5 Rambling Favorites w/a side of Clickables

22 January 2014

Hello hello hello, and we have moved.

I'm sitting at the table at our new house staring out at our neighbors' houses and the street. Lucy June is cooing in her seat next to me (because she's perfect,) and Jake is being entirely too quiet for comfort, but dammit if I don't want to write a little something. This house needs some permanent marker on the walls anyway.

Moving. This move is taking forever. Jacob is working every day and most days he puts in over 12 hours, and just how much I can't do by myself stares me in the face day after day.

My Moving Food Diary
Day 1
Breakfast: Coffee & Homemade Lara Bars
Lunch: Homemade Lara Bars
Dinner: Trader Joe's Frozen Teryaki Chicken

Day 2
Breakfast: Coffee & Brownies
Lunch: Brownies
Dinner: Trader Joe's Frozen Teryaki Chicken
Day 3
Breakfast: Starbucks Drive Thru
Lunch: Where are the brownies?
Dinner: Take Out

But every day is a little bit better, a little more normal, a little more put together. So let's link up with Hallie and focus on some favorites today.

- 1 -
Cloth Diapers (and disposable diapers)
For the past month of traveling and holidays and moving, my kids have been in disposable diapers. I was both appalled by the waste and in love with not having to do diaper laundry.

Every time my newborn pooped immediately after I changed her diaper, I would suffer so much guilt over the 15 second life of this disposable that would now spend the REST of TIME in a landfill.

But every time I would run a massive toddler bomb to the garbage outside, I was thanking God I didn't have to rinse that sucker in the toilet.

But then there was the moment when I reached into the plastic bag and came up empty-handed while my toddler's naked bum grinned up at me - and well, Size 1 plus duct tape and a trip to the Grocery store later, we were mostly unscathed - but that was decidedly UNfun.

Anyhow, yesterday I unpacked my box of beautiful, soft Clotheez prefolds, and I knew I was home.

- 2 -
Not my own running. Ha! (I do have a double jogger in the mail finally and a decent running neighborhood, so perhaps I'll kick into gear again soon. But recently, I've just been cursing the scale between my occasional half-hearted Jillian excursions.)

My Dad's running. Dad hatched a plan about ten years ago that involved qualifying for the Boston Marathon when he aged into the 60+  bracket.

And he did it! Here in Houston! Last weekend! I was more than proud. I cried. Like three times.

Post race pic of the runners: Dad and his oldest, Prefontaine.

So proud. So so proud.

- 3 -

This is a journal for Catholic mothers that I've been receiving for the past few years. I was introduced to it by a friend in Southern California. You can sign up to receive them for free because they operate on a donation-only basis. They put together each edition as soon as they have the funds, so you never quite know when you're going to get one, but when they come I get so excited. I read it in bits and pieces and stolen moments of quiet coffee drinking. The articles are so enriching and they have the most endearing illustrations.
Anyhoo. Go put yourself on their mailing list and enjoy yourself some printed word every few months. And after you decide that you love them, throw them a donation so they can keep the journal going.

- 4 -
Jessie wrote the best post about dating her husband while the littles tag along, and I crack a smile every time I think about it.

"...we realllly like our pale ales and buffalo wings and plush booths and dimly lit locales. Therefore, we take the kids."

"There's an inevitable eye-lock between Sean and I at some point during every one of these "dates" that translates clearly to "why do we do this?" We do it because it is, ultimately, a good time."

I know. I know. It makes me happy too!

- 5 -
Emily wrote a post about divorcing her two year old from her pacifier.

"...*Ryan would like me to edit this by saying he has been totally against the pacifier past age 1.5 (puhlease) and it’s only because of his wife’s weak will that we continually caved to Anna’s paci (!!!!!!) demands.  In summary: the entire situation is arguably my fault and he allowed it to continue because all of my extensive de-pacifier plans and theories on parenting this particular battle were mildly entertaining until recently when they started to cross over into the ridiculous."

Emily wrote this about the little victories in toddler parenting, and in the words of my son "Iss my FAVOrite!"


Alrighty, off I go to fold some towels. (Thanks for your recs on washer/dryers. We decided against buying the set of my dreams because that was too $tre$$ful for me, and instead bought some cheap clunkers off our new neighbors. The washer does an admirable job despite all her creaks and groans in the process. Her noises are actually a little alarming, but I listen to her. I listen to her, and we understand one another.)

