Thursday, February 4, 2016

it all starts with an idea

I'm throwing my sister's baby shower (with the help of my sister in-law Gaudy) that's happening on Saturday and since it involved crafty stuff I recruited my homies Milena and Man-D to help too. We spent Saturday crafting and chatting and eating and I thought of a business idea.
I've since pitched it to a few people who like it and believe in me and such and I even know where I would want to have it. I've been thinking of having a business someday pipe dream for many years I just never knew what it could be. I think I know now. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

well at least i have lady edith

Well the plague of stomach flu hit the farm then it rained and we are going stir crazy over here. I did get to watch an insane amount of Downton Abbey though, so not all things are bad.
I think we'll head to the zoo me and the Alice. My Marigold is a Rosemary.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

a pretty grown-up house

I've been seeing a lot of trendy homes nowadays and while I enjoy most of the trends happening like the muted pastels, the brass and copper, the loads of black and white; some of the interiors are just a little too hipster for my tastes. I found this house amongst my searchings and I realized that I have a tendency to enjoy things that are midcentury modern but I really want things to have a skew of simplicity and traditionalism. American. Classic. But modern. I was particularly into this living room because it had a blue couch and I like to see what people do with their blue couches.
Of course I was crazy for their kitchen with the big island painted blue.
The missing element to most homes I feel like is the presence of their children but these people put it front and center with a little table just for them. 
Oh and I'm crazy about banquettes of course. 
And glass front cabinets.
And soothing marble bathrooms.
This is a grown up's house. Someday I'll be a real grown up.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

9 decor items to replace before you turn 30

Well, I'm three years, almost 4 over 30 but I found this article and thought it would be fun to see how well I did. It lists the 9 decor items to replace before you turn 30 which you should have read before you turn 30 but you didn't so you're giving yourself 'til the end of the year to fix it.

1) Mass Produced Art
2) Plastic Dining Chairs
3) The Classic Bedspring and Metal Frame
4) A Basic Mattress
5) A Builder-Grade Flush Mount
6) Mismatched Bedside Tables
7) The Futon
8) Stacking Plastic Drawers
9) A Makeshift Desk Chair

Overall, I was good on 8 out of 9 and this really made me want to get on #5, the lighting situation. While there's a lot of things we'd reconfigure when we eventually do some serious gut jobs to the kitchen and living area, some good lights would be an excellent addition to the house. We've added ceiling fans to the living room, master, and Alice's room but to be replaced would be: the laundry room, master closet, master bathroom, guest bath, and my office. I'm still not sure if I'd want a pretty light or a ceiling fan for comfort. Decisions decisions.

Monday, January 25, 2016

the high and low

I had lofty plans to post some pretty interiors in here but on Saturday I experienced some parenting highs and lows that kinda took the top spot priorities wise. 

On Saturday we spent the night at my in-laws and Alice was up at 6am which is unusual for her. When we're home and she's up at that time, she'll usually go back to sleep but since at my in-laws we're all in the same room when she wakes up, she sees us and we can't just ignore her. She gave me the ole pick me up arms so I did, put her on the floor and laid back down on the bed that's low to the ground and she climbed up and laid next to me putting her little head on my pillow. We snuggled for awhile before she wanted to be up playing and she just wrapped her little arms around me being super cuddly. If I gotta be up at 6am, that made it all worth it. It was an incredible mom high.
Unfortunately that night as we got back home, she fell asleep in the car and the normally smooth transfer resulted in her waking and giving us some cries. Usually she is just protesting it and falls asleep promptly after but she kept crying and I gave it a few minutes and I saw her lay down so I laid down but she got a little louder and Matt came in to take the monitor so I could sleep since I'd been up so early. A few minutes or so passed, I must've dozed off and Matt comes in telling me she's thrown up. Other than when my sister Liz woke me up to tell me she was in labor, I have never woken up so quickly in my life. I went into the room and it just smelled awful. There was throw up all over her, the crib, it was bad. We took her PJs off and put her in another pair and awhile later she threw up again and then a few more times which by then was just bile. She was so tired that she'd fall asleep on me and then be woken up by having to throw up. We called our doctor's office and they said to take her in to the ER for fear of dehydration and such. I was hesitant to take her in to the hospital since it was 2am and I was afraid of more germs and more waiting and misery but Matt said if she throws up one more time we're going. And she did. I've never seen that look on my normally happy baby. Just absolute misery and confusion like why did this happen to me? What is going on?

