so funny

At bedtime last night Otto told the funniest joke in the world.

We've added don't laugh contests to our nighttime repertoire of discussing the day's best and worst events, reading, thumb wars, and no blinking contests. Last night we were having a don't laugh contest and we were both playing for keeps. No one was gonna give. I said, in a sad, serious voice of drama, "you should think of the saddest thing you could ever think of like a sad sad little fish swimming alone and crying and another mean big fish swims up next to it and farts and laughs and swims away." Otto laughed... I won!

sidenote: I know. I KNOW, but I wanted to win.

So we had another contest and we were making the most serious, meanest, saddest, squished up faces ever and Otto said in a very very sad, serious voice, "You know what I'm thinking about?"

"No, what?"

"I'm thinking about the saddest thing I can think of in the whole world... and it's an elephant pooping on a worm."

And then I died laughing.

He is the funniest person in the world. Bedtimes are my favorite favorite favorite. The end.


currently | body moshing

Currently is a weekly feature with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been eating, drinking, watching, reading, learning this week? Over here, we have been...

Eating and eating and eating and eating... Junk food has ruled after-hours here at the Muth homestead. With all the guests we've had in town and late nights spent catching up and watching movies and watching Under the Dome (the radness) and even taking the kids to a movie (oh boy), we've just been eating garbage hand over fist. I even made homemade chicken tenders that I intended to bake but then ended up frying and the moral of this story is: we're all going to die of grease poisoning. I like to call eating like this shocking the system because you know you've got to keep your body on its toes. Jump start the ol' metabolism or whatever.

Drinking coffee and beer. I'm writing a book about how good this has been for my complexion, it's called "Chin Zit".

Watching my kids watch Monsters University with their Nana. Otto was a movie rockstar. Miss Etta ate all the snacks we'd smuggled in practically before the previews had ended (insaaaaanely long previews). She head-banged and body-moshed (ha, I feel like such a granny saying that, "she was doing the moshing like the teenagers do at the rock and roll concerts!") to the movie's songs while on Nana's lap and had us all cracking up. Then she spent the last hour of the movie roaming the hallway that's around the corner from the movie seating, trying to bust open the fire extinguisher and eat scavenged popcorn off the floor. Just us and every other parent with a kid under 2 in the theater... I was the caveman mom chasing her around saying, "no touch, no touch!"

Reading zilch. We've had loved ones in town. I've done nothing but eat garbage and drink zit potions and laugh and wallow in their awesome company. That's not totally true, we've been reading Where the Sidewalk Ends at Otto's bedtime and he loves it in true kiddo fashion, hurray! Why he's obsessed with the Paul Bunyon poem is beyond me but he also loves Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout so I'm down.

Learning to make chicken nuggets. I'm going to get a wire rack and start making baked ones by hand in big batches to freeze instead of getting them pre-frozen at the store. I'm way too excited about this plan.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes:
loving, craving, missing, listening, wishing 


a new look and some thoughts on having a fellow morning person in Otto

Ot & Et has a new, wonderful look that I can't stop drinking in with my eyes! All thanks to the most amazing urban folk artist Jenn Shepherd. I found Jenn while window shopping on Etsy one day and just instantly fell in total, hopeless love with the hand-drawn charm and cute-but-not-cutesy-ness of her illustrations. There is something uncanny in what she does that I connect with on such a gut and soul level. Isn't that the best thing about art? It can just get right to your soul in a way you can't even explain and express what you are all about without saying a single word. Jenn was kind enough to create the new custom header for this blog. I look forward to doing a whole feature on Jenn and her shop in the very near future, in the mean time you should head over to Etsy and check her stuff out. She and her shop items are all just super super cool.

