Currently is a weekly link-up with the lovely  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 loving, cleaning, working, creating, watching this week? Over here, we have been...

Loving that Etta has more and more to say. It seems that with every new word she masters, she becomes a less combustible woman. Communication is the shit. This week it's been all about 'more' and 'again'. And mastering 'again' means we are now singing the ABCs about forty five billion times an hour. I love it.

Cleaning not so much. Some weeks it's so easy to just keep the place tidy and clean as you go. This has not been one of those weeks. This week we've ordered food in more than once and there still seems to be every pot and pan and dish we own sitting in the sink and it's like, "You go away, all right dishes?" And they don't. ::Shrug, scowl, go read a book:: 

I have been Working a lot and it's been kind of a hot mess. Or I have been kind of a hot mess. I need to learn to roll with stuff a little better, get less emotionally invested in every little detail, apply my energy to the things that matter most, step outside myself. Easy to say all those things but really hard to do.

We have been Creating a dress up closet for our Project-Per-Month Project and it's super cute! I'm a little torn because part of me wants to go shopping for costume items asap to fill it up but the reasonable part of me knows it'd be better to start with what we have and to find those treasures one at a time over time. So we'll see if I can continue stopping myself from running to Target and stocking up on fairy wings and pirate vests for another day.

Watching Breaking Bad and Project Runway. All I have to say about Project Runway is that when Tim Gunn cries, I cry. Sooooo... I also watched Miley Cyrus gross the world out at the VMAs and like most moms, it made me determined to ensure Etta does not turn out crass and nasty. Do not stick your tongue out while pointing to your vagina in public, sweetheart. Liberated, empowered, bold, confident, and no public vagina touching, those are the goals. Anyways if you are a Breaking Bad fan and saw this week's episode and you saw the whole VMA debacle, then you will think this is funny too I bet (not a spoiler).
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
growing, buying, earning, judging, embracin



i wish

I suppose if I got my wish, which has always been to be a stay at home mom, that then I would probably have a new wish of having more money, or getting out of the house to talk with adults, or some other thing. Humans are funny business, "grass is always greener" syndrome is a weird thing. Why not "so happy to be in this pasture" syndrome? Wouldn't that be nice.

When I worked (at home) 4 days a week I just wished I could get some face time with coworkers. I felt like I was going crazy. So I gave up having a third day with my family each week in order to gain back some not-working-in-a-room-in-my-house sanity. And now... I don't know. Now I just find myself calculating how much of Etta's awake time is spent with me each week versus her (amazing, lovely, just most wonderful so don't get me wrong because I love this lady) babysitter.

I was chit chatting with an exceptionally cool stay at home mama friend just yesterday about the moms we read online. The ones I read as if their lives were fantasy novels, the way my grandma used to read books featuring Fabio on the cover (I always smile remembering my grandma, Etta's namesake), anyways, the ones I dream of are stay at home moms. Some of them are more real than others. Some make it look like a dream and make me wish I took more pictures and staged prettier moments. Others tell it like it is and make me laugh with their tales of life with crazy, unpredictable, delightful, challenging kids. But the one thread that runs through almost all of the moms I read is that they all have stories of weekdays at the park and everydays just momming around.

Life is such a balance. I'm not sorry I need to be a working mom. There is a real part of me that enjoys having a successful career and takes pride in all of the achievements I've made in that world. There is a real part of me that knows we are doing this right now so that Rob can have a really great career starting in just a few years and then maybe I will take a year or two myself, to follow my dream, and mom around with Etta before she is full time in school, volunteer at Otto's elementary, and home school both of them for just a little while.

