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    September 29, 2014

    In which I fix my daughter a gimlet

    Emma is going to be Anna for Halloween. DUH

    Jackson, after going around and around all the costumes at Target (because they were 40% off on that Cartwheel app for one day and DARN IT I WAS GOING TO DO SOMETHING AHEAD OF TIME), decided on a bow and arrow. Actually he decided on a bow and arrow and a super ugly Skylanders costume, but his mean horrible mother said he couldn't have both. It's not like they WENT together or something. So he whined and pouted and eventually picked the bow and arrow. I am ashamed to tell you how long it was before I thought of Robin Hood. But whatever, Jack is going to be Robin Hood and my mother is going to make his costume THIS WORKED OUT GREAT FOR ME. 

    Molly was going to be Elsa. DUH. Nai Nai and Ye Ye bought the girls Anna and Elsa costumes sometime this summer (to go with the other Anna and Elsa dresses) but at the time the kids were sort of off Frozen and I stuffed the dresses in the back of the closet and no one remembered them. Until I decided that they would be Anna and Elsa for Halloween since that would work out great for me. And I bought Molly a blond wig at Target to make her feel like she was also getting something exciting and new out of this deal. 

    UNFORTUNATELY she caught sight of the ARIEL DRESS. 

    Now. What is the deal with Ariel? Why do my girls like ARIEL? I don't get it. It was also the skimpiest costume, which wasn't really a modesty problem so much as a "you're going to freeze your bottom off on October 31 in Seattle if we don't throw a giant coat over that costume, thereby negating the costume part of Halloween" problem. And I wouldn't buy it. I AM A MEAN AND HORRIBLE MOTHER. 

    Whine whine whine. She forgot about it. Or resigned herself to Elsa and the blond wig. Molly is pretty good at resigning herself to things. She and Emma often sleep in the same bed now that they share a room (Emma sleeps in the full bottom bunk, Molly gets the twin bunk on top) because Emma loooooooves Molly and wants to be near her every second of the day. Phillip went down to check on them last night and saw Emma rolling around, thumping her head around, basically being obnoxious and Phillip hissed, "Emma! Stop doing that! You're going to wake up Molly!" And Molly moans, from underneath her sister, "I'm not sleeping." We're always like, "Molly! You don't HAVE to do everything Emma wants you to do!" But she does anyway. Because she is resigned. Is this Middle Child Syndrome? 

    Anyway. Fast forward to the weekend and we're at Grandma's house talking about costumes. I say Molly is going to be Elsa with a blond wig. Molly says, "But I WANTED to be Ariel." And I say, "But ARIEL has a STUPID DRESS." And then there was a great This Is What It Might Be Like When She's Fifteen Standoff. But then I decide to be generous and start thinking of other things she could possibly be. A farmer. A baker. Queen Lucy from Narnia. A MOM. Ooooh, said Molly. I want to be a MOM. 

    This was... unexpected. But we went with it! I told her she could push one of the toy strollers with a baby doll inside. And if she was going to be a TRUE Seattle mom she needed to wear yoga pants and a cute ponytail and chat on her cell phone - I was going big on this whole local mom thing. But then, and I want to say out of nowhere but possibly this was my mother's suggestion, Molly says she wants to wear HEELS. And the thing is, one of my mom's friends always gives us her granddaughter's old clothes and the last bag of stuff contained LITTLE GIRL HIGH HEELED SHOES. Which: No. No no noooooo. I let Molly keep them, because she saw them before I could get rid of them, but they're with the dress up stuff. Not the actual stuff-we-wear stuff. And because I did not want to buy a stupid ARIEL dress, I said FINE. WEAR THE HEELS. 

    But then. Oh you guys. It all got very exciting. We started talking heels and then some kind of grown up lady dress and makeup and painted nails and before you know it I've decided my six-year-old daughter is going to be Betty Draper for Halloween. Pushing a stroller in one hand and smoking a cigarette with the other. I cannot decide if this is twisted or the best Halloween costume EVER. So! Anyone know where I can get a size 6X retro dress with apron and crinoline?! 

    I am going to be... well, I'm actually pretty bummed I didn't buy that godawful sky blue prom dress at Norstrom Rack that one time because *I* could be Elsa. 

    September 24, 2014

    Keep on keeping on

    Yesterday was rough. The day before that was rough. Today is rough. I THINK things are getting better? On the whole? But yesterday and today instead of getting on the stupid treadmill (and just WALKING FTLOG) I crawled into my bed and slept. I just wanted to escape. Naps don't make me FEEL better. I feel terrible, all groggy and out of sorts when I wake up. But I can disappear for that half hour or hour... 

