Monthly Archives

October 2011


Photoshoot: 9 Months Old

Baby girl turned 9 months old on Oct. 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.”

She’s still wearing 6-9 month clothing for the most part. She’s outgrown her 3-6 month zipper sleepers, and the 6-9 month zipper sleepers are getting snug. So we go to buy 9-12 month sleepers and … there are none to be found. Where are they? We need zipper sleepers! And preferably not zipper sleepers that cost $15 a pop!

Sleep has been restless for the past month. We see those teensy little nubs of teeth. They are being stubborn, but I know sometimes they make Alexa uncomfortable. She’s still sleeping till 6 a.m. most days, but sometimes she will wake in the middle of the night or at 4 a.m. in discomfort.

She is holding her own milk bottle. This has been the major triumph of the month! I’ve slowly been transitioning her into eating finger foods, but so far this is not successful. She will eat bits of things when I place them directly into her mouth. I tried to give her a strip of pancake the other morning and she just squished it between her fingers, not once trying to put it in her mouth (which is strange because she will gnaw on wooden blocks).

Crawling is coming up. Every morning I find her in her crib on all fours, rocking back and forth. She won’t stay on her back for long (see pics below). She’s always rolling over and doing push-ups. Then she gets frustrated with her lack of progress and whimpers. The lunging is getting more intense. She always lunges toward the computer cord and the mouse (it glows pretty colors). Other favorite, dangerous things she is attracted to: hot coffee, glassware.

She gets mad when things get taken from her. Toys, spoons, crumbled-up bits of uneaten pancake. If it is taken from her hand, cries of protest are not far behind.

Alexa was super curious during this photoshoot. She had her foot in her mouth for a good bit of it, but she was pretty blurry because our house is a cave and there is not enough natural light to get great action shots. She kept rolling over onto her belly so she could get a good look at the cat. Every time she sees him she talks to him.

Her nine-month appointment went swimmingly. Doc says she is perfect. She was not shy telling the doc exactly what she thought about ear exams. They’re still good friends, though. Doc loves her.

Stats: 20 lbs., 5 oz. (75th percentile); 27.25 inches tall (50th percentile); 44.5 cm head circumference (although doc couldn’t get a great measure because she has so much hair the tape measure kept slipping)

1 month  •  2 months  •  3 months  •  4 months
  •  5 months  •  6 months  •  7 months  •  8 months

True Colors

Ten more things you may not (want to) know about me …

(11) I craved Taco Bell throughout my pregnancy. The teenager who worked the drive-through at 9 p.m. even started to recognize me. It was a little out of control.

(12) I have no physical photos of Alexa. They all live on my computer, cameras and cellphone. I need to remedy this.

(13) When I was 19 I decided it would be a good idea to pierce the upper cartilage of my ear. It was not a good idea because I sleep on that ear every night. I would wake up whimpering, waiting for it to “heal” and stop being so sensitive. It never did. I finally gave up and removed the piercing.

(14) I just got my Los Angeles Public Library card. Not to check out physical books, but to have digital copies sent to my Kindle app. I used to be a book purist. But. It’s so much more convenient to read on my cellphone, and I don’t want to pay full price for a book I’m going to read in three days and never revisit again!

(15) I’m worried that No. 14 makes me an asshole because I’m an unpublished novelist.

(16) If there were only one pen on the planet, I would want it to be a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point. Any color.

(17) When I was a kid I used to climb a tree in our backyard that looked like it had been hit by lightning. I would sit there for hours in the late afternoon and make up songs and stories.

(18) In junior high a friend dared me to jump over a tennis net. I tried and fell flat on my face.

(19) Also in junior high a different friend dared me to jump over a hurdle when I was on the track team. I tried and fell flat on my face.

(20) This white girl definitely can’t jump.

This is the second in a series of confessionals. Mad props to Deanna for starting the link-up.

Steppin’ Out

What I’m wearing:
Dress: Thrifted
Gray leggings: Old Navy
Shoes: Thrifted
Headband: Forever 21
Cardi: Won in giveaway last year
Necklace: My mom’s

What Alexa’s wearing:
White onesie: Gifted
Pumpkin costume: Target
Legwarmers: Knotty Baby Wear

We got baby girl all decked out in her costume today so we could take some photos. Since Halloween falls on a Monday and trick-or-treating is well past her bedtime, we decided it would be bad parenting to keep her up late as a guise for free candy. Oh, how I love free candy, though.

