Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chambermaid

I am head over heels for this age stage Harper's in. Sure, she can have really scary tantrums (really scary), but those are totally canceled out by all the ridiculous antics she pulls all day and the crazy rate she's learning/mimicking/talking. She's such a nut!

Por ejemplo! Here's a video from last night. She was quiet for a bit and cc opened the bathroom door to find her doing this on repeat. (And while I'd love to take credit for cleaning the toilets soooo frequently she couldn't help but learn...I'm pretty sure I only did it once and I didn't know she was even with me?)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A little Christmas post

Pretty much says it all.

We had a lovely, peaceful Christmas in these here parts. It was so much fun getting everything festive and Santafied and waking up together and watching Harper slowly get what a special day Christmas is.

She just...loved it all. There were so many "wow!"s and gleeful giggles and real, innocent joy. Over everything! A little piece of Pez candy, handing out presents to her uncle, opening a dollhouse, riding her Rody, having tea parties, playing with her cousins, watching the snowflakes flake.


The Christmas lights in Portland. Impromptu driving date with cc.
Snowflake turtleneck and my Gram.
HJ and cc make towers. New hoss, Rody, in the background.

I love seeing her with the cousins, playing quietly (and then loudly) with the big girls upstairs while I peeked in to make sure she was still alive. Watching her remove herself from the chaos for little periods of time to recharge -- with a pile of books or some watercoloring or a walk in wooden shoes. Eating a cupcake in the kitchen (after her first, sticky candy cane) and saying "thank you thank you thank you!" Then giving out 12 rounds of kisses and hugs before we drove off in the Subie.


In her doughnut shirt and purple tights. Ready for the family party.

And I love all the thoughtful presents she received (which, honestly, I look at as presents to me since they'll keep us busy in the long winter hours ahead!), with lots of attention to who she is and we are as a family. Books and art supplies and craft goodies and puzzles and riding toys. Packing up my car with all the new loot, I'm pretty sure I could open up a cozy/crunchy daycare tomorrow. Any takers?

I hope your holi-dees were a good time, too! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We took a road trip to Maine


French fries! Fist deep.

Harps and I (and a little bit of Santa, too) loaded up the Subie yesterday morning and hit the road. Was planning on making an afternoon departure, but after a 5 AM wakeup call, I knew I needed to use my hours wisely. We made a bunch of stops this go, but that was fine and broke it up nicely. When there's no big rush, it's cool to stop at Wendy's for some fries (and some milk we spilled all over, followed by a clothes change in the parking lot -- you're welcome for the show, Southboro!) and then an hour later stop at Dunks for some much needed caffeine and then stop at my cousin's house for a quick chat and a lovely cup of tea.


DD. One of my truest loves.

I just love texting her and saying "You gonna be around at noon?" and her texting "Yep!" and then easy breezy, we're there sipping chai! East Coast livin, yo.


She poured an entire box of Goldfish out. Felt a bit remorseful.

And now we're at my mum's house and it's icy and foggy outside and I have got to get dressed and do some shopping in Portland. Unless everyone's cool with some cute IOU's for baked goods? ...no?

 Oh and a quick PSA! See how Harps is almost 2 (in 6 weeks ah!) and still facing backward? The American Pediatrics Association changed the recommendation last year (of when to flip them forward) from 1 year to 2 years. I've heard lots of complaints that a kiddo is too tall (ahem -- at 12 months, no kiddo is too tall) but oh, friends. I birthed a giant and she's still hanging tough a year later. She's never known any different and so she rolls with it. (We plan on keeping her this way for as long as we all can do it, but that's just us.)

Did you know facing your baby/toddler backward reduces the risk of serious injury or fatality in a crash by 75%? That number is...huge. This is (very) sad, but EMTs refer to that seat as the "orphan maker" because often the baby is the only one in a crash who makes it.

Also! See that clip on her chest? That needs to be way up near their armpits/nipples, not down by their tummy or crotch. And none of the straps should be twisted. Each one of these things makes a huge difference in safety.

Just a quick reminder! Lots of peeps out on the roads for the holidays and feel pretty strongly about this one. Kisses.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I am not Martha Stewart tonight because

You haven't what?!

I haven't:

1) Purchased any Christmas presents. Literally. Not one.

2) Made/bought/sent Christmas cards. I'm thinking...this one isn't going to happen.

3) Found my offspring a pediatrician. (Or we adults GPs/dentists/yada yada everything.)

4) Taken a shower this weekend.

5) Put away any of my clothes at the new house. They're in trash bags and canvas tote bags and army bags and ... all over the floor.

6) Finished The Brothers Karamazov since sophomore year.

However! I'm quite accomplished at sipping this here hot cocoa and kicking my slippers up on this here bed and closing my eyes in this here head and shrugging my shoulders that it'll all, probably, get done someday.




Thursday, December 15, 2011

My biscuit

Yarn hat.

cc and I are obsessed with these pics because Harper looks like a real little girl in them. (Versus a wooden puppet?) Not a baby...a girl. I love it and I hate it and then I love it. We've been having a string of really good days. (And by "string" I think I mean...the last two. We had two days of bad tantrums before that. In full disclosure.) But these days are like damn! I'm totally awesome at this! Is someone filming?

Making the homemade playdough together, doing all the library visits, having tea parties, quietly coloring together at the sunny table near the window, wagon rides through the secret garden... On these kinda days, I'm grateful for all that work I've done on mindfulness. It takes practice not to worry about every little thing going on in the background and really be like dude! This is the life!


Do you guys know about layers? I'll teach you.