    We are trying to figure out our trip to Italy and perhaps other parts European this May and June. Phillip is working things out with his job and I won't really know what our options are until November, but every time I scout plane fare, each ticket is as much as our mortgage payment. All my Alaska miles (and the $750 in vouchers I received from that disaster trip to Colorado) are not going to help me on an international flight booked through Alaska mileage plan partners. So I'm feeling stupid about trying to go that route in the first place and just defeated in general. We will make it work (I am nothing if not a We Will Make It Work kinda person), but [shakes fist at Expedia.com].

    I haven't seen my friends in forever. I miss Liz. I take kids to school. I go to Target. I have conversations with my sister about bakery work. I watch a lot of cable news. I fold laundry (sometimes). I clean up the kitchen (sometimes). I think about planning a date with Phillip or meeting friends for happy hour and then I worry that doing something out of the ordinary in the evening will mess with how I get ready to go to sleep, a very important part of Anxiety Management. And then I get mad about that. 

    I've been on this weird tear to BUY stuff. I keep going to my usual clothing store websites, piling things in carts, being shocked by the total, not entering my credit card info, moseying over to another site. I've bought a few oversized sweaters at TJ Maxx. I bought Emma a whole bunch of cute stuff at Old Navy yesterday. Navy sweater with white stripes and red heart-shaped elbow patches SWOON. But the hole I am attempting to fill is not filled. Maybe if I splurge on a gorgeous pair of boots? But boots never fit around my wide [AVERAGE SIZED, FTLOG] calves and whenever I wear them I look in the mirror and suspect tall boots aren't the best look on my stubby legs anyway. So maybe not. 

    The best part of my day is reading books to my kids before they go to bed. I KNOW. Phillip used to do all of that. I used to get away with not doing bedtime at ALL. Then we had Emma and I would usually put Emma to bed (easier/quicker) than putting big kids to bed. But this summer it started to be the time that I would sort of "make up for" being a distant crappy mom during the daytime [read: anxious] and for whatever reason it was calming and comforting to be with them. Just in general my kids have been a huge consolation to me during this latest episode. But I've read two Narnia books to them, that they really loved (me: ugh) and Jack and I tore through a Jack-appropriate book on the Revolutionary War the last two nights and I just feel like YEAH! I love reading, even though I haven't done much of it lately (everything I read stresses me out somehow and I don't need more of that) and my kids haven't been super excited about reading, but we finally found a book they WANTED to keep reading and it made me SO EXCITED. And Jack wanting to keep reading about Paul Revere and George Washington: YES. Weird, maybe, but these times at night and the looking for books they'd like has been a balm to my soul the last couple of months. 

    Usually I'm pretty upbeat, Internet, but tonight I just want to cry it out. God I'm tired. 

    September 22, 2014

    Three months later...

    Even though today is turning out to be not that awesome, in the last week and a half I've had more good days than bad, and yesterday was practically normal. We were driving somewhere yesterday and I realized that I had not been "managing" myself all morning and I was suddenly heartened and exhausted. I told Phillip that feeling better somehow made me tired, like now I had time or energy to realize how hard I've been working and now I have the time and energy to feel the fatigue. Early last week, when I was exhausted from bakery stuff and irritated with my kids, was when I realized I was feeling better - I had the time and energy to have awareness of a feeling that wasn't anxiety. 

    I'm at the full dose of my new medication now (it's been about a month) and I am EXTREMELY SUPER HOPEFUL that I continue to feel better and more normal. I am fighting the voice in my head that says having to try another SSRI - my third - is a failure of some sort, that the naturopathic route did not work, that I maybe "made" this happen. My new Professional Talking About Things person is helpful on that front, pointing out that all the "anxiety roads" are well worn in my brain, and going down them doesn't mean that I've failed or fell prey to something I know to stay away from, only that those roads are THERE and it makes SENSE that I would go down them and maybe I can just say to myself, "Self? You are going down a Road. Let's go back." 

    I think I've missed writing here, although the longer I stay away, the more I wonder what to say! Emma turns THREE tomorrow, which is horrifying (and amazing - we are, like, full on potty training and it's going well and we're entering this world where we don't have babies and baby schedules and baby stuff - also horrifying and amazing). Molly is having a rockstar kickoff to first grade. Jack is doing well, but also saying he's bored all the time and I'm conflicted about how much of it is Jack being a twerp and how much of it is me needing to have a chat with his teacher to find out more (ugh, that feels potentially icky.) Everyone is all settled in their new rooms and I am wandering around in the evenings constantly remembering that all the kids are on a different floor and I can holler at my husband on his fourth Daily Show in the living room. 

