currently - just so - 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: needing, listening, learning, jumping, building

This week Loretta has been Needing things "just so" a little bit more than usual. She is so intense and I think routine and a sense of tyranny control help soothe her fierce, contrary little heart. Some of her current routines I never want to forget. Like how at night she has to have Big Baby, New Baby, Brown Baby, and Yellow Baby in her crib before she'll go to sleep (she names her babies very literally; I really love it). How she has to spend a minute before bedtime playing in Otto's room with all the choking hazard toys he is allowed to keep up there, and when I say, "one minute," she replies, "two minutes," every time. How she likes to take turns giving cheek kisses with Otto and Rob before heading off to bed. How she has to open her drawer to choose her own pajamas and when I tell her, "it's too hot for pajamas," how she has to tell me back, matter of fact, "too hot for jamas, Mama." And how despite the fact that I give her a lot of street cred for being a pistol, she is actually a little sweetheart who loves Eskimo kisses and bedtime foot rubs and says, "love you," at lights out and then mellows out and goes to sleep so sweetly.

I'm currently Listening to my body and it's telling me I need to eat shark cartilage or something. I feel so old and brittle. Ugh. I don't know what this is but I've been taking calcium and... could someone just make a voodoo doll of me and soak it in shea butter and send it on a weeklong trip to a massage spa or something? I'll mail you my hair and a scrap of my underwear, whatever you need. Thanks.

Otto has been Learning how to escape front, side, and rear choke holds. Tiny Tiger! He is way cute.

We have all been Jumping and dancing to the re-release (or whatever it is) of The Unicorns 2014. Dear The Unicorns please tour the PNW and play an open-air show in Eugene and we will bring our kids and Loretta will do this. All the thumbs up emojis! Drunk baby.

Otto and I are almost done Building our 550 piece Mario Kart jigsaw puzzle! Next up, another jigsaw puzzle. Jigsaw puzzles forever! Seriously.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
craving, cleaning, daydreaming, growing, reading 

eating elephant ears redux

Going to the fair has really become our annual thing. I mean if you're going to have an annual thing for your family it should probably involve petting baby goats and eating fried exotic things and strapping your babies to whiplash machines and fresh lemonade and THE FAIR HAS ALL OF IT! There's just something super magic about the fair coming to town. Also there are amazing quilts and a model train conductor showcase (which we were super disappointed to not be able to find this year because Loretta kind of lost her mind in the building that has all the hobbyist displays). It seems two year olds get pretty bored by quilt shows right around naptime. Who knew? She announced it was time to head for the hills, went limp in my arms, yowled, threw one shoe into a crowd in one direction, kicked the other shoe into a massage lady's booth, and tossed her new toy cow under a guy's wheelchair for good measure... all at the same time. Deep-fried gin where were you when I needed you? That was when we called it a day. But before that we had so much fun...

Loretta tried so hard to get her hands on baby goats. Otto carried the annual Muth Family Elephant Ear to our picnic table and then a few minutes later was completely dusted in sugar from the eyebrows down. Loretta won a prize cow and went on her very first ride.

Otto's favorite part was the fun house. Loretta's was the hand-dipped corndog. Rob's was the ferris wheel that he rode with Otto who is tall enough for the ferris wheel this year for the first time. Mine was seeing all the animals and having a good old-fashioned fun time out in the sunshine with my favorite people on the planet.


currently - stomp the yard for Loretta and the potty - 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: watching, searching, missing, growing, ignoring

This week I have been Watching Under the Dome, Loretta pooping and peeing IN THE TOILET, and Otto starting Tiny Tigers martial arts classes. I don't know which one gives me more joy. I get to eat jalapeno poppers and let the roller coaster of stupidity adventure wash over me on our weekly date night in with UTD but the other two legit made me cry. I kind of cried with frustration because poop... everywhere in Loretta's situation (we've also done loads of stomp-the-yard happy dances for little miss, she's so proud!) but the karate crying was just idk, happy pride or something purely mommish.

I'm currently Searching for a spectacular power boost. Where is it? I have a big project in my mind, like a life-direction-changing idea that I want to pursue and at the same time it's like I barely have energy to stay awake past the kids' bedtime each night so I'm just looking for that golden moment of energy where I can stay up late, lay down plans, and kick this thing off. Part of me wonders if the sudden chronic fatigue isn't me avoiding taking a risk. But I honestly think it's more that my energy's drained from a stupid-busy schedule, warm weather, angsty small fry chaos'ing up each day, poop... everywhere, and  also avoiding taking a risk :)

We haven't been Missing much. Summers are great for spending time together, outside, with our pupils nicely contracted by sunshine, and our poor white Oregon skin getting warmed by the sun. In Summer! We may be missing super well-rounded meals since eating all meals on the blanket out back is a big priority these days.

