Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two things I am thankful for

That our boys are good air travelers who flirt shamelessly with everyone in sight.

And that we had such an awesome visit home!

More to come...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

100 Things I Love In The World

If I were including people on this list, it would be quick work. Start with Jessica, work back in time from there. We probably wouldn't make it back to 1989 before the list filled up. But this isn't the people list, this is the things list. Inspired by this, cause sometimes it's just good to remind yourself how good it all is.

1. the Space Needle
2. frites
3. yarn
4. tiny notebooks
5. Polaroids
6. running
7. the view from my apartment
8. pajamas
9. my white heart sunglasses from Jessica
10. stationary
11. salmon sashimi
12. Susan's mix CDs
13. Richard Hugo House
14. science
15. red toenail polish
16. the ring Jenn made and gave me

17. lattes
18. zebra print
19. flokati rugs
20. the bar at Vermillion Gallery
21. my Chris Crites painting
22. fountain pens
23. hula hoops
24. hand-shaven noodles

25. mint juleps
26. Tocca soap
27. texting
28. black cashmere sweaters
29. ferris wheels
30. walking
31. One Story
32. Sigerson Morrison shoes
33. my car, Mo
34. plain beeswax candles
35. peonies
36. popcorn with lots of butter
37. my soft-boiled egg timer
38. reading the New Yorker on airplanes
39. bracelets
40. Lillet Blanc
41. handknit shawls
42. short stories
43. little black dresses
44. toast
45. smell of cut grass
46. Sambar Michael's variation on the hot toddy
47. my Led Zeppelin photo
48. roasted pumpkin seeds

49. Mark Rothko paintings
50. taking pictures
51. Pierre Sparr pinot gris
52. road trips
53. roller skating
54. chocolate mousse
55. girl parties
56. Open Books
57. sparkling water with lime, made by Cindy
58. fudgesicles
59. handwritten letters
60. reading, for hours at a time
61. Paris

62. Gerhard Richter paintings
63. baths
64. the Ace Hotel in Portland
65. mittens
66. Andrea's blog
67. two-stepping
68. knitting
69. Ballard Sunday farmer's market
70. seeing movies in the theater
71. tulips
72. stuff that glows in the dark
73. getting my hair cut
74. avocado

75. Pam's ranch
76. lilacs
77. Bazooka Joe bubble gum
78. paella
79. old suitcases
80. New York City
81. cheeseburgers
82. Facebook
83. books on CD
84. my job
85. wintergreen lifesavers
86. slips
87. Mad Men
88. steak
89. my Moleskine agenda
90. matchboxes
91. sparkly Wellies
92. crepes
93. the Thin Man movies at Christmas time
94. slumber parties
95. Jane Hirschfield poems
96. fancy tea

97. water balloons
98. naps
99. rocks with wishing rings
100. my little nephews' baby smell

Friday, November 21, 2008

With What You Have

Tonight is a good event at Hugo House, the next in the Literary Series, with the theme "Personal Injury" and new works by Ryan Boudinot and others. I love his writing, did I tell you about "Motley Crue: A Short Story, and An Essay"? Yeah, I think I did. Hilarious. Laura Veirs is the music, and she's done some beautiful stuff, so I look forward to hearing her too. Jenn and Lisa and Casandra and Katherine and Peggy and Susan will all be there, and I have my new coat with the pointy hood to wear for the walk from the reception back to the House, and then maybe there will be drinks afterwards, and, AND!! there are some wee nephews somewhere here in Seattle now, and that's a lovely thing.

All of this is extra good after a week where I felt like I knew a little something about Personal Injury. There were all sorts of weird things going on with me, this pain under my shoulder blade, other deep down pain that made me feel like a bag of bones that someone had taken a baseball bat to. Just achey and battered.

But you know that healing thing that happens when you start to feel kind of light again? Or when the painkillers kick in and you are sort-of floating, and grateful, so grateful for the absence of pain? That's where it all is today for me, and I'll take it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Got it.

The Year of Mutuality.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Here is where the (Ikea) magic happens

Now, imagine two sweet, silently slumbering infants lying here...
Nope, I can't imagine it either!

For weeks I have been wanting to share the boys' nursery with you because a) I am proud that we actually did something with it and b) I think that what we did actually looks pretty good!

However, it took weeks for us to get anything hung in there because it seems like every time I am home and have the time to hang things, there are two little rugrats inhabiting the room.. and they are restless enough without me banging nails or thumbtacks or whatever into the walls.

Finally this weekend I had a girlfriend over (thanks Megan!) and she assisted me in picture hanging. Well, mostly she just cheered me on as I hung pictures - but I will take whatever help I can get.

There are still some items that aren't in place. For instance, the bumpers I ordered for the crib, because the boys are learning to crawl and keep backing up until their chubby little legs get caught in the bars... and the v. cool Nikki McClure calendar (biting Dakota's style!) that I bought, but haven't hung yet.

