(Long!) Weekend-ing 40

Thanksgiving happened!! And we roadtripped with the kids up to Vancouver BC to spend the long weekend with my best friend, Maris and her family. The end result was kid-palooza! And both Kamel and I talking about how much we LOVE to travel with our kids and wished we did it more often. More family vacations please. More more more.

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(That is real joy on my face after spending a really long time waiting for my to-go order before hitting the road northbound!)

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Our Vancouver airbnb was amazing. It was the perfect size and had a great kitchen, heated bathroom floors, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed running in circles all over it.

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When we got there, Gabe really wanted to document the place. So this next series of photos is all him. “Cheese with the movie!” (TV) “Cheese on the couch!” “Cheese jumping!” and so on.

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And then everyone jumped and promptly fell off the slipper odoman, so…

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The night before Thanksgiving was piling into Maris’s apartment with burgers and fries and all the babies.

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Gabe doesn’t sleep well alone in new places. So on vacation he usually piles into bed with Kamel and I if we have a king bed. This time around he got his own room, while Fae was in the packNplay in the master with us. Gabe was very excited that there were TWO pillows in his bed so that there would be room for one of us too!

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So I slept with Gabe the first night and Kamel slept with him the other two. Everyone sleeps, everyone is happy. Baby snuggles!!

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And then it was back to Maris’s where we headed out for a donut breakfast to kick off the holiday right.

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Exploring new playgrounds is one of my favorite things to do on vacation with the kids. It gets you out in the neighborhood, enjoying the day, and it makes everyone happy. We have playgrounded in Boston, Miami, and now Vancouver. Where will we playground next?

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Thanksgiving evening was total utter chaos. Because Thanksgiving with kids and babies and the cooking and the heat of the cooking and the children and the children and oh yeah the children… but it was chaos completely surrounded by love and family and the amazing spread Maris whipped up.

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Gabriel would not, could not stop talking about pumpkin pie. When will he get pie? Where is the pie? Is this the pie? Is it in the oven? Can he have it now? Why can’t he have it now? How about now? Is it pie time?

The whole time I had doubts as to whether or not he would actually EAT THE PIE because Gabriel… oh have you heard? DOESN’T EAT.

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He totally ate pumpkin pie. We all held our breaths and looked away and he proclaimed, “I’M TRYING NEW THINGS!….I get at treat because I am trying new things.”

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(Modern motherhood with my best friend, you guys.)

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The next day we had a relaxing start with bath time and Curious George before heading out to explore the neighborhood.

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(Classic auntie Maris, using her butt as an anchor.)

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In the afternoon we went to Kitsilano Beach Park and playgrounded hard.

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On our final day we made one last pitstop at Chez Maris for Uncle Alex’s Famous Crepes.

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And then… Maris and I literally ran to catch our booked sea-plane tour. Only to show up 5 minutes BEFORE the scheduled time and be told we couldn’t get on the plane because we needed to be there 10 minutes before.

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This is us after we watched our seaplane depart without us into the mist. Which probably caused a crappy tour anyway, so there.

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So we went on this super cheesy FANTASTIC video ride experience instead and it was amazing.

Meanwhile the kids were dry and warm, eating snacks.

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And then we drove home. And the next day we went to the zoo, which there are also photos of. But this post is getting to be literally a mile long so I will stop here.

I hope your weekend was fantastic and it somehow restored lost hope in humanity. Because yes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we are in Canada! On Thanksgiving! Hi, Canada!

I hope you all are having a lovely holiday with your families and friends wherever you may be. And if this is not a holiday for you, I hope you are have a really really great day.

It is now time for the customary list of Things I Am Grateful For. As is internet required. Ahem…

I am thankful for this house. I am thankful that house searching is over and that we landed in a home we can afford, that also has the space we need.

I am thankful for our lovely friends and neighbors, Laura and Byron and all of the help they have offered us since moving. The moral support and the lifting of heavy things, especially.

