School’s In Session

We’ve shifted gears the last few weeks at Casa Asterson

IMG_6851After starting Luke at a nearby daycare the beginning of August, we quickly realized that this was not the place for us. And, I have to say, there was really nothing wrong with the daycare. They adored our kid, doted on him, he was safe and had a great time there each day. It was in fact, probably not far off from babysitting experiences that Eric and I each had growing up. It felt a little like being with an attractive guy who you just couldn’t have a conversation with. It’s not you, it’s me and all of that.

Luke’s at an age where he is definitely seeking out information and I think it’s important that we take advantage of that as best we can because he is in a group care setting more than either of us ever were. So, in a move that has made me feel more like a yuppie parent than just about anything I can imagine, we abruptly moved him to a full time preschool on the other side of town. My reasoning being that it was better to not let him get too settled and then switch him again when we could go through all the adjustment at once.

Maybe it’s a cop-out on my part, but knowing he’s eating super healthy organic food at school where he hoses everything that’s put in front of him means that we don’t have fights at home where he is quick to announce “don’t want it” or “I don’t like it” the second something new is on the scene.

When he’s outside running around with other kids a few hours a day, he’s calm at home and we get to have the focused attentive time where we can teach him new things versus trying to keep him from practicing his base climbing up the walls of our living room.

And, knowing he’s getting a head start in some core educational principals doesn’t hurt either.IMG_6951

I had initially been reluctant to put him in preschool because he’s young for it still and this isn’t a place where we can take the baby come spring. But, I think that two drop offs will be worth it to know that for the next six months, Luke is getting the most out of the time that he can’t be with us. To be honest, my mom guilt about working is greatly assuaged when I am jealous of the place my kid is hanging out.

I have to say, my little man handled the change like a champ. He is used to a structured day with a lot of varied activity so where I thought preschool might be too much formality, it’s actually been an easier day than we were having the last few weeks. I have tothrow in here that this school offers “add on” classes where they bring in dance teachers, athletic coaches and language instructors to offer immersion sessions in the afternoon. We’re going to give Luke some time to get settled but we’ve been laughing at the thought of him taking hip hop dance and tae kwon do. This past week, Luke got to brush an alpaca and played the violin during an introductory instrumental session at school. It seems I am more of a helicopter parent that I care to admit.

Amidst all of that, we’ve started our compost bin, fought back a gigantic wall of bamboo that was hiding dead shrubbery the size of a Volkswagen beetle, watched two weeks of Olympics while I did a tiny bit of baby knitting, and took our kid to the county fair, beach and a killer birthday party hosted by a lady you and I both know and love. There’s lots to write about but my thoughts seem scattered lately. I could chalk it up to pregnancy brain but in truth there’s just been a whole lot going on. It will probably get a little worse before it gets better but I’m hoping I can eek out some coherent posts before things go really down hill. Eric’s been working on a revamp of Luke’s crib. We’re swapping out the furniture in Luke’s room for a big boy room and our front porch is maybe the first place in the house that’s coming together as a space of our own.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I can’t wait to show you some of the fun homey things that have been going on over here.

Nursery No More

The nursery is my favorite room in the whole house. It is full of beautiful sentimental things. Like Calvie’s “three week feet” and the painting I purchased on study abroad for my some-day nursery. It is the space in the house that has the most knitting on display too. Cal’s Hobbes, fox blanket, rainbow blanket and sheep mobile are four of my favorite knits and I like having a space where they can be out and enjoyed.

Before we bid adieu to my favorite room in the whole house we took some pictures.

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Calvin turned two last week and has been climbing out of the crib for over a year (He wears a sleep sac to prevent escapes now). Ellis has been sleeping in our little handmade toddler bed for over two years and he was starting to outgrow it. It was time for a bed shuffle.


The nursery isn’t exactly gone, but all the trappings of baby are on the way out. I was sad to see the crib go, but the toddler bed has it’s charm for sure. Cal seems to like it too. In about six months Calvin will move in with Ellis and this room will become my office. I am really looking forward to having a dedicated space, but it will be a bittersweet trade. Fortunately I can enjoy the quasi-nursery a little longer.

How is Luke’s room set up coming along? I know you were really itching for a dedicated kid zone when you lived in an apartment. Does having lots of space in the house scratch that itch? Do you keep toys in Luke’s room? A common area? Both? Any nursery progress?


Bigger than my stomach

I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and…that’s saying something because I am 7 months pregnant and ravenous.
A baby on the way, a toddler, a nearly 50-hour a week job with a long commute, a new house that needs some TLC.
Mama is tired. And hormonal. And my irrational outbreaks are maybe pushing my husband to the breaking point.
I have hemmed and hawed for a week and a half about saying this but I need to just say it. I really don’t like being pregnant. In addition to having a less-than-stellar track record with my female parts, I hate how a pregnant woman’s body becomes a topic of conversation during pregnancy. And I really hate faking like I feel good or that I’m chipper. And don’t get me started on the touching.
But let’s be honest, no one wants to hear a pregnant lady complain.
If I could go the whole pregnancy without people knowing I’m pregnant – that would be amazing.
I’m not sleeping, I’m hungry all the time, I don’t like people talking about my weight, and I’m working really hard to combat the crazy that dances around in my head. It’s too much.
Last night, after a long day at work, we finally got Luke settled and I sat down to watch the Olympics. 5 minutes later I was asleep. Clock strikes 1 and Luke is awake with a night terror – have I mentioned we’ve been having those off and on since we moved. Crying out in his sleep and nothing we can do settles him. Eric – who might I point out makes a living by having exceptional hearing – has a magical gift of tuning this out and sleeping soundly through. This inspires an unjust rage in me that no man as amazing as my husband is deserving of. I am not above waking him up and forcing him to suffer with me, and upon doing so he walks into the bathroom to find a cockroach. I’m then awake for the next hour and a half alternating between trying to sleep and just laughing at the absurdity of my life.
I know things are going to get crazier before they get calmer. And we have everything we’ve ever wanted in a life so this full plate and overwhelming feeling are the result of so many amazing things in our lives. But I seriously need to find a stress reliever soon or someone is going to wind up with my hands around their neck and unfortunately it may be my quietly sleeping unassuming spouse.
Sometimes I think bloggers get a bad wrap for not being real. Let’s not be mistaken, it is real over here friends. It is messy and sticky and fast and loud. And honestly, it is the very path I’ve always wanted. So, good with the bad, one step at a time, everything is a phase and here we go.

