the joy of toddlerdom

Let me preface this by saying that I do not have kids…

…But, I do work with two-year-olds.

Fourteen two-year-olds, to be exact. Little balls of energy who are constantly running into each other, getting stuck on things, taking toys from their friends, pulling off their shoes (and then crying when they can’t get them back on), throwing food on the floor, having tantrums, biting everything (and everyone) in sight, and just generally being little tornados of craziness.

And thus, I feel qualified to laugh when I read these websites. Because I understand. And I thought it might make a few of you nod your heads as well.

tumblr_ml0kwyrYcb1sn7lxto1_1280

Reasons Why My Son Is Crying

Reasons Why Kids Are the Actually The Worst

The Honest Toddler

46 Reasons My Three Year Old Might Be Freaking Out

It helps to have a little humor, right? It’s one of my favorite coping mechanisms, when I am trying to potty train, clean up after lunch, and keep them all from hurting each other at the same time.

p.s. Has anybody heard of this stuff? I’d love to see it in practice, but of course I can’t use it in a daycare. Pros? Cons?

p.s.s. Of course, I love children. I think that there is plenty to be said, too, about why kids act the way they do, and how to address said situations in a healthy manner. If you’re interested, here is an insightful article on why toddlers are so prone to tantrums. It helps (me, at least) to try to understand what exactly their little minds are going through.

Advertisements

humans of new york

Have you guys seen this site? I discovered it the other day, and now I can’t stop absorbing everything it has to offer.

“Humans of New York” is a photojournalistic effort to portray the humanity of those people around us- you know, those people who pass you on the street, who stand behind you in line at the DMV, who work in the office downstairs- the people you never think about. The photographer, Brandon, takes beautiful photos of people he sees around New York City, and then interviews them for a short quotation or story. The snippets range from heartbreaking to warming to laugh-out-loud-funny. It is absolutely gripping.

You see, I’ve discovered recently how often it is that we forget that other people are humans. Something about our society makes it acceptable, and we forget that the people around us have lives outside of the setting in which we interact with them. We don’t think about the fact that they have thoughts and dreams and hopes and stories. We see them only as they relate to us, and forget that they are the center of their own world, just like you are the locus around which all of your thoughts are oriented. When I worked in customer service, it was not uncommon for people to hang up on me, to berate me, to treat me as if I was some machine with no motivations other than the desire to take their money. They were rude and mean and sometimes even wrote bad things about me on the Internet. And I truly believe that it is because they forgot. They forgot that I had feelings. They never considered that I left work at the end of the day, changed into my pajamas, and laid in bed thinking about what they said and how they acted.

That, I believe, is why I love “Humans of New York” so much.

Because it’s a reminder.

And I think we all need to be reminded.

Here is a sample of his work:

tumblr_mq74l8gtFt1qggwnvo1_1280“Once, I was in a talent show, and at the end, everyone stood up and clapped!”

tumblr_mpk144ckjm1qggwnvo1_1280“I’m a chef.” “So tell me something you’ve learned as a chef that also applies to life in general.””…if you don’t eat, you’ll die.”

tumblr_mmrl7pmf8s1qggwnvo1_1280

“Why were you homeless?” “It just got to a point where my mom couldn’t maintain anymore. The sad part was that it was during high school. So I had to keep it a secret. Cause, you know, it’s high school.”

tumblr_moed3hGxup1qggwnvo1_1280

I asked his favorite thing about his son, and he replied: “That he’s very loving.” Hearing this, the boy asked: “What about basketball?” The dad answered: “I like that you’re good at basketball. But my favorite thing is that you’re very loving.”

tumblr_mnd9xkqUHk1qggwnvo1_1280

“I’m going home to see my mother.” “Oh, is it her birthday?” “Nope. I just love my mother, and she loves flowers.”

