Thursday, January 20, 2011

A breath of fresh air.

We've been couped up all week feeling under the weather.  So we decided to take advantage of the amazing January weather and get a little air.  As I walked back up to my front door I realized I feel so blessed to live where we do.  And so happy to be able to enjoy the beach anytime I'd like.  It's a dream come true for us.  Who knows, we may just stay in this little rental until Chloe's in college.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dinner for Two.

It's getting to be slim pickings around here but I'm determined to use what we've got before hitting the store again.  Nothing irks Kevin and I more than throwing away food we let go bad.  It's so sad and so expensive.  So I made my very first soup from scratch.  At least first without a recipe.  Chloe was calm and I was feeling creative.

Here's what I came up with.
I'm proud to say it turned out great!
Moroccan Lentil Soup

1-box of organic chicken stock ( I was out of vegetable stock)
1-16 oz bag of lentils
2- handfuls of organic baby carrots
1-bunch of celery
1- white onion
4- garlic cloves minced (a good immune booster)
1-can of organic stewed tomatoes
1-small can of Mexican Corn
1-handful of heirloom tomatoes halfed (for color)
1-tablespoon yellow curry
2-tablespoons Moroccan spice
1-pinch Sea Salt
1-pinch ground Pepper

Combine and's that easy!

You can tell I winged it on the quantities.  You can use any vegetables you have on hand.

On the side I made crispy Cornbread Muffins and a Blueberry Lemon Compote.  It was delicious!

Next time I think I double the vegetables and half the lentils.  Then blend some of the soup for a creamier texture.  I have one of these fancy immersion blenders on my wishlist. In green, of course.

One For

Kevin gave me the black wedges for Christmas. I had been eying them all year. Not only are they comfortable but every time I slip them on, I think of a one of these sweet kids smiling faces. It makes me happy to know we are supporting good.

I am holding this quote in my heart in remembrance of a great man.

"The time is always right to do what is right."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Such simple but true words.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lips and the professor.

When I'm having a tough day, I can always call on this girl to make me laugh.  This is my recent favorite, Tara.   Sweet stache Matt! (I had to steal your picture.) We miss you guys.  I guess we'll have to visit Paso with Tiny Olive soon.  She misses her uncle.

Somedays you have to improvise.

This sweet face may fool you but today was one of our toughest days yet.  I'm still sick with a cold (thus, felt like napping and short on patience).  Poor little girl is teething and wanted to nurse every hour, is chewing on every toy, blanket or finger nearby,  and cried nearly all day.  I felt so bad I could hardly find anything to comfort her.

In desperate need for some fresh air but too tired to pull out the stroller go for a walk, I improvised.  I'm finding that's a common idea amongst moms.  We have about 8 square feet  of lawn in front of our apartment.  I laid out a quilt and as the sun was going down we enjoyed a few minutes watching the birds in a nearby palm.  It distracted her for about ten (blissful) minutes. 

Then Kevin came home just in time to give me a few minutes to myself.  Thank goodness!

Chloe & Lexi.

We were so happy to have a visit from the Wegners this weekend.  They were in town for post-holiday celebrations and wanted to meet the newest additions to the group Chloe and Lexi!

We thought we'd have a quiet get together at home and slowly our group grew...and we were so glad it did.  We aren't getting out as much as usual these days and we loved the company.  And delicious food.

It was so great to catch up with Nick and Krystal and hear about life in Seattle, residency, and their sweet pup Miles.  Come back to Cali when you're done, we miss you!

The two new ladies got LOTS of attention.

Chloe rocked her bib, as she is super spit-up prone.  I'm hoping this is just a phase as our laundry has tripled with the sour milk-doused clothes (hers and ours).   She had a lot of fun being passed around the group. 

Petite, little Lexi was USC sock clad, and test drove Chloe's bouncer.  It was a hit!  We hope the Nashs get a little bouncing relief when they get Lexi her very own.  They are 3 months apart in age, which is a lot in the early months but will be so fun once they can play together. 

We think we'll do this every weekend.  Chloe slept 12 hours Saturday night.  I had to wake twice to pump (and check that she was breathing).  

Monday, January 17, 2011

How Love Grows...

...a New Mother's Brain.  What a great article.  I'm glad to know it's growing even as it seems to have gone on vacation.


Will I ever learn?

It's late.  And I'm sitting on the sofa with a box a kleenex and some major (I have a cold) insomnia.  I'm not sure why I can't sleep but when I lay down my throat tickles and my congestioned head aches something awful.  I decided to not keep the Mr. and tiny Miss up with my coughing and came down stairs to sleep...

...well still waiting to fall asleep.  This is the second time I've been sick since Chloe's arrival.  I have a feeling I'm overextending myself.  I commonly do this.  I was reading an article in Mom magazine tonight titled, "Banish your inner perfectionist", let's just say I need to tape this one to the fridge.

