Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Hey hey! It's Wednesday and man does it feel like Wednesday. The talk went great! I think. People laughed at me which is basically all I could ever ask for (poor priorities? Maybe...) I keep replaying what I said in my head and I thinkkkkk it all made sense. I think... Anyway, the one thing I did learn is massive amounts of my functional abilities were handicapped in the talk prep/stress/prep/execution that by Monday I found myself pretty behind on life. House managers do not do themselves any favors when their energy is elsewhere, that's fu sho. For all my previous life is dreammmmmy and eassssy days this week has been a relative shit show thus far. But it's only Wednesday and I did spend yesterday morning Craigslisting... again. All for a good cause. And more on the talk soon, btw!

I though I would just hodge-podge a little currently-style post and then get back to folding laundry so here goes!

Currently loving: my CL chairs and subsequent finished seating area. Pretty much finished, at least. I could use a better rug situation but this is what I have so I'm going with it. The rattan hoop chairs make me soooo happy and here is why - I almost bought them at Target in June when we moved but didn't because they had a pretty nice price tag even for Target. But I almost instantly had major regret over them! Especially when I saw similar ones in the lobby at The Parker in Palm Springs (the decor is bonkers good). Anyway, they flew off the shelves at Target and that was that UNTIL someone hawked a pair on CL for $25 a piece. Holla.

chrome floor lamp / faux sheepskin / cool similar chair / pillow + pillow / cute basket

Currently eating: Tj's new artisan bread any chance I get. It is made of yeast, flour, water and salt. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Cuurently reading: Just started Kristin Lavransdatter. I know I know!! I'm a convert, remember? It makes me a little slower on the uptake in generally every category. I've only read about 4 pages but I can tell I'm going to love it and that it will be perfect for fall.

Currently reading to the kids: The Mysterious Benedict Society which we are all totally loving. Kirby is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle while he puts the boys to bed. No idea how that's going.

Currently annoyed by: Peter's new found fondness of smearing things into things. This morning alone was a back to back avocado all over the kitchen floor situation followed by a banana all over the carpet and Francis situation. Pete! Such a stinker. He has been wearing a plastic Dodger's nacho bowl as a hat for a week straight even though he sweats profusely under it. I can't be too mad at him. As for Francis, he didn't care in the slightest.

Currently rejoicing over: the fact that above two year old has decided to start napping again. Praise be.

Currently listening to: My brother's new record - Signs of Light! Which is killing in on the charts, btw. Go Kenny! Also, Bishop Barron's podcast on the daily. It's perfect to stick in my back pocket while I'm tidying up. A favorite part of my routine rn, tbh (thx, J, 4 the rec).

Currently watching: Just finished season 2 of Jane the Virgin and I'm super ready for the 3rd.... kinda the perfect fall tv fix. Also, Kirby spontaneously pulled the trigger on a new tv which is VERY unlike him. It was surprisingly inexpensive which... I'm happy about but also don't quite know what the catch is. Maybe it will spontaneously combust in 3 months. All I know is it has made television viewing much more enjoyable than our wonky old box propped up on a programming manual.

Currently wearing: My newest trusty jeans and these Madewell sandals which were an impulse buy that I DO NOT REGRET. They are so cute and comfy and the look with my high-waisted, high-waters is my favorite right now. Perfect transitional fall combo especially with the other impulse purchase that I failed to tell you about  (also from the Madewell sale with an extra 30% off thank youuuu Jesusssss). SO, SO CUTE.

Currently looking forward to: Big Sur in a week and half, my brother's show at the Greek, and fall. Fall!

Currently wanting: This bag! I did just get this cute little purse from Old Navy so that'll just have to do for now... or forever. (Someone help me justify a $140 bag purchase...)

Currently doing: my laundry on M,W, F. This schedule has really been working for us! I bust it out three days a week and the work load is never too much. It seems like a good combo of work vs time off which I really prefer on the off days. I'm always trying to figure out the best way to get stuff done around here and I like not constantly worrying about switching out another load which is helped by having a sched. Do you have any good big family laundry tips? (I want/should prob buy this book book, right? And every other book in the customers who viewed this also viewed section.)

That's a wrap, babes. Make sure you check out The Haul this week (it's a good one)


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sir Links-A-Lot + a bee sting

I definitely have time to blog but I'm in a moment of suspended paralyzation due to the fact that I'm speaking this weekend and I feel vvvvvvv inadequately prepared (pray for me?). I'm psyching myself out into thinking that I should be prepping every spare second of the day even when I can't and, thus, I am treating this post as if I had no time to blog even though, probably, in the land of the sane, I do.

