Monday, February 29, 2016

The Oscars

We had our annual Oscars Red Carpet party last night.  Well, I call it a party, but it's really just Georgia, Josie and me.  And this year, we invited Pippa Middleton and a friend of Georgia's.

We started our evening by trying on outfits - a selection of formal and bridesmaid dresses that I've worn over the years.

Georgia tried on this pewter dress I wore to a formal event in New York (above) and then this black cocktail dress that I wore to a wedding here in Boston (below).

She also tried on an orange, taffeta dress that my grandmother made for my mother to wear to a formal in college:

Georgia settled on a pink dress I wore to Aaron & Melissa's wedding.

Josie tried on different dresses.  She liked this stripped dress I bought last year but haven't worn yet:

and she tired on a few of my college formals - including a pretty purple one that my mother made for me, but she settled on this long gown I wore to a local hospital fundraiser:

Obviously, a great deal of pinning was involved.

We set up a red carpet and took a walk:

Pippa Middleton took the stroll, too.

Although I'm not sure she knew what she was doing.  

When C arrived, Georgia did the red carpet a second time.  

Didn't they look pretty?

We had appetizers and then watched the live red carpet and the first hour of the Oscars on tv.  In general, we weren't paying much attention to the actual show.  This is the first year in a long time where I didn't see a single oscar-nominated movie.  I have every intention of seeing Brooklyn, The Big Short and Spotlight, but who knows when?  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Winter Break (For Some) & Living With Two Teenagers

It's winter break week here in Massachusetts - well, it's winter break week for the public school children in Massachusetts.  Henry is still in school, getting up at the crack of dawn for hockey practice and needing rides home from his van.  Which makes going on a vacation impossible.

I think we've managed to do some fun things.  Gordy took the girls and their friends to Dave & Busters for a few hours of arcade games and then he dropped them off at the mall for lunch and shop.  Henry and I met them there later (Henry had Monday off) and it looked like they were having a good time.  Cupcakes were involved and there was a lot of laughing.

Georgia and Josie both had "mock" sleepovers (all the fun but none of the over-night torture) with friends.  We had a southwestern-themed dinner and then they watched movies.  That also seemed like great fun.  

Josie had guitar lessons and hockey practice (fun! and fun!) yesterday and today, I'm taking the girls into Boston to the see the new Omni-max movie about The National Parks at the Science Museum (super fun!) and we'll probably get an ice cream(fun!).  And then it's home for a flute lesson (okay, so maybe just a lower case "fun" with no exclamation point) and another hockey practice (fun!) before the evening events commence.  Josie is staying over a hockey team-mates house and Georgia has been invited to a bingo game and dinner with friends at the local country club (FUN!).  

And then FINALLY, tomorrow, our whole family (minus Henry who will be in school) are going to paint a mural at a Boston Public School as part of Volunteer Day program through Gordy's office.

Sounds like a good week, no?

I thought so. 

So imagine my surprise when Georgia came downstairs this morning and informed me that she was not going to the National Parks movie (she is, actually.  I bought the tickets yesterday) nor was she going to participate in flute lessons (again, yep!  she is).  And she is angry that THE ENTIRE VACATION HAS GONE BY AND SHE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING FUN!

And she's had no time to be with friends.


How can I possibly describe what it's like to live with teenagers?

Teenagers are amazing - when they are good moods.  And Teenagers are horrific when they are not in good moods.  And you never know which Teenager you are going to get.

I know this isn't new information, but we're living it, so it seems new to us.

We're hitting important milestones now.  Henry is a sophomore and soon it will be time to look at colleges.  He's taken his PSAT and now we have to decide whether or not to get a tutor before the SATs and whether or not to just skip the SATs and take the ACTs.  He had three applications to fill out this week - all that required essays (some short but others long) and you can imagine what a real joy (insert eye roll) that was.  The first application was for a summer internship that Henry hopes to get.  The second was for an honors level class (you have to petition for a spot) junior year and the third was for an off-campus semester program.  All three things are important for his college applications.  

This is how we are thinking right now.

There is so much to balance with older kids.  Social lives, driving lessons, school work, sports, music lessons, internships, jobs, honors classes, test prep.... 

And while we are running around doing all these things, it's equally stressful to think about how in two years, Henry will be in college and we'll only be running around with two children.  Two more years does not seem like enough time.  

Yesterday, I took a pilates class and Henry's first grade teacher was there as a drop-in.  This is going to sound cliche - I've already written that teenagers are hard work, so I might as well keep on going - but Henry's first grade year seems like a month ago and it was weird (really weird) to tell her that Henry is now a tenth grader.

Which is why I'm "making" Georgia go to the omni-max with me today.  I'm using quotation marks because we all know that once we get there, Georgia will have a good time.

We have a lot to squeeze in to a short period of time!

Thursday, February 11, 2016


I don't know if it's just Josie's nature or if it's the result of her being the youngest child in a family of busy parents and siblings, but Josie is extremely independent and self-sufficient.  

And thank goodness for that because now that I have two older kids, my mind is geared more towards choosing Henry's Junior year classes and signing him up for driving and SAT classes than elementary school Valentine's Day celebration.

I knew that Valentine's Day was coming up.  

I knew that Josie wanted to do something unique for her Valentines this year.

I knew that supplies would have to be bought.

But it snowed and we had two snow days.  And Henry had two hockey games this week and there have been tests to study for, and regular sports practices to attend and doctor's appointments to schedule and Valentine's Day totally escaped me.

But it didn't escape Josie. 

Which is a good thing because today is Thursday, Valentine's Day is Sunday and Josie's school party is Friday.  

As in tomorrow.  

