Midweek Music P.10: Ben Gibbard "Teardrop Windows"

If you didn't read last week's gush over Death Cab for Cutie, you may not see the redundancy in this weeks music... Benjamin Gibbard is Death Cab's frontman and ex-husband of Zooey Deschanel. His solo album, Former Lives, drops October 16th and I am super excited to hear 10 years worth of unrecorded, unheard, genius music. So today, the first preview from that album "Teardrop Windows". Love the references to Seattle. :)

Teardrop Windows by Gibbstack


Midweek Music P.9: Death Cab Overload

Last night I laid uncomfortably in bed trying to shut off my brain and go to sleep.

As a teenager I had many nights like that. It was a given that if I listened to Death Cab for Cutie I would fall asleep. I heard my first of Death Cab in '04 when my uncle (City Bear) of much better musical taste than myself gave me a burnt copy of The Photo Album. That CD was played to death, on repeat while I slept, in the car with my dad, when I needed to dance around numbly and thoughtlessly,  and while I struggled to make myself do homework instead of just disappearing into the complex lyrics and simple yet deliriously good melodies. When Plans came out in '05 it was the number one thing on my Christmas wishlist, and when I got it I gobbled it up like The Photo Album before it. The songs and lyrics made their way into school projects, relationships, and who I would become as an adult. Narrow Stairs was then released in the Spring of '08 right around when I graduated high school. I bought it for myself as a graduation gift, and would have loved to have skipped the graduation to stay home listening to it. "I Will Posses Your Heart" played on my myspace profile when I met my husband online in '09. One of the things that instantly grabbed my attention about him was that he like Death Cab too. "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" played on his myspace page, and we played it during our wedding ceremony as well.

Every new album seemed to coincide with my life at the time. Every song struck me, and related to something that I was going through.

Back to last night...In my inability to sleep, I grabbed my iPod (the 2008 version of the nano, with the rounded square design and the ability to view videos!) and put it on Plans. I thought it would put me to sleep and it didn't. I couldn't not listen carefully to the songs that once meant so much to me, without reminiscing on what they meant to me, and what I was going through. So I took the trip down memory lane. Some good memories and some bad. Sometimes wishing that I had let what the songs made me feel when I first heard them take more of an affect on the choices I made and how I lived.

I think everyone with a love of music has a band, album, or period of music that they feel shaped them in some way. As I've always been very affected by music, I have to say that Death Cab is and always will be that band that played a big part in my life.

Since the Cure has been a huge part of my musical life as well, here is Death Cab's cover of "Lovesong".

Listen or download Love Song [The Cure cover] for free on Prostopleer


Fancy Feast

This last weekend (which goes Thursday night to Saturday night for us kids) David's parents paid us a visit from Boise. Their trip was short, and included lots of food. Grocery shopping Friday morning spanning three cities to go to WinCo, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. Friday afternoon was intended to be dedicated to Pike Place, but the place was PACKED! No parking to be found anywhere downtown. Instead we headed up Madison Ave. to hang out near the restaurant we'd be having dinner at. That brought us to the Arboretum and Japanese Garden. The heat and old timers kept the walk in the Arboretum short, and the garden's entrance fees were out of our range for this particular trip. We waited and played near a few picnic tables in a grassy area until Nishino opened at 5:30. 

Sushi is kind of a big deal when you're part of the Clark family. I'm pretty certain my father-in-law tried it the first time in the 70's and never went back. The first date that David and I ever went on was to the sushi restaurant his family frequents. It was my first time trying sushi, and I've been told if I hadn't liked it, it would have been a deal breaker. So, naturally, coming to Seattle (fresh fish abound) it only made sense to find a great sushi restaurant and make a night of it. 

We all enjoyed the same thing, the Omakase or "chef's choice" dinner. A nine course spread of delight! Lorelei isn't accustomed to eating out, so she made the night a bit stressful for me, but all in all it was a real treat! 

On Saturday morning we ended up going back downtown to the market. It was still packed, but my mother-in-law had never been, and my father-in-law last visited in the 70's. They were so comical to watch there, obviously tourists. They found trinkets and souvenirs to bring back to the other grandkids in Idaho. We ate at a fantastic little seafood cafe down on the pier. The weather, while cold at first, was much more tolerable for a day spent outside (I'm one of those Pacific North-westerners who really loves the cold and rainy weather typical to the area). 

We headed back to the apartment during rush hour. Oops! I made a dinner that consisted of from scratch breadsticks, pureed curry carrot soup, a salad of mixed greens with creamy miso dressing, AND a homemade blackberry pie (my first ever pie, made with blackberries picked off the side of the road). 

Sunday morning they left, and today Lorelei is still running around looking for papa. Here are the few pictures David and I managed to get while trying to soak up the experiences, enjoy. :)


What's Up Doc?

