the weekly 'what's up.'

this week has been a little less eventful than the last few, thank goodness.

finneas busted out his second tooth:

penelope, my sister and i spent saturday morning visiting the farmer's market.  in the whole place, there was only one dozen eggs to be had, which was a bit of a bummer.  but i didn't run into any conspiracy theorists who were all 'BOO ON POPULATION GROWTH!', so the trip on the whole was more successful than past trips.

on wednesday, we spent a hot afternoon driving down to trader joe's, where the kids did extremely well.  i'll have to tell you sometime about how the trip almost ended with me peeing myself.  but that's a story for another day.  in the meantime, i'll just share that i took the camera with me, hoping to get one of those adorable grocery store shots that i'm positive i'll love to look back on in fifty years because it captures our life right now.  instead, other than taking a picture of a can of tomatoes because i thought the packaging was pretty, this is the only photo i left with:

penelope thought he was moses.  makes sense.  i heard somewhere that in addition to bringing the ten commandments down the mountain, moses also had a few cartons of greek yogurt in the pockets of his robe.  i mean, overalls.

and other than not roasting to death in the heatwave (my clothing melted to my clothesline, no lie), we haven't been up to much else.  kind of like this squirrel i couldn't be more fascinated by:

he was so hot yesterday that he'd make the rounds around our deck railing, leaning against the cool deck cap and airing out his manly-bits.  once the deck cap got warm from him leaning on it, he'd go to the next one and do the same thing. 

i'd typically wrap this up with a 'what were you up to this week?' kind of thing, but i think i'd just like to leave you with that image of a squirrel dangling his junk instead.  happy weekend.

why it sometimes sucks to have a christian husband.

usually, i'm really glad my husband is a hardcore bible-believing, jesus-loving, church-going kind of guy.  you know, like when he follows biblical teachings to lay down his life for us, prioritizes letting me stay home with our kids, and lets me eat the last bite (or whole carton) of ben and jerry's without complaining.  like when he gets home from work tired but still helps me clean up the kitchen and puts our kids to bed so i can end my day.  like when he puts his hands on us and prays for us and reads scripture to us and shares the things he's learning in his walk with god.

but sometimes it kind of sucks.

i have these terra cotta bowls i brought back from our honeymoon in jamaica.  other than a pound of coffee and a onesie for our yet-to-be-born offspring, they're the only thing i brought back.  so not only are they pretty much the coolest things ever to look at, they're sentimental.

i decided to be all Generous and Nesting Christian Mom and hang one of them on the wall in the kids' room, where it would look awesome.  however, not having any hooks that would hold it securely, i set it on the piano bench to wait until next week when i can get to hobby lobby.  yes, i sat it on the piano bench.  i think we can all see where this is going.

i came up the stairs from changing over the laundry, and atticus is all, sissy broke your thing.  penelope, of course, is nowhere to be found.  when i investigate what 'thing' it was that broke, it was the smaller of the two bowls.  cracked right down the middle.  because it's bound around the edges with some kind of twiney hempy stuff (it's from jamaica, so i'm guessing it's hemp) so i can't separate it far enough to get glue in there.  it's probably a goner.

and my stomach dropped and my face got all hot and i kept it together in front of the kids, but inside i was all THAT IS MINE! WHY CAN'T YOU BREAK YOUR OWN STUFF?!?!  i can't have anything nice.  everything gets ruined and no one even feels bad about it, they're just off ruining the next thing.  blahblahblah so on and so forth.

so i led penelope in an apology and then i called todd and cried about it.  it's sentimental.  it's mine.  she knew it was off limits.  it's not just the bowl, but what it represents: no boundaries between my adult life and the life the kids get to take over.  nothing is sacred.  blah blah blah so on and so forth.

and i'm expecting todd to be all, 'yeah i'm really sorry that must suck i'm with you.'  instead he was all, yeah i'm really sorry that must suck.  i bet that's part of what god talks about when he says that motherhood is a sanctifying calling: you become more christlike in learning what it feels like to have nice stuff that means a lot to you and have all your kids ruin it and not even care and you're left to fix the pieces.'