The urgent care was closed so we went back to Providence St. Joseph where she was born. It was pretty empty and they took her vitals fairly promptly thankfully but smarty pants kept pushing out the rectal thermometer and they had to do it three times to get it. No fever. Nothing else.

Back to the waiting room we went and she perked up enough to have a few sips of water and to point at the fishes in the pediatric waiting area and wanted to play with the kid chairs which was grossing me out imagining all the germy sick kids that touched it so I had to pull her away. We went into the ER and were attended by a lovely volunteer, nurse, and PA. They were so gentle with her and super nice to us, I guess everyone feels bad for a sick baby. She drank a little more, they gave her a tab of zofran and she fell asleep a few minutes later. By then it was about 3am. They sent us home with a prescription and what to look for and she stayed asleep until about 10am the next day.

Woke up perfect as if nothing ever happened and was pretty chipper but when it was nap and bedtime she let us know and would lean on things and be sad looking. She took a really long nap and bedtime was rough with a loss of pacis but slept until about 9 the next morning.

But today was not the same. She was not herself. I could tell something was wrong and after breakfast and a little mild playing she gives me this awful look and cry face and wants to be picked up and once I do she barfs all over herself and myself. I could have cared less. We went into the bathroom, I peeled off my soiled sweater and her clothes and just held her in the bathroom with tears in my eyes. I've never loved someone this way. Her pain is mine. I wish I could take it away.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

back home!

I returned home on Saturday afternoon a very tired lady indeed having not slept much in Austin for the week I was there. I've napped every day except today (Tuesday) since today and tomorrow are my designated work from home days to handle the payroll for our crew. I tried to let Alice hang out here while I work but she decided that she would not be anywhere but in my office chair so... 
She's being pretty clingy lately. Wants to be held A LOT. I dunno if it has to do with this age or with the fact that I was gone for a week and she's afraid I'm gonna leave her again? That makes me sad. Let's pretend she's going through a clingy 18 month old phase yes?

Friday, January 15, 2016

alice at 1.5

She's one and a half my wonder kid, here's what she's up to at this age which I am enjoying so much.
She has recently become a little too handsy with the dog. She lays on him, leans on him, pulls his fur, tries to carry him like a doll. Lebowski for the most part has been okay with it but there have been a few times when she grabs his paw and he growls at her. I know she'll outgrow it and the dogs will grow into appreciating her. At the moment, Woz is pretty terrified of her and mostly stays away but Lebowski is kind of a goober and stands his ground even though he knows she's gonna be all up in his business. 
Her playtime is a funny thing, mix of playing with her regular and new toys and some more quieter activities too. She loves being challenged and having to learn things like recently simple things like opening a book and teaching her the words and asking her to point out where's the doggy, where's the shoes is a fun to her. 
And you know how everyone thinks their kid is so smart? My kid is so smart. I was classified as "gifted" pretty early on as a kid and Matt's no dummy so I assumed we'd have a child that was intelligent but I was not really prepared to be raising a gifted kid. It's going to be dependent on us to ensure she thrives and that means structure and exploration. She needs to be challenged or she's gonna be bored and destructive. All the things that could have helped me are going to be good for this kid so I think I need to put her in school pretty early on.
How smart is she really if she prefers to play with an empty jar of chili powder though? And let's talk about TV. We are a TV/movie family. We watch a lot of TV and movies and we didn't expect that our kid was gonna be any different and refuse screen time. Currently Alice watches TV right before dinner so I can make dinner and then a little bit after dinner before her nighttime routine.
When it comes to mealtimes, Alice is a pretty good eater but has acquired a particular taste for berries, quinoa and most all carbs, fruit, and doesn't really like veggies except roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes and corn. Too bad for her because I'm on a healthy kick and when I get back from this trip she is in for a world of veggies and healthy things. 
She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, is okay with Doc McStuffins, enjoys Sesame Street, and Matt says she's tolerating Lion Guard. Disney Junior is our channel. We make it as tolerable an experience with Matt and I cracking wise about the characters on the show to keep our sanity. "Ugh, Pete is the worst!" "Do you think Hallie the Hippo was a present from Doctor McStuffins because she knew her daughter wanted to be a doctor so she gave her a nurse doll?"
One of the funniest things to me is the way she caught onto our bedtime routine. 
After her bath I would put her in a towel and then brush her teeth but she being she realized that's what happens next so she would gesture emphatically toward the toothbrush as if to say "I know! I know! The toothbrush is next!"
After her bath and when she's in her pjs, once we told her it was bedtime she would walk to her room, get up on the chair, click the white noise machine and touch the lamp; all the elements of her bedtime routine. It also reminds me of how important it is for a kid to have a routine.
She doesn't like having her diaper changed for reasons that are beyond my capabilities and she gets cranky and annoying when she's sleepy but overall... she is an intelligent angel we adore and enjoy.
And being gone from her for a week is the maximum amount of time I can stand being away from her. If I get a job that goes any longer, Matt and Alice are coming with.

