Sunday lunch

This is not much more than to say that sometimes, eating out with kids is the most humbling, obnoxious, expensive, ridiculous act you could possibly conceive. And then, other days, it’s just the most fantastic mix of perfect, or just generally manageable chaos, which is pretty much the same given the circumstances.

Thanksgiving

So I managed to take (very) few pics on thanksgiving and one in particular that poor Kate happened to be super distraught during. So needless to say it was the realest. But we had a great day!—waking up slow, watching the parade, getting our dishes started (sweet potatoes, veggies and mac/cheese this year!) and a quick walk, all before heading up to be with family (and crashing collectively once we got home!). I love hearing how other friends and family celebrate and now fun to see the kids come closer to an age where they look forward to it all. Luke is so in love with this time of year already, keeping track carefully of what’s coming up, being first to wake up and shout happy whatever!

There are so many nostalgic moments for me, and it’s hard to ignore the warm flurries it still brings me. The older I get, I’m much more pensive as I process this time of year: as an adult, as it pertains to kids, thinking through what lasting ideals I hope will reverberate in my kids. There are bright wonderful spots that come with this time of year and also other qualities that can characterize it—loneliness, grief, inadequacies, comparison, greed, poverty. It seems better highlighted by the weather, the spending, the family dynamics or lack of them. In the height of a season incredibly full of a mix of it all, I want to make ways of giving, thinking outwardly, selflessness, generosity. So anyways, that’s been on my mind this season! I have a couple ways we aim to give back through the year and then this holiday. Curious what other people and families focus on!

We have soo much to be thankful for, any problems we face at this time are minimal in the grand scheme. With the fires and loss in play for many Californians this season, the value of life reverberates a lot more loudly. We are clothed, fed, warm, together, our kids are cared for. Above that, we have laughter, family, friendships and that definitely puts it over the top!

Bits and pieces

California has been in a heartbreaking state these last weeks, the smoke in the air is a constant reminder of how awful the fires have been. We are thankful things are beginning to clear a bit and praying the thanksgiving rain that’s forecast will stick, for the affected areas, the firefighters and so many families. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted it more 🙏

Tonight at bedtime, I had a sweet time watching Luke carefully put away all his animals into his bed, which don’t move too much except for cleaning days. He had a place for everything and the cutest, was wrapping up his snake stuffie in a little circle, as snakes do! He is so careful and thoughtful about certain things, and the things he’s picked up or simply knows always blow my mind.

I’m so ready for a thanksgiving feast this year! We are in charge of veggies, sweet potatoes and chose to add a baked pasta dish. The plan is: crispy bacon wrapped asparagus, sweet potatoes with crispy pecan topping and a four cheese baked mac (Gruyere, cheddar, jack and a little parm).

Kate is growing so much. While she won’t admit she’s turning 3 soon (“8” according to her!), she has shown her three-ness in all the ways. One one hand there is so much independence, there’s so much she can do all by herself and she loves to show us—hand washing, taking off clothes, putting on a bracelet, or backpack, or shoes, helping me in the kitchen, or raking, or getting into the bath. It her pure joy to see her satisfaction in these moments of accomplishment. And then again so much need is present too, in her little tasks and the adventure of doing things by yourself—opening a door, or turning off the water, or finding the stool so she can help, or actually helping to put things away (conceptually she’s in, ha), buckling up (though she can get *in* the van). And the emotion that comes when there’s something she can’t yet do is real (quite real, I tell you!). The ability and need is there, both at once, all together, and she’s growing right before our eyes!

Emma is so talkative these days and my favorite exchange is saying “hi” back-and-forth til one of us stops. She is standing so much right now, and takes steps with help but doesn’t seem too bothered about walking around. Every time she stands, she is so incredibly proud and smiles with a big open mouth, waiting for one of us to catch her eye and celebrate (which we do!).

I turned 31! It’s been a few years since my birthday fell on Election Day, which was definitely a focus of the day. Though my ultimate highlight was the beach time with the kids and an evening date with James. The weather was such a surprise, and was like a one-off summers day! The kids and I drove by all the beaches on our way home from breakfast and it was gorgeous, completely quiet and out of nowhere warm! We ran in the ankle deep waves together and stuck our feet in the sand til they disappeared. We all went home half soaked and I couldn’t have loved it more!

Everyone’s been a bit sick from smoky air, which is hard to complain about, so many have it much worse. The ushering in of the sick children season is always a jolt to me though. The switch from summer bedtimes and baths in the sunlight and minimal pjs to dark nights, decked in fleece wearable blankies, the nighttime juggle to lather and soothe sore throats and the endless sticky little bottles strewn across the counter (droppers, honey spoons, empty medicine capsule, the chest rub, etc). Once they’re actually to bed, total exhaustion always sets in!

I’ve been craving the funniest mix of things: eggs Benedict, broth and veggies with Ramen, soups in general, homemade cookies, sushi rolls or anything remotely close (rice, nori, etc) and holiday foods. I spent an embarrassing amount of time making Hollandaise sauce and poaching eggs last Sunday, while James was sick in bed and the kids ran amok. In the end of it it all, my sauce broke a little, though I still ate and scooped up every drop with a huge hunk of crusty bread. And before this post has anymore food in it, I’ll sign off!