tumblr_mn8abidmGG1qggwnvo1_1280

“We’ve been friends since we were 13.” “What’s the most fun you’ve ever had together?” “Oh, we don’t know…” “Well, what’s the hardest you’ve ever laughed together?” “Now you listen here! I want you to write down these questions you’re asking us, pull them out when you’re 85 years old, and see if you can answer them yourself!”

tumblr_mmjnlzkvk41qggwnvo1_1280

“My town in Colombia is very beautiful. I don’t travel because I want to leave my home. I travel because I need to know why I’m staying.”

tumblr_mn7sn6fkk31qggwnvo1_1280

“After this I go to work at a pizza shop. My wife and I were college professors in Bangladesh. I taught accounting. But one dollar in America becomes eighty dollars when we send it back home.”

tumblr_ml9o5mHAl91qggwnvo1_1280

“She’s compassionate.” “Tell me about a time she was compassionate.” He took a couple minutes, then said, haltingly: “It’s not about a time. She’s compassionate toward who I am. Every time.”

tumblr_mp7zgxSNBk1qggwnvo1_1280

“It was easier than I thought it’d be.”

on wedding planning

I feel pretty proud about my wedding planning skills.

I mean, I certainly wasn’t perfect…. I had my moments of stress throughout our 15 months of engagement. But overall, piecing our wedding day together was an exciting, delightful, and deeply satisfying process for me. And when I look back at that time, there are a few select things that really made the difference between feeling organized & confident & put together, and feeling overwhelmed & underprepared.

Now, part of me is already rolling my eyes at myself, for putting together a list like this. Isn’t it a little presumptuous to assume that my advice can be of use anybody at all? But here is my blogging philosophy: if any of my tips or tricks or methods helps, even in the least, just one of you brides-to-be out there, well, then it’s worth writing about. So, here were my most helpful resources. The tools & the tricks, the needle and thread, that made my wedding possible.

1) Pinterest.com was, by far, one of my favorite wedding planning sites. I didn’t use it in a this-is-exactly-what-I-want-and-if-it’s-not-that-way-I-will-die sort of way. Instead, I simply pinned anything that caught my eye, without considering whether it was what I wanted. That was this board (and I began this process well over a year before Will & I were engaged). And then, once we got engaged, I organized it all into boards by subject…”the paper”, the flowers”, “the food”, and so on and so forth. And here’s the amazing thing: there were patterns. It turned out that I wanted an updo. How do I know this? Because every single one of my “the hair” pins looked exactly the same. I showed my “the cake” board to my baker during our initial consult: she took one look at it and said “So, you want a round, tiered, white buttercream cake with sugar flowers?”. Using Pinterest enabled me to identify what it was that I loved. And that took so much pressure off the decision-making process, because I already had confirmation that I could live with (and delight in) the choices.

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 8.40.06 PM

2) I found WeddingWire.com especially helpful for looking through vendor reviews. I used the site to find my incredible makeup artist and stylist, to consult about my caterer, and to confirm our decision on a photographer. I didn’t, however, use any of their other tools, mostly because I was perfectly happy with theKnot.com (see below)… plus, when I skimmed through them, I mostly felt pretty “eh” about it all. And I tend to trust my instinct on things like that.

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 8.43.14 PM

3) Speaking of  TheKnot.com… I  would highly recommend signing up as soon as you get engaged. I loved it. Specifically, I loved the individualized “My Checklist” and “My Guest List” portions. Plus, there’s a countdown feature on the homepage, which is always a happy thing.

– “My Checklist” appealed to my type-A, organized, cross-it-off-the-list personality at its very core. It is a detailed, exhaustive account of pretty much everything you could need to do before (and after) the wedding. Every other list I found was vague and spotty… with this one, I felt assured that there was nothing I had to remember, because it was all written down and organized, with all the “to-dos” in one place. It’s also totally customizable, which meant that I could add random things like “Pay 90-day payment to photographer” or “Buy sparklers for the exit” or “Make kraft paper signs for the reception”. And I could remove those things that didn’t apply to me, or move the order around as I saw fit. I should make a note, though, that it operates on a due date system, where it puts a little alarm clock beside all the items that you don’t check off “in time”. Brides: you will NOT do it all in time! As for me, I mostly just tried to ignore the clocks and see it as a general timeline.

