currently {link up} that week between Christmas and New Year's

I can't believe it's already post-Christmas and in two days we'll be heading back to Oregon. A couple of days after that my Otto turns 4 years old! He's a New Year's Baby which is one of about ten bazillion things that makes him special and amazing. Anyways just a few more days of milestone moments and then it's snap, back to reality. I don't know if I'm ready for reality again.

Soooo... I seriously overestimated the amount of sleep and relaxation I would get on this trip. But I underestimated the amount of fun. It's been so amazing. Especially seeing Otto and Etta enjoy grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. These kids are getting spoiled, yo, but I don't even care. We'll be sure to unspoil them once we're home. In the mean time, they are soaking up the love and I am just wishing we lived a little closer to the people who mean the most in the world to us.

Currently is a weekly link-up hosted by the lovely Randalin of Harvesting Kale and I am super excited to be co-hosting the series with her. I hope that you can participate by writing your own Currently post (using the provided themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. This week, around these parts, we have been...

Obsessing over the coming New Year and all the things I want to do with it. 2013 is going to be the year to beat! I'm going to make sure of it! Will try to get a post up before New Year's with a detailed list of all the changes I'd like to make. Mind, Body, Soul, and Wallet need revamping and how!

Looking a hot mess. I packed 3 shirts for a 2 week vacation because I was romancing the idea of minimalism. I have been rethinking this decision since, oh, about day #4. Also, Loretta has been on another "sleeping at night is for losers" bender, which means I've been up at all hours and then up for the day around 4am the last few days. No bueno. No bueno de todo (does not speak a lick of Spanish, clearly). I guess in another interpretation of the word, I have been looking forward to our annual date night, which is tonight! Django Unchained! Popcorn! Let's do this.

Improving not at all, but I have big improvement plans that I am SUPER EXCITED ABOUT and I feel like launching them on January 1 will have a lot of meaning.

Learning that my kids are really as awesome as I think they are. Spending this amount of time with them, morning, noon, and night for the past couple of weeks has been nothing short of the best. Best!

Remembering that I haven't lived in my parents' house for years and almost nothing is the same. I can't find a damn spoon to save my life! Where is the lotion? How do you use the remote? Ok, at least tell me where's the Bailey's? Also remembering being a kid. Otto hid today by squishing his body into an open corner as tiny as he could make himself. I remember hiding under a blanket once and concentrating my everything on being so flat and small that no one would see me under there. Kid brains are awesome.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes:
wishing, thinking, cooking, drinking, working



Merry Christmas Etta Style

From our family to yours, Happy Christmas! Hope your days are filled with good food, warm drinks, friends, family, and love. Hug your grouchy babies. Otto (off camera playing with dinosaur toys) says, "rarrrr! Are you a humannnn? I will eat you!" He also told us that all dinosaurs died inside museums millions of years before people came along and found their bones there. Natural Science lessons, by Otto, are the best. Merry day! -Lindsey


currently {link up} zoo lights magic

 one super cool monkey
 two sweet monkeys
best buds = cousins with great sparkly rings

Coming at you live from sun shiny Mesa, Arizona, my home town. We are so happy to be enjoying the holidays this year with our very much missed families. Goodbye snowy Oregon in December, we choose to Festivus in Phoenix where the tamales flow like wine and our poor papery skin is catching a little vitamin D the old fashioned way. Both my and Rob's families are from the valley of the sun, so we have so many loved ones here and we are totally happy to let them spoil our kids this holiday. Nanas! Papas! Aunts! Uncles! (and super hurray!) Cousins!

Currently is a weekly link-up hosted by the lovely Randalin of Harvesting Kale and I am super excited to be co-hosting the series with her. I hope that you can participate by writing your own Currently post (using the provided themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. This week, around these parts, we have been...

Wearing my baby and some ill-fitting mom jeans. Hello ladies (or gents if there are any who read this and who knows) let me tell you I have known that I need to get this body of mine in gear for a while now but here I am at 9+ months postpartum and I think I'm ready to commit to this thing. That is all I have to say about that.

Playing and laughing and reading and puzzling and giggling and snuggling and all kinds of living it up with my kids. The first best thing about being on vacation is getting to spend real leisure time with my kids for days and days in a row from morning to night. The second best thing is sleep.

