Browsing Category

Life

Life

2.5!

Nora turns two and a half today! Our tradition is to celebrate half birthdays with a somewhat ugly half birthday cake, and this year is no different.

Okay, so it’s a little different since we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try out Dr. Fuhrman’s famous Healthy Chocolate Cake recipe. We kind of expected the worst (knowing that Nora wouldn’t mind either way, because this kid’s favorite snacks right now are seaweed and dried beets), but you guys, this cake is good. I’ve never been a fan of healthified baked goods, so my endorsement actually means something here.

Half birthday = half a birthday cake 1.5! 2.5!

Anyway, back to what really matters today – our big little girl!

Recipe for 2.5:

2 tbs infuriating boundary testing
1 quart hilarious chatting
2 cups heartwarming displays of affection towards other family members
a sprinkle of adorably mispronounced words
a good dash of all manner of emotions, adjusted to taste based on the day (or minute)
omit all naps because apparently someone is allergic to them (eye roll)

Bake at 98.6 degrees for nine months, let rise for 2.5 years, and enjoy.

20160510_220939589_iOS
Challenge, Health, Life, These days

These Days: Embracing the Mundane

(This post is going to be kind of all over the place, sort of like my brain right now.)

It’s time for a little update from the trenches – I want to share what’s helping me in case it could help someone else. I’m finally sleeping better after I started taking contrast showers again (basically switching between warm and cold water, ending on cold) and decreasing my evening liquid consumption (this really should have occurred to me sooner, but I never claimed I was very bright). JK and Nora dragged me out on a couple of walks last week, and this week I promised myself I would go for at least one every day. Crying a little bit less. Still eating way too much chocolate, because it’s really hard to not treat myself when I feel like this.

Yesterday a friend encouraged me to look closely at all the different thought processes in my head right now, all the little negative, ruminating thoughts that are causing all sorts of anxiety and general malaise. I wrote them all down, all those ugly thoughts, and it was incredibly helpful to see them listed out like that. It let me see those thoughts a bit more objectively, and come up with some concrete steps I can take that might help counteract and disprove them. Even just feeling that I have a plan has made me feel a little more confident and…more positively inclined again.

And while I can clearly see that it’s worrisome that I’ve seemingly totally lost interest in my favorite hobby, hiking (but one part of my action plan is to force myself to go out on a real hike anyway and just see what happens), the good news is that I’m still able to notice and appreciate happy little moments throughout my days. This means I haven’t quite hit full-blown depression yet, which should give me a healthy chance of getting out of this hole reasonably quickly. I’ve talked about this before, how important it is to fully take in all those little beautiful little parts of your life, and I am fully embracing that now (and hoping to crowd out those negative thoughts in the process).

This quote really resonated with me, and I think it’ll be a good one to keep in mind in the upcoming years of domesticity when our life might feel a little small but will actually be pretty damn big.

In the name of economy, of time or capital, we have outsourced to others those key activities that define the day-to-day. Don’t want to make lunch? Buy a Lunchable. Don’t want to help your kids with algebra? Hire a tutor. But what is life if not the day-to-day? Sunsets in Nicaragua and family vacations in the Canadian Rockies are spectacular, but if that’s what we’re waiting around for, what is the point of a Wednesday evening? The tasks we have decided to label mundane – as tasks! – are that which accumulate into relationships and memories. Cooking dinner or helping your kids with homework.

Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble

In the spirit of all of this, here are some things I’m loving right now:

Nora is not a fan of napping, even when she’s in desperate need of one, but lately I’ve been able to bribe her into taking naps by promising her that she can eat a baked potato when she wakes up. She used to not even like potatoes, which made me worry that there was some sort of mixup at the hospital since this simply could not be my child, but now she loves them to the point where she’ll take a glorious 1.5 hour nap and wake up super happy, yelling “BAKED POTATOOOO” the second I walk in the door to get her. Loving this while it lasts.

Summer 2016 Summer 2016

Mrs. Meyer’s Geranium cleaning products. This has been my favorite late summer/early autumn scent since I discovered them in 2009, and it gives me happy little flashbacks from seasons of yore. It makes doing the dishes feel downright delightful.

