Monthly Archives

June 2011

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Photoshoot: 5 Months Old

five months old

Baby girl turned 5 months old on June 28. Each month on the 28th I plan to take a photoshoot with Miss Alexa and her owl to mark her growth because, as everyone likes to remind me, “they’re only little for a short while.”

Baby girl’s photos this month were taken on a blanket made by my friend Denise. It is really gorgeous, super soft, and I’m just in awe of her talent. I wish I knew how to crochet. Anyway, I’m keeping this blanket mostly out of Alexa’s gummy clutches because I want her to be able to give it to her kids someday.

I put away her 0-3 month clothing a few weeks ago and had to fight back tears. She’s growing up so fast. She’s mostly wearing 3-6 month clothes, with some 6-9 month onesies fitting pretty nicely. She has a pretty long torso.

She is simply not happy unless she is in motion. She likes to jump like a fool in her jumperoo. She likes to sit up on our laps. Last week for the first time she sat in a booster seat at a restaurant, and she was positively beaming the entire time. Her tummy muscles are getting stronger. She’ll be sitting up on her own soon, I think.

She likes her milk. Before I went back to work I was keeping track of how many ounces she was drinking per day. But then things got a little blurred. I was giving her X amount, babysitter was giving her Y amount and H was giving her Z amount. It was getting confusing, and when I asked one day what each fed it turned out to be a massive 36 ounces. We are cutting out any feeding that takes place near her bed/crib because I have a feeling she is using that bottle as a pacifier (she never would take a pacifier, and previously I served that purpose when I was breastfeeding).

We have dabbled in some solids. She doesn’t like cereal, so we skipped it. She is a big fan of carrots and bananas. She’s lukewarm toward squash and sweet potatoes. She likes purees fed to her via finger. She is lukewarm about that spoon. We aren’t feeding her more than a few bites at a time because she gets indifferent pretty fast. We’re letting her guide us on the transition to solid foods.

I wish I could update on stats. Scale at home is broken, so no estimate right now. I’ll measure her when I get a chance, but I’m going to guess 26 inches?

Past months: 1 month old  •  2 months old  •  3 months old  •  4 months old

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Photoshoot: Self-Portrait





Someone once told me that no one is ever happy with their body the way it is now … but you should know that you’ll never be any younger than you are this very moment. When you’re older and looking at photos from your past you’re not going to say, “Oh my, look at those flabby arms/double chin/thunder thighs/big ass/crooked nose/gut.” You’re going to say, “Oh my, look how young I was!”

I’ve been trying to take this sentiment to heart this year and include myself in more photos. If you sift through the archives on this blog you’ll find virtually no photos of me. That’s because I have historically shied away from having my picture taken. I have always been much more at home behind the camera.

Through the years I’ve taken portraits of many friends and family members, and the shots I find so, so beautiful (their face is perfectly framed, the lighting makes them look amazing) they often take issue with. “Ugh, I don’t like the way I look in that one.” I’ve heard that a lot.

Are you guilty of not liking the way you look?

I am. I, like the previously mentioned friends and family, have always found fault with photos I’m in. I’ll point to the “lazy” eyelid or the double chin or the not-so-perfect teeth. But I then realized that there are entire periods of my life that have gone undocumented because I did not want my photo taken. What a travesty!

Needless to say this is bullshit.

I woke up one day and realized that I want to document my life. And guess what I’ve found out? Some of the best photos of me aren’t the ones I’d typically think are the most flattering. The best ones are the ones that create a memory. Like the one of H and I in Hawaii, getting ready to board a sunset cruise. We are doing our cheesy tourist pose with the “hang loose” sign. Sure, my calf looks chunkier than I’d like. The pattern on my dress is a little too busy. But that doesn’t take away from the glow radiating from my face. I’m happy. We just spent the day swimming in the Pacific, and H taught me how to swim the breaststroke. We were celebrating 10 years of marriage. If I had a critical eye I could spend all day finding things wrong with the way I look. But I choose to enjoy the memory we created with that snapshot. And it’s framed, proudly sitting in our living room.

In this spirit I’m sharing with you the sporadic photos I took of myself as a passenger in H’s car a few weeks ago. I’m wearing no makeup. I can’t remember when I plucked my eyebrows. My hair is in desperate need of a cut. My lips are chapped. My eyes are dark from lack of sleep.

But you know what? These photos are beautiful. I look so young.

Baby Talk

twenty-one weeks old

Dear Miss Alexa,

Twenty-one weeks old. I almost typed “twenty-one years old,” which made me convulse in fear. Please do not walk before you crawl. And please do not drive after you drink.

