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!

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?

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.**

Turn It Up

There is probably no way I’m going to make it through this month without throwing up at least once. Right now I want to turn up the music so loud I can’t hear my own voice as I scream sing it. This is the song I’m playing.

Next week we’re back to it. I keep saying it, but this time I mean it. In the mean time… I need noise.

Friday

This is the last of the week of random daily posts. But it was a good exercise to get this blog up and running again and it reminded me that HEY, WRITING – that is something I do and enjoy!

A quick update: Gabe has an ear infection in one ear. He also has… ring worm. Which is not actually as bad as it sounds, but is one of those things where I had been working on this little patch of “eczema” with some hydro-cortisone cream and lotion for like…. a really long time. And it wasn’t that. And here I am, MOTHER OF THE YEAR AWARD. Where are my banners and trophies?

Other things not skin fungus related…

I have a bunch of stuff I want for this blog. Like, I want to bring weekending back. I want to do a real life home tour video of the new place, with boxes and incomplete rooms and all! And then I want to do nice reveals of rooms as we complete them. Over the next million years because not only do we not have enough free hands, we spent all of our money on paint and fixing unimpressive stuff… oh and the mortgage (and daycare, and winter coats for the kids, and I did buy some Vans…).

Other things coming up for the family: Kamel and I are going on two back-to-back trips without the kids in October. They are both for weddings! One in Minnesota, for the lovely Margaret and Jeff, and one in Mexico City for Kamel’s cousin, Carlos and his future wife Paola. I have a lot of trepidation leaving both the kids and flying away from them for the first time ever. At least one of us has always been there. But not this time! Trepidation and relief! I will no longer be preoccupied with feeding and napping and pooping schedules for anyone except ME. One pooping schedule to rule them all.

I also have high hopes that the podcast will run continuously until mid-December at the least. Future topics include: An update from us on moving and how that has been a different experience for kamel vs me (slash our FEEEEELINGS about it), a listener question about maybe not wanting babies, an updated budget chat that will hopefully be more on track with how I thought were doing things (But then turned out that we were a complicated hodge podge of accounts), and much much more. If you have questions OR have an idea for something to discuss and banter about, please email birlpodcast@gmail.com.

More on Monday.

Things, August

The Olympics are everywhere and there is something about them that is so inspiring. Even amidst all the terrible politics and the crushing debt. I do really hope that they benefit the host country after all. I hope they sell a ton of merch and that everyone loves Brazil and their tourism flourishes. Unfortunately Zika effed them over (and so many babies, can’t think of the babies). But I digress. There have already been a handful of fantastic moments and we aren’t even finished with week 1 yet, but the best thing I have seen in a long long time are the epic fails by the Philippine divers. Oh man, if you need a little chuckle pick-me-up please watch that video. Two things are happening: If you’re going to try and totally biff it, biff it ALL THE WAY. And, their shrug-it-off attitude makes this that much better. I definitely couldn’t do any of those flips or even that one-legged jump off the diving board, but I for sure could back-flop like that. THERE IS AN OLYMPIAN IN EACH OF US!

So, we’re already full-steam-ahead in packing. My packing involves a lot of cleaning and donating and getting rid of a ton of stuff. Will we move into an empty cavernous house? Yes. Will it be strange and exciting and echo-y? Yes. But I don’t want to hold onto stuff I don’t love. I don’t care if it takes me 5 years to finally complete my living room furniture, I only want to buy things I actually like. We can all sit on the floor until then. And guess what closet?! Shit that doesn’t fit, is maternity (overtly maternity, the good maternity will stay), or I never ever wear because I hate it? These things have no place in this fresh start. I’ve collected a ton of clothes that I don’t feel confident in or doesn’t fit really well, or whatever. No more!! Let me have just 5 outfits if that’s what it takes, but I will love those outfits with a fiery passion. We have already packed up our living room. All books and games and movies are in boxes, all drawers and bookshelves are cleared. And this weekend we will clear out the closets, the nursery, and do a heave-ho of all the toys that no longer get used or things I think we can upgrade.

This will be the third move in Gabriel’s short 3.5 years, so we are really good at this. Even if I am hating every second of it. We hired movers because there is no way we could get this all done with two kids by ourselves, nor do I want to. I just don’t have time for it. Here is the complete list of the furniture we’ll move:

1 couch

1 bookshelf (if the movers can take it apart without breaking it to pieces, thanks ikea)

1 crib/toddler bed

1 filing cabinet

3 dressers

2 nightstands

1 overstuffed chair

1 play kitchen

…maybe our kitchen table, TBD.

