Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Read, Watched, Listened

I love reading just about everything, watching comedy and documentary-type things, and have wholeheartedly embrace the podcast.  I also enjoy hearing about what other people are reading, watching, and listening.  Here's my two cents worth.


Reading while eating fresh chocolate chip cookies is thisclose to being a religious experience. 

Read

Hungry Heart
I love reading memoirs, and ones from other creative people are especially interesting to me as they describe how they go about their own creative process. It's also interesting to get a bit of an "insider's view" of the publishing world. That said, I must confess that I've never read anything else that Jennifer Weiner has written, so it was a bit hard to relate when she described some of her other work. Beyond that, though, she has a fascinating and somewhat tragic personal narrative woven throughout, which she adds both brutal honesty and humor to.

The Mothers
LOVED IT! This is the best novel I have read in awhile. I know I'm slightly behind on giving this book some love, but if you haven't checked it out yet, it needs to be added to your list. The narration is very interesting (you never really meet the narrator) and brings up questions of whose stories are ours to tell. I fell in love with the characters and my only issue is all of the unanswered questions the book left me with. I have a love/hate relationship with books that don't tell me everything by the end.

The Magic of Motherhood
Written by the Coffee + Crumbs ladies, this book is BEAUTIFUL, both literally and emotionally. The essays on motherhood read just like the ones on the site, (and a few are repeats), and they are full of life and humor and emotion. I've already re-read a few of my favorites. This has been sitting on my bedside table for the past couple of weeks and won't be leaving that spot anytime soon. I'm planning to give this as a gift at baby showers from now on.


Watched

Chef's Table (season three)
We're die-hards. Go watch ALL the seasons. (There are actually four, since France has a season all to itself but apparently doesn't count in numerical order.) Each episode is shot so beautiful and they are all so different from one another. If you love food and/or are interested in hearing people's stories, this series is for you.

The Sixties
We really enjoyed this mini-series by CNN. The interviews added such depth and each episode captured an aspect of the '60's in an interesting way. It was a great overview of the time period, though I will add that some documentaries we have watched have done a better job of covering subjects in an in-depth way, such as When We Left Earth (on the space program). It's also like deja-vu in a way, to watch things unfold that seem still so prevalent now. (See: racial tensions, lying politicians, gender inequality, etc., etc., etc...) I don't know if 2016 is exactly going to go down in the books like 1968 did, but...what's that saying about history repeating itself?

Listened

Beautiful Writers Podcast
I'm intermittent on this one, but recently Linda Sivertson not only interviewed Anne Lamott, one of my all-time most favorites, but her co-host was Glennon Doyle Melton, one of my other all-time most favorites. Completely inspiring.

Coffee + Crumbs Podcast
Giving the Coffee + Crumbs girls some more love this time around! Their podcast is back for season two, and it's like having a conversation with my own girlfriends...minus the part where I can't actually join in (boo). Each episode they discuss a different aspect of motherhood, and also check in with each other to share what "little luxuries" they've been enjoying lately. It's one of my favorite parts of the show, and now I'm totally dreaming of getting my eyebrows microbladed...just as soon as I rustle up that kind of $$$ (!).


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Post (Easter) Weekend

Easter is made for kids. Most holidays are, I suppose, but the combination of eggs and candy, bunnies and pastels, poofy dresses and bow ties are particularly made for the single-digit set. Add in the springiest of spring weather to celebrate our re-emergence from the chill of winter, and these three lapped up the fun of a full Easter weekend.

Except for maybe the taking pictures part.

(Attempt 1: not bad.)

(Attempt 2: cue weird faces.)

(Attempt 3: not everyone is exactly vertical.)

(Attempt 4: weird faces, part 2.)

(Attempt 5: so close)

(Attempts 6-348 not shown.)
(Attempt 349: Nolan: A+. Caden and Brooklyn: need improvement.)


Our church offered services on Friday night, so we took full advantage of attending at a less busy time to help free up our weekend (so many praise hands). And it's so nice to not deal with the rush of Easter baskets/quick breakfast/fancy clothes/church on Sunday morning. Which also meant that we could attend a birthday party on Saturday.

(Where Nolan flirted with all the lady babies.)

("So, does your mom bring you here often?")

(No seriously, so many lady babies. All the lady babies. Nolan, you get your pick.)


(I mean, we might as well cram all the juice boxes and cake into a weekend already filled with candy, right? Let's just get it all out of the way until the next major holiday/birthday party/desperate attempt at bribery.)
Looking out the window now at the rain, cold, and wind that have taken over, it's a little hard to believe that Easter was only two days ago. I've since packed away much (though by no means all) of the Easter paraphernalia. I swear, Easter is second only to Christmas in the amount of stuff we store. I think it's all those darn eggs.


("You guys, I swear there were only empty eggs in here last night!")


(Discovering that the big kids got all of the good candy.)

("Whut? I'm totally not trying to eat a gummy bear right now.")


(They'll all work together to clean up a spill of bunny crackers.)

(And a little bit later, when they somehow got their little hands on an Easter basket: "We havin a picnic!")

(Dying Easter eggs. Except they were way more interested in the stickers that came in the package.)

(So I dyed some Easter eggs.)


(Rocking the bow tie in the Cozy Coupe.)




(Most of my Easter egg hunt photo attempts of Caden turned out like this.)


(Until he paused because he found an egg filled with some cash money.)


(Not quite sure what's going on, but picking things up and putting them in bags is pretty fun.)


(The aftermath.)

