five faves


This week has been a little difficult, to say the least. I had some family drama, a pet emergency and idk if it was the stress or overdoing it last weekend but yesterday I was SO SICK all day. Nausea, dizziness, pain all over my baby bump, crying. SO MUCH CRYING. I was really thinking about blowing off work today (which I never do unless I am like DIRELY ill with like a cruise ship virus or something) but I decided to suck it up because this weekend is actually a long weekend so really I just need to get through one more day and I get three off, thank goodness. Because of all the stress & sickness I really didn’t get all the things I needed to do in Gwen’s old room/Sym’s new room done, and since Sym will be back next week and will presumably want a place to sleep I really need to just do it.

Gwen definitely needs this picture book about women in science.

How cool are these toy cars???

This is actually not a fave, it is appalling and I’m disgusted by this whole situation.

I want to get a little leaf-printed rug for Gwen/The Dreaded Laramie’s room and I miiiiight want to design my own or maybe one of these would work? Or this, it’s not leaves but definitely fits the theme.

Bill Clinton loves balloons.

the VOC is me


After a couple of weeks (or maybe just one week? What even is the passage of time tbh) it’s very very summery outside, which means that inside it is a stuffy sauna. Yesterday it was so muggy in here, usually Mondays aren’t that bad because Taylor works from home on Sunday nights and keeps the windows in the office & kitchen open, but there was a massive skunk spray right outside so we had to close everything because it was TOO GROSS. This morning I got up early to open all the windows I could (ie the four that have screens in them) and turn on all the fans so hopefully it won’t be as hot, and blessing of blessings, last Friday the property manager & handyman came by to measure a bunch of my casement windows for screens! (In case you don’t know casement windows are the ones that open outwards and need custom-fitted screens on the inside of the frame). They are only doing screens for five of the seven casement windows (two in the living room, one in the dining room and one each in two of the three bedrooms) but GOOD ENOUGH. I just can’t wait to get a goddamn cross-breeze in this place!

In more home news, over the weekend Taylor and I (and a very helpful Gwen) were able to finish painting Gwen & The Dreaded Laramie’s new room! Friday I had a surprise day off so after we finished moving the last of Sym’s furniture out I filled all the holes in the walls to get ready for priming. We hit a small snag when I was buying spackle and discovered the hardware store by our house is… not really a hardware store anymore? It was taken over by an older woman a few years ago and she seems less into selling hardware than refinishing antique furniture and setting up displays of old china and vintage jewellery. I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU GUYS. Over half the shelves are just empty but luckily there was one thing of spackle left. I did notice there were basically no painting supplies (although they still seem to carry paint), so on Saturday morning we decided to walk down to a different small hardware store at the bottom of the hill to get all the rollers, edgers, tape, dropcloths and trays we needed.

Taylor offered to go by himself but I was like “no, you’ll get the wrong stuff (more on this later…) and if we take this different walking route that is just barely out of our way we can play Pokémon Go!” So that’s what we did, and in the end it wasn’t BARELY out of our way it was SEVEN BLOCKS out of our way and we didn’t get back home until mid-afternoon. OOPS. We did catch a lot of Pokémons though, so obviously it was worth it. I actually noticed on the weekend that I’ve lost a lot of the fatness I gained in my face at the start of this pregnancy, and I’m still eating fries basically all the time so I’m definitely crediting it to the 25 extra kilometers I’ve walked in the past week playing this game. Thanks, Pokémon!

Anyway we still had to tape everything so we did that and then threw this half-a-can of ancient primer I had (I think from when I made my mushroom table? so like YEARS ago) up on the walls. We were able to do almost a full coat on every wall. Now, at this point we still didn’t have the actual paint yet so once the priming was done I sent Taylor over to the antique-filled hardware store to get a can, because they still had paint, right? NOPE. They were actually out of the pastel base needed to make the off-white colour we were using! Perfect. I looked online and there was only one other store downtown that carried that brand and it had already closed for the day AND was closed all day on Sundays. The next closest store was over the bridge on West Broadway and was closing in just 20 minutes, so I quickly called to confirm they had the right base (they had 50 gallons in stock so no worries there) and figured Taylor could go in a Car To Go the next morning to pick it up.

