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June 2014

Pls to advise re: cruise ships (with children) (and irrational Titanic fears)

We don't have a ton of orders lined up for July - actually, if it weren't for the subscription boxes I'd be worried. But because subscription boxes are starting we are scheduled to make over 500 cookies in our rental kitchen this weekend. Katie says this is possible. I... am not sure. 

Between the subscription boxes and preparing for the street fair the first weekend in August, the bakery is giving me hives. Good hives! But oh man, SO MUCH to prepare for and think about. With the additional stress of knowing that EVEN THOUGH we are doing better each month, the thought of being able to pay ourselves seems light years away. My whiteboard displays six different bullet lists noting everything from renting a canopy to printing labels to noting the subscription box that needs to be sent two weeks late to "buy blue sprinkles" to "try sealing bags with flat iron?" Wait, let's ignore that last one as I'm sure some food inspector person will take issue AHEM.

WE ARE DOING WELL. But the rest of life has to happen too, and I can't focus my entire brain on the bakery, and I think this is what's been hard lately. I've also had to think about the end of the school year, having the kids home, family vacations, moving bedrooms, who's grown out of what, etc. etc. I've been short and snotty with everyone in my family because of it. One of my STRENGTHS is to sit down and zero in on something and get it done, but one of my enormous FLAWS is the inability to un-focus when something else needs my attention. This is why I have flown into fifteen rages over someone requesting a drink of water. 

It's also why I have been cranky about something WONDERFUL and FUN and EXPENSES-PAID in my life, that being a week-long Alaska cruise with Phillip's side of the family to celebrate his mom's retirement. I am ASHAMED of my crankiness while also not really trying to un-crankify myself. My issues are: 

  • I have been and forever will be terrified of Massive Bodies of Water and potential Titanic Scenarios. I just am. Drowning is my thing. I have never wanted to go on a cruise and I truly am anxious about the Out In The Middle Of The Ocean-ness, no matter how many times my dad snorts in reply and tells me that we're "only" going up the Inside Passage and I need to get over myself. 
  • You cannot check your email on a boat. At least not as many times as I prefer to check my email. And when I'm able to do so it will be $$$. Did you hear I have started a new business? And am the main point of contact for all potential customers? 
  • I just LOOK at a boat and get seasick.
  • We're going on a cruise to ALASKA, where it will most likely be Not Warm, in the middle of July which is one part of the year in which my city is reliably warm. As a Warm Weather Hoarder, this also makes me anxious. 
  • How much weight am I going to gain a cruise? No really, HOW MUCH. OMG.

Okay, so those are the major cranky factors. I am doing my DARNDEST to focus on the following:

  • When the Babysitters Club went on a Bahama cruise it was super fun and they met lots of exciting people and also Intriguing Love Interests and my inner 12-year-old awaits the many possibilities for At Sea Adventure.
  • The opportunity to bring a bunch of cute dresses and wear all of them. 
  • The opportunity to go out every night. I am TOTALLY the person who will love a cheesy song-and-dance cruise ship show and I TOTALLY intend to watch at least fourteen. 
  • A connecting room with my in-laws means I CAN watch fourteen shows. 
  • The kids will love it. 
  • Phillip has always wanted to go on a cruise. 
  • Katie will take care of everything at home. 
  • DESSERT TABLES. There will be dessert tables, right? 
  • I don't HAVE to get off the ship and sightsee in Alaska. My MIL totally has my back if I just want to hang off the deck, gaze at an iceberg or glacier for a few minutes, and then go find the on ship spa. I don't have to go PAN FOR GOLD or whatever crazy excursions we've looked at over the last few weeks. I CAN BE A HORRIBLE UNINTERESTED IN SIGHTS PERSON. 
  • MIL also tells me there are lectures on the boat! Lectures! I love lectures! I hope they are not ALL about the history of Alaska. Do you think there will be a WW2 expert on board?
  • I am also STRONGLY considering blondness in honor of my 35th birthday (well, as far as my colorist will take me, which will maybe be 3 strands of blond mixed in with proper grown up hair) and I QUITE like the idea of being a BLOND lady with CUTE DRESSES on a SHIP in the EVENINGS with a DEVASTATINGLY HANDSOME CHINESE MAN on my arm and my CHILDREN in BED. Right? That sounds FUN.