and i'm all, i don't want your christian mumbogumbo.  right now i'd rather just be pissed and risk going to hell if it worked that way.  which is the whole part of having a christian husband that sucks: he shows me by his example and encouragement that there are opportunities to learn about god at every turn.  and sometimes i don't feel like learning about god, i FEEL like throwing a tantrum.

god uses real-life metaphors all the time in scripture, like that time he had hosea marry a dirty hobag to illustrate how god felt sometimes being covenanted (married) to israel.  but i bet hosea was sometimes like, but god i don't want to be married to a hobag.  i just want to do my own thing and let you sanctify someone else, illustrate yourself in someone else's life.

BUT.  i suppose why that's why god has blessed me with a christian husband: because more often than not, without a voice of reason speaking words from scripture and through the holy spirit, i'd probably just do my own thing, wallowing and complaining and kicking the wall and stuff.  and it's not easy to get out of that ditch, even when someone else is there to encourage me (and sometimes even HARDER when i'm all like, don't tell me what to do i'm going to be a dirty rotten sinner instead thankyouverymuch).  but he puts the hard work in to encourage me, and i'm grateful for that.  so i suppose it doesn't suck so bad.  or at all.

my garden. i mean, minifarm. i mean, garden.

stuff is actually growing in my garden! which is sweet, because last year nothing grew. it was a sad, desolate wasteland in my backyard. this year all my plants are going nuts. i can't figure out why things are different than they were last year, other than that i'm actually watering stuff. i have written the following observation in my garden journal: 'it appears that plants need water to survive.  i should probably write an enlightening book on the topic.'

this is our first raised bed.  onions, peas, green and yellow beans, tomatoes, peppers, carrot-seeds-that-never-sprouted-even-though-i-planted-them-twice, and marigolds around the edge to deter rabbits.  the marigolds have been ineffective.

second raised bed:  a sweet potato that died (which is why that spot of dirt is bare), onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and containers of dill, cilantro and basil at the back.  those serve to hold down the fence to keep the rabbits out.  they have been ineffective.

the main part of the garden: cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, my compost pile in the back left corner, zucchini and onions.

these onions volunteered themselves from sets that never sprouted last year.  they're taller than atticus and going to seed.  i may try just letting the seeds drop there and seeing if the onion patch replants itself.

massive zucchini.

this, friends, is a massive close-up of a tomato.  specifically, a tomato crotch blossom.  not sure if that's the technical term, but that's what i call it out loud when i'm all, OOH, CROTCH BLOSSOM! then i pick it off.  it's that little shoot growing on the left between the main stem and a 'branchy' part of the tomato.  i clearly don't know much about tomatoes, but i've heard to pinch those off so the tomato puts more energy into growing fruit than leaves.  so i do it.

my weirdly artsy photograph of a pea plant. 

a tomato surrounded by crushed up eggshells and photobombed by my foot.

and just in case you were all, 'oh my word paige van voorst has the greenest thumb ever now that she learned the secret garden supplement that is water,' this little guy is here to correct you.  he's all, 'look at meeeee i'm a crustycrust pea plant!'  RIP crustycrust pea plant.

so i know i've already beat this dead horse, but...

THIS BEETLE WAS HUMONGOUS.  the fact that i didn't die by beetle bite will probably be the plotline of some movie someday.  once this story has gone viral and morphed into mythology where the beetle ends up being the size of...well, a matchbox car.  because seriously, people, there is no need to exaggerate this in order for it to be the freakiest moment of my life.  (actually, this...and this...and this...were right up there too.  what is it with weird stuff finding its way into our house?  maybe it's god's way of telling me i should start writing movies.)

without further ado, the photo todd took of the beetle once it had no more beetlejuice (you know, beetle lifeblood.  keep up.) left and it was just a sad, disgusting, giant insect carcass:

does that not make you want to throw up slash scratch every inch of skin on your body to get the crawlies off?  just watching todd pick that crispy little corpse up with his bare fingers (HIS BARE FINGERS) made my gag reflex all 'hey! *gag* don't forget about me! *gag*'.  blech.


the weekly 'whut up.'