Summer 2016 Summer 2016

Evenings on the deck, especially now that we’ve lined it with mosquito-repelling plants and herbs. And Nora loves eating said herbs throughout the day, which is good, because they’re basically greens, right?

Summer 2016 Summer 2016

The way the Powerline Trail smells like ripe blackberries right now.

My early autumn tunes. Every year around this time, I obsessively listen to The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond and the Ride the Divide soundtrack, but currently I’m also playing the new Head and the Heart and Bastille singles on repeat.

Summer 2016 Summer 2016
Summer 2016 Summer 2016
Summer 2016 Summer 2016

Cooking! I’ve been trying out a bunch of new recipes lately (JK and Nora were both big fans of Oh She Glows‘ African Peanut Stew), but this time of year I always come back to Daily Garnish’s Blackened Tofu and, my favorite, homemade pasta sauce. We planted our garden late this year so we don’t have any tomatoes yet, but at the Saturday market in our town, you can usually buy big bags of cosmetically challenged ‘maters that are perfect for sauces. I also just bought Vegan Bowl Attack and everything in it looks so amazing that I’m thinking of testing two recipes a week from it as a project for a little while. Thankfully Nora is really good at playing independently while I cook, either playing with her Duplo excavator and Peppa Pig figures or drawing on the little blackboard we have in the kitchen, so I can usually find time to make fuds during the day.

Summer 2016 Summer 2016 Summer 2016 Summer 2016

Going to the market as a family outing every Saturday, loading up on juicy donut peaches and fresh flowers. Sometimes there’s live music and Nora gets to show off her dance moves. If I ask Nora “It’s Saturday, what should we do today?” she’ll say (in Norwegian) “The market! Nora in the wagon! Buy peaches tomatoes flowers! Pappa and Nora eat PIZZAAA!” and like all parents before me, I’m amazed by the fact that my baby is now a walking, talking human. She’s talking so much, stringing longer and longer sentences together every day…but my favorite words are still the ones she mispronounces, like “zimmie!” (smoothie) and “wassermomo” (watermelon).

My Born Wild mug.

Summer 2016 Summer 2016

My new planner from inkWELL Press. I totally don’t need a planner since I’m a stay-at-home-mom (emphasis on the stay-at-home), but I’m finding it really helpful for keeping track of all my little goals and for jotting down random rambly thoughts and cute things Nora says. (Plus it’s just really pretty.)

Summer 2016 Summer 2016

The way Nora climbs on top of me, melts into my body in the perfect cuddle, and asks me to sing to her. I don’t even mind singing the same song (she usually requests a Norwegian Christmas song) six times in a row, because it’s just snuggle perfection.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Nuff said.

Summer 2016 Summer 2016

Baby movement! So much! An almost worrisome amount compared to last time, which makes me think that Little Sis won’t be a chillaxed late walker like her Big Sis.

Summer 2016 Summer 2016

9045510029_04e80c4c5d_k
Challenge, Health, Life, Pregnancy

Missing Mojo

I’ve been having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. Mostly because the trio of regular insomnia, pregnancy insomnia (damnit, bladder!), and jetlag have ganged up on me to make me feel utterly exhausted in a way I haven’t felt since the newborn days. But I also just really got out of the groove this spring when morning sickness hit. We were in such a good place back then, I was so energetic and Nora and I had an awesome routine and lots of fun together…and then suddenly I started puking 20-30 times a day and we had to get Nora into part-time daycare because I couldn’t even take care of myself, let alone a toddler.

Now I’m not puking anymore, but I’m left feeling totally wiped and unmotivated. I can’t tell if pregnancy is kicking my ass way harder this time around or if I just need to get a grip and start taking better care of myself again. At 23 weeks with Nora I felt amazing and was still trail running! Now I can barely get out the door for a walk on the Powerline Trail a couple times a week. The hikes we’ve tried to go on since returning home have been foiled for various reasons…but the truly worrying thing is that *insert horrified emoji face* I kind of don’t even want to go hiking right now. And if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you probably know what a lack of movement does for my mental state.