Otto has been Growing more and more impatient with his sister's antics. She juggernauts her way through life in a way that he can't relate to and she wrecks his stuff, which isn't fair. I so get it, little dude. But it's also cool for me as his mom to see how he copes, because when she goes nutso, Otto is old enough to give us a side-eye and laugh. And he also has a natural instinct to lead by example and be a patient teacher to her, at least when wrecking his stuff isn't involved. He makes me very proud.

In the spirit of enjoying life, loving yourself, getting over yourself, and all that business, this weekend I was Ignoring that I don't look like a 22 year old Victoria's Secret super model and did this thing I've only recently found myself doing. I wore shorts in public. And it was fine. No one looked at me and threw up. One little peanut did photobomb a "we love cutoffs and homely shoes!" picture taking moment for me and Ot though. Ha.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
needing, listening, learning, jumping, building 


currently - hold me closer, Tony Danza - 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: saving, closing, loving, despising, throwing

This week I have been Saving the lives of some cucumber sprouts from ninja slugs and feeling like a badass about it except... also there is real terror in my heart that those escargot assholes are going to eat my cucumber sprouts before they grow into cucumber vines and produce thousands (hundreds? many tens?) of cucumbers that I can then learn how to pickle and ultimately become a master pickler and give everyone gift pickles for holidays and people will start begging me for my pickles and I'll be all "you'll have to get in line because I can't even keep up with the pickle demand."

Like a real weirdo, I've been pitching small, sprout-protecting tents homemade out of mesh fabric, sticks, toothpicks, and other supplies to create a safe place in the dirt for the sprouts to grow, get sun and water, and not get their sweet little leaves eaten by sonsabidge slugs. The sprouts were thriving and all was well until last night - it looks like a slug crawled ON the tents and ate some of the leaves through the mesh. WTF slug. The tents have been reinforced and I have a mind to "go slugging" which I hear is putting a headlamp on and crawling around your yard in the dark murdering slugs.

I kind of want to.

And is it gross to tell you that I cut a slug up with scissors this week? ::looks around::

Anywho! This week Loretta has been stripping naked, grabbing a book, and settling down on her potty to go potty. No success yet beyond a mystery poop that was kind of out of the blue last week. This whole reading on the pot thing is cute as heck. Except she has been Closing the bathroom door to do her business. This is not a child who should be alone in a room with a magic-all-the-things-disappearer (aka toilet, aka jingle handle joy machine) and she thinks it's hilarious that if she closes the door we come and open it, every time, again and again and again. Parents are hilarious monkeys! Be potty trained already, girlfriend.

Loretta has also been Loving that we started her in ballet. You guys.

Otto was Despising his poor sweaty neck under that massive pile of head hair he has so we went and got him a compromise haircut. The compromise is that he wants long hair and we don't want his summer eczema to go off the rails. So it's a little shorter and shaved underneath, but still longish. He kind of looks like Ted Theodore Logan meets Kurt Cobain meets a really sweet little french girl. It's cute.

In addition to Throwing Loretta into ballet class (too much of a stretch? I'm going with it) we're also throwing both kids into swim lessons starting next month and throwing Otto into martial arts classes next week. I'm throwing myself a party for getting all of these arrangements coordinated and figuring out schedules and budgets and all the details and crap that were so overwhelming it seriously took me over a month to get around to getting it all together. ::throws confetti::

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
watching, searching, missing, growing, ignoring 


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: celebrating, growing, playing, setting, feeling

This week we were Celebrating times with the best of friends. We were lucky enough to spend our FOUR DAY WEEKEND HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA ALL OVER TOWN with some people we've known and loved since we were kids ourselves. Sure, for some of you, that's no big deal and you can say, "pish" and stroll to your best friends' houses any day of the week to watch CSI or whatever you do. But we are living in BFE (love ya, Eugene) for a five year stint while Rob's finishing his degree and it's just a really amazing thing when we're able to spend time with, and laugh with, and bask in the radness of our lifelong friends. Some of them are living in Portland, some were visiting Portland, and it just worked out so great this weekend and reminded me that old friends are truly gold.

