Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

This week I got back to Alamo 180 after a two and a half week hiatus due to food poisoning*, solo parenting, trips x 2, laser procedure recovery, and rotavirus*. I was very sore from Wednesday's pistol squats (performed holding on to a ring, c'mon people!) and this 40 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) was a torcher as billed.

*note to self: replenish probiotics.

Rick and Doris' for Thanksgiving! I harvested my first round of lettuce from the bag bed as my contribution to dinner. That bald patch is where I tried to plant plants that I accidentally ripped the roots from when removing from the container. Turns out lettuce plants need roots. I'm really taking to this gardening thing.

Living off the land... and goat cheese.

We forgot the girls' activities but luckily Doris had these sewing boards.

Also forgot booster seat but Robert and Sharon had bungee cords in the car. Problem solved!

Thank you to our hosts! We love you!

Rest of weekend // I've begun thinking of laundry in units of podcast. This folding job was 0.75 podcasts.

On Saturday morning Josie inexplicably woke up at 3:30, howling. She woke up Clementine. At 6 I decided to make buttermilk pancakes for breakfast ---

-- and Josie promptly fell asleep.


The pancake recipe is from one of ATK's new books which I absolutely do not need but bought anyway (ditto for the pre-ordered paleo book -  I can't maintain a paleo diet for more than 4 hours! Don't care! Can't wait!) 

Another early morning. Jigsaw puzzles are C's fave-wit [favorite] right now.

After Luke left for DC to record his new album (find out more here!) dark and early on Sunday we had another early morning of puzzling, fighting, squealing, stuffed animal stealing, and BASE jumping from the sofa. Feat 1: got myself showered. Feat 2: got them dressed to walk around the farmers' market when De-Feat 1: it started raining and De-Feat 2: they fell asleep anyway. Which is how I came to be eating, as quietly as possible, nachos in the Taco Cabana parking lot, thinking about my next move. I never appreciated drive-throughs until I had children.

I drove to La Cantera to stroll around the two stores that I patronize, Nordstrom and Hanna Andersson.

Bistro Baby.

Then to Cenner Margwet [Central Market] because we were out of bananas; each girl eats at least two bananas a day and a fifth one inevitably is peeled and partially eaten/smeared/discarded and found much, much later. Luckily a racecart was available.

An example of her growing cleverness: C will suggest genially that 'we watch your show, Mommy' as bedtime looms. I do want to watch my show so here we are watching Season 3 of Mind of a Chef and breaking in my new shoes. (Notice: green pants.) These shoes are very comfy and a little bitchy. I like 'em.

We made it! Almost to daycare drop off Monday morning! Here is C in the outfit she picked out. She's very into a ballerina grunge look and MY CWAM-RA! [camera].

Thanksgivings 2011 1 and 2; 2012; 2013; 2014 . 2014's entry is discomfiting because wasn't that just 6 months ago? Time it is a-flying.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// #Alisonspregnantladydanceoff. You know what's funny? Pregnant women. Even funnier? Pregnant women getting down with their bad selves. Check out this IG hashtag for video entries for the dance-off... hilarious.

// Two part entry.

A) CHEESE FRIES. I haven't really ordered or even had cheese fries until I shared them with Elise at Shake Shack last week. Now my every waking thought is: CHEESE FRIES. Where can I have them? How soon? CHEEEEEEESE FRIES.

Soooo we went to Orderup last night (not just cheese fries but CHORIZO CHEESE FRIES) which was delicious and instead of slaking my cheese fry mania it only stoked it.

B) Afterward we went to HEB for groceries. "Let's find the race-cart!" we said to the girls. We scanned the parking lot and finding one the girls went nuts. Even non-verbal Josie was grunting and squealing and pointing wildly to the cart. (Why would I spend money on tickets to anywhere when these kids are happiest in the grocery store parking lot?!) Then we played a game in which I would dart away and Luke and the girls would find me in the store; C was shouting DARE SHE IS! and both dissolved in laughter. I'm sure this was just as charming to all the harried T-giving shoppers as it was to me. (So much fun but C confided to me later: "Josie pulled my hair in the race-cart.")

// Also on Instagram, the life and times of Pumpkin the raccoon cracks me up. I suspect Pumpkin and I have a similar zeal for cheese fries.

// I need $20,000 and places to wear these insane Roksanda clothes.  (Royalwatchers, remember when Kate wore that yellow Roksanda dress in Australia? Loved it.)

// I haven't even finished listening to this Shonda Rhimes interview and it's one of my favorite things this week. (Have to catch up with her recent Fresh Air appearance).

Cheers, everybody! Have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

These pants are awesome.The green goes with everything, they are so soft and (mostly) made in the USA, and I've worn them eight* plus times without washing and they've held their shape 100%.

*lazy or eco-friendly? you be the judge.


Me: What's a popcorn cookie?
Luke: That's what we're calling rice cakes now.

Contacting Quaker Oats about a re-brand immediately.


Visiting Chicago! I arrived at 8:30 am on Friday and ran around with my sister Elise who took a staycation day. Here we are at Room & Board visiting my lust object, the Oskar chair. I touched all the midcentury loveliness and whispered, soon, baby, soon.

(Notice the pants. Wrong shoes but we were walking a bunch so I had to tourist it up.)

(Don't notice the hair. The bang grow-out is quite an ordeal.)

