Thursday, October 29, 2015

In Other's Words

Sometimes the Writer's Almanac is spookily targeted to my current mood or situation or something I've been mulling over.

We've been going through a rough patch with Josie - she often doesn't nap at all at daycare and gets home a complete mess -- exhausted and cranky. She's been waking up at night too, hungry or in agony from constipation. We, in turn, are exhausted. Her eczema is flaring and she's red, scaly, and itchy. She and C pinch, push, and hit each other - even the hugs turn to too-tight squeezes. The minutes rush from frustration and exasperation to big smiles and hilarious commentary ('dis is too bicy for my mouf! [too spicy for my mouth!]) The last lines of this poem resonate because to me they reference not just the tremendous joy and love children bring, but also maddening and occasionally terrifying frustration and anxiety.

You Should Avoid Young Children

by Claire Keys

Because they fill their diapers
with reliable ease, sitting on your lap
or spread out on your best mattress.
Guilt is as foreign to them as vichyssoise.

Because they spread sticky fingers
over the piano keys, looking for you
to hoist them onto your lap. They slam
the ivories for the racket they can make.
Re-think your nap.

Because they are blank slates
on which so much waits to be written,
their eyes opened wide to take everything in,
including the lines around your eyes,
the pouches under your chin.

Because they manipulate the controls
on the TV, finger the holes in the electric socket,
stomp the cat’s switching tail only to smile
and gaze at you as if you held the keys to joy.

Because you can embrace them, but
you can’t bind them. Because they have nothing
to give you—and everything. Because
something loosens when they come around.
Something opens you didn’t know was shut.

p.s. Every gripe and complaint is grounded in gratitude for this good fortune - I am so thankful for this happy, healthy family. And for daycare :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday in the Park(s)

Weekend recap or Every Photo I Took This Weekend. On Friday we had takeout and watched Love & Mercy. Netflix and chill for the older set, I'm afraid. The next day I went to Alamo 180's supertough Saturday workout and C and I went to the nursery for winter greens and vegetable plants.



Wish me luck! I planted broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard (my old CSA nemesis), bok choy, and a variety of lettuce and herbs.

Then I got eyelash extensions because everyone in SA has them and now I look like this


Houseplant run.

Doesn't this one look like a dragon, specifically Maleficent's wings? No?

Sunday funday kicked off with brunch at Oliva - a new farm to table restaurant downtown. So good! The girls couldn't get enough shrimp grits, which proves my point that they'll eat anything really salty. 

We walked through Market Square and to Milam Park.

This holiday car shirt and cat socks are her favorite right now.

A mural depicting the installation of a mural about lions. (??)

Crossed feet on the way home. Naps - grocery run for milk and bananas - nursery again for houseplants ICANTHELPMYSELF.

McNay art museum for Joan Miro exhibit.



This should be the new Grumpy Cat meme.


Weekend highlight: C took one look at this painting and shouted,"it's a party hat!"

WHICH IT TOTALLY LOOKS LIKE (the striped triangle).

"I wanna wun awound."

Hooker, line, and sinker, folks. How wonderful is this man?

We drove around waiting for dinner inspiration and settled on Thai but everything was closed. We ended up at Dough - our last visit was well over a year ago. "The water is really good," Luke recalled. "I remember the water is just really good." According to the server, the water is indeed specially filtered. We shared burrata with marinara smeared on crusty bread, a side of seared polenta with butternut squash, sage, and bacon, a pizza, and panna cotta drizzled with caramel and ringed by macerated red grapes and golden raisins. I had completely forgotten how phenomenal their food is.

Happy fall, y'all!

More Child's Pose

'I do yoga. It's hard to do.' - Clem

(she's watching the Yoga Studio app).

Midwest Travelogue

To begin this tale, I'll start where I always do, with a taco.

Meet the Scarecrow from Torchy's Tacos. A pumpkin seed-dusted chicken tender with poblanos and some other yummy fixin's on a flour tortilla.