So I will just leave you with a few quickie tidbits to munch on.

First, this weekend was crazy busy but super fun. We had our house blessed by our friend Father Jim (who happens to be the son of the late, great Mr Stehly). Father Jim gathered all the kids around and marched them from room to room, blessing our new home. It was surprisingly powerful and wonderful to hear the prayers read... prayers for our guests and our children and our marriage. He made sure to spend extra time dousing the boy's room with holy water which made all the littles crack up. Super sweet. We barbecued with a good amount of his family afterward, including his amazing mother who had ten children of her own. After dinner, she quietly sat on the couch for ages. Father Jim kept leaning in to see if she was ready to leave but she'd shake her head no every time. Finally, Joe burst into tears over something and she looked up and said "I can go now, I've heard one of them cry." (LOL) She is one of those that makes you feel like you're a goddess for mothering small children even though she did it with even more. I want to be that way to young moms when I am old and grey just like her.

Like gluttons for gluttony, we had a few good friends over for drinks later that night which was super fun in our freshly blessed pad. We took care of three bottles of rose, decided we need some poufs for around our coffee table (any rec's on good poufs? Why are poufs so stinking pricey??), and found three raccoons peeping us through the bushes.

Sunday we had the family that bought our old home up for another bbq. We had fun reminiscing about our old place and hearing about their plans for it now that it's theirs. Man, it feels good to pass that kind of torch to people who have become friends.

Yesterday, I hunted down two sets of chairs via Craiglist (as I do). One pair for outside and one for in, but the set for in is seriously messing up my vibe because now I feel despo to finish the space. The chairs are grey and I'm currently eyeing these Target stools for it but I need some color. Maybe these tables instead (I love me some Nate Berkus). Maybe another pouf? (We can all agree that we hate that word, right?)

Today our good buddy sent me a photo of a super cute minimal playhouse and now I'm set on him building it for our kids for us for a group Christmas gift. Wouldn't that be so good? How can I bribe him to do that? But how to hide a construction zone.... Tips?? (Cute playhouse and children whoever's photo this is...)

Hmmmm oh yes, I had my first ever allergic reaction on Friday night!! I stepped on a bee in our backyard and while the girls were playing nurse on my toe (ice pack and bulb syringe... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) the palms of my hands started to itch. At first I thought maybe I had touched a weird plant or something but then the bottoms of my feet started itching, too. And then my legs. It was maddening! I hid in my room and looked up bee stings itchy hands and feet and realized I was having an allergic reaction. Then I started looking up bee string reaction and that made me feel mildly spooked. You know, the whole anaphylaxis in 4 min thing. I took some children's Benadryl bc it was all we had and a few minutes later I began to break out in hives all over my torso, thighs, and arms. I was itching so badly that I took off (most) of my clothes and sat of my bed demanding Hero scratch me as hard as she could. (Don't worry, I realize how sketchy that sounds. But she wanted to and we were laughing pretty hard about it). At that point I started to look up bee sting allergic reaction when to go the the hospital and that made me feel about 100% freaked out. My right eye started to swell a bit and I decided that I definitely did not want to be the woman stumbling from the bedroom, covered in hives, unrecognizably swollen, screaming at Kirby to take me to the hospital in front of all our of children (my imaginary self). I preemptively struck and called my mom to see if she could take me to the ER before things got any worse and she did. On the way to the hospital I bought some adult Benadryl and be the time we got there I was feeling mucccch better. We decided to drive around a bit to see if I continued to improve and I did. So we got Foster's Freeze, turned around, and came home. Aside from feeling fairly waisted by the Benadryl, it ended up being over within a few hours with no real lasting effects PHEW. As far as I understand, reactions will most likely get worse, right? Which means I now have to be scared of bees which seems highly inconvenient. That's pretty much my only takeaway.

My brothers new record came out on Thursday (Colbert tonight!!)

My friend in life and The Haul shared this really profound article on 9/11. Worth the read (warning: it's pretty heavy)

Even though it's not sandal season, I just bought these. So help me (eyerolling myself as I type, don't worry).

We are headed to our annual Big Sur trip in two weeks (can't wait) and I snagged this travel bassinet for new baby. Seems legit and well-priced! Have any of you used it?

Off to not prepare my talk! Wish me luck.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Simple kind of life

It's three weeks into the school year and I'm beginning to realize something... sending my kids to school has nothing to do with them. Or rather, sort of nothing to do with them. Of course there is the obvious- read, write, etc. but truthfully, they could do that here. Maybe at a slower pace or more shittily (I'll coin that word if it hasn't already been taken) but they would learn and be fine and turn out quite nicely.