Around here we are smack-dab in the middle of back-to-back visits from loved ones, so this blog isn't getting much attention, understandably I am tired yo. My best friend and her 5 year old were here for the weekend and we just relaxed and wore sweat pants and had beer and let the boys play and we all ate everything we ever wanted and just talked and wallowed in our perfect comfortableness. It was amazing. 
While everyone else slept til 7am like sane persons Otto was up bright and early every day right at 5 and shot out of a cannon. "Let's color and watch a show and have a snack and play legos! I have to poop! Where are my pants? See you downstairs!" Since he wakes up right next to me I got to wake up to the alarm clock of his morning requests and suggestions and every thought that came into his head. My job was to say, "Shhhh no one else wants to be up right now, let's silently go downstairs as silently as we can and don't forget to be quiet as you go silently and don't say a word." So he'd chit-chat his way downstairs and out of earshot. The house can sleep through this at 5am because it's 5am and who wakes up for anything at 5am? Nobody but a fellow morning person and I'm the only one in the house. 

Otto comes by his bright eyed and bushy tailed-ness honestly. I'm a morning person. Straight up I am. 5am on a vacation day feels nuts to me too but I can roll with it because I really love mornings. I remember being the second one up my entire childhood. See, my dad is the morningest person in the world and always beats everyone else up, makes coffee, and works a crossword. I love that Otto inherited this morning person trait from us. Wakes up with a smile. Wants to start the party with the rising sun. I love spending my mornings with him enjoying the quiet while everyone else slowly wakes up around us.

Coffee and hours of coloring with my favorite four year old made for some pretty great mornings this weekend... followed by the best days. 


currently | let's take beach baths

Currently is a weekly feature with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been capturing, releasing, sending, mending, recommending this week? Over here, we have been...

Capturing memories but not many photos. Blogger license revoked? This inability to take a photo seems to be my theme lately. ::grumble sound:: I even got a birthday check that is going specifically towards a second lens for my new-to-me camera that I bought this spring (a sweet Nikon D200, my first big girl camera) so soon I will have 2 lenses which is super exciting! My new lens (probably also new-to-me) is gonna be a wide-angle compared to my current 50mm. That'll be great for in the house since it's been hard to get great perspective shots inside... Um? Have you gone to sleep reading this yet? Sorry! Ha.

Releasing having a bone to pick with [fill in the blank]. I have a new friend at work who is like a much cuter, younger, caucasianer Mr. Miyagi and one of the things she has gifted me with is this saying, "Release." It just means, even though you know you are right and the world is wrong, just let it go. Magic word! Sometimes just calming myself down momentarily from all the things I want to worry about that I can't control and all the people I want to face-punch because they're morons and just whispering, "release," reminds me that it's all in my head and I can let it go.

Sending my family to Home Depot for house projects. Remember our hoarder neighbor who has jam-packed her back yard with a squirrel amusement park? Well, we bought some bamboo privacy fencing to roll out over our back fence to block the view of the rabies party. Rob is half-finished with the project since this past weekend and it already helps to blur the view although I wish it was a bit more opaque. I'm considering laminating some of the kids' art and hanging it up on the bamboo "wall" just to further block the situation beyond the fence. I wonder if this would be cute or tacky as hell? I guess we'll see! At least we don't have to watch the local wild animal community having garbage orgies anymore, because seriously, ewwww. I am so so so excited to reclaim my back yard! We also got a wire frame for our sugar snap peas and I planted some lavender. Yippee!

Mending my kids' dresser with new pulls as part of my project-per-month project. I also did something cool in the bathroom for the kids that's kind of Montessori-at-home inspired and I'm going to hang up a picture in their room that I thrifted 2 months ago. Doing things!

Recommending... this category was my great idea but now I am at a loss. I already have the "blogs I read" section on this blog which pretty much covers it although I do need to update that page because I've started reading quite a few of you Currently ladies on a more regular basis. I recommend you run yourself a bath, make yourself a cup of sunset coffee, grab a Vogue, put on some good music, and have a lady moment. Do this on a beach in the Caribbean and bring me along, will ya (we can have side-by-side beach baths like in a Viagra commercial, it'll be magic).

That was this week. Here are next week's themes:
eating, drinking, watching, reading, learning 


egg drop veggie fried rice

Here is a super quick to make, easy recipe that became a staple around this house after the very first time I made it. See, Rob is a vegetarian with a love for non-vegetarian inspired dishes and I am a mom with an organic foods fetish, an organictarian (that's a thing), but I do eat meat and so do the kiddos. Finding recipes that satisfy Rob's love of classic, not-too-healthy tasting fare and satisfying my love of whole grains and non-science-altered food can be a challenge. This recipe does the trick and everyone in the house gobbles it down from the tallest to the smallest of us.

