Thursday, May 30, 2013

new tricks

Would you like to hear of a lifelong yearning and simultaneous lifelong fear of mine? Sewing. The sewing machine. Spools, fabric, re-threading, seam-ripping. I am ever so jealous of those that possess the skill set to sit down and pound out a beautiful anything; those that can begin with the very bones of a project and bring them all together into a harmonious something.

Such a person is my Aunt Mary. She can do anything. I love following her (super successful!) blog for all the g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s projects she tackles, finishes and posts pics of. She does quite everything from incredibly detailed quilts to pinch-me-they're-so-cute dresses for her granddaughters (first-cousins-once-removed, to me) to my favorite: THUH most adorable raincoats for wee ones. When I embarked upon The Great Patio Project of Pregnant Summer 2013, I solicited my Aunt Mary via email, shamelessly begging a beginner's sewing lesson. I had high hopes and ambitious goals for patio cushions to go with a newly refurbished patio table. And she obliged!

The Components for a Sewing Lesson for the Most Novice of the Novices:

// the easiest envelope slip-cover cushion tutorial that I could hunt down.
// your very favorite outdoor fabric acquired for a STEAL I tell you from at something like $7.47 a yard
// cheapy cheapy cheap pillow inserts from JoAnn's (got 4 - 16x16 pillows at $3.89 each!!)
// a very talented and patient aunt

with a completely amazing room dedicated solely to sewing (I guess that part's optional)

// eagerness verging on overzealousness to learn

oh look, there's me sewing at the speed of sloth, with something really weird going on with my hair (does it always do that?)

// 1 1/2 hours of Jordan-free time compliments of the spousal unit

and BAM. 4 patio cushions that I'm unhealthily and really quite ridiculously proud of. I mean, seriously.

a) I'm super bummed that the picture depicts more of a pool blue than the true brilliant turquoise of the dahlia-esque blooms on these pillows. I promise, the fabric is 5x times as gorgeous in real life. 

b) OKAY no joke, my aunt sewed threeeee of these pillows in the time it took me to do just the one. So I can take less than 25% credit (because she also did the measurements), and additionally, she started on the third pillow when I had less than one side of one pillow to go. I was cracking up. She just whips and I am so jealous.

Anyway, before/after pics coming verrrry soon of heinous-to-handsome: a transformation in patio living. I'm almost done! We just need chairs so Ikea better ready themselves. The Popes are invading first thing Saturday morning. Jordan will have her Ikea face on.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Long weekends are so very few and so very far between. You know it's been a memorable one when Tuesday morning comes and you cannot bear the thought of getting up to shower and go into work. This morning: definitely unbearable. Much email/instagram/pinterest/bloglovin' procrastination was had by all. All Jessies. We played hard this weekend, and all that's left is a mammoth mountain of sandy towels to be washed, a well-used cooler to be drained, and a sinkful of neglected dishes. Sigh and grumble.

This is basically what the weekend looked like

oversized fun for the whole family

Sean's sweet sister came and spent the weekend with us. Jordan got some serious aunt time in, in the forms of sandcastle destroying and yoga by the pool

One of my besties Meg (above left) and her husband Danny came in to town and we spent the whoooole weekend with them: beaching, pooling, laughing, drinking, charading (as in, we played Charades, not like we were pretending to have fun. Charades is particularly hysterical when certain male husbands *Danny* guess He's Just not that into You when the only word on the table so far is "that.")

We had friends over for a pool party and dinner on Sunday. Sean, Danny and Jacob have already signed some kind of contract in blood and beer splatters that they are all going to Vegas together this summer, and Jessie, Meg and Kate talked pregnant and babies and upcoming Texas transfer. Jordan and Jake talked...little intelligibly, on my daughter's part anyway.

But there was this. This is "Jake, can you smile?"
Which is funny because this
is "Jordan can you smile?"

