Monday, November 28, 2011

Better Late (Thankful) than Never

I rolled back into work on Monday, straight into an meeting, followed by an hour conference call and then six and a half hours of a meeting with out of town collaborators. All that talk talk talk makes me thankful for the weekend just past.

I am also thankful for:
  • family (mine and Chris's both) - I got so lucky to have all these people to whom I am related by birth or marriage that I liketo be around. Also, my children are more wonderful than insane, though they are certainly a healthy dose of the latter as well. I never get over how good it feels to have three little people come running in at the sound of the opened door, yelling "Mommy's home! YAY! Mommy's home!"
  • work - I continue to have a fulfilling job with people I like doing something I care about. Oh, and I have some flexibility in my scheduling too. 
  • home - my house is warm and cozy, with a fire often in the fireplace and good smells coming from the kitchen. I live on a fantastic block with thoughtful, generous, fun neighbors, most of whom are good cooks too. My city is easy to love; interesting and filled with cool little discoveries. Plus, it has lots of bridges. The state is beautiful and often progressive despite itself.
  • friends - from my closest friends to people we are getting to know, I feel love and acceptance. Often people laugh at my jokes and praise my children. 
  • health - My body has continued to let me run without complaining too much, which gives me the emotional and physical balance I have been needing. It even stops raining for long enough now and then to make runs reasonably pleasant. 
What more could I want? Oh right, holidays that remind me how lucky I am to have so much.

Family as place cards (Ada made with her aunt and uncle)
Place cards from Thanksgiving dinner, by Ada with help from her aunt and uncle 

Second thanksgiving dinner, kid table
The kids' table at Second Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mmm, cake.

Moments after we all walked into the house, Ian was on the couch, yelling:  "Strawberry mrrmmmrrm! I want strawberry mrrmmmrrm"

"What?" I asked, "what do you want?"

"I want strawberry mrrmmmrrm" repeated Ian.

"Is that something you can eat?"

"Strawberry mrrmmmrrm"

"Is it something you read? Something you watch? What is strawberry mrrmmmrrm?"

louder, more emphatically: "Strawberry mrrmmmrrm! Strawberry mrrmmmrrm! Strawberry mrrmmmrrm!"

"Is it something on television?"

"YES. Strawberry mrrmmmrrm!"

"Strawberry Shortcake?"

"Yes, I want Strawberry Shortcake!"

"Oh. We aren't watching television right now."


Ian, cherry stained 
Does he look like a kid who doesn't get enough cake?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Miss Me?

A few months ago I had a great idea for a blog post on the theme: "if you have time to blog about work-life balance, you have some." I never wrote the post, which should tell you something about the state of my life. Things are going really well, but wow, the busy.

At 2 and a couple of months, Ian is starting to use the potty, with little or no prompting from his parents. Mira was the first to use the potty, but after one successful try she has figured out that the potty is more fun as a distraction tool. She likes to declare her desire to use the potty whenever she is faced with something she'd rather not do (get her diaper changed, put her pajamas on, eat breakfast...). Ian has been shockingly interested in non-diaper based elimination. Thrilling and thoroughly unexpected. Who says boys are harder to train? We are a while off from dumping diapers completely, but we are making some good progress without trying much. (Anyone who remembers what we went through with Ada will find this a big and pleasant change.)

When I am not working and marveling at Ian's willingness to use the potty, we have been having a good, if fairly mellow, summer. We went to our college reunion, Ada turned six, we celebrated 4th of July with family and I took a bunch of pictures on a work trip to Chicago.
b&w bean 
Newish Chicago Icon

More recently we spent a week at the beach with my family. The weather was better than ever in the years I have been going to the Oregon coast. Amazing. Even better, Ada got over her fear of the water. She lead me repeatedly into the waves, much to Ian's horror. We heard "look out, the ocean! look out!" a lot from him. Mira, who pretty much refused to touch the sand last year was a lot more willing to play on the beach, so long as we didn't expect her to get near that scary water stuff.

2/3 on the beach

Mira and Ada on the beach

Ada and I built a fairy house, which was very fun to do. In case this isn't in your repertoire, Ada offers the following public service announcement: Fairy houses must be built with all natural components; no artificial/human made items and nothing currently growing. So no picking flowers, but fallen leaves are fine. Or in our case, sea weed, shells, driftwood and dried sea grass.