Okay, so, now it's your turn. Hit me with your best cruising tips, people. Seriously. I have never done this before and have waited until now to give it more than two seconds' thought. Pretty sure my SIL has every detail imaginable under control, but JUST IN CASE! TELL ME EVERYTHING.

I wrote so so much about rearranging rooms aka Boringest Post Ever

You guys, what follows is a 9 thousand word treatise on rearranging bedrooms. I'm so sorry. You can just stop here, really, I think you should. 


With gritted teeth, clenched fists, and deliberately steady monotone voices, Phillip and I have agreed on a Kid & Guest Bedroom Situation for this wackjob of a house. OMG I NEED A DRINK. 

Let's refresh, shall we?! There are two big bedrooms, a bathroom, and a playroom downstairs. Upstairs we have a master bedroom, a bathroom (with doors at either end into the hallway and the bedroom, WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA) and a smaller bedroom which is currently EJ's. The big kids share the slightly smaller of the two bedrooms downstairs. The other downstairs bedroom, with a door to the bathroom, was the office/guest room and is now just the guest room. Got all that?

So the GRAND MASTER PLAN is to have all the kids downstairs and turn the playroom into a loungey TV space. If I get them their own mini fridge they will never even have to come upstairs and I think when they are teenagers this will make us all quite happy. This is a FANTASTIC house for a family with teenagers. 

But not so much a family with Small Children. Like now. And ever since we moved here I've been plotting what the next bedroom arrangement should be and when we should do it. The plan has always been to move Emma and Molly into the other room downstairs, the biggest one with the ginormous closet and access to the bathroom, it's just been a matter of when. Will EJ ever stop singing for hours in the middle of the night? WHO KNOWS. 

This whole thing has been complicated for me, though, by the Guest Room Situation. A complication which - I'm just going to say it so none of you have to say it the comments - IS KIND OF DUMB. We have serious multiple-night houseguests MAAAYBE three times a year. It's not like we have family coming to visit on a regular basis or anything like that where people have a sort of designated "this is Grandma and Grandpa's room when they visit!" room. Nothing like that. So I agree with you: KIND OF DUMB to worry about it. 

The thing is though, I PRAYED for a big house, people. Not because I was going to have fifteen children (you HAVE met Phillip Cheung, yes?) but because I wanted to be able to offer space to whoever needed space. I wanted to be able to house whoever needs a house, whenever it happens. This is important to me! I know it's not rational! I know it complicates things! But I GOT the big house. A weird wackjob of a house, but a big house with lots of space and we have extra beds and air mattresses and tons of sheets and DO YOU NEED A PLACE TO STAY TONIGHT I HAVE ONE. 

So! You are saying. Move Molly and Emma downstairs, you still have EJ's vacated bedroom UPstairs! Guest room! Problem solved! Especially because Phillip suggested we create our office space off the kitchen instead of in EJ's room. 

Okay, so the thing about THAT is that I think that room would not be COMFORTABLE for guests. And I KNOW I KNOW, this is where the "KIND OF DUMB" really kicks in. Also a bit of "must be nice for you to pick and choose where your guest room is!" So yes, I get it, this entire post is obnoxious. 

But let me continue to be obnoxious. The reason I'm not excited about an upstairs guest room is not just because it's smaller, but because it's not as private - it's right off the living room - and the bathroom is NOT ideal. The bathroom upstairs is the bathroom everyone uses. It also opens into my room. We'd all have to share and cooperate and be way more aware of each other's personal hygiene. Even when our money tree finally starts producing and we're able to remodel the bathroom the way we want, the guest space will still be fairly public and also tiny. 

Not ideal, but still workable. But we've had this giant bedroom with a bathroom available the whole time we've lived here, and multiple families have been able to camp out in that space and scrub all their children in the big bathroom down there and lay out all their gear and it makes me SAD that we would be taking that away. Even though it's not a regular occurrence. SAD. 

