30 April 2010

if you give a girl a kirtsy...

everyone always asks me why i love kirtsy so much. i always thought it was obvious.

pre-kirtsy, i'd found one online blogging pal. i liked her and she liked me. you've probably happened upon that perfect imaginary friend somewhere along your way, haven't you?

anyway. her name is joslyn. and when kirtsy announced her original editors ages and ages and eons ago? jos and i were both on that list.

which made the honor seem even more honor-ish than it already was.

and then i met my mary, who i soon nicknamed mary ruffle. it stuck. and so did our friendship. heck...we've even opened a creative confectionery together, which you may know as t.ruffles.

it couldn't get better than that, could it? probably not, i thought.

as always, i was flat-out wrong.

because then i met amie. yet another kirtsy editor turned friend. and to make a lovely story even lovelier, she asked if she could take some photos of my girlies three.

i agreed. and i'll tell you two things about our afternoon together...

one. it's taken me years and years and brawls and tears and confusion {which is really nothing new for me, actually.}, but i'm finally understanding that my girlies three are not lilliegraeandesmé. they are lillie kate...grae-rose...and esmé dahlia. three very separate and very different little people with very separate and very different little personalities.

it took amie about five minutes to see that. and then take pictures of it.

and two? i don't think anyone would describe amie as effusive or even gushing. she is reality-based. honest as she can be. all the time and won't let you down. plus? she has three boys who are. all. boys. but somehow...she managed to send my little girlies three smiling through a few sunny and dusty hours, all during the hot and hungry drive home, and straight-away into their house to find uncle sugar.

dad! do you even KNOW how beautiful we are? they asked in a rush, while fighting to tell him first what he'd already known all along.

soon after, amie sent us her first batch of photos. i found uncle sugar on his computer, sending them off to our families and friends.

kar, he said, with his gorgeous chocolate browns as wide as could be. do you even KNOW how beautiful they are?

i thought i did. until amie showed me through her beautiful eyes.

i never recommend anyone for anything. i rather hate being liable. but i would recommend amie as a photographer to the sun and around twice. sorry for the mess of photos of my girlies three. i originally wanted to put sixty in this post. {see? i do have restraint!} have a sweet weekend, you sweet things. xoxo.

wait. one more.

restraint, karey. restraint. xoxo.

{sigh.} no restraint. at. all.

29 April 2010

summer shoes...

i am cranky today. like, totally.

a certain four-year old woke up at five this morning, freed coco, and set off a barrage of barking and lots of waggy tail thumping and one ican'tseeathing leap down from our bed and also a wowthathurt ankle bruising and a few swearish words and one very tearful i just needed a fwiend in the bathwoom!

i rarely require sleep. but today i am missing about one hundred and twenty minutes of it.

nothing a new pair of summer shoes can't cure.

see you tomorrow? ok, then. xoxo.

28 April 2010


my life would have to end up monstrously for me to list this morning as one of my favorites.

let me just tell you that lillie kate won the i'll have the last mean words if it kills me contest. you should also know that my girlie always ends on a high note. ugh. luckily, i won the if you come back here right now and give me a hug, all of this will be erased contest.

did i ever tell you i ran a small publishing company slash vanity press before lillie came to us? i loved it, even though the owner gave me job titles instead of raises. by the time i left, i was vice president of pretty much everything and everyone. we were a two-person operation.

whatever. my business cards rocked.

my clients thought i was magic. the epitome of smart and sweet. i rarely, if ever, made mistakes. i was respected and liked. i absolutely loved my work.

and then came lillie. it's no secret that uncle sugar and i had never ever not ever discussed babies, and we both assumed i would continue working.

i mean, who'd want to stay home with a bay-bee?

but then came lillie. we thought she was magic. the epitome of smart and sweet. she never made mistakes. not one. we absolutely loved everything about our lillie kate.

and all the nannies i'd interviewed suddenly seemed...dull. uninteresting. sluggish. i wanted them to perform as effusively as uncle sugar and i did.