(once, todd and i stayed at a hotel whose huge sign out front said, "WHUT UP. LOW RATES."  if it's good enough for inner city des moines, it is good enough for the van voorsts.  also there was a car full of people blazing up in the parking lot.  it was actually a pretty nice place on the inside though.  smelled kind of like sweat, but what hotel doesn't?)


what were we up to this week?  well friend, buckle your seatbelt; this week was crazier than a wild-eyed stallion.  (right there i could have said something less awkward, but you know what?  i'm going for it and 'wild-eyed stallion' is the official comparison for the week.)  our week was very full, ergo this post is very long.

on saturday, the family went to Jethro's, a semi-local BBQ place that landed itself a starring role on "man v. food" and the #1-in-the-midwest spot on men's health's list of 'manliest restaurants in america.' 

anyone else find it ironic that men's health posted this list in their nutrition section?  i would think so, considering todd ordered a sandwich that contained a dinner plate-sized pork tenderloin, a huge mound of pulled pork, a bunch of smoked ham, and about a quarter of a pound of bacon.  and a tiny-in-comparison bun.  we went for father's day, which seemed fitting.

while there, i lost the right half of one of my favorite pairs of GIANT dangly earrings.  i only realized once i got home that i had been walking around looking like elton john all morning.

also while there, we eavesdropped on a table of guys who said they don't date nurses anymore because nurses are always so pesky about making sure you don't have any STDs.  and i was all, GAH I HATE NURSES ON YOUR BEHALF!  (actually, i was really all, let's move tables before our ears catch whatever those guys have.)

okay.  the rest of the week.

wednesday morning, i battled this (and by battled, i do mean ran away like a coward and that thing may or may not still be stuck in our window):

now, this photo is misleading because, although it has the whole car and the whole beetle in it, the beetle is facing me and raised up trying to assess how to best leap at me and bite me in the jugular.  this photo is a little more accurate, although the whole car isn't in it:

i like this photo because it looks like the car is zooming in from out of nowhere to take the beetle out at the knees.

man, you sickos were all about seeing that photo.

thursday, FINNEAS CUT HIS FIRST TOOTH.  yeah, really.

also on thursday, i locked myself and atticus out of the car at aldi, and couldn't call todd because my phone was in the car.  so i borrowed a phone from this nice old hindu lady in the parking lot, called him, and he didn't answer.  i called him again when an acquaintance from church showed up, and he still didn't answer.  he called the number back a few minutes later after i called the 89-year-old neighbor lady to see if she could come over and knock on the door to make sure he knew i was stranded.  unfortunately, because i had BOTH sets of keys, he not only couldn't get into the lock box where we keep spares, but also couldn't drive the van to get me.  so church lady had to drive me all the way up to our house (12 miles north of town) even though she lives 12 miles south of town and it ended up being way out of her way....a whole debacle.

WHOA.  and that was our week.  now it's your turn to answer the poignant question: 'whut up.  low rates.'

a word of advice

should you ever happen to be greeted by a beetle the rough size of a matchbox car, here are some pointers:

1. do NOT slam the window closed, trapping it between the window and the glass, and run away being all, ohmywordohmywordewewewewSICK.  this will make the beetle think it has the upper hand.

2. do NOT spend a short moment praying that the beetle eats some of the scaly lead paint off your windowsill and die a long, painful, but hands-off death.  beetles do not have any natural interest in lead paint consumption; your prayer will therefore likely receive a resounding answer of NO, and your faith might be a little shaken.  and you'll need it full-strength at a moment like this.

3. do NOT rummage through the toy bins, find a matchbox car (no, not that one, it's not a very pretty color.  pick the teal one.), and grab your camera for a fun-slash-terrifying 'proof of scale' photo sesh.  this will make the beetle think he is liked and welcomed.  false.

4.  DO close the window quickly when you realize the beetle is about to hop aboard the matchbox car and get all Stuart Little and drive around your house.  pretty soon he will be demanding an outfit, probably including some kind of kicky beret and a driving scarf, and you don't need to indenture yourself to a beetle.  this is your house, after all.  even though, in the beetle's defense, you are acting like a girl baby.

