Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Let the merry bells keep ringing

We live in Utah now, so for the first time in Ivy's life we had Christmas morning in our own apartment.

When 9:30 rolled around and our child was still asleep, we couldn't stand the excitement any more and woke her up. I used to think being a kid waiting for Christmas morning was exciting. But having a kid and waiting for them to experience Christmas morning is a whole other level of great. 

She wasn't thrilled to be nudged into the waking world, and when we asked her if she thought Santa visited, she said no and tried to fall back asleep. But with a little more coaxing she eventually got out of bed, only to stop at the window and exclaim "snow!" over and over.

Sure, the snow was beautiful and a Christmas miracle and blah blah blah, but Santa had stayed up late wrapping presents, cleaning, and perfectly arranging the living room, and it was starting to feel like all that hard work might go unappreciated and be totally one-upped by nature. 

However she did finally find the presents and it was snow shmow for the rest of the day. 

Of all her presents, the Doc McStuffins undies were probably what she was most excited about. Go figure. 

It's been a little bit of a post-holiday adjustment for Ivy in the days after Christmas. She keeps singing Jingle Bells and talking about Santa Clause. She also unwrapped a few presents that weren't for her. Quitting cold turkey is hard.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Just like the ones I used to know

Wait, what's the date? Seriously?

I've been feeling a little...overwhelmed this Christmas season. As with most things in my life right now, this is probably 70% pregnancy hormones. And then a good 20% stress over whether or not my child needs to visit a restroom, and 10% normal life stuff like work and laundry and trying to feel the Christmas spirit and make our house magical and Christmasy for our kid, and feeling like I'm just not doing a great job with that.

So by yesterday when it was time to head to church I was feeling a little frenzied, guilty and tired. Being the Sunday before Christmas, it was our ward Christmas program, which is my favorite Sunday second only to the Primary program. It was a pretty standard Christmas program with some ward choir performances, a couple Luke 2-themed speeches and the congregation singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful. But just when I thought we were coming to the end of another perfectly pleasant Christmas Sacrament Meeting, they brought in a closer. A guy I had never seen before stood at the pulpit and started singing Oh Holy Night. The thing about that song is that not a lot of people can sing it well and most shouldn't even try. But when someone nails it, it's the most beautiful song in the world. This guy nailed it and hammered it and built a freaking house out of it. I cried, which, again, give my condition is not remarkable. In fact I cried in the zoo cafeteria the other day for absolutely no good reason at all. But this was like a moved-to-tears by the majesty and beauty of performance kind of cry, and it felt really nice to just sit and enjoy something so beautiful and not feel frenzied or guilty or tired. For about three minutes I remembered that Christmas doesn't have to be perfect and no one really cares that I never got around to putting a wreath on our door, and pretty much all the things the Grinch feels at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

In other news, Ivy has warmed up to Santa this year.

It could be because we took some time to explain the concept of Santa instead of just throwing her into a bearded stranger's lap without warning. 

Also, have you seen this?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Because winning is what Christmas is all about

It's that time of year again when you, the blog readers, determine the winner of the Morley Family Gingerbread House Extravaganz-a-a-a-a!

There was only one participant who had an emotional meltdown this year, and it was not the toddler. I'd say everyone else fared pretty well, and this year's work may be some of our best yet. But there can only be one Christmas winner, so please place your vote in the poll to the right. The poll is on the right and not below the post because blogger hates me. Also, please excuse the shoddy photography, and remember to focus on the creativity and execution of the structure and not the poor lighting and candy mess in the background.

Entry A:

Roadside Farm Stand

Entry B.

A Hot Mess from the participant who had two separate tries collapse and who then spent an hour trying to compose him/herself on the couch. 

Entry C:

Entry D:

City Skyline (Remember, ignore the background)

 Entry E:

Rockefeller Plaza (Yes, there are four diet coke cans back there. Get over it.)

Entry F:

House of Ivy featuring a special photobomb of someone's rear

Entry G:

Brazilian Favela

Entry H:

Project Runway

Entry I:

Scene from a Railroad, shot from two different angles because there's a lot going on.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This morning I heard Ivy say to herself, "Don't pee on the carpet." 

It's been A WEEK. At 32 weeks gestation, we're running out of time before Ramona makes her big debut, and I knew that if I didn't get potty training out of the way now, I probably wouldn't have the energy to try again until Ivy started Junior High. Is the Christmas season an ideal time to put your family through Hell? No. But I'm only going to get more walrus-like and more emotional and what if I deliver early? So a week ago today we quit diapers.

We had three really difficult days. At the end of day 2 I called my mom in hysterics. I told Stephen that if day three still signaled no progress, we were going back to diapers. Indefinitely. But then the next day something started to click. OKAY FINE, I BRIBED MY CHILD. I bought her a Sofia The First doll, placed it on the bathroom towel rack, and told Ivy as soon as she did that which we had spent the previous 48 hours begging and pleading with her to do, Princess Sofia the first was hers. I've never seen anyone look at anything with as much longing as Ivy looked at that doll. And the next morning, she did it. And then she did it again. And then she kind of got it. And she's been making tremendous progress since. I mean, sure, it's a two-steps forward one-step back kind of progress, but she's 2. Accidents are bound to happen. Progress is progress. I'm maybe a little concerned about the psychological damage I've caused by essentially buying my daughter's obedience, but it will take her therapist years to uncover that little bad parenting secret, right?

Now I hate to get all serious and sentimental, but it's amazing how in the past week she's somehow gone from baby to small child. It could be her taking some responsibility for her actions, communicating her needs, and really doing her darndest to make her parents happy. It could be the lack of diaper bum in her now saggy pants. It could be the way she picks out her undies and matches them to her outfit (pink on pink on pink). Whatever it is, she just seems older and wiser and more capable of being a big sister. Which makes me all teary-eyed, but I am eight months pregnant and recently cried at a beer commercial, so take that for what it's worth. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Weekend

You've probably already watched this 12 times. But watch it one more.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bird is the word

Next week we're headed to Disneyland for Thanksgiving. Wait, didn't I just return from a vacation? Yes. Isn't that a little ridiculous? Yes.

Anyway, our Disneyland Thanksgiving meal usually consists of a giant corn dog and fries, which, trust me, is amazing. But a small part of me longs for stuffing and gravy. So this year, I decided we would have our cake and eat it too, and by cake I mean turkey. 10 days early.