For now, I think having this ache in my heart to have more time with them just makes me appreciate the time we do have. The last few weeks they have been on a roll as far as making me crazy goes. Ha. You know, they are amazing, fierce-hearted, hilarious kids with big personalities and lots of demands and lots of chaos that falls in their wake and for whatever reason chaos gives me anxiety right down in my bones. Etta especially just gets right to my core with her zero-to-exasperated yells. I will do anything to keep her from chewing me out. She makes me feel like a cowboy dancing while another cowboy shoots at his feet, often. Hahaha, I love that she is a Sheera. I really do. Still, the raw nerves and general anxiety I have built up by their bedtime is sometimes so overwhelming I just laugh. How can I feel this crazy? But I think the crazy feeling is really a wish to have more of a handle on the time we have together. Trying to cram all of your most important moments into a few hours a day where you find yourself cleaning melon smashed into the floor and picking up four thousands scraps of torn paper (because tearing and distributing paper scraps about the house is the thing these days) and making a nutritious meal and then sitting down to it only to be asked for a cup of water that you'd just offered and been told "no I'm not really thirsty right now" moments before (for real, kid?) and returning to the table moments later to find Etta's food deposited on the floor and oh also could I please bring back some ketchup and also remembering to not act exasperated because they're just kids being kids and making sure to photograph the cute moments and remembering to appreciate it all as it's happening because this time will go too fast... it becomes impossible feeling.

My favorite hour from yesterday was laying on my bed with Etta just before putting her down in her crib for the night. I was reading her a random chapter from Flat Stanley and we were laying on our backs, side by side, and she was looking up at the pages and just listening and chilling out. After several minutes I carried her to her room, and before laying her down I just held her in my arms and we sang the ABCs about ten times in a row and she kind of hummed along. Bedtime and midnight wake ups are about the only times she will snuggle and I live for those times. Then I went back to my room where Otto was done with his bedtime with Daddy routine and waiting for his turn at bedtime with Mommy... I read to Otto from a different Flat Stanley book and we talked about his day a little bit and then I sung him a little Somewhere Over the Rainbow (realizing mid first verse that I don't know the words anymore). He's really into nighttime lullabies lately and wants me to learn Royals by Lorde which yikes, ha, we heard it on the radio and I guess now I'm taking requests. Then I deposited him in his bed which kind of woke Etta up so we did another couple rounds of ABCs, this time with Otto joining in... and it was just a long, drawn out bedtime and it was lovely.

I suppose the point of all this is putting all the wishes in perspective. Lately I have been wishing for invisalign braces and rock hard abs and a nice hair dye job and a shopping spree. I've been wishing I would swallow my fear and write a novel. I've been wishing for a weekend getaway or even just a less complainy/overwhelmed outlook on life. But the only real wish that I would make if I actually got a wish would be the ability to settle into this little life of mine and spend more time with my kids in a way that felt safe and sensible for my family. We'll get there. Three years will go by fast. They'll still  be little. And in the mean time I will appreciate the shit out of every crazy-making moment I get with those two little magic people that I am lucky enough to call my kiddos.


Kate Quinn Organics Friends & Family Sale

Heads up that its sale time at Kate Quinn Organics and its Plum Bunny and Violet + Moss brands. This brand is my valentine; I really love them. They have eye-catching big, bold prints; hip but not hipster kids style; and soft quality organic cotton. Right now everything (except the essentials collection) is 50% off until August 28.
Etta's green Kate Quinn jacket from last fall is still a favorite.

To shop the Friends and Family Sale visit http://www.katequinnorganics.com/ and use the code "ff2013" at checkout.

*this post sponsored by Kate Quinn Organics, the opinions are my own.


currently | my weird little sunshines

Currently is a weekly link-up with the lovely  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 feeling, missing, running, visiting, cooking this week? Over here, we have been...

Etta has been Feeling a little on edge. There are teeth things happening and brink-of-talking things happening and she has just had it. She's done! No more Mr. Nice Guy. This baby will cut a bitch.   
Otto has been Missing being a baby. I can tell because with his new bedtime routine he eventually ends up in the kids' shared room, in his big boy bed, with his big boy Darth Vader quilt and Star Wars pillowcase. But first we do bedtime routine -- all the goodnight things we usually do like chit chatting about our days and reading Where the Sidewalk Ends and stuff -- in my room. Lately he has been asking for an extra step in the routine, a lullaby. So we sing you are my sunshine and I honestly just want to hold him forever. I say, "you will always be my baby boy and my sunshine." He says, "Well I am not a baby anymore," but he says it smiling and cuddling so I will take it.