"umm. so. lillie likes it when you sing this song i made up? i wrote it down on these two pages? the chorus goes miss lillie kate kate kate, ridin' just one skate skate skate...umm. so. flip the second page over for the finale? we always end with a jump to one knee with our hands up in a vee-shape? like this?" {insert nanny derision here.}

whatever. dullards.

long story a wee bit shorter, we decided i couldn't leave her with someone else. i'd stay home with the bay-bee. people who knew me the most just about died.

but you hate kids, they'd gasp.

not this one, i'd say.

a few weeks ago, a friend said something to me that i knew deep down was advice directed at me. it was something like i firmly believe every mother should be prepared to support her family at any given moment.

and that's been sitting in my stomach ever since.

am i prepared to support my family should uncle sugar get hit by a bus tomorrow? probably not. it could take some time. unless there's a company out there who loves shiny concepts, an everything's possible outlook, and ebullient writing.

do i regret staying home and making people instead of making books for people? no. never. rarely.

except maybe this morning.

tell me what you've done, will you? did you stay home or work or both? and god forbid your mate gets hit by a bus tomorrow, are you ready to take over? and for those of you who haven't even thought of making people yet...what will you hope to do? your stories always make me feel less worried. i know all will be well when i see lill's chandelier smile after school. that girlie's little head doesn't make room for this sort of nonsense. prints seen first on india knight's posterous. available here for purchase.

27 April 2010

the good news first...

esmé is completely crate-trained.

we found her in the pitch black of night curled up alongside coco. inside the kennel. reading her latest skippyjon jones to our imperturbable pup.

the bad news? there's none. which is excellent news, isn't it?

i think i'll go enjoy that while it lasts.

mary and i are in the midst of making a few special request t.ruffles for some pretty interesting events, so i've invitations on my mind. rsvp london has some genius ideas, although her site's black background is bringin' me down. do you feel the same way about black blog pages? it's a wonder to me, since i wear black all. the. time. ok. have a sweet day, you. xoxo.

26 April 2010

meet coco...

we found her at a rescue event this weekend, and we're all pretty enamored with her.

lillie wanted to change the spelling to cocoa. grae thought we should add a middle name of bean. esmé wanted to rename her altogether. her vote was for the name sunday, but we told her it's not so nice to just up and change someone's moniker. she argued that it would be more than fine if we changed hers to ginger poppy, reminded me that i call her mookie blaylock fairly exclusively, and continued to push for a new name for her new pup.

until uncle sugar suggested ricky.

esmé glared at the ground. pursed her little lips. sighed.

there. cannot. be. two. rickies. she informed him patiently.

yeah, esmé. one's enough for any family.

p.s. any puppy-training tips will be very much loved. xoxo.

23 April 2010

a sweet life, indeed...

do you ever have days when everything goes pretty much just fine?

not spectacular. not earth-shattering. not momentous. just pretty much fine.

better yet, when pretty much just fine is pretty much just right? yeah. i had that day yesterday. still smiling about it.

i've tried forever to boil it down. reduce it so i can remember how little it takes to be happy. surprises me every time, but it always starts with a smile.

are you smiling enough? you should be smiling enough. are you getting enough hugs? good kisses? i worry about these things. don't mind me. butting out now. xoxo

this is one of mary's pictures that makes me smile effortlessly. plus i could eat it. uncle sugar asked if i wrote those words for him. i told him yes. don't say anything, but i also wrote them for you. in the shoppe now, just in time for mother's day.

22 April 2010

fresh t.ruffles...

i'm over here today, rambling on about passion. but it is not a naughty guest post. unfortunately. {i adore relyn too much to spill naughty words all over her pretty little blog. she's one of those golden heart girls who means what she says and says what she means. all kind. all the time.}

also. mary and i made two little cards for your mom. mary's photos are sick gorgeous, as usual, and i even added sweet messages on the insides so you don't even have to write a stitch! just sign your name.

i'd do that for you, too, but i'm quite sure your mom would know that my serial killer handwriting is not her baby doll's penmanship.

i hope you like our cards. i do. they're waiting for you right here. xoxo.

21 April 2010

about a boy...

when my sonographer told me that lillie was to be a girlie, i almost threw up. i did. because i was not only not planning on babes, i was also not planning on babes of the girlie variety.

to make matters worse, i couldn't even ask her if my future little dude was a little darkie like uncle sugar. i was planning on naming him black patrick, you see. and if she could just let me know if he looked like his thug italian daddy, i would much appreciate it.

ugh. i was also that pregnant girl whose first question to my doctor still turns me pink.

do you have any questions, karey?

i certainly do, doctor. can i jump-rope?

he followed up with a frowny do you jump-rope now?

no, i do not. i answered. but let's say i do. will anyone...fall out?

apparently, those little suckers are really in there. anyway. back to names. it was such a kick in the pants to name mrs. french's bébé bébé don't mean maybe, that amy said we could name her little guy coming in september!

now. if you don't know amy, i'd best describe her as a naughty artist hippie chick who's mad in love with love. she has two boys already, named finnian and blaise, plus a husband named joe. i've written about her before, right here. you love her, too, yes? yes. then let's name a boy.

i will begin by repeating my love for the name hely. pronounced helly. it's one of my most favorite literary character's names ever, but it would also be sort of fun to say all the time in a yell, wouldn't it?

i like old man names that would sound perfect in a back-room poker game. frank and hugh and gus and lou. gimme three, lou.

one of my most loved boys in the entire world is named theodore. my little italian nephew who is not-so-little anymore. theodore is pronounced tayo-door. shortened to theo, which sounds like tayo. but i always think of him in my head as ted.

i like winn because i think it's important for boys and men and everyone, really, to do exactly that. i like tuck because we got married on nantucket. i like cook because i once overheard a chubba-lubba little mom calling her chubba-lubba little guy on the beach cook. it sounded perfect. oh. and i like enzo. always have. and abe, as in lincoln. favorite man ever.

last summer, joe's dad died unexpectedly. i met amy shortly after in chicago as she was on her faraway to be by her joe's side somewhere in the u.k. his name was william.

my final suggestion, then, is william wild. she can call him william when she's super mad or just feeling nostalgic. and she can call him wild the rest of the time. because i imagine he will be.

your turn. want to play again? say yes.

beautiful boy found on kozan's photostream. well worth a long browse.

20 April 2010


this morning, lillie and grae left bright and early to grab first picks from their school's book fair. lill gleefully announced that she had twenty-five dollars tucked away in her secret hiding place.

i asked, where's your secret hiding place? five panicked minutes later, she found it. i am still cringing.

i'll bet you fifty anythings she comes home with twenty-five bookmarks.

i gave grae ten gold dollar coins. she refused. said she was certain they wouldn't work.

i said, if they don't work, then we're not in america. this. is. you. ess. currency.

five panicked minutes later, lillie traded her for a twenty. she thought the gold coins were cool. said they made her feel like a leprechaun.

i am still cringing.

lillie's attitude is awesome, isn't it? i like that girl a lot. i think she's going to be a great woman someday. this one's my fave colleen baran ring. it reads, in part, i think you are perfect and i love love and you see me and you make me giddy. perfect for my lillie kate. as found on a little hamster.

19 April 2010

things i learned this weekend...

esmé broke a bit on saturday afternoon. she's fine. she's fine. she's fine.

uncle sugar diagnosed her as such straight away. kar, she's fine. i took her to emergency anyway.

i didn't believe him. we grew up in very different childhoods. mine was allergy shots and inside and maybe one or two scraped knees. his was rather bloody. he had a cauliflower ear operation, and his mom had him back at school before lunch. i'd have a cold, and my mom would keep me home for a week and a half. my sister used to sing me to sleep. away in a manger, even in june. uncle sugar's brother peeped on him in the shower.

but, in the end, he was right. she is fine.

those girlies three, though. man, they are glued together. lillie and grae couldn't breathe until esmé came back to them.

when the emergency doctor left the room, esmé looked at me with relieved, sleepy little blues and her scratched up, swollen up little bug nose.

good thing i'm not bwoke. she said. lillie and gracie would kill me if i bwoke.

close. but not quite. esmé? they would die if you bwoke.

littlefly. literary jewels by jeremy may. as seen first on daily poetics.

15 April 2010


lillie and grae asked for a little brother for years. the closest we could come is giving them the little hooligan known as esmé.

somewhere along the way, in a genius burst of inspiration, uncle sugar started telling the girlies three tales about his son from a previous relationship.