Happy early thanksgiving to you!

Bring it on, baby FOUR

Wait what?!! It’s true!—we have another babe coming May 2019! We are currently preparing ourselves for a crazier existence than we already know come May. I began feeling some nausea in September and instantly knew. I was stunned! It’s one thing to conceptually know that you want something (though, maybe a little further down the road), but then, hello, here we are, it still shocked me. Though James was instantly ready! It took me a bit longer to tell people, because when you share your shock along with excitement, it sort of feels confusing. But as the weeks and months have passed, friends and family’s warmth and joy for us, along with the sinking in of it all, I am feeling blessed and extremely excited to meet this little caboose babe!!

We’re almost 16 weeks and I’m thankful to be out of the woods of nausea, for the most part, which didn’t stop whatsoever with the girls (sick til the end!). I am enjoying the relatively mild nausea, with fatigue and some migraines being the worst symptoms.

The kids are excited! Luke and I chat about it all the time, he wants a little brother 🙂 but he’s still got his four year old understanding of it all, hehe—were discussing it a few days ago, and we have been often and out of nowhere, he says “wait your pregnen (pregnant)??” Yes dear boy ha! Kate only talks about if the baby came out yet 🙂 she’ll just say worriedly, “is it coming out?!” Little Emma says “baby” and that’s all we have been able to discuss with her, so far! She is still my baby (though, aren’t they all!?) so I am soaking up her littleness (15 months right now) like it’s going out of style.

The kids will be 5, 3 and almost 2 when baby comes, and we can’t wait to see all the dynamics that come. If someone would’ve told me years ago that this would be what life looks like (surrounded by all these kiddos!) I would’ve probably never believed it!! But here we are, and so fully thankful, joy overflowing, enjoying the journey, riding the hormone roller coasters and baking all the cookies while we’re at it, heh. Here we go!

Baking and making, a list

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Five seasonal-ish recipes that I’m really enjoying as of late:

1) Morning glory muffins, hold me back! These muffins are an ode to a muffin that I’ve loved for years (this all sounds very odd..) which is the California muffin from Kelly’s here in town (a carrot apple masterpiece really). So I’ve been toying with this recipe and it is also (I won’t say equally, but certainly also!) very delicious.

2) Ree’s pancakes—mmmmm!! So even after having totally fumbled my version (applesauce is not the perfect egg substitute), they are still so delicious! We gobbled up all of our chunky cakes so effortlessly!

3) Kale sausage soup. This perfect autumn soup warms your belly with a deliciously seasoned broth, ground sweet Italian sausage, and tender kale and beans. Add a hunk of parm and crusty fresh bread and you are in soup heaven.

4) Thinly sliced pears and Point Reyes Bay Blue on a Sourdough baguette.

5) Apple, almond milk, peanut butter, strawberry smoothies (with a sprinkle of cinnamon)

Thoughts on a Wednesday

Oh Fall, you have finally made your debut. And here we are, burrowing indoors, concocting and doctoring soups and stews, gobbling apples from the backyard (as long as we beat the birds to them!), making every sunset an event, snapping pumpkin portraits with only the most impeccable lighting, chattering incessantly about the weather changing (somebody stop me!) and writing too, everything and anything. Continue reading “Thoughts on a Wednesday”

Bits and pieces

I love September. I love the beginning of a new school year, and not just for the fresh stationery. Every year, I blog the same details about how I dream of returning to class with my bouquet of sharpened pencils, side ponytail and new set of used books, covered carefully with cut up brown paper bag! It never gets old.

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks adjusting out of summer into fall mode. Kids tired from new schedules, trying to stay on top of chores, school supplies, laundry, side projects and beyond! I suppose I just didn’t realize how much re-establishing would be required, the kids missed their summer daddy time and taking each day as it comes.

They’ve done so well at the same time. Being in preschool is hard work, following a teacher all day, learning so many new motor skills and social skills.. I’m acutely aware that it’s wise to let this all take its time, especially for our preschooler Luke, keep honest expectations and celebrate each milestone. Kate has been missing her brother but is pleased to lead around sweet little Emma. Continue reading “Bits and pieces”

Emma at one year old

My goodness it is surely surreal to write that. And I’m sincerely wondering if being in disbelief over the pace of time or children’s ages ever goes out of style. I think not. That is the hallmark of adulthood maybe, that children observe you always going on about the swiftness of time.. well, here I am, I cannot believe Emma is ONE year old. Continue reading “Emma at one year old”

Kate at two and a half

I can hardly believe Kate is in the neighborhood of two and a half, plus a little more. These days with her range from the sweetest, gentlest moments to the most fierce, she is both all at once. She has the most thoughtful nature, always bringing everybody their belongings and wanting to be a supportive part of our family, and she so is!! Continue reading “Kate at two and a half”