Tuesday, December 8, 2009

a feel good day...

some days just feel good.

today was one of those days.

i'm working again...teaching sign language. right now, doing a private session, and soon to be doing some mommy and me classes (check it out...www.signshine.com). it feels good to be working...and today i had a really great session. and leo gets to hang out with daddy at work while i'm there...they even took the bus home together today. i love it!

leo's amazing me every minute lately. talking...walking (just a little)...signing...interacting...it's really amazing to watch his little life develop. today, when it was time to go to bed, that little guy even helped me clean up his toys.

tomorrow, brian's working from home, so i'll be able to get some shirts done. and see brian all day :)

it's just a good day. and as soon as brian gets home...ice cream for dessert. with hot fudge.

Monday, November 30, 2009

so...the sleeping thing...

ahh, sleep. how i love sleep. and how different my sleep now is from what it used to be.

leo's almost 15 months now...and he sleeps with us. sometimes he wakes up once or twice through the night. sometimes he wakes up four or five times. brian can put him to sleep initially for the night, but as far as going back to sleep from waking up, he almost always nurses back to sleep.

and that's how our sleep goes. we sleep snuggled in our bed...at some point during the night, leo usually ends up perpendicular, with his feet on brian's chest. we shuffle around in the bed...sometimes leo's in the middle, sometimes i'm in the middle. brian wakes up first to head off to work, and leo and i usually sleep another hour or so.

and it's wonderful.

there are times when i wonder what it would be like if leo slept for eight hours straight. and when that will ever happen. sure...i can't wait for the luxury of an uninterrupted sleep. but i also cherish these days of sweet togetherness. i love when leo wakes up and says "dada!" and lays a huge kiss on brian. i love seeing the smile on leo's face...every single morning...when he wakes up and sees us. to me, that's worth the price of a couple of wake ups through the night. in fact, it's worth much more than that.

Monday, November 23, 2009

grandma's basket...

i don't know how or when, exactly, i inherited this basket, but i did. it was my grandma's (who we called "two-guys grandma"), and she passed away in the summer of 1997, so it was sometime after that.

inside the basket was a ton of thread, as well as other notions. and i could swear, no matter what i've had to sew over the past several years, the color i needed was in there. one time i was hemming a pair of lime green pants (yes, i had lime green pants), and i checked the basket...and there was an exact match. exact.

so, i've always felt that it was a sort of magic basket. i never really knew all of what was in there, but i knew that whenever i needed something, it was there.

now that i'm sewing more often, the basket has gotten a little more difficult to use, though. all the thread was getting knotted, and i just couldn't see what was in there. i really didn't want to move on from the basket, but it was time. and i figured two-guys grandma would be happy to show me all the things she had hiding in there. now i just have to find a good use for the magic basket.

Monday, November 16, 2009

second generation tiger...

i know, i know...it's a leopard.

but when i was little, i called it a tiger.

my mom made me this costume when a was a little girl...and it was my FAVORITE!!! i don't know how many years in a row i wore it, but my mom eventually had to cut the feet off the bottom so i could still wear it.

so, when this halloween came around, i couldn't pass it up. considering the wear and tear i put it through as a child, and the fact that it's about thirty years old, it held up great! (good work, mom!) i put a new zipper on it (the picture above is pre-fix-up), patched up a little hole, and added some reinforcements at the knees, and it was ready to go.

how's that for keepin' it green?

and, by the way...how cute is that little leopard?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

it's girlie...

i've been making a lot of boy things lately...and the girls have been left out. i guess it just seems like girls always have a lot of cute options, and i need to help those little boys get some cool clothes.

but, it was time. a new girl onesie has been added to the mix.

Friday, October 9, 2009

i have the answer...

the other day, leo and i were hanging out at the park down the street. it's a great park...several blocks of grass running along the bluffs, looking over the beach. we just went to get some fresh air, and leo did a lot of crawling around.

an older gentleman started talking to me, once leo wouldn't stop staring at him :) after trading kid stories (he has several grandchildren), he said something to me...

he said,"...you're happy. you're happy because you have the answer. the answer isn't shiny cars."

he then touched leo on the head.

and said..."he's the answer."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

a very happy birthday...