    The bakery continues to be nutballs. Last week was cookie box week and then suddenly 12 dozen macarons by Friday morning AND 250 cookies next day for BIL's catering company who didn't order enough from their usual supplier. So it was a PROFITABLE week, if not particularly conducive to mental health. I just got a call from a lady who wants a two tier jungle-theme cake for a baby shower and I had to pull a price out of the air because WE ARE NEW and I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU PRICE ANYTHING and I had to call Katie in a panic to ask if I'd just promised a cake for basically free. (I did not.) And it was only after all of that that I realized it was an order from a stranger and YOU GUYS we now get orders from STRANGERS. We continue to not do things the Right Way, by which I mean the Smart Savvy Business Owner Way, but we continue to CONTINUE. I know at some point that won't be good enough, but HEY, the other day I got a letter in the mail reminding me it's time to renew my business license. WHAT THE WHAT! It's been that long already?!

    Anyway, that is all what has been Up around here. I want to feel better and then I want to sleep for about a week, although I'm told there is no sleep during the autumn season when you own a bakery, SO. But I think I might get the 'feel better' part, so things are looking good. At some point we will need to discuss the Blond and where I am going with this whole look, but I'll have pity on you, Poor Reader, and save that for another post. 

    September 15, 2014

    In which the bakery requires clonazepam

    HELLO THERE!

    Things are getting better. Thank you for thinking good thoughts about me, because I've needed them. And I still need them, but things are getting better. I'm not going to say more about that because many years of internetting have taught me that declaring something online means the opposite will be true the next day. SO. 

    I actually tried to write something here the other day, but then I accidentally yanked out my power cord. And ever since I doused my laptop with a giant glass of water in July, the battery no longer works and if my computer isn't plugged in, it's dead. As soon as the power cord disconnected, my [boring] [pointless] blog post went kaput. I took this as A Sign. 

    But whatever, the kids are in bed and I have wine and Phillip is making a mental health run to Costco (do YOUR husbands need retail therapy like mine?). And also I've been sitting here clicking refresh refresh refresh because Thumbprints just received and confirmed and invoiced our first wedding order in the last two hours - a bride called and ordered 12 dozen macarons for Saturday. THIS SATURDAY. Poor Katie. We pushed back the cookie boxes a week (sorry) because we were busy this weekend, and now this week we're doing cookie boxes AND 12 dozen macarons. And I should say KATIE is doing those. I am... sending emails. Poor Katie. Did I already say that? 

    On one hand: SUPER BIG FAT FIST BUMP because DUDE! Our first wedding! It's not a HUGE order, by which I mean we are just delivering 12 dozen macarons, not boxing them up for favors or setting them out on a buffet table. But still. It's our third in a row of Orders From Total Strangers and that makes a new business owner feel pretty darn good. I don't know if I told you about the event we did with the catering company? I have a friend who's an event planner at a catering company and they do vendor open houses once a month. So we got in for September (along with a DJ and a photographer and an invitation-maker) and got some serious interest and great feedback. That was a bad week for me, so I was glad to stay home with Temperamental Niece while Katie did all the work. But a lot of times Katie isn't around to get the feedback so this was fun for her! (At least, this is what I told myself while I sat at home watching TV.) 

    On the other hand: OMG SO MANY COOKIES. I mean, this is good! Very good! Go us! But whoa, there are only two of us, and only one of those two knows how to make macarons. (Or anything else, really. I am in charge of red wine brownies. Everything else I make may TASTE okay, but looks like garbage.) I am also sitting here thinking about how busy we were at Christmas last year, when we were NOT official and had NO website and NO customers and NOTHING and... well, I guess it's good that I still have a mostly-full bottle of horse tranquilizers, yes? Enough to share with Katie, even. 

    I REEEEEEEEEALLY want this to be REAL. You know?! Like a THING! A real THING! A BUSINESS! And at the same time I am all... how? HOW? 

    I guess we just keep going. And then at some point I write a business plan. My excuse up to now has been, "But we don't even know what we want to do! We are EXPERIMENTING!" Eh. (This website is not responsible for inspiring YOU to leap ahead without a business plan. We exempt ourselves from any inspiration that is not Responsible and Sensible.)

    Anyway. I miss you, Internet, and I feel like I have a lot to say, but it's only bakery stuff that's coming out. Hope that's ok for now. 

     

    September 03, 2014

    What's been up

    SO YEAH. Lots and lots has been happening over here - nothing especially blogworthy, but that's never really kept me from writing it all out before. Basically I am Beyond Anxious and 99% of my energy goes towards Keeping On Keeping On. Writing about it hasn't felt like something that would help, so I haven't. It just sucks and it still sucks and it's never going to stop sucking, except if I think that way then it quickly spirals into All Is Lost territory and that's just the worst. Keeping On Keeping On is all about steering clear of that mindset. 

