Recent Instagram Pics

Some recent pics of the kiddos from Instagram. Including scootering for Ot (his new favorite thing). Army crawls for Miss Loretta. So many smiles and other silly faces.  

This week is sure to be a busy one! Halloween just a couple of days away, oh boy. Otto is going as The Incredible Hulk. Loretta will be my baby chicken. And then the PNW Blogger Meetup this Saturday. I need to pack a suitcase but am having wardrobe sadness. Maybe a trip to Buffalo Exchange is in order? And DSW? I hope I can find the time!

Is everyone ready for Halloween? What do you do if both of you parents want to go trick or treating with the kids? I think we are going to just both go and then tuck a candy bowl on the porch with a little sign, "please take one." so that we can both go. I don't want to miss a second of it! Even if some greedy kid comes along and steals the lot. That's a risk I'm willing to take. Risky aren't we? What are your Halloween plans?


A Tale of Two Boobies

My boobs have been giving me a lot of trouble lately. You see, I have a real go-getter and a freaking slacker hanging out on my chest. A student class president (Reese Witherspoon style) on the right, screaming, "look at me! i am the most active awesomest boob ever! vote for me!!!" And then a pothead on the left, taking a nap, almost always. And honestly, I hate them.
It's hard to hate these boobs that are such a huge and important part of my life these days, with nursing and pumping every single day, around the clock. And I do hate them. I hate how they make me feel even more awkward in my already awkward post-pregnancy body. I hate that they're not perky or even a matching set. I hate how I look in a tshirt. I hate that they're unreliable still, at almost eight months post partum. I leak almost every day. I can't rely on them when I need to pump to have enough milk, although sometimes it's like Whoa! The left one is like a sad little pancake looking down at my belly button. The right one likes to Hulk out halfway through the day and peek out of my bra to say hello.
And that is pretty much my story. I have been sick this past week with some kind of stomach bug that's going around and I think it dehydrated me in a weird way so that my always-annoying boobs have been each doing their thing to the extreme. I'll sit down to pump in the morning (I usually pump from about 5am to 6am while watching Morning Joe & VH1 <--- ways to know you are getting old, haha) and usually get 1-2 ounces out of the left guy, and then 6-10 ounces out of the right. So uneven. 

A few days this week the right one threatened to not come through, I think because of the dehydration, and I felt the worst kind of panic. What would I do if I couldn't pump enough? Like really, how would I feed my daughter???!!! I drank organic mother's milk tea and even though I was totally feeling yuck, I guzzled water and orange juice and ate handfuls of raw almonds. So far we've powered through but it hasn't been fun at all.

Boobs really aren't fun at all. 

I never wanted big boobs. I reallllly never wanted one quitter and one giant boob. But I do expect that if I have to walk around with these droopy, heavy globs on my chest every day that when I need them they'll come through for me. And this week when they kind of haven't, I've just been all kinds of resentful. I can be happy with two uneven, sloppy, leaky, annoying boobs that are at the end of the day doing their job and feeding Loretta. But two uneven, sloppy, leaky, annoying boobs that are holding out? It kind of equaled instant depression. 

As of this morning we seem to be back on track, thank goodness. And down the road when Loretta is no longer nursing, I know I'll look back on this time through rosy shades and miss it a lot. Because there are things I really love about nursing her. But I just thought I'd take a moment to air my grievances with my stupid boobs. Call it Festivus of Boobs. Right boob wins at feats of strength :)

Anyways, I just wanted to share. If you have mismatched or unreliable boobs, you are not alone! 

This weekend we are looking forward to a really fun couple days of farm visits, pumpkin choosing, carving, and mellow family hangouts. Me, my family, and my stupid boobs. Next weekend is the Pacific Northwest Blogger meetup! I'm nervous and scared and excited about that jam! 



