Maybe go to Bed Bath & Beyond, don’t know if we’ll have time

Lila likes to know what is going to happen next or what our next activity is. She’ll ask what are we going to do after day care, what will we do when we get home, what will we do after nap time. For much of the week the answer is the same – we wake up, we go to Twos (day care), we come home, have dinner, go to bed. Repeat. Except for the occasional parent having an after work commitment, there is little variety in our weekly schedule. Such is life, I suppose, but it is starting to feel a bit like a rut.

The title of the post comes from a quote from Old School. The married guy has found his way to a college party and doesn’t want to drink too much because he has a big day planned for Saturday. “Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.” This folks, is my life. We have lots of nice Saturdays planned, but lately I just feel stuck.

With two kids, there isn’t that much time for anything but routine. In fact, not only is there not time, without routine nothing would happen. Alarm, shower, get dressed, bottles, diapers, wake the girls, get dressed, commute, work, commute, dinner, bath, bedtime, clean bottles and diapers. Into bed. Try to make conversation for 10 minutes. Sleep. There is nothing wrong with this. There is nothing wrong with our weekend routines of gymnastics, music class, coffee shops, nap and the library. But I just feel so suburban mom. I mean, I was making tutus tonight. I AM NOT CRAFTY.

I don’t know how to shake the suburban mom blues. New hair? New clothes? Losing 10lbs? Less yoga pants? It’s not that I don’t love my girls, my husband, my life. I want to be a good mom and a good wife. I just wish I didn’t feel like I was on a one way to track to mom jeans and a practical bob.

 

Change is Gonna Come

We’re in the process of making some changes to our home. Our kitchen needs some minor updating and we figured while we were doing the kitchen, we’d update the baths too.  My number one wish list item is getting rid of the plush chocolate brown carpet in our bedroom that shows every piece of pet hair and cat sand (dragged in from the laundry room), as well as repainting the bright blue walls.

So we headed to Home Depot this weekend to look at counters, sinks, carpet and paint. You’ve been to Home Depot on a Saturday afternoon? What about Home Depot on a Saturday afternoon with a 2 year old? Let’s call it an adventure. I thought Lila would be as interested in the sinks and counters like I was. Look! Shiny black granite! This one is silver! The answer? No. No she was not.

It took a while but we’ve at least reached a preliminary decision on the kitchen counters and work to be done there. (Quartz with new single bowl sink and an above counter microwave to free up counter space.) We’re going to leave the guest bath as is. It has tile counters, but is nice looking. The master bath has matching colors to the master bedroom, so it needs to be repainted. So we’re going to do new counters there as well. Currently the fixture are two toned (brushed silver with gold). I’ve hated them since we moved in. They will be one of the first things to go.

All of this sounds like we have it together, but I don’t have a clue. I don’t know what “designs” I may need or what color paint will go with the carpet (which by the way I have no idea what carpet to get in the master. I wanted hard wood but have basically been talked out of it by everyone.) I watch a lot of HGTV. You’d think I’d be better at this. This is all to say – expect photo. And questions. And thoughts on does this carpet go with this paint? Do I need to redo this backsplash? What about the shower? Better yet, I’ll keep searching for home improvement show casting notices in the PNW. . .

Letter for my Bear and Goose

Perhaps nothing marks the passing of time like the changing of the seasons. Basketball, baseball, football. Here we are, Lila’s third football season and Lucy’s first. It seems like just yesterday we were trying to teach Lila the intricacies of a touchdown.  Now? Now she requests Hail to the Redskins as a lullaby. So much has changed since last year, most of all a new baby to wear adorable Patriots onesies.

To my sweet Bear and Goose, 

First of all, I love you both so very much. You make my life so wonderful. I want you to remember that when Momma gets sad or frustrated on a Sunday and just wants everyone to leave her alone to watch the Pats play. It has been a very long time since Momma watched a full football game without interruption. A very, very long time. She misses it. Don’t even ask Momma about the last time she was able to watch a full day of football. But I don’t miss those things nearly as much as I love both of you. 

