naps and comfort food

if anyone has been wondering what i've been up to instead of blogging lately, there's the answer. dudes. i think i'm in a funk. a lazy, mayonnaise-framed funk. boo. ::goes and takes a nap::

for reals though, i just can't seem to hit my stride yet. we love it here so far. the food is amaaazing. the weather is amaaaazing. it's gorgeous. we planted edamame and watermelon. Otto loves his new school. Rob and I have gotten back into our work routines. yadda yadda apple pie. yawn.

i've been cooking. a lot. and then sweating off the extra calories by taking really long naps under heavy blankets. like just the other night i made AVOCADO-VLTs (that's Veg-bacon, Lettuce Tomato) with pan-seared corn on the cob. And OMGAvocadoVLT --> wallows in mayonnaise.
this was like the best food porn dinner ever. and it really only took about fifteen minutes to throw it all together. and i mean it's ORGANIC mayonnaise. i get all kinds of healthy "good mom" points for that, right? right??? give me stars!
i found this pan-seared corn on the cob recipe from this month's Parents magazine (here) and i will never use the tinfoil/bake method ever again. for once in my life i followed a recipe exactly and shocka! it turned out amazing and full of flavor and only took about 8 minutes to cook. Otto? ummmm, a fan.
and he busted out with, "do i get to use those corn-eaters?" so of course we'll be using the term "corn-eaters" for the rest of our lives. because duh. you should too.

so that's me, in a nutshell. ugh. totally feeling like a limp lame little noodle. or like a cheetoh puff. SOS, send xanex. whatever, i need a nap.



Mama Steez {stepped out, yo} #2

we actually did a little steppin out in Eugene this weekend. first to the farmers market on saturday (a crazy mob scene, no good pictures were taken, one grubby toddler ran amuck, much amazing produce was snapped up, mucho mucho good foodthings were consumed).

then on sunday to breakfast at Studio 1 where i, ahem, outdid myself. if i do say so! as did Otto with some scrumptious french toast berry explosion plate that he took one bite of and said, "probably we should come back here again." then later on sunday for an evening walk and picnic dinner. it was WARM for like the first time since we moved here, so i pulled out the summeriest thing i could find. here's what i wore...
i'm wearing: onesie (Target), shoulder bag (thrifted), and loafers (Kenzie).
i lerrrve those shoes but egad! on the white legs. s'embarrassing.

anyways.. THAT is how i stepped on (in the hood) this weekend. i can't believe july's almost over. booooo!



the new kitch, unchicken soup, and our new after-din tradition

happy sunday morning to you. i'm so freaking happy it's sunday morning!!!!! i get to "sleep in" today (so of course i'm using my time to do this post) but if feels really chilled out and relaxing. and in about an hour we're all going for a walk to a nearby cafe for breakfast. i'm still having a hard time finding my groove in our new life. i find myself taking thousands of naps and sleeping like 10 hours at night. i think it's all still catching up with me. i keep wanting to post, but then feel so overwhelmed by the idea that i go to bed early instead. it's a hard knock life, yo.

anyways, so here is our new kitchen!
it's teeny, but i think we made it cute and manageable. and my only real complaint is that there is carpet IN THE KITCHEN. What?!! Yep. We ordered this Mad Mat (in a smaller size) to go in there but i still fear the day my butterfingers drop a boiling pot of chocolate pudding or something <-- bound to happen --> doom.

one of the first meals i made our lil fam in the new kitch was my famous unchicken soup. i'm a chicken soup FREAK but the hubs is still a vegetarian (i stopped when i was trying to get pregnant with Otto and feel like someday i'll go back, but since we give Otto chicken and fish regularly, i've found it really hard to deny my chickeny fishy desires). anyways... during my vegetarian days i perfected this recipe for unchicken soup that tastes just like the real deal. no joke. so this was our dinner the other day...
organic carrots and onion from the farmers market ♥
Notes on the above... that Imagine "no chicken" broth is like a miracle! i drool! amazeballs! and i've found after trying lots of products that Quorn nuggets (because they're so dry i think) really soak everything up and make the best unchicken for soups.

after a hearty dinner we set out on our evening walk to the park (which has become a fast tradition already). it's so so so so so so so pretty here and we have this great park less than a half-mile from our house.
so there you have it. this is pretty much what we do after dinner every evening now. and because the local produce here is so killer, i've been inspired to cook fresher, more vegetable-powerhouse type dishes.

ok, off to breakfast. what do you think of the kitchen? too small? or manageable? so far we're making it work but i fear the day i attempt a tofurkey feast! doom.