Watching Otto grow up more and more each day can be a bittersweet pill, for sure. I wish I had the power to freeze time just about every day. For Loretta too. This little lady is army crawling her way around town, sitting up, eating with so much gusto it's kind of funny. It seriously amazes me how quickly they learn new things, grow, change. It's awesome and amazing and I love it and I hate it, because stop it! Stop it already babies! Slow your rolls anyways. Sheesh.

One thing I'm loving so much about this nearly-4-years old (what?!) stage with Otto is that we are legitimately playing board games. Like he beats me at Uno ALL THE TIME and plays Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders and Crazy 8s with mad skillz. It's awesome. This is a boardgame'a'playin family so it's pretty thrilling to know the kid got that competitive thinker gene. Loretta likes to eat the cards ;)

I wish I could hold onto every day forever. Thank goodness for this blog. I find myself going back to older posts more and more and reliving some of the happiest little moments. Boggling at how quickly they've grown. Cooing at pictures of them as teenier versions of themselves. This really is my baby book. It may not have all the weights and measures, but it has all the things that have made raising these two amazing people so special.

Ok, now go look at a newborn giraffe (you know you can't stop either!) http://www.earthcam.com/usa/southcarolina/greenville/


Home Tour: Our Living Room (Halloween Edition)

I'm sitting here on a Sunday afternoon sipping a bourbon-spiked hot cider while both of the munchkins are napping AT THE SAME TIME upstairs. Has life turned a super duper corner of amazingness? Le sigh! I hope so because a lady who wears her houseslippers as shoes to CostCo (shut up they look like Uggs and I wear them to work sometimes too, shhhhh) <-- that classy lady could really get used to this.

Our soup party slash housewarming yesterday was so fun. I made three great soups and they were all hugely popular. Here are links to the recipes I used, in order of their popularity...

Rainy Day Lentil Soup (the balsamic splash is the secret to taking this from great to afreakingmaaaaazing)
Tarragon Chicken w/ Wild Rice and Mushrooms (this was my fave, for the record)
Classic Broccoli Cheddar (a fantastic recipe using real cheese that's super easy. the only change I made was using vegetable broth instead of chicken stock so my veggie friends could enjoy and it still tasted amazing)

Like a pud, I totally failed to take pictures at the party. But this morning we woke up super bright and early to tidy up and put up our Halloween decorations. I've been wanting to share some pictures of our new house here so badly, but up until yesterday it really wasn't in any shape to be throwing pictures up. Now though the only thing we still need to do is put the family photographs up on the walls. Family pics are my favorite, favorite way to decorate every wall so right now it feels a little in need of some smiling familiar faces, but otherwise we are settling in nicely. Here is a little tour of our living room...

We were lucky enough to find our green chair and vintage sofa on the same day at a little independent thrift store here in town on 50% off day. We snapped them both up for $100 total and they suit us just great. One day I'd really love this sofa or one like it, someday, but for $50 for now I am happy with our current sofa.

With all of the crazy in my life lately, I'm just really loving all of the white in our house. I love how open, bright, and uncluttered it is in this new home! Even though I do want to hang up some photographs, beyond that I really don't have any plans to fill the space further. It is calm, bright, and pretty. In fact, every day I find things that we just don't need and we've been donating like crazy ever since we moved in. And I can't emphasize enough just how lucky we are to have finally gotten into the student housing program at UO! It will be a sad day when Rob graduates and we have to downgrade to a worse place that is more expensive - honestly I may stage a sit in because I really never want to move again. I think next time we will pack a suitcase or two with the things we can't live without (computers, photo albums) and then open up the entire house estate-sale style just to avoid moving things from here to there. We did that once when we moved from New York City to Tucson and loved moving that way. But I go on...

All of our Halloween decorations are either homemade or purchased at 80% off clearance during previous years. After every holiday I like to visit Target and scrounge around for really inexpensive decorations. My mom always went to town decorating for the holidays and I just loved it as a kid, so even though I'm not much of a decorations person myself, I'm making a point of doing the holidays for Ot and Et so they have that experience growing up like I did.

I hope you all are having great autumn weekends! I love seeing everyone's farm and pumpkin patch pictures! We are hoping to get out to a farm next weekend and I'm already looking forward to it.