That feels like nothing. It’s like barely two rooms worth of furniture. AH CAN YOU SMELL THE FRESH START?

Turning 1 has been rough on Fae. She got 7ish new teeth all at once, including a molar. Another molar is on its way on the other side. She only wants mama, she is not her usual chill self. It is very sad. It is also really inconvenient. I cannot lug around my 25 lbs 1 year old all day while she whimpers. The alternative is she scream cries and throws herself on the ground or is given to another person and throws her body toward me, reaching. So that’s not gut wrenching and heart breaking. I remember one being rough with Gabriel too. All that growing is hard.

We have become a family that goes through 2 boxes of waffles by Thursday after buying them on Sunday.

Gabe is super into Dr. Seuss and it is the GREATEST. I love reading him the classics at bedtime. And also – oh my god have you read Fox in Socks lately? That ish is HARD. God bless my parents and all of those tongue twisters.

We Are Wrong

Yesterday I hit my breaking point. And the fact that I am 31 and I have just now had a breaking point is my privilege speaking. Because social strife is exhausting and I am already so exhausted, but that is nothing. That is nothing at all.

I closed my social media yesterday for a heart beat. I wasn’t going back into the fray. I was tired. I was tired of being challenged, and saddened, and educated. I was tired of seeing awfulness and reading ignorance and feeling obligated to be witness. And what a gift that is for me to be able to just walk away from that, when others cannot walk away. What an ivory tower gift that is. I could no longer face myself if I acted on that privilege.

I am done being concerned with politeness or other people’s comfort or my own comfort. I have gritted my teeth through conversations, I have blank-faced and walked away or made nice or made good – or whatever – for the sake of not being that person. But I am that person. I have always been that person and I am burning up inside trying to push that person away.

Social justice should be in every single one of our bones. It should leak out of our pores, we should all be willing to stand in front of victims to protect them from oppressors. But we don’t. We go to work and we pay our bills and we feed our kids and we go about our days, because realistically that is life.

But I will no longer allow ignorance and the fear of losing the white superior status to wash over me without comment. I am not perfect and I am not always right and I don’t always say it the way it needs to be said. But around me, in my newsfeed, at my table, around my kids, anywhere within my ear shot, I am done being polite about it. Because the root of racism and devaluing the lives of people of color while cherishing the lives of white people comes from our words and our thoughts and our beliefs and our ability to be polite instead of say, “Actually, no. You are wrong.”

What is the Opposite of Feeling Generous?

I haven’t posted like I should be because I have been dog paddling my way to a distant shore. I am actually exhausted by the constant discussion of my busy schedule. God, it’s so boring to constantly talk about the disheveled nature of my physical space, my mental space, and my calendar.

On Saturday night I had this moment of: I don’t like this life. My entire day is about the kids! About their schedules and about their meals and about the things we have to do. I don’t want to, but we have to. Because the ramifications of doing it later are even worse than the inconvenience of dragging my sorry butt in the direction of have to right this second.

I do not always feel this way, but lately I have been feeling remarkably ungenerous. That feels like not a word. Maybe because we don’t use it often. I have not felt selfish. That is not the feeling. I have felt as though I have nothing left to give. Or maybe I do, but I just don’t want to. I need to squirrel it away just for me. I’m talking like a thimble full of energy and patience that I am saving for myself. It’s stupid. I have no more understanding, I have no more gritting my teeth and smiling. I’ve run out. I don’t have any more extra time. I don’t have anymore mental space for managing any other person aside from those I made with my own body. I’ll at least take responsibility for that.

It’s not always this way. But right now I just can’t get ahead of it. And my body ACHES for a fucking vacation. A real one. Even with the kids. It’s been two years since Kamel and I went on a vacation where the only schedule we were on was our own. Where I saw new things and felt filled up by new experiences and foods and active leisure. Two years. And I’m drowning in the every day. My inspiration well is empty. I am slogging through the have-tos and swallowing the bits of myself that want to say fuuuuuuck this, this SUCKS. Because this is responsibility. This is grown up life. This is the business of all of that.

Plus I had an ear infection all last week.