Yesterday, in the one hour that Josie had between school and leaving for hockey practice, she went on-line, printed out free Valentine printables, located two boxes of glowsticks that I had bought last summer for Block Island and never used and put together her Valentines.

The girls are getting "Valentine, You Make My Heart Glow" and the boys are getting "May The Force Be With You."

She didn't ask for help.  She didn't ask me to find/buy supplies, she didn't ask me to help with the cutting, or the assembling - Josie did it all.  By herself.

I loved how they turned out.  Here's the girls' version and scroll back up to the top to see the boys' light-sabers.  

Easy, quick and hassle-free.  


Friday, February 5, 2016

The First Snow Day

We got our first real snow storm today.  I woke up with Gordy at 4:50am and then couldn't go to back to sleep.  I turned on NPR and listened to the radio for forty-five minutes until my alarm went off.  NPR was mostly weather reports.  A real winter storm was approaching and New England was getting anxious.  Or excited.  It depended on whom you asked.  

I got Henry up at 6am.  Waking up Henry is not an easy task.  Henry claims that alarms do not wake him up, so it's up to Gordy and I to go into Henry's room and shake him awake multiple times.  Feel free to roll your eyes - I think we are stupid, too.  Today, however, Henry woke up right away and checked his twitter feed and that is how he found out that his school was closed.  

Yes, you read that correctly.  Henry's school announced that it had a snow day on Twitter.

2016 is a crazy, crazy place for those of us who learned about computers on a Radio Shack TSR80 in 6th grade.

I was relieved that his school was closed.  I had made an appointment for Henry to get his allergy shots at 3:30 and I had been dreading having to drive the 45 minutes from our house to Henry's school, IN THE SNOW, to pick him up and get him to allergy shots.  I am such a wuss when it comes to driving in the snow.  It's much easier to get Henry to the allergy shots from our house.  

Snow day?  Great!  Problem solved.

I moved on to Georgia's room and woke her up.  Then I did my morning routine.  I took Pippa Middleton outside to use the bathroom and then I brought her inside for breakfast.  I made Georgia a smoothie (Spinach, Chia seeds, strawberries, banana and coconut milk = healthy kid) and started putting together my own breakfast.  Then the phone rang!  YEAH!  

6am phone calls only mean one thing - NO SCHOOL!

Normally, I hate a snow day.  Snow days take up summer vacation days and are therefore the opposite of what I want for our lives.  But for some reason, having a snow day today seemed like a perfect idea.

Henry was already up, so I made an executive decision.  The snow was just starting at 6:30, and it was supposed to be really bad by 3:30, so I decided to bring Henry to the doctor's office during their open hours at 8am.  By 9am, we were done with shots, back at our house and we had an entire dreamy day to do nothing and go nowhere.

It reminded me of summer but without the wonderful heat.

The girls and I played a New York City memory game that was a gift from Lois and Harvey (hello lois!)  and then I kicked them out of the house to play and get fresh air.

It was crazy heavy snow.  All our trees were bent over to the ground and we probably got about 9 inches of snow which covered every individual branch.

I spent time working on my big photo album project (I had five years of photos to print out and so I decided to do something new and have photo books made - I'll do a blog post about that process since I found a great on-line company that I want to tell everyone about)

Henry played on his x-box with his friends all afternoon (not my best parenting moment) and Gordy was at work.

Georgia went to a sleepover party this evening, so our family can say that we did so something social.

But the rest of us are just relaxing.

We are supposed to be getting more snow on Tuesday and the temperature is supposed to go way down.  I'm happy with the snow day TODAY but I'm not going to be so pleased a week from now if the kids haven't gone to school and my house is drowning in water.  

Check back, if you want to read about me losing my mind!

It's winter, people!  It's bound to happen.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Varsity Hockey

I got a text message from my sister the other day that said "update your blog" and it made me frown.  I do want to keep my blog updated but there are three reasons that I haven't been blogging lately - the first is that I haven't been taking any photos and I usually let my photos dictate what I write about on my blog.  I haven't been taking photos because my camera does really horribly indoors and all the activities in Massachusetts during the winter are indoors.  

The second reason is that ever since I updated my computer, I just can not figure out how to upload photos from either the new Photo app nor my Aperture app to my blog.  It is such an enormous pain (these photos took me 20 minutes to find and upload).  The new operating system is so awful for photos and blogging.  There.  I've said it.  

The third reason that I've been away from blogging is that 12 days ago, I got the meanest, more horrific virus I've ever had and I haven't felt like doing much of anything except lying on the couch and moaning.  Oh and eating junk food and not exercising.

I feel better now, though.  

A day before the dreaded virus reared it's ugly head, I went to watch Henry's hockey team play their second ever game.

Gordy told me to be prepared.  Henry, I was told, was one of only two players who could skate.  

Things weren't that dire, though.  I thought the team played a determined game.  

They lost, obviously - and pretty badly - but they didn't give up or stop working.  And I'd say that all but one or two could skate.

Henry is playing defense and he'd prefer to be playing his usual position which is right wing.

I think Henry was further annoyed that during their third game, he didn't get to score the school first-ever boys varsity hockey goal - that honor when to a boy who was playing forward.

But I hope this doesn't come off like I'm complaining, because I'm not - and Henry is not - and Gordy is not.  Okay, maybe Henry is complaining a little bit, but only because he wants to move away from defense.  We are thrilled that there is a team at his school now and I think it's great fun to be able to say that you were on the first team.

The hours are taking a toll on Henry, though.  That I will admit.  He has to get up at 4:50am and he is completely wrecked by the end of the day (which for him is 6:45pm and that's before he does his homework).

The season is over right before spring break which is in March.  

Henry plays lacrosse in the spring (Outside!  Maybe in three months, I'll have learned where my new operating system is hiding my @#@$ photos!)

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