Just to make sure there were no mistakes I texted him the name & number of the paint colour, as well as the name, number and finish of the paint base. I really wanted to be sure he got the right one since we will also be using it to do touch ups in Sym’s new room, which is of course already painted the same colour. The one I wanted was a non-toxic zero VOC (volatile organic compound) paint with built-in primer, which I figured would take less coats and allow us to move Gwen into the room more quickly, as well as definitely for sure being an exact match with the other room. And I texted him LITERALLY every piece of information he needed, so like what could go wrong? Well I will tell you what could go wrong is HE WOULD JUST GET THE WRONG DAMN PAINT. The colour and finish were right but it was in a different base with NO built-in primer. Normally I don’t like to complain about husband stuff on here but this was SO FRUSTRATING, especially because when I said “This isn’t the right one” he just basically shrugged his shoulders and was like “idk this is what the guy sold me when I asked for this colour in eggshell.” UM I TEXTED YOU MORE INFORMATION THAN THAT WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SHOW THE GUY THE TEXT STOP ACTING LIKE YOU WERE POWERLESS IN THIS PAINT BUYING SITUATION. We actually had a kind-of real fight about it which seems silly but I can excuse myself by reason of being pregnant.

I was also worried that one gallon of this primerless paint wouldn’t be enough to cover the existing green paint (it was a light green but still darker than the off white we were putting over it), and he’d have to go back for more, so REALLY I was looking out for him. Thankfully the half-assed coat of old primer we’d done the day before actually did the trick and we were able to get full coverage over the green, although it did take three coats (four for the edging). But it’s all done now, with about 1/5 of the can left for touch-ups (still hopeful it will match the existing paint well enough), and today I’m going to pull off the tape and we can start moving Gwen into her new space! She has been very excited about this whole process, “helping” with the painting until she got bored and choosing which side of the room she wants her bed on and which side is for the baby’s crib. I was a little worried she’d be flipped out about moving rooms but I think it’s going to be just fine.

life lately

Gwen loves Pokemon Go too, she always wants to throw the pokeballs and spin the Pokestops for us. Her fave Pokemon is Clefairy, she calls it the “Pink Peppa Pig” one. Jigglypuff is the runner up for Peppa, and she also like Meowth (cat cute!) and Eevee (dog cute!).

I renamed all my Pokemon after my dog and I am pleased with the results (I’ve since replaced Georgie1 and Georgie2 with SuperGeorgie and MiniGeorgie, Eevees with higher CPs).

Sym managed to get her whole room packed up and cleared out (except for the furniture which is too heavy for her to move) and I’m like SUPER IMPRESSED. She got rid of three huge bags of trash, two huge bags of paper recycling and three huge bags of old clothes to donate. Everything else is packed and waiting to move into her new room, but I think she’s going to have to reduce the amount of stuff even more to fit everything.

My house is full of boxes and suitcases and new, unbuilt furniture. Yesterday I went to the post office to pick up a couple of packages, not realizing one of them was Sym’s new bedframe, which I then had to carry home by myself. OOPS. Now that Sym’s old room is empty (and she’s staying at her dad’s for the next week) we are going to fix the holes in the walls, repaint and move Gwen in. After talking to Sym she has said she’s fine with leaving Gwen’s old room/her new room the same colour- we’d been planning on painting it a true white but leaving the very light pink (Benjamin Moore Candle White) up is definitely less work! So all that needs to be done in there is fixing the holes and a few small touch ups, which I can easily finish myself (Taylor will probably [definitely] have to do most of the ACTUAL painting in the other room).

Today I am 29 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I had been having really terrible and unbearable PGP (pelvic girdle pain) for the past few weeks that was making it very hard to do literally anything, but this week it seems to have mostly disappeared. This is obviously because I have an appointment with my doctor today, like it’s some sort of trick my body is playing to get me to not mention to pain before it comes back again next week, full force. NICE TRY, LIGAMENTS. I’m onto you. Other pregnancy stuff: my nausea is finally, finally, finally almost completely gone, which only took two trimesters. The baby is still super active, but I’m not sure if I’ve been gaining enough weight; I don’t have a scale at home so who knows. If you recall at my last appointment in June I had actually lost weight so if I haven’t gained a proper amount this time I think the doctor will send me to get another ultrasound to ensure the baby is growing properly, so mayyyyyyybe I will have another chance to find out the sex? But if I do, will I tell anyone? WHO CAN SAY >:)

get going

Symphony is a teen, and as a teen she is pretty disinclined to do a lot of the things I want her to do. Number one among these is basically anything that involves her leaving the house, like you don’t know how many times I have asked her “do you want to come to the beach/park/Ikea/craft store/mall with me? I’LL BUY YOU STUFF” and she’s just like “nahhh” and stays in her room. Like, I can MANDATE that she HAS to come out sometimes but it usually turns into a nightmare of crabbiness and complaining and it is exhausting and unsatisfying for everyone involved.

But now I’ve figured it out, the thing I can use to get her out of the house at any time, and that thing is Pokémon Go. It was finally officially made available in Canada just yesterday and as Taylor tweeted last night, we’ve caught the Poképox.