-“My Guest List” was also a pretty incredible tool. All you have to do is input the guests’ names and addresses, and then you have a brilliant way of keeping track of the RSVPs, the seating chart, the gifts, and the thank-you notes (among other things). It was, truly, a lifesaver. Each time I got an RSVP in the mail, I simply logged on and pressed “Accepted” or “Declined”. TheKnot automatically kept track of how many people would attend the wedding and generated a customizable seating chart. When we received a gift, I entered it beside the person’s name, and then when I dropped the thank-you note in the mail, I just checked the box that said “Thank You Sent”. It kept everything clear and simple. And here’s the fact: even though I thought I would be able to remember it all (what kind of terrible person doesn’t remember whether her great-aunt RSVPed?), I couldn’t. And so, like I said, it was a lifesaver.

Another note about TheKnot.com: although the community boards can be helpful, I would make sure to put on a tough skin before you post anything. Many (many) of the regulars who post here are more than a little condescending and simply mean. I hate to say it, but I really feel like I need to warn you. I almost cried the first time they responded to one of my questions.

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 8.41.35 PM

4) The one thing that I couldn’t find online was a thorough, flexible budget application. So… I made one. Click here to download a draft of my Excel wedding budget. Obviously, we didn’t actually use all of the budgeted items on this sheet (no calligrapher for us!). But I figured it’s better, for these purposes, to include something than leave it off. So go ahead and make it your own: change the sections, hide rows, alter columns… whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable. Then,  insert your budgeted numbers, and let Excel do the rest.  I hope it helps!

Screen shot 2013-07-21 at 5.08.57 PM

5) And last, but not least, I loved my handy dandy pocket accordion file. I picked it up on a whim from Staples, and ended up using from the first venue meeting it all the way until last week (when I sold my wedding dress). This was perfect for all the little pieces of paper that you gather when wedding planning: from random business cards to receipts of purchase to copies of contracts. I kept it in my car, so that it was easily accessible everytime I went to a vendor meeting and walked out with a handful of papers. Yay for organization!

 

So, there you go. There’s not much more to say… except, happy planning! I hope that your engagement is filled with all the goodness that the season has to offer. And may you always be checking things off your list.

her morning elegance

Yep.

Quite possibly the coolest music video ever. Love the song, love the title, love the stop motion wonderfulness. Watch and enjoy.

my new favorite crustacean

Ever since I heard of these guys, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of trying an authentic lobster roll… there’s something about the toasted kaiser roll, crunchy and warm, paired with sweet and cool lobster, that just sounds right to me. It’s beautiful, gourmet, and exotic enough that I instantly added it to my bucket list. And now that I’ve relocated to Texas, I finally got a chance to pick one up! Apparently, people ship fresh lobster out here on a regular basis. Lucky me.

Our first week here, Will & I found a food truck that served these little lovelies and jumped at the chance to try them. They were delicious. Actually, we loved them enough that we tried them twice (just being honest).

image_2image_7image_1image_8image_10imageimage_3

Texas adventure # 1: complete. Bucket list item #49: done.

I love checking things off my lists.

p.s. a fun guide on what makes the best lobster roll.

bending, not breaking

3f7760b74d417720200a72c754fbb7f6

These last few weeks, life has been an in-and-out, up-and-down cycle of work, and sleep, and then work again. I’ve been going, pushing, bending, moving,. Enough so that, once again, I’ve been absent. I hope, beyond all hopes, that the posts will be more regular soon. In my in-between-Wordpress times, though, here are some lovely links for you to enjoy.

here’s a laugh for my fellow IBers

interesting article on anthromorphism

so excited for this show

the wisdom of winnie

i blogged about this, way back when!

such an expressive word

a gorgeous depiction of the brain

woah. just woah.

this silliness made me smile

also, the photo was found here.