Baking NOPE haha. I AM on the hunt for some legit tamales for Christmas Eve though. Important.

Making really great Christmas memories. Is that too corny to say out loud? I'm just really happy to be spending this time in Arizona.

Singing "All I Want for Christmas is You" and that Ne-Yo song that's all, "and I will love you... until you learn... to love yourself... let me love you." I don't know. I just listen to whatever's on. Those two have been stuck at the top of my head all week. Good stuff.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes:
obsessing, looking, improving, learning, remembering  



nine months old - five tooth magoo

It's with disbelief and joy that I celebrate my little charmer's nine month birthday. She has tackled so many new skills lately that I hardly know where to begin. She wants so badly to run with the bulls (and by bulls I mean Otto, which is kind of hilarious, because he's definitely a bull of the Ferdinand variety, such a sweet heart) anyways she wants to walk, she wants to run, she wants to knock down all the things.

She went from sitting to crawling to pulling herself up to standing within a couple weeks and now we really can't keep her down. She wants us to hold her so she can practice walking all the time (ALL. THE. TIME.) and if I try to sit her down she "planks" so that I have to help her stand (so stubborn already!). I love her spirit and tenacity. I love that she's a mess of a girl, hardly dainty at all, she's a life force and we all just get to sit back and watch that force take over our home.

She eats little semi solid things like steamed sweet potato, irish oatmeal, avocado, and yogurt melts. She says "ma ma ma!" whenever you ask her to and all kinds of other declarations with less regularity. She waves "hi" and knows the signs for "eat" and "more".

She is beautiful and sweet and perfect. I love her so much.

The events of last week are haunting me as I'm sure they are haunting all of you. I can't stop thinking about those babies and their families. Our hearts are broken and I feel helpless. I want to fix this and don't know how. If I knew how I would do it. If there was a way to know who these evil people are ahead of time, I would destroy them before they could act. I would. I hate that there seems to be a war on people just because they are people, going about their lives, raising their children, innocently chasing their dreams. It's devastating and it scares me to my core... and I guess all we can do is not forget. Hold our babies close. Hug them and love them and cherish every second. And teach them to be empathetic, caring, respectful beings. As we all should be to each other.


currently {link up}

Loretta has four freaking teeth all coming in at the same time and she ain't happy. And as a painted piece of wood on my mom's kitchen wall once declared, "when mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy." Otto, my little ray of happy go lucky knows a loose cannon when he sees one, so he's posing with caution here. It makes me laugh and lightens the feelings of exhaustion and overwhelmedness I've been feeling lately to see this picture of my grouchy baby giving the camera a bitch face and my sweet little boy side eyeing me as I encourage him to get in close. Yep, that is pretty much us lately.

So here is something fun! Currently is a weekly link-up hosted by the lovely Randalin of Harvesting Kale and I am super excited to let you know that I will be co-hosting the series with her from now on! I'm so thrilled to be a part of this weekly event. It really is an opportunity to reflect on your week, focus on the good, and even connect with other bloggers which is something that can be hard to do sometimes. I hope that you can participate by writing your own Currently post (using the provided themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. This week, around these parts, we have been...

Reading all kinds of fun children's books at bedtime. Rob had an old Barnes and Nobles gift card and let me spree with it a couple weeks ago sweet hallelujah! We are almost done reading Flat Stanley's Christmas Adventure a chapter per night at bedtime. Then I look forward to reading The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child next, followed by Flat Stanley Invisible Stanley. And I also ordered this Q&A for kids book which I plan on starting with Otto on his 4th birthday which just happens to be January 1 - a date that works out nicely for this book/project.

Listening to and basking in the light of the Yule Log channel on my tv every single day. I love Yule Log! Also at this very second I'm ashamed to admit I'm listening to the Biebs do an acoustic version of "as long as you love me" at the Victoria's Secret Holiday! Rockin! Fashion! Glamtacular! Don't be jealous.

Hating money. This is the time of year when it would be so so nice to not have to think about money. Bleh.

