a review: the glades

This is an unsolicited review of the tv show The Glades; the opinions are my own.

The Glades is a family-friendly murder show set in and around Florida beaches and resorts. During my trip to-and-from New York last weekend I, for the most part, was wallowing in not having my kids around. I took naps on the plane and read a magazine and had a beer while no one asked me for anything and no part of me was in any way responsible for anyone else's poop. Only twice during my airplane travels did I think to myself, "Man I wish my kids could be here to see this." Lucky for a lot of families flying in the seats around me, they had their kids with them during those two moments to watch The Glades in-flight and learn about the procedure of getting to the bottom of murder.

In Florida, most young swimsuit models are murdered in their swimsuits. I think portraying a murdered almost-naked lady with glassy fish eyes as a delicately beautiful, near-erotic vision (let's zoom in a little more on that sandy, bloody crotch area, enhance, ehance) is key to raising well-rounded, sympathetic 1 to 11 year olds and brings up really good questions for family conversation.

The little boy behind me, for example, during the 4 hour NYC to SLC leg of my journey, had a lot of questions for his mom and dad about The Glades which I was lucky enough to overhear. One of them was, "Oh my god, is this inappropriate for me?" While I winced at the kid's overuse of, "Oh my god," throughout the flight I nodded to myself at the quality of the conversation between the child and his dad. "Probably," the dad replied, "sometimes grown-ups like to watch shows where they figure out really bad crimes step-by-step."

"Like extreme violence and murder?" the son asked.

"Yeah," the dad whispered... This wasn't the whisper of someone engrossed in high quality tv. It was the whisper of a parent being forced to admit something simply and ugly about the world to his little boy. It sounded like he wanted to go on, he probably felt compelled to, but he didn't. These are awkward conversations.

So, I didn't get around to buying headphones while I flew and so I can only imagine what The Glades detectives and characters talked about. I think it was probably a lot of reflecting on the horror of violently taking another person's life and ways to avoid escalating disagreements and conflicts to the level of extreme violence and/or calculated murder. Most parents around me, I noticed, didn't ante up for headphones for their kids to listen to The Glades either. So those kids, like me, just got the benefit of having the murder mystery play out in their faces. But I'm sure they, like me, were contemplating the greater social and spiritual lessons of this most excellent PG-rated television show.


currently... snap! back to reality

Currently is a weekly link-up 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 our themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. What have you been leading, following, sipping, thinking, smiling this week? Over here, we have been...

Leading myself to New York City (and back again) last weekend to visit dear friends, chit chat, ok, let's be honest, GOSSIP, eat all the things, I mean like meatloaf it UP, karaoke like a rockstar! so many songs, shop at H&M without makeup, before breakfast, because I slept til 10am people! And finish that all off with a dessert known as crack-pie (it's like a cookie, in a pie, in your face) and a big fat Vogue I read cover-to-cover while napping, napping! on a plane. Whirlwind dream weekend, you have recharged my life and my sad little Eugene wardrobe, and Etta's wardrobe too. Forever and ever, amen.

Following myself home again home again to a couple of munchkins and a sport of a husband who I missed like crazy. Let me tell you, when I got back super-late Monday night Etta gave me a loud, grumbly earful. I thought she'd be all cuddles and smiles but lady friend had a bone to pick.  

Sipping hot coffee and peppermint tea. Not at the same time. Fall, I love you.

Thinking about what kind of snacks I can make for Rob and I to watch the series finale of Breaking Bad this weekend... What looks like blue crystal meth and tastes like a potato chip?

Smiling at Loretta and Otto, as they grow and change, it's just amazing to behold their individuality and how they interact and have become such great friends. We have the makings of a very dangerous team of stinkers on our hands. Otto is so freaking imaginative, analytical, and just charming. Loretta is a fearless boundary-pusher and at the same time, just delightful. When she smiles, I smile. If they ever put their powers together, Rob and I will be doomed.  
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
learning, growing, buying, loving, wishing 



currently... hot garbage today, new york tomorrow

Good 3 in the morning! Coming at you LIVE from Cool Girls Insomnia Club, whoohoo. Yay.

Currently is a weekly link-up 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 our themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. What have you been changing, remembering, needing, cleaning, feeling this week? Over here, we have been...

Changing coasts, tomorrow! Guys, I am taking a 3-day ladies weekend to NYC. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of! So many feelings about this trip. Mostly joy to see some of my favorite people in the whole world. I'm also weirdly excited for my days of transit there and back. This must be a mom thing right? I'm just thinking of being forced to sit for hours and hours while someone brings me sodas and I have to READ or NAP for entertainment. Is flying mom heaven? And then I'm a little anxious to be leaving the kiddos. Rob will do great, but I'll be worried about all three of them until the minute I'm back. Worry does not keep me from reading, napping, or eating loads and loads and loads of vacation food. And maybe a little shoppy shoppy? This trip is going to be super good for my soul, I think. Much needed says the mom who's been awake all night. Let's hear it for New York!

