final stretch

A few weeks ago; at 33 weeks with my girl
We're in the final stretch. Literally. At almost 38 weeks, I can feel my skin giving a last stretch as it gets pushed and elbowed from the inside. I'm achy, constant pelvic bone pain is just painful, and ripe with complaints, especially at the end of the day when my belly feels the heaviest and I'm just. so. tired. Most days it's hard to summon the energy to walk up and down our stairs or sit uncomfortably (again with the pelvic bone pain!) on the floor with Stella and build a Lego empire. So it is no wonder I am neglecting this blog.

How funny to look back to the end of my pregnancy with Stella when I wrote this about the end of our life as a twosome. I'm already getting a little nostalgic for our days as a family of three. No doubt once our new girl arrives, imagining a life without her will seem so bizarre. These days, when we go places without Stella it feels as if I'm missing my heart... though when I am alone, it is still natural to be just myself, walking through errands or eating meals without a toddler appendage. 

Our life is about to change once again, in ways that we are anticipating but cannot fully comprehend, and I am so ready. I am beyond ready to not be pregnant anymore. I am ready to be back in regular, normal-fitting clothes. I am ready to wake up without back/foot/bone pain. I am ready to have this birth experience behind me. I am ready to meet our new girl.


happy weekend!

This should add a smile to the start of your weekend...
[Johanna Quass, Oldest Active Gymnast via Mighty Girl]


This morning I'm living vicariously through these gorgeous photos of Reykjavík by Mr. & Mrs. Globetrot. So austere and beautiful, right? Iceland is on my list...

[All images © Julia & Yuriy Manchik]


a few friday links

Beatrice Valenzuela, maker of lovely handmade moccasins and sandals, is just too cool. I enjoyed this interview and slideshow.

I brought up this important post in conversation with my friend Shayna today. The idea (a common one, I believe) that it's a woman's salary (in heterosexual parental situations) that pays for childcare is a troubling one on so many levels. I've been thinking about the post for a few months without realizing it until bringing it up today. Shayna and I have had so many YES! moments recently in talks about parenting and books and life and Anne of Green Gables. I am thankful for her.

These summer sandals have been calling my name for awhile and Ashley's post back in April back reminded me about them. I'm still on the fence as I have too many sandals already. BUT these can go in the water! And they're so cute.

Brined pork chops with grilled stone fruit is on the menu for Father's Day on Sunday.

As someone who has issues with people who are so attached to their electronic devices that one-on-one interactions suffer, I liked Mary's post about being mindful of cell phones at the dinner table (a serious pet peeve).

Joanna Goddard posted about this movie today and it piqued my interest. There's something about Case Affleck in that movie still that reminds me of Jordan. Also, I can't tell if this movie is going to be fun or horrible because, you know, *magic.*

I'm still loving chambray.

(photograph by Nicole Franzen)


zara for girls

I'm liking Zara's girl clothes right now. In fact, I wish some of these came in my size...like those printed trousers. Aren't they awesome?!
Striped Blouse

Vertical Striped Dress

Printed Top

Geometric Print Dress

Printed Jumpsuit
Printed Trousers


shuggie otis' inspiration information

It's a summery day here in Oakland, a good day for a little Shuggie Otis and driving with the windows down...


a "crayon" is not a "crown" (in my book)

Pronunciation and dialect are fascinating don't you think? I've told Jordan a few times that if he calls a "crayon" a "crown," Stella is bound to be confused. Turns out he's not alone in thinking it's pronounced "crown." Fascinating stuff... click through to The Atlantic to see more and larger versions of the maps.

From The Atlantic: "Bert Vaux and Marius L. Jøhndal at the University of Cambridge surveyed around 11,500 people to study the ways we in the colonies have grown to speak. Joshua Katz, a doctoral student in linguistics at N.C. State, made these excellent maps of the results."

[via Mary]


stella at 2.5 years

Portrait of a toddler plotting her next rebellion.

Oh, Stella... watching you grow up is both exhilarating and heartbreaking. On one hand I want to see where the trajectory of your life will take you, and on the other I want to pause time forever and just hold you here in this moment. Being a parent is so very bittersweet.

So much has happened since my last Stella update when you turned 2.

