Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rise Up! And Also Do the Laundry

I was feeling really good and on top of my life a couple of weeks ago. It turns out that I need a four-day-weekend to get caught up. After I threw out my back last Sunday (woe, that makes me sound SO elderly), I was barely holding my life together this past week. I'm feeling much better now (three trips to the chiropractor later), and I've realized that the barometer of organization and productivity for me is how I'm managing laundry. If I fall behind in that area, I'm falling behind on EVERYTHING.

Anyway, I'm almost caught up on laundry now, AND I washed our duvet cover (which does not happen weekly) so I'm basically an overachiever.

One thing I've been doing differently in 2017 is using my written planner even more than usual. I bought a cheap one from Target instead of the Bando planner I had last year, and it's serving me well because it has smaller sections for individual days of the week and a full page checklist for a weekly to-do list. This just seems to work better for my life--I basically operate in weekly chunks at work and at home, so I like seeing my goals for the week (everything from "grade reading journals" to "b-day gift for Gemma") and I cross them off when they're accomplished without worrying about which specific day I get to them.

Anyway, I'm busier than ever according to this little planner, mostly because I want to RISE UP Hamilton-style, so I'm making time to call or e-mail or write my friend senator Roy Blunt almost everyday. I want to DO something and make a difference and make my voice heard on these issues that are so important to me.

But the thing is that I also still have to teach class and attend meetings and do laundry and clean up breakfast dishes and help the girls make Valentines cards and sometimes it just feels really hard to reconcile all of these things.

I swear I'm going to stop short of turning this blog into a political rant, but this Muslim ban? No. Freaking. Way. I know that our current POTUS doesn't read books, but I happen to read a shit-ton of them, and whether we are talking facts or alternative facts, I've read enough fiction and non-fiction to know that is a bad, bad way to get things started.

(BTW if you, like me, are freaking the freak out about Betsy DeVos and her desire to cut funding for special education, or Jeff Sessions and his record as a racist bigot, please see this informative post and then call a senator... any senator.)

In other domestic news of the more local and much cuter variety, we had a big event occur today: Zuzu's bangs finally got long enough that I decided to even them out. It's a little bit Mia Farrow, a little bit Lisa Loeb, but she's very satisfied with her almost-even hipster bangs.

We attended a birthday party today (only because it was for her BFF Gemma--otherwise we would have been marching at the St. Louis airport because OMFG does anyone remember that JESUS CHRIST was literally a refugee? I'm just saying.) Zuzu ended up stripping down to her underwear and I was like, "What is happening?" and another mom was like, "well, there's some nudity going on" and then I was like, "Well, a party ain't a party until a Duckworth girl strips down to her skivvies" and then all of the other parents stared at me, so I was like, "Uh, Zuzu, what are you doing?" and she was like, "Putting on this princess dress" and I was like, "Okay, well, if you could hurry it up."

(See the cutie on the right? Zuzu bit her at school last year. #nohardfeelings #imstillmortified)

She wore an outfit to the party that she selected for herself at the store and begged for and I totally gave in, which does not bode well for basically our entire shopping future, but it was so cute how satisfied she was with herself in the mirror even though now that we've gotten it home she absolutely insists on wearing the dress backwards which drives me batshit crazy, but if there's one thing 2017 politics are giving me, it's perspective. The dress is red, which makes it a "Princess Elena of Avalor dress" as far as Zuzu is concerned.

(They are holding hands because they were both star struck slash mildly terrified of the princesses.)

Getting naked at inappropriate times is a current theme for Zuzu at the moment... She was wearing a swimsuit at home the other night when a friend/colleague from work came over for dinner. He's young and single (and straight, so if you're local and interested, let me know... it's my dream to play matchmaker) and the poor guy was totally awkward uncomfortable when I told Zuzu to go put on jammies and she stripped down to her birthday suit in the middle of the living room.

"It's not polite to get naked in front of company" is one of those sentences I didn't expect to come out of my mouth when I extended the dinner invitation to Rob.