5.  DO leave the beetle in there to problem solve how to get out, or fear the wrath that is your husband's shoe (when your husband gets home to squash it, of course.  you should not trifle with doing the dirty work yourself).  it's like a horror movie plotline for the beetle.  that'll teach him to ever think he had the upper hand.

you're brave.  you're at least twice the size of this beetle.  you are armed with my handy tips.  YOU CAN DO THIS.

video vednesday: windmill cookies. they gave you gonorrhea.

a big thank-you to emily for suggesting this!  (i have to say, this song has always creeped me out to the point of feeling nauseous; i'm not sure if the animations help that or make it worse.)

blahblahblah boring post about decorating my house.

i used to be awesome at making decisions.  when i was planning our wedding, i picked one day where all my bridesmaids and my mom and i could go look at dresses (mine and theirs).  within the afternoon, i had my dress, their dresses, all our jewelry, my veil, and their shoes all picked out.  and bam.  wedding party clothed.  see?  awesome.

but then i started to rethink my dress.  as in, it wasn't horrible, but i definitely didn't love it as much as i thought i did.  i was swept up under the weight of all the decisions to be made (and the fact that i hadn't had lunch yet) and i just bought it.  but the thing is, you can't return a wedding dress.  and i really wish i had taken longer to decide because even now i know that it wasn't my perfect dress.  it was pretty, of course, but it wasn't 'me.'  and it bums me out that i just felt 'meh' in it.

since that major and poorly made decision, i have become much more gun shy about making any kind of decision.  as in, i hem and haw and procrastinate regarding any kind of choice that has to be made.  which is why we have lived in this house for over a year, and other than in the kitchen (where it was mint green, so choices had to be made pronto), pretty much everything looks exactly like it did after we moved in.  there have been three nails driven into the wall in that time, and only two of them hold pictures.  (the other one is empty.  yeah.  i know.)  and both of the currently hanging pictures will probably get moved once i decide where i actually want them instead.

i had about a million different paint samples on the walls for months and months.  i finally let the women's ministry director at church make the decision for me.  she chose well because she is color-aware and awesome at making decisions.  then, we painted the kids' room a bright oceany blue-green, and then i hated it because i'm a gray-walls kind of girl, and then i kind of liked it because it was outside of my comfort zone and i was proud of myself, but then i didn't like it because - GREEN WALLS?!, but now i love it.  i think. 

i decided on fabric for the curtains in there but when i went to buy it, i ended up coming home with five more fabric swatches instead, just to be sure.

i think you get my point.

i'm not kidding (and only exaggerating a little) when i say i'm in pure, unadulterated agony.  i have been living with jaundice-colored walls for the last thirteen months.  i have a whole bedroom full of nothing but decor items, and now that it's garage sale season again, that room is about ready to be featured on hoarders. it is time, my friends.  TIME.

i am putting myself to the task of finally deciding to decide (aka, decorating) and i couldn't be more excited!  first up: the living room.  the list involves choosing curtains, hanging a wall of random framed stuff, painting our table, making pillow covers for the couches, getting new rugs when dinero allows, choosing (or making) a new light fixture, and finally deciding what to do with the sad corner that contains a cast-off end table with a tiny little plant on it.  so sad.

but no more sad for me!  that sad little plant is going to turn its frown upside down.  (and actually has already gotten a bit of a spruce with the addition of a tiny taekwondo trophy guy just stuck right there in the dirt for some company.  what can i say?  i'm a quirky gal with a quirky plant.  to prove it, the plant is also potted in a thrifted popcorn bucket.)

anyone up for taking on the spruce-up challenge with me? anyone?

i wish i had some mom jeans instead.

there is no cute, girly way to say this: i am going bald.

it happens every time i have another baby: my hair grows really quickly and thick during pregnancy, but then afterwards it falls out.  and i don't mean a hair here and there; they're deserting in droves.  which means i'm not only left with completely bald patches on either side of my head that are almost two inches in diameter (they're getting nearly impossible to cover up), as well as a forehead that's approximately half an inch higher all around (it doesn't sound like much, but it ends up that it is), but it is summer and i therefore have a tan line where my hair used to be.  a TAN LINE, people!

