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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."

It's such a true compliment when someone says that I handle mothering well, that I always seem "together". It's the sort of simple thing someone says that I want to grab straight out of the air and stick in my back pocket, so I can bring it out on the tougher days. My laid-back nature comes from the fact that I gave up wanting to plan and control. I cut myself slack and just remind myself to be the best me every single day. I don't have to be perfect or have it all figured out, but if I did the best I could for my two daughters that day, then I sleep well... interruptions and way-too-early wake up calls considered. I always tell my husband that we are going to have a good life because we want it and are going to do what it takes to have it. "Joy is a decision."

Choose to be happy.

When O starts to drive me crazy we start a dance party. Here she is rocking out to Foster the People.

Olivia's 3rd December.

TV toppers

It's one of my favorite months of the year already. I am enjoying these three days we've had of December so far. Christmas decor is going up, holiday music is playing at the grocery store, and the girls are so fun to dress is warm and soft, colorful layers.

X-mas diaper

Olivia and Mila are still very young, but I need to start practicing our little family's holiday traditions now. We are building their perception of Christmastime, the mold of the most exciting time of year. I know lots of people my age who aren't very into the spirit, who focus on the negative aspects. For me, the holidays have always been about that fuzzy feeling. The glitter, mountains of marshmallows in snowman mugs, anticipation.

Wooden nativity set

Even though I am now an adult, and see the marketing schemes surrounding this time of year, I still feel that same fuzzy vibe. I remember how it felt to experience this being a kid, the magic of it is still so tangible. That's what I am shaping for my girls, those are the memories I am creating.

Cozy babes at December Nights/Balboa Park

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"I want one!"

We were riding the MUNI bus in San Francisco last month and Mila was sitting in my lap, on a particularly sunny day for the city. She was happy and feeling good, excited by the new sights and warm sun. A couple sat across from us and they both admired her chubby face and whispered to each other. I overhead the male half say to his wife/girlfriend/lover/partner "See? Let's have one!" She patted his knee and said, "We'll see." I always remember that because he gazed at Mila so longingly, usually it's the female begging for babies.


My girls are an interesting mix lately. Mila is so quiet and shy, her smiles are big and come suddenly. They spread across her face slowly and are accompanied by drool and her one dimple. She's so easy going and sweet, observant. Olivia is a tornado of a child. She never stops moving, talking, doing. Even while watching Sesame Street and being still for a few minutes I can look at her face and her eyes are recording everything. ABCs, numbers, songs she can sing later. She shocks us daily with her memory and awareness.

When certain people are around my girls, depending what kind of day we are having, they comment on how they make them want babies. How they're cute and fun, so cuddly. Mila is good for kissing and Olivia is a reminder of the dynamic nature of childhood- fun but tiring. My cousin held Mila a lot today and I could see her imaging her own baby in her arms, her natural female biology reminding her that she will love being a mother. I am surprised when I am so quick to encourage her to wait, to sigh at the thought. Mothering is a firm kick in the ass.


Let me be more clear. Before you become a mom, be prepared to:

  • Not mind an audience while you use the restroom.
  • Never sleep the same again. No, not even when your kid is two.
  • Realize your daughter also likes Depeche Mode and dance with her in a way that is markedly less attractive than how you used to dance at the bar.
  • Deal with constant judgement from others on how you suck and they did it better.
  • Literally have your heart no longer belong to you.
  • Have boobs that make food.
  • Be too tired to take off your mascara.... that you put on two days ago.
  • Spend too much time at the park.
  • Laugh. Hard.
  • Have more activities planned out for your toddler than yourself.
  • Wonder if you're a bad mom if you want a glass of wine at noon.
  • Actually, wonder if you're a bad mom often.
  • Fear that scolding your toddler out of frustration will cost you lots of therapist bills when she turns 13.
  • Get annoyed with your husband for doing this to you.
  • Loving your husband more when you see him in your pretty babies.
  • Never look the same naked again.
  • Wear the same dress twice and buy your girls new outfits for the party instead.
  • Not recognize yourself sometimes.
  • Test everything you thought you knew. Question you.
  • Love so deeply it hurts. Melt so profoundly. Feel so lucky to be "mommy" to the little humans who think the sun sets in your eyes.

(... More to be added.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Few things are truer than...

"Life is what you make of it."


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Her hobbies/interests.

If either one of my girls were asked to fill out a questionnaire listing their hobbies/interests this is what their respective papers would read:

Miss Olivia Simone-
Running, jumping, the word "no", waking up too early, crazy giggle fits, eating broccoli and stolen pieces of gum, going to the park, invading the personal space of other children, styling her own outfits, wearing boots, crunching leaves, passionate fits of rage, "holding" her little sister, watching Peppa the Pig on Youtube, taking baths, the ABCs, knowing the Sesame Street gang by name and importance of character, going to Costco with my parents, reminding me that patience is indeed virtuous.


