Life Lately: Easter at IKEA

It’s a spring miracle: I’m working on a post while Avery is awake! This is only possible because every time she comes over and “asks” to be picked up, I do indeed pick her up but then immediate start filing her nails, which she hates. So she’s keeping her distance for now. Mom of the year!

Easter-ing indoors, as is the Seattle way

Easter-ing indoors, as is the Seattle way

We had a pretty good Easter weekend. One highlight was a child free trip to IKEA (my mother in law was in town and watched Avery). It was a pretty glorious excursion and we got a ton of crap for the twins’ room. My approach to their nursery is amusingly different from what I did for Avery’s. Avery’s room color: picked the perfect VOC free paint. Twins’ room color: color from the last owners looks fine to me! Avery’s room art: ordered stuff online and spent a ridiculous amount on professional framing. Twins’ room art: IKEA prints are cute enough I guess. Avery’s crib: found a charming mid century modern-ish crib via some blog I followed. Twins’ cribs: IKEA’s $99 option seems legit. Etc. etc. Sorry, twins. There are a lot of hand me down clothes in your futures, too, so get used to the neglect now.

Getting weird off IKEA espresso

Getting weird off IKEA espresso

Easter weekend also featured a dinner out, sans kid, for Will’s birthday. We went to Girin and ordered the tasting menu, which was reasonably priced and delicious. It’s a Korean restaurant, so meat and veggie heavy, so I didn’t feel totally disgusting afterward which was a nice bonus. If I overeat these days, the food and baby in stomach combo makes me feel like I’m going to die.

GirinSteak

Next notable life happening: family trip to Kauai in about a week. Six hours on a plane with an 18 month old seems pretty scary. I plan to get through it by imagining how much more terrible flying will be with three small children instead of just the one.

Real Housewife of Seattle

I am a stay at home mom. A housewife. A homemaker. So retro! My feelings about my role vary dramatically.

After six plus years at the same PR firm I was feeling burned out, bored, and frustrated. I told myself corporate America was not for me. That I didn’t need the validation of a title and paycheck to feel fulfilled. So I am not working now, and my “job” is to watch my kid and do household-y type stuff. Mixed emotions abound.

Freezer contents for handy meal prepping

Freezer contents for handy meal prepping

“Stay at home mom” doesn’t feel like an impressive title. I’m a rarity, at least among my immediate friend group and broader circle of Seattle-based peers. I often feel in some way deficient: why didn’t a have a career worth continuing? Sometimes, being at home seems like my default because I couldn’t figure out something more worthwhile or sufficiently lucrative. Too often, I beat on myself over this. My negative mental loop reads something like: Anyone can watch a kid. Kids are resilient. A chimpanzee could do it. Avery doesn’t really need me-she would likely be better off in professionally trained hands. Etc.

Typical mom shit

Typical mom shit

As a feminist, I have some issues with my current situation. The fact that my husband works and I do his laundry feels a little gross and uncomfortable to me sometimes. There are gender issues at play here. Would my husband stay home with Avery if I had the more lucrative career? Why might it be an easier decision for a woman to stay home than it would be for a man? I am also leery of feeling fiscally dependent on someone else. And, I feel guilty for not contributing financially to our situation and placing that entire burden squarely on my husband.

Job perk: mediocre fast food milkshakes without judgment

Job perk: mediocre fast food milkshakes without judgment

Stay at home mom-ing can be really boring. Its monotonous and entails a lot of menial work. Sometimes I feel unfulfilled. I would like to think that I am relatively intelligent and have more to offer than wiping a butt and cutting food into small pieces. Achieving something other than meal planning and grocery shopping for the week would feel pretty good. I was driving to an errand the other day, passed a woman in a business suit and heels, and the gut stab of envy was palpable.

Other job perk: hanging out with this one

Other job perk: hanging out with this one

Despite all of this bitching, I also feel pretty lucky. I appreciate that I don’t have to deal with office related bullshit. I recognize that most people I know find their jobs stressful, or boring, or draining, or all three. I know that my ability to forgo working speaks to my privilege-most people have to work. Or, have to stay home because they can’t work and afford full time child care. The choice I’ve made is a luxury. And my crock pot skills have come quite a long way.

