Currently {link up}

The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: feeling, questioning, longing, watching, moving

We have been Feeling the sun on our skin. Yard days are upon us and I doubt we'll spend too much time inside until Fall. Last weekend I got a few plants plugged into the dirt (the beginnings of a pumpkin patch, cucumber/sunflower vineyard, and tomatoes)... and this weekend I hope to do a bunch more. If just one plant would thrive and go apeshit bearing fruit this summer I'll feel all accomplished, like the awesome worm and vegetable farmer I am in my heart.  

Otto has been Questioning just everything really. And then making like Napoleon Dynamite faces. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh. Are we really in this phase already? And glum pouting, people. Glum-faced pouting! You don't realize when you're a kid that your parents want to just glum-faced pout right back at you. Or it would feel so awesome to just...

I have been Longing for a grown-up getaway. Maybe if I put this out to the universe we'll stumble upon a winning powerball ticket or something. I just want like 2 days in a row where I don't have to move my body for anything other than waving a towel boy over to refill my margarita. Not. Gonna. Happen.

What shows are you guys Watching? Rob and I watch Mad Men, but that's over for the season. And I can't tear myself away from True Tori. But that's about it. I'd love to get super into a show and marathon through past seasons but just, no idea what's good. Downton Abbey?

Loretta has been Moving to the music. Baby girl was born to rock and starting in July we're going to start her in ballet and Otto in karate. Yay! Anyways, dance parties with these kids are epic. Otto's moves are very much ninja-inspired. And Loretta dances with her whole heart and soul. She can copy almost any dance step and her new best moves are a little hip swivel and this thing she does where she looks over her shoulder, holds the pose, then swivels and looks over her other shoulder, then holds the pose. It's very Vogue ;)

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
snapping, checking, learning, dropping, saving 


"eat the french fry"

Ahhh, three day weekends are just what it's all about. We really should have more of them in all our lives.

Yesterday I got to spend a couple of solo hours with Loretta in the morning, running errands, and another couple of solo hours with her in the afternoon while the boys went to a Memorial Day party (that overlapped Loretta's nap).

We set up the wooden train tracks and set our one motorized train on the path - Loretta completely ignores the rest of the train cars, it's "Duncan" or nothing. It's funny how she plays trains so differently from Otto. She found a little plastic french fry and every time Duncan the train came around the corner she laid that little fry on the tracks and said, "eat the french fry." He'd power through, pushing the french fry a few inches before it fell off the track in front of him. Then he'd go around the big loop again and in the mean time Loretta would gather her french fry and wait for him to get close.

We fed that french fry to Duncan about 30 times in a row yesterday. Every single time she laughed. It was just fantastic.

At night, when she usually chooses a stuffed animal or a baby to bring to her crib, last night she chose a wooden Thomas train (Duncan had mysteriously disappeared on a high shelf by bedtime). Her heart is gold.


Currently {link up}

The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: writing, visiting, learning, wanting, loving

I have been Writing lists of all the things I want to get done each day, week, month, lifetime. Summer seems to be the season where you schedule multiple huge events out months in advance. This summer we have Rob going on 2 week-plus international math conference trips, which means mama's gonna be winging it at home, yipes. We have weddings and friends visiting and and a micro vacay of our own. I'm so excited for all of it but gulp. My comfort place is routine so it's a little overwhelming to think of all the things we have to do and get done in order to do the things, plus normal life stuff like 4 kids birthday parties in the next 3 weeks. My lists have lists! 

Loretta has been Visiting with us more and more. She tells us about her day, what makes her happy (mostly snacks and tutus), what we need to do IMMEDIATELY to make her happy at any given moment (almost always it's: let her strip naked, then give her a snack and a tutu). Visiting with this little miss is about the best, funniest, most delightful thing.

Otto has been Learning about life on the prairie. We're onto book 2 of the Little House series. My challenge has been editing out the racism as I go (it's like wow bad) and Otto's challenge has been imagining life as a settler. He was talking about it with a girl at school, I guess, and he told me that what they came up with was that life back then was so hard that, "first the moms break their legs, then the dads break their legs, then the moms break their legs again, and the kids were just barfing everywhere." So yeah, I don't know what to make of that explanation except yuck and haha.

We have been Wanting to get our garden started but tomato starts are slower-growing than I'd ever realized. This weekend we're going to haul in some good soil and transplant the first set of starts, some store-bought, and I may just straight up sow some seeds. Yippee!