Go see Hallie and the Favoriteers.

Who wants to pack up my house?

14 January 2014

Tomorrow we move. Stacks of broken down cardboard boxes litter the house, but very few boxes have been packed. Jake is doing something noisy in his bedroom and periodically yelling: To Infimiby and Beyond! Lucy June is sleeping because unlike her brother, she is not a morning person. Jacob is working and will work all day. And I am blogging, at least until I finish my coffee...or until this happens.

Ah. Mothering...But it was a nice three minutes.

Alright. Off I go to keep my son from destroying all our packing efforts by bribing him with homemade Lara bars. He honestly reveres faux Laras like ice cream and don't you know I've brainwashed him.

If you don't already make your own, you should. Martha has a great how to on her blog. Our recent preferred recipe is: 1 c. walnuts, 1 c. dates, 1/2 c. coconut. Go forth and make.

Life and Mass and Kids Like Usual

12 January 2014

I write this to you from the comfiest chair in the apartment (Papa's chair) with a baby asleep in one room and a toddler asleep in another. She's flying high, friends. I'm like a kid in a toy store: I look around the room at all the things I could do with TWO WHOLE HANDS and no one banging anything or singing or yelling. I think OH! I shall do that thing, but no, THAT thing, or wait...and today, the blog has won.

I would go make myself some coffee or a chai latte as a little icing on the napping cake, but I'm afraid Lucy June will wake up before I can get back to the post, and then it will be just another postless day on the Rhodes Log, and my drink will get cold, and I'll reheat it, and I'll walk the baby, and I'll get on instagram, and my drink will get cold...you know the drill.

We've enjoyed ourselves some coldish weather the past week. I made a solo trek from Fredericksburg back to Houston with the two littles. They were champs. Only had to stop once to nurse - which was lucky because the temps never got above freezing for the whole drive. I keep thinking: It's been so long since we've experienced a REAL winter. And then I think. But you're in Texas. And I feel stupid.

It's good to be back in Houston with the husband even if he is working all the time and Jake is skipping 75% of his naps. My little brother is living with us which makes the apartment feel extra small because my brother is kind of...not small.

BUT Wednesday we move into the land of REAL HOUSE dwellers, even if we'll only be small house dwellers. It means so many things. I'll get a double jogging stroller because there will be a place to put it. I'll have my own washer/dryer. Jacob will have a workshop in the garage. Jake will have a yard to play in - or as he calls it "my own park." And for the first time we will be living in a house that we aren't already busting the seams of when we move in. Our first place was tiny. And then our first baby graduated us to a whopping ONE bedroom apartment. And I know. I know. Abraham Lincoln was raised in a 10x15 foot cabin or some such. Jacob reminds me of this ALL the time.

We got to go to Mass at our home parish this morning. I REALLY like our parish here in Houston. I'll take my Masses heavy on the incense and teeming with little children, please. A father had to carry his screaming three year old daughter all the way down the center aisle and out the door during the homily and the priest paused, smiled, and made the customary joke about having offended her. And I even laughed because I was so happy to be back (I'm typically very cynical about homily jokes.) It helps that we're currently in a sweet spot as far as kids in Mass go. Jake is old enough to understand that donut holes are on the line and manages to stay quiet - not still - but quiet. And little Lucy June sleeps and stares at people and eats her hand. And I get to listen to readings and homilies and remember that Mass can actually be a prayerful place.

We saw our couple-crush. We stopped and chatted them up a little. I told them something that made them laugh (Jacob gave me props for this.) We got in the car afterwards and Jacob said: "He asked me my name again...I keep hoping..."

I'll stop blabbing about nothing in particular and show pictures of my offspring now. Here's: Siblings Almost Play Together.

And because sometimes she gets a little gender specific, here's: Lucy June and Her It's a Girl Headgear

P.S. I'd love any Washer/Dryer thoughts. I'm in a consumer reports rut on the whole thing and torn between buying the washer of my dreams or just a clunker because online appliance reviews are a black hole and also kind of shady. Ugh Ugh.

P.S.S. If you come here often and want to make it official, you could be my ONE HUNDREDTH Google follower. Now wouldn't that be fun?

