When The Kids Wake Up Early

When the kids wake up early but they have both slept through the night it is the opposite of this. It reminds you of why you love the mornings the most and why you love living in the city. Death to suburbs. The city will always be where things are most authentic.

There is something about walking down a street filled with bars and restaurants and your shadow and the few shadows around you are long, but not because it is so late, but because it is so early. Just a few hours before this moment, the street was filled with people, buzzing people, looking for their ubers and lyfts, pressing each other against grimy buildings, limping in shoes that are too high and too tight and too fabulous. The flick of cigarettes and the under arm sweat from a stuffy bar or a busy dance floor being blown away by the night breeze. The honking horns and the yelling after friends or enemies, the vibration of strangers bouncing off of each other. There is something about walking along those streets in the early morning with just a few people within ear shot, just a few cars on the streets where there used to be many. The energy from all of that buzzing lingers in the quiet with the long shadows. If you stand still and put your hands out and close your eyes, you can feel it there, pulsing.

I love the city so much.

And I know it all happened because it was a beautiful night in Seattle, with a warm breeze after a hot, clear-skied day. And those nights here are more than electric. They make you forget every other annoying thing about this place. The long summer days that turn into summer nights while the sun is still up are worth anything and everything, you think. Even if that can’t possibly be true.

When the kids wake up early, but they are happy, and there is sunshine through the windows making everything yellow, and there is Brandi Carlile coming through the speakers it makes you want time to stop forever. We’ll just live here, in this morning, in this day forever and ever and be happy.

When the kids wake up early they go down easily for an early nap. And you get to linger in the shower, which didn’t happen until 12:30, and truthfully that isn’t even that bad. You make sure to get a new razor before shaving your legs and you even try out a new moisturizer. You stand in your closet naked and damp and think about what to wear. Do you even own summer clothes? They have to be in here somewhere. And you have time to flick through the closet, finding that maxi dress you completely forgot you even had, because the kids are sleeping soundly. You have all the time in the world.

This is so much better than leggings and a t-shirt, you think. I should do this more often, you think.

Sometimes you get a babysitter just because you should really do that more often, and you make plans with your partner to go spend the day outside, doing outside things in this beautiful summer weekend. (Can you even believe how fantastic this weather is?) But instead you go to a bar and sit on their patio with sunglasses pushing your hair back and you both eat tacos and drink micheladas at 3 in the afternoon like you’re so unburdened. You’re so free you don’t even know what to do with yourselves. It’s sickening and it’s fantastic.

When the kids wake up early and you don’t even mind because you’ve slept, your partner sometimes muses, “I think that consistent sleep might be even better than sleeping in.” And you think, “oh my god, duh,” but you say, “For sure.” And nod in agreement.

Okayest Traveler

I’m still trying to figure out how to properly send you to my World’s Okayest Moms podcast without hyperlinking you to all of the places. But there are only so many hours in the day. I would love to be able to host TWO podcasts here, so you could listen in a post (as so many of you do), but I haven’t (meaning Kamel hasn’t) figured it out yet. Sigh. So for now, I will link you.

The specific podcast I am referencing is this one about traveling with tiny humans. And I think I’ve linked it here before. (There is a more recent one about co-parenting too! And how much I hate it, but it is also working out totally fine, but I hate it, but omg single mamas, you guys are killing it out there.)

I want to bring this traveling one back up again because I brain farted when we were podcasting and I didn’t tell the most horrible parenting story of my parenting life when I had the chance, even though I had planned to and saved my story for this one moment and EVERYTHING. And then poof. I dropped the podcast story-telling ball. Thank god there are three of us on there.

So now, I will tell you. The most embarrassed I have ever been as a mother happened in the San Francisco airport coming back from Miami. For full backstory, we had just gotten off a 5-6 hour flight, we had had to wake up the kids at there 3-4am. Gabriel had been very sad and very confused as to why we were making him get out of bed. He did not sleep on the plane. We were all sunsoaked and smelly and Fae eventually put on a pair of Gabe’s boxer briefs as pants while on our layover in SFO because her pants got too dirty and we had no extras for her to wear. Gabriel was living on a diet of yogurt bites and M&Ms. As a family, we were hanging on by a thread.

