Circus flip

Just a little indoor living room fun for you (from two whole years ago!) Our house is quite literally a circus when we’re not outdoors. You might have to watch twice- it’s a short one!

Happy Thursday… it’s raining here. Again.

Dress That Mama

DSC_0076Happy July 1st! It’s the start of a fun month for us — visits from family, neighborhood parties, and at the end of the month, all three boys attend their school-affiliated summer camp. It’s also that time of the summer that gets very hot, so I often channel those hippie vibes, parting my hair down the middle and keeping it long and straight (though it often ends up in a low ponytail with flowers that Emil picks and insists I put in my hair), carrying a basket instead of a purse, and wearing plenty of easy outfits like this straightforward cut-off denim shorts/darker denim shell combo.

If I’m heading to a playground or to the pool with the boys, I switch out the clogs for flat sandals or slip-ons. Hope you have a lovely Wednesday!

A Darn Good Burger

DSC_0270Just wanted to share this really simple take on the cheeseburger that Andrew made this past weekend: season burgers generously with garlic, sea salt, pepper, and thyme, and grill at 400 for approximately 5 minutes per side. Just before removing, add a generous amount of goat cheese and allow to melt slightly. Serve on a brioche bun with a big handful of baby arugula. It’s just divine!

Shadows and Light

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We just spent the entire weekend together as a family, which was just beyond wonderful. This summer has been a strange one — Andrew finds himself scattered across the country every week, returning to us travel-weary and desperate for down time. We had plenty of that this weekend, not making any plans and doing as we pleased when the moment struck. The boys spent a great deal of time rolling around on the gym mat Andrew got for them to practice their tumbling and wrestling moves. It’s come in handy with all the rainy days. On this particular day, the afternoon sun was shining brightly and Oliver played in the light and shadows for awhile before Milo joined him.

DSC_0174DSC_0180DSC_0199DSC_0206DSC_0208DSC_0214DSC_0225DSC_0228DSC_0230This coming week I am looking forward to seeing my sister and nephew again on Wednesday, then the lovely Annie (Andrew’s sister-in-law), Reina, and Liam as they come stay with me over the fourth of July weekend (Andrew and his oldest brother Billy — by the way, happy birthday, Billy! — are traveling for cousin Jude’s wedding so we’re joining forces). It’s good to look forward to these things. There’s just nothing better than family shenanigans!

Happy Monday to you!

City Museum 2015

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These three boys filled up their sticker chart (more on that later today), so they earned their choice of fun trip… of course they chose the City Museum! It never ceases to amaze me, this place. We find new areas every time we go, and we go infrequently enough that there are sometimes new exhibits open that didn’t exist before. They really are always building.

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This time Emil surprised me by finding an extra lot of courage in his three-year-old body — sliding down steep scary slides, exploring dark tunnels, and climbing up higher than ever before. He doesn’t seem to know he is still little. Luckily, Milo and Oliver (and I) were all there to keep a close eye on him. We had a blast. DSC_0299DSC_0326

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Dress That Mama: Shaina Mote

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I’ve been admiring Los Angeles-based designer Shaina Mote and her flowy, artistic dresses for about a year now, but had yet to own one of her pieces because pulling the trigger on a pricey dress can be a hard investment. So, as I usually do, I kept an eye out and waited for a good sale. This time, I snatched up the Tie Dress in black cotton for half the price and am so glad I caught it! It is a beautifully designed piece of clothing that can be worn many different ways, which is the point of Mote’s design philosophy:

In an effort to curb the mentality of fast fashion, we aim to provide sleek, transformable staples. By giving new options to the wearer, such as: a new way to tie, a reversible quality, etc., the hope is to increase the ways to wear the pieces over time and encourage less waste on the whole.

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My favorite way to wear this dress is with the two long ties hanging down on the sides; the arm holes are quite low, so I wear it with a discreet black tank bra (aside: I see the irony in linking to a decidedly fast-fashion site after just endorsing slow fashion, but I have had this bra since college and thus feel I can endorse its quality!). I like that this dress gives just the slightest peek of skin on the sides, while being modest everywhere else. I think it’s sexy in an understated way. But if you prefer not to show any skin, you can tie it accordingly. DSC_0139DSC_0145

Shown above, tied simply in the front up high, or below, tied around the back once and again in the front for a wrap-around look. A bow would look pretty and feminine too!
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I got rid of my one other loose and long black cotton dress to accept this one into my wardrobe, where I plan to layer long and short sleeves under it, or with a sweater or scarf when the weather turns cooler this fall and winter. The other carried me through Oliver and Emil’s pregnancies, so it was quite worn and stretched. If you are an expectant mom, be assured that this dress has plenty of room and gentle billowy layers to accommodate a growing belly. It would also be perfect for breastfeeding, as the neckline is lower and the fabric has a good bit of stretch. All around, just the perfect versatile dress. DSC_0158

And Emil agrees (he took the above photo)… DSC_0170A good pair of sunnies is a must (though can you believe I used to have a strange aversion to them?)! Also, time for a haircut for Emil, no? Holy smokes, it’s a bad one.