i used to think that looking like a mom was something you brought on yourself: no one forced you to buy those high waisted Lee jeans.  no one chopped your hair off short while you were sleeping.  and you, my friend, were the one who chose the gold, wire-framed glasses.  we all know it was you.

but i can definitely say that mom balding has NOT been volitional.  and the weird thing is, i almost wish my physical transformation as a mom involved more stuff like crazy mom fashion or haircuts.  because at least then people would see me and be all, 'oh poor thing.  she looks like a mom.'  instead, i half suspect people are whispering behind my back, 'oh poor thing.  she looks like a thirty-five year old gamestop employee.'

and this is the part of the blog where i usually insert some kind of snarky punch line, but all i really want to do at this point is cry.  and maybe spend all hours of the night playing zelda or LARPing to deal with my grief.  WHO AM I?!?

the weekly 'what's up.'

what were we up to this week?  hmm, let's see...

we went garage sale-ing, and penelope picked out a nasty old baby doll whom she proceeded to name 'baby todd.'  we are all having a lot of fun playing with baby todd, and one of us is having a little less fun having to constantly re-attach his leg after another of us gets a little too adoring.  (i'll leave you to figure out who is who.)

i found this sweet vintage 'suzy homemaker' toy washing machine for FIFTY CENTS.  people, please!

as you've already heard, we participated in a mud run, and also i was relieved to hear that my boobs are not malignant, just good and lumpy.

we ate at zombie burger, which deserves two exclamation points!!  todd's burger had two grilled cheese sandwiches for the bun.  are you kidding me?!

we heard tale of a certifiable pervert in our neighborhood, so we've been staying indoors.  (seriously.  it's really creepy.)

and the biggest news of all: finn has spent the last five nights sleeping from around 10pm to at least 6am.  (this morning he slept until 8:15!) i am in heaven!

that's about it.  what have you been up to?

muddy buddies.

this weekend, our family participated in the mud run.  (and by 'our family,' i mean todd and the two older kids.  finneas and i refrained.)  oh my word.  i can't even describe how glad i am we did this.  and not just because i got THE. ROCKINGEST. farmer tan.

here's a shot of the 'track' at its cleanest, before people started running over it and stirring up the mud:

oh. yeah.

the kids each got their own runner number, which was awesome - it was free to register them, so it was a surprise that they got to look like official participants! (they're so clean in these pictures, it's almost a shame to have to show you to what extent things devolved after this.)

i am posting this photo against todd's better judgment as a testament to the fact that, if you enlist me as the official event photographer, chances are you will get a photo with your nipple hanging out.  also, if you didn't notice the nipple right at first, but are now tempted to enlarge this photo to get a better look, you and i are probably the exact same person.


finn and me, myspace-ing it up.

penelope looks deceptively consenting in this photo; shortly thereafter she demanded to be carried and spent the rest of the morning crying, "i durdy! keen it up, mama! i spilled! KEEN IT UP!"


didn't believe me, did you?  well, here's your proof, my skeptical friend.


atticus took to the mud like, well, a pig to mud.  while todd ran his own grown-up course, atticus literally spent his time getting down and dirty.


after todd's race was over, i turned around and this was the sight that greeted me: 


i have to admit, i didn't even recognize him at first, since all i could see of him were his teeth and eyeballs.

literally wringing mud out of his clothing.

waiting in line to hose off afterward. 

and to sum up the morning:


video vednesday: yes, thanksgiving, i know. turkey is your main dish.

but you know what?  it is not your best dish.  KICK IT!

i officially don't have breast cancer, so that's good.

two weeks ago, i found a suspect lump while nursing finneas and got a bit concerned.  so i called the doctor the next day, who got me in the same afternoon.  after an awkward exam (like the qualifier is necessary), she scheduled me for an ultrasound and a meeting with a surgeon.

at this point, i was mostly nonchalant about everything.  the midwife thought it might be a cyst; i have a family history of cysts; it was probably just that.  but what if, on the very off chance, perhaps...? 