I really enjoy cooking. To a semi-obsessive extent. I spend more time reading recipes than I do literature. The more difficult a meal is to prepare, the more excited I get. However I've never had the bravery to attempt an entire holiday feast. It's always been something best left to the kitchen veterans. Those who have spent years perfecting their sage to butter ratio and turkey browning procedure. But all those years had to start at some point, right? I'm 28, so if not now, when? This was my year. So on Monday I made Thanksgiving dinner.

I cheated a little. I didn't make rolls or a pie because I just didn't have the oven space. I did do a turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. For Stephen, Ivy, and me. It's an obscene amount of food for three people, but I've had stuffing for lunch every day this week, and the turkey seems to be getting better with refrigerator aging.

Stephen looks a little Charles Manson-y in this photo, and you can't really see the huge plate of turkey in front of Ivy, but it's the only proof I have. While the stuffing was a little parsley heavy, and not all the potatoes mashed as well as I hoped they would, nothing burned, the turkey was actually pretty freaking good, and I now know that making gravy is...gravy. So let's mark it a success.


I am very pregnant. My back kind of hurts and I panic every time fifteen minutes passes and I don't feel a kick, but other than that things aren't too terrible yet. We're at 11 weeks until Ramona's due date, which seems both a really long time and a shockingly short amount of time. At some point I should really figure out where this kid is going to sleep. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mexico Part 2 Dos, Also Montezuma's Revenge

I spent yesterday dealing with a surprise souvenir from our Mexican adventure. In retrospect, one should probably pay more than $3.00 for six tacos. Or maybe it was the ice that did me in? We were careful to only drink bottled water, but I did have a lot of ice with my coke lights with lime. Whatever it was, it wreaked complete havoc on my system and I spent the night thinking surely I would die. Luckily, now it's passed and I can get back to the remembering our sunshine-filled week on the beach. 

The thing about unwinding is that it takes a while. Stephen and I were both in the middle of about 7,000 projects when we picked up and left the country for a week, and the hotel had no free wifi, so we spent the first couple of days twitching and feeling a little...bored. I also called my parents about 17 times to make sure Ivy was still breathing. Oh. And. As if we weren't feeling guilty enough as parents, we met an adorable young couple (the wife was about as pregnant as I am) who had brought their daughter because they are better people than we are, and the daughter's name was Ivy. We nearly melted with bad parent guilt every time we saw them. So by Tuesday night we were feeling antsy and really missing our kid and wondering if maybe we should just head home early. But then, by day 3, we started to feel okay about spending the entire day reading and eating guacamole. And we remembered that Ivy's grandparents are way more attentive to her needs than we are. Plus, we were averaging 11 hours of sleep a night and starting to really feel the benefits. 

Except for one night. At about 1:00 am the entire hotel woke up to what can best be described as mariachi marching band music booming from a boat on the beach. Take mariachi music, which is no quiet affair to begin with, add some really heavy drums, amplified with speakers, and lasting for about an hour. Most of the other hotel guests were aged somewhere between 62 and 107, and they did not take well to the early morning serenade. One woman yelled from her balcony "Turn that off!" as though the people actually on the boat with the sonic boom would hear her. The man above us called the front desk and asked them to use lethal force to make the music die. It didn't work. Just as one song would end and we thought sleep could finally take us once more, another would start. Stephen thinks it was part of a war between hotels, some hospitality sabotage, which I tend to agree with if only because it's a more exciting explanation than drunk fishermen enjoying some late night sweet tunes. 

Anyway. We spent our mornings at the beach, eavesdropping on the group in the lounge chairs next to us. The men, all in their 60s,  wore gold chains and shorts that were not age appropriate. The women, all in their 50s, wore extra cleavagey bikinis and everyone was inexplicably tan for being from New York. They would talk about whatever member of the group was back at the hotel, and from what we could gather, a few of the couples were arguing but pretending not to be.  The resort started serving drinks at 10:00 am(!) before even offering food, and the people on the other side of us usually started their beers right around then. 

We'd spend the afternoon walking the beach, watching the pelicans try and catch fish, hunting for crabs on rocks, and choosing sea shells to show Ivy. Then we'd sit by the pool, read, order guacamole and make our way to the marina for insanely cheap meals. As mentioned earlier, I ended up paying in other ways, but still. Gotta love a bargain.

We made friends with lots of iguanas, which were everywhere, including the top of the palm tree right outside our room. 

We took a break from the sun to go see Interstellar. Dude, that script needed some HELP. I actually laughed out loud at multiple lines, and when the final plot climax was revealed I rolled my eyes. But the theater had the most delicious caramel popcorn so it was worth it. 

Please keep in mind that I'm 7 months pregnant and didn't do my hair all week.

By week's end we were relaxed, full of burritos, and twice as freckled as when we left. It was just enough of a break, and we were ready to go be parents again. But Ivy wasn't quite ready for us. When we walked into my parents' house, Ivy started crying, reached for my mom, and wouldn't look at us for thirty minutes. Ollie, however, peed with excitement when he saw us. So at least someone missed us. Ivy did eventually come around. The gifts probably didn't hurt. She's been counting the seashells we gathered for days now. And I think she's happy to be back in our funny little routine, even if she did spend thirty minutes crying "NO PANTS!" this morning. Stephen and I are happy to be back too.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mexico Part 1

It feels entitled and selfish and very one percent every time I say, "I need a vacation." But in the middle of my first trimester, right after we had moved to Utah and Stephen was studying for the bar and Ivy had stopped napping and I was wondering if I would spend the rest of my life hunched over the toilet, I felt more deserving of a vacation than I really had any right to. 

So I got to work planning. With enough credit card points to cover our hotel stay, and Stephen's parents generously donating some of their sky miles, it was a getaway that wouldn't put us in the poor(er) house. So the only thing left to feel guilty about was abandoning our child for a week. When my parents came to pick her up the night before our departure, I had good cry and imagined all the worst-case scenarios that could possibly happen in our absence, because if I worry enough about it it won't happen, as I always say.

The next morning Stephen and I, the official least biggest fans of the AM hours, woke up at the crack of dawn and tried not to bit each others' heads off on our way to the airport. Mornings are bad for marriage. 