Reading…

DSC_0004The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton

 My dear and talented artist/writer/mama friend Maggie pressed this book into my hand while at her son’s birthday celebration (a moment that followed much laughter about our two blond-headed boys wearing the exact same Good Times pineapple tee shirt at the party and looking eerily similar from afar) and alluded to its interesting nature. I couldn’t wait to read it, and started devouring it any chance I got. Turns out, I LOVE it! I’m nearly finished and would highly recommend it, though be warned it is set in the late 1600’s in Amsterdam and both the plot and the weather are maybe more fall/winter-appropriate. But hell, reading about a cold dark winter and all the magic and surprises that happen within its confines during a hot and humid (albeit rainy) summer? It can work. And it does!

Go read this book! And thank you, Maggie!

Batty

DSC_0123On Friday morning, I awoke to Milo’s voice, full of wonder, not fear, calling “Mama! WOW! There’s a bat in our house!” Before my eyes were fully open, I was rushing downstairs, not sure what I was going to find, but not expecting the bat flying completely silently toward me as I came down the stairs. I’m not at all squeamish about most things, but flying creatures in an enclosed space is on my list of things I do not find cool.

I was (while ducking and trying not to shriek) really amazed by the lack of sound. Birds trapped inside make quite a racket with their flapping, but bats are eerily silent and unexpectedly graceful while flying indoors. After watching it fly downstairs, then back up again a few times, I got my bearings enough to realize I needed to contain it, so I slammed the door to our guest bedroom right after it flew in, then I jammed a towel under the door crack just in case.

It was at this point that I realized there were a few fears running through my mind: first and foremost, the memory of a recent podcast I had listened to about a young woman who was bitten by a bat and later developed rabies, the disease that is not only terrifying but fatal to humans once symptoms appear. Bats, of course, are known to carry rabies. DSC_0120

Once Andrew returned home from his workout, I sent him in to capture the bat. Of course, it had disappeared. Totally and completely goneAndrew told me I was “bat shit crazy,” that there was no bat in that room, and went upstairs to take a shower. I scoured the room, tearing every single thing out of the closet, pulling up the rug, looking into each fold of curtain, taking pillowcases off pillows, searching the radiator with a flashlight and broom handle, upturning and upending everything in that damn room before looking up at the air conditioning vent on the ceiling and thinking, “f*@^! That’s where you went!” 

Hours later, after a rip-off hour-long visit from an animal control guy that cost an arm and a leg and produced nothing but the sage advice, “You should seal that crack, and I can do it for about $1000,” I said a polite “no thank you sir,” and headed back inside, a feeling of dread arising every time I opened a closet or cabinet or dresser drawer for the rest of the day. That bat was still in our house and we had no idea where it was (it wasn’t, by the way, in the vent).

I kept searching, but couldn’t find the sucker. I went to bed that night feeling particularly itchy and nervous, half expecting to awaken to a bat in my hair, but too hot to sleep with the blankets over my head.

The next morning, Andrew happened to look down beside him while he was writing downstairs to see this little guy hanging out on the floor near the radiator (oh my god how did he get back downstairs?!!!). He was in bad shape, poor little guy, having been deprived of food and water for at least two days, so he was easy to catch. Andrew placed him on the back deck and we took a few pictures. I noticed he was licking up rainwater off the deck, he was so thirsty and weak, so Andrew poured a bit of water in front of him, and he immediately started drinking it. The pictures are so deceiving, because he only showed his teeth when he heard the click of the camera, he was so frightened.
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All five of us were gathered (at a safe distance) to look at this fascinating creature. Its delicate wings made of skin stretched over fine bones, fur that looks as soft as a lamb, tiny claws at the end of each wing joint, tiny needle-point teeth… it is such an oddity to see a bat up close during the day! We left him to rest and eventually he flew away, hopefully to safety, hopefully not quite as close as before, hopefully to catch the bajillion mosquitoes that have been thriving during our wet month of June. DSC_0098DSC_0095So while I am relieved this little guy is no longer in our house, we are grateful for the close-up education of this misunderstood little bat. Really, such a cool animal!