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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.