Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October 2015

All of a sudden, it's the Holidays! I love the holidays because it means that I get to see my family together more often. This year, I'm trying to be conscious of my tendency to set myself up for disappointment though, when I expect a day to be perfect (like Christmas day), and then let real life ruin it for me. Kids make mistakes, people let you down, plans fall through - that's the stuff that I'm sure will happen here and there, and I want to let the magical, exciting, surprising moments come on their own, without assuming that they belong to me.

{I've started wearing earrings again after about 3 years, due to grabby kids and irritable skin. I really like this pair.}

Anyway, that's my private pep talk as we move into November. In our family, the holidays kick off on October 26th, my dad's birthday! Then Ishmael turned 3 on the 29th, followed by my sister Annelise's birthday (and visit!) on the 31st, and my brother Jonathan's November 2nd (he turned 20, which means that all my siblings but my youngest sister Julia are in their 20s, which is positively bonkers).

I'm not one to constantly bemoan my children growing up, but sometimes I do look at Ishmael and marvel at how big he is. He's been pretty hilarious lately, and thankfully, oh so thankfully, seems to be a little less contrary recently. He says "what" even when he hears or asks "where" even when he sees, but I know he is taking everything in and learning at a mile a minute. His favorite books are interactive, like The Jolly Postman books, and he's crazy about swords. Auntie Annelise got him one for his birthday and we've been constantly dying at his hand ever since. He says hilarious things which I document on Facebook, when I can. He loves to play baseball in the backyard and find spiders with Daddy.

Ira is such a smiley kid, and he's a goof, too. He sings "row, row, row" (aka "Row Your Boat"), and dances like a mad man, stomping his feet and clapping with his arms stretched all the way out between claps. He loves toes, has a bunch of new teeth, and is starting to say lots of "words", like "NO", "Baba" (Grandpa), "chee??" (cheese), "wa" (water), "up", and "down". He's alternately a major cuddle bug and feisty, generally ignoring all instructions and fake crying when he doesn't get what he wants. When someone (especially Grandma) leaves the house without him, he flattens himself face down on the floor and cries.

I'm growing quite tired of listening to children's music all day, and I do make exceutive decisions to listen to my music sometimes instead. I hate that my Spotify Discover playlist is always mellow hipster stuff because most of it sounds so generic, and I protest that that's not even remotely the majority of what I listen to, but then I look at the songs I play over and over, and they are generally mellow and moody. FINE. I found more than the usual amount of songs I liked this month, but the Japanese House stands out as a new discovery AND my husband likes it too.

Pretty, moody, wintery (it's quite chilly today, as I write this) tea cups. Perfect for sipping from while listening to the Japanese House and my "Chill Out, Ma" playlist, which I made especially for Mamas (well, me), who need to put headphones on for a bit and drift away. 

Also, I'm starting to cook from a cookbook (!) which I picked up at a used bookstore a while back, and we haven't had a dud yet!

You probably already know, because I keep blabbling about it, that I'm watching this Spanish soap opera called Velvet. Other than the horrible soundtrack, I'm absolutely sucked in. I almost stopped watching early on when I was really upset about a main story-plot not going how I wanted it to because all the characters are incapable of honesty, but I'm all cool with it now. It's kind of fun that I've learned a little bit of Spanish in the process too! I always feel strange living in a heavily Hispanic area and not speaking a lick of Spanish. I also watched the Aviator for the first time, because Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett, obviously. I admit I've seen her in some dud films but she was a fantastic Katherine Hepburn. Wow. I just read that she's going to be in a Lucile Ball biopic soon, and I think she'll be very good in that role too. I also watched Iris, and fell even more in love with Iris Apfel like pretty much everyone else. I'm so charmed by her husband and their long-standing relationship and love for one another, even if (especially because?) they do still bicker about what kind of yogurt to buy. One of my favorite take aways from the documentary was when she explained that her husband finally talked her out of getting up at 4 in the morning to go to flea markets because all the things that she wanted would still be there at 11 anyway because no one else had her style! Yeppppp. When I go thrift or estate sale shopping I turn into a lunatic and am snatching things left and right (ready to scratch anyone who tries to take what I have my eye on) and then half the time, the shop or sale owner will give me a discount because everyone else thinks that the stuff I want is trash.

{This is my dream winter coat, but when I ordered it from China a few years ago, it wasn't nearly this nice and it didn't fit. Boo.}

Beside all the birthday celebrations this month, I took Ishmael trick or treating for the first time! IT WAS THE BEST. We didn't grow up celebrating Halloween and so I think I'd only gone trick or treating once in my life before. I was kind of "meh" about Halloween in general. But I dressed my boys up for a little fashion shoot - Ira as Andy Warhol and Ishmael as Beethoven - which was hilarious and very well received on the internet ;), and then Ishmael and I had a blast walking around collecting candy and visiting some friends in nearby neighborhoods too. Being Ishmael's first time too, he was full of wonder over the whole thing, and very quickly became a big fan. It was so fun to see him discovering something new, and I can't wait for next year.

Funny or noteworthy things on the internet this month included this parody of every celebrity interview, ever (I had noticed about the coffee and describing what they're wearing, but the thing as a whole is priceless), this insane doppelganger situation (WUTTT), and an article I didn't read that has a headline that feels pertinent to me ("When Child Care Costs More than Rent, Women Stay at Home"). 

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