And hey! Speak of the devil. It's now 10 in the PM and while I was about to press Publish and start using up some of that new yarn... I've got a little friend munching peanut butter crackers next to me all the sudden. (Too long o' afternoon nap and can't stay asleep.) Le sigh. We just waved to the buck outside our kitchen window and now we'll read a few pages before we hopefully, oh-god-I-need-it, drift back down to sleepytown.

(Edited to add this next pic while she reads on her beanbag way-too-late because, well, it makes me feel all cheerful and stuff):




And to all a good night! Yo.

I am hypontized by this

Harps and I can't get enough of this one. I'm personally impressed by his total commitment and utter unembarrassment at singing with Muppets. And it's really catchy and sweet. And then the synchronized head turns at the end. Eye candy.

(P.S. I just read he co-wrote Cee-Lo's 'F You' song -- aka Harps' favorite jam. But of course he did!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Deer Prudence



Little piece of advice for parents-to-be? Don't purchase a velvet couch when you're trying to make a baby. Because then the baby will be made and then it will be born and then it will spit up breastmilk all over it and then draw all over it with ballpoint pen. Mmm. 

(I love that print -- it's of Union Station in Denver, right downtown where we first lived. We've collected little things from all the places we've lived and like to sprinkle them around. A future project is putting a big wall sticker of the Golden Gate Bridge on Harps' bedroom wall.)

Hey, so! Harps officially has a school for next fall. Score dot net! I decided on a different program after all, because while the nature one looks great, a chance meeting at the library last week steered us in a new direction. I don't want no crazies finding my chillun so I won't give any deets, but it really is my heart song vision for a nursery school. Very similar to the one I attended and full of good/warm/happy vibes. I had to pull her away (literally) kicking and screaming today, so I take that as a big thumbs up from her.

I love that this is out of the way, even though it seems incredibly ridiculous we have to do it almost an entire year in advance. I took the 7th of 8 spots! It's only December! What has this earth come to, yo? I guess I'm a part of it now, so I can't complain no mo'. (But I still will.)

What else what else what else...

Tonight, after a massive kitchen clean-up, I headed outside with the trash and recycling. Right there (right there) was a huge buck. Antlers all perky, he stared at me and stared at me while I inched forward and then backward again. Do male deer kill moms-in-sweats trying to take their milk bottles out? I asked myself. Not wanting to test my question, I tiptoed back inside and put on my slippers. cc assured me he "probably wouldn't have" and then we stepped out on our lit patio and watched the buck -- totally okay with us being there -- munch on our holly while his baby mama sat nearby.

Guess I won't ever be growing a vegetable garden here?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday

My best friends.

I'm writing this wearing: Two pair of pants, wool socks under leather/shearling slippers, a long sleeve shirt under a hoodie under a wool cardigan. Basically, I'm looking very sexy and slim. Enough, fellas! I'm married.

Sooooo yes. It's a little chilly downstairs in the hobbithouse (upstairs not at all) and also, maybe, I'm a little dramatic...so. Here we are! (About to press "confirm" on a striped union suit to wear under all my clothes, all the time.)

Despite the subtle chill....I love the hell out of this house. It's slowly coming together and feeling homey and happy and just a nice place to spend my hours. I also muchly enjoy: the yard! And hammock! And the deer that visit us all day long! (Not their many poo piles tho.)

In other news, I think I found a little nursery school for Harps next year. (Septembah 2012.) I have to make sure there's room and stuff (preschools out here aren't like those in cities, with interviews and the like -- which is a major hallelujah for me, because I'd probably just not end up doing any of it and she'd be homeschooled till college or maybe even grad school), but I'm hoping it'll be easy peasy to get it all done.

If it works out, I think it could be a really special place for the Jones. It's a nature-centered school, with most of the focus on outdoorsy/wildlife stuff, which seems just right for what makes her happy. And it's only a mile from our house, kapow! I'll say more about the program if it works out doobie doobie doo.

Aaaaaaaand back to Zach Galifianakis on Netflix in my snowsuit.





Thursday, December 08, 2011

Treats

Yes.

Ever since my mom helped me get through the horrors of seventh grade (people were kissing-with-tongue and drinking wine coolers in basements while I listened on repeat to Abbey Road and re-read Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself in protest of my new teenage status) by taking me out for brownie sundaes at Johnson's, I've wholeheartedly believed in treats to get me through slow work days or long winters or bad headaches or Tuesdays.

But I'm talkin little treats here -- that's the key, I think. It's often a happier high to get a five dolla sumpin sumpin than a crazy big purchase. A travel size hand lotion, an eggnog latte, a...maple syrup candle in a vintage tin with a wooden wick that crackles. You smell me. I've been lighting that puppy up whenever I have a second to myself and it (I almost typed "lifts me up" which is really frightening) makes me all holly jolly. Silly maybe? But it works. Now if I could only find the Christmas lights amidst all these dang boxes...

Harper's treat? Long, long sessions of water play with abundant pumps of method cucumber dish soap. (Also, she got a chocolate milk after the library today. And patted her mouth with napkin in between each delicate sip. Oh, b!)


Smush.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Rainy dayz

Waiting on the train from NYC. My buddy came to visit and while away the rain.

 Rainy days over here in the shire. (That's where our cottage is, natch.)

It's taking a little adjusting to, this rain and very early (4:30?!) darkness. In Colorado, it almost never does anything but shine with sun. So we'd go outside for hours and hours at a time -- even in the dead of winter! -- up and down and around the sidewalks, parks, and backyards. Here it's...no. It's not like that. Which, inherently is more me. I love cozy indoor things and I love rain and I love boots. (It's related, go with it.)

