Tiger Boy

Friday, April 10, 2015

Oh, look, the world is still spinning. Flowers are blooming. Bloggers are blogging. Babies are cooing. Game of Thrones season 5 is starting! I have to admit I’ve been a little out of the loop as far as life outside of my narrow vision this week. After we got back from Seattle school started up again. I needed to hustle to get reacquainted with going to school (it’s amazing what even the smallest of breaks can do to your routine). I had my order for West Elm to complete, laundry to catch up on, pictures to edit, a complex emailing system to figure out regarding which teacher wants you to use which email address and what to say exactly in the subject line so your assignment/questions don’t get ignored, and the list went on. And just as all started to level off my world seemed to stop on Monday morning when I got a call from M+L’s school. Hi this is Debbie from the office. (ugh, my kids can’t possibly be sick again was what I was thinking). There was an incident on the playground, one of the teachers said Luca wasn’t responding to her and doesn’t seem like himself. He’s in the nurses office with . . . (and then she listed off several people including the principle). You need to come to the school right now. I won’t list the thousands of thoughts I was having during this phone call, but I can tell you I didn’t think anything sounded that bad. Though apparently my instincts were working because I called my mom (a nurse) on my way telling her, I might be calling her back with some questions and to answer her phone. 

When I got there I was greeted by a room full of very worried and shaken looking faces and a little Tiger curled in the chair in what appeared to be a semi-conscious state. I walked in and said “no he doesn’t seem himself. this isn’t normal,” trying to match the words from the secretary to what I was seeing (though from the phone call I had a more 'not listening' vision in my mind. this was not that). The student teacher, who was with him at recess, then went on to tell me what had happened. She said she saw him laying on top of the play structure (of course he just happened to be on top of the play structure), concerned she went over to him - he was rigid, his fists were clinched and his mouth was blue, she tried to get his attention but he just stared straight ahead. After about 20 seconds he coughed and seemed to ‘come to,’ but was still not very responsive. He was weak, unable to walk, so she carried him inside and they called me. 

She told me it looked like a seizure, she’s seen seizures, that’s what they often look like. The principle suggested I call our pediatrician. I picked him up and said we were going to the Emergency Department. Once in the car he started wailing about his head hurting. This was the first time I really panicked. If you have any medical knowledge of worse-case scenario medical crisis (or are a parent - parents are acutely aware of worst-case scenarios) you can imagine all the terrible thoughts running through my mind as to what could be happening there in my car. I debated calling 911 but didn’t want to wait so we drove to the ER. By the time we got there he had stopped complaining about his head and was using some words (slowly starting to feel less panic).  There were a couple hours in the ER he remained pretty out of it, his eye weren’t dilating, the IV prick didn’t stir him from sleep. But then he started to perk up. Then he started to seem perfectly fine. I asked him what happened at recess and he said “I didn’t get to go to recess today.” He has no memory of anything from that morning at all. Ask him how he is now and he says “good.”

And he is. He seems totally and completely "good." As you can see from these photos both my M+L (and their hair) are as fabulous as ever. You’d never know my little Tiger boy gave me the biggest fright of my life this week. Luca even went back to school yesterday to which he was welcomed with lots of happy and relieved faces from his kindergarten class. He might not have any memory of what happened but the other kids do. I realized this when one of his classmates came up to Luca with a picture he drew of him. It was a stick-figure Luca, with an arrow next to him indicating when he "fell" and then another stick-figure Luca with a wiggly line over his body. "Hey Luca, look I drew you a picture! This is you when you fell and this is when you were wiggling on the ground!" I am glad Luca was able to reassure them all. Caught up in my own fright I didn't even think how scary that must have been for his class!