Here is what I want for this week: I want to work out every day. I want to walk to Walgreens and get my passport photo taken so I can update it like I should have done 6 months ago, I want to wax my lip (nothing fancy, just in my bathroom, but finding the time for even that seems to have ESCAPED ME), I want to not fight with Gabriel about bedtime every single day, I want to find a house we like and can afford, I want to feel centered and calm about work projects and deadlines, I want to get a jump on the major events of this month so that I am not scrambling last minute. Some of these things will not be accomplished, but a lot of them will. I hope.

Finding the Happies

It has been a very long time since I have done a Happies post. And I absolutely need some of your happy inspiration. I hope my list finds some of you in your deep dark places and sheds some light on the good stuff. The stuff that is really getting me through lately are all the tiny things that poke holes in my worry and stress.

Being able to work out 4 days a week and taking the kids on walks on the weekend.

Piggy backing on that thought – how I am finally feeling strong again, how I am seeing improvement and how carrying my kids is no longer an endurance test on my back and arms and core.

Talking Rain sparkling water in the can. I love the crack of opening a can of fizzy beverage. And I have now become obsessed with plain ‘ol sparkling water like some kind of boring person.

Almost being carded by a bartender last weekend. And then he was laughing at Kamel and I and our loser noobness on being out without the kids and not feeling cool enough to be anywhere. And then he was like “I have kids too!” and then it turned out he was basically our neighbor.

Looking forward to a summer and fall full of happy events for friends and family. Fae’s baptism and all kinds of wedding events for Claire, then family weddings and Margaret’s wedding and then Kathleen’s daughter’s baptism in November. So many happy things marching us along.

Guacamole with anything, and Avocado + hard boiled eggs. My summer lunch of champions.

Fae WALKING. It’s like she is straight out of Dr. Seuss. My little happy chubby walking creature.

Getting my hair died blonde(ish) this weekend. I’m really excited for a new look to shake off my boring/haggard/tired feels.

I negotiated my first raise ever and it worked. (!!)

Gabriel after he has gotten into trouble asking me, “Mama… Are you happy to me?” Meaning: Are you happy with me? And being able to have an actual make-good conversation with my son like he is some kind of PERSON or something.

Our instagram wall, and knowing we get to switch it out again coming in about a month and a half. Picking our current event photos for it is always my favorite thing.

Pedicures are back.

Buying gifts for people. I’ve been on a spree, even though if I were being responsible I really shouldn’t. BUT I CAN’T HELP MYSELF.

Being home and with my people and being able to see them and sniff their babies and run into them at the grocery store and be at all of their life events. It’s all finally happening after so many years away and I just don’t know if I’ll ever be over how amazing it all feels. That here we are, grownups, and I love them more and more every year that goes by. With every silent look across the room and every milestone and every glass of wine in our sweats and every event planned, it just gets better.

At the beginning of this post I had a laundry list of negatives to write down and now all I feel is warm. What are your happies?

 

 

Updates

Hello! It is nearing the end of May! What?! I wanted to check in on some things and give you some updates since my little blog and (sort of large) podcast break.

First – new design! Simpler! Cleaner! I feel like I’ve shed so much baggage. I loved the art and still love the art, but I had hired a web designer to make my blog exactly what I wanted and dude completely half-assed it, making some things really wonky. During the process he treated me like I was small potatoes, lapsing on deadlines and then telling me he had much larger clients to worry about. But I was already paying him $200 and had invested too much time and energy into the process. So, I just gritted my teeth and waited it out. When I told him certain things didn’t work he would push back and say it worked on his end. Very frustrating. And then! A few weeks ago! A porn site hacked my SEO so when I was searched on google, those who clicked through just got really crappy porn. Sigh.

So! Now everything is clean and crisp! Header and avatar drawn by my sister-in-law Regina! And my back end is hacker free. Woo hoo!

Second! My mom podcast is going so well! So if you miss the BIRL podcast or are looking for discussions about parenting that are honest, realistic, and funny – World’s Okayest Moms most recent episode is about traveling with kids and you can listen to it straight from this website if you don’t have a podcast listener of choice.

The Duprez household is going through some rough times right now. More on that in the coming weeks, but for now – any thoughts and energies sent our way would be most helpful. Sorry to be vague-y vague. It is generally not my style, but this is one of those sensitive topics. Lemons you guys, we got some. (And not in the Beyonce burn it all down cuz you cheated one me way, promise. If trifling was happening, an entire army couldn’t prevent me from talking about that is.)

Have an amazing weekend and I will be back with more content next week!