Oregon Trail 2011

hey guys ♥ ack! sorry for the loooong delay.
since i posted last we loaded our entire house up in a Uhaul (minus an antique dresser my mom kept for me that wouldn't fit, sniff sniff), dropped Otto off with his grandparents for the week, caravaned (rob in Uhaul, me in minivan with seriously unfair farting dog) for 3 days to Oregon, moved into our new house, had my mom fly Otto up to us a couple days later, and then spent the last few days hanging with my mom while getting settled into our new digs. holy sheesh i'm tired.

like crazy stupid tired.

like so tired i felt paralyzed just thinking of writing this post. also i took hardly any pictures of this thing! i'm feeling like a huge womp womp blogger about it all. but i'm determined to get back on track! in the next week or so i'll share more pictures of our new place that's *this* close to all set up already; including Otto's big boy room (it's super cute); and our adorable new neighborhood. for now, though, here's a few pics of the Oregon Trail 2011...
the dream team. my parents, rob's parents, my lil bro, and our brother-in-law all shlepped down to tucson to help us load up. they are awesome!!!
then this was pretty much the view for a day and a half. yawn.
then, as we drove norther (a word!) up california, things started to get greener and leafier...
we stopped for dinner at Grilla Bites organic restaurant in Redding, CA and omgggg.
mushroooom graaaaaavy. mmmmmmm... also, they had a huge rube goldberg on the wall that we got to do for a quarter. neat!
then the next day a lil more of this...
now quite prettier, eh? and then around 1pm on wednesday we pulled into our new driveway!

and i haven't taken a single picture since! because i've been busy unpacking, yo. and also just feeling slightly out of my groove still. oregon is gorgeous and i think we're going to love it here. but i think i have a little ptsd going on right now. and it's taken a lot of energy to keep Otto comfortable with all the changes. dudes, i'm pooped. and that means tired. so i'm gonna tuck into a coffee cup of blueberry cheesecake icecream and then snooze now. i'll try to post more tomorrow. xo!



pottery with friends {world's awesomest tow-mater}

kate and zora are our across-the-street neighbors and some of our best friends. so kate and i thought it would be nice to take Ot and Zora for a big sha-BANG outing before we leave for oregon (omg we're leaving this sunday, omgomgomg). so last week we headed to the ceramics painting place in the mall after a nice dinner of too much gelato.
it was so awesome to see the kids get into painting their projects. also, sort of a psychology study to watch kate and i try to structure the painting and add our own touches to the ceramics. PSHAW said the kiddos. structure is for suits and bores! eat more bubbletape!
well, actually, the lovely Zora did a pretty immaculate job of polka-dotting her teapot with kate. Otto, on the other hand, was teaching mommy a lesson about "letting go of control"...
me: must make tires perfect...
otto: must not rinse brush before switching colors...
seriously ugly children. right? anyways, we had a blast...

so today we got to go pick up the finished pieces! Otto's mater bank was comin' home, dad gum!
but first, more gelato and a ride in the kiddie roach coach! because obvi.

::drumroll:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: and now. i give you ::drumroll again:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
the. WORLD'S. AWESOMEST. TOW-MATER! (with perfect tires)

hurray for kids!



preschool penpals ♥

friday will be Otto's last day at his pre-school. boooooo. we have had such an amazing experience since he first became a part of this school and Otto has grown as a socialite, intellectual, adventurer, artist, and friend.
he just loves it there. and loves his little friends there so much that he even insists on incorporating them into our bedtime routine. at night, every night, we sing the Batman song but instead of "dun nuh nuh nuh bat-maaaan" we sing different names of Otto's friends at school. it's so sweet and funny. and just shows how much Otto's playmates mean to him.
so... one idea i had to help Otto transition as we move several states away was to invite the kids in his class to become pen-pals with Otto. but i wanted to do it in a way that really encouraged them to do so (not just, hey write me a letter) especially as we aren't particularly close to any of the parents of the kiddos in Ot's class. but Otto is so very close to the kids themselves. so i put together these little envelopes, one for each child in Ot's class...
letter co-written by yours truly and the Ottster himself.

see, they're already pre-addressed and stamped! talk about guilt-factor (haha) if at least a few of the kids don't write to us i'll become a huge misanthrope forevermore. anyways, someone better!

so each envelope will have a little letter from Otto paperclipped to it, and will be put in the kids' mailboxes at school on friday. this way, Otto can share stories and pictures of Oregon with his Tucson friends and vice versa, he can keep in touch with his Tucson playmates and their goings-on. i'm really excited about this and hope it works out!