Two Much Fun

Calvin turned two over the weekend. I can’t believe it has been two whole years since he came into our lives and brightened our world. As cliché as it is the last two years have gone by in a flash.


We had a birthday bash for him over the weekend. We had a Magic School Bus party since that is Cal’s favorite show right now. It let us be broad with the theme since Magic School Bus is kind of all over the place.

I made him a volcano cake with dry ice lava. This picture is right after Adam blew out the candles because the dry ice popped and scared him (Adam, not Calvin. Nothing phases that kid).


We asked a friend who is turning a bus into a tiny home if they could bring their bus by for the party. So we had an actual Magic School Bus for the day. The kids loved running around on the bus and honking the horn.


The highlight for Cal was the dozen balloons. He carried them around all day. In fact they got so tangled before the party we had to cut them all apart and retie the ribbons, but once separated and dispersed to decorate the party Calvin quickly gathered them all up again and did not let go for the rest of the day. In fact, he fell asleep holding his bunch of balloons that had to be pried from his sleeping fist. Sweet boy.


I got to add to my kids party fails column. The first major fail was Ellis’ first birthday where we only served alcohol because we were so thrilled to have survived parenting for a year. The thirsty kids at that party would have liked more than water I’m sure. This year’s live and learn lesson was don’t put out a basket of sharpies when there are 15 kids under the age of six. They were for coloring wooden dolls for Calvin’s birthday dollhouse, but I had to remove them 2 seconds into the party when I realized what a tremendously bad idea that was. I have been doing some touch up painting, but it was worth it.


Breastfeeding Blah

Breastfeeding Blah

So I have attempted to write a breastfeeding post for the last two year. It is International Breastfeeding Week, so all the more reason to put together a post. I added it up and I have nursed for 52 months over the past 5 years! Even more reason to write about that copious experience. I have also felt fiercely committed to breastfeeding. And yet I can’t seem to scrape together a post.

Because I am so over breastfeeding.

I never loved it.

I did it. Begrudgingly at best, and painfully, resentfully at worst. I never got the warm fuzzies from breastfeeding. I find it psychically uncomfortable and to be honest really boring.

Calvin is only nursing twice a day now. When he wakes and when he goes to sleep. Bedtime isn’t terrible (because I have Hulu on my phone). But his morning nurse at 5 am is becoming a dreadful way to start the day.

I am really hoping that he weans when I go away for a week in October. I also had thought an anniversary trip might break the cycle with Ellis, but he picked up right where he left off and nursed for 6 more months after we left him for a weekend three years ago. I definitely don’t have six months of nursing left in me. I can’t wait to have my body back. And I don’t mean that in a body-confident, get-in-shape kind of way. I mean I can’t wait to go a whole day without a small person physically using parts of my body to grow.

So instead of the breastfeeding post it turns out I’m not ready to write, I will offer you a picture of poor Tess who had to have surgery on her ear. Her head is bandaged like this for the next two weeks. And I will be calling her “little Edie” for the remainder of her recovery. The Grey Gardens resemblance is striking, no?



Ever Green-er

Right after our wedding (holy cow, how was that 8 years ago), Eric and I got our first CSA. It was a box full of 6 varieties of lettuce, a head of cauliflower and a carrot. I was massively disappointed and we set the idea on a backburner.

In the years since, we’ve lived in Hollywood next to an amazing pop-up farmers market. Sundays would mean brunch at the market, cruising through the stalls for fruits and veggies and then running next door to Trader Joes for staples. Grocery shopping was never more fun. Plus we could scale up and down on our produce as needed. Leaving the market was among my top losses for leaving Hollywood.

I knew when we moved, I’d need to get creative in how we could find local produce where I enjoyed the acquisition experience as much. I started researching local CSAs again a few weeks after our move, but convincing Eric that it wouldn’t be a repeat of the great lettuce disaster of ’08 was another story.

Thanks to Yelp, I stumbled upon a local CSA that allows you to stagger your box delivery. (One of the things that we’re worried about is actually using up a boxes worth in a week and then getting a whole additional box.) With a $5 first time coupon, I knew it was worth a shot.

Unfortunately, I had to travel for family purposes the night of our first CSA delivery but we were thrilled with the experience. We were overwhelmed at the amount of beautiful produce we got for $20. Last week our second box was delivered and I was there for the unpacking. Luke had a blast, counting what was inside and learning about new fruits and veggies.

Ensuring we get enough vegetables into our diet is even more important to me with my pregnancy and Luke’s move from a daycare that gave him veggies twice a day. We’ve had a ton of fun experimenting with our CSA. Here are a few recipes I’ve cooked up in the last few weeks. Excited to see the ways that our CSA challenges me in the weeks ahead.

Feel free to follow (or unfollow) my Pinterest board dedicated to CSA recipes and send any ideas you might have my way for making the most of our newest obsession!