Last night I was Loving my little birthday celebration dinner. We went out for sushi (noodles for the kiddos - and it's freaking cute that Otto calls the sushi place a "noodle shop" because of Kung Fu Panda) and came home to cake the boys had made and even presents, including a medley of heirloom organic non-gmo garden seeds (when a ma-a-a-an loves a woman, he knows exactly what kinds of garden seeds will make her smile) that I can't wait to figure out what to do with.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
feeling, questioning, longing, watching, moving 


worms, composting, awesome

On Saturday we spent some time in the yard and set up our Worm Factory 360 with 250 red wigglers; a bedding full of coconut fiber, shred newspaper, crumbled pumice, and garden soil; and the first of many food scraps which will become the first of our monthly super rich garden compost harvests - starting in about 90 days. I'm so excited to finally have our worms and the "fancy" system all set up and on our back porch. At first, I had placed it behind the house, but as I read the (unexpectedly long and also unexpectedly interesting) "how-to" book that came with the composter, I realized the back of the house gets too much sun and the shady porch is the place for our worms to get their grub on. 

Adventures in worm keeping has been thrilling so far. Even though I know they probably don't love it, I can't stop checking on them every day, raking back the top layers of food scraps and bedding to make sure they're happily wiggling away below the surface. This is how I found out that they love melon rinds more than carrots or edamame shells. The system will eventually get stacked pretty tall, you add a box at a time as the feeding boxes fill with scraps. Eventually the box on the bottom is compost, ready to harvest, then that box gets emptied and moved to the top and the cycle continues indefinitely.  

As the composting continues I'm excited to see if it's as easy as it sounds to maintain. Keeping the moisture and temperature levels in the right range and making sure the worms have a steady food supply seem to be all there is to it. In a temperate climate like Oregon, I think that's going to be super manageable. 

Last night after dinner Rob threw away the leftover avocado and I like yelled at him, "Rob! Worms!" I looked at him all exasperated and he looked at me like the woman I have become, ha... An awesome lady with cool interests, obviously.

I'm looking forward to getting more serious about gardening and really putting some time and muscle into the back yard. We started 3 types of heirloom tomato from seed and will transplant the first set of starts into the garden probably this weekend. The kids are happy as clams outside and able to help out a bit, run around a bit, and just be dirty and sweaty the way kids should be. It's therapeutic to spend time out there, doing physical work and getting a little Vitamin D, wearing yourself out physically and calming your mind while you get hands on with the earth. 


Currently {link up} The Otto Crowne Affaire

The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: wishing, celebrating, wasting, scratching, wearing

I have been Wishing for patience in the face of things I cannot control. And nope! So far I'm still searching for my ohm. Ha. It's hard - just life is hard sometimes. We all have our own stuff going on...
image via

My other 13 problems pretty much have to do with people who don't realize they're assholes and/or money. Yay! Anyways, hang in there gals. I keep thinking, "what if I just do 1 thing per day to get me closer to where I want to be?" But then when I have a minute, like in the evening, I'm thinking, "what if I just play 2048 for a half hour and then go to bed?" So, it's on me.

On Sunday we were Celebrating Mother's Day with a nice fancy breakfast made by my boys, the institution of Mimosa Sundays (forever and ever and always, why didn't we think of this before?), and flowers and a day spent outside kicking it. Hope all the mamas enjoyed their days. ps. Otto really thought that fancy breakfast was disgusting and spent the whole meal complaining, which I secretly loved that he was being such a butt, because that's kids for ya!

We were all Wasting time and energy on a great mystery this week and here it is. Otto was having quiet time this weekend and ended up rifling through our bedroom. He did weird things like cut a handful of my hairbands and left the sad remains on a pillow, then later when we were like, "Hey, Ot, what in the world is this pile of cut hairbands?" he inspected them and said, "Huh? Yeah that IS weird! I wonder what happened?" And we're like, "We're onto you buddy, do you think you might've done this?" And he says, "well yeah, maybe, I think I did." Weirdo. Anyways, during this adventure in being a weird kid, he also got into my jewelry/life treasures box and we didn't realize he'd done so...

Long story short, we later found one of the jewelry boxes on a laundry pile and the necklace inside it was gone. Otto has no memory of where the necklace went. We completely believe him on this because the kid can't remember where he put his toothbrush WHILE he's brushing his teeth. But for obvious reasons, we felt compelled to figure out what happened to my actually fine jewelry... and also it was one of those moments where you realize you have to drive home a point to your kid and things are gonna get ugly. We had to have serious talks about responsibility, being sneaky, disappointment, trying hard to remember something important, etc. He was so upset and so sorry. And there was a part of me that just wanted to comfort him and say, "It's ok." But it's actually not ok to rifle through other people's things, ruin stuff, and lose other stuff. So we had to really pace our response, keep that poker face, and just say basically, "Love you. Do not love what you did. Not okay." Ugh. And the necklace is still missing. So to be continued... or not...

