Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// Still thinking about Hell or High Water. The colors, the cinematography, the deft approach to social issues through what would otherwise be a bro caper pic. It was masterful! And I'm very fond of West Texas.

// Telling a story with an economy of words and maximum of evocative imagery -->

// Burgundy and hot pink color palette, apparently. I stopped into the Birkenstock store for a pair of insoles and ended up buying this sale pair and wearing them out of the store. The insoles are for the burgundy and hot pink sneaks below...

// How much Josie loves tomato soup.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Resolution Weekend

Selfies with Josie on Friday night.

p.s. I applied this Lancome lipstick, once, around 7:30 am and ate and drank all day and it stayed PUT.

Frozen matching game.

When I started seeing the incredible photos from the Women's March on Saturday, I became mystified and disappointed in myself for not being there. We were swimming at the J.

Photo by JJ Lane.

While the girls napped I went to Costco for brunch supplies. That night I picked Amanda up for our first Dinner & Cultural Event date. Pastaria was too busy so we went down the block to Cantina Laredo. Our Cultural Event this month was a production of the Big Muddy Dance Company, Menagerie. We got very sleepy between acts (pictured below). Neither of us had seen modern dance before - a very successful outing.

p.s. Lipstick is Perricone No Lipstick Lipstick -- looks terrible in the tube, but great in photos?

Sunday was Taste of Costco brunch. Lots of friends, whole/low carb foods plus doughnuts, my parents stopped by, I had a sitter to referee the dozen kids (taking a cue from my role models Mike and Eric) ... fun! Other than getting up early to start the meatballs in the slow cooker at 6:30 am, it was a no-stress event. (Former self would agonize over this sort of thing and find herself making dough requiring two rises at 10 pm ... current self loads up the cart with Costco goodies and has fun at her party, what a paradigm shift).

Josie's smile-for-photos.

That evening I had my first swimming lesson (so many resolutions achieved this weekend!) and put together meals for the week. I wanted to practice between my Sunday and Tuesday lessons - we took the girls swimming at the J after dinner. I was exhausted Monday night - a fun but nonstop weekend, a day of work capped off by practice swimming and swimming with Josie (difficult) ... I fell asleep around 11. Josie woke up at midnight and stayed awake - was awake, playing, talking away despite my pleas that turned into threats - until 6:45 am. I probably catnapped throughout the night but it felt like I didn't sleep at all. I had a workout with Courtney at 6 am which I couldn't miss (and it was fantastic!) - another full day of work - and a swim lesson at 6 pm. It was a very.long.day. (Josie slept from 6:45 - 10:30 am at which point Luke took her to school.  She didn't nap and was, in the words of her teacher, "very disruptive to her classmates" at nap time. After work the little angel and I picked up a Happy Meal which she ate sloooowly at the gym cafe by a sign that I didn't notice until I spread out her food: "no outside food; this cafe is kosher." My apologies, Gym.) She played in the kid area during my swim lesson. We got home, I took a shower and slept from 9:30 pm to 7 am and awoke  feeling wonderful -- maybe more than the 6.5 hours I get a night would be beneficial?!

Anyway I started writing a weekend recap and now it's Thursday. Tonight Luke and I had an in-house movie date night, Hell or High Water, as recommended by PCHH. (We're also watching The Young Pope which is weird and wonderful.) It's a fantastic movie but I wish I had seen it before listening to the podcast because I ended up agreeing with Linda Holmes like I always do. My only criticism: Chris Pine is too handsome for that role. As in, you'd remember that dude because he's beautiful. Watch and we'll discuss.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Luke left for Texas on Saturday morning.

Waving goodbye.

The girls and I went to the gym and then Costco for our big shopping trip. They each ate their *entire* piece of pizza in the food court. I had a bratwurst sans bun.

I don't know how it's possible but I love her more every day.

Josie is a very slow, very deliberate eater.

That night a sitter came over so I could go to Becky's bday dinner. Fun with friends!

On Sunday Jenny and Amanda came over for Meal Prep Day. Amanda brought her Instant Pot (the toast of the Internet) and extra baking sheets. We made: beef stew (from Costco - and I slow cooked it the evening before); shredded chicken (chicken thighs + can of red enchilada sauce in slow cooker); flank steak; poached chicken breasts in the Instant Pot; bacon and eggs; roasted brussels sprouts and green beans. Jenny had the genius idea of adding a generous dollop of spinach artichoke dip over the chicken nestled with veggies - so delicious when re-heated. When I went through my Costco receipt and we divvied everything up, the cost was only $72 a person! And we made too much. I have several meals left. We will definitely do this again - it was great to combine friend time and household maintenance time.