Dune walker  
fairy attractor, dune scaler, child who posed for 10 minutes 
but later declared she does not like her picture taken

Mira on Porch  
we could have never left the porch and Mira would have still had a good time

Ian, cherry stained  
proof that we had fun inside the house too: cherry juice stained boy

After a few days to recuperate and wash the sand out of our pants, we went to see Chris' family, including his 94 year old grandmother.

Grandma Lois
great grandma

We had a great time, despite the rigors of traveling with three kids. (Pro tip: take a third adult with you!)

How can you resist toddlers in tiny cars?

And lest I forget to tell you the exciting news: my sister and her husband have a book out! It looks like this:
The book you should run out to buy. Now.

The book is great - funny, interesting and compelling. Also, pictures! recipes! a comic! Really, I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. Go buy it and read it now. This means you, Maggie.

Before the summer is over we have a few more tricks up our sleeves. Maybe I can commit to a post every couple of weeks, just to tap the mike. You may have forgotten me, but I miss you. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

'cause I know you need this information

While catching up on a million posts on Craft, I ran across a great site called filled with infographics. What's an infographic, you ask? It is a visual depiction of information, not necessarily but often (at least to me) humorous.

Speaking of humorous infographics, I love this one on how to determine the trustworthiness of a man in a given style of beard. Apparently John Waters' moustache is just slightly less horrible than Hitler's.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Wouldn't you want one in your town?

The Awesome Foundation funds cool projects. Check it out.

And here is a video of a project funded by the foundation:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Time is like a river, or is that an ocean?

In honor of Ada's birthday, I offer one of the poems she wrote recently:

The Ocean

In the ocean the jellyfish is swimming.
The ducks are in danger because the shark is there.
The turtle is happy because the water is warm.
There is three happy sea stars in the water.

May 2011

Ada enjoying "happy birthday" sung by 3 good friends (small party; everyone got a candle

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Watch their language

A friend of Chris's likes to collect phrases he has never heard before. When he gets a good one he'll mention it to Chris. A few years ago he heard a girl in the cafeteria say to her friend "every time I barf at night..." This jumped out as something new, a phrase Greg had never run across in his prior 40-some years.

I was thinking about this phenomenon in the context of two year olds. Two year olds are amazing. For instance, Ian points at the yellow rectangle under his bowl and says: "my place mat!" Which, sure, not such a big deal, but considering that I have never heard him utter this before it feels immense. Ian and Mira are literally learning new words every day. Those of us who are not toddlers do come across words we have not known before, but not with the intensity that is a young child's language development process. The world is a fire hose aimed at them, and they stand delighted with their mouths wide open.

Father's Day
Mira's all purpose happy salutation is: "Happy Dir Day" 

Ian at the farm
Ian, after learning he can make adults insane by getting too close to a horse's back legs

Mira Stone Walking
Now talking in paragraphs, only a fraction of which is comprehensible

running to the dangerous hay loft
The day they learned to say "hay loft"

Ada, Oaks Bottom
Amazing in her own right. Did I mention she can read?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two at Two

Mira and Ian turned two on Sunday.

In between the requisite cries of "Mine! Mine!" 
we are getting a lot of collaborative play these days. 

birthday cupcakes in ice cream cones
The cupcakes baked in ice cream cones (our friend Tera's idea) worked out well. The batch that fell a bit got ice cream topping them, the others received chocolate icing. 

birthday snacks
Snacks were enjoyed, fun was had.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reminder: Parents of Twins have Feelings Too

I took the kids to the Rhododendron Garden today. On the way out, we walked up the path in front of another family. Ian and Mira showed interest in the child; they are fascinated by all children small then them, especially when they are in a stroller. The mother asked "are they twins?"

Yes, I said.

"I'm so glad I didn't have twins!"

I just stared at her.

Think, people. Think before you speak.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What we've been up to lately



Getting the details right

Imp of the night
hiding and peeking
Yay for spring!

Nashville filter but flying to Denver

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Evidence that U.S.A. has not cornered the market on strange

This is fascinating and confusing. At first I thought it must be a put-on. 

