Monday, November 11, 2013

Things You've Missed While I've Been Gone

#1 I gave up coffee.  I'm drinking tea instead.  
#2 Kid, 3 weeks after a bad cold/flu which she came down with just 2 weeks after E. coli poisoning, has now been battling pneumonia for a week.  
She's missed more school this year than all other years combined.
#3 The only upside is that I was able to rest along with her last week, and I finally feel 100% better from my E.coli infection.  
#4 We are NOT going to WDW for Thanksgiving.  I don't know.  I was kind of dreading the drive & feeling cheap.  Plus, with Kid missing so much school recently, I just didn't want to do something that would require so much work (on my part) and more missed days for her.
#5 We are going skiing for Thanksgiving.  This is a ground breaking trip.  I've never downhill skied and either have the girls.  Mr F has never skied in the time I've known him.  So... hopefully we don't all break our legs.  We're heading Up North just for the long weekend to the resort we visited this summer.    We're excited.  And scared.
#6  I've been watching The Paradise on PBS.  It's good peeps.  You can catch all the episodes on if you don't have TV service, like me.  
#7 I also watched ALL of the Call the Midwives episodes on Netflix.  I don't know why I didn't get into the first time I tried... I loved it.  Surprisingly funny (at times)
#8  I am totally into flossing, now.  I don't know why it took me nearly 40 years.  I mean, how did I ever think my teeth were clean before?!  Floss, people!  
#9  Major organization projects have been underway.  I did successfully clean off the kitchen counters. (even the dreaded home office peninsula which acts as a super powerful paper magnet)
Craft cabinet... I'm coming for you.
#10 I'm taking down our Halloween decorations (Kid's pneumonia kind slowed me down on that front)... and putting up Christmas.  Deal with it.  I'm going for it!!! Last year I waited too long.  
That's about it.
Photos for your perusal:  

The girls bowling:
 Awesome form, Baby!
 Yo!  Kid's limbs are really LONG.  She is 5 feet tall now & wears a 7.5-8 shoe... she just turned 11.
She can't even fit forward in the car seat (Ha!)
She looks amused, doesn't she?
Still reading like it's her job.

Pumpkin carving:
 Do not fool yourselves... these losers didn't do a damn thing to help carve those!  Will they ever?!?

Baby's super AWESOME school picture:
Hmm... if you tilt your head you might see who she takes after:
(although I'll happily admit she is much prettier than I ever was!)

Speaking of which, I laughably started thinking I had reached the age which required more effort into my appearance & decided to start wearing makeup:
(This could also be a strong reflection on having more time on my hands)
Well, about a week into it, a mom from school stopped me and asked me what was wrong.  She said I just looked so stressed & tired lately.  ha!  So, long story short: I'm not wearing makeup anymore.
(But also, yes, I'm older than when you last saw me)

Baby is still.... Baby.  
 And she still, inexplicably, loves doing yard work:

 Kid turned 11 on Halloween:
 She had our traditional family birthday breakfast (Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants).  
We're never going to quit you, chocolate croissants!

This year's Halloween costumes:
 Kid was a Victorian ghost (which, just take my word for it, was better in person... she even had glow in the dark face paint... which considering our trick-or-treat hours was sadly never in full effect).  
Baby graciously agreed to wear her million dollar dance recital get up while it still fit.
 My mom and stepdad escorted them out in their collaborative costumes.  Popi sporting the ultimate in men's ballerina attire, and my mom was (obviously) a ghostbuster.  
Popi was pretty much famous by the end of the block.

Kid is kind of growing up and too cool to give me any input about things like cakes.
(Baby, by the way, is not... I completely disregarded the 7 page manual she drew up for how she thought I should decorate Kid's cake this year) 
I just did a simple cake that wouldn't offend her sensibilities:
 She didn't even notice I wrote anything on it.  I'm not kidding.  

All she wanted for her birthday was a set of high quality dominos:
 Barnes & Noble in case you need some.  They weren't very easy to find.


 The cats have a lot of work to do, today:
Chippy (our resident chipmunk) is out there LOADING up on maple seeds.  
I think it is going to be a harsh winter.


katieo said...

#1. This is you taking one step closer to converting, isn't it?!