So yeah, I’m stuck in a vicious cycle and I want to get out of it. I feel no need to be running up summits right now, I’m actually very content with our quiet little life here in town, but I just want to have the energy to start enjoying all the little things again. This will likely be my last pregnancy, because there’s just no way I can be that sick again with two kids to take care of, and I want to savor the experience instead of spending each day counting down the hours until I can go back to bed. I’m descending into the dreaded dumps, and it’s important that I nip this in the bud before it spirals into something more sinister, especially given the huge life change we’re about to have.

I’ve done this before, I’ve climbed out, and I know what helps at this stage. I need to:

(a) exercise, outside
(b) set tiny little achievable goals
(c) notice and appreciate the little things/live in the moment/be here now etc etc
(d) eat like I give a damn
(e) try to not feel guilty about the 5,736 things I’m feeling guilty about

Another thing that might sound weird but totally helps for me is to blog more. I think it’s because I tend to become even more of a hermit than usual during times like these, and writing a blog is a tiny little lifeline that keeps me connected to others, even if it’s just via the internets. So I will do that too.

These all sound pretty obvious and straightforward, but anyone who has ever dealt with depression knows that something as simple as walking the dog can turn into a Herculean task. This isn’t going to be easy, but that’s the way life goes.

Life

God jul!

Christmas Eve Christmas Eve

I hope your holidays have been fantabulous and that you’re all good and toasty and cozy and full of cookies and general merriment. I’ll go into greater detail about our Christmas when I post more from my December Daily album, but I’ll leave this here for now – Nora in the bunad my mom made for her. It’s so cute that I don’t even know what to do with myself.

20151016_174252684_iOS
Life, The pups, These days

These Days

These days, time is flying way too fast. I feel like I’ve said this in every single post since Nora was born, but for reals, where does the time go? Also, what on earth was I doing with all of my time before??

These Days These Days
These Days These Days

Time probably feels like it’s moving slow as molasses for poor Basil right now. He broke his leg while jumping off the stairs down to the yard (we didn’t see it, but ugh, we heard it, and we knew immediately what had happened) and had to have surgery. Then the puncture wound (where the bone had POKED THROUGH HIS SKIN, ugh ugh ugh) became infected and he had to take five million different antibiotics and get his bandage changed at the vet’s almost every day. Now the wound has healed and his bandage is off, but we’re keeping him sedentary for a while longer to make sure the leg is healed. I held him in my arms in the car on the way to the emergency vet, and he was so stoic and brave and snuggly, calmly resting his head against my chest while I tried not to panic and not to focus on the part of his leg that was just dangling there.

These Days These Days
These Days These Days
These Days These Days

My parents came to visit for two weeks, and Nora loved loved loved having her grandparents around. I worked on letting others take care of her, which felt all sorts of weird and wrong at first, but I managed to let go of some control when I saw how much fun she was having. By the end of their stay, I happily spent lots of alone time scrapbooking (because I’m hooked again) and JK and I even went on two mushrooming/trail running trips sans baby.

These Days These Days

Speaking of scrapbooking, I’m having so much fun with it, and scrapbooking more often than I ever have before. Right now it’s all very Ali Edwards-inspired – I’m still working on putting my Week in the Life album together, and I am also making pages for this month’s Story Kit, since I was asked to be a guest storyteller! If you’re not in the scrapbooking world, you won’t know how huge this is, but Ali Edwards is the O.G. of modern scrapbooking, the Zen Master of story, and generally just one of the most inspiring people I know.

These Days These Days
These Days These Days
These Days These Days
These Days These Days
These Days These Days
These Days These Days

Now that the grandparents are gone, we’re back to our normal life. Currently that means lots of time outside enjoying this beautiful fall weather, lots of playing with Duplo (we got Nora a bunch of used Duplo blocks plus a new set with ducks, because she just really has a thing for ducks), and lots of Qdoba takeout, because cooking dinner is suddenly much harder now that I have a more mobile little human in the house. I am making an effort to take the running stroller out more often, because I got into Orcas 25K! Eeep.