This week has been challenging. Daddy and I are noticing that your sleep habits are starting to disintegrate again — this time your naptime habits. You are starting to realize that if you cry long enough Mommy or Daddy will come to your aid with their arms, a rocking chair, a bottle or all three. We are new at this parenting thing, but we know you are getting to the age where you know what you want. This is not necessarily a good thing, you see, because what you want might not be what you need.

You want us to pacify you. But you need to soothe yourself to sleep.

And because you are a spirited baby, you will stop at nothing to get what you want. So Mommy has to put her foot down and be consistent with your sleep training (it’s oh so hard when you cry in protest). Mommy only wants what is best for you. It is best for you to learn to calm yourself and get your sleep. Babies need their sleep to learn and grow.

In other news, you are laughing a lot. You like it when we shake a stuffed animal in front of your face and make it talk. You like it when we give you airplane rides. You like to bounce in your jumperoo. You like when Mommy makes you dance. You like to hang upside down.

If we give you a new toy, you will take it and examine it. Put it in your mouth. Shake it. Throw it. Or hug it. You are very curious and like to investigate items. You like paper a lot. You try to rip it.

We are slowly getting you used to purees and spoons. So far you’ve tasted sweet potatoes, squash, bananas and carrots. Bananas and carrots are by far your favorites. Maybe peas will be next?

You are sitting up more and more on your own. You are working on doing sit-ups. I don’t think you’ll be in that Rock and Play for much longer. You are about to outgrow it. It’s almost time for you to sleep in your big-girl crib. Are you ready?

Things you like: Stuffed animals that make you laugh, holding onto books (you learned how to), crying instead of sleeping, dozing on drives, going to the beach, grabbing Daddy’s hair, “talking” to Mommy and Daddy, your jumperoo!
Things you hate: Sleeping, soiling your diapers in public places, being in your car seat, being too hot (it’s summertime!), tummy time

Xoxo,
Mommy

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Photoshoot: Daddycam

Ever since I returned to work I look at the clock and start sending texts to H around 4:30 p.m., around the time he would get to the daycare to pick up Alexa if he were driving 250 mph. They start off normal. “Pic of baby?”

Then as time goes on and I have heard no word, they get more frantic. “Babybabybabybaby”

And if I don’t hear from him by 5 I get panicky. “Do you have Alexa yet?”

No later than 5:15 he texts me a dark, often-blurry, always awkward shot of Alexa. The most beautiful pictures in the world! And I can finally breathe a sigh of relief and text back: “Mommy misses you”


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100 Movies: 80, 81

And the countdown continues in my quest to watch and find something inspiring in every single one of Yahoo’s 100 Movies to See Before You Die.

I’m getting so close to the end! Less than 20 movies left! Yessss!
100 Movies to See Before You Die: 80-81 • Little Gold Pixel
I do love me some neo-noir. They just don’t make enough good interrogation movies nowadays. Kevin Spacey spins a yarn about what went down at a massacre on a boat, and makes up nearly every bit of it. Sorry to spoil it for you (assuming you’re one of three people who have never seen this movie), but that’s what I find most inspiring about it: the creativity of the lies. I’d like to look around the room and make up a story using names of things I see. Knowing me, though, I’d probably botch it and use words like “curtain” and “lamp” instead of Kobayashi Porcelain Company. And I wouldn’t be able to come up with an alter ego as awesome as Keyser Soze.

100 Movies to See Before You Die: 80-81 • Little Gold Pixel
Hasta la vista, baby. Edward Furlong was such a hood rat until he met the Terminator. Running around Los Angeles, hacking into ATMs and stealing money. Then when he realizes a robot will do his bidding he turns into Mr. Don’t Kill Anybody, OK? Then a lot of crazy gun hoarding, explosions and machine morphing ensues. I have a healthy fear of robots, and this movie does everything to back up my fears. Let’s not make Terminators and T-1000s, mmkay people? And for the love of god let’s not let Skynet go self-aware.

Steppin’ Out




What Alexa’s wearing:
Headband: Children’s Orchard
Dress: Janie + Jack, gifted
Onesie: Gifted
Navy shorts (unpictured): Koala Baby

What H is wearing:
White polo: Lacoste, thrifted
Jean shorts: Levi’s, gift from me and Alexa
Flip-flops: Havaianas
Watch: Guess
Hat: Gift from me

What I’m wearing:
Dress (mostly unseen): Thrifted
Pink shirt: Thrifted
Black + white tunic: Thrifted
Leggings: Old Navy
Peep-toes: Old Navy

What a Saturday. You know it’s a full day when you return home around noon to shower and get dressed again. We started off the morning with a walk at the beach in our workout clothes. This is us before we stepped out to Whole Foods in search of lunch and organic lotion and IKEA for some storage ideas. Then H’s car malfunctioned, but that’s a story rant for another blog post.

