7.24.2014

currently - stomp the yard for Loretta and the potty - link up


The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: watching, searching, missing, growing, ignoring

This week I have been Watching Under the Dome, Loretta pooping and peeing IN THE TOILET, and Otto starting Tiny Tigers martial arts classes. I don't know which one gives me more joy. I get to eat jalapeno poppers and let the roller coaster of stupidity adventure wash over me on our weekly date night in with UTD but the other two legit made me cry. I kind of cried with frustration because poop... everywhere in Loretta's situation (we've also done loads of stomp-the-yard happy dances for little miss, she's so proud!) but the karate crying was just idk, happy pride or something purely mommish.

I'm currently Searching for a spectacular power boost. Where is it? I have a big project in my mind, like a life-direction-changing idea that I want to pursue and at the same time it's like I barely have energy to stay awake past the kids' bedtime each night so I'm just looking for that golden moment of energy where I can stay up late, lay down plans, and kick this thing off. Part of me wonders if the sudden chronic fatigue isn't me avoiding taking a risk. But I honestly think it's more that my energy's drained from a stupid-busy schedule, warm weather, angsty small fry chaos'ing up each day, poop... everywhere, and  also avoiding taking a risk :)

We haven't been Missing much. Summers are great for spending time together, outside, with our pupils nicely contracted by sunshine, and our poor white Oregon skin getting warmed by the sun. In Summer! We may be missing super well-rounded meals since eating all meals on the blanket out back is a big priority these days.

Otto has been Growing more and more impatient with his sister's antics. She juggernauts her way through life in a way that he can't relate to and she wrecks his stuff, which isn't fair. I so get it, little dude. But it's also cool for me as his mom to see how he copes, because when she goes nutso, Otto is old enough to give us a side-eye and laugh. And he also has a natural instinct to lead by example and be a patient teacher to her, at least when wrecking his stuff isn't involved. He makes me very proud.

In the spirit of enjoying life, loving yourself, getting over yourself, and all that business, this weekend I was Ignoring that I don't look like a 22 year old Victoria's Secret super model and did this thing I've only recently found myself doing. I wore shorts in public. And it was fine. No one looked at me and threw up. One little peanut did photobomb a "we love cutoffs and homely shoes!" picture taking moment for me and Ot though. Ha.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
needing, listening, learning, jumping, building 

7.16.2014

currently - hold me closer, Tony Danza - link up


The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: saving, closing, loving, despising, throwing

This week I have been Saving the lives of some cucumber sprouts from ninja slugs and feeling like a badass about it except... also there is real terror in my heart that those escargot assholes are going to eat my cucumber sprouts before they grow into cucumber vines and produce thousands (hundreds? many tens?) of cucumbers that I can then learn how to pickle and ultimately become a master pickler and give everyone gift pickles for holidays and people will start begging me for my pickles and I'll be all "you'll have to get in line because I can't even keep up with the pickle demand."

Like a real weirdo, I've been pitching small, sprout-protecting tents homemade out of mesh fabric, sticks, toothpicks, and other supplies to create a safe place in the dirt for the sprouts to grow, get sun and water, and not get their sweet little leaves eaten by sonsabidge slugs. The sprouts were thriving and all was well until last night - it looks like a slug crawled ON the tents and ate some of the leaves through the mesh. WTF slug. The tents have been reinforced and I have a mind to "go slugging" which I hear is putting a headlamp on and crawling around your yard in the dark murdering slugs.

I kind of want to.

And is it gross to tell you that I cut a slug up with scissors this week? ::looks around::

Anywho! This week Loretta has been stripping naked, grabbing a book, and settling down on her potty to go potty. No success yet beyond a mystery poop that was kind of out of the blue last week. This whole reading on the pot thing is cute as heck. Except she has been Closing the bathroom door to do her business. This is not a child who should be alone in a room with a magic-all-the-things-disappearer (aka toilet, aka jingle handle joy machine) and she thinks it's hilarious that if she closes the door we come and open it, every time, again and again and again. Parents are hilarious monkeys! Be potty trained already, girlfriend.

Loretta has also been Loving that we started her in ballet. You guys.


