Weekending 43: Holidays Part 1

This weekend was cold. Saturday was in the 20s and we started the weekend off by getting Fae a booster flu shot.

She did so good though! And stopped crying within a minute. Gabe was telling me all about how the ear worked. (ha)

It was so so cold, but the weather has been wintery for weeks now (as does happen in winter) and we just had to get outside.

Even with backwards helmets.

Even when the playground equipment was so cold it was practically burning my hands. You try to keep gloves on babies.

It was us and 1 other family at the park. Gabe kept saying “No one is here!”

Oh, we also made burgers.

On Sunday! Gabe got a haircut! And though he flinched and whined, he DID NOT CRY. (Or scream or repeat “almost done almost done almost done” like the traumatized kid he is.)

“Look over there, Gabe. Do you see that big snake on the wall?”

He is so fair with his short hair. His edges are all blonde like they glow.

Whoops.

(She did not get up there by herself)

(My oh god please don’t die face)

This is for sure the cover of the official holiday album of the PNW.

After haircut we played at the park, cut cupcakes, and then went to grab brunch. Where Fae busied herself by rearranging the furniture. How nice of her. Then she broke a jar of something and out of humiliation and after offering 700000 times to pay for it, we left.

Oh look at this adorable face. The face of a little girl who refused to nap, cried for 20 minutes, was quiet in her crib and not sleeping for another 30 and then fell asleep for 20 minutes only to wake up SCREAMING in a sweaty drooly mess. Adorablness is deceiving! (No it’s not, COME SNUGGLE ME FAE)

Then it was holiday party time!

The kids were so happy and so excited and such good sports. The cocktails were fantastic, the meal was super delicious, Claire and Lincoln were awesome hosts!

The kitty fled the children, as it should. But trying to find it was just as much fun as being able to pet it (never happened).

I really love my people.

Weekend-ing 41

I was in a sick person funk this weekend. I stayed home mostly and did nothing. I had been feeling like shit on Thursday and Friday and then Saturday it was the peak of shit where I had to CANCEL a drink date with Claire… so you know it was bad.

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I mean, don’t get me wrong. It was a Christmas prep bonanza weekend. Fae basically never stopped making that face.

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…Or that face.

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On Saturday morning we decorated the tree. Gabriel made sure all the ornaments were snuggling.

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weekending-40-109weekending-40-110Gabe was really excited about this cookie that Kamel got him. He wouldn’t let me have a bite no matter how many times I asked.

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Kamel decided to take the ornament hooks out of their little box and toss them in a bowl. And then I murdered him with my eyes.

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Tree complete!

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Tree complete with my family in front of it!

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Look with your eyes not with your hands.

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Look with your eyes not with your hands.

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Look with your eyes… oh fuck it.

Saturday morning was all about pushing Fae around on this elephant as fast as Gabriel could go and me stopping them before they crashed into our walls or tree or flung Fae from the moving vehicle.

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We basically stayed in our pajamas all weekend. The fact that this is SO incredibly rare in our house means we should probably do it more often.

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Fae hasn’t learned the concept of taking turns yet.

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Water break.

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And then we headed over to my parent’s house to celebrate my mom’s belated birthday! Sometimes it takes a village to put shoes on.

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Dear Lord in Heaven I love a veggie plate.

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My parents had picked up little piggy banks for the kids while they were in Arizona. Putting coins into the piggies entertained Gabe and Fae for a solid 30 minutes. I ate chips.

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And then the weekend was over.

(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.

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.)

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.

Weekending 36: In Video

This weekend I spent a lot of time patting myself on the back for being so damn awesome. Gabe spent Friday night at my parent’s house while we did some big overhaul cleaning things to prep for the new baby and then it was awesome-sauce Gabe-palooza upon his retrn. We splashed in the wading pool, we watched a Saturday night movie and ate nachos, we went to new parks, we went to the Pacific Science Center and saw big dinosaurs and butterflies and bees! We get an A+ in parenting this weekend. And life. Photos can’t do it justice, but some videos come pretty close.

Weekending 35

We had a really great weekend. There was a lot of normal stuff that happened – Gabe’s dance class, a trip to Target where I finally made a LIST so as not to forget anything (except of course we got home and I was like “oh shit toothpaste, oh shit replacing that thing that broke, oh shit… xy and z.” Because you can never ever ever go to Target and get everything you need. It is the law), and we enjoyed the beautiful weekend. But then there were some extraordinary things that happened. Like a fun food truck festival across the street from our house and Maris being in town for her sister’s wedding shower which we then took advantage of as Weekend-O-Maris-Turning-30! Because the times where we are all in town at the same time only happen less than a handful of occasions every year and they always feel like the way things should be when they do.

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Gabe can be next seen on Broadway.

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After dance class we go next door for pizza because Gabe insists (And the pizza is delicious) and then he refuses to eat any pizza. MORE FOR ME.