I've just never lived those things with a toddler in tow. Whew. Whew-ee.

What in the heck does one do with a tiny person when one isn't outside chilling in the sun? I don't think she could pick up knitting just yet.

I've been making lists of ideas for myself, because in the moment (when it's dark and wet and we've played with every single toy and read every single book and colored and danced to all of the 80's already) I sometimes just throw my hands up and put on a Caillou. Which, hey, that's not evil. Caillou is my good, bald friend. I just want to have a quick reference to look at before I grab the remote.

I've got things like: Play with soap and warm water in the sink, use potatoes and paint as stamps, shaving cream letters on her little table, pull out the felt board, make playdough, vacuum together (she loves it, shush), bake something, make a fort, drink have a tea party.

Other ideas, you cold weather lovelies out there?

Sometimes I get jealous of those days of yore, where there were a million siblings who lived in the same village and you just piled your kids together and they entertained each other while you made corn fritters. But other times I really, really love my quiet space. (And running water.)



Monday, December 05, 2011

Storytime

Today, I took Harps to our first storytime at our new town's library. It was kind of...intense? Mind you, I just came from a teeny session in Maine where there were four other toddlers in attendance, an insanely sweet librarian in bulky winter boots who called H "Hahpah" and a cool grandpa wearing a jogging suit. This was not that. This was a tired-but-manic singing lady wearing a mic up on a stage. This was probably 100 people screaming at the top of their lungs. This was almost all nannies. But you know what? This was a happy Harper. She hauled a%s out of the little one last week and was riveted today. Sometimes I wonder how she is she after spending all her time with me.

Then we went upstairs for a little puzzle time, a little book time. Except, duh, it was swamped with other peeps who just left the show. (I'm calling it a show now, that's what it was.) But she found a little corner and started her pile of books, declining rather emphatically my offer to read them aloud. So I chilled on the couch and judged other parents. You know.

This one lady next to me -- "Nana" -- pulled her 3ish year old granddaughter up on the couch with her and started offering her a variety of treats.

"Now. None of these because there are no treats in the library." Hands her a chocolate covered rice cake.
"And no drinks, you might spill!" Slips her a sippy cup with juice.
"If you want to eat we have to do it downstairs!" A cracker.

To say the least, I was confused.

Then there were a bunch of nannies conducting phone calls and texting. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then! Up showed a man with his 2ish year old son. They sat on the rug to assemble a puzzle or two. While they fiddled, a cute cutie (9 months maybe?) came crawling over and started gumming some of the pieces. Dad's face = complete horror. He turns to me "Do you know her?" Do I know her? That phrasing is totally off in referencing a baby, dude. I shake my head, delighted to see where this is headed.

She keeps chewing a lighthouse or a frog or something, all cheeks and big eyes and dimples. He frantically hands her pieces from another puzzle and then lightly pushes her in that direction. "No, baby. We're playing with this puzzle. You do that puzzle." (YOU DO THAT PUZZLE?!) She comes back, he hands more pieces, over and over, rinse repeat.  He looks up again, to another mom. "Are you her mother? Whose baby is this? WHOSE BABY IS THIS?!"

No one answers. (At this point, even I'm wondering who the hell she belongs to -- some di*khead is literally pushing her around!) Which is hilarious, because he cannot believe his bad luck. Little sisters -- always in the way. Ramona!

Eventually, I grabbed Harps and scooted the heck out. We'll be spending a lot of time there (it's open 7 days a week woot and it's about to be hardcore winter ah die) and I thought it best I didn't punch a face my first day there. You know.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

We did it, we moved, we're alive

Oh, just leaving my secret garden. You?

Moving! Such a joy. A friend asked if it would be a hassle to visit because we've just moved and I'm all "No! We've always just moved." Because doesn't it feel that way? It's almost surprising to remember I lived in the same house for years and years and years growing up. That I wasn't an army kid, trying a different city every couple years. Anywho.

We've got a bunch of boxes left to unpack, but we're getting settled in slowly but surely. cc has done most of the unpacking, truth be told, and I'd like to publicly kiss his face to show my appreciation. Specifically, his meticulous attention to unloading and organizing my kitchen (my homey homey kitchen with a vintage metal bread drawer!) makes me want to break dance to something with a good hook.

Hop on. Next stop? Chocolate milk.

Harps is in her toddlerpants glory. Her toys and books are slowly appearing after a lonely few month tucked away, she's got loads of space to roam and kick her tiny soccer ball, and the apple cider doughnut holes have been flowing. Along with some usually unavailable treats purchased from my new favorite place on all of planet earth:


This was my second visit of the day.

Stew Leonard's. I can't even explain this place. There's a petting zoo outside? And animatronic shows that happen above the butter aisle? And tons and tons and tons of made-right-there sweets and baked goods and popcorn and fresh squeezed juice and weird funky things and it's like. Perfect. And entirely to blame for me eating much too many of these:


Everything a girl could ever want in two bites.

So the unpacking continues (and continues) tomorrow, but for now I kick back on my new (left behind by former tenants) chaise thing of greatness and eat my weight in kettle corn. Smooches!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

We're moving here tomorrow


This teeny little pic will have to do for now... stole it off Zillow.

But soon we'll be taking our own pics as Harps eats grass and makes snowmen and poos behind the stonewall. Wee!

