Liner Notes 7/30

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Bo took her first step this week. Hold up, what's that you say? Girl, I'm not even kidding. It was only one step before she fell down, but she's standing pretty sturdily on her own now which is bonkers. She does this thing where she slowly stands up and then spreads her wings and flaps them until she falls over. And then she turns and smiles and claps and does it again. 
Today she set her world record of nine seconds. And then Revi was like, "Hold up. That's NOTHING, sister!" and stood for TEN seconds. Because apparently twins do all of the same things at the same time? (Or is it just mine?) See also: milestones as competitive sports.
cue Olympics theme
Revi's a little more fearless in the standing department and is attempting to "walk" down steps because she can't crawl down them. She is my "AHHHH!" baby because her hobby is danger and she needs CONSTANT supervision. Thankfully, Archer has stepped up to become Revi's keeper and he follows her around the house and any time she comes near anything mildly dangerous he picks her up and carries her elsewhere while saying, "No Revi Coconut. Come with me."

Having six plus years between children is an incredible thing and I completely understand how people with a thousand kids make it work. Older siblings for prez.
IMG_7156 IMG_6924 IMG_6931 IMG_7157 great grandparents for vice prez
We had our tree removed last week. Er, the week before? The week before. We had our tree removed the week before which was heartbreaking but we were told by three different tree people that it HAD to be done because of the way it was growing, its trunk pushing up on our house.
"When something dies, its shadow stays for a little while. See that little part down there, Fable? That's the tree's shadow." 
Nana made me feel better about the whole thing.

"Gardeners have to rip out plants all the time. It's sad but it's necessary. We'll plant a new tree in its place."

So I bought a fig tree.
And then Nana gave me a list of plants to buy and then I tried to buy them except none of the SIX NURSERIES I visited carried anything on the list so Nana pulled a bunch of stuff from her garden, made some phonecalls and BOOM! Garden party 2012.
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And now I will copy and paste the email my Nana sent me with the "recipe to our garden"

Our Garden Recipe
By: Nana

"...For Flanking Window: 2 (5-gallon) Mandevilla vines (Mandevilla ‘Alice du Pont’) to climb up the iron grill. 
- 2 (5-gallon) Silver-leafed princess flower (Tibouchina heteromalla) as foils for the mandevilla one on each side, and one foot further out from wall. 
- Tree for south side of bed, slightly out into the lawn:1 5-gallon green fig tree (Ficus carica ‘Peter’s Honey’) 
-  For planting the remainder of the bed: 8 (4-inch) Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis ‘Tuscan Blue) (1-gallon) dwarf yellow daylilies (Hemerocallis ‘Stella d’Oro),  8 Spanish lavender (Lavendula stoechias ‘Winter Bee’), 2 English lavender (L. angustifolia ‘Blue Cushion’),   6 (4-inch) woolly yarrow (Achillea tomentosa),  3 (4-inch) woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosis ‘Hall’s Woolly’),   2 (4-inch) curry plants (Helichysum italicum), 8 (12-inch cuttings) rose geranium from (my) garden (Pelargonium graveolens),  1 large flat of lobelia annual bedding plants (Lobelia erinus ‘Lucia’ Dark Blue.) 
- For massing beneath the existing Australian tree fern (Dicksonia antarctica) on left side of entry to patio: 2 (1-gallon) yellow daisy shrubs. (Euryops pectinatus ‘Viridis’) One on each end of the east-facing wall. (These will commence blooming in September and bloom all winter and spring. (Deadhead occasionally if desired. Shear off all dead flowers and 2 or 3 inches of foliage all over the tops of the plants in June.) 12 large divisions (3 plants each, with roots already cut back) orange-flowered, hybrid clivia (Clivia miniata) from Pat’s garden. 

SOIL PREP for heavy adobe clay: 