{note: there is no son. i repeat. uncle sugar does not have a son. only the girlies three. because, as he always says, it takes a real man to make a woman. ugh.}

his fake son's name is ricky. apparently, he is in his forties. which makes him a smidge older than uncle sugar. just one of about one hundred details the girlies three have not yet questioned.

yesterday, esmé and i were at the bookshop when she handed me a book about a little rabbit. what's the name of this one? she asked.

ricky, i answered.

oh! like daddy's son!

i looked around at the other nannies, smiled in a shush it, esmé clenched jaw kind of a smile, and hisspered, daddy. doesn't. have. a. son.

she looked at me like i'd lost my mind.

yes, he does! RICKY! remembah? his little boy with that lady? ROBERT?

ahh, yes. the fake mother of uncle sugar's son, ricky, is named robert. perfect.

at the end of our day, the three of us were lounging in bed. {don't even start me on the co-sleeping. she now falls asleep in our bed, and then we throw her in her own for the night. progress?} uncle sugar was flipping through channels during a chopped commercial break, and happened upon a lovely little show called billy the exterminator.

did you know billy the exterminator has a brother named ricky?

as soon as they heard the name, both of them sat straight up. esmé gasped ricky? at the very same moment uncle sugar fake-wailed MAH BOY! in the ickiest southern-esque twang you've honestly never heard come from a person's mouth. unless you're really unlucky.

at this point, i'm just shaking my head. this is awful. ricky is a tall and wiry middle-aged fella with a blond mullet, wearing acid-wash and leather accessories. do you know that uncle sugar is a dark little italian thug in brooks brothers?

man. his ex, robert, must have been something else.

but esmé is clearly confused. i know she's thinking this CAN'T be ricky. finally. a girlie with some sense, right?

dad? her face is all scrunched up. ummm? he has legs.

oh! that's right! uncle sugar's son, ricky, lost his legs in a sawmill accident.

let's just end with that. it's not really necessary to tell you uncle sugar's response, which may or may not have included the bionic legs that he bought ricky for his thirty-sixth birthday. is it? or that he purchased them on special at wal-mart? or that the bionic legs aren't even the same height, which gives his ricky a lop-sided gait? but, still. think about it. it's a bionic lop-sided gait.

did you grow up with stories like this? tell me we're not wrecking our girlies three...

sorry for the random pics. annabel kassar designs a lot of cool spaces in the middle east. and i have a serious case of wanderlust this week. xoxo.

13 April 2010

meet our newest roommate...

mary and i think this may be the sweetest home-warming present we could've ever dreamed up.

because no matter the lease agreement or closet space or even how you split the water bill, home is where your love lives, yes?

our little sweetheart is move-in ready. just add tape or tack. truly.

p.s. she's currently sharing space with them. and, man...they look amazing together.

12 April 2010

things i learned this weekend...

everything i learned {which was admittedly mostly tennis-related since uncle sugar and i and the girlies three have been playing our heads off these days!} fell off my wagon when i heard that pour porter's shop finally opened.

it. is. heaven.

in other news, i also learned the correct usage of mendacity and all of its variations. compliments of robert fisk and lillie. and a math test. and a re-take. and a punishment that was supposed to last until the end of the school year.

until it fell off my wagon.

that naughty little gracie of woolgathering and miscellany made this for pour porter's shop. lovelovelove. have a genius week, will you? i'll check in as much as i can, but life is really getting in the way of mackin ink. is that ok? say yes...

09 April 2010


despite my aversion to short pants, i bought these.

because pour porter told me she loved them, too. as did she and she and she and she. and as did she. albeit for crocodile wrestling or some sort of hunting excursion.

now we all know who to blame for this purchase.

as for my brand new penchant for wearing a vintage uni sweater? i blame kate.

even though it was joslyn who mailed me this snap as soon as she saw it. feeding my kate fixation quite nicely, i must say.

i love imaginary friends, don't you? better yet, i love imaginary friends who are even better when you meet them. let's plan a party or something, shall we? say yes. xoxo and have a sweet weekend.

08 April 2010

i really love it when...

one of the girlies three surprises me with a burst of random prop styling on my work table.

totally balances out being named the meanest. mom. ever. last night. how in the world do they know that all it takes is a few birdies and a turquoise lemon head to steal my attention away from their drama? little schemers, they are.

there's a lot of cool things happening for me and mary at t.ruffles lately, and i'll for sure share as soon as i should. it all makes me believe harder, do you know? because just monday, i was panicked. so i shared it with you - just put it out there - and you all made me feel heaps better about the state of karey m. and then? poof. freelance work and special orders and a special special project. so...thank you. i mean it. thank you. and xoxo.