Laughing at my weird life. I took on a side project yesterday that has me copy editing a true crime novel for a retired undercover detective who is also a dear friend's stepfather and a fascinating guy. I'm about a dozen pages in and really enjoying the project but for reals, so random. Random and awesome and not haha funny, but funny nonetheless. Haha.

Ignoring the box of very important hair color I bought three weeks ago that I shouldn't be ignoring. Mousy in the house-y!

Next week's themes:
wearing, playing, baking, making, singing  


my heart spills with love

Last night, during bedtime, Otto said the best thing to me that I have ever heard and probably will ever hear. We always read together as a family at bedtime, then I rub his back for a little bit and we talk about our most favorite part of the day and our least favorite part of the day. Last night, while we were talking, Otto said to me, "whenever I look at you my heart spills with love."

And then I tried to freeze time and like always that didn't work. And then I closed my eyes and focused every ounce of my being on making that moment a memory. And I felt beautiful and loved and I knew that all of the five thousand things I try to do every day that make me feel tired and overwhelmed and unkempt are worth every exhausting ounce of energy because this perfect person looks at me and says this thing. And I knew I needed to capture it here this morning, in my "baby book" just to ensure that memory never fades. And then I hugged him so close and told him, "that is the best thing anyone has ever said to me in my whole life and that is exactly how I feel when I look at you, too."


Life Style {mix and match Otto}

Thanks to all of you who were cool enough to link up to these Life Style posts the past few weeks! I'm changing the format of these posts to remove the linky going forward but only because I had to make a decision if I was going to pay for a subscription to the Linky service (I was using a month free trial) and since there were only a handful of linkers each week I couldn't justify the expense. Maybe someday I'll try again but for now we're kickin it old school.

Otto's style is something that's very precious to me even especially as it becomes less and less my-style-for-him and more and more just his own jam. His 4th birthday is coming up in just a few weeks (I'm not even going to talk about that) and he's really come into his own when it comes to what clothes he will wear and how he will wear them (answer: he will wear them like-a-crazy-awesome). I still have the final say on most of what's in his closet. I have appointed myself the licensed character gatekeeper and try SUPER hard to keep that stuff firmly in the land of pajamas. Otto would wear obnoxious characters splashed across every square inch of his body, 24/7, if I let him. But outside of controlling the options, we pretty much let Otto wear whatever he wants. He is so awesome.

Otto's Fall 2012 look book, hee hee. Our go-to outfit this season is a warm hat, a tee, a sweat shirt, comfy pants, and more often than not some fingerless gloves. Captain puts stickers on the tops of his sneakers which I think is pretty neat. He loves accessories like whoa and comfy pants are a big priority. Sometimes I try to put him in hip little jeans his Nana sent and he'll test the fabric between his fingers and look at me all judgey and say, "I don't know. These don't seem very comfy?" As if I'm trying to pull something. Sweat pants it is. Every. Single. Day. Luckily I found some really cute ones on Zulily recently for pennies on the dollar.

I am an emo mom who loves to travel down memory lane and be all weepy so I thought I'd show Otto's style evolution. Here he is this time last year when he'd just turned 3 

And two years ago 
And three years ago 
Look at me with that dapper little gent! He was such a munch. Loretta wears that little red sweater now. ps. Guys I want my hair back. That is all. And then let's just go ahead and go there. Four years ago  

Stream of consciousness moment --> You guys. OMG you guys. It flies doesn't it? How do I have a four year old? Every day they change just a teeny little bit and most days you don't even notice it and then suddenly you have this person who is sounding out words and coloring in the lines and won't wear uncomfy jeans and sneakily asks his dad for a candy cane while you're in the shower because you already said no but then interrupts your shower to wash the candy cane off his sticky little grub hands because these little ones have no shame! This awesome evolving person. It's nuts.

And that is how this week's style post spun out of control. Brought to you by Bailey's in her 4am coffee. Tomorrow we'll talk about Loretta turning 9 months old, having 5 teeth, and standing. Jiminy Freaking Christmas. 


Sleep is the Best Thing that Sucks

Yep, that's how I feel too, baby cakes. I miss rest. That's kind of what's been on my mind lately. I miss rest and I'm really looking forward to visiting our family in a couple of weeks and letting them watch the kids so that I can just go and sit in the sunshine and stare at a table or something for a few hours, with a drink I am drinking while it's still hot, and I will be showered AND wearing mascara. This is gonna be restorative. I hope.