When Gabe gets over tired he becomes a maniac and acts out in ways that I do not understand. He becomes an anarchist. He will look at me like I’m not even there and act out for no reason at all. It is impossible to reign him in and it is totally the worst.

We had let him run free in the airport when we got there because he is 3 and had just endured 6 hours in a chair. And also because we had 2 hours to kill. BE FREE! We bought him a legit smoothie hoping he would drink it and eat some fruit. He had like 2 sips. We were sitting in these giant red chairs, per his request, and he was sitting and spinning and just kind of generally wandering around within my sphere of influence. The next table over from us was an older couple. The man was reading a non-english paper, and the woman was sitting across from him quietly. A few minutes later she got up and went somewhere else, leaving her section of the paper on the little coffee table thing in front of both her and her husband. In very literally a split second Gabriel reached over, grabbed the woman’s paper and flung it into the air as he walked past the table.

Let me let that soak in. He is walking past, grabs the section of the paper with his left hand, and flings it into the air without even looking at it as he walks by.

The sections separate and float down in different directions. What I believe are prayer cards that have been clearly removed from a very old book and that were folded into her section of the paper scatter.

And then I died.

I hiss in a loud voice, while marching over to grab my child, some form of parental scolding. The older man is just looking at me, saying nothing, with a face of total contempt and disbelief. Kamel is handling Fae and didn’t see what happened. I have to then explain to Kamel, breifly, what happened while I’m also explaining why he needs to keep Gabriel OVER THERE while I go back and run around picking up the paper and the prayer cards and trying to put them all back together again while I apologize profusely.

The man, my only audience, remains disgusted at my actions. Doesn’t utter a word, but watches me run around picking up all of the papers like a bad mother who can’t control her fucking kids.

I am still dying. It is a slow, terrible death.

When the woman comes back I hear him explaining to her what happened in a different language, while boldly gesturing in our direction. That’s when I shoo Kamel and the kids away. We need to go somewhere else, ANYWHERE ELSE.

Yes, yes children are an extension of our hearts living outside of our bodies. But they are also representatives of our arms and legs, and they move independently of us, so often to our extreme horror.

The Night

Every night we have a plan. Most nights it is executed flawlessly. It is a dance where someone cries or calls out and we both go stiff. One person touching the other with a firm hand.

“Don’t move,” the firm hand says. “Don’t breath. Don’t cough. Don’t crinkle the sheets. Wait.”

We listen. Is the voice muffled? Are they laying down? Are they covered? Or are they sitting up? Do you see her eyes peeking above the crib? I see almost nothing it is so dark. Is she getting too loud? Will she wake her brother? Is she moving in the crib because he is getting too loud?

Sometimes they settle and I fall back asleep without even knowing. Most of the time the firm hand becomes a pat.


And even then it is a seamless dance that most of the time interrupts sleep very little. Or maybe it is just something we’ve gotten used to. The 11 pm freeze, 4am wake up, the 6am alarm.

And then other times It’s 2:30 am and I’m cradling my 24 lb 10 month old like she’s a tiny baby, her giant noggin nestled into the crook of my elbow, and I’m humming and swaying and humming and swaying. And I close my eyes and sway and think actual thoughts that go like this, “Could I sleep standing up?” And I’m impressed with my ability to hold her like that and rock and sway and hum, because she is heavy, but my arms can take it. They can take it now. I mentally pat myself on the back for all of those recent pushups.

And I’m tired. I am so tired. And of course I’m also on my period. The new mother-of-2-periods that threaten to wash me away every month. And I’m swaying with my feet rooted firmly in the ground, in the very dark night, humming, and all the while feeling with certainty that my overnight pad is over flowing, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about. And I don’t know a more glaring image of motherhood than this.

All the while, Kamel is in with the toddler who is awake because who knows. Maybe because he got a new pillow yesterday. Maybe because his little sister will not stop crying. But I’ve bought Kamel some time, I think. If I can sway and keep her silent for thirty minutes I bet Gabe will go to sleep and then we can handle whatever insanity is happening with Fae.

This is not the first time we’re up with them. This is the third, maybe? But in the night you lose count. In the night you are just hoping that each time is the one and only, the last, the fluke.

Before this moment we had both given up. Gabe was crying out for the 4th time, Fae was crying in her crib, and we both burrowed under our pillows and hoped they would just exhaust each other. Maybe we can wait it out? But it just got worse.

