Monthly Archives

April 2012

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Steppin’ Out

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What I’m wearing
Striped top: Thrifted
Shrug: Thrifted (remixed here)
Jean capris: Ross

What Alexa’s wearing
Tunic: Target
Leggings: Target (remixed here)
Shoes: See Kai Run (remixed here)

This is what we wore yesterday on our day out. Our destinations included IKEA, the park, World Market and The Counter. It was a fun day. We thought we wore Alexa out with all the sliding, running and swinging in the park. Alas, we were wrong. We had one of those nightmare bedtimes, the kind that dragged on for three hours because a certain little girl wouldn’t stop jumping up and down in her crib. Finally, at 9 p.m., H and I were able to breathe a sigh of relief. We promptly passed out because we realized exactly how exhausted we were. Toddlers = tired parents.

So. Let’s address what everyone’s thinking here. Do you always have to match Alexa? I’m telling you, it’s a total accident! I like stripes, these happen to be the one pair of leggings that are not waiting for a wash (again, toddlers with the dirty clothes, sheesh), so it was meant to be. Red stripes for me, blue stripes for her. We look very Americana, like perhaps we should be going to a Fourth of July parade and waving miniature flags in the air.

This shirt was a thrifting score ($4!) from a few weeks ago, when Alexa and I cruised over to Long Beach with Sara. The jeans I found on Friday for $15. I think everything I’m wearing (the sandals you can’t see, too) probably comes in at less than $40. I love it when that happens.

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I Do It Myself

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^^ That strawberry did not pass her inspection.

For the past few weeks Alexa has been all about feeding herself the “messy” food with the spoon or the fork. As you can guess there isn’t much actual feeding going on, more like painting herself with her food. This is all fine at home, where the atmosphere is controlled and I can strip her down to her birthday suit or spray her with a high-pressure water hose. Just kidding. Kinda.

Today I took her out for frozen yogurt after the park. A small amount of strawberry yogurt with some fresh strawberries on top for her, dutch chocolate for me. We sat at the table. No highchairs in this establishment, so Alexa sat in a big girl seat. I scooped up a small amount of yogurt with her spoon and moved it toward her mouth.

“No,” she said, shaking her head and holding her hand out for the spoon. She stared me down as if to say, “I DO IT MYSELF.” Reluctantly I handed over the spoon and sat back to watch the destruction unfold.

There was yogurt all over the chair, the table, her hair, her clothes. She took turns putting the fresh strawberries on the table and in the cup and in her mouth.

When she was done, I cleaned the chair and table thoroughly. Then I took Alexa to the bathroom, where we washed hands, mouth and face and changed pants (thank god I had the foresight to have an extra pair in the diaper bag). This is just a normal snapshot in the life of a parent of a toddler, I know, but you have to understand something.

I HATE MESSES. And I usually intervene to minimize messes!

So as much as I write this to mark the moment when Alexa decided she wanted to “do it herself,” I also mark the day I decided to let her. I didn’t try to stop her from getting sticky. I didn’t cringe when she got yogurt on her shoes. I even chuckled as I was wiping her down and made up a little cleaning-up song.

Alexa is learning to be a little girl and I’m learning to be patient. It’s a long road. And it’s going to get messy.

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Highly Subjective List of My Favorite Male Rock Vocalists

I’ve told you about my novel, right? The simplistic premise is that a desperate fan infiltrates her favorite band to sleep with the lead singer. Now, this lead singer had to be extremely charismatic, of course, someone the reader could fall in love with, too. But as I was creating this character I had to think about his voice.

These are a few of the rock gods I called on in my mind while I was writing this book:

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STEVE PERRY

Um, yeah. Raspy, powerful. Who is this Sherry and can I be her?

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ROBERT PLANT

Nonchalant, emphatic. Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove.

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JIM MORRISON

Raw. Sensual. A thick, deep vocal. The Lizard King wants to light your fire.

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AXL ROSE

Falsetto rocker, sweet tenor, whistler. Truly gifted vocalist, even better when he’s patient.

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EDDIE VEDDER

Emotional. Throaty. Many have tried to imitate, but there is only one original.

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DAVID BOWIE

Mysterious, ominous even. Theatrical. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.

Who would make your list of favorite male rock vocalist? Don’t be shy …

The It List

Five things I’m lovin’ right now …
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  1. Elise’s line of stamps. My favorite? “That’s what she said.”
  2. Lollipops and Roses’ guide to What to Wear to Sit Around and Do Nothing.
  3. Pop-up art pianos. There is one outside my office building.
  4. Turning a china hutch into toy storage. Julia at Pawleys Island Posh did an inspiring job.
  5. This play kitchen. I want it for Alexa. But let’s be honest. I want it for me, too.

