, with extra help with the kids, I haven’t even needed a nap in the afternoons. Don’t want to go home tomorrow!

    I got dd’s princess party all planned out for her birthday in feb. It’s going to look like a mini wedding reception, now thAt I think of it. I’m avoiding the Disney route and going with just everything pink and purple. I got a really cool bed canopy tent which I’m going to drape over the food table (thanks Pinterest) and pink tablecloths with lavender table runners. The canopy has silk flowers on it so I think the center pieces will be silk floral garlands (if I space out my shopping I can use michaels coupons). I am done spending after that even though I wanted to get a banner…then I remembered the play space has a big chalkboard on the wall. My dad is a good artist so I will commission him to draw a castle with colored chalk. I can’t wait, dd will be so excited! The only thing I am not looking forward to is all the princess crap she will get, lol!

    • Sounds like a blast! Please tae lots of pics to share (I know that goes without saying, lol!).

      DD decided she wants her 8th bday party at the American Girl Cafe. So our guests will have to drive a little more than 40 miles to attend! I sent out a feeler email, kind of a “we understand if you don’t want to travel so far, and will choose a closer venue if need be” but 7 out of 9 parents said yes! I think it helps that the store is in a fabulous outdoor mall, probably L.A.’s nicest, and I said they could drop their daughters off and go shop or have lunch at the amazing L.A. Farmer’s Market next door.

      • you would have a hard time kicking me out of the party, lol! I love AG. I took dd1 to the AG store at the mall of America when she was 8 months old :) She’ll be getting my old “molly” someday. for now she and ds have the bitty babies.

        i totes overspent on this princess canopy from Hearthsong. but, I’ve wanted it for my girl’s room since before i even had kids. So she can have it above her bed once we buy a house. and I can take it outside and hang it from a tree branch for a photo prop, so it’s a business expense, lol! but brace yourselves, there will be lots of birthday pics come february! what’s on tap for Alex’s birthday celebration?

          • woohoo batman! yeah, with dh’s family, our small family parties are pretty much the same! this is the first year J expressed definite opinions on her party theme. luckily it’s quite an easy one, but a bittersweet milestone! i bought her fluffy dress last year thinking i would get many years out of it. it definitely still fits, but i don’t know if she will choose to wear it…she will probably be rocking one of her princess costumes. which is fine, of course.

  5. DH has been out of work for about a month. While there are money worries, it’s been nice to have an “at home” spouse. He is much more obsessive personality than I am, so he’s been busy “doing stuff” around the house, and boy does the house look better for all his work! Not big stuff that you’d notice, but the little stuff you stop noticing after a while.

    Today he said, in the nicest possible way, “if you can go through the piles of paper that you have, and figure out what you need for filing, I’ll get you the files and a box or cabinet to put them in” LOL poor guy – I am a terrible hoarder, and just pile papers up (thinking I’ll put them away another day). Anyway, how could I say no, he’s worked on everything else!? So, I am wiling away this cold dark Saturday, sorting through piles.

    Also, sorta funny, when he has more time to think and is more relaxed he gets stuck on (sometimes somewhat random) ideas. This week it was that DS should learn how to bake bread. Years ago, when DD was a baby, DH and I baked together. It was a tremendously soothing and bonding experience. Something must have triggered this memory, and then got him thinking that DS should know this too. So…today….we are making bread by hand (not in the machine). It’s been fun, actually, and we made DS do the messiest part (not his favorite thing, to get so gooey) and the house smells great!

  6. Today is our 17th anniversary. Hard to believe it has been that long!

    I worked late last week so it’s been nice having a little time off. We took the Christmas tree down yesterday and suddenly I’m not coughing for the first time in weeks. Maybe next year we’ll have to get an artificial one. Too bad, I like having a natural one but the allergies kind of ruined the fun.

  7. So, 2012 is kinda crashing to a close on a low note. We had a brief camping trip from the 27th-29th (highlight: Jess discovered a pile of 50 Shades of Grey merch – keychains, fuzzy handcuff charms, that sort of thing – at a newsagent in the town closest to the campsite. I learned how to soft-pedal BDSM. Go me.) . I’m not a huge fan of camping because invariably, somebody gets disgusting-sick. Well, now DH has the manflu. FML. He’s legit sick, but man, he requires more care and attention than the girls when they’re sick. How does that work?!