But after we checked in and made our way to the gate, our moods started to change. There's a very different feel between the passengers waiting to travel to say, New Jersey for a business conference, and those waiting to board a plane to Puerto Vallarta for a week's vacation. A good 75% of our fellow passengers wore their finest tropical-themed shirts and offered commentary on the very favorable Mexican weather forecast. People were smiling. A Delta employee called Stephen and I to the desk. She informed us that she had noticed we weren't sitting next to each other and had rearranged some passengers so our seats were in the same row, making her the first airline employee I've ever had the urge to hug. Once aboard the plane, the pilot cracked some corny jokes, we all enjoyed our in-flight beverages, and a good nap later, we landed in PV. 

The line to get through customs wrapped around the airport and it looked as though we had an hour wait before getting our passports check. BUT, just as the bad mood came creeping back, an airport employee directed us to a line-less station. If looks could kill, we would have suffered grisly deaths a hundred times over at the hands of those poor suckers ahead of us in the line that never ended. Worth it. Sure, it was frustrating when we were stopped twice by what we thought were official employees only to find out they were trying to sell us tickets to some dumb dinner show, and yeah, we probably paid way too much for the cab ride to the hotel, but overall the trip south was the best traveling experience of my life to date. 

We dropped our luggage off in the hotel room, headed to the beach, opened our books, and enjoyed the first of what would be many refreshing pool-side Coke Lights. 

Not sure how to get it to him?

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's Decorative Gourd Season


Sorry for the absence. I've been swamped with work and watching Gilmore Girls and parenting and watching Gilmore Girls.

I'm telling a story tomorrow night for The Porch in SLC. Eli from It Just Gets Stranger is the night's featured story teller. Eli's blog is everything a blog should be and is easily one of my favorite places on the internet. So even if my story is a total stinker, it will still be an event worth attending. Tickets available here.

Stephen and I are heading on a babymoon. Just Stephen and I. No Ivy. Half of me is looking forward to a week of napping and seeing movies and not answering the question "What are you doing?" 237 times a day. The other half is feeling like the worst mother in the world and like I can't survive a week without my child and I'm asking so many what ifs that I'm about five minutes from having to breathe into a paper bag. She'll be in the very capable hands of her grandparents who have collectively raised seven children, and she'll enjoy being spoiled rotten far more than she'd enjoy a beach, but STILL. My baby. But also naps. And diet cokes by the pool. And reading eight books. She'll be fine, right? She'll be fine.

Because we're leaving on a jet plane and LEAVING OUR KILLER DOGS HERE AND THE ALARM SYSTEM WITH LAZERS ON, I probably will forget won't have time to blog about Halloween. But I would never deprive you of photos of my kid in a costume.

Or photos of my dog in a costume.

Or my favorite Halloween video.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gestational Gesturings

I am hungry. Always hungry. And not for green smoothies and quinoa. I am hungry for bacon and cheese and lots of carbs. Ramona must have the palate of a lumberjack.

In related news, I learned how to make Egg McMuffins at home, so I guess I really did deserve the Hope of America Award they presented me in sixth grade.

With T-15 weeks until due date, it's time to start thinking about preregistering at hospitals and finding the infant carseat and saying goodbye to the last pair of non-maternity jeans. Oh and a birth plan. Ha. The birth plan. Last time the birth plan was:
1. Get to the hospital in time.
2. Lay on the drama real thick until they administer the epidural.
3. Try not to be too grossed out by whatever happens next.

Aside from a few false starts, it went pretty much as I had planned, and I think I'll stick to the same basic outline this go around.

It's hard to avoid the natural vs. medicated birth talk when discussing baby's arrival. I always feel a little defensive. I have no justifiable reason for this. No one has ever given me any sort of grief for wanting a Betty Draper-esque hospital experience. Natural labor and delivery just seems like such a popular method nowadays, and maybe that's a vocal minority thing, but I feel like the girl who shows up to the first day of seventh grade wearing Doc Martens when Doc Martens were soooooo last year. So why not try it? Because I don't like pain. Last time, as soon as the real, undeniable, contractions started, I was in a lot of pain. Not the running a marathon kind of endurance pain, but the FORTHELOVEMAKEITSTOP kind of stabbing pain. I now recognize that this was due in large part to back labor. And probably exhaustion and fear and blah blah blah. But then I got an epidural and I freaking took a nap and then we had a lovely conversation about local restaurants with my Doctor as Ivy made her way out. And now I'm getting all nostalgic thinking about that day and all teary eyed thinking about holding another new born baby and I'm actually looking forward to the giving birth thing. So long as there are drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.

Monday, October 20, 2014

If you're out on the road feeling lonely and so cold

There's that moment when your child leans in close, looks you in the eyes, opens her mouth, and sneezes in your face. It's the moment you know you're doomed. No amount of orange juice or hand sanitizer or Airborne is going to stop the sick train headed for the you station.

It hit me Thursday evening. That first tickle in the ears. Then the scratch in the throat. By Friday I was self-quarantining and by Friday night I was pouring home-made saline into my nostrils because wikihow told me to. I woke up Saturday wishing that I hadn't.

I tend to get a bit dramatic in sickness. Last year during a bout of food poisoning I told Stephen to make sure my affairs were in order. But look. I'm pregnant. Which pretty much means having a mild form of about eight different illnesses for about a year. And pregnancy prohibits both Nyquil and Excedrin, the elixirs of life when a cold usually strikes. So being sick on top of sick and without the medical marvels I've grown so accustomed to felt like life was saying, "just give up and phone it in today." So I turned on Gilmore Girls. For eight hours. Ivy now knows every word to the theme song which is really all I've ever hoped for as a parent.

Anyway, I don't know if it was sufficient rest and time or the good people of Stars Hollow, but I'm feeling much better now.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Like mother like daughter

This morning I decided to make some sort of effort at being a "good mom" and take Ivy to story time at our local library.We walked into a room with a grown woman yelling a story at a group of wiggly toddlers, and Ivy turned to me and gave me a look that read, "what kind of freak show is this?". She refused to sit on the mat or get up and dance to the hokey pokey, and I started to feel like maybe I've failed her as a mother. Because honestly, I was also uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable around all the other moms who could tell that I've failed to properly socialize my child, I was scared of small talk, and I was hoping that parents weren't required to also dance to the hokey pokey. They were. It's kind of why we don't usually go to story time. Between the two of us, we're an antisocial wreck.