We capped it off yesterday with another beach excursion ("yayyyy beats!!" and "hiiii beats!" all around) and wrapped up at my aunt and uncle's with a BBQ at their just-built-from-the-ground-up beach house with a view that only dreams are made of. The Maltese Falcon of beach houses, if you will. I didn't pull my phone/camera out for a second the whole day, so I didn't snap a pic, but this is their view as seen at their daughter's wedding last summer

We watched the sunset, philosophized over wine, had delicious food and indulged in homemade spice cake. Basically, pinch me. 

Because now it's Tuesday, and it's all a Memorial Memory. The great thing about Memorial Weekend is it kicks off the summer. As huge and eventually uncomfortably pregnant as I will shortly be, I know this will be one for the books. Come at me, Summer 2013.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

this kid (favorites, volume 5ish?)

My Jo-friend. She's been such a gem lately. Alright I kind of have always thought she was, but you know, she's had her moments. The Mariah ones. Lately though, gosh dangit, she has just been doing me in - in the best of ways. So here we go: here are some of my favorites about this girl of mine. If you are so super bored, the rest of them are labeled under "favorites" in the right hand column.

First mention has got to be her talking progress. It's slow-going in the technical sense; that is to say, the real words are relatively few. Her earnestness, though, and her belief that she's totally conveying her meaning like a boss: it's pretty great. We've gotten a few phrases strung together, and we've acquired a couple of two syllable treasures, but basics be our bread-and-butter right now.

A couple of the good ones:
"bye poo'! (pool)" or "bye beats! (beach)" - because she's been seeing A LOT of those two lately.

(in response to "Jordan do you want to go see Mimi?" <---that's what she calls my mom): "YAH. MEEM." *really emphatically and dead seriously*
"wahgopoo'" = pretty sure this is "I want to go in the pool." Sean and I both heard this, and agreed upon its meaning, with the aid of emphatic gesticulation in a poolwardly direction on the part of the girl
"beenty" = binky
"meattttt" = yeah, just meat. This is Sean's contribution to her vocabulary
"howch" = house
"doo, figh, eigh, doo, free, ...... *you do the rest, Mom*" = counting to ten

She has a few hefty handfuls of other words, but those are the goldies.

Jordan's taken to pointing to my belly, regardless of surroundings, and announcing "baby." Yes, that's true. She then sizes up her own belly, rubs it, and again advertises "baby." I guess I can understand the confusion...

the sultan of solid

Recent development: foreign and/or louder-than-normal noises have been FREAKING her out. If she hears the bell outside her window from the school down the street from us, she takes a flying leap into my arms with the most pathetically panic-stricken adorable face. It kinda breaks my heart. Lawnmowers, RC cars (compliments of the park), honking cars, the blender, the garbage disposal - they all earn the same melodramatic reaction. The other day Sean was changing Jordan's diaper in her room, and he called to me in the living room, and his raised voice scared the crap out of her. Thankfully not literally, because that would have been a real waste of a new diaper. So I'm not sure if this is just fallout from her super-cling status she's been sporting the last couple months, but the hugs have gotten much tighter, is all I know.

Books - finally!! Jordan has never never never I-won't-grow-up ever wanted to sit through a story. And I was so excited for this part when I was pregnant with her! All the ladies at my baby shower were encouraged to bring a book as part of their gift, so that we would have a healthy, hearty library - and we do! But no. Not my child. Books are boring. Finally though, here we are at nearly two years of ripe old age, and Jordan is obsessed with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. (She calls it "booboom.") I got that saga straight memorized. Hey, I'll take it. If it means she's actually sitting through a story without turning all the pages to the end and throwing it aside like it's bound for Goodwill, I'm okay with reading that dirge til my dying day.

not plugged into anything. she just like putting things in her ears. (e.g.: flower in the ear, not behind the ear)

I have to tell you one more. I'm sorry, I know. I'm getting all mommy-blog on you and it's not okay...
My mom taught Jordan...well, essentially how to make out. When I was little, my mom and my aunt would get on either side of my cheeks (or any of my other sibling's cheeks) and go "mmmmmmwwwuuuuaaaahhh" for like 5-8 seconds. It was quite an ordeal. It would go on for minutes because they would do it over and over. My family is really affectionate? Point is: my mom does this to Jordan, and now Jordan does it to everyone on the lips. Oh but the best part, she puts each of her hands on each of your cheeks. It. is. awesome. You're probably like "ew" right now but let me tell you, when you get kissed by a 21-month-old like a total pro, it is about the most hysterical/disconcerting thing ever.