    Then, I got a call last night from my dearest friend here in Melbourne. In tears. Her husband just copped to having an affair. Since May. He confessed on Christmas night. She really tearfully said that she was telling because she needed to reach out to her friends for support. Poor girl. She’s having friends come over pretty much straight through the next few days (her two boys are at the grandparents’ farm with the husband…). I’ve got to go over this afternoon, but DH is in no condition. Might send the girls to my MIL for a bit; I’ll just tell her the truth why rather than try and find an excuse.

    But whoa.

    • Wow. What a juicenozzle. Christmas night? Really? Yeah…major juice nozzle.

      So sorry for your friend. Any chance DH could take a dose of Nyquil to free you up for a couple of hours while the girls are at your MIL?

      • Just… totally. Urgh.

        Oh, yeah. DH can fend for himself; he’s just not in a place to take care of the girls. Bless him, though; he really likes my friend, so he’s still insisting that he can take care of the girls.

        • You’ve got a good one there, don’t you? Your poor friend. In her shoes I don’t know if I’d be “F you get out of my house” or “I’m totally destroyed but need you so we’ll have to find a way to fix this.” Probably some of both I guess. Is he still involved with the woman? Is it serious?

          • He’s a good guy, for sure.

            I haven’t the foggiest about the details; it wasn’t that long a conversation. I’m sure I’ll hear more today. What I do kinow is that my friend confronted her husband in May about something, and he copped to an “emotional affair”, and promised to end it, then confessed Christmas night that, in fact, it was a physical affair and it’d continued.

            What do you do with that? I’m just going over to listen and support my friend, but what a mess. I just ache for her, because she’s just so lovely. And her two boys, who are Jess and Lily’s age and are just great kids and friends.

            • Awww. And yeah you will know the right things to say. But of course be careful not to speak too harshly about him…in the event they stay together, she will remember those words and you may lose her friendship. Seen that happen. Good luck, my love. Hugs to your friend

              • That’s exactly right – my job is to support my friend. I said that to DH, that I don’t want to say anything that would make her feel isolated in the event that they do work it out. She’s got to do what’s best for her, and my job is to be there, as far as I can see.

                  • well, I don’t know about smart. I’m aiming for “realistic.” I don’t know the heart of their partnership and I’m not meant to. So casting judgement and hurling insults is counterproductive. All I know is that she’s hurting and feeling unloved and alone and that I can help with.

    • I’m really glad she’s reaching out. One way or another, she is going to be okay; she has good instincts. I’m glad she’s got a safe place to park her kids while she falls apart a little bit. She is lucky to have you in her corner.

      The 23rd is the anniversary of my friend and her son coming home to find her dead DH who intentionally OD’d after finding out she was having an affair. He had a long history of severe major depression. She and her (adult) kids went to a beach house together this year; now she’s back and it’s time for friends to step in and support her this week. As you say, Rachel, nobody knows what’s going on in other people’s relationships.

      • So, I spent a few hours with my friend. She’s just … scorched earth, emotionally. It hurts to watch a friend suffer like that. But she’s sort of … bottomed out, and is looking at things with honesty. I’m amazed and so proud of how resilient she is. As you say, Rothko, she’s created a safe place to fall apart a little bit, wholly in keeping with the situation. She’s got friends around, and she’s working through it and making all the right motions – her GP’s recommended someone to speak with, she’s going to call on the 2nd. We’ve made plans for us to talk tomorrow and meet again on Thursday; her circle are drawing pretty tight around her and doing what we can. Early days, of course, but my god, she’s got a bedrock strength going for her.

        • I’m so glad to hear she’s got the skeleton for this kind of thing. Geez. Talk about your shock and awe. Be sure to take care of yourself in all this. Those intense feelings can be tricky. xoxo

          • yeah, I’m feeling pretty drained today. DH has had the tonsillitis as well, so I’ve been on double duty. I’m going to take some time for me today, because I’m a bit ragged.

    • Eep. We’ve been camping and out of touch (and DH is now in bed with major back spasms…it was so bad that the in laws had to come and get him!!!!), so I just read this. Hugs all around. That’s not easy to witness.