Lately Jack has been wanting his privacy and we've been talking about having your own room and Molly getting a GIRL room and I've been plotting. Plotting plotting plotting. What to do, what to do, and getting frustrated with Phillip every time I come up with an idea because he shoots it down and offers no solution and BLARGH. I was just about ready to buy a trundle bed setup on Craigslist for the playroom (Molly and EJ in the playroom! TWO empty spaces to work with!) but Phillip was NOT cool with that. "It's not a ROOM!" So. Here is my new idea and the best we've got so far: 

We ARE going to move the two girls into the big bedroom downstairs. I'm going to paint it pink. It's going to be a GIRL ROOM. Jack will keep his bunk beds. We have an extra twin bed in that room already, but we're also going to get the Brimnes twin trundle bed from Ikea. This turns into a huge bed when you pull out the trundle. Do you see where I'm going with this? We'll put their dresser in the enormous walk in closet. We'll probably move Molly's desk in, and maybe EJ's current toddler bed - it can be where her frillion stuffed animals live. (Jack and Molly care naught for stuffed animals and dolls, but EJ has a stuffed animal in both arms at all times.) The current guest bed - a full bed left by the previous owners - we'll move upstairs into EJ's room. 

SO THEN. We have a guest room upstairs. With a full bed and an Ikea wardrobe, maybe Phillip's old desk, and a closet full of bakery supplies and computer junk. I am very excited about this room. And when an internet friend comes to stay HINT HINT, she'll have a pretty, grown up room to herself and can use whichever bathroom she wants. 

But when our Montana friends come, for example, with their ten tons of gear and three darling children, we can move Molly and Emma upstairs (or into Jack's room, or into the playroom), we can pull out the new Ikea daybed, move some toys into the closet or the playroom, and they can have that space to themselves. Put one of the kids to sleep in the extra bed, hose the kids down in the bathroom, be near the playroom and Jack's room where the other kids will be camping out. 

I feel like... there are OPTIONS. I feel GOOD about this. As I type it out it sounds nuts that we didn't just decide this in the first place - I think I was invested in having a dedicated guest room, or making sure Molly and Emma wouldn't have to give up their space, or that the guest room wouldn't also be a place where kids wanted to play. But we can have that upstairs when it works, and then an option downstairs when it doesn't. And both spaces will work for US in the meantime - kid room, and bakery headquarters. Also! Phillip didn't make a frowny disapproving face when I suggested it! I AM SO FREAKING RELIEVED YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

Places I Want To Go

Discussion has begun re: Cheung Family Invades Europe Spring/Summer 2015. Well, we've been TALKING about it for a long time, but now our talking includes things like, "So, are we really doing this?" and "Huh, how are we going to pay for it?!" 

The most that's been decided is the fact that Phillip and I BOTH want to go. I've always wanted to go (OBVS), but I was a teeny tiny bit surprised that Phillip didn't even hesitate when I asked him the other week. Yes! We are in. It's just that sticky financial piece... also the time off piece...

My parents are planning to rent a house nearish their old north Italy digs. This would be about an hour away from Venice. And they are planning to be there from mid May to mid June, or thereabouts. Those are my only parameters so far. The only thing on the itinerary is: Take Advantage Of Parents' Rented House, Also Child Wrangling. 

But everything else?! 

So okay, knowing me, I would like to do everything. Yes. I would ESPECIALLY like to see all things I haven't seen, namely most of Eastern Europe, ie: everything I've been reading about for the last two years. But can you imagine? I mean, besides the fact that WE CAN'T DO EVERYTHING, dragging three kids through museum after monument after historical site after famous square... Phillip would kill me first. 

But now I'm like... DIRECTIONLESS. We could do anything we wanted. Except not, because of the not independently wealthy thing. But say we're starting in Venice. Venice is for sure. I would go to Venice every single time I go to Europe, several times, for all time. And this is good, because Italy is the country that doesn't send me into spirals of omgIdon'tknowhowtodoanything. But from THERRRRRE...

I was thinking Sicily! Sicily was the first place my family lived when we moved overseas and I have put the food and beaches and weather on a pedestal in my memories. I could definitely see us having a Beach Vacation. And if I started to feel like I needed to go somewhere new I could insist on SARDINIA! Haven't been there! I hear the beaches are FANtastic. 

But Phillip, because he is a giant pain, would probably prefer to go NORTH. He likes order. Also giant hunks of meat, both things easily found in Germany. He loved Germany! I like... Bavaria. I would be very into visiting Munich. My dad has drawn me a little map of a circular driving itinerary - Venice to Milan to Innsbruck to Munich with lots of stops in between. That is a big possibility.