#5. Good luck! I've never been downhill skiing either. And yes. I live on a mountain and 5 minutes away from SUNDANCE. Don't tell.

Love all the pictures. And I can't believe how similar you look to Baby's picture! Both so cute.

I will try Paradise. I've already done Call the Midwife. (Love Chummy!)

Flossing. WTG. You're an inspiration. :)

julie said...

Whoah. Gave up coffee? What's the story behind that? Migraines?

Katie, if I only drank decaf, is that acceptable to convert? I'd like to join your family. I could be the live-in nanny.

How awesome that you are going skiing for Thanksgiving! What a fun holiday trip! And WOW, I can't wait to see the photos and hear the stories. I remember when we went skiing for the first time--with Tom, who is an expert skiier & as I found quite inpatient with me falling all over the place and then rolling around cracking up beyond belief. So many fun memories. I wish we left the house like in the 'old days' (self-imposed hermitville due to M. not wanting to leave house & us being too fat & depressed to make him...we're working on it--well, not really. But we will work on it.)

I am a total Flosser. I even used to floss in college...I was one of those weirdos who would still brush my teeth & floss & wash my face no matter how drunk I may have been.

You and Baby are twins.

Kid's expression in the car is awesome. Wow, she looks so much older than 11. How nerdy-cool is it that she wanted a good set of Dominoes for her birthday? Respect, man. That is super cool.

How lovely it must have been to have someone comment on how tired & stressed you looked when you started to wear makeup! But you know what, that means you are a natural beauty. Seriously. My sister Lisa never wore makeup & always looked great. So whenever she does put any on, I always think she looks weird.

I can not wait to hear about your Thanksgiving Ski trip.

Again, Katie, let me know about the decaf & I'll be at your house by the holidays;). I'll bring Legos.

Julie said...

PS the above Julie is me. I don't know why I have 2 accounts. It's really annoying.

Mrs Furious said...

Ha! How many more steps do I have to go?!

I'm always encouraged to hear that their is another Michigander that never braved the slopes. (I thought I was the only one!!!) We are going to Crystal Mountain (by Interlochen).

I gave it up, because I had been so sick that I was over any kind of caffeine withdrawal and figured I should just go with it. It does play a role (sometimes) in my digestive ailments and my schedule is so much more erratic that it was taking work to make sure I had coffee on me when I needed it so I wouldn't get a caffeine headache. I am drinking 3-4 cups of tea through out the day which more evenly caffeinates me w/o the big spikes. I also still enjoy having coffee out if I'm somewhere, but that is more of a treat & won't spiral me back into an addiction. I also hoped cutting out all the half & half & sugar I consume would lead to weight loss.... NO. Still not off of it long enough to see about the migraines. That would be a bonus.
Kid can look very old if she is feeling sophisticated in her mind. Seriously. It is funny. Or if she is annoyed. If she is laughing she still looks her age... although she is just probably one of those humans that will look old for her age when she is a teenager instead of looking 9 years old, like I did. Her figure is changing VERY fast. I saw some girls at school that are in 7&8th grade and the changes in two years are ASTOUNDING. She's going to be tall... at least by our standards ;)

-amy said...

Yay for skiing! We were so close to booking a house for skiing over Thanksgiving this year, but we have to go to PA for the family thing (we hate to admit that we'd rather enjoy the peace of a nuclear family-only holiday).

So jealous that you look "tired" when wearing makeup! I'm one of those women who even wears tinted moisturizer and mascara to the gym. One day, I wore no makeup to walk my son to school and one of his friends' mom said that I looked how she felt!! I said, "Ha, ha, ha! You suck!" I actually only said that in my head. She is a very nice but clueless hippy.

I've always thought that baby looked exactly like you, but those pictures are definitely proof. Kid is taller and has a larger foot than my 7th grade son (he is in the running for smallest in his grade). His best friends wear (men's obviously) shoe size 13 and 10. Seeing the three of them together is somewhat amusing.

Jen said...