I weaned you completely the night after writing this post, because I wanted your memory of breastfeeding to be forever "perfect." Your attachment to my "boobies" is still a constant between us. You want to touch them when you're waking up in the morning, at the breakfast table just because, and your hand finds a way to wiggle into my shirt whenever I hold you. I don't mind, because touching me and being close makes you feel safe and happy. Weaning you was easier than I imagined, though we both cried a few tears those first couple of days. While you still ask to nurse occasionally, you are asking less and less. I can only imagine that the arrival of our new girl and watching me breastfeed the baby might be hard for you. Just telling you about this inevitability has sent you into contemplative silence thus far.

After getting a shot at the doctor's office (a traumatic experience as you now recognize the building where shots happen and the tears started flowing as soon as we parked the car) a few months ago you became obsessed with illness and hospitals, ambulances and ouchies. No day is complete in our house without some talk of sickness, and the special tidbit you brought back from our kite-flying adventure in the city awhile back was that an ambulance drove by the field, siren blaring. In one of your current favorite books the main character, Madeline, goes to the hospital for an appendicitis. Most of the illnesses you talk about have to do with "appendix," though you still don't quite understand the logistics of it all. You often say things like "I have to go to the hospital, I have appendix." And "I'm the Mommy and you're the doctor and Tiger needs a band-aid because he has appendix." You also get a kick out of showing people every scrape and imaginary scar. The last scrape you got on your hand was a talking point for 2 weeks. You told everyone you saw, often the same people over and over, about how you fell and hurt your hand, sometimes this included re-enactments of the fall itself. You also love to apply band-aids at random, give fake shots (sometimes for "appendix"), and have your Dad wrap your "broken arm/leg/foot."

I am often astonished by your memory. Today in the car you said, out of the blue: "Did Daddy jump?" It took me a few seconds to realize you were referring to a story Jordan told you MONTHS ago as he was putting you to sleep about this time he went train hopping and jumped off at some remote location and was picked up by a truck driver. "Yes," I said (while questioning if I should be condoning jumping off any moving thing with a 2-year-old), "Daddy jumped off the train..." "And did someone pick him up?" you asked. "Yep," I said. "A man in a truck?" you asked. "Yesss..." I replied while thinking to myself that I really must ask Jordan if this is the best bedtime story to be telling you lest you think it's a great idea to train hop and get into a random truck with a random guy.

Oh my god, do you ask questions...

You: "Did Pappap hurt his knee?" 
Me: "Yes, a few weeks ago."
You: "And did he have a scab?" 
Me: "Uh huh."
You: "Did Grammy have a band-aid on her finger?"
Me: "Yes, she did... A few months ago."

"Do people live in houses?"
"Do Daddy's boobies feed boy babies?"
"Is that ambulance going to the hospital with a person who has appendix?"
"Do Tigers talk?"
"Do bunnies have noses?"
"Do we stand on the couch like this?!" (said perched on the edge of the couch with one foot high in the air)

As I write this, there is much crying and protestation happening upstairs around getting ready for bed. You are currently in the throes of the "terrible twos" (which I've heard from a few sources lasts into the threes and fours...save us!) I won't dwell here on how you gleefully run in the opposite direction of wherever we need to go, or how when asked to say goodbye to someone you say "no, I can't," or how you melt down when given something that you've just asked for, or how you like to test the same boundaries everyday (yes, we're still saying "no" to feet being on the dinner table). I will conclude with the hope that these terrible, frustrating twos peaked on Sunday night when, after a weekend (mostly) alone with you, you ran upstairs sans diaper and peed on our bed. With the fan whirring in the bedroom to air out the mattress, I nearly cried myself to sleep, but at eight months pregnant I was just too exhausted even for that.

In truth, I know we're nowhere near the end of this crazy toddler mayhem, because childhood and parenthood just doesn't work that way. It's endless, never ending. But I have to tell you, even on our difficult days, even when I'm tired and still getting peppered with questions at 9 o'clock and I just want you to go to sleep, even when you cry hysterically because I've unzipped your sleep sack when you asked me to but you decided you really wanted to do it yourself... I love the shit out of you, in this enormous, there-are-no-words-to-describe-it, exhilarating and heartbreaking all at once, endless and never ending kind of way. It is, all of it, so bittersweet.