I have been Running at the gym near my work, about once a week. I can go a mile and a half in 20 minutes. It's not much, but it's jogging the whole time and gets me there and back in a reasonable amount of time for a work lunch. I've also been doing a 12 minute abs intensive that I found on the cable on-demand. I'm starting to feel a bit less like a sack of potatoes. Or more like a firm sack of mashed potatos with droopy boobs. The goal is to feel like a raw potato.

Otto has been Visiting the moon with Little Bear. I love reading him books, poems, and stories that I also loved when I was little. Little Bear books are so charming, the wording is perfect. When Little Bear opens his eyes after rolling down the hill and thinks that the moon is just like earth, Otto laughs and loves it. He is starting to understand nuance.

Cooking Spagett! What I mean to say is, on the flip side of all the charm of Little Bear and wanting lullabies and anything with sweetness or delightfulness, Rob showed Otto this clip from Tim and Eric of Spagett! I love Tim and Eric as much as the next guy (which is how much?) but this one is so dumb... Obviously... And now Otto is saying, "Spagett!" at the randomest times and then, "Got ya. Spooked ya." Oh I could do without this. Last night at bedtime Otto tooted and then said, "Spagett!" It doesn't help that Rob dies laughing every time it happens. It IS funny but jeez Louise.
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
loving, cleaning, working, creating, watching 



cool girls insomnia club

The first rule of cool girls insomnia club is you wake up the other girls in cool girls insomnia club. Make sure no one sleeps. Because sleep is for nerds. Dressup is for cool girls. Crackers are for cool girls too. The best times to not sleep are 9pm, 11pm, 1am, and then 4am is when you should really not sleep and just party. Always wake up with a rebel yell. Snuggling softly on the couch is NOT allowed.


a day at home

We had the best kind of day at home yesterday. Rob and Otto are a pretty dynamic duo these days, playing xbox Lego Batman whenever Etta naps. There was this magic moment where I got to stand at my kitchen sink window and drink a whole cup of coffee while Etta napped and Rob and Ot played. Ms. Etta's getting so big, sometimes she still takes two naps but sometimes only one. She's so beautiful to me, and such a mysterious creature. A real piss pot. But also a doll. Her strawberry blonde hair seems to be sticking around and her eyes are the prettiest shade of green-blue. Otto is hooked on learning: a little multiplication on the front walk, sounding out words and writing graphic novels when he's supposed to be napping, growing so fast. I am boring but it's like the weekends being boring is super important to me! My most fascinating thing right now is that I'm planning to turn my fabric basket into a dress-up basket for the kids and to sew my way through the collection of fabrics that are currently in it. Kid pants, blankets, and dressup "scraps" are the goals. And maybe some potholders, ours are all tattered.

Etta writes on everything with crayon, including the inside of her mouth. She makes this "Oh!" surprised face when she does something she knows she shouldn't and looks at you with this shocked look like, "can you believe this is happening?" then smiles and heads for the hills.

Otto loves playing super powers and magic powers. Whenever he casts a spell he says, "Magic, Magic..." and then casts it. I love it.


currently | I really like lions and sharks best

Currently is a weekly link-up with the lovely  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 spending, saving, speaking, going, sharing this week? Over here, we have been...

Spending a little money on shoes. Because kids feet grow stinkin fast! And can I just say here, publicly, to I hope a sympathetic audience, that it is a CRYING FREAKIN LOW DOWN LAME ASS SHAME that Otto never liked his giraffe Toms. And I quote, "But I really like lions and sharks best." He has bad taste. They are adorable and he wore them like four times. He wore his spiderman sandals like fourty-four thousand times. A lesser mom would have shoved those cute ass giraffes on his feet and had an Instagram party of epic proportions. Just sayin. 

Saving up for a new Ducks hoodie for myself. We've lived in Eugene for two years now and I'm pretty sure I'm officially a Ducks fan. I don't know how it happened. Sports has never ever ever been on my radar before in my whole life. Ever. But you know what... Like right this minute I can't wait for football to start up again in a couple weeks! I hope I am wearing a sweet new hoodie when it does. Fan gear, people!