That wasn't why we sent them in the first place. Life had just become overwhelming in moments and we knew we would all be better off with schooling off the back of moi. But yesterday, I sat in the grass with Joe in my lap and I watched Peter as he ran races across the yard, counting down his ready, set, go and letting him crash into us at the end of the line. It struck me for maybe the first time that the big kids being away at school was mostly for them.

I don't know what your big kids are like but they are, well, big. The are loud and rambunctious and dominating and when they are here the littles follow them around like puppies, soaking up their energy and copying them and getting caught in the crosshairs of their action. And that is a good, necessary part of our family life and I love it.

But I am realizing something I also love, and really cherish, are my quiet days at home with my 4 little ones. The housework is easier to maintain because the ones that can climb into pantries and unload an entire box of crackers are gone. Which leaves me with more time to do things like I did yesterday, without someone else asking me to watch them, or a fight needing to be resolved, or Johnny needing to be told not to do that.

From 3 o'clock on we are all back in that world and I'm tripping over babies in the kitchen as we work through homework and I chop veggies for dinner and we retell stories from the day. But from 8 am till then my house gets quiet. And little slapping feet are thumping along my floors and I can hear them. And I love that.

When the big kids come busting through the doors we are all missing them and ready for everything they've got. I'm finding myself feeling so relaxed in that pre-dinner evening time that used to feel like the one soul-sucking hour of my life. It's not the end of a long, hard day, it's just the end of the second half. And in the middle of that busy afternoon energy I feel just a little bit like Mary, holding the quiet treasures of our day in my heart.

Some people homeschool as a collective and do it well. I even know a few of them and I admire them like crazy. But I know what our homeschool days looked like and it had very little to do with my little ones. Don't you love when a decision for change results in a hidden gift? That's how I feel. I gained a hidden life that I had sort of forgotten was still possible for me. Those quiet days with a few little kids running in the yard. Those days when everyone napped and no one had chores and they were all happy to play in a bucket of water. I am so happy to have gotten that back. Even if it's just for a season. Even if it's just for now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PP wins and a heartattack

Happy Monday... Tuesday? Whatever it is. Three day weekends always mess me up.

I just wanted to sign in to give you an crucial update because I always follow through. Ok, no I don't but right now I am.

Remember how I wrote to tell you all about those seven dollar jeans? So, I actually wore them for the first time yesterday and they are SO CUTE. They are $25 cute, maybe even $50 or $75 depending on how desperate you are for good jeans. My body is feeling pretty impossible these days so this was a big win for me. They kinda remind me of a cheapy version of these boyfriend jeans by Madewell. The waist is high and very forgiving.

I have two pairs of BF jeans from Gap. One that I already blogged about and one that G hand-me-downed me when I dropped a size during my postpartum with Peter. Honestly, I felt like the third pair was a little gratuitous but, come on SEVEN BUCKS! But these are not the same as the others. Perfectly high waisted and high watered. My usual BF jean look is low-slung and baggy but these just look so good at your natural waist. Or maybe I'm just too chubs for them at the moment. EITHER WAY I win. These are my new faves and I almost wish I had a second pair for wash days or for days when someone rams into my thigh with ketchup all over their face...

My point is, even if you already have a pair or two or three, you might want to rethink.

In other news, Joe spooked me out SO BAD the other night. I have to tell you about it.

Kirby was at the store after the kids were in bed and I was sitting our desk in the kitchen when I heard our toy piano playing. The piano is in Joe's room and was unreachable from his crib so my first thought was that the piano must have been moved to the girl's room and one of them was up goofing off. I stood up and went to the living room to confirm which direction the sound was coming from and it definitely was not coming from the girl's room. I started to freak out a little bit. Joe had been asleep for over an hour and I hadn't heard him talking or laughing or crying at all. The piano was still playing. The scariest part was that it was melodic, not like a baby banging on the keys, not like Joe was playing it. I walked to the door outside of Joe's room and listened more. Maybe Johnny had snuck out of bed and into Joe's room? I went to check on Johnny and Pete and both were sound asleep. The piano kept playing. My first thought was that there was for sure a psycho killer in Joe's room who was earily playing the toy piano to lure me into an I Know What You Did Last Summer style death. And I honestly thought for a minute if it was smart to go into the room without a baseball bat.
I opened the door and immediately saw nothing. No murderer, no hands at the keys, nothing. There was a blanket draped over the edge of the crib so I couldn't even see Joe. Option 2: Haunted house.
It seriously took everything I had to walk into the room and peer over the edge of Joe's crib and when I did I saw him lying there, wide awake, sucking on an empty bottle with his FOOT through the slats of the crib, playing with his toes under the blanket.