See more things I’m lovin’ over on Pinterest.

Steppin’ Out

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What I’m wearing
Sheer top: Target 
Pink tee: Ross 
Jeans: Target 
Sandals: Payless 
What Alexa’s wearing
Peacock dress, er, top: Target 
Jeggings: Thrifted
Shoes: See Kai Run, gift

What H is wearing
Hat: Thrifted

We are feeling so comfortable in our new home that we did not step out on Saturday until 3 p.m. I think that’s a record for us because our little family likes to get out and enjoy the day. Instead we lounged, played “phone” with Alexa, and H even taught her how to climb the staircase, which sent me into a mild panic because it’s suddenly becoming too real and omg I guess I should finally buy a baby gate — as well as sedatives for when her shrill screams of protest try to warp my brain. To clarify, the sedatives would be for me.

Anyway, this is what we wore out for a pizza run and a few stops at some thrift stores. I was on the hunt for some frames to fill my gallery wall, and I was in luck. Came home with several 5×7 frames … and I have nothing but 8×10 and 4×6 prints. Sigh.

The most notable thing about our outfits this week is that Alexa is wearing a newborn dress as a trapeze top. So rad. I wish it worked that way for adults, but I’m pretty sure a size 0 dress would not make a fetching top for yours truly. Oh well. One can dream.

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Photoshoot: 14 Months Old

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Baby girl turned 14 months old on March 28 (yes, this post is late). Each month on the 28th I take a photo of Miss Alexa and her owl to mark her growth because, as everyone likes to remind me, “they’re only little for a short while.”

Alexa’s still wearing 12-18 month clothing. She is starting to work her way into those size 5 shoes (including the white sneakers in the photos). The Easter bunny aka Aunt Sara brought her a pair that she can’t get enough of. She’s always bringing them up to me, opening and closing the velcro straps. This girl might just love shoes as much as her mama.

Naptime is still a crapshoot. Most days she will hop up immediately and start jumping up and down in her crib. If she takes a morning nap she refuses the afternoon nap and vice versa.

She has TWO TEETH now (bottom middle). There were a few fussy nights, but nothing we didn’t expect. She likes to brush her teeth with me. She will watch as I brush, then she puts her toothbrush in her mouth to mimic me. I’m working my way up to getting her to let me brush her teeth for real. She is very particular about wanting to do things her way. I understand; she got this from me.

Alexa is starting to get a little picky when it comes to food. The girl who formerly ate everything is now trying to sneak food off her plate by putting it on the table next to her. The main offenders this month: broccoli, Cheerios, cherry tomatoes. New favorites: grapes, veggie burgers. Old favorite: She can never get enough banana. In fact, she calls for it: “Nana!” If you say, “Alexa, do you want a banana?” she will run to the kitchen and point toward the fruit bowl, saying, “Nana, nana, nana.” When she’s hungry she says yum, but it comes out “num.” Sometimes it even sounds like she’s saying “mahna mahna.” Hilarious.

Talking. She’s learning more and more. She will say “hi” and “bye” if she feels like it. She chatters a lot. I can’t wait till I know what she’s saying.

We’re walking everywhere now. The climbing is starting. She can’t get far, but she’ll at least put one leg up on something before crying in frustration. She can climb up short steps if I hold one hand for balance. She tried to climb up the slide at the park; speaking of which, she slid down the slide a few hundred times. Loves it. Almost as much as she loves swinging. This girl loves a thrill ride.

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On Letting Go

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It’s really hard for me to let go of things. Chalk it up to that type A personality. I can’t accept certain realities. I always think I’m right. I can be stubborn. I’m disappointed when things do not turn out according to plan. Some would say that this headstrong attitude is a strength.

I happen to think it’s my biggest flaw, and this week I’ve struggled with two things that really highlighted this flaw.

The first thing breaks my heart. This morning we said goodbye to Q, our cat of five years. He is staying with a really sweet lady who is going to try to place him with a new family, one that isn’t fraught with allergies. I feel so much guilt over this decision, but it’s not why you think. I feel guilty because I was selfish. I didn’t want to let him go because I love him, even though staying with us is not in his best interest. I think this new adventure is the absolute best thing for Q. He needs people who are happy — not apprehensive — to pet him and cuddle him, whose eyes do not tear up or whose babies do not sneeze when they’re in close proximity to him. He needs a family that can dote on him the way he deserves. One that does not just pet him in passing and keep their bedroom doors closed because they have to keep the allergens out.

So after much internal debate I finally let go. I did it. My heart still hurts, but time will heal. And I’ll be able to check in to find out how Q is doing in his new digs (which, I admit, makes me feel better).

