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Week In Pictures – Around

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Last week was pretty uneventful when thinking about it, but looking at the photos I snapped, it was more interesting than I realized…

Checking out the progress on our new school

Checking out the progress on our new school

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Poker time on a Sunday afternoon

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When you have a cookout, you make s’mores on the grill.

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A rare night out with girlfriends to celebrate a birthday

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A (becoming more rare these days), sweet moment of the kids all getting along, taken through the screen.

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Showing the kids where we used to live… aeons ago.

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What the kids look like when asked to come to an early morning appointment with Mom.

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Walking through the neighborhood

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The middle and I made good use of the cookie jar.

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My youngest, showing me how her hand has grown since preschool.

My youngest, learning to dive.

My youngest, learning to dive.

Repotting

Repotting

I asked the girls to go through their dolls to give some away and they ended up playing together.

I asked the girls to go through their dolls to give some away and they ended up playing together.

My favorite little corner of the kitchen

My favorite little corner of the kitchen

Chinese Wall at an antique shop

Chinese Wall at an antique shop

Our city hall

Our city hall

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

Steel drums at the farmers market

Steel drums at the farmers market

Dining room

Flowers on the table

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Brings back memories

Audience Selfie - ready for Comedy Sportz

Audience Selfie – ready for Comedy Sportz

Almost showtime

Almost showtime

We have a really low cutting board in our kitchen, and this is how my husband has to use it.

We went to an open house for fun. I loved these high bookshelves in the front room.

We went to an open house for fun. I loved these high bookshelves in the front room.

We didn’t stray too too far from home, but still had a good week.

In 3 weeks from today, my kids will be heading out the door to the first day of 4th, 6th, and 8th grades. It’s going far too fast, and I’m hoping, since so much of the cleaning up that I’d done is behind us, that we can move forward and really enjoy these last few weeks.

<3 Genevieve

 

After One Week of Constant Housework… (not quite a 50s housewife)

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I’m wiped out. I’ve been working every day to make this house clean. I’ve never been a very good housekeeper, as I’ve mentioned before, but my goal is to be one. My goal is to have the house mostly ready every day, and to only have to do maintenance – not an overhaul – every week. But you have to start somewhere, and this week was that somewhere. I know my house is never going to be perfect. I’m fine with that. Heaven knows I want my house to look lived in. But there’s a difference between lived in and messy.

 

Lived in

Lived in

Messy

Messy

Lived in

Lived in

Messy

Messy

So, this week I’ve swept, vacuumed, mopped, dusted, organized, washed, scrubbed, polished, thrown-out, re-organized, cleared-out, emptied, and prettied. Gracie and I each made 2 batches of homemade ice cream and a batch of cookies each. I threw out expired medicine, relabeled my baking ingredients, and the girls pared down their many, many Barbies.

It took me a week to get my house looking good, and it would take a 1950s housewife one day. This is making me feel pretty sad.

Although, realistically, she probably never let it get out of control, so she didn’t have the ridiculousness that I had.

That being said, I’m feeling really good. My view right now is this:

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I’ve also managed to make (mostly) timely dinners all week. We’ve eaten at the table as a family all week – homecooked meals. (Well, except for Monday when I went out with the girls and left the husband to make pizza with the kids.) Being in a cleaner, less cluttered house is good for my psyche. It’s good for all of our psyches, honestly.

Now that my home is almost how I want it, my plan is to try that 50s housewife gig for a week and see how it goes. The only question is… do I go all the way and wear dresses and skirts when he comes home from work? Do I go so far as to have a drink waiting for him and the kids freshly scrubbed? (I promise I’ll post photos either way. :) )

What say you, readers? Weigh in!!

~Genevieve

 

ps – I had my Don Draper moment the other night at dinner. The husband wanted to go out to eat on Friday (a rarity – we usually order pizza and eat it in front of a movie). He ordered me an Old Fashioned so I could see what it was like. It wasn’t the greatest, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.

