Snapshot 06.25.14

– Hummy’s chicks, ceremoniously dubbed Glitter Snow and Glitter Feather by Isobel, are growing at a breathtaking rate. We are watching them grow, literally, before our eyes, as day by day they grow appreciatively larger. We chart this progress through our exclusive Hummingbird Viewing Window in our dining room or by sneaking peeks on our patio while Hummy is away gathering sweet nectar. She visits a few times an hour for just long enough to feed her chicks before speeding off again. I have hesitantly taken a few shots of the babies, all downy and snuggled into their silky spiderweb nest, but I’m always careful not to disturb them and to tune my ears to listen for Hummy’s motor-like wings should she catch me. Isobel really does not like me taking their photos and tends to shout, “Hummy! My Mom is doing something you wouldn’t like! Get back here!” I feel so honored we get to witness this.

– The three of us have been spending time in the garden every morning, while the air is still somewhat cool and insects buzz industriously around our pumpkin patch. The cats lounge near us lazily, stretching out on the cold cement, or they chase each other through the grassy flowerbeds. Isobel makes fairy houses, I nurse Elias, and we wait for Hummy and the resident bumblebees to make their rounds. Isobel and I usually spend some time in the garden during sunset, when the heat again has let up, to dig and wander around the yard, but mornings are my favorite. I never really considered myself a morning person, but they have quickly become my favorite part of the day.

– We signed Isobel up for two sessions of swimming lessons this year, and we’ve been trying to have her practice putting her face in the water, something she has loathed since she was a baby. Yesterday I told her I’d buy her a cake pop if she put her face in the water and she told me that she really can’t, sorry mom, because putting her face in the water would immediately cause her face to bleed. Sorry.

– Elias’s hair is so thick and dark that he even gets bedhead in the morning. I love it! I love his cowlicks and his wannabe curls and even the silly part my mother in law enforces when she watches him. Isobel was born with almost as much hair as Elias, but funnily enough, it quit growing. Her head got larger but her hair stayed the same so in no time at all she had bald patches that looked like this and this.

– Elias is three months today! His two month vaccinations and checkup appointment went really well. The doctor actually said he was perfect, and I heartily agree. He’s in the 75th percentile for length and the 35th for weight, so he’s on the long and lean side, which is typical for my family. He also hardly ever stops moving and has rolled over on his own already. I think the constant motion is one of the reasons why he’s lean–he’s burning calories all the time. Anthony and I were still surprised to hear this because to us Elias looks like a total chunko. But given his measurements, my baby is the human version of longcat.

– I spent the last week and a half plus feeling like I was getting Isobel’s cold while never actually getting Isobel’s cold. I feel like a came pretty close a few times, though. Anthony was not so lucky. He got sicker than I’d seen him in years, and we were particularly worried since he’s had pneumonia before and it was centered in his chest. He’s back at work now though after nearly a week of suffering. I’m just glad the baby didn’t get it and Isobel only spent one day or so in misery.

– This shot was from my maternity series, and while my memory of that time is still too vivid to miss being pregnant, I do miss doing outfit shots, so I think I’ll try doing more Thrifted Closets.

– Isobel calls the sling a “baby bag,” and refers to Elias as “Cuters” or “my little owl” given his coos sound more like tiny hoots than anything else. I sometimes call him my Squishy but more often refer to him as Easy E or Mr Wonderful. I love that she dotes on him enough to give him special nicknames. When she had the cold she was most upset about not being allowed to hug or kiss him. The other morning he was fussing in the bouncy seat while Isobel napped next to him on the couch. I heard her gently telling him it was okay, and that she was right there. She used a soothing voice and massaged his little head to calm him. I thought it was about the sweetest thing ever until she said, “Quiet down now, brother. I want to nap.”

Follow Friday: Gravitron. Lovely photos, hilarious tweets.

Snapshot 06.18.14. Isobel’s favorite mop thing, picture attitude, and there is a doctor in the house.

My Unruly Garden: Hummingbird Friend.Meet Hummy, our resident hummingbird, who has made a nest on our patio.

Productivity Creepin’: Tips for Working at Home with Children. Notes from a survivor.

Scrapbook: Father’s Day 2014. My children and I are so lucky to have him.

Little Big Collections: Gifts for Cat Lovers.The newest sponsor spotlight feature.

Follow Friday: Summer Pond. Lovely photos, hilarious tweets.