Minivans and Other Unsettling Developments

So I’m having twins this summer. WT fucking fuck? There I was at the OBGYN, knowing I was knocked up but expecting to see just ONE baby on the ultrasound. I knew the one anticipated baby would be challenging, given I already have a toddler, but I figured I could more or less handle ONE additional child and was generally excited. TWO babies, as the doctor quickly announced were floating within the confines of my uterus, is an entirely different proposition.

TWO. BABIES.

TWO. BABIES.

I have numerous fears and anxieties about this development, which I don’t really feel like listing here, because I am trying to remain positive and not let myself spin down a crippling panic vortex. Not productive! Basically, my current womb situation is a great lesson in learning to let go of what you can’t control. If you worry about an outcome and it actually happens (unlikely), you will suffer twice! Yeah, all of that stuff. I’m being really zen about this shit. At least right now. Check in with me later this evening when I’m sobbing to my husband and shoving Girl Scout cookies down my gullet (Thin Mints are for basics, btw. Team Samoas, Tagalongs and Dosidos all the way).

Not Helpful

Not Helpful

What Yo Do When You’re Having Two is a book I immediately purchased and read, because I am really good at impulse purchasing Amazon’s most popular PRIME eligible result for any given search string. It was very little help, do not buy this book. My two takeaways: 1. Since the author’s infant twins stopped breathing in her home a total of FIVE TIMES my babies will probably die. 2. A staggering 85% of twin mothers experience postpartum depression. So I have that to look forward to! Also, this book was completely devoid of helpful advice for parents how already have one (or more) children and are expecting twins. Instead the author made really supportive statements like “if you already have a child and are having twins, you deserve a medal!” Wow, thanks so much. I’ll keep that mind when I’m having a complete nervous breakdown in about nine months once I’m dealing with two newborns and a two year old. Amazon fail!

Can we get this one? Via amateuridiotprofessionaldad

Can we get this one? Via amateuridiotprofessionaldad

Anyway, in other fun news we’ve decided to purchase a minivan, which is something I had always sworn I would never, ever do after becoming a parent. But following much debate and some tears (who cries over minivans? Pregnant me, apparently), I’m pretty sure it’s the sensible thing to do. I think we are getting one with AWD and leather seats at least, so maybe we are still a little cool? Ugh, I really just typed that.

Holidaze

Look at me, posting two weeks in a row. Impressive, I know.

I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit, which means decorating, overeating, non cheesy Christmas music, and wine. Good times!

tree

Although she won’t remember this holiday season, Avery will be able to enjoy it at least a little bit, as opposed to last year when she was pretty much just a lump. In holiday experiences thus far, she was pretty into the cookie I let her sample. I think we will skip the Santa photo ordeal this year because I really don’t feel like dealing with it, but we may go check out the gingerbread houses at the Sheraton.

Yum

Yum

Back to the cookies: if you like ginger, these are amazing. I made them and then ate an embarrassing number of them in one day. Then I tried to get my husband to take the rest of them to work, but he wouldn’t, so I hid them in the pantry to protect me from myself. #issues.

In other news, Avery is now napping once a day in the afternoon, which means weekend brunch is back on the agenda. Including brunch at Fat’s Chicken and Waffles, which we can walk to from our house.

Hell yes

Hell yes

Look at that amazingness. Highly recommended when you want what our household refers to as fatbrunch. Avocado toast/brunch salads/green juice = not an option here.

tea

To combat the cookie binges/superfluous gravy consumption/excessive wine drinking going down as of late, I’ve really upped my tea game and have been trying to swap wine and dessert for tea several evenings a week. These are all pretty delicious and as a bonus, I can take them to bed without risking crumbs and the wrath of my husband.

Mom Hacks: How To Not Look Like Crap

I wear a form of stretchy pants at least four out of seven days in any given week so maybe I’m not the best person to give advice on how not to look like shit. I also wear sweats, as in a legit men’s sweatsuit composed of a matching hoodie and extremely baggy pants. Point being, I’m not here to judge anyone.

I do, however, notice that when I put a small amount of effort into my appearance, I tend to feel better about life. And I do mean a SMALL amount. Here are some things I try to do when the showering once a week and wearing pants I slept in routine starts to wear me down.