Goal for the week:  Feel better.

I ordered diapers online, the fridge is stocked with healthy foods and I canceled our would be playdate this week.  We'll have to meet up with sweet little Dean and his lovely momma Kari another day.  I gotta get rid of this sore throat and congestion.  The goal: only leave the house for fresh air, no errands.  Time to research Nursing Friendly cold remedies.  Anyone know of a good resource? 

I had a major aha! moment tonight, who takes care of momma when she's sick? 

I felt like whining.  Now I'm done. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beach Baby.

She make look peaceful here but most of our (short) trip to the beach today was spent soothing a very sad baby.  I mean she was screaming!  We think it's the beginning of teething.  She is chewing on everything.  She did like her toes being dipped in the water, once the initial shock of cold water wore off.

The sun was shining and the sand felt amazing squishing between our toes so we are glad we enjoyed a few extra moments outdoors.  Chloe's first of many trips to the beach.  It's only two blocks away.

I know that sounds kinda braggy, but we love it here. 

I'm gonna take a few more naps this week.  I woke up with a cold and boy do my eyes look tired in these pictures.

You may remember this post a few months and a major Beach Belly ago.  I wore the same swimsuit.  I might be rocking a one piece this summer. 

Dolce Doula.

 So you may remember this post: Seriously Delicious.  Well, it's true this title couldn't be more fitting.  Our friend and Doula, Becky has started her own practice Dolce Doula.  She really is sweet and her help in Chloe's birth was incredible. (Check out the "Testimonial" page for a little more about our experience and picture of our little cutie.)
If you, or a friend, or a friend of a friend are pregnant, she's your gal.

Isn't this picture of her and her daughter Amelie to die for?

Holy Cheeks.

She is starting to fill out, at least in the cheeks.  I can't kiss them enough.


Chloe has a favorite  Whenever we say, it she giggles!  It may mean she likes shoes as much as her mama; that worries Kevin.  It is so sweet to see her laugh.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tim Burton at LCMA

I am so excited about this exhibition opening in May. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a family favorite. This might be Chloe's first trip to the Art Museum?

For more details:

So fresh & so clean.

There is nothing sweeter than a tiny babe right out of the bath.  And this girl loves bath time.

Eleven, going on twelve.

On the 9th of this month (I'm a few days late), my hunny and I celebrated eleven, going on twelve years together.  Married for four of those.  Yep, we dated for a long time!  The college years we spent a lot of time commuting to see one another and stayed together through it all.  I admit to having a few jealous moments while he was living the good life at USC and I was working away in Temecula.  I lived vicariously through his college experience, going to baseball (Kevin played), football and recreation soccer games.  (Perhaps attending a few parties too?)  Meanwhile, I attended beauty school and the local community college.  Then I moved to Manhattan Beach to be a little closer to Kevin and live in an awesome beach studio.  A few years later we were in Long Beach while I studied Art.  Now we've settled in Huntington Beach and are a family of three.  We are still having a lot of fun although it's been a while since we've gone on a date.   

Anyone wanna babysit?  
                                      Kidding.  Kind of.

I thought these pictures were too fun to not share.  Senior Prom in 1999 and our Wedding day in 2007.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Handmade, with a lot of heart.

A dear friend's mother made this hat for Chloe.  She passed away on January 2nd.  I unfortunately never met Ruth but knowing her daughter, I can only imagine how lovely she was.  I keep thinking of her sweet hands making this hat and all the love behind it.  Handmade gifts truly hold a lot of heart.  Definitely a piece for her keepsake box.

Nothing but sweet ruffles.

A girlfriend of mine got Chloe this super sweet ruffled romper when she was born.  I had to capture her in her sweet, ruffled girlishness. 

I was extra delighted to hear that the boutique, Green Pomegranate    makes their outfits out of previously-loved children's clothing.  She had bedsheets in the same print as a girl.  My sentimental heart melted.


Little girl got a shot today at the pediatrician.  It's so sad to see her little eyes well up with tears.  I better toughen up because I'm sure there are many scraped knees and broken hearts ahead.  In the meantime, can I be a softy?  She even got an awesome Spiderman band-aid.

Oh and the stats:
14 pounds 5 ounces
24 3/4 inches
75th percentile & healthy as can be.

It's amazing to think my milk has helped her grow from a petite little 6 pounds 12 ounces and 19 inches.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I almost forgot...

 wish you (and yours) a very happy new year.