The narcissist in me loves that Ivy inherited some of my traits. She has my hair and my eye color, and she loves to tell jokes. But I was hoping she could skip out on my shyness. Because it's hard to be shy. It's hard to have people tell you how shy you are, even when you think you're being friendly. It's hard to dislike parties and it's hard to blush any time you have something to say to a group.

Sorry, Ivy.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Happy Weekend

This Unremarkable Nobody

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On Utah and its females

"Utah women need to stop trying so hard!" declared the young man at the table next to us, loud enough for our table of Utah women to hear. I was dining with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law, three of us Utah natives, one of us a Utah convert, all of us trying not to take too much offense to this guy's statement.

Having been born and raised in what I consider to be a pretty decent place, I was surprised to get to BYU and meet so many people who were so unhappy with the location of the college they electively chose to attend. Sometimes, not knowing my origins, or knowing my origins and not caring about my feelings, fellow students would making sly remarks about Utah, Utahns, or "Utah Mormons" as though we were a lesser species who that had infiltrated their space and housing and roads, not the other way around.

I've met people beyond college who make similar statements. Who warn about the danger of raising children in Utah and laugh at the ignorance of those in Happy Valley. I try not to get defensive. I struggle.

Look. I get it. We have our flaws. I've even been a vocal critic of Utah and Utahns at times. Winters are cold and inversiony. We're not super considerate drivers. Some of us choose questionable hair styles. Some of use name our children after our favorite Scrabble tile draws. And for the love, why are so many of us wearing our best heels to Target? Our I-15 billboards are obnoxious, and our politics, actually, I don't want to get into last one.

But of all the criticisms, "trying so hard" seems unfair. So many of the world's problems seem to stem from people not trying hard enough. So how can we fault anyone for making any sort of effort? Honestly, it's those efforts that makes me appreciate the women in my life, a good chunk of them from Utah, as much as I do. The Utah women, my family and friends, I know are kind, and thoughtful. They invite my family to dinner after just meeting us. They watch my child while I go to doctor appointments or just need to get work done. They meet me for lunch on days when I need adults to talk to, they drop off apples just because, and they generally make me feel welcome everywhere I go. I can only hope to someday try so hard.

In other Utah news, this Thursday night I'll be telling a story for The Porch, 8:30 at Muse Music. It's always a really fun event, and I'd really love to see you there.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy Weekend

We're a few short days away from THE ENTIRE GILMORE GIRLS COLLECTION DEBUTING ON NETFLIX(!), so you would be wise to spend your weekend preparing. This should help. 

If you don't hear from me until November, it's because I'm in Stars Hollow. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

An actual conversation with Ivy

Ivy: What's your name, Mom?
Me: My name is Meg. What's your name?
Ivy: My name is Tarzan.

It might explain why she sometimes calls me Jane and caresses my face.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Can't wait to hear when it's finished

Yesterday marked a 20 week ultrasound and the assurance that baby girl is still a baby girl. So I've decided to tell you her name because I like you guys and it's not a secret and I want to claim this name before someone else does. YOU HEAR ME, BEYONCE? IT'S MINE. 

We're naming our second daughter Ramona. 

I believe we're naming her after my favorite books from childhood, the Ramona Quimby series. 

Stephen believes we're naming her after The Ramones. 

We both believe this song is awesome, so...win win?

Poor Ramona already suffers from second child syndrome. In fact the only thing we've really done for her so far is named her. At this point in my pregnancy with Ivy we had painted the nursery, stocked a closet full of tiny dresses, and filled a bookshelf with all the children's classics. This time, nothing. A few weeks ago a friend asked what colors I planned to use in the nursery, and I realized I'm not really sure where this child is going to sleep in our two bedroom apartment. I've done zero research on double strollers and I don't remember where we put the infant carseat. 

The logistics just aren't as thrilling this time around. But every night before I fall asleep, I put my hand on my belly. It takes a minute, but eventually Ramona starts her acrobatic routine, kicking and punching against my abdomen, greeting me with soft sensations of life. And it's totally thrilling. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Weekend

Ivy and I cannot get enough of this song. Don't tell my hipster friends.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dear Princess Kate,

Hey girl!
Congrats on the big news!

As a fellow second-time gestationer, I thought I'd offer some tips I've learned so far this pregnancy. You're welcome.

* There is no shame in eating half a bag of Cheetos in one sitting. For breakfast. 

*Anyone who says you won't feel as sick during your second pregnancy is a dirty liar. You might have the authority to have them burned at the stake. Look into it.

*Old Navy maternity leggings are frequently marked down to half price so watch those online sales. What's that? Top designers send you entire wardrobes specifically tailored to your growing bump? K. Never mind.

*Be prepared to look seven months pregnant at 18 weeks. Maybe give those top designers some warning.

*Your firstborn will never complain about watching too many movies or eating french fries for lunch. Remember that in your can't deal moments. 

*Some brands of prune juice are superior to others. Call me if you need recommendations.

*Ease up on the internet. Once you get that plus sign on p-test, it will seem as though every acquaintance on Facebook is sharing a link to a blog post about that baby that was born with that terrible disease that one in every 8 million babies has. Do not read these posts, unless you want to spend a month or more obsessing over the possibility of the exact same condition striking your fetus until you've convinced yourself it's an eventuality. Also, avoid pregnancy forums unless you've already lost all faith in humanity. 

* You will have moments when you realize that your offspring will double in the next year and that you will likely never make it out of the house again. You will find yourself paralyzed with anxiety and fear. This is normal. Go to Target and buy some eyeshadow or something to distract from the crippling sense of impending doom. It could be your last chance. 

*You will have other moments when you pull out the baby clothes you saved from round one and you will cry with excitement at the thought of having another tiny, squishy human to put that completely unnecessary newborn three piece suit on. Embrace these moments. 

Best of luck these next 40 weeks. Don't hesitate to call if you want to swap maternity tops or something.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Happy Weekend

Thursday, September 4, 2014

For every season Turn Turn Turn

Everybody be like, "Oh no! Summer is ending!", and I'm like, "It's about friggin' time." Summer 2014 was not the best in Walter family history. Stephen spent the majority of his time studying for and taking the bar. Watching someone study for the bar is like watching someone slowly get eaten alive by whatever kind of creature slowly eats human flesh. Ivy and I spent half the time in Provo with my parents to "give Stephen more alone study time" but really just escape having to witness the misery. So my parents had to put up with a frequent visitor who spent half her time complaining about nausea and the other half sleeping. They also had to parent her child since she was so busy complaining and sleeping. Some people handle pregnancy with glowing grace. I am not one of those people.