I’d like to report that I hand-stitched this costume with fiber obtained from my silkworm farm, but alas. It’s from Target.

You’ll notice our pumpkins aren’t carved! Our pumpkin-carving party never got off the ground because we were having too much fun chatting. Then we were a few beers in and suddenly no one wanted to wield a sharp object. Strange how that happens. Very few children ever knock on our door on Halloween, anyway, so it’s not like a porch decorated with pumpkins is necessary. I think we’ll hack them open, roast their seeds and bake their innards instead. Maybe make some muffins out of them.

My outfit is uninspired today. In fact, I think I wore it when I was pregnant. Check me out in all my Alexa-in-the-oven glory. I miss my old haircut. There’s only so much more headband-wearing I can do before I crack and run crying to my stylist. But I’m trying to be strong. I’ve been saying I’d grow out my hair for a long time.

H did not want to be featured today because, in his words, “I’m not wearing anything different.”

Good thing our little pumpkin is stealing the spotlight, anyway.


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10 Dollar Bill


You have a $10 bill in your pocket. Why don’t you …

Put some sweet hairpins in your ‘do today? These bows by Freena would be cute holding back those bangs you’re growing out (heh, maybe that’s just me). They would be great as an accent to your super fancy style on date night. Really, you can’t go wrong with prettified bobby pins.

Fashion Forward: Handbags for Fall

Handbags for Fall • Little Gold Pixel


Thought I’d share with you a little roundup of bags I’ve had my eye on. There are certain things that just go with fall: curling up to watch a horror movie, drinking apple cider, eating the leftover Halloween candy. And new handbags for fall. It’s this time of year that I always get an itch to buy a new bag, even though it’s not in my budget right now. It never hurts to window shop, right?

The It List

Five things I’m lovin’ right now …
Colorful signs that evoke The Mary Tyler Moore Show. [photo by]

Modcloth’s coat patterns. [via Mooreaseal]

Mother-and-daughter Raggedy Ann costumes. Next Halloween? [DIY via A Beautiful Mess]

This adorable free printable alphabet by The Handmade Home.

Collages made from bits of maps by Matthew Cusick. [via]

As always, you can follow me on Pinterest to see more things I’m lovin’ …

On a Foggy Pier

When we went to the pier on Saturday there was a magical thick mist casting a gray haze over everything. I love taking photos in this kind of lighting. Blues seem bluer. Greens seem greener. Everything takes on a vibrancy.

Even the ocean takes on a new personality. The waves are more noticeable, like a blanket slowly creeping up on the surfers.

Bundled up in her sweater and leggings, Alexa only felt the cool morning breeze on her face. She has been to the pier before, but this was the first time she was really AT the pier. She looked around, watched the surfers, noticed the birds, clung tight to her Daddy.

A seagull posed for me, people. Unheard of! I was less than an arm’s length away, and he was totally cool with it. The mist, it really chills people — and birds — out.

I love some of these images so much I might offer them in the store. What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

3 Ways to Keep Kid Clutter Contained

Thanks to Tervis for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website to learn more about the world’s first smart cup.

3 Tried-and-True Kid Clutter Solutions •

The stroller, the bags, the cat. OH THE HUMANITY.

Let’s talk about the gear. The kiddo gear, the stuff that seems to multiply as soon as you bring your precious bundle of joy home from the hospital along with the 5,000 diapers and other goodies you’ve astutely nabbed from the nurses.

It’s a dividing line of before and after for your home: pre-baby (tidy, uncluttered, free of cutesy toys) and post-baby (a disturbing number of clunky items with even clunkier boxes).

At first I was too busy/tired to be bothered with it. In the newborn days everything takes on this thick haze. A “we’ll survive this” glaze that dulls reality. Nothing seems as bad as it really is. Then, a few months under our belts, I woke up one day and saw it.

The jumperoo taking up an enormous amount of space in the corner. The stroller that somehow found an awkward parking spot next to our dining-room table. The Pack and Play that fits nowhere gracefully. The toys and onesies strewn about, willy nilly.

Where to even start?

Here are a few smart-thinking tips to improve your lifestyle as new parents.

