Monday, August 25, 2014

summer weekends.

this weekend was good, although too short as usual. ek is still not 100% in terms of stamina and energy levels, but she's doing much better.

friday night we played with the kids and got them fed (emme is eating again yay!). then we had a little date - jb and i went to see what if and i love daniel radcliffe even when he's not harry potter. also, i would move to toronto.

saturday brought lots of productivity in the morning. house projects (stupid doors for the porch - an endless project, but we (and by we i mean justin) are almost done!), i finished a quilt i've been working on for months that i will send to a friend's new baby, and i made waffles for breakfast. hollis was really into them and kept saying "WA! FLES!" and asking for more.

saturday after nap we headed out to the lake for a friend's 40th birthday celebration. super fun. there was a boat full of sand that the kids LOVED, as well as some tire swings. we also took a ride on a pontoon boat up and down town lake. there are some rich people in this town and their properties are amazing. at one point on the pontoon boat, the driver hit a wave and a giant tidal wave poured all over all of us. it flooded the boat with about two feet of water and i thought for a minute we were going to sink the boat. of course it was fine like 2 minutes later, but it was definitely freaky. we stayed out there too late and could have stayed later - we were having a blast.

sunday morning the kids were up way too early, so i let justin sleep in and took them to taco deli before a birthday party at the wildflower center. that place is gorgeous and i wish i'd take more pictures, but we may strongly consider doing ek's birthday out there in november when the weather should be cooler.

hollis skipped nap because he refused to transition after passing out in the car on the way home from the party. amazingly, he was in a great mood and played with cars and blocks while i sewed a new outfit for big baby (emme's favorite doll) with some scraps from my quilting project.

after emme got up, we hit central market to meet up with some friends from lafayette who were visiting austin for the first time. there was brazilian music and the kids took down some spaghetti. super fun.

this week we head to vacation/wedding in colorado. it's cold there. i can't wait!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

all the things.

emme has been sick this whole week. like, today is thursday and she's had fever since sunday (saturday night) sick. i brought her to the doctor on monday and they did a urine culture and a throat culture. throat was negative, but urine looked like it might be something, so they started her on an antibiotic and then sent the culture to a lab. today, four doses of a (strong) antibiotic in, i get the call that her culture came back negative. cease the antibiotic. fortunately, she's not running fever anymore and appears to be much better. so, something viral, they guess. but i am, as always, amazed at how the medical system works - or doesn't. it's not that i'm not grateful for our access to advanced medicine and all that. it's that i'm so frustrated with the whole i've felt guilty all week - trying to work half-ass while taking care of her; putting her in front of countless hours of tv and movies because i don't want her to overheat and she's weak and low energy anyway; that doctors are so quick to just stick them on drugs (reeeaaallllly expensive drugs - the 'script she's on would have been $700 if we didn't have insurance) for anything or nothing, and then she ends up NOT EVEN NEEDING them?! anyway. i'm calming down. i am really grateful that our kidlets hardly ever get sick because i don't handle it well at all.

before all this went down, we had a really fun weekend. some friends came over saturday night and the kids had a blast and stayed up too late having a living room dance party. lots of food and every toy in our house was out and scattered - the sign of a great time, i'd say.

last weekend, my parents came to town kind of last minute since we didn't have a definitive plan for our next hangout, and it was awesome. we didn't have any agenda (so rare for our clan) and just played and cooked and hung with the kids. we even rocked an adult crazy eights marathon. my mom was victorious, with jb in second place. i think this is the first time since his induction in our family that he hasn't come in dead last.

jb also got our chair back, but that's a post for another day.

Friday, August 08, 2014


hollis is insistent about getting himself into the car these days. as in, if i don't let him do it himself, he goes into an intense rage and flings his body around like i'm trying to put him into a furnace of some sort.

it also takes him like 10 minutes (or more) to climb up, play with all the buttons, pick out his books, etc, so the other day i made sure he was almost in then ran back inside to grab the rest of all the things that i schlep everywhere (water bottles, work bag, purse, workout bag, kids lunches, my lunch, extra clothes, diapers - seriously i need a sidecar for our gear it seems). when i came back out, he had somehow managed to hop the console and land in the drivers seat. he was extremely pleased with himself and extremely displeased with me when i "helped" him move his body to the back.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


pretty much every day my brain chronicles all the things i want to be doing/improving. but i never really write any of it down, so it's mostly just my own battle with myself of ways i want to be better and ways i'm falling short.

one of the basic (and, honestly, annoying) things they teach us in business school, early on, is about goal setting. and one of the models of how to set goals is to set SMART goals - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound. so, you can't just say "i am going to grow revenue in FY15", you have to say "i'm going to grow revenue by 15% by Q3 of FY15 because i've calculated these projections and feel like with x and y plan, this is an attainable stretch goal". or whatever. better life example would be "i'm going to run a half marathon in january with a training program that starts this week".

