Sometimes I wonder whether those of you who read here every day can tell when something's up with me; whether I seem distant or grumpy or just "off" somehow. (...Or maybe I'm better at faking it than I suspect I am? Probably not.) Anyway, if you've noticed anything of that sort these past few days, here's what's going on:
I'm not sure that I've accurately conveyed the scale of the disaster that has been happening at our house these past two months, commencing promptly on January 2, when we discovered the poopriver in our driveway. In the eight weeks following that super-fun incident, all of the following events transpired:
On the little one: Jumping Beans Skater Dress
Here is a sampling of the things that I do every day between the hours of 7:30 and 8:15AM: Make breakfast make coffee clean the kitchen make the beds make more coffee make lunch for my son make lunch for my husband get everyone dressed pack up various backpacks locate jackets locate sneakers locate strollers locate water bottles make coffee to go. I do these things all at the same time, like an octopus (except I’m much less clean than an octopus, because octopuses spend a substantial amount of time in water, and the last time I showered in the morning was in 2011).
I spent 45% of my weekend on the phone with Apple Care, trying to figure out why my computer will not stop giving me the rainbow wheel of death (the answer is that it's officially time for a new one, which is obviously fabulous news), and 45% trying to restore our yard to something resembling its pre-bombogenesis condition (including the construction of a new fence and the removal of many, many sad-looking plants), but I did manage to escape for a minute to head over to my friend Brianna's baby shower, which was so lovely and adorable that I thought I'd share some shots here (with her permission, of course), plus a few more oceanside-inspired party ideas.
My friend Erin - Brianna's sister-in-law - made these cupcake toppers out of fondant and swears they're totally do-able. I think "totally doable" is probably a relative term here, but still: they're so cute they're worth the effort.
You know the little “gift-with-purchase” sample bags that sometimes get when you spend X amount of money at department stores? The Tili (“Try It; Love It”) box is sort of like those…except better in virtually ever way. I did not expect this to be as good as it is – and certainly not for $22 (plus $3 shipping, but still: !!!). The only explanation for the price of the Tili box is that QVC is so confident that new customers are going to love the products that they’re willing to offer a confusingly great bargain as an introduction.
Want $5 off your first purchase at QVC (including the Tili box)? Use code FIVE4U at checkout.
My skin’s been bothering me for long enough that I felt ready to try more drastic measures than over-the-counter (or even prescription) products.
So I booked a microdermabrasion consultation. Here's what happened next.
Sooooooo the plan for today was to leave San Jose around 9AM and arrive at our friend's place in Lake Tahoe around noon for a couple of days of snowboarding and fireplace-lounging and such. But if you follow me on IG stories or Snapchat, you know that 9PM (mmhmm, a solid TWELVE HOURS after we commenced this little adventure) found us not just "still on the road"...but quite literally still. On the road. Like not moving at all. And then we did that for two hours while we waited for the snow to clear enough for us to go through the pass.
(Obviously this ended up being the best part of the entire day, because we specialize in travel disasters and have, over the years, learned how to make traffic jams into awesome dance parties.)
But back to the semi-stranded-in-a-snowstorm thing: I had thought I had left disastrous, gnome-killing, angel-summoning weather behind me in New York, but this thing that's currently hitting California - which is, so you're aware, called a bombogenesis (really, and yes that is now officially my favorite word ever) is giving the East Coast a run for its money. Right this very moment, for example, my backyard fence is located in my pool. There is a greenish, shredded, cloth-like substance carpeting my driveway that I think used to be our patio umbrella, but I can't be certain. And let's not forget the many, many hours we spent tonight staring up at 200-foot-tall snowdrifts barely clinging to the sides of mountains, and replaying select scenes from Alive in our heads.
Juuuuuuust a reminder that The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People is available for preorder. We also recently went live on IG, so make sure to follow @bigactivitybook for updates on our book tour (coming to the NYC area in late April!) and pictures of surprised cats.
During my last office job my primary goal was to avoid human interaction as much as possible, so I steered wayyyyy clear of the candy dish. This is fascinating, though. (The Hidden Life of the Office Candy Dish, via Washington Post.)
Kendrick bought me my dream earrings for Christmas, and one of them fell out and I can't find it anywhere. I'm just telling you this in case you want to give me a virtual hug.
These women definitely have great park strips.
When you grow up living in a New York City apartment, you do not think about things like the care and cultivation of of the "park strip" outside your front door (the part that isn't the sidewalk and isn't the street), as it is a spot most likely decorated with things like Diet Coke cans, and a stack of empty Chinese food cartons, and somebody's broken TV. You probably haven't even noticed it's there. You almost certainly have no idea who's taking care of it. And you definitely don't know the term "park strip."
As of two months ago, I know what a park strip is, because it turns out that in the suburbs, you own yours, and when it must be dealt with, it is you who must do the dealing. My park strip, for example, no longer really exists, as it was torn up by the city while they fixed the sewer line running down our street, and then they never came back. And charged me $3,500 for the pleasure. (Mmmmhmm you read that right. Apparently when the sewage from your entire street overflows into your driveway and you call the city to have them come fix it, they won't work on it unless the sewer access point for your property is within five feet of the street. So unless you want to continue accessorizing your front yard with your neighbors' poop, you will have to pay to relocate it. Home ownership, WHEE.)
Many years ago - shortly after September 11, I think - I had a conversation with my dad that had something to do with politics and world affairs (super specific, I know). He was lamenting how my generation wasn't politically active; how we "didn't care" like his generation did.
I don't know about you, but here's what's always happened to me when someone starts talking like this: I feel like I'm being lectured and like any contributions I might make to the conversation will fall on deaf ears, and so I stop listening. What my father was saying felt like judgment; like a statement of superiority ("our generation cared...yours, not so much"). And while I don't think what he was saying was unfounded or even necessarily wrong - people who are now in their thirties largely went through their formative years during a time of (relative) prosperity and political calm, which is not the kind of environment that typically breeds vast numbers of revolutionaries - it certainly didn't make me go, "Wait! You're right! SIGN ME UP!"
The conversation made feel guilty, and judged, and irritated. And a person who feels guilty and judged and irritated tends not to be especially inspired to join the community that's making them feel this way.