Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Parent, Host, and Guidebook

My brother and his wife came to visit us for their Spring break again, and while they were The Best Guests, it can be complicated to host people when you have a baby. I am not The Best at it. For their visit last year my role leaned more towards personal tour guide. This year I was more like the well-meaning travel guidebook with a few outdated maps, some fun ideas to explore on your own, and an exciting new feature where I obsessively text to ask if you’re having a good, safe, non-freezing time.

Perry-free excursions included:
A photo scavenger hunt in SF
Pie in Pescadero
The gardens at Filoli
A Giants/Rockies baseball game
Brunch at Mama’s
Tour of Wunderlich

Perry/Horman excursions included:
Sushi Saturday
The Interceptor from Pirates
Lunch at Google
Breakfast at Buck’s
Hiking Crystal Springs
Hiking in Woodside
Bob’s run for fresh donuts

I think it would have been better for Steve and Hannah if I had provided a more extensive list of outings, but idk, I had a great time… At the beginning of the week I wished we did everything together, but after a few days I was surprised by how relaxed and happy I felt to stay home and snuggle with Jack in between naps. Plus it was so great when they came home and we could sit and talk, play Scattergories, and eat THREE FULL BATCHES of muddy buddies.

b perry

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mother's Year Cards

btw, I never knew my ears stuck out from my head until I saw this picture two weeks ago
For my mom’s 2013 Christmas gift, I wanted to mail her a card on every holiday for one year. I’d pick the most beautiful card I could find and include a letter with something I genuinely love about her. But then I thought it was a stupid Christmas gift and I got her a book or something. By Mother’s Day, I decided it was good idea, and I spent the last year mailing a bunch of Mother’s Year Cards.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this has been the best idea I’ve ever had my entire life. It's such a simple thing, but it has completely changed our relationship in the best way - I guess it's usually the simple things that do that. I only planned on mailing cards for a year, but there’s no way I can stop now. It won’t be for every holiday, but I plan on sending a card on her birthday, my birthday, and Mother’s Day. I realize that’s a bare minimum for what many people send anyway, but it’s a huge improvement for me.

b perry

The card I sent last Mother’s Day
The card I’m sending this Mother’s Day
The best of all the cards, even though I could never send it to my mom
The Mother's Day Card roundups that I look forward to every year

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Walks with Jack

Jack is a little bit bashful, and I thought he would also be a homebody, but (like most babies, I think) he loves to be outside. A few times a week we take the stroller to the library. Many, many times a day, I pack Jack in the ErgoBaby, carry the sun umbrella, and we walk around the neighborhood while I ramble on about the purpose of Ash Wednesday or the time we hiked Mount Slemish. I know it's officially Spring, but it feels like Summer in the Bay Area, and our walks have been so so beautiful lately.

Our neighborhood is great for walking: it’s quiet, there are big trees, I can walk to the grocery store, the library, and a park, “would you be mine, could you be mine” and all that – but it’s a small neighborhood. I’ve canvassed the area hundreds, possibly thousands, of times. Last week my neighbors started making fun of me when I passed their homes for the sixth or seventh time that day.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been branching out. I felt silly about driving ten minutes just to get a change of scenery, but it’s been refreshing. We’ve tried a couple short hikes, a few new neighborhoods, and last week I decided to check out some parks. After a few minutes researching parks close to us, it turns out there are almost ninety parks within a twenty-minute drive of our house.  I printed out a big list, and for the last month we've been going to a couple per week. I’m pretty excited to start exploring new territory.

b perry

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pregnancy "Essentials"

Jack is rapidly approaching that day where he has spent more time on the outside than in. To celebrate this milestone, let’s hearken back to pregnancy. Spoiler: My pregnancy was not pretty, and this post is not going to be pretty either. Before I got pregnant, I pinned every single one of those “pregnancy essentials” posts. Get this body pillow, this pregnancy journal, this cashmere pashmina, this body oil, this maternity swim suit, this pre-natal yoga video. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those lists make pregnancy look so darn glamorous I could puke.

And I did puke. Debilitating nausea was my steadfast companion from week four to week forty. And it’s not rational, but I wanted to scream at those Pregnancy Essentials lists for making me think I would care about the kind of socks I wore as I cried myself to sleep on the bathroom floor. Tell me, what exactly makes dry shampoo “essential” when it’s easier to not care about sitting in your own filth? And that back massager might have been great for your pregnancy, but do you know what was great for mine? Never being touched in any way ever.

So here’s MY parade of horribles, and may they never be essential for you.

1. In my experience, this puke bag is the only truly essential pregnancy item. The first time I was hospitalized the nurses gave me like twenty to take home, and every time I had to go back I’d ask for more. This bag. It makes public puking so much more bearable. Heck, it makes bedroom puking more bearable. It is much better than a bucket, it is even better than the toilet, and it is SO MUCH BETTER than cleaning puke off the walls because you didn’t make it to the bathroom in time. This bag. It is better. It is essential.

2. Also “essential” in my pregnancy was this electric razor. Standing while shaving my legs was out of the question since standing for any period of time gave me immediate, unforgiving diarrhea. Alternatively, our tub is so narrow that when I sat and leaned forward to shave near my ankles, the pressure on my tummy would make me puke. You know what’s gross? Puking in your bath water (see pregnancy essential #1). But with this electric razor, I had more room to move around. I didn’t puke once, and my restless legs stopped twitching as much in the night.

3. Netflix. No explanation necessary.

b perry

p.s. The craziest part of all this is how excited I am to have another baby. Chris and I get giddy just talking about it. Anyway, the more I laugh about how horrible pregnancy was, the braver I feel about doing it again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chocolate Bunny Hunting

When we were newlyweds, we were walking around Target one night and Chris started tip toeing into the candy aisle and whispered in his best Australian accent, “If we’re very quiet, we may spot the rare chocolate bunny in its natural habitat.” Thus began our family tradition of chocolate bunny hunting.

You might think that hunting chocolate bunnies around Easter is (as my Criminal Law professor put it) like searching for a needle in a needle drawer, but you can easily find yourself in the proverbial haystack. Given the variety of bunnies in the order Chocolat√¶ Bunnis if you’re hunting a specific genus or species, your game may be illusive in the wild. Our favorite bunny is of the Lindt genus, the milk chocolate species.

This year when the chocolate bunny season opened, I surveyed the landscape and had to text this picture to Chris. It felt too good to be true. Among the Lindt herd, there were dozens of white bunnies, plenty of dark bunnies, and then off in a distant shelf, one solitary milk bunny, trying to blend in with its surroundings. His efforts were unsuccessful.

nom nom nom


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

First Date

Baby Chris at Bob's, baby me at El Faralito
The very first picture ever taken of us
it appears bad lighting was a major theme in our first dates
For our third anniversary, Chris and I went on our first Date Where Jack Stays Home With A Babysitter. The formality of that process added a level of legitimacy to dating that I did not anticipate. While we waited for her to show up, I got ten million butterflies like I was going on a First Date Ever, not just First Date Since Jack Was Born. On those first dates, it was unwise to look him in the eyes unless I had twenty minutes to be lost in soul-stirring desire. Whenever he smiled at me, I knew that his was a gaze I would walk away from at my own peril. And those feelings came rushing back to me as we waited there on the couch.

When you are that excited, it doesn’t really matter what you do, but we tried out a new Indo-Chinese place. They have a dish there that is so hot you have to sign a waiver before you eat it. I didn’t order that. I ordered non-waiver-required dumplings and then ate most of Chris’ Calcutta Chicken.

I thought it would be overwhelming – or whelming, at the very least – to leave Jack home, but everything was fine. We put on nice clothes, tried new food, laughed about the past year, and I felt all the feelings you feel on a first date with the boy you have a crush on. I still love all of our quiet nights in, but we’re both really excited to start having nights out again.


Date Details
Red Hot Chili Pepper
1125 San Carlos Ave. San Carlos

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I got my permit to drive when I was fourteen and a half, and I was pulled over for the first time when I was fourteen and a half and a week – sans proof of insurance, sans permit, sans parent, and after dark. That was the first of numerous traffic violations that did not end in a ticket. It would be inaccurate to say that I’ve been pulled over for “everything” but “nearly everything” is pretty accurate. Speeding, a rolling stop at a stop sign, running a red light, driving into oncoming traffic, not wearing a seatbelt, failure to signal, an utter inability to fix my headlight, talking on my cell phone, and my personal favorite: drunk driving (from a girl who has never had even the smallest sip of the booze). I can distinctly remember being pulled over thirty-four times, and that number doesn’t include the times I’ve forgotten.

I am always sorry to disappoint the people who ask what my technique is, but I didn’t have a system. I only cried once (that first time because I was so scared). Sometimes I was chatty, other times I was totally silent. Sometimes I was honest, and sometimes if you have an Idaho drivers’ license in a New York rental car, it’s a pretty reasonable to assume that you didn’t know you’re not allowed talk on your cell phone when you drive. *ahem* Twice. *ahem* In one week.

The truth is, I was just unbelievably lucky. Of course, certain friends considered it unbelievably annoying, but it felt like luck to me. Whatever it was, all that came to a screeching halt when I was driving to San Francisco in 2010. The speed limit dropped, but my speed didn’t, and the dude clocked me going around forty over. It should have been like a $600 fine, instead it was something like $150, and I kept driving to the Golden State.

A year later, on the night I met Chris, I broke the news to my friend Jen that my run from the law had finally ended. A month after that, when Chris and I saw each other next, he walked up to me and said, “You’re Brittney Horman. You’re the girl who never gets tickets.” That line, that story, that pesky speeding infraction is part of what brought us together. So yes, some might consider that first ticket to be the end of an incredible and gratuitously long lucky streak, but I consider the time I got pulled over in Jackpot, Nevada to be the luckiest I ever got.


p.s. Happy anniversary, mi dilla.