Friday, December 12, 2014


image from pinterest

// the English government wants you to birth at home

// how to take great pictures of kids

// signed Olive up for this popular sibling prep class this week (i'd love to know if you have anything like this in other cities!)

// what kids' drawings of family say about their home life

// mexican hot cocoa (sub coco milk to make it dairy free)

Blogger Tricks

Thursday, December 11, 2014

she says (III)

"I thank god for everything in my life. The heart, the trees, the houses, the iPad, the lights and my mama and my papa and the people. And papa. All the people in the world."

"Don't say shit mama. Shit's a bad word."

Me: "Olive, does the eucalyptus still smell good?"
Olive, without sniffing: "No, mama. It didn't smell good when it first got here and it doesn't smell good now."

"Mama, I am loving you so much that I just need to touch your face"

"Mama, well, when you have the baby, first you're gonna have contractions and then your belly will get bigger and bigger and bigger and then we'll turn the light on and then, I don't actually know, I'm just makin' this up, then he's gonna be borned in the biiiig bathtub and then we're all gonna look at his penis."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

on clutter

I have been patiently waiting for weeks to read Marie Kondo's treatise on tidying and the other day it was finally my turn at the library! Let me tell you, this book is nuts.

Taken out of context (as many reviews and interviews have done), The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up sounds crazy. Kondo talks about paying attention to your things as if you had actual human relationships with them and throwing away everything - literally everything - you own that doesn't bring you joy. Sounds like a mix of animism/witchcraft with a serious dose of impracticality. My dog brush doesn't bring me joy, but I need it, right?

But, like Project 333, I have used her guide since I picked it up as just that: a framework. I cannot throw away some of my maternity clothes because I need them to cover my body, even though I don't love them. But going through the pen jar? Further paring down the pots and pans to the ones I truly use regularly? Sorting Olive's clothes so we really have only what fits and is in season? Very doable.

I wanted to share a particularly illustrative example of something Kondo describes as the main reason to do away with clutter, since space has energy and so do things and the way our space and things set up our lives is more powerful than most people (outside of Pinterest) recognize.

I loved her chapter on storing clothes. She writes at length about both the proper way to fold for efficiency but goes one step further to suggest that folding imbues your clothes with the energy from your hands. Putting them away (they are "on vacation" in the drawer) in a manner that honors them and, conversely, thanking them for the work they do when they are warming and protecting your body is an essential part of your relationship with them.

At the end of a lot of clearing/cleaning/weeding out this weekend, I had 9 bags of mostly clothes to take to Goodwill and Mary's Place (where does all this stuff come from???), and, unwilling to look at it a second longer, but unable to take it directly where it was going, I lined them up all those bags neatly in the giant trunk of the Subaru and went to bed feeling lighter and happy. I could literally hear the drawers/closets breathing better.

Of all nights, this was the one in which a prowler showed up and decided to not only ransack, but truly eff up the car. They tore through all the bags (and took nothing), strew every paper in the glove compartment around both front and back seats, dumped half a cup of coffee all over the driver's side and left the door open, which thankfully didn't drain the battery. Though not a rare occurrence in our neighborhood, this hadn't happened in months, and I don't think it was coincidence that it happened that night. I put a bunch of junk in my car and a similar energy was drawn to it.

While I won't be implementing every single instruction in this manual, I had found it incredibly helpful on my journey to truly cleaning up. I'd love to hear from you if you've read it, or want to: how "tidying"/purging/etc. has changed your house/parenting/daily cleaning and if there are any related sources you use.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

30 weeks

It's kind of funny how last time I was so offended by strangers exclaiming how scary big I was while people close to me mostly kept silent (out of shock, I think). This time they all know how I feel about it so they're trying to be extra nice (I appreciate it, I do!!) but it's more of a relief when someone admits that yes, I look pretty big and yes, they can't believe I have at least 2 more months to go. Validating, somehow, like I'm not crazy for feeling the same way.

We had a little extra ultrasound check up this week to see how things were going. Fine, I think. More on that later. The first thing the radiologist said when he came in after the scan was, "Well. This is a gigantic baby." This is because there is some debate over my due date (which I do not engage in. I am due February 15th, thankyouverymuch and I will have this child on Jan 30th.) Spartacus asked if he was concerned about it and the radiologist said, "No, I mean, it's really just a matter of how you'll get him out." Ha! Spartacus smirked at me.