When you have a few minutes, please compare Charlotte and Asheville for me (in a nutshell). Actually, I'm not even sure you lived in Charlotte, but I know you lived in Asheville. I am in Calif. and am retiring in abjout 2 years and need to find a cheaper alternative to sky-high living here in Cali. I've looked at Craigslist and some other sites and the rents are within my budget (hopefully they'll still be in 2 yrs!). I looked at some apt complexes that are surrounded by lush mountains and it seems so peaceful! In Asheville, are they plenty of thrift stores? I love sifting through and putting stuff on Ebay as a hobby. And antique shops, movies, etc. What's the weather really like? I've read so many accounts that I don't have a good sense of what it is. Is the Biltmore fantastic as it looks? And anything else you care to add would be much appreciated! I looked at Black Mountain and it looks a little too rural for me. Do you recommend Ashe over Charlotte? (again if you're familiar with charlotte). Love your blog, read it all the time, I love goings-on of your kids! Seems like Baby has calmed down quite a bit in her "old" age, hahah. BTW, your hair looks good in the pic with the makeup. But, I don't think you need makeup at all. You look younger without it!

Mrs Furious said...

I will absolutely take some time tomorrow to write up my thoughts. I have not lived in Charlotte so I cannot speak to that, but I do think that Asheville could be a good place for you (considering what you listed here). One thing that came up for us was that the housing we found online was not suitable in reality and housing ended up being CONSIDERABLY more expensive than we had thought it would be from our online searches. Having said that, Asheville is a renters town. Rents were cheaper than our mortgage and all types of housing were on the rental market not just weird college houses like we had been used to in Ann Arbor.

Mrs Furious said...

Ok. Here is more to think about. Asheville is big on the thrift shop, restaurants, art/cultural events, etc. Yes, The Biltmore is amazing and we were annual members each year we were there. The house is one thing, but the gardens and walking/biking trails are amazing and worth the membership. I used to go there ALL the time to just enjoy my afternoons.
BUT Asheville is a very small city. Charlotte is obviously much bigger & will have all the benefits that come from that. Asheville has low/no traffic (by my standards) and flying in and out of their tiny airport is a breeze. It is a big retirement community & young hipsters that seemingly can support themselves by working in coffee shops ;)
However, there are all of the same problems that come with a big city... the city is very segregated & there are some pretty rough parts of town (just ask Mr F when I made him sell his car & take the bus!!). There are gangs & projects & tons of vandalism. I was pretty surprised by all of that since it is such a high end tourist/retirement town. Also zoning is crazy & it is common that you'll have some pretty junked up/run down properties and vacant businesses right next to the nice ones (I personally found this to be very depressing). My major issues were just the cost of living for our family vs all of the job issues & paycuts and that after living in Ann Arbor (a much bigger city... and more educated and more liberal) I was used to a lot more family oriented programs/schools/ etc that Asheville just didn't have... this would obviously not be a concern for you. I'd say you really need to check it out in person & stay for a week to get a real feel. There are a couple of different areas. The one out by the Biltmore is a bit higher end & has more convenient shopping & dining options near it. We were in West Asheville which we really liked & it is completely walkable... but less options, particularly for shopping.

Mrs Furious said...

I can't believe how fast Kid is growing. She was always bigger than you'd think I could produce... but I'm sure she'll be 5'5 by next summer and she won't even be 12 yet! God, I'm afraid of how many pairs of shoes I'll have to buy her this year!! Plus, we are just about sized out of kids clothing. The cost jump & style change is frustrating... she is still a kid.

We started a few years back taking a vacation during Thanksgiving and it is pretty awesome. I recommend it ;)

Mr Furious said...

By Southern city standards (in my experience) Asheville has less of the rough hood/segregation issue than say...every other city in the South. It hides what warts it has better, because it's so small and localized, and their is a lot of money spent in the visible places.

Asheville is very much a resort / retirement city in most ways, with the food, arts, and shopping that entails. There is little to no industry aside from tourism. That means a real extreme gap between the upper class people who retire there or are there to recreate, and the people whose jobs are mostly service-oriented.

Mrs F is right to go there for a week and look at things as you might when you live somewhere rather than vacationing. Grocery shop (or pretend). House hunt. Try different neighborhoods. Go out to Black Mountain and Weaverville.

Everyone says "they love Asheville" because their experience was skewed by being on vacation.

It wasn't a good fit for us due largely to expense vs income, and a lack of options for young families. It might feel (and the people who stay there seem to confirm) different and a better fit to people without those concerns.

