round up: meanwhile, back at the ranch

School starts soooooon. I'm mortified about how fast this summer has flown by. Two weeks of camp plus two and a half weeks of (wonderous) vacation doesn't leave much time in between to be as lazy as I'd like us to be. We live in a bubble, provided by David and created by me, and the thought of Stella going back to school in three weeks brings tears to my eyes whenever I think of it. We are SO spoiled, I know. We've been doing what we do best over the last two weeks: nothing.





Dinner, sliced and roasted.

The first night of Stella and my new tradition, midnight snack + giggles. 

I added palpable space to our small kitchen by moving the booze. Who knew?

A day at the California Academy of Sciences. Here they are there a little over a year ago. They have grown!

Twenty nine day old baby ostrich. Wow!

After seeing Brave. How beautiful.

He's a toy robot.

I struggle all the time with the fact I'm not bringing in any money, or really living a modern grown-up woman's life at all, and that I am happy as a clam here all day while David is commuting and working his ass off. It's the best for our kids, it's certainly the best for ME, but is it the best for all of us in the long run? It's a big deal. I don't have a single minute of regret, except for David's commute, but I wonder if one day I will. I wonder why I find it so easy be lying on the floor with the kids all day, playing this or that. What is this? Sometimes I seriously wonder if I am some strange woman-child, and if people see me that way. I bought the book Maternal Desire by Daphne de Marneffe years ago to try to sort through (and justify) some of these feelings, but I was always too busy to read it. Sometimes to assuage my guilt over my good fortune I remind myself that I worked SO hard and SO long for very little for a very long time, and that right up until Oliver was born I was still pulling all-nighters. Taking care of these two kids has been the biggest respite I could've hoped for. Not really having to use my head is a very peaceful place to be.

I can't really imagine feeling bad about having taken complete advantage of these last three years to be with these two, and to grow myself exponentially. But what if, years down the road, we end up with less to give Oliver and Stella than we would've liked, because I stayed home. It's really hard to see what hindsight will look like then. It's a tough one. I am (we are, really) looking for ways to start to tip the scales a bit. It's been a GREAT ride, but like I've said before, it's probably time for me to put my big girl pants back on and just NEVER forget how lucky I have been. Too bad I can't get my thighs into ANY pants, at the moment.


  1. I always enjoy these roundup posts, Tiffanie. This one was no exception.

    I believe being a mother is a full time job and has its struggles and trials. It's a job you enjoy, I don't believe you have to feel bad about that. :) Revel in it while you can!

    1. Thank you, LT! I'm so glad you're reading, still! You are right, but I do know so many people who work AND have happy kids who are not in their own care every day, so I just hope we've made wise decisions. Like I said, no matter what, how could I ever regret having had all of this time with my two precious ones. But could I be doing more for our family's greater good? Probably. We shall see what develops. xoxo

  2. Oh this is so hard! I can't imagine. But I hope you can always hang on to the wonderful gift you have given them to start out with. That is precious. :-)

    1. Angelia! Long time no see! I just visited your blog a few days ago, I have so much catching up to do! xo

  3. Oh Tiff, I think all families, mothers and children are different. What is right for you & your family doesn't have to be right for someone else, just you. There is also huge benefits for a working parent when the other parent takes care of the home & children during the day. So you may think he is carrying a huge load but by being a SAHM you make things easier for him because you can take care of the children on a sick day, during breaks and after school. I always felt badly for my hubby because of my work schedule he was not taken care of as well as some other husbands we knew. Life balance is hard, when one piece of the pie is taken care of, another is on hiatus. I think your career piece will be taken care of when you're ready, you don't need to have it all...at once.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Tania, and also for that perspective on being here for sick days, etc. Never thought about it like that, but it does help in that regard that I am home. We really are wending our own way, and since I wrote this I've been thinking a lot more about it all and how it has worked for all of us, but I still feel uneasy. I don't know why! I think I need more friends at our exact income level who have stayed home with their kids and therefore have sacrificed a little "upward mobility", so I can have people around who I can relate to. There's such a mixed bag of levels of income and combinations of who works and who doesn't here, but I haven't run into too many people exactly in my shoes. All that said, I thank my lucky stars every day for this life. I just feel a change coming in me. Is it possible I am getting excited to work again? Never saw that coming. I love what I'm doing now, and there will be a big hole in my heart when the kids are too old to play all day, but you are right about the career piece falling into place, I think. Maybe that's what all this questioning is about. xoxo

  4. Hey Tiffanie!

    I know how you feel. It really bothered me. But you know what, you really don't save that much. If you both work full time you need day care, 2 good cars, good take out food, more clothes, etc. plus you probably end up in a higher tax bracket. I freelance now 15 hrs a week and I feel like it is a good compromise. I can't see ever going back full time! Even with kids in school there is still so much to handle as a mom! Looked through many of your posts today, AWESOME photos!!! ♡ Ann

    1. Thank you for the perspective, Ann. You're right about all of it, I think. We spent part of this weekend actually hashing over some of the very things you are mentioning here. I'm so glum tonight though, only two weeks left of summer vacation. I wish it could be a lot longer.

      Thanks about the photos, I'm learning! I wanted to tell you that I have been in and out of your blog over this past week but I'm so far "behind" on commenting that I didn't leave any. I was really, really impressed on that super-in-depth post you did on stamps. Loved it! Also checked out your "Art" page, and thought it was a great thing for you to have posted. Also, Pentel Sign Pens for life! xoxo


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