Can't wait to see her tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

austin!

I have been trying to come to Austin for two years. After our Chicago trip I said "Austin next year". Then something happened, I can't remember why I couldn't go in 2014 in July.... oh yeah... BABY. Then in 2015 we was po' so we could na go. I said 2016 we're going to Austin, this is it. And it was! 
Well... I'm here for work so it's not exactly the fun times explore the city trip. I am working all day at our rental house and then at night I can maybe go out for dinner which I got to do on Monday and meet up with Biola friends and new Austin residents The Burges, but I don't get to go out much. This morning my boss Robert and I went for a run around a cool bike trail along the river, my first run in months. The first mile sucked major butt and then I felt better and might have kept going but we had to go back. We're gonna try again on Thursday.
Also... I can't expore the city through food because... I'm on a no-carb no-sugar food train. WOO. Basically eating diabetic but without meat. And unlike Portland where it's vegan central, Austin is a big meat town and since we have a rental we've been making our own breakfasts lunch and dinner. Today, I only ate food at our house. It helps that my house mate/boss is a very healthy cook and eater and he was only too happy to make food for us and I can easily control what I'm eating by just making the food at home.
As far as when I'm out and about this carb/sugar thing is a matter of just making an extra effort with my food choices. No croutons. No syrup. Etc. I honestly... don't miss the carbs and I'm feeling pretty good and not hungry. Instead of thinking about it as removing carbs I'm adding vegetables, fruit, legumes. I'm not being SUPER strict about it, I did have a tiny bit of brown rice with my kale and seitan but that was once a week and aside from that, it's really opening up my mind to what we're putting in our body. There's no nutritional value to pizza and pasta when you think about it. Once I get to a better weight, I might add a pasta here and there but right now I am not even tempted (except by the local donut place but I did not dare enter). I am really enjoying this challenge.

And you know what? Apples and peanut butter are so freaking tasty. Seriously!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

operation playroom update

As you know, I'm trying to make our office into more of a little playroom for Alice. Most of it involved lots of kid-proofing and then adding in the toys she plays with into the mix.
Wooden toys are so helpful to convey the purpose of being played with plus being decorative.
We were thinking of having the little kitchen in her room but I wanted her room to remain mostly for reading, changing, and sleeping.
I added it here next to the window along with her baby doll's crib and stroller.
My tea cart was moved to the corner where we used to keep the litter box. Keeping it out of her immediate line of sight has been nice because then she's not grabbing all the stuff on it. I moved the breakable stuff out her reach and hopefully she'll not be too interested in the stuff that's left.
It does leave this corner of the room looking pretty busy but... oh well.
 I still haven't finished painting the doors but Alice took to drawing on it already. Magnetic primer would be cool too then it could be a place for her to hang little alphabet letters or whatnot.
The coffee table was cleared of all my magazines and now it's just her books and puzzles.
Usually the top is full of her toys and we have tea parties on it. 
Even with all the stuff in here the room still has lots of open space for playing. 
I still maintain that it would be nice to have a few poufs for her to sit on while we play around the coffee table. It's a good thing the room was girly to begin. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

my top 5 home items for 2016

I've told Matt that in lieu of a bunch of small updates for the house, I'd rather save up so we can do a big gut job for the guest bath. That's not to say there's a few smaller items I wouldn't mind buying.