That's the round-up. Oh wait, and since it's summery now, Jordan is solely sans clothing in the apartment. That's definitely a favorite. NAKED BABIES.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Perhaps I mentioned how much I am loving watermelon right now? It is the perfect summer fruit, and you may consider me an authority capable of making outlandish, all-encompassing calls such as this. My palette is sharpened by pregnancy, trust. (Other Best-Things-Ever: M&M McFlurries, coconut popsicles, ground beef & cheddar scramble, chicken-apple sausage dipped in mustard. You're welc.)

Anyway Jordan and I have been enjoying so many, many watermelons lately, I decided to try to do something with them other than wedge-slice and enjoy. I know. You just never know what kind of tomfoolery will happen around here.

Sidenote: (intended to be quick but may be one of those lengthy deviations...) I am constantly saying "Jordan and I" when it comes to those fruity foods we enjoy, and not "Sean, Jordan and I." I'll tell you why and get ready for the most appalling statement you'll ever read on a blog: Sean hates fruit. "What??" you may ask, and then proceed down the list of fruits that are impossible to hate. I assure you, we've hit every one. "Well what about apples? Those aren't super fruity." No. "He's gotta like raspberries." No. "Plums, surely?" No."What about -"

No fruit. If we're being technical, Sean loves wine and pumpkin pie, both derivatives of fruit. But let's face it: wine doesn't taste like grapes and pumpkin pie doesn't taste like pumpkin. And does anyone else think it's dumb that pumpkin is considered a fruit?

Anyway. I remember reading somewhere, probably in one of my precious Better Homes & Gardens, of a watermelon salad with honey and mint. I googled that exact phrase, and couldn't find what I was looking for without a bunch of other ingredients I didn't have. So I decided to make my own.

^ Picasa Photo and I had a fancy date ^

The following yields enough for pregnant Jess and voracious Jo, with a tad bit left over:

1/2 a personal sized watermelon (you know, those baby ones)*
1/2 small carton of blackberries
approximately 1 tablespoon of honey (I used the raw delicious stuff Sean's aunt gifted us.)
6-8 leaves of mint, depending on your minty preference
the juice of three thin lime wedges (optional)

*I've really started honing my skills as a watermelon picker, so often do I buy them. You probably already know to listen for the hollow ones - which I find only works when I hit a ton of watermelons in a row and listen for hollowness by comparison (yes, I'm that obnoxious one that spanks allll the melons in the produce aisle) - but you should also look for a yellow, flattish spot on one side of the watermelon. This indicates it was allowed to sit and ripen for a spell before being picked.

Chop the mint leaves pretty fine, chunk the watermelon and then just kind of mix it all together. There's really not much process when I make up a recipe. The lime juice was an afterthought thrown into the mix simply because I happened to have a lime. The zip and tang is nice, but I don't consider it necessary, and certainly don't overdo it.

This was wayyy yummy. Jordan attacked all the blackberries first because, honestly, she might have a berry addiction, but in her defense the flavors were very well enhanced by the mint and honey. A tip though: start with cold ingredients. Mine were just-got-back-from-the-store room temp ingredients and watermelon is just eons better chilled. But if you let it sit in the honey and lime, it creates - in my opinion - too much marinade. So just have it all be cold to begin with.

There you go! That was my Rachel Ray for the day(/week/month/really long time). Here, if I'm really gonna commit to the person: "YUM-O!!" (cringe.) Happy summer snacking, "y'all." Oh wait that was more Paula Deen.