1. One week prior to working heavy adobe, spread on soluble gypsum, water into the ground to soften the soil. (We did not do this since I did not know we were planting in adobe soil. Rebecca and Hal will now treat the entire front bed and lawn with liquid gypsum. Dig and till ground to depth of one foot if possible. 
2. Spread 8 (2 –cubic-foot bags) composted organic soil amendment designed for combining with soil over bed. 
3. Use tiller to work compost into the top foot of soil. 
4. Spread Grow-Power all-purpose fertilizer over soil according to package directions. Work this into the top 6-inches of the ground. 
5. We followed up with sprinkling on organic Preen preemergent weed killer, which is harmless to kids or pets. 
6. We treated the clivia by sprinkling on one full container of Sluggo, organic snail bait (Shshsh! Please don’t tell Archer or Fable who love snails!) 
7. After planting entire bed Archer sprinkled a small amount of Apex Blue 14-14-14 around each plant. 
8. I then thoroughly watered the entire bed and washed off the patio and path so adobe would not be tracked into the house. 
9. Note: I also put a handful or two of slow-release fertilizer in the bottom of the planting hole for the fig tree. I wish I had had a bag of gypsum on hand so I could have thrown about a coffee-can full of that in the bottom of the planting hole and dug it into the ground to improve drainage."
(We're going to plant Cyprus trees in the fall on either side of the window.)
IMG_7206 IMG_7238 (mandevilla + daylillies)
IMG_7226 (cutelillies)
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We shot two more episodes of ChildStyle this week, two more incredible spaces including a bunk bed built for three girls in a room the size of a closet. I know I've written about "sharing spaces" before. And I apologize if this sounds at all unsolicited advice(y) but one of the reasons I'm president of the kidssharingbedrooms fan club is that kids who share bedrooms are typically more hospitable, better at sharing and more evolved cohabitors, and I'm not even talking about my kids. I'm talking about adult humans that I have shared beds with throughout the years, mainly, Hal, who unlike me DID share a bedroom with his sibling.

I had my own room from birth until I moved out on my own and I've struggled as a "roommate" ever since. I have major space entitlement issues and I am convinced its because I always had my own room always always always, me me me.
Anyway. These three girls, all of whom shared this lovely little bedroom could not have been sweeter to each other and to us. They even baked us cookies and slid the following note under our door while shooting. Incredible. 
Which brings to my next point that has nothing to do with the last point: SWIMSUITS! Remember my postpartum bathingsuit post? Well, ONE of the two suits I ordered arrived. (Apparently my Esther Williams suit is being delivered via tortoise because I ordered that bad boy a month ago and it still hasn't turned up.) What did arrive? This J Crew wonder which fit me like a glove (ed: size 8) even though it was a little on the (very very VERY matronly) side. So weird how these things look a thousand times better on models. 
Not to mention VERY unflattering on the strapless side of things. Hi, tree stump boob. 
Goodbye treestump boob!
So, sadly, I had to return that sucker. And today, at my parent's pool, I wore one of my sister's old stretched out bikinis which (miraculously) was far more flattering.

Speaking of flattering, these people: 
We're in San Diego for the week with my family which is why I'm writing this post at a million o clock with pool hair and wet bathingsuit bottoms. I just wrote a super ranty paragraph about my new mission to preserve my historical neighborhood because THIS IS WHAT'S HAPPENING AND I AM SO ANGRY and then deleted (my rant) because this post is already getting out of hand all over the place and I should probably go to bed eventually. I feel especially fiesty lately. Mercury must be in ErinBrockograde.

AND because I don't talk poop NEARLY enough for a mom blogger blogging mom mommy mom and this post is a complete disaster of mismatched nonsense, here's this morsel of hilariousness c/o Fable who this week leapt from the toilet and shockingly proclaimed , "What the what? My poop looks like finger puppets." 

And you know what? Her poop looked exactly like finger puppets.

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A | 11:04 PM

I love kids that say "what the what?" :)

Megatron | 11:14 PM

I am so jealous of your growing zone. Great plant picks Nana! Also, thank you for not posting finger puppet poo photos, curious as I am.

Anonymous | 11:17 PM

Love your blog! Your family is beautiful!

Katie | 12:40 AM

Ha,ha, great post (and great bod, BTW!!) wishing your garden a beautiful and fruitful life (Nana did an awesome job)!

Anonymous | 2:01 AM

Gardening is the best thing about home ownership, it's never the same in rented.

Does your wondeful Nana do consulting? Would love some advice on gardening in an extreme climate (over 100F summer, 10F winter)

Unknown | 2:53 AM

Miss my six years old child soooo much while she travels with the GPs right now. The little ones love them so.

Mommy Anderson | 4:38 AM

Garden looks great! I wish I had even a greenish/tealish thumb, but I've got nothing. I "planted" flowers in our bed out front this year, but by the time it needed real TLC, I was preggo enough to NOT care enough to get on the ground. There's always next year, right?

Avalon | 5:30 AM

Archer with those dreamy eyes!

k.chap | 5:59 AM

The "all things connected" poster next to the t-shirts hanging on the wall - where did you get it/where is that quote from? love it!

Red Stethoscope | 6:20 AM

1. You look GREAT!

2. Bo's hair is getting curly!!!

3. I'm with you on the kids sharing rooms. I was also a room to myself kid who has struggled with sharing ever since. My b/f was a room sharer and the man is just so kind and well-adjusted, I can't even believe it. I do think that it's unfair to give kids huge bedrooms to themselves, then throw them into 10x10 cubicles in college and get mad when they hate their roommates. I've also noticed that toddlers sleep better when they're in a room with a sibling because there's less fear of the dark/monsters if someone else is with them.