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Before

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After

Splash!

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I’ve been taking my kids to Sarah for years. For 5 years, actually. I could never get any swimming teacher to get my middle child to get her face in the water. It seems like a lifetime ago.

This is what the kids looked like back then.

They look so small!

They look so small!

Gracie, after just having swam, with DRY HAIR. :P

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It’s been 5 summers, and at this point, the older two are simply perfecting their strokes and dives, and learning more difficult things like the butterfly. Maddie is now swimming across the pool, jumping, and starting to dive. She is perfectly happy (and safe) in the deep end, and I couldn’t be happier!

Here are some photos of today to see how far they’ve come.

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G, doing the backstroke

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She loves diving!

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S, breast stroke

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S, cruising underwater

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S & G, underwater

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M, mid-jump

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M, ready to go

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M, learning to dive

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M the mermaid

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There’s Nothing Like a Party to Make You Clean Your House

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In the past, I’ve posted about how I’m not a great housekeeper/housewife. I was good for awhile. We had a housecleaner for awhile. She came once a month (or twice? I can’t remember it was so long ago). It was great for keeping me on my toes, because I had to keep things tidy so she could deep clean.

But, I opted to go to Disneyland instead of pay for a housekeeper and we never hired another one. I said I could do it by myself. I didn’t do such a great job.

This weekend, my daughter is having a few friends over to celebrate her very belated birthday. She only invited 4 girls and we’re taking them to an improv show and they’ll sleep over. So the house needs to be clean.

The worst room in the house has to be the girls’ room. Here’s a taste. They like to pile things up and leave it there and it seems to multiply on a daily basis. We are halfway done with their room, so it looks better now than it does in this photo, but still..

I can't believe I'm posting this photo.

I can’t believe I’m posting this photo.

Cleaning house is a big job. Especially when you’ve let things go for awhile. I figure that once I have everything the way I want it, it’ll be easier to keep it nice. Now that my kids are older, they can do more, which will also help. And I’ve let them know that I really want things to stay nice after this week.

To help myself, I have a little notebook, and I wrote a list of all the things I (we) need to do this week. Then I made a list of just the things I wanted to get done yesterday. I didn’t get them all done, and I worked almost all day.

I also have a list that Jen over at Jen but never Jenn posted. It’s a lot. It’s got 37 items on it. My list has 37 things for the week. Oy.

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Just a taste of what needs to be done. Side note: The girls’ room has the longest list. :P

How many did I do yesterday?

Eleven. And three of these were just making phone calls.

I did, however, get my kitchen nook area spic and span (it was covered with kids’ drawings, writings, crayons, clay, and various other crafts).

Look! My mom would be so proud! (I told the kids this needs to stay this way. Fingers crossed they will keep their crafts in the bins I’ve provided.)

The cook book belonged to me. I think it had been my mom's or grandma's.

The cook book belonged to me. I think it had been my mom’s or grandma’s.

So, today I hope to get at least 10 more things. If I do 10 things each day, then perhaps all I have to do Saturday is relax and make sure we have food for dinner and breakfast for the slumberers. (hahaha)

My ultimate goal is to have a house that is very near “company ready” at all times. Not perfect, but in a state where I won’t feel bad inviting people in for coffee, tea, or a visit.

Is YOUR house company ready?

Do you have any tips for keeping your house ready? I’d love to hear!!

~Genevieve

Week In Pictures – Summer Traditions

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We got a new tv stand/entertainment center, and watched Spock Mind Meld with Picard.

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We swam.

Grammy & the girls

Grammy & the girls

We tried tying scarves 20 different ways, because why not? (Also, Grammy’s going to Paris and will be wearing scarves.) We all will be more stylish now. :)

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We tried a Starbucks soda.

Maddie and Grampy

Maddie and Grampy

One day the pool was “contaminated” and we couldn’t go in it for 24 hours, so we did this instead.