Here's one to make you not want to make out with me. I have been Growing my armpit hair. Meow, Sailor. Neat right? I know. I'm tempted to leave out the explanation part but I probably ought to. It's not because I'm becoming European or getting really into barefoot hiking or anything interesting like that. I made the mistake of putting lavender extract in my homemade deodorant and it gave me a rash. Until my sensitive pits feel like a million bucks again I'm not harassing them with a razor. Luckily I live in Eugene, Oregon (high profile city in my post this week for some reason) a town where people free run in their underwear and white person dreadlocks are like a thing, and so I'm in a good place to blitz out with my pitz out while coming down off an armpit rash.

Otto and Loretta have been Playing in the back yard every single day. Sunshine, popsicles, and a hose with a sprayer attachment. That's all kids really need. It's been all kinds of magic.

I have been Setting aside me time to read Gone Feral by Novella Carpenter and loving every second of it. I was so excited when I found out she was publishing again... and I'm already getting sad about the fact that I'll have read the whole thing by this weekend.

As a family, we have been Feeling very appreciative of summer weather, summer schedules, and each other. It's beyond nice that the more time Otto gets to spend with us the more time he wants to spend with us. In the mornings this week he's been begging me to draw with him, play board games, chit chat. It pretty much tears my guts out that I have to give him just a few minutes of time or take a raincheck so I can get ready for work. Ugh. But we party in the afternoons and all weekend long. Loretta has become a little puzzle master, though you gotta watch her because she likes to go all rabid maniac on puzzles and fling the pieces everywhere which makes me feel CRAZY. And one thing I'm really excited about that we just started doing together every night is Otto reading to ME at bedtime. I know the years where your kids just really want to hang out with you can be kind of short-lived so I'm just soaking this up and wallowing in it. I love it.

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
saving, closing, loving, despising, throwing 


On Raising a Strong, Beautiful, Girly, Tough, Ragey, Awesome Human

I'm currently raising two future adults. Otto is a boy, which comes with its set of issues, worries, thoughts, and whatever. Loretta is a girl, which comes with its own (I'll admit it, scarier) set of issues, worries, thoughts, and whatever. On top of that they're each super unique individuals. They have their own awesome qualities that blow my mind with their awesomeness. They have their own other qualities that I can only predict will be challenges for them in their lives - and I get to help them explore their awesomeness and learn strength and patience and coping skills and goodness and things like that to overcome hurdles in their lives both internal and external. The point of that little ramble is just to say that I know I'm lucky, and I know I have an important job on my hands, and I take it freaking seriously.

I will always tell Loretta she is beautiful.

A Verizon commercial has been making the rounds recently that got me upset and I couldn't put my finger on why. I guess I like the spirit of this commercial which is, "Don't send the message to your daughters that their hair and clothes are more important than their sense of inquisitiveness." But it felt trite. There, I said it. I want Loretta to be confident in her mind, her strength, and her looks. We're animals, all of us, and when puberty kicks in my daughter's hormones are going to take over her brain and I want her to have a strong foundation to draw on to get her through those years: body, mind, and spirit.

That means more than just blabbering about how pretty she is all day long. It means owning my own beauty. It means honoring the beauty of others in all shapes and sizes. It means a lot of things. Because who knows what Loretta's insecurities will be. Right now she has NONE and that inspires me every day to be bolder, braver, more badass, more myself. When the time comes, I'll be there to help her hold on to that amazing boldness and confidence that are so inherent to her and so beautiful.

I was in a really serious bicycle accident as a child and had a huge, ruddy head scar that glowed in the dark as far as I was concerned. That made me feel like a monster for most of my childhood. I had and if I'm honest, still have, weight issues. I loathe my snaggle-tooth my teeth. My daughter doesn't need to hear about my insecurities. When she's old enough though, I'll talk to her about them honestly. Because hearing that what she may be feeling about her appearance is something all young women go through, and hearing how I overcame my insecurities and learned to really love myself, will help her find that inside voice that says, "this is OK, you're OK, you're amazing in fact."

Loretta loves sparkles, and dress up, and princess crap in a way that I can't even relate to and that's awesome. She also loves smashing mud into her hair and building train tracks and dancing and danger and that's awesome. She can have it all. She gets to inherit the whole world.

The world right now is a little bit garbage though and that makes the tiger mom in me want to come out swinging. And then I don't know what to do about it. I'm frustrated. What can I do? What can we, as adults, do to help shape the world for our kids? Beyond just setting an example in our homes... Beyond teaching sympathy and instilling a love of critical thinking and problem solving and respect... So that our daughters don't have to fight so hard for their basic rights? I don't know the answer. Society is going to have to change. We can change it at home, in all our homes, from the ground up. But we can also change it on the whole, at the governmental level, from the top down. But we will need to make a stink to do that. Me writing this post isn't a stink. Grumbling on Facebook isn't a stink. We'll need to push the change-makers to do some big things and not let bullshit, like the Hobby Lobby ruling, be legal. Because I think we all must know that what happened is illegal. Don't we? It's got to be illegal for my boss' religion to dictate my access to basic health care. Doesn't my religion trump my boss'? It should.