Etta is Speaking so many new words. Well demands really. She understands a lot but really only busts out the words when she is requiring something. "WATER! CRACKER! BOOK!" The best new one this week was, "TRICKLE!" when I'd forgotten to put a little cold water trickle on during their bath. It's kind of trippy to have a baby growl/scream "TRICKLE!" at you. You put that trickle on like a muthafugga fast, I'll tell you that.

Going to swim lessons for Otto. I'm really proud how much more willing he is participate this year. He has a real case of anxiety when it comes to swimming. He's always had sensory sensitivity and the lack of control plus the cold water make him understandably really nervous when it comes to swimming. This year, though, he's powering through and after a few minutes of lesson he's just large and in charge enjoying himself like the other kids. Last year he was the swim lesson wall flower who opted out of every class and just hung out on the edge. So this year feels like a great stride! He's also all about the water slide when lessons are over. My little guy is finding his bravery, sniff sniff. And Etta, who hangs with mama during lessons, is all about demanding to be in the water and then making the craziest faces because it's so cold but then the second we get out throwing herself towards the water again. This girl is going to be the most gray hair making teenager in the world some day.

Sharing is becoming an issue around here. Etta demands ev. er. y. thing. And Otto requires fairness or that he get slightly more than her. So they disagree on this. And they are 4 1/2 and 1 1/2 so yelling yelling yelling!
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
feeling, missing, running, visiting, cooking 



sometimes there is only time for living

Sometimes I feel like the most productive human on the planet. Baking interesting things with secrets flaxes and chias hidden inside and planning thoughtful activities and keeping my children clean(ish) and my hair brushed(ish) and taking neighborhood walks and all the while doing some dishes and putting the laundry away and taking pictures to boot. Sometimes I feel on top of it all. Kinda. Sometimes.

Other times, like lately, I feel like there is just time for almost all of it. A little baking, a board game, a bath, a walk, dishes, laundry... I try to keep my phone out of reach when I'm with the kids but then I find myself running for it to take pictures pretty regularly and that alerts the kids that Mom's about to take a picture so they of course stop doing whatever cute thing they might have been doing. So documenting the moments gets patchy, which feels patchy in this nonstop documentation world of ours.

Moments like this, though. So perfect. Just all together and laughing. Smelling feet and snuggling and sharing something special. You can't plan for that. It just happens. Just living. These moments are the reason for the life we're building and all the other "busy" stuff falls away. Even on the days that seem like they won't end. Toddler teething days. Big kid running on jet fuel days. Mom about to lose her marbles days. These moments make it all totally and completely worth it.


currently | Little Stinky Feet Theater

Currently is a weekly link-up with the lovely  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 smelling, wishing, loving, pouring, talking this week? Over here, we have been...

Smelling myself. I was gifted with some lovely Aveda products when our friends visited and the smell is so dreamy! Just the right mix of earth and sweet and spice - I smell fantastic. The smell is also reminding me how much I love Aveda's tea blends and that Rob got me a gift certificate to the local Aveda way back in May and I need to book a massage for myself. Yip! We have all also been smelling Etta's feet all week and saying "P.U!" and making crazy anime faces of near death. She loves it! She holds her feet out to us over and over for a Little Stinky Feet Theater. It's the sweetest. 

Wishing summer would never end. How is it August already?! Unreal.

Loving that I finally finished Omnivore's Dilemma as part of my long distance book club. It took my friend and I about four months to read this book because we have a Forgiveness Always policy for pushing our book clubs dates back due to anything (we are moms with full time jobs, yo). It was a great book - educational and thought-provoking. I loved the journalistic parts of it most of all and I want to learn more so I ordered myself two additional books on the subject of modern food culture: Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas and Farm City. And I'm loving that my friend and I are starting a new book club book soon and this time we are picking a new topic - her choice this time and I can't wait!

Pouring coffee on my head Flashdance style. If the government ever decides to use coffee as a mind control delivery system I am doomed.

