Friday, February 27, 2015

alice's latest happenings

She's getting ready to crawl. She takes a few moves towards maybe crawling and then sits back up. I don't know why I want her to crawl so much. We're not baby proof ready. Not even a bit.
video
She rolls herself up to sitting from any position. One of the most adorable and pathetic sights is walking in to her room and watching her sit with her back to one of the crib sides sometimes crying, just waiting to be picked up. She sits up for a lot longer now and can often catch herself if she starts tipping over. Sometimes she does go head first into the floor though. Poor thing.
She eats food with her teeny hand. Here she is (despite the look on her face) enjoying a strawberry. She can also hang onto and nibble on apples and bread and lots of veggies. When she's doing that I just stare and stare at her. I had no idea watching a baby eat would be so exciting.
She's still going through that separation anxiety thing where if we are out of sight she goes bonkers. We've remedied the situation by just putting her in a bouncy chair and keeping her nearby.
However.

The separation anxiety unfortunately translates to bedtime. We'd been doing well putting her to bed around 7pm and then she'd wake up at 6am and I'd feed her and sometimes she'd go back to bed. It was glorious. But right now. Oh man. After the usual last nurse of the day and slight rocking, aha closes her eyes. But once she realizes she's being put in her crib she wakes up and starts crying. And screaming. It's been a rough few nights. We let her cry herself to sleep once and I let her sleep in our bed once and it was not a good night of sleep for momma since she rolls around and kicks me in the face. She might be teething as well. She does the same thing for naps too. It's... not fun. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

the cuddle couch

After much consideration, Matthew and I welcomed a new member of Ikea to our family. It's a boy. His name is Kivik corner sofa which is a new version of the Kivik sofa they released either last year or the year before. We've been wanting to get a sectional for the living room and while I considered a few others, we just didn't want to spend a lot of money so Ikea it was.
We also got the matching ottoman with storage for our blankets. Here you see our current arrangement of baby paraphanelia during the day. I do mean to write an update on baby gear...
When pushed up against this corner  it makes for a giant seating area where Alice can hang while we sit next to her and she happily plays with her toys and thinks about crawling. But more importantly it is a giant area where we can lay there with a blanket and snuggle while watching TV. It's pretty nice.
I really like the navy blue color, breaks up all the black in there but I am thinking about the other accent powers in the room and a new room board mockup with it in place.
It's way more comfortable than the old couch.
And most importantly, Alice likes it a lot.

Monday, February 23, 2015

the hosts's lament

I'm about to get super vulnerable around here. Looking into my soul vulnerable.

As you know I like to throw a party or two. And with the addition of Alice, party throwing is a little more difficult because I have to juggle her and doing my party planning and as you can imagine, 7 months old don't quite get "sit here and don't fall on your noggin while I set up". Mostly I did stuff when she was asleep and got the grocery shopping done while she was in a carrier, asleep.

Well I decided to throw an Oscar party. I do them almost every year and they're very simple. Put out some cheese, pop some corn, pour out bubbly. Simple right? Well... you know me. But do the people that I invite to these parties know me?
I sent out the invite via Facebook and 11 people said they were coming plus their significant others and we were looking at 15-20 people. Matt of course was nervous about fitting that many people in our house. But to me, the hostess, the more the merrier! Then the declines started coming and then it rained and I knew we were doomed: LA people do not drive in the rain. Then people that said they were coming just didn't show up. In the end, it was 10 guests. Very happy, wonderful guests who loved everything and were impressed and were hilarious and fun.

What does it mean to a hostess when people won't come to her parties? Do they not like me? Am I not worth the effort? Why do I bother putting so much effort into this if nobody is gonna come? Why do I feel like I'm begging people to come?

It's a silly thought but I thought it. I try so hard to attend anything we're invited to. We've become professional party attenders Matt and I. I RSVP as soon as we confirm we can attend and then guess what, we attend. It's like saying, you matter, I will make the time and effort. And drive. And I'll bring a gift or offer to bring something. We try to be good guests, it's the polite thing to do.
I have all these rules about social media that in an effort to shake off the gloom of the no-shows I violated like posting photos of guests and tagging them. And also because I have a reputation with my mom's family and she kept bugging me to post photos of the party. And I took pleasure in the likes and comments about how cute the party (and Alice, of course) looked and honestly, I wanted it to make an impression on them for next year. If I do it again, they'll realize hey, it's that awesome Oscar party EvY throws, that's a do not miss. I will make the effort!

