Thursday, April 30, 2015


Cross country tour continues!

Last week we went to Charleston so I could attend a course (liver pathology and it was great). My in-laws joined us to help Luke with the cubs and my two of sisters-in-law came too. I was in lecture all day - the gang went to the aquarium, the beach, and on a carriage tour.

As soon as we settled into the hotel it became apparent renting a house would have been 150% better in terms of space, comfort, and economy. I would say I'd plan better next time but there isn't going to be a next time though the fam is too gracious to say so :) Naps and the nighttime routine were difficult. Josie's skin issues flared again and her teeth seemed to bother her - her little baby homeostasis is easy to perturb.

Visiting the aquarium.

A montage of pointing.

Josie says: I WILL KISS YOU.

Dinner at Hank's Seafood. Kristin made reservation at great restaurants. Sunday night was Boxcar Betty's for delicious fried chicken sandwiches. At Hank's the waiter took a fussy Josie into his arms and walked around with her, allowing me to tuck into some fabulous scallops.

The beach--

As we were settling in at Magnolias, I overheard a departing couple say, "They're brave..." in reference to having kids ages 2, 1, and 10 months in tow.

Dinner was delicious...

...but Graham is not sure.

Occasionally C will ride in her old stroller, though Josie wasn't thrilled about the carrier. (Or much of anything.)

Dessert and coffee at Carmella's. Of course Luke and I had to intone Cahrm! a la Tony Soprano.

Carriage ride.

My mom says regardless of their birth order, you can tell by their personalities who the ringleader is going to be...

Another stroke of poor planning was our late flight out of town. We killed some time at the park across from the hotel, where Luke serendipitously met another songwriter pianist Brendan James in the playground.

Luke and Susie took most of the photos above; the photos below are Susie's phone snaps.

Josie was a wreck. Her diaper rash and eczema flared, she didn't sleep well, she was miserable from teething. Graham is all I'M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP.

I rented baby gear again for this trip... what a fantastic service.

Pointing out letters.

But she was still a trooper on the long day home, including an almost four hour flight from BWI to SA.

Thanks for the pics, Susie!

And thanks to the clan for helping us out! It takes a village. And Benadryl.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// I really like the oxford shoe look for women but every time I try a pair, they look huge, clunky, and actually-belong-to-a-man instead of 'menswear-inspired'. I bought this pair of Pikolinos to wear with jeans and shorts and dresses and they are very comfortable! Look a bit like dance shoes... jazz hands! (underneath: low cut Stance socks) My other exciting shoe purchase are these Camper Twins sandals about whose understated quirkiness I can't EVEN I love it so much.

Image via planetshoes but I found mine brand new and 50% off on ebay!

// A Tribe called Coach - one of each please!

// This hysterical slideshow of Angora rabbits in the NYT magazine (click here) RATTIT! C shouted, which is also hysterical. 


// The First Words column in the newly redesigned NYT mag: check out the origins of flawless.

// - our no-babysitter problems are a thing of the past!

// Warm Chicken and Quinoa Salad from One Pot

// Last night we washed Josie's hair in the sink and Luke raked it back from her forehead and said, 'Time for bed, Robert Duvall' and I almost fell down laughing.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Left Coast

I mentioned before that we have spring trips to all four continental US timezones! First up: SEATTLE. And...

via this cute Etsy shop

We visited our friends and brand new Seattleites the Clems (returning the favor of their visit) and my sister and brother-in-law in Gig Harbor. Luke's sister Amy joined us because, like Luke, she had never been to the Pacific Northwest. Between the airport and Seattle for the first time he declared he 'already loved it.'

 With four nap-requiring kids under three, we couldn't see much but it didn't matter - we were just there to spend time together, not sightsee. We drank coffee twice a day and ate pizza and the girls played and it was just perfect.

My request: Top Pot doughnuts!

From Top Pot to the park:

Flowering tree were everywhere and so, so beautiful.

The girls fell in with the three year old gang from the nearby New Discoveries school.

Josie on the swing for the first time.

I wanted a jacket; Luke was wearing swim trunks.

Pike Place Market.

Adrienne and Mary Jane.

Amy and the sitter watched the girls so we could catch dinner at Stateside: the remains of the feast. Thanks Amy!

In the morning we drove to Gig Harbor (in a minivan, wow we can't wait to buy a minivan). We had lunch at the airport diner adjacent to the hangar where Uncle Will works. Private tour!

Air pine! C loved pointing out the 'air pines' -- she pointed them out constantly over Seattle. And dogs. DOG! she shouts. She also furtively slipped upstairs at the Clems to say HI CATS! HI CATS!

Josie says: I do not know you!!!


Why are my best photos blurry?! Amy and Robin at the beach during our tour of Gig Harbor. What a charming town.

Luke entered C's supposed nap area to her muttering 'poo poo my hands... poo poo my hands... yucky' and shaking her head. She's very cute but a terrible houseguest. Robin and Will's first baby is due in July so they can consider that room christened.

Robin and Josie.

They have the same button nose. Very small nostrils.

Luckily Aunt Robin has the same One Pot cookbook, perfect for looking for C's and S's.

We had Indian food from Robin and Will's favorite place -- so delicious, must find go-to Indian restaurant in SA -- and relaxed that evening.

Pancake breakfast. C didn't sleep well that night and slept with us a little bit in the morning, which never happens. I was dozing next to her, listening to her breathe in and out and holding her little body - she's not one for cuddling, there's too much to see/do/disrupt - and basking in how wonderful it was. She stirred and her eyelids fluttered and she said:

I want Daddy.

It was hilarious and I hope I always, always remember it.

Amy and Will and Josie, whose eczema reappeared with a vengeance (her left temple is her most affected area).

The flight from Seattle to Dallas was three hours and seventeen minutes of whimpering, crying, and/or screaming. Josie took catnaps and Clem didn't sleep at all... welcome to aisle 17, we're Those People With Kids.

They're both thinking, When is this going to be over?

Like she does with peanut butter crackers, C opened the Ritz, scraped off the 'cheese', and discarded the cracker. The flight was crummy and crumby.

Play area in Dallas. Layover, lay down, lay upon.

Dallas to San Antonio: both kids slept.

Despite the fantastic views and having more than one adult per child with us, I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked - my hands were full! The trip was a little too short considering the length of travel but sleep and a sleep debt began to dictate the trip (the girls didn't nap/woke up at night screaming/Josie was teething) and by Saturday it was time to return home. Next time we are Airbnbing a house and setting up camp!

Sunday was laundry and cooking (best new dish: the warm quinoa and chicken salad with asparagus and peas from One Pot - after those disgusting Ritz I wanted some real, whole food) and planting some seeds in the long-neglected pots in the driveway. C loves to 'water the pants' at school with a spray bottle and I thought this would be a fun activity for us - to plant and take care of plants daily. As I brushed the soil over the seed pods she shouted BYE-BYE PANTS! and sprayed them as best she could, though the trajectory of the water was parallel to the soil. No matter -- it rained torrentially that night and our seeds probably drowned. Might have to replant after our next trip - lucky us! East Coast here we come!

Thanks for hosting us, friends and family! We love you.