Lucy Goose, you are about to join a family tradition of football watching Sundays. Days planned around whether a game starts at 10am or 1pm. Days spent as a family in the playroom with a floor littered with toys and the sweet melodic tones of Joe Buck emanating from the television.  And while I am looking forward to all of this, the togetherness, the coziness on a rainy Seattle afternoon and of course, the football, I am most looking forward to watching you and Lila together for your first season. 

As much as your father and I love both of you, as much as you both love us, it is nothing compared to the love and joy you share between each other. Nothing makes Lucy smile and laugh like her sister. Lila loves nothing more than seeing Lucy first thing in the morning and when Lucy is sad, Lila calls to her “it’s ok, I’m here.”  I know that you, Lila, will take you, Lucy, under her wing and teach her how these Sundays work. I know you’ll show her how to do “touchdown” and help her hold her hands up. I know you’ll help her learn the words to Hail to the Redskins, as well as the few choice words Momma uses when the Pats wide receivers are arrested on murder charges drop the ball.  Lila Bear, you love being a “big helper” so I know you’ll help entertain Lucy with toys and books while the games are on. Share your cheddar bunny snacks and maybe, just maybe, teach Lucy Goose the importance of a three hour Sunday afternoon nap.

I love football season because of the way it has brought me closer to your father. I love football season because I love beer and nachos. I love football season because I love the game. I love football season because I love watching a little Bear and a littler Goose play together and grow into a family tradition. A tradition that started with two and grew to three and is now overflowing with four.

We’ve been waiting all year for Sunday night, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do Lucy Goose.

Love, Momma 

Sunday Funday

Sundays can be both our busiest and most relaxing day of the week. Saturdays are filled with classes, dog parks, play dates and date nights. We try to keep Sundays less scheduled when possible, but that still means a busy day. Church, walks for bagels, play ground trips, grocery shopping, and prep for the week ahead keeps us hopping.

Today was no different.  Nothing scheduled but lots to do, all working towards trying to make the week ahead just a little bit easier. A got diapers and bottles ready for tomorrow.  I made food for Lucy for all week (cherries, peaches, and avocado, in case you were wondering.) I made a yummy dinner with fresh ingredients from our CSA.

Best of all, the evening ended with a double bath and two very silly, clean girls. We may not have crossed off “summer must dos” today, but I’d call it a success regardless.

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Back Where We Started From

It is the tenth anniversary of the OC.  You can read more awesome things about that here, here, here and here.

I loved the OC.  It was, still is, a great show. I consider myself a bit of an expert on teenage dramas and this one was a step above the rest.  But it wasn’t just the witty banter, the great music, the eyebrows or the cage fighting that keeps the OC so dear to my heart.  The OC has played an important role in A and my relationship from the start.

A and I met in December 2004.  The OC began in the year earlier and I did not watch. I was in law school, had no time for such silliness.  I heard others talk about it, but I think I was watching important things like “For Love or Money.”  Anyway, we met in December in South BEnd and then I returned to VA for Army training and A went back to OK for the real Army.  We began to email daily and A’s love of the OC became clear.  I don’t remember when I started watching the OC or how many episodes of the second season I saw during that early part of our relationship but I clearly remember watching “Rainy Day Woman.” (More on that later.)  I wanted to like the things he liked and since basketball teams were out of the question, teenage dramas seemed like a good place to start.

As our relationship progressed, I knew A like-liked me when he let me borrow his OC season one DVD set.  He couldn’t break up with me while I had that, right?  He would inquire as to my progress in our nightly chats, sometimes encouraging me to stop talking to him so I could finish an episode and be able to talk to him about it.  He couldn’t wait for me to enjoy this thing that he had enjoyed seeing for the first time and enjoyed (at least I am pretty sure he did) reliving it through my eyes.

Once we were caught up on our OC viewing, but still living states apart, we would have OC dates.  We’d hang out on google chat and watch the episodes together, react and enjoy.  The OC was on Thursday ngihs, so on the great weekends we were able to spend together, that meant we’d save that week’s episode to watch in person.  A true thrill.  I remember sharing the final episode with A, sad that not only were my friends Ryan, Seth and Summer leaving me (Marissa had left a little earlier) but that we wouldn’t have this special time together.  (I believe we replaced it with Lost dates, which were special in a different, smoke monster sort of way.)

