Wednesday, November 18, 2015

7 quick takes

1. a while back i went without sugar for (are you ready?) A WEEK. yes, that's right. a whole SEVEN DAYS. i stopped because i got to the rage part and i couldn't successfully hang with four kids and a bunch of pets and rage. someone had to go. so i got a creme puff and calmed the heck down.

what i learned: i like sugar. especially in the afternoon, and especially in the evenings. at one point i had five different recipes open in my web browser and all of them were sugar-laden. ryan started to enjoy his nightly ritual of ice cream in a mug by hiding and doing his darnedest to make sure the spoon didn't hit the side of the mug too loudly. i thought only about desserts. doughnuts. cookies. cake. chocolate. muffins. syrups.

by the end of the week i was better. a lot better. (except for the rage) but i didn't need sugar as much. i didn't think about it so much.

here's why i did it: i was eating more sugar than i was comfortable with myself eating. and i was relying on it, i believe. i didn't lose weight, but i only did it for a week, and i was a little shocked as to how i didn't care that much.

having said that, i should tell you that i just ate several fun size snickers bars from seth's halloween basket. so, clearly i might have to have another week of no-sugar.

2. i bought the goods for a homemade apple pie. now i just need to work up the energy to bake it.

3. sarah has begun to clearly answer, "yes, mama." to my requests/questions. it is clear, it is sweet, it is delightsome.

she also pronounces her k's as h's, so "okay" sounds like "o-hay". since she says "okay" to everything,  it's most definitely awesome.

4. i've been reading and i've got books stashed everywhere, books that i want to blog about, i just haven't yet. you guys send so many excellent recommendations! keep them coming! currently reading: the woman in white by wilkie collins. it is SO GOOD.

5. kate's favorite game lately has been making homes for her toys. this means she empties out cubbies, shelves, baskets, bins, or whatever else she can find, to place a blanket, the toy, and two food bowls. now her room is FULL of homes everywhere, and the contents of those cubbies, shelves, baskets, and bins on the floor. it is chaos. how long do i let this phase play out before i begin to insist we keep the floor clean?

6. this article, "47 hacks people with add/adhd use to stay on track" was made for me. read it here. (do you think that means i have add/adhd?)

7. goals for this week: laundry. why is there always so much laundry? and why does it never end??? send me your tips/systems/laundry routines. STAT.

Monday, November 9, 2015

an afternoon at the park

a trip to the park with the little herms...and baby carson, who is the little cutie pie that i babysit every now and then:

 going down the slide...

 until, for reasons unknown, she stops mid-slide and is quite disappointed. i LOVE this expression.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


halloween 2015. the year i took a barefoot bumblebee, little red riding hood, ash ketchum, hermione granger and a nerd with me to trick or treat. we went with our friends and grandma rebecca and LOVED it. sarah especially loved that our friends brought a stroller and she was allowed to hitch a ride. she also managed to chew through several candy wrappers and much of her candy was ruined and thrown away. too bad. 

 acting like your costume: sarah is an ambivalent bee, seth is... he doesn't know either, ava is casting a spell, and kate is being frightened of the big, bad wolf.
 ryan bought those glasses and was so excited about how nerdy they are. when i noticed they are the exact shape of my own glasses i was only slightly amused. "sorry," said ryan, using a finger to push his glasses up his nose (i have to do that all the time), "i told you to get a different pair." 

 grandma and grandpa stopped by to wish us luck and take a photo. 

 tommy the trojan
 hitching a ride with her bestie, hazel, chilling in a mountain of tulle in the back

 of course someone handed out any notebooks and tiny pens and of course seth was super into it. he LOVES little books and pens and drawing and writing. 

hazel's mom did her costume, which turned out SO cute. i tried to put together one for sarah, but the thrift stores were fresh out of overalls. plus she wasn't into costumes. baby girl doesn't like clothes much.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

the whole story

i talked to my dad the other day about my mom and i told him some of the things i had been feeling and doing in the few years before she died. i told him some things i've never told him before, which is   unexpected. my mom has been gone for three years, and with all of the conversations that we've had, you would think there wouldn't be new things to share. i was thinking about that while i was driving the other day, about how there always is more to share, more to tell, more to convey. more history.

i recalled to someone on a hike this morning that my brother had pierced his ears. two giant diamond studs in his earlobes.