Miss Mila Isabel-
Sucking on both fists simultaneously, cooing at the fan, milk, President of the I Hate My Carseat Club, midnight buffets, cursing tummy time, rolling over when mom isn't looking, sister's toys, loud bah bah bahs at 7:00am, warm baths, napping on our park blanket in the autumn sunshine.


Mila's hobbies/interests are remarkably shorter. She hasn't caught up yet.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Money hinders creativity."

I daydream to a fault. I often have to remind myself: This is real life. I look at my daughters over my XL mug of coffee and there's beautiful music in the background and their shining faces. I smile and feel all warm and fuzzy because of their sweetness. Then- reality sets in and I realize Olivia is stealing sips out of my mug and Mila pooped on her bouncy chair. How do you keep ebf poo contained?!?!?!?

An adjustment period has finally come to a normal rhythm and I am now used to our new and improved budget. By new I mean smaller and by improved I mean that I have (almost) gotten used to this whole frugal living thing. I decided to share my experiences by category. If there is anything else you want to hear about then h o l l a.

We do a lot of raw produce from natural food grocery stores like our local Sprouts (Boney's, Henry's). These places tend to carry a lot of local produce at real fair prices, and organic is a fraction less than Whole Foods or even Safeway. Trader Joe's carries our snacks, pastas, and any frozen stuff. Really, thanks jeebus for TJ's. Here I can indulge in a really nice cheese and accompany it with a $3 bottle of shiraz. Olivia loves steamed veggies (see: broccoli) and a little pasta/indian on the side.

I am so thankful for my tenure in upscale retail. I have some nice pieces I wear over and over (a good pair of jeans, boots, flats, jacket) and wear them with cheap tops and accesories from Target and Forever 21. If I have extra cash I will drop it at the Anthropolgie sale rack. If you are local to San Diego I will share my secret since I can't afford to indulge on the regular anymore: Anthropologie at the Otay Ranch mall has the best sale rack. Ever.

Throw on jeans instead of sweats and you will look like you tried.

Wear under eye concealer, lip balm, and curl your lashes. It's crazy how effortless this is and yet it makes a paramount difference. Some of the other moms at the playground still give me the narrow eye as if I were wearing falsies and towering in stilettos. Girl, you shoulda at least splashed cold water on your face.

Kid's Clothes
Target, target, target. Such cute stuff at a small price. Also, thrifting. I have found the sweetest vintage dresses and cardigans at the Goodwill for $2. Be creative! If you sew, MAKE STUFF. My favorite clothing that the girls have is handmade stuff. Take a trip to Joann's and get crafty. I need to take my own advice on that last part.

Diapers and formula
Breastfeed and cloth diaper.

Fun time
I love packing snacks/PB&J and going on picnics. It's free and always a hit. It gets us out of the house without breaking the bank.
Neighborhood walks.
Window shopping the malls.
Story time at the local library.
Free day at the museums (look them up)
Mamas cafes
Local playdates from (try it)

Sometimes I miss certain things but then I remember that happiness comes from loving what you have. Happiness is in the little things. This has never rung more true. Notice those little details and find the joy in them. We listen to good music, have warm food in our bellies, take everything our city has to offer, and indulge in culture. I cannot put a price on being home with my kids every single day.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Olivia made Mila finally let out that first real chuckle that she hasd been holding onto for at least two months now. She smiles and coos and makes funny gasping sounds but hadn't truly giggled until the other day when we were at Target. Olivia is so in love with her little sister and likes to get right in her face. She smiles, chats, smells her. Little sister doesn't mind one bit. Mila was smiling at her all big and Olivia had her nose to her nose. Olivia laughed at the sweetness of our wee Mila and this tickled her so much. Miss M started to giggle which only made Olivia laugh more. Giggle fest ensued. I wish I had it on video but my eyes were too cloudy with the tears of joy I felt, savoring such a precious moment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

We love Halloween!

I am sitting here eating my kid's candy and I feel so happy. It is such a blessing to relive the greatest moments of childhood through my girls. Olivia had a lot of fun with her cousins and daddy tonight trick or treating. She is getting a hang of how things work in the world and it is such a blast to see. Mila just walked and looked around in my arms with her sweet bunny ears and pink tutu. I am just so excited for all the Halloweens we have to look forward to!

Hope yours was a blast as well! Enjoy our crappy iPhone flash photos xo!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yes, we're here!

I guess there is a trend with me being a bad blogger in the month of October. I did it last year, too!

October is a busy month.

This year in October we had our one year wedding anniversary, we went to SF and saw PORTISHEAD, Olivia turned two, and tomorrow is our first Halloween with our two girls :) BUSY.