    I am doing all the right things. I have started a new medication, which actually might be the problem, you know, that pesky "oh, at first you might get MORE anxious!" side effect. I am seeing a Professional Talking About Things person. I have all the right people checking in on me, offering to bring dinner, coming over at a moment's notice, OFFERING TO VISIT ME OVER THE WEEKEND FROM A DIFFERENT CITY YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. If I wasn't absolutely determined not to get into a shaky emotional state, I might sob over the amazing friends and family who are taking care of me and making sure I don't fall over. 

    But I can't do that because I have to do laundry and make lunches in the morning and we have a pretty big bakery thing going on tomorrow - a vendor open house at a catering company! I made sample party favor boxes! Katie is making cake bites with PASSIONFRUIT CURD OMG - and you know, STUFF TO DO! People to take care of! I can't go around breathing into paper bags every ten seconds! 

    It was a particularly nasty weekend, in spite of it being our annual couples' weekend. Or maybe I should say, "Thank God it was our couples' weekend" because my friends rallied around me in a way I haven't needed... ever. Really. One emergency horse tranquilizer prescription later and I'm cautiously hopeful. I mean, it's always gotten better before, it has to get better this time too. Right? 

    Think good thoughts for Phillip, who is having a stressful time at work and doesn't need the Crazy Wife on top of it all. Think good thoughts for my kids, who don't seem to realize how much I neglected them this summer. Think good thoughts for me, that this mess works itself out soon. I feel like I can't keep this up much longer. Except, I mean, I can. I have before. 

    At some point I will show you pictures of my daughters' absofreakinglutely adorable new room. Hopefully soon.

    August 21, 2014

    An inelegant attempt at moving the plot forward

    What's happening with the new bedroom?!

    Nothing! The bed arrived - though it was delivered to a different house in our neighborhood, whose address is not at ALL similar to ours, BUT the house belonging to neighbors we know the best, TOTALLY RANDOM - and we put it together and it's not the BEST quality, but it's cute and it will do. But! But! When we put the full mattress on, it didn't fit! LIKE DOESN'T FIT AT ALLLLLLL. The mattress is too long. We smashed it in anyway, which was stupid because now the not-great-quality wood is dented and paint worn off in some places - and then I took it off the next day because I couldn't tuck sheets around it anywhere. So! Annoying! Yesterday I ordered a cheap-yet-super-high-rated mattress (with a shorter length! did you know full size mattresses can be different sizes? does this make sense? no! it does not!) and it should get here tomorrow. In the meantime, there is no cutely made up bed in the girls' new room, nor is there any other furniture moved in on account of not having anywhere to put the OTHER mattress OMG THIS PROJECT. 

    I am hoping that we can do most of the rest of the work this weekend. Each day this week I've been moving and sorting things from Emma's closet upstairs and the huge walk in closet in the new bedroom, where we've stored things like computer cables and Phillip's musical instruments and all my party stuff (not the Christmas stuff - that has its OWN storage closet) and old journals and out of season coats and UGH, so much stuff. Moving a lot of that upstairs or into Goodwill piles, and all of Emma's things downstairs or into Goodwill piles. Yesterday I took an entire back-of-my-van-full of baby things to Goodwill. It was actually pretty hard. I finally got to the point where I could say: it is better for a family who NEEDS these things to have them, rather than me hoarding them for the slight possibility we have another baby OR foster a baby OR adopt a baby, right? WHO KNOWS ABOUT THOSE THINGS. But for SURE another family could use our double stroller during the time it is gathering cobwebs in my garage. If I ever need a double stroller again (PLEASE GOD NO) I have the resources to buy or borrow one myself. STOP HOARDING STUFF, ME. 

    So Emma's room is currently a giant mess of empty Rubbermaid tubs (bye bye baby girl clothes, SOB) and stuff that is too heavy for me to move by myself. The downstairs room is a giant mess of one massive bunk bed frame, one delinquent mattress, and heaps of things that need to be moved elsewhere, but can't quite yet because their future places are not cleared out. Did I mention I have houseguests next weekend? THIS HAS TO GET DONE ASAP. 

    In the meantime I have conned my mother into making curtains out of the elephant fabric - she's going to add some solid navy fabric to the tops and bottoms to make them long enough. I'm eyeing the white and navy polka dot duvet covers from Garnet Hill, though I'm not totally convinced, also $$$ (at least, it's $$$ when I already have things I can use at home.) There are a lot of accessory things I want to buy, but I'm telling myself not to, not just because I shouldn't spend the money, but because I have a habit of buying house things in advance of actually being able to use them, and then changing my mind once I have everything ready. (I bought some canvas prints at Ross a few months ago in anticipation of the New Girl Room, but now they are sort of the wrong pink. WE CAN'T HAVE THE WRONG PINK!) 