I really love the investment these guys have put into their outfits. I do wonder a little about whether they might put some extra effort into their "choreography."

(found on the Craft blog)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Look Mom, No Rain!

Ian 22 mo

Mira 22 mo

(Why yes, that is your house in the background, Steven, why do you ask?)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Vivian Maier

If you are interested in street photography (or photography generally) you should check out the work of Vivian Maier. Until recently no one had seen her photos, but a real estate guy in Chicago bought the contents of her storage locker at auction and found thousands and thousands of her photographs. I am hooked. (There is a link to a CBS news story about her and the guy who found her work.)

(Thanks to Lisa of Smacksy for sharing the CBS story that got me digging into Maier's photos.)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Be Still My Heart

Eat Him Up (what a ham)

Funny that what I think to write is that I could eat him up. Not funny ha-ha, but funny ouch, as in: NO BITING, IAN! Good thing he is so cute.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Naming Names

Because I can't have my one post in weeks be about vomit, here is one of my favorite books:

Names, by Ada (cover)
Names, By Ada

Abi Abi Abi (p1)
Abi Abi Abi
is nice
I love her

Maya Maya (p2)
Maya Maya
is nice
I know her

Isabel Isabel (p3)
Isabel Isabel
I love her

Wednesday Wednesday (p4)
Wednesday Wednesday
I love her

Crea Crea (p5)
Crea Crea
I like you

The (end)

This book is especially wonderful as it documents a fleeting moment in Ada's development. Throughout the year Ada's class has been learning to write books. They started with the idea that every book has a title and the author's name on the cover. They have talked about various elements of writing a book, and recently Ada reported that a book should have characters, a setting, a problem and a resolution. This book predated this set of ideas, but her newer books tend to have a clear problem and resolution. As exciting as it is to see her growth, I love the simplicity and honesty of the Names book

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Practical Parenting

So if, for sake of argument, one of your kids vomited repeatedly on the couch, how would you get the smell to go away? Sparing you the ugly details, let's just say the residual odor has a spoiled milk vomit-y smell.

We used carpet cleaner on it. Should I move on to less earth-friendly cleaner, risk washing the cover in the machine (from past experience it doesn't come back out the way it went in), or rent a steam cleaner?

Or maybe I should convince Chris that it is time to buy a new couch...

Your advice is welcomed!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Me, Me and Me

 February 8, 7am

February 19, 7am

Seeing my mom's face steadily emerge

Yup, still obsessed with instagram, why do you ask?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Random Photo Week, Day 5


Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

I hope Chris knows how much I love him. I try to tell him, but sometimes I might wedge such thoughts between "don't forget to buy chicken thighs" and "who left this poopy diaper on the counter?" and he might not hear it or know how much I think about him every day.

We went out to dinner on Friday, just the two of us. I said: "I think it is going to get worse before it gets better." Instead of sighing or rolling his eyes at the tempest in a teapot that is the legislative session, he reminded me that we knew this was coming and let me know it was okay. He is calm where I am excitable. He is patient where I am ready to jump out of my skin. He's reserved; I am the queen over the over-share. For all this and more I am so thankful and love him so intensely.

Park hug

Smiling Chris

A and C

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I enter her room, like I do every night, to turn off the light she insists stay on while she falls asleep. She is curled on her bed, the covers pushed down near her feet. As I grab the blanket to cover her back up, she turns and opening her eyes, smiles. Her smile is so broad, so genuine that I know she is seeing me, even in her sleep. After a moment I snap off the light and my beautiful daughter turns back to the window, returning to her dreams.

I lay in bed thinking about how much I love her, unable to sleep until I write this down.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow and Tell

I just finished a weekend in which I worked over 12 hours. I finished the deliverable on which I was churning, and decided to take the evening "off". I read about 45 posts about snow. To make myself feel better about my lost weekend, I thought I would mention that tomorrow is forecast to be 45 F and sunny.

In other news, I just found the app Instagram last week. Why did I not know about this before? I am totally obsessed. If you have an iphone you should be too. In fact, go download it now (it's free) and then tell me so I can follow your pictures.

The little engine

Mmm, coffee