"giant diamond studs? why?" my co-hiker laughed.

"at the time he wanted to be black," i said, lightly. "i guess he thought that would help."

and then i thought about how that could sound flippant. and about how that comment could affect my co-hiker, who is a black man. and how he would apply his identity and his history and his family to my comment to process it. and how i was just thinking about this brother. someone who doesn't know this brother is missing out on a lot of backstory, a lot of present story. and then i thought about how we're all walking around and some of us think we know about something, and some of think we don't know much, but we never know the whole story.

there's a before, a beginning, a middle, an end, an after. and there are all of these chunks in between. thoughts, interactions, moments.

did you know, right before my mom died, i was so swallowed up in my grief that i think i ran a red light? i don't actually know if i did, but suddenly another car was honking at me and i realized that she was parked and i wasn't, but i don't know if it's because she was in a turning lane, or because i was running a red light. maybe she was honking at someone else. i don't actually know. i was kind of a mess.

there's a whole story there, isn't there? and i don't know if i'd ever be able to really convey that whole story.

this has happened several times lately. i'll never be able to tell the whole story, and i'll never know another's whole story. so even when i think i know, even when i think i've been listening and helping and observing, i still don't know. and i need to keep that knowledge in front of me constantly. when someone is sharing a story, i need to remember that i only know the portion that they can convey, and i need to be okay with that, to give the storyteller an allowance, some compassion.

in parenting kate i've learned a few things about the importance of acknowledging emotions without attempting to influence them. kate feels a lot, and sometimes it seems like all she needs is for someone to say, "i know you're sad. i see that." i feel like this little revelation requires the same sort of attention. when i hear a story, when i hear a comment that doesn't strike me as exactly right, it's important for me to recognize that i don't know the history behind that comment. and that i should be giving people the benefit of the doubt. i should be acknowledging their experiences. and, in a perfect world, they should be acknowledging mine. we should be coming together, giving one another the benefit of the doubt.

let's try it. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

camping in big sur, part three

day three: we woke up, we had some hot chocolate in the really adorable camping gear i bought specifically for drinking hot chocolate.

hot chocolate recipe: whole milk, chocolate. melt together and whisk often. it's DELICIOUS. and thick and creamy. and the best thing when the morning air is cold and we're all wearing sweatshirts that have collected an insane amount of dirt and dust and grime and filth over the past two days because we're camping and camping is so completely filthy. but guys, it's worth it. both the hot chocolate and the camping.

everyone played at the park and by the river while ryan broke down camp. because he is a man. and that man knows that using his wife's help while she's keeping a 2-year-old in tow is really just going to end up with no help, but instead he will be worked against.

we got on the road, stopped at pfieffer state beach and hiked around. we were going to 'the waterfall' but waterfalls in a state of drought aren't that impressive, so we moved our hike to 'the view', which proved to be beautiful and awesome. sarah slept through all of it.

the best part about camping is watching ava, seth, and kate play together. they talk a mile a minute, they collect leaves and branches and twigs and sticks. they name them, they organize games together. they love each other. they love spending time together. so yeah, the cooking is harder, the dirt is dirties, the sleep is pretty much non-exsistant, but watching those three LOVE to be together makes it totally worth it.

i'm grateful for this little (not so little) family. i'm grateful for ryan, who evenly helps me run it and raise it. i'm grateful for the outdoors, for dirt that can get everywhere, for barefeet, for hot chocolate in adorable red kettles, for huge trees, cool breezes, sunlight streaming through branches, laughter, and the heater in the van (that's how i got through night two).

worth it.

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