New Year's Intentions

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

-Saint Augstine
I'll be honest, 2009 was a particularly rough year for me.  I struggled with a tough bout of depression which brought along with it lots of life changes.  With some time and inner discovery I learned a lot about myself.  One is an inclination to give and give and give some more while I neglect myself.  With a lot of love from family and friends I learned to roll with the tough stuff and give myself space to let go and cry when I needed to.  I'm also learning to accept help when I need it.  A big step for me, I'm not sure why?  Thankfully, as the year closed I climbed out of that hole...

and I had bright start in 2010.  We learned we had a sweet little baby on the way.  Kevin and I both always wanted to be parents, so it was a welcomed and embraced surprise!  We held on tight as my mom had both brain surgery to remove her tumor and total hip replacement surgery a few months apart.  We were shocked in June when we discovered Kevin had Testicular Cancer and just a month prior his dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.  Thankfully other than emotional, pregnancy was very smooth for me.  I had a a period of insomnia and a 50+ pound weight gain (no emotional eating here)  but I took yoga, walked often and felt great up until Chloe's birth.  So with radiation, chemotherapy and 5 surgeries last year between us and our immediate family.  Yep, though we intended to have a natural birth, Chloe arrived via cesarean after 15+ hours of unmedicated labor.  I plan on going for an aunatural VBAC next time (more on Chloe's birth story later, it's almost done).  I'm thrilled to say, we are all healthy.

It has been a rollercoaster and let's just say the last couple years have rocked our world!  The best part is we have come through so much and feel lighter and brighter than ever.  I believe all of these events happened for some reason.  And regardless, we came out stronger but more importantly happier because of them.  Kevin and I are closer than we have ever been and have had some really deep conversations that we may have never had until our later years.  We have realized that life is truly precious, you've gotta love what you've got!

So, my new years intentions are:

Gratitude- keep fresh in my mind all the blessings I have in my life.  Each day record one on paper (or on iphone application).

Adventure- laugh more, use my creativity, stay curious, be active,  try new recipes, take road trips, visit museums/parks and choose something daily to have more fun.  I think it'll be easy to embrace the child-like with the babe by my side.

Invite- make space for relaxation and spontaneity.  I tend to be a bit typeAish about housework, thank you notes, and what could be called busy work, it's kinda my nature.  This intention was sparked from a conversation my hunny and I had recently about doing too much on weekends.  Sometimes we go overboard making social plans (which we so enjoy) however inviting space in our lives leaves room for the unexpected.

Nurture- both me and my family.  this means living a simple life, being kind to myself, not putting too much on my plate and giving to myself what I need.  Take time to read, a hot bath, a walk in the fresh ocean air, have date night, a couple of hours out with friends or a much needed nap.  Recognize what makes me feel whole and do it.

Acronym, GAIN?  But not weight.

The Perfect Advice.

Here are a couple pictures from the very early days after her birth.  (No make-up and sleep deprived)

Okay, so I had no idea in what motherhood would be like.  I mean, I read half a dozen books, numerous blogs, and every magazine about babies out there.  I have babysat many babies, had younger siblings and took all the classes but you still have no idea until you have your own.

The truth is I was so much more tired than I could have imagined.  Breastfeeding on demand is like working a 24 hour job, every day.  At least the boss is as cute as they get.

The relief was I LOVE motherhood, more than I could have imagined.

Thanks to numerous friends and family members our fridge was stocked with healthy and delicious meals from day one.  Our tummies thank you!

However I had no idea how challenging it would be (even now) to shower, do laundry, complete house work, even grab a bite to eat with a little bundle in tow.  Our laundry is close by so I shouldn't complain but it is tricky toting a baby and a basket outside behind our apartment to pump quarters into the machine (yep coin laundry).  So I usually wait until Kevin is home and thankfully most of the time he is happy, well willing to do it.  Thank goodness because I only have about a dozen things that fit me and Chloe is one of those spit-up prone kind of babies.

My point is, when I read this article I thought I would share it.

Six Ways to Ease Postpartum Frazzle:

and my favorite (well researched) Breastfeeding + Parenting website so far: 

And sometimes the perfect advice is to listen to yourself.
When I feel overwhelmed it often means:
I'm hungry, I'm tired or I need a change of scenery.

Thanks to Kevin and my little bro, this weekend I got some extra rest, laundry done and then took a 2 mile walk this morning.  It was bliss!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

with a little assist.

this little girl is getting stronger by the day.  in a week she'll be four months old.  she is starting to get interested in her toys now so we thought we'd give the bumbo (pink chair) a try.  it was a gift from our friends the stubbs and we've been waiting until she's developmentally ready to sit, with an assist.  

chloe tried out and had fun playing with her rings.  she thinks they are bracelets.  she learned that all on her own.  i've been wearing very little jewelry these days. 

it's fun to watch her learn new things and grow but slow down baby, where did my newborn go?

i snuck a few of her and my brother sunday morning while he was here for a visit.  she loves her uncle aj.  while they played i took the opportunity to catch up on laundry.  wow, that's a lot of pink!
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