Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day in the Life: Monday, July 27, 2015

I majorly dropped the ball this quarter and failed to document one of our summer days in time to join Julia et al for the DitL Roundup.  But I wanted to keep the streak alive and really didn't want to skip our first season in Austin, so consider this my catch-up...

Summer 2015: Monday, July 27

Kate is 32
E is 33
L is nearly 3.5
B is almost 16 months

We have lived in Austin for 6 weeks!

12:20 am - I finish watching Pretty Little Liars {Season 4, Episode 3}, because Netflix recently reminded me what excellent taste I have when binge watching. I head up to bed but am not at all sleepy.  My Kindle battery is dead so I read some DitL posts on Julia's blog...and decide to document mine tomorrow {today!}. I all of a sudden remember I forgot to buy Thinkery tickets and order them online.  Fall asleep around 1:15 which is hours later than usual. 

5:24 am - I wake up with a start thinking E slept through his alarm.  He flies to Dallas today {as he does most every Monday now}, and his alarm is set on my phone as his is relatively ancient and showing its age by refusing to sound when the alarm goes off.  But my adrenaline rush is all for naught because there are 16 more minutes remaining until he needs to wake up. 

5:40 am - E's alarm rings and he's up, showered, dressed, and out the door in a major jiffy.  I am back to sleep in an even more major jiffy.  E texts me less than an hour later to say he's through security; I'm pretty sure he bent the laws of physics to accomplish this but I guess TSA Pre-Check helps. I snooze until 7:15, then check my email {notice the BBB has replied to my complaint against our movers - wahoo!}, brush my teeth, and head in to get B and L. 

7:20 am - Both kiddos are ready to rise and shine!  L picks out her underpants and also wants to pick out what B is going to wear {she selects and lays out her clothes every night before bed, so she's already set}.  I change B's diaper while trying to "gently suggest" L not pair green and navy shorts with a red and tan tank top. We settle on the shorts with a Baylor sailor bear tee.  We head downstairs, and L changes into her clothes. 

I toast some bagels, wash blueberries, and make smoothies {almond butter, frozen banana, chia seeds, raw honey, unsweetened vanilla coconut milk} for breakfast. L is still really psyched about the "CVD" {DVD} we won at a little children's concert we attended at the library on Friday, and keeps chattering all about it.  The musical group was called Sugar-Free All-Stars and their music did not make me want to saw off my ears, so I also think it's pretty cool we won free swag.  I text with E, start a load of laundry, and make coffee.  Aaaaand then, because my musical tastes mirror my TV programming selections, we jam out to Fight Song. 

8:15 am - Everyone is done with breakfast.  The kids play while I clean up with kitchen.  L reads the Dallas book I made her before we moved; we read it multiple times a day for the first month after we moved, and I feel like it helped make the transition quite smooth. She hasn't been requesting it as often and no longer requires it in her bed while she sleeps; not sure if that's psychologically symbolic or not? Either way, she seems to be adjusting really well. B mostly jumps on the big leather chair in the play room, runs circles around downstairs with the shopping cart, and generally causes mayhem.   There is a brief sibling tussle over a babydoll juice bottle, and, in the middle of being disciplined, L shouts "LETS PAINT MY TOENAILS" at the top of her lungs... Beauty-Product-Tourettes?  Is that a thing?  

8:30 am -  My mom is here!  She helps get B dressed, I get dressed, and we all load up with fig bars and coffee for the Thinkery. It's Baby Bloomers Monday {ages 0-3 only from 9 to noon} which means a much tamer crowd in the summer. 

9:30 am - We park and head into the museum, kissing / mounting pigs on the way in.  We hit up the photo booth first so L can see her picture up on the rotating collage screen. 

We hit up all the usual hotspots -- giant LiteBrite, the shadow photography, painting on glass, the water area, the farmer's market, and the baby area {which is actually one of L's favorites as she loves to make believe with the stuffed bunnies and carrots}.  New favorites this visit include playing with magnet shards {B}, the chicken coop {both kiddos}, and the toddler gym area {both}.  A kiddie gymnastics company is doing a free circuit in the gym, and B goes nuts for it -- he does the forward and backward roll stations a dozen times.  L is quite partial to the Beanie Baby Balance Beam station. 

I'm so used to taking both kidlets to activities by myself, but it is super nice to have another adult present for these sorts of outings now that B doesn't want to be worn or contained in any fashion; everyone gets to do what they want to do without being forced to stick together the entire time!  Yay for J!  I love living so close to my parents, and not just for the free childcare {although that is an undeniable perk}. 