Also, summer is hot. And full of bugs. And dead grass. And the animals are always asleep at the zoo. And the slide at the playground will melt the skin off your body. Unpleasantness all around.

But today I stepped outside into cool air and shed a tear of joy. Stephen no longer has to study for the bar. I no longer have to take naps between doing dishes and vacuuming. Ivy can go down the slide without blistering her bum. We can wear sweaters and go outside without applying bug repellent and make soup. Good riddance, summer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First, let me take a selfie.

Welp. This happened.


This photo has now appeared in/on:

-Three different issues of the Ensign
-The Liahona (I received many emails from Latvians)
-The For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet
-The 2011 Gospel Doctrine manual
-The Oklahoma City Temple brochure
-The Service page of LDS.org

I've grown so accustomed to this photo popping up everywhere Mormon related that I'm not really mortified anymore. And this is the better version. Yeah, I wish I had brushed my hair, but the original picture features me, my scraggly hair, and my second chin. This is just my scraggly hair and like 1/8 of my face, which somehow people still recognize? Whatever. The elderly lady looks great and that's probably why this image is making the rounds as often as it is. The elderly lady wasn't great though. The whole hour I sat next to her bed, she told me no one ever comes to visit, and the photographer would say "Smile!" Her husband died of some horrible disease, and the photographer would say "Look over here! Smile!" Her children rarely call, "Smile! Why aren't you smiling?" The photographer would coax and I'd do my best to not reflect the depression and guilt that I felt for only pretending to serve this woman and not actually doing anything to lighten her load. So now every time I see this photo, which as I've already explained is more often than I'd like, I'm reminded to try and not be a terrible, selfish human.  I'm also reminded to buy a brush.

It's one of a few photos that serves as an important life reminder. Another is one that I won't post because...I just can't. Also, I've done everything possible to make sure it's buried deep in the internet and I don't even think I could find it if I tried. But I'll describe it for you.
I'm a missionary, dressed in a frumpy turtleneck and skirt with a name tag reading "Masa Morlija" on my shoulder. My hair is carelessly pulled back and I look, well I look like I ate my companion. Six months into my mission in Latvia I had gained a significant amount of weight. My small frame looked and felt like it might break under the pressure of the inflated person it was struggling to keep upright. You know how people get their lips done and the plastic surgeon injects fat until the lips are nice and puffy? It was like someone did that to my entire body but added even extra to my face. It was a long, dark winter, I could barely understand anything anyone was saying, I missed America, and chocolate was my only coping mechanism. I was coping a lot. It was a pretty low point. Things got better though. I learned Latvian. I learned to love a lot of things about Latvia and a lot of Latvians. I continued to eat a good amount of chocolate, but eventually the sun came out and the warm Spring weather allowed us to walk and I could successfully button my shirts again. My mission was always hard, but the good kind of hard. Like the boy, I'm glad I don't have to do that again, but I'm also glad I did it kind of way. After I had returned from my 18 months away and lost about 30 pounds, that dark days photo showed up on Facebook. I of course yelled in horror and promptly untagged myself, but I also felt proud that I wasn't the person in that photo anymore. That I had improved and finished the job that on that December day had seemed so impossible. I never look at that picture, but when I think about it, I'm reminded that things usually get better. Also to go easy on the chocolate.

Then there's this one.

This is week 38 of pregnancy. Looking back on the progression, in most of the photos leading up to this, I look excited and smiley in fresh maternity clothes. But here I just look tired. Tired and ready. That maternity top barely fit. Again, why did I not brush my hair? Anyway, I didn't want to be pregnant anymore. I wanted to be holding a baby. This is the last photo of Meg as just Meg, before Meg became Ivy's mom.  I was just so ready to be Ivy's mom. And even though becoming a mom was overwhelming and difficult and scary, more than I expected, it was also absolutely the best thing to ever happen to me. This photo reminds me that even on days when motherhood feels tough, I'm so much happier having Ivy to hold, being Ivy's mom than I ever was as just Meg.

There are worse things than an unflattering photo, I guess. But don't you dare post one of me without my approval.

Friday, August 15, 2014

And everything nice.

Things got real yesterday when a kind friend did an (early) ultrasound and revealed that Walter baby number two is female. I'll spare you the between the legs photo, but I can't resist sharing this shot of her profile.

I'm well aware that only parents think their child's ultrasound photos are ahhhh so adorable! but look- she's smiling!

Now that I know what kind of human is growing in my belly, this pregnancy feels less like food poisoning and more like The Miracle of Life. And if I'm being totally honest, I'm very relieved baby girl is a baby girl. I feel ill-equipped to raise a boy, maybe because I'm not one?

Or maybe I'm glad we're having another girl because I like our first one so much. 

Of course I have moments when I cry in the shower because my toddler is being mean to me, but for every terrible moment she has five hilarious moments. Like when I'm in the bathroom, she knocks on the door and says, "Mom? Can you hear me? Are you okay?". And when she gets dressed for the day, looks at her outfit and says, "Booful. I lub it." She's concerned every time Ollie poops and yells "Oh no! POOP!". A while ago we taught her to say, "Happy Birthday Nick!" for my brother's birthday, and now she says it  every time she's in the bathtub. She calls me "Meg" and Stephen "Papa Steve." She doesn't really seem to understand the concept of pregnancy, but I'm getting really excited to hear what she has to say when we bring the new baby home. Hopefully it's "I lub it" and not "Oh no! POOP!"

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Meg and the just not really great morning

My pregnancy app sent me a 14 week update that read, "Your queasiness may have completely abated by now," and seconds later I had to make a mad dash to the bathroom to abate my queasiness. Real funny, fetus.

I forgot to spray the frying pan and burned my breakfast eggs. I found a spider living in my shoe. I tried to halve a pizza dough recipe, messed up twice, and finally just threw some extra flour in one of the failure bowls and am praying that the dough rises. It should be mentioned that the pizza dough recipe is titled "Lazy Pizza Dough," as in, "Only A Complete Imbecile Could Screw This Up."

Our family grew by one this week with the addition of our new fish. Ivy named her "Windick" and we've opted to call her Wendy for short.