Pants that aren't stretchy! They do have holes tho oops

Pants that aren’t stretchy! They do have holes tho oops

Easy Swaps
I am a ride or die Ugg wearer, deal with it. Uggs are easy, comfortable, and I actually like the silhouette. Yet sometimes real shoes are a good idea. So I bought these Chelsea boots from Nordstrom:

SHOES

SHOES

Stylish but painless to wear: they pull on. Not suede, so they won’t get totally fucked in the Seattle rain. I try to swap out my trusty Uggs for them a couple times a week. Other possible easy swaps I try to make when I am feeling dumpy: oversized sweater instead of sweatshirt, a more structured legging rather than my ratty old ones, throwing on a real coat instead of my husband’s parka. Baby steps.

Avery wreaking general havoc per usual

Avery wreaking general havoc per usual

The 15 Minute Rule
I’m the one who gets up with Avery in mornings. My husband works, and I’m home, so that’s just the way we roll. But I’ve started forcing dadpants to get up with enough time to allow me a brief stint to myself so I can get ready for the day. Being able to shut the bathroom door and spend some time on myself without needing to simultaneously prevent Avery from flushing the toilet repeatedly, accidentally ingesting toothpaste etc. makes a lot of difference in terms of my AM mindset. Bonus for everyone: I actually brush my teeth in the mornings now! And sometimes even floss them.

Kate Moss is my #momgoals

Kate Moss is my #momgoals

Embrace An Aesthetic That Works for You
My goal is cool rocker/tomboy mom. This is really easy because all my clothes are gray and black anyway, and my hair looks like crap so I can wear beanies and it works. I can throw on my trusty leather jacket over black yoga pants, maybe wear an ankle boot, and I have created an easy, comfortable, practical getup that also makes me feel like a decent human being. It becomes a uniform and then I don’t really have to think about it. As an overthinker, not thinking about shit sometimes is clutch for my sanity. If the rocker/tomboy mom isn’t you, there are a million other ways to go. Bohemian? Maxi dress and cardigan or army jacket. Glamorous? Knee high flat boots and hoop earrings. I’ve also found little, easy additions like a couple rings, or a scarf, or a cuff bracelet can help me feel more put together. Also, everyone knows this already, but dry shampoo. All day every day.

Summer Smoothie + Cocktail Deliciousness

I made up and created not one but TWO delicious beverages within the past 24 hours. Pretty impressive for a busy mom on the go (shoot me in the face)! I’m sure my award will be arriving in the mail shortly.

Smoothie fixins. Thank God new house has subway tile for my super profesh food shots.

Smoothie fixins. Thank God new house has subway tile for my super profesh food shots.

I drink smoothies for breakfast most summer mornings. Quick, healthy, tasty, and I fucking love drinking things out of straws so this habit gives me an excuse to buy them. If you keep a decent stable of ingredients on hand it’s pretty easy to keep your smoothie game interesting. This one was a winner. I was so obsessed with it that I texted my husband “I just made the best smoothie in the world” to which he replied “maybe at the time.” Rude!

PB and J Smoothie

Blend together for one smoothie (I used a Vitamix, you might want to omit the chia seeds if you don’t have a high speed blender):

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or similar)
½ frozen banana
3 frozen strawberries
1 medjool date
2 TBSP peanut butter
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 generous dash cinnamon

And now for something boozy. Balance! This next bev is still pretty healthy though, and really refreshing. Fruity, without being too sweet.

Yellow watermelon, you so fancy!

Yellow watermelon, you so fancy!

Watermelon Margarita

Serves two

Crush a cup, ish of watermelon in a cocktail shaker (I just mashed the shit out of two triangular shaped slices with a spoon-I used yellow watermelon but red would also be just dandy)

Add to shaker:
Handful of ice
3 oz silver tequila
Juice from two limes
Dash of orange juice (you can also use triple sec but I am too cheap to buy Cointreau and I think cheap triple sec tastes skanky)

Shake, shake shake and pour into your glasses of choice.

Delicious though I must admit that I probably won’t make it through summer without consuming one of these at least once.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Sometimes you buy a house and then start renovating it and then are on a budget and have to stop buying clothes for a while. This seems more bearable given that it’s summer and I can get away with wearing the same maxi dress and my trusty Birkenstocks constantly and pretending I am bohemian chic when really I just am unshowered with messy hair. I’ve been really good about not doing any shopping, but, per usual, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is calling to me. Damn you Nordstrom! Here is what I’d be buying if not for my self imposed shopping freeze.