Party throwing is my creative outlet. It's how I show I like you. I just want people to enjoy it and I want a bunch of them to come. Fill the house. I don't even need oodles of adulation, usually just a "this looks nice" is seriously seriously seriously good enough for me. It's my insecurity, my flaw.

Party on Wayne. Party on Garth.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

happy birthday house!

Two years ago we closed on Valentine's.


It's been a great two years on the farm.

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

the kind of mom i thought i would be

Reading the lives of so many moms on the internet with their aspirational lives and perfectly dressed children had me making up mental mom rules of the kind of mom I was going to be. Then reality happened. I mean after you labor naturally for 30 hours and end up gutted like a tauntaun anyway, your high and mighty ideals kinda go out the window. Also: babies do what they want so deal with it.

Alice is dressed about 90% of the time in adorable one of a kind clothing from: ANYTHING THAT’S FREE. No, not unique and special clothing from companies that only me and a select amount of moms who read trendy mom blogs know about, she is dressed in whatever you can buy at any retail store. Sure, she has a few unique items I ordered from the internets but mostly she wears what grandma gives her or what I find on super sale because I don’t know if you know this but babies outgrow their clothing fast and you have to keep buying things at regular intervals so it gets expensive.

That’s the part of the mom I thought I’d be that I wasn’t prepared would affect me. MONEY. Right now we’re a mostly income family and thank God we can do that and have Matt watch Alice instead of hiring outside help or putting her in daycare. But that means that I am counting my pennies around here and ain’t nobody gonna be buying some $30 fancy leggings for a baby that’s gonna grown out of them in three months. I guess I could DIY clothes for her. But yeah right, when would I do that? From 7pm-7am when I could be showering/eating/watching tv/blogging/reading? And definitely not during the day when she’s awake, I’d rather hang with her. And so her clothing is stuff that was free or very cheap. I do have the occasional moment when she’s gotta have something like gold mocassins and a neon pink sweater vest outfit but those are rarely over $20. I am particular about the clothes I do buy and luckily my mother in law has my taste down so Alice never gets items like “Mommy’s Little Princess” with pictures of Hello Kitty on them or any baloney like that. I do have some mental rules when it comes to her clothing and people are pretty good at knowing that.

I was gonna be Mrs. Cloth Diaper. On top of all the laundry we have to contend with I was really not into the idea of doing yet MORE laundry in a DROUGHT no less. So we’re using Honest company disposable diapers. I do kinda wish we would get her into the cloth ones as she gets older because dang this is gonna go on for years and again: MONEY but the ease of disposable, forget it. We got enough to deal with.

I wanted to be 100% breastmilk and we are about 97% breastmilk. I bought formula now for the times when she’s extra hungry and I’m tapped out. And do I feel bad about it? HELLS NO. I actually really like holding her close and feeding her with a bottle and know for certain how much food she’s actually getting and not having to sit there forever while she nurses and nurses. It’s refreshing actually. Plus if she decides to take her two tiny teeth out for a drive, I don’t get bit. So win.

I was going to have beautiful wooden toys and nothing that is tacky and makes noises. That was never a real rule, I was just hoping for it. But she did get a few makes noises presents and she enjoys them so whatever, they stay. I have some control over the toys we buy for her so I’ve been able to keep it semi decent with design and aesthetic and we have good toy storage methods which I think is key: cute storage helps hide ugly things. I would never call her toys ugly though. My baby loves them and they make her happy so they are the most beautiful things in the world. 

My baby would not have a pacifier. We gave into that around oh, 3 weeks? It helps her sleep. She loses it and then puts it back in her mouth on her own now and that keeps her quiet and helps her sleep so yay pacifiers. We are trying to phase them out because I don’t want them to mess up her teeth and I know that happens so we only use them for nap time and bedtime though now that she can put them in her own mouth if it’s sitting near her and she sees it, she’ll grab it and put it in her mouth while she’s playing which I think is so cute but don’t want to make it a habit. It’ll be a slow weaning process in a few weeks so wish us luck.

There’s some things I’m pretty proud of that we’ve accomplished like how she sleeps in her own room at night most of the night. She has a fairly simple bedtime routine and goes to bed fairly early which is nice so I’m glad I was able to have that sort of discipline set up in our home.