Last Saturday we had dinner with our friends Mark and Christine (and their rainbow baby Joel). I'd been looking forward to this, but it was kind of like all of our children conspired against us. Christine and Mark had taken Joel on a long walk and Joel hadn't napped well in the afternoon. Zuzu had swimming lessons followed by no nap and Coco had gone swimming and had a short nap, so everyone was overtired and crabby and/or WIRED. I'd had a conversation with the girls on our way over there about being good house guests and being polite, but such conversations have a way of being conveniently forgotten.

Basically, the adults tried to eat pizza and talk amidst my children chasing Christine and Mark's dog Howie in circles, and then Zuzu got naked to supposedly put on her Owlette costume, but then she refused to put on the bottoms (and removed her underwear) and when I suggested that she cover her nether regions, she insisted "my bottom needs to air out." And proceeded to bounce around nude-from-the-waist-down on Christine and Mark's leather sectional while Coco tried to drag out all of Joel's toys and they both kept putting baby chew rings in their mouths.

(We're available for dinner any night this week if anyone would like to invite us over.)

It was seriously so obnoxious that we barely stayed an hour, which was crappy because we love hanging out with Mark & Christine & Joel. That night was just not meant to be. The fact that both girls were sound asleep in their beds by 7:15pm illustrates how tired they were, but their behavior was still mortifying.

But, you know, a party ain't a party until a Duckworth girl gets nakie!

In other real-life news, Cooper emptied the entire contents of my work bag in order to eat a sucker while we were eating dinner at the Hi Pointe drive-in, which was good but ridiculously crowded. My parents came to visit us this weekend and babysat while David and I saw An American in Paris at the Fox (It was fantastic! I didn't realize how much ballet there would be, and I loved it! Now I want to be a ballerina.) Then my poor mom got sick (congested and generally miserable) so I'm hoping that she kept her germs to herself.

Oh, and Coco helped David make a just-for-the-hell-of-it cake

I had dinner with my college besties last Wednesday and the last time we'd gotten together was election night. We'd toasted to a female president. {Enormous sigh of sadness.} At least the dinner was fun and it was good to see them.

Now it's Sunday night, and as I look ahead to this week, I'm thinking about political action that is meaningful and feasible, preparing to teaching The Merchant of Venice and Northanger Abbey and haiku poetry, making Zuzu select her clothes the night before so as to avoid the standoff we had on Friday morning that resulted in her screaming, "These pants are tooooo SOFT!!!" as I forced her to get dressed on our way out the door, and I'm feeling pretty pleased that my DIY Essie gel manicure is still going strong. David and I have a date to see La La Land on Thursday, and I am planning to skip viewing the Super Bowl in order to watch Hidden Figures with some friends.

Life is parenting + work + political anxiety + superficial pleasures + trying to find time to hang out with all my favorite people.

Plus trying to read all the books I want to read!

I really need a four day weekend every week.


  1. Let me know what you think of La La Land! Miles and I saw it this past week and enjoyed it.

  2. I don't even have time to read this whole thing but 1) thank you for making laugh out loud with Zuzu's naked antics (I had to stop at "my bottom needs to air out", but god, that's going to make my whole day) because well, you know Cate. They're soul sisters, I swear. And 2) ...girl...I'm with you with every syllable and emotion with regards to all things political. I made 22 calls to Republican senators yesterday, feeling like I was Doing Something, then read last night from a former intern who used to answer calls for Senators, that they don't tally your opinion or call unless you're an actual constituent from that state. Which totally took the wind out of my sails. Because I have kickass Democratic senators who are already as outraged as I, and I think all I can do is sign petitions and attend town hall meetings and march when there's opportunity (which, I think will be many). If I'm wrong on that, let me know. But I thought we could call any Senator we darn well please, and we can, but if they're not of our state it is my understanding that it's a waste of breath and time. But Mr. T is killing us. Killing Us.

  3. Zuzu's bangs are so super cute! You should totally keep them this short!

  4. Both my older boys are SO bad about wearing clothes in houses. I feel for you! It's a bit of a drive but come on over for dinner anytime, we are used to chaos.