Wednesday, July 31, 2013

chelanigans 2013

we went to Lake Chelan again this year for the Chelan Man weekend (read about last year here...omg G is such a tiny little bean!) my sisters all did a triathlon (my Mom couldn't this year because she busted her shoulder. don't i sound like a hick when i use the term "busted?") and JJ did the half marathon again. it marked his one year journey of being a runner--the half marathon that he decided to run on a whim last year was his first ever race!

anyway, here are some pictures from our weekend:

my sister CA all geared up in her sexxxy wetsuit for her triathlon. LOLOLLL she's going to kill me for this pic. 

Gemster & Cleo at the lake. 


sister MM spending the beautiful sunny day in the hotel bed reading. #nerd 


JJ won first place in his age division again! funny story though...when the awards were being announced, JJ heard the second place winner's time and got really excited because he was faster than that person. only to find out that his name wasn't called. he was very disgruntled since he knew he had won. we did some investigating and while doing so, the announcer said, "and first place in the age 55-59 male category is Jeremy Houser!" kahjdfhahahhahahahahahahaaaaaaaa the race people couldn't read JJ's handwriting. and thought his last name was Houser instead of Hansen and that he was 57 instead of 27. ahhahahahahaaaa. i laughed and i laughed and i laughed. only JJ didn't think it was funny. nope, not funny at all. he stormed away dramatically and said he didn't want the "old man medal." so my Mom and i spoke with the race officials and got everything all straightened out. except that poor fellow who thought he'd won first place had to have his medal taken away from him so JJ could have it. the moral of the story is to just let L fill out your race form, JJ.  ghodddd

post-race (and post-award-catastrophe) happiness 

 sister M the triathlete & JJ

sisters MM & CA the triathletes

hangin by the lake with the fam. 

sister CA & Gemsie Bear. 

Nannie taking crazy selfies at the park. 

i told the family that maybe JUST MAYBE i'll do the tiny beginner's triathlon next year...i feel like i can do it. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

an ode to Grandma

Grams and Baby Gemma last summer

there's something i've been wanting to write about. but i just haven't felt like it until now. a strange mixture of sadness and peace has been surrounding my achy heart for the past couple of weeks. my grandma died. this is the first loss i've had as an adult and also as a mother. it just doesn't seem right that the matriarch of my Dad's side of the family is gone, even though she lived a long and fulfilled life. i just don't understand why the birds kept singing and the river kept flowing and world kept going round when my Grandma had just left my life forever. such sadness. but in that sadness is hope. i have a baby--a fresh new being--who has an entire life ahead of her. just like my grandma did when she was born. the circle of life, as it is.

i had the absolute honor of writing my grandma's obituary. it was the most important thing i've ever written! what a daunting task it is to sum up one's existence in a handful of paragraphs. Leona Marie deserves to have a book written about her, page after page devoted to her grand adventure here on earth. but alas, i had to shrink it down. and during the process, i was reminded of her very best traits. and i already knew them--everyone who knew her already knew them. but how i cherish and admire these traits now, and how i aspire to make them traits of my own. the most important of these traits is kindness. so simple, so easy, yet so easily forgotten. so i am reminding myself everyday to be kind, L. always be kind. just like Grandma.

my uncle and i were also assigned to create a photo collage for her memorial service, and i came across the most amazing picture of my grandparents as newlyweds that i had never seen before. i immediately ran to make a copy for each of my sisters and cousins. a picture like this--of the King and Queen before their six children, sixteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren (i.e. before the chaos)--deserves to be proudly displayed and thoroughly enjoyed by all of their kin. even in the later stages of her Dimentia when Grandma didn't talk much, she would sit at family functions, with all the crazy happening around her and say, "i started all of this." yes you did, Grams!

but really though, isn't this picture beyond fabulous?!

my cousin Bryan and i gave a speech at Grandma's service, and in preparation, we sent an email out to all the cousins asking for their favorite Grandma memories. we had so much fun reading through them and laughing at the stories we had forgotten about. amongst the funny anecdotes was a quote our cousin Amy reminded us of. a quote Grams often said. an absolute pearl of wisdom that i think we will all live by, "don't ever let your life get too busy to enjoy the little things. always make time for your family and friends because they're the ones who will be there in the end."

isn't that the truth though? Grams always had her priorities right. she was the best. the best best best. we'll love and miss her forever.