In the night teamwork is paramount. Being on each other’s side, regrouping, and knowing when to throw in the towel. Ever night can’t be a winner, sometimes the game plan is thrown out the window. And you’re standing in your bedroom, being ruled by a tiny dictator who wants to only be held like a baby and swayed and hummed at. Tomorrow will be better.

**Editor note: Eventually I gave up, and Fae cried in her crib for 20 minutes until I brought Gabe a new pillow in his bedroom and Kamel took Fae, I took Gabriel to the bathroom, and finally got him settled in bed. The evening ended with both Kamel and I on the couch in the living room while Fae cried and passed out with multiple limbs sticking out of the slats of her crib. Because I am a ninja, I was able to stick those limbs back inside the crib without waking her up. And we got a solid 3 hours a sleep. The end.

Those Moments

We got Gabe a tricycle for his third birthday. We had meant to get him a balance bike when Fae was born but we couldn’t get our shit together in time. Then, he started playing with tricycles at school and I had visions of all the tumbles he would take trying to figure out the balance part of the balance bike and then how his little brain would never want to ride it again and I thought…. fuck it, we’ll just do training wheels.

Right after his birthday daylight savings descended upon us. And in general I hate it. Just don’t mess with time, ok? It will right itself with the turning of the seasons anyway. But this time I jumped at the chance for the return of our after dinner outside time, and we took Gabe and his tricycle on their maiden voyage not long after.


And it doesn’t happen very often, these amazing, sun dappled, parenting high-five moments. But this was one of those.

Fae was in the front pack, I was in a sweatshirt and leggings, Kamel was in charge of making sure Gabe didn’t roll down the hill on his own, and we walked as a family around the block. No strollers, no fuss, no yelling at Gabe to hold our hands. We walked behind him as he scooted down the sidewalk, around the corner, “This way?” he’d ask, “No, bud… this way,” we’d point.


And I thought, in that moment of awareness, oh my goodness… this is what it is. This is what it feels like. I’m a mother. And I have a family. Look at what we’ve built, look at how far we’ve all come. Those moments of not moving forward and not looking back are so rare. They are so very rare that I want to sit in them forever. The clank of the tricycle that Kamel assembled, all of the little metal bits jiggle along at Gabe’s scooting pace. On inclines he’d pick up his feet and let gravity take the wheel. “Don’t let go!” we’d yell after him. And he’d laugh and laugh and laugh.

It started getting dark and a little cold. Bedtime began approaching. But I didn’t want to turn home.

Just one more block?

Ok, just one more.

Birthday Party – 3 Years Edition

Last weekend we had our very first kid birthday palooza. And it went really well! Building up to the day I did have a few moments of, “Why am I doing this?” because… ugh, party throwing on top of all the usual stuff. But this year, Gabe’s birthday party was not at our house for the first time, people were not sitting thigh to thigh on my coach trying to balance cake and cups of coffee, and I didn’t have to do any cleanup! Glorious.


We booked a room at the Seattle Children’s Museum. Jungle theme to go with lightly jungle themed party. The price of 1.5 hours in the room included 30 guest admissions and a sea of tiny chairs.


I made the cake! Daniel Tiger themed, a la this one. We bought natural, Trade Joes juice boxes and teensy bottled water for the kids, sparkling water for the grownups.



There was candles and singing and presents.




Tiger stripes! For a tiger cake! Thank you pinterest!


(Special birthday shirt, purchased off etsy, here.)


(How MOM do I look right here? Eesh.)




We got the kids gift bags with a wind up snake, a spinning top, little animals stamps + stamp pad, figures of a butterfly, and a wild cat, and jungle themed crayons. These ones. Which I had to tell people were not chocolates. Ha!

They sat, with their little juice boxes, and played with their goodies and ate cake for like 40 minutes maybe? They chilled for a long time. It was magical. And adorable. Seeing Gabe play with other little kids is so my favorite. The way he calls their names and the way they react to him and how they just kind of GET each other. I could watch that all day.


And then we set the babies free. And they owned that place.





It was hard to really capture the chaos because they were zooming past us so fast.