Remembering baby cuddles. Is there something in our dna that makes having an 18 month old equal the onset of baby fever? I have been awake for 26 hours with a very grouchy small person, why do I keep looking at Loretta and thinking I could do this one more time. Because no, I probably couldn't, it would actually kill me, stupid animal brain.

Needing sweaters and warm drinks and extra blankets. How is it fall already? And I'm not even complaining. Tall boots, tights, and scarves = bring it! I think for this fall I want to invest in some really great t-shirts, find some great vintage pants, and a nice pair of brown mary janes. The PNW has infested my bloodstream it seems, because the shoes I picture are way more Dansko than they should be.

Cleaning my face. I saw a beauty routine post on another blog a while back and it inspired me to get my face maintenance routine in order. So I did and I'm enjoying some amazing skin. Important for a sleep deprived thirty-five year old lady! I was thinking of sharing that here. I'm adding that to the post backlog which now includes: talking about pot roast AND talking about good face stuff for old mom gals. Scintillating, eh?

Feeling a soft little fuzzy head grinding against my chin as I type. This wild child is a sweet thing even if she is a demanding lunatic a-hole sometimes. Being yowled awake at 11pm, 1am, and 3am gives me license to call my darling an a-hole. She can't read. She's happy in my lap with crackers. I get to secretly think this kind of sucks even if she is warm and soft and jabbering about stickers. Cuddling a sweet little lady while you try to jam out a blog post fueled by coffee, I don't really mind it. But I'm SO going to look like hot garbage at work today, so I'm super looking forward to that.
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
leading, following, sipping, thinking, smiling 



a little back to school cutie

Otto's first day of school 2013/2014. The hamming is strong with this one.
Awww, my little guy. This will be his 3rd year attending the Montessori preschool and it is brain boggling how much he's grown as a scholar, a good citizen, a silly goof (so important to grow as a goof!), and just as a human who won't stop growing! Otto is popular with the other kids and with the parents. He's sweet and polite but he's also not afraid to challenge anyone to a game of super ninjas and he WILL be the bad guy, you bet on it! And you watch out cuz he saw a REAL badguy once, getting handcuffed across the street one time, so he KNOWS about bad guy stuff first hand... He loves math, writing, games, and puzzles. He is obsessed with the fact that another boy at school told him he can't play chess against himself. We hear that story like every other day and yes, Otto, yes you can you little amazing awesome person! When it comes to puzzles he still prefers taking on challenges he know he will dominate. As in, he'd rather wow you by speed-putting together a 24 piece puzzle versus challenging himself with a 100 piece one. But that's cool, I get it, I do. I'm kinda that way too. He loves being the oldest kid in his class this year. He started out as the youngest, being mentored by the older kids in the 2 1/2 - 5 year old classroom. This year he is basically a "senior" and loves to show the littler kids the ropes. He has a heart of gold, a wild imagination, he's smart as a whip, and I just love this wonderful little guy who is going to rock preschool this year. My super star.


currently... Mick Jagger's hair smells amazing

Currently is a weekly link-up 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 our themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. What have you been needing, reading, wearing, picturing, expecting this week? Over here, we have been...

Needing iron? I don't know what got into me but last weekend I became obsessed with the idea of making my first pot roast. So... I did it! Hello! I'm 35 (oh shit I almost wrote 34 ::superfrown::) and I finally know how to make a pot roast! And, it freaking rocked. I used Pioneer Woman's recipe and the end result was just epic-ally perfect. Nothing new, exciting, or fancy, just straight up excellent. Here is a before pic from Instagram (dude I feel like every photo I take is from IG these days).
The kids loved it with ketchup (exactly how I remember loving roast as a kid). I've been eating it here, there, and everwhere. My veggie husband was super cool about the whole business and even said to me, "Well look at you, Master Chef," (he wouldn't touch that dead thing with a ten foot pole, to be clear). The crowning triumph of this dish is that the whole thing was organic, right down to the local, pastured chuck I got at Long's Meat Market.

I have so many things to say about pot roast, I'm considering writing a separate post about it. You can stay up at night with anticipation waiting for that one!