Ok, Imma go make out with this spiked cider a little more before the munchkins wake up. xo


File This One Under Marshmallow Crafts

Here is a cheap and fun and easy craft project for the toddlers. It is amazing.

All you need is a bag of marshmallows (we used Halloween mallows) and a box of toothpicks. Hours, and I am talking hours, of fun and all for about $3. There's no beating it! You will have to be on your guard against sneaky little marshmallow gobblers, but other than that, the bird's the word!

How ready are we all for the weekend?!?! I can't even talk about it. So ready. We are having a little soup gathering slash housewarming thing tomorrow which means we are forced to finally clean up the place enough for guests. I'm hoping to finally take some pictures to share of our new house. It's really great, just still covered in half-unpacked boxes and other daily litter and all of the framed pictures are in stacks on the ground instead of nailed to the walls. Hopefully we can bust out some decorating and cleaning tomorrow morning before I get heavy into soup cooking.

Soup is the best thing on the planet. Especially now that it's chilly outside. Makes me want to bust out into some kind of song about eating soup on a Saturday with a beer in one hand and slippers on my feet! A rap song, obviously.



Wordless(ish) | Cool Robot Moves at Voodoo Donuts

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and encouragement about the previous post. Things have blown over better than I could have hoped. Otto brought K's gift to school where they opened it together as part of Monday sharing time. Ot felt like a star in that moment. And the two buddies have moved onto cooler things like marshmallow sculptures (post on this coming soon). I still feel like an asshat but am just so relieved that Ot didn't end up feeling too left out or disappointed. I got off easy this time. Lesson learned!

So we went to Voodoo Donuts (Doughnuts?) and there was a pinball machine and a Cap'n Crunch donut (doughnut?) and donut-anticipation robot dancing and things got more than a little goofy...


I Really Screwed Up and Otto Doesn't Even Know It

This guy is the best guy... he deserves the world.
Like he is amazing and I never want to let him down. And I think I really did and I hope he just erases it from his 3 3/4 year old little brain. Don't let this be one of those things that he holds onto.

And he does actually know that I screwed up kinda. I just don't know if he's going to realize how badly I screwed up. See, yesterday Otto's best school friend (Otto idolizes this little guy) had his birthday party and we didn't make it. We missed the party. We totally missed the party. Like we RSVP'd, we picked out a thoughtful gift, we got a card, we (Rob and I) looked into each other's eyes and said, "this party is happening at this time and place and we will be attending," and then, for a lot of reasons none of which were real reasons, we just didn't get there in time. And so Otto didn't get to attend this party that a lot of his school friends were at; he didn't get to celebrate and play and share in this awesome experience with his buddy, and I just hope it doesn't turn into a big deal when he goes to school tomorrow because ugh. Ugggggggh.

As a person who is both a human and a parent, I know I remember certain let downs from my childhood in a way that is borderline ridiculous. So what do I do here? I want to acknowledge to Otto that I really screwed up and that I'm really really sorry and that it won't happen again because we'll make sure to never let it happen again. Or maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill? Somewhere inside of my brain I also realize that we missed a birthday party we should have gone to and wanted to go to and life will go on and... but no, that isn't the point to me. I don't want Otto to feel left out tomorrow when the kids are talking about the party. I don't want him to feel bad for not going to a party that was top priority on his list. I feel like I seriously blew it and there's not a way to fix it and I suck. Like I suck, period, I'm so sorry kiddo because you don't suck and I do and I blew this for you and then just crying in the dark :(

I feel like my time management skills these days are stretched way past their capacity. Like I need to definitely (and I definitely will) re-implement the old paper & sharpie family calendar that used to be a fixture in our kitchen pre-move. My brain can't handle basic things like a 3-item shopping list or moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer in time to avoid stinky mildew... I'm just totally overwhelmed by it all, lately. I feel like I need to clear a lot of excess out of my life and I'm paralyzed as to how to do so or what can go. And I feel like I wake up with barely a handle on each and every day and if everything goes swimmingly then we march onto the next day just as strung-thin and wild-eyed as today but if anything goes wrong, or anything unexpected comes up, I just can't even cope. I give up. I say, in a really nice voice, "OK, we are officially playing Uno all day until dinnertime when I will order a pizza and not do laundry." And that tactic has gotten me through for a while, but blech.

