Liner Notes 4/30

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The babies are crawling. They're crawling! Well, Revi is crawling (army) and Bo sits on all fours and then army crawls except Revi is a thousand times faster than Bo AKA she always gets to the good toys first and then Bo cries and then we have to have a conversation about sharing and then eventually Revi drops the little ball with the face on it and Bo gets so excited she bangs herself in the face and then she cries and then Revi cries and this is pretty much our life.
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For all the craziness that is having suddenly-mobile twins, there's nothing better than watching two chunky seven-monthers play "Courthouse" in matching frocks (that I totally bought when I was pregnant and now they're wearing them sigh).

"Prosecutor Rev? You may now approach the bench!"
"Thank you, your honor."
IMG_2860 Nothing sweeter than sister love.

Or an Amelia Bedelia party.
This week was good. I feel good. Like, really good. Happy good. I'm still not sleeping but I'm in a very different place today than I was when I sat down to write last Monday's post. I put on lipstick this morning and clothes that aren't leggings and now I feel mildly attractive.

Is that all it takes? Maybe. Or perhaps it has to do with my spending the last seven days working outside of my house, wearing clothes that aren't 100% spandex, socializing with people who aren't my husband, children and mom.
I love my family times infinity infinityfin but WOW, does it feel good to leave sometimes. I've spent the majority of the last year home. Working from home. Parenting from home. Socializing from home... And sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it sucks a big, fat, humongous one.

Things that do not suck:

1. Setting your car GPS and then going a completely different direction just to piss off THE MAN. Yeah. The man is pissed.
2. Hot Pink lipstick (I forgot how awesome...)
3. Surprise flower bouquets from supportive husbands.
IMG_2655 IMG_2638 Last week I got to leave. I got to wear makeup and dresses and hang out with people in a work-type setting and it felt awesome. Like a vacation I got to come home from every day. It only felt like work when I realized I had sweat circles down to my ankles and had to arrange my body in creative ways as not to reveal my giant sweat stains to camera. (We shot several episodes of ChildStyle last week = very fun/exciting.)

It made me realize that as much as I crave alone time so do I also need to interact with other adults (who aren't my immediate family) on a regular basis in order to feel happy and human.
with Daphne Brogden, shooting a mom thing TBA

Partially human, anyway.

It's why I've spent the last thirteen years (on and off) writing in coffee shops. And why I intend to start doing so again. Because even though the last few months have been amazing - working from home - being a room away from my babies... mama needs some space as well.


Honestly, though. Sometimes I need to get the hell out of the house. For an hour or ten, so that I can look forward to coming home. That's who I am and I'm good with that.
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Hal's the same way. The only difference? He's a man so he doesn't have to explain himself.
Speaking of Hal and manhood... Six months ago, he made an appointment to get a consultation (bump bump BUMP) for a vasectomy.

(Hours after the babies were born, we started talking about birth control. I've been quietly regretting not having my tubes tied during my C-section, but in the moment, emotional and puking, I was not in my right head to make any informed (intelligent) decisions.)

What's done is done, of course, and since six months have now passed since Hal's vasectomy consultation with no plans for a follow-up, I decided, this morning, to grab the uterus by the horns.

I will soon be the proud owner of another IUD, this time one without hormones. (Cough, Mirena, cough.) I cannot deal with hormonal birth control right now/ever. My hair is finally coming back and my sex drive has kicked into some kind of crazy overdrive, which? Awesome. So long as I have a few hairs to whip back and forth at the local sex party.

Anyway. I feel empowered by my decision. I hate to feel passive, especially when it comes to birth control, I don't care how married I am.
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We took the big kids to see Chimpanzee on Sunday which was awesome. Highly recommended. All four of us adored.

Archer and Fable discovered the wonderful world of the Whoopee Cushion after cashing in their good behavior at the dentist's office and OH. HOLY. SHIT. How had I possibly forgotten? 
I don't think there is a more worthwhile laugh in all the land than The Cushion that Whoopees, and the six of us, (eight, including my parents who were visiting over the weekend) spent a total of 78798123 hours laughing and farting, farting and laughing all. week. long. It was a good time, you guys.
A rootin' tootin' time.


