hump day nuggets: brilliant ball of wit and opinion

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

Margot came jogging down the hall late the other night. She stopped when she reached the end and saw me.

"Mom I am not asleep."

"I see. It's late. Are you having trouble sleeping?"

"Well, let me show you something!" as she hopped up on the couch next to me, peeled back the curtains and exclaimed, "Can you believe it?! It's totally light out! I guess the sun says it's wake up time!"


Lately I spend a lot of time explaining things like the distance from the sun to the earth and how time doesn't change but light does. I break down why squirrels can run on branches and why it seems like cars go faster when we walk versus when we are also driving.

Margot was really upset the other day, she angrily clutched her old shirt that Ruby now wears. "I don't want my clothes to keep getting smaller! I just want them to get bigger!" I told her she was growing taller and, as she grew, larger clothes were necessary. I told her she would eventually be an adult. She paused and said, "So eventually my clothes will grow into adult?"


She is so wonderfully literal. See, we say that shirt is getting too small for you and, all this time, she thought that the shirt was unfairly shrinking. So we had a long, detailed conversation about how clothes can't shrink (unless your roommate washes and dries your merino wool sweater, but that's a lesson for another time) and kids can't stay the same size.

This age is so rich with wonder and learning. It's very cool and very tiring. Mysteriously vast.



:: I so remember creating little forts and cozy spaces as a kid. Holing up, pretending I was on a boat or in a forest. I love that my memories return when I witness my daughters making their own.


:: My exhibit is down and is in three boxes in the back of my car.


Thank you so so much for your enthusiasm and encouragement (and purchases!). I was nervous to share the details and you all were just awesome in your internet high fives. Thanks.


What didn't sell is still for sale. The photos are 4x4 inches, mounted on ip矇 wood and ready to hang. I printed a limited edition of five of each photo (some sold but many still available!). Click here to view images and learn more.

:: Stemless glassware is perfect for evening chicken chores.


:: Margot breaks into song all the time. I was able to pull over while driving the other day to capture this beaut.

Cooper loves his read shoooooooes.
But her just loves his red shooooooes.
And he did love his red shooooooes.
But Owen said we could trade shirts
But I said no Owen.
And that's just how I make Owen smile!
And I let him wear my cape insteeeeeeaaaaad!


And, just to give you an idea of her voice quality and style, here she performs How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? (oh, check out Ruby's curls! I miss them.)

:: Seriously, this Ruby girl and her tender, loving, sneaky ways. She could play peek-a-boo behind her closet curtains straight through a full moon cycle.


Taking breaks only to eat like a teenage boy.


:: Margot is digging spinach salad with garlicky balsamic dressing. I love it.


:: My talented husband whipped up this entryway organization in like 12 minutes with some salvaged wood. I have had this shelf in my brain for years and it just never made it to the top of the list. Previously there was a chest that contained everyone's gear and hooks for coats. Leashes were always lost. And then skis, shoes and kid bikes lay like roadkill causing swears. This is how we greeted our guests for seven years. NOW there are organized baskets! And a hook for the bike! And a place for shoes! And a special dog leash nail! And kid-access to their own hats and mittens! I love it.


:: My criteria for clothing: interesting, comfortable, washable. Shabby Apple emailed me asking if I'd like to review a dress (yes!) and I chose the Piazza Novena. I love it: the knit fabric has a great drape, it is extremely comfortable and I love that it looks fancy and feels like I am wearing a nightgown. Score.

When Margot saw it she said, "Mama, you look fantastic. But can it twirl?" Twirling is Margot's criteria for clothing.

Taking direction from my kids when doing an awkward self portrait makes it more fun for everyone.

Shabby Apple is offering you, beloved readers, 10% off your purchase! Use coupon code 'digthischick10off'. Thanks, Shabby Apple!

:: We tried to attend our friend's early-evening cd release party but, alas, even at 6pm it was too crowded and loud for our two girls perched on our shoulders.


So we headed into the rain-hail-snow-wind for a lovely picnic by the river.


We inhaled our burritos and ran as fast as we could up and down a hill before retreating to the warmth of our home.


In situations like that I can't help but think about what my Friday night looked like 10 years ago.


:: Sam Bubbas, my giant love bug. Our first pet, a cat who acts like a dog. He likes car rides and sticks his head out the window. When I worked on a farm, he came to work with me every day and roamed the tomato fields. He'll be 11 next month.


:: As always, chives are our first harvest. And we add generous handfuls to everything.

adore these herb scissors


:: This song was performed in the nude with high knee action on her way out the door at bedtime.

Margot Bea
Margot Bea
Margot Bea
That's just meeeeeee!
Going outside without any clothes on!
Mom, can I have a sandwich?

Ruby gets to see all of this and I wonder how she will be different. Margot never had access to such wild, fun, nutty performances. How are second children not entirely different creatures? Maybe they are.


 They come into the world as part of a package. Not eclipsed by, but informed by their sibling.


Right now Margot is high energy, a brilliant ball of wit and opinion.

A few times recently, this brilliant ball has blinded me with impatient reaction, followed by self-doubt and guilt. And then, in less than an instant, a bright second of eye contact that says I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down, the weight lifts and I relax with pride and comfort in the brilliance. I find humans' capacity for growth to be astounding. Our family grows together.

Right now, Margot is verbal and fast. And Ruby is right at her heels. I am not sure where I fall in line but I'm there, cheering, tripping, strong, injured, trying, loving.


happy hump day out there


ps randomly selected winner of the Magical Mothering e-course: Comment #18, Lisa said...Great post! I especially love the photo of Margot in the pink hat...beautiful little girl! And the bread looks wonderful! Congrats! Email me at digthischick@gmail.com.

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


Amie said...

I love your posts, Nici. They always make me feel so WARM inside. Can't believe how BIG Ruby is getting! And I LOVE you twirling in yourr beautiful dress! XO

Marti said...

My Mom makes Ivy lots of dresses and skirts and according to Ivy if they twirl just right then "It's beautiful"

TRB Holt said...

Hi Ho it's off to work I go!...not before I got a quick HDN fix!!!!


Melina said...

Hi Nici!
I love how you explore white space in these photos! So vast and cool looking....for lack of a better adjective.

It's funny- on Friday night's I'll go out to late night CD release shows for friends bands....I like them, but I am starting to feel a bit more tired during those midnight events, like maybe I'd rather be in bed....or on a riverside picnic taking pictures of my kids....


kurlypink said...

Margot's view of getting bigger reminded me of my son when he was about 6. His aunt gave him a really cool shirt for his birthday and it was too big for him. When he wrote the thank you note, he said "It's too big for me now, but don't worry, it will be the size of me soon!".

thisfriendlyvillage said...

Well...now I'm going about the house singing "Maria". Loved that song from my own childhood and remember singing and singing it! I am curious to know who the artist is at the CD release party?
Cheers! Margaret

Kelly Cach said...

Oh gosh!!! I loved this post so much, I had to read it all again :0 Your pictures are storybook worthy! So sad I couldn't watch the video?

And being a second child myself, I can say that they usually ARE different and I love that. I like the way that I am and it's no surprise that I relate so well with my second child (although he's a HE :) But lovin' all 3 of my kids....INTENSELY!

I sooo love Ruby's skirts and her closet curtains!!! Can the fabric be purchased somewhere? I want to make an orange tablecloth for my Nora Girl's first birthday.....orange and Robin's Egg Blue are the theme colors :)

Thank you for this beautiful post,

dig this chick said...

OK people, sorry about the video...I think I fixed it. Let me know if it does/doesn't work!

Courtney said...

i'm with Margot, "Does it twirl" is the ultimate test of any dress. Happy hump day!

Coffee Mama A-J :) said...

That dress looks stupendous on you! I love the beautiful pictures of your girls together. I think you are right about that second child thing. How could they not be somewhat impacted?!? I think it is mostly for the better. :) Love Hump Days thanks to your awesome posts.

Gramomster said...

I too, old Deadhead that I am, define skirts by twirlability. Awesome!
There are (were) 5 of us... each sooooo completely different! And my 2? You could hardly find 2 more diametrically opposite people, other than taste in music and books. Holy moly! One wild and wooly, one a quiet, off-to-the-side observer, avoiding trouble at all costs. The other seeking trouble as though it were her bestest friend, lost in deep woods. I think she's over that... but seriously... it is an amazing thing to watch kids from the same parents/home/experiences become soooo different.
Super cool!!!!
Both kids now, as adults, are seriously a couple of my very favorite people to hang out with.

Kelly said...

"My clothes growing into an adult " is so classic hilarious and one for the funny stories told when your 20 book!

Shelly said...

The Sound of Music must be the theme this week. Today, I was kicking up my heals, skipping down the street, all the while belting out "I Have Confidence" in Ukraine. My husband was not amused:( Nevertheless, you got to move when the spirit hits you.

Margot's singing of Maria is divine:)

Mamachromatic said...

I just love Ruby's pants in the last photo! They look so comfy.


Sarah said...

O.M.G. Love the video! Margot's rendition is awesome! :)

Daniele said...

Oh my gosh, how do I solve a problem like Maria was the best! She is very much in the style of Bonnie Poe (Betty Boop and Olive Oyl) =)

I understand compltely about the constant explanations to 3 year olds. It is so much fun to literally see the wheels in their minds turning as I explain. And I love the questions that follow. Just this morning I had a ten minute conversation about why my 3 yr old has to wear pants to her art class :D She really wanted to wear only a shirt and underwear and shoes and could not understand why this wouldn't be completely normal and acceptable for everyone :D

Katie (Mama May I) said...

That video of Margot is a hoot! She has a really beautiful singing voice, for real!
It's so fun to see such fresh, vibrant colorful photos all around again. Love spring!
And Sam. He looks great. I'll never forget the Boots and Sam spats. Sweet Sam and bossy Boots.
Happy hump day to you too, friend. I hope you're outside! xo

Denise said...

Love the video! And, I have to tell you, I had my 15 month old come over to my computer to watch it and she LOVED it! She stared in amazement, smiling, and waving! She kept saying and signing "more!", so we watched it 6 times! Lol! I think she thought we were skyping! I finally got her to walk away from the computer by turning on Sesame Street...but she lost interest and ran back a few mintues laters say, "more!" Maybe Margot needs to release a DVD! Lol! I loved your descriptions of Margot a few days ago, calling her fiery. I think my girl is also fiery and I am so proud...but also afraid! Lol! It makes me feel good to read about you and your girls! I want to nurture her spirit, but calm her tantrums when she can't run around or hug the cats! Lol! A lot of learning for Charlotte and Mommy! Love your blog...if Ruby and Margot ever want to Skype, give Charlotte a call! :)

dig this chick said...

The cd release was for Butter:

Awesome, awesome band!

Michele said...

Oh, the toddler questions! They are so sweet and so direct. My daughter is pushing three and it seems like every day she questions life even more. Who is that? What is this? Wine make it better Mommy? And it makes me more observant, trying to think of answers before she questions them. It's difficult. The other day I was walking and I saw a woman in a wheelchair with no feet, and I knew that were Jocelyn with me she would have asked what happened. It pains me to think that i's easier that she not see it, not question it, so that I don't have to struggle to answer. But that's why I love her--she'll always shove me when I need a push.

By the way, are Margot's shoes on the wrong feet in the header picture. Awesome.

Emily said...

My 3 and a bit son is fascinated by growing too. He loves The Growing Story (Ruth Krauss/Helen Oxenbury), all about a little boy who lives on a farm with his mum, a puppy and some chicks and how they grow as the seasons change. Gentle and beautiful rather than syrupy, I think you might like it. http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Story-Ruth-Krauss/dp/0060247169/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304547574&sr=8-1 My son also thinks all dresses and skirts have to be checked for twirling ability, a hugely important part of getting dressed when he's around! By the way, your curtain fabric is stunning! As is the little girl doing her ta-da! moment with them! I missed your exhibition posts but have just read back and, a little late, am so impressed by you and your creative, thoughtful, beautiful work. And you look so happy and beaming in the gallery, it's inspiring to see. Way to go!

creativechimera said...

Mmmm... love the dress!

Nici, where did you find the little push-a-long trike for Ruby? I desperately want something like that for Theron and am not sure where to find one (or what it's properly called). Also - how long did Margo use it before she grew out of it?


Laura said...

Goodness do I love your girls' clothes. Just. Beautiful.

As is their mama.
Thanks for the sweet inspiration today. I needed it.

Timothy and Jeanne Hisey said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the video. :) I was just thinking the other day that I bet you missed Ruby's curls. I smile at your posts! :) Thanks for sharing. J.

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

I was laughing out loud at the video. Thanks for that!

Brittany said...

Oh the toddler questions- how I can relate! Sometimes in the car I have to tell my son (now four and hardly a toddler anymore) that he needs to wait until we get home before he asks me any more questions! Love them (and am supremely annoyed by them ;) Here in Central TX we have had a dry yet warm spring and I am getting ready to pick my first ripe tomatoes- joy! I totally want to be a farmer too :) Love reading the HDN!

Snippets said...

Margot is a riot! That video made my day.

I used to subject my parents to high pitched renditions from the sound of music soundtrack as a kid as well. She'll love that footage when she is older.

dig this chick said...

heyo. a few answers to your questions:

The push trike was a garage sale score. I think it is ancient and I haven't seen them for sale...it is a mini radio flyer so try google! Margot used it well into two. She actually still like to scoot around on the low rider!

I collect fabric like crazy and cannot remember the designer on the orange curtain...but! I bought it and the orange/turquoise swirl on the hem of Ruby's skirt at Selvedge Studio and they would totally know! They are a sponsor and their link it up there on the right of this page.

Kelle said...

Will be back tomorrow with my coffee to read and cherish. Just wanted to say I totes love the new header.

Kelle said...

Back. Okay, while I am typing, Margot is singing and my stomach is all tight and lurching from laughing. Seriously. She could teach voice lesssons. Bwah ha ha. Love her.
Oh, I love Montana springs. Your photos literally look like they just unpeeled their coats and revealed vibrant slipdresses underneath. Pow. Trees, light, hilltops. Beautiful. And maybe we can hook up Margot with a producer because those Owen lyrics are killer. I smell platinum hit. I'm just sayin.

Kelle said...

p.s. sister, i am loving your dress. wear it out on the town in naples in june.

Kelly Cach said...

Thank you for fixing the video! TOTALLY worth coming back to view....I don't know much about music lingo, but isn't that called vibrato? Hahahaha! Good medicine, that laughing :)

p.s. Hi Kelle Hampton!!!!!

Holly Taylor said...

You look beautiful in that dress! Wow! Stunning!

We have two radio flyer bikes, best purchase ever many hours of entertainment on those, bus stop in the house in the winter and bike rides outside in summer.

Happy Friday!

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