Sunday, July 20, 2014


One of the signs of impending labor is the desire to nest - "nesting." All of a sudden, the house you couldn't care less was clean suddenly *must* become the most pristine space this side of Martha Stewart's conviction. While I do have my urges to clean, organize, cook, and bake (I've recently discovered the pleasures of homemade chocolate cake), I've found that my nesting has taken on a different shape. (Totally didn't mean that to rhyme; Sesame Street must be seeping into my subconscious.)

With two dogs, a toddler, three floors, and two and a half bathrooms, the ambition to clean is a lot higher than the chances of me actually doing it. Jacob considers himself lucky if he's able to locate clean socks and underwear. And when I asked why he waited until Sunday at 8pm to tell me he'd ran out of underwear, he took his life in his hands when he (jokingly) replied, "Well, I thought the mound of dirty laundry would have been a clue."

No, I've decided that the best way to get my home ready for the McBun is to keep my current babies - fur, non-fur, even husband - nice and exhausted. Here are some ways we've been doing that.

 Ready to "beach" it up at Lake Elmo!

 She said, "Look! I'm the Pioneer Woman!"

 This kid had a way better mud puddle, though.

It made me afraid how unafraid she was to continue deeper into the water.

Who loves Lake Elmo?!

 The beach - which she insisted, "IT'S NOT A BEACH! IT'S ELMO LAKE!" - wasn't enough to wear her out and she wanted to visit the nearby playground.

 The rainy days have decreased, but the Mommy-is-too-exhausted-to-do-anything-but-sit days have increased so we've turned to painting. These are during her Portraits phase. This is Louis...

 This is Mommy...

 And this is Daddy. Sorry Durbin.

 Bringing back an old favorite, painting our rock collection. Nothing better on a rainy day than getting high on nail polish fumes.

 This was Father's Day, presenting Daddy with his very first homemade card.

And she helped Daddy with his daddy-ish chores, which is what the day is all about.

By the evenings, none of us really feel like doing much, but we've dragged ourselves out for a few activities.

 On various Friday evenings this summer, in a variety of different parks, the city put on movies free of charge. We made several attempts at going that ultimately didn't work out but we made a come-Hell-or-high-water attempt when Frozen was being shown.

 Playing with some fellow Frozen-lovers before it started.

 Snacks n' Suit, she was set!

 Oh, and her favorite person in the world, Mer.

Daddy took the opportunity of playing second-fiddle to take a snooze during the movie.

Every year I devise a new reading goal for myself. Since I have a good many books at home that I haven't read, I decided that this year shall be Reading What is Already On My Shelf. I've discovered two loopholes, however: Mer's personal bookshelf and the library. 

Things certainly have changed since my days of happily spending eight hours at the library. Now I have to have a clear idea of the book I want, have looked it up on the online catalog at home, making sure it's on the shelf, writing down where in the library it can be found, then trying to keep a grabby 3-year old from pulling all of the books off the shelf while I look for it, while constantly reminding her to use her "inside voice." Then - my books in hand - we go to the children's area so she can do her thing. One day, we met my friend and fellow Stay-at-Home mom for Story Time and Make and Take Crafting.

 Myla, Eliza, and Zo getting their cutting on.

 She found popping the bubble wrap exponentially more entertaining, often declaring, "I need more bubble wrap to pop!"

 It was a little bit of a struggle, but I managed to get her interested in the actual craft. The fact that it entailed gluing was a big bonus.

 Her finished product - a bubble-wrap butterfly that she named Myla after the friend with whom she was at the library. (We got home later that day and she named her xylophone Eliza after her friend's big sister.)

 Eliza, Zoey, and their new butterfly companions reading books in the children's play area.

If it weren't for our children, we'd have zero social life. So it was over a particularly hot, over-100-degree weekend that we met up with my friend and her son - Zoey's friend, Eli, who she insists the baby will be named after - at a wading pool in one of the city parks.

 The water was actually cold, which I appreciated as it meant there was a lesser chance that anyone had peed in it.

 Workin' the boys at the pool already.

 Luckily this time it was only to play with his monster trucks.

Gettin' some sun on the bump. And I happened to be the main attraction with little kids staring at me, and coming up to me asking questions like, "Is that a baby in your belly?" One particularly inquisitive - and persistent - young man kept asking me, "Why is there a baby in your belly?" I finally answered, "I honestly don't know what to tell you, kid. You should ask your mother."

On the way home, we stopped at a place for Daddy to have some spiritual worship: a car show.

 A girl after his own heart, she was very interested in all of the cars and what they looked like inside.

Naturally, she was drawn to ones that were juuuuussstt her size.

I'm a little too big and unwieldy to take the dogs on any sort of adventure like we did to Cooney Dam so we've been wearing them out by taking them on evening walks throughout the neighborhood. There is something about being pregnant and wanting to get Durbin leash-trained, the last time I put any sort of real effort into it was when I was pregnant with Zoey (I leash-trained Louis when I lived in Florida and he'd put me flat on my face over a gum wrapper blowing down the street).

 Zoey picked out her walking outfit herself, while Louis and I like to coordinate.

So, the house is nowhere near clean, the baby's room in no welcoming shape, but at least we're all extremely exhausted. Hmmm. Perhaps I didn't think this through...