Thing of the Week: It Chooses You by Miranda July with photographs by Brigitte Sire

"Dorothy had been at that wedding. She'd probably thrown rice at her best friend. And then what did she do? How did she spend the rest of her life? I could call her right now and ask. It almost hurt, remembering that Joe and Carolyn were part of the world, surrounded by an infinite number of simultaneous stories. I suppose this was one reason why people got married, to make a fiction that was tellable. It wasn't just movies that couldn't contain the full cast of characters - it was us. We had to winnow life down so we knew where to put our tenderness and attention; and that was a good, sweet thing. But together or alone, we were still embedded in the kaleidoscope, ruthlessly varied and continuous, until the end of the end. I knew I would forget this within the hour, and then remember, and forget, and remember. Each time I remembered it would be a tiny miracle and forgetting was just as important - I had to believe in my own story."


Eat Well: Tibetan Roast (with the most)

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks mom!
I am a huge fan of the Dalai Lama. Huge. Several years ago, Rachel had the honor of performing (with other musicians) as people gathered for the Dalai Lama’s speech at The University of Michigan, and since then, it has been my dream to see him in person, too. When Larry and I heard he was coming to San Diego, we decided to try to buy tickets. Seconds after they went on sale, Larry was lucky enough to snag two of them. (The Dalai Lama spoke at three universities in San Diego and all three venues sold out in 10 minutes, so we felt fortunate to be able to go.)

There is something incredibly special about His Holiness. His humble child-like innocence, joyful laughter, and the simplicity of his message resonate beyond belief systems. He talked of compassion, finding common ground, being respectful of others, of seeing our relationships as “we” and not “you and me,” of having a calm mind and open heart, of forgiveness. He stressed the importance of family and of raising children with unconditional love and respect for others—giving our children a strong sense of self, and teaching them to be “citizens of the world.” If we do this, he said, our children will transform our world from one of conflict to one of love.

He ended with these words: “Effort must come from (the) individual. You, here, may be over 10,000 people. Each of you has (the) same potential. Same opportunity. Let us create inner peace, through that way, create peaceful family, peaceful community.” I am still basking in the unlimited inspiration coming from the mouth of one very special human being. For anyone interested in reading the Dalai Lama’s full speech at SDSU, you can go here.

This week, in honor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, I made a Tibetan buckwheat “roast” and it was delicious. I served it plain but I think it would be yummy topped with my mushroom gravy found here. (The following recipe was something I adapted from various sources found online.)

Tibetan Roast 
(buckwheat meat(less) loaf)

2 T oil 2/3 cup buckwheat
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
½ cup red wine
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 cup walnuts, ground finely
8 oz spinach
1 egg (optional)
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sage salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. In skillet, fry buckwheat in oil on medium high, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until the color changes to a rusty color.
Add onions and mushrooms and cook until soft. 
Add wine and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
(Add more stock if necessary, but you don’t want the buckwheat to get too mushy). Take off heat and cool slightly. Meanwhile, cook spinach without water.

Drain off any excess liquid and chop. Add spinach, ground walnuts, and seasonings to buckwheat mixture.
If adding the egg, beat the egg and add to the mixture and stir well. Press into a greased 1 lb loaf tin.
 Cook for 50-60 minutes or until brown on top and firm to the touch. Let stand for 10 minutes and slice into servings.


GoGo: San Diego (Sponsored)

The following post was sponsored by GoGo squeeZ and their "Pass the Play" campaign. GoGo squeeZ believes in the simple mantra of "always play" and is putting this belief to work this summer with its "Pass the Play" campaign, bringing the joy of play to kids across the country. For more info on Pass the Play, go here.
Fable at Leo Carrillo Ranch over Spring Break

In the thirteen years since I moved out of my parent's house in San Diego (Encinitas) California, I've been fortunate enough to return home 29850923jfksnf times, sharing with my children some of my favorite childhood haunts as well as new places I have only recently become aware of. 