Let me tell you 'bout my friend Leo
He's turning one today
What good guy, my oh me-o
And today is his - birthday

That's the thing about bein' buddies
It's a journey that never ends
When the road gets rough and muddy
me 'n Leo will still be good friends

Let me tell you 'bout my friend Leo
He's turning one today
What good guy, my oh me-o
And today is his - birthday

In Spanish they say hace frio
When the wind blows cold at night
Me and Leo will still be friends
Whatever the weather outside

That's the thing about bein' buddies
It's a journey that never ends
When blows cold outside
me 'n Leo will still be good friends

Let me tell you 'bout my friend Leo
He's turning one today
What good guy, my oh me-o
And today is his - birthday
And today is his - birthday
Today is Leo's birthday

(lyrics by david tobocman)

it couldn't have been more perfect.

our families were here. our friends were here. and we all just hung out. david played some music. we got a bunch of donations for the l.a. mission. and we had very yummy carrot cake cupcakes (which leo was not interested in...at all!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

just one year ago...

our little boy arrived.

after 25 hours of labor, he arrived. he laid on my chest, looking up and brian and me. so quiet. it was absolutely amazing.

the day before he was born, my water broke. it was about 1am. we called our midwife, and she arrived soon after. i sat on the floor, just waiting for her to get to our home. she came, checked to see i was ok, and said she'd come back when things got closer. i tried to sleep, which i did, on and off. my contractions were anywhere from 15 minutes to 5 minutes apart, and from knowing how they were towards the end, mild at first. from there, we tried to just wait it out.

i remember having breakfast, going for walks (many walks), and taking blue cohash. at some point, we thought it was time for our midwife to come back. she did, with her apprentice, and they checked on baby and me. seems like things were moving along slowly. everyone left, and we went back to waiting...and contracting...and trying to sleep...and the blue cohash. the apprentice came back again later, for another check. all was well...but still not yet. she told me to call when i was "primal."

and then...i was "primal."

it was around 7pm. i couldn't get off the bed. it was just where i needed to be. my midwife and her two apprentices arrived...gently asked me to get up (laying down is not the best position to be in)...and then the real labor started. wow. it was intense. brian talked me through my contractions...reminding me to listen to the sounds outside, to feel things other than the pain, to remember that baby was going through this with me. we walked outside, climbed the stairs, swayed back and forth. i'm pretty sure a couple of old ladies were pretty concerned when i...a very pregnant, moaning, girl...walked by them on the sidewalk.

i took a shower. i faced the wall, and was about an inch away from it. just moaning. it was the best shower i've ever taken. it was warm, refreshing, relaxing. and the last moments i had alone with my little baby tucked away inside.

once i got out of the shower, i went into the tub. it was set up in the bedroom at some point. and it felt wonderful. there, i continued to labor. another couple of hours of that...it felt endless! i literally thrashed around primally. like nothing i've ever felt before. brian joined me in the tub, and continued to gently talk me through the contractions. finally, near midnight, the pushing began. the midwives encouraged me perfectly. we made jokes between pushes, and the energy of it all felt wonderful. the pain was like nothing i have ever felt. i couldn't BELIEVE how much it hurt! they showed me the baby coming out and that's all i needed to finish the process. she took my hand and put it on baby's head. we were so close! i pushed for a little over an hour. and then...

i pulled our little baby up onto my chest. and our whole lives changed. this tiny little baby laid there...staring up at brian and me. quiet. seeing for the first time. seeing his mom and dad...for the first time. and then he cried. he cried!

we soon saw that baby was a little boy...a little leo! the cord finished pulsing as he laid there with us, while brian and i stared. we got out of the tub, and while the midwives took care of me, brian held his little boy for the first time.

and now...here we are. a year later. i can't believe this all happened a year ago. and yet i can't imagine life without leo.