(Don't everyone's Easter celebrations involve watching some hockey?)

After a month of birthdays, quickly followed by a week of the stomach flu, then followed by two weeks of Tyson out-of-town, which led up right into a few days of travel for us, and now Easter under out belts, it feels like the first time things are really getting back to normal in quite awhile. Whatever that means anymore. We're ready to settle into a new normal. One that involves a lot more sunshine, flowers, and all things spring.

(Oh, and also, this:)

; video

Friday, April 7, 2017

Things Mom Knows

There are so many things I just know about my kids. Little habits and idiosyncrasies that are embedded into the way I parent, because day in and day out this is what I do. I know things that, if done in just the right way, bring success to our day, and if not, LOOK OUT.  I know where things are, what bodily functions have been one by who, and which child will eat what (well, usually). My brain is full. I might not remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday morning (I mean, besides coffee. Always coffee.) but here are some things I do know:

Like how to get a photo where everyone is in focus, even if they're not all looking at the camera. Just hire a professional.
  • Don't give grapes to the baby until the end of the meal, otherwise it's all he will eat and you will spend the rest of your life cutting grapes into teeny-tiny pieces.
  • Where the secret stash of snacks in the diaper bags is.
  • The proper way to serve Frozen cheese cubes. (Rip open one side of the wrapper. Rotate the cheese 90-degrees, placing it back inside the wrapper so it sticks out, but the wrapper remains so they can see their favorite character and use it as a holder for the cheese. Point deduction if you dare to rip any part of Elsa's face or Olaf's carrot nose.)
  • The words to every Daniel Tiger jingle.
  • Which socks are too difficult for the baby to pull off his own feet.
  • Which aisles to avoid at the store with the kids.
  • The correct child to give the green, pink, blue, or yellow plate.
  • Whose turn it it so pick out a bedtime story, dump the chocolate chips in the mixing bowl, or choose what type of fruit snacks they'll be eating for the week.
  • That if you wait to get the free piece of fruit/cookie until RIGHT before you go through the check-out, it will (usually) buy you enough time to do so in peace.
  • Which cry needs to be tended to immediately, and which not so much.
  • Who's pooped today.
  • That the baby wears mostly 12-month clothes, but a lot of the 18-month stuff is starting to fit, and there's a couple pairs of 9-month pants that actually fit pretty great still. The girl toddler is firmly in 3T, except a lot of 2T shirts still fit okay and 3T jeans are usually too big but the 2T ones fit well in the waist so they work if they are long enough, and we're saving some of the 2T leggings that are too short in the drawer to use as capris, come actual warm spring weather. Meanwhile the boy toddler can wear either 2T or 3T shirts, but bottoms remain a mystery since some of the 3T ones fit, though it depends on the brand and whether or not they have an actual functioning drawstring around waist, otherwise 2T fits best so long as the length is okay, but then we get into shorts and I think there are still some 18 month ones from last summer that will work just fine. The moral of the story is that you can never get any of the clothing bins put away in storage for good. Ever. 
  • How much milk is left in the fridge.
  • Who wants peanut butter on their toast, who prefers "just butter", and who doesn't even want their bread to be toasted.
  • The exact location of BOTH pink slippers, where the blue sippy cup with the green handle is, and where the purple block for the shape sorter was last seen.
  • That when they request "Coming 'Round the Mountain" in the car, it is track number 19. However, when they request "Coming 'Round the Mountain" they not only want to listen to track 19, but also the instrumental music on track 18, which they view as some sort of intro. Skip past track 18 at your own risk.
  • How long everyone napped today, to the minute.
  • The locations of the five nearest coffee shops with a drive-thru.
  • How many pairs of toddler underwear are left before you need to do laundry again. And even when it seems all hope is lost and the bottom of the underwear drawer stares back at you, there is always a spare in the diaper bag. Just remember to replenish it later.
My parents will be taking over for the next few days while Tyson and I escape on a little getaway to meet our new niece (bonus points for also being in a warmer climate!). Mom and Dad: GOOD FREAKING LUCK.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

One/Three Year Photos

Another birthday (or three...), another round of family pictures.

Here's a round-up of some of my favorites...along what with we're thinking in each picture...

Caden: "My arms are freezing. Seriously, it's barely March. Why are we even out here without coats on?"

Brooklyn: "Come on, guys. why am I the only one following directions here?"

Caden: "LOVE MEEEE!" Nolan: "Leave me alone."

Me: "This is my life. No, seriously, you don't even know how often it looks like this while I'm just trying to get lunch on the table."


Tyson and me: "IMAGINE HAVING ONE KID."

"I'm a stud and I know it."
"No need to smile when you look this cool."
"I mean, just check out this bow tie."

"Sometimes we like each other."
Caden: "Mom is gonna love this smile."

"Finally, my chance to shine without those boys around. Check out this posture."

"I'm only smiling this big because I'm throwing rocks in between shots."


Brooklyn: "Why is it always up to me? Hold it together, guys..."

"Yeah, I made you guys work so dang hard for this grin."



"OMG I HAVE A BOOK!!!"

"WE'RE RUNNING IN THE LIBRARY WITH BOOKS!!!!!!!11!!"

"Shhh...act professional."

Me: "I am holding onto Nolan for dear life right now. I can't imagine that we'll ever get a picture in where he isn't completely blurry from squirming so much."


(Okay, no thoughts here. Just all the heart eyes for this one.)


"This is gonna be good."

"We're smiling this big because we ditched our children."
Many, many thanks again to the talented Missy of Prall Photography!