Talking with Otto at bedtime and cherishing every second of it. He has moved back out of our bed and into his big boy bed this week (ps there are some pics of the kids' room here). So far he's doing great (last night being Night 2 of this experiment). Me, I don't know if I am doing so very great. I miss having him there through the night and was really nervous that having him sleep elsewhere would ruin our amazing bedtime routine that I pretty much live for. So far it hasn't. We've been doing our daily recaps in my room and then just when he's about to drift off, transitioning over to his own bed. This all came about kind of out of the blue when Otto spotted a Darth Vader quilt in my PB Kids catalog and was like, "Whoa." We told him if he is ready to sleep in his own bed at night and has seven nights in a row that we would get it for him (he doesn't have a comforter currently so it's not that extravagant of us although holy lord Pottery Barn charges a premium for their bedding, eek). Anyways my brain knows this is a normal transition and ultimately a good thing but my heart is really heavy. He's just getting so big and independent you guys. All the sighs!
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
spending, saving, speaking, going, sharing 



old school blogging

We're going streaking! There is an "old school blogging" meme going around and Andrea from Bubblewrappd and Rebecca from Manic Mama have both tagged me. It's lists -- my favorite thing! I love lists. Sometimes I make lists of things I've already done just so I can check them off. So this will be FUN

Five Things I Have a Passion For... my children, my husband, my family, laughing, and lately a passion has been reading/educating myself about the tragic industrial food complex. Am I a drag? Anyways, also close runner up passions would be Project Runway and coffee.

Five Things I'd Like to do Before I Die... find the death antidote, visit Greece, see my kids happily settled into lives they chose and get to know my grandkids, go back to grad school (but for what?), and grow/tend a really splendid English garden.

Five Things I Say a Lot... That's garbage, Make it work, You chose poorly, For reals?!, and Awesome

Five Places I Want to Travel... Greece, Hawaii, Italy, Galapagos Islands, and Ireland

Five People I Want to Tag for Old School Blogging... I think I am tardy to the party so I am just going to tag anyone who hasn't already been tagged elsewhere. Tag, you! What are your lists of five? Will we one day meet up in my organic English garden in Italy over a nice coffee and watch an epi of Project Runway and then go streaking? I hope so!


the project-per-month PROJECT month 5

Another month has come and gone and here we are with the Project-Per-Month Project, take five. I remain a huge fan of this method of home improvement. Small little projects, dealt with one at a time. Since we started, my house is just feeling nicer and tidier and I feel more in control of this space where I live.

Project-Per-Month Project HOW IT WORKS... If you want to join in the project project, and you totally should, here are the rules...
Pick a single, manageable project off your to-do list, just one.
- Determine that you WILL do it, come hell or high water, even if you have to stay up late one night
- Give yourself specific goals.
- Give yourself a deadline: the end of the month.
- Give yourself a budget.
- Do it. Do it.

I can't wait to see what everyone accomplished in July. Actually because I'm a few days behind posting this I've already seen a couple of you guys' end results and it's AWESOME. You guys rock! For July I refinished my kitchen table in Annie Sloane chalk paint in primer red. I was going to do the whole table but the minute I got started I realized I liked having the top red and the base and legs black because this way it still looks like my chairs belong with the table.
I chose Annie Sloane chalk paint which has a great reputation for being easy to work with and doesn't require any priming. The whole project took about 24 hours, but really just four time windows of one hour each with breaks for things to dry in between, and I just love how it turned out. The paint is thick and goes on so cleanly that I started out with a drop cloth that I had intended to move around the table as I worked, but realized it was unneccessary so I painted this bad boy without a drop cloth! Danger Mom! I live life on the edge.

I used 2 coats of paint which equaled about 2/3 of the can and then I used 2 coats of Annie Sloane sealing wax which you smear on and then buff once it's dry. The end result is matte but with a nice sheen. I wasn't sure how comfortable I'd be actually using the table but we had guests in town the day after I finished this project so it was trial by fire.