I was going to make my own organic baby food and I have! And now we’re doing baby-led weaning where you let them eat real food without doing purees. It’s really fun watching her gum some real food and practice chewing and it’s really fun watching her stick her face out and open her mouth wide for pureed carrots on a baby spoon. Also, luckily the grocery store nearby only has good organic baby food which we keep a small stash of in case I forget to make some so that makes it easy on me but thankfully she’s eating the purees I make with the baby food maker we got as a present (that is so rad I love it!) I did not know that watching my child eat would be so great.

I was going to do a lot of baby carrier-ing. Which I only use on occasion and I do enjoy for the ease of transport and such. It keeps her quiet during church and is helpful for grocery store runs. It hasn’t become this big bonding hippie thing for me though, it’s definitely about convenience.

I’m also proud of her nursery. I really like it as both room for a baby and room for mommy to hang in that I don’t hate. It’s got toys in it and colorful elements but it doesn’t have cheesy baby crap or inspirational quotes or murals or that business because that ain’t me jack. And it’s practical. SO SO practical.

Overall though as far as level-headedness I worry about one thing in regards to Alice and one thing above all others: food. Is she eating enough? Is she growing enough? Is she too small? I worry about it every single day. But other than that I think I'm a pretty level headed person and a pretty chill mother. We'll reassess this in a few months when she starts her mobility phase but so far... pretty good. 

So don't beat yourself up about anything you said you'd do or not do in regards to your baby rearing. Throw all those expectations and crap out the window. If there's something you really want to do then read up on it and prepare yourself for it as best you can but don't hate yourself if you didn't do it or had to bottle feed or fed her gerber instead of organic whatnot. Just keep the baby alive and happy. That's it. That makes you a good mom. And that's the kind of mom to be.

Monday, February 2, 2015

alice at the halfway to a year mark

When you're in the fog of baby life you fail to realize how big your baby has become. She was such a little snuggly thing and now she's this moving shaking small person. Look at that grin. 
It wasn't until I saw the photos my sister took when we got all five grand babies together on Sunday that it hit me. All of a sudden my baby had grown four sizes and I was just trying to catch up.
She reaches for everything now. Nothing around is safe, she wants to touch everything.
She sits up mostly but tips over often. She rolls herself all over the floor and scoots herself backwards ending up clear across where she started. She's getting close to figuring out how to crawl. She laughs at things now. I thought she didn't even know how to laugh she is a big smiler but I hadn't made her laugh the way I do now. But she is a smiler. She's always smiling at everything and everyone.
She is going through a phase where if I'm not in eyesight she gets hysterical. I hear that happens around this age, separation anxiety. She fights sleep like it's her job and has some annoying baby tricks she pulls when she doesn't want to go to sleep like humming to herself, scratching whatever's nearby (sometimes its me), and will keep her eyes open refusing to sleep for upwards of an hour. At least she lays there quietly in her protest. She has two tiny bottom teeth and she bites me while I'm nursing her sometime and that is so not fun.
But she looks like an angel, she smells like heaven, she makes me so happy I cry.

Friday, January 30, 2015

alice's christmas tree

I know it's way late to post one more Christmas thing but whatever. Alice's tree. The felt ornaments were made by my wonderful mother in-law. She's got mad skills.
The nativity scene made it's way to her room too. To remind her of the meaning of the holiday.

the funny thing about bedtime (and nap time)

Alice goes to bed pretty much at 7pm and sleeps if all elements are perfect, until about 7:30am. It's pretty nice having that extra special alone time from 7pm until our own bedtime at 11/midnight. Those hours in the evening when we're free of the baby and can watch whatever we want uninterrupted. Even reading is possible!
I read a mom's blog post recently about how she felt bad when she realized she was counting down to bedtime. It was a very sweet post about how she had been trying to make efforts to savor every moment with her babies during the day but realized she was speed reading through the bedtime book to get the kids to sleep as soon as possible. Not exactly savoring. It was a nice reminder.

Bedtime always sneaks up on me. I hardly ever need a clock because my abalone is a finely tuned human tick tock. At 9/10am, 12pm, 4pm, she's ready for a nap and at 7pm she's inconsolably fussy and the only cure is to get her in her room, pj her up, dim the lights, feed her, and put her to bed. (Sometimes it's incident less but sometimes she wants to be held and once she hits the crib she starts crying. We did that let her cry thing one night and it took an hour of torturous crying before she was done. Then the next night, maybe 30 minutes, then 10 minutes, now if she opens her eyes and cries and notices that I'm still leaving the room she'll fall asleep within seconds. It's like she's testing us.) But of course once she's in bed I spend time looking at pictures of her and missing her. But darn it if she wakes up ugh, the dance of having to do that again! And that next trying to get her to sleep movement is much harder to work than the first one. It's like aww don't go to sleep I'll miss you but then it's like aww dang it don't wake up until morning!
Naptime we've gotten into some ridiculously bad habits here. We pretty much just hold her or nap with her because she wakes up about 90% of the time if place her in her crib. I want to break her of the habits but holy crap holding my 6 month old baby for an hour could not be a better use of my time. And oh excuse me, now I HAVE to take a nap with my baby in our big comfy bed and she'll sleep longer? Well... don't mind if I do.

Monday, January 19, 2015

under the category of: about freaking time

You know how there's something you keep wanting to do and you're looking for the right thing and then next thing you know it takes years? It's been that with the nightstands and well, the master bedroom in general. It's been in the plan since 2011 and then when we moved it was still pretty much the same. The bed finally arrived making the former nightstands that were a temporary solution about 7 years ago when we got married an even worse fit for the room and I'd been looking and looking for awhile for the right stands.
These were a happy compromise. Once the bed was in place the size of whatever I was going to buy determined pretty much everything first. After that I wanted something that was in midcentury style, one drawer and one open shelf, dark wood, and pretty low to the ground where there wouldn't be much space under the dresser. I tried to find something actually vintage but after these guys went on sale, I just went for it. 
We are happy with them. 
I wish it would look perfectly styled and beautiful but this is the real life. 
I love that I can hide away the unsightly stuff.
Eventually for the home tour photos I'll style it all pretty and such, I tried here.
But most of the time it's got this stuff on it. Baby monitors are trending. Look it up.
I put my slippers under my dresser and Matt did the same thing. Soul mates.
And here's Alice being adorable as per usual.
So what's left to do in there:
1) paint the room
2) wallpaper the ceiling with constellation wallpaper
3) replace the lamps with brass sconces
4) buy a record player

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

winter clean-up (and house goals)

Matt & I have been cleaning and organizing and embracing our "urge to purge" lately. It's a feeling that hits me where I'm more inclined to get rid of things I'm on the fence about. We've gone through almost every nook and cranny at home and the outdoor shed with this resolve. It usually happens around the beginning of the year when the concept of resolutions and being more organized and such is on people's minds. It's definitely on our mind.
So the goals for the house for 2015 are:
1) install upper cabinets in the laundry room
2) paint the master bedroom
3) paint the living room
4) plant lots of greenery in the backyard
5) plant more veggies in the front yard
6) install some shade over the seating area in the backyard
7) replace the table behind the sofa for something with sliding doors
8) new nightstand and lighting combination for the master bedroom
9) build some shelving for the master bathroom
10) paint the master bathroom

Thursday, January 8, 2015

alice's first christmas

Since we were spending Christmas Eve night at Matt's parent's house, we decided to open presents just the three of us on Christmas Eve in bed. It was cute. Matt gave me a necklace with an A on it which made me cry, I gave him a beanie, and we let Alice "open" one of her books. 
I think that will be our new tradition: opening 1 present in bed as a family on Christmas Eve morning.
Last year for Christmas Jill had laid out a tiny little stocking since I was pregnant.
And this year, after she'd been working on it for months, Alice got her full sized stockings. I mean, nothing like grandmas right? They love like nobody does.
Speaking of grandma, she got Alice this awesome jumperoo that she loves. Assembling it was one of the funniest things I've done, it was such a funny fail.
Alice in Wonderland was of course, part of her gifts.
She got dressed up for our family gathering with Matt's side of the family and enjoyed being held by everyone that would hold her.
Our family's gathering was held at my sister Mari & her fiancee's new house.
Alice enjoyed being held by anyone that would hold her. Sensing a trend here.
She got some fun presents from her tias and tips.
She looked so cute in her little outfit.
It was very special celebrating with Alice, just putting her into all of our outings and traditions and all the family getting to hold her and gift her and it's just definitely been my favorite Christmas yet.