    How are those kids doing anyway?!

    They are great! I want to say that we've had the sort of perfect lazy weeks you're supposed to have during summer, except that I hate lazy weeks and I'm mega anxious and I'm constantly feeling rotten about all the sitting around and MInecraft playing. That said, Jack did an entire week of soccer camp, Molly and Emma got a spectacular grandparent weekend to themselves, we've done the spray park and the science museum and crafts and puzzles and making houses out of cardboard freezer boxes and yesterday we spent absolutely forever at our friends' house with the backyard trampoline. We are reading a lot of boxes and grudgingly liking it, we are watching movies while we eat pizza dinners, we are picking out our own horrifically hideous backpacks at Target and talking excitedly about when school starts. SO YOU KNOW, it's summer and we go to bed too late and everyone is filthy and FINE THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS. 

    And don't you have a baking business? 

    I do! Right! Things have been, for me, mercifully slow this month. This is, of course, not good for the business, but I do feel like I've gotten my breath back from July and now when I think about the big food and gift show in September I don't want to dig a hole and hide. Katie's husband is in the catering business and his new employer wants samples, so that's good, right? (They tried some of Katie's brownies a while back and HECK YEAH those brownies are FUDGY NIRVANA. They have requested more, and different. We'll see what happens.) Also we're doing an open house tasting thing for a catering company where a former rec league volleyball teammate of mine happens to work. They're big on brides so that may get us some possibilities too. For that one I think we're going to do a spread of tiny desserts instead of Wedding Cake. I feel like there are a lot of Wedding Cake people in town and we can CERTAINLY do wedding cakes, but we can ALSO make a gajillion teeny little super cute tarts and treats and favor boxes. So. And then the food and gift show, which has me a little confused. I am just not sure who our customer is. It's NOT a holiday show - end of September, too early - but we sell PERISHABLE COOKIES and who is going to be buying a box of fancy cookies at a food and gift show (for which you must pay admission!) in late September?! Usually Katie is the one who can't believe people are buying/paying for what we're selling, but this time it's me. I think I need to sit down with a catalog of Fancy Gift Boxes to get some inspiration. (For this show we'll be selling three or four different sizes of cookie assortment boxes - I think a 3 dozen, a 2 dozen, and a mini box with just one type of treat inside... but how it should look, what to display, etc., I'm not sure.) 

    So school starts in...

    TWO ETERNALLY LONG WEEKS, PRAY I MAKE IT THAT FAR.

    August 14, 2014

    Room Update (snore) + Recently Improved Parenting

    I'm done painting YAAAAAYYYYY MUPPET ARMS!!! Painting is not the WORST thing in the world, but halfway through all the cutting in it starts to FEEL like the worst thing. But anyway, thanks for the Barely Pink recommendations - I went to Home Depot, asked for 2 gallons, and you were right, it is PERFECT. I wouldn't have picked it out at the store, but it's the perfect color on the wall. That room already feels so different. I don't think the previous paint color ITSELF was super ugly, but in that room? SO dreary and BLAH. The pink has brightened and livened it up a little. The bed should get here on Monday and I CANNOT WAIT. 

    I cannot wait so much that I dragged Molly's pink and white desk into the room, taped up my beloved elephant fabric (from my super botched Homemade Roman Shades project), and then decided that the kids should all camp out in there tonight because I PAINTED THIS ROOM GOLDARNIT IT MUST BE APPRECIATED! 

    The challenge is: decorate this room without spending any! money! (gaaaahhhh) This shall prove to be difficult since I've decided I need to throw some navy blue in there, to de-sweet-ify the pink, and then per Twitter, maybe some GOLD? Or some MINT? Things I already have: a two-toned pink rug, a pink and white Eiffel tower lamp, a giant hot pink 'E'... My mom is going to salvage my elephant fabric for curtains, adding some material to the top and bottom to make the panels long enough. Plus I have a white dresser and a white bookshelf and a white doll bed (which my mother's godfather built for her when she was little AWWWW) that we will fill with EJ's nine hundred stuffed animals. Yes, I definitely need some navy/gold/mint. I forsee a lot more standing around and surveying the room landscape in the next couple weeks. 

    And you guys, I haven't even STARTED planning Emma's old room, the new guest room slash Room Of Bakery Storage And Staging aaaiiieeeee!!!