S & G trying their hands at ping-pong

S & G trying their hands at ping-pong

Me & Kristi

Me & Kristi

We got a visit from my oldest and dearest friend, Kristi, and her daughter Kailey Genevieve. :)

You may have read about Kristi HERE. A lot has changed since even that post I made 3 years ago!

Most of us.

Most of us.

Pictured above are me, Kristi, my 3 kids and her oldest daughter. Sadly, her 10-year-old wasn’t on this trip, but hopefully we’ll have a photo with her next year.

(Just for kicks, here’s a picture of Kailey and the kids their last visit 4 years ago)

Kailey was 11, Sean was 9, Grace was 7, and Mads was 4.

Kailey was 11, Sean was 9, Grace was 7, and Mads was 4.

The next day we had one last dip in the pool (and jacuzzi).

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Friday night, my youngest went to a movie night at a friend's house and we had a movie night of our own.

Friday night, my youngest went to a movie night at a friend’s house and we had a movie night of our own.

And we used our themed utensil for the pizza!

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Dinner at the Bowl

Dinner at the Bowl

On Saturday we went to our first of 3 concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. (Going to the Bowl has been a tradition of ours for 10 years with the kids – almost 19 years just us.) It was celebrating Dreamworks Animation’s 20th anniversary. Jack Black was the host. Several composers showed up – Alan Silvestri, Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat, and a few more – to conduct, or just to play instruments. At the end, they all played an instrument and formed some sort of  composer supergroup, while Jack Black and Judith Hill sang.

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And there were fireworks.

Shrek-sized fireworks

Shrek-sized fireworks

Let’s not forget – the USC marching band showed up as well, to help with a song from the Croods.

The USC marching band in front of the orchestra.

The USC marching band in front of the orchestra.

 

It was a pretty darn good week! How was your week? What’s in store for you next week?

~Genevieve

 

 

Ten Ways Mad Men Makes Me Glad I Live In Today’s World

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If you’ve ever read my blog, you probably already know I tend to throw myself into things.

Example One

Example Two

Between my husband, my son, and I we own at least 20 Star Wars shirts, and in the last year I’ve acquired 3 Star Trek shirts and a costume. (Side note – I also own a Leia’s Bikini, but I’ve never worn it.)

So, after watching the first 2.5 seasons of “Mad Men” in less than a month, I’ve become a little obsessed with the 60s again. I’ve loved the 60s for a long time – starting in high school For one, there was my obsession with Marilyn Monroe (which I suppose is more 50s than 60s), my love of 60s tv and music, and even fashion and style.

However, watching “Mad Men” has given me a peek at that world and even though it is just a tv show, there are several things I’ve gleaned about how life would have been in the 60s…

1. Everyone smoked- They smoked at home. They smoked at work. They smoked in restaurants, cars, hotels, and airplanes. Which meant everyTHING smelled like smoke – furniture, cars, carpet, clothing, hair, skin, and breath. Blech. I have a really bad reaction to being around smoke, so living in that time period would have surely given me full blown asthma. Women smoked when they were pregnant.

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2. Women had to really fight for what they wanted – Women were expected to work at home, and those who did work outside the home were mostly secretaries, teachers, nurses, or air hostesses. Those who did work their way up to something considered a “man’s job” made much less and had to really be her own advocate. And I know that women still fight for equality today, but it’s a very different world for a woman today than it was in the 60s.

3. Being gay was like having the plague. I feel like today we’ve come so far, even though we still have a long way to go. So many people were closeted because they were afraid of being who they truly were, or what would happen to them if they were out.

4. Segregation. I can’t wrap my head around separate bathrooms, drinking fountains, seats on the bus, lunch counters… Horrible. Again, I know that things aren’t perfect, but they aren’t like the 60s.

5. Men were pigs. I hope that “Mad Men” universe is exaggerated, because the way men treated women was awful. Women were objects, plain and simple. Women were expected to show off their assets and be open to being hit on (or worse) by men at all times. I’ve been treated like crap by guys, but being told what is wrong and right with my body by some man I just met is ridiculous.