The good news is, Wendy is still alive. The bad news is I nearly killed her by pouring way too many food pellets in her bowl (decorative vase) and making the water cloudy and gross. So it became imperative to clean her bowl (decorative vase) immediately. However, because the decorative vase is a decorative vase and not a bowl, a standard fish net will not fit through the mouth, making Wendy impossible to move, making the vase impossible to clean, and making me panic and brainstorm stories about sleeping fish to tell Ivy. Eventually the panic subsided and I put my college-educated brain to work, manipulated the wire net to work like a ladle, and successfully moved Wendy from water receptacle A to water receptacle B. NASA, I am totally available for hire. I cleaned the bowl and the rocks and felt mighty fine about the minuscule task it took nearly two hours to accomplish. Then I netted Wendy again and placed her back in water receptacle A. But she would not swim out of the net because fish are idiots. Wendy seemed totally content to call the net her new home. Come on, Wendy, have a little respect for yourself. You deserve pretty white rocks and at least a few inches of swimming room. I had to hold the net upside down and force Wendy to free-fall into the water and I'm pretty sure she hates me now. But at least she's not still in the net or the cloudy water? 

Okay. So. Then. I decided to mop our entry way because it had been...a while. I was squirting the last bit of Swiffer juice on the last tile when Ivy ran onto the floor, slipped and fell.  Like any horrific event, as a witness it's hard to remember exactly what happened. Did she hit her head? Or did she fall on her side? I honestly don't know. Of course I googled "Toddler Concussion" and have been watching for symptoms. She's currently frog hopping in the living room, so I guess she's fine?

It's not a bad day. People with ebola are having a bad day. We're just having a kind of rough day. Things are either going to turn around or get worse. Just to be safe I don't think we'll go anywhere because operating heavy machinery aka driving a car just doesn't seem like a good idea. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

3's a crowd, 4's a party

We're growing. Our family and my belly.

Walter baby number 2 is due February 6, 2015. I would include a picture of our fetus but right now it looks more like something from the set of a science fiction movie than a human. Every time Baby Center sends me a Your Pregnancy This Week email, I think, "Ahhhhhh, look at that massive head and visible digestive track! Coochie coochie coo!" I would include a photo of my belly but it looks more like I've been eating too many carbs, which actually, I have, so maybe the bump is just gluten at this point.

Ivy seems to be okay with babies so long as I'm not holding them. The last time I had an infant in my arms, Ivy said, "No baby." So we have some work to do on that front.

We have a boy name we really like and a girl name we really like, so we're cool with either gender. If when I was pregnant with Ivy I told you that gender didn't matter, I was lying. I really wanted a girl. But this time I sincerely would be excited about a son or daughter, though my maternal instincts are telling me it's a boy. So I'm 50% sure it's a boy.

The first trimester has been challenging as I think most first trimesters are. Luckily, Zofran took my morning sickness from completely debilitating to just annoying. And at twelve weeks I'm over the fear of ectopic pregnancy or standard miscarriage. My energy is finally returning, I can open the fridge without dry-heaving, and I've only had one hormonal melt-down in the past week.

Last Friday I went to the doc for my monthly appointment and he pulled out the doppler. I panicked before the tool hit the stomach, suddenly convinced that something had gone horribly wrong and Doctor L would hear nothing. But then the sound of static transformed into a clear, strong rhythm, and I cried listening to baby's beating heart. So it looks like this family of four thing is really happening. Wish us luck....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fonder Heart?

Forgive the absence. Or maybe you didn't notice? Wow. Thanks a lot.

I've had a few time-consuming things going on that have sucked up my To Be To Marsing time.

Things like:

1. Finishing a book. My designer, illustrator, and I are trying to get the final manuscript to a publisher sometime this month. Honestly, I'm pretty proud that we've completed as much as we have given the number of times I've thought to myself "I'd like to write a book" and then made a sandwich instead. Here's a taste of the illustrations from the wildly talented McKay Felt

2. Starting an Etsy Shop. Wait...a mormon mom with an Etsy shop? Stop the press! How original. I know. But look. I like to sew. I enjoy beautiful fabrics and the ability to make something three-dimensional and wearable within a few hours. Plus, it's a joint venture with my forever friend Rachel Rushforth who makes the loveliest baby blankets and notecards. I'm really just riding her coattails on this one. Anyway. Here are some of projects I've listed so far:

You can find these listings and follow our upcoming projects in our shop (etsy.com/shop/lousboodesigns) or find us on Instagram @louboodesigns.

3. Blogging The Bachelorette. This is maybe the stupidest thing I've ever spent such a significant amount of time doing. But shoot if I don't love doing it. Catch up on Andi's season so far here, and then laugh with me every week because it's the most unintentionally hilarious show on television.  

In other news, I'm drinking Diet Coke again. For that brief caffeine-free period, I kept falling asleep for 2-hour stretches. I have a kid and a job and the projects listed above, which leaves no nap time. And honestly, I didn't feel any better off the sauce, and actually discovered that I don't really like life or people without Diet Coke. However I am drinking less than I was before the hiatus, so let's call it two steps forward one step back, okay?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Officially Terrible

I'm seriously considering posting the following letter on the door of my surrounding neighbors.

"Hey Neighbor!
I'm Meg. My family and I just moved into Apartment _____. You may not have seen us yet, but chances are, you've heard us, which is precisely why I've sent you this note. I would just like to make it very clear that I am not routinely beating my child. While she screams like she's being pummeled to the edge of death, I can assure you that this is merely her new and super fun way of reacting to minor offenses which often include:

-Crust on her sandwich
-Cheese peeking out the edge of her quesadilla
-Milk in a sippy cup instead of a bottle
-Being told it's time for bed
-Being told it's time for a nap
-PBS playing the wrong episode of Dinosaur Train
-Bath time ending too soon
-Bath time starting too soon
-Diaper changes
-Wearing pants
-Wearing shoes
-Being offered strawberries
-Being offered cookies
-Someone trying to pick up her toys in the living room
-Being awake
-Being asleep
-Being at Target
-Being at any retail establishment where people will look at a screaming child and harshly judge its mother
-Being at any retail establishment that a child's mother must routinely visit in order to feed her family
-Being at any retail establishment that a child's mother thought would be a fun place to visit
-Wanting a balloon
-Losing a balloon
-Being asked if she needs to use the potty
-Being told the potty is not a toy
-Just living life in general

I'm just as baffled as you are, neighbor. Up to this point my kid has been a mild one, but it seems she's decided to let her toddler flag fly. It could be our recent move. It could be the cold she's been fighting for the past two weeks. Or she could just be two. Regardless, please do not call the authorities the next time you hear what sounds like major distress, and please let me know if I can buy you a pair of earplugs.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Not Dead

Big news! Stephen joined a cult was accepted to Hogwarts became a Founding Fathers impersonator graduated! That hat though, I mean, right? Why?!