After a quick snack in the park across the street, we head home around 11:45 am. J sits in the back so B won't fall asleep and spoil his nap; this does not please him. We are home by 12:15 pm and say our goodbyes to J. The minions get a quick lunch of PB&H(oney), fruit, and leftover smoothie. We have our nap/rest {it's always a mystery whether L will actually sleep} routine down pat: I change B and give him a bottle while L goes to the bathroom, gets her Pull Up on, and reads in bed until I come in to turn off her light; she is kind of the bomb at doing things independently now! B and I snuggle during his bottle {I am probably the only idiot parent on Earth who got her one year old addicted to bottles after weaning; the child who'd maybe had a few bottles per month during his first year now gets two per day prior to nap and bedtime}, and I sing Cowboy Take Me Away, The Water is Wide, and You Are My All in All {youth group throwback - hollah!} -- an eclectic mix for a toddler, but I'll take what I can get before the requests for Itsy Bitsy Spider start. I put him in his crib with his "yayas" and stuffed buddies, fully anticipating having to come back in when he tosses everything out and, consequentially, screams his head off.  I kiss L good night and tuck her in for her rest. 

1:00 pm - I pop into our room to make our bed; I shake my fist at the sky because I still cannot find the yellow shams that match our sheets and why were they not packed with the yellow sheets like the blue ones were packed with the blue sheets and WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY YELLOW SHAMS.  {Also? Can I even hang anything over our bed with that random window screwing with my feng shui? #DitLofFirstWorldProblems} After the mental sham tantrum, I clean up lunch and unload the dishwasher while listening to Terry Gross's interview with Jake Gyllenhaal.  My lady-boner for JG leveled up big time after enjoying Mystery Show's "Source Code" episode at 5 am on our drive to Alabama; highly, highly recommend Mystery Show {although... where did it go? It was topping the podcast charts!  And now... nothing!}  This interview is also pretty delightful. 

1:19 pm - I check on the kidlets -- asleep!  And without having to reload B's crib!  I fold laundry, make myself lunch {the cupboards are very bare as we didn't grocery shop yesterday like we usually do; I find some turkey bacon, make a sandwich with the remaining bread heels, toss some blueberries on the plate, and pour the last of the kombucha}, and make a grocery list to tackle after the meatloaves awaken. Call our Dallas pediatrician to ask about transferring records; sit on hold for 9 minutes before I'm transferred to someone's voicemail.  I am ever-so-pleased to be transferring pediatricians.  After leaving a message, I call my top choice Austin pediatrician to see if she's taking new patients... she is! Yay! I get the skinny on the documents I need to fill out before making an appointment and already feel awesome about the switch.  While I'm on the phone, I receive a voicemail from the Dallas pediatrician -- ain't that always the way.  Locate the documents I need to comply with HIPAA and print them out.  Pay my credit card.  Revise my resume and begin filling out a job application for a position I'm super interested in but am not sure is a great fit right now.  I'm still not sure if I'll actually send the whole thing in. 

3:00 pm - L is up.  I grab her some fruit snacks and peanuts and turn on DocMcStuffins.  We hum along together on the couch, and I continue the job application. My bar dues and licensing fees need to be paid and I contemplate switching to inactive status for the millionth time... The majority of the jobs I'm interested in don't even require me to be an active member of the Texas Bar, but it would mentally murder me to hand in my bar card.  But... $600+ dollars in addition to CLE every year... ick.  Put that decision off for another day {again}. B starts fussing at 3:45 and I head up to get him.  On my way, I notice the main kitchen lights won't turn on.  The cabinet lights, island pendants, and breakfast area lights all work so I don't know what the heck is going on.  Pray it doesn't require an electrician as I change B's massive poop diaper. I get B set up with a snack in his highchair and call my dad about the lights. He is on his way home and pops by 10 minutes later.  We fiddle with the fuse box and figure the lights out.  Say our thank-yous and good-byes to T-Pop {again. SO AMAZING to live so close to the 'rentals}.  

4:30 pm - We really need to go to the grocery store, but the kids are playing so nicely.  L has an entire "feast" laid out for Pink Puppy, and B is running circles around downstairs with the doll stroller.  L is like one loop of continuous dialog these days -- it's hysterical. I type up a few notes for this post as they play and give them a 5 minute warning for shopping. 

