Tuesday, September 30, 2014


My name is Josie and my face is square.

In our backyard slash unsanctioned prairie reclamation project.

Photos by my mother in law.

A portrait of my children sporadically throughout 2014.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday with a Side of Park

On Sunday we had brunch at Central Market, read a bit (=14 minutes tops), and made a little video for Daddy during his layover in Newark:

The Quiet Jazz Duo is playing in the background and C broke out into YAY! and applause after each song.

After naps we went to the Landa library playground. 200 photos later...

Josie will be fine in the stroller, they say. Josie will probably sleep in the stroller, they say. I want out. I WANT OUT.

 Cross my heart, the audio for this is BAH! Two boys were playing with a soccer ball nearby.

From Pat's much better camera:

Ah, that's better. What I have I done to merit this one on one attention?

Have a great week, everybody!

Saturday with a Side of Ranch

This Saturday we went to a burger cookout at a ranch about 20 minutes outside the city hosted by the church Pat's been attending during her enslavement in Egypt month of grandma-ing in San Antonio. The rain dampened the grounds but not spirits; we had a great time watching a little boy, about 2 years old, gleefully splash in the puddles and get soaked to the bone.

Clementine enjoying what might have been her first Oreo.


This tree was magnificent.

So much depends on the red tricycle...

C was thrilled to see DAHs! (dogs)

DAH! makes a move for a brownie bite.

Dozey Josie.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sweatshirts Leave the House

There could not be a better time in my life for 'sweatshirt chic' to be all the rage. I think I've been pioneering sleepwear as day wear for years... unfortunately, what's cute at 19 (everyone is cute when they're 19!) is unkempt at 34. Oh, the many indignities of age!

Hello new friends:

Kenzie Zip Placket French terry dress (Nordstrom, $89)

Mossimo Drawstring Waist dress (Target, $27.99) [I bought it in black along with this tunic, buy one get one 50% off]. Add leggings, short boots, wear until next summer is my plan.

Gap lived-in sweatshirt dress (sale $39) Aside from some maternity pieces, I haven't shopped at the Gap in 10+ years. I lump it in with Stores I Dislike For No Concrete Reason, with Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Macy's, and Ulta.


This is almost $400 but Old Navy dress + trip to Joann fabrics + Pat's help + hot glue gun= mama's goin' out!

Speaking of Old Navy, these are cute in photos but do you think they will pull that trick of disintegrating and looking ragged and threadbare after one wash?
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3

What are you wearing this fall? If it's soft and drapey and camouflages spit-up stains I want to hear about it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What's making me happy / 1

NPR's weekly podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour concludes with each panelist talking about 'what's making them happy' this week. I am now appropriating this idea. I've done this before but now we're getting a name and a schedule!


// This AO Scott essay is everything I've wanted to articulate against every 'nag mom, dumb dad' trope on every commercial and stupid sitcom. Plus an examination of the themes of American literature. I so enjoy his writing.

// A man wearing a buffalo sweater:


// My friend Emily found a Little Free Library! There are about ten in San Antonio. Doesn't the idea of a little free library warm the cockles of your heart?

// Coen brother movie references in Old Navy dress colors - makes me VERY happy.

The world is in a bad place right now -- what's making you happy in spite of it all? Share!

Monday, September 22, 2014

This Weekend

On Thursday Sr. H and I sneaked away for a date night at the Granary (excellent, the standout for me that most unassuming of barbecue sides - bread & butter pickles - housemade and wafer thin and so sweet) followed by two scoops (milk chocolate and vanilla bean with honey) of ice cream at Lick, the newest restaurant at Pearl. Luke took a bite and said 'I'll do a guest post about this' - which he never says - but since he's in a plane over the Atlantic right now for a week of golfing in Ireland (lucky duck that he is, lucky duck Emerald Isle edition) I will transcribe the contents of his guest post:

It's not good. Too icy. Even your mistakes [making ice cream at home] are better. Fat-free Breyer's is better.

Sorry Lick, I have to agree, too icy! Not the right mouthfeel. At home we watched I Know That Voice, a documentary about voice actors, to round out date night.

On Saturday morning Pat and I went to yoga class (I can recite the gym childcare hours by heart) and then to Morgan's Wonderland. I will have to get the photos of C off of Pat's camera, I'm certain there are some framers in there. 

I was really in the mood to cook this weekend and wanted to try out the spiralizer. I made a big batch of marinara to serve with zucchini noodles (zoodles) and meatballs and these pumpkin stuffed shells.

Sunday was Central Market for brunch where I found the Iced Beverage I've Been Looking For (chocolate milk with tiny bit of coffee flavor over ice) - iced mocha with almond milk. Almond milk makes everything calorie-neutral, if not virtuous. I was about to read the paper but at that moment Josie decided she needed a bottle so both the Times and my fried egg sandwich sat untouched.

Brunch buddy:
Are you going to share that iced mocha?


Central Market, you've gone beyond first world with your yogurt selection. Not pictured: sheep's milk yogurt, goat's milk yogurt, carrot/butternut squash/lavender acai varieties, in addition to the plebeian offerings of Dannon and Yoplait.