Nonetheless, here's the tour....

Note the 'escaped convict' jumpsuits laid out on the changing table.

When you walk in the door, to the right is a giant print of the Flatiron District... from Ikea. We thought it was cool, because it wasn't babyish, but it is relevant because it shows where Daddy's office is. And since Daddy is there most of the time, I think it is nice for the boys to be able to punch his office as I change their poopy diapers. Ahem.

The changing table is a re-purposed dresser and you must recognize the little striped armchair that I also re-purposed. I would love to have a rocker or glider, but the non-hideous ones all cost beaucoup $$$ so... a comfy little chair will have to do.

Plus, with two babies worth of stuff in the room, I feel like everything needs to be as compact as possible!

The curtains are super-cheap ones from Bed Bath & Beyond and the shelving is re-purposed Ikea shelving from the kitchen in the old apartment.

Behold, the most horribly designed humidifier EVER. It's from Vicks - FYI.
Why didn't I take a picture that featured their cute car?

To the left (to the left, to the left... thanks Beyoncé!) are the boys' cribs. I grouped them like this so that I tame both the wild beasties at once, and the added benefit is that -again - it is more compact. (Don't worry, there are bars on the windows so that no babies can launch themselves out.)

The cribs, carpet and mobiles are from Ikea.

Wow, I feel like I am showing a singular lack of imagination with all the stuff from Ikea, but, actually, I am showing a singular lack of funds!

The red-striped blankets were made by Carolyn from a quilt that had been made for Eugene's childhood bed by his grandmother. They are acting as temporary bumpers.

These shelves hold more clothing than my entire wardrobe.

If you turn back towards the door you can see the other re-purposed kitchen shelving and the entry and closet doors which we painted with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint just seems like flat black paint. Whatever.

Theoretically, we will buy some chalk and write 'Max' and 'Thomas' on the doors in some creative way - just to make them look nice until the boys get old enough to scribble on them. then, all bets are off! Hopefully, the boys won't think that being able to scribble on the doors means that you can scribble everywhere.

Ugh, I really need to organize the book/toy shelves. But again, when????

This was where all of my picture hanging work was done.
Lining up frames is hard!

Needlepoint from Eugene's childhood... our non-Ikea decor

When Carolyn brought us these pictures from Euge's childhood room, I could not see how we would incorporate them and I was - dare I say it - a bit not loving them. But they grew on me and now I think that they bring a homey, whimsical touch to the room. Plus, who doesn't love a dog dressed up as a fireman??? At least, I think it's a dog dressed up as a fireman.

The shelf o' stuffies. Note my Ella Phunt's place of pride.

We couldn't possibly fit all of the boys' stuffed animals into the cribs - plus there's that whole SIDS thing to consider. So the heater cover makes a nice place for them... and that is the clock I watch as I am feeding them at four AM!

The lamp is from.... wait for it.... Ikea!

That's pretty much all there is to show. I didn't open the closets or shelves where the boys clothes are because they are ridiculous. We need to organize out the stuff that the boys have (weep, weep) grown out of.

I always think that you have such great decorating ideas - love your apartment - so I hope that you like what we've done!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've Been Burning Stuff

Birthday girl!

Vegetables, mostly. Also the roof of my mouth. Some naan. The midnight oil, on Saturday. The 4AM oil, actually. And in the bar that night there were candles burning, on every surface, because the power went out but none of us were ready to go home.

Kate is not a woman who burns vegetables. Fireworks, maybe, her lovely fair skin, probably. But the food, whenever she makes it for me, comes out just the way it should. Kate makes pie and pork cutlets and poems and plum liqueur. Also friends, and trouble, but only in the good way. Saturday night she made sure no one was lacking for cheese, when all the ladies came over for some dancing at her place, before we all went over to Hazlewood for fancy drinks and the kind of boys who didn't mind if you threw ice at them, as long as you did it with a smile.

I made some wallflowers dance, and I made Kate Moss look good by giving her Topshop fringe jacket a workout, and then I made a resolution to do it all again soon, preferably with Kate in that red dress and Lindsey in the liquor bottles and Jess in person! Wanna join us? You can never have enough band practice.


Hazlewood with ghost of Jessica

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What goes on? Benevolent Dictators.

Max is all smiles... maybe Thomas is napping?

This blog is in danger of being renamed CarrollBrothers: Shameless Self Promoters! Lord knows, they are that. All smiles and kissey faces for all the people they meet.

All gremlinish for Mommy, when she is trying to get them to sleep.

Not much goes on here. I am trying to get the boys sleeping through the night. They inch closer and closer to it - sometimes even alternating sleeping through, but then we go to Vermont or someone doesn't take a nap... or Daddy decides that because someones eyes are open at 10 pm, they should come hang out with us... and we back pedal to waking at 3 am.

