Thursday, December 29, 2011


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?

 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


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 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



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!)


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' 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


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*