Happy anniversary to us.

Happy birthday sweet girl.

I saw one of my favorite bands live in one of my favorite cities.

I promise I will be back with a fun post full of pictures. In the meantime, come check out our guest post over at a blog I am all about- Milk-Friendly!

San Francisco
I baked for my birthday girl
Headed to the Halloween carnival at the school daddy and grandma went to!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The weeks are flying. I mean, tomorrow it's Monday and I will wake up to Friday. Perhaps that is the way it goes when there is so much going, going, going. One thing that is for certain about motherhood is that you are so immersed into another being that is growing like a weed, you start to realize your own age is incrementing just as quickly.

I have made a conscious choice to savor every moment we spend doing not much of anything. I have this fire burning inside me to create-explore-become but really I need to extinguish it with the reality that right now I am every bit a mother. I smell Olivia's hair every single time she will sit in my lap for more than a second, I relish in Mila tiny hands cupping her mama milk cup, and I try to plan fun adventures for us that will bring that light into O's eyes. Tall trees, play structures, animals, wide open spaces where she can run. I can wait for me.

Last night we had a "family" dinner at our close friend's house and after Mila was set down to sleep Olivia was still up and hanging out with all the adults. She is so aware of the surroundings. Dancing, singing, laughing, a mini sous-chef for the guys preparing our yummy meal. Our blondie is so much fun and I cannot wait keep exploring the world the way she sees it. So large, exciting, lacking constraints. She is so free.

Coronado, CA 10/11

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's talk food.

The husband and I have an unspoken agreement on who does what around here. It's not set in stone or anything but with our juggle of duties it's really nice that we're all hands on deck. This semester Todd literally has one day off a week, and that day off is crammed with family fun time, his studying, running errands, shopping, and recently to my dismay: football.

This new jam-packed schedule has put me in quite the predicament. I have to do the cooking. Some days, it's all three meals. You may be shocked, but no, I do not enjoy cooking. I love good food, I just do not get all stoked on slaving away in the kitchen. Baking, sure. Cooking every meal Olivia and I eat- blah. Todd wears the chef hat around here and he wears it well.


So, the issue here is a mama who isn't a kitchen whiz like my own mama is and a toddler with a discerning palate. She squeals in delight over sushi, broccoli, and gouda but turns her nose at chicken nuggets and any other food that isn't colorful. She's bored with my easy, safe dishes and I need some ideas.


In other words- SHARE YOUR TODDLER FRIENDLY RECIPES PLEASE. What do you make for your kids?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mila- 3.5 months

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Mila honey is growing too quickly and I am just so against that. Every morning we lay in bed while she nurses and I really savor those moments. Todd takes Olivia into the living room when she wakes up and they get to hang out and watch Sesame Street while I get to spend some quality time with my sweet girl. We cosleep but I feel this morning session we have is really the only time of day Mila gets me to herself. Our days center around getting Olivia out and about. She's so high energy and easily bored that Mila is no stranger to toddler playmates, dozens of parks in San Diego, and mama cafes.


She's so alert and inquisitive. Her gaze is penetrating and her eyes are just stunning. I look back on posts I wrote to her when I was still pregnant and it is surprising how similar her spirit is to what I pictured. Calm and easy going. But, when she gets upset the only person who can calm her is me. This is hard seeing how I have Olivia to tend to also but I'll hold on to this fleeting phase of me being all she needs.

Eat: Still nursing quite frequently... Every 1-3 hours but only once during the night since she was only about six weeks old. Goes down easy, nurses to sleep around 8:30pm, eats around 4-5am and would sleep in a good while if only her sister would let us. I rarely pump and she hates the bottle so straight from the tap it is. Still slowly weaving off the shield but the LC I speak to weekly says we are doing great so I'm not stressing.

Size: 3-6 month clothing... 3 month width and 6 month size length. She is long and lean but has the cutest pudge in her cheeks, legs, and elbows. Weighs around 12.10-13lbs (7.10 at birth).

Skills: Hates tummy time. Lots of smiling. Cooing and vocalizing a lot. I'm still waiting for a belly laugh.


Favorite things: Eating, ceiling fans, sister's crazy antics, people talking to her and saying her name, the colors of the TV.

Hates: Car seat, bottles, strangers holding her.

I cannot believe that at this time last year she was but a cluster of cells I didn't even know about.


