Monday, July 30, 2012

Porch Sleeping

Ellis first suggested the idea for a porch camp out about two years ago. I don't remember why it didn't happen the first year, but I know last year I delayed too long and then ended up being foiled by morning sickness at the end of the warm weather season. A couple of weeks ago, we finally cleaned the porch to a state that spending the night out there would be possible, so I wanted to make sure we didn't miss another summer's opportunity to sleep out.

Friday night, I cooked popcorn on the stove while the boys gathered up blankets for their porch-sleeping nests (I admit to calling dibs on the comfiest couch). We picked out the perfect books to take turns reading before drifting off to sleep under the warm glow of our origami fairy lights.

I love when you can have a special, magical time without even leaving home.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Three Months Old

I can't believe I was already back at work full time when Ellis and Charlie were this age. It seems like we're still just getting the hang of things. You know that stage of a relationship when you first fall in love and all your friends get mad at you because all you want to do is spend time with your new beloved? That's what it's like for me and Isey right now.

Maybe it's because he's such a good sleeper and I'm spoiled, but sometimes after he goes to bed I want to wake him up so I can spend more time with him. Crazy, I know, and I don't ever do it, but often before I slip into bed for the night, I lean down close to him to check if he's alright and smell that baby smell. He usually hits me in the face with a flailing arm and goes back to sleep. I love that.

Isaac likes: tummy time, being carried in the baby carrier facing in toward my chest, being tickled on his face.

Isaac hates: crowds, hot weather, wet diapers.

Isaac loves his mama and it's mutual. Yep. We're totally into each other.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beet Red

Having little kids means you get asked "What's your favorite color?" a lot. Hands down my favorite color is beet red. The name, like the vegetable, seems so ordinary, like all other root vegetables, but that color - oh my! It's so sensual and earthy that it's no wonder "turning beet red" is slang for a deep blush.
 I love beets. When it's not god awful hot, I roast them with carrots and parsnips and eat them like the salty caramelized candy they are. I also like to have a jar of pickled beets on hand to tuck into salads. My favorite salad these days consists of red leaf lettuce, shredded carrots, chopped pickled beets, and feta cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette.

It's peak farmer's market time and I've been engrossed with making pickles from things I find there. Last year's epic pickle fail turned out not to be so bad after all. The dills I made were soggy and awful, but the regular bread and butter pickles and dilly beans were actually quite delicious when I no longer had pregnancy-related queasiness. I repeated those recipes last week and modified the execution of the dill pickles (fingers crossed). This week, I chose to pickle my own beets. They look gorgeous and I can't wait to taste them.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012


What Josh is to me:
My mountain man (Butch Cassidy and Pa Ingalls rolled into one)/my best girlfriend

What I am to Josh:
The smart girl in his study group with whom he has a secret relationship/Seth Rogen to his Paul Rudd in our very own bromance

This is why our thing works.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


When I was six, we lived across the street from a park that had a tall slide in the shape of a rocket. My sister and I were sometimes taken to the park, but my grandmother, with whom we were living at the time, insisted that we weren't allowed to go on any of the playground equipment because it was deemed too dangerous. Sometimes we would press our noses against the glass of the picture window in our living room and fantasize about what it would be like to slide down the rocket slide. That slide still looms large in the lore of our girlhood for my sister and me.
This summer by serendipity, I've seen two rocket slides. One was part of an exhibit at the Minnesota Children's Museum, and the other is the metal beauty pictured above that Charlie discovered while we were walking around Central Park in Roseville. In addition to the slide part, there is a ladder to climb up into the nose of the rocket in order to get way up high. Charlie climbed the ladder and I would countdown to "blast off" before he would come shooting down the slide. Someday soon, I may go back there by myself and slide down that slide just for the satisfaction.
I fear these days that the feelings of my grandmother towards danger and children have achieved cultural ascendancy. It was a great sadness of my childhood that it was so "bubble wrapped." The desire I have as a parent to give my children what I didn't have seems to be in conflict with current parenting norms. It's a bummer.
Yet, we still manage to have adventures.
It's been a common event this summer to stumble upon exciting new things in the places we frequent. Last week, at one of our favorite neighborhood parks, they had set up a climbing wall. Charlie wandered over curious, and, with a nod of approval from me, a kindly instructor harnessed him up to give it a try.
He was terrified. He asked to get down after his first steps, but he tried it. And he will grow and such things will become less scary and more fun.
Also last week, at the Minnesota Zoo, I got a little turned around and ended up walking in an area we don't usually go. It turns out, they have camel rides! Pretty soon, the boys were saddled up and whirling around the ring. I only regretted that I had to stand on the sidelines with Isaac sleeping in his stroller instead of getting on myself (next time).
One of the things I am most grateful about is that I can now have all the adventures I want and take my kids along for the ride. What I learned from my childhood is that there are more regrets for the risks you don't take and the experiences that you don't have than for any of the things that you try that go slightly awry.
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Feast

I have been known at certain times in my life to engage in book gluttony. I love the overwhelming feeling of there being SO MUCH I WANT TO READ! A few years ago, I made a commitment to no longer buy books (except occasionally for the kids) and only check things out of the public library or borrow them from friends. If you've moved the boxes and boxes of books that English majors and book gluttons such as me accumulate over the years as many times as I have, you understand why. Currently one of our upstairs closets is filled with books that we have no room to display, and I continue to fantasize about a library room with built in bookshelves. Also, I am cheap, and I don't like to spend money on something I can get for free.

The challenge with the library is that I often go with my children, and most children's sections of the library are separate from the adult parts. Since, it is culturally unacceptable these days to leave my kids in the children's section while I peruse the stacks the way my mom used to, library visits don't often pay off for me. Also, the time I have to read is usually after the children go to bed, when the library is closed and I find myself with no outlet for satisfying my book jones if I don't already have a book.

Luckily, the good people at the St. Paul Public Library seem to love people like me as much as I love them. They now have an extensive and growing e-book library that any patron with a library card can access once you download the 3M cloud library app. You don't even need a fancy e-reader. I downloaded the app onto my laptop and my smart phone. Both apps sync to my account, so I can start a book during my evening reading time, and call it up on my smart phone just where I left off if I'm out and about and have a minute to read. Essentially this means, I ALWAYS have a book with me! (my heart just skipped a beat while I typed that). Yesterday, I was at the Minnesota Children's Museum with the boys. While Charlie and Ellis played in the exhibits and Isaac napped, I read Michael Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs on my smart phone (it's a terrific book, by the way).

It's hard to find a lot of space for "me-time" aside from my daily visit to the YMCA. Now I can fit one of the things I love to do the most into random points of my day. Those librarians sure know how to help a gal out!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ten Weeks

He slept for eight hours straight last night.
Best. Baby. Ever.

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