Thursday, December 15, 2016

Still here

I'm still here but my lifeguard duties at bath time have gotten more intense now that Miranda tries to stand up and walk around the tub. Plus I don't pump anymore (!) so that time is gone.

But here I am. Guess I should carve out non bathroom blogging time.

This girl is a major daredevil climber.

Swinging in the snow

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Date report

I'm here in the future. Sadly Donald trump is still going to be president.
But Andrew and my date went well. It went exactly as expected and having the reminder from myself about expectations was helpful.

It actually started off a little rocky because he decided to be pain and refuse to take a picture. This battle annoys me because I could likely coerce a photo but then I don't want one of me and my coerce-ee. So I was already a little annoyed and a little leery of what Andrew-tude I was getting. But I checked my own 'tude and we reset and were on our way.

We went to his favorite place for lunch and he was stoked since he'd been asking about it for weeks.

Then we headed to Pike Place market. We walked around and looked at ferries in the sound. I realized how annoying it must be to be at everyone's butt height so we walked up toward west lake center and looked at the Christmas tree and whether they had a playground. Then we grabbed ice cream at cupcake royale.

By then it was almost showtime.

I was most worried about his reaction to the theater. We were early enough that we had time to walk around and go up to the stage and generally get a lay of the land. I plied him with chips which they allowed the children to eat inside the theater (crazy!). He was not pleased when the lights went down and sat on my lap with hands over ears for a song or two. But he couldn't resist the raffi and before long was having a decent time in my lap. The sillies kicked in and he got wiggly on me/in his seat/in the aisle. I let him do his thing as long as he was being a decent audience member.

As for me, i enjoyed the show SO much. There were tons of groups of three or even four generations. It made me really happy to see him with Andrew even if it wasn't the highlight of our special date to him.

I didn't take many pics

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Note to future self

I'm really excited about the mother/son date I have tomorrow with Andrew. But I am writing myself a little reminder here to have the proper expectations.

While I have visions of Andrew and I, getting lunch and tromping around Seattle then heading to the raffi concert in great spirits before rocking out to America's most beloved children's folk singer. The reality is that Andrew is his own self and his enjoyment of the day and concert are up to him. I can fully imagine him soaking up the first part of the date I described but absolutely being uninterested in the concert. His right. I won't let him be a jerk about it but he is tentative in new situations and just might not be that into it.

I genuinely want to see raffi perform- the songs All I Really Need and Thanks A Lot are special TO ME. But my choice of date means being flexible and having reasonable expectations.

So, future amber, I hope it went awesome and if it didn't I hope it wasn't because you expected too much and the day still ended as a great mommy/son day for the books.

Will report back!

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Onion of shit

The layers of hurt are just so deep.

I'm not saying I'd have voted for ANY woman but I was counting on electing a woman and the fact that we didn't against someone so wildly unqualified hurts me.

A personal anecdote that keeps popping into my nogs.

I spent all of my high school days busting my hump for the class of 1999. I served as sophomore and junior class treasurer, I led our spirit committee for three years, I did all of the footwork to scout out prom locations and costs and borrowed my mom's car to drive my classmates around to see them all. And I was planning to be the senior class president. I was ready and I had earned it.

When the time came for elections a football player approached me. Friendly guy, bit of a stoner, the lovable flake. He had decided to run for president. He was sort of mocking me but as a professional high school politician I kept my cool. I told him that if he felt like he had something to offer our class he should and I'd run my hardest to beat him. He laughed. I went home and cried.

Either I got to him or his flakey stoner-ness made him miss the filing deadline. Either way he flaked and I ran unopposed.

It hurts that this doesn't just happen to high schoolers. That the scale is boundless. And yes, it could have happened to a nerdy boy - it is generic light bullying. But my femaleness and my preparedness were absolutely being used against me then. And they are used against women now. Because we are used to it and it feels shitty but normal. I'm still optimistic for little girls today. Scratch that. I was optimistic until we just showed them this stark example between a qualified woman and a man who was not only unqualified but outwardly hostile and disrespectful to women.

I remember 16 year old me crying in my car, why the fuck is 35 year old me having to do so again?

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Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm a little lost.

I wasn't sure what path I was on before but as we've finally started getting our shit together in my house I was sorting out a plan. I'd started volunteering a little again. I thought I'd found a useful and fun place to give a little time and money to.

Now I'm confused again. What can I do? What is my part in mitigating this hideous new reality? I'm trying not to be hyperbolic but every piece of evidence seems to indicate that I'm in line with reality.

The charities I'd settled on seem like frivolous extras in what is now a crisis situation.

I am so heartbroken about the choice this country has made and I'm terrified of what this moment in time means for what is next in our history.

Pictures that now punch me in the gut.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Washington, you're doing it wrong

We went to the beach! Last weekend of October. You'll be SHOCKED to learn it was rainy.

M's dad rented us all an awesome base house with a killer ocean view. His family had been going here for many eons and it was cool to get to bring our kids with him. Sadly this weekend was the first available so we didn't exactly get to do it the sunny way.

But we tried!

The full day we were there it was a torrential downpour but we attempted the beach with hopes of a break. No such luck

It was pretty comical, the sand for sand castles was soaked and heavy.

Miranda was not buying it.

But we explored and did our best to enjoy the surroundings.

But the true value of the trip came from hanging out with M's family. We watched movies and colored and played Zingo.

Andrew slept in a twin bed for the first time which felt crazy.

I feel like Washingtonians are sadly under experiencing what a real beach weekend is. But they are cute for trying.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hugh O'brian creeping me

Ok how creepy. A few hours after I posted my HOBY chant I got this text.

Computers are freaky.

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We are in heated agreement*

I don't know how to more enthusiastically be enthusiastic about things at work.

It's a real problem.

I'll be asked to do something and I'll say "no problem" without any amount of problem or underlying distaste for the task. Then I'll be asked again and again until I'm needlessly annoyed about being asked to do the thing but still not about the thing. But annoyed nonetheless and I worry that I also look annoyed at that point.

The culture here seems to be trending toward a level of exuberance that I'm just not cut out for and frankly isn't entirely believable to me. I've been here almost nine (nine!) years but I feel like the culture and my own personal mannerisms have diverged a bit over the past couple years.

I honestly am stumped on what to do. I try to stay genuine and positive in my comments and in many ways I'm more of a team player now than at other points in my career here. I read Shackleton's Way a few years back and it really helped me become a better employee and overall more objective about things. But it looks different on me than I think people might want to see?

nowadays this makes me the most ragey- WHO THE HELL SLIPS A P100 IN WHEN ANY DECENT PERSON EXPECTS A P200?!?!?!?

The other day I had to tell my manager "you're not taking yes for an answer." I'd just gotten super frustrated over repeatedly and (to me) good naturedly saying I'd be happy to do something. He asked enough times that I even double checked my body language and face settings but as far as I could judge they were all in line. And to clarify it was a future item- I wasn't just being asked as a way of prodding progress. It's during planning that this sort of things happens and I don't get it.

In 10th grade I attended the HOBY Youth Leadership conference and we did the following chant:
"To be enthusiastic you must act enthusiastic (repeat thrice). OH BOY! AM I ENTHUUUUSIASTIC!"

Guess it's time to channel that mantra.
Oh boy.

*9 years ago I first heard our CEO say this at a lab meeting when two people were saying the same thing differently and I loved it so much. I try to use it as often as it is relevant.

Cute kids just because

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Monday, October 24, 2016


Too many posts had gotten eaten by my old blogging app that I was ready to give up. The outcry against this so was overwhelming and 100% of my readership reached out to me to protest.

So let's try a new app.

Here's a test post.
This past weekend was planned to be really full and fun.

On Friday however we got word from daycare that M was running a temp. Michael finished up work and picked the kids up* and we snuggled our girl and went to a wait and see mode.
*this was the first time in my working parent life that I've not been the one closer to go get a sick kid. It was weird. These kids are so damn lucky to have the dad they have. Makes me pretty lucky too.

We had a movie night on Friday and kept it easy.

A rough night on Friday led to a fever free baby Saturday morning! We went for a walk to the park with our friends chalitor. And still had a happy fever-free baby.

Our big Saturday plan was the 7th annual pumpkin carving party. We all had a perfect record and it is our favorite Halloween tradition we were really hoping to get to go. So we did no preparation but decided if our baby patient had a good nap and woke up feeling good we'd all go. And we did!