I don't even have an answer. I just hope Otto knows how bad I feel. I hope the kids don't make him feel left out tomorrow. I hope he knows how much I love him more than anything in the world, even when I accidentally suck so bad as a parent and let him down. Future Ot, if you're reading this, I would never let you down on purpose. I love you so much. I hope you're feeling confident, and well-rounded, and know how much you're loved.


007 For My Dad

I heard this on the radio yesterday on the way to work and instantly knew, "THIS is the new Bond song." Also instant knowledge: "I will be singing loudly to this often." I mean Adele songs, you just know this stuff. Then I instantly thought of my dad and smiled big. Happy Friday, Dad! I bet you will be first in line for tickets whenever Skyfall comes out!

Some guys are heavy into football, or barbecue, or tools... but my dad was always a Bond man. We saw every single Bond movie many many many MANY times growing up. We spent hours recording them off of cable whenever they did marathons (trying not to record commercials - do you remember this?) and we ended up with an almost complete poor man's VHS collection that way.

And I can't hear those classic notes that make up the Bond song or see Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig without thinking of my dad.

Plus this song is really good. So TGIF Dad and TGIF friends. Hope you're all carving pumpkins, making costumers, visiting farms, and drinking warm beverages this fine October weekend! xo


Coupla Characters

I know I would love my kids to the ends of the earth and back even if they were genteel and quiet little things, but I'll never have to worry about that with these two. They make my heart sing so loud.

I'm getting all geared up to take Loretta on her first airplane ride. We'll be going to Las Vegas early Sunday morning, just the two of us. I'm planning to go "all in" with her at some point and put her on the blackjack table :) But really it's for a work trip and my wonderful Mother in Law who is SO WONDERFUL is flying into Vegas from Phoenix to babysit for those couple of days. Can you believe that? Did I mention how wonderful this Nana is? Ridic.

So.... I'm feeling a little weird about this trip. Leaving Otto (and my hubs) behind is never fun for me. I'm also just not feeling so very hot these days, so prancing around at a tradeshow, meeting new people, is more intimidating when you're feeling less than A-game. Not like I'm prancing around in a bikini, just business casual (<-- came in the mail yesterday), but still, me = feeling meh. Meh all over myself! Ugh. Which brings to mind this article that I read yesterday and shared on Twitter and FB and I'm just going to share it again here because it rung so true in my head, brought tears to my eyes, and I think it's a reminder to all us moms who, let's face it, most of us don't feel too comfortable in our skin these days. Read this, you'll feel a little empowered and fall a little in love with a nice mom of 4 who took some great photobooth pics with her 5 year old on a day when she wasn't feeling it either and also hopefully you'll fall a little in love with yourself.

I love all of you guys. Sometimes so much it weirds me out. Thanks for stopping by and being there for me in the scarce minutes a day I have to socialize and bond and laugh and share with friends. It's emo post Friday, haha 

ps. We just turned our heat on this morning. Fall has landed. Egad!


Cleaning up this hot mess

This blog, like all of my hobbies, was entered into with little know-how, half a plan, visions of sugarplums, and more enthusiasm than talent... Two years later I'm rocking a crazy quilt of a blog that I love dearly, but also wish regularly was tidier, prettier, more badass, more "me". I've decided to clean up this place. I'm going to do it myself because over the past two years I've learned just enough html to be dangerous! The first step is this new header (now hovering up top there) which will soon (hopefully) be made even more pretty by some original artwork from my sweet husband. 

I just want this place to be like my favorite outfit. Something I can look at every day and feel awesome in. I want this place to be my boyfriend jeans.