Friday, October 17, 2014


It's happening. 

Yesterday was going so well. It was a random 72 degree October day, and Y and I were buying lunch to take to a picnic by the lake. Perfect, right?

And then the most horrifying thing came out of Y's mouth:

"We should go across the street and buy some pop."


I guess there were other signs that we were starting to acclimate to our new state. First there was the flannel. 

And then there's the one member of our family that has mastered the art of Minnesota Nice.

The epitome of passive aggressive behavior: When Ike wants to go for a walk, he now just sits by the door and looks really, really sad.

I had accepted all of that. But pop I just can't do. It just sounds so wrong to my ears.  

To my fellow Southerners; y'all will be happy to know didn't let him continue until he clarified and said soda -- even though every good Southerner knows you say coke and let everyone wonder which specific drink you mean.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mama loves you [volume 2]

Dear sir or madam,

You're currently negative 4 months old, and everything you own right now fits in an Ikea bag.

Now before you get all offended, you should know that Ikea bags are huge. Like, don't expect to bring it to a grocery store as your reusable grocery bag without getting remarks and stares.

With that out of the way, I want you to know what's in that bag -- I want you to know your first four possessions:

1. Periodic table blocks: The very first material item you owned was a set of building blocks with the periodic table on them. If you haven't figured it out by the time you read this letter, Y is a bit of a science buff. I'm going to guess that he has gotten frustrated with you for not knowing something science-y at least 100 times by now. I predict the first time was somewhere around day 3 of your life.

The other night Y and I went to a frozen yogurt place with a chemistry theme. The flavors are displayed to look like a periodic table... but that periodic table was not accurate enough for Y. And he told me allll about it. That was a long frozen yogurt date.

2. Swaddling blankets: It seems to me like you should know who gave you your very first gift, and in this case it was our sweet friend (and Y's coworker) Rachel and her husband. Y thinks so highly of them that one time we all went bowling, and as Y was entering our names into the computer, he completely forgot Rachel's husband's name. "Hey man," he asked, "how do you spell your name?"

[long pause]

"M-i-k-e," said Mike slowly.

We treasure their friendship. 

3. A flight jacket. For an 18 month old. Because we like to plan ahead (and because it was 50 cents at a garage sale. Only the finest for you, my future aviator!)

4. Vintage flashcards. I found these flashcards from the 60s at something called Junk Bonanza (I repeat: only the finest for you!) I got all the important flashcards: dinosaur, tiger, buffalo, hobo...

Mama loves you,

Monday, October 13, 2014

how do i look #1

Me: How does this look?
Y: Those pants kind of make you look like weird bug.

And so it has gone since I started dressing to accommodate my new little partner in fashion crime. Y has never been shy about telling me what he actually thinks about what I'm wearing (which I like -- sometimes I listen and sometimes I override his thoughts), but lately his comments have really been making me laugh.

So, instead of standing in front of a wall week after week in a tight shirt and answering questions about how many stretch marks I have and whether my wedding ring is on or off, I thought this would be a more fun way to document my pregnancy (and keep the age old Just Dandy tradition of poking fun at Y alive).

I wore these $5 H&M maternity pants on my flight home from Carol Convention and opted out of the body scanner at the airport. As the nice pat-down lady started her pat-down routine and I stood with my arms out wide, she put her hands on my hips.

"Is this your waist band?" she asked.

"Nope," I replied. "Higher."

She moved her hands up a few inches. "Here?"

"Nope. Higher."

She moved her hands up a few inches above my belly button. "Here?"

"Still no."

She moved her hands up until they were basically at my bra. "Here?" she asked, exasperated.

"There you go."

And then she pulled my shirt up so the entire San Diego airport could see my 4 month pregnant torso covered in this pattern that makes me "look like a weird bug."

SPOILER ALERT: I had no weapons on my person. 

photos taken at 20 weeks/3 days

Sunday, October 12, 2014

stay classy, carols

I think I legitimately squealed when I got my Carol Convention reveal package in the mail. AJL had us all fooled -- every single one of us thought we were going to South Carolina. So when I pulled the California postcard and California shaped sugar cookies out of a hot pink Baggu bag, I was completely shocked.

We spent the weekend in the cutest house in La Jolla, a half a block from a beach where perfect people played with their perfect toddlers and wore thongs that showed off their perfect butts.

Five years ago, in Dallas, we decided to call ourselves Carol to solve a problem:  creepy guys talking to us in bars. This year we stood outside of a coffee shop in Coronado pulling grey hairs out of each other's heads.

I guess we solved our little problem.

Friday, October 10, 2014

5 things you should never say to a pregnant person

Is it just me, or have articles with titles like this taken over the internet recently? It's gotten to the point where I don't talk to anyone anymore for fear that I will offend them -- but let's be honest, I probably wasn't going to talk to them anyway because my eyes are glued to my phone where I'm simultaneously refreshing my Instagram and reading an article called 12 THNGS YOU SHOULDN'T SAY TO PEOPLE WITH BROWN HAIR. 