The bigger issue at the moment is that I have come to the realization that Milo may be a bit of a hypochondriac. Monday at home while fussing over Luca, Milo is in the background saying “oooooh, my finger!” To which I say, “Milo, that (microscopic) “scrape,” if you must call it that, is three weeks old!” Then he’d say “oh my belly hurts. oh my eyes. oh my bones. ALL of my bones hurt!” He was practically feigning fainting spells in the background as Luca was convincing everyone that he’s “good!” and lamenting about missing recess. And unfortunately Milo’s diagnosis of hypochondria is all I can offer at this time. I still do not know what prompted Luca’s seizure, though, they are calling it a seizure. That part is clear. But all of the scary thoughts I had whilst driving him to the ER are not things I am (consciously) worrying about at this point. Still I am anxious to rule out, rule out, rule out. We are currently waiting an appointment with a pediatric neurologist so hopefully answers will come soon and, more importantly, hopefully life will be wonderfully, magically, and beautifully uneventful until then. We are definitely accepting any positive thoughts you'd like to put out into the universe for us. xo

Photo Diary | Up North Part 1 |

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


My, our spring break went by much too quickly! After hunkering down with spring cleaning for the better part of the break I decided we should have a little fun before the break was over and so we headed up north to Seattle for the weekend. Being a Portland native there's always been a bit of a comparison (rivalry?) between Portland and Seattle. The latter always beating out the former in one way or another. Seattle is bigger, they have Bill Gates, Amazon, the Seahawks, and Starbucks. They had Frazier, Sleepless in Seattle, and Nirvana. And being quite into the local music scene in my 1990's days of youth (i.e. the grunge era) somewhere in my teenage mind I decided that Seattle was totally overrated. And, with that, even though it's only a few hours a way and I have had both family and friends that live in the area, I could count on two hands the number of times I have gone into the city. And I can't even remember what decade it was the last time I did. So this time I did all the touristy things I balked at in my younger years: Pike Place, the gum wall, Fremont district, Capitol Hill, the Space Needle and so on. 

I have to admit the whole time I was there my mind was a ticker of comparisons between these two northwest cities (you can see a hipster-city showdown chart here). The first thing I thought on this visit is how picturesque Seattle is. Portland is beautiful but I do believe Seattle has us beat. The city from a distance (and I mean every single direction you could possibly be looking from) there is an amazing, breathtaking, I-can't-believe-this-exists view. Seattle is like Barbie and Portland is like her awkward, not-quite-fully-developed little sister Skipper. Seattle is blue and Portland is green. Seattle smells like salt water and Portland smells like the forest. Seattle feels older and grittier and more diverse (which I like). It also feels much busier, grayer, and a lot dirtier (which I don't like so much). Seattle is about the city and portland is about the neighborhoods. The one thing I will say they have in common (besides the rain people) is both cities are incredibly friendly, progressive, and proud. I did feel some pangs of jealousy while I was there, but in the end I suppose I am more stumptown than starbucks, more land than sea and I was happy to come home to all the parking spaces you could ever dream of. 

P.S. I'll be back with some of those amazing views later this week. 

Currently 06

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wouldn’t you now the rain came back just as spring arrived. But that’s been just fine with me because I have been eyeballs deep in spring cleaning and the feel of cool little droplets of rain running down my sweaty back as I take load after load of donations and garbage to the back of my car felt pretty good. I wanted/meant to post last week but one feels a little reclusive after staring down the 2 inches of dust on the top of their ceiling fan blades, finding an AOL disk tucked in a box of very miscellaneous papers, and a kitchen knife in the back of their closet (that last one is still concerning me. why? how? who?)

And I have to say all this cleaning has seriously kicked my ass and I think my left hand might actually be a little bit broken, but all in all it’s been extremely cathartic. I have organized everything. Well almost, I still have a few spots left. I pulled everything out from everywhere and those first few days were daunting as I sat dusty amongst precariously leaning towers of my shit. But as progress was made it all started to feel a bit therapeutic. 

Last night I started (and finished I might add) on my boxes of papers and journals. For years I have avoided reading my old papers, letters, poems, stories, and my never-ending streams of consciousness. Not wanting to revisit old ‘selves,’ old wounds, to dive head first into the past (because of course there’s no better time to write than those of melancholy or feeling conflicted). Worse I was afraid to find that some things might sound a little too familiar. And to be honest I found those too. I found writings I could still write today but instead of feeling ashamed I actually felt empowered in the changes I’ve been making here in real life. Like the change in and of itself of just facing these papers, reading them, accepting them. Accepting myself. Past and present. Then I tore up all the ones that I could still write (almost verbatim) today with no intentions, moving forward, of needing to write another. 