Monday, October 3, 2011


One may think that a mother of two (still under two) should have plenty of blog writing material. I mean, there's those milestones and late nights up, sleep patterns and word counts. These posts are absent around these parts because the days are too short. Too quick. The day begins and I am trying to savor my cup of coffee while Olivia declares her state of independence in a language I can only sort of decipher. Mila coos and smiles, her eyes get larger daily. Whirlwinds.
My blog lacks daily posts and fluidity. I am all over the place. Every single morning I consciously lay in the first couple of minutes upon waking, while scooting Mila closer for her morning feeding, and I plan our day. The day is planned depending on the weather, my mood, and the day of the week. Playdates, activities, park days abound but it seems trivial to post photos of Olivia on yet another swing. Do you really care how many times little M wakes per night?
Life has kicked me square in the ass and I took the hint. I am aware that my plate is full and I fill it more. I've chosen to surround my girls and me with everything our city has to give. The brilliant sun that never seems to falter, endless parks to discover, and good music. Creativity gets us through the day to day and inspires us. Others inspire me and I inspire them. I hope.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Pictures are so important because they serve as the strongest reminders. Even our memories can falter because a photo captures a moment from the outside, in a way that is sort of general and all encompassing.
I was unwinding tonight while listening to music and going through photos from this time last year. Only one year and our world has shifted again. Some situations last year were trying. I was working more than I wanted to, our apartment sucked, and we learned of our new surprise bun in the oven now formally known as Mila Isabel.
From looking at these photos I realized how short Olivia's now long golden curls are, how peaceful I looked even while I suffered through first trimester morning sickness, and how beautiful and delicate the light filtered through our former kitchen window. Our faces were bright and smiling.
My head remembers some unpleasant details of last October but these photos say otherwise- the small moments. Pumpkin seeds baking in the oven, the day we got married, cinnamon candles, our first little girl taking her first steps, brisk air, hoodies.
Last autumn we fell into the next big step.

Unedited. These photos may be repeats. All taken with my iPhone.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A photo of a photo.

Are these two really mine? Wow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When I was pregnant with Olivia it was a no-brainer that I would breastfeed. During my pregnancy I embarked on a journey to educate myself on a more natural and sustainable lifestyle... and that of course lead me to natural parenting resources as well. Breastfeeding is at the forefront of attached, "green" parenting and I failed. Olivia received breastmilk for about 4-5 months thanks to my friend donating her overages of pumped milk to us. But, she was primarily formula fed. I had latching and supply issues but tried for the first couple months anyway. I pumped. I cried. I cursed all the reasons why I think I failed.

hospital nurses
flat nipples
new mom fatigue
low supply
fussy baby
Not all women can breastfeed, just make her a bottle.


Fast forward to Mila and I knew I had to get it right this time. I bugged my doctors to let me nurse right after my c-section, I didn't give her a bottle or paci even when my nipples almost fell off, and I fed her throughout the night while everyone else in our home slept. I questioned the importance of it.


Saturday was one of my best friend's going away dinner and I had to be there. The location wasn't baby appropriate (nope, not even a baby in a sling) so Mila stayed with Todd and the pumped milk in the fridge. I dolled up, wore my new Missoni for Target heels, and ventured off on my first "night out". As soon as my cocktail arrived I reached into my clutch and checked my phone. Missed calls and frustrated texts. "Mila is upset and will not take the bottle."


My night out was over but somehow I did not feel too stressed. It was a bummer to have to leave after 20 minutes but I was shocked at how unphased I was. I love my kids but I also enjoy a couple drinks with friends. As I drove home it dawned on me. Mila was three months and one day, plump and growing quickly on her diet of boob milk. We did it. She is exclusively breastfed. No bottle or pacifier can calm her more than her mama's arms and everything that she can find in them.

I succeeded.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

3 months old.

Mila has come and stole our hearts with her huge eyes and that drooly little smile. She has a dimple on her right cheek and adds so much sweetness to the day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Since Monday Olivia has:

-Given herself a bath in sunscreen
-A bath in rash cream
-Made scrambled eggs on the kitchen floor
-Dragged my dad's old pug for a walk by his hind legs
-Thrown off her shirt and used my nipple shield to nurse her Ugly Doll
-Pointed out seven letters of the alphabet
-Sat in her doll's stroller with poop on her butt
-Screamed so loud my ears rang for 15 minutes
-Made me want to cry out of defeat when I looked at her laying on the floor, writhing in the throes of a colossal tantrum
-Eaten five crayons
-Said "I la yoo"
-Put on my heels and walked like our mini hallway was her runway
-Said one thousand things I cannot understand with those round hazel eyes
-Chugged my special $4 espresso while I texted her daddy
-Created dreadlocks out of her buttery yellow curls with ketchup
-"Sang along" to Elliott Smith
-Made me smile so big my cheeks hurt

Soon I hope to publish a best-selling guide to surviving the toddler years that Oprah herself recommends but for now I will settle for my cheap shiraz from Trader Joe's and repeat caffeination throughout the day.

puts on own shoes. doesn't need a mom.
sushi date.
Aged two years next month
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