but first, a layover in chicago

super excited to be coming home to this guy today.
see you soon, red!


Sunday Sundays

huck waking up from a nap at church

Sundays are hard on me. Something about Sundays makes me super slaphappy. You too, huh? Yeah, I thought so.

It is Sunday evening and Blake is sitting on the chair and a half with his arm in a sling, telling us about his Robotics competition. He broke his collar bone last week while playing football and he is waiting patiently for our mom to finish making the traditional batch of Sunday Evening Nachos. Except she is making lasagna this time, because, well, who can know these things? (Lasagna = Italian nachos.)

"So, these kids sang the national anthem at the start of robotics and they couldn't really carry a tune." Blake has the kind of voice where everything he says sounds like the send-up to a punch line.

"Well, why didn't you sing it instead?" my mom asks, placing handfuls of spinach on wide, steamy noodles.

"Uh, I only know the bass line to that song . . ."

I'm holding Huck and he is whipping his head from speaker to speaker -- Grandma Jumie to Uncle Blake to Grandma Jumie to Uncle Blake. This is a new skill he picked up this week, intently following conversations, along with sitting upright, rolling over, and arching his back in frustration to get out of his car seat. I'm sitting on the leopard print barstool and my dad is standing to my right, and Sundays make us all slaphappy, have I mentioned that?

"Blake, you sing the bass, and I'll sing alto with you!" I say. Nothing is better to an old choir geek than singing with a current choir geek who also happens to like robots. It's a really dumb idea only both of us have just survived an entire Sunday, and Sundays make us all slaphappy, but I'm pretty sure I've said that.

"That's not the melody, Blake," my mom says after we finish the first line, and Blake interrupts the song to say back, "Mom, I'm singing bass," with an intonation only a sixteen-year-old can muster.

My mom decides to provide soprano, and my dad joins in and suddenly we've got a right proper quartet. I'm aware of how stupid this would look to an outsider (like, my husband). A former choir geek, a current choir geek, a former head cheerleader, and a former, well, whatever my dad was. Then we all hold the note grandly at the land of the freeeeeeeeee. My mom goes for the high note because that is just the kind of woman she is, and I place Huck's hand over his heart somberly for the home of the brave.

It's over and I'm wondering what all got into us to do that, when suddenly my dad is playing a raucous percussion on the kitchen island and Huck is looking terribly alarmed. I do my best to comfort him and hear Blake's sixteen intonation saying, "Mom, no. NO. Just--no." I look up to see my mom doing an old cheer routine to my dad's marching band impression, her arms pumping victoriously and her knees high in the air, as Blake looks away in sixteen-year-old embarrassment. Huck's eyes are the size of dinner plates.

"Grants Pass High!" my dad shouts at the end, and the oven finishes preheating. Ding!

Sundays make us slaphappy. I'm sure I've already said that.

life lessons

it is not very gentlemanly to bite a woman's boob.

you know, just some motherly advice.


this week on babble

a run-down of my mom injuries. i'm especially proud of "latch jaw."
this one is about how when you go to nyc, you don't have to pay full price to see the met. 
parenting in the suburbs is way hard.
car seats? on shopping carts? i need extra tall shoes out here.

we're about to sit down and watch a plethora of chick flicks in our jams with beef stew. it's about the girliest set up i could imagine. minus the beef stew. beef stew gets such such a bad rap though. what is so manly about beef stew anyway? i'm not buying it. i love beef stew. specially with peas. 

yesterday we took my little brother shopping and convinced him to buy (and actually wear) skinny jeans. excuse me. slim-legged denim. i feel like i pulled off the impossible. such a proud big sister.


moss moss moss rain! rain! mold.

Brandon is going to be SO EXCITED! I am posting today! With words! Sure, why not? Here we go and strap yourselves in, I am rusty!

I am in Portland, and if I were to do a spot-on impersonation of Portland, it would go like this:

"drip, drip, drip, mossssssssssss growwwwiiiiiiing."

Being in Portland means watching a lot of Kourtney and Kim Take New York. I constantly have to remind my mom which one is Kourtney. (Kourtney is my Kardashian. We all have one.)

"The short one is Kourtney. She's like the me-Kardashian."

"That one?"

"No, the tall one is Alex. Kim is the Amanda. You're the Kris."

"Does that make your dad the Bruce?"

". . . Yes."