    Even though I've been painting and I'm anxious and it was Cookie Weekend I'm not totally All There right now, I've been trying hard to spend time with the kids, especially the big kids. We're managing to do a Fairly Fun Thing each morning, but the afternoons are shot. Emma still sleeps for hours so we can't go anywhere and I don't want the big kids being loud or bothering Emma, so they end up playing a lot of Minecraft and I end up reading a lot of Twitter and watching cable news. I don't think any of those pursuits are particularly GOOD for us, but the kids are 1) quiet and 2) happy and I'm grateful for time to myself during these days when we are together 24/7. Then I end up making something boring and easy for dinner (this is what the kids prefer, at least) and Phillip gets home at 6 or sometimes later and then it's bedtime... I spent a lot of July feeling like I was totally ignoring my family, mainly to get bakery stuff done. I haven't figured out a schedule for myself (there IS no schedule with the bakery) and my tendency is to work work work work work work until the task is finished - no breaks, no wondering if I should take 2 days instead of 1... that kind of thing. 

    So I guess I'm trying to make up for that now? We've done the summer dollar movies twice (Rise of the Guardians and Turbo - thumbs up from my crowd for both), we got a membership at the science center so we did that this morning. A big crafty project at the library, just GOING to the library which is getting to be more and more enjoyable (for me, at least). And I've been trying to find a Big Book to read to them at night. A year or so ago I tried Harry Potter, but my kids hate anything scary and they didn't GET Harry Potter and now they say they don't LIKE Harry Potter, so I wonder if I basically ruined Harry Potter for them. I tried Beverly Cleary, one time I tried the Best Christmas Pageant Ever - they don't like anything. I totally feel like I've failed in the Raising Children Who Love To Read department HOWEVER! The other night I thought I'd try The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. WHICH I DO NOT LIKE. I did not like the Narnia books as a kid and fantasy books, in general, are not my thing. Lord of the Rings - snore. SORRY. I just... not my thing! But I know that MOST PEOPLE DO like the Narnia books and MAYBE JUST MAYBE my kids might like them? So I started reading the first one and GUESS WHAT THEY LIKE IT. I am shocked. Mostly because they haven't liked anything I've read to them so I wasn't expecting that to change. But they BOTH like it and they BOTH want to keep reading when I say it's time to go to bed and THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. 

    Also the fact that I am reading a significant amount of story to them each night - that makes me happy. The big morning things we manage to do, the reading at night, the puzzle I helped them put together yesterday, hopefully all of these things are making up for my complete disregard for them during July and also all the Minecraft. 

    I just tell myself that if my kids are super awesome at Minecraft it's more likely they'll major in something Useful in college and get decent jobs. As opposed to English majors such as myself, a degree which is last on the List Of Lucrative Degrees. 

    Or maybe they'll take over a family bakery business MWAH HA HA oh man I'm tired. LATER INTERNET.

     

     

     

    August 12, 2014

    No one should care this much about bedroom rearranging

    The Bedroom Indecision of 2014 has CONCLUDED. Boom! Feels good. After many minutes standing in the middle of the room hemming and hawing, saying, "What do YOU think, Emma?", and emergency-texting Emily who knows about these things, I finally decided on what to do about beds. The arrangement is as follows:

    JACK'S ROOM: He will keep his overpriced twin bunk beds. Maybe one day we'll get him a full size loft and put a teenager-worthy desk setup underneath, but for now the seven-year-old has a COUCH in his room, HE IS FINE. 

    MOLLY & EMMA'S NEW ROOM: I just placed an order for a spiffy white twin-over-full bunk bed from Walmart. It will be delivered to my house by Monday for FIVE DOLLARS. I measured and taped out lines on the bedroom floor to see how the Ikea daybed-that-pulls-into-a-King-bed AND another twin bed would work in that room. And while there were two arrangements that would WORK, both would require one of my kids sleeping against the wall of windows in that room - maybe not the most terrible thing, but the windows are BIG and one of them is a DOOR, and this just bugs me, perhaps irrationally, whatever. Also, even though that room is BIG, two twin beds were going to eat up a lot of space and I haaaaaate giving up space. I could have put Jack's bunk beds in there, but leaving the full (which the sellers left when we bought the house - WIN) would mean I could still use it as a guest room. Also, the twin-over-full bunk was cheaper than the daybed/trundle I wanted to buy when we factored in having to ALSO buy new mattresses.

    NEW GUEST ROOM UPSTAIRS: No bed for now. Eventually I WILL want to buy the Ikea daybed so we can use it as a guest room, and since that room is the smallest, it makes sense to put a daybed/trundle in there instead of a bigger bed. I will probably need every inch for bakery stuff! 