Sarah H | 6:50 AM

Ok - This is important. Possibly the most important thing I have ever posted on any blog ever. You need - NEED - to buy this bathing suit, right now, in both RED, and in the polka dot.

YES, it is from Walmart. No I, have never ever ordered anything from Walmart in my life, and Walmart is clearly the devil. But this bathing suit is worth dealing with the devil -- it is the coolest, most flattering, retro suit EVER. I swear to you up and down. And it is only $33 doll-hairs. Please please buy it, and I promise you will thank me forever. I bought it in black and in red and i feel like a bombshell in it. I am 5'10 and 170, and bought the large, so you should go for the medium. Please. I beseech you. It is perfect. You will not be sorry.

Mama Smith | 6:55 AM

I love that planting list that your Nana put together and I really love that you Nana emails!

:) Lilly

Momlarky | 6:58 AM

Esteban is sooo gorgeous! I would be happy every day if I got to wake up in that gorgeous house. Love the new garden!

Mad Max and Family | 7:00 AM

So cute! They grow up so fast. My Max took a few steps, and I thought he would start walking right away...then we had to wait several more months until he walked!


Heather | 7:03 AM

What an amazing garden you've started and what a beautiful yard! Oh, that gate! You are such a lucky duck. My lawn is a big burnt up drought-ridden mess at the moment. Boo for 112 degree days!

Love your posts and following you on instagram! And yeah for older siblings, I was one of those myself :)

Dianne | 7:10 AM

My sweet Lil loudly proclaimed (in a restaurant bathroom) that here poop looked like meatballs....and they did :) Funny how truthfully observant our alomost 4 year olds are!!!!

BTW I love your new garden and wish you would pimp your g-mother out to come organize me a garden!!

Anonymous | 7:38 AM

whatever you wrote in that post was all taken out by the finger puppet poop. i cannot remember anything else. it's been scorpions in our house. every time the three year old poops, look, it's a scorpion!


Fable saying "what the what?" = I am DYING.

Archer's head + Bo's head looking out the window = priceless sweet.

I'm envious of your Nana. I want a Nana to write me garden recipes of my very own. And how lovely to have a fig tree!

Sorry the suit didn't work—but you still look extremely "hot DAMN, woman!"

Ms. K | 8:43 AM

I literally peed on myself at Fable's poop comment. Kids say the darndest things. :)

The Moms | 9:03 AM

Mandevilla is a native plant to the town I live in, Mandeville Louisiana! I have them all over my back fence! Beautiful garden!!!

kim {the non-mom blogger} | 9:31 AM

Where's the bikini pic? ;)

I loved the randomness of this post. Maybe it's the mom in me, but I followed along effortlessly.

Lindserannie | 9:42 AM

I almost just burst into tears when I saw that first picture of Archer reading to Bo & Revi.

Also? Revi Coconut? Aaaaaand, my head just exploded from the cuteness.

Vee | 9:56 AM

Even with all of the randomness, great post! Love your blog, mama!

Heather | 10:18 AM

Rebecca-- have you considered a suit from athleta? I've been wearing their underwire tops and love them--flattering, sporty, good support. They also have a good selection of bottoms depending on how much coverage you need. My sister rocks their swim "dresses" ( you can use the side strings to ruche it up like a top, or let it out so it's like a little retro dress.) has a cute maillot type of top as well

Nana | 10:31 AM

Dear Anonymous: I no longer do garden consulting. However you can ask me questions on my Q/A blog Questions come in from gardeners worldwide, but most frequently from gardeners in Mediterranean climates since that is my area of expertise. I have been a garden writer/TV performer/public speaker for over 30 years and "wrote the book" on Southern California gardening, the current edition of which is called "Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening, Month by Month." My fall speaking schedule is listed on my blog under "events".

Anonymous | 10:43 AM

The garden looks great even newly planted! Fig treeeeeeeee! Nana is the bomb!

Cynthia | 10:55 AM

Tearing up laughing about the finger puppets. Hilarious.

Bea, OT | 1:09 PM

The last photo of Archer is amazing! He is a special little guy with eyes from a different world.

Nana rocks! I had no idea that planting was so complicated!

Jessica | 2:04 PM

I hardly ever comment, but I have the same thought every time I read one of your liner notes posts: the pictures of your babies are AMAZING. All I can figure is that you must follow them around all day long with a professional camera, taking about 2,000 shots per day, and winnowing them down to the 20+ you post on your blog. Your kids are clearly beautiful, but I think my kids are beautiful, too, and I don't have any pictures as awesome as yours. For what it's worth, looking at the pictures of your kids - the twins especially - makes me appreciate MY twins (who are just a couple of months older) even more. They have much of the same wonder, enthusiasm, excitement, and joy... I can't seem to capture it on film, but when I see it in pictures of other babies, it makes me remember it in my own. Thank you!