What you need...
- 4 cups cooked brown rice.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1 yellow onion chopped how you like
- 1 cup frozen vegetables (mixed style or just peas)
- 1 bell pepper, chopped how you like
- 4 eggs
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup cashews, smashed or whole
- 4 green onions chopped

What you do...
- Take your cooked rice and put it in a bowl in the freezer, uncovered, while you cut and chop and fry the vegetables, this will dry it out (if you have previously cooked rice from the fridge that works great too)

- Heat oils in a BIG skillet or wok on medium-high

- Add ginger and garlic to hot oil, stir with a wooden spatula or spoon for about a minute

- Add onion, stir about 2 minutes, until soft. Push onion to the sides of skillet.

- Add frozen veggies to the middle and stir-fry for 1 minute. Push to sides.

- Add bell pepper to the middle and stir-fry for 1 minute.

- Add rice to the middle of the pan and stir everything together about 2 minutes

- Add eggs to the mix one at a time and stir-fry into the mix until they are visibly cooked. This might take a few minutes and some stirring to make sure the mix is coated and the eggs are cooked through.

- Add soy sauce, pepper, cashews, and green onion. Stir-fry for 1 minute.


ps. This egg drop veggie fried rice is savory and flavorful but you can also serve with soy sauce, sriracha, salt, and pepper on the table so everyone can season to taste if they really like their sodium/spice (Rob I'm looking at you!). I'd like to try adding sprouts, fresh tomato, and pineapple to the mix sometime. It also works as a side or a main dish. We like ours with steamed vegetable gyoza. Enjoy!


I am just an animal and so...

My head says, "wonderful lady dude, you are sleeping five plus hours a night. And sometimes the kids even entertain themselves. You eat warm bites of dinner every day. Your body feels like it could be itself again, soon. And you sometimes even have the energy to do a lower ab attack before grabbing a beer and reading a book for a minute at night. Your boobs are zenned out and nicely back down to almost (almost) matching B-minuses which means tank top as a bra. Tank top as a bra, lady, tank top as a bra! Scary medical bills are coming in bunches of one or two instead of seven. You're getting ahead, a little more every day. You've found a life groove and that means things are groovy."

My head is smart smart smart.

My heart isn't listening. My heart heard that not a few of my best friends are pregnant with baby number three. My heart got pretty excited when this month's pms (something I never had before, how funny, but not haha funny, just ugh so this is what everyone was talking about funny) meant breakouts and smells smelling crazy and wild dreams and ragey moments and chocolate requirements and whole body cramps and headaches and and and... and of course I thought this might mean something more than pms. And then there was an evap line (that didn't show up til the next day, because it really was just an evap line) that I tucked away in a box in the back of a cupboard and looked at over and over and over for two days. But that's all it was. 

Something about surviving infertility leaves you crazy forever I think. Always keeping one test tucked away in a drawer. Always overanalyzing every little body sign. I am hungry for Chinese food tonight, I am probably pregnant, yes I bet I am! How exciting. I will take a test while on my period because wanting Chinese food DEFINITELY means I am pregnant!

You train yourself to hope for one thing for long enough and it will feel unnatural not to hope for it even when your brain tells you, "you don't need to want this anymore, you got your wishes, you got your treasures, enjoy this!" We tried for Otto for four rough years that changed who I am forever... I'm more serious now about everything. I value my family to the point of not being able to enjoy them sometimes because I'm so worried about them and trying so hard to protect them. Not sometimes, often. Other times I think I appreciate what we have more than anyone has ever appreciated anything in the history of time.

So maybe it's just that I'm an animal and these thoughts aren't thoughts at all. I just know it's been a hard couple of days and these hormones can spread their wings and fly already. 


currently | we aren't winking about anything

Ot's Abe Lincoln 1865 tee c/o Okllo

Currently is a weekly feature with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been building, forming, sharing, dreading, singing this week? Over here, we have been...

Building a mess. We are so productive at mess building! It's Rob's finals week so... we are just surviving.