We found it our first couple days in town, just stumbled upon it while we were driving around the area. We weren't seriously looking yet -- thought we'd stay in temp housing for a few months -- but after taking turns running around the grounds while Harps napped in the car... we couldn't get it out of our heads. It was just too easy to picture us being us there.

So! Crazy fairy cottage nestled in the trees? Here we come.

*high fives Hansel and Gretel*

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And then she inhaled a pumpkin whoopie pie in the rain

Heading back south tomorrow, leaving Grammy Camp behind. Will shed a small tear, but we miss dada/cc and heck -- we'll be back in a few weeks. Oh, holidees! I love thee.

But hey! Only a couple short nights in Stupid Apartment before we move into our house. Bam! It took till today, but the lease is official and we're IN. I'm excited like woah. I need to host a garden party or sumpin. Or maybe just toast a couple bagels for friends. Nite!

Monday, November 28, 2011

While I eat my millionth Trader Joe's JoeJoe

Wooden shoes = the next big craze. 

'ello! (As Harper says.) I hope everyone had a nice and restful turkey day. I spent mine on the Right Coast, my first over this way in 6 years. It was a lovely first holiday back -- lots of food and family time and oohing and ahing over Chennypants.

I couldn't help but pause to remember last Thanksgiving -- also known as, what I hope will remain and not be usurped ever, The Worst Thanksgiving of My Life. I had a sick baby (who was beginning a very sudden self-weaning) and a very (very) sick husband. Schlepping through the airport, cc weak and unable to carry the baby, the baby wailing from a stomach bug and ear infection, I considered lying down in the middle of everything and letting one of those moving walkways take me away, Calgon. Exhausted from a year of serious sleep deprivation, I was still the only one that felt relatively well. There's no sitting down and kicking up your feet over a slice of pumpkin while the rest of your family is suffering.

We spent those days gritting our teeth, grinning and bearing it -- in cars and planes, sleeping in different beds, swallowing sweet potato, all the while trying to act okay. I'm pretty sure we failed.

The fear and exhaustion and uncertainty of that time was nothing I'd ever experienced. I fought back tears when Harper wouldn't nurse on our last day in Texas. I tried and tried and tried to get her to latch, but she was simply and suddenly done. Beside myself with grief and rejection, I convinced myself I was a terrible mother; looking back, I was anxious about some much deeper things. It was simply something to pin those feelings on.

But shew yikes -- back to the here and now. Exactly a year later and life looks much different. Happier, slower, much healthier, more grateful. Thursday morning, while I tossed the squash in evoo and brown sugar, alone in the kitchen for a minute, I paused. I wasn't anxious, I wasn't scared. I could hear cc and Harper giggling, coloring frogs and ghosts together before they moved onto reading that Arthur book for the 25th time. I started to cry, overwhelmed in the best of ways.

And oh yes, there was plenty of pumpkin this time around.

(Back to the JoeJoes.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good guv'nor I love driving more than flying

Sicky Harps and her new best friend, Chewy.

Yesterday, Harps and I made the trip up north to my mum's house. Dude. It was pie. I wasn't sure how it'd all go, but it was seriously fine. There were a couple stops along the way (when she got fussy we did up McDonald's for fries -- it'd been so long and I think they might not be as good? Am I missing the transfat? -- and some running around the scary play thing, then visited with my dad for some intense coloring/doctor kit'ing/soccer playing), but the traffic was nil and I could haul ass drive at a very reasonable speed. (And when she started losing her noodle, a well-placed iPad with some Caillou kept things peaceful.)

What a difference, doing a drive instead of taxi'ing to the airport and checking a bag and going thru security and and -- yeah. I'm also a nut, I think, and love to drive. Always always always prefer to be at the wheel than next to it (unless I'd like a cat nap...)

Speaking of cats! Much to my allergy-ridden husband's dismay (who isn't here yet, but I can imagine his pout-to-be) my mum just got a new kitty and...we're fairly obsessed. His name is Chewy and he has little pointy, crooked ears like Yoda, and he's the sweetest love I've ever met. Last night, after I put my stuffed-up baby girl down in her old school Pooh jammies, as I sipped my tea and kicked up my feet, Chewy climbed onto my lap and cradled himself into a baby position, wrapping his paws around my arm. We are in love for life. (And now I've started obsessively researching dogs. Oh b!)


Post drive tea binge.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turns out, toddlers love parades




I was originally planning on driving to my mom's house today, to kick off our Thanksgiving celeb early. But then cc was all "Huh? But...I'd miss a whole weekend day with Harps?!" And so okay, can't argue too much with that. Leaving tomorrow instead.

In my defense -- at taking away a sweet biscuit from her dadpants -- I walk in my mom's house and enter Enormous Amounts of Help Land. So when that's beckoning...it can be hard to stay in this here small, nothing-works-ever apartment. But I did!

And listen. On my walk back from the drugstore this morning (scared of the CVS-brand dipes I just bought), I noticed a parade was about to start. It was also probably 68 degrees out and sunny and she's never been to one and I haven't been in years and why not? So I hustled back and told cc he was taking her while I sat at home and didn't. And he did. But then he called and said "Only the motorcycles have come out and she's already so dang happy...I don't think you'll want to miss this." And woooeee he was right.




She was mildly pleased with the drummers and the bugles and the big police horses, but then the huge Macy's-type balloons started coming down the street (A caterpillar! Scooby! Garfield! Cookie Monster!) and she was beside herself. Clapping and yay'ing and pointing and kicking with glee. The sun was shooting sparkles off her little face and she was hugging cc's head and, well, I was suddenly okay with changing a few extra dipes today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Calm hands



Guys, it felt so good to type out those words last night. I'm never sure ahead of time if I should press publish after putting my weirds out there, but whew. Glad I braved it. Completely cathartic, right before sleeps, right before I drifted into closed eyes closing out a long day.

