we eat dirt. hella dirt.

dog park 1while working on what’s turning into a massive do it your damn self teepee post, i felt the need to showcase my bebe slopping around in the mud at a dog park we frequent often, happy as his little kissable piggy ass could possibly be.

we recently swapped my 13-year old chichi for a 1-year old shepherd/fox hound mutt (don’t worry and no judgement on re-homing a senior dog because 1) that heifer was so loved and spoiled her whole damn life it’s sick. i brought her home at 8 weeks and we had hella good years together. she saw me through the college years, one night stands and a grip of burritos. in exchange, she had more picturesque canyon walks and pig ears than her tiny chichi tummy could handle and 2) because of this, i suppose i expected her to accept a new baby, one that came out of me and was part of our crew and curb her neurotic and jelly behavior around him. all he ever wanted to do was talk her for walks as soon as figured out being mobile, share all his baby snacks with her and bury his face in her fur.

but she didn’t care. she growled and snapped and gave him his first life wound, the tiniest scar on his left eyelid. it wasn’t on purpose but after that incident followed by several more months of waiting to see if she’d get her shit together, holding her little face in my hands and telling her to please be nice to the baby and to not make me choose because that wouldn’t end well for her. she made things so stressful it was hard to hang on some let’s just play music and have a dance party with my child and my dog in my own house. i knew she had to go. it was heart breaking and i was super emo but one night after she growled in his face right before bedtime and made him cry for the umpteenth time, i snapped her picture while she was curled up on her favorite animal print pillow and put her ass online. it was really real. i was really upset over the whole f’ing situation.

nina rescue me pic

and then i went to bed and slept because i thought surely no one would want to take on an old, cantankerous chihuahua. a week went by and nothing. and i felt like i would just have to find a way for all of us to co-exist without someone hacking up a fur ball and it would suck but this was girl, my only child for so long. and i loved her. but then, a few afternoons later, i got an email from Jewel Starz, her real name y’all i swear. the day we showed up to bring her Nina, she was dressed in a printed muumuu and a huge arty necklace. i found out she used to live on Haight & Ashbury in the 70’s selling hand sewn denim skirts. street cred yo. she was, incredulously, everything i could have ever wanted for my Nini and i will forever be thankful that she came into our lives and saved my cranky chichi from a life of baby misery. Nina now lives on an idyllic farm in Sherwood with Jewel, Jewel’s bff, some llamas, goats and a South American styled adobe filled with women’s liberal reading material and purple paintings.

llama farm picnot only have i received multiple email updates complete with attached photos and videos but Jewel invited me to come out to the farm one afternoon this summer to squeeze Nina’s face. i am there. i am bringing the iced tea, cookies and a copy of something manifesto-y and feminine.

nina with jewel

and a video, compliments of Miss Jewel. click and watch if you like llamas. or chihuahuas wearing raincoats near llamas. or anything in life that is cute : Nina and the llamas

and then, faced with the choice to live a dog-free life, i chose the road in life i usually choose, the harder, more exhausting and questioningly sane one. i searched the Humane Society website and craigslist like a crazy and found another animal to bring into our world. what’s a life lived that doesn’t resemble a menagerie? is my motto.

so i now cater to not one but two 18-month olds. because that’s a brilliant idea. also a short road to a white, padded room where meds are administered. but Mateo is at the same time magical and maniacal. he is extra sweet with Sebe, everyone’s bff at any dog park we take him to (which has to happen every. single. day. so much for the incremental me-minutes i had. who needs time in a day to take a shit anyway? so overrated) and even shields us from other canines that he deems unsafe to be in our bubble. for that, i luuuuve him. he’s just a puppy still. with crazy puppy energy and drive and the intense need to be outside as much as possible, even if that means jumping the baby gate and bolting out the door when no one’s looking. oh well. we all make choices.

so here we are. another day hanging at Fernhill park, which has the ultimate dog park. like, the king of all dog parks. like, if Fernhill was an ice cream, it would be Salt & Straw. and holy shit this post got long-winded by i have a point and that point is that as a new mom, i am taking full pride and joy in allowing my child to get as dirty as possible as often as possible. when else in life can you plop yourself down in a dusty, dirty mud hole in the middle of a dusty, dirty dog park and go to town like you were cooking up and taste-tasting the world’s best chocolate cake? so go forth and get dirty my love. get head to toe all up in your mouth and hair and ears and eyes and in between your toes and bellybutton filthy. i. love. it.

dog park 3

dog park 2

“we can go play in the mud some more”. let’s go my love of loves. let’s go.

Kiddo Outing – OMSI!

omsi 1 omsi 2

Dad at OMSI

I couldn’t help but feel like we were getting away with a wonderful crime these last few months – the sky was blue, the sun was bright and the usually soggy sidewalks were way too dry. With a non-stop 17-month old munchkin, I can attack the weekdays with all their activities. Between the community centers, libraries, kid-friendly cafes and Church basements, the Monday through Friday block is packed and all moms have to do is show up (“all” gives the illusion that getting out of the house with an infant is easy. ha.). But many of these are closed during the weekend forcing us to fend for ourselves during rainy, chilly weekends. Lately, I’ve been wishing I had set up more inside play dates during the week so that I wouldn’t be last man standing come Saturday. With a small apartment and a cranky Chihuahua who Sebe will go after to take out his pent-up stir-craziness on, we have to get the fuck out the house. We definitely go on bundled walks when all else fails, which is great except when mittens and hats keep getting pulled off. Blue baby hands are not a good look, I’m pretty sure. I know Portland is small and these things are easy to find but maybe there’s one someone didn’t know existed, thus helping salvage a stir-crazy weekend day.






1945 Southeast Water Avenue
(503) 797-4000


9:30am-5:30pm Tuesday-Sunday

Adults $13 + $5 per parking space

Kiddos 3-13 $9.50

The annual membership is seriously the way to go – you and your baby daddy/partner or any guest plus a kiddo under 3 is $85 a year and comes with free parking. Go just four times and you’ve already paid for it. So. Worth. It.

First Sunday of every month is $2 entry. Go. Spend the whole damn day there!

OMSI is so special. It’s an acronym, standing for Oregon’s Museum of Science & Industry and it’s been around since 1944. I remember when it was housed where the Children’s Museum currently is (see below) and it was rad back then. I also remember watching them build their new digs on the East waterfront and being like, whoah, this is going to be amazing. And it is. The museum boasts permanent and rotating exhibits for bigger kiddos and a gigantic, interactive room for the littles, complete with water, sand, lego, woodland creatures and grocery store areas, plus tons of science-y stuff and a soft baby play corner. They also have a large room for robotics and messy, sticky, wonderful projects like making your own goop. There’s an area for eating, restrooms and water fountains all inside kiddo-land so you never have to leave. Never ever. Oh, and my Dad volunteers once in a while for the bigger kid exhibits. Ask him anything, science-related or not. You’ll get answers.