Anonymous | 3:45 PM

I am excruciatingly jealous of the beautiful wrought iron scroll-work in front of your window.

Kristi | 4:54 PM

That's the most amazing, incredible photo of Archer I think I've seen yet. As Mia Michaels would say, "Gorgzh-waaah!"

KJS | 7:13 PM

Great photos, the house is so put together, it looks like you have always lived there! Questions: bunk beds? Do you have? Would you get based on what you have seen in regards to function and design and longevity (can an adult sit and read and play without feeling the casket effect?)? Is the bunk bed with heart duvet the same bed Fable is sitting on? The bunks I see that I like are quite expensive and wondering if you think they are worth the $$$$? Thanks!


@KJS - YES. We are purchasing a bunk bed and it's a spendy one. It's our one furniture splurge (we have ever made) and I justify the expense because the big kids will use and then the babies will use so we'll be getting our moneys worth (the bed also separates to become two twin beds so we'll have forever.) My kids are DYING for bunks and I think they're awesome. Storytime can just as easily be had on the bottom bunk anyway. (We typically read books to the kids in one bed, anyway.)

And NO! Fable has the same duvet as one of the girls in the ChildStyle featured house. From Ikea. :)

Lily | 9:21 PM

Those three pictures after "flattering"? I just about died. Those are so THEM. Blown away.

Also, Fable's poop comment is clearly the best thing I've heard all week.

Anonymous | 1:04 AM

"Revi Coconut" I love it. Big Ive calls Little E, Little E Baby.

I like your start to the house upgrades. We did the opposite of you and started inside and worked our way out of our historic house. Yeah, we had peeling paint and crappy stucco for a few years, but it all ended up working out really well.

Also, can I just say that instagram photo...? Who would think that is even a good advertisement? Seriously. Breaks my heart to see beautiful historic homes being torn down when they just need some TLC.

writermom | 9:53 AM

May I ask where you are getting your bunk bed? We are in the market for our girls, and I've been considering one of those that has a full bed on bottom and twin on top. I thought the full bed might give more reading room and also extra space if the girls want to snooze together, but the room is small so I'm not sure if I should just get a standard bunk. Also: that boy of yours, THAT BOY! To die for.

Michelle | 2:01 PM

I feel your neighborhood pain!!!

I live In Portland, OR. I'm a renter and have lived in the same neighborhood for 7 years. It's awesome and still one of the few diverse neighborhoods in Portland(we're very white and segregated). Over the last year I've seen 4 houses torn down. Cute bungalows once owned by the working man. In one instance not only was a house torn down but also 2 100plus year old fir trees. In it's place? TWO 3 story, 5 bedroom, 3 bath McMansion monstrosities constructed out of chipboard. They are so ugly and out of place. McMansions are also being built in place of the other 3 normal homes that have been torn down.

I was told by a real estate person that my neighborhood has become "hot" and people are bidding 20-30k over the asking price of homes.

Currently the bank is trying to foreclose on my 79 yr old neighbor because they gave her an illegal loan she supposedly hasn't paid back. 2 of her kids and 2 of her grandkids also live there. Sadly, I know the developers and flippers are chomping at the bit for them to be evicted.

I'm angry too.

On a happier note, please check out Portland's Popina swimwear. Super nice and made right here in Portland!

chesapeake | 3:34 PM

You have the COOLEST fucking family. Not just your kids, but your nana (!!!!) and your mom (WWW!!!).


ps-I always wanted bunk beds. Only child, though. :-(

Estelle Hayes | 9:07 PM

I love your Nana. Seriously, she's hero status in my book.

Anonymous | 9:15 PM

Nana is quite exceptional!


Unknown | 9:33 PM

Your children are beautiful and adorable and seeing them gives me a pang in the heart. Mine are 16, 15, and 10, and wasn't it just last year that they were upright on the floor, chubby and alert, looking at some toy or listening to a story being read? I want to clutch at those times. I waited so long for them and now they are (two of them) adult-ish and I'm not ready.

Tammy | 11:31 AM

The last photograph of Archer has him looking all Lord of Rings elven and her is absolutely beautiful!

Cath | 9:26 PM

Blog & family looking great!

My 3 y/o said today between the poop and the flush, "I smelt it and I dealt it!"

stacy | 5:08 PM

Never fails- Im having a crappy day from top to bottom and I check in here and BOOM! Instant smile/giggles. Thank you, as always. PS- I HEART Fable.

Anonymous | 9:50 PM

Oh please share where you got your girls' swimsuits? They are just perfect.