Our flight to St Louis departed in the afternoon so I was able to walk the girls with Luke to school, something I haven't had the opportunity to do before. After dropping off the empty stroller we took advantage of the cool morning and rode our bikes to Torchy's. We don't get very much kid-free daytime together (none, actually) - this morning felt thrillingly atypical and stolen. THEN I returned a purchase to Nordstrom Rack and while I was there I found a $690 Classiques Entier (my fave Nordstrom house brand) leather jacket with a fur collar for less than $200 and plaid skirt that I had almost bought months ago for $200 and now it was $35. Gym, family time, bike time, breakfast with huzcat time, retail scores, could this day get any better?

...Then Josie cried, whined, screamed, and bashed my face with a water bottle the entire one hour and forty-five minute flight to St Louis. C mostly watched Daniel Tiger on the tablet and I was like


This is where I apologize for having not a single non-phone photo of my entire trip!

On Saturday I attended a meeting in St Louis and saw a bunch of my favorite people. On Sunday I drove to Nashville (my trips are getting so convoluted) and met up with Luke who flew, sanskidsmustbenice, in from SA; I went to another meeting and he had songwriting sessions. We stayed at the Gaylord Opryland which is gorgeous. We had dinner at the steakhouse bar one night and chatted with Jerry - 'the shoulder guy' - an orthopedic surgeon from Ohio.  I thought I'd have time to read and relax in the room but was busy almost the entire time -- I saw old friends and made new friends and learned a lot and it was great.

Skipped to the Lou to see these darlings. Haven't driven more than even 30 minutes by myself in a long time. Years? I listened to the BLEAKEST book of all time, A God In Ruins, the 'companion volume' to Life After Life, which I loved. I'm still trying to shake its sadness - Michael Ian Black's book isn't cutting it and I'm going to have to reach for the big guns - a David Sedaris audiobook.

We spent the rest of the week at my parents' house, the girls probing for every un-baby-proof vulnerability. There is a brand new park adjacent to their neighborhood that we walked to and another all-abilities playground that we went to every day. I WANNA GO TO THE SWING!

The weather was perfect - chilly in the morning, warm in the afternoon. Flowers still in bloom and trees changing.

Lunch at the Blue Duck. ('I WEAR MY CAT DRESS. IT'S FOR DANCING.')

Trying to get a pic of matching cat dresses. Pretty typical.

'I TAKE THE PEESHERS!' (C clicks away with the phone).

shiny pants here - I wore them for three straight days and they didn't stretch out at all. worth it!

Amy and Jerome happened to be in town from LA and they came to WashMO for lunch -- Jenny met up with us too. WHY DON'T I HAVE ANY PICTURES OF THIS? Or when my friends met up at Urban Chestnut?? Darn it!

** During this week my dear friend Jenny, who is all of your favorite friend attributes rolled into one marvelous, scintillating person, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Check out the blog she's started to document her journey - - and #checkthosetitties. Jenny, I love you! **

The cousins came over. We have three two year olds born within six weeks of each other in the family!

Everett and C.

Watching the ducks.

Watching Daniel Tiger.

We had another difficult flight back - Josie was a wreck. She has a unique earsplitting squeal-scream akin to a marine mammal distress vocalization that I am rather inured to by now but not so for our fellow passengers.  It was a very very very long flight. Because Luke was in Dallas I arranged to have a sitter retrieve our car from our house and pick us up at the airport (so convoluted, remember). She stayed with the girls while I contemplated running away and starting my life over again got some groceries. I was having such a difficult day and then I remembered I had not one but two Lucy Rewards gift certificates and I thought - it's going to be ok!!!*

*maybe my all-time fave MB bit

I bought some new workout clothes and a pair of sweatpants ('so soff') and had an iced coffee and bought food for the week. SERENITY NOW.

Home again, the babysitter/lifesaver left and C went completely berserk with fatigue. Exasperated, I hustled them into the car because when Josie wasn't attempting nosedives off the couch Clementine was shoving her to the floor...and by the time I got to Sonic they were snoozing. So I drank an enormous Diet Dr Pepper and ate a six piece boneless buffalo wings and read the new New York mag I'd stashed in the car. Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat, I'd say.

Luke came home and I said HERE ARE THE KIDS K BYE!

A fun trip filled with lots of friends and family time and how wonderful is that?