    So now there are NEW THINGS TO CONSIDER, those being: we have our regular guests coming to stay at the end of August. I'd planned to give them the option of staying up or downstairs (privacy vs. not so much), but now they'll just stay in the girls' new bunk since we won't have anything else. OH WELL! I am shockingly fine with this. I am embarrassed by how much I care about what my [infrequent!] guests think, so I'm feeling proud about feeling fine this time! ALSO THEY TOTALLY DON'T CARE. I could probably put these people on an air mattress in the living room and give them a timetable for when they're allowed to use the bathroom and they would be fiiiiiine. Best guests ever. All the more reason to leave chocolates on their pillows. (Oh, and I won't need to figure out what to do with the girls since they'll be with grandparents that weekend. Excellent plan.) 

    The other thing is that the two sets of girly matching twin bedding - that I've been SAVING! - suddenly won't do! OH DARN. A stronger more well balanced person would just put one set on the twin bed and use the bedding I already have for the full bunk but NOOOOO THEY NEED TO MATCH OR AT LEAST COLOR COORDINATE AM I RIGHT?! I will probably have to sit on this for a while as we have A Budget, but that just means more time to fill up a Pinterest board. 

    One other thing might be that Molly would sleep on the top bunk and Emma would be swimming in a full. The part of me that wants everything to be as it should be for all time is annoyed by that, but this weekend the girls stayed with my parents and I learned they slept in the same bed because they WANTED TO and I am CHARMED by this development and now envision them sharing the full bed and having lots of good sister time. Until Molly comes to her senses and climbs into the top bunk. 

    In other news I bought three pale pink paint samples this afternoon and all of them are terrible. One is too dark, one is too PINK, and one is basically white. I actually really like the pink one, but Phillip and I looked at it and we both had the same reaction - in that room, with all of that wall space, that is a LOT of pink. I'm going back for a pink in between the PINK and the basically white. The new bunk bed is white and most of their furniture is white with hot pink accents... BUT I LIKE PINK, OKAY. So do my girls. If you can't have a pink room when you're practically 6 and 3 years old, when can you?! 

    BORINGEST POST EVER I'M SORRY JEEZ. Did you want to know about MIss Julie? Miss Julie was a beautiful wonder floating on a cloud made of spun sugar, around whom we all hovered worshipfully. Also, Miss Julie drives an aqua Mini Cooper. I MEAN COME ON. THAT CAN'T EVEN BE REAL. 

    It was a lovely morning and then, out of nowhere, my body cranked back into Super Anxious Mode and I'm back to being upset about it. No bakery stress, no hormones, nothing on my calendar, no relationship strife, nothing! Being mad is not helpful, but I am, which is all the worse because there is no one to be mad AT. 

    Tomorrow we're going to the summer dollar movie at 10am and then they've all decided they want to watch me paint. Should be an exciting day, don't you think? Three more weeks until school starts and I sincerely hope we make it that far. 

    August 11, 2014

    'Julie' reminds me of 'Hey Julie' which is a terrific Fountains of Wayne song FYI

    Tomorrow morning Miss Julie is coming over and the Cheung Children are exCIIIIIIIIIted! Miss Julie is Jack's first grade teacher, soon to be Molly's first grade teacher, and possibly our whole family has a crush on her. I didn't make much headway on getting to know the other parents last year, but in true Maggie Form, I succeeded in getting the teachers to like me. Glad to know I've still got it!

    So she's coming over and it's been decided we're making scones, even though it is a million degrees, and I think I'm going to use the occasion to coerce some help out of the kids. As in, "Hey Jack, you don't want Miss Julie to see all the bits of AstroTurf that's still in our entry way from your week of soccer camp, do you?! Better sweep that up!" And, "Oh Molly, I bet Miss Julie will want to see your room! Are all your toys put away?!" I mean, no one cares if MOMMY wants things to look nice, but MISS JULIE? HECK YEAH we'll spiff up for Miss JULIE.

    When Miss Julie has had enough of us, we'll have some lunch and put Emma down for her nap and then I will go stare at the empty guest room and Decide What To Do. Over the weekend we took the guest bed apart and moved everything out (into the playroom, poor playroom) because Phillip had a bee in his bonnet about shampooing the carpets. I don't know why, but that carpet HAD TO BE CLEANED. Sometimes Phillip gets bees, you know? And then stand back. So we cleared it out and he rented a Rug Doctor from Home Depot and now the former guest room and office/future Molly and Emma's room is the cleanest room in our house. HOW NICE FOR IT. And because Phillip and I can't leave well enough alone, we joint decided (key word: JOINT) that we should paint. Not just because it's got the same sickly yellow green paint that I've been slowly painting over since we moved in, but because it's our BABIES' ROOM and it needs to be FRESH and CLEAN and NEW. Today we collected some paint chips (mainly to hang out in an air conditioned store instead of our house) and I'm deciding between several shades of Pale Pink and possibly Pale Spring Green, But Probably Not. Molly has suddenly decided that her favorite color is Turquoisey Aqua Greeny Elizabeth And Jessica Wakefield Blue Green Eyes and desperately wants a room THAT color. I am thinking no. Mainly because it's not the lightest room and I want to keep the wall color light. But also because I've ALREADY picked the signature Aqua Blue color for this house and THAT IS THE ONLY AQUA BLUE. (Also the bedding wouldn't match. Obvs most important consideration.)