7 Holiday Quick Takes Saturday

04 January 2014

The littles and I are still at my parents house. We decided to stay on after Christmas since Jacob's work schedule is crazy right now. We figured I could use a little more support and he could use a little more sleep. We head back to Houston in a few days and then a week later we move. And then maybe life will settle into some kind of new normal.

I'm itching for our next phase. A quaint little house. Putting in a garden. Getting our beehives going again. Having a real washing machine. Graduating out of a one butt kitchen. Figuring out my survival techniques for SAHMdom.

Despite the craziness of life at a macro level, these days at my folks' place are pretty simple. Holding a 2 monther all day. Naptime wars with a willful toddler. Sipping Blackbox Malbec and playing Cribbage with my grandmother in the evenings while Jake has his Dora date. Hearing my dad read to my son in the same voice that he used to read to me and my siblings. Drinking lots of nespresso. My parents and my kids are usually asleep by nine which leaves me in the glow of my macbook sending nagging texts to my husband about why he hasn't called yet.

All that to say that even though the blogosphere is alit with new year bravado, 2014 hasn't really hit me yet. After we move, I'll get all kinds of resolution-y up in here, but until then I'll keep talking holidays. Here are some moments from ours that I don't want to forget.

- 1 -
My older brother asked Jake to carry some wrapped gifts from one room to another. And in the 30 step journey my son lost them. Then I got to listen to my brother coax the whereabouts of the presents out his two year old godson. Utter delight.

- 2 -
We went on a tour of some wineries in between Fredericksburg and Austin. We peaked at winery three. Sat down for winery four.

Rallied for winery five.

- 3 -
 My husband made my dad an awesome wine bottle rack since vino was the song of the season.

(It had the added bonus of finally displacing a self portrait I did in high school.)

- 4 -
Jacob has come to really love playing Cribbage with my grandmother. He scoffed at the game for years because it was a "math game" and he's not really into addition, but he loves spending time with Nan so much he eventually learned how to play her game. Now whenever we're staying with my parents and I'm holding two crying children and my husband is nowhere to be found, chances are real good that he snuck away with Nan to play Cribbage. It's almost as annoying as it is heart melting.

Anyhow, for Christmas, he made my grandmother a cribbage board out of a beautiful piece of mahogany. Now it lives on her coffee table.

- 5 -
Also on the DIY train was my new sister-in-law who made my brother some wall art for his new counseling practice. It was awesome. She milled the wood herself  in the wilds of their Seattle backyard

and completed the project while hiding with her wood burning tool in the bathroom at my parents'.

Having in-laws in the clan has really upped the gift giving game.

- 6 -
Due to a little miscommunication among my family members about something I asked for for Christmas, I ended up with not one...not two

not three

but FIVE Anchor Hocking jars.

I love them, so I'm not complaining. Especially since I'm now the family record holder for accidentally repeated gift. The old record was only three.

- 7 -
On New Year's Eve, Jacob drove out of Houston at 8:45 after his last job and raced the year-end so he could be with me at midnight. Mr. GrandGesture even got pulled over and still managed an 11:57 arrival. We then stayed out for a couple more hours with my childhood friend and her husband. It felt like we were in college or something being out so late...except for the whole newborn snuggled in the Moby Wrap thing.

And I have finally finished these takes, and they only took me 48 hours. I like to start the New Year right.

See Jen for more!!

2013 in 13

01 January 2014

Let's see. 2013. What a year, what a year this has been.

I began the year with aspirations to start a wedding flower business. But that quickly dissolved after I made some bouquets that slowly and aromatically decayed the same week that morning sickness arrived and I spent the rest of my pregnancy barely able to look at flowers.

We watched our first egg hunter collect a stash of hardboiled and free range eggs that we dyed with turmeric, beets, and blueberry (because that's how we do.) 

Kicking toys out of the way to pretty up outfit/baby announcement pics.

Our little walker became a little climber.

My little brother scored us a new sister.

Jake turned two, and we didn't take any pictures but here's one from around that time. And it has balloons.

We did however take one picture of our anniversary getaway up at Big Bear.

Then we moved across the country Clampitt style.

Jacob starts a new job.

I birthed the sweetest baby in all the land.

Looking forward to an entire 2014 spent under Texas skies.

Happy New Year!!!!
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