Friday, May 17, 2013


Let's say the baby made me do it. Or perhaps the current and impending heat. I could also say Natalie made me do it when she pinned this little number (originally from Vanilla Style Sheet)

The reason doesn't truly matter I guess; the point is, I went and chopped my hair off.

If you don't know me personally, you don't know what a big deal this is for me. My hair takes decades to grow. Like mother, like daughter, I suppose. The last time I got any more than a trim was the year 2008, just before my mom and I took off on an excursion to Italy. I didn't really like it, and I don't think Sean had much a taste for it either. (He's a really bad liar when it comes to point blank questions like "do you like my hair?" *octaves higher than normal voice*: "uhhh, yeah!!") I think my head looked like a mushroom and I kind of felt like a pageboy from the Renaissance era. Witness:

It's kind of pulled back in this photo, but you can see behind my left ear how short it actually was. Also, 2008 was a chubby year for me.

It was with caution that I showed my Pinspiration to my hairdresser of five or six years. She's great. We chat about our toddlers - born only a week apart - and about how very very little hair I have (the diameter of my ponytail is like 1/4 joke. you should see my pathetic wispy attempts at a sock bun). I informed her that I was to skittish to go above-shoulder length, and she suggested an a-line cut where it would be slightly shorter in the back with longer pieces up front. But not too dramatic. 

Without further ado...

I think Sean was being sincere when he said it looked cute. But he's also probably afraid of my hormones so he might have upped his p-p-poker face skills. At any rate, I feel at peace with it, which is a big deal considering I think about 5-6 inches came off. It's significantly lighter and I have high hopes for increased managability. I'm completely hair handicapped so my fingers and toes are crossed that this will be easy to style.

I'm still basking in the blow-dried glow of just having my hair styled at a salon and am reluctant to wash it myself to see if I can handle the pressure of a new 'do. Time will tell.

....this post is brought to you by the Archives of Vapid and Self-Important....
Have a lovely Friday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

fave five

Hopping on Hallie's train today for a few fast faves. (<--- And apparently a bunch of alliterations in a row.)

1. Beach!


We are still - supposedly - in the heart of spring over here, but this summer is already promising to break me. It was in the 90's a couple days ago (in the 100's where Sean works, twenty minutes away!), and we only have air conditioning in the living room. Clearly they weren't thinking of pregnant women when they designed this place.

Consequently, we've been escaping to the beach the last couple of weekends. Jordan loves it. Let me rephrase: Jordan LOVES IT. We're teaching this girl to swim stat, because she has zero fear of water or waves, and she would continue plowing right through the soup until her head was fully submerged if we didn't stop her. Sean got creative last weekend though, and it turns out there's endless entertainment in gritty sand containment. We buried and unburied and buried and unburied, yet it was funny every time she poked her toes through.

Bonus: beached out baby makes for a verrry snuggly bug at the end of the day

2. Watermelon

Speaking of summer...yessss. Is it so cliche that I crave watermelon when I'm pregnant? (I just think of Lady and the Tramp when Lady's owner is pregnant and sends her husband out in a blizzard for watermelon and chop suey.) I was about exactly this pregnant with Jordan at about exactly this time of year a couple years ago (Jordan and this baby's due dates are within a couple weeks of each other) and I remember devouring 10, 12 slices at a time with her. 

Please check Jordan's own sophisticated watermelon method:

One bite, if you please, then stack in a tower. Then begin again from the top, one bite at a time. Watermelon consumption is an art, friends. 

I was so angry when I heard they were discontinuing Google Reader. It's very hard for me to adjust to changing technology. But I gotta say, Bloglovin', I'm impressed. The app is downright dangerous. I used to have to type in my fave sites individually on my phone to see if there were new posts, but Bloglovin' has of-the-minute updates to all the blogs I follow. It's becoming too easy to be a media addict...

4. Signed and Numbered frames

A couple weeks ago I told you about some frames I had ordered from Etsy and that I'd link them if I liked them. ABSOLUTELY I do. Love them. They take a couple of weeks to come because they are all handmade right here in Amuuurica (Salt Lake City); they have something like fifty shades to choose from, then 3 different treatments of each color for you to select (flat, vintage, super-vintage), and they throw in mats for free, if you need them. Amazing handiwork. 

