Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Popsicle Potluck

It is toasty in the Bay right now. Every year there are a couple weeks in June where we’re escaping to every cool place we can think of. What are your best beat-the-heat strategies?

Before we had kids we would go out to dinner or see a movie. We went to so many movies in the summer of 2013… Not a Bay Area example, but we paid like forty bucks in London to see The Freaking Lone Ranger. What a truly terrible movie, but it was so cold in there.

After Jack was born we developed a pretty comprehensive list of the places on the peninsula that have air conditioning. My favorite is the Cantor Center for Visual Arts on Stanford campus. On the most blistering Sabbath Days we started walking along the beach in Pacifica or driving up to foggy San Francisco.

This year our house has air conditioning. IT IS COOL IN OUR HOUSE EVEN THOUGH IT IS ONE HUNDRED DEGREES OUTSIDE. WE CAN STAY HOME. WE CAN COOK FOOD. WE CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT. WE HAVE AIR CONDITIONING. Do you want to come over? It’s very comfortable here.

This week we planned a little “potluck” at our place to share the coolness. When I read our Summer Bucket List to Chris, everything was in alphabetical order. I said, “Play tag, popsicles, potluck…” and Chris said, “A popsicle potluck? Yeah! When are we doing that?!” And what better time for a popsicle potluck than the first day of summer. I made some tiny pops for the teething among us and picked up a few fruity flavors at Whole Foods. I can think of no better way to honor and celebrate the first day of summer and our blessed air conditioner.

b perry

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Bucket List

We’re two rooms into our fort-building goal! 

This summer I actually made one of those totally bonkers Summer Bucket Lists with like 150 ideas. It started when Chris and I talked about our summers as kids. Then I started brainstorming a bunch of free activities for toddlers. Then I heard about this store called Target, and I'm not sure what we ever did to deserve that place. Lastly, there is Pinterest. It was not a difficult list to make. There are simple things like flying paper airplanes and bigger things like roasting s’mores at Loch Lomond.

Are you a Bucket Lists person? I absolutely love hearing about these. Do you have a desire to climb the tallest peak on every continent or (from one of my favorite picture books) eat 300 cookies? My hopes and dreams are usually unambitious (e.g. from another picture book, to one day own matching silverware). I don’t have any bucket list items of my own, but that cookie one sounds pretty good. Tell me about yours! What could be more fun than stealing the goals of my friends?

The Perry Family 2017 Summer List is on the order of “inspiration” rather than MANDATORY, but it’s been a fun experiment in bucket list territory. Of the things on that list that I actually insist we do this summer
  • At least one SF outing 
  • Regularly go to the Farmer's Markets
  • Read in the shade
  • Have a big family picnic
  • Really try to find a snow cone/shave ice 
  • Build a fort in every room in the house 
  • Check out 100 books from the library in one day 
  • Make a bunch of Fruit Loop necklaces 
  • Plant something from the Half Moon Bay nursery 
  • Take Jack to a t-ball game 

What’s on your list this summer? Do you want to come over and try out our bubble machine from Target? Are you baking any berry pies? Can I invite myself to your summer excursions?

b perry 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

First Birthday

We tried to fill Zoe’s first birthday with all her favorite things. Lots of family walks, amazing naps, dance parties, and nine different cheeses. It wouldn’t have mattered what we planned, she would have been the happiest camper for any activity, because that’s who she is. It is who she has always been. 

Zoe was born at the beginning of an unusually dark time for our family, and since birth she has been the brightest ray of sunshine: laughing, smiling, happily entertaining herself, napping like a champ. If it’s true that eyes are the windows to the soul, then she has stained glass masterpieces into a cathedral of a soul.

She is our diamond in the rough. She is the baby we needed. She is the only baby for us.

b perry

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Would You Take a Break From Traveling?

Where are we going this summer, you ask? Nowhere. We’re staying home all summer.

Actually we’re staying home all year.

Back in January I decided I didn’t want to travel in 2017, and so far I cannot be talked out of it. That means no summer trips, we’re roasting our own Thanksgiving Turkey, and then we’ll ring in 2018 fast asleep in our own beds in good ol’ Redwood City.

Does that seem totally crazy to you? Yes, I can tell by the look on your face. And it’s fair. Restricting your travel is usually the result of bad news: you can’t afford it, your health is failing, you’re a refugee and America won’t let you in, etc. In our case, by the end of 2016 I felt like I had been drowning for six months, and I wanted a break. I want things to just be easy for a little while. I am happiest when my kids stick to their routines. I like it when they nap. I like it when they’re comfortable enough to play on their own. So even though it's weird, I am happy staying home right now.

I think part of the reason it feels so crazy is because world travel is such a prominent feature of modern life. It’s inspiring and expanding and refreshing and sexy and gosh darn it, it’s cheaper than ever. Traveling with kids, even, is wonderful. The more kids travel the better they get at it. Families who vacation together have better memories and are closer in adulthood. Children exposed to new places and experiences have better brain development. And it almost goes without saying that staying home does not provide the best experience for your Instagram followers. ;)

It’s been a change of pace for us, especially as summer begins, so I’m trying to do a better job of planning our weekends at home. I even think we have some great stuff lined up for the summer, but I’m looking for more summer suggestions.

If you weren’t going to travel at all, what would summer look like for you? (in my case, it’s what does summer taste like).

b perry

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

I wanted to follow up last week's post with my favorite pick from this year's Mother's Day pictures by Rachel (more here). If you felt like you were finally free from the emotional baggage of Mother's Day posts, I am genuinely sorry to ambush you.

So many people carry so much pain on Mother's Day, and I never know what to say to respect everyone, so I usually say nothing. But this year I did a four-second Instagram story, and I'll say this here: I love these two babies, and I feel no greater honor than being their mother.

b perry

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Traditions

We have a few Mother’s Day traditions, and one is taking a special Mother’s Day picture of me with our kids. I like to find a big flowery spot and I spend five minutes making Chris profoudly uncomfortable being my Instagram husband. I posted about it on Facebook a couple months ago, and then (and you have to understand this NEVER happens to me, so I was very excited) a few people actually asked me about how I choose traditions. Anyway, I wanted to talk about it here.

There is only one rule for a Perry tradition. Perry traditions are flexible. They’re are easy to throw together last minute and still be meaningful, but they can also be bedazzled. Flexible traditions have a little grace if you miss a year or celebrate a little late. Flexible traditions are less stressful because they accommodate the life we have, even when we don’t have much money or if we’re very sick. When Chris and I got married I had six-figure debt from law school and he was working at a startup. Then with my pregnancies I spent 18 months exhausted and disgusting. What I’m saying is, our annual traditions had to adjust to times of plenty and times of hardship.

Yes, it would be delightful and maybe even ideal to throw an extravagant party every Christmas or to spend every Flag Day in Bali. Maybe someday we’ll have traditions like that, but not yet.

Did you have Mother’s Day traditions growing up? I think most people have really great Christmas traditions or birthday celebrations, so I LOVE hearing about those. Do you have any other favorite holiday traditions? Maybe you do something extra special for Valentine’s Day or the Fourth of July? Do your traditions kind of form organically or are you purposeful in your planning? This is one of my favorite subjects, please share, I would love to hear more about this!

b perry