I blame my midday beach brain on my crazy outfit, which was three different layers of insanity. I’m wearing a tank dress topped with a pink tee topped with a tunic. I wanted to just wear the tunic and tee but modesty kicked in and I needed that extra two inches of fabric the dress provided in the skirt. I know. Like I said, crazy. The outtakes from this photoshoot are pure insanity, too. This photo was literally the only one where I did not look like the biggest freak. So. You will likely not be seeing this on me again. I mean, wow. It was a hot mess. (No, really, it was pretty hot wearing three layers in the summertime.) The best part was my red-and-white striped shoes. I’m totally in love with them.

H and Alexa had the right idea wearing outfits that were, you know, MEANT for summer. Alexa and I bought H these jean shorts for Father’s Day last weekend. He had been complaining for some time that there were a lack of good jean shorts available in the past few years. Which is true because madras has been all the rage. But wife and daughter set out on a mission and we would not be denied until we found the perfect jean shorts! No saggy ass, check! A classic cut, check! A little on the narrow side for hip-ability, check! And voila. You have photographic evidence of a hot man in jean shorts.

Alexa’s dress was actually a subject of worry last week when I washed her laundry. It is the only bright — and I mean BRIGHT — red outfit she has. Would it bleed? Would it fade? Are you waiting on the edge of your seat for the result of this scary load of laundry? Well, you can breathe a sigh of relief because all is well in Alexa wardrobe land. And the red is brighter than ever.

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On My Plate: Summer Salad

Hello, friends. Perhaps I can entice you with a delectable summer salad …




My palette is changing, y’all. Recently I added pickles to a hot dog. PICKLES. And I hate pickles. Yesterday I started salivating over a mushroom pizza. MUSHROOM! Ick! And in the same vein I decided to try a salad with chickpeas in it. Chickpeas, usually relegated to live only smashed to smithereens in my hummus, now have become a pleasant addition to my new favorite salad.

I was inspired by this recipe, but like usual I changed it so it’s practically unrecognizable. Because as much as I am open to pickles and mushrooms and chickpeas, I’m still not opening my gullet for raw olives.

The verdict? My revised recipe is a keeper. It reminds me of the Thai crunch salad from CPK, but with slightly less crunch. It’s definitely a mouthful of robust, clean flavors that make you feel like you did a very good thing, as Martha would say.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic (grated fresh or from a spice bottle, depending on how lazy you are)
  • 3 large handfuls spring mix salad (spinach leaves!)
  • 1 cup diced chicken
  • Feta cheese

Here’s what you do:
Chop the tomato, cucumber and onion into small bits. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Combine in large bowl with a sprinkling of the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic (add amount to your liking; remember, you’re making a light vinaigrette, so a little goes a long way). Mix with your fingers to ensure vinaigrette is coating everything. Let this marinate for 10-20 minutes to soak up the flavor. In the meantime you can chop up your salad leaves and put them in serving bowls. If you’re cooking fresh chicken on a weeknight … I salute you. Time is of the essence when I get home, so I have some pre-cut frozen chicken I warm up instead. Add this to your salad bowl. Then top with a ladle full of your marinated veggies and lightly sprinkle with feta cheese. Enjoy!

Photoshoot: Look, See?



These photos I took last weekend of H and Alexa are cute, sure. But deeper than cute, I’m reminded of my mom and a secret bond we shared.

When I was 13 years old I caught a really bad flu and stayed home sick from school. I was looking so ghastly my mom called out from work, too, to take care of me. I mean, it must’ve been bad because I slept most of the day cuddled up next to her in her larger, cozier bed instead of in my room. When I woke up in the late afternoon, the sun filtering through the blinds, we started talking. Somehow we started comparing hand sizes.

“My hand is soooo much bigger than yours,” I said with confidence, putting my palm against hers. “Look, see?”

And with those words we both stretched our fingers as far as they would reach, each willing our hand to be the biggest. They were pretty much the same length, although my mom’s fingers were more slender and delicate. Then we collapsed into a fit of giggles and, for me, coughs.

This remained a running joke for us for the rest of her life. All I had to do was say, “Look, see?” and she’d smile and raise her hand to touch mine. I wonder if she was remembering when her hand really was bigger than mine, and chasing that moment when I was a tiny baby just like Alexa is now.

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The It List

Five things I’m lovin’ right now. (Check out other things I love on my Pinterest page.)
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Summertime adult beverage recipes, like this one for blueberry sangria lemonade. I do believe this could be a Fourth of July contender.

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Pretty post earrings like these aqua ones by Studio 94.

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Homemade banners with cute messages. I think even I could pull off this DIY.

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Rows of (customizable) floating bookshelves.

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Map handbag from Sky Turtle Shop.