Friday, August 28, 2009

approaching one...

our little guy is almost one.


with this milestone, comes...the birthday party.

in the spirit of trying to keep things simple, this is a tough one. i want to celebrate this important milestone, but i want to be true to our values. i don't want to go overboard, i don't want a lot of unnecessary gifts, and i just don't want to create a situation full of waste.

but it's his birthday. his FIRST birthday.

what i DO want to create is a gathering of the important people in our lives. people we love, people who love leo. to celebrate this little boy's arrival that happened a year ago...into our lives. the arrival that has brought the most profound love...a love we could have never imagined.

isn't that something worth celebrating?

we've decided on a picnic. everyone's bringing their own food and blankets, and maybe some outdoor activities. we've put an open invitation out to everyone. we've invited a local kids musician, David Tobocman (who does wonderful, free sing-a-longs almost weekly, that we love!) to play some kids music for a little while. we've asked for people not to bring gifts, but to bring donations for the LA Mission. and that's it.

well, and some cupcakes.

now that the decisions have been made, i am REALLY looking forward to it. i just love the idea of spending the day at the park, with our friends and family, and most importantly, with our little boy.

who, did i mention?...is turning one.

Friday, August 21, 2009

thrifty thursday: ridin' on the bus...

for the past...say, three years?...brian's taken the bus to work. he rides his bike the four or five blocks from home to the bus stop, and then enjoys about a half hour bus ride that drops him off right in front of his building. he also uses his bike to ride to the gym during his lunch break.

not only does him taking the bus save us in gas money (and overall car use) but his company actually pays him to take the bus. he's enrolled in a rideshare program, offered by his company, that covers his bus fare plus fifty cents per ride. and, every month, he gets coupons for the food court at the mall across the street or for the convenience store in the building...all just for taking the bus to work.

aside from all the money it saves (and earns) us...he just loves taking the bus. rather than dealing with LA traffic, he sits back, reads a magazine, checks his email, listens to spanish lessons on his ipod, or just looks out the window. it's a guaranteed 30 minutes of his own time.

the best part of it for me? well, every day, around 6:35, leo and i walk out to the alley behind our building and wait. eventually, we get a glimpse of brian turning the corner on his bike...and i point him out to leo. leo practically shakes with excitement, until brian finally rides right up to leo and the two of them are gleaming.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

another step...

i'm realizing that my crafting is now done in steps. very. slow. steps.

but at least it's better than no steps at all.

today, i continued working on the knee pad pants. i've got a bunch of knee pads ready to go...

and here's a custom order a friend of mine asked for...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

five years ago...

we got married.

we celebrated by going out to dinner this weekend. and i'm still in awe of the wonderful night we had. my boys & me. some italian food, and then some ice cream. it just doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

thrifty thursday: swagbucks

i thought it was some kind of scam at first. but the more i looked into it, i realized that swagbucks is the real deal.

all you have to do is use swagbucks as your search engine, and you accumulate points ("swagbucks"). once you get enough points, you get prizes. for example, for 35 swagbucks, you get a $5 amazon card. (if you do decide to enroll, please use my link...it helps me earn more!)

i joined almost two weeks ago, and i'm up to 29 swagbucks now. at this rate, i'll get around $100 in amazon credit...just for searching the internet. there's almost no reason NOT to do it.

work at home wednesday

brian works at home on wednesdays. and it's great.

not only does it get him and leo some time together...it gets me time to get some things done. and i've realized i need to look at it as time that i have, too...to work at home.

today, i was able to pick up an order from american apparel. and get started on a couple of orders that i've gotten. i also made a dent in getting some knee pad pants made for etsy.

not too shabby.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

thrifty thursday: we're ditching the diaper service...

we're doing our best to cut down lately. now that we're a one-income family, it's no longer an option...it's a necessity. so, every thursday, i'll be writing about something we've done to cut costs. i'm hoping that this will not only give others some ideas and/or motivation, but that it will also make me think of at least one thing a week to help our family be thrifty!

so, this week...we're discontinuing the diaper service (that's $75 a month!)