having nearly two weeks between the original 'sighting' and the ultrasound, though, proved way more stressful than i thought it would.  by this sunday, my stomach was in knots, i felt absolutely nauseous, and most of the day i was trying not to cry about the fact that i was obviously on my death bed.  i would never get to see penelope walk down the aisle.  i wouldn't get to meet my grandchildren.  i was already thinking through all the people i knew who could be a viable stepmother for my kids - you know, kindly but no-nonsense.  like mary poppins.  as you should already know, i'm crazy and stress just exacerbates it.

so i finally had my appointment yesterday.  first, the ultrasound: the ultrasound tech spent a while poking and prodding and frowning in silence.  then she said that she needed to show the photos to the radiologist, who came in a while later to say that he (yes, he) couldn't see what he would like on the screen and could i please just get all bare chesty again?  then he spent a bunch of time staring at the screen, also frowning and also in silence except for the parts where he asked if i had a family history of breast cancer (yes) and if the lump had grown any since i'd found it (yes). 

at this point i was pretty confident that i was going to have to text my husband a loving goodbye since i wouldn't make it home in time to tell him.  (and i'd have to die with the regret that not only were my last words via text, but also that they cost todd a quarter since we don't have a texting package).

the radiologist said he was pretty sure it wasn't cancer, but that he'd have the surgeon talk to me more in-depth about it.

so then, the meeting with the (male) surgeon: after another awkward exam, he told me that it was, in fact, a cyst, complicated by the fact that i was nursing.  he then proceeded to drain it, which i'll spare you the details of, but it involved a syringe in some very sensitive tissue.  and then it involved a band-aid right on my boob.  sweet.

i walked out of the office today with a HUGE sigh of relief that that the only implications this whole thing had on my mortality was that if i die in a car wreck or something in the next 24 hours, the paramedics are going to find my band-aided boob and be all, what the what?  but even in this scenario, i'll at least be in heaven at that point, awaiting the resurrection of my new body, which i'm pretty sure will be band-aidless, so i don't have to be quite so embarrassed about what the paramedics think of me now.

so all in all, a pretty successful breast lump investigation, if you ask me.

the great god over the small things.

i have to tell you, sometimes i struggle with being a mom.  not because i don't love my kids.  and not because it's not everything i've ever wanted to do.  i really do, and it really is.

but there are times - say, when i get the wartburg newsletter in the mail and i see a bunch of people that i graduated with have completed their doctorates, or when i see that some girl from my high school graduating class is trying out for the olympic marathon team - that i forget that what i'm doing is really all that big of a deal.  it's so easy to think in terms of bitterness or self-pity, like, 'she's an olympic-level runner and i can't even go to lowe's with my kids without wanting to die,'  or, 'someone paid how much for my private-college degree so that i could feel like my greatest accomplishment today is cleaning pee off the floor...again?'

and you know what? i hate running.  i have never had the sliver-iest hint of ever wanting to be in the olympics (unless they started some event where you got to eat chocolate chips all day while watching friends and pinning crap to your pinterest boards.  i would definitely want to be in the olympics then, because training would be awesome and you know what? i'd probably take at least silver).  but what i'm saying is, the only reason i'm jealous of marathon girl is because she's doing something 'noteworthy' with her life.  she could end up in the paper! people in grand old mount pleasant, iowa might talk about her when they strike up conversations at hy-vee!  and you know what?  no one in mt. pleasant is talking about the fact that i did fourteen million loads of laundry today or that i'm setting some kind of record for consecutive days wearing clothes that smell like someone else's barf. 

i want people to think that what i'm doing matters, and instead when i get asked what i do and i reply that i stay at home, i get a lot of 'oh...'s and some 'that's cool...'s.  conversation over.  what else is there to say?  but i think it's good to remind myself that in some situations, if god were to ask someone what they are doing with their life, and all they could come up with is 'i have my doctorate' or 'i'm a high-caliber shotputter,' he'd be all 'oh...that''  because what do those things matter in the grand scheme of eternity?  not that they can't mean something, but standing by themselves they might not be worth much to the grand purposes of god.