And then he laughed at me. Shoot me dead. o_O

Happy Tuesday, Wednesday, whatever!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

7 quickers on Saturday

yo YO YO.

It's 8:44 on a Saturday and I just made a root beer float and decided to post a little quick something. True story.

1. Craigslist, my lovah

Ok, I admittedly troll Craigslist all the time for potential murderers deals on items we are in need of. I don't know if I ever mentioned the fact that when we moved we doubled our living space. Now, this is fabulous news for me and my family of alot but sad news for all those giant swathes of floor with zero furnishings to sit atop them. My current search looks like---- couch, chairs, rug, dining table, chair, dining chairs, outdoor furniture, table, tables, console table, side table, over and over and over. Now I love a deal. I loooooove a deal. Even if I had money to spend, I would still prefer to nab something for cheap rather than pay full price. Especially knowing we are in the stage of life where mostly everything gets trashed and nothing can be too precious. I feel a sense of pride looking around the house and seeing how many things I've thrifted or bought for cheap or dragged off a curb... which is mostly all of it.

Anyway, let me introduce you to my very best CL purchase to date.

After two months of trolling for a second couch I came across this sofa from West Elm listed on the List for F I F T Y D O L L A R SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Five zero.


And no one even died on it. It was just a sofa owned by a wealthy man for his second home which he didn't need. And I got it. Amen, hallelujah.

Knowing that Kirby would be totally adamant about not driving to LA to buy the potentially sketchy West Elm sofa, I waiting until he had left town (like the wise, schemey woman I am) and dragged my mom down to Hollywood with me to collect my prize. The generous couch-seller even roped it on top of my car for me and I paid a local friend in beer to take it off and carry it in the house the next day. Mission way accomplished, bb. Behold. (Also behold my laundry pile, a step ladder, a semi-nude child, and that random Ikea trailer play tent I impulse bought)

2. Shirt Alert

I have this super fun habit of buying these linen Madewell tees that are really breezy and flattering and unwashable... and then I wash them. And ruin them. You can imagine my happy when I saw a knock-off type linen/cotton blend situation at Old Navy that is washing machine washable amennnnn. And for $7 AMENNNNN!

Mine came in the mail today and I swear it is just as cute and just as quality as any Madewell tee I've subsequently ruined.

Go forth and buy.

(Speaking of linen shirts that you can't machine wash gosh how cute is this one with the ruffle back (cryyyyy emoji)).

3. Shoe Love/Lust

Let me just push the superficiality of this post into the fifth dimension and mention that I've been dying over these. (and wishing I could Craigslist them)

4. Music Man

My baby brother plays in a band called The Head & The Heart.

This week I took the big kids down to LA to watch them shoot a music video and it was such an awesome time. The band were all dressed like sleazy, loungey musicians in white polyester and later Hero confessed that she was so nervous to touch Uncle Kenny because he was wearing SUCH a fancy suit. How cute is that? It was so great to watch him doing a job I would otherwise never get to see. So proud of my brobie. Here is a little pic dump of our afternoon.

5. Pee Probs

I won't name names but we are having some (seemingly) never ending peeing-the-bed issues over here that are driving me a leeeedle bonkers. Yes, we toss pull-ups on the offenders but I am ready to start something a bit more hardcore.

A friend of mind recommended this bedwetting alarm in conjunction with this book. Do you have any recommendations?? Anyone else out there in this struggle with me?

I was mentioning my frustrations to Jenna and I said something like "Man, is this just the Fike model? A few totally chill, sanguine kids that forever wet the bed?" and she mentioned that maybe there is actually a connection there! They are just so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ that they don't even mind swimming in their own pee at night. Or climbing in my bed to do it... (true story ಠ_ಠ)

I don't remember reading that in The Temperament God Gave Your Kids but maybe my sanguine self just flitted right on past it.


6. Baby Bb

He is just such a sweetie baby. He has blue eyes and one dimple and a very severe friar tuck stuck-in-headlights type of vibe. But he gives me the dreamiest grins and he snuggles me all night long. Love my little baby.

7. Casita Bonita

I know I haven't done a house tour and I promise to (once all the rooms are clean enough for me to take pics of them) but I love our home. I mean, I lovvvve it. Sometimes I am just so overwhelmed with gratitude about it that I feel like I could burst into tears. Tonight I was sitting outside our living room watching magic hour settle over the valley while Hero worked on cartwheels and it hit me again how incredibly grateful I am that we found this magical place to be our place. It feels like a little bit of heaven to me.

Linking up with Kelly!

