Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What's Making Me Happy

// Luke saying as we all arrived home on Friday: 'I have been looking forward to the girls getting home all day.'

// Aaron Copland Rodeo. This popped into my head the other day and it made me think of wrangling the girls out of the door/ the indomitable American spirit/ how steak for dinner sounds delicious. Listen to it and try just try to be in a bad mood.

// Doing puzzles. She's got these all figured out.

// More magazine. I've mentioned it before but how many women's magazines include familiar looking words that you still have to google? I also like the emphasis on work and career, particularly this month's feature on developing a personal brand (can't find a link - Meredith Vieira on cover)


// Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Making Me Happy

What's making me happy this week is attending a professional meeting last week, affording me:

// Opportunity to sleep in warm (el esposo likes it cold) hotel room solo for four nights. Only parents of young children* or owners of early-rising pets can appreciate this. It was glorious.

// Seeing old and new friends and colleagues.

// Ordering room service, which was of terrible quality and my only complaint about the gorgeous Hilton Anatole, but room service is soooo indulgent and fun.

'Mom Gets into the Minibar'. Digital photograph, 2014.

// Taking the Megabus to Dallas ($25 each way with one stop in Austin). Already a fan of the Megabus - it was immaculate, the wifi was free, and the clientele polite. Instead of gritting my teeth in I-35 gridlock, I dozed, listened to several podcasts (Richard Ford on Fresh Air, THE NEW SERIAL**, Dan Savage), and read.

// Learned a bunch and have several ideas to explore in my lab with the goal of saving time and money and minimizing patient risk. In terms of science it's not sexy but I'm excited!

My mom came from St Louis to help out with Wolves 1 and 2 as Luke had five consecutive shows and then got sick to boot. So, thanks Mom, for the mom sabbatical!

*I have no right to complain here - both girls are champion sleepers. 
**It's Wednesday, the day before Thursday, and Thursday is when the next episode of Serial comes out.!!!

What's happening in your world, friends? Are you listening to Serial? I am listening to two other podcasts that dissect each episode - I have so many questions. Which reminds me of a couple of things I've long suspected about myself:

1) I would look super cute with a nose ring.
2) I would be an excellent detective, Locard's principle and all that. Blame it on all the Agatha Christie/Patricia Cornwell I read as a young teenager and my inflated sense of my observational powers.

Luckily for me I have another superfan, Elise the Police, to discuss it with! AND WE THINK ADNAN DID IT.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's Making Me Happy

// Being engrossed in Serial (and the Slate post-mortem after each episode, beginning with episode 5 - and apparently Reddit users are trying to crack the case and that raises all sorts of interesting questions about journalism, storytelling, ethics, privacy) and Gone Girl.

// Daylight Savings Time tricking Josie into going to bed earlier. Until Sunday when she started screaming out of the blue at 2 am. And last night when she stayed awake until 11. Actually, thanks for nothing DST.

// Veterans Day off! With the kids at daycare and most businesses open, I went to bootcamp at 6 am (really tough Tabata Tuesday), grocery store at 9 (vacant), yoga at 11 (full of the ladies who lunch but attend yoga first), had lunch with Luke at the Filling Station (only open weekdays), purchased a dress and coat for an upcoming conference (military discount!), and replaced the shower curtain liner. I've decided to take a day of leave every 2-3 months to do things like this, go to Costco etc, when it's so easy to get around town - leaving the weekend for f-u-n.

Monday, November 10, 2014

All I Wanna Do

This weekend was just the cubs and me. We went to the Y where I read Gone Girl*, had lunch at Central Market, and lazed around the house. Hulu let me down with no new Nashville to hate-watch/envy Rayna's endless collection of shiny jeans. On Sunday C was up earlier than usual so we made it to the farmers' market early, for an iced coffee (almond milk and a one Mississippi two Mississippi squirt of agave) and crab Benedict (crab meat and beurre blanc over poached eggs and a buttermilk biscuit. C loved it. #fancy)

*Gone Girl: not going to enter the canon of Great American Novels but an entertaining yarn nonetheless. It was fun to want to read, read, read -- usually I read nonfiction that doesn't have that one-more-page! momentum. I had a vague idea of the denouement(s) as the book and the movie have been out for a while. As a procedural it falls very, very short - but my sister pointed out that if you read it as a romance, or even an allegory (my suggestion), it succeeds far more.

Botanical Garden time, which reminds me about one of the most important things I've learned about parenting - always have reading material in your car. You never know when they will nod off and if you have nowhere pressing to be and all of sudden you've got 30 minutes to read.