Go ahead and laugh but it is actually really fun to play (even for an old like me who has never been into Pokémon). Because we live in the middle of the city there are tons of Pokémon, Pokéstops and Gyms in our neighborhood- there is actually a Pokéstop in the park across the street that is close enough that when Pokémon are lured to it we can catch them from inside the house! Sym is having a blast playing it and I am having a blast with a shared activity my teen actually wants to do with me, outside, all the time. We went out twice last night and we’ve already made two excursions today- one this morning for a long walk and then a quick one just behind the house when I saw there was a lure at the Pokéstop in the alley- and we have plans to go down to a nearby fountain to look for water types after I finish work. We’ve met/had conversations with other players, traded tips and we have some new funny stories (like how when I realized I could catch Pokémon in my bedroom I plucked a Meowth right off my baby bump, and when we warned some people about the real, actual skunks in the park they asked “what kind of Pokémon is that?”).

Sym holding an Eevee in the eeveening.

I know a lot of people (boring people probably…) think it is stupid but like… how can I argue with a game that gets my kid out of her room and excited about something?

five faves


Even though they’re old (from 2014 & 2015, practically neolithic) I figure these articles on how & why white parents should to their kids about race are still super important. Please read them if you are a parent, even if your kids are very young. And this should be required reading for every white person. PLEASE FELLOW WHITE PEOPLE, HELP ME OUT HERE.

My amazing friend Brittany Holloway-Brown and some of her coworkers are developing an inclusive photo-editing app with filters designed to enhance and compliment darker skin tones (rather than just lightening them like most apps do), please check it out. It’s open source so you can even contribute your own filters!

This crystal-based beef between Moon Juice (and Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon) and Father John Misty is the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Conversely this article about the Spirit Weavers was the most eye-roll-y.

The other day I was talking to some friends of mine about finding dolls for their kids with a variety of skin tones, to help teach kids about racial differences and also so kids of colour have dolls that are representative of them. I was reminiscing about a ragdoll I had as a kid and tried googling to find a picture of it, and to my surprise I found it’s available again! My two sisters had a blonde-haired blue-eyed white version but I thought my black-haired brown-skinned dolly was The Best- because she had green eyes just like me! I also think this doll subconsciously influenced my decision when I bought Gwen’s ragdoll from Roving Ovine.

A lil Chvrches for your morning:

to sleep

01 grass shadows

02 gwen nap close

03 bee garden

04bark texture

05 gwen nap full

06 red dahlia

07 hawthorn sun

We’ve been having a bit of a struggle with getting Gwen to bed recently. Like she’ll get into her bed no problem (after a VERY EXTENDED bedtime ritual) but she always wants more hugs and to talk about what we’re gonna do tomorrow and sometimes she also needs to get up to check for firetrucks outside (???). Some nights we need to open her curtains to show her it’s getting dark outside, or what the weather is doing. And sometimes even when we do all these things she cries and cries and cries (literally she does not stop) until we come back and give her more hugs, more talk, more firetruck checks. One night she also turned on the light, got dressed and very very quietly took out her legos to play with. VERY SNEAKY.

Also, a few weeks ago she started regularly falling asleep int he late afternoon/early evening. Like 5 or 6. She’d fall asleep on the couch (or outside, apparently) and it would wreak havoc on our entire night. She’s really difficult to wake up, except for if we would try to move her to her room. These late naps pushed back dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime and left Gwen (and by extension, me most nights) with a super interrupted sleep schedule with multiple middle-of-the-night wake-ups. And the days I managed to keep her awake she would be SO CRABBY and unreasonable in the evenings they were a huge struggle as well.

Gwen actually decided about a year ago that she didn’t need an afternoon nap anymore, and we’ve been getting along just fine with “quiet time,” but with these recent spontaneous evening naps I figured something needed to change. I started inserting a “quiet rest time” into her regular quiet time, when she could lie in the bed with Taylor and (hopefully) falls asleep. And it worked! I had to negotiate with her about it a lot but for the last week (even on the weekend!) I’ve been able to get her to take an afternoon nap. And while she would wake up grumpy, it would pass and she would be sweet and friendly throughout the evening. Success!

Except… although they didn’t interfere with the schedule for dinner, bath and bedtime, even the earlier afternoon naps made actually getting her to go to sleep (and stay asleep) a huge struggle! I even tried starting the naps earlier, waking her from them sooner, and no dice: she was still crying after we left her room and waking up throughout the night. Yesterday I decided to skip quiet rest time in favour of regular quiet time and at bedtime she fell asleep more quickly and only woke up once, but she was super crabby and argumentative all evening.

