Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Pre-Holiday Brain Dump

I've just come up for air after being buried under a zillion pages of final papers and exams.

At last, grading is done! And the girls still have two more days of school before they are out for winter break. Amazing!

We've been packing a lot of holly-jolly in between grading papers. This past weekend, we managed to watch The Grinch (not my favorite), wrap a few presents, finish most of our Christmas shopping (Zuzu still needs to choose out a present for Coco), take the girls to gymnastics, go on a playdate at Coco's best friend's house, bake and decorate Christmas cookies, and host a holiday party for all the teachers and staff at David's school.

It was exhausting.

Also exhausting was last weekend, in which we did an Escape room (we escaped!), Zuzu went to to a gingerbread house decorating party, and we paid a visit to Santa, I hosted a pizza party for English majors, and I went on a holiday house tour.

It occurs to me that our December may be a wee bit overscheduled.

In other big events, Coco learned to wink and is pretty freaking excited about it. Coco winking is also one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. 

I was pretty smug about how great my Christmas cookies turned out (my friend Veronica shared some of her baking secrets... like butter can't be too soft, and the flour should be sifted), but the texture of my royal icing was too thick and the decorating was laughable. Zuzu sure loved it, though. 

Maybe we'll try again... next year. 

Zuzu was so focused and serious about it though. She really loves making things, painting things, coloring. Anything arts and crafty is her favorite. She told me recently she wants to be an art teacher, and also an explorer who takes children exploring.

Sunday afternoon was warm, so we took the girls to a nearby park. We missed Zuzu's kindergarten class getting together Saturday morning for Read, Right, Run, because Zuzu wanted to go on the playdate with Coco instead and David was "worn out" from a late night at his holiday party (I went to bed before everyone left!). So we decided to run/walk a mile on our own on Sunday and the girls discovered a dirt hill leading down to a creek that was perfect for sliding down on their bottoms and destroying a pair of leggings.

(Side note: Zuzu has been squeezing into size 4T leggings this season, and I finally got around to ordering her a few new pairs in size 5/6. I pulled up all the usual suspects for inexpensive kids clothes and decided Gymboree was having the best deals at the time, so she's got some new leggings heading her way. Coco is still wearing size 2T leggings, but they still fit her just fine. In fact, I ordered her a size 3T Christmas dress and exchanged it for a 2T because it was so big on her.)

Honestly, the sliding down to the rocky creek bed made me a little nervous--Coco more so than Zuzu because she's less coordinated but pretty determined to keep up. They had so much fun though. Even when Coco lost interest and David took her to swing, Zuzu just kept going, trying to run up the slippery, dusty dirt path and giving herself little pep talks: "You can do it! You. Are. Zuzu!" I held my breath and resisted the urge to helicopter and just watched her play and fall and slide and climb until she was absolutely filthy. I rinsed her off with the shower head before running the bath and she made mud in the tub. On Monday morning on the way to school, she turned to me and said, "Mommy? Remember how filthy I was yesterday?" I hope that's the kind of stuff she remembers.

What I'd like to forget is that she got up extra early this morning, so David let her watch a little TV. But then when it was time to turn off the TV, she was furious. Coco was being incredibly sweet this morning and told me I was the "best mommy in the world" and then Zuzu said I wasn't and then they got in a scream fight about it. Zuzu turned angry at the world and I had to carry her to the car and buckle her in because she wouldn't cooperate. #preciousmemories

On the way to school, though, she abruptly stopped crying and said, "I don't want to talk like this anymore. I want to talk happy." 

For some reason last night (I'm sure to break up bickering in the back seat) I told them the story of Icarus. I was trying to come up with a story and I'd been reading student exams that included questions about the Auden poem "Musee de Beaux Arts," so I think that's why Icarus was on my mind. Anyway, Zuzu is now obsessed with the story and wanted me to tell it again on the way to school today. I was trying to explain how it's a myth and a myth is a made up story that has a true lesson in it and she wanted to know more myths. So I started telling her the story of the Trojan war. Anyway, we're going to look for a book about Greek mythology at the library today, and if I weren't finished Christmas shopping, I'd order this book. (Full disclosure... it's sitting in my Amazon cart now.)

Now that my grades are complete, my to do list for today is this:

* finish wrapping gifts
* pick up library book 
* pick up library book at different library
* shower

I love winter break.


  1. Yay for Greek myths. My girls love them. Both have done in depth studies in school, and this year F's class wrote and directed and acted in their own myth. It was epic! I love how it ties into astronomy too.

    And I'll never forget the moment in Left Bank Books when F was in kindergarten and she had a gift certificate to spend. She bought The Odyssey - it was exactly the book she had been looking for. Nothing beats a good story.

  2. Two years ago shortly before Christmas all three of us went to Bolzano because J. and I were invited to each give talks at the university there. Our travel route there took us via Verona, at which point I thought the appropriate thing to do was tell my 4yo the story of Romeo and Juliet. Now she regularly asks for that one at bedtime....

    That myths book looks amazing, and it may have just gone onto my "amazon list of books that I don't need to buy NOW but eventually want to buy and will buy off of every time I need to get enough in my basket to get free shipping".

  3. Full disclosure - I'm a Classics major so am buying this book now. I'm not sure who will be more excited when it arrives!