Happy Friday!

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Image via The Ugly Volvo

I just came across The Ugly Volvo’s post Why You Should Never, Ever, Get a Tattoo According to My Mother (but Having a Baby is Fine) and laughed out loud at some of the reasons (especially the part about wanting to erase your three-year-old with a laser some days, and the part about tattoos ruining your body). Check it out for a good laugh, along with this: Enjoy it. Because it Goes So Fast (In Illustration) reposted from Cup of Jo.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Around the House

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The first week of the boys’ summer camp, I could not bring myself to start any of the many projects around the house that make up the coffee-stained two-page list that sits, yellowing, on the kitchen counter. Instead, I found myself embracing the kind of relaxation only afforded to actual vacations: going out to lunch with a friend and drinking a beer in the middle of the afternoon, going to Bar Method classes every day, reading, lying by the pool (something I have never, ever done since having children), eating soft serve ice cream, and reading some more before picking them up. It was decadent, but needed. It was the first time I did not feel guilt about my lack of productivity this summer. But a good week-long rest was all I needed!

As soon as Monday came around, I found within me a flourish of energy and motivation and even inspiration. I finally repainted the scuffed-up, outdated living room (5 years of wear and tear from three little someones), including all the trim and windows, repaired the built-in bookcase shelves, repainted those, and rearranged a bit. I think it feels so fresh and bright in there now. DSC_0075And now, with white paint on my mind, all I can see is every window, every inch of moulding, every step, and every door in this house that needs to be repainted. Ugh.

But I also took a few photos of things around the house these days. Lots of green (unfortunately for our garden, the only thing that didn’t drown during the solid month of rain in June were our tomatillos and cucumbers), lots of little messes that I’ve come to embrace. The boys have become so creative in their play; they combine materials such as legos, magnatiles, and dominos to create such complex and sweet games I can’t help but smile overhearing them negotiate the rules. DSC_0028DSC_0011

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Oliver constantly requests more origami paper and goes through it like mad. Emil is so into legos that he sleeps with a little lego man every night. And Milo just finished the first Harry Potter book after rejecting it outright exactly one year ago; this time, he’s all in.

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DSC_0775DSC_0010DSC_0023Things are really good around here.

Dress That Mama: Fringe & Denim

DSC_0031DSC_0036This is what I wore to a breakfast date with Andrew recently. Since the boys have been at summer camp and Andrew is back to traveling mode, we took a morning to ourselves to enjoy coffee and a shared muffin while sitting outside on a cool, beautiful summer morning. We had so much fun people-watching (it was a particularly interesting crowd that day, I still have no idea why), whispering and giggling, daydreaming about next summer’s travels (most likely abroad), and finally settling down enough to read for an hour. I just love that guy so much! DSC_0034DSC_0027I am particularly smitten with the fringe trend these days, but I prefer it to be on clothing rather than accessories (I don’t think I’ll ever love the fringe bags or purses I see, but do rather like it on necklaces). What 70’s-inspired clothing could you see yourself wearing? Ponchos (like this one or this one), clogs (I love the wine color of these Sandgrens) wide-leg pants (like these) or bell bottoms (like these), nice big sunglasses (like these), or long, flowery dresses (like this one)? Any? None? What decade inspires you these days?

Reading…

DSC_0539Some mysterious someone (identify yourself now to receive our gratefulness, if you are reading!) was so kind to send these two old school, early 1980’s amazing books: The Giant Jam Sandwich, by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway, and A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers, by Nancy Willard, illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. I very clearly remember reading the former many times in my childhood, so I immediately read this to Emil and Oliver on the couch. They loved it so much, they requested it again at bedtime!DSC_0540DSC_0541The illustrations are so great — look at the colors and clothing of these townspeople! Just fantastic. DSC_0543Emil in particular loves the storyline — how the townspeople come together to trap four million wasps in the middle of a giant jam sandwich (he’s afraid of wasps and bees). Also, it is written in rhyme. The singsonginess of it is just perfect. DSC_0547I had never heard of Willard’s A Visit to William Blake’s Inn, but was immediately taken in by the beautiful illustrations and poetry. We’ve been reading one poem a night before bed, and all three boys seem completely intrigued. I think the foreign-ness of the language is hypnotizing to their little ears and brains! It’s a beautiful book. DSC_0548DSC_0551DSC_0553Do you remember these books from your childhood?

Summer of Motion

DSC_0321DSC_0253They are perpetually moving, growing, changing, moving forward in this world, through time and space. To catch these moments and freeze them in time brings me a joy I can’t explain. I was there, this moment happened, and somehow it is now behind us now, yet here it is. In motion, yet still. DSC_0296DSC_0235DSC_0244There is something about photographing my children as they play that connects me to them, and to others in that moment. There is a desperation in it too, especially after I hold Emil’s heft in my arms every morning when he tromps upstairs to climb into bed with us and I am amazed, all over again, at his seeming to grow significantly larger every night while he sleeps (which, I suppose, he does).

It’s like that with all of them. I want to freeze Emil’s sweetness, hold onto the last remnants of Oliver’s baby face, halt the lengthening of Milo’s long lean torso and growing muscles. They are in motion in all ways possible this summer, their growth and change occurring before my eyes. DSC_0252DSC_0322DSC_0267DSC_0210DSC_0157DSC_0177DSC_0186DSC_0201DSC_0206DSC_0143This is the summer of motion.

Music Monday

Jarryd James — Do You Remember

Beck — Cycle + Morning

Beck’s whole Morning Phase Album is the soundtrack to this summer for me. The boys and I listen to it every morning in the car. Emil knows all the words (well, the ones he didn’t make up himself). It’s a great album and worth checking out.

Portraits

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DSC_0733I’ve been taking loads of pictures lately, and realized I’ve really missed posting weekly portraits of the boys. While I’m not interested in posting weekly again, I wanted to share at least these three, which completely speak to our summer and where each boy is at this very moment.

Milo: A perpetual learning and moving machine, he is teaching himself all sorts of tricks with the Chinese yoyo.

Emil: Still enamored by his oldest brother, and also as quirky as can be, he dons a costume most days, always accompanied by one boot, or one sock, at a time.

Oliver: The most moved and inspired by food, he associates every available memory with what delicacy was available at the time… here he enjoys strawberries and homemade whipped cream (which he helped to make) for dessert.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

Dress That Mama: Dirty White

DSC_0482DSC_0480Black, white, black, white… it’s the story of how I dress these days. Sometimes shades of white: cream, optic bright white, or in this case, dirty white. Cool, breathable cotton, never polyester, rarely linen (too wrinkly for me). This is my favorite thing to wear in the summer: a dress, flats, sunglasses, rings and a bracelet. Done. Throw on bright red lipstick if I’m going out at night, and that’s it! DSC_0479Ah, summer. I’ve been enjoying a little more time to myself this week while the boys live it up at summer camp. Errands, reading, baking, browsing books at the library, writing a bit, lingering at coffee shops and seeing friends during the day– it all feels like a nice treat, and then I pick up my boys in the afternoon who are sun-kissed and smiling, busy creating great childhood summer memories! It’s been a good week so far. Happy Wednesday!