Thank you for your thoughtful and kind comments and for being so nice to me. It's such a boost to read uplifting words as they ping into my inbox -- especially when it's raining and we're cooped up and I haven't talked to another adult in many many hours. So thank you.

Oh and so crackers and cheesiness out of the way, let me tell you about tonight:

When I put Harper down in her little white bed and cc popped in a video game and I said "I desperately need a peppermint hot cocoa, goodbye!" So I put on my green rainboots and my slouchy cap and went out into the dark city. Where scary people abound? (But 'twas only 7:30, so felt safe-ish...) And I first stopped at McDonald's because I guess they have a gross peppermint concoction for the holidays, but the line was so long and I felt way too close to getting a large fry. Ohhhh a large fry. It's been so so so long.

But since I'd walked that far, I was thisclose to the 'bux where I could get a soy version. Which is better for my face, I s'pose. So I ordered and it was ohsotasty; I started the walk back, jolly and with a minty mouth. Three quarters of the way home, though, on a particularly dark and empty stretch, a car pulled up next to me and two guys jumped out. And I was pretty sure I was dead dead dead with a mouthful of soy, dead. And I was so angry at myself for orphaning my baby, all for some sugar! She'd grow up motherless because I like overpriced hot beverages! I couldn't shop for a prom dress or teach her how to drive stick shift or watch Footloose while she did Algebra homework. Because of cocoa.

But then! They looked at me, shrugged, and...ran across the street to Macy's. And I wasn't dead. I was alive! and my drink was still warm. And I finished it quickly. Tasty, but not quite so much as before.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Words on a wednesday

Oh hey, fingers crossed but... if all works out, we'll be moving into a new pad on December One. Joy! I always feel nervous till the lease is signed and all that (we're in the paperwork phase right now), but tentatively, cautiously excited. It's a really unique place and I really can't wait to get my bum in it. But! Trying not to count chickens yada yada yada.

Should help with the general malaise I've got grooving. I'm happy pants to be back on this coast and excited for things to come, but also in this weird zone I haven't been in since Before Baby days. The past two years, Harper's completely occupied my whole everything -- but now that she's more and more independent (sob, but also yay?) (and also who am I kidding -- she's still 100% dependent on me, she can just... talk and stuff), I find myself thinking about goals with a capital G. Semi obsessively.

And then beating myself up because I haven't accomplished them yet or worry I never will accomplish them or stress because there's really no way to accomplish them while being a SAHM (which I'm committed to being) and wanting more babies. What a completely weird limbo space to be in. Knowing I'm doing what I want to be doing, but wanting a bit more, but not really being able to do it.

Because isn't there a way to live parallel lives? Haven't they cracked that time machine code yet? Where I'm off training to be a yoga teacher in one plane, writing a book in another, having 12 babies in a third; And somehow aware and mindful in each state, appreciating how rad it is I'm getting to live up to my potential (that's in heavy quotes), but also raising chickens in the backyard and knitting an afghan while I breastfeed?

I compare myself to other bloggers who live seemingly flawless and accomplished lives. With etsy shops and beautiful shoes and puppy dogs and master degrees. I compare myself to writers and artists and actors and business people and friends and enemies. I compare and compare and envy and fret and come up zero. Because oh my. Once you start thinking the grass is greener or smarter or prettier, you start to lose. Lose your mind, your grounding, your groove.

Because oh, I know (some of the time, when I've just finished my yoga or I'm drinking my tea and doing a crossword or biting Harper's cheeks and holding her hands) it's all a matter of yet. Not being able to do it all yet. This right now, these hours and days and months, these are my hardcore mothering days. These are the days Harper needs me needs me needs me and these days won't roll around again. They won't be waiting for me later, in a patient pond of things to dip into, like the other wants I want to do. This is it and I have to own it. And I am. It just takes a second to get back there sometimes.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This weekend.

This weekend, my mom took the train down for a quick visit. The train! A quick visit! Also known as: things made possible by my new locale. Harper lost her mind (I mean, really) when she realized Grammy was in the car all uh the sudden. And I lost my mind when I realized weeeeee! I've got more h-e-l-p! Weeeeee! I can bathe and pee! Grammy usually ends up feeling like quite the VIP.


Navigating the rocky shore. A couple o' pirates.

These pictures are out of order because Blogger wants me committed to a hospital for cranial leakage. But anyways. Here's Harps when she realized I was taking pics of us. Happy happy baby with little pearls for teeth. (Also, this was 2 minutes after a long string of scary, death-defying playground tricks on her behalf. Can't I have a wimpy child, please? I'm scared of her bravery. Does that sentence make sense?)


That little blonde mop needs a serious chopping.

An entirely perfect afternoon for one happened today. (One being me, natch?) I've committed myself to doing 45-60 minutes of yoga during HJ's nap and usually/hopefully this affords me some leftover time when I'm finished sweating for eating and sitting. Today, I finished my mat stuff and then made hot tea, a plate of Indian leftovers, and grabbed the Sunday paper. Stuff dreams are made of. (It lasted about 20 minutes.)


I'm really, really into raita. And making a soupy mess.

I'm loving this insanely warm November. Lots of beach time makes all the people happy.


Every single person thought she was a boy. Sigh.