Lorelei's doctor's appointment: Lorelei behaves like an absolute angel in the lobby while I register her and we wait (despite there being no toys), she drinks half of a water bottle in 15 minutes, she babbles sweetly and points things out to me telling me what they are. The MA or nurse (don't know what she was) says while taking her back to the scale and to measure her, "So this is her 2 year checkup?" To which I say, "No, she's 18 months." She says, "Oh." And continues without fixing it. We get to the exam room where she takes her temperature that reads in Celsius, so I don't know what it is (or that she's spiked a fever) until later. She asks the normal set of questions about living situation and development. Then leaves saying the doctor and a resident will be in shortly.

Enter resident (alone): Asks the same, slightly more detailed questions. Mentions the fever and asks if she's acted sick. No, she's been her normal self. Just cutting some teeth. She normally spikes a low grade fever when cutting teeth. Proceeds to attempt listening to heart and lungs. Lorelei is now getting cranky and tired, and the guy is out of his element with kids so she fights him off and starts crying. Tries looking in her mouth. Negative. Her ears. Nope. Feeling glands. Not happening. Then to check her diaper and the related routine. She fights, twists, and kicks. The diaper is refastened in haste and improperly. I hold her to soothe her. I become drenched in a profuse amount of the hottest urine ever. The resident then goes over her growth chart, expressing concern that she's well below the curve on her height. Asks about her diet and tells me after hearing we're vegetarian that she's anemic. Does a little spiel about safety this time of year outside and near water. Leaves saying the doctor will be in shortly.

The doctor comes in, being the second to ask if Lorelei is 2 and a half. Okay, something is weird here. I say, "No, she's 18 months." Resident and doctor exchange confused glances. I tell them her birthdate and the doctor (in good humor, I credit her) replies that, "That explains a lot." The front desk entered her birthdate a year off (after it appeared twice on the registration form and I double checked both!). So they fix the growth chart (she's 75th percentile in weight and 25th in height, short, chunky, and perfect), and were impressed that she had hit all the 2 year old development milestones. That's my girl! I decide that since she has a fever already, and is now sleeping peacefully on me, to reschedule for shots. The doctor asks if I'd like her to write an rx for an iron supplement stating, "I'm not one you have to worry about saying to change her diet. You don't have to eat meat to get enough iron or protein. I'm a vegetarian. " Sweet relief! Not only is the doctor good humored, she's competent, and doesn't act like she is the authority on all things health related. Probably because she's a mom (mom doctors are my favorite kind). She relates to Lorelei's fun age, having a son not much older. The visit ended on a pleasant note. The clinic should be glad to employ that doctor, or I would not be taking my child back there!

So right now we're home, trying to beat this fever before our WIC appointment later with napping and lot's of mommy's own medicine. Hoping everyone else's day is going smoothly!



If you know me well, which most of my readers (hello family and friends) do, you know that I have always had some obsessive, perfectionism issues. Most of my irritating obsession is stylistic, aesthetic. I've struggled vainly and with a lot of genuine disappointment. I started noticing it when I was about 11 years old, maybe even younger if I really get to thinking about it. I would get one new outfit, and if everything in my life: clothes, surroundings, makeup, attitude, musical taste, etc...didn't line up in some way I would become distraught and hate my life. I spent a considerable amount of time dwelling, wishing that everything would just coordinate perfectly.

This continued all the way through high school (okay so I still really struggle with it sometimes). It was like I was trying on different lifestyles and different people looking for the right fit. None of it seemed to work out for me like I wanted though. To some degree we all go through the trying out different lifestyles to figure out who we are. The extent and extremity that I wanted to adopt them was unhealthy though. I went through a lot of weird obsessions like Care Bears, then Bambi, then owls. There was a Pilates obsession, a Special K diet, and lots of single color shopping binges ( hello all orange sunglasses, flip flops, nail polishes, belly ring, and shirts). I wanted everything in my life laced with whatever I was loving that week, month, or year.

One of my obsessions was with how I thought my mother just had no idea who she was as a person because she didn't fit into a certain style or taste. I thought it was silly that she loved kitschy Hello Kitty crap, but also 40's and 50's antiques. It drove me nuts that one day she would wear her pajamas all day, dress in some bohemian get-up the next day, and wear patched up, punked out hoodies  and Dr. Martens when she was around her brothers. One day she'd be cleaning while listening to heinous country music, and the next trying to listen to the hip music stations, or dancing around the living room with us to the Cure and Nirvana. I thought it was about her wanting to be cool and feel in place, or about adapting to and changing for people she was around. Lately though, I've found beauty and inspiration in her jumbled style. She didn't, and still doesn't, care if her purse that she loves doesn't match the shoes she's wearing for comfort. She likes what she likes, whether it clashes or not, and I've come to a place of admiration of that. I've noticed that in my life now, instead of wanting only things that match I want things that I find beautiful or meaningful (whether they line up on an aesthetic level or not). Instead of wanting to replace things that don't suit my taste anymore, I think of ways to make what  I once loved desirable again.