By the end, the kids were sweaty disasters. Fae had completely tapped out. We loaded our tiny clown car with the babies and the left over cake, and the napkins, and plastic plates, and presents, and stroller, and diaper bag, and headed home. We were home and the kids were in the bath by 1pm. We spent the rest of the day lounging in pajamas.

An excellent kid birthday had by all. If you’re looking for a birthday party location for your 2-4 year old, I highly recommend the Seattle Children’s Museum. So easy, and they were so incredibly kind to us.

Gabe Turns 3

Yesterday I was posting on Twitter about what March 8th was like for me 3 years ago. At this time we went to the hospital, at this time I started pushing, at this time Gabe was born, etc.

Gabe was born with the chord wrapped around his throat twice. It took him a while to start crying. He was taken to the little crib exam table thing right away after being born to check his vitals. Kamel took photos. Gabe still had blood on him, he was that fresh. I laid back and delivered my placenta while nurses tended to Gabe. I didn’t know that was not the norm. As far as I was concerned, everything was just great. We knew about the chord thing later, when they called it by a different name that I can’t remember now. It wasn’t until even later that I read about the differences in how they treat babies with chords wrapped around their necks right after delivery. It was by happenstance, while researching something else about labor before we had Fae. What you don’t know the first time keeps you sane.

Gabe was slow to get good circulation. His arms and hands were white as sheets for a while. His fingernails were long and papery. His face was discolored from being bruised by my badass birth canal. His nose was flattened to his face. It had been quite the ordeal for him, being born.

Yesterday, as I looked through old posts about March 8th three years before, I came across this photo:


You can see his tiny arms and hands are kind of grey. It happens. His body figured it out. But, what struck me about this photo is that… it’s Gabe, but not Gabe. That’s the baby I delivered but he is not the Gabe I know. That is my son, the newborn. But today I have Gabriel. I have a kid who has a rich and ever developing personality. A kid who has opinions and humor and concerns. He is real. He is present. Newborn Gabriel is a miracle, but he barely existed. Three year old Gabriel says things like…

“No, Daddy… not right now. I need to dance.”

“I’m all out of pee. I need to go to the grocery store to get more.”

“I love you too much, mama.”

“Where Fae go? Oh… she sleeping?”

“I pooooooooooooooooooped!!! I get DOS chocolate!”

Three year old Gabriel doesn’t stop when I say stop and ignores me when I say, “No.” We’re working on listening.

Three year old Gabriel knows he is funny.

Three year old Gabriel can get scared, he can get hurt feelings, he can be surprised, and delighted, and proud.

Three year old Gabriel loves musicals, Taylor Swift, Pharrell, Sia, Queen, and the Pentatonix.

How he got here and where he’s going is the best trip you can take.

Check out Gabe’s first birthday video and second birthday video.

“Daddy Poops, Mama Poops, Dinosaurs Poop…”

Potty training was something I had been strategizing and thinking about for a long time. Ever since Gabriel turned 2 it has been on my radar. For those who see potty training on the horizon or who are looking for some comfort in others who have just exited the trenches, I hope this post reassures you.

We started potty training by introducing the baby potty early on. This doesn’t work for everyone, but I think it depends on your kid’s temperament. It takes Gabriel a little while to get comfortable with things. I wanted sitting on the potty and having his potty in the bathroom to be something that was just part of the house, part of his routine, and I wanted that set up before we doubled down on actual potty training. Transitioning with the new baby made the process slower than I think it would have otherwise, but in the end I really think it worked out just great.

So how did we do it? What did we do? Well, after we introduced the potty we were aided with a daycare that also casually began potty training. They sat Gabriel on the potty a few times a day, got him used to making pee come out, got him used to flushing, got him used to the routine of washing his hands, etc. For a long time Gabe couldn’t pull down or pull up his pants. That is something that comes with time and practice. So this slow approach was also about learning. When Gabe was 2.5 he was transitioned into a pre-preschool class where they really focus on potty training. Because we don’t have a house with a backyard, because we rent, because we both work (and we had the new baby in this case), I didn’t feel comfortable keeping Gabriel home for an extended period of time to potty train him. And though he loves streaking through the house naked, he had shown discomfort on being naked when he had to go potty, so keeping him without pants just wasn’t going to work for us.