i was a little worried at first (mostly because we live in an apartment and have shared laundry), but now i'm really excited! it almost feels liberating. we've been using the service prefolds in gdiaper covers up until now. i found cloth inserts for the gdiaper covers at cottonwood baby (gdiapers makes gcloth now, too...the ones we got are almost exactly the same, but a couple dollars cheaper). there's another insert by patooshie pants, but i didn't find them until after the fact. seems like there's a lot of good reviews about patooshie pants, though (and they're cheaper), but i'm happy with what we've got. we started just by getting six of them, and we tested them out. we actually tried using the smaller size, since they were about $7 cheaper, and they worked, but i don't think they would continue to work as leo gets bigger, so for the rest of the order (i bought 30) i got medium/large. as far as absorbency goes, they're great. and they're SO much slimmer than the prefolds! (even though, i have come to love leo's big bottom :) )

i'm now in the process of doing the multiple pre-washes to make them absorbent, so this week will officially be the last week of the diaper service. we're still using disposables at night, though...so i'm hoping cloth at night will be our next step.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

this body grew a baby...

it was an achy day today. my body is tired. and it just aches. my back, my legs, my neck. it all...aches.

so i escaped to a hot shower for a few minutes while brian got leo ready for bed.

and i remembered...

this body grew a baby. and it's still helping him grow everyday. with my hands, i lift him to see all the things he's so curious to see. with my arms, i hold him when he's sad, or happy, or just to be close. with my back, i bend down to pick up the things he explores each day. with my legs, i go for walks with him to see the birds, and the trees, and the moon he noticed for the first time yesterday. with my knees, i crawl around and make him laugh the belly laugh that is music to my ears.

so, yes. my body is tired. and it aches. and i should probably be taking better care of it than i am.

but in the meantime, i'm taking pretty good care of an amazing little boy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the bECOpotty

it seems like it's getting harder and harder for me to knowingly buy or use plastic. if someone gives me something that's plastic, fine...i won't necessarily turn my nose up at it. if it means re-using something instead of buying something new...that's also a decent reason to use plastic. or if it's just a good product overall (and free of toxins) that i know i'll use for a long time (like the previously mentioned, super-duper munchie mug)...then, yes, i'll do it. i think i'm pretty reasonable about it...but if i can avoid plastic, i do.

which leads me to the bECOpotty by becothings.
i'd like to introduce the little man to the potty. i know it's early...and i'm not forcing anything on him...but i'd just like for him to know it's there. in case he'd like to use it. but knowing i'd have to buy a hunk of a plastic potty...i just wasn't into it. so i searched for non-plastic potties, and i discovered the bECOpotty. it's pretty much your standard kiddie potty, but it's made of waste plant material (bamboo and rice husks), and packaged in recycled cardboard. for $12.99 (at trendykid.com), how could i pass it up? it just doesn't make sense to me to buy something plastic for the same or even more money rather than getting something nice and earth-friendly. even if it's the worst thing ever, i can bury it in our landlady's landscaping, and it will eventually biodegrade. that's right...a biodegrading potty.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

the munchie mug...

i recently bought a really great snack holder for leo. how great can snack holders actually be? well…in the land of puffins and blueberries…great snack holders are pretty essential.

behold the munchie mug. it’s simply awesome.

it’s got two overlapping stretchy pieces of fabric on the top that leo sticks his hand through to get his snack (i have to be honest…the first time that i showed him how to do it, he was a little nervous and didn’t want to put his hand in. but once i spread the top open and let him see those oh-so-scrumptious puffins…he was sold). it's not scratchy or pokey...just a nice soft layer. and since it overlaps, nothing comes out when it's upside down. nothing. and it comes with another lid (a hard one, with no opening) to use to keep the snack fresh.

the cup is a little bit bigger than most snack cups, so it doesn't quite fit in any cup holders, or the sides of a diaper bag. i usually just throw it in the main part of any bag i'm using instead. it does have a hole along the rim of the top, so it can be attached to the pacifier chain we use on our stroller. and, to make things even better it's bpa and phthalate free, and all parts are made in america.

it's a little pricier than most snack holders (i got ours on the soft landing site for $16). but, i'm hoping this will be the only snack cup we need.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

knee pad pants

with all the crawling going on around here, there's a lot more bruises on leo's knees than i care to admit. or look at.

i could just accept the fact that he's a baby, and a boy for that matter, whose only means of transportation is on his knees, and move on. but with all that cute, perfect, soft skin...i'm not a big fan of the purpley-yellow marks up and down his shins and knees.

and i just needed a good excuse to make something cute.

so, here they are...the knee-pad pants...

made with scraps of uncle scott's shirt, and some bamboo batting i had for some extra softness.