Forming Father's Day surprise plans but shhhhh! Otto, as we know, is super terrible at keeping secrets and once again he has something burning him up. More than once this week I've heard him start to say to Rob, "We aren't winking about anything about Father's Day!" And I'm like, "Otto, shhhhhh!" Oh boy.

Sharing a love of Frog and Toad books, finally! I have been trying to turn Otto into a Frog and Toad superfan for years and just this week he finally found the charm. When Frog is dressing Toad for winter and Toad says, "Help, my best friend is trying to kill me!" Otto laughed out loud so hard he was shaking. And don't even get us started on the bumps in Owl's bed, because that is hilarious. Loretta is sharing animal sounds. She goes, "whooo whooo whooo," for dog and, "rahhh," for dinosaur. She also tries to say so many words, I think she is going to be a jabber jaw. No surprise there.

Dreading that my hopes of going to BlogHer 13 are dashed. I have been plotting with Colleen about ways to get some sponsor action so we can go (and be roomies) but things just aren't panning out. Pyramid Apricot Ale please reply to my emails! Haha, perhaps my whole eggs-in-one-basket approach to getting a sponsor was misguided? I also like Randalin's idea of skipping the show and everyone heading to Mexico or the tropics in February for a DIY "conference". Who's in?

Singing mom jeans songs. What? There was a time when I thought I was cool but it is no longer. I love radio songs and I love them hard. This week's faves are Just Give Me a Reason by Pink and the Fun guy and Daylight by Maroon 5 (but I also like this version) but shhhh don't tell Rob because he will stamp "mom jeans" on me so hard for it! I may be known as an emo sucker around here (she says with tears in her eyes). In I-was-once-cool news, we have also been reviving Belle and Sebastian over here this week complete with singing and kitchen dance partying.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
capturing, releasing, sending, mending, recommending
(psst, we'd love for you to recommend some of your favorite blogs for us to read!)


currently | stinky pickle peanut butter vest

Currently is a weekly feature with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been coveting, imagining, asking, saving (for), fearing this week? Over here, we have been...

Coveting water pressure. Sometime last week our shower decided to be a crappy shower and we are waiting for our property managers to... just fix it already! My hair looks like garbage. I love love love our 101 year old house with its wood floors and glass cupboards and windows for days and I couldn't be more grateful that University of Oregon offers family housing because otherwise we could never afford to provide our kids such a wonderful home while Rob's in grad school BUT I haz a sad. I haz sad wet cat hair. Wah.

Imagining a different view from my back window. We have a new behind-us neighbor and she's only lived there a week and already hung two huge stained rugs over OUR back fence (they've been there for five days) filled her back yard that we have to look at with junk, and littered all over her own driveway (food wrappers and bits of debris from her moving in just scattered in her driveway). Clearly this is a junkyard dog of a neighbor and I am bummed out because our fence is chainlink so whenever we go out there her yard (and rugs) are in our faces. What should I do? We spend so much time outside and now I just don't even want to look at our backyard, much less be in it. Should I say something or complain to UO? I'm just hazzing sad all over the place this week. Wah.

Asking Otto to believe something ridiculous and dying laughing about it. Rob drew this hilarious chalk drawing of the villain Stinky Pickle Peanut Butter Vest (see background in this stinking cute pic)...
He is a most repulsive villain and Rob is trying to get Otto to believe it's a legitimate Spiderman nemesis. Otto isn't buying it and is getting more and more annoyed with Rob for insisting that SPPBV is real. And I don't know why this is happening or how it started but hahaha.

Saving For ::runs away::

Hey look at this video Otto took of me and Et this afternoon while we were picnic dinnering (in our FRONT yard) we thought Rob was showing him how to take pics with my phone but he had turned video on. I thought you might like to hear Ot bossing us around. I always think of him as this old, worldly kid, like four is so old and seasoned and mature... but hearing his voice in this video I realize he's still a sweet little baby too, just a bossy one.