so. i thought for my 33rd birthday i would set some goals. and write them down to add accountability. not all of them are SMART goals, but i've tried to make them as smart as possible. ha. in no particular order:

  1. take better care of my skin. specifically: drink 2-4 quarts of water every day; wash face and apply moisturizer and eye cream every night; use sunscreen daily; moisturize arms and legs after shower. 
  2. spend more time outside. specifically: take dogs for walk or run 4 days/week; get outside while at the office - eat lunch outside, away from my desk/computer, do walking meetings, take 10 minutes to do a lap around the building once or twice a day; eat dinner and/or breakfast on the porch with the kids. 
  3. be more intentional about what i eat: specifically: meal plan and stick to it; prep lunches and bulk stuff on sundays; bring lunch a minimum of 3 days/week; eat at home on friday evenings; eat breakfast; throw cash saved by not eating out into a box; involve kids in meal prep even more.
  4. do stuff in the evenings. specifically: don't just lay on the couch after the kids go to bed; pick a project each week and work on it a little bit every evening; make more social commitments; take turns with jb to run when it cools down a little.
  5. exercise (more/consistently): weight training twice a week; running 4 times per week. no excuses.
  6. be a better friend/communicator: write letters; send packages; make time for people; don't just rely on facebook and instagram lurking to know what people are up to. 
  7. take pictures: lots of pictures. learn how to use one of the DSLRs. in manual. before halloween. 
  8. be a better wife: plan dates. have a consistent babysitting night (start with one/month). do little nice things to show love. 
  9. spend one on one time with each kidlet: 3-4 days each week. 15-20 minutes. go on a walk with just one of them, or work on a little project with just ek. get on the floor with hollis and play with his trucks. let one of them "own" dinner prep with me. 
  10. read more (non-YA) novels: YA novels are great, but let's have a one for one relationship - one cheesy teen novel for one piece of real literature. maybe join a bookclub? 
whew. let the games begin!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


ek, shuffling three babies and a book on her lap while i'm trying to buckle her into her car seat: "mommy, can you hold some of my craziness for a minute?"

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


just a couple pictures of hollis from the last week or so. he is killing me right now. such a funny kid - so much personality. so stubborn and opinionated. emme decided recently that this awkward old hamper we have was her "crown", so it floats around the house, usually on her head. well, if it's going on emme's head, you better believe hollis wants it on his head too. after bath the other night, he decided just having it on his head wasn't enough - he needed to be IN the hamper. he was very proud of himself.

three injuries and a birthday weekend.

i turned 33 this weekend. whee! so far it doesn't feel any different, though i have lots i want to do in my 34th year.

we had a fun weekend. after picking up the kidlets on friday, i took them and the pups for a walk to the park. justin stayed home as he was feeling sub-par (mostly thanks to a late night out on thursday), but it was shockingly nice out, so the rest of us went. there was no one at the park, so the kids got to romp in the shade and the pups got to roll around while i snapped a few photos for instatram.

after the park, the kids and i made chicken salad out of some chicken i had done in the crockpot earlier. it turned out super tasty and they ate outside on the porch. friday night wendy came by to drop off a present and have a quick visit, so that was a fun unexpected surprise.

saturday morning we woke up and went to 24 for breakfast, which i'd been wanting to try for years. it was good (overpriced, but yummy), but the kidlets were wild! mainly hollis. we don't usually have too much trouble with them in restaurants, but he was a maniac for some reason. it ended up fine - a little stressful, but fun nonetheless. afterwards, we came home and played on the porch/in the backyard for a bit. this is where injury #1 occurred: emme kicked hollis in the face/body because he was "in the way" where she wanted to swing. um, no. he got a little shiner and was super upset about it (as were the rest of us). fortunately, it's healing quickly and it hasn't slowed him down at all.

the kiddos went down for nap and i headed off. my friends jenny, shaina and sara met me for a pedicure and then jb had booked a massage for me, so i had some delightful pampering.

i got home and we did another little park endeavor with kids and dogs. hollis had had a bout of diarrhea while i was gone, but seemed ok so we went. well, he had another mini-episode at the park and he was NOT ok with it. he was crying and writhing and wouldn't sit on his bottom, so we sped home with him hanging his head/bottom out of the wagon and wailing. it was pitiful but kind of comical. i'm sure it didn't feel great, but i am convinced boys have a lower pain threshold than girls.

after getting them changed, bathed, fed, and down, jb and i enjoyed some wine and cheese on the back porch while he made me dinner. ny strips, asparagus, baked potatoes on the grill, and mushrooms sauteed in butter and red wine. yes please. all in all a great day.

