etst "Mom, I bet you want to take a picture of that shadow." 16h

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etst This week I've felt like a bus driver, carting my kids from appointment to appointment for health and wellness and support. They're not always this jam-packed, but this week was a doozy, and while I'm so grateful we have the opportunity to access these resources, weeks like this are demanding and time-consuming and I'm tired and just want to lie on the couch and watch Property Brothers. But then I walked into the most welcoming waiting room this afternoon, and there's a stack of kid DVDs, a hot cocoa bar for moms and one of my favorite books on the coffee table. A little acknowledgement from this office: "Take a breather! Take care of yourself! We know this kid stuff is hard work." I used to want to be a pediatrician just so I could design the coolest waiting room in the history of mankind (I had blueprints--there was an ice cream machine). But then I took a quarter semester of organic chemistry, dropped out of pre med and changed my career course to teaching. All that rambling to say cheers to the professionals who use their waiting rooms to deliver mini vacations. 17h
  •   rklfdancer Thank you for this! I'm feeling so overwhelmed by mommy duties this week, I'm on the verge of tears (okay, they might be actually leaking out). It's nice to know I'm not alone. This mommy gig is hard sometimes!! 16h
  •   blackliststore @will__tan this will inspire you I think 15h
  •   juliedietrick When kids are little: DRIVEWAY YEARS. When kids grow older: DRIVE AWAY YEARS. 15h
  •   jentober Those sandals look exactly like my favorite pair that I finally had to retire. I have not been able to find a replacement pair. What brand are those? 15h
  •   will__tan @blackliststore love it.... Change is on for 2016 🏻 13h
  •   beth_cuddy Brilliant!!12h
  •   malbec723 I've read that book! 10h

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etst Tastes like roller skating in my cousins' basement and watching the Never Ending Story at my second grade crush's house and purple jelly shoes and neon slinky bracelets and deciding between a yarn-haired Cabbage Patch or a bald Preemie. Tastes like some hard-core coveting of Esprit bags and Kissing Koolers and white laceless Keds. Tastes like Colorforms and Sweet Valley High books and taking the pogo ball out on a sunny afternoon. Works great as a chaser for a handful of Nerds, Now and Laters and the leftover cherry powder in your Lik-M-Aid pack after you sucked the vanilla stick to non-existence. The 80's are popping up everywhere again...and I love it. It's amazing how reactivating a long-buried sensory experience can unearth the stories buried with it. (World Market sells these now ) 2d

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etst A dance break also known as a gasp above water during a Jesus-take-the-wheel day. 2d

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etst Playing house. 2 moms and their baby Coco. The importance of no-rules play, free from "educational goals" on the blog today. (Pssst...free play IS an educational goal). @tocaboca #StandForPlay #ad 3d
  •   ceceharmony14 And those skills I earned from playing with dolls... I babysit a lot now, and they come into play for sure. Just babysat 5 kids ranging in age from newborn to 7 for 8 hours a few weeks ago. Definitely helps to know what I'm doing, even at 14 3d
  •   ayadboggs Children today have a hard time with pretend play because they have no time to be bored. I actually teach pretend play to some of my clients...very hard concept to TEACH. Our children could use much more playtime/time being bored and less testing time. 3d
  •   theosmum If you have time- watch Stuart Browns Ted talk on the importance of play. It's truly mind blowing. As an early years practitioner one of my favourite quotes is " a child is a human being- not a human becoming" 3d
  •   hannah6170 I'm not sure if you and I have the same idea of what 'free-play' constitutes. Instead of micromanaging the activities, and inserting yourself in to their world, I see free-play as: Letting them do whatever they want, with whatever toys, and giving them SPACE. Playing with one's kids is important - and setting up the grocery store is fun - but the benefits of free-play don't involve hovering. It's weird how everyone is quick to shout LET KIDS BE KIDS ... yet don't give them space. 2d
  •   kylermartyn As an occupational therapist student...free play is absolutely an educational goal! 2d
  •   planetmel It's amazing what happens when tv time is over. After a few minutes of grumbling my girls start playing on their own and it's one of my greatest joys to pretend I'm not paying attention and listen to them interact, create scenes, dialog, etc. 2d
  •   janamw Love this post! 2d
  •   jennybeams444 Isn't free play when the kids choose what they play with and how? 2d

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etst Gets me every time, these little hands held and the eternal trust and loyalty that's buried in that grasp.
Starting the morning off with a little Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated): "When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder.
Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from a chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table.
I spent my life learning to feel less.
Every day I felt less.
Is that growing old? Or is it something worse?
You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness."
️To feeling all the feels today.
3d

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etst Dinosaur Snot: Collected from One Triceratops Sneeze. Kids like making disgusting things; you like your kids. Therefore if you like your kids you'll make disgusting things...or something like that.
Dino Snot recipe and free printable label, on the blog.
4d

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etst Magnolia take-homes for the babes. 5d
  •   beckyjoyce That green frosting one with the sprinkles is my fave. 5d
  •   shaerey @rlsteadman Good memories 5d
  •   drialovesnyc91711 every time!!! 5d
  •   cherihensler You're the cutest 4d
  •   thistleandpoppy So pretty! How could you even eat them? 4d
  •   owpd Always my fav when in NYC🏼 4d
  •   dearestmercy the best!!!!!!! 4d
  •   annedemps When we lived in NYC and there was only the store on Bleecker I would stop on my way home from work get cupcakes. I can still get taste the frosting when I close my eyes. 2d

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etst Concrete jungle high 5d
  •   lavidamia12 Are you writing another book ?? 5d
  •   mellyme Ok what is that green circle to the left? Orb? Reflection, sunlight, window flash mishap? Anyone else spot it? Or wondering? 5d
  •   shannoncho @mellyme I find when I shoot directly into the sun with an iPhone, there is always one of those. 5d
  •   mellyme Ah ok! Thanks @shannoncho 5d
  •   kmwm17 Welcome welcome! Hope you get to enjoy the beauty of Chicago! 5d
  •   kaypacker I wish I was there! Looks so peaceful and comfy! 5d
  •   gillianwaldo 🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻🏻 5d

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etst Spending the weekend with some amazing women using their talents and voices to fight for more media/advertising representation of the largest minority group in the world--people with disabilities. #changingthefaceofbeauty 6d

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etst Breakfast with a view. 6d

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etst Randoms! Because it's Friday!
1. Note the natural sky ombré (for reals!) And the Starbucks drink I just bought because of the cool picture in the advertisement with the selling adjective of "roasty." Made-up words are the best.
2. Was talking to my sister this week in preschool carline when @heidiwish called in and I pulled my phone to check but then chose to keep talking to my sister. Got a text two seconds later from @heidiwish who was apparently one car behind me: "Nice. Just saw you ignore my call, bitch." Getting caught is the worst.
3. I made dentist appointments for my kids this week, at the exact 6-month mark for next suggested cleaning. And now I will pause for applause. When the big things get harder, we celebrate the small things extra enthusiastically.
4. Coldplay's Hymn for the Weekend. Realizing I can archive the history of feely memories in my adult life by Coldplay hits, however cliche' that may be.
5. Finishing "The Art of Asking" this week, and it's so good. Here, a taster: "There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected." Have a "roasty" weekend, you beautiful artists, you!
7d

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etst Taking Harold for a walk. Dino party in the works. Who are these kids and why do they keep having birthdays?! 1w

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etst "This is what I want for you. Not a free pass from pain or a packaged image of a perfect life we can slip inside our Christmas cards each year. When I say I want you to be happy, it's this." Link in profile and a giveaway from @happyfamily#thisishappy #ad 1w

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etst They were getting ready to perform a ballet dance but little miss Mary Lou Retton there looks like she's about ready to kick some ass on the high beam. 1w

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etst Me: (passes phone to Lainey) "I love this photo, but my brain is fried. Can you think of a caption for it?"
Lainey: (stares at photo quietly for several seconds, then smiles) "The Friendship Hill."
1w
  •   meganlando So beautiful. And this picture makes me sooo happy we booked our spring break trip!!! 1w
  •   marthatilton This reminds me of Robert McCloskey's "A Time of Wonder" -- so you beautiful -- I think your family would love reading it. @etst 1w
  •   kelseyildiko 🏻 1w
  •   kuliokugs Lainey <3 1w
  •   darlene659 Perfect!!!!!1w
  •   heme2412 This is awesome!!! 1w
  •   karisjoy Hey! I know where this is- have a ton of pictures from our walk out to the lighthouse last year! Can't wait for our yearly trip in July!! 🏼🏼 1w
  •   leahcoats Love! 8h