The second thing is in regards to this blog. I used to be militant about posting every day. Sometimes twice. I had a schedule. I followed it, even when my heart wasn’t in the day’s “planned” post. I would blog every night after getting home from work and cooking dinner. I would research, edit photos and chat randomly with H but mostly just share space with him without speaking.

The fact that I continued this insane schedule … is insane. I mean, hello! I work/commute for 10 hours a day and split the rest of my time running errands, tackling chores and spending quality time with my family, with rarely a minute for myself. I would stay up extra late just to get those few minutes of alone time. I was bound to crack.

It started slowly when we moved; I was too busy to breathe let alone blog. But this week I finally let go. I decided that yes, I want to go to the gym after work and detox. I decided that yes, I want to go to sleep early tonight. I decided that yes, I want to watch “Prison Break” with H instead of opening my laptop. And you know something? It was hard. I felt guilty for letting go. But it was also kinda great, I’m not going to lie. Through my little break I realized that this blog is for my thoughts. It’s not for meeting some self-imposed post quota. I’m letting go of this rigid schedule and my fixed “features.” I’ll still run The It List and other features you like, but only when I feel like it.

I hope you understand my more sporadic blogging and still come back to see me. I have met so many great people through this blog, and I would never want to let go of any of you.

Steppin’ Out

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What I’m wearing:
Black tee: Old Navy
Maroon sweater: Anthropologie
Jeans: Target (last seen here)
Booties: Thrifted Guess (last seen here)
Sunglasses: Anthropologie

What Alexa’s wearing:
Cardigan: LiaMolly for Anthropologie, gift (last seen here)
Black leggings: Target
Bunny slippers: Old Navy, gift (last seen here)

Woah. Who turned on the wind machine and how do we get it to stop? It started yesterday (along with an insane-for-L.A. thunderstorm) and we spent the majority of our Saturday alternately burning up in the sun and freezing our bums off in the shade/wind. Whew. At least there were no tornadoes. Sorry, Midwesterners.

So we had a pretty happening day. First we took our dear friends to the airport for a well-deserved vacation. Afterward we got our caffeine and thrifting fix. These things go together like peas and carrots, don’t you know. Then we made a pit stop at the park so Alexa could run free. This might’ve been the first park trip in which she was really into the experience. She didn’t want to get off the swing. And then she didn’t want to leave the slide after sliding down it for the first time. I accommodated her obsession and helped her slide a bajillion more times because I, too, am a thrill seeker.

Afterward we ate at Wahoo’s and went on a search for a record store. I finally bit the bullet and bought a record player. This is exciting news. When the record player and I met for the first time there were sparks and warm fuzzies. We were so enamored with each other I managed to seduce it all the way home without realizing that it was wearing a chastity belt (aka security alarm that the Target cashier forgot to take off). It was an exciting five minutes watching H kill the alarm with a hammer. But we’ve since had more fun busting out Dad’s old records. Added to the collection today: the hits of the Mamas and Papas (mine) and Gypsy Kings (H’s).

Alexa and I were wearing a lot of repeats today. Usually I try to dress us in something we haven’t photographed before, but sometimes you just want to be comfortable and wear the Target jeans you’ve been wearing so long and often that they’re fraying. Or, in Alexa’s case, you just can’t get her to wear shoes that aren’t pink with bunny ears.

As you can tell from her face in two out of three of these photos, she was not happy to be picked up. Not at all. This little girl wants to walk everywhere now. No help from Mommy or Daddy, thankyouverymuch.

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I Literally Dreamt Up My Baby’s Name

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Alexa was thisclose to being Aurora. Or Dorigen.

At least, she would’ve been if my college self had any say in the matter. Throughout my 20s whenever baby names came up, I had always told friends that I’d had those two girl names picked out for a long time. The name Aurora was one I’d loved since I was a little girl. After the princess and all. Dorigen came from The Canterbury Tales. I liked that it meant “of gold” and that her nickname could be Dori.

As it turns out, I never had a chance to contemplate baby names or even try Aurora or Dorigen on for size.

It was my first trimester, and I was pretty convinced I was carrying a boy. I was also having crazy dreams. One stood out more than the others. In this dream I was preparing dinner in our house. This house was amazing, and believe me when I say I still think about it daily. It was a lake house with vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows facing the lake. I had the distinct feeling H was on his way home from work. Sitting at the dining room table was a little girl, probably about 7 years old. She was working on homework and asking me questions as I cooked. She had long, dark hair. Her backpack was strung along the back of her chair. There was a name on it. Alexa.

The whole thing was so vivid I shared it with H first thing the next morning.

“Sounds like we’re having a girl named Alexa,” he said.

Fast forward a few more weeks, and we found out I was carrying a girl. And when Alexa was born she looked exactly as I imagined her. Exactly like the girl from my dream!

Now, if only the lake house were a reality. Maybe by the time Alexa turns 7?

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