I told you we transitioned Harps to a bed? I thought it would be a huge, tortuous ordeal but...nothing really changed. One night we just said "Hey! You sleep in a bed now, cool?" And she was all "Okay, cool!" And life went on. She loves the thing and asks to go to bed now, letting us walk away with a jolly "Ni ni!" and I love not worrying about her climbing out of the crib and breaking her bones.

Of course we made sure the room is all safe and secure and fine, However. When she wakes up in the morning, she CAN bolt out of bed quite fast and open her own door (very recent discovery) so that needs to be fixed fast. Don't need her wandering around, making oatmeal and coffee and such. Tonight there shall be a chair blocking her exit, tomorrow we'll get our acts together.


Reading books in new bed. Pretty proud of her digs.

Totally a deer-caught-in-the-headlights shot, buuuuuut I just had to snap a pic of that Book Worm shirt, courtesy of a cc shopping spree. Heh! Tonight I used it as jammies (anyone else use real clothes as jammies when they want to layer up? Er?) and she was so flippin soft and snuggly while I sang Cee-Lo and rubbed her back. This was right before bed, coloring her letters with a "geen" crayon. Little love ham sammich jones burger.

I pluck her eyebrows once a week.

What'd you guys do?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When you take a froggy to the beach in November

After naps today, I took Harps to a little playground-by-the-ocean. It was crazy beautiful. (Seriously, Connecticut! What's with you?) And we both needed it after a long week (of crayons? I don't know, it was just long) and not enough how-we-like-it time. Because what I've realized this past week or two, with moving and hovering and figuring and driving and such, is that my days -- my normal days -- are centered around her.

And it's mindfully so. Sure, I get my own stuff done. Nor am I a slave to her every whim. What I mean is, I've figured out what she needs and when -- it's a real flow, not a real schedule per se -- and I run our day that way. It works for us. She's content and I'm content and we roll and we roll and then we smooch and sleep and do it all over again.

This is a pretty cool slide, dude. And I dig my "ghost" sweater.
But, mom? I spot the water. Can't nothin' hold me back from that. 





So I'mma hand you my boots. And I'mma get my ocean pedicure on. Sweet November bliss.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A few things, bullet point style


Strolling around our new lil courtyard.


- At least half of Harper's clothes you see pictured in pictures are hand-me-downs from the loves in my life. Thank you and you know who you are! (Christie and Mandy, <3) I love them more than new things! They're dusted with cool girl vibes and stuff. 

- Yesterday was such a bad day. Bad bad bad badness. Some of it was bad in a yeah, this sucks and I know why way. Harper had some very lengthy, very terrible, hitting-herself-in-the-head-with-her-own-hand tantrums (brought on by long car rides and different everything and mucho undersleep from the time change and, like, once I moved her red crayon to the wrong side of the coloring book?) and I didn't feel well. And then I got my hopes up about something and then it didn't happen and then Harper screamed some more. And then there were some can't-put-my-finger-on-it things that made my mood terrible/made even normal things (we were out of carrots) seem insurmountable and horrifying. I don't know, dude. But. Bad. 

- But today was much better, thanks!

- We've taken to watching (in the absence of DVR and a good Internet connection for streaming) our shows real time (feels so old-fashioned!) and then, well, eventually the show Tosh.0 comes on. And um? I feel like maybe I shouldn't admit this, but it's hysterical. I can't help myself.

- Harps is now 21 months old! It's insane! We've been obsessively looking at pictures of her as a teeny tiny bebe. She is (Exorcist style tantrums aside) a riot these days. Right now she loves, in no particular order: stickers, tying cc's bootlaces into knots, running, putting iPod earbuds in her ear and "jamming", bowls of peas, blueberry muffins, this-little-piggy on her toes, her new Ugg knockoffs, being outside, "reading" Goodnight Moon to herself ("ni ni cats! ni' ni' mouse! ni' ni' moon!"), doing her elaborate secret handshake/kiss routine with cc, holding hands, sleeping in her new bed, hiding in closets, doing puzzles, CARROTS, stairs, music videos, Batman comics, the nude lady statue outside our apartment. She's a complex girl.

- I somehow have 1 pair of pants I can wear without feeling dumb. They are brown corduroys from J. Crew, cc picked out for me at an outlet last winter. Every pair of pants I buy, I take home and they don't fit. What happens between the dressing room and my bedroom? Nobody knows. I do, however, like my shirts?

- Think I need some leftover pizza and orange juice from a wine glass.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Oh, b! (Harper's favorite exclamation)

After breakfast at the Sugar Bowl. Happy girl at the Republican HQ. Am I raising Alex P. Keaton?

I admit I felt a little glum about our current digs the first few days here. Last week we were in a cozy, decorated-just-how-we-liked bungalow and suddenly we were in an apartment with a smelly hallway and paintings from hell/K-mart in our bedroom and yellow, un-hot water. But then I pulled my grumpy self together (and we got a new water heater) because ... this place is free, dude. Free. Stop yer mumbling and pull yourself together, woman.

Re-arranged the furniture some. Scattered little play stations for Harps (tiny to-die-for IKEA cups/saucers with a doll to feed, stickers/paper, library book piles, crayons/coloring books, train set), stocked the fridge with foods we love, bought a red mum for the mantle, put on some Raffi. It's amazing how much a few days of living and some effort can do to revamp a vibe.

Other than getting settled and un-jetlagged/travel traumatized, we spent the weekend driving around all the little towns we might live in. Trying breakfast places and playgrounds, zipping down side streets and peeking thru windows. I admit I didn't know a dang thing about Connecticut before moving here, but hooooeeeee is it beautiful down here. (See how I call it down? Because I'm from Mass and now spend all my time in Maine? Heh.) This particular section is all along the ocean...but then there's lakes and ponds and creeks and, well, just a hell ton of water. I love water. I missed the water. I'm happy.