My thing lately that I'm not really sure is a sleep disorder but feels like a sleep disorder is this combination of early-evening narcolepsy and wee hours of the morning insomnia. I've been passing out at Otto's 7:15 bedtime pretty much every night this week (he's cuddly). Then, on a few choice mornings, I've been wide awake before 4 am. In between there is lots of taking baby to-and-from crib so she can nurse and snuggle in bed. But still, passing out around 7, waking around 4, stupid. What is going on? I don't know. I mean I'm getting an OK amount of sleep. Actually more than 8 hours most nights. But it doesn't feel that way. I feel exhausted and out of control and actually a little stupid. Like my brain's slowing down and sometimes I feel like I have a deer-in-the-headlights look in my eyes for no reason. Ulgh.

It seems that with the addition of Loretta to our family the joy has gone up exponentially. My heart delights in her extreme personality. She is HAPPY, but then MAD, and she is always DOING and TRYING. It also seems that the amount of stuff on my to-do list has increased a lot: "Take care of 1 2 kids" is a big one! But the amount of time I have to do anything on that to-do list has shrunk. And by the time the day is done and I actually have a minute to, say, sweep or do a load of laundry. Well I just don't want to. I am just fried.

What do you guys do when you feel this way? Is it as easy as spending a day cleaning and organizing house? Or like, are there vitamins on top of pre-natals that I should be taking? Are we in therapist territory here? I hope not because who has time for that? Did you read a helpful book? Or some kind of helpful planner thing? I'd appreciate any suggestions. My only one right now is just knowing that everything is temporary and someday I will look back on this and wish I could be right back here and now. So even though I'm crazy I'm still making sure to enjoy the moments, hold my kids close, and try to stay up at least one night a week to hang out with Rob and catch up on Walking Dead and Homeland (which by the way I am getting really annoyed with).


Life Style | Link Up | featuring an office fashion show

Today's Life Style post was inspired by a trip that we went on this morning to one of the best places on the planet, Target. Me and the munchkins were on the hunt for two different kids' birthday presents and we ended up in my and Otto's favorite section to spend a nice half hour loitering - the books. I saw that little I Can Do It Myself book on the top/left there and fell in love with its sweet style. We picked some other books and workbooks more age appropriate to the kids we were shopping for but I came home inspired and during the kiddos' naps (bless their hearts they even napped at the same time today) I decided to scout all of my favorite online shops to share with you some truly charming kids books that are oozing style and also (timely!) would make great gifts this holiday season.

Even though I spotted I Can Do It Myself in-store at Target, I couldn't find it on their website but I did find it at Barnes & Noble as well as The Gruffalo which is supposed to be, just great. Q&A A Day for Kids is from Anthropologie; did you know they always carry great kids gifts at the holidays? Well they do! This little book asks an interview question like "describe the perfect secret hideout" every day for a year, but is laid out for three years worth of answers so that you can record the answers and then page through and see how your child's response varies year-to-year as they grow. I love this so much I couldn't resist and nabbed one! You can find the whole series of Moomin books, comic book style graphic novels full of humor and adventure, at Henri & Flora. If you are, or are shopping for, a collector of vintage children's books then look to Etsy for gems like Playtime Poodles that I found at Becca's Best Finds' shop. This little knit crown from Miniluu would be the perfect gift alone or tied up in a bundle with Where the Wild Things Are. And then at Land of Nod there are so many great titles including Not a Box which encourages imaginative thinking and Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls which is a cute little reproduction of the 1957 book.

The links are just for your convenience, non are affiliate links or anything interesting.

Life Style is a weekly feature I started last week. Each week I will also feature one person who participated in the previous week's link-up as well, and that person will get to choose who will be featured the following week. Last week Randalin from Harvesting Kale and her adorable son, Kale, were featured. Randalin chose this week's featured from everyone who linked up.