Growing up, we did a lot of exploring. We explored the hills behind our house and the sand dunes that used to be safe enough to climb. We sought out the best trees for climbing, animals for spying, views from which to break for lunch.
San Diego was a fantastic place to grow up and since traveling has always proved difficult with Hal's production schedule, we regularly take weekend trips to San Diego as our "vacation." And because so many of you have asked over the years, I'm going to list, all in one place, my top five favorite (lesser-known?) hometown activities that don't involve theme parks and/or massive crowds, all of them ideal for outdoor exploration. All but one of these locations are free to the public. Pack a picnic and you have yourself a free day of family fun. 

For years my mom was in charge of the Carrillo Ranch Art in the Classroom project. (She was an elementary school art teacher for many years and Carrillo Ranch was one of her projects. The kids would explore the peacock filled grounds on field trips and then back in their classrooms, learn how to draw landscapes with oil pastels.) Up until last month I had never been there before which is insane. Not only is Carrillo Ranch scenic, historic and filled with peacocks (they've been there for decades and have in a way, taken over the place) it's also free and completely empty. I can't think of a better place to bring children on an adventure.
IMG_2131 IMG_2133 (We were the only family in the entire park when we visited.)
For more about Leo Carrillo Ranch go here.
Cost: Free
When I tell people I grew up in San Diego they immediately think, Zoo! Wild Animal Park! Seaworld! But as a child I was far more interested in seeing creatures in their natural habitat. That came from my mom (who as well as teaching art, music and theatre ALSO taught science to elementary students in our school district. My mother used to be a geneticist when she gave birth to me and decided to stay home/teach every subject imaginable to public schools that couldn't otherwise afford it.) Anyway. I learned at an early age to respect nature and not to be fearful of its creatures. And no matter how many times we were stung by Jellyfish and Sting Rays in the summer, we always returned to the ocean the next day to submerge our bodies in the surf. More than anything, I loved the tidepools. They were this magical place where few scavenged. It was usually just us, our jeans rolled to the thigh, wading through them, eyes peeled for crabs and sea cucumbers, sea stars and urchins, anemones open and waiting for eager fingers to touch...
(ED: Please remember never remove a creature from a tidepool! Not even temporarily! Touch is rad. Take is bad. Sorry, that was cheese.)

Best tides are in winter months when they are at LOOOOOW "minus" tide. (Don't forget to check the tides first!) Enjoy!
Archer's Footprints
Cost: Free, unless you get lunch and/or check out the...
USS Midway: ticket prices, which vary, are here
Watching the Band
Seaport Village isn't exactly lesser-known but there's so much to do and see there including wide open spaces to run around, docks to watch the harbor boats (and ships!) and the USS Midway just around the corner. Definitely one of our favorite afternoon adventures.
Torrey Pines State Reserve:
Cost: Free (except for parking)
Arguably the best beach hike in San Diego, Torrey Pines offers many wonderful (family friendly) trails overlooking the ocean. It's scenic, peaceful and full of aligator lizards aka, wonderland. 
Cost: $12 for adults, $6 for kids. (Family membership = $75 for the year)
Quail Botanical Gardens (or San Diego Botanical Gardens as it's now called) is our favorite family spot. We spend most of our afternoons exploring all of the gardens, most obviously the child's garden at the north end of the park. My late uncle even has a memorial bench we get to sit at when we visit. It's near and dear to all of us and of all the places I've ever taken my children, my very favorite place.  Not only does it boast the most INCREDIBLE tree house for climbing and hiding, but it has areas for art and crafts, a train to watch and a garden for children to tend to, not to mention miles of botanical gardens (frog ponds, waterfalls, playhouses hidden in the trees) to explore. 
Hope this was helpful to those of you planning a trip to San Diego! Enjoy and happy adventuring to you and yours!



Thanks to my sister, Rachel for providing the pictures of the Swamis tidepools. Love you, Rach!


For more summer ideas, check out GoGo squeeZ's mobile playground tours coming to a city near you! (ED: The "Pass the Play" mobile playground tour kicks off Thursday May 26th in Atlanta, GA during the Decatur Arts Festival and will be touring the country all summer long. Dates and locations are here. xx!