  8. I have a cooking challenge MTs – at my CSA, on a whim, I bought dried soybeans (along with pinto beans and wheat grain). So…..any tips on how to cook the soy? The only way I know how to cook beans is to soak (varying times based on bean) and then boil (varying time based on bean), and then I mix into something else, like soup or stew or whatever. Any other ideas?

  9. I made a resolution today. Actually, I had more of a wake-up call. My kids have got to start eating better and I have got to stop enabling their crappy habits. It’s exhausting listening to them whine and cry when I make them eat a vegetable, but I have to do it. I listened to them whine and cry when I fastened them into carseats, washed their hair, and made them wear hats, I can listen to this too. Molly’s dropped another 2 pounds because she just won’t eat and she’s not going to grow on her current diet of bagels and yogurt with an occasional apple thrown in. Harry hasn’t had a fruit or vegetable in years except carrots and applesauce. His color is terrible and I’m not entirely sure that a vitamin deficiency doesn’t make his dyspraxia worse.

    I have to be the grown up, don’t I? I freaking hate that.

    • Good for you….this is a tough nut! My DS is not a fruit or veggie lover, but I can usually get him to eat both if they’re cooked. He ate salad once because Gramma served it, but it’s not a regular thing.

      Is your DH behind you on this? My challenge would be that my DH wouldn’t back me up…..

      • cooking it was my first thought as well. When Jess and Lily are really digging in, I grate up a bunch of carrots and zucchini and use pumpkin puree in a spaghetti meat sauce. It blends in really well. Hell, if they’re really resistant to even specks of veg, I’d blend it together.

        Fruit and veg are important to eat, but eating them raw and/or undressed is not sine qua non.

        How about a yogurt dip with steamed carrots/spinach blended in? A parmsean/pumpkin dip?

        • We’re going to try it all. They both ate the lettuce, H ate half a slice of cucumber (M, being dedicated to her new “good girl” persona, at the whole thing). Both found the grape tomato disgusting. They had pasta with sauce tonight too, so I’ll have to save the carrot puree for another time. How much do you put in? It’s harder to hide because M won’t eat meat so there’s less room to hide stuff. Tomorrow we’re doing snap peas and soybeans in butter sauce.

          I told them tonight that I didn’t want any comments except “Thank you for loving us so much, mama.” The sarcasm in their voices when they parroted it back brought tears to my eyes.

          • Hmm… I usually make massive batches and freeze into family-size serves. So, I take, erm, two pounds of ground meat, four or five large cans of canned tomatoes, two or three carrots, two or three zucchinis, mushrooms, about a 1/4 pound of pumpkin or squash (steam and mash) and a can of lentils. Plus, if there’s odds and ends lying around, I’ll throw that in (diced eggplant, corn, peas, whatever). That usually yields about four or five family sized meals. So, does that help the proportions?

            I absolutely detested tomatoes until I was well into my teens – the texture of the pulp.

            Would dips work? If you use yogurt, that’s on M’s list and it doesn’t have the cholesterol issues, right?

            • The ranch dip they had tonight was yogurt based and everyone liked it okay. Hummus used to be a big hit with H but M thinks it’s weird. I may play with the flavors a bit though to see if I can get her to eat it.

              Interesting thing about the cholesterol though- the pediatric lipidologist said they don’t have the bad genetic form of high cholesterol- it’s genetic, but not the seriously bad kind that means starting statins now. He said to keep up a basically heart-healthy diet but don’t go nuts, do the plant statins (like in some of the butter spreads and peanut butters), get both kids moving more (especially H) and try to give them good stress management habits. He seemed to think that diet and psyche were bigger risk factors.

              • that sounds highly sensible!

                If both kids like yogurt, I’d use yogurt as the medium for the moment! I make a half-decent dip of pumpkin/squash, roasted and blended with parmesean and pine nuts. Since your kids don’t have nut allergies(?), you could pretty much use any nut hanging around. It’s very tasty.

                I also have a recipe for an avocado chocolate mousse. It’s very yum.

              • Another thought on yoghurt–smoothies? I pack a ton of fruit in those. Also, here it’s really common to blend up fruit, water and sugar to make juice–but with all the fiber, since it isn’t strained. (Is this common in the US? It never even occurred to me until my kids had it at their friends’ houses.) My kids love strawberry juice, watermelon juice, and raspberry juice made that way.

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