ORRR we could get one of those cheap intra-Europe flights (I just made up that term) and go to... PARIS. or LONDON. or BERLIN. or PRAGUE. or somewhere big and city and famous and fabulous... and I think that might be terrible. Also expensive. But happy for ME, the person who wants to go everywhere and see everything. Unhappy for everyone else.

The kids, I think, want to see some of the things they see on Rick Steves' TV shows and eat gelato. And stay long enough to get un-jet lagged. My parents want to take the kids on a bunch of outings they used to do with their elementary school classes. I want to ________. Phillip wants to _________. I suppose we should figure out how to finish those sentences.

ANY IDEAS, FOLKS? Or anyone who's traveled with kids to Europe? Or, best of all, anyone with any fancy secret tips for how to fly us all there without totally draining the savings account?  

Time to sit back and unwind

Last day of school. I cried at the assembly. I mean, I'm a crier, but it was such a good year for my big kids. They go to a small neighborhood public school. It's one billion years old and it shows. Everything in it - the furniture, the walls, the fixtures, the windows - is grimy and worn and unappealing. Everything except the teachers, that is. They are bright in every way, happy to be there, and happy to see my kids. Ever since Jack's first day of kindergarten my mom's been advising me to make myself known in the school, make sure the teachers know I'm paying attention, make sure I have relationships with people in the school. So I'd probably be standing around after school talking to the teachers anyway, but it turned out to be fun. They are fun, creative, interesting people who invested big time in my kids and maybe it's a little weird that Jack's teacher and I made plans to hang out later this summer but OH WELL YOU ARE JUST JEALOUS. 

Like, I'm sad-in-advance for Jack to go to middle school, not only because he'll be a middle schooler (ACK) but he'll be leaving THIS school. Oh, the crying that will happen THEN. 

It was an early dismissal day (honestly, I haven't seen the point of going to school this entire week) so Emma didn't nap and I didn't exercise and I feel like a bloated slug right now, especially after our celebratory ice cream snack and restaurant french fries dinner. But it was a super good day. Jack's class sang Sara Bareilles' 'Brave' as a way to "send" the 5th graders to middle school - when I heard they were doing that I thought it was a bit weird/awkward. Isn't that kind of a grown up song? But of course Jack's teacher found a way to first grade it up, with hand motions and shouting the "SAY WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY!" and: tears. Molly's class sang "Let Us Eat" to the tune of "Let It Go" to honor the lunch ladies. And her teacher gave me a shout out at the assembly for helping him come up with the words (except I'm pretty sure all I did was say, "Do you want me to make Elsa capes?! I can make Elsa capes!" and him going, "Wellllll...")

More tears on that one. 

These things make me cry anyway, though. I could never get through even the first round of Pomp and Circumstance as part of the high school band playing at graduation, even when I didn't know any of the graduates. I remember going to the end of year ceremony at the Catholic school when Jack was going to preschool there. It was the most TOUCHING and MEANINGFUL THING and I still want to weep about my kids not going to that school!

Except they're at THIS school, which is wonderful, and we love it so. 

Our chunk of the city is growing the fastest, which means more money for stuff like building a new school (breaking ground 2016! Supposedly! Who really knows!) but also much larger new schools, I'm betting. Our school is one hallway big. I swear all the kids know each other. It's a hallway in major need of structural updates and plumbing from this century, but it's been such a good hallway. 

I spent a large chunk of my kid-free time worrying about the bakery. I'm not going to hash out today's anxiety here, though I am VERY TEMPTED. It feels so good to write out all one's worries! But I tried hard to focus on the big kids today and not let the bakery stuff overwhelm me. We took pictures, we got ice cream, we spent a long time on our school year scrapbooks that I never remember to update until the last day of school. I'm so proud of them. 

Tomorrow we'll sleep in, not get dressed until we feel like it, then drive to Grandma's house where cousins are staying for a few weeks and just... hang out. It's summer. There are no camps, no lessons, just a lot of family vacation time and driving-our-mother-crazy time. And then, maybe next week, a furious looking up of camps and lessons that still have availability...

And now it's just going to be like this for the next twelve, thirteen years. First grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, a whirl of steps up a ladder until one day they're gone OH NO THE TEARS ARE BACK.