other colors soon to be added to my etsy page :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

mom brain...

pregnancy brain was bad. losing my keys...forgetting my lunch...throwing out my wallet (not just in the trash...but into the dumpster in the alley). but at least there was a big ol' belly showing, and i could laugh it off, and people would think...oh, she's pregnant...it's pregnancy brain...how cute.

but now...mom brain is here. and it's AWFUL. and there's no cute little belly making it all seem ok. it's just plain old me. forgetting things. losing things. leaving my iphone on top of the car and driving away. to then hear it fall off. and later realize that it's completely fried. the day before i'm flying to the east coast for a week.

or how about the day that i pulled out of our friend's parking spot and scraped the whole side of our new car along the wall? and the only reason i was even going anywhere was because i had to go back to trader joe's to get the pizza i had planned on making for dinner. that i FORGOT to get when i was there five minutes before. turned out to be an $812 pizza.

or today, when brian took the laundry out of the drier to see that all the clothes were stained with lip balm that i had left in the pocket of my shorts. i then had to spend the next half hour rubbing dish soap onto the stains, and then re-doing the laundry. (after i was so excited to use the SoapNuts).

why does this happen? is this some cruel joke? shouldn't my brain work BETTER now that i'm a mom? i mean, i've got a little boy to take care of...doesn't he deserve a mom with a completely functional brain? maybe it's so i only worry about the things that really matter...and forget about the rest. so i don't consume myself with the little things.

i'm going to go with that. it's the only logical reason i can think of. especially with this brain.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

some good company

when leo was born, i was floored. i was lucky to be one of those moms who was instantly in love with her child. it's not like it just hit me when he arrived...it started well before i even knew i was pregnant. and as i watched my belly grow, the attachment i had for the little person growing in there also grew stronger. when he arrived, all of that exploded, and grew exponentially. and it continues to. sometimes i feel so full...swollen...with emotions for him. not just love...but pride, wonder, excitement, anticipation. people always talk about the glow of pregnancy...i think there's a glow to motherhood, too.

with all of those emotions, also comes fear. fear of doing things wrong, fear of not knowing what i'm doing at all...i go through days of complete confidence in what i'm doing, and then days that i question so many of those same actions.

and then along with the fear...comes life. the everyday. the stuff that doesn't happen like the books say it will (sleep. sleep. sleep.) looking for safe toys, finding a sippy cup that will last for a long time, finding free things to do around here.

and that's where this blog comes in. and maybe where the companionship comes in. i'm writing because this is my journey. and there are others journeying, as well. i don't need to know all the answers and i might get lost along the way...and i just need company while i walk.

i just need company as i wander.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

who doesn't love free things?

One of the best things about living in the LA area is that there's lots of things to do...and it seems like I'm discovering more and more of these things now that I'm a mom. Today, we went to the Ultimate Healthy Parenting Party at the Pump Station in Santa Monica. And almost every time we go to something like this...free stuff. And not just any free stuff...GOOD free stuff.

This time, the two things that put me over the edge...a pair of BabyLegs (in navy, ribbed...perfect for leo!), and SoapNuts! Yay for SoapNuts! I've been wanting to try these, but was always a little hesitant. And here they are, just sitting in the swag bag...for free. I can't wait till it's laundry day :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the mom i want to be

We thought we had it all figured out. I’d stay home for the first couple of months after Leo was born. Then my husband, Brian, would take over for the next few months while I went back to work. Then…daycare. And we’d both be back at work.

But we just couldn’t do it. How could I drop him off with someone else? Let someone else take care of him? I wanted to be okay with it, but each time I thought about leaving him, I cringed. My friends do it…and their kids are fine. So why can’t I?

It just doesn’t feel right.

I want to be the one that goes to him when he wakes up from his nap, the one who sees the funny face he makes when he tries a new food, the one who helps him when he gets stuck standing up, and can’t figure out how to sit back down.

And so, here we are, 9 1/2 months after he was born…and I’m home with Leo…watching him giggle over and over again because I’m tapping his foot while he eats.

Now, THIS feels right.

Regardless of how hard it might be for us to make this work, THIS is what we’re supposed to do. Now I can be the mom I want to be.