on asking the right questions

Wednesday, April 9

Shoes: Converse, Pants: H&M, Tee: F21, Hat: Free People, Watch: UO
My husband is making a very bad habit out of asking me what I want for dinner. We went on a walk tonight, the three of us. It was a glorious walk by the way. There were people in their pajamas walking their dogs. The birds were singing. Everett collected some rocks. We passed a live guitarist that filled the streets for blocks with his beautiful strumming. And at one stop light, a fire truck pulled up right next to us on the sidewalk and every. single. fireman waved to Everett, and I watched him light up like a Christmas tree. But anyway, back to the matter at hand: my husband making a very bad habit out of asking me what I want for dinner. Right as we were walking past a Mexican grill and our nostrils filled with spice and salt, he asks me this. What he really means is, what are you going to have for dinner? And the answer to that is chicken and broccoli and probably leftover potatoes. Right now, we are trying very hard to not eat out as much as we used to. But if he would really like to know what I want for dinner, here is the list that dances in my head at night, just for future reference, just in case he feels like getting a kiss with a little extra gusto behind it at some point: Chinese take-out, a big bowl of homemade chips and fresh salsa, and yes, crab rangoons, goat cheese, a giant turkey sandwich, sushi, and all of those things that are off limits for four more months, buffalo pizza, enchiladas, spicy peanut chicken, and a limeade from Sonic if I'm being honest. JUST FYI. JUST IN CASE SOMEONE SPECIAL IS READING THIS.

while you were sleeping

Monday, April 7

My dearest, darling, heartthrob of a husband,

In so many words, last night you told me I talk a lot. Not specifically a lot in general. But you pointed out that starting at exactly 10:30pm, and sometimes exactly 11, I throw my leg off my body pillow, prop myself up on my elbows and let every thought that's crossed my mind that day loose into the darkness and into your listening ears. You said that you love it, but you said that you love it in the middle of a yawn, which was not terribly convincing. We both know that you fall asleep in three seconds, so maybe this is just my way of equalizing the playing field. Making sure that one of us isn't asleep for a full whole hour before the other. Or maybe it's just the time of day when talking together is genuinely the very best, because we're warm and close.

But assuming it's the former, here are just a few observations that I've made during the nights when I don't finagle a long conversation out of you, and you are sleeping and I am not.

1. You have a better than average sleeping face. I would even venture to give it a 10, because somehow your mouth never ever opens, even during your deepest breathing. Impressive. And cute.

2. Everett talks in his sleep.

3. Cheddar cheese eaten in bed is almost completely untraceable.

4. 1am is an ideal time for silent theories to be made about how the size and density of our individual pillows is an accurate representation of our personalities.

5. I like the way our house looks, with street lamps and moonlight dimly lighting the signs of our life throughout the quiet house. Namely Everett's fort, dishes that I'm putting off until tomorrow, the bowl of popcorn we shared on the table, your shoes at the end of our bed, and your dress shirts draped over your bike. PS. Why do you drape your dress shirts over your bike? Your clothes hangers are getting lonely.

6. You kiss my back every time I come back from the bathroom. And that's a lot.

7. I only ever use Photobooth at strange hours. For bump selfies, and faux bob selfies, and to confirm what I have been told a thousand times: my resting face looks like I'm mad.

Photo on 2014-04-07 at 21.31 #2Photo on 2014-04-07 at 21.49 #2Photo on 2014-04-07 at 21.39

we're having a baby!

Thursday, April 3

Another! Another! I can just smell the soft, sweet skin and feel the weight of a gushy baby in my arms already. I get teary when I think about it. I'm 18 weeks along, and to tell you the truth, it has been a much different and more difficult pregnancy than Everett's was. But in spite of that {or maybe because of it} it's also felt more real. I started feeling little kicks about a month ago, and was surprised when I immediately felt how familiar they were. And that I had missed them and had just never realized it until that moment. The reality of already having a little boy, and my strong emotional memories of his birth, is so prominently in the forefront of my mind these days, that it's been easier to picture this life growing inside me and feel connected to it. I am so excited! It is such a magnificent privilege that we get to do this again, we can hardly believe it. Tonight, I took a picture of Tyson after he got home from work, fast asleep with his hand on my belly. And there it was, just like before. Except now there's going to be four. :)

our most loved toys and apps for a toddler

Wednesday, April 2

Everett is somewhat of a creature of habit, and no matter how many toys he collects, he tends to rotate through the same ones. I got a few requests to do a post on some of Everett's favorite toys, so I figured that while we were here, I'd include some of our favorite iPad apps too, since we quarantined ourselves from everyone's germs this winter and the combination of those two things, plus books and I don't know how many games of chase, is what got us through. This list, of course, excluding all of the contents of my kitchen drawers, and his ball and car collection, which can be found at the foot of my bed, under the covers.

1. Bruder Trash Truck
This thing is almost as big as Everett, and I think that fact alone makes up at least half the reason why he loves it. The details throughout the truck are pretty impressive, and it's very interactive. Everything is hinged, so Everett usually opens the doors and puts one of his little race cars in the front seat to "drive". You can actually put trash {crumpled pieces of paper} into the trash cans, attach them on the back, and using the different handles, dump, smash and sort the trash. Listen to me geeking out about a toy truck.

2. Wink {BlaBla doll}
It would not be a post about "favorites" if we didn't include this guy. Best and most loved purchase we've made to date. They are best. friends.

3. "Things That Go" Puzzle Sets
Since getting this game, it has truly been a joy in my life to hear him say "blimp" and "skateboard" and identify every yellow car he sees as a taxi.

4. "See Inside" ABC Alphabet puzzle
"See Inside" Numbers puzzle
Everett has totally surprised me with how early he learned his alphabet. I had nothing to do with it. He just started seeing signs and billboards around him and wanted to know what the symbols were, and off he went with the whole alphabet! If he's not in the mood for games or trains/cars/superheros, he's in the mood for puzzles. And these have been great! He loves peeking under each number and letter to see the pictures underneath.  

5. Marble track
This was a beautiful gift from the couple behind the Etsy shop, The Workbench this last Christmas and it has been a loved addition to his favorite toy rotation. Seriously. Marble races everyday.

6. Globe
I got this for five bucks in a thrift store, purely for decorative purposes because I can't walk away from a $5 globe, and it has unexpectedly turned out to be another of his favorite toys. Currently, his favorite sentence is, "what is that?" and so we spin the globe around and he asks that 50 times while he points to different countries. Most entertaining pronunciations I've ever heard!

7. Ikea Toolset
I realize that half the contents are missing. It is well loved, around the entire house.

8. Pound and Roll Tower
The one thing that's OK to hit!

9. Stacking Train
Toys that last from baby to two-years-old are everything.

10. Shape Sorting Clock
I got this from Target right before a flight to keep him entertained with a little novelty. I don't know where the 7 is. Yesterday, it was the 4.

11. Stackable Bowls
Another pre-flight purchase from Target {although I can't find it on their site, sorry!}. It was perfect size for the tray table, and now it's the perfect size to be stacked, stuck together, unstuck, placed on our heads, or thrown across the room.

12. And his truly favorite toys that he always has with him no matter what -- a computer mouse that is known in its official capacity as, "Everett's blue mouse" and a screwdriver that's had its end removed for obvious reasons. Just proving time and again, like everything else in my kitchen, that toys are mostly overrated. ;)

And now our favorite apps for the iPad! We try to keep everything in moderation with electronics of course, but these are really fun for him and have helped, at least in part, to reinforce his learning, especially with the numbers and letters apps.