5:00 pm - We load up and head to HEB.  I really, really, REALLY miss having our little neighborhood Dallas Whole Foods 1.5 miles away, but I am also thrilled to be back in the land of HEBs!  The store is packed, as anticipated, but I make the executive decision to Instacart about half of our list {to be delivered from WF tomorrow} before the small fries stage a coup.  The trip still takes us an hour, including the stop at the Buddy Bucks machine {we wrack up 19 Buddy Bucks - wahoo!}.  E texts me as we're on our way out to the parking lot to say he's boarded his flight home {the "cute girl" is in response to a video of L I took at the Thinkery, not sweet-talk... just in case you were nauseated}. L talks a ton about my sister in law's wedding and her flower girl dress on the way home and it's adorable {"me and Aunt B are gonna have matching white dresses! Does Aunt's B get a tutu on her wedding dress like I have a tutu on my wedding dress?  I'm going to be the flower girl and I'm going to throw flowers and candy!  Are you going to wear a wedding dress, too, Mama?  Is Uncle Shawn (my SIL's fiance) going to come to Aunt B's wedding?" Etc, etc, etc}. 

6:05 pm - I unload the bodies and the groceries.  The kiddos play some more while I put everything away and get the water boiling for their dinner {tortellini}.  We groove to the Pitch Perfect Pandora Station.  L gets physical with the Vitamix. 

6:30 pm -  Dinner for the minis is servied.  B eats everything x2; L eats almost nothing which is odd {FORESHADOWING}.  B drops another diaper load and I take that as my cue to start bath time {I leave my phone downstairs per usual = I forget to take any photos of bedtime}. After playing in the bath for a bit, the kids climb out; diaper / PullUp, lotion, and PJs {L picks out jammies for all!}.  We read Roadwork and Owl Babies in B's room all together.  Then L heads to her room to read while I put B down.  B and I go downstairs because I forgot to make his bottle before bath; I text with K about carpooling to our "girls' night" {ugggg, hate that term, but I suppose it's easily descriptive}, then we head back upstairs.  I feed B his milk and sing {Tupelo Honey, Crazy Love, You Are My Sunshine}.  He gives me a ginormous hug before I set him down in his crib and say goodnight.  

7:15 pm - E came home while I was putting B to bed, and he and L are already 2 books in {they read the Bernstein Bears' Big Move, the Bitty Baby Book, and something else I missed}.  E says L feels hot, and I locate the thermometer.  Her forehead reads 99.5 so I hope she's not coming down with something {SPOILER: SUMMER COLD AHOY}. I go back downstairs to get her a big glass of ice water.  She does seem a bit lethargic and definitely seems exhausted. We sing a few songs and she says she ready to say goodnight {weird, she never says that}.  Lots of goodnight kisses and good juju for a healthy tomorrow {NOPE}.  

7:35 pm - I change and slap on some makeup.  Notice the bathroom lights won't come on...Grrrrrr.  Check the fuse box and it appears Dad and I failed to flip one switch back.  Quick fix!  Chitchat with E for a nanosecond before K picks me up at 7:50.  We head to meet C at The Grove.  Sauv Blanc flights, cheese plates, and happy chatter ensues!  

10:36 pm - Home again, home again... Trash day is tomorrow, and I'm the taker-outter; E is the bringer-inner on Wednesdays.  I lug our big can and two recycle bins out to the curb... why is our damn driveway so long?  I miss our Dallas alley LIKE WOAH. I chat with E who is working on the couch in the living room.  Change into PJs and do the whole nighttime toiletry thing. Return a text from my mom.  Create photo collages for this post, and get my Instacart Cart ready to order tomorrow morning. Read about half a chapter of China Rich Girlfriend and pass out around 11:15 pm. 

{TA DA!} 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Longest Ride* {4th of July in Orange Beach, AL}

* is that a Nicholas Sparks title? Meh, I make no apologies. 

* a/k/a: 15 Hours in the Car with Small Children Makes Everyone Want to Pull a Sylvia Plath...

... Even the Baby.

Our bambinos are pretty damn lucky to have grandparents who both insisted upon beach trips this summer!  Happy to be taggers-alongers, we loaded up the car to hit the shore for another go 'round - this time in Orange Beach, Alabama. 

Early on in our relationship, E and I adopted the motto "Happy Couples Fly"... a mantra we've  ratified into our family code.  Sadly, holiday airline fares and flight times were quite uncooperative, soooooo... road trippin' it was.  Google Maps told us the journey would take a mere 10 hours, but we ended up tacking on five extra {THANKS, LOUISIANA HIGHWAYS} {and also: teeny tiny child bladders}.  We thought we'd be wily and gently transfer the kidlets from their warm beds to the car around 4 am so they'd snooze through the first couple hundred miles, but HA HA HA no dice on the whole going back to sleep trick. Way to go, Amateurs.  B did end up taking a brief nap somewhere in Mississippi and was surprisingly pleasant for 80% of the drive, but I think L watched something like 11 hours of Peppa Pig on the iPad and was as angry as a wet cat every time we suggested more brain-friendly entertainment. 