07 April 2010

the best medicine...

i was watching the girlies two walk into school this morning when i saw the odd little neighbor boy turn into a whirling dervish - minus the enlightenment - and whack his sister in the face with his backpack.

immediately, i rushed to action. which meant i put both hands over my mouth and doubled over in an i'm trying really hard to be quiet about it and failing horribly fit of laughter.

i. know.

this has always always been a problem for me, this nervous laughter of mine. what's worse is that my giggles increase exponentially in relation to the severity of the situation. like, don't EVER invite me to your funeral.

wait. no. what's worst is the way my girlies two rushed to action. also known as collapsed in a pile. so weak with mirth that they couldn't. get. back. up. not even when the first panic bell rang.

thankfully, the neighbor girl wasn't too injured to disentangle them. i'm almost sure her nose had stopped bleeding.


i'm in the middle of planning some summer get-far-aways for us, and i've naturally got italy on my mind. when is it not on my mind? look at these properties, will you? wow. and really, my girlies are nice. they just unfortunately inherited most of my worst qualities.

06 April 2010

no reason...

i just wanted to say hello.

it's been a genius and productive day. i'd list everything i've accomplished and won today, but i'm deathly fearful of braggy karma.

i can tell you one thing that really has zero to do with anything real, though. ready? i made uncle sugar laugh. like, hard. which is nothing too terribly new. i own some pretty goofy antics. but i honestly don't think he'd ever heard the phrase i used.

he'd just told me some random story, and i finished it with an off-handed "and that's when she totally lost her shit, right?"

that's all it took to put the devil in his eyes. and uncle sugar looks so extra-handsome with the devil in his eyes. so i kept repeating my line whenever appropriate. and even when inappropriate. plus? i may try to swear more often.

are there words that make you laugh? like, hard? do tell! and isn't that bracelet subtle? i thought so, too. have a sweet afternoon, friends. xoxo.

05 April 2010

a sugared hi...

i've been sick in bed for most of the holiday weekend, and i'm still uncharacteristically slugggish.

i tend to panic a bit when i'm under the feather, as lillie used to call it, imagining all the things i'm supposed to be doing all lined-up and all stressed-out on one of those dreaded lists i avoid like. the. plague.

i need to find more freelance work. i have to just say yes to sponsored posts. mary and i must chat about making more t.ruffles cards. {i gave one of these to a little friend for her birthday, and i swear it felt like flat-out sweetness. i wanted to lick it.} i crave carving out more nothing time with the girlies three. no schedules, no barked orders, no random chores...and no computer. i wish i could swim more and smile more than i already do. which is, admittedly, a lot. and i dream about finding my writing a home, do you know? does that make sense? a book or a column or something that makes it all worth something?

there. i said it. ugh. it all makes me feel like i have the plague.

do you freak out when you're clearly not doing what you need to be doing? say yes...

oh, dear. i hope you didn't catch my sick. i'll stay away until i'm all better. until then, catch me on the sweeterie. xoxo.

01 April 2010

this picture says...

exactly what i've been trying to accomplish for the girlies three this week.

more than a thousand words, for sure. hopefully a few more sparkly memories than that, even.

borrowed from natalie kucken's flickr stream. oh, you've not heard of natalie kucken? weird. she's been around for sixteen years. total. {I. KNOW. i would've expected such genius from a seventeen-year old. at least. wow. as you were. and xoxo.}


in my experience with the girlies three, toilets and bidets and the like are not always used as their inventors' intended. no matter how i threaten or use scary phrases like "or else."

no one in the history of no ones has ever been scared of me. i may be bitter about this fact.

anyway. toilets become escape hatches for tiny dolls on the run, rubbish bins for the lazier of the three, and evidence concealers for anyone in a panic when faced with the question "where is my nars?"

also, bidets are the perfect hot tubs for the above-mentioned dolls on the run. after they make bail.

yesterday, esmé all-of-a-sudden appeared next to me. as quiet and as pale as a ghost. circles for her eyes and mouth.

"i just peeped a feathah," she whispered.

i debated. i did. was this an opportunity to teach her not to throw feathers away in the toilet? once again? or was it the chance to scare her silly from eating items that should not be eaten?

as she walked away, i heard her dazed and confused mumble, "i don't remembah eating a pink feathah."

i tire of finding toys in the toilet. never tire of words to wear. aurora lopez mejia here.