Even though the OC ended, our love of it (and all teenage dramas) continued throughout our relationship.  At our wedding celebration, we didn’t have table numbers, but instead tables named after our favorite teen drama characters.  Some of our friends were lucky enough to sit at the Sanford Cohen, Julie Cooper Nichol Bullit Atwood, Caleb Nichol and Pancakes tables.  The time we spent writing the bios that went along with each placard was probably our favorite wedding preparation moment and one that really made our wedding “us”.  Years later when I was on hospitalized bed rest while pregnant with Lila, A brought the DVDs to the hospital so I could pass the time with some old friends.  We made it through two seasons before the three weeks were up and we brought our little girl home.  The song “California” still sings out of my cell phone every time A calls.

And the end of season two brings me back to Rainy Day Woman.  For me, Rainy Day Woman is not just my favorite episode of the OC.  For me it is where the true fans were separated from the pack. You had to really get what the OC was about the enjoy it.  You had to understand their worship of pop culture and Seth’s nerdiness and Ryan’s well, Ryan-ness to make it all work.  You had to see that the kiss wasn’t just a cheap rip off of the summer blockbuster, but really the coming together of what made things great.  (Considering Champagne Supernova one of the greatest songs of all time contributes to the love of this episode as well.) The first time I watched it with friends, many didn’t get it. Some decided it was dumb and they didn’t want to watch, anymore, or that the kiss was out of place.  But A and I saw it the same way.  The OC masterpiece.  The one that said if you don’t get it now, you should totally leave before Ryan starts cage fighting. Perhaps the greatest sign of our compatibility.

So for me, the OC isn’t just a great show and the tenth anniversary isn’t just a nostalgic look at something I once loved. It is something that may seem superficial to some, but that means a lot to the story of “us”.

Sitting at the "Seth and Summer" sweetheart table at our wedding

Sitting at the “Seth and Summer” sweetheart table at our wedding

 

Anticipation

A and I had a long distance relationship for all of our dating relationship and then the first 18 months of our marriage.  It wasn’t easy but we survived.  Every time I would visit him, or he would come to see me, there was the same level of anticipation.  A palpable excitement where I couldn’t sit still as the airplane taxied and we waited for the jet way.  I wanted off the plane and to get outside security as quickly as possible (or waiting on the other side, hoping he would appear as quickly as possible).

I realized yesterday as I sat on the shuttle from my office to the parking garage (from where I would pick up the car and head to day care to pick up the girls) that the end of the day holds that same excitement for me.  I anxiously play on my phone, urging the shuttle to go faster, make the light, get through the Mercer Mess just a few seconds quicker.  I have the same giddy nervous energy I did back when I waited for A to come through security as I do when going to pick up my babies.

And not to think that the giddiness has gone from our marriage, the best part of the day is when the girls are in the car and we pick up A at work and we are all together.  Dinner and the rest of the evening routine isn’t easy, but we’re all together and I long for that moment when we are all reunited in the car each and every day.

Fly Over States

We head out to the East Cost on Thursday (follow our trip on instagram and twitter, don’t miss a minute!).   So this means another cross country flight, sleep schedule adjustments, meals on the run, you know, the usual.  (If you are keeping track, this trip will let Lucy join the 10,000 mile club.  That’s right, 7 months old and she’ll have flown over 10,000 miles.)

I’d love to write a mom blog post on “how to” fly with kids.  I’ll give you the highlights below but the truth is two years in, I’m no expert.  I still panic, over pack, freak out and generally stress out everyone around me.  But I keep getting back on the plane.  Even at the end of the last cross country trip when A and I swore that we would not get back on the plane with the kids for at least a year,here we are, jumping back on a plane.

So my “expert tips”?  Here’s what I got:

– go the airport early.  I mean ridiculously early.  Give yourself time to lug every piece of baby equipment you brought with you from the car to the parking lot shuttle from the shuttle to the sky bridge from the sky bridge to the ticket counter (by the way sometimes the elevators are broken – so you know, two kids, a pack and play, two car seats and some luggage meets an escalator.  Like I said, go EARLY.)  You’ll want to get food (more on that later) and then let any mobile traveling child run their little hearts out.

