Thursday, April 23, 2015

kidlet updates.

i feel like i haven't done a real kid update in a while, so i thought i'd take a moment to talk a little about ek at almost 4.5 and hollis at 2+almost 4 months. 

hollis: this kid. the other day i was dropping him off at school and one of the teachers said to me: "hollis is a very, very unique child. i've been doing this for 30 years, and i've never met a child quite like him". i'm not sure whether to take that as a compliment or an insult, but i can see where she's coming from. my dude is reflective and very independent. he's stubborn and can be very impatient and willful. he's funny and playful and prefers to be in small groups where he knows everyone well (aka our family). he's extremely loving with those close to him and can be very wary of new people. he's focused and can concentrate for long periods on whatever quiet activity he's interested in. he is good at puzzles and he carries a book with him pretty much everywhere. he adores emme but is trying to figure out his own identity these days and doesn't just blindly go along with whatever she's doing. 

hollis does get more worked up/emotional than i would expect out of a kid his age, and especially a kid who's as verbal as he is. but he's got big feelings and he's super sensitive. i'm sure he gets that from me, so i have more tolerance of it than others, maybe. anyway...he doesn't like to be corrected or scolded - it makes him kind of withdraw and shut down. it's really pitiful. so we're working on figuring out how to teach him manners, right & wrong, etc. without just destroying his little world.

he likes to be outside and works hard on his timidity, though that's definitely his natural tendency. he's a terrible eater (compared to emme, especially). i recognize that he might not be super terrible by some standards, but i feel like mealtime is almost always an ordeal if i'm trying to get him to eat protein or veggies. he will eat eggs and cheese (in certain forms), but rarely eats meat and won't even taste it if it's green. sigh. we are working on that too.

but i love this boy with every ounce of my being. he is delicious and a joy to mother.

and then there's my goose. how lucky am i to know this girl? emme is spunky and fun and opinionated and exuberant. she's vivacious and social and eager to please (most of the time). she loves her babies (every stuffed animal and/or doll in the universe), loves rocks and shells, loves collecting very small trinkets and treasures and guarding them fiercely. she is super feminine - she'll individually compliment every piece of jewelry i have on, and she loves to wear anything with a long or twirly skirt. she'll tell you her favorite colors are pink and purple and red and blue and green and orange and yellow and all the colors! which i think is kind of a metaphor for her unbridled love in general. she is (usually) very inclusive, especially about her family, and will say she's going to make something for everyone in our family, while listing out everyone's names, including the animals.  

emme is also willful and trying to figure out how to harness her powers for good. she hates to be corrected and will tell me i'm being mean when i draw a firm line (i.e. no, you can't have candy at 7:30am before you've had breakfast). her notions of fairness are extremely strong when it comes to herself, and we're working hard on developing an awareness for and sense of compassion about others - so far, this is somewhat inconsistent. she's a champ eater and sleeper - she will almost always try at least a bite of something new. she's still napping 90% of the time. she is silly and adventurous and so so strong. she can rock some monkey bars like i can't even believe and she will climb or scale any piece of playground equipment.

ek is curious and an eager learner, but she (also) hates to be corrected. her teachers love her and tell us daily about how affectionate she is. she tells me she wants to be a cheerleader when she grows up, and i'm working hard to be patient and supportive with that desire. sigh. she's really great with animals and babies - super gentle and nurturing. she's definitely still four years old - we get our fair share of her being obstinate and defiant, crying or screeching or pouting or whining, particularly when she's tired, hungry, or being told no. but mostly, she's really an incredible joy and i love everything about her.

Monday, April 20, 2015

making some changes.

i have written about this a little in my personal journals and other places i don't share with the whole universe because this blog feels like a place for family stuff and pictures of my kids making weird faces. but, i'm the boss of what goes into this blog, and, honestly, it's the easiest place for me to chronicle what the haps is with our family, but also with my own life. me, being the author of this and whatnot. and also...i'm not a facebook sharer, really, especially not personal stuff, but i like the idea of some level of accountability or putting it all out into the universe.

so. the past...6 months? year? lifetime? i've been struggling a little bit. i have atrocious self esteem when it comes to my physical appearance. i can logic and reason through it all, but fundamentally, deep deep down in my heart, i am destructively critical of myself (particularly in the physical arena, although it extends beyond that a little bit too). beyond reason. beyond rational thought.

and here's the deal: it sucks. it is sucking the energy and joy out of me. it's interfering with all kinds of aspects of my life. and it is a horrendous example to my kidlets (even though i try super hard not to vocalize the negative self-talk, some elements of it eek into everything, and they are like wee adorable sponges that will inevitably soak it all up). and i'm freaking tired of it. i'm tired of hearing myself brush aside any compliment (verbally or mentally), tired of talking about how i used to look or that time when i was sorta kinda in shape. it needs to stop.

which brings me to now. i'm on a quest (meant to start this quest in january, but i didn't and that's ok) for self-healing. i need to heal my body from the abuses i've put it through (all the food i want, whenever i want, whatever it is), but i really really need to heal my mind from the barrage of awful self-talk i deal with minute-by-minute.

so what am i going to do? i'm going to take care of myself. i'm doing a whole30, starting today. for real. no excuses, just healing, good, real food. i'm going to move my body around every day - take the dogs for walks, chase the kids, have baby dance parties, do some sun salutations. i'm not going to criticize my inability to complete a crossfit workout today - i'm just going to do something every day. i'm going to drink a lot of water. i'm going to meditate. i'm going to read some healing, lovely words and i'm going to read some words that light my brain up. i'm going to love on my family and friends when i can and when i want to, and i'm going to give myself space to be by myself and focus internally when i need it. and i'm going to write, hopefully more than just sometimes.