Of course Josie had other ideas.

I've included this vantage point of the succulent path at least six times but it's so dang pretty.

Luke came home from Houston and we went to the park with our picnic aka grilled cheese and BLT from Sonic. Good helper:

Non sequitur but I thought it was so funny --> Luke: 'How old were you when you started shaving your legs? I know you were 32 when you stopped, but when did you start?'

This morning when I inadvertently dressed C as a miniature cast member of the Breakfast Club:

Now, my dears, I think you're all caught up. Tomorrow is one of the very few days of the year that I have off and the rest of the world - including, crucially, the daycare -- does not. I have been feverishly thinking of all the things I will do on a weekday. Probably drink a beer at noon at a bar that faces a giant carwash.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's Making Me Happy

// Serial podcast - are you listening to it? I can't wait for Thursday! Begin at the first episode if you start listening.

// Aidell's chicken meatballs/sausage are really tasty. Plus some roasted veggies equals meal prep for the week. I'm probably mentioning Sunday meal prep in every WMMH installment but it's been the single greatest life improvement and mood stabilizer of the past year.

// Fitbit's new challenges: Elise and I are neck and neck in a five day Workweek Hustle.

// Luke bringing home surprise pizza from the Purple Garlic when we were unable to attend a birthday party there as a family due to C's no-nap state. She was napping on a mat at school before her three month at-home sabbatical after Josie's arrival and has not resumed it (she naps at home on the weekend without issue). At 5 pm, she is exhausted and cranky and in no shape for a birthday party. This situation is wrecking our weekday home life so the news that she napped yesterday was welcome to say the least.

// My sister sending me this photo of my grandfather (Thomas Francis) and his namesake (Clementine Frances) that she found on her phone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween Weekend

Now for the most fun weekend I have almost NO pictures of!

Jenny and Amy flew to SATX for the Halloween weekend. After meeting up on Friday afternoon we headed to the Riverwalk to see Luke play the Arneson theatre at the Halloween river parade. I put Josie in an embroidered shirt + flower headband to recreate Baby Frida but C pulled her sister's headband off immediately, so no costumes. (But I have big plans for these girls involving Thanksgiving).

Saturday: We went to the farmer's market where C swiped a $3 muffin while I was buying a berry turnover (I'm going to hire her, said the baker). After admiring these boots and having brunch at La Fonda on Main, it was back home to drop off Wolf 1 for a nap so we could shop Costco unencumbered (you wanna party? Visit Casa H). That night we strolled over to Lincoln Heights for Orderup and gelato.

Sunday: Brunch at Central Market (best brunch in town by me), Brackenridge Park for Toddler Wear-Out activities, activewear shopping at Lucy, and margaritas on the patio at Urban Taco.

Not pictured: belly laughs, naming the chapters of our memoirs (this chapter of my life will be titled Poop on My Tunic, which Jenny sang to the tune of 'Tears on My Pillow'), planning Amy's wedding*, listening raptly to Amy's ob/gyn stories (you will never ever top those) and Jenny's dating tales (ditto).

CONFIDENTIAL TO YOU-KNOW-WHO-YOU-ARE: We're waaaaaaaaaaaaiting.

It was just so good.

After dropping the girls off at the airport, we took an impromptu trip to Gruene.

I wish I could Groundhog Day this weekend!

Past weekends: Jenny and Amy in SATX and Palm Springs. Where will be next??

Monday, November 3, 2014


Maybe the cutest thing that ever happened: Clem's been clapping at the end of songs for a while (live performances and recorded songs alike) but now her applause extends to the endings of many things - the blender and hair dryer turning off, the beep of the microwave.

When there's music: she's dancing, always.

Lots of: words, no phrases. Her newest are 'backpack' (bah-pah) and 'boots' (boo) and 'key'. She identifies things that belong to Luke and me -- patting our respective backpacks and picking up our shoes, MAMA! and DADA! The van is DADA, my phone is MAMA.

Sleeps: through the night without fail but hasn't been napping at school. She arrives home exhausted and ornery.

Josie: sleeps, smiles, eats, sleeps from 11 pm-9 am. Wearing 9 month clothes that C was wearing when she was close to 12 months. Today at her 4 month well baby appointment she weighed 14 lb 4 oz ... as Amy put it, she's in 'hot pursuit' of Clem's 23 pound self. C calls her Juh-jee.

Here she is last night when Luke was making her laugh: