Saturday, July 16, 2016

Around Here Lately


Bloodline on Netflix. OMG. I guess I'm just echoing the masses here, because it's Netflix's most popular original show, but wowzers. We just finished up the second season and I was completely riveted by the Rayburns and all their effed up issues. I actually screamed out loud during one episode at a particularly shocking moment. I am INVESTED in John's campaign for sheriff. What can I say? #ilycoachtaylor #cleareeyesfullheartscantlose


I just can't quit with Young House Love, and now they have a podcast. So I've been tuning in. They recently interviewed Tiffani Theissen (of Saved By the Bell and 90210 fame) so now I'm watching Dinner at Tiffani's on the cooking channel. Even though I am not much of a cook, I think having a cooking show would be fun. The podcast is mostly about decorating, and they do a little phone interview with a different decorator or celebrity each episode. John and Sherry are also the cutest.


Just finished two fantastic books in a row. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield (St. Louis resident! We don't know each other but otherwise would undoubtedly be good friends) is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It's not easy to do Jane Austen justice, but this interpretation of an Austen classic is the best thing since the movie Clueless retold Emma. I loved it and knowing how the story would end took absolutely none of the enjoyment out of it. If anything, I was even more curious to see how Sittenfield would (or wouldn't) mix things up. I think she hit just the right combination of true-to-the-original and unexpected twists. My book club is discussing tomorrow night, so I'm interested to see if other people liked it too, or if I'm just a super dorky nineteenth-century-Brit-Lit crazy person.

You'd think that book would be a difficult act to follow (and it was!), but the aptly-named The After Party by Anton Disclifani (former St. Louis resident! We were in grad school in the same English department at the same time! I actually know her in real life and she is so cool she's intimidating except she's also funny and kind) was perfect. In some ways it's interested in social expectations and, like Austen, walks that line of critiquing social conventions while also recognizing their value in offering people a sense of purpose and stability. The real story, though, is in the secrets people keep even from their closest friends. I appreciated that while the book had me certain that something was going on with Joan, the revelation was surprising and retroactively changed the way I felt about some of the characters. I liked Anton's first book The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls but I liked this one even better.


After reading The After Party, I want my summer drink of choice to be a gin & tonic, and I want to drink it while wearing a 1950s-era dress with my hair in a high ponytail. But because this is my real life and I've been staying at a condo in Branson where I have neither gin nor tonic on hand, I'm drinking lime beer. David is a beer snob who cringes at my choice, but what can I say? It's light! And refreshing! And delicious with tacos or burgers!


Garlic. Actually, the smell has (finally) dissipated. Or I've become so accustomed to it and it has settled into my pores and now I just can't smell it anymore. A long time ago, David bought a huge jar of minced garlic and put the jar in the fridge downstairs but put some of the garlic in a plastic container upstairs (pro tip: don't store minced garlic in plastic!). Anyway, just recently the plastic container was nearly empty and REEKED, so (unbeknownst to me) David took it out of the fridge and put it in the dishwasher. When he ran the dishwasher, instead of cleaning the garlic smell out of the plastic container, it transferred the smell of garlic to everything plastic that was in the dishwasher (so basically a few glasses and the girls' plates). The whole kitchen smelled like it. I texted David (who conveniently got to go to work the next day) and told me we might have to move. Then I consulted Google and ended up running the dishwasher a couple more times with Borax and vinegar in it. I also burned an almond chai candle and opened windows and turned on the ceiling fan. Seems to have worked. Bonus: no vampires in the vicinity.


I've been wearing the heck out of a swim suit I bought on a whim last summer--a retro-looking one-piece I ordered from Mod Cloth. It's so vintage looking that a friend asked me if it was actually vintage (Can you imagine how gross that would be? It's not like swimsuit materials holds it shape and elastic deteriorates over the years.). Anyway, this looks-old-but-is-actually-new suit covers everything so I can chase my kids around the pool without reflecting on how my belly button looks like someone knifed an old balloon, but I still feel like it's cute without trying too hard. And mostly it's super comfortable, which has somehow become my number one concern in clothing and shoes. This probably explains why I'm also wearing Birkenstock sandals and a pair of khaki cut off shorts that are literally a pair of khakis that I cut off. Perhaps I am in no position to be giving fashion recommendations.

Zuzu is wearing a new favorite dress--a sweet little white dress with blue embroidery from Crew Cuts that she got for her birthday from our neighbor kid whose mom works at J. Crew.

Coco has been wearing a lot of rompers, though her legs are looking shockingly long.

Done. Like totally and completely done-zo. A month ahead of schedule. 23 months of Mama Milk, and Coco just sort of up and decided at the beginning of July that she was over the Mama Milk. It kind of came out of no where, as I thought she'd continued to be pretty enthusiastic. We were nursing every night before bed and first thing every morning. But then on vacation we had some mornings where she woke up eager to go play or bedtimes when she was asleep in the car and transferred without waking up. Still, once we got home we were right back in our routine. And then, she just sort of seemed to lose interest. One night she nursed for such a short period of time, I asked her if the mama-milk was all gone. "Uh-huh," she said, but she didn't seem upset about it.

After a full day (morning and night) without her asking for mama-milk, I texted a friend telling her that Coco seemed to be finished nursing, but then the next morning she wanted to nurse when she woke up, so I thought maybe I was crazy... But that was the last time she wanted to. She hasn't asked or even acted remotely interested since then. I'd planned to nurse her until she turned two and then I figured I'd be ready to wean (and hopefully she would, too), but of course she had plans of her own.

I'm glad that she made up her own mind, but it's also kind of bittersweet that my baby is getting so big. 23 months of nursing made for such sweet times with her. It just feels like the End of an Era, and although I'm excited about what the next stage of life will hold, I have a lot of mixed feelings about leaving the baby phase behind. And of course I know a lot of that is natural, but I can't help but wonder if my extra-intense-emotions are more about losing a child than raising two of them. (Hashtag story of my life.)

Still thinking about a rug for the upstairs landing, though I've moved a little red bench up there that looks pretty cute and fits the space well, so now I've at least narrowed my rug choices to "rugs that have red in them." I tend toward a more traditional rug (the modern one I got for my living room I ended up selling to my good friend Carol, where it looks adorable in her more modern house). I need to decide if I want it to be 3x5 or 4x6, but it's also not a super high priority. I just mostly like to look at rugs online, I guess.

Counting down...
Days until school starts. I read somewhere recently that the end of July is like one long Sunday evening for people who work in academia. I'm feeling that. I know there's still time to relax, but I keep thinking about syllabi and meetings and to-do lists. I'm actually went into my office yesterday because I'd rather do some work now so I can quit thinking about it.


  1. I think even non-babyloss moms feel that way when it's the end of the baby stage. I didn't/couldn't breastfeed, but it was still bitter sweet throwing out that last bottle, finding no more pacifiers buried in the couch, although I still slip my finger into her closed hand when she sleeps, like I did when she was tiny.

  2. Just found your blog- love it! "I just like to look at rugs online, I guess" - I hear you. I spend way too much time browsing internet rugs. And yes, July is one long Sunday evening for teachers, for sure. I have a month left of vacation and I'm already starting to feel the panic rising. Can so relate!

  3. My girls are 8 and 6, and I STILL have breastfeeding dreams. Crazy how I can still miss it (and my last one only nursed until 13 months).