There's not much to say except I'm really proud of him, and really glad it's over.

Also, we're Utahns now (again)! We put Phil, Mary, Brad and Carey (Stephen's parents and my parents, respectively) to work hauling boxes over graduation weekend. It's a good thing the parents showed up because I had reached the point in packing where "Let's just set this place on fire" felt like a totally rational thought. Thanks for saving me from life in prison on arson charges, family.  

The lot of us caravanned to Salt Lake and unloaded the U-Haul into our new Cottonwood Heights apartment. Our place is nice and clean, but short on storage. I hope to someday build a house made entirely of storage space. I'm thinking 72 closets, each with 14 shelves. Maybe then I won't have to pile mixing bowls, board games and winter coats into the same space. We all have dreams. But for now the reality is making three separate trips to Target for organization bins and shoe racks. $300 on my Red Card later and we're pretty much moved in. 

We've killed six spiders so far. Well, Stephen killed five massive, possibly deadly spiders, and I killed a baby spider that may actually have been an ant. I guess easy entry for bugs is the downside to ground floor living. The upside is not having to carry a gallon of milk, six grocery bags and a two-year-old up a flight of concrete stairs. The other upside is no downstairs neighbors, and no guilt when I drop something or vacuum at midnight or throw a dance party for the first time in my life. 

Now, the biggest news of all: It's been two weeks since my last Diet Coke. I feel tired and not as new woman-y as I had hoped. I guess I thought that once I let go of my beloved cans, I would be awash in a healthy glow and full of natural energy. Instead I'm fighting a losing battle against the 2:30 sleepies and wondering when days got so long. Sure, some of the fatigue may be due to a week spent moving and a toddler who no longer takes naps (pray for me), but I don't remember being this wiped in a long time. Also, I just plain miss the taste of Diet Coke. So really I don't know how much longer I'll last before jumping off this wagon. Now if you'll excuse me, I need a nap. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dark Days

I'm on my second day without Diet Coke and I feel...

I mean, I'm better than I was yesterday. Yesterday was apocalyptic. Yesterday was also mine and Stephen's fourth wedding anniversary. I'm just the kind of exemplary wife who decides to make a drastic life change on the day that should be devoted to celebrations of love. But honestly, Stephen is in the middle of finals so the night promised little romance to begin with.

Anyway. Why would I give up something I love? And I do love Diet Coke. I love Diet Coke. I do not, however, love what it is most likely doing to me, my heart, and my bones. This is admittedly my own fault. Moderation is a concept lost on me. And at the risk of sounding dramatic, I think I have an addictive personality. I can't have just one delicious, frothy, cold beverage a day. I have five. And while one can a day may not have dire health consequences, five very well might. Also, I could buy much nicer shoes with the money I'm spending on twelve-packs. Also also, I had taken to calling the drink "Mommy's Go-Go Juice" which places me in the same realm of class as Honey Boo Boo. Unacceptable.

So here we are.

Day 2.

Yesterday I went to bed at 9:30 to sleep off the migraine. I had three carbonated waters to fill the void, and six tylenol to help take the edge off the anvil bouncing around in my skull. If I moved my head too suddenly, I yelped in pain. I resisted the urge to vomit all night. But I think that was the worst of it.

Today my head isn't so much screaming as murmuring. I had eggs for breakfast in the hopes that protein would provide the energy caffeine once did. I'm moving a little slower than normal, but I haven't passed out yet. Honestly, I don't really miss it so far. But it is only day two, and I haven't faced a plate of tacos, or an early morning with a baby, or any other situation that in my previous 15 years would make Diet Coke an absolute necessity. 

We'll see how I fare in the coming weeks. Wish me luck...

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Tomorrow we're driving to Utah for the millionth time which means I'll be spending most of the day in Wyoming which means it will not be a Happy Friday. So let's all enjoy this video together today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Someone probably called the police when they saw me taking pictures from my balcony.

You know how your hair always looks awesome the day before you get it cut? That's my life right now but the hair is Colorado and the cut is moving to Utah. I mean sure, most places are spectacular in the spring, and most places would be hard to leave in early May. But the fresh blossoms, green grass, and warm temps are only part of what's making it difficult to depart.

Why you gotta be so lovely, tree?

Three years is just long enough to become attached to a place, and I'm getting weirdly sentimental about saying goodbye to my favorite grocery store, restaurants, etc. 

I even got a little teary-eyed walking out of my annual doctor's appointment. When we moved here in the middle of a pregnancy and I didn't really know anyone or have anywhere to go, I looked forward to my weekly appointment as though it was a gathering with friends. In fact I forced the receptionists, nurses and doctor to be my friends, sometimes staying for an hour or more chatting.

I bought $250 worth of merchandise at my favorite fabric shop and made the cashier promise that they would start selling online.

I feel like I need to explain to the owner of our favorite Thai place that we're moving, and that we would continue to eat there weekly for the rest of our lives if we could. 

But we can't. We can't survive on my part-time freelance income, and it would kill Edith, or maybe Edith would kill us, if we stayed. One hott hair day does not mean you should never cut your hair again. That's disgusting. And so is the smell of Edith's smoking that seeps in through our air vents. So it's goodbye, Colorado. Thanks for being awesome today. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Warning: Holiday Recap Post

Our Easter probably wasn't as religious as it should have been. I never even cracked open the New Testament. But there's something magical, and dare I say spiritual, about watching a tiny child enjoy a holiday. And that's exactly what we did all day. 

Ivy, arguably the luckiest kid in the world, participated in two different egg hunts. The first graciously hosted by our Colorado family, my aunt, uncle and cousins, who all helped Ivy gather so many plastic eggs that her basket became too heavy to carry. 

Ivy and Ollie on the hunt

The second also graciously hosted by our neighbors and fellow ward members, who let us use their pet bunny for an iphone photo shoot. Someday I'll remember to take my actual camera places and this blog will become a real blog. Someday. 