My poor kids have been Scratching their tragic sensitive skin. Hours in the yard means eczema party. Break out the vanicream and hold the citrus, it's gonna be a rashy summer.

On the flip side, my lucky kids have been Wearing dirt and melted ice cream and sweat and shants. So it's gonna be a fun rashy summer at least.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
writing, visiting, learning, wanting, loving 


MC Do It My Way

I was realizing yesterday that Loretta will not let me just sing her a lullaby. That would be too easy :)

When Otto was little our jams were Carpenters songs (especially Close to You), 3 Little Birds with some custom lyric changes so that Otto Harold and other people we knew were often the ones "on my doorstep", and anything Renee and Jeremy. We were crooners and love songers and it was a very mellow lullaby situation. Enter my firecracker. All those above songs are still my favorite to sing to my babes. My short-range voice can manage them and I know all the words, and within a bar or two they're now always interrupted.

"No no no no no. Cookie song." This means shut up, Mom, and sing C is for Cookie to me eleven times in a row. She'll sing along. It's sweet.

"ABC ABC ABC!" means let's start singing the ABCs and maybe finish but at some point she'll probably interrupt to request the Cookie song.

Just like she insists on choosing her own pajamas, her own crayon colors, her own snacks from the snack basket, and brushing her own teeth. She's a funny bunny. She knows what she wants. She's a pickle. A pill. She throws little tantrums and gives the best kisses and hugs, fist bumps, and high fives.

I never stop being amazed by how different and individually magical these kiddos are. And I know Loretta's independence will be the source of some headaches and probably some blowouts in our house, there's no doubt. But I love her spirit so fiercely. She challenges me to do it her way and I find that her way is just fantastic. And I'll make a Carpenter fan of her yet.


Currently {link up}

The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: learning, wanting, enjoying, missing, playing

We have been Learning the Fifty Nifty United States. It has long been a parlor trick of mine that I can recite all 50 states in alphabetical order, singing-ish style ::bows to the left, bows to the right, does a jig dance:: and lately, actually with a recent roadtrip up to Portland, Otto has begun asking a lot of state-based questions. We've had a map in his room practically his whole life so we can point to Oregon and point to where most of our relatives are in Arizona, but now he's been asking things like, "Is Arizona in Oregon? Is Portland a state?" He wants to know more about the hierarchy of how it all works. Love it. So now we're singin' the states! And it turns out that my lack of tone and tune, plus only singing it to myself or drunk at parties for thirty years, has completely warped the song from its original (boring) version. We were singing it in the van on the way home yesterday, awesomesauce, then pulled it up on Youtube when we got home. Otto, "This is NOT the same song." Whatevs, child! Know your states!

The kids have been Wanting to eat dinner in the yard every day. I guess this means summer food needs to happen to our meal plan because I've been struggling to come up with anything that's edible on a blanket and also qualifies as dinner. We're currently fertilizing our grass with macaroni noodles, for example.

We were all Enjoying some of our oldest, dearest friends this past weekend during that overnight roadtrip. Rob's best childhood friend lives with his amazing wife and two kiddos, just a couple hours from us and it's stupid how rarely we see them. This is a crazy time of life, that's not much of an excuse but they're going through it too so we all forgive each other. Anyways, it was so awesome to see them and get our kids together. And randomly, since we all grew up in Phoenix-metro, one of my core life friends and his amazing fiance also live in Portland. So we got to brunch with them, and soak in their awesomeness, and the kids played drums and organ at their house. Just enjoying all over the place.

I have been Missing my evenings. This week for whatever reason, call it DMS or just being down (it happens to the best of us and I'm thinking of finding a therapist soon, does anyone have any great words of wisdom surrounding therapists because it's really scary to consider needing that but I think I do). Anyways, I've been going to bed at the kids' bedtime and sleeping through. Maybe it's just that I can finally catch up on the last two years of sleep; Loretta's been pretty awesome about sleeping through for about the past month, but even though getting sleep sleep sleep feels good, it also means outside of work and evenings with the kids I've had nothing else going on. Time to catch up on True Tori and some reading and some laundry, maybe tonight?