Being in Portland also means torturing my baby for whole minutes at a time in the car and watching a lot of YouTube with Blake. It means that at any given moment, somebody is humming this.

And do I miss my husband? Yes. I laugh infinitely less often when he is not around. Does Huck miss his daddy? Yes, that too.

Being in Portland also means being in Grants Pass. Oh good, now I can talk about this part:

I have given it some thought, and I would like very much to be a minimalist. Doesn't that sound lovely? Like, in my heart of hearts, I'm all "One stripe-y shirt is enough, thanks. Who needs more than one necklace? I only have one neck!" In my heart of hearts I am very logical like that.

But I am a Maximalist. Like Jonathan Adler. Or rather and more specifically, like my grandmother Shirley Jean.

We spent some time Monday afternoon looking through my Granny Goose's collections of tablecloths. Some women collect stripe-y tops, other women collect tablecloths, who am I to judge? At one point my Granny Goose was showing us one of her many Christmas tablecloths, in a lovely cream and gold, which she purchased because "just in case I ever needed it." Have you ever used it? my mom asked. "No, but I just thought I should have it."

Half of my brain nodded at her reasoning while the other half of my brain recoiled in horror. That is my brand of crazy right there, passed down through the generations, the need to hoard $5 white v-neck tee shirts from the Walmarts and buy every stripe-y top under $20 because there is obviously no such thing as too many stripe-y tops only but sometimes I wonder, is all.

This was me as I was packing my bag for Portland, with my mother overseeing the endeavor:

"I will pack this . . . I will pack that . . . I will pack every stripe-y shirt I own because . . . wellllll . . . (cue my luggage being too stuffed for anything else) . . . oh bother."

A better person than me would be making some kind of life-altering decision here, but I am on vacation. All of these words that just flew from my fingers hurt my brains coming out. Physically hurt my brains!

Oh right I was going to talk about my farmhouse.

First, this. My sister Amanda is decorating a new house and I am tagging along for funsies except that all these cute things for houses that you can buy in the suburbs are totally hurting my feelings.

Home Goods? Let's not talk about it.

I happened to meet my soul mate of a very unrealistic couch today and my heart broke into a million pieces. She was a blue, high-backed floral lover with button-tufting and I cried, I did. And then I bought her,  imaginarily speaking, for my farmhouse. Do you have a farmhouse? I have a farmhouse. With a rusty green pick up truck in the driveway and chickens out back, and also a barn cat. Peter Pan is in love with the barn cat but she has no use for him, the poor soul.

While I was at it I also bought a free-standing bird house made of powder blue chicken wire for my farmhouse. And then I baked a loaf of bread which I planned to eat with my homemade lemon curd. And I made peace with my inner maximalist, and with all of the unnecessary seating arrangements I will someday have maybe, and with my too many stripe-y tops to ever wear in a lifetime, and with my Christmas tablecloths for just in case.

And then I texted Brandon back home in our tiny apartment, where you hardly have room to think a coherent thought:

In five years we are moving to the country. I'll need rubber wellies for this

And now, with no clear summary or point to this post, I am going to bed.


this is becoming a bit of a joke.


stuff to do in the city: wander

restaurant row, midtown
 east village
meatpacking district
west village


stuff to eat in the city: bubby's

on monday we had dinner at bubby's, because i have always wanted to have dinner at bubby's, and lately it seems like maybe it is fulfill-my-life-dreams times or something.

bubby's is in tribeca, and i never have any excuse to go to tribeca so i've only been there twice. and i love tribeca, because tribeca is the kind of place with cobble stones and quaintly crooked side streets, and it is what it is, but that is just the type of thing to make me happy.

{that is soo harvey weinstein back there. it's becoming like a thing for me}

{the tastiest snack at bubby's for sure}


stuff to do in the city: the central park zoo

polar bears
sea lions
tropic zone
penguins & puffins!

the central park zoo: in central park near east 64th street


this week's babble posts

 this week's babble posts, in case you missed them.

10 tips for new dads and the new moms who are married to them
a little ditty about my huckly's fatty fattiness
i wrote this one from an airplane
and then this one is about how i have anxiety related to playing music for huck.


stuff to eat in the city: tacombi

here's something fun to do the next time you're in new york city: go to the village, wander for a bit, get yourself hopelessly lost (i always get myself hopelessly lost in the village, it's a special talent), then go to tacombi for the chorizo breakfast burrito. it is so good.