In which my various neuroses are still getting the better of me

A few weeks ago we bought two Ikea table tops, two sets of drawers and a cabinet and made ourselves a joint office space in the back of the Random Kitchen Area that we now call The Office. It's fab. I love it. The best part is sitting at our respective places late at night, Phillip showing me YouTube clips, me reading bits of Twitter. Shut up, you're just jealous. 

But in moving Phillip's office from the big downstairs room to the Random Kitchen Area, we left a lot of stuff we don't know what to do with in the old office. His old desk, heaps of papers, some computer junk. Most of the papers are moving upstairs after I spray paint our filing cabinet (moved upstairs, crammed into the exact right number of inches between the new desk and the wall. If the weather ever gets nice again I'm spray painting it a nice glossy white and topping it with some red storage boxes, oh be still my color coordinated organizational heart.) 

Now, though, we have a giant empty bedroom full of JUNK. Well... it's also the GUEST room. We occasionally have guests. The previous owners left a full size bed in that room and we never moved it, we just set up a twin size mattress and box spring right next to it. (Our most frequest guests have 3 kids and the littlest one stays in that room with them while the other two sleep in Jack and Molly's room on air mattresses.) There's a little nightstand and lamp and a bookcase full of stuff we don't know what to do with. It has a door to the downstairs bathroom and a ginormous closet. Seriously ginormous. It also has a door to the front yard with its own little deck. It's a great room and the grand plan is to move Molly and Emma in there, as soon as Emma doesn't need to sleep right next door to us. (Emma sleeps upstairs with us, Jack and Molly are downstairs. Weird house. I know.) 

BUT WHO KNOWS WHEN THAT WILL BE? I mean, we COULD do it now, but EJ is STILL doing her obnoxious singing-herself-to-sleep bit, often not falling asleep until ten or eleven, plus she gets random nosebleeds and still wears diapers. I am saying it is CONVENIENT to have her right next to me. 

That said, it is INCONVENIENT for my SANITY to have this giant yet useless and junk-filled and cluttered-up room in my house. It is STRESSFUL. I imagine I could just shut the door and ignore it. Or I could say, "Fine, play School in the empty bedroom and fill it with markers and tape and paper and I just won't go in there so I won't get upset about it!" But I think I am not a good enough person to do either of those options. Instead I sit here fuming because it is not a freshly painted and beautifully decorated little girls' room, that EJ's room is crammed full of stuff we don't want in the living room and a too-small toddler bed instead of the new guest room/bakery staging area, that Jack's room is still Jack and Molly's room instead of Jack's Big Boy All To Himself Room. I WANT EVERYTHING TO BE THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE. 

I have several plans to make it so. One requires many pots of money. One requires NO pot of money, just a lot of elbow grease from my husband. The thing we don't really have is time. It will take time to make things look the way I want them to look and I don't HAVE ANY TIME AAAUGGHHH. Phillip keeps saying we'll revisit this whole mess in late July, after most of our big family stuff is over. But how am I supposed to not have a daily freakout over the Inefficient Use Of Space until then? DOES HE KNOW ME AT ALL?


I updated, meh, why am I even bothering OH LOOK COOKIES

Oh HELLO THERE. I am feeling crankypants towards the blog - I wrote this super huge post last week - a post I actually tried to WRITE WELL and put THOUGHT INTO - and Typepad ate it. @)#%*#$)%*#!)%$!)#*!)@#*%!#()_$*%

And having to rewrite an already perfectly written blog post is a HUGE BUMMER so I didn't bother. And now you will never know all the GOOD things that happened on my Colorado trip, you only get the return trip drama. And I suppose you only get that if you follow me on Twitter. And now I wonder how many sentences I can start with the word 'And'? Clearly I am not working hard on writing THIS post well and/or thoughtfully. 

I suppose my Colorado post boiled down to the following points: 

1. Always, ALWAYS, meet up with your internet friends. @kate_welsh and I had a great time in a hotel bar in Charleston, but now we've had a great time at a restaurant bar in Denver and now I want her to live next door. 