I never thought of myself as a feminist until fairly recently. I co-started a book club for women and women's issues has become something we're talking about every week and it's crazy that the issues keep piling up, keep coming, we never lack for something to talk about. Inequality in the workplace is real. You read about it, you read scientific studies about it, and then you live it. Girls have it different from boys. That will never change no matter how fair the world gets. We're wired differently. Our brains work differently. And the world was built by men, pretty much for men, not necessarily because they were trying to keep women down but because they were in charge and they were building things the man way. And now we all realize women are people too and so the way the world was built needs to be renovated. The people who can't let go of the status quo, and who are fighting FOR inequality, are eventually going to go down in history as the shitbags who slowed down progress. And as the mother to a couple of future adults, I'm going to do what I can at home and as a voice in this big world, to make sure those shitbags get canonized as assholes as quickly as possible.

Loretta is going to have it hard. I hope she always knows that she's powerful. Her voice matters. She's beautiful. She's smart. She's amazing. I hope she has passions so strong she follows them around the world. I hope she becomes the drummer in a band, or a chemical engineer, or the President of the United States, or a painter, or an accountant, or a mom, or a combination of any of those things. I hope she knows joy and is strong and learns great lessons when things get tough. I hope we stay close forever. And I hope I make her as proud as I know she will someday make me.

Forgive this post for its rambling. I said about 1% of the things I thought I might say. This topic is too big and too important. But when things are too big and too important, it's easy to not do a thing about them because they seem immovable. But this isn't immovable. I'm excited to see how much better things will be by the time our sons and daughters inherit the world. And the harder we work and the louder we are about it, the better it will be for them, and then they can make it better still. And the only terrible thing we can do is turn our backs on these issues and pretend everything's great. It can be and will be, we just need to get there.


currently - my pants, my pants! - link up

image via WorkItWear Etsy Shop

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: managing, missing, thinking, creating, looking

This week Loretta has been Managing to make us laugh again and again while seriously trying our patience. Scream/crying through her bath for the bowl (really a giant yogurt bucket) that we use to wash their hair and that we took away from her after weeks of repeated, intentional water buckets were launched over the side of the tub in spasms of NO IMPULSE CONTROL. Last night after an entire bath of, "No Loretta, you cannot have the bowl because you spill it on the floor and make a mess," complete with illustrative baby sign to really bring the point home, I go to wash their hair. That yogurt bucket was in the bath for eleven seconds, no joke, I turn my head to Otto to listen to something he's saying and Son of a B! Bucket in my lap.

I have been Missing a time when feminism wasn't at the top of my mind. These past few weeks have been a full-on frenzy of reminders that this world has a fuckload of work to do. My head is swimming with issues big and small, news stories, book club conversations, work incidents, and commercials that I feel like I don't want to ignore. I want to think about them. I want to form knowledgeable opinions about these issues and then come up with an action plan. I want my children to grow up in a world that respects women. Sounds so simple and I'm realizing that it isn't. This should be a bigger post. Maybe this weekend.

Otto has been Thinking about 4th of July weekend all week. He's pumped and for good reason. We have a lot going on this long weekend: visitors, a party, fireworks, a small roadtrip, 3 sets of lifelong best friends, and if he gets his way a viewing of Lilo and Stitch 2. It's gonna be fun!

I have been Creating snacks for snails and potato bugs in my back yard. I'm so glad all my hard work of weeding, sowing, watering, fertilizing, and tending could provide them with a little something to munch on. I will kill any snail or potato bug I see with a machete.

Loretta has been Looking for ways to extend bedtime. Most nights she drops a toy or two on the floor and we'll hear her yelling from upstairs, "yellow baby! yellow baby!" (She calls her babies by the color of their hair.). Sometimes she just jabbers and winds down by talking to herself and we can hear her upstairs yammering away. The other night though we were like, "What is she saying? What is that?" I snuck upstairs to take a peek and there's my girl standing in her crib, no pants on, pointing across the room. Well she was saying, "My pants. My pants. My pants!" Because if you peel your pants off and throw them across the room... then someone who loves you will eventually come up and give you back your pants. And then you can go to sleep. Because you are weird.  

That was this week and here are next week's themes:
celebrating, growing, playing, setting, feeling