First Shake Shack. Tasty but I gotta say I like Burgerfi better. But thick, dry home burgers - you are dead to me!

We hit up Stuart Weitzman (soon, baby, soon) and Nordstrom (new fedora and shoes on their way, hellooooo fall!), went to Elise's new fave Lush Cosmetics, and did hand treatments before joining Brett at Piccolo Sogno for dinner. LIKE A FOOL I ordered the wrong thing (monkfish medallions) instead of the right thing (pappardelle with wild boar ragu).

The next day I went to my meeting and in the afternoon we saw Spotlight (highly recommend) and had dinner at the bar at Acadia - (standout - the Bee Still cocktail). We watched several episodes of Master of None and I'm slowly getting over my dislike - so squawky! - of Aziz Ansari (this delightful Fresh Air interview helped).

The view from their condo. JELLY.

Field Museum and Soldier Field.

Sunday - back to meeting- the overall standout highlight was the lecture by eighty-one year old Holocaust and medical experimentation survivor Eva Kor (she and her sister were twins experimented upon in Josef Mengele's laboratory). She was a wonderful speaker and the crowd leapt to its feet for a standing ovation at the conclusion of her talk.

I walked most of the way back to the condo, picking up an Epic Burger peanut butter milkshake on State Street which did NOT live up to my memory (alas, what does?). We met up with Amy and Joel for a Second City show - they went onstage! - and dinner at Little Goat.

On Monday before my flight home I got a laser treatment which I will share when my face molts. Susie helped Luke hold down the fort in Texas (thanks Susie!). Now I'm looking forward to staying put for a relaxing holiday season - getting back to cooking, baking, morning workouts, a long visit by my mom, exploring the gorgeous brand new Hotel Emma, and enjoying the glorious SA winter.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall Fun Spectacular

A woefully picture-poor rundown of all the fun we've been up to.

// The Finolans came to SATX for a meeting. (Click here to see the twins Maeve and Fiona as babies -- some of the most precious I've ever taken!) They rented a house in central SA and we had margaritas at La Fonda on Main (voted Best Patio by me) and a day at the DoSeum and the Cove and burgers at Burgerfi - the restaurant/playground is San Antonio's best feature!

Clementine (in an outfit of her choosing) crossing the rope bridge.

// We got a sitter for a Sunday morning coffee date - we sat in silence, reading. Later we shared a pan de muerto we picked up at La Panaderia. This may become a standing engagement.

// I met up with the Wangs (in Austin for a meeting) in Gruene for dinner at the Gristmill -- NO PICTURES!!! Fail. Don't worry Wangs, I will photograph the heck out of you during our next Seattle visit.

// Anna Maria Island, Florida, for Brooke and Jen's wedding.

Burning The Candle At Both Ends, take 1: Luke had gigs in Houston and drove home (three hours) on Sunday morning - then we caught a 1 pm flight to Dallas on to Tampa.

Josie had another terrible flight - screaming, squirming. After two hours, she fell asleep I KID YOU NOT when the airplane was 100 feet off the ground in Tampa. She woke up during deplaning, screamed a little more, then fell soundly asleep, leaving me to carry that 23 pound sack of potatoes through the airport.

We rented a minivan and drove to the island, picking up necessities (milk, bananas, whiskey) on the way. In the morning C and I woke up first and I hustled her out of the house so they could sleep. We walked to the pier:


And the beach. In our pjs.

Our Airbnb* bungalow with rented** baby gear. Notice the trail of dirty baby socks that appears wherever we go.

*love Airbnb
**love these rental companies

The wedding! Flash mob dance to Bruno Mars 'Marry You'.

Uncle Ken officiating.

Their son TJ (soon to be big brother) adding to the wish stone basket. Guests wrote a wish for the couple on the stone and shared why... mine was 'naps' because 'if you love someone let them sleep.'

We still got it!


PARTY! The girls were asleep during the ceremony so I walked back to retrieve the clan for the reception. Clementine really liked the maracas.

'Excuse me I would like some more cake.'

Tambourine lessons from Uncle Scott.

The next day was beach day BUT FIRST a donut breakfast at The Donut Experiment - a truly genius concept of fresh donut + glaze of your choice + topping of your choice.

I don't have any pics of beach day because C and J spent the morning making a beeline into the Gulf of Mexico as fast as their legs would carry them. I don't think I've ever seen Josie as happy as she was sitting on the sand with the waves rolling in up to her chest. Her little face wrinkled up with delight.

Then we swam in the pool ... attempted naps... pizza night... brunch... THANK YOU to all the people who entertained our kids so we could eat a slice of pizza and visit. If a Sunday coffee date filled up my patience-tank, these days in Florida with friends filled up my community-tank. I love my tribe!

C and her donut at 'the donut asparagus'.
We flew home in time for:

Burning The Candle At Both Ends, take 2: we arrive home and  Luke leaves 15 minutes later to load in for a gig. And he has two gigs today! And I'm going to Chicago about 2 hours after he gets home! The Jack family needs to slow.down. We have a low key holiday season planned (left un-planned, actually) and I'm so excited about it.

When I picked Clem up today I asked if she talked about the beach and the ocean and the big birds and her teacher said, no, she told us all about ... 'Daddy's new car.' [the rental minivan, she was enamored of the 'miniwan'] But the night before she said she wanted to go 'back to the beach with Maeve and Fih-mona.'