– Food.  Bring it, buy it, do whatever is necessary to keep the kiddos happy.  Nurse on demand? Sure.  More cheddar bunnies?  Why not.  Chocolate chip cookies for lunch?  Yes please.  Bring lots of snacks.  They almost never have milk on the drink cart either, so plan ahead.  (You can bring sippie cups of milk and water through security, which will help you save money instead of buying it at the terminal.)

– Security.  If there is a family line, use it.  Don’t be ashamed, don’t feel bad that you will be cutting people in line that have been there for 30 minutes.  Don’t let their complaints discourage you.  Pick up your kids, fold down your stroller and be proud.  19 hours of labor (times 2) earned me this right.

– Entertainment.  In the past this has been rough because Lila (and Lucy still) are too young to really entertain for too long.  They just can’t do it.  I mean, I don’t like flying for 6 hours, why should they?  For Lila we’ve always brought books.  Now we’re bringing a magna doodle, coloring book, books, stickers, baby doll, and an iPad (more on that in a minute).  Lots of variety and most important a mix of old and new.  New items she hasn’t seen before and some old favorites that never fail.  We went to Target this weekend and I told her we could get some toys for the plane.  She picked up a few items and is really excited for them.  She knows that she can only use them on the plane.  Books and dolls that we know she enjoys will be packed as well.

– iPad.  Parents who flew cross country before the iPad, God Bless You.  I mean it.  Lila is finally in love with watching tv shows and we don’t let her do that at home.  (She caught 3 minutes of the British Open this weekend and was memorized.  Really, we had to shut it off to break the spell.)  So watching Dora, her absolute favorite, is only for special occasions.  And 6 hours on an airplane is a very special occasion.  We bought kid’s headphones for her and we’re ready to let her watch 6 hours of Dora.  No really.  We’ll let that happen, trust us.

– Alcohol. I don’t get drunk on flights, but by the time the first drink cart comes through, we’re about 4 hours into our flying adventure with still another 4 hours in the air.  A glass of wine to celebrate how far we’ve come and steel me against the hours to come.  It takes just enough of the edge off for me to not have a panic attack at 10,000 feet and happy momma = happy family.

My girls are good fliers and I’m happy that they are becoming as experienced at flying as they are at such a young age.  It would be nice if it were less stressful (or expensive) for Andrew and me, but using our toolbox of time, snacks, iPad and alcohol, we’ll make it work (again).

Life and Stuff

I like to blog.  My absence from blogging lately is not due to any lack of desire or interest.  Just you know, life.  Just like everyone out there in the big world, we’re busy, trying to fit 28 hours of activity into 24 hours a day.   Here’s a peak at what we’ve been up to:

– Summer!  Tradition states that Seattle summer begins on July 5, but mother nature did not get the memo this year.  Weather has been fantastic and this past week it has been real, honest to goodness summer.  Not just the glorious 75 degrees and sunny Seattle summer, but hot!  85-90 degree days.  Sun! Sun! Sun!  I’ve been loving it, as have the girls.  Here they are straight chillin’ in the weather.

Bathing Beauties

 – Commuting.  My office moved locations a few weeks ago so instead of us all working/going to day care within a 6 block radius of each other, I’m about 3 miles away.  In the grand scheme of things it is not that bad, but we’ve had to rearrange our commuting schedule.  With the change in car pool route and day care drop off/pick ups, A’s commute in the morning is about an hour and my commute in the evening is about 90 minutes.  If you weren’t tired before you left work, 90 minute commutes and wrangling two kids out of day care will certainly make you tired by the end.

– Computers.  My old laptop heaved a big sigh and breathed its last breath this past week.  After trying to coax it to log in remotely to my work computer, fire up the blog or just update Twitter, I realized the inevitable, I needed a new laptop.  After some research last weekend, I ordered a fancy new Windows 8 machine (with touch screen!).  It had a quirk that required a trip to the Microsoft store to fix but now, good as new. I’m still figuring it all out but it is quite fancy looking, light and functional (best of all).