I keep changing out the front door mat seasonally but I'm over it (except for summer). Just a simple front door rug with our initial would be cool. I was thinking of having it say The Fredrich Family Farm but I dunno if I want our name outside of our home that way. I'm thinking it would be a good candidate for a DIY situation. 
Recently Alice has gotten into the habit of grabbing the corner of the living room TV and trying to move it which is scary. It's secured to the unit for baby and earthquake but I'd like to just mount the thing to the wall and just keep it away from her. For the record, while Matt is the designated male of the family, when it comes to gadgetry I'm always at the forefront when encouraging upgrades. I wanted a wireless sound system right away when we got married but the prices weren't right and the technology was a few years away from when we eventually bought the Sonos system we know and love now. To his credit when we moved into the house he's the one that suggested the particular system and I heartily agreed. That was pre-baby/low-cash life. Memories.
Some cool new bedding for our bedroom would be nice to have. Our current one is fine and dandy but I've got the hankering for some fluffy duvet action. 
We've had the same toaster since our wedding and it's probably going to die soon so a new slim four slice toaster would be good. I'm just not sure if I should go for a silver color to go with all the other major appliances or a black one to go with the smaller appliances. 
This is my numero uno thing I want for the house. Big mirror over the sofa table, which I wrote about in this post. All in due time.
I have a list of a few tools and mini things for myself like a custom address stamp for the family, enamel frying pan, new waffle maker, and large crockpot but that's another post.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 recap: tight on money, big on life

I was gonna do a month by month recap of the year but decided to just go by category which I quickly realized a few dictate the others. Of course the first category dictated almost everything.

ALICE: I can't believe how much she's grown in one year. This was her at the start of 2015.
This is her at the end of 2015.
She went from being a baby in a bouncy toy to bouncing toddler. She eats food, she has words, she knows simple commands, she runs, she slides, she points out words she knows, she has favorites, she laughs at funny things, she's a full on little person. Our life revolves around her and we love it.

FAMILY (extended, my side): It was a mixed bag with my family this year as we had a few family fights (once again taking a mom break) but we spent a good amount of time together with our kids. We found out my sister Mari is pregnant and we'll welcome another nephew in early March.
The full line up in February. It's gonna get a little more crowded soon. 
Christmas with the California girls in their matching PJs.
It always feels like our time together is never long enough which is a good thing right? We went to a fair share of family birthday parties with our extended Mexicali family too and hopefully next year we'll get to visit Mexicali so Alice can meet the rest of the gang. We miss Liz and the kids and luckily got to spend Thanksgiving together. 
The full line up in November. That's a grip ton of kids. 
FAMILY (extended, matt's side): One of the best things to happen in 2015 was when the Carrs moved back to California so Jason could go to nursing school. Up 'til now we saw each other once or twice a year and now it's about 2-3 times a month either in La Mirada or up in our hood.
These two girls are so flippin' great and the sweetest baby watchers. They actually like having Alice around and playing with her and chasing her and taking care of her and making sure she doesn't go up the stairs or eats tiny toy pieces of Legos. It's so nice coming to my mother in-law's to see them but also to watch the girls play together. Warms the heart.
I'm so glad they moved back.
One of the unsung heroes of 2015 has to be my mother in-law Jill. She has the biggest heart in the world and could not be more generous to our little family. Not just hooking Alice up with sweet things she bought or made but with her time. She's our favorite babysitter and we never think twice when we go somewhere and leave her in her good care. She even took her overnight! She's my designated texter of daily photos and mom questions. I think knowing she really likes Alice helps me not feel guilty about all the photos and videos I send her. We love her so. 
And although grandma does a lot of the legwork, my father in-law Dan, generally beloved and admired by all, is of course beloved and admired by Alice. He's one of the few dudes that when he stretches arms out, she goes for him. He's a wonderful example, funny, caring, serviceable, flexible, patient, thoughtful, and he's easy on the eyes as my aunts have mentioned. Ha. 
FASHION: Well due to not losing any of the baby weight, my looks were mostly revolved around hiding the baby weight which means a boat-load of black. I didn't buy a lot of clothing this year except to buy more loose black clothes and some Christmas attire and bought about two pairs of shoes TOTAL. Also much of that was predicated by the one thing we lacked this year. 
The Christmas Eve outfit nobody saw. A hilarious tale I'd be happy to regale you with sometime.
FITNESS: