five things | from life lately with one marlo mclean


just marlo being marlo at a music festival in carrboro, nc.
photos taken by our sweet friend, katie. 
1. this morning, mo woke up a little earlier than i was comfortable with. i scooped her up out of her bed and brought her into bed with me for a quality cuddle sesh. but, instead, the second we hit the mattress we both rolled over to our respective sides to promptly fall back asleep. i'm not sure how many moments passed but all of a sudden i was startled awake by a heavier-than-expected arm being thrown around my neck and a toddlers' morning breath at my ear whispering to me, "i luh you, mama." and that, my friends, will go down as the best way to be awoken by your toddler quite possibly ever.

2. and thank god for moments like that because they balance out the past week that we spent in chapel hill. let's just say that the week proved two very important things: for starters, two is proving to be one hell of a ride. secondly, we have discovered that our child does not tolerate a change in routine very well. and by not very well i actually mean not at all. marlo established her status as a devoted creature of habit with great flourish and unimaginable toddler drama. a go-with-the-flow, laid back, easy going child she simply is not. 

3. potty training is happening soon. my mom- god bless her- somehow managed to potty train me in one day. ONE. DAY. she will readily admit to you that it ranks as one of the worst days of her life but it worked. so. i'm following her lead and reading this book and going to attempt this with modini in the next few weeks.  i imagine i'll maintain similar sentiments about the upcoming no good very bad day but if it works, i'll be no worse for wear. and hells-to-the-yeah about no more diapers. did you know that a child will use around 4,000 diapers before he or she is toilet-trained? that's just insanity. 

4. joe bought marlo her first unc basketball jersey while we were walking along franklin street one afternoon. (ps. she's in a 5t. she's 2.) and, like the well-mannered parents we pretend to be, instead of teaching mo to say thank you to people who compliment her on it- which, obviously, numbered many- we taught her to say go heels! while she pumps her fist in the air. in the tarheel state that's actually better than thank you. unless, of course, you prefer to wear that other shade of blue in which case joe has taught her another hand gesture to impart on unsuspecting innocents. 

5. marlo has always been an adventurous eater. over the past couple of weeks, we've seen the picky fickleness showcase itself through her eating habits. currently, she craves pickles, banana peppers, and pickled jalapeƱos. the only problem with this current idiosyncrasy is that she only wants to eat those three things and if i force her to eat... say... oatmeal... there better damn well be some pickled somethings to top off her oats. it's truly disgusting. but whatever. pick your battles is my current guiding motto of this particular parental-toddler phase.

the 52 project | 37 & 38


37: you're pretty serious for the most part. but sometimes- a lot of times, actually- you have these moments that remind me just how much of a child you really are and you make me laugh like nothing else ever can. i hope you're always this much of an entertainer.
38: along with your childish endeavors, i've also been capturing little pieces of you that give me a glimpse of who you will be in the future. i see expressions that i swear you'll make when you're sixteen, thirty, and even fifty. like your lack of enthusiasm for a little girl who is yelling at you while you're on your beloved tire swing. or how unimpressed you are with me when someone makes a joke that you find to be less than funny. while these moments scare me because they showcase how much of your own person you already are, they also remind me that you'll always be my marlo, my baby. they promise me that even when you become a grown adult, you'll always be the same person i've known better than i know anyone.

the things i forgot


i forgot just how much pleasure i get out of grocery shopping and rummaging through the farmer's market. i forgot just how inspiring it is to be able to take my time as i peruse the produce as i decide on the nights' supper instead of hustling through the store as quickly as possible with an organized list in hand, destined to forget five different main ingredients.

i forgot what taking a long walk outside by myself felt like without pushing a stroller or hearing a toddler cry because she dropped her apple one hundred yards back and i failed to notice until the tears and tantrum began.

i forgot what it was like to be able to run errands, clean my house, write a post, catch up on emails, prep a few lunch items for the week, watch the news and even exercise all on my own time without a toddler under my feet.

i forgot what it felt like to sip an iced coffee on a random tuesday and actually take the time to taste it. it tastes like bitter, velvety heaven, in case you were wondering.

and while i feel like i should really be taking a nap or a shower instead of doing all of the things that i'm in the process of doing or have done in the few hours since i dropped marlo off at her first day of play school, i'm finding that completing these "chores" are bringing me an unexpected level of satisfaction.

maybe it's the change in seasons that is encroaching on me and my family. maybe it's the simple fact that marlo's newfound independence makes me a very proud mama, like joe and i have done something incredibly right over the last two and a half years. hell, it could simple be because i've finally got some consistent alone time for three mornings every week.

i'm not quite sure.

then again, i'm not quite sure that i need to be sure of why as much as i need to just be sure of what is.

because whatever the reasons may be, i'm feeling so, so very good and it's been a really long time since i've been able to say that.

the 52 project | 35 & 36


"a picture of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."
35: messy hair. a cheeky smirk. just marlo being marlo.

36: very often you will say to me, "mama. ima make a un-ny 'ace." and this is usually what i get.

virginia is for lovers and drinkers and eaters


pardon the silence this week but i left my computer charger in charlotte and although the USPS claims to have delivered it on thursday, it is nowhere to be found.


i'm back from a long labor day weekend spent in virginia visiting vineyards and eating way too much with some of the loveliest of ladies. it was a welcomed little break from my daily grind but i was incredibly happy to be home with my two babes. notwithstanding marlo being in a phase of wanting absolutely nothing to do with me. she barely acknowledges my presence most days and acted as if i hadn't been gone for almost an entire week when i walked in the door. the warmest of welcomes, i tell you what. it's all daddy-daddy-daddy-i-love-you-the-most and wait-who-are-you-again-mommy-?

as you might imagine, i'm not a huge fan of this particular stage of lamenting her daddy's girl status. luckily they're damn cute together.

happy weekend everyone!

five things | marlo says


marlo, almost 28 months, staring into the city, pondering the meaning of life, i'm sure.
thanks, joe, for the photo.
1. when marlo wants to be held, cuddled, or picked up, she simply declares, "i need you."

2. marlo will hear me moving about in the kitchen and, almost instinctually it seems, bring over her stool and tell me, "i wanna 'elp, mama" or, "i wanna watch, mama."

3. yesterday late afternoon while lounging on the sofa for all of thirty-seven seconds, i told mo that i needed to get up and start on dinner. without a word, she raced off into the kitchen and i heard her rummaging through the drawers in search of something. as she found what she was apparently looking for, she loudly gasped, ran over to me and- quite forcefully, i might add- threw a bag of unopened spaghetti at my face all while demanding "NOODLES!!! MAMA... NOODLES!!" she's a girl who knows what she wants i suppose.

4. for a few minutes at the end of the night, we let her watch the ipad in our bed. when it's time to go read a few books and we tell her that it's time to shut the ipad off, without even looking up at us she holds up three or four awkward fingers and says, "two minutes, dada. twooooo minutes."

5. "luhs you, mama. luhs you, dada"

the 52 project | 34


"a picture of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014." 
your dad is out of town this weekend and naturally we both woke up this morning feeling less than stellar. so, we walked to get bagels, orange juice (you), and coffee (me) and posted our rear ends on the sofa for the remainder of the morning. i reckon neither one of us are upset with being lazy bums today.

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