so i raise my kids.  we talk about jesus.  i get cabin fever and wish i could spend the day at lowe's.  i wipe butts. we get dirty.  i give spanks.   i get sticky kisses and pouty lips in return.  and i remember on nights where god keeps me up past midnight with the burden to pray for my kids that what i'm doing matters.  it matters in the heaviest way. 

because at the heart of the gospel is the message that christ is the kind of god who gives big meaning to the smallest of things.  he doesn't think the way we think.  he doesn't value what we're inclined to value.  he does things backwards.  he dies for us instead of exacting rightful punishment.  he leads us by serving.  he's a king in the dirt.  and those of us that get to spend our lives serving and giving and dying in his name receive a whole kingdom from it. 

so this is just your (and my) little friendly reminder that what you do matters - even if it's menial.  it matters to god because he's in the business of menial, and since you matter to god he's invited you to be a part of his great, small work.  jesus can do great things through people who are willing to do menial things.  and what is a doctorate (or any enviable recognition) compared to the great things of god?

the weekly 'whutup.' (you like what i did there?)

what were we up to this week?

penelope tried potty training for, oh, about thirty seconds.  not ready.

todd ran his first 5k ever on saturday, and finished almost a whole minute under his target time.  he got free breakfast burritos and coffee afterward.  shortly thereafter, i rolled out of bed.

we took the kids to a parade.  did you have a parade in your town this weekend?  no?  well, friends, that's the benefit of living in a town that's approximately 98% scandinavian.  i'm guessing they all got organized one year and decided to have a whole weekend dedicated to being scandinavian.  we kept our mouths shut about the fact that we're actually dutch and celebrated with them.

i look like a maniac in approximately 75% of the photos taken of me at the parade, including this shot where i channel beaker from the muppets:

and even though my hair was only done to a) cover up my extreme post-baby baldness and b) cover up the fact that i hadn't showered in a few days, i declared victory over the back-combed ponytail:

in the haul that was our parade candy (what was left of it after penelope insisted on putting all her candy in another little girl's bucket - so sweet), i found this:

that's right.  someone's leftover easter candy that they must have recycled into parade candy.  not cool, cheapskates.  not cool.

finn was all, fair food?! have you not read 'nourishing traditions'? doh.

the kids rode the antique carousel, as penelope yelled repeatedly, 'i riding a chicken, mama! i riding a chicken!'

and atticus had his first port-a-potty experience. i'll spare you the pictures; i'll just say it was successful.

and those were the highlights of our week.  what were you up to?

finneas at three months

finneas turned three months old yesterday.  THAT'S THIRTEEN WEEKS, PEOPLE!  finn obviously finds that quite insane:

while i haven't met every baby in the world, i would like to submit that it's likely that he's the easiest baby in the world.  he could medal in sleeping.  at the beginning of the month, he would take a feeding at 7:30 am or so, then immediately go back to sleep and sleep until 11:00 or so.  that's right.  he wouldn't get up for the day until 11:00.  even now, if he's sleeping at any point between 6:00 pm and 5:30 am, he has to be awakened for his feedings.  i feed him around 9:30 pm, he sleeps until 5:30 am or so, then falls immediately back to sleep and sleeps until 9:00 or so.  whose kid is this?!

he's on a three-to-four hour routine throughout the day, taking about six feedings a day, and he's chunking out, so i'm pretty sure he's getting enough to eat.  (after the whole thing with penelope, i'm really paranoid about my milk supply.)  when he's awake, he loves tummy time, rolling over, standing (with help, obviously), talking up a storm, and whacking at/grabbing for things.  he rolls from his back to his tummy pretty much immediately after i lay him down in his bed.  he's gotten THISCLOSE to laughing a couple of times, but it hasn't happened yet.

his eyes are darker and his hair is lighter than those of the other kids. i LOVE that he's a little blondie, although in certain lights and outfits he looks like a total ginger, so i'm guessing he's going to be more strawberry blonde than anything.

no sign of teeth yet, so he's probably not going to be quite the ladybabies' man that atticus was at his age.  also, breastfeeding isn't what it was with atticus at this point as a result of those sharp, tiny little knifeteeth, so i'm fine with it.

