April 23, 2012

Tessa's Favorites.

This video is proof that Tessa and I have actual conversations these days. It is soooooooooo fun, and she's just at that age where she sometimes says completely ridiculous things that make me die laughing. Toddlers supposedly laugh about 400 times a day compared to adults who laugh an average of 17 times a day. Thanks to Tessa, I split the difference.

It has to be said, though, that this video was taken on Friday during the late afternoon, after Tessa refused to take a nap at all. I was so desperately tired that all the energy I could muster was to dump a box of blocks on her bed, and lie there while she played them like a harmonica. (With her hair, she looks not entirely unlike a young, harmonica-playing Dylan, no?)

It was quite a bad day. The big girl bed scenario is not going well after all, and on this particular day, I tried everything to get her to go to sleep. I lay down with her for a half hour and pretended to be asleep while she tugged on my eyelashes and pinched my nose shut and pet me like a dog; then I tried letting her cry in her crib for awhile, and then I literally went into her room and kneeled down like a prayer, peered at her through the slats in her crib and begged her to go to sleep. I cried, y'all. She said, "Wha's wrong, mama?" but my tears weren't enough to guilt her into sleep. It's just that that two-to-three- hour reprieve that her nap grants me each day is so vital to my sanity. Here's hoping for a week full of long, languid naps!

April 22, 2012

Out to the Ballgame.

Thursday night we took Tessa to her first baseball game to see the Nashville Sounds play. I'm not a sports person at all, but have always like baseball on account of the little plastic baseball caps that you can fill with chocolate-and-vanilla swirled soft serve. I also like hot dogs. And I like that the game doesn't last so long as football, which seems endless to me.

Legend has it that when I was a kid my bookworm of a mom would indulge my dad every so often by going to a game with him, but would sit in the stands with her nose in a book while my dad bounced me on his knee and tried to interest me in the great American pastime. It didn't work, but the verdict is still out on Tessa. She really liked the baseball she found in the parking lot that night.

Tessa behaved great and was super into her first taste of cotton candy. Mostly, we think she avoided an out-past-her-bedtime meltdown because her friend Dylan was there (and our friends Jack and Brooke). She likes these three people very much and tends to be a better (less insane) version of herself when they're around. We had fun!

April 19, 2012

Some Happys.

This is the worst I've ever been about blogging. If you care, I'm sorry. I have missed it. We've just had a lot of big stuff going on, which I will talk about later. But in the meantime, I am anxious to get back to my blogging routine. Here are some sweet spots in our life lately. 

This bunting I made for our kitchen from (mostly) vintage sheet scraps:

Tessa and Sawyer visiting the new Cumberland Park. First, I love this picture so much because it is classic Sawyer and Tessa. They are such lovebirds, it's nuts. They both talk about each other all the time, and are super kissy and huggy and hold hands most everywhere they walk together. They have shared more colds and giggles than any two kids I know.

Fresh flowers. I've loved having fresh flowers around the house this spring. And they're so cheap at Trader Joe's!

Our cairn terrier, Garp, got a haircut and looks so handsome.

This print. I had to order it straightaway because it suits Tessa with her wild hair and free spirit and aversion to rules. 

Last but not least, yesterday I put rails on Tessa's twin bed (which was actually my bed when I was little), and she slept for the first time in her big girl bed last night! She did great and slept from 7:30 p.m. to 8 a.m., but she was totally exhausted so it'll be interesting to see how she does on a night when she fights going to sleep (which happens about every other night). Speaking of sleeping until 8 a.m., she has been doing it every single day for over a week. And she's not even sick. I am in ecstasy about it.

I also really enjoyed reading this book and this book recently. I was reluctant to break out the Kindle I got for Christmas because I love real books so much, but I've really liked it! Especially because it's not backlit like computers and doesn't hurt my eyes. 

Hope y'all are doing great! Be back soon. 

April 10, 2012

Easter Tessa.

These are pictures from Tessa's first-ever Easter egg hunt, held at our neighborhood community center on Saturday morning. She was easy like Sunday morning when it came to hunting eggs--in no particular hurry, far more interested in stopping to give the easter bunny a big, exceedingly long hug and opening each egg before ambling on to find another. We loved going egg-hunting with her. She is so rad. Plus, she shared her Bubble Yum with us. 

April 9, 2012


It's been a long while since I blogged, but I've been feeling under the weather lately and not up to it. Blogging can stop but taking care of a two-year-old never does. There have been lots of fun moments this last week, though. We got a kick out of taking Tessa on her first egg hunt, and I couldn't believe it when she went down easy for a nap in her big girl bed. I think we're going to attempt the transition from crib to twin bed in the next couple of weeks. I ordered some bumpers for her bed to keep her from rolling out, but I've got to say I'll miss the way she kisses us goodnight every night through the slats in her crib. 