I had originally wanted to potty train him in October while Kamel was on paternity leave, but because he reverted a bit with the classroom change, we ended up starting the process over Thanksgiving break. This gave us 4 days at home together, 90% of the time focused on potty-ing. We prepped him by explaining that diapers were on their way out a few days before, and we showed him the underpants he had previously picked out. And then on Thanksgiving morning we changed him out of his diaper and put him in underpants. Then we set an alarm on our phones to go off every hour for potty time. We made it fun where the alarm would surprise us all and it would be “What’s the Gabriel? What is that noise?” and he would say, “It’s…. POTTY TIME!” and then we would run in and he would sit down and try to pee. This went super well and in this process we didn’t have any accidents, but Gabriel wasn’t yet 100% understanding WHEN he had to go, we were fabricating the potty training because we were taking him every hour on the hour. During this time we still kept him in diapers for nap and for nighttime. He would sometimes strategically poop in his diaper, or go a day or two without pooping. Pooping for Gabriel took a while longer to be comfortable with than peeing did.

On Monday we sent him to daycare in just underpants and 3 changes of clothes. We let his teachers know and they knew how to be on the look out for his signals and to be diligent at taking him every hour. For the first week of school in just underpants (except for nap time) he had 1-2 accidents a day until Friday, when he had 0. Sometimes he would poop in his pants. I told them to just throw away the underpants when that happened. We had bought many replacements. Sometimes he would accidentally pee on his pants when he was sitting on the potty. Penises are wily. And sometimes he would not recognize he had to go, or refuse to go when the teacher would take him to the potty and then pee his pants later on.  But! The entire week he had dry diapers during nap time. I did more laundry during this time than any other time in my life.

By week 2 the pooping struggle had become real. Gabe was uncomfortable pooping. He would fight it, not wanting to go, he’d pace around the apartment and complain of stomach aches a lot. Gabe didn’t want to sit down to go and holding it in too much made it hurt. Kamel had to hold Gabriel over the potty while he sort of hovered and often cried. It was stressful. I opted out of this. Because he was constipating himself so effectively we called the doctor to get some advice after it had been 2 days of no BM. This is really common, so for any parents out there dealing with this, know this: Going more than 1 day for toddlers is not normal and can cause injury, so if it has been 2 days with no poop make sure you call your doctor and get some advice. I am not telling anyone to necessarily do what we did before talking to your doctor, as a small blog disclaimer. This is just a recount of the realities of potty training and what worked for us.

So after the two days without poop (and we were headed into our third) they gave us the go-ahead to put about a half dose of Miralax into his water. It’s completely tasteless and just makes it easier to go, doesn’t necessarily force him to go. The problem with that is, you have to get them to drink the majority of the water in one sitting, which is nearly impossible to do with a toddler. Thankfully Gabe becomes obsessed with drinking water before bed, so I spiked his drink at a strategic time and he drank enough of it during a short period of time to make me feel like it was going to be better than nothing. We also got him on a high(er) fiber diet. Graham crackers, apple sauce, dehydrated fruit snacks from trader joes which Gabe freaking LOVES. We call them “berry snacks” in our house. The blueberry and the strawberry are his favorite. I also started giving him little 4 ounce sippy cups of half prune juice and half apple juice.

This poop offensive turned things around almost right away. Suddenly it didn’t hurt him to go, suddenly he had to go more frequently, and by the third week at school he was 1) recognizing the need to pee and poop on his own, 2) telling his teacher he needed to go potty, and 3) no longer wearing diapers during nap time. By the fourth week of underpants only, accidents became a 1-off only and he was actually going into the bathroom by himself, on his own, and handling it all.

Other things we did to ease the poop anxiety: Chocolate. If Gabriel pooped at school he got 2 chocolates when he got home (Andees mints) and if he pooped at home successfully he got 2 chocolate right after. Because it was Kamel’s job to handle the poops in the baby potty, Gabe would come running out of the bathroom, pantsless, calling, “Mama!!! I POOOOOOPED! I get dos chocolate!!!”

Now, 2 months after that first potty training weekend intensive, the baby potty is history. Gabe can pull up and pull down his own underpants and pants, and pooping is not an issue at all. I still give him prune + apple juice about 4-5 times a week, just once a day to keep things moving. He LOVES it and asks for juice constantly. I will say – I get the expensive real prune juice in the glass jar that is pretty thick and cut it with toddler Motts apple juice with barely any sugar. I worried he wouldn’t like it, but he just sucks it straight down. Shrug!