Ot even got in on the action by decorating some of the envelopes. stamp much? :)

he's surely going to miss his preschool here in Tucson a lot. and i know that's just one of a bazillion adjustments we're asking him to make with this move. my job (i feel) is just to make the transition as easy and fun as i can for him. to instill a spirit of adventure and excitement into the move. and this pen-pal idea seemed really fun to me. hopefully we can keep this smile on my kiddo's face throughout the transition to our new city/state. cuz it's such a freakin cute smile...


everything is all over the place...

including my brain right now. we're at t-minus 7 days til the big move and it's really cock-blocking my blogging! house is a mess and unphotographable times 10. i'm hardly doing anything amazing with Otto anyways, just trying to keep him distracted and fed while we sort, clean, and pack up five years worth of everything.

well this afternoon we did make it out of the house to go paint pottery with my friend/neighbor Kate (we are each the Ethel to the other's Lucy) and her little girl, Zora. Kate took some great pics of that which i WILL post on here, i WILL! sometime soon. Ot's piggy bank broke yesterday so he and i teamed up to co-paint a new one: TowMater. oh boy.

so i hope everyone is having awesome long weekends. happy Canada Day and 4th of July weekend! i hope everyone is eating as much gelato as this mama and wishing you all beer, corn chips, and naps!



we'll all float on, all right.

i read (i think when i was pregnant with Otto) about this mom who - every day at the end of the day - had a conversation with her five year old about their favorite and least favorite thing that happened that day. the exercise allowed her to reflect on her child's perception of the day, relive and appreciate the joys, and address any outstanding grievances. ever since i read this little article the concept just stuck with me. it really clicked. i think Ot's a little too young at 2 1/2 to benefit much from airing his grievances (which would likely be whatever made him most sour within the previous five minutes, anyway). but i do like to reflect back on the day with him at bedtime each evening and talk about the favorite moments.
guys, this move is making me emo! anyways, today was just so full of favorite moments for me that i wanted to put them all down. even though Otto and i skipped our talk tonight as he'd stayed up a little late picnic'ing with us in the living room and watching the Clifford movie we rented.
first favorite moment... i woke up thinking of the new camera (that's not an affiliate link, just a link) i purchased last night with my birthday money that will be coming sometime next week. i can't wait! i'm going to make out with this beauty daily. yay! ♥

second favorite moment... i found out while at work today that one of my closest friends gave birth to a healthy baby girl this morning. after work i went with another friend to visit mama, baby, and doting family at the Tucson birth center (where Otto was born, though they moved to a different space recently). holding and beholding that sweet, perfect little lady reminded me that no matter how crazy things get, there is peace and beauty wherever you look, if you just remember to look (which i sometimes forget to do) ♥

third favorite moment... after i got home from the birth center, my little family headed out to pick out a tame-enough-for-my-coddled-toddler video and treat ourselves to a picnic of Whole Foods deli items. at home we sat on a towel in the living room and ate hummus, sushi, ricepaper spring rolls, italian corn-on-the-cob, peaches, and a fruit tart while watching. mama also indulged in an orange blossom cream ale (holy shit). Otto sang and danced through it all, singing "i. ammmmm. watching. myyyyy. mooo-veeeee" over the songs ♥

another awesome favorite moment... during bedtime Rob put on "Float On" and strummed along on guitar. we all did a big dance party and sang along, dancing, with Otto dancing with his favorite bear. it was too good. we did it again. that's right, two times dance party!

do you guys do anything like this? remembering the best of each day? it's really therapy for me. focusing on the good stuff kind of puts the rest of stuff in your peripheral vision, at least for a while. especially since personality-wise i'm often super inclined to focus on the challenges and frustrations. me <-- a really worry wart. it's honestly why i do this blog, in a lot of ways, to capture and reflect on all the things that make me happy. to honor my son and my family, who are sources of daily joy even if i'm sour lemons by the end of the day.