I am thankful for my parents! My dad for being such a good travel buddy in Mexico and for being adventurous and up for all of it. And my mom for helping us PAINT our DEN and repairing the drywall in my office. This year has been coo-coo bananas and we would never have been able to move without them.

I am so immensely grateful for my best friends and sisters. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the love that they show me and my children. For including us in your lives, for being my rocks, for being there to celebrate with me, and rage with me, and help me. I am so grateful to be living in Seattle and able to be there for their big life events, for their children, for their celebrations and rages and long walks and spontaneous dinners and nail appointments and all of the things. I love them very much.

I am grateful that after Kamel was laid off he was able to find a job quickly.

I am grateful for the health of my children. I realize that it isn’t anything you do “right” it is simply a toss of the universal dice.

I am grateful for my job. I love it a lot. I am doing something that I am good at and that I love and that I went to school for and for that I am so so grateful.

I am undeserving of your continued readership and that so many of you also tune into our podcast. Your continued support over so many years has allowed for a awesome community that I very much cherish. Thank you.

I have a lot of fear for the future. A lot of fear about climate change, a lot of fear and shame about the kind of America we have brought on ourselves. But! I am also incredibly fortunate and incredibly thankful for so many things.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Episode 29: Avocado is a Food

Have an amazing holiday weekend everyone! I hope this helps with any car rides you may be enduring. 🙂

When Is It Beyond Excuses?

I have had several conversations with people who assert that Trump supporters had a variety of reasons for supporting him, the major one being economical. I have talked to smart people I respect. I have read articles from smart people who know more than I do about the struggle the middle class is facing. I have tried to understand and empathize with the fact that we have forgotten the working middle class, the white middle class, the rural/coal/industrial middle class. I think that a large group of people do feel forgotten in regards to policy and politics. The world is moving forward and they are getting left behind. Coal is dying, if not dead. The reality is that we have to move on to other means of generating energy and that means a huge amount of job loss in coal mining regions. What I want for those people is a job evolution. I don’t know if that’s possible, but that is what needs to happen.

Anyways, that’s only 1 part of the problem. There is also the idea of values. I know many people voted for Trump because of his supposed stance on abortion. That’s a big issue for many people. I don’t agree with that, I will never agree with that, but being a 1-issue voter is a big problem. Unfortunately we vote for the whole package. It’s not always 100% what I agree with, but it’s always moving in what I view as the right path. That path is about inclusion, expanded liberties, helping as many people as we can, and pushing out policies and politics that are racist, bigoted, nationalist, and fear-based.

And though I find it very very hard to believe that those who voted for Trump somehow missed the rampant racism at his rallies, his disgusting sexual comments to reporters, about women in general, and in his past, and his bullying, inappropriate behavior – I do believe in the uninformed voter. The single issue voter who isn’t reading news articles online, who maybe reads only right-leaning opinion pieces poised as news, who lives in a fear based world where everything is a conspiracy. I’m wondering when we draw the line in the sand on understanding.

Ok you voted, you were razzle dazzled. I don’t know if I’m able or willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt in this information age. Even if you don’t agree with how the news covered Trump, the words coming straight out of his own mouth should have been enough to vote NO. But – I digress. Some people were sold false hope. Some people were in love with a bully that spoke for them. Don’t yell at the voters, angry liberal elite! They say. Yelling at them will only make the divide worse!

But at what point are there no more excuses for supporting him? 

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For those asking for understanding and empathy towards those who voted for Trump and for those who continue to support him, tell me when it’s ok to say that it’s wrong. When can I stop being understanding? Where is the line?

Even if Trump isn’t actively on TV giving a Hitler salute, a lot of people are in his name. If anything, he has lit a fire under an ant nest of white supremacists and neo-nazis and is doing jack shit to put it out. I’m not seeing Trump voters outraged about his cabinet appointees. I’m seeing a ton of criticism for demanding better of our president, I’m seeing a ton of criticism over protests. Where is the critical eye on the person in charge of pushing all the buttons?