2. Hanging out with 9th Grade BFF was exactly what I thought it would be, only a frillion times better. I am not kidding. I was weirdly un-nervous (I AM ALWAYS NERVOUS!) but it honestly never occurred to me that seeing her again would be anything but fantastic, and I was right. I love being right! I'm a quasi-military brat, she's a true one, and it was so fun for both of us to realize that HEY we DO have someone who "lasted". I am busy getting the guest room ready for when she visits. (WHEN ARE YOU VISITING?)

3. Colorado Springs is a WEIRD PLACE, YO. I don't use 'yo' lightly, but there's really no other way to say it. What a weird WEIRD place. I felt that way the first time I went, about 8 or 9 years ago, but it's exactly how I remember it. Only more of it. It might be my inner city girl, but I swear it's not just me. 

There you have it. Only there was a lot more in my previous post. Perhaps you are relieved. 

As I type this out, all my internet buddies are retweeting my super casual comment about Thumbprints introducing a monthly cookie subscription box. And... well, my corner of the internet has proved its extreme awesome over this last week, but I never dreamed they'd love the FPC's and my little bakery as much as they do. There's no way I could have started a bakery without you guys and you're showing that there's no way we'd be moving forward without you either. I planned to do some obnoxious tweeting tomorrow and the next day, some Facebooking, etc., but you are doing it for me. I'M GOING TO CRY NOW.

ALSO today is Father's Day. I suppose I should write something shmoopy about fathers. 

I know I've told you this before, but I'll tell you again. When we were in college, Phillip and I did a camping trip with some other friends (possibly the last time I went camping). We weren't dating yet. In the morning I crawled out of my tent looking and feeling like Death On Toast. I caught Phillip's eye - he was looking at me kinda weird, but never said anything. A few years into being married he told me that when I crawled out of that tent I looked like a mom and he'd had this flash of some day in the future when we'd be camping with all our kids. (ALL OUR KIDS. HE SAID THAT.)

I COULD have taken that the wrong way, but I didn't. And I'd always sort of known he'd be an amazing dad to the bunch of kids we'd have. In the future. When we got married. If we ever started dating.

As for my adopted dad, the sainted FIL, not sure I know a cheerier, friendlier, takes-care-of-absolutely-everything-you-need sort of person. Really. I mean that one zillion percent. 

And MY dad... I would write something about him, but that would probably make him feel WEIRD and while he thinks it's lovely that *I* have internet friends, he's not sure that HE wants internet friends and could I just please leave him alone in his library? Unless I would like to talk about the article on Ukraine I just read, or Israel, or have I read that book he gave me about education yet, did I see what so and so wrote about that, maybe we just need to sit down and discuss what is wrong with US foreign policy? That sounds good. Do we have an entire afternoon? Did I bring enough Cadbury Fruit & Nut bars? Excellent.  



I am going out of town tomorrow! I LOOOOOVE going out of town. Ever since EBJ (and my mother) talked me into spending more than one night in Sacramento for the event that turned into the Blathering, I have been Going Out Of Town's biggest fan. 

This isn't an escape quite up to Blathering level, but I'm RAWTHER EXCITED regardless. I am even bringing my big kids! Crazy! Except for the part where we land at 10pm and I have to rent a car and do all that annoying paperwork (and then drive a strange car) with two sleepy children. But! It shall be done! And if it really truly can't be done I can always call my brother to pick us up. HA.

So my brother and SIL and their three boys live in Colorado and I visited once, after my first nephew was born, before I had my own kids. Things are very different now! THREE boys plus one extra adorable new niece, for whom this whole trip is planned. She was officially adopted a few weeks back and my brother and SIL are throwing a party and as you know, if there is a party, I must be there. 

I'm super excited to bring the big kids (Jack and Molly and my two older nephews are kind of The Older Cousins in our family). Even though my brother apparently has to work all weekend and my SIL's whole family is coming and WHO KNOWS if and when we'll see anyone, but guess what, I have made plans for THAT as well. 

Because! The first thing we do when we wake up on Sunday is drive an hour and a half to my 9th grade BFF's house. And guess what I haven't SEEN her since 9th grade. No wait, she had a flight layover at the base I moved to after 9th grade, so I did see her one night when we were in 10th grade. BUT SINCE THEN? NOT EVER! And we haven't even kept in great touch or anything! I *could* be really nervous or whatever, but I am so not. Well, I might be once I start driving to her house. But even so, 9th Grade BFF is sort of the first person I identified as My Kind Of Person and I have every reason to think she still is. I am BEYOND excited to sit on her couch and talk for hours. I have no idea what we're going to do with our kids. Lock them outside? That'll work! (What *should* be making me nervous: that I am not HER person. EH! We'll work around that.) 

