– Although Isobel abhors nicknames herself she is very fond of assigning nicknames to others. Kingston turns into Kingsty Wingsty (and he loves it, for some reason), Poppy is Poppy-Woppy, and for a long time I was “Miss Meems.” I don’t even know where that came from but I’m pretty sure it’s not from anything we’ve seen on TV, and since we’ve been on the unemploymet budget Isobel hasn’t been back to school. I can only assume these names came from the same place her insistence on calling Hawk Girl “Waffle Girl” and chemicals “nerbils” comes from: the swirling vortex of creativity and confusion that is the four-year-old’s brain. Miss Meems has been dropped as of late in favor of calling me “Mimi Squeeze,” or just, “Mimi.” The squeeze part is because she likes to squeeze, or hug me, and because I am the most squishable one of the family, i.e. Anthony’s muscles and her boniness is not as fun to hug as my body’s fatty, squeezy, squishable-ness. On a recent thrifting trip I happened upon a cute maternity shirt in perfect condition that was exactly my size. I looked at the tag and it said, “Mimi Maternity.” I knew it was meant for me.
– Had another rough week, health-wise. Even though I tried to keep in mind that this is normal and these things happen, it was rough because I missed watching Anthony and some friends run in this year’s Warrior Dash plus a few Halloween get-togethers I had been looking forward to. All in all, not the end of the world, but I physically felt terrible and emotionally had a hard time with it, too. I think I’m also getting intense nesting urges and it’s so frustrating to be too ill to do anything about it. I was complaining to my friend Stefanie about how I felt like such a useless lump and she told me that I was not useless, I was just a lump growing another lump, and that was a freaking miracle. Very comforting words to hear, when you are a lump. Now that I’m feeling a bit better I’ve gone through and made a little schedule of things I want to attempt to accomplish every day. I’m not sure how that will work out but just making the list helped me feel better.
– Anthony has really made an effort to use his time while unemployed to greatest effect: in addition to what feels like hundreds of hours of job searching, resume writing, and interview-attending, we spend lots of time doing special things as a family. At the beginning of this summer, that meant little day trips with the family, but as the year has stretched on and family went back to work after a summer off (and since I am more or less infirm with pregnancy) he’s been doing things like building and playing Legos with Isobel and taking care of projects around the house. One of the big things he’s been concentrating on is our backyard. It’s a mess. It looks like it fell victim to some sort of scorch-and-burn policy, which, it sort of has, considering how hot it gets here in the summer and how ineffective our sprinkler system was. With the help my Dad and even Isobel they installed another sprinkler and replaced three more. Then they prepped the ground, and laid out seed so that hopefully next year it will be ready for Isobel, Smalls and I to have picnics on a lush, green patch of downy-soft grass. I was ready to pave it all over and turn it into a gigantic patio for entertaining, but Anthony wanted the kids to have some lawn space, so we compromised: we’re bricking over the gravel and weed disaster in front of our dining room windows and adding dwarf trees and potted plants. Our goal is to be ready to entertain during barbecue season next year.
– Isobel’s continued obsession with Legos is so fun to watch. She’s already played with her Legos more than she has with her dollhouse and my hand-me-down Barbies combined. As a rule I generally don’t like to spend money on toys. It’s a fool’s errand. I’ll willingly buy her something secondhand but I’m always bracing myself to find her more interested in a roll of tape or absorbed in a game involving all the fruit on the counter. She has been given toys for her birthday or Christmas that she’s forgotten even before she’s unwrapped them from their packaging. But Legos are the exception. Anthony’s mom saved a giant under-the-bed box of Legos from his childhood and since she was so interested in those we’ve been slowly adding to that collection. They are not a cheap toy but they are one she can both grow with and that will last. Hopefully Smalls will enjoy them, too. Of course the first time we took her to the store to pick out her first set of Legos she immediately ran to the Bat Cave and hugged it to her chest. I want this one! It was a hundred bucks – the most expensive set in the store! – so we managed to convince her to get a much, much smaller one. She really did want that Bat Cave so Anthony began a quest online and discovered that you can find different Lego sets very inexpensively on Ebay, so long as you don’t mind if some of the mini figs are missing. They are collectible so sometimes the seller will remove them and sell them as a stand-alone item, but since we already had a Batman, that wasn’t a problem for us! If you have a Lego addict in your house and you are on a budget, try Ebay. Isobel is still so young that she doesn’t care that it’s not in the original packaging–she just wants to play!
– I have been so spoiled since I’ve been pregnant. Laurel’s made me an endless supply of cookies (pumpkin, FTW), Justin Walton made me the most amazing sweet-tart lemon bars, and my friend Jenn recently had her Mom drop off not one, not two, but three jars of homemade jam. This comes right on the heels of us running out of homemade strawberry jam from Ellen and Ivan, so the timing couldn’t have been better.
– I want to use my crockpot more but I realized that I don’t have a whole lot of slow-cooker recipes despite my vast library of cookbooks. If you have any crockpot recipes that you love, please share! I’m all ears.
Isobel’s Thrifted Closet: Winter Dress. Found this gem while moving our files over.
Sponsor Spotlight: Little Big Bazaar. A few of my favorite things.
Thrifted Maternity Closet: Week 17. I look like a swallowed a vintage globe while thrifting.
Follow Friday: Tinkerbell. The funniest tweet of the week plus photos of my favorite cat ever.
Achievement Unlocked: New Computer! My retinas are burning from the awesome. I should probably adjust the settings.
Clown Gunmen Kill Former Drug Cartel Leader At Kids’ Party. I am including this link simply because it conjures up one of the most terrifying ways to die, and sums up nicely how I feel about clowns in general. I don’t feel bad for the guy, though, as a drug cartel leader I’m sure he was as nasty as they come. Via
Have a natural “Lotus Birth” just like the chimpanzees. “Many times I get asked, from where does Lotus Birth originate?” Since she cites no origin, I’m assuming it came from her ass. Via TheRedQueen
Young Migraine Sufferers at Higher Risk for Depression. LOL. I got my first migraine in the third grade. I was at a slumber party. It sucked.
Thrifty Holidays: Halloween Decorations. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Home Movies: A Little Birthday Music. Isobel sings along with one of my favorite Beck songs.
Isobel’s Thrifted Closet: Pink Elephants and Rainbow Stripes. Every morning Isobel looks in the mirror and tells the girls staring back at her she’s a winner.
Recipe: Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pear. When I worked at the library I would drive all the way to my apartment across town to make this sandwich for lunch. That gave me approximately 20ish minutes to make and devour the sandwich before I had to head back. Worth it every time.
Snapshot 10.23.13. All the news that’s fit to bitch!
Thrifted Maternity Closet: Good News, Inconvenient News. Photos? Yes. Outfit? No.
Scrapbook: Home Life. Ten photos of home.
I answer a reader question once a month. Do you have a question for me? I’d love to answer it! If it’s a short one I’ll answer it here. If it’s more complicated, I’ll give it its own post. You can leave your question in the comments, @-reply me on twitter, email it to me at email@example.com or send me a messenger pigeon. Don’t actually do the last one, though. My cat will eat it. Be sure to let me know if you want me to include your name and link to your blog or shop. Anonymous questions are fine, too.