Reading The Wizard of Oz with Otto at night and loving this classic. We are children's book series obsessed around here. The book has captured Otto's imagination. He's been bringing home illustrations of scenes from the book and it's become a part of bedtime routine that I look forward to every day. The book is so crazy violent in bits and pieces, but it's mostly the Tin Woodman chopping heads off things left and right. That guy is a straight-up serial killer. Do not sneak up on the Tin Woodman in an alley because you spook that guy for a second and you're DEAD. The key to reading this book has pretty much been to anticipate the Woodman's moves in advance and adjust the language as you read, "The winged monkeys dive bombed the heroes and the Tim Woodman waved his arms around like crazy and scared them away."  I pretty much am a Criminal Minds for the Tin Woodman, and he's a really predictable unsub. Other than all the murder edits, the book is a prime adventure and we're loving it! 

Wearing our hair, "short in the front and long in the back, like Mick Jagger." Otto's obsession with a young Mick continues and the boy won't consider a haircut to save his life. He is a darling moppet and I don't really care except the longer his hair gets the more intense his distaste for shampoo seems to get and also the more his stinky hair smells like a moose hoof. He lets us shampoo his hair, but always raises a stink and it annoys me so we usually wait 2-3 days between shampoos. Last night I turned the turn-tables (see what I did there? it was a not dumb at all pun) on Otto and said, "Listen, Mick Jagger is super clean, his hair smells amazing, and he loves to wash it and keep it shiny and nice." What a weird parent lie!

Picturing Miss Etta with hair. She is going to go down in history as the President of the United States who was bald until she was two. But just recently her little tufts of strawberry blonde fuzz have started to look like a hipster pixie cut with long sideburns and a little fullness on top. I played around with a teeny little ponytail on top the other night and it was way too much of a stretch but still, I can almost picture this little munchkin with hair and it kind of kills me.

Expecting soccer to kick our asses this fall. Otto has finally joined a league and we have Thursday night practices and Saturday games AND like a huge chump I volunteered to be team mom which means coordinating the snacks. I don't know what I think about any of this. I'm excited for him I guess. I mean his path to become a British rock star has to start somewhere and stinky hair plus soccer roots are probably apt places, eh? It WILL be fun, but adding something new to our routine is always overwhelming so right now I'm just enjoying the fact that at least one night a week I can suggest takeout or frozen pizza without feeling the smallest bit guilty about it. So there's that! Also just the extreme cuteness of 4 year olds playing soccer is enough to warm anyone's heart to organized sports. This is how they hook you!
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
changing, remembering, needing, cleaning, feeling 



one and a half

Today, this little miss is one and a half years old.

Baby of mine, you may be child number two but you are no one's second fiddle. You are a serious, take-charge little beauty. Often you won't relax or have a good time until you've completely understood a new situation and then demanded this or this be changed to your tastes before you let your guard down a little and grace us with a laugh or grin. This isn't about being timid, it's about making sure the world is on your terms before you are willing to enjoy it. You remind me of me, only bolder and stronger, I hope you never lose that boldness or strength, it is so impressive (if exasperating to your poor old Mom and Pop at times).

You're also so incredibly physical. Where you are slow to warm to new situations or people, you are also fast to risk life and limb for a thrill. You love to throw your body around, run fast, swing, slide, anything that puts the wind in your wispy strawberry blonde hair.

You are a stinker and often do things you know are against the rules, on purpose, and then when we say, "Oh my, Etta, what is this?" you put your little chubby hands under your chin and make the most surprised little "O!" face we can imagine as if to say, "Ain't I a stinker?" then smile and run away.

You love crackers so much. Let's just memorialize this.

You also say, really almost whisper, "Yeah, yeah," while nodding your head in a way that I want to always remember. Like if you fall down and we ask, "Are you ok?" you will reassure us my whispering, "Yeah, yeah."

You love to cuddle your dolls and especially stuffed animals. You will cuddle one in the crook of your elbow while sucking your thumb.

You pick out your own shoes every day and if I try to skirt around your choice there is hell to pay. Last week you wanted to wear your blue dock shoes but they were wet from the yard so I grabbed your red mary janes and we were off to the sitter. When I picked you up I heard about how you chewed her out all day long every time she tried to put your shoes on. You were irate and gibbering in long sentences about how those red shoes were absolutely unacceptable! We both laughed at your spitfire spirit.

You are a born dancer and love baths. These are both things that will put you in a happier mood when you are feeling a bit on edge.

I have a feeling words, words, and more words are coming soon and that, like your brother, this will be a turning point in your development because once you can really vocalize exactly what you want, are thinking, and feeling you will feel more in control. It was around this time, maybe closer to 2, that Otto went from super serious baby to a more relaxed little guy. Although that is about the end of your similarities. Still I am excited for the words to come. You already have quite a few, but it seems you're on the brink of just sitting us down and giving us a real earful.