Sorry to dwell on it, but I never imagined how much sleep would dictate the quality of my existence.

Plus, I am imagining the impending doom of our trip to Seattle. Babies are resilient, it's true. And the boys will be all good times and cheer - even if they wake up 4 times a night. Hey, strollers and slings are great places to nap if you are 8 months old.

It's me who will suffer, and I am not all that resilient anymore. Almost nine months without a full nights sleep (more if you consider the last months of my pregnancy when I had to wake to rotate my 52 cm belly) has left me far from resilient.

I'm sending Euge to Vermont again this weekend, to attempt to get the roof finished on his shed. There is just too much time and money invested in that thing to let it get more corroded this winter.

I'll be alone in the city with the boys but, since I have so many resources in the city that I don't have up there, it is far preferable to going along.

Plus, as I mentioned before, every time we go there the boys get all confused all over again about where they are and the whole sleeping thing takes a step backwards.

I'll think of Barb a lot this weekend and how very brave I think she is to be doing the Mommy thing alone. I'll think of all the weekends when I slept in until ten and then meandered to brunch or the gym. I'll remember the freedom of being able to go out to dinner or drinks with friends or out to a movie... or just to take the subway to a museum by myself. And I may have a little momentary pity party.

But then, in the quiet of the evening... around 8 pm, when the boys are settled for the first leg of their night, I'll wander in to their room to check on them and these are the sights that will greet me:

And my heart will get all filled with squishy love and I will forget about going out dinner, out for drinks, out to a movie.

Hopefully, when we are visiting you all will feel the same way - since we will be pretty much tied to whatever schedule the boys dictate.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Post-Election Ramble

Thomas and Max have so much to be happy about!

I have been thinking a lot about what this election means to me. And, while I know that it means a lot to everyone and that everyone has been engaged by the whole process, it has taken up an ridiculous amount of my mental space for the last few months.

And when you texted me last night to say that the boys would never know the world before we knew that the US would elect a black person, it really resonated with me.

To have babies that will grow up at such a momentous time in our country's history feels strange. After all of the disappointments and negativity of the last 8 years, I feel almost stunned at the idea of optimism and hope that pervades the concept of an Obama Administration.

Bringing children into a world where we are at war, where the environment is deteriorating, where the economy is imploding is scary business. It was a selfish leap of faith that things can and will get better. And, at least for the time being, it feels like that faith has been rewarded.

I'll admit that I feel fearful to make such a statement. As though I were capable of jinxing the wonderfulness of now.

With Grandma Ellen in the hospital, I've also been thinking a lot about history. Our family's history... her history. Imagining her as a young mother in South Dakota, with the US's involvement in World War II right around the corner, moving to California, losing her husband and raising two kids with Grandma Liming's help.

Her story goes on and on, an epic of hills and valleys. While we all know that she is unique in her ability to compartmentalize and disregard the things she may not want to remember, the reality is that she has lived through amazing times and this is, happily, one of them.

As a new Mom, it gives me perspective on how much the world can and will change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It delights me to think of the momentous times that the boys will see... and to think how the world changes for the better because they are in it.

I also look forward to the day when I can be the Grandma who has lived through amazing days, who can tell the story of how the United States changed when Barack Obama was elected.

It Just Seems Better Now

That's all.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


If only he stayed asleep!

Fighting for literacy

It all started out so innocently... except for the matching outfits.

My boys, fighting over a book. Yup, they're definitely mine!

Because you can never get enough...

As promised, the boys dressed up in their Halloween costumes for play group.
Halloween quilt made by Carolyn!

Obviously, we were not the only ones with this idea... though I (very impartially, of course) think that the boys were the cutest. I mean they had REAL FEET for their costumes!

Then, on Halloween, they got dressed up again and came to my office...
in their appropriately orange stroller.

They were quite a hit and we tried to art direct a shot that would show just exactly how cute they looked....

But it didn't really quite work out.

Max was confounded by his hood.

Thomas just looked perplexed - maybe it was the ears?

So we went to meet Eugene to go to a Halloween Festival on 69th Street. There were Haunted Houses and whole buildings opened up to trick or treaters... and a guy dressed as Batman hanging off the front of a Brownstone. We thought perhaps Thomas needed a better view.

Haha, Eugene has a monkey on his back! Hee!

All in all, it was a really fun Halloween. Aside from random strangers taking pictures of the boys - PLEASE ASK! I KNOW THEY ARE CUTE, BUT PLEASE ASK!!! IT'S POLITE!!!!

Ahem. It was the first time in years (aside from last year... when I was dressed up as a pregnant lady) that I haven't gone all out on my own costume, but I figure that there will be plenty of time for that when the boys are older.

And I can embarrass them. Bwahahahahaha.