Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sitting in My Stroller

Clementine has been receiving the Highlights Hello magazine (Aunt Ruth, thank you for the great gift!) for several months but in the last six weeks she has become completely enamored of it. Recitation of the first time of the poem from the May issue, Stroller Time, brings her out of a crying jag (as will 'what does the dog say?' sniff sniff RUFF RUFF sniff sniff) and brings her such joy:

The power of poetry.

Last week I asked her to retrieve Sitting in My Stroller - which is not the cover of the magazine - and when she brought me the right issue I thought it was a fluke. She did it again. So of course I had to test her:

Sitting in my stroller
There's such a lot to see.
Like furry doggy faces
Looking back at me.
Sitting in my stroller 
We're off to see the ducks.
Watch them all come running
With waddles, quacks, and clucks.
Sitting in my stroller
 I look up at the sky.
The clouds are fat and fluffy
As they go drifting by.
Sitting in my stroller
My daddy pushes me.
Good bye doggies, ducks, and clouds,
We're going home, you see!

First Week Back

First week back at work was great! My mom arrived on Sunday to help out for a few days. Back in the office, it felt pretty great to be alone accomplishing tasks (each of those the opposite of life at home). Despite wearing the same pair of boots hundreds of times including up until delivery of each of my daughters, my left boot rubbed my ankle raw. After a few hours I was limping around saying, 'no, no, I'm really happy to be back....' But it's impossible to be relaxed and happy when your feet hurt. And that was my only complaint about the end of maternity leave. 

Having my mom here has been a real treat. Luke and I were able to go out for dinner (DATE!) My first choice was busy ('there's seating on the patio!' but it's 102 degrees, so no); second choice was the nearby Smoke Shack for barbeque followed by drinks at Cappycino's. We've been to Cappycino's a few times, the first almost immediately after arriving in San Antonio. The same bartender from 2011, Josh, was working, and we said it was good to see him again and subjected him to that awkwardness of remembering a lot about someone you've met and they remember nada. 'So what have you guys been up to in the last three years?' he asked and we said, well we have two kids now. And laughed, because that still sounds rather improbable.

Oh and I forgot I got a massage after dinner and drinks! How can I make dinner+drinks+massage my standing Friday night plans? (Thanks Robin for the bday gift!)

Getting these photo texts at work made me smile:

I have the same photo with Clementine from last year!

On Thursday I had a craving for summer rolls - or are they spring rolls? The non-fried ones. I online ordered those and two entrees from Wok This Way and when Luke brought them home, I realized I had mistakenly ordered fried veggie rolls. Drat! After the gym on Saturday (weights for me, childcare area for C, cafe-across-the-hall for Mom and J), I said let's have lunch at Wok This Way and rectify the Spring Roll Mistake.

We had lunch with a bunch of bikers:

But alas no spring rolls because they were no longer on the menu. However, we were committed to dining there because even with two adults the unloading of two small children from a vehicle and into a restaurant has the logistical complexity of the Berlin Airlift. 

This morning Mom and the kids and I went to the farmers' market where some of us slept, one of us polished off a not-small pan de muerto, and someone else enjoyed the Locavore food truck's ham and eggs benedict. ('But Julie, that doesn't look Whole30.' SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE. --mmm, pie. I miss you...)  

Later in the afternoon Mom got a manicure, I picked up some heel-bandage reinforcements for the week from Target, and yes, undeterred, dog with a bone, third times a charm, successfully procured spring rolls from Tong's Thai. VICTORY IN OUR TIME.

In other news, Josie started smiling regularly this week!

Sometimes with only 50% smile-muscle coordination.

Lucky us, my mom is here for a few more days. Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Taking Stock // August

Making: a lot of meat and veggies, because I started the Whole30 program on the tenth! Recap to follow.

Cooking: Not cooking. Part of the rationale for trying a paleo diet now was my disinterest in any food preparation beyond roasting a piece of meat, throwing a frozen bag of mixed veggies in the microwave, reaching into a bag of baby carrots, and cutting up strawberries. Luke raved about this week's slow cooker meal: chicken thighs + sliced poblanos + $1.78 jar of salsa verde + 5 hours. That, I can handle.

Drinking: water water water. It's a bazillion degrees here.

Reading: I read It Starts With Food and decided to do the Whole30 month; I listened to Blood, Bones, and Butter and next up is Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. (The SA digital library is so great - thousands of free e-books, audiobooks, magazines, indie movies).

Wanting: A certain someone to start operating on human time.

Looking: forward to returning to work. So I can nap. I KID, I KID. In seriousness, it will be nice to return to making my little version of widgets and have the satisfaction of finishing something.

Wishing: we lived near family.