However, reading all of those writings what I realized most is that I miss writing. Even the writing I know I would have cringed at even a few months ago felt wonderful to read. I just was so happy for all the piles of paper, all the scribbles, all the attempts, all the thoughts and words. However profound or cringe-worthy I found them the most overwhelming feeling I was left with was my affection for  writing on paper. I miss the girl the who wrote on paper. The only thing I use paper and pencil for these days are lists. This must change. And spring, if I am not mistaken, is the season of change. Is it not?

Currently 05

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Friday (the 13th). I have to admit I do have my superstitions, like I try really hard to not step on cracks in the sidewalk, I knock on wood, and wish on falling stars. But Friday the 13th isn't one of them. So far it's in fact turning out to be a lucky day for us here with temperatures hitting the 70's. Although this relentless migraine I've been dealing with the last few days is making me wonder if I am getting too much sun? 

Planning / I am actually going to have a spring break myself for the first time in forever and not just one that is lived vicariously through my children's school schedule. I am finishing up my last project for this term and I think one of the things I've missed most about school is that feeling of looking forward to the breaks between terms. That sweet reprieve of nothingness. Even if there isn't such a thing as nothingness in my life, it sounds pretty good. I bought this book and this book and over the break I am going to dig even deeper in my closets for my annual spring cleaning ritual.  You can find me here next year, same time, same place, talking about the same thing. I am on a never-ending journey of achieving a minimalist lifestyle with a house full of boys, a dog, and a business ran out of my house.

Reading + LookingThis essay by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. This photography series of photos that are 'too hard to keep'

Working / Last time I talked about my collaboration with West Elm I promised myself it would be the last time (for awhile at least, honestly I didn't think there'd be much more to say on it) but this week I got a re-order from them. And I have to say that getting an order from West Elm in the first place is exciting, but there is always the fear in the back of ones mind (mine) what if they don't sell? So, for me, I think getting another order from them (and so soon after the first was dropped off) is much more thrilling. So I will be busy working on that too over my upcoming "break."

Mothering / Just for a little update on my Milo he's totally fine and back to his Allday Everyday self. I realized this this week when I took him shopping and he went straight for a pair of cheetah leggings, a 'shine and sparkle' my little pony tee, and a Darth Vader toothbrush. I don't think Milo can do anything but Milo, and that's exactly as it should be. Also, thanks to everyone who pointed out how amazing his optimism is, you are right. 

Have a happy weekend! 

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5 | 6

Currently 04

Friday, March 6, 2015

Oh, hello. Long break. Which I realize is the problem with not posting more regularly, it becomes easy to let the days slip by. We've also been sick and busy and cleaning up and catching up and sometimes just doing nothing at all which feels pretty great when we get the chance to that. 

Enjoying // I keep hearing all these reports of rainy days, seeing pictures of ice and snow and each time I feel like the world has turned upside down, because here, it's been nothing but sunshine and flower blossoms. Spring certainly seems to have made an early appearance around these parts and I must admit I've been enjoying it immensely. 

Aching // Well here's another heartbreaker from the land of motherhood. Yesterday I picked up M+L from school, and Milo said, "mama, I had the best day ever today!" And, I was so excited, I wanted to hear about this, because as those of you who read here regularly know he's had some recent difficulties at school. So I perked up and said "oh, what? why? tell me all about it!" And he said "it was the best day ever because no one was mean to me today!" Ooooooh, that's, um, awesome Milo. That's sooooo great." The other sound anyone nearby might have heard come from me was the sound my heart breaking. I don't even know what to say about that. I just hope he keeps having the best days ever. Oy.

Finishing // I am down to my last few weeks of classes this term! I think I am somehow pulling straight A's which I always did before, but wasn't convinced I would this time. In fact I decided I didn't even want to worry about grades, you know just "do my best." But apparently I can't help it. When I see my grades pop up and I see even a 93% I get a little pouty. I guess I haven't lost the competitive edge I have, with, er, myself. 