Ivy played with other kids until the sun went down and the weather turned cold. We went home and she said "chocolate!" over and over before crashing and falling asleep.

Again, I probably should have mentioned Jesus and the resurrection at some point during the day, and I should have been on time to Stake Conference instead of showing up an hour late, but in the end my family spent a long, happy, special day together, and that has to count for something, right?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Do you even go to this school?

Last night I was in a pretty terrible mood. I hate to vague post, but it's a boring story and I don't want to waste your precious blog reading time. All that matters is that I was sad and grouchy, and Stephen know there is only one sure-fire way to lift my spirits. Turn on Mean Girls. So he did. I instantly felt better.

Mean Girls is streaming on Netflix. Go watch it 200 times. Or just watch this clip 1,000 times. It's the greatest two minutes in cinematic history.

Happy Friday, friends. May Tina Fey be your spirit animal like she is mine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise

Four years ago, my sister Hannah gave me and Stephen Monopoly for a wedding gift. Not just standard Monopoly. Monopoly *Championship Edition* which probably cost $10.00 more because it includes a plastic trophy with a slot for the current household champion's name to be displayed somewhere prominently in the home. 

For the first month or two of marriage, we played often. Among some of the other surprises one learns about one's spouse in that first year, Stephen learned that I'm kind of extremely board-game-mean. I'm not competitive about many things because I'm not really great at much. With no athletic prowess and minimal musical ability, I always hated track meets and violin competitions and only ever participated for the sake of college applications. But pull out a board game and I become a cut-throat maniac intent on destroying my opponents because I FREAKING CAN. I'm especially terrible when playing Monopoly. My family quit playing with me long ago, and after getting tired of repeatedly losing to his maniacal wife, Stephen decided it was better for our marriage if we put the board, and the trophy, away for a while. 

So our Championship Edition Monopoly sat on a shelf for nearly half a decade, unplayed and neglected. Every now and then, I'd casually mention how fun it would to maybe play Monopoly for just a few hours and Stephen, panic-stricken, would lock the closet. 

But then last week something came over my husband, and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he asked, "Want to play Monopoly?". Before he had a chance to give it a second thought, I had the board out, the money counted and the properties organized. I won. Cause I'm amazing. But I did notice Stephen had improved a great deal. Perhaps three years of law school taught him shrewdness. Perhaps it was easier to detect my vulnerabilities after so many years of living together. Perhaps he was just lucky. We played again the next night. And the next night. Each game more intense than the last. Both of us becoming meaner and crazier.  Like Jumanji on Redbull. Stephen won once, then I won four times in a row, just to show him his single victory was a fluke. I placed the Champion trophy atop our mantle with my name scrawled across the bottom. I was unstoppable. And then we played last night. Stephen won. Another fluke, I thought. So I asked to play again. Early in the game I acquire Boardwalk and Park Place. He was toast. But then he put hotels on all the yellows and all the magentas and soon I was paying $1,500 every time around the board, and soon I was broke. I was beat. I was forced to watch Stephen write his name on the trophy. I pouted. He put away the board, smiling, a pep in his step, I once had in mine. 

Stephen may have won two battles, but I am winning the war. When will it end? When victory is sure. Will there be blood shed? Maybe. Will it be worth it? Yes. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

No shoes no shirt but I still get service

I hadn't been to Target since Friday and I was starting to get the shakes, so I made my way to the ol' bullseye this afternoon. I only picked up seven additional items beyond my list, did a lap to make sure there wasn't any new must-have inventory, then headed to the check-out line. I couldn't believe my fortune when I spotted my favorite Target cashier, with nary a line to her register. To the customer placing her bags in a cart she said, "I used to sew. But then I started working." I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure this statement was in no way relevant to their prior conversation. As she began scanning my items she said, "I like to buy my husband candy bars. After work I just like to unwind, eat some candy bars, and watch TV. Dancing with the Stars or something like that." Then she spotted my two boxes of strawberries and said, "These are only $1.50!"

The actual strawberries I purchased and totally not an image I stole from Google. 

She leaned toward me, lowered her voice and said, "You need some cake and whipped cream to go with these," as though she were sharing the very secret of life and swearing me to shortcake secrecy. "I used to make sponge cake," she continued, "It took like twelve eggs. But you know, I was at home, and I had the time, but then I started working and now I just buy cake." Maybe it was a warning. Sure I might have time now to whip up a sponge cake, but who knows what lies ahead in my future? Perhaps I'll only have the time and the means for smaller luxuries such as candy bars and Dancing with the Stars. It was while I chewed on this existential conundrum that I noticed "Dolores"' rather loose bagging technique. Granted, we can't all be a Harmons Paper Bagging Champion such as myself, but even beginners know not to place produce and shower gel in the same sack, right? I'm beginning to suspect that Dolores is coasting on her charms and tales of care-free-er days, you know, before she had to work. Or maybe she's just having an off day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Friday

"I guess people are just cropping out all the sadness."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

C is a passing grade, right?

Sometimes I'm a good parent. Sometimes I'm a bad parent. Most the time I land somewhere in the middle at "okay parent."

Like yesterday. I thought, "Ivy needs to learn colors." The good mom in me decided," I'll make laminated flash cards with drawings of familiar objects in corresponding colors." The bad mom in me said, "Ha. You fool. That's never going to happen." So the okay mom in me purchased a color-learning ninety-nine cent app on the iPad. Could I do better? Yes. Could I do worse? Yes. 

Earlier this week temperatures rose above 60 degrees and the entire town acted like they'd never seen the sun. So many, too many, white legs in shorts. I too came down with Spring Fever and thought, "I should take my dear, sweet child outside to ride her tricycle." But then the bad mom in me was like, "Ugh. I'd have to carry the trike down one flight of stairs." The okay mom in me waited for Stephen to return home from school, handed him the miniature bike and said, "We're going for a ride." We've been married for a while now, so Stephen knew my statement actually meant, "You'll be doing the actual parenting while I fill up an entire memory card and any remaining phone storage with photos." Maybe it was still a bad mom move, but these lines are not finite, and sometimes success just means falling above Call Social Services on the spectrum. Besides, who else was going to take seven thousand photos?

Luckily, Stephen is a good dad, always. 

This last photo is inexplicably sepia-toned. I'm registered for a photoshop class in June. Once I become a PS Wizard, the internet will no longer have to endure my hack-editing jobs.