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They also have fresh baked cookies. Imagine that.

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Sad Kamel is Sad because we did not plan on eating at the food trucks and just went to scope them out.

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Not too indulgent, just enough nutrition to sustain.

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Jump!

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Sending a video to Uncle Alex. Hi Uncle Alex!

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Happy 30th Birthday Maris! Let the Dick’s Burgers floweth!

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Sometimes you have to take the head rests off in order to enjoy each other’s company and watch Maris open presents.

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Instagramming at Phantom of the Opera!!

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Look! Custom menus!!

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Rooftop dining. Thank you Seattle springtime!

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Singing the happy birthday song from Red Robin, as tradition demands.

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The true essence of Maris.

Weekending 33

This weekend I was bound and determined to get back on the weekending horse. And then I half failed. It was an overall super great, chill, busy, productive weekend. And I completely failed to bring the camera to our big dinner out with out of town friends at a Bavarian-style beer hall AND our Easter brunch with two very hungry bebes. But I promise, sometimes we do get to do grown up things and our entire lives do not revolve around Gabriel. Photo evidence to the contrary.

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On Saturdays we go to baby break dancing class. For mom version Lauren it is stressful and nerve wracking. I want Gabe to have fun, I want him to feel like this is something doable, I want him to listen and try new things, I want the other kids to be nice to him. For normal version Lauren this is so my JAM! I have to stop myself from responding to the teacher when she asks for responses. “Lauren, this is for the kids… THE KIDS.” Cuz, it is really fun. And I love to shake my groove thang. And the teacher is a break dancer named Anna Banana Freeze and she is the COOLEST.

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Gabe learned how to “freeeeeeze!” like a badass with a stinky face and he is …. really good at it.

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He is mostly interested in kissing himself in the mirror but last weekend we made some progress at listening to instructions and trying new things. Next weekend is week 3. I won’t be there because Ill be in MN, but I have high hopes for continued learning awesomeness.

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On Easter we blew bubbles in the park. It really was this neon green because that is the color of Spring time in Seattle. It’s so bright and full of NEW LIFE in all caps it threatens to melt your face off with brightly colored joy nature.

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Nearby in the park there was a guy playing some sort of elfin flute thing. There were also Larpers. It was basically like living inside a fairy tale.

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(OMG SO PREGNANT)

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We also played with sidewalk chalk for the first time. It was awesome and held Gabe’s attention for a really long time in toddler minutes.

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Also his butt was covered in multi colored chalk and I thought you might appreciate that.

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There was a lot of spring frolicking.

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And what is Easter without a donut with chochos (sprinkles)?

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Gabe is an eternal motion machine. Sometimes we get creative.

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This is where Gabe prefers to stand when we watch a movie. He IMAXES it … we work to convince him he should maybe not stand with his nose pressed to the screen.

Today I am on a flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul to attend a writing conference! I will be gone until Sunday! But I will try and post a few times this week. I am nervous to be gone from Gabe for this long, the longest I have EVER EVER EVER been away from him. I will miss him, but I will also get a bed to myself and a bathroom to myself and be able to do things in the evenings without the awareness of toddler bedtime or attention span timers. It will be glorious and freeing and sad and I will miss my little family immensely. I’m sure I’ll have thoughts later.

Weekending 31

I realize this post is happening CLOSER to the next weekend than the previous one, but I hate having back to back topic posts and there were more interesting things to discuss this week. So here we are, weekending on a Thursday. A hat tip to last weekend, and here’s to tomorrow being FRIDAY!

What happened last weekend? First it went by too fast. TOO FAST. SLOW DOWN WEEKENDS. Saturday we were up pretty early, breakfasted and began normal weekending chores and then ran out the door to make it to the zoo damn near opening. It was great! Less crowds! The baby lions were out! Gabe walked a LOT …. toddler physical exhaustion can only benefit oh, um, everyone?

We had a sing along/dance party to Sound of Music, we walked up the street and had a sit down dinner, Saturday ruled.

Sunday was good too! Kamel and I went on a rare movie date in the morning to a discount theatre showing Into The Woods! You know how much it costs to get in? $2 A PERSON. CAPSLOCK. It was great! We were home before Gabe woke up from his nap (Thank you Claire for babysitting). And then we went grocery shopping, made nachos for dinner, and I made raspberry scones just because I could.

And then of course we lamented the coming work week, as you do.

What are everyone’s plans for this weekend? MY CHILD IS TURNING 2. So that’s all I’ve got really.

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(Find the monkey!)

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(Stroller maintenance)

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Welcome to Lauren’s outfit for the rest of winter: This yellow hat.

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Skype with Miami family!

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My first ever dropped egg!!!

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Kamel: Suck it in though… oh shit you’re pregnant.

Me: Duh.

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SUNDAY DINNER OF CHAMPIONS!

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