Of course with all this loveliness, comes crazy high price tags. So it'll be interesting to see where we choose to settle. Smaller/funkier house, but perfect town? Bigger house/land, but a little more remote? I know you're on the edge of your seats.

Off to bed! Way too late as usual. (I just saw a local news segment about a cat who survived for months alone in an airport? Yeah, it's time to go.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I haz East Coastness

Double chins! Boyfriend sweater! Snowflake turtleneck! Random house's pumpkins!

Guys. GUYS. We're here! In Connecticut! Alive! We did it. (Barely, it felt, at times.)

Moving ain't easy. Even if you've done it a million times. Even if you think you gots it in the bag. You probably don't. There were slow movers and feisty landlords and hotel pizza parties (and oops! her pack 'n play got packed and I guess she'll be sleeping on a mattress now?) and many processed foods in bags and boxes and a toddler who got lost many times amongst boxes and mattresses and empty closets. I thought I'd learned my lesson about losing that one, but nope. Lost her like 12 times this week.

Oh also? Because of delays (oh, just a blizzard and stuff) in Denver, we got free teevs for our ride. After many many hours of traveling and almost zero minutes of nap, H was approaching DEFCON 1. Desperate to keep her lid on, we found a Tom and Jerry cartoon on the mini screen. Oh my heaven. I've never seen anything sweeter, truly. She was so, so concerned for both T and J. Eyebrows scrunched up and mouth in a frown. "Oh no! OH NO!" as Jerry got smushed by yet another anvil. (And we exchanged looks like um...bad parenting move maybe?) Then she'd get frantic. "More mouse? MORE MOUSE?!" And then he'd come back to life and she'd look so relieved. And then Tom would pour a barrel of fish on his head and she'd bust out laughing. For about 4 seconds. And then back to very, very worried for their health. Oh wow. Best (only good?) part of today.

So yeah. As I sit here, on this fuzzy green couch in our temp housing, I can't believe we just took a one way plane zoom to the East Coast?! Like...not round trip. Like...this is our home now. As our plane descended this afternoon, cc and I looked at each other and seemed to realize at the same time... "We live here." Woh.

Tonight, after 12 hours without food (I did feed my child), we inhaled a huge veggie Indian feast and put Harps to sleep in a big walk-in closet on a down comforter. (Yes, really.) And we took a deep breath, put up our feet, kissed our apologies for all the snapping we both snapped this week, and settled into our new little life.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Last sleep

Climbing trees today in our across-the-street park.

 It feels completely unreal that tonight is our last night in this house. Especially because all of our stuff is still out; I'm cozily watching a little teevs in the front room, surrounded by my books and pics and lamps and pretty blue Ikea curtains. All here tonight, all in boxes tomorrow. Thank you life for providing us with packers and movers -- otherwise, I'd probably be in the fetal position, murmuring sweet nothings to my mind-that-was.

Still, it makes the whole thing (surreal already) even stranger. I found myself throughout the weekend trying to explain to Harper this was her last couple nights here, that Denver would soon be a memory. Over a cereal bar and milk (meals are on the decidedly unfancy side lately), I discussed with her our favorite places and people and things we're leaving behind. She just kept looking around frantically for each thing as I named it, so that game ended pretty quickly. Still. I do believe even tiny tiny ones understand more than we think they do, and I like to imagine she's understanding the change even on a vague level.

I wonder how I'll one day look back on this year-and-a-half in Denver. It was an unbelievably challenging time for us (I do hate to be vague with details on this; they're not my details to share...but oh hell, oh yes, things are in a much better place now) and I think it will be hard not to identify this town with all the scary shit that went down. But at the same time, we found a lot of joy here. We had so many little adventures and laughed and laughed. We learned how to be a real family unit, pretty damn indestructible. We watched Harper learn to crawl and then walk and then talk. We got real healthy, we gained a planet of empathy, we changed for the better. I think we'll look back with a smile.

I'm really excited for this move. It feels right. It feels like mama bear's doing the smart thing for her family, putting us all in a stronger position to thrive and grow and take on whatever life wants to throw our way next.

Kapowpow Connecticut kapow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last Thursday mile high ...

Sitting here in my favorite room, the front room. I'mma put up some cute pics before we leave (the ones we lured in Craigslist peeps with), so you can see just how cute. I love it especially because it's the old part of the house, the hundred year part. Weirdly, I've discovered, it's the warmest part. So I'm huddled up here with my hot cocoa (whole milk, I'll have you know, with a peppermint candy melted at the bottom) and my yellow striped sweater and my fists shaking at the Playstation for refusing to play my British mystery on Netflix. So I've turned to the ol' blog instead.

Today we used up our last day of major discounted sporting goods goodness. I would have felt like a complete loser leaving without getting Harps some solid warm stuff for back East so...she scored a couple snow/sledding bibs and a super warm coat and some mittens. I bought myself a hot pink slouchy knit hat.

At one point, as cc and I debated over purple vs pink for her parka, we noticed she was gone. Two minutes ago hiding (pooping) inside of a clothes rack, she was now... no longer. Running/yelling all around the kids section turned up nothing, so my heart started to beat a bit harder. I produced a fast, fast child and wasn't too worried about the kidnapping potential (not because she's so fast no one can catch her - altho maybe? - just that it was more likely she'd bolted) ... but I was worried she'd head for the automatic doors and the parking lot and oh my stop the scary thundercloud thoughts.

