I'm Kristen. Mom to Luke and Zoey, two-year-olds extraordinaire. Trying to keep a foot in the advertising world (I freelance part-time as a writer/creative director out of San Francisco and Boston). Recently relocated to Albuquerque, NM for my husband's job (I love it). Trying to do the creative stuff I did before babies, but it's hard. Hoping to be an outdoorsy/backpacking/ snowboarding/surfer girl again someday, but fear that may be in the past. Really, just trying to embrace change and find balance--and to be grateful for all the things big and small that are good in my life.

Welcome and thanks for stopping by!






Luke and Zo: 23 Months

Hi Everyone! Happy Monday!

Luke and Zo's last month of being one-year-olds was pretty great, minus a few temper tantrums cropping up here and there and my overall exhaustion. (By the way, we really took it easy over the weekend, and yesterday was the first day I had some of my normal energy back, so I'm hopeful that things are getting somewhat back to normal.) 

Anyway, a few stories and pictures of the kids...

Here they are on the cement horses outside of Flying Star, one of our favorite places to go eat. Grammy and Papa were here visiting for their birthday for a few days...this was one of their first days here. Papa decided to walk home after dinner, after the kids were all strapped in their car seats, and Sissy got so upset, cried crocodile tears over her Papa leaving...it was all we could do to calm her down letting her know Papa would be back in time to give her a kiss goodnight before she went to bed.

We're getting into a lot of the kids wanting to do the same thing at the same time. We've been setting the timer for 5 minutes, after which it's the other kid's turn for the object of desire. Also been doing a lot of "eenie meenie minie mo" to decide who goes first.

Funny story: The kids are getting into super heros because, well, their dad is their dad. We got ONE stuffed Spider Man one day this past month, and there was a total meltdown at bedtime because both kids wanted Spider Man. I was telling my Dad about it the next day, and he said, "Well, that's a lesson for someone...either the kids about sharing or your husband about how many toys to buy." We went and got another the next day...mostly we just have one of each toy, but sometimes it makes sense (and saves our sanity) to have two. (We had the kids with us when we went to get another, and when Luke saw it he said, so excited, "DADDY GET MORE SPIDER MAN!" over and over, it was so cute. And it's funny, the Spider Men look exactly the same, but the kids can tell them apart. Sometimes I'll give one to Sis, for instance, and she'll say, "No, Luke's" and won't be satisfied until I find hers.

The occasional treat still happens at Satellite Coffee, another one of our favorite spots (although this happens a lot less often as my husband and I are trying to eat super healthy):

And always looking for birds in the morning...there are some that come to drink out of the dog's water bowl so there's usually one or two to see.

Speaking of dogs, there is still a lot of interest in where Dexter is. "Dexter come back!" Luke said to me this morning. 

And...what else...Luke is VERY cute with puzzles (and very good)...he tries each piece and says, "How about this one. No...... How about THIS one? No....... How about THIS one?" until he gets it right.

And the kids know their colors, and 1–10, and Luke the other day sang his ABCs start to finish and I was like, how in the heck do you know that? (It's their grandmother.) I'm not trying to brag about my kids, but I'm just amazed that any almost-two-year old can do this stuff. And I don't feel like we're trying that hard to teach them stuff...just integrating into our every day life, for example with colors, it's not a specific lesson, it's just me asking all the time, "What color is your juice?" (for example.) "What color is that car?" Etc.

Both kids are really, really into trucks.

Some cute things that Sissy says:

"Sissy happy!" (And Luke will say, "Luke happy too.")

"Sissy sad." (Luckily this is unusual.)

"Sissy busy!"

"Sissy by self!" 

This last one is her trying to do things like dress or eat all by herself. This gets said A LOT, as well as Luke with his version, which is, "My turn! My turn!" often said with a frustrated hand wave.

Neither kid likes their food cut up any more...I ask them, "Do you want this banana" (for instance) "cut up or whole?" And they always say, "whole." And if they ask me to cut it and I do there is total baby meltdown, especially on Luke's part...they don't get that you can't just put it back together.

Luke especially likes to come visit me while I'm working in my home office in the afternoons, and he's very polite about it, knocking on the door first. I keep him as long as I can until he gets too disruptive. One thing I'd really like to do is to have some toys and cool things in my office, that they can sit on the guest bed and play with and as long as they let me work, they can stay with me. Think that would be fun.

