quote of the week

Three days into kindergarten last week Scout comes home telling us she has a boyfriend. I met his mom and she seems nice, so I won't sound the alarm quite yet. Also, Catcher and one of his second grade buddies are keeping an eye on this guy.

Tonight at dinner Scout was regaling us with stories about her boyfriend. How he's funny and makes her laugh and distracts her while they're sitting on the rug when she's trying to listen to the teacher. During this monologue she got wrapped up in her rapid-fire thoughts, as Scout tends to do, and began reflecting on a former boyfriend of hers. He (the "ex") was from the preschool era and once said something mean to her. "...so I was like, I'm so done with this dude." That's a direct quote, folks. I hope she maintains the same presence of mind in all her future romantic endeavors.


exploshun time

If one of your children is quietly occupied in his/her own room for more than two hours after school one afternoon, you don't really want to bother said child for fear of disturbing the peace and quiet of the house. Of course, the usual parental paranoiac questions run through your head--What's going on in there? Is he building a bomb? Is she digging a hole through the floor so she can escape while we're all sleeping one night?--but you really like a quiet house, so you overlook all the possible bad scenarios.

When Catcher emerged from his room just before dinner, he proved that my paranoia was unfounded (at least this time) when he asked me if I would like to take a look the comic he had been creating--"Exploshun [sic] Time." Boys like action--generally involving guns, swords and the archaic TNT--so even though the comic hinged on violence, I was pretty confident there was no actual TNT in Catcher's room that I should be worried about. Also, this is a kid who's always telling me he "doesn't like art," so I'm pretty much going to encourage any kind of sketching that comes from his imagination.

It should be noted that even following a tutorial from the author, I understand virtually nothing about this comic. Like why is there a host? And why did Catcher give away the ending of the story in the title? And what exactly happened "3 seconds later?"


you say it's your birthday

...well it's awkward family photo shoot day, too. While all my Facebook friends were posting adorable back-to-school pictures of their children today, this is what you get when you ask the Wheat kids to stop, collaborate and listen:


the last weekend

We had a somewhat eventful "last weekend before school starts" weekend. We rode bikes. We attended a birthday party at the bowling alley. We scratched our heads wondering who crunched into the back of our car while we were innocently riding bikes at the park (no eyewitnesses came forward; no note left at the scene). Oh, and the toilet also overflowed as we were heading out the door to church this morning. Did I mention Alex's travel schedule is back in full swing? So yeah, the children and I kept it real.

For the past two weeks I've been wishing for the end of summer to arrive. Perhaps I should have asterisked my wishes, stipulating a "calm, uneventful" end of summer. Then again, when is life with three kids ever calm and uneventful?

Tomorrow is my birthday. Ever since this year's school calendar was released last spring, I've been looking forward to my birthday--the first day of the 2015-16 school year. Now I have an appointment to leave my car at the service station and a call out to the plumber to fix the toilet. Maybe they serve cocktails at the service station.


summer wind down

This is it! We've reached the last week of summer vacation. Perhaps you can tell by the faces in this photo--except Scout's, maybe--we are all ready for a new adventure. Yesterday we celebrated the last day of summer break with Dad (he' s the one in the "Dad Bod" shirt in case there's any confusion) because he journeyed off to Minnesota this morning and won't return until the first day of school.

We honored the occasion in true Wheat fashion with a picnic I had planned at a nearby park. There were ducks and geese and people fishing in a manmade pond (I guess you can do that). We sent the kids on an adventure to find out what people were fishing for, but they were more interested in hunting down the guy biking around with an ice cream cart trailing behind him. Catcher thought perhaps there would be free ice cream but no such luck. Scout asked a lady by the pond what she was fishing for and got the response "Anything that's biting." It wasn't the specific response I was after, but she got ten points for effort. Tillie ate more baguette than I have ever seen a human consume in my life; she promptly worked herself into a hot, sweaty food coma and insisted on being carried to the car. In the meantime, I polished off a bottle of Trader Joe's sparkling wine while silently chanting "four more days" in my head.


books and babes

When we moved to Austin four years ago, the youngsters and I were at BookPeople at least twice a week. At first it was Catcher (3 years) and Scout (1 year) with Tillie still in my tummy (she made her BookPeople debut at the ripe young age of nine days). The late morning toddler story time was a life saver. I looked forward to that twenty minutes, which we could stretch to about 45 on good days, at 10:30am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sometimes--but only sometimes if the wind was blowing in the right direction and all the planets were aligned--we could skip (no skipping really; I walked while Scout strolled and Catcher rode on the board attached to the back) over to the Whole Foods one block down for a lovely al fresco lunch.