I told radiology man that my daughter was huge and it took everything I had not to say "and I had her at home in my living room in 6 hrs. And I didn't tear." Radiologists loooove to overestimate weights. So maybe he weighs 3.5 lbs already like they say. Maybe not. Either way, I'm pretty sure I'm going to push him out.

I can feel the hormones surge because they make me quite impatient but also because they come with more nausea and congestion. Claritin really helps (so I am literally allergic to pregnancy, I mean I am not even kidding) so I continue to take it but that's my only medicine now! Hurray!

I am at that funny stage where my belly button sticks out or in depending on the position of the baby. Both babies liked laying sideways best and only finally turned head down later. We'll see when this guy decides to turn around/down for good. He's got a lot of room in there, still.
Long torso and all.

Olive is so excited. She sleeps every night with both hands on my belly and if things get too raucous in there she'll half wake up and whisper, "is the baby coming"? I tell her no and she goes back to sleep but I don't think there is any way we'll be shipping her off when I go into labor. She already told me she's going to watch him be born no matter what. So so thankful for a special (and nearby) auntie who will come to take care of her on short notice here at the house. Oh, home birth logistics.

Weight gain: 41 lbs. It's funny, I read about and hear from shorter women for whom 40ish lbs was truly unheard of. Women who burst out of their skin having gained half as much as I did in my last pregnancy but I am 5' 10" and there's more space to put it! I fully realize that 40 lb on a woman who is 5' is just like 80 on me. But it still feels like a lot! My joints notice. My poor hips. At 34 weeks I will know if I am still behind where I was last time on weight gain so we'll see. Anything can happen in a month!

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: the little ones

Man, kids are easier than grown men. This guide is preschooler-age heavy because that's what I happen to have right now, but things that have held our attention for ages are marked where appropriate.

1 // plastic animals $16.09/set of 60
We loooove us some plastic animals. They're Olive's cars, for those of you with a thousand matchbox cars: that you find all over the the house, that get tucked into a fist or a pocket everywhere you go. The animal collection is extensive.

2 // instruments: a ukelele $40 or a piano $54.99
An instrument (especially a less annoying sounding one - please no drums or whistles) will be loved forever and can be passed down from sibling to sibling.

3 // dress up for boys or girls $20 by woman/mama small business owner, bekah
Dress up! So fun! Especially if you can steer it away from Elsa dresses!

4 // magnatiles $51.50
MAGNATILES. Magnatiles are amazing. For a child who loathes playing alone, magnatiles will entertain Olive for a surprising amount of time. They are a little pricey but so worth it.

5 // vintage fisher price: 
Ah, nostalgia. We actually have a few of these that are truly vintage found at the Goodwill, but Fisher Price re-released some of their oldies but goodies so you can hop over to Amazon and get any of them right when you want 'em.

6 // kinetic sand $17.82
Kinetic sand is my favorite thing on this list. It's so simple, but really fun. And it will be awesome to play with together, because it's fun for kids and adults. Magnetized sand that sort of sticks together. Who would have thought?

I mean, none of you are going to buy these but aren't they gorgeous?

Olive has this and can turn it on whenever she wants to listen to the radio or grab an iPhone and plug it into the cord to listen to Frozen. In her own room. Plus you can take it to the beach!

honorable mentions:
and also...

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I love holiday cards. They are one of my favorite things about this time of year. I love receiving cards from people I don't get to see that much and to getting to look at how much their baby has grown/how their freshly pregnant belly looks/that he grew a beard/whatever. I also love getting cards from the lady friends I see every day - which photo they picked from the shoot, whether or not the dog made the card.

The thing about scheduling this whole thing is that it's just nearly impossible for us. We've managed a few years. But whenever I actually get a professional photographer locked down, the timing of Spartacus' commitments at work will change, Olive gets sick the day before, the light is bad because it's so overcast. It could be a million things.

And this year, I'm not gonna lie, I'm just not that pumped about being photographed at 7+ months pregnant. So, like last year, it will be just our girl on the holiday card, which kinda feels like cheating, but it is what it is.

Without further ado, the extras!

As always, the photo credit goes to my dad - thanks, dad for standing outside in the cold and trying to get her/us to pose.

Do you send holiday cards? Who do you use? I love Pear Tree Greetings and Pinhole Press for the design choices and how clean they come out looking, but every year I usually go with whoever sent me the biggest discount card in the mail.