Challenging Fat Stereotypes. Not all overweight people have diet or exercise problems. Via @micnews

My prestigious Literary Novel. Tell me again how I should be embarrassed by YA lit. Via @redsesame

6 Science-Backed Ways To Make Better Decisions. Some of these I never considered before.

Have you seen the Craigslist personals twitter account? You can’t make this stuff up.

Luigi’s Death Stare Video. Nintendo gave Luigi the bitchiest face for Mario Kart 8. Via Stefanie

Rainbow Cake Inspires the Comment Apocalypse. The internet can’t have nice things, but somehow, that’s better. Via Laurel

How to Make Pancakes in Your Rice Cooker. More cake than pan. I’m intrigued. Via Jess

How Long Could You Survive In Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet? As a friend once memorably said, “I can’t survive the apocalypse. I’m soft.” Via @helgagrace

Things an adult should actually be embarrassed to read. Firm believer that #3 is an especially heinous crime. Via @catagator

Scrapbook: The Moron Twins. Life with new kittens Poppy and Jupiter. (Spoiler Alert! They are still morons.)

Scrapbook: Isobel’s Nicknames. She gave herself the nickname “Isi,” and we still sometimes call her E-bell.

Follow Friday: Harajuku Isobel. It’s not really called that, I just gave it that name based on Isobel’s outfit. This FF is so old school I hadn’t gotten around to naming them yet. Still extremely hilarious, though!

Scrapbook: Not Cool, Dad. Isobel is not okay with Dada hugging baby Kingston. She has inherited my Look of Death, and she is not afraid to use it.

Scrapbook: Congraduations, Jake! Party. I keep writing about Jake lately. (That’s because he’s awesome.)  Little Big: It’s the Jake show! This post is mostly photos of baby Isobel and even-babier Kingston.

Scrapbook: Farewell, Sweet Peach. I love you, Peaches. I love you forever.

My Unruly Garden: The Patio, Before. Sad photos of my patio.

Home Movies: Isobel & Poppy. This is still my favorite kitten and baby video ever. So cute.

Snapshot 05.28.14

– So we’re settling into our new life as a family of four with Anthony back at work and me back to slingin’ poo in diaper mines. The thing about being alone all day with a five year old, an infant, and five cats is that everyone needs something, desperately, during the exact moment that everyone else needs something. I’m on an endless merry-go-round of diapers-cuddles-nurse-sandwich-take me potty-let me out-let me in-pet me-change me-play with me-rock me – fold the laundry-water the garden-get the door-answer email- play with me-play with me-play with me-play with me – now now now. Someone is either fussing, meowing, or grabbing my face and asking, directly into my ear, are you ready now? will you do it now? how about now? I’m functioning pretty well considering I’m low on sleep and often don’t have a chance to eat. It’s remarkable how often eating breakfast gets pushed back until it can be called lunch –or sometimes, dinner. I thought the big challenge would be lusting over time to myself or lamenting the lack of showers in my life, but those things have been manageable. I’m not sure if it’s easier this time, or just less of an adjustment shock, or if I’m somehow better at this, but rough moments aside we’re doing pretty well overall. Frankly, better, much better, than I expected.

– I’m always careful to nurse on both sides to ensure my milk flow is evenly distributed, so imagine my horror when I looked in the mirror and saw one boob looking noticeably larger than the other. After a moment’s freak out I realized I had shoved both nursing pads into the same side by accident.

– Today is my Dad’s birthday. We gave Elias the middle name of Lars to celebrate his Papa, and he is such a sweet and easygoing baby I wonder if he might have some of my Dad’s temperament, too. That would be a wonderful. My Dad gave me my love of the bizarre and strange, my aptitude and appreciation of music, and my long legs and bird feet. I’m so proud that he didn’t give up in the face of his alcoholism and came back even stronger than before.

– I had a gift card for Jamba Juice that had been languishing at the bottom of my purse for a year now (I have a tendency to hoard gift cards, worrying that if I use it I will then face an emergency that only a gift card to my local strip mall can prevent). I ended up having to take the kids with me to the AT&T store to fix a problem with my phone and I dreaded the kind of meltdown waiting forever in such a boring store would induce. I promised Isobel a reward of a Jamba for good behavior. While we waited she saw them prepare a shot of wheatgrass for a customer and watched in horror as he drank a green potion that was essentially the same thing she’d created dozens of times while playing “mud cook.” Except it wasn’t, not really, I assured her, though I could tell by her face she remained unconvinced. As far as she was concerned this guy just drank a child’s teacup worth of lawn clippings.