sunday is where the second two injuries came into the picture. first, i was cleaning out/reorganizing my craft desk (loooong overdue project) and i dropped one of the super heavy drawers on my foot. bleeding, bruising, swelling all ensued, but i will keep my foot and i don't think anything is broken - ha. sunday evening we met up with the perques at waterloo for some dinner and kid play time. emme loved the playground and sandbox, but at whatever point she was near the building playing and holding the door open for people. well, she smashed her right pinkie in the door near the hinges (OUCH) and i could tell it really really hurt her. it looked ok but swollen, but was still pretty rough looking monday morning and she was still complaining about it. we brought her in yesterday afternoon and then took her for an x-ray upon the NP's guidance. it was especially hard to tell, they said, since it was a crush injury. anyway - x-rays came back and everything was fine, thankfully. they wanted to confirm that she didn't damage her growth plate and we figured better safe than sorry for sure. only justin escaped the weekend unscathed!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

other things.

i started a new job this week. still at my same company, but doing something new and interesting that i'm pretty excited about. i'm trying to be more appreciative of the fact that i have a job (since i need one) and what this job/company offer me. it's really easy to think about what you don't have/don't get/limitations/etc., but the truth is that i have a pretty cushy situation and it's important to acknowledge and be grateful for that.

i'm turning 33 on saturday. i always look at birthdays like new years - what changes do i want to make in my life? in myself? how can i be better at embracing and fully living this beautiful little life of mine? i want to make a specific list this year. i need to work on that.

it's getting hot in austin. finally. haha. we've had such an incredibly mild summer, and now we're finally baking by the afternoon. hoping to not lose all momentum with running and the yard and all the other outdoor things. but so far i've been much lazier than i want to be because the heat and dryness really zap me by the end of the day. sigh.

hollis is trying to jump lately and it's my favorite thing. he crouches down and says "jump!" and then stands up fast and usually ends up toppling to the ground. we captured a little of it on video the other night and i die at how cute he is.

we got emme a princess treasury book when we were at half-priced books the other day. i'm avidly anti-princess, but i also know that her obsession with princess-ness will not wane with me being a jerk about how much she loves them. so this book is like 200 pages with 30 or so different stories that are a few pages each. every night we read one or two stories and she just loves to absorb them and then set the book aside, opened to the page we're going to read the next night. i love how much my kids love books.

justin went to a 311 concert this week, fulfilling all his high school dreams. we are wrapping up swimming lessons (this session at least) today. our tenants move out of our rental tomorrow and new tenants move in next week. we picked up a massive fishtank on the side of the road on sunday and have mostly decided it's not a project we want to tackle right now. there are lots of things i want to be doing, but i've been spending most of my evenings reading YA fiction and dozing on the couch. someone motivate me!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

school update.

for those of you following along at home (and for my mental clarity), we are in the fourth week at the kids' new school.

i am mostly tired of thinking about it and talking about it and lamenting it. i want it to be an easy, obvious situation, but it's not.

with emme: she is actually doing really well. her confidence level is vastly improved over what it was in cardinals at her old school. she is kinda/sorta making friends. the class size is small (8 or 10 kids), which is working really nicely for her. her teacher is sweet and nurturing and loving. i don't love that they watch tv 10-20 minutes a day, or that they eat refined sugar and have pizza days every week or so, or that they color in disney coloring books, or that they use sippy cups. but i love that they take pictures and send them to parents and that emme is mostly excited/glad to go to school and that she is engaged and pleased with what she's doing there. she is also learning some academic stuff (planets, parts of plants, that kind of thing), which is fun but maybe not quite as important to me as, say, grace and courtesy. but, if i had to stack rank it, i would say she's thriving here in a way she wasn't necessarily doing at the old school.

with hollis: different story. they tell me (every day) that he stops crying after i leave and does great for the rest of the day. but, he gets upset just seeing the building as we pull into the parking lot. he definitely cried during drop off at our last school, but it was mostly crying because i was leaving, whereas this feels like crying because we're there, ya know? i've picked up on a couple of different days where the little toddlers were eating Flav-R-Ice on the playground. there is a tv in his classroom. the books and work on the shelves are in opaque bins - not really accessible by curious kidlets. they change his diaper once or twice in the whole day. and his teacher is just not nurturing at all. she took him from my arms yesterday by holding him by the forearms and moving his body to the floor. i know they're not hurting him or doing anything wrong at ALL, it's just not the environment i want for him. it feels like a baseline of care rather than something wonderful.

i'm still second-guessing myself and wondering if i'm just crazy, especially since i've talked to numerous other parents whose kids go there/have gone there and there has been unanimous support and affection for the school. so i know it's not like it's really terrible. it's just also not what i thought it was. but i still don't feel like we have any great alternatives readily available, and i am not really sure what to do.

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