And I do have a critical eye on those supporting Trump. A little less than half the country chose to ignore actual words and sentiments coming out of his mouth and hoped it was merely campaign rhetoric. It was a job interview! If you’re a person who is willing to ignore injustice, to ignore the worst parts of a person who is going to lead the free world, to ignore the treatment of those who disagree with him, to ignore his behavior on a public stage as he vies to represent an entire country…. if you’re that person, then I do look at you with judgement. I am holding you accountable. Saying, “Oh, I didn’t realize.” Is not good enough.

And for those pushing me to tone down my outrage, I will not.

**Edit, also THIS. 

Friday Happies

You may think with all of the normal life happening, the photos of children, the silliness, the podcast about my marriage, that we had our rage and then we moved on. Not so. It’s just that between educating myself and stoking the politically aware fire, between researching charities to donate to and booking airfare to DC to march with a lot of other women, life continues to happen. And it’s good. So it’s another week of small joys even when the wins aren’t so big.

Coconut La Croix. I was out of La Croix for about a week. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Dressing my kids. Why else have them if I can’t dress them up as I wish every day? One day this will end, but NOT THIS DAY.

Kamel and I got physicals this week. Like grownups! And flu shots! Now bring on the holidays and all of the people sharing gifts and food and germs!

Wearing winter hats. So useful when I am lazy with my hair, which is like almost every single day.

Hydrating face masks. I’m a convert. Totally obsessed. Turns out, they actually do make a big difference to my paper dry winter skin.

Fae sings along to things. 🙂

**It’s a shorter than usual list this week. My frustration and sadness keep creeping in about the world even when I try to focus on what’s good. What’s keeping you afloat?

Episode 28: In Sickness and In Health

The podcast has returned!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In this episode we talk about what it was like for us to go through a major medical event (not pregnancy and postpartum life) within our marriage. This is something neither of us have had a lot of exposure to. The photo above was titled “the face of troopers” and was taken the day after kamel’s surgery when shit was hard and stressful but we were making it happen!

In the episode I reference an article I read from the caregiver perspective. It’s really interesting and honest and you should definitely read it. It’s called What it’s like to be married to someone with two chronic illnesses.

Enjoy season 2 (yes we’re still at season 2), Episode 28!

Weekend-ing 39

Now we are all caught up! This was this last weekend. Another insane group hug of events. And I am so grateful for the friends and family we have in our community since moving back to Seattle. It is a huge joy in my life.

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(The kids are a constant loony tunes of rumble tumble)

We had a three day weekend because of Veteran’s Day, where Kamel had a day with the kids and I felt sad and left out in my office.

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Saturday morning was pancakes and a race to go grocery shopping and then off to get Gabe a haircut before the real event of the day occurred.

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(We had another 4 year old birthday party at the indoor play space!)

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(Happy Birthday Dominic!!)

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(It’s impossible to take photos of 3.5 and 4 year olds on the loose)

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(So sweaty)

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On Sunday we spent the morning at my goddaughter’s baptism! Ellen is a smiley, clappy, happy little chunk! And she did such a great job!

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The children couldn’t make it through the whole mass. Thank goodness there was a break in the rain.

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Post Baptism reception was a baby-fest if there ever was one. Gabe is really great with babies – to my great relief.

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(Happy Baptism baby Ellen!)

And then we went to Costco. Weekend complete!

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Weekend-ing 38 (A Week Late)

Weekending is coming back for a roaring return! Weee! Last week was supposed to be the re-launch, but … last week exploded. So today this is from not last weekend, but the weekend before. Before we elected a bigot and just an overall TERRIBLE PERSON to be our leader. [insert sardonic smiley face here]

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(Photo by Gabriel)

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I thought that November would be more chill for us after the whirlwind of October, but turns out – NOPE. Last weekend we went to our family friend’s birthday party at the local indoor play space!

weekending-38-124Hank turned four! We are now going to 4-year-old birthday parties. When did all of the babies grow up?