Oh! And potty training out in the world. Also something a little complicated. Public bathrooms totally freaked Gabriel out. He had never had to use one before and he was totally paranoid by all of the sounds of the other people – washing their hands, the hand dryer, opening and closing the doors – it was a mess. So we started making it a point to take him into every public bathroom we could whenever we were out running errands. We’d go potty before we left the house and then when we’d get to Target (or the mall or a restaurant) we’d make another trip to the potty and then again when we left. Family-style restrooms are still the best as far as Gabe’s comfort, but now at least he will go in public, when at first he would completely refuse and try to hold it until we got home. Not good.

Since the point where I considered him fully potty trained he has only had maybe 3 or 4 accidents while at home – always pee, never poop.

Overall, even though it took a lot of mental energy to walk him through the process, and a little bit of stress trying to figure out how to get him comfortable with it all, it really wasn’t as hard as I thought it was. Once your kid is ready you will know. And then it all pretty much sorts itself out. You’re there to be a support and a firm potty teacher. But, basically they teach themselves. Be consistent and don’t put them in situations where they will be physically or mentally uncomfortable as much as possible, especially in the beginning. If your kid doesn’t want to be naked, don’t force them to be naked. We also had a rule that if Gabe ever asked for his diaper in order to poop, we’d let him have it. I was not going to make going on the potty world war 3. I also did not want him to feel like he didn’t have control over his own body. We did force him to sit on the potty one time and I hated it and Kamel and I decided never to do it again. We can say “it’s time to go potty, now,” but Gabriel really really doesn’t want to go, then so be it. He will either tell us he needs to go in a little while, or he’ll have an accident. Or we won’t leave the house until he does. Those are both natural consequence, but they don’t take away his physical autonomy about something that’s so personal.

Ok, I think that’s pretty much it. If anything was unclear or if you have any questions, leave me a comment. There is a possibility I may have forgotten something or didn’t explain something well enough.

Potties for everyone!

The First Kid, Remember Him?

There is always so much hubub with a new baby. The new! It is new! So many firsts, so much to report on and explore! But all along things have been happening with the first born. We brought Fae home from the hospital and it was as if Gabe had grown 3 inches overnight. He went from two year old toddler to almost-a-kid over the summer. We’ve been living with that almost-practically-basically-a-kid ever since.

And at first I think we were all kind of shell-shocked about have another human in the house. We were all in survival mode. then, after a few weeks, once Gabe realized that the baby who was cute… but also taking up a lot of mental energy (not to mention the physical space of his parent’s arms) wasn’t actually going to leave, things changed a little bit. Aside from maybe 2 instances where Gabe was frustrated that his little sister existed in the same space he is in, his transitional jealousy has never been directed at her. And he wasn’t really ever mad at us about bringing an invader into his baby-realm. He just got super super needy.

Neediness on a capable 36 pound toddler-child-hybrid while you have an absolutely, completely helpless newborn to lug around is… the… fucking… worst. Suddenly, the kid who could barely stand a stroller, who wanted to fling himself down stairs and not walk, but run as much as possible… suddenly that kid wanted to be carried everywhere. Suddenly Mr. Thrill Seeker was afraid of everything. Zoo trips became marathons of Kamel and I taking turns carrying king potato sack around. Any little thing that went wrong in his weird OCD toddler brain meant he was suddenly glued to us. And I mean, frantic clinging glue. Too windy at the playground? “UPPY UPPY UPPPPPPPPPPPPPY” while clawing at my legs. That always looks good on a parent. The panicked child trying to climb their parent’s pant leg because of wind while all the other children play like nothing is wrong. Yay!

The worst was having to very literally drag him out of a restaurant as he threw a massive tantrum because we very literally could not pick him up right at that second. We had a stroller to carry out (too crowded to unfold and wheel), and a carseat with a sleeping baby in it to lug out. Plus two diapers bags. There were no hands and most certainly not enough strength to also carry Gabriel. Who was refusing to walk. At peak dinner time. On a Friday. So I mom-ed hard. I mom-ed real hard. I did the upper arm grab-and-drag and when we got to the car I did the squat down and get really close to his face hiss-whisper, “That was NOT OK. You are in BIG TROUBLE.”

