I’d like to take a moment to appreciate Nana being in town, and also the Mobile Milkies Unit (MMU), not to be confused with the SMU, the Stationary Milkies Unit which is great for breakfast and nightcaps. I didn’t realize, but it seems that it’s a unique and useful skill to be able to nourish my bébé on the go. Lake and I have mastered the MMU lifestyle. This allows us the freedom to be more mobile, and, we think, to simply have more fun!

MMU in action… loads of fun!

Here we are at the zoo today! My goodness the tigers were a stand-out this afternoon. And that’s quite an honor considering we also had great visits with Yola, the 9 months old gorilla baby, and the two snow leopards. 

Intense tiger in action!

And it was such an extra special treat to spend the time with Nana just back from Norway. Lake says, “Next time take me too, Nana… I’m mobile!” Indeed he is. And a sweetheart at that. 

Extreme cuteness and our own feline (in)action at home.

A perfect day. I’m glad I spent it with you!

Cold Wet Socks

Feeling down? Feeling congested? Oh no, you’re sick! You know the best thing to do is to rest and get some sleep, but you’re a new mum! That makes sleep hard enough on a normal night, but it’s especially hard to sleep now that you’re sick and congested. As soon as bébé turns out like a light, you finally have the chance to rest, and… boom! You lie down and the congestion settles in for the night as well. You can’t breathe. 

Dr. Doctor Mummy is here today as a “guest blogger” to help you out of your predicament. Zoom! The solution is socks! Cold wet socks to be sure! It draws the congestion out of the sinuses, increasing blood flow to the feet, and even giving your immune system a little boost. Try it for a good nights sleep. You’ll feel so much better in the morning. It’s safe and works for bébé too!

What you need:

  1. A thin pair of cotton socks
  2. A thick pair of wool socks
  3. Cold tap water

What you get: 

  1. A drug free, cheap, simple solution. Read: elegant. 
  2. A safe and effective treatment. 
  3. A good night’s sleep!


  1. Make sure your feet are warm, take a hot bath or shower if needed. 
  2. Wet the thin cotton socks thoroughly under the tap, wringing them out well. 
  3. Put them on. 
  4. Put wool socks on over the wet cotton socks. 
  5. Go directly to bed. 
  6. The socks will be warm and dry in the morning. 

Sweet Dreams, and a speedy recovery to you!

Get well wishes from Lake.

Merman Monthly!

Merman Monthly!

Lake is three months old today! Its amazing to think how far we’ve come on this journey together in such a short time, really. It’s incredibly special to have been on his team from the very beginning. We continue to be delighted and enthralled as he becomes more and more interactive. 

It’s a bit of a tradition now to take his picture in the charming mermaid tail from Carole Huey that was knit by her friend Barb. It’s pretty stretchy but I’m not sure how much longer Lake will be able to wear it. He’s already 25″ and growing out of his six months outfits. He slept his first full night in his own bedroom last night after spending a few months sleeping in the kitchen nook. 

He still has the sweetest disposition, is so communicative and easy going, and is a champion sleeper enjoying “doing his nights.” Such a keeper; we are not throwing this fish back! Look at you grow, Lake!

One month old.
Two months old.

Three months old.
And still growing strong!

Bad Art

Yesterday I had a lady date in Fremont with my PEPSers mummies, sans bébé. I walked through the neighborhood feeling very light and free. Meanwhile Michael got to spend some serious quality time with Lake. It was a win-win.

The ladies, we had a painting party at CANVAS. They provided the materials, the loud dance music (Vanilla Ice at one point), and the inspiration/instruction. I arrived with an artistic vision and a plan, my confidence bolstered by my love of painting in the self-identified style of Bad Art. I had a blast; I adore painting!

Proudly showing off my cardboard painters palette.
Bad Art as a genre of “fine art” was essentially created by Scott Wilson and Jerry Riley. In 1994 they founded the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), thus creating a forum for unique artwork so remarkable it must be shared. The general criteria for Bad Art are:

  1. It must be a piece of original art.
  2. It must be created with sincere intent.
  3. It must be a gift of the artist, be procured for free (rescued from a dumpster) or cost less than 20 bucks (originally $6.50, but has been adjusted for inflation).
  4. It cannot be kitschy (e.g. painting on velvet), or boring. 
  5. There must be something remarkable about it, remarkably bad/significantly wrong either in concept or execution (e.g. the perspective or proportion is off).