And the table did great! Even with four little kids using it which meant hot food spills, sticky food smashed on, water and milk puddles, etc. this poor table has been through the shit already. So far it's done great. I wouldn't put a hot pan or anything on this, because I just feel like it's good but not titanium-level of heat-stain proof  and would end up with a ring (is titanium heat-stain proof? I don't know I just have that song in my head). Bullets would not ricochet off this table. It would fall down. Don't fire away at my table.

Anyways, I'm so happy to have my beat looking table looking swank again!

July was a success, and just under budget. For August I am considering turning the catch-all closet in the kids' toy room into a dressup station. I'm giving myself a couple days to commit to this project because it will require imagination, organization, and probably a handful of thrift store trips for dress up supplies and honestly I don't know if I have it in me. But I want to! But I'm tired. But I'm excited! But also tired. If I decide to put this project off for a month then my backup project is finding a tall/narrow dresser at the thrift store for the corner next to the kitchen table. Right now we have one of those square Ikea tables tucked into the corner and it's covered with my "desk" stuff including a mad pile of papers/bills, my laptop when I'm not using it, camera, stationery, etc. It just looks really cluttered and Loretta is always threatening to pilfer through it. So a dresser would hide the mess nicely. Either way my August budget is going to be $40.

What projects have you been up to or are thinking about taking on for August? Let me know if you have any questions about using the chalk paint. I had a bunch, but ended up just kind of reading a handful of online tutorials and then going for it and it worked out. Really easy, versatile paint. I have a feeling it will be my go-to for any future paint projects, even though it is a pain to hunt down and I had to order mine long-distance. If you do that, it's worth comparing not just the cost but the shipping cost at a few places to find the best deal. It was cheaper for me to order from New England than from a shop in Portland - crazy! And word on the street is that you don't have to use Annie Sloane sealing wax (which is pricey) so next time I'll just use Annie Sloane paint and non-fancy wax. I think the packaging is fancy but the wax itself is standard. All in all two big thumbs up on this one though.


currently | Tim Tam Jam!

Currently is a weekly link-up with the lovely  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 watching, listening, writing, loving, creating this week? Over here, we have been...

Watching small, toe-headed persons with big personalities boss us around. Some of our best friends came to visit for a 3 day weekend, with their two boys in tow. Sebastian is 9 months younger than Otto and the two were inseparable. Ozias and Etta share a birthday and a fearless disposition. It was a handful of days of yummy, kid-friendly take-out and evening beers and whole days planned around baby naps and kid outings. Ice cream. County Fair. Four little cuties aged four and under. Four best friends who've known and loved each other for almost 20 years (yikes). Just all kinds of happy magic.

Listening to Etta babble in full sentences lately. She just talks and talks and talks, so much to say! I have no idea what she's going on and on about but I'm pretty sure it's a list of demands. Last night I got an earful after trying to help her eat mashed potatoes with her spoon. Plate thrown on the floor while roaring! Spoon ripped out of my hand! And then she ripped me a new one while shaking an angry spoon in my face. Hee hee. It's pretty hard not to laugh when you're being chewed out in irate gobbledegook. Ahem, BUT, I have fear about this one's teenage years. Grey hair making fear.

Otto is Writing a whole library full of books. He makes small books at school with folded paper and staples and fills them with stories and illustrations. The best part of Otto's books is that he sounds the words out himself! His most epic work so far is "Ottos Plan Bek" which is a book of daring and dangerous plans, most of which include helicopters, people dangling off helicopters, often all of it happening over a volcano, and everything is of course on fire. Boys!

Loving Tim Tams! Rebecca sent a most epic care package full of Canadian goodies (OMG thank you lady but my tight jeans DO NOT thank you!) and while I haven't gotten to taste it all yet, I have scarfed 2/3 of a box of Tim Tams in less than twelve hours. Tim Tams! Tim Tam Jam! Whoohooooo chocolate hyperness party!

Creating a refurbed kitchen table! There is a little sneak peak above. This was my Project Per Month Project for July so there will be a post hopefully tomorrow on the transformation from cruddy, chipped tabletop to smooth red chalk-painted end result. I may be addicted to Annie Sloane chalk paint in addition to Tim Tams ::does weird little jiggy dance::
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
smelling, wishing, loving, pouring, talking