We have been Playing Disney songs on Pandora and romping in the backyard. Summer in Oregon really makes up for winter in Oregon. I'll say it. And this year the goal is to garden the shit out of our yard now that the kids can semi-entertain themselves out there. Pretty excited about my tomato starts; they're starting to get their second set of leaves! Time to re-pot and start hardening them off for the yard transplant in 2 weeks. Exciting!

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
wishing, celebrating, wasting, scratching, wearing 


three gratitudes, 6

Starting your day with three gratitudes is supposed to set the tone for a happier day and I need that this morning. I'm so grateful for little boy smiles, for loud little girl songs, and for friends who will text with you about what everyone wore to the Met Gala all night long if that's what it takes to make you forget where your head's at on a dumpy evening.


this little oatmeal milestone

I know a little girl who is on the brink of toddler greatness. This morning she followed Otto's lead, without any prompting, and carried her oatmeal bowl to the kitchen counter when she was finished. What a helper.

Some days are exhausting and some days are unremarkable but every day there are these little moments woven in that you just don't want to ever forget how you felt, what they said, how they did little amazing things for the first time. Grateful we're having a quiet Saturday and I was able to jump on here and write it down. Grateful for Disney songs on Pandora and all day dance parties. Grateful for coffee and legos. Grateful I woke up in the middle of the night and had an hour to myself to watch True Tori. I have to watch it by myself because (love him as I do) my husband ruins lady-shows for me. Can I get a solidarity "hey yo!"? Anyways, this time of year all the anxiety and lameness of winter magically starts to melt away and I think this year I needed Spring more than ever. ::big fat good sigh::


Currently {link up}

The deal: Use our themes or use your own - just let us know what is 'currently' going on with you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to the other bloggers linking up - especially to my amazing co-host at Harvesting Kale.

This week's themes: buying, snapping, scoring, struggling, losing

This week I have been Buying myself Mother's Day presents, in my head. Nothing grande, I just really want to have a yard day on Mother's Day and get my garden all set for the summer. I want a worm composter the way some people are really hoping for breakfast in bed or a Nordstrom gift card. And this isn't a hint, Rob doesn't read this blog, haha, and also I flat out told him, "Worms, please!"

Loretta has been Snapping (as in losing her mind and unleashing hellfire on us all) less and less. You know how they get super angsty right before making a big developmental leap? Well we are all thankfully on the flip side of one of these leaps. A couple of weeks ago we were all side eyeing that girl and saying things like, "Damn, female, reel it in." (Note: we did not really say this to our two year old.) Now we're all jaw-dropping because she's suddenly just this chatty chatterbox who says full on sentences. At the babysitter's she said to a crying baby, "No cry, Sophie, be happy girl," and patted and hugged her. Um. Yay. Also, hypocritical but whatever :)

Oregon has been Scoring some actual summer-like weather this week. Last night we all wore shorts and sandals and walked to dinner and ice cream.

It feels so amazing to not be squinting through grey light and huddled inside against the rain/snow/cold. I don't even care who was blinded by my day-glo albino legs in cut offs! I care zero. I own one pair of shorts and I'll be putting them on daily (after work or whatever) for the next five months. Bam!

I have been Struggling with missing my out-of-state friends. I had a really amazing support network in New York of women I admired and we all lifted each other up and laughed big and often. I miss them and the energy I drew from being/working near them. And I had a really amazing couple of Tucson women who inspired and brought peace to me, plus good snacks and knitting. I miss them. And my three best friends in the world are all nowhere near me and I miss them. I've just been thinking about these gals a lot lately and kicking myself for not being better about picking up the stupid phone and calling. It's so easy to float from day to day sometimes. And there is a little posse of women here who I'd love to get that close with but it's like we're all in crazy busy places in our lives right now. I'm thankful for the occasional lunches we carve out for each other. Women get a bad reputation for drama and cattiness but the best women in my life have been nothing but amazing for me - we should all take more time to seek out those moments where we can support and motivate and inspire each other. Dudes, I'm a Hallmark card but for reals, high five your girlfriends today.

Hmmm, what have we been Losing? Beyond all the pieces to the board games, because Loretta loves to go all Johnny-Depp-in-a-hotel-room on our game cupboard, I can't think of much that we've been losing. Our winter blues? Our pot of really good lip balm from Anthropologie (true story, bummer). That's about it. I'd like to see myself losing a few hours at Buffalo Exchange sometime soon, my wardrobe could use a few new-to-me additions.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
learning, wanting, enjoying, missing, playing