Monday, July 29, 2013


today is mah birthday. tra la laaaaa! i really love my birthday. best holiday of the year! my friend Mel and her daughter are coming over for a beach day, and JJ is taking me and Gemma out for pizza tonight where i'm going to sport Gemma's birthday crown. it will be a good day!

so today i am 27. here are some things about L at age 27:

my friend KKiss made me ridiculously delicious reese's peanut butter cupcakes for my birthday that were literally the BEST things i've ever eaten in my LIFE. i ate two for dinner last night and one for breakfast. and now they're gone. some things never change.

like most people, i know many songs by heart. it's funny how a gal who grew up in the 90s will never forget the lyrics to the Spice Girls' if you wanna be my lover, isn't it? (BY the way. did you catch Mel B on the Today show last week? the bicep tat hanging out when she was discussing how to manage finances was so classy!) but along with useless song lyrics are some important things that i've memorized too: i know i've mentioned it before, but my party trick is that i can recite the Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon Old English. i memorized it in my college Beowulf class, and it has stuck with me ever since. in middle school i also memorized the Preamble to the United States Constitution...i memorized it in song form and i still know it today. and most recently, i memorized Hail Mary. WHAT SHOULD I MEMORIZE NEXT?!

my friends and i had a discussion about shoes last weekend. at this point in my life, there is no room for beautiful high heeled masterpieces. it's all about the comfort!! this has nothing to do with being a mother and everything to do with my old ass self being completely intolerant of any footwear that pinches or rubs.

my bellybutton is an inch and a half lower from where it used to be. bullshit. absolute bullshit i tell you.

even if they paid me $500,000, i would never appear in a Vagisil commercial. i'm always curious how these women go about their daily lives without dying of embarrassment. like it's bad enough when i have to actually buy Vagisil, trying my best to avoid eye contact with the 22-year-old boy cashier at Target. i cannot even imagine sitting at a restaurant and having someone come up to me and say, "hey! aren't you the gal from the new Vagisil commercial?!" just please. 

is a day filled with people who love me. and also presents.

i'm writing this blog post from the porcelain throne.

Gemma Julianne.

so there you go.

Friday, July 26, 2013


this morning i am grumpy. and whenever i am grumpy, JJ calls me grumplestiltskins.

so things are just kinda WHATEVER around here. as i type this, Gemma's eating a piece of bread in my bed. she's also sitting on JJ's side so he's gonna be real pissed when he gets into bed tonight and there's a shitload of crumbs all up in his face. also we are watching the Today show and she keeps smiling and flirting and waving at Edward Snowden's dad and i just really do not understand. also George was our baby boy name. and William and Kate stole it. and now there will be 100 Georges running around because people love to copy William and Kate.

and let us continue down this path of crankiness by discussing the number of things that are broken right now in the Hansen house:

  • the blinds. Cleo went apeshit on the blinds. and i hate her. we have been meaning to get fauxwood blinds so i guess this is a good excuse to actually get them, but seriously dog, WTF is wrong with you?

  • my heart. because we lost MY FAVORITE EVER HEADBAND of Gemma's downtown. and it was from last summer at the Gap so it's gone and lost forever. i checked on ebay and i scoured the internets for someone who has it and wants to sell it. but i came up empty. and i know that is the nature of baby things. you know, sometimes they just get lost. but the fact that i can't replace it is making me REALLY SAD. (it was this one:)

  • my old old black beauty macbook. it has decided not to work anymore. i need a new computer but i am sad that black beauty is dying. she has been hanging around since my senior year of college and i just really love her. also i very much don't want to drop a grand on a new one. 
  • the air mattress. after 5 years of providing trusty nighttime support to all of our family and friends in Spokane and Rancho Cucamongross and Seattle, it decided to deflate while JJ's sister was using it during her visit this week. and it's not recyclable (i called and asked) so it's going to take up all the room in our stupidly small garbage can.
so that's the end of my grumpy post. and as i read it back to myself, i realize: THAT THESE ARE STUPID THINGS. all of them. stupid, stupid things to be mad about. perspective, L. perspective. so i'm going to go have a granola bar and get over it. peace out.

Monday, July 15, 2013

dancing queen

G-Money is such a little dancing queen. her favorites: the Bob Marley station on Pandora, the Eva Mendes Pantene Pro-V commercials and of course all of the music that comes from this dog:

once again, i sincerely apologize for JJ in his undies in the background. he is LITERALLY ALWAYS lurking in the background in his undies.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

a post about mah boobies

i'm wearing denim suspenders? 

this is a post about boobs.

a lengthy, rambling post about boobs.

 wedding dress shopping for sister CA.

i knew i wanted to nurse JF. i was determined. Breast is Best and all that jazz. then JF turned out to be Gemma and what the lactation consultants called "a super sucker" and my nips were red and raw and i screamed out in terror every time she nursed. and she didn't gain weight fast enough so i had to pump after she nursed and hook up a feeding tube the next time she nursed so she would get double the milk, etc. etc. etc. it was dramatic, to say the least. so. dramatic.

in the car. broken AC. no pants.  

sorry if i scared you there, pregnant friends--who thought you wanted to nurse your babies--for making you throw up just now and change your minds.

with the nursing necklace. 

but don't worry. it got better. like i always tell people, YA JUST GOTTA LET THE NIPS TOUGHEN UP, LIKE A FINE LEATHER. but really, that's what happens. then it's pretty much smooth sailing from there. except for the unavoidable nip slip here (G and i are nursing-cover-abstainers) and the occasional clogged duct there (nothing a little olive oil can't cure).

late-night feeding in a hotel room with poor yellow lighting. 

my plan was to try and make it to 6 months. and then 6 months came and went and i inadvertently fell in love with breastfeeding. it was my selfish Gemmie time. nobody could feed her but me (plus she never really took a bottle of pumped milk either) and she knew it. it's a bonding experience like no other. and i felt like superwoman, singlehandedly sustaining this living breathing beauty by using the two magical fleshy mounds on my chest. what a miracle! and ohhh my little Gemsicle would wake up in the morning and be the grumpiest old man you've ever met in your life until she got her "Morning Coffee" (i.e. morning nurse sesh. JJ aptly named it). we nursed all over the damn place. in restaurants, in stores (Ann Taylor Loft has THE best dressing rooms for nursing btw), in the parked car, on park benches, on planes, in the moving car (sometimes the law must be broken), basically anywhere we would sit, we would also nurse. i have never been a modest person, so i felt comfortable nursing Gemma anywhere and everywhere. it was a wonderful experience. and can i just tell you: my jugs looked absolutely fantastic. they were nice and full and high like a god damned 15-year-old's.

Ann Taylor Loft dressing room (SEE! LOOK! LOOK AT THAT LUXURIOUS BENCH!)

but like everything else in the world, all good things must come to an end.

when Gemma was around 11 months old, i noticed a decrease in her want/need for milk, and so a week before her first birthday, we decreased from four to three nursing sessions each day. i switched it out with a sippy cup of whole cow's milk. she didn't even notice. the next day i dropped another session. the following day i dropped another. so by the end of the week, all we had left was her one small "Morning Coffee" session. and it was sort of sad. but also sort of great. my boobs would become mine again! but that also meant that my baby wouldn't be a baby anymore!!! and my heart broke a little that G didn't even seem to be missing it. but the day we dropped the Morning Coffee, she was as angry as a bull. and i got a teensy weensy bit of satisfaction out of it. like "OKAY SHE ACTUALLY DOES CAREEEEEEEEEE" and then it was over. just like that. she's a cow's milk drinking fool now. only i made the mistake of serving it to her warm the first time. DAMMIT L. kaldjldksff;ldsa so now she will only drink it warm.

fave pastime: punching mom in the face.

and i was prepared for and ready to endure the pain of engorgement from weaning...only it never came. you guys it doesn't hurt. at all. i just dried up and that was that.


because what used to be a lush and bountiful chest of dreams has now become two sad flaps. sad flaps in the wind. my boobs look like Peter Griffin's you guys. they have been used and abused by a baby and now they have sagged and shriveled. they are smaller than ever and it's a bit depressing. i know, i know. first world problems. but still, it's sad. the only solution is to either be pregnant or nursing from now until the day that i die. but i really love wine too much for that kind of lifestyle.

at home on the couch in our favorite spot. 

but in all seriousness, i'm proud of my boobs and the journey they've been on thus far. they've done right by me and my baby. and they're the only ones i've got. the flaps in the wind remind me of where they've been and where they'll surely go again. i will nurse more babies and it will be grand.

and in the meantime, i will be taking suggestions for comfortable, supportive bras that come in teensy sizes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


today...i have to get around to ordering JJ a new wedding ring. just please. he lost his in Lake Coeur d'Alene because he's skinny now and it fell off. and i really don't like that he's waltzing around town in all of his manly glory for all the ladies to see. this will be his third. HIS THIRD WEDDING RING. he was all "i think i want a new design this time around." hah. sorry buddy. not happening. you'll get the same one. over and over until you stop losing them or stops selling them for $42.99. whichever comes first. but really though, i should start buying in bulk. at least then i could get the free shipping.

ANYWAY, more important than missing wedding rings is:

Gemma took her first steps yesterday! 4 of them. on her own! and i don't even think she meant to do it. (my sister CA thinks it's the shoes. she got them for Gemma for her birthday and yesterday was her first time wearing them). we went to our friends house to give their puppy some fresh water. G was just standing there munching quietly on a piece of naan (WHICH IS NOW SOLD AT TARGET BY THE WAY OMG) and taking sips from her water while watching me fill up the pool for the pup. then she saw the puppy jump into the pool and she was all "OMG GET ME SOME OF DAT" and walked right over to them. I WAS LIKE GEMMMMMMAAAAAA YOU WALKEDDDDD! YOU WALKED!!!! OHMYGOD DO IT AGAINNNNNNN! and of course she didn't. so typical. she will not do it when prompted or bribed. she'll only do it when she feels like it.

BUT THE POINT IS THAT SHE IS NO LONGER A BABY. OFFICIALLY AND TRULY NO LONGER A BABY. she walks and drinks cow's milk and wears shirts with scubadiving koala bears on them like a real, live adult human.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

what's on L's phone?!

this annoying ass balloon came EVERYWHERE with us that day. Gemma insisted.

what is better than weather so perfect that all a baby needs is a onesie, shoes and a flower crown?!?!

KKiss got a puppy! his name is Wilson (after Seahawk Russel Wilson, NOT Tom Hanks' volleyball in Castaway) and so obviously i had to create a Seahawk-themed puppy basket for the little fella. 

and there he isssss! isn't he the cutest? he broke his toes, poor little guy. he is in touch with his feminine side with the pink camo cast. Cleo can't wait to hump meet him.

 Sand, Baby I and Cleo (and according to JJ, the star of the picture is the flower basket. he's so proud of its growth).

sitting on the toilet and i was greeted by this.  

tiny dog. 
(in a Thundershirt. I THINK IT ACTUALLY WORKS!) 

Gemmie's favorite place to be is the beach. also, would you look at that terrifying shark? she picked it out herself at the toy store. screamed when it was taken away from her so we could pay. she loves the damn thing, but personally i think it's so scary. it always has a mean look on its face.  

kisses for Daddy 

beach lady. 

JJ and i played this game at the beach where we had to hit a log with rocks. the first person to get 10 hits was the winner. AND I WON! I ACTUALLY WON! so athletic! 

sharing a Chipotle bowl with this nugget 

Big G and Jewels came for a visit with Little G and me.  

Cleo is always in places where she doesn't belong. SHE IS VERY VERY SNEAKY. 

we had a baby shower for our lovely friend Sam and her baby girl, due in October. it was so fun to spoil her for the day. (note our friend in the background creepin' hahahhaah)

 pedi for the preggie! (and all of her friends)

champagne in the nail salon is how we roll (water for the lil mama)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN! just can't wait to get on the road again! 

Friday, July 5, 2013


isn't that Katy Perry song the best? i sang it all day until JJ yelled at me to shut up. rude. this year we were your typical all-American family...we took the baby to a parade with our friends! then we came home and hung out in the backyard with country music. and also JJ ate two hotdogs.

pretty little baby foot. 

 friends at the parade! oh that's weird, Gemma is mad. 

sweet C 


a cake pop for lunch. OG status. 

and when she was done, she climbed onto M's stroller to steal her lunch. 


watching with Dad. 

i stole this one from my friend Mel. there were literally 800 shots and this was the only half-decent one. it's an absolute shitshow trying to organize three adults and three babies for a picture.

my friend Big G found this suit for Little G. it's the CUTEST. little American lady. 

there wasn't any actual eating of this pear (since it's fruit, you know) but she insisted on holding it. when she finally did take a bite, it was of the stem.  

Foxy Cleopatra having a laugh.

this face. 

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