We also had a backyard movie night at our house Friday night and projected Dazed and Confused and The Big Lebowski on a big screen strung over the lawn. I made these super chocolatey chocolate chip cookies and this bunny bait, and there were lots of white Russians circulating. 

There was a family walk through 5 Points in East Nashville, a visit to the pizza parlor, and the flowers we planted along our front sidewalk. My mom kept Tessa Thursday night so I was able to see Nekos spin records at this bar, 308, where he's been joyfully filling in for another DJ who's out of town all month. I also got to hold a friend's newborn baby this week. I forgot how sobering and sort of terrifying a newborn isso fragile and stilland all those incredible noises they makegrunts and squeaks and sweet, milky yawns. Hope Easter was good for each of you! I'll be back soon with pictures of Tessa giving the easter bunny a bear hug. 

I finally got the scratched-up camera lens on my iPhone replaced so I took a bunch of Instagram pictures this last week. They're so clear! Hooray! 

April 3, 2012

Stuff I Love: Tessa's Baby Book.

I lost focus on Tessa's baby book once she got mobile and I started this blog. And as much as people say that their blogs are their baby books or their love letters to their babies, do I really think that Tessa will come back here in 10 or 20 or 30 years and read about how she cut teeth or threw tantrums? Heck no. She's going to be much too busy studying for exams or smoking pot or holding some boy's sweaty hand to come back and comb through all this mess. And I think every little girl (or boy) needs a book that her mama can put in her hands when she's old enough, as proof of how much she loved her. Plus, Nekos and I (mostly Nekos) have taken so many beautiful pictures of Tess that I didn't want them to get swallowed whole by our computer.

I'd been seeing lots of pretty Pinhole Press baby books created by bloggers like A Cup of Joe and Jen Loves Kev, and decided to put one together in time for Tessa's second birthday. It's really big, 80 pages, and took many nights and not a few frustrations. I love the way the book turned out, but the process of putting it together wasn't the most user-friendly. Rather than inserting photographs at random or having the luxury to move photos around in the book, you had to decide in advance exactly what order you wanted your 80 photos to be in. So, tiresome but worth it. And also the pages are matte so I plan to write in some love notes and descriptions of where we were in some of the photos.

Here are a few spreads I especially love:

This one kind of makes me want to cry. I miss this little baby:

April 2, 2012

Stuff I Love: My Veggie Chef.

Sloppy Jane Wraps

I don't love to cook, but I do love having cooked. Especially now that Nekos and I are parents, it seems more important to sit down to real meals, even if Tessa thumbs her nose at them and ends up just eating raisins and crackers for dinner. I'm getting more used to that, and it's getting a little less disappointing. When I think about why I should cook, I think of this "cooking manifesto" from Food 52, which I just love:

  • If you cook, your family will eat dinner together.
  • If you cook, you will naturally have a more sustainable household.
  • If you cook, you'll set a lifelong example for your children.
  • If you cook, you'll understand what goes into food and will eat more healthily.
  • If you cook, you'll make your home an important place in your life.
  • If you cook, you'll make others happy.
  • If you cook, people will remember you.
After meeting a local chef, Kristie Agee, at my office a local coffee shop, I found a happy medium between my dislike of cooking but my love of putting a healthy meal on the table, and that's a service here in Nashville called My Veggie Chef. It's a vegan meal delivery service, where all the food comes to you in a frozen meal kit. The cost is $80 for five meals that serve 2-3 people, but there's always plenty so that's usually meant dinner for the three of us and leftovers for lunch the next day. Nothing's been cooked yet, but all the chopping, measuring and grocery shopping have been done for you, and there are just a few directions to follow once you thaw everything out. Each meal takes an average of five minutes to cook. 

We are certainly not vegans, but this has been a really cool way for our family to realize that vegan food is not a worst case scenario. Each of the meals we've tried from My Veggie Chef have been scrumptious. And I like that while I don't have to do very much to actually prepare the meals, I am still learning a lot about cooking and getting a lot of ideas from seeing how Kristie put together these meals. 

Plus, eat vegan food for dinner, and you'll feel way less guilty about your dessert afterwards. True story. And also, Chef Kristie, the brains and beauty behind the business, is sweet as a piece of pie. 

Here are some snapshots of My Veggie Chef meals recently enjoyed:

Panko-Crusted Tofu Strips
Healthier Than Thou Bowl
Gnocchi and Roasted Broccoli
Pinto Bean Casserole 
Check out the My Veggie Chef website if you get a chance! Each week Kristie lists her new menu for the week. Orders need to be placed by Wednesday and pickup or delivery is done each Sunday. :)