Vince coat
Jacket

I “need” a new coat for fall/winter and I’m feeling this one. I like the drape, I like the length, and I like that it could be dressed up or down. Even though as dressed up as I am likely to get all winter will probably be a sweater dress or actual pants in lieu of leggings.

rag & bone ankle bootie
Shoe

I think it’s time to upgrade my $30 super cheap looking “vegan” leather ankle booties. I may even opt for a camel or gray bootie. I’m trying to venture beyond black, into the exciting world of non-black neutrals. Baby steps. Color still kinda scares me.

Rebecca Minkoff satchel
Bag

I haven’t purchased a new bag in a couple years, and my most recent bag purchase entailed a faux leather (aka plastic) tote from Urban Outfitters that I use as a diaper bag #momglamour. A mom-ish but stylish bag would be a lovely fall purchase. Even though the bottom would no doubt soon be blanketed with stale Cheerio dust and other mysterious, vaguely disgusting substances. This Rebecca Minkoff tote could stash a fair amount of baby crap but also looks pretty cool and isn’t black. A winner!

Back At It

Apparently I’ve taken a casual 7 month plus break from blogging. Babies are hard! Also, we moved, which was somewhat of a debacle (hot tip: avoid taking out a Chase Bank loan if you can help it). Those are my excuses.

Nine Months Old!

Nine Months Old!

Avery is now 9 months old, and as of last week, crawling. Scary! She isn’t very fast, yet. And she hasn’t tried to stick things in electrical outlets, fall down stairs, or pull over furniture, yet. Phew.

I have been feeling the need for a creative outlet so I’m going to put forth a solid effort to blog at least once a week. Hopefully not just about baby related what nots. Maybe some exciting home renovation updates, too! A couple dudes are hammering away upstairs as we speak.

Anyway, happy summer even though Seattle has been shafting us in the sun and heat department for the last month or so. Here’s to a reinvigorated blogging effort.

Baby's First Trip To Lowe's (jk, this is like her tenth trip)

Baby’s First Trip To Lowe’s (jk, this is like her tenth trip)

National Napping Day

I’ve never been a napper (unless passing out in front of the TV at 9PM counts- I’m really good at that). During the first sleep deprived months after she was born, I sucked at napping when Avery napped. Her naps were incredibly inconsistent for at least three months so it was hard for me to really let go and sleep because I knew she could wake up at any moment.

Now that Avery *usually* wakes up only once at night and *usually* naps for about an hour at a time, I’m *usually* not a total zombie. However, I am still tired a lot so I’ve been thinking about cultivating napping as a potential new hobby. Just in time for National Napping Day, which is Friday, March 11 (maybe it should be moved to Sunday, March 13th since we all lose an hour of sleep the night before…ugh).

To celebrate National Napping Day, sleep startup Casper (they make award winning sheets, pillows and mattresses) has created a lovely Napping 101 tip sheet:

Casper_napping101_LRG
The coffee tip is kind of brilliant. And apparently my 9pm couch naps are a terrible idea. Also, naps should only be 10-30 minutes long, who knew? Just don’t tell Avery this, please…

Valentine’s Day with Verlocal

Valentine’s Day is sort of a dumb holiday. I’m not into cheesy baby’s breath-ridden bouquets, crappy chocolate or mediocre restaurant pre fixe menus. On the other hand, celebrating stuff is fun and it’s nice to have a reason to try something new and unexpected. Enter Verlocal, a platform that connects people through experiences led by locals.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.16.07 AM

What does that mean? You can use Verlocal to sign up for a wide range of classes and activities led by local experts. Verlocal is available in several major metro areas including Seattle, and there are tons of intriguing options. Pretty diverse stuff: cooking with cannabis, aerial yoga, and steelhead trout fishing, for example, are all on offer.

Verlocal

Several of the classes would be great for an unexpected Valentine’s Day date, actually. Hands-on Soft Cheesemaking perhaps? Cheese definitely = love. The Hands on Artisan Chocolate Making Class would be another great option. Or you could reenact that Demi Moore Patrick Swayze scene from Ghost in a pottery class. If your date has a sense of humor, you could sign up for Trapped in a Room with a Zombie: enter a room and solve riddles in order to escape…. or get eaten! Romantic!

If you’d like to check out one of Verlocal’s offerings, for Valentine’s Day or otherwise, use the code “Admirer” for a 20% discount on any of Verlocal’s experiences.