also, he's apparently way into his right foot.  he did this the entire time we were taking pictures:

player's stats:

weight: 13.2 lbs (30th percentile)

length: 25.5 inches (84th percentile)

to sum up in a single nickname: 'stretch v.v.'

i love this kid.  i miss him when he's sleeping; i get excited just climbing the stairs to get him up from nap.  i feel spoiled that i get to be the one to cuddle him and make him smile and smell his neck all day long.  so blessed.  so blessed.

video vednesday: spanishorsomethingspanishorsomething at the end of the day spanishorsomething

WHAT LANGUAGE ARE THESE PEOPLE SPEAKING OTHER THAN HALF-ENGLISH?! also, 'delayed reaction' is a bit of an understatement.

how a rotting pile of garbage has turned me into a coffee tweaker.

while i tend to have a lot of guilty pleasures, like ripping pictures out of magazines and secretly peering through people's windows after dark (to see their decorating, people.  i'm not a pervert.), one that i've really let myself go nutso over lately is a daily cup of coffee.  (unwad those panties, it's decaf.)

i've been a coffee-lover since high school when i worked in a coffee house and i was admonished to drink the coffee (black only) so that i could tell confused coffee-buyers that the Awesome Blend was low-acid or the Sumatra might be a little darker than you'd prefer.  but coffee is mostly either a) expensive or b) bad, so i've never been a 'daily cup' kind of gal.  but then two things radically changed all that.

one: i put in a compost bin.

(what does this have to do with drinking coffee? well, earthworms love coffee grounds. and earthworms are great for the soil and i can only assume they help speed up the composting process? so i do it for the sake of the earthworms. you're welcome, earthworms.)

and, two:  pioneer woman suggested putting sweetened condensed milk in it.

whut the whut?!

i used to make my coffee in a french press. but somewhere along the line i lost the 'press' part of it, so then i started brewing it in the glass part of it (the french?) and then pouring it through a mesh strainer.  then i dropped the french on the floor, where it shattered upon impact, so now i brew it in a glass measuring cup and pour it through a strainer.  (i'm pretty sure half the population of seattle just had simultaneous major-organ failure.)  then i dump the grounds on the compost pile, and get my pioneer woman on with sweetened condensed milk.

so, instructions.  this isn't jamba juice or some other fruity opportunity to drink spinach through a straw: man up and brew your coffee good and blaaaaack.  then stir in a [heaping?] teaspoonful of SCM.  then lick the spoon.  then cut calories throughout the rest of the day, because no one's going to be looking like giselle anytime soon if they start adding this to their daily routine. 

ahem.  believe you me.

my new compost bin.

before you go thinking that it's actually not ghetto to have a bin full of garbage and yard waste rotting away behind your house, i should probably clarify that it's not technically a compost 'bin' so much as it is a corner of my garden that i've sectioned off with chicken wire that my realtor was going to throw away. and there i dump most of our kitchen scraps, kleenexes, qtips, paper, cardboard, hair clippings, etc., in addition to plenty of yard waste. all just sitting there, uncovered, rotting, inhabited by flies until i occasionally turn it. (our neighbors love us, btdubs.) (also one time last week a neighbor may or may not have walked into our yard as i was dumping the liquid from our training potty right on the pile. pretty sure she's never talking to me again.) i have proven my ghetto point.

the weekly 'what's up?'

what were we up to this week?

on monday, we busted out the grill and made s'mores.


on thursday atticus showed off his educational prowess by writing each letter of the alphabet (which he only learned by watching the letter factory, which shows off my horrible mom prowess) without help.  he grand-finale'd the night by writing 'HO.'  i know it's probably yet another testament to my horrible mothering, but that is definitely getting framed and hung on the wall of my craft room.

also, this week we have welcomed a new family member into our house: fick, atticus' new best (and imaginary) friend.  and sometimes her sister fack comes to visit.  fick does a great job of pooping in the potty, finishing all her pizza before getting down from the table, and growing lovely black hair.  considering she's just a tiny baby, those things are pretty impressive.  fick's favorite activity? hugging jesus.

happy weekend, HO's.