I do think I tend to see more posts calling out people for daring to say things to pregnant people or mothers (Exhibits a, b, cd) and I always wondered if those same things would offend me when I was pregnant. Sure enough, I've developed my own list:

5 things you should never (ever!) say to a pregnant woman (or anyone, really):

1. Look at you! Pregnant, you resemble a walrus!

2. I'm going to murder your family tonight!

3. Congratulations! I bet your kid grows up to be Hitler.

4. YOU'RE pregnant? And it's HIS baby? Did you guys consider... you know... going to the schmashmortion clinic?

5. BRB, honey, going to join ISIS!


Basically my advice to you this weekend is LIGHTEN UP, WORLD. There are some pretty terrible things people could say to you, and then... there's the stuff you would be a whole lot happier if you didn't get so worked up about. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

DIY: Do it, Yoni


I'm hopeless at doing just about anything with my hands, so in our house DIY means DO, IT YONI. In all caps. It's a demand. I like to think of myself as the art director and Y as my creative, because our house is apparently Mad Men.

Y's latest accomplishment is our bathroom -- he painted it, put up some much needed tile, patiently waited three months for me to find shelves and towel  bars that I liked, and then hung said shelves and towel bars. 

While I flew to New Orleans this summer,  Y tackled the hideous pinkish-tan bathroom walls. After begging me for months not to choose grey or white paint ("I CAN'T TAKE ANY MORE GREY IN THIS HOUSE") he finally convinced me to let him paint the walls an actual color. I chose navy. 

Joke's on him, because everyone knows navy is a neutral.

As he kissed me goodbye at the airport that weekend, Y told me, "When you come back, we'll have a nice bathroom for you and the baby."

While he was slaving away creating the perfect bathroom for a baby (which I guess means ensuring that there are plenty of surfaces for him or her to poop on/in), I spent the weekend singing karaoke until all hours of the night, eating way too much deliciously unhealthy New Orleans cuisine, and seeing Jay Z and Beyonce in concert -- and probably inadvertently giving the baby a contact high. 

I think we can all agree Y won for best parent that weekend. 

Although without my child rearing skills, the baby would never be able to claim that his or her first concert was a Beyonce concert. So maybe it's a toss up?

For reference, this is the bathroom we purchased. Like.... on purpose. Why?!

Monday, October 6, 2014

mama loves you (letter to baby)

Dear sir or madam:

Is that too formal? I was always taught that when you were writing to someone important, but weren't sure to whom you were writing, you use "sir or madam." Since you're the most important person, we'll just go with that. Also, consider this your first writing lesson.

Let me tell you why we're not quite sure if you're a sir or a madam. One day in May of 2014, your dad (that sounds weird. Let's just keep calling him Y, short for Your Dad) came home incredibly excited. 

"I was just talking to my OB friend. Let's not find out the sex," he said.

This was like, twelve minutes after we knew I was pregnant. I hadn't really thought about it.

"She says births where the parents don't know the sex are a lot more fun and everyone seems a lot happier," he continued. "And she said, 'really, how many surprises are there left in life these days?'"

That sounded slightly suspect -- I'm sure births where the parents know the sex aren't actually less fun -- but in my head, I pictured sad trombones in a hospital room filled with pink balloons. I didn't want a sad birth. Plus, the second part rang true. I don't think I've ever been surprised about anything, ever. 

It was settled, 14.5 minutes after finding out I was pregnant. We weren't going to find out whether you were a boy or girl. 

Later, someone asked me if we planned to find out. "Nope," I said. Y looked at me in horror.

"What? When did we decide that?" he asked.

"When you announced it dramatically after talking to your OB friend? Do you not remember?" I said.

"We never had that conversation," he protested. (He still claims that to this day)

Let this be a warning to you, Baby. Y remembers approximately 2 out of 10 things he and I talk about. He already seems to like you more than he likes me, so I predict he will remember 4 out of 10 things you two talk about. Still not stellar. So prepare yourself. 

You're going to say "dada" for the first time and two days later, he's going to be all, "JESUS, IS OUR KID EVER GOING TO SAY ANYTHING?" He's going to tell you you can get a new iPhone 37c and then the next day, BAM. Conversation never happened. 

It's okay. We still love him. 

Mama loves you,

P.S. Is there a chance you are a koala? You're up all night and I've been strangely drawn to the scent of eucalyptus lately. Kick twice if you're a koala. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

How the Grinch Stole Fall

Do you feel like you're going to scream if one more person mentions pumpkin spice? Is the general love of fall wearing you down? I present to you y, the fall Grinch, to balance things out a little. 

Y [as I take the above photo]: Can I help you?


Me: Look! There's butternut squash growing in that front yard!"
Y: We're already on a fall walk, you don't have to point out every fall thing we see.