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etst A salty after school snack. @manringmemories 1w

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etst After 8 years of trying to find the perfect organization system (all of which begin with "I'll just buy a new laundry basket/shelf/label maker/bin, and the rest is magic", right?), I MAY have found what works for us for two of our biggest organization beasts: girls' accessories and Barbie stuff. Putting things in place now. Report back in 2 weeks. 1w
  •   sonnysidesup You can always take pics of what is in the basket and put the pic on the shelf so they know where to put it back. 1w
  •   peachycolleen For all of our Barbie accessories, we used the plastic compartmentalized boxes. They worked great! 1w
  •   lonzoleech I'm pretty sure I have one of each of those things pictured in a random bucket in my kitchen. I'm always doing someone's hair...and they usually need something to keep them busy so I call it "organization?!?!" 1w
  •   janecross4 I use a drawer in my kitchen island. Like a hair "junk" drawer. With two girls who have long really knotty hair and a little boy with an Afro, we do ALOT of hair. The drawer is a nasty mess but, they know where to find what they need and can get it themselves and the littlest (3) kinda just blindly shuffles around with her hand till she finds what she needs. I keep thinking of changing it but then I think "if it ain't broke." All that to say, the kitchen "hair drawer" is where it's at. Also, that's where they go to Get stuff for barbies and doll hair too 1w
  •   desrochesae Can't wait to see how it goes. Those hair accessories are tough! 1w
  •   mjklowe TELL ME EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!! 1w
  •   5auroras You've been reading my mind again Kelle! 👭 I just put a sticky note on my monitor to remind me to look those things up on Pinterest! And also Eos storage ideas because we have like a hundred of them LOL! 1w
  •   erinpcole Just wait until Dash is into Legos! 6d

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etst "Let the moms raising kids with any needs—from fingernails that need to be clipped to the most demanding and heart-wrenching—know that their child’s journey and feelings are sacred, but so are their own." My response to "Whenever you discuss Nella and her diagnosis, it's always about how YOU feel about the challenges, not her." Damn straight. Link in profile. 1w
  •   kylermartyn @etst I know how sometimes one hurtful comment can outweigh 1000 nice ones...I hope that is not the case today, but if it is, I will be one of the 1001 nice ones that I hope can rise up and triumph over the hurtful ones! I love you and your family and your platform and your girls! You are an incredible mama and so brave and so great at dealing with the haters. 1w
  •   sealbark That post was the best response to a troll comment! #micdropped 1w
  •   mellyme Yes! One more thing....for the record this IG feed is one of my top favorite to check for inspiration, food for thought, love, happiness, and all the good feels! 1w
  •   queerfatfemme Thank you for writing this! And for continuing to share your art with us even in spite of angry comments by folks who don't understand memoir and writing. And how sacred and vulnerable those sharings are. 1w
  •   trishat11 You are something fierce darling and I can only hope to be as wonderful of a mother as you are one day....Thank you for your honest and beautiful words @etst 1w
  •   mandyboles I just read the post @etst. The whole time I read it I kept thinking about my mom raising my brother (he has autism) in the 80s. She stayed at home with my brother and me because she had no choice. She was lonely and I know she felt a huge disconnect with my friends' parents because their experiences as mothers were so different from hers. I feel like social media feeds like yours would have been a ray of light for my mom. It's so important that people from all walks of life, especially those walking an unexpected/unique path to have people they can look to and think, "yes, I'm not alone." Anyway, all of this is to say: You're doing something good here. You're giving women who might think they're alone love and light. Keep it up sister, and forgive my surely run on sentences. (I'm on my back porch recovering from dinner time and bath time.) 1w
  •   enchantedmakes Of course it's about how you feel. It would be unfair of a parent to write on the internet presuming how their child feels! Good for you Kelle, you are one of my heroes. x 1w
  •   liz.perryman I just read this blog post this morning - I always love reading them. You're incredible Kelle, & thank you for sharing so much of yourself. 5d

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etst I won't ruin it by telling her these were cool when I was her age but DUDE! Plastic chain charm necklaces are baaaaaack!! The way I feel about this can best be expressed by the great 20th century philosophers, The Pointer Sisters: "I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it." (that baby bottle though! ) 1w

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