Sunday Michael and I had our first show on our new season tickets to the paramount theater. It was for the Carole King musical "beautiful" (alternately titled "yep, I wrote that too"). The kids stayed with a baby sitter and that is probably another post.

Well, I've written this long ramble and it hasn't crashed!
Let's add pics.

The plan had been that Andrew would make some monster chocolate covered pretzels but we figured if we had some sort of plague we'd keep it to ourselves

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Test 2

My blogging app appears dead. 

Signing off forever. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Physics and body image

Everyone who has taken any intro to physics know
Force= Mass x Acceleration

Sadly a quarter or two later you learn about how stored energy works.

Last night was a physics word problem come to life at my little Fit4Mom workout class. 

My mass accelerating created enough force to snap the resistance band that my partner was holding for me and it snapped back unleashing all of that stored energy hitting her hand and whipping back to give a big lash on her back. I was so worried for her, concerned about her pain and hand, guilty and embarrassed last night that I came home and cried on Michael.  

Now getting the word that her fingers aren’t broken and ligaments look OK I can focus on those last two emotions especially the embarrassment.
The root of it is in the fact that it is hard for me to look at my body objectively, even when I am my fittest self I struggle with seeing myself with love and kindness and when you add the 20 lb that I can’t move since Miranda was born it is a real struggle. I work hard, and especially since I have a husband who I feel secure knowing he loves my body and children who I want to always feel good in their own skin, I work hard to be kinder and to be appreciative. And it usually works OK. I actually oddly feel better about my body naked than I do dressed and had recently convinced myself that was a sign of ill fitting or uninspiring clothing. 

Now, I know in my head that it could have happened to anyone. Furthermore there are women in this class who are 5'11" and certainly weigh as much as I do unless they are severely underweight. But I am feeling HUMILIATED. No one made any indication that my fatty self had caused the accident and i was not self absorbed enough to worry about it much last night but today I'm so so embarrassed. And struggling to regain perspective on my self image. I really don't want to go back to class and, albeit immature, I keep finding myself wanting to or actually self sabotage  with food. I hate that my self image is so fragile and really hate how quickly any progress can be dashed. There is nothing I want more than to get a handle on my own shit before my kids get cognizant of the idea that there should ever be anything to dislike about your body. And I will keep working on it because it really does matter to me that Michael and I lead the way for them. But holy shit this incident highlighted what a thin (excuse me healthy) rope I walk on the path of good self image. 

 I feed a person using just my body and I lift cabs off of my baby with one hand. Why do I give my body such a hard time?

Friday, September 9, 2016


At a birthday party last week SeƱor  Bossypants was explaining how to properly use the gift he’d chosen (a monster truck) and emphasizing how much it would benefit the birthday girl if he showed her by playing with it. I joked that he was man-splaining to us but thinking about it I realized that wasn’t right or fair.

Four birthday party food groups: cake, cupcake, rice Krispy treat and chocolate 

He was todd-splaining (and I don’t mean explaining it to Todd, which he also did, but it is toddler explanations). He is in the adorable yet sometime exasperating apex of a deep command of language and newly developing awareness of how and why things are the way they are- whether perceived or real. This seems to create an enthusiasm that WILL NOT BE contained and ideas which MUST BE evangelized. I love hearing how he is putting together complex issues in his- like when he was telling us that yogurt melted and became smoothie. The ideas that it is obvious he’s chewed on for a while and is ready to explain to you.  Todd-splaining can be a bit tiresome being explained to in focused and wholly incorrect detail. Like when your little backseat driver explains how you shouldn't have turned because the light is red and you explain about right turns- then hearing about how you should go on a red light but then have to discuss that some right turns have special rules. Can be exhausting. 

But hot damn if the messenger isn't too cute and too earnest to argue with sometimes. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I understand now!

I finally figured out the value of Instagram in my life. 
It allows you to unfollow the Facebook friends who gross you out with their politics while still being able to see pictures of their pets, children and food!

Thank god!


Friday, August 19, 2016

If you let them read books

One area that I exercise my privilege is that I practice almost no restraint when it comes to buying children’s books. We’ve started going to the library, which I love and appreciate and genuinely use for my own reading endeavors, but if I’m honest it is more as a civics lesson than anything for kid’s books*. This being the case, Andrew has approximately 10,000 books in his room. His baby sister has (as this post is being written while feeding her before bed) three. 