Fearing confrontation and trying to overcome that fear and become more comfortable just stating what I want. Not like a diva but just like a person whose wants are valid. I'm still trying the What Would Tim Gunn Do? method in so many areas of my life and it's still working. (sidenote: How would Tim Gunn handle this neighbor thing? I don't honestly know.) But like for example tonight while we were picnicking I mentioned to Rob that I'd like him to take some pics of me and Etta in our matching legging and skirts outfits while we were outside. So he did what he always does (which is a normal guy response to this kind of request and that's 1000% fine) so anyways he was like, "ok," and then immediately expected us to pose and smile. I knew in my gut that that kind of picture isn't what I wanted but I was really nervous to say anything because I'm always afraid of inconveniencing people or seeming obnoxious or cheesy. But I just went for it and told him the truth from my gut and he was really cool about it. I said, "I'm frustrated because a lot of the moms I see and admire and blogs I love to read have these husbands who are professional photographers and who see the beauty in everyday life and whose families are their muses and so they get to have all these gorgeous everyday, candid shots of themselves with their kids and I want that and I know it's not fair to ask you to be that guy, but I just want you to know where I'm coming from when I ask for a picture like this. Like I want you to be on the lookout for those moments and just capture them all the time without me asking, like I do with you guys." Well, that was a scary thing to say! But, he was so cool about it. And he proceeded to secretly take the picture up there at the top which I really love. So see, ask for what you want as long as it's reasonable and if people understand why you're asking they might just be like, "ok, cool!"

That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
building, forming, sharing, dreading, singing

wordless(ish) mission impossible: sibling shots

She squirms and yodels and scowls. He bee-bops and calypsos and mugs weird faces. There are no good sibling shots. Ever. Like ever ever. Maybe they are looking so cute while you shop for beer and you think, "THIS will be the time I get an adorable sibling shot! Cart full of beer, doesn't matter. Cutest kiddos are cute, gonna be a great pic, let's do this, whoohoo!"

Foiled again. Always foiled again. Haha.


the project-per-month PROJECT month 3

Here we are with the Project-Per-Month Project, take three! Welcome to a place where we are taking on manageable to-dos and getting them done, woohoo! I can't wait to see what everyone accomplished in May and share my new, first ever nice bedroom, with you. It is so funny to have been married for fifteen years and never have taken the time to just make our bedroom exactly what we want. Until now, and we did it in a month, and it just took some creative rearranging and strategic, frugal purchases. I'm not usually a proud person, but I'm actually really proud of myself for getting this done and we will enjoy it and appreciate it every day of our lives. Yip!

This pic was my May inspiration but as I mentioned before I found it on Pinterest and can't find the source, or I'd source the heck out of it. 

Project-Per-Month Project HOW IT WORKS... If you want to join in the fun, you totally should! Here are the rules...
  1. Pick a single, manageable project off your to-do list, just one.
  2. Decide, "I can do it!" ps. You really can. Yes you can!
  3. Give yourself goals.
  4. Give yourself a deadline: the end of the month.
  5. Give yourself a budget.
  6. Do it. Do it.
My May project was my bedroom and there was nowhere to go but up. There aren't before pics because I was so ashamed, our room looked like a jail cell with only a bed, a dresser, side tables, no decor, and an endless pile of laundry on the floor. Tragedy! My goals were to add plants, a reading corner, a hamper, some minimal decor, and a new comforter. My budget was $100 plus any gift cards I might be so lucky to get for my birthday. I came in so under budget! I still have $24 left on my gift cards and only spent $3 out of pocket! And here is the end result.


My favorite parts are the pendant light I made and the organic blanket I found at Target (that didn't photograph so well, but it's great). For the reading light, my dad was visiting and showed me how to wire a lamp kit to an extension cord. Then I hand-wrapped the cord in basic twine. It cost $18 and took 2 days and it turned out so charming. Oh, and the plants. Plants are just the best.

For June I am going to maybe take on a few micro-projects. The main one will be replacing the drawer pulls on the kids' dresser since one fell off and a few are loose. I'm not even giving myself a budget since that's such a teeny project, but I can't wait to go pull shopping. I secretly window-shop vintage drawer pulls on Etsy more often than is at all cool.

Ok, that's me, now you... Did you do a May project? Will you be doing a June project? I hope so! Three cheers for productivity!