I was introduced to this genre in 1999 by my then boss, Rich Olson. Rich was a fierce and sensitive renaissance man, like myself a native of the Olympic Peninsula. He had a sharp wit and a dark sense of humor and had developed a true interest in Bad Art. His appreciation had led him to start his own West Coast private collection which had at least one public showing I am aware of. As he shared his exhibit with us, he was lamenting the paucity of portraits. He had not one portrait. People become attached to portraits since they are real people, and it is extremely difficult to find a portrait for free or on the cheap. My coworker and friend Katie and I took this as a challenge to create some bad art portraits to gift to him for the end of the season party. We had fun modelling for each other to paint, and created some stunning works. We continued this tradition over a period of several years so we had a chance to really develop our signature styles.

This colorful photo portrait will have to stand in lieu of the Bad Art portraits, as their whereabouts are sadly currently unknown.

So, that brings us back to yesterday in the CANVAS painting studio. The group instruction was for painting a butterfly (magnificent results below ***NOT Bad Art***), but I had my own premeditated plan. 

Friends with Butterflies-PEPS Painters 2016

I was determined to create a beautiful portrait of my husband’s beloved cat, Mr. Cat, as a gift for his birthday in a few weeks. I was armed with flowers I’d collected from along the Burke Gilman trail and a photograph of Mr. Cat to work from. In my mind I have a stunning composition; I just fall a bit short in the execution. Perfect for a treasured commemorative portrait of Bad Art. And you surely won’t find it by the side of a dumpster one day. 

[I am currently unable to make my finished piece available to you, my dear reader, as it is a planned birthday surprise for my husband Michael, yet to be unveiled and presented.]

NOT Bad Art. Michael’s birthday present I had commissioned last year. Sarah Pulver 2015.


It has been noted in some circles that I seem to have an inordinate amount of car troubles. A disproportionate amount compared to how much I drive, certainly. Mostly we walk, and drive rarely, maybe once every week or two. 

So it was with incredulous dismay when I opened an innocent looking envelope to find that if two more days had passed, our car would have been declared abandoned and sold at auction. Yes, we were served a notice of vehicle impound. Lake promptly peed on it. It’s been one of those days. 

So, we are going to make it a family date night and check out some yummy Ethiopian food up near Lincoln Towing on Aurora, where my car is being held ransom for $250. I love my husband. He’s like simply, “Oh did I park it badly? Let’s go get Ethiopian, then.” He’s an inspiration for me when it comes to letting stuff roll off and turning lemons into lemonade. 

Lately I’ve been trying to set up a few single friends. I’m perplexed by the refrain 

Is he cute?

Is he cute?! Cute is subjective. My husband is the absolute cutest! He makes me laugh when I have a downer day. Laughing so hard my cheeks hurt. That’s cute. We are getting Ethiopian after we claim our car. That’s cute. What you really want to be asking is 

Can he turn my lemons into lemonade?!

National Treasure 

All the steps to making a man turns out to be more involved than one might imagine at first look. 

  • Certificate of Birth
  • Social Security number 
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport 
  • Health Insurance Enrollment 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Daycare Enrollment
  • Voting Registration 

Each one is dependent on the prior step being completed. I’m amazed anyone gets all through the list. I mean, between myself and Michael we have seven degrees of higher education and we are barely successful in navigating the quagmire. It seems like it could be easier. Somehow we got off track and only just received Lake’s social security card in the mail. After months of pursuing it, and with the pressure starting to build from other elements further along on the list, it finally arrived… Yea!

Well folks, we have got a brand new citizen here! It’s official. And he is one fine homegrown specimen. A national treasure. 

Keeping it EASY

Keeping it EASY

I like how my friend Sarah uses this acronym to coordinate the rhythm of her days with her son. 





EASY. Repeat. 

I like this rhythmic pneumonic. Sometimes we  even follow it. He does like to play on his waterproof mat after breakfast. We do our tummy time. Mummy’s involves yoga and planks. Lake goes in for cooing and smiles. 

It’s just that often Lake and I, we tend to blend all the EASY together. I’m doing my errands or visiting the zoo, and he’s hanging out in the Baby Björn these days. He eats, sleeps, and has his activities which include looking around, getting mummy kisses, making friends and hanging out. He cycles through the EAS’ at his own pace while I’m doing the Y. When we are out all day, we do take rest stops during the activity phase. Mummy can change his wet nappies. He likes his chance to wiggle, stretch out and relax. 

Lake kicking it in the Woodland Park gazebo.

We keep it EASY in our own way. 