I got "dark wood tone" in "vintage" finish, and it's perfection. I'm working on a photo gallery, but it's not quite done. I think I'll need at least one more of these...

5. Ranunculus

While I'm feeling the full heat of summer already, I know spring is still with us whenever I amble into Trader Joe's. They carry bunches of these in the most bea-u-ti-ful shades. They are truly one of my faves. Cheers, Spring.

Now go browse around at Hallie's, and have a lovely day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

my triumphant return

"Triumphant" may be overstepping a bit, since I'm so sore I can barely walk after my walk. And "return" might be jumping the gun, since I've only gone on three walks since Thursday. I think the real issue here is that this is as much as I can see of my feet, and I have three months to go. Also, my belly appears to be lopsided. Is the baby's bum just sticking out a little on the right? Or am I going to have one of those wonky bellies that I've seen on a few pregnant ladies?

The scoop is: I haven't laced up for a power walk (read: pregnant waddle) since before Hawaii. At my last appointment, the doctor commented on the size of baby, noting that he seems to already be over a pound. I think this was her subtle mallet to the head way of saying "Hey Jess, move yo ass."

When I finally dragged myself out there at about 6:30 on Thursday morning, my first thought was, Man, this is nice. It was a beautiful temperature, a deserted street, and the sun was just peeking over the hills near our complex. Fast forward 1/4 mile, and I'm about as strained as any one of these

It's taking a lot of angry Joan Jett and buoyant MGMT (<----I'm 110% positive that music video is meant to be enjoyed while under the influence of heavy narcotics...) to propel me in a semi-forwardly direction. 

When all is said and done, it is a nice way to start my day. I came up with over a month's worth of excuses to weasel out of exercising after work, so 6:30 in the a.m. is my remaining option. I know if I don't find my groove before the true heat of summer begins (already starting...I'm going to die.) then I'll somehow work in some concern over heat stroke to justify not getting out there. And anyway, if I don't concentrate on how a 4 degree incline is making me sweaty, or that my shadow profile is looking like Alfred Hitchcock's, it really is a serene piece of time for myself.

Sidenote, I just went to go wake Sean up for work, and as he was giving me a hug he commented that "hugging [you] is taking up more of the real estate in my arms." Ah.

here's your 'grammed proof (from yesterday) of my belly's real estate. 26 weeeeeeeeks

Sunday, May 12, 2013

for the mamas

I am one of those extremely fortunate women who have so many incredible examples of motherhood to emulate and to aspire to. In friends, in aunts, in grandmothers passed, and of course, and most especially, my mom.

this one is entitled "piggy face and her grandmother" (with LOTR photobomb)

That pic right there, that is an excellent example of why my mom is so great. She has never been self conscious about getting down into the thick of childish play for the sake of showing her kids (and now grandkids) a good time, or even for a reluctant teenage giggle. She throws herself wholeheartedly into our world: our triumphs, our problems, our trivialities, our joys, all of it. 

This weekend she was up at my parents' cabin with just my youngest sister. Just the two of them, enjoying a mother-daughter weekend together. Since I can remember, she has made an effort to see and hear each of her children individually. She has EIGHT. But we all had our "special nights" with mom where one of us was allowed to stay up late; little lunch dates; private talks.

So Mothers Day, yeah it may have been created by the greeting card industry or born out of some attempt to market mass quantities of bouquets or spa certificates. But it's a solid reminder to tell the woman who is certainly one of the most influential - if not the most - how much she means, how much she counts. Now that I am in the trenches of motherhood (you know, if being pregnant with your second counts as "trenches"), I know a little affirmation goes a long way. This mothering thing, it's been the most important and the most fulfilling and the most difficult thing I've done. Having done it, I can see just how high the bar has been set by the women in my life.

Cheers to you all, ladies. Mothers and mothers-to-be alike. It's a fascinating and miraculous thing, this motherhood.

And I'm just loving the ride.

Happy Day, Mothers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

fave five

Intermingling myself with a host of more creatives over at The Camp in lieu of The Moxie this week. Let's see...

1/ I'm gonna have to go with Dweej's latest - I'm sure you've heard. It's a kind of horrifying story for about 2 1/2 minutes but hang in there. It's good news (with a request for prayers, please!).

2/ BDG skinnies

Ohohoho, my legs do not look like this. Never have they, and it's an excellent bet to say they never will. And actually, the link is to something similar to the jeans I have, not identical. (Mine are really old.) As with all my fashionable and slightly more expensive clothing (although the link takes you to a sale item!!), I got my skinnies as a hand-me-up from one of my sisters. She's 6 feet tall. There are a few more rolls of fabric at the bottom of my jeans than shown above.

Here's what's great about these: they still fit me. Have you seen me lately? Only the last time I wore them (yesterday) did I have to employ the ol' rubber band and button over the belly trick. (If you've ever been pregnant, you know the one.) The legs still fit so comfy, and I'm not wearing maternity jeans yet! I feel so accomplished. In fact, I think it should be added to Mr. Bingley's list:

"All young ladies are accomplished. They sing, they draw, they dance, speak French and German, cover screens, wear non-maternity jeans when they're six months pregnant, and I know not what."

3/ Grapefruit

'Tis the season. Summer fruits are cropping up, and they are really some of my favorites. Don't get me started on watermelon while pregnant. I just snarf it. Anyway, grapefruit. Trader Joe's is carrying some gargantuan ruby reds right now for 99 cents (can't say "99 cents" anymore without thinking of Thrift Shop - "but sh-, it was 99 cents!!" *and that link is not to an edited version of the song FYI*) and they also have slightly less humongo pink grapefruits for $4 a bag with 6-7 in each. I picked up some rubies for work, and mmmmm.

But I'm the luckiest. My parents have a grapefruit tree and my brother is obsessive about keeping fresh-squeezed juice around the house constantly. Which I'm sure has nothing to do with his penchant for Greyhounds (grapefruit juice + vodka). I just pop by my parents' on the regular and drink a fattie glass of the most delicious vitamins you ever will have.

4/ Carry On by fun.

No, I know I'm late to the fun. game. I actually don't like them all that much, but I can't get enough of Carry On. I watched the video and it totally threw me for a loop. I was envisioning the singer as some guy that looked like a young Michael Jackson because...I kind of think he sounds like a young Michael Jackson. Nope. Super skinny white kid in suspenders. Anyway I like this song because that whole Irish prayer influence totally works in this context. Weird right? 

May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, and carry on.

Jordan and I rock out. She's got moves I can only dream of.

The idea behind The Dessy Group is to coordinate your bridal party's dresses, ties, vest, accessories, what-have-you, all on the same website. They have a million colors. That's false advertising; they have very very many colors. I used them to buy my maids flip flops for our wedding reception so they could dance their buns off comfortably. I bought some for myself too, and only 2 1/2 years later of cooooonstant use are they starting to show wear and tear. So, even though I'm not getting married anymore, I'm going to re-buy some flips from Dessy. They're $16.50, which seems about par for the course - and I would venture to say eagle for the course since they lasted me such a good while. I want these ones in "apple slice."

...Are flip flops not "in"? Probably not. I should maybe invest in some good Grecian sandals or...I don't know...Birkenstocks? Those are boho/alt-alt-indie right? Whatever, I'll blame it on my Southern California heritage and to hell with it. I'm wearing flip flops.

Ok so peek on over at Camp Patton to get your fill of ever so many more Wednesday favorites. Good chatting with you.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

holy terror

I have a confession to make. In other words, I'm utilizing one Sacrament to talk to you guys about another. I really like....splitting Mass duties.