Tuesday. The daycare called to say Josie and fallen and cut her chin on a wooden boat fixture. I hurried over to the daycare, collected her, and walked her to the emergency department (benefits of onsite daycare and ER?)

Waiting in triage.

I didn't get much of a look at the laceration until they applied the numbing cream. It was pretty deep. Josie happily watched TV and, when she tired of a show she wasn't familiar with, a pirated Sleeping Beauty on YouTube. Thank you, bootlegger -- that upload was a lifesaver. The numbing took 45 minutes or more.

Time for what the doctor called "string bandaids". Three adults and I held Josie down, her arms behind her in a pillowcase, while she screamed MY DONE! MY DONE! ALL DONE! MOMMY! MOMMY! She was terrified. Five stitches.

All over. Here she crying because I told her we were finished with Sleeping Beauty. I complimented the nurse on the cleverness of the styrofoam cup Popsicle-dribble holder and she replied, "Pinterest."

Quick lunch in the cafeteria and back to school. I wish Josie and I could have gone to do something fun after her ordeal but I had to go back to work. I had a sitter coming over to watch Josie while I took C to dance that evening. Instead I left both girls with the sitter (who fortunately could stay later than I had booked) and went back to work that night to finish my cases. It was a day I felt like a dedicated professional but only an ok mom. However, like my friend pointed out, I actually spent more time with Josie than I usually do on a weekday. She napped at school and when I picked her up she was happily playing outside.

We began swim lessons again this week. I picked up the girls after school and we had dinner at Qdoba. No lessons for Josie due to her stitches. (The girls have way too much swimwear which is too bad because the new Hanna Andersson stuff is so cute!) I saw at least two families leave the gym with their kids clad in their pajamas and I will definitely steal that idea!

Hanging out with "an angry pwincess."

There was advance notice of an ice storm on Friday - businesses were closing early, etc. The daycare called me at eleven to say they were closing at three. The roads were fine but the car was glazed with ice after our seven minute drive home. I bustled them inside for frozen pizza and their first viewing of 101 Dalmatians.

My parents arrived home earlier than they thought and for the second time in as many months they came straight from the airport to pick up the girls. (Wheels on the tarmac, you're on duty, Grandma and Pop Pop!)

Sleepily waiting.

Here is the girls' twist on separation anxiety when it comes to going to Grandma's house: they're anxious about how quickly they can get in the car. Josie in the entryway, turning to my mom: "You tumming [coming]? I got my boots on."

Off they went. Usually I relish the alone time but I missed them immediately. I put gas in the car (#1 most hated chore), went to the library, picked up some groceries. Deciding that Sunday would be my work catch-up day (why the grandparents swooped in), I tackled a project I've been putting off for a while: sorting the girls' clothes and culling the items for Ava. It turns out this exercise - long considered, always put off - took about 25 minutes. Winter clothes, summer clothes, Ava clothes. I did all the laundry in the house, put on the brand-new sheets (Costco always gets me with a surprise purchase - this trip was so-soft sheets), and watched Top Chef while the washer whirred, the travel plans coalesced, and I Prime'd a few things for C's birthday. She wants a Barbie for her birthday but I'm not sure if I want introduce Barbie and her baggage at this point.

New Yorker cartoon by Carolita Johnson

On Sunday I slept in until 10! I got dressed to go into work, starting sipping my iced coffee and ... my car wouldn't start. Uber'ed to work, got done what I needed to, Uber'ed home. Luke's Sunday gig in Texas was rained out and he started home early. With him en route and the girls in WashMO, the car problem could wait. I spent the afternoon on travel plans, finishing Top Chef (which I love but really it should be called Top Short-Order Chef, since we never get to see any slow methods employed), reading Patient HM/ perusing the cookbooks I checked out from the library.

Luke arrived home, (welcome home! fix my problem!) jumped the battery in my car, and we had bunless burgers at Five Star Burgers. On Wednesday we held down Josie while I snipped her stitches out and now -- we're back to normal. Such a wonderful place to be.

What's Making Me Happy This Week

This week started out a little rough but now we're cruising to Friday - dinner and dancing with Amanda - brunch with friends - first lap swimming lesson! Here are some things that are making me happy this week.

// I learned about sweater combs from Un-Fancy and, with a glance at my pile of pilled sweaters, I ordered these $10 combs from Amazon. They really work! The same post detailed a handheld steamer which I also purchased but haven't used as much. (As much as I hate-read Un-fancy for 'outfits' like this, occasionally she writes something useful like sweater care.)