Y: Happy October 1st. Don't forget to pay off our credit card bill.


Me: Crap... I forgot to blow out my [pumpkin scented] candle
Y: Are you serious? This is what happens when you partake in fall activities.


Friday, October 3, 2014

music for the weekend | sorry not sorry

I was about to call this post "weekend mixtape," but I decided that calling playlists "mixtapes" is getting a little tired. What should be the next intentionally nostalgic way the people of the internet refer to their music? 8-tracks? Minidisc mixes? 

This weekend is looking quiet (tonight starts Yom Kippur, the most serious day of the year for us Jews) and, apparently, cold -- it's supposed to snow tonight. The Twin Cities Marathon runs along the lake right by my house this Sunday, and I always take Ike for a long walk along the route. Then, inspired, I go home, put together a marathon training plan, and forget about it after about 12 minutes. 

In the words of Sarah at Note to Self (whose playlists I look forward to each month), every playlist has a story. I love finding new ways to tell a story; here's one for this weekend.

sorry | not sorry (listen on Spotify)

01. I'm Sorry Now -- Jude (because on Yom Kippur we ask for forgiveness) 
02. I'm Not Sorry -- Meiko (because maybe we don't really mean it) 
03. Timothy -- Tennis (because I believe in second chances and will be seeing Tennis again next week)
04. Budapest -- George Ezra (because Jen posted it the other day and I was immediately hooked)
05. Home (Leave the lights on) -- Field Report (because I'm excited to not be at work past sundown this weekend)
06. This Time of Year -- Better Than Ezra (because it's a fall anthem)
07. So Sorry -- Feist (because you probably haven't apologized enough)
08. Don't Panic -- Coldplay (because at the first sign of precipitation I pull out the Garden State Soundtrack)
09. Nothing But Time -- Opus Orange (because on my to do list for this weekend is making a video of our latest Carol Convention trip to California, and this song is a front runner for the soundtrack)
10. Lost in the World - Kanye West (because if I were to train for a marathon, this would be on all of my running mixes)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

currently: october

smelling: in turns out I'm most productive while laying in bed, propped up by three pillows (it has to be three). So here I am being productive -- aka answering five simple questions -- smelling the lavender linen spray I spray on my sheets because I like to pretend my life is luxurious and lavender-scented (when really it's just my pillows). 

loving: I've been listening to Meiko nonstop since my friend invited me to an acoustic concert in a high-ceilinged pasta bar. I loved it!

planning: a quick road trip somewhere quaint to see some fall colors. fancy dinner parties. a blogging comeback. a nursery. (yikes)

baking: this apple cake for Rosh Hashana -- probably one of the best things to come out of my kitchen, you should really make it -- and these pumpkin donuts for Yom Kippur break fast (always a crowd pleaser).

celebrating: Ike was born at some point in October, so we call it Iketoberfest. Okay... I call it Iketoberfest. In my mind.  But it should be A Thing, right?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

a doctor's note

October in Aspen

Let's do something really outside of the box today and talk about fall. 

More specifically, let's talk about that time I was wandering through a strip mall on a sweltering October day in Shreveport, Louisiana about 4 years ago. Someone exited Ulta as I walked past, and as the door opened I caught a whiff of something. Something intoxicating. 

The hairs on my arms stood up. Tears welled up in my eyes. It was the smell... of freedom.

Okay, that was dramatic. The smell was actually just pumpkin. 

I doubled back and walked as casually as I could into Ulta. No, you cannot help me, I telepathically told the saleswoman. I do not need my mustache tinted or my eyelashes waxed or whatever tiny beauty products you have next to the register. I just need to get to your pumpkin candles. 

When I reached the pumpkin candles I took a giant sniff and -- I'm not proud of this -- started to cry.

Because it was 90 degrees. In October. And it would likely be 90 degrees again in November. And I know you rolled your eyes up there when I said "it was the smell of freedom" but summer in Louisiana makes me feel trapped in this body that is so clearly not meant for summer. It burns, it peels, it sweats, it sticks, it makes me miserable. The smell of pumpkin represents me returning to my old self. 

(Sorry, is this manifesto ruining all future pumpkin spice lattes for you? My deepest apologies. Maybe try a green tea? I think it's healthier.)

With the smell of those Ulta candles came the memory of what a breeze feels like. The long forgotten practice of snuggling. The thrill of exhaling and seeing your breath. The anticipation of actually feeling those things, combined with the realization that winter was not, in fact, coming to Louisiana anytime soon, and neither was fall? 

That's why I cried in the corner of Ulta holding a pumpkin candle. 

(And that's why you didn't scare me when you told me Minnesota was cold.)

All this being said, I'm giving myself permission to love fall without being classified as a "basic white girl." I have a doctor's note. Or something.

This post was sponsored by Ulta. Just kidding. But if any companies out there would like to pay someone to write about a time one of your products inspired a visceral overreaction, I'm your girl.