I would not say it was a fun day.  

But!  There were cold beers and pizza {and BEDTIME for the meatloaves} awaiting our arrival in Alabama, and the beach {also: waffles} greeted us the next morning!   

we look like beach-going Mennonites... no sun-spots for these gals!

We enjoyed the sun, sand, and waves {and pounds upon pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp!} for four days and nights, including a super stellar Independence Day.  B did not totally hate the shore this time {so long as his shoes stayed on and was kept far, far away from the water}, so perhaps we'll slowly convert him to a beach bum via exposure.  It was the first year L has been able to stay up to see fireworks, and we could see probably a dozen displays from our balcony.  This was a pretty perfect way to accomplish this particular "first" - no crowds or traffic; the ability to hang out in PJs and play with all her toys while waiting; unfettered access to snacks; etc.  We were also far enough 
removed from the shows that the noise wasn't too frightening. The fire alarm that got pulled by asshole teenagers in the middle of the night causing an evacuation of the entire high-rise, however... 

We are still dealing with preschooler anxiety over that one. 


For anyone interested in traveling to this part of the coast, here are a few details / thoughts about our trip...

We rented a condo in the Caribe Resort.  The space itself was very, very nice {we had a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath for 7 people} and quite spacious.  The balcony had views of the pool, the beach {across a major road -- more on that in a bit} and the harbor.  The actual resort... felt like a huge resort but without any of the conveniences {no beach towels or detergent or dish soap; minimal TP; front desk staff only until 5 PM; obviously no room service or housekeeping}.  With it being a holiday weekend, the whole place felt suuuuuuper crowded {and some of the pools - especially the indoor ones - could have been cleaner}, and parking was sometimes a pain in the ass.  Even though the Lazy River was probably 67% urine, the pools were great for tiny waterlogged meatloaves -- loads of fountains, water slides, and wading beaches.  The actual beach was across the highway, but the trolley service provided by the resort was surprisingly prompt; I think the longest we waited was 15 minutes and that was around noon on the 4th - so, totally understandable.  Once the trolley dropped you off, it was a bit of a hike down a boardwalk to the beach.  Trolley + Boardwalk + Kids + Beach Gear = Please, Children, Do Not Pitch a Shit Fit Within 25 Minutes of Arrival.  If you're traveling with kids who still require naps, I'd highly recommend seeking accommodations with direct beach access.  Since it was the 4th and we weren't staying a full week, that wasn't possible for us.  We had fun at Caribe, but I think it would be more appropriate for folks with older kiddos. 

We ate several meals out, our very favorite being at Cosmos. They do not take reservations and apparently are perpetually slammed, so we arrived a little before 5 pm like the cool early birds we are... There was still about an hour wait.  But!  The patio was cool{ish}, the bartender was quick with the adult beverages, there was live music and a gift shop that sells reusable sticker scenes, so we were all pretty happy in the interim.  I don't remember what everyone ordered {I do recall firecracker shrimp for the table... B ate about thirty, even though he pretended as if we were poisoning him every time he put one in his mouth... weirdo}, but my shrimp poboy was on point, and we all left very fat and happy. 

We also dined at Cotton's and Flora-Bama.  Both places provided good eats, but Cotton's ambiance left a bit to be desired, and we hit up Flora-Bama {which everyone and their mom seems to rave about} on a Sunday afternoon, which I'm guessing was a lame move on our part.  I hear it's hopping at night! 

All in all, we had another fun trip to the beach!  Our drive back to Austin was slightly shorter / better {not offering iPad usage until after lunch was a huge improvement}, but I do think we'll be going back to flying the friendly skies if at all possible! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Austinites... yada yada yada

Well, there are still boxes left to unpack and frames to hang {and B's room still looks like it did the first day we moved in} {hashtag-poor-second-child}, but we are definitely home.  

I've been adding photos to this post for nearly a month, each time thinking I'll get around to posting about our the move, Father's Day, family outings, various adult festivities... and then grabbing a popsicle or a beer and just reveling in my {our!} first Austin summer as residents in fourteen years {ever!}.

I fear the pressure to memorialize will paralyze me indefinitely, so I'm just going to scratch the long-winded commentary on yester-month {let's pretend that's a word} and tick right along tomorrow with more current happenings.  

But! For posterity's sake, I will mention here... {a} I have officially redeemed myself in the paint-color-selection department, {b} porcupine visitors are smelly but provide really fantastic preschooler entertainment, {c} I highly recommend renting this frock for your next sparkle-worthy occasion, {d} we think E is the tops and made him a Toolbelt of Cliches to prove our affections, and {e} have I said how much we love it here? 

We love it a lot.

{just in case}