I loved our time at BookPeople because it's the coolest book store ever, but inevitably someone would be reduced to tears before we made it down the winding steps and out the front door. There was that time that Catcher threw a tantrum of epic proportions during a Christmas carol sing-along. I was embarrassed (and honestly bummed because we couldn't stick around for "Feliz Navidad") to drag him kicking and screaming from the store. Not to be outdone, there was the time Scout hid in the tunnel under the stage in the children's section and freaked me the hell out because she wouldn't answer when we called. Not surprisingly, she emerged minutes later with a wide grin on her face. There was also the time she almost squeezed a baby bunny to death when the traveling petting zoo was visiting the store. We've had some interesting times at BookPeople, but never in my wildest dreams did I envision this happening:

We were at the store for two hours this afternoon. And this is what was happening the entire time (if you forget about the part where Tillie went tearing through the store as we entered with her "helpful" siblings trailing behind at lightning speed). You know--they just wanted to catch her before something was destroyed. The rest of our time was spent browsing and reading and playing the part of the perfectly happy, chill family visiting the local independent bookstore.

Then on the way out, Catcher got distracted by a creepy pigeon mask. I would have laughed if I could have calmed my racing heart after seeing this from the corner of my eye:

That mask is creepy. Did I mention creepy?


celebrate the middle child

I heard today is national middle child day. Yesterday was national s'mores day and some time a few weeks ago was national cheesecake day. That leads me to believe national middle child day isn't really anything to brag about, but there it is.

Today our middle child reminded me of an episode of Friends--the one where Joey goes into Chandler's closet and puts on all of Chandler's clothes (anyone remember?). He was getting Chandler back for something, but I can't recall what the riff was about. Anyway, Scout is counting down the days to kindergarten (12 days as she informed us this morning), so obviously it was time for her to go into her closet and put on everything to begin planning her first day of school outfit. I told her the sweater with the dress with the skinny jeans with the skirt might be a bit toasty for a sweltering August day, but what do I know?

After the fashion show, Tillie entertained us with her rendition of "Let it Go." Then it was time for an awkward sibling photo, and that's a wrap on today. Twelve more days to go...look who's counting now.


when moms get bored

...they may or may not pour themselves a cocktail and cut their own hair.

I trimmed my bangs before I came up with this brilliant idea--in fact, the success of the fringe trim probably led me to believe I could conquer the rest of my wild mane--so the actual "before" was a bit worse than the before pictured above. I'm on to my second cocktail now and feeling tipsy, so I'm pretty impressed with myself.


tutus and confetti crowns

This is why three year-olds are fabulous and why we put up with their piercing screams and ferocious temper temper tantrums. Because, honestly, everyone should be able to wear a tutu, confetti crown and plastic mules with abandon.


holy rollers

This week has been all about the Vacation Bible School. As this year's co-director, I've had quite the responsibilities on my shoulders. (Actually, most of my work was done before the week started, and I sit around drinking coffee and gossiping during the VBS operating hours; don't tell anyone.) Watching the other 68 volunteers shuffling 140 kids around for four hours, however, is a bit exhausting. So I'm tuckered out when we get home.

Please enjoy this video--if it loads on your computer--of Tillie dancing to the secular "Dynamite" prior to the Jesus music pumping through the church sanctuary. Party on!


working at the car wash

Before you look any further at the pictures in this post, let me assure you that I did not purchase a thong bathing suit for my three year-old child. The reason I feel it's necessary to make this disclaimer is because a mother at a birthday swim party asked me where I got Tillie's bathing suit because her (also three year-old) daughter was dying for a thong. At that point I realized she thought I had purposefully purchased a thong for my child, and I let it slide in the conversation because I didn't know who would be more embarrassed if I tried to straighten out the misunderstanding. But here's the truth--it just so happens that Tillie's little buns hang out of this particular bathing suit (and miraculously it doesn't seem to bother her).

This isn't really a post about Tillie's bathing suit, rather it's about another 100+ degree afternoon in Austin when we decided to put the children to work washing the car. Humblebrag here, parents, but it was an amazing idea. We had a dirty car and hot kids, so we put them in their bathing suits and sent them out to splash around in some suds with a hose. They loved it, of course! At one point Scout led the others in a chorus of "Hard Knock Life," but I don't think washing your mother's Yukon really qualifies you as having a "Hard Knock Life."