I started darting around the clothing racks and shelves, calling her name and asking people for help. Suddenly, a big bulky dude appears and points to the exercise equipment. "I think that might be what you're looking for... I saw a strange small thing dart across the security cameras and came running out." Thanks, security dude!

She was just meandering along the free weights, pointing to the colored ones, naming them, asking "This? This?" Not a care in the world. Scooped her up, smothered her face, gave her a talking to, tried to hide my laughs.

The whole scene was straight out of my mom's and my life, circa 1987-1989, with my little brother T. Sweet Lorna Doone did that kid know how to bolt a scene. How he's a librarian and not a Houdini-type is still surprising to me.

Anywhos, all's well that ends well. Quite certain she learned approximately zero from the whole thing, but miss mama learned she's got a speedy mouse on her hands -- and freestyle pooping under sweatshirts is no longer allowed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Snow day

Messy, snowday house. Backyard tree bending low, waaaay low. 

We woke up this morning and it had snowed like a moth-ah. And it kept snowing all day long, into the late afternoon and early evening. Dibble dibble dop dop dibble dibble dop dop. (Mr. Brown anyone anyone?)

I'd say we got 9 inches? Because most of the leaves are still cozy on their branches, the look was crazy pretty -- trees smooching the sidewalks and branches jumping ship. I took Harps on a walk early this morning after her face lit up at the sight, and some dude scolded me for having her outside under trees. Blergh. Just trying to have a lil fun, meanman. (But he was right, really.)

It was one of those really cozy and nice days, once we accepted we were stuck inside. (Tho we did all sneak out this morning before the roads were too heinous for a deelicious brunch down the street...) We colored and played with stickers and Skyped with my mom and took naps and read books and ate a lot of mushrooms. (She really, really, really loves cooked mushrooms.)


Watchin a little Caillou. 

Oh, and HJ and I made a grapefruit-and-honey cake together (from the new Mario Batali cookbook which I am licking with love) and then we all three sat at the white table and enjoyed a slice each. (And then I cleaned the bathtub with the leftover grapefruits because I read about it on Pinterest and I guess it made it cleaner? At least I felt like I was doing something earthy and special.)

And then she went to bed and we tried to stay awake and be hip (watch our shows), but sometimes a full long day inside is weirdly exhausting. So it's 9:00 and I'm typing this in bed and I think cc is already asleep. I'm trying to take deep breaths and focus on what a happy day we had and not on this friend...situation that makes brain dribble out my ears. Because it's all going to be behind me in a week -- and life's too short to let your brain dribble. Preach!

(And apropos of nothing side note I realized with a startle today: No one ever tells you being a mom means getting super excited for UPS to come so you can see her try out a new kind of sippy you ordered on Amazon. No one tells you this.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Safety first




Guys. It's impossible to be too safe. (And backward is cuter, duh.)

What a strange week we're having. Lame duck status in your own home feels weird. I'm being really lazy about the dishes and laundry and everything else cleaning related because, well, who cares? I'll be out in 5 days and then a massive cleaning crew is coming? Tough to get jazzed for sweeping when random dudes are about to bust through your door and pack all your pots and pans and toothpastes into boxes labeled Cohen. Or Dowan. Depending on what mood they're in.

I've said most of my goodbyes and now we're just waiting to hurdle over a couple more hurdles before we hop on a plane and fly East. (Um, we should probably buy those tickets, cc?) I'm finding it hard to really believe we'll be over in another land come a week -- just like I found it hard to believe I was graduating high school or college when I still had 5 major papers to write and 12 missing library books to find under my bed. Until it's all wrapped up in a bow and done done done, I won't really think it's real. But hey, I do have that BU diploma hiding out somewhere (in my mom's closet maybe?), so if it happened before it'll happen again...Right?

Night, lovelies.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend in review







This weekend we:

Munched on waffles (the best I've ever had, no joke. If you live/are visiting Denver, run-don't-walk to Waffle Brothers!) with the Evans'. Harps is falling more and more in lurve with Naveen these days (grabbed his hand as we left and wouldn't let go), so it's even sadder to say goodbye. However, we're probably only a few months away from them sneaking out their bedroom windows to rendezvous at midnight, so Clay's probably relieved.

Ate up at our favorite sushi place. (Notice a theme here? I tend to really miss the food we leave behind, so I'm on a frantic tour of our standbys.) As usual, HJ crushed: seaweed salad, tofu, edamame, tempura, and -- her first -- mango mochi. She keeps asking if we'd reconsider Connecticut and head to Japan instead.

Lots of reading and cuddles. The mornings and nights around here are getting chilly, making snuggles that much cozier inside. Cheddar bunnies and raisins in a paper cup. Hand-me-down turtlenecks from beloved bloggy friends.

Not pictured: Feeding the ducks at Wash Park (she alternates eating the stale raisin bread and throwing it at their heads), mucho sidewalk chalk drawing, waving to the grizzlies and seals and giraffes at the Denver Zoo with our pals (I hate goodbyes), kicking around a pink soccer ball at the park, and long naps. And avoiding my laundry mountain.

I can't really say I've done too much in the way of obvious prep for our almost-here move... But! The most important things have been done. We are officially OFF OUR LEASE after some serious struggles with our d*ckhead landlord. Wee! We've got the packers/movers scheduled to come and a lease ready-to-sign for our temporary housing in Connecticut. The rest is just... details? Let's hope.

Here's to a good week...and a Texas World Series!