Mr Furious said...

Of everywhere I've ever lived, Asheville does have the best weather/climate. All four seasons, but none extreme. Not too hot in summer, mostly 75-low 80s. Rare 90s. Never been 100 degrees there. Literally. Never. You get fall and foliage, and spring and wild Rhododendron. Winter has snow, but not too much (usually). We did have 16 inches in one early storm. But mostly small snowfalls that look pretty and melt in a day. That said, snow of any amount shuts everything down. Never sub-zero cold. Highs in the 40s...

If you like mountains (Mrs F didn't particularly) that adds to the appeal.

Asheville wasn't for us at that stage of our lives, but I wouldn't steer people away so much as make sure they know what they're in for.

Good luck!

Mr Furious said...

I have very limited experience with Charlotte, but from what I can tell, it's a modern downtown dominated by the banking industry, lots of bedroom community suburbs, and like most other cities in the south of bad side or ring around town likely to be bigger and worse than Asheville's.

That doesn't tell you much, sorry.

It's also low elevation and much hotter.

-amy said...

BTW, I ADORE your mother's and Popi's costumes. That will be such an amazing memory. Someone needs to paint that picture of Popi.

How is the Church hunt going? Did you check out the Congregational Church in A2 (State and William)? Besides the kick-ass live Nativity every Christmas Eve, it's a beautiful church and a very liberal Christian denomination. Several UU's I know grew up in and loved the Congregational Church, then became UU when moving around the country and not having a nearby Congregational Church to attend.

Jen said...

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. F for all the info! This really helps. I just need to visit for a week and check it out. Yeah, you guys had different needs. Mrs. F, why didn't you like the mountains? Was it driving in them (sorta scary, I know) or just feeling a little claustrophobic? Of course, they are covered with the spectacular colors only a few months out of the year, probably, but they are gorgeous and calming to look at. Living in California, everything is so manicured, it's hard to find any trees, bushes, grass, plants, in their natural states. Mrs. F, thanks for the weather report. I'm happy to hear it's not super hot; I've heard it's slightly muggy some of the summer, as long as it's not like Mississippi!! (I lived there for 12 years, ugh, omg!!) And it's nice to know I don't really need snow tires in the winter. I did read somewhere, and this is kinda funny to me, that folks are always needling you about going to church. Here in California, it's so diverse and such a personal issue, that religion is hardly mentioned when meeting someone for the first time. The Biltmore looks spectacular, and Mrs. F mentioned there are bike trails, etc. Are there walking trails, as well? I should just go on the website and see! It looked beautiful at Christmas. Asheville is listed on many lists as No. 1 place to retire, along with Raleigh-Durham, I believe. I'm leaning more towards Ashe than Char at the moment. Thank you so, so much for the info! Much appreciated!

Mrs Furious said...

"Was it driving in them (sorta scary, I know) or just feeling a little claustrophobic?"
Ha! Both, actually. I was terrified of driving on the edge of mountains... and I had to do it. Also, I never thought about mountains feeling claustrophobic until I lived there... but, yes, the mountains made me feel VERY claustrophobic. I realized I'm more of a water person... want to see my way out ;)

The Biltmore is a wonderful place to walk. Tons of trails. Absolutely beautiful.

Asheville is was less muggy & hot than Michigan (which is more humid than people think it is)

The church issue did not come up for us (ever). But we were firmly living in the hippie part of town.

My mother will be pleased that you appreciated the costumes. She did all the work ;)
Good to know on the church front. Right now, until Kid is out of St Paul's we're at our maximum church capacity. Next year I'll be ready to look around some more.

Andrea said...

I cant believe baby is your twin for sure, yea makeup hardly wear it usually when I do someone asks me whats wrong not sure how to take that yet maybe I look angry hmm.Kid is so teenage looking ah sorry to say that. I love the idea of a vacation during Thanksgiving I'm going to have to consider that for future reference family gatherings are overrated in my family too much drama.Hope guys have a great time and glad to see ya'll are doing well.

gooddog said...

It still makes me excited as hell when I check back to your blog and see that you've posted! Never Stop Mrs. F! :)Glad y'all are well.

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