Deciding // Speaking of school I decided to take one more term and then call it quits for now (forever?). So the blogging break might be just a little bit longer. But I am enjoying it and, considering I have the worst memory ever, I probably should keep at it and give myself the best chance at retaining some of this information I am paying to learn.

Contemplating // I am kind of, sort of, maybe thinking about Disneyland. I was pretty set on it, daydreaming about it's a small world, picturing M+L excitedly rushing up to their favorite characters to fill their autograph books, and me taking pictures of palm tress and being warm. And then I looked at the admission tickets into the park and the cynic in me quickly pictured something more along the lines of me, a frenetic and sweaty mess standing in lines for hours on end, crying as I forked over twenty dollars for a snowcone, dragging my children and luggage from airports to buses all in the span of a few days. But. With M+L being 6 I can't think of a better time to go. Unless I wait a year, maybe a year from now would be better?

Have a great weekend! 

Currently 03

Monday, February 23, 2015

Seeing / Friday morning I went down to "drop off some cards" to display with my work down at West Elm Portland (really I went to see my pillows and notecards all on display and take some photos of it). And I have to say a couple things about it: First, I think it's awesome that West Elm not only features local designers, but is so supportive, not only in inviting me to be a vendor, but then encouraging me to drop off promotion materials. Second, I think my products look pretty awesome in their store! Probably one of my prouder moments in this journey with my business. 

Fighting / I finally caught one of the 800 colds my Tiger and Allday Everyday have brought home since starting Kindergarten this year. My head has been so congested the last few days I can hardly recall the weekend. 

Embarrassing / Last night I was looking for my phone only to find it deep in the corner of my house nestled in Tigers sticky little hands. After pulling it away I discovered he had just sent a text with exactly 54 emoji's to my small business class Professor. Thirteen of them were the little devil-head ones. (He didn't respond to my apology text. I'll know how he felt about that when I get my grades.)

Buying / After many years I finally found my mid-century danish lounger. The only compromise is I will need to sand it and re-stain it. But the price was right, the aesthetic was right, and the size was perfect.  The fabric may have swayed me a little bit too. 

Wanting / Blame it on that darn Vivian Maier documentary but I can't get my mind off wanting to get a twin lens camera. I almost pulled the plug on one this weekend, but impulse buys just aren't my forte. I am still thinking on it though, and hoping if a wave of impulsiveness strikes me this week, it will still be there.

Watching / The oscars of course. I think I was happiest to see Ida win best foreign film and Patricia Arquette for best supporting actress in Boyhood.

Wondering / Watching the oscars also lead me to wondering what is going on in red carpet fashion. There was not one look that wowed me and maybe only about three that I really liked. But while I wasn't impressed with the red carpet I was impressed with a few of the speeches this year. My favorite speeches were far and away this one by Graham Moore and, again, Patricia Arquette with this acceptance speech (love her), and this one by John Legend. (sean penn no longer exists to me. what a . . .)

Parisian Eclectic | House Tour |

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

One of the things I would love to have someday is a blue velvet sofa. And an apartment in Paris of course. Though I've watched house hunters international and I don't think I could even afford one of those ones that is about 100 square feet with a hot plate and a 12 inch high loft. Though, if I were going to daydream about a Paris apartment, I think it would look a lot like this. It satisfies all of my never-been-to-paris imaginings. Traditionally ornate, contemporarily chic, and infused with a wide array of art. 

But back to life in Portland which has slowed down for us here just the tiniest of bits. I had a stroke of luck with getting some big things done right as we got the long weekend and the spring-like weather we've been having this week. It's been glorious and reminds me that I am, in general, a much happier and productive person when I'm not chilled to the bone. We even have some cherry blossoms blooming and crocuses springing up from the ground now.

And thank you for all your lovely and supportive comments on my last post. Milo's long hair is still blowing in the wind. We spent some time talking about what makes us all special and how everybody is different in one way or another. And then we did a little image googling of men with long hair, you know Native American warriors, ancient Germanic warriors, and 1990's Brad Pitt. 

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