We just don’t want to clutter her pretty head with all those words and ideas.


HA! But seriously, this was a parental oversight and/or failure on my part. I naively thought that we’d migrate Andrew’s more baby-ish books to Miranda. This hasn’t worked for the titles in his room. Similar to his parents, Andrew has a penchant for hanging on to books that he will likely never read again. The other factor which we need to put our foot down about is that as I buy Miranda books they have a sneaky tendency to migrate to Andrew’s room. This started out sweetly because we’d all do stories together in his comfy chair before naps. However, it feels like it has become a one way funnel.

So it’s time to remedy this one. We will try the following action items.

1.     We will install a proper bookcase/shelf in Miranda’s room rather than the basket we currently use. Her library should look more official.

2.     With all the hypocrisy we can muster we will get Andrew to do a bit of a book purge.

3.     He’s got to return books to her room when we are done reading them or at least the flow of book traffic needs to be more even. I actually would prefer that no one member of the family OWNS any books himself, rather that the whole family has a library, but I understand that we all four have certain titles that are special to us.


…maybe there is a book on book sharing.   


*Cutest moment - we checked out a dinosaur book which had the other titles in the series on the back. Andrew became obsessed with finding the other books so when we returned the first book we talked with the librarian and he found them elsewhere and placed a hold for us. Now we’re swimming in dinosaur library books.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Things I think I like but don't.
Outdoor movies. 
Farmers markets. 

Things I shouldn't like but I do
Trashy television. 
When my lips and brows are freshly waxed. 

Things I want to be better at but don't chose to put effort into
Doing hair and makeup, dressing cute. 
Career building. 
Learning a second language. 

Things I feel like I should know but don't and am not clear how to learn
House crap. 
How to know when to fix something yourself or when to get help. 
How to find and hire professionals. 
Time management. 
How to deal with unwanted body hair. 
How to determine the need and when to go to the doctor. 

Things you can directly link to any mental health episode I might have in the near future
This presidential election. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Birthday blast!

The birthday bonanza was a success!

Day out with Thomas 
This wound up not having a birthday vibe at all. It was cute enough. If you want to save yourself the semi-steep admission ticket you could have had an almost equally cool experience by packing a picnic and watching Thomas come and go. But it was a fun afternoon. 
Baby #2- failed to pack her anything to chew on so she got an empty ice cream cone. 

The birthday party
His party was SO FUN. His interests are shifting at the moment and his two passions in life are construction vehicles and more recently dinosaurs. So rather than pick one we did a trucks and dinosaurs party. We'd been feeding his construction love with a storage tub full of mulch which he drives his little trucks in. We doubled down for his party and filled a kiddie pool of mulch and buried little dinosaurs. I collected more trucks from a thrift store run and borrowed a few from my mom. He was in hog heaven. We also set up the sprinkler maze Michael built which has been at all of his birthday parties. Everytime I checked in on the birthday boy he was deep in an activity (typically digging) with one little buddy or another. It was the sweetest thing, he had so much fun. I don't know what to do about how much everyone in our life spoils him but that's a sweet problem to have. He is an appreciative kid for a two/three year old so for now I think it's cool. 

Actual birthday
Today we took Miranda to daycare and had a day with Andrew. We went to a trampoline place for toddler hours. Andrew and I jumped for over an hour. We both LOVED it. We may have to make it a mother/son regular outing. 

Then we went out for breakfast for lunch. 

We were pretty birth day'd out (Michael and I) but capped the day with a leftovers  dinner and one more happy birthday song with his truck candles (they also got to go in the bath with him- he was a fan). 

**bonus: this year he was super in love with his captain zoom birthday song. I got a cassette tape of this song from one of my aunts on my fourth birthday and thanks to the Internet was able to find it again in 1999 for the first of my friend's children. Since then I've gotten one for basically every little one year old I know. Now including my Andrew. And this year he loved it. It made me pretty happy. 

Another awesome thing: my aunt was able to drive her wheelchair down into our backyard and got to be at the party! It was her first visit to the new house and I was so glad it worked out. 

Additional win: Michael reminded me about our family birthday plate and it was even somewhere that I could find it! Now it can stay out for September, October and December.