Enjoying: ActivTrax at the YMCA - customized strength workouts are generated (below) after a fitness test, weight/height/BMR calculation, and fitness goal discussion with a trainer.

After the workout you enter the weight and reps online and your next workout is generated. This is so fantastic - whenever I lifted weights I avoided the intimidating machines and never went near the dumbbells. No longer! A short instructional video and description is also available for every workout.

Liking: these camo Land's End skinny jeans (you'd think I'd be sick of camo). Perhaps a goal weight treat (along with these clogs).

Wondering: how many times will I look up the words shibboleth and internecine before I remember their meanings?

Loving: how Clementine will hold my hand and walk beside me [and wave buh-bye! to all the gym-goers as we exit].

Hoping: hope is one thing, making things happen is another. Here's to action!

Marveling: at how Josie changes daily and Clementine weekly

Needing: to redeem the Massage Envy gift certificate my sister sent me, my neck/back/shoulders ache.

Smelling: the Williams-Sonoma home scent simmering on the stove [sliced lemon, splash of vanilla, rosemary sprig]


Following: the Ferguson, MO imbroglio warily. Can't we just wait for the conclusion of the investigation... before making conclusions?

Noticing: how very much stronger my right arm is after picking up and holding a bebe for 18 months on that side.

Knowing: I'm married to the hardest working man in America. I don't deserve him but I love him a whole bunch.

Thinking: About Martha Beck's answer [Oprah magazine, September 2014]

Bookmarking: Whole30 free downloads

Giggling: about this meme. IS IT 7 PM YET?! [also, any Pennsatucky fans out there? She's my favorite].


Feeling: Optimism and contentment that quickly gives way to stress and anxiety when I think about 1) why do I have to go the grocery store every 2-3 days - why can't I be more organized? Why do raspberries get moldy so fast? 2) how I'd like to read work-related literature 60 minutes each day and that never happens 3) what is all that stuff on my bedroom bookshelves/in the linen closet and when will I have 30 minutes to sort it out? 4) why have I never written the letters I meant to write? 5) why didn't I do [x] differently; I should have handled [y] better (and this is going back years, years worth of dredged-up shoulda wouldas, becoming heavier and more inscrutable and more embarrassing the more time passes) 6) of all the things I would be good at if I had started 5 years ago and really good at after 10 years of practice and 7) to ∞ ...

And then I think of my two healthy babies and dear and loving husband and the biggest annoyance of moment - moldy raspberries - and it's all very good, the clutter and the forgotten to-do's and things said and unsaid and things done and undone, because without messiness and chagrin there would be no humility and room to say, tomorrow I will find those 30 minutes and straighten it out, the shelves and my worry.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Grandpa Bob Visits Texas

Hello from the last week of maternity leave! My dad flew down to meet Miss Josie. We took Clementine to Inflatable Wonderland, ate takeout oysters (brave, no?), watched the American Ninja Warrior highlight reel show, and got my new Samsung tablet* up and running (can never, ever let the kids lay eyes on it). If you need me I'll be locked in the bathroom reading Southern Living.
 *thanks, Dad!

*Confidential to Robin: yes, I know I should have been wearing makeup. Just wait til you have kids then we'll talk.
Inflatable Wonderland aka Who Cares, It's Air Conditioned and There Are Icees For Sale:
This is blurry but captures the child whom the daycare workers at the gym say 'is beginning to come out of her shell' but we know better. That shell is only a ruse aimed at animal cracker acquisition.
From the I-should-be-sleeping-when-she-sleeps file:
Josie fell asleep during tummy time aka mommy computer time and tucked up her little legs. Isn't that the sweetest? 

Saturday, August 9, 2014


The girls were born on the same day of the month, making updates very easy!

Clementine: Dog-spotter*, ball-hunter, strict cheese-a-tarian:

*Took her to the farmers' market today because everyone brings their dogs there and she about lost her mind, pointing and shrieking DAW! DAW! DAW! at the top of her lungs.

She can identify 10+ animals now and knows sounds for several (cow, lion, cat, dog, duck). Is holding on to newly introduced words (cheek, chin) like dog hair on a mohair sweater. It's amazing! Says uh-oh in response to any perceived perturbation - dropping something, socks on the floor, strings on a banana ... about 600 times a day. It is the summer of uh-oh.

Josie: good sleeper, snugglebear, increasingly projectile vomiter with the unusual skill of soaking the person holding her while sparing her own garments. Spit-up pooled in not one but two bras of mine today.

Who, me?

Pics of what we've been up to:

swinging at the park

giving kisses 

decommissioned remote = fave toy

swimming! (thanks for having us, D!)

dozie Josie in reposie