Friday, April 10, 2015


it's spring in texas and it's lovely. if i'm being picky, i'd say i wish we'd had a milder transition into the heat, but mostly i'm really grateful for warm days and not having to battle the kids to wear socks/coats/layers.

with the schedule mayhem caused by daylight savings, we have been trying to spend some extra time outdoors in the evenings. the kids are rocking the sandbox and we've done many block-walks, stopping to smell basically every flower on the way and admire every single rock (aka crystals).

on good friday, the kids' school was closed, so we drove to marble falls and hit up sweet berry farms, a local attraction where you can pick your own produce and frolic about. there are goats to pet/feed/gawk at and lots of strawberry items to consume. the kids favored the strawberry popsicles, obviously. we will definitely be back soon for blackberry picking.

easter was kind of rainy and yucky outside, but we made the most of it. i took basically zero pictures, though. the kids slept in (until right after 8!!), so when we got up, we tore through the easter bunny's wares, then got dressed and headed to a 9am church service at a church right around the corner. i'd never been to a methodist service, but it was lovely. the church is super progressive and laid back - i liked it a lot. emme was amazing during the service, but hollis wanted to narrate many things: "i see that man with a horn, mama." "i'm ready go outside, mama." "i want to go play at the park!", he and i spent a nice chunk of time in the cry room (really nice other parents, good toys for kids). afterwards, we went to lucy's fried chicken for brunch. it was good but heavy. back at home, kids stripped out of their "nice" clothes immediately and i made tom kha and a thai chopped salad for dinner with some old friends that night. it was a really good day.

other than that, i don't really think there's been anything of note happening. i need to write about the kids individually - what they're into these days, etc. time seems to be moving along way faster than i'm comfortable with, and i can't seem to get my footing lately.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

identity theft and other stuff.

i haven't been blogging. which is basically a theme for this year, but no apologies. things are just so...busy. and all over the place.

yesterday morning, we woke up to an email from our CPA (who had filed our taxes the day before) saying that our return had been rejected since the IRS had already accepted someone else's return claiming emme as a dependent. um, what? yes. someone apparently got hold of her full name and social security number and claimed her, so her identity has been stolen. which i guess happens to kids now. because this is the world we live in. super. so, we filled out the affidavit, mailed in our return via certified mail with a cover letter, and they can take up to 6 months to process it all/send us our return. who really knows?

so, yeah. that's been fun. then, yesterday afternoon, jb got home to water flowing out of the main line to our house. so we have had no running water for almost 24 hours, which is really cool in 80-degree weather with kidlets. i don't mean to complain because, in the grand scheme, this is really really no big deal. but it's just a thing to deal with in the midst of all the other things we are always dealing with, right?

anyway. i'll post lots of pics from my phone and talk about easter and other spring fun soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

things kids say.

ek, last night at dinner: "i can open my mouth so big, i can literally fit a grownup in it."

hollis, last night during our walk when he made me carry him instead of running: "no, i can't run. i too big. i too strong."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

beer, bacon, breaks.

this week is spring break for austin, which means sxsw, daycare closures, and awesome spring weather. my parents came into town last weekend and mom is here for the week to hang with the kids since i didn't take the week off of work. it's been pretty great.

saturday night, jb and i took a beer & bacon cooking class with jillian and zach. super fun. it wasn't a hands-on class, but i actually really liked the demo format. we just got to kick back and eat lots of yumminess while we watched a dude show us how to cook stuff with bacon. yesssss.

sunday mom and i took the kids for a little jaunt to the domain for yogurt. ek had been begging for frozen yogurt for days, so we finally complied and let them climb on the slides/big frogs/etc that were in the shopping area. there was also a band playing in this big grassy null area and they went bucks-wild (as emme says) running and falling and twirling.

other than that, it's been a fun week. lots of tv and playing in the yard. even if i have to go to work, i love unstructured time for the kids.

Friday, March 13, 2015

green day.

today is "green day" at the kids' school, since next week is spring break and they will be off for st. patty's day. they were pretty excited to rock the green clothes they have. pro tip: buy more green clothes.

hollis was eating his cheerios this morning and i was talking to them about green day and what they were going to wear and do. he said: "mommy, it not green day! it dark outside!". so astute, my child. so astute.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

pictures of my kids.

someday it will be spring and i will be out of my funk. until then, i have these little humans entertaining me and being cute as heck. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

saving daylight.

i hate daylight savings. with a fiery passion. i think it is absolutely a bizarre torture created specifically for parents of young children. i especially don't understand why it happens in early march now. it makes no sense. i could rant for a good long while about this, but let's just say...the past couple of days have been rough. the kids want to party until 9pm (which is really 8pm!) and when i drag them out of bed at 7 (which is too late, really, and's 6!), it makes for lots of grumpiness. for them and me. it's dark, man. it's not ok.

anyway. i haven't really been in a blogging habit this year. there's been stuff going on, but not really any events per se. i dunno. we got new phones (finally), so i've been trying to get back in the habit of taking more pics, but i'm just not feeling it. meh.

we're taking care of my friend's french bulldog this week and she is mega cute. the kids love her and she's doing great with them, in spite of not really ever having been around kids. she and pippa battle, and she does attempt to sneakily steal hollis's stuffed animals in the evenings, so that's mostly hilarious.

this morning hollis got super mad about breaking his banana in half while he was peeling it. toddlers, man. emme and i were laughing at him (because it was funny) and he said "i not being funny right now! i crying right now!" which of course made us laugh even harder.

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