I love you. That's the biggest thing. I love you and cherish you and can't believe eighteen months have gone by since the day we welcomed you into our family. Our Loretta Cecille. Eighteen months. Unreal.



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 growing, buying, earning, judging, embracing this week? Over here, we have been...

The kids have been Growing like weeds. We keep a little growth chart on the wall and Otto has shot up 2 inches since January. He is the most gangly little character, especially when he runs around the house in his underwear with his giant head of hair and little stick body. Loretta has also grown about 2 inches since her birthday, which was in March.

Buying no haircuts for Otto and the boy kinda needs one. Several weeks back we introduced him to the idea that he reminds us of a young Mick Jagger from the 60s. Big head, little body, pillowy eyes, and prancing around in his skivvies... he really does have a Jaggerness! "Let me see," he said. So we started playing youtube videos of the Rolling Stones back in the day. Ot was loving it! He started asking if things were, "cool like a rock star, like Mick Jagger," and telling us, "You can't always get what you want, Mommy." Well, we were not discouraging this mini obsession because it made us laugh and smile. So, my parents are visiting and my dad usually takes Ot to the barber shop as one of their things, but this time Otto put his foot down. No haircuts! He said the words no mother ever longs to hear, "I want it short in the front and long in the back, like Mick Jagger." Gulp. 

Earning a muffin top and who cares?! My mom and dad have been here all week which means lots of ice cream and way more eating at restaurants and evening beers than normal. Muffin top, look at her grow!

Etta has been Judging everyone for not understanding her. She is at that age where words are about to happen in a big way but right now she is mostly just frustrated that we don't know "Ba" is book and not ball, which is also "Ba." I expect full dissertations on why we're annoying her, by Christmas, for now we get a lot of scowls.

Embracing chaos. That is always the goal. I am bad at it. My brain understands what I want to do - be zen with the universe and all that. But my body is all insomnia OR narcolepsy depending on the night and my brain is on crack 24/7 (not really obviously). I just want to slow down and enjoy the enjoyable parts because the kids will only be this little once. Things I know. I'm just working on it.
That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
needing, reading, wearing, picturing, expecting 



the project-per-month PROJECT month 6

This month I turned the catch-everything closet in Otto and Loretta's playroom into a dress-up closet. But, like sands through the hourglass, so the days seem to have gotten away from me in writing this post up. We have had loved ones visiting and that has been all it took for me to put off this report for a bit. The good news is I finished my project before the end of the month deadline and way under budget. I spent $11 when the budget had been $40, whoohoo!
This was a hard one to photograph all at once, there are more angles below of the mounted hat basket and accessories hooks on the interior wall of the closet.

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 August. Now that we are at the six month mark on this thing, I was thinking I'd make a dedicated page on this site to showcase all the stuff everyone has done. So many of you take on way more challenging and exciting projects than me and burying the links to all your projects in the comments seems unworthy of the radness. So I will try to get that completed soon and let everyone know when I do.
One of the joys of this project was uncluttering the playroom by moving all the dress-up gear into a single station. But sometimes clutter has a place, like this "Balerz" sign Otto hung up on the wall with washi tape on the wall outside the closet. He was sounding out "Bad Guys" which is pretty freaking impressive for a 4 1/2 year old! But we mostly love it,  Rob and I, because the characters he picked are the least. ballers. eva. Hee hee.

I was inspired by my good friend who grew up so poor in money and rich in love. She told me one of her favorite activities as a kid was playing in her mom's scrap fabric basket. That's the perfect activity, simple, and encouraging creative thinking. So I decided to convert my own fabric basket into some easy dress-up pieces and some scraps along with the kids' existing collection of tutus and dress-up gear... and then moved the rest of my fabric stockpile to a shelf.

I got the printed backdrop from my work as it had become too crinkled to use but was just fine to jazz up this little space. The tension rod cost $7, the hat basket $2, and some elastic I purchased to make silly hats for the kids another $2. Everything else is shopped from around the house and I'll add items to the hangers as time goes by but we aren't in a hurry.

August was a success, and way under budget. For September I am turning the cluttered corner of my dining room that is an old Ikea table stacked high with laptop, bills, things that need filed, camera, and now sewing machine into a corner that has a cute old dresser in it and maybe a plant on top. My budget will be $60 and I'm excited to have just a clean-up and thrifting project as I am a bit exhausted these days and could use an easy project this month. It will make a big difference, though, in how nice our house looks since my junk is seriously junking up the place.

What projects have you been up to or are thinking about taking on for September? I want to see!