The kids have Ugly Dolls that they call Bat Bat (there's gray Bat Bat and Pink Bat Bat and Blue Bat Bat and Baby Bat Bat). One night after dinner there were Bat Bat Wars with Daddy, which involved the kids getting pelted with Ugly Dolls and running around laughing hysterically.

They have both outgrown most of their clothes. Eeking it out 'til spring/summer.

Luke especially loves to be outside. "Luke go outside and play ball!" he says every day. Sis is good if it's warn, but she doesn't like the cold, so often wants to come in when it's chilly out, which is challenging because Luke wants to be out and we need them together.

They like to eat their lunch outside too, which I also like because it minimizes the mess. Think there'll be a lot of outside meals with the warmer weather.

Sis has been making faces... "Sissy funny face!" she'll say and pull her mouth out at the sides and stick her tongue out. Or, "Happy face!" Or, "Cow face!" By the way, the kids aren't scared of cows any more. Or the big red bird at Red Robin, who used to make them cry.

Oh gosh, these kids are just an absolute delight. Love them so, so much. And this is changing the subject, but wish there were going to be more children for us, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. It's OK, I'm so, so, so very grateful I have Luke and Zo...



Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

William Martin



Little Cloud Park

One of the cool things we've discovered recently is a little park in the foothills, about 15 minutes from our house called Little Cloud Park. Our little routine there looks like this:

First, we go play on the bunny statue:

Then, we run back to the playground equiptment and play: (The only negative--this isn't the safest playground structure for little kids...close supervision is needed.)

Then: picnic lunch on a cute kid-sized picnic table:

Some other great things about this park are that it's fenced, it's nice and big, there are grass and trees and the mountains right there...so pretty. Also the three times we've gone we've pretty much had the place to ourselves.

There are also little BBQ grills so I think it will be fun when the weather gets warmer to go as a family and do a cookout.

Happy Thursday!



Grace in Small Things, March 17, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it's been kind of quiet around here...honestly, a lot going on and have been struggling a bit since Dexy died...and it's not about our dog per se...not really sure why...just a lot weighing on my mind, not sleeping well at all, lots of anxiety about all sorts of things right now for some reason, new work clients that I'm trying to get things running smoothly with, etc. etc. Went to the doctor today and am hoping I have something that will help with the sleep...that seems to be the place to start with all this. And a prescription to help with the anxiety if I need it, but I'm hoping sleeping better will make everything else more manageable. 

That said, wanted to take a minute to write about some of the good things:

1) So incredibly lovely to have my parents here visiting last week. So fun to see Luke and Zo with them...they have such a great relationship with my parents...

2) Made it to the gym this morning despite a somewhat sleepless night. Glad I went...

3) My big work project for the week seems manageable...wasn't sure that was going to be the case...

4) I have a new black sweatshirt that I LOVE that's kept me warm and cozy on this cool late winter day...

5) My mother-in-law's got corned beef and cabbage cooking up for dinner...yum...

Hope all is well with all of you!




Hey Everyone.

It'll be two weeks tomorrow since we lost my brother Luke's (our) dog, and I just wanted to share a few things.

The kids didn't say anything at first, but have been very interested lately in where Dexter has been. I've been telling them the truth, Dexy got sick, Dexy died, we won't see Dexy again. They talk about it a lot, and sometimes Luke says "Dexter come home!" and today Sis said, "Dexy hiding!" It's been interesting trying to explain death to 2-year-olds. They're not sad, it's just kind of matter-of-fact to them...and perhaps that's how it should be to us, too, I don't know...

I'm sad, but not overwhelmingly so. I think because it's a dog, and it matters, but it's not the same as a person. And also having the time with him I think helped a lot. I am, however, absolutely exhausted and have been since Dex died...just can't seem to get my energy back.

The other thing I wanted to talk about...knowing Dexter was going to die (although we lost him sooner/faster than expected)...I tried really hard to live without regrets, so I wouldn't look back and say, for example gosh, I should have stopped work and taken my dog for a hike. I DID stop work and take my dog for a hike, many times, especially during the last couple months.

I had planned to take Dex out and take pictures of him the Wednesday before he died...but that afternoon everything started to go down, and we thought we were going to lose him that day and it wasn't that big a deal, the picture thing, but I was wishing I'd had a chance to take pictures. And then he got better (sort of), and the next day, Thursday, I took him and our other dog Newton on a nice hike, and got these photos of Dex at the end of it...so grateful to have these pictures, he doesn't even look sick and you can see how much character this dog has (had)...ridiculous amounts.

And then he died the next day...

Big sigh...

Love to you all...