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Hey heyyyyyy. I have a smallish window of time today so I'm gonna keep this post realsimple and basic and boring for you. We are taking off this afternoon to watch my brother and his band shoot a music video which should be super fun(ner than this post). I always want to take the kids to see him perform but all the shows are at, like, nighttime and I always want to go have fun without my children soooo anyway you're understanding my point, right? The point is that they never see their uncle playing music.

The band's new record is coming out next week and they are shooting a video for one of the songs today and so I am taking the three big kids to go watch. Maybe I'll even charge my phone enough to take photos for a post about it! Maybe...

Anyway, wow what a long winded intro as to why I'm writing a quickie post.

If that's any indication of how the rest of this is going to go... mea culpa.

THE POINT: I am aging, you guys. Like, for real. Part of me feels like I am aging beyond the point at which a typical 33 year old is aged. 7 babies? Maybe?
The three most obvious issues are 1. grey hairs (which I have embraced... so far) 2. wrinkly hands (have yet to figure this out) and 3. wrinkles, age spots, dull skin aka MY ENTIRE FACE. My first awakening came as I read an article written by the founder of some super high end skin care line. She mentioned the importance of caring for your décolleté and I had absolutely NO IDEA what a décolleté was and it horrified me. There is a part of me that needs to be cared for and I don't even know what it's called? Go ahead, google it.

I'll wait.

At this point I had only been washing my face with water and cleansing my décolleté with nothing and so one of my postpartum care goals was figure this shit out.

Naturally I went straight to GOOP because who better to ask how to care for your aging skin than Gwynnie and the people she employs? I researched some of the top recommendations that were somewhere near the realm of affordable and picked three products- a cleanser, moisturizer for nighttime and a vitamin C serum for day. NOTE: the only reason I bought the Vit C serum was because the opening sentence of the article that referenced it read something like "anyone with skin knows they MUST use vit c serum and if not they are a total f'ing idiot, etc etc." or something like that. The first thing in my cart was that damn serum...


It's working.

I have only been using this holy trinity for maybe 3.5 weeks and I noticed a difference after the first week or so! My skin looks brighter and softer and more glowy and let me tell you a little glowy skin goes a long way for a girl who can't button her pants. Of course I spent way more than I'd like but I'm only using a teensy bit of each product and I know they will last a long time. Plus, results! Hello! HELLO?!?!!

Anyway, there is my post on that. I know I turn to strangers on the internet for advice on all my biggest purchases (hence, GOOP) so I figure you do, too. If you're looking for a new skin care regiment, or any skin care regiment, try these. Your face and décolleté will thank you. Harr harrrrr.

(for your convenience) (price trigger warning}
1. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
2. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer
3. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Cleansing Oil

I am scared to ask this question for fear of more purchases but... anything essential that I'm missing??

Monday, August 29, 2016

6 week check up/the proof of love

New baby is 6 weeks old tomorrow. I can't believe time has moved this quickly... again. It always does. A year ago about this time I had a baby only a few months old and pregnancy was the furthest thing from my mind. Until I found out I was pregnant and then it was the only thing on my mind. I already waxed long about my feelings then. About how impossible it felt to accept, how impossible it felt to manage. How could I parent both Joe and this new one? How could my body handle these huge changes, back to back?

But time moved along then, just like it's moving now. Then I maybe had an achy back and a desperate need for rest. Now, I've got a baby in my arms. And my body is awake to the possibility of getting strong again, of sleeping well, of buttoning my pants.

Time just moves. It moves past the hard stuff and on to the good stuff.

Baby Joe was always surprising us with his mellow demeanor. He weaned easily and slept better than my first 4 children put together. My long-lashed, blue eyed little sanguine. And as I spend my days now carrying Francis, with happy Joe crawling after Peter and Clem, I realize how it really does all work out. It's not just a baby you're dealing with when you have a new one, it's the dynamic of every member of the clan. It's striking me more and more how well built my kids are for a big family. For babies that need me, for toddlers that need older kids, and for older kids who need their little ones.

This weekend Kirby took Hero, Mary, and John on a backpacking trip. He told me how impressed he was with the way they spoke of their younger siblings to strangers they met on the way. When we facetimed on their ride home, they wanted to see each one of the littles through the screen. And they doted on every one. Hiiiiii Petey!! We miss you. Where is baby Francis? Let us talk to Joe! We love you, Clemmy.

I need these reminders to check me. Last fall I worried that I just couldn't give what was needed when this new baby came along. But here I am, giving it. And there they are, giving it, each in their own little way. It was never just me, it was all of us together. And for as complicated as it seems ahead of time, it's pretty easy to do when the time comes around.

The new little bean just sweetens the pot.