Sep 032013
 

There were lots of things I had on my to-do list this weekend. Rooms to paint. Mulch to spread. Stuff to organize.

I did none of it. And it was fantastic.

For the first time in recent memory, we had a weekend at home with nothing going on. We’ve been on the go all summer; for example, three separate trips to Michigan in July/early August had us home just one weekend out of five.

So when our Labor Day weekend morphed into one with naps and Sun King growlers, I decided to embrace it. One look at our September calendar, with its good times like meetings on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday nights this week and not a single weekend without something scheduled, and I happily ditched the responsibilities and grabbed the sunblock.

And what did we do with all of our free time?

Well, we spent part of Saturday and Sunday floating in the Y pool.

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I beat eight levels in Candy Crush.

Andy made an impromptu overnight trip to Chicago for a fantasy football draft with friends he hadn’t seen in forever.

Andy and I took turns dozing while the kids gorged on the Ninjago and Lego Friends they discovered on Netflix.

We broke in Andy’s new bicycle with a few family bike rides.

Andy and I watched six episodes of Breaking Bad.

I watched eight episodes of 30 Rock.

We went to the Star Wars exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, on its very last day because I am always so organized and on top of things. Henry loved the droideka, Eleanor loved the star destroyer, Andy loved the Millennium Falcon, I still loved it all the second time around. The kids were more into the hands-on science-y parts than I thought they’d be. We took very few normal photos.

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We grilled out and dined on the deck, toasting our beer and milk to the last weekend of a full and fun summer.

I made plans to try to have no plans more often.

Jun 062013
 

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Or, you know, two weeks ago, at the Indiana State Museum downtown…I weaseled my way into the media preview of the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit.

star wars press pass

How’d YOU get on the list
? you’re thinking. Your readers are mostly people related to you. I know, right? You’re not the only one who was wondering what in the heck I was doing there.

force choke

But if you know me, you know I have a Star Wars-lurving family. I grew up a huge fan, passed down my toys to Henry and Eleanor, and now have two kids well-versed in the Star Wars universe. Especially my son, who can usually be found humming the Imperial March while he imagines battles between clones and droids.

So what was the exhibit like, for someone who grew up on Star Wars? Well, as we waited at the entrance for our guided tour to begin, the sounds of Darth Vader breath over the sound system, just a glimpse of some of the goodies inside made me do a hands-to-mouth SQUEEEEEEE. Then I turned around and high-fived Tony from Geeking in Indiana.

I pretty much spent my time in the exhibit going OMG IT’S HAN AND CHEWIE OMG IT’S HENRY’S FAVORITE ROLL-Y DROID OMG IT’S LUKE’S ROBOT HAND OMG IT’S YODA OMG IT’S THE MILLENNIUM FALCON VADER’S STAR DESTROYER LANDSPEEDER LIGHTSABERS TUSKAN RAIDERS R2D2 OMG OMG OMG. For most of the items, I had that same “holy crap, I can’t believe I’m looking at the actual (insert name of object I’ve seen images of my whole life)” reaction as I’ve had seeing, say, the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel. Hi, I’m a nerd.

stormtrooper landspeeder

han and chewie

yoda

star destroyer

And while, admittedly, some of the science stuff was an afterthought to my LOOK IT’S LEIA’S HELP ME OBI WAN DRESS overloaded brain, the exhibit has some nice educational components as well. If you’re five or older, you can drive a hover craft in 20-second bursts. There’s Maglev trains and robots to build, and simulated environments (like a Jawa camp) to set up and run via some cool computer effects.

maglev train

jawa camp

hover craft
(hover craft modeled by the lovely Michelle from gotchababy)

Not gonna lie, it’s a little expensive to get in to the exhibit. Tickets are $10 on top of museum admission; it’s going to be around $70 to take my household. But it is worth it? To us, heck yeah. After the kids finished crying that I went without them, Henry looked at my photos and named every single item with no prompting, even informing me that his favorite roll-y droid is a droideka. I can’t wait to see his face when he gets to view the items that fuel so much of his play. So we’ll be there, for sure. Maybe we’ll see you? I’ll even give you a high five.

Want to sneak a peek at more exhibit goodness? Click here for the rest of my photos from the preview. Want to get your tickets ordered (it’s timed admission, 66 visitors admitted every 15 minutes)? Click here for Indiana State Museum exhibit info.

May 262013
 

Back in January, it seemed like every mommy blogger chose a “word of the year” in lieu of any resolutions. Posts were full of words like “bloom” or “savor” or “inspire,” usually typeset against a calming nature photo or Pinterest-worthy artwork, with platitudes about living your best life or whatever.

Well, it took me halfway through the year, but I chose my word.

no

Don’t you feel so uplifted and inspired now?

But here’s the thing. We’ve had a tough past twelve months with multiple losses. A few things I’ve already blogged about. A few others aren’t my stories to tell, so let’s just say I’ve spent a good chunk of my time worrying about a lot of people I love. And I get that life is cyclical, you need the bad to appreciate the good, etc., etc. But I do have some regret that five was such a wonderful age for Henry and Eleanor, and we didn’t always get to appreciate it fully.

When you’re a stay-at-home parent, it’s too easy to tell yourself, well, I don’t work, so I should take that volunteer position/attend that event/agree to do whatever thing I’ve just been asked to commit to. But this year I’m changing my way of thinking. This year, I’m going to say “no” more than I say “yes.” In all areas of my life I’m asking, “Is this benefitting any of the four people that live in my house?” If I can’t answer in the affirmative then I’m saying no.