1. Anything from Toca Boca (We have the Doctor, Lab, Kitchen, and Builders apps}
2. Animal Sounds by Alligator Apps
3. The Human Body by TINYBOP
4. ABC Ride by Avokiddo
5. Drawnimal
6. Endless Numbers by Originator

Would love to hear your kid's favorite things if you want to share! I think next on my list is a basketball hoop and some sort of superhero cape. The other day Everett put one of my belts over his belly and another on his head and said that he was "supa-man." I love the two's.

hit me with it, april

Tuesday, April 1

I think no matter what the weather is on April first, minus the April Fools of it all, this day is predisposed to be the bomb dot com. Even with its lagging need for winter coasts in the morning, there's the slight promise of a warm evening sunset without them. And for every forecast of rainy skies, there are at least 5 more trees that blossom into pink. We went to the farmer's market for the first time since last summer and loaded up on apples. Everett's going through an apple phase. Last month was the month of the grapefruit. This month, the man must have an apple with his meal! We went to the park to find some good throwing rocks, the usual. There's a playground right next to the canal where the good throwing rocks are kept, but not according to this two-year-old. Parks are not for slides. Parks are for finding boulders and roots to climb on and see if the view is any better from another foot up. Hey, are you guys spring-demolishing your houses yet? Cleaning seems to be too mild a word this year. I am into it man. Everett sweeps ;) and I Orange Glo the crap out of my floors and it's starting to smell like something that doesn't resemble March in here. When Tyson came home after work, there was just enough sun to keep the cement warm, so I traded in my sweater and sneakers for a sundress and bare feet. Oh! Bare feet on warm cement, I swear. Delicious. Everett slid on his rain boots and stacked and unstacked rocks inside of a birdbath while Tyson and I sat shoulder to shoulder on the step of the porch and talked til the sun set. It was like it was spring or something.

he called me lady

Monday, March 31

Shoes: Converse, Jeans: H&M, Tee: F21, Vest: H&M, Hat: Free People

I feel like I've posted a version of this outfit at least five times before, but whatever. I have a uniform and it's a fine thing to have bounteous options of black and white in one's closet. I went darker this weekend. It was time for the ombre to go. Everett's response was hilarious. He usually responds strongly when I make any physical changes to my appearance. For example, I just got this removable retainer appliance to help re-straighten a few of my lower teeth, and the first few weeks I had it, speaking was um, problematic. Everett heard me speak right after I got back from the dentist and immediately hid behind Tyson's legs and peeked up at me while requesting that Tyson hold him. I am usually the preferred parental unit between the two of us, since he's always been a mama's boy, so this was a historical first for our family. I tried to talk to him. Honestly I was just trying to pronounce any word, any word at all! But he nuzzled into Tyson's neck while watching me in that sideways "I've got my eye on you" way, and wouldn't let me hold him or touch him for a whole hour. After Tyson set him down, I sidled up to him on our bed and started to talk to him about why I sounded so weird, and I opened my mouth so he could see how funny I looked. He was SO shy and sweet just stared at me with this look. I couldn't tell if he was finally feeling like he was in on the joke, or if he was just making fun of me. Probably both. Every morning that I greeted him that week, he made his request. "Mama! Retainer off." And every day that I read him stories, he watched my mouth like a hawk, but! We re-bonded. THIS time when I made a change to my hair, he just asked what color it was and then when he was down the hall from me a ways, he called back to me, "hey sweet laaaaaady" and that's how you know you picked the right color.