This week's featured lady is the lovely Katherine from Somewhere in the Middle (selected images via this post link). Katherine has been doing a no-repeat-outfit challenge at work. I would fail at that pretty quickly! But Katherine rocks it. You guys might remember that Katherine and I have crossed paths before; we live about 30 minutes from each other and get the kids together for playdates now and then and more importantly we eat burritos together. We are Burrito Amigos.

Clear the way! Hot mama comin' through! Even though she accidentally put on the wrong team's tee shirt on that third day. Forgivable. Thank you for being my feature this week, Katherine!

Ok guys... Now it's your turn! You can link up below to your recent style-related posts or style-related instagram pics. Katherine will choose one person from this week's links to be next week's "life style" feature. Yip!


Christmas Q & A

Thank you, Allie for tagging me I LOVE THESE Q & As MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET! Here goes...

1. What makes Christmas such a special holiday for you and your family?
I miss my family, repeat, I MISS MY FAMILY!!!!!!! This year it's all about being together. Since we moved from Arizona to Oregon I have missed having our family around pretty much every minute of every day. Thank goodness for Skype but it's not the same as just casual togetherness. So I can't wait to visit AZ this year and see Otto and Loretta bonding with their cousins and basking in the love and attention they'll get from their Nanas, Papas, Uncles, and Aunts.

2. Were you told the truth about Santa by your parents or did you find out another way? And do you plan on lying to your kids? Oh yes I went there.
Kids at school broke the news to me when I was 6... then my parents had to beg me not to ruin Christmas for my little cousins because once you have this knowledge, as a six year old, you must inform everyone that you know, that you meet, that you see across the parking lot at the grocery store, share, share, share, share, share!!! Anyways, I'm about to bore you with my thoughts on this. I'm going to get mildly heavy, but whatever I'll make a little smiley face icon to lighten the mood :) Here is a fact: little kids live in a world of magical reality. They are illogical and bright eyed and imaginative and wonderful. They think that stuffed animals come to life. And that there are monsters in the closet but hopefully they are nice ones. They make stuff up and then believe it. Their imaginations are limitless and hopeful and wishful and wonderful. If you go poop on the idea of Santa then your kid is still going to believe all kinds of crazy stuff that isn't true during this time in their life when they can't tell the difference between memories they dreamed and those they lived. Taking Santa out of the equation just means your kids won't get to have that magical little thrill that goes up their spine on Christmas Eve night as they go to bed and imagine Santa Claus magically coming into their house and leaving special gifts just for them under the tree. They won't spy out the window looking for a sled and reindeer and thrill at the idea that they might catch a little glimpse. Boo! I want my kids to have those magic memories. I mean, all kids eventually grow out of believing in Santa but I don't think I've ever heard of an adult who was like, "man my parents really fucked me up in the head with that mad-ass Santa shit and I'll never forgive them for lying to me." Yeah, that doesn't  happen.

3. Real tree or fake tree?
Loretta would eat a real tree! We have a hot mess of a fake tree this year but I love it. Drinking coffee by the light of a Christmas tree is about the best thing in the world, isn't it???

4. Do you open presents on Christmas morning, Christmas Eve, or both?
Rob's family has a tradition of opening a gift of Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve night and I love that so we'll continue that with our little family. Then the kids have exciting new jammies to wear that night and wake up in and everyone looks more spirited and charming the next morning in dapper jams.

5. What is your favorite Christmas movie to watch? Favorite Christmas song to sing or listen to?
Love Actually is my absolute favorite favorite favorite. It tugs at every heartstring. It's sweet and funny and charming. I love all of the characters. I love it. Love. LOVE! And then for songs I really love the classics sung beautifully... like Silver Bells by Bing Crosby and Silent Night by Susan Boyle. Both of those bring tears, I get so overwhelmed by music, haha! I'm weird.

And then I'm adding one:
6. What's your favorite holiday food?
Oh, funny that you would ask this, self, because I have SO MANY! Food means so much this time of year, it brings back magic feelings and memories and is also just erghaghermmmmm. My favorite holiday dish is green bean casserole. I could eat it for miles. And on Christmas Eve I love that our families always host a soup and tamales dinner after church service. Tamales ball to the ball the bang the bang! And then sugar cookies with frosting also ball to the ball the bang the bang! As does pie.

Wanna play along? I tag anyone who loves these Q&A lists too! Tag!