6. Everyone was drinking and driving. I don’t suppose there was really a law for that. In one episode they do test Don’s blood alcohol level, but he’s merely fined. I can only imagine there were a lot of accidents on the road back then.

7. Later in the decade, the threat of our young sons/brothers/husbands going off to war was  very real. The thought of my son going off to war would paralyze me.

8. People smacked their kids – and other people’s kids. If one of my friends or relatives smacked my kids I would turn into the Hulk.

9. 60s underwear. What the women wore on a daily basis blows my mind. It actually looks pretty sometimes, but boy does it look uncomfortable!

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10. Medicine. Watching Betty Draper give birth sounds just like my own mother’s experience in 1969 – horrifying. Being so drugged up you don’t remember giving birth, waking up with a baby in your arms you’ve never seen, having to do it all yourself while the husband waits in the waiting room (probably smoking), and using awful instruments like foreceps? No thanks! Add to that the fact that doctors smoked while working, things weren’t as sterile, and technology and knowledge in general was lacking. I have no doubts that if I gave birth to my children in the 60s, I might have one child with big health problems and all of my children would have lost their mother after the third child was born.

So, I’ll still watch my shows from the 60s, listen to 60s music, and occasionally wear something inspired by the 60s, but I’ll continue to be glad to live in the decade that I do.

 

Week In Pictures –

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A few years ago on this blog, I used to do a “Week in Pictures” feature. Some weeks were more exciting than others, of course. Sometimes it’s the beauty in the mundane.

 

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I guess you do forget. The 11 re-learning how to ride a bike.

Wayne and little Jakey playing.

Wayne and little Jakey playing.

Every week, the 13 brings in the trash cans and likes to have the 8 keep him company.

Every week, the 13 brings in the trash cans and likes to have the 8 keep him company.

The 11, cooking dinner.

The 11, cooking dinner.

A Panda Express "Innovation Kitchen" opened down the street. It has a tea bar.

A Panda Express “Innovation Kitchen” opened down the street. It has a tea bar.

Cleaning up around my room, I found a comedy audio tape I made with a friend in 8th grade. Pictured with us is Mr. Gudgeon, one of my very favorite teachers.

Cleaning up around my room, I found a comedy audio tape I made with a friend in 8th grade. Pictured with us is Mr. Gudgeon, one of my very favorite teachers.

We've become the family that eats in the dining room.

We’ve become the family that eats in the dining room.

New ice cream maker = better ice cream.

New ice cream maker = better ice cream.

By the pool - kids getting swimming lessons.

By the pool – kids getting swimming lessons.

Kids heading up to the waterslide. (Polka dots is my littlest one)

Kids heading up to the waterslide. (Polka dots is my littlest one)

Said Water Slides

Said Water Slides

The 8, feeling a little squished with the mattress in the car.

The 8, feeling a little squished with the mattress in the car.

Clouds over the house.

Clouds over the house.

Father-daughter weightlifting.

Father-daughter weightlifting.

Improv.

Improv.

Explanation of Improv – We went to ComedySportz LA last week and the kids saw a game called “Five Things” where someone leaves the room, then the audience comes up with 5 things for that person to do. Except they take details and change them into crazy things. For example, Making a Statue. But instead of a hammer, it’s Captain Kirk, and instead of a chisel, it’s a donut. The statue is made of Love, rather than stone, and it’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln. (that was my daughter’s) There are 5 things that they have to guess in 4 minutes. The kids wanted to try it, so we each guessed only one. This was my husband’s.

Something positive.

Something positive.

In striving to be more like a 50s housewife, but not going whole hog yet, I’ve gotten into the habit of making the bed every day. I’ve kept it up for over a week. This is a record. I have to say, I like it a whole lot better this way.

~Genevieve

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