Otto was Despising his poor sweaty neck under that massive pile of head hair he has so we went and got him a compromise haircut. The compromise is that he wants long hair and we don't want his summer eczema to go off the rails. So it's a little shorter and shaved underneath, but still longish. He kind of looks like Ted Theodore Logan meets Kurt Cobain meets a really sweet little french girl. It's cute.

In addition to Throwing Loretta into ballet class (too much of a stretch? I'm going with it) we're also throwing both kids into swim lessons starting next month and throwing Otto into martial arts classes next week. I'm throwing myself a party for getting all of these arrangements coordinated and figuring out schedules and budgets and all the details and crap that were so overwhelming it seriously took me over a month to get around to getting it all together. ::throws confetti::

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
watching, searching, missing, growing, ignoring 

7.09.2014

currently - link up


The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: celebrating, growing, playing, setting, feeling

This week we were Celebrating times with the best of friends. We were lucky enough to spend our FOUR DAY WEEKEND HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA ALL OVER TOWN with some people we've known and loved since we were kids ourselves. Sure, for some of you, that's no big deal and you can say, "pish" and stroll to your best friends' houses any day of the week to watch CSI or whatever you do. But we are living in BFE (love ya, Eugene) for a five year stint while Rob's finishing his degree and it's just a really amazing thing when we're able to spend time with, and laugh with, and bask in the radness of our lifelong friends. Some of them are living in Portland, some were visiting Portland, and it just worked out so great this weekend and reminded me that old friends are truly gold.

Here's one to make you not want to make out with me. I have been Growing my armpit hair. Meow, Sailor. Neat right? I know. I'm tempted to leave out the explanation part but I probably ought to. It's not because I'm becoming European or getting really into barefoot hiking or anything interesting like that. I made the mistake of putting lavender extract in my homemade deodorant and it gave me a rash. Until my sensitive pits feel like a million bucks again I'm not harassing them with a razor. Luckily I live in Eugene, Oregon (high profile city in my post this week for some reason) a town where people free run in their underwear and white person dreadlocks are like a thing, and so I'm in a good place to blitz out with my pitz out while coming down off an armpit rash.

Otto and Loretta have been Playing in the back yard every single day. Sunshine, popsicles, and a hose with a sprayer attachment. That's all kids really need. It's been all kinds of magic.

I have been Setting aside me time to read Gone Feral by Novella Carpenter and loving every second of it. I was so excited when I found out she was publishing again... and I'm already getting sad about the fact that I'll have read the whole thing by this weekend.

As a family, we have been Feeling very appreciative of summer weather, summer schedules, and each other. It's beyond nice that the more time Otto gets to spend with us the more time he wants to spend with us. In the mornings this week he's been begging me to draw with him, play board games, chit chat. It pretty much tears my guts out that I have to give him just a few minutes of time or take a raincheck so I can get ready for work. Ugh. But we party in the afternoons and all weekend long. Loretta has become a little puzzle master, though you gotta watch her because she likes to go all rabid maniac on puzzles and fling the pieces everywhere which makes me feel CRAZY. And one thing I'm really excited about that we just started doing together every night is Otto reading to ME at bedtime. I know the years where your kids just really want to hang out with you can be kind of short-lived so I'm just soaking this up and wallowing in it. I love it.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
saving, closing, loving, despising, throwing 

7.05.2014

On Raising a Strong, Beautiful, Girly, Tough, Ragey, Awesome Human

I'm currently raising two future adults. Otto is a boy, which comes with its set of issues, worries, thoughts, and whatever. Loretta is a girl, which comes with its own (I'll admit it, scarier) set of issues, worries, thoughts, and whatever. On top of that they're each super unique individuals. They have their own awesome qualities that blow my mind with their awesomeness. They have their own other qualities that I can only predict will be challenges for them in their lives - and I get to help them explore their awesomeness and learn strength and patience and coping skills and goodness and things like that to overcome hurdles in their lives both internal and external. The point of that little ramble is just to say that I know I'm lucky, and I know I have an important job on my hands, and I take it freaking seriously.

I will always tell Loretta she is beautiful.