    SO ANYWAY. That's the next already-started project. Moving the girls in together. And for right now I'm still going with my Ikea Brimnes day-bed-with-trundle for Molly, so that it could still be a guest room if we wanted. But I'm not sure how to position EMMA'S bed, if we want to make it so we could pull out Molly's bed whenever, and now I'm having the whole Why Are You Planning Your BABIES' ROOM Around A Situation That Happens Once Or Twice A Year And Besides Your Guests Could Stay In the ACTUAL Empty Bedroom Upstairs. I won't drag you through all of that again, just thought I'd give you the update. Update: Still impossible to live with. 

    Today was Package and Ship Our Cookie Subscription Boxes Day so I am... sweaty. I swear, the two weekends we've done this so far have been the HOTTEST WEEKENDS. I feel like this was a super bad idea to start in the summer, not just for us but for the cookies! I own a giant freezer now, though, so that's good. Wish I could have climbed inside it. 

    It was a restful week, lots of Cake Boss on Netflix (Katie wants me to watch it for market research, also so that I won't always be totally clueless when she references it), lots of not doing much. I saw my naturopath on Friday and came up with a Plan. I'm feeling better now, which I suspected might be the case, but it feels very comforting to have a Plan. (And to have her say, "Oh yeah, I always need a Plan, YOU NEED A PLAN" and not, you know, shrug and tell me I'm up a creek or something.) We have a few more weeks of summer and those weeks are blissfully empty. I feel like I've POWERED THROUGH and now I get to REST (if possible). I've even cranked up the "the bakery needs to do THIS!" part of my brain again, which is a very good sign. (This part was woefully broken last week.) And MISS JULIE is coming over tomorrow! Everything is looking up. Tomorrow is basically Rex Manning Day. 

    August 06, 2014

    And now for a very long nap

    After some messy conversations and a day of rest, I have pulled myself together and will Keep On Keeping On. Even though I feel guilty/wussy/lame/embarrassed to say so, the last six weeks have done a number on your trusty blogger and, in the words of a good friend, I am BURNED OUT. 

    So when it seemed like the obvious next step for the bakery was to sign up for a bigger, longer, faster, more intense fair - a FOOD AND GIFT SHOW IN AN ARENA OMG - well yes, I did lose what little sanity I felt I had retained. It was basically me making nine million excuses for why I didn't want to do such a thing and my sister and my husband and my mother and everyone else saying, "...but..." 

    We signed up. I had a furious email discussion with the producer of the above mentioned food and gift show re: discounts and electrical outlets and booth size and boom, I paid the money, we are IN. 

    And actually, having made the decision, I feel much better. I am still burned outy and PMSy and slightly anxious ETCETERA, but I feel good about signing up. I think one of my big fears was that if we signed up I wouldn't have space to stop being anxious. I don't know if that makes sense. I was looking forward to getting EVERYTHING off my plate, summer- and vacation- and family- and bakery-wise. I thought if I had that week or two to free up my brain, I might actually be able to DEAL and GET OVER IT. (Maybe.) (Not that it ever really works that way.) And even though the food fair isn't for SIX WEEKS, I would start thinking and planning for it NOW. (Obvs. Have we met? I like to plan.) But now that we made the decision and it's set, I feel good! Decisions are good!

    But I was also super mad at myself for wanting to work around my stupid anxiety stuff. I AM VERY AGAINST THAT! I mean, I feel like there's a difference between making choices about what would be best for my mental health and what would be anxiety running my life. And to choose not to do something because I might be anxious - when the thing in question is totally a RIGHT AND GOOD THING - isn't really like me. And I knew that. And I was ashamed of that too. 

    This is why I have People. I have to ask Phillip and my friends and then I call my mom and all these people said the same thing: "yeahhhh you should probably do it AND WE WILL HELP YOU."

    It was the "help" part that was the kicker. I thought: ok. I can do this. 

    Anyway. We are doing it. And I feel pretty good about it. Talk to me again the week before the show. 

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