Saying no will help me focus on my true priorities. Enjoying the heck out of my six-year-olds and creating some good memories for them. Recording those memories through my photography and this blog. Continuing on my path to getting healthier. Ensuring that I spend more time hanging out with Andy.

So if you’re not Henry, Eleanor, Andy, or me,  you’ll probably hear “no” from me at some point this year. And I hope by staying negative, this year will turn out to be positive.

Dec 092012
 

Henry and Eleanor are finally at a good age to play games, and they do so daily at kindergarten. Every day at school there’s a game or two at the activity tables, which has been an excellent way to scope out what the kids like and would be good to play at home. Best of all, I don’t have to let them win! All of the following games we either already own or they’re on our Christmas list. Without further ado:

I Never Forget A Face Memory Game (shown above): beautiful illustrations make this more interesting (and challenging, at least for me, who apparently DOES forget faces) than other memory games.


UNO: You know the drill on this one, since you probably grew up playing it, too. My kids get waaay too delighted over making Mom draw four.

Dizios: I had never heard of this game until I saw it at school, but Eleanor consistently says it’s her favorite. Great for kids who have a knack for patterns or have good spatial awareness. Kinda like dominos, but instead of dots you have to match up the swirly patterns. Surprisingly difficult sometimes! Right now we play without scoring, but we’ll be able to add in that aspect later, ensuring we’ll get several years out of this game.

Spot It: The runaway favorite at school, Henry’s favorite (and mine!) too. There’s several different ways you can play this, although so far we’ve only played one way. Games go quickly, and it’s small enough to be very portable. Don’t tell my kids, but Santa’s already purchased this for under the tree.

Blink:  This game’s been out a lot at school, but I haven’t had the chance to play it yet. Henry and Eleanor give it a thumbs-up, though, and I like that the games go quickly, so it’s on the list for Santa.

Ruckus:  Another game the kids love that I haven’t had a chance to play, so let’s hear from Eleanor instead: “It’s fun to make the matches.” Good enough for me, it’s also on our Santa list.

Left Right Center:  Andy and I received this for Christmas a few years ago, but never played it since it called for a minimum of three players. I got it out on a whim a few weeks ago and it immediately became a family favorite. Good practice on remembering left and right, and the games go quickly enough that we like to play a few rounds as a treat before bedtime.

So now you know what Henry and Eleanor are getting for Christmas. Shhhh…don’t tell them, okay?

photos either by me or from Amazon
links are our school’s affiliate 

Nov 242012
 

I have good parents,
sad they had to leave today,
wish I lived closer

I am excited
to have new drinking glasses
when did I get old?

got to have a date
with husband: dinner, movie
(mac & cheese, Skyfall)

Eleanor’s new boots
sparkle but her happiness
sparkles even more

Sunday, put up tree
out with Thanksgiving and in
with Christmas good cheer

Nov 212012
 

We were watching Phineas & Ferb today, like we often are, and the episode was a clip show. And I thought, hey, my blog needs a clip show. So please to enjoy some Flesworthy favorites from past years’ NaBloPoMo (what’s the plural of that? NaBloPoMoes? NaBloPoMi?):

Things I Thought I’d Never Say And Then I Had Kids

Let The Record Show

A long time ago, in a living room far, far away…

Please make your check or money order out to “Flesworthy”

I might be an idiot, but I’m a warm idiot

Budding artistes

Aftermath

Bear

The twin bond: still going strong

 

Nov 202012
 

Thanksgiving prep is underway. I should write a real post, but I think I’m gonna cash in my “post a video of Psy & MC Hammer” card instead. Which, come on, you know you’ve watched it like 27 times already due to the sheer force of its awesomeness, it’s okay, don’t feel ashamed, my household has, too:

(Side note to my children: remember the dude at the State Fair who you said was SO BORING WE JUST WANT TO RIDE RIDES, MOM and Mom tried to be all SHUT UP KIDS THIS IS PREMIUM ENTERTAINMENT RIGHT HERE? Turns out Mom was right, wasn’t she? It’s good that you’ve learned your mother is a genius at such a young age, it will serve you well in life.)

Nov 182012
 

So my little sister graciously gave me a gift certificate for some spa services for my birthday tomorrow. I went this afternoon for a facial, which I’ve had before and knew I would enjoy, and a brow and lash tint, which I had never had, but my sister swore would be awesome.

She was so right!

My brows and lashes are very very light blonde, so that when I’m not wearing makeup (which is most of the time, unfortunately) I look pretty much bald, facially speaking.

But behold!

That right there is a cleansed and exfoliated and steamed face free of make-up. Look! I have eyebrows like a normal person! But surely I’m wearing mascara, right? Wrong! Tinted! Wheeee!

Okay, so I’m not used to my brows being any sort of color so I feel not unlike Bert from Sesame Street right now. And the eyelash tint was kinda sting-y for a few minutes after it got applied. And I’m sure this is a “once maybe twice special treat” thing due to lack of money and time to keep it up monthly. But my eyelashes! You can see them! This makes me way happier than it should!

So listen up, my fellow blonde-browed brethren: get thee to a spa, posthaste. Tint those lashes. You won’t regret it! It will make you use an overabundance of exclamation points!