So now I’m stuck. Without a nap she is miserable all evening but with a nap she sleeps terribly all night. I can’t really change what time she wakes up in the morning (it’s usually around 7 anyway) and we don’t really have much wiggle room with her bedtime either? Like I finish work at 5:30 and make/finish making dinner, we eat, she has a bath, we do the bedtime things and then she goes to bed. She definitely tries to drag bedtime out but most days we are able to get her settled down by around 7:30 or 8. Now we’re thinking we’ll have to get her down by 7 but that really only gives us an hour and a half with her in the evening to do everything so idk. idk! How is sleep formed, basically.

Unrelated but sort of related: this morning I was putting one of the daycare kids, a 13-month old girl, down for her morning nap (remember morning naps? siiiiiiiiigh) and Gwen wanted to help. She found the little girl’s special sleepy-time toy that had fallen under the crib, brought her a special pillow from her own room to share, and gave her a big hug. Later she ran up to me with one of her special blankets that she wanted let the little girl use as well, but I explained that she was already asleep and we mustn’t wake her up because babies need a lot of sleep. But I asked her if she was going to help me put our new baby down for naps when she/he is born and she gave me a very enthusiastic “Yeah!!” and my heart exploded with love. EXPLODED. Oh also: I asked her recently what we should name our baby and she said “Wappy.” Wappy Laramie. I like it.


I assume certain things about people.

People in my life, people I meet, just any people. I base these assumptions on things I know about myself and on my beliefs. I’m not perfect, but I try to be a good person, and wanna think other people are good too. So I assume they believe the same things that I believe. I think my beliefs are good and I’m surprised when I learn people DON’T feel the same way as me about certain issues. You probably feel the same way about your beliefs, that they are right, because otherwise why would you believe them? (And look, I’m making that assumption about you RIGHT NOW.)

You know who else thinks their beliefs are good? Racist. Ass. Racists.

Here is a truth for you: I’m white, and I can tell you that when you’re white, racists assume you are a racist too. You know how shitty it feels when you say something dumb or thoughtless that you didn’t realize was racist and you get called out for it? And you’re like “but I’m not a racist!” Racists think you are, they think that all the time. I cannot even tell you how many times a total stranger has come up to me on the street and started talking to me about my dog or whatever before abruptly going off on some bullshit racist rant. And I’m like totally surprised because I assumed they weren’t a racist, while all the while THEY were assuming I was. So I have to tell them “No, I disagree with that statement, and I’m ending this conversation now,” or like… a less polite version of that. And I’m not telling this story to be like “oh poor little white me, people assume I’m a racist, that hurts my feelings!” but to illustrate my point, and my point is this: If you are white you have to let racists know that you are not on their side, because they assume that you are. They assume every white person feels the way they do about black people, and that they are right, and their beliefs are good. And as long as you remain silent, they will keep believing it.


beach day

Gwen came running up to me this morning chanting “Beach day! Beach day! Beach day!” so I told her to go wake up her dad and she ran into the bedroom chanting “Beach day! Beach day! Beach day! Taylor wake up, beach day!” Normally I prefer to plan a little in advance so I have like, appropriate beach snacks in the house, although now that I think about it I never do and we end up stopping at the store on the way down the hill. So we sunscreened ourselves and Gwen and she changed into her beloved purple swimsuit and loaded up the stroller with beach towels and my Mexican blanket and a pop-up tent and a big bag of beach toys. We stopped so Taylor could get a coffee and to buy some buns to eat on the way, but didn’t bother getting any fruit or chips like we normally do. It was so windy everything would have gotten full of sand anyway.

It was mid-morning when we got to the beach and as I mentioned, very windy. The waves all had whitecaps on them and the beach itself wasn’t very busy yet even though the sky was clear and the sun was hot. We set up our tent and our blanket on the leeward side of a log, but left the towels in a bag and I ended up using them as a pillow. Gwen sat in the tent with me while she finished her bun and then she and Taylor moved around to the windward side of the log to bury their feet and legs in the hot sand. I lay in the tent and read and felt the baby kicking and watched the gulls and crows and flags flying in the wind.

The tide was out and there were cargo ships moored out in the bay with dozens of tiny sailboats flitting around them, their white sails looking like the wings of small white birds. I walked down to the water’s edge to photograph a flock of geese who were patrolling the sand and to dip my feet in the water, and later Taylor carried Gwen to the shore as well but she didn’t want him to put her down. Last year she loved the ocean and walked fearlessly straight out to sea at every beach we visited but this year she declared it “too wet” and “too scare.” Maybe it was the wind and the whitecapped waves? I hope if we go again on a calmer day she’ll love the ocean again.

01 BD daddy daughter 1

02 BD gwen full

03 BD geese

04 BD shells

05 BD daddy daughter 2

06 BD gull

07 BD gwen profile

08 BD skyline