There is this beauty that comes from passion, confidence, and life LIVED in enjoyment rather than wasted on petty things like whether the shampoo bottles hiding behind the shower curtain match the soap dispenser or toothbrushes on the counter. I never thought I would get to the place where I am now in letting go of my silly hang ups. I will always posses very intentional taste, but also practical, and realistic. It's okay for me to like my ugly little 70's couch and love my art deco pink kitchen canisters. It's fine that one day I want to channel Edie Sedgwick and the next Drew Barrymore. Life is about enjoying what you love, and what you find beautiful. Loving a mashup of things that have nothing to do with each other makes us unique. How many other people might I find in the world who appreciate the animation of Bambi as much as they adore a hammered copper clawfoot tub? My guess is not a whole lot. So today is for getting over matchitude, and loving whatever you love, oh and appreciating your eccentric mom. ;)


It's Been A Year

Today marks a few things. It's been a year since we took our first family vacation. Visiting the ocean together was magical. Lorelei really lived up to her siren name, loving the water. On that trip we fell deeply in love with Oregon, and decided our ultimate goal (location wise) is somewhere in or near Portland. On that same trip, on the 3rd of August, Lorelei turned 6 months and cut her very first tooth. You can see in the pictures above that she was a real trooper about it. Even during the 9 hour car ride home! If you've done the math, this also means that today my little Lorelei is 18 months. That's 1.5 years! She's definitely not a baby anymore and that is so, so hard for me to grasp sometimes. I do the mom thing, where I look back at pictures of a tinier her and cry my eyes out. Especially seeing her run around, speaking sentences, helping us do things,  and becoming highly independent, all with 10 teeth and a crazy mop of hair on her head.

There's another thing that missing the tiny baby is doing to me, and that's giving me baby fever, BAD! Part of me misses being so needed and so adored. Those are selfish reasons for wanting another. Here's the right reasons: 1.) I think it would be awful and cruel not to have a sibling. I feel like having someone to play with when your toys get boring and your own imagination isn't enough is the best. There's also something to be said about how you learn to care about other people and accept people when you have a sibling that you love unconditionally. I would not be the person I am without my siblings, and I think they would say the same. 2.) David missed Lorelei's birth being in the army (and most of my pregnancy too). 3.) I feel after miscarrying her twin that I was meant to have two babies. I believe in spirit babies, when a mother loses a baby, that same baby returns to heaven and waits for the right time to be born to her. 4.) I think that being a stay at home wife and mom means (for me anyways) that having another baby would make my life feel more full. With just one, be she crazy and demanding, is sometimes still too quiet and lonely. 5.) Since we plan on homeschooling, I think it would be better, as in not as isolated, with more than one child. 6.) I still feel robbed of my womanhood and stripped of my abilities to naturally give birth as God intended after having to have a c-section. 7.) I think my husband and I made one darn cute, super smart little lady, and I would hate to let our good breeding stop at one. So that's my short-list (not very short) of reasons to have another. I have myself completely convinced it would be a good thing. And soon, I wouldn't want more than 3 years between them.

My hubby on the other hand is opposed. I don't want to paint a picture here of him being a bad guy, because he absolutely is not. And I've avoided posting about this topic here for a long time because it's sensitive. We've only recently been talking about it. I was so afraid to voice that I wanted another, for months because I know how he feels about it. He's always a voice of reason. He worries. And he does it all in passion and deep thought. David has good reason's for not wanting another. 1.) Money, naturally. It's already short with one, but we could pinch pennies harder. 2.) I know he worries about being spread to thin in terms of giving enough love and attention to all. It's hard to think you could have any more love to give than what you give your first, and/or only child. But I always hear that your love as a parent really just grows, and is different towards each one. 3.) He's afraid that the pregnancy/birth will be rough as it was before, this point is mostly assumed (what with a twin miscarriage at 7 weeks, way to much weight gain due to depression, and the c-section). 4.) This is also assumed, I'm sure he is afraid that our stress levels would be too high, with less sleep, more chaos, more work in every sense. This is all from my point of view of course. His argument would sound better coming from him. It's hard to get him to really divulge though.

Sometimes I worry that it will become a bigger issue with us because we both know what we want and what we think is right and neither of us is changing our mind any time soon. Anyways, there is my stress and sad dilemma on the internet for people to think what they will of. Getting some of it out will hopefully give me the space to sort it out in more detail in my own head.

To end on a lighter note: Today my lately rediscovered, many-years-estranged cousin (more on that another time) came over to hang out with Lorelei and I, and brought over a Kitchen Aid stand mixer that her family unit had no use for. My kitchen now feels adult and fully functional! And I am so, so grateful for it.
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