– My sister is in town for an all-too-brief visit. She lives near D.C. with her husband and animals and flies out as often as she can, which is usually once every other year. She timed this visit to coincide with the birth of her new nephew. My sister lived with us for about two years and during that time Isobel grew up with her always around. She always brings a ton of gifts for Isobel. This time Auntie T came bearing a copy of Frozen, which although she didn’t like it at first, grew on her. She’s only seen it three times total at this point, so she doesn’t really know any of the songs, but I caught her singing, “It’s cold! So cold! It’s really cold now! Snow! Cold forever!” and I’m pretty sure that was her ode to the movie.

– As of last weekend, my cousin is officially a doctor! I’m going to have to call her Doctor Liz now. My whole family could not be more proud of her and all the hard work it took to get here.

– Last week we opened two fantastic presents from twitter buds Keli and NatalieJannette. They both actually arrived a few days before, landing on our porch with a satisfying thud-thud, one after another, but Isobel’s room was a disaster and I wouldn’t let her open them until the situation had improved. I stuck them in the laundry room for safekeeping and totally forgot about them until Keli messaged me. (I’m slightly concerned my case of Mom Brain might be fatal.) Each gift contained something wonderful for Elias (handmade burp cloths! adorable onesies!) and a sweet present for big sis. It was so thoughtful and really kept my spirits up during a hard week at home. Thank you so much for thinking of me, friends.

– I’m having camera troubles. Yet again. This time it’s not worth it to send it out for repairs. I’m using the same old Canon Rebel that I got back in 2005. It’s seen heavy use and more than its fair share of adventure. It might just be time to move on, no matter now sad this makes me.

Follow Friday: Night Drive. Experimentation with sticking my camera out the sunroof of a car at night and the funniest tweets of the week.

Snapshot 5.21.14. Making a Big Decision, exploiting our high-fiveing cat, and Things That Make Me Vomit news.

Scrapbook: Babyface. He is so great you guys. So so so so great.

Thrifty Giving: OMG Shoes & Cigar Smoking Bears. “Only you can prevent forest fires, Angela, because we sure as hell aren’t.”

Scrapbook: Home Life. Ten photos of home.

Sponsor Spotlight: Little Big Bazaar. These are a few of my favorite things.

Keyboard Cat does Miley Cyrus. The highest, purest use of the internet.

Remember when i drew this for a robocop colouring contest? By Jenny S, Age 33.

Single Page Book Poster. Ooh, neat. Did you see this, Ellen? Via Laurel

Light a dandelion on fire and you will see this. Beautiful. Kids, don’t try this at home. Via KateHudkins

Complete 2014 Astronomy Course Online. Could this get any better? Oh yeah – it’s free. Via exploreplanets

How To Goodbye Depression: If you constrict anus 100 times everyday. Malarky? or Effective Method? An actual title of a book found in a library. (Maybe that’s why I have depression. Not enough ass play.) You need to see this post by Awful Library Books.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images into the Public Domain. What a fantastic resource. Via @schmutzie

Drunk Fish Convince Sober Ones to Follow Them Around. “We’re going streaking!” Via oodja

Dragon Hoards Are Full of Legos, Plushies, and Video Games. Via mrdesat

Here’s What a 30,000-piece vinyl collection looks like. I love libraries of all sorts. Via vinylhunt

Missed Connections for Assholes. “I wish you could literally not live without that salsa, because then I would take it from you.” Via The Very Nice and Well-Mannered Ellen

Wear your Instagram shots on your sneakers. I’m curious about how this will turn out.

24 Times Cards Against Humanity Was Too Real. This is a Buzzfeed article, I know, but it’s great anyway. Via Angela 

Greenwashing: A Primer for the Home. Want to help the Earth? Avoid getting tricked by business with these tips.

Snapshot 05.29.13. Eating my way through the multicultural food at Isobel’s preschool potluck, Poppy’s locked in a garage adventures, and a decade of marriage.

Recipe: Peanut Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables. Perfect for summer.

Scrapbook: San Francisco Day Trip. Happy with how these photos turned out using just my iphone.

Thrift Store Gore: Sexy Cows. We live in dairy country. Our thrift stores are always filled with bovine horrors.

Reuse Roundup: DIY Heart Clip. My people use all parts of the hair accessory.

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