Gold Medal Material 

I am/used to be an avid reader. I seem to be taking a hiatus for the moment. Lake is my drishti, my focal point in this phase of life. I have huge stacks of books by all my “landings”: the Ekornes Stressless chair where I spend a lot of time with Lake during his mealtimes, the bedroom where I used to read a bit before bed, the sofa where I used to curl up and read…

I seem to have found my new genre of motherhood reading material: tough grit women’s adventures of challenge and triumph. I stumbled on this realization while at my mother in law’s this weekend. 

That my favorite prenatal birthing book was 

Polar Dream by Helen Thayer 

could have been my first clue. That I had recently picked up and set down a multitude of books by old favorite authors

Animal Vegetable Miracle and Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

The Plover by Brian Doyle

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez 

could have been my second clue that the old interests weren’t currently relevant enough. 

Then I picked up 

Learning how to Breathe by Alison Wright

and I couldn’t set it down. So apparently something with the tag line like, “one woman’s journey of spirit and survival” with a foreword by the Dalai Lama is the only thing that will hold my attention now. I wonder why. 

Last night we were watching some Olympic highlights from Rio 2016, watching the women triathlete finalists wrap up their heroic feats. We watched raptly as the British, Swiss and American women honed in on the finish line. When Gwen Jorgensen collapsed in tears after breaking the ribbon for the gold medal in just under two hours, my mother in law exclaimed, “almost as much work as giving birth!”

Touché. That must be it. Seems a bit pretentious to equate my childbirth experience to winning an Olympic gold medal, but it seems the main difference is that Gwen consciously chose to compete, whereas pregnant women find themselves ultimately without choice but to go for the gold. There’s only one way out, and that’s to continue. 

Women are incredible. Gold medalists in birthing. The effort, the miracle, the recovery. And so many women are doing it every day, that this out-of-this-world experience is accepted as normal. It’s truly heroic. I’ve gone from triumphant-yet-broken-in-bed on bedrest to triumphant-yet-recovering still 12 weeks later. I think the tendency is to minimize the impact childbirth has on ones body. It’s not just the birth, but the physical and psychological postpartum recovery period too, that represent significant bodies of work. I could have died. Without that 24 hours of Ptosin that baby may not have come out at 64 hours post-PROM (premature rupture of membranes). Even in this day and age here in Seattle at one of the top medical centers a woman my exact age died from sepsis of childbirth complications just days after Lake was born. 

As our bodies and minds and hearts pass through the crucible of childbirth, our pelvic bones and perspectives on life are forever altered. Like Helen Thayer and Alison Wright though, their drive to eschew complacency and push their bodies further resonates with and inspires me. And so I continue to self-select gold medal reading material to go with my gold medal spirit. 

Trees and a breeze 

We are on Bainbridge Island appreciating the nature. We are reveling in the natural air conditioning of the respiring trees and the fresh ocean air. Looking back over the pearlescent water of Puget Sound, Seattle and Mt. Rainier look like a mirage. 

Today we kept cool by walking through the water. We crossed Rolling Bay on foot, wading sometimes knee deep. Our “path” carpeted with sea lettuce, eel grass, kelp crabs, and soft sand. The water and the breeze keeping us refreshed as we walked over the tide flats at a midday -0.5 low tide. We watched as an osprey  first fished with their eyes, getting into position, and then dove impressively straight down, disappeared into the water and popped back up, successful in catching a fish. Awesome!

We got to comparing “hottest ever” notes. Greg had the bottoms of his Birkenstock sand led melt off in Los Paz, Mexico when he set his feet down on the pavement from the seat of his motorcycle. Julie witnessed seagulls actually panting from heat in Potholes, WA. I’m not sure what my hottest hot experience has been thus far. Lake get heat rash, or prickly heat” fairly often these days so it normalizes it. It’s common for infants because their sweat glands aren’t fully developed, though not a normal physiology for adults. I remember having heat rash at Turtle Bay Resort in India at Christmas. And that was right on the water. Working in West Texas one summer (1995) in the Guadeloupe National Park, we were always laughing about the perpetual weather report. 

Sunny with highs in the low 100’s. 

And we had to wear helmets, long sleeve work shirts, long pants and leather gloves and work boots. That might have been the hottest, and every day the same. I couldn’t drink enough water. Not being able to drink enough water remains a constant these days. Lake drinks it all off me. 

Lake is stalwart through it all. Enjoying his air time. Developing heat rash. Walking through the water. Simple in his needs, always open for taking in his environment. He is easygoing company. A perfect summer day.