// Keeping my New Year's resolutions to MAKE APPOINTMENTS! Here's Heather booking my cut and color 10 weeks out.

// While my color set I read the new Rachael Ray magazine (print edition - another resolution!) and it was so enjoyable and I dogeared several (low carb, sniff) recipes and was very interested in this spice list: za'atar, harissa, shichimi togarashi, and berbere. I ordered them all (plus an ancho-coffee steak rub) from the Spice House today. (Pretty much all of my spices have gone dusty and flavorless and I want to go to Penzey's to refresh my stock.)

// This week a MO farm rep snagged me in the atrium of the hospital and after a quick pitch I bought their 12 week fruit/veggie/eggs delivery -- which I'll pick up at work. How convenient is that?! The spring season starts Feb 21 and I get to choose the produce from each category - no getting stuck with beets.

// Aside from a day with a detour in the emergency room for Josie (details to follow), I've eaten less than 25 grams of sugar a day for the past week or two. Feels great but...

(This meme made me actually laugh out loud.)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reading Lately

Patient HM: A story of memory, madness, and family secrets by Luke Dittrich

Tragic mental strife
And ice pick lobotomies
This book's a bummer.

The Mansion of Happiness: A history of life and death by Jill Lepore

Going to put it off
Patient HM was too much
Sorrow for right now.

Power Vegetables by Peter Meehan

Recipe intros
Are funny little essays
Let's all eat more kale!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What's Making Me Happy This Week

Some silly and some serious things that are making me happy throughout this very trying week.

// Baddie Winkle. 1) "Stealing your man since 1928" is Instagram's greatest bio. 2) She is all the #goals.

// Dan Rather's Facebook posts. Just long enough to explain his point fully - not too long that I don't read the whole thing. He's a great, succinct writer and I like forward to his new venture, News and Guts.

// Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech. HEY PEOPLE WHO SAY 'SHE SHOULD STICK TO MOVIES' -- one of the functions of art is to comment on society. Preach, Meryl!

// Christmas-present-to-myself silk pillowcase - I like it a lot!

// Bo the Dog. I was intrigued when C named her new stuffed dog "Bo" because neither she nor Josie name any doll or stuffed animal anything* besides "Baby", "Big Baby", "Tiny Baby", "Doggie"... and it turns out she named her Bo because she has a bow at her ear. So her name is actually Bow.

Here I asked C to "do ballet with Bow" and she spun around and fell to the ground dramatically, just the like the Nutcracker's principle ballerina. Exeunt Bow.

*exception: Douglas the stuffed dog. Doug-a-wus has a tag with her name on it and like all of C's loveys is a GIRL, she'll have you know.

// Early morning puzzles with Bow.

Favorite loveys: Bunny, Corn [a unicorn], and Horsey. (These are all Jellycat stuffed animals -- so cute). After this we were at La Bonne Bouchee at 7 am picking up a beautiful cake for a work party and their incentive - the sugar cookie of their choice! The case was full of intricately decorated pink and red Valentine cookies but they chose what they've liked before: a brown-iced horse cookie.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Christmas and New Year's

We spent Christmas at my parents' house but Santa delivered a playhouse a day early! A model just like C had requested, "with a door and a window."

I bought some new plants at the great nursery in WashMO.

Crab legs for Christmas Eve dinner.

"Pop Pop, you may pet my back."

Making orange pull-apart bread with Aunt Elise.

"OK you may hold me."

Almost time for presents!

Check up time.

Frozen matching game.

The Sneeze with Grandma.

I was on call the week after Christmas and New Year's Day. We had a low-key NYE; Jenny came over for a low carb feast of buffalo drumsticks with homemade blue cheese dressing and deviled eggs. I followed the buffalo wing recipe from this book but used drumsticks because drumsticks are my FAVE (plus even the organic ones from Costco are cheap).

The whisks and hooded towels have been very popular recently, as has Memory Yoga. When we started playing that game C could mimic the poses but didn't grasp matching -- now she wins the game against adults who are trying to beat her (Luke).

Jenny spent the night at our guesthouse (!) and on New Year's Day we went to Nick and Gracie's for brunch.
Gracie and her one of her cats... what a mug, huh?

Nick's recently published paper has been picked up by major news outlets, including the New York Times - - this was cited in my weekly NYT health newsletter. Congrats!!!

Secret Life of Pets with new friends (and a cat hiding under the bed).

We attended only two of the holiday events I had planned on but it was a relaxing, fun few weeks - even my call week was a chance to catch my breath.

Happy 2017, all!