There, I pulled the band-aid off real quick-like. The last couple of months have seen Sean and I going to separate services nearly as often as not, expressly for the purpose of not bringing Jordan. I know this is terrible but it's also addicting.

Let me explain: being a morning person, the quiet solitude of services that take place in the 7 o'clock hour is right up my alley. They're uncrowded, the singing is minimal, it's calming. Sean prefers extra sleep and usually attends a Mass in the 9 o'clock hour. But be it the 7:30 or the 9 o'clock, the atmosphere of church is going to change drastically if you bring The Jordan.

It's not that she's a brat in church; it's not that she's screaming or tantruming or whining; it's not even that she's overly verbose or trying to contribute to the homily. It's just that Jordan has the energy levels of an Amazon jungle cat on crack cocaine.

yes, you.

She's unpacking the diaper bag. No actually she wants to pull all the readers from their slots on the back of the pews. Well they don't look as good on the floor so now she wants to put them back. That still doesn't look right, let's take them out again. This three feet of space we're occupying is not exciting enough, how about we invade our neighbor's bubble? Mom, hold me. No, your stomach's in the way. Dad, hold me. Put me down. I don't like it down here, hold me. Didn't you bring crackers? Let me unpack the diaper bag again to double check. Can I get out of this pew? The aisle looks like a perfect sprinting track. I don't like this dress, if you don't take it off I'm going to rip it off and make a scene. How many times will I need to say "hi? hi? hi? hi? hi? hi?" before that annoyed old gent behind us acknowledges me?

^ just to name a few ^

And I know, I know, other parents have the same struggles. I've heard their accounts. I've witnessed a few with my eyes. But somehow, somehow, when Jordan is in her most unglued state, I glance around to find two or three similarly-aged toddlers in our immediate vicinity, sitting like cherubs upon mother's lap and giving Jordan the side-eye that all but says "you know they have exorcisms for this type of thing."

A little while ago, while expressing my feelings to Sean on the matter - in what I'm sure was the most calm and collected of manners - I blubbered something like, "but how do we get her to change her ways?" And he answered in the characteristically abbreviated yet exceedingly wise fashion that I've come to expect from him, "Example." That's all he said.

So a couple days ago, I dropped Sean and Jordan at the front to grab us a spot while I parked the car. I had all the regalia for a Mass with Jordan: blankie, binky, baby, slices of cheese, cup of milk, books aplenty, live circus animals. I walked in to our usual spot to a coronary-inducing sight: Sean had Jordan on his lap, his head bent and his hands clasped together; Jordan was sitting complacently, looking at the altar with her hands mimicking her father's. No wiggles, no fuss, no sprinting. And she stayed like that. Only after the Our Father did she want down to move around, but even then it was minimal. Therefore we did what every well-adjusted parent does: rewarded her with processed sugar...

...and took the most attractive picture of her chowhounding

(Many moons ago I condemned the bribing of children with doughnuts in exchange for good Mass behavior. I sniveled and derided and looked down my nose at the idea of teaching my child that if they honor Jesus, they get a doughnut. Then I realized: Jordan is 21 months. She has NO idea what is happening. Positive reinforcement until her brain can more strongly conceptualize what's going on doesn't seem like a bad idea anymore. And besides, I ate way more than half of that doughnut.)

By no means do I expect that church-going has permanently been turned for the better. There is a medium-well to overdone chance that this was the fluke of the year 2013. Maybe even of 2014. But I will be making an effort to concentrate on the reason we're there, and not on Jordan's every bat of an eyelid of flick or a finger, because as much as I'm monitoring her, so is she me. Perhaps I should give her something to emulate and not to aggravate? 

Friday, May 3, 2013


Things I've been feeling...

 * Thankfully, a little less emotional. I'm thinking it's because I've been concentrating my efforts on more productive things than fighting off meltdowns at the realization that it's becoming harder to shave my legs over my burgeoning belly, or at my disappointment in picking a bad cantaloupe. Both are tragic, but they don't warrant ugly-cry-face. Instead, I'm cleaning house. I've already dropped off a boatload of stuff at the Goodwill, and the patio earned itself three trips to the dumpster. This is all much to Sean's bewilderment. As I enumerated the things I needed him to help me with he muttered: "This nesting's just the strangest phenomenon. It's like: your body is much more tired, but you always need to be doing more."

* Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes being conducted from within the confines of my uterus. This kid is already rivaling Jordan on the energy levels. In fact, I don't remember her being this active as early as this one started (about a month and a half ago). A couple days ago Sean cautiously put one finger on my bouncing belly and BAM, bulls-eye. He got kicked or punched or headbutted from within. He recoiled like he had just witnessed the extra-terrestrial emergence scene in Alien, and shrieked "DUDE! Is that going on all the time?" Yep.

* Jordan contorting herself to my changing body. She has become quite the snuggle bug lately. And while she's still lavishly applying kisses to her sibling's ever-expanding home, I'm pretty sure she still doesn't know what's going on. (Despite "there's a baby in there!" "can you kiss your sibling?" on obnoxious repeat.) Whatever the reason, she has upped her affection and I happen to love it...right now. But since I'm, uh, heartier in certain areas now, Jordan has graciously amended her hugging configuration to include throwing her arms about my neck, head upon my shoulder, and knees tucked right between the prospering belly and - I guess I'll just say it - the healthy rack, while legs and feet are buoyed up by her sibling.

Things I've been hearing...

* Younger Sister: "Yeah happened? All the sudden you just got huge."

* Older Brother: "You look good though Jess. You're all belly. With Jordan I feel like it would've been easier for you to roll places than to walk."

* Sweetest Asian coworker with heavy accent: "Oh my gah, it's just like a big baw! (ball.) You so big!"

* Another coworker: "Uh,'re supposed to be growing for another 3 1/2 months?"

I don't know what they're talking about. I'm very petite.

Please don't be offended on my behalf. I have a certain rapport with all of those people, and the belly comments only served to make me laugh heartily. (Particularly my brother. That's just exactly how we talk with one another.)

Things I've discovered...

* We're having a boy :) :) :)

ps (I'd include the ultrasound pic, but the doctor caught a particularly inappropriate angle...)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

it's gonna be me

Every once in awhile, just to break up the tedium of a bedtime routine, I check the Instagram popular page from the comfort of my flannel sheets. I don't know why I do it, since the popular page is fraught and overrun with skanky selfies of girls with devastatingly low self esteem trying their best to disguise themselves as girls with devastatingly high self esteem; paparazzi shots of celebrities with captions that someone somewhere dreamed up in an effort to pass himself off as the celebrity himself, when it's really just another fanpage; or those stupid Instacomics where some ignorant user breaks the photo up into four tiles and tries to say something witty and accompanies their efforts with exaggerated, obnoxious facial expressions. (Yikes, that was a little harsh. Pregnant much, Jess?)

Sometimes, just sometimes, there's a goldie in there. I guess that's why I keep comin' back. I meant to post this as one of my favorites yesterday, because it would have been most appropriate on the first of May, but I forgot, as I am wont to do.

Anyone who remembers that song (or that music video? holy hilarious. Do bands still do choreographed dances in their videos? They should.) will remember that that's exactly how JT pronounces the word "me." So well played, @lancebass. Which, you know, could very well not be the real Lance Bass, but I hope it is. Makes me ponder upon the deepest mysteries of the universe like, when someone's career has taken a turn for the, um - more serious I guess? or less laughable? - as JT's has, does he still keep those embarrassing connections around, like a former boybandmate?

Well, that one actually made me laugh out loud, which media almost never makes me do. Usually the only ones that boast as much are

 Roger Sterling

and Lucille Bluth

on their respective shows. (Can't believe Kate got to be within 50 yards of Jessica Walter. Bet she could smell the vodka from there.)

Oh and then when searching Roger Sterling images I found THIS

so someone clearly shares my problems and affinity for drunken comedians. Who are you, Roger-Lucille fanatic? Let's be friends.