it started out with a trip to the ER

Monday, March 17

photo 2photo 1
unrelated photos from a very good day

It was a mild adventure in parenting and stamina for us this weekend. On Thursday, Everett started getting sick. He wouldn't eat, he wanted to lay down a lot, he felt warm, his stomach was giving him problems, and he was starting to get a hacking cough, and wheezing. Before bed, I sat with him in our bathroom while the shower ran and filled the room up with steam, rubbed a little Vicks on his chest, started the humidifier in his room, and tucked him in. Around midnight he woke up barely able to breath and his cough and fever had gotten worse. After talking to a nurse, we decided to take him to the ER that night, and ended up staying there until about 4, discovering thankfully that it was a bad case of croup and not pneumonia. The next day, I started getting sick myself. Not with what he had, but just your regular run-of-the-mill cold. We have gone this entire winter without getting sick. Not one flu, not one cold, and I was pretty darn proud of my usually sub-par immune system. So I'm guessing this cold had more to do with lack of sleep, but there it was. None of us were ourselves after the night in the hospital and the next day was ... well it would be just fine with me if it was erased from the Great Book of Life, or wherever these things get recorded. Everett was upset and frustrated and panicked and tired with his body that was causing him pain and wouldn't let him breathe well or sleep, and he screamed a lot and yelled NO at pretty much everything the entire day. I've never seen him like that in my life, and it was pretty draining. We were already running on little sleep, and I was slowly starting to feel like an even bigger wad of achy, congested crap. At the end of the day when we were trying to cook some dinner, a large bag of rice fell on the floor and the stuff went flying everyyyyywhere. The top of my head just popped completely off. Fire shot from my ears. Everything exploded, and I remember throwing a pan of water with what little rice was inside, across the room and into the sink, which then splashed even more rice up onto the counters and the walls. Go team. After we got Everett's medicine and room prepped and he was in bed, and after we cleaned up alllllll the rice and remade some more and had our late dinner, I went into the bathroom and closed the door, turned the shower onto steaming hot, got in and just cried my eyes out as quietly as I could. Honestly, the logic wasn't there. It was not the worst day that I've ever had in my entire life, but it's not a good day when a demon bag of rice can bring out the very worst in you. Tyson ended up overhearing me. He always does. And I am SO good at quiet crying too, I don't understand. ;) But that bathroom ended up being the little sanctuary we needed for just a second. We could stand there and hold each other and not talk about the things that have surrounded us and filled up our conversations and worried us into the night in the past few weeks. But it was how are YOU, and how are WE, and this week was really hard, and I'm sorry and I love you and I'm so glad you're here. It was totally an emotional band-aid to talk with my partner/husband/love, about us. And just us. For 15 minutes. And it was the reset button for going into the rest of night to take care of our son.

Everett's slowly gotten better over the past few days. He still sounds like a raspy Grandpa when he talks or laughs, which is so cute I wanna die, but his cough is almost gone and his breathing is doing much better. I have to tell you, since he was 9-months-old and we stopped co-sleeping with him, it has been our dream to have just another night with him sleeping in our bed. It's not for everyone, but we truly cherished those days, sharing a bed together, just our little family, dreaming away in the same room. With very little exception, even on nights when it's difficult for him to fall asleep, I've tried taking him into our bed, and then just ended up having to take him right back to his, because to him, our bed means it's time to get up and play and have some breakfast. Last night though, was different. I tried for two hours to help him fall asleep in his own bed. Rocking, reading, singing. We would rock until he fell asleep in my arms, but the second I tried to put him down in his crib he would startle awake and cling to my neck like his life depended on it. It was still earlier than Tyson and I usually go to bed, but I turned off our lights, and snuggled him in our bed and he was asleep in 5 seconds flat. So there we were. Victory! Success! Our dreams came true. And we hunched over the snoring, stuffy two-year-old lying between us and kissed his cheeks and admired what an angel he was, and how young he looks when he sleeps and silently high-fived each other because it was just like the old days. Or it would be, if a two-year-old wasn't twice the size of a 9-month-old. I did not sleep at all that night. I kept sitting up to check on his breathing. I was elbowed and kicked in the face. He snored like a LION, which was amazing actually. At one point I sat up to check on him and had to laugh at what a cliche portrait of parenthood lay before me. Tyson, who is usually propped dead center in the middle of his pillow, in the very middle of the bed, was lying diagonally, pillow abandoned, with his entire body half-way down the bed. Everett, who had migrated to Tyson's side of the bed, was also totally sideways on his back, limbs spread wide like a starfish with one of his arms limply draped over the top of Tyson's face. Tyson has magical, magical sleeping abilities that I have not been blessed with. I took a mental picture of that moment. Of this whole weekend. An exhausting weekend that was so full of real life, and love, and mess, and teamwork, and care of each other that it couldn't help but be beautiful in it's own way. There's always a little nostalgia in my mom's voice when I tell her about hard, sick moments like these with a little one, and she says, "Oh, I remember that" and reminisces with my dad over a group text about what they did to take care of us during those late nights, and I know that's going to be me some day. And just knowing that, makes me appreciate where I am in my life right now, throwing pans of rice across the kitchen, notwithstanding.

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