Gifts For The Girls (And For You)

A couple of weeks ago, Kendrick asked me what I want for Christmas this year. The truth is that I want a flushmount light for our dining room (this one, if you're curious, although this one is the one that I actually am considering purchasing because even though it's teeeeechnically not a flushmount it could be adjusted to hang close to the ceiling and is way cheaper).

But enough about my flushmount fantasies. I literally cannot think of anything less romantic to ask for than "a flushmount light," and Kendrick is nothing if not romantic, so I'm going to buy the thing myself at some point and give him options that won't make him look at me like this.

This year, of course, the focus is on the kids - because they are at the cutest possible age for Christmas excitement (and I totally want to capitalize on this by getting my son a kitten, because he would explode, but that would mean that I would have to actually own and care for a cat, - and I don't want Kendrick to spend too much time (or money) on me, so I passed a couple of ideas his way, neither of which include the word "flush" in the title. And in the course of coming up with these ideas, I came up with lots and lots more...and posted them here for you, in case you need some ideas of your own. They start at just $12, and I love each and every one. (OK, I love the last one the most.)

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A Few Things I Learned This Week

Even in the rain, Christmas in NYC is lovely (image via)

I just realized that I've been in New York City for a week now, and have barely even mentioned it (although I've been Instagramming and Snapchatting the bejeesus out of this trip, per usual). I flew in mostly because my aunt Trudy (who lives in a part of Canada that's extremely difficult and expensive to get to from San Jose) has never met Goldie, and so I used miles to fly to the city during a time when she was planning to be there visiting my mom.

One of the more exciting things that happened this week was that Erin and I met up with our editors at Penguin Random House to discuss the details of our book launch in the spring (The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People officially comes out on April 25, although it's available for preorder now). We'll be doing events on both coasts, so I'll keep you guys posted in case you'd like to swing by for pickles and ice cream and hugs and such. And! And and and! We also found out that the book is being picked up for publication in the U.K., France, and Poland - which means that there's a decent chance that Erin and I will end up hanging out in Britain at some point early next year. Tea and crumpets! Adorable London boutiques! HOTEL BEDS.


No Secrets

I only look like a human being in that photo because of this stuff.

I am very, very bad at hiding things from people. If I’m embarrassed, my face helpfully alerts everyone around me to that fact by turning a lovely shade I call “deep eggplant.” If I’m annoyed, you know I’m annoyed because I sound annoyed, even if I say that I'm not annoyed (sorry, Kendrick). And if I’m excited, I am the very worst person in the world at playing it cool; my cartwheels are much better than my poker face.

If I’m stressed or upset, though – as I have been these past couple of weeks – do you know what happens? My entire body falls apart. My face somehow becomes simultaneously oilier and drier (whee!). I break out like a teenager. My hands (or, more precisely, my cuticles) require daily vigilance so as not to frighten casual bystanders. All this falling-apart, of course, makes me feel even worse, when I was already feeling bad to begin with.


Crafting With Rabid Monkeys

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Erin asked if I wanted to set up a crafting afternoon for our kids, so they could make gifts for their grandparents (and anyone else who might prefer a fingerpainted snowman to, say, a Dyptique candle, which would be no one, but that's besides the point). We started a Pinterest board to find projects that seemed doable without looking too much know...crafts. Our goal was to make things that the recipients might actually enjoy, as opposed to things that they feel obligated to display in perpetuity because said thing was made by a child.

This entire post is going to come with a massive caveat, and the caveat is this: If you have children under the age of...I don't know, I've only been a parent for five years. At what age do children start sitting still? Five-year-olds don't, in any case. So here's the caveat: if you have kids aged five or under and decide to make a fucking wind chime, please be aware that you will end up being the one making it. (My five-year-old did, in fact, bead his very own wind chime strand...and then picked it up to show it to me, at which point all the beads fell off, transforming a happy crafting afternoon into a trauma likely to halt further beading experiments for two years, at minimum. Because that is what happens when you try to force a five-year-old to make a fucking wind chime.) (My two-year-old, in contrast, applied herself with spectacular concentration and perseverance. Except what she was concentrating on and persevering in was ensuring that every single piece of berry bunny cereal, including the ones she dropped on the floor, were eaten.)


Wine & Chenille (& Other Things That Make Me Happy)

What to wear on Thanksgiving Day is a bit of a conundrum. Because there are hours and hours and hours of cooking, and then the second the cooking part stops the eating part has to start because I’ve been asked whether dinner’s ready eighteen times per minute for the past two hundred minutes and now I need to feed my kids so they stop asking.

Which means the transition from “what to wear while cooking” (something I can spill turkey juice on) to “what to wear while eating” (something comfortable but cute enough to mayyyybe result in an actual, all-four-of-us-looking-at-the-camera-and-looking-non-miserable family photo) better be a quick one. And it better involve stretchy material, because food.



This sweater, to my mind, was not an optional purchase. First of all, it’s made by one of my favorite brands, Woolrich, which I hadn’t been aware was available at Kohl’s (bear pillow, ahem). And second, it has a snowman on it, but somehow manages to be in “adorable wintry sweater” territory rather than in “ironic ugly Christmas sweater” world. (No shade there – I enjoy a good ugly Christmas sweater myself – just sometimes one prefers to be un-ironic in one’s holiday attire.)


Chuck The Christmas Tree

Patchen Tree Farm Family photo semi-success!

A preamble seems necessary here. Why? Because these photos involve a fringe-y skull poncho, and if you're 1/18th as excited about this thing as I am, we need to discuss it.


Kendrick’s 2016 Gift Guide For Guys

That's a seriously accurate depiction of our family, right there.

For this year's installment of Kendrick's gift guide - which in the past has focused on everything from comic book recommendations to toys for grown-up boys - he decided to pull ideas from all over the place. Is the guy in your life a fan of covert ops? The Notorious B.I.G.? Cleveland? Expressing his support for all mankind? Covering all that may sound like a tall order, but ohhhh he's got you covered. - Jordan

P.S. See all of his past gift guides here, if you're curious.