This sounds like maybe we aren’t totally sympathetic, but we are. We tried our hardest to keep Gabriel’s routines in tact. We made sure to give him as much attention as possible after school, to make sure he had one-on-one time with both of us at bed time. We kept encouraging him to try new things, despite his apparent terror at everything. We picked him up when he needed us to pick him up and when we had arms. We didn’t always have arms. Parents of new humans sometimes just don’t have any arms.

I really didn’t know what the hell was going on during the peak of this behavior. I figured it was control. I figured it was being two. I figured it would hopefully, please god, get better by three. And then one day it just stopped. Being held just stopped. Wearing a hood or a hat makes the wind less freaky in his ears when he plays outside in the winter. At the zoo he is back to running half a block ahead of us and asking for uppy only so he can get a better look at the lions. He prefers the stairs to the elevators. And when he hears Fae crying he mostly has to stop what he’s doing and “go find his Fae.” It only took a little over 5 months of transition. Almost half a year of phase. Of crappy wtf phase. And now its better.

During that time Gabe has also transitioned to a toddler bed and is 99% potty trained! He goes to the bathroom by himself to pee! And only wears a diaper at night! No accidents at school! It’s fantastic. The road to potty training is another story. A story that is both so stressful and so shockingly easy. Being the caretakers of small people is so weird. Hopefully if my intention remains to create independent, non-fucked-up grownups we will all turn out ok in the end.

2015 Christmas

Weekend-ing is on the return now that Kamel has dusted off his camera and fixed some stuff that was screwy about it. To kick it off we have some holiday photos from Christmas!






















It’s List Inception at This Point

I feel like all of my posts are update posts because I have so much to say and my brain is a humble jumble and all I can do is think in lists. So here I am updating you on things again. Feel free to ask me questions in comments (if you have wonderings, that is) because I am a scattered, headachey, infrequently showered lump.

1.) Speaking of lumps. I feel like a giant bag of loose skin. Working out has paused as I have handled a very strange, two week long cold. A cold that had no clear path, but went from feeling like shit to sort of sore throaty, to snotty (but not too snotty), to MAYBE cough-y, to snotty again, to only snotty at night, to a little bit cough-y at night? It was two weeks of, “is this over yet, I’m pretty sure it’s over but … nope, not over.” And that has left me with the blob body from the black lagoon partnered with no drive to remedy it. (I’ll get to you body, I will… in time.)

2.) Speaking of TIME… Kamel is on his last week of leave, the kids are in school, we are home together alone. BOW CHIKKA BOW- more like he rearranged the whole bookshelf/blu-ray collection? While I sat on the couch in yesterdays sweatpants and nursing tank forgetting to pump and writing/editing away on my laptop? And then he went to Target where there was only one tree stand left and it missing a box and all the parts were willy nilly so he didn’t get it and just came home? All while old seasons of Greys Anatomy played in the background? These are not questions, these are facts… but do the question marks make us less lame? Don’t answer that.

3.) I need to write a post about Gabriel. REMEMBER HIM? My first born? You know… that one kid who is now a giant and drives me insane while simultaneously maiking me cry because awwwww Gabriel! He is the worst and the best and those two feelings happen within minutes of each other and sometimes it is very confusing whether I want to shake him until the shitty falls out or cradle him like a baby and let my tears of love and joy rain down upon his cherub face. So in case you’re wondering how toddler land is – toddler land with the added bonus of infant land – it’s basically making me insane. I’ll get into it soon.

4.) My hair is still falling out. My hair line is thin and receding. My baby hairs on my temples are prominent but at the same time so very sad and thin. I’m starting to resemble an inbred monarch. My hair is also fluffy and dumb. The worst worst worst symptom of making humans is upon me. I’ll be bitching about it for the next two years, I apologize in advance.

5.) Oh, also – I want to do a reader survey about beauty items and lotions and junk. Here is why: I always ask what you guys are using, what the best BB/CC cream is you have found, what is your favorite dry skin lotion for winter, yadda yadda, and you tell me and unless I buy it RIGHT THEN…. I forget. And I really would love to have something like that all in one place. Especially with the holidays upon us and future gift cards raining down upon us all (hopefully). I’ll publish any notable findings. So stay tuned.

Over and out.