3 Ways to Keep Kid Clutter Contained

1. Clear some closet space to give clunky everyday items a home.

For instance, we went through our shoe closet and donated a large garbage bag full of shoes we no longer needed or wore. It went from looking like this:

3 Tried-and-True Kid Clutter Solutions •

… to looking like this:

3 Tried-and-True Kid Clutter Solutions •
We cleared out some of the hanging storage to make room for a folded-up stroller. The car seat fits nicely on the shelf above.

3 Tried-and-True Kid Clutter Solutions •
Our bags (including diaper bag) hang on over-the-door hooks, keeping them from cluttering up our dining table. The best thing? This door shuts, and it’s all out of sight, out of mind at the end of a long day.

2. Designate areas in each room to house baby items.

We have a large lidded box in the living room that matches our decor. Inside there are toys, blankets, books and other little things we use to entertain Alexa when she is in the living room. When we are done in the living room, we quickly round things up, put them in the box and close the lid. Same thing in her bedroom and in our bedroom.

An addendum: We decided to move big toys like the jumperoo out of our living room and into Alexa’s room. She prefers to play in there, anyway. A place for everything, and everything in its place!

3. Re-think every bulky purchase.

Do you really need a changing table or is it just as easy to use a portable pad on already-existing furniture?

Do you really need a high chair or can you get away with a booster seat that attaches to your dining chair? We went the booster-seat route, and storing it in our pantry was much easier than finding a suitable spot for a big chair.

The best part about following these few tips?

I’m typing this in the living room at 10 p.m. and there’s not a toy or stroller as far as the eye can see. It’s Mommy time, and this space allows for relaxation. Almost (dare I say it?) pre-baby relaxation.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Tervis, visit their website

Steppin’ Out

What I’m wearing:
Baseball tee: Target men’s, clearance, years ago
Jeans: Seven, thrifted
Sneakers: Skechers

What H is wearing:
Jacket: Le Tigre, thrifted
Jeans: Gap, thrifted
Sneakers: Nike

What Alexa’s wearing:
Hooded sweater: Lia Molly via Anthropologie, gifted (check out this Lia Molly frock!)
Legwarmers: Baby Legs
Socks: Janie + Jack, gifted

When Alexa woke us up yesterday morning, we decided to put on some casual clothes and head to the beach for a walk. It was a gorgeous misty morning (I have so many other photos to share, but that’s a different post).

Baby girl looked adorable in her little sweater. It was a little long in the sleeves, so I just rolled them up. The sweater itself is super intricate and well-made. My favorite part is the little owl charm that hangs from the side pocket. You can’t see because of the legwarmers, but the socks also have little owls on them. LOVE.

I’m pretty sure this windbreaker is one of H’s favorite finds. It’s perfect for a chilly morning at the pier. I love that vibrant blue. My outfit. Well. At least I’m not naked. Sometimes you just have to slum it.


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True Colors

Every Sunday my blog pal Deanna comes up with 10 “confessionals,” aka things you may not know about her. I’m going to link up with her today for fun. Let’s see if I can shock you with my true colors…

(1) Sewing machines frighten and confuse me. One of these days I’m going to buy one and confront my fear, but until then. Bobbin what?

(2) Baristas have the hardest time spelling my name, and sometimes it really bothers me. Venessa. Vannessa. Vanesa. Vannesa. Venesa. What is so hard about Vanessa? I mean, that’s the original spelling. Vanessa Redgrave. Vanessa Williams. Or, if you’d like a less talented example, Vanessa Hudgens.

(3) Sometimes I still jump into bed from a foot away so the monsters underneath won’t grab my ankles.

(4) I once gave away the ending to “Titanic” a few days after the movie came out. Psst, she throws the Heart of the Ocean back into the ocean!

(5) I can’t stand for my nails to be long. I cut them to the quick.

(6) I’ve lived in apartments and townhouses since 1998. I’m ready to live in a real house again. Please?

(7) I’m not sure when my next oil change should be, and I can’t bring myself to care.

(8) Boots taller than my ankles never fit my calves. So I can’t wear them. Yes, this pisses me off.

(9) I really miss air conditioning. You never know how much you crave a stable environment and temperature until you don’t have it.

(10) There is no Halloween candy in this house. If there was, I’d be eating it right now.