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Gabe was initially terrified, as is his hesitant-kid-way. But then quickly got into the fun of shooting nerf balls at other kids across a moat.

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There was also cake. The true star of the show.

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On Sunday we went to the Space Needle, via the Monorail – which Gabe asks to go on every day. Every single day.

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(The true essence of my kids)

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(THE TRAIN YOU GUYS IT IS HERE)

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(Gabe calls the Space Needle “Seattle” so we get a lot of “MAMA LOOK SEATTLE!” whenever we are driving around.)

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We have also been doing our best to be weekend warriors in yard work over at the house. Though we are equipped with very few yard work tools, we are doing our best. We bought a push broom and a very fancy rake. And have been trying to tackle the fall offerings of tree mess that is all over our drive away and backyard before it all goes to complete shit.

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I know we haven’t been awesome at showing you the “finished” product from our long and involved and much-moaned about house hunt. BUT WE WILL. For now, enjoy these scenes from our backyard.

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Gabe was napping so miss Fae got to wander about uninterrupted and actually help pick up leaves and sweep without her brother mowing her over.

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I live for these weekends. Even when I am so tired. Even when the world is darker and wetter and colder now. Even my little goobers skip naps and make me want to abandon them at a fire house.

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(Chocolate.)

Friday Happies

I need this every week for awhile. I’m also restarting weekending for more levity. Not that it means my vigilance in preparing for the onslaught of racism that is about to befall us all has waiver, just that sometimes I need to remember why we fight. So, here are my happies from just this week…

Daily Burn. I love having a new workout every day and it keeps me interested and motivated! PLUS finally having some SPACE for my tiny home gym in her den.

Making daily priorities lists for work and crossing that shit off. When I have a particularly amazingly productive day it feels awesome.

Craft beer. I love it.

Planning for lady cocktail dates! AFTER bedtime!

Slip on shoes.

Waking Fae up every morning.

Kamel going in and waking up Gabriel in the morning to have him come and snuggle in our bed.

Fizzy water. It’s a problem. I can’t quit you.

Trying to plan some future trips. Some for family, some for me, and please please please let me figure out how to get a true family vacation in there.

Pantsuit Nation. <3

**Tell me your happies. Let’s lift each other up.**

What To Do In The Face of #NotMyPresident

We have had our day of mourning. We cried at Hillary’s concession speech. We went to work pissed off. But now it’s the 10th and there is work to do. Don’t feel helpless or disenfranchised, push up your sleeves and focus on what can be done.

1.) Donate to Planned Parenthood

2.) Reach out to the people in your lives who are even more disenfranchised than you, let them know you see them and hear them.

3.) Buy a feminist t-shirt. Wear it. Give 0 fucks.

4.) Understand who the women are in the senate, follow them on twitter and facebook, write them letters, be proactive and support them.

5.) Support other women wherever and however you can. Here is a list of good organizations to help you do that. 

6.) Demand more for yourself and for others. Don’t get trapped in the default habit of being the primary caregiver for your kids if that is not what you want. Ask for a raise. Fight to not feel guilty when you need time for yourself and only for yourself. Don’t let anyone encroach on your seat on the bus. Take up all the space you can.

7.) Remember that people can change, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. It’s ok to draw your own line in the sand between you and friends and family who voted for ideas that are anti-YOU. Whatever that means for you is ok. It’s ok to say out loud that voting for Trump was both racist and misogynist. Because it was. You are not required to hold everyone’s hand and sing the national anthem after every election. And you don’t need permission to feel angry or say enough is enough. I’m giving it to you, but you don’t need it.

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Our responsibility does not start and end with 1 vote every 4 years. Educate yourself. Sign the petitions (the internet makes it so easy!), write letters (the internet also makes this so easy!), be loud. I’ve seen so many people boasting about “not saying anything political on facebook this whole election.” That is not something to be proud of. Be someone’s champion. Have convictions. Especially if you have friends and family who don’t agree with you. It’s ok to challenge people and it’s doable without being mean, we just need to practice.

We’ll have four years of practice.