Sunday evening I spoke to my grandfather, now in hospice care. I told him all the words C knows, how many animals she can point out in her Animals book, about Josie's sleeping. He is the most kind, gentle, dignified, decent person I have ever known. By giving a baby someone's name, you are hoping to transfer or imbue or engraft their qualities to the newborn. Clementine's middle name is my grandfather's middle name and if she has just a percent of his goodness she will be a very fine human being. I love you, Grandpa.

May 2014
One of Clementine's books is Opposites, with side by side illustrations of a bunny up close and then far away, a worm driving slowly then zooming away, a bird flying up, then down.

That is how life feels these days. Moments of frustration and moments of glee. Thinking about the case at hand, thinking about the direction of my career. Big and small, fast and slow, birth and death, ennui and energy, dissatisfaction and an embarrassment of riches, back and forth, staring at a wall of yogurt, staring into my baby's face when she wakes up from a nap. Wild swings of perspective and feeling. Goodbyes and hellos. Silliness and somberness. Grief and joy. Annoyances and nuisances and calamities. Phone calls to schedule appointments, a phone call to say goodbye.

via @maryengelbreit on Instagram

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

20 Things

My Instagram feed had a few 20 Things About Me 'grams and I liked them because I'm nosy. And now I'm passing it on because I'm also a bit of an exhibitionist, I suppose. I don't know what else writing about your life and posting it the lamppost of the Internet could be called.

1. I prefer to eat things out of mugs - ice cream, soup, small slices of pie, popcorn.

2. Litterers and vandals - despise them disproportionate to their infractions.

3. Only a few more days of making milk. Josie's given up on nursing and the boobs are packing it up despite my efforts to convince them otherwise. This makes me sad for a couple of reasons that are difficult to tease apart from the other insecurities and fears surrounding motherhood. The first is that breastfeeding is something that I'm going to do for just a very few weeks out of my entire life. And I might never do again - last times are hard to accept. But there is a last time for everything, and most of the time we never know which time will be the last - for anything. The second reason for disappointment in only a few weeks of breastfeeding - aside from the actual bodily failure that I can't do anything about - is that I'm not a very maternal person and this feels like just another failing in the mom biz. (The boobs are junk but the ovaries are spitting out absolute gems so I shouldn't complain, eh?)

4. I have SUCH a sweet tooth.

5. I was married once before but it was worse than bad - bad would have stories. It was completely unmemorable. Like a movie you think you saw but can't remember anything about it.

6. My mother-in-law and I were talking about callings and I was shaken to think that I don't have one... I love my job, but it's my job. It would be convenient if one's calling and one's job were the same thing. I'm reading some self-help books in this department - a genre I previously had nothing but disdain for... but I have to admit, this self needs some help.

7a. My dream is to be a perpetual student - a perpetual medical student roving the wards seeing all the good cases (but bearing none of the responsibility); undergraduate Shakespeare courses; taking pottery classes; yoga class everyday at 9 am at Southtown Yoga where the instructors have such good playlists; photography class once a week.

7b. I'd like to have a series of 6 month job experiences - working in a bakery, at America's Test Kitchen (food + science!!!), art museum docent, aesthetician, florist. [theme: no desk work]

8. Actually my dream is to write about medical topics for lay people. Today's Writer's Almanac entry on William Carlos Williams was timely:

He practiced medicine full time and wrote his poems during breaks, on scraps of paper, without time to revise. He was often asked how he had the time and energy to pursue two professions, but he loved them both, and he couldn't imagine writing without medicine. In his Autobiography of William Carlos Williams (1951), he said:
 "I have never felt that medicine interfered with me but rather that it was my very food and drink, the very thing which made it possible for me to write. Was I not interested in man? There the thing was, right in front of me. I could touch it, smell it. It was myself, naked, just as it was, without a lie telling itself to me in its own terms."

via @Whole30 instragram feed

9. My favorite color is red and least favorite is any pastel.

10. My dream home is a condo with huge windows and concrete floors. There is no clutter and almost no furniture. There is certainly not my backpack/gym bag strewn by the front door everyday because there isn't a better place to put them.


11. I cannot shake the insidious suspicion that everything about my life would be better if I were 25 pounds thinner. I know it's silly! I would be just as neurotic! In fact, it would be more neurosis/lb.

12. My handwriting is getting more and more difficult to read because I rarely write anymore. (Penmanship was terrible to begin with).

13. I'm so proud to be married to Luke. He's the coolest, most fun, most interesting man I've ever met. I just adore him.

14. For someone who doesn't read them I am very snobby about books.

15. I don't understand belief in the supernatural.

16. My hair texture is the worst possible - wavy and thin but kind of coarse?!

17. I am 95% as happy planning a vacation as I am on that vacation.

18. My mom and sisters and I can share a reference or joke with the slightest facial expression or monosyllable.

19. I think the most patriotic thing we can do right now is limit oil consumption as much as possible.

20. This blog is my (highly edited) diary, letter to home, and sounding board. I'm so glad I have a place to record (say it dramatically) the days of our lives... Thanks for peering into the medicine cabinet of my soul! Would love to hear your 20.