A Verizon commercial has been making the rounds recently that got me upset and I couldn't put my finger on why. I guess I like the spirit of this commercial which is, "Don't send the message to your daughters that their hair and clothes are more important than their sense of inquisitiveness." But it felt trite. There, I said it. I want Loretta to be confident in her mind, her strength, and her looks. We're animals, all of us, and when puberty kicks in my daughter's hormones are going to take over her brain and I want her to have a strong foundation to draw on to get her through those years: body, mind, and spirit.

That means more than just blabbering about how pretty she is all day long. It means owning my own beauty. It means honoring the beauty of others in all shapes and sizes. It means a lot of things. Because who knows what Loretta's insecurities will be. Right now she has NONE and that inspires me every day to be bolder, braver, more badass, more myself. When the time comes, I'll be there to help her hold on to that amazing boldness and confidence that are so inherent to her and so beautiful.

I was in a really serious bicycle accident as a child and had a huge, ruddy head scar that glowed in the dark as far as I was concerned. That made me feel like a monster for most of my childhood. I had and if I'm honest, still have, weight issues. I loathe my snaggle-tooth my teeth. My daughter doesn't need to hear about my insecurities. When she's old enough though, I'll talk to her about them honestly. Because hearing that what she may be feeling about her appearance is something all young women go through, and hearing how I overcame my insecurities and learned to really love myself, will help her find that inside voice that says, "this is OK, you're OK, you're amazing in fact."

Loretta loves sparkles, and dress up, and princess crap in a way that I can't even relate to and that's awesome. She also loves smashing mud into her hair and building train tracks and dancing and danger and that's awesome. She can have it all. She gets to inherit the whole world.

The world right now is a little bit garbage though and that makes the tiger mom in me want to come out swinging. And then I don't know what to do about it. I'm frustrated. What can I do? What can we, as adults, do to help shape the world for our kids? Beyond just setting an example in our homes... Beyond teaching sympathy and instilling a love of critical thinking and problem solving and respect... So that our daughters don't have to fight so hard for their basic rights? I don't know the answer. Society is going to have to change. We can change it at home, in all our homes, from the ground up. But we can also change it on the whole, at the governmental level, from the top down. But we will need to make a stink to do that. Me writing this post isn't a stink. Grumbling on Facebook isn't a stink. We'll need to push the change-makers to do some big things and not let bullshit, like the Hobby Lobby ruling, be legal. Because I think we all must know that what happened is illegal. Don't we? It's got to be illegal for my boss' religion to dictate my access to basic health care. Doesn't my religion trump my boss'? It should.

I never thought of myself as a feminist until fairly recently. I co-started a book club for women and women's issues has become something we're talking about every week and it's crazy that the issues keep piling up, keep coming, we never lack for something to talk about. Inequality in the workplace is real. You read about it, you read scientific studies about it, and then you live it. Girls have it different from boys. That will never change no matter how fair the world gets. We're wired differently. Our brains work differently. And the world was built by men, pretty much for men, not necessarily because they were trying to keep women down but because they were in charge and they were building things the man way. And now we all realize women are people too and so the way the world was built needs to be renovated. The people who can't let go of the status quo, and who are fighting FOR inequality, are eventually going to go down in history as the shitbags who slowed down progress. And as the mother to a couple of future adults, I'm going to do what I can at home and as a voice in this big world, to make sure those shitbags get canonized as assholes as quickly as possible.

Loretta is going to have it hard. I hope she always knows that she's powerful. Her voice matters. She's beautiful. She's smart. She's amazing. I hope she has passions so strong she follows them around the world. I hope she becomes the drummer in a band, or a chemical engineer, or the President of the United States, or a painter, or an accountant, or a mom, or a combination of any of those things. I hope she knows joy and is strong and learns great lessons when things get tough. I hope we stay close forever. And I hope I make her as proud as I know she will someday make me.

Forgive this post for its rambling. I said about 1% of the things I thought I might say. This topic is too big and too important. But when things are too big and too important, it's easy to not do a thing about them because they seem immovable. But this isn't immovable. I'm excited to see how much better things will be by the time our sons and daughters inherit the world. And the harder we work and the louder we are about it, the better it will be for them, and then they can make it better still. And the only terrible thing we can do is turn our backs on these issues and pretend everything's great. It can be and will be, we just need to get there.