– Two year olds.  Have you tried to rush a two year old?  Or get them to move on anyone’s schedule but your own?  If so, then you know where the bulk of our time is spent.  If you don’t, well I probably have a few choice words about the amount of free time you must have and wondering whether you are trying to save the world with all that time.  But that’s just the bitter toddler mom speaking, don’t mind it.

– House Hunters.  Somewhere in the past two weeks between the end of the NBA season and a complete lack of interesting television during the week, we discovered the 10pm House Hunters and 10:30pm House Hunters International.  We used to be huge HH fans before buying our house.  In fact, but for new jobs that didn’t allow for taping schedules, we were totally going to be on HH when we moved to Seattle.  The problem with HH is it makes you want to buy a house.  We even went to open houses last week.  We fell in love with a house.  And then we came home and tried to imagine getting this house ready to sell.  I can’t even blog once a week, how would I stage a house??  So we’re doing some minor renovations like redoing the bedroom and installing new counter tops.  (and by “we” I mean some very nice people we will hire.) (BTW, HH Intl is really the best hate watch out there.  There is no one easier to hate than a family looking for a luxury condo with comforts of home in Nepal.)


So, that’s life in a nutshell right now.  I’m hoping for glorious summer weather all weekend as well as some quiet nap time that I can spend blogging and catching up on things.  How’s your summer going?

Waving My Hippie Flag

It is not surprising that I’ve developed some hippie habits since moving to Seattle.  The other day I commented on Facebook that I felt very Seattle that day because I had won an argument as to whether you recycle or compost milk cartons.  (Recycle, they are waxed and can’t be composted.)  My office does not just have a recycling bin – we have a paper recycling, mixed item recycling, compost and landfill.  (Yes, even the trash cans are passive aggressive in Seattle.)  The girls wear cloth diapers.  I make my own baby food.  We eat at many farm to table restaurants.  And this year we are members of a CSA.

A had been resistant for the past few years about joining a CSA.  He was concerned with the cost and waste and whether we really needed one.  With two kids our weekend time is at a premium so we don’t always have time to go to the farmers’ market.  Add to that our concern that Lila (and soon Lucy) eat healthily and have at least one vegetable at each meal and signing up for a CSA just seemed like the way to go.

Last week was our first box pick up.  I was a little intimidated by the contents – it wasn’t just tomatoes and squash.  We had strawberries (Lila and Andrew’s current favorite, so big win there), sweet onions, “spicy” leafy mix, spinach, spring garlic, garlic scapes (which are really snakey), radishes, lettuce and Pink Lady apples.  The first night I threw together a salad of the lettuce, radishes and apples.  It was delightful and made us feel so summery and responsible to be eating such a healthy, local salad.  Faced with most of the remaining contents of the box, I decided to wing it and make a giant quiche for dinner.  I adapted a recipe from Cooking Light for a garden quiche and am pretty proud of the results.  It was a little larger than anticipated and may have exploded all over the oven, but now we know how to use the clean feature of our oven.  I never would have made such a yummy, nutritious  veggie filled meal if I had to go buy all the veggies individually but now I know we’ll all have vegetables with our meals everyday this week (plus the necessary strawberries for some of us).

There certainly are days when I wonder why I’ve adopted these hippie ways – when I can’t take toting cloth diapers around any more or I just want to buy a can of peas for Lucy instead of steaming and pureeing them.  Thankfully this CSA seems to be a fun and easy way to fly my hippie flag this summer and I’m looking forward to discovering more veggies we’ve never tried before (that are hopefully less snake like than garlic scapes).

 

Happy Coincidence

It was not our goal to be married on Father’s Day weekend, but it resulted that way.  At the time, I never thought much of it, other than needing to remember to have cards for our fathers on the day after our wedding.  But now, six years later, I know it is more than a coincidence.  It is a weekend that not only allows me to celebrate another great year of marriage, but to remind me what a good choice I made in choosing a partner and father of my children.

So happy anniversary, happy father’s day and thanks for being you, babe.

 

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