AND THEN AND THEN! On SUNDAY I get to hang out with @kate_welsh!!!! Hence the hashtag title, which, has anyone ever been hashtagged in a blog title in such a beautifully rhyming way? I THINK NOT. I think the only thing we have planned is 1) nachos, but really, what more do you need? YAY!

Oh, and Sunday afternoon is the Party. I've been told, though I'm not sure if this is still the case, that the family of New Baby should wear mint. Mint! So! LUCKILY the Easter outfits I bought the kids are pretty minty AND coordinate well with each other, so Jack and Molly are all set. But while mint (a version of aqua?) is one of my favorite colors, I felt sort of silly hunting for an appropriately Minty outfit. Instead I'm going to wear ORANGE. Ooooh, rebellious. But I found a minty scarf? And minty earrings? I feel like they'll still let me into the party? 

(Just watch, the whole Wear Mint thing will be so over and my kids will be the weirdos wearing the coordinated matchy minty outfits FINE, I SEE YOUR PLOY, SIL.)

Long long LONG ago I used to write more about my brother and I would refer to him as The Captain, since he was, indeed, an Air Force captain. But he has recently informed me that he should now be referred to as MAJOR. Even though we don't really REFER to him anymore, do we. His first name is Matthew and from now on I think we will call him Major Matthew. Isn't that adorable? I love it. Almost as good as a hashtag. 

Even though this was a crazypants week (I didn't even tell you about how the cleaning ladies ruined my oven!) (And I own a BAKING BUSINESS!) (GAH!) I feel pretty organized and settled and ready to jet off tomorrow evening. I have a giant in-Sharpie list of stuff to do, but I don't have to get the kids out of school until about 1 tomorrow and that's HEAPS of time, right? 

OH AND THEY CUT MY TREE DOWN TODAY OMG THAT WAS WILD! Darn it! I think I have TONS to say about my tree! Starting with: people who cut down trees for a living are PRETTY FUN. But anyway. I'm about to turn into a pumpkin. Please think good thoughts for the whole being-able-to-sit-with-your-small-children-on-an-airplane thing, thanks.

Party update! Life update! Fairly boring! With mimosas!

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our little buy-jewelry-raise-money shindig this weekend. I had a great time at my own party, as per usual, and I continue to think my friends are the best in the world. I know the total from the party itself, but not combined with online orders (from you! thank you!) and the direct contributions to the adoption fund. When I know all of that I will let you know too. This was super fun and I now see myself in a new role: Socialite Philanthropist. I mean, doesn't that lady always wear furs and diamonds and carry a martini glass? Wouldn't I do REALLY WELL at that? 

It's June already and June and July are going to be pretty killer around here. The bakery for one thing but then I'm headed to Colorado this weekend for my new niece's adoption party. Next weekend is the only free weekend I have for the following 8 weeks. ISN'T THAT SUPER? Baby showers, friends in town, family vacations, the Edel Conference and did I tell you that we are probably going to be "culinary arts" vendors at my neighborhood summer street fair? I KNOW. It was one of those things you just run across and then think, "Might as well!" and then it actually HAPPENS. Technically we are supposed to be waiting for acceptance of our application, but the woman I was emailing kept saying, "We are so happy to have you in our festival!" that, you know, kinda seems like we're in. 

That is going to be a crazy crazy week/weekend. I am already tired just thinking about it. 

Ugh, I have nothing interesting to say tonight. (WHAT IS NEW, you are wondering.) I had a [single] [childless] [with a weird job] friend over today and she stayed aaaaall day, until I had to pick up the big kids at school, and I COULD feel frustrated tonight at my lack of accomplishments, but it was actually really good to do nothing. And I didn't really do NOTHING, I got a lot cleaned up in the kitchen and I worked on a little marketing flyer we're going to put out at an event this weekend. But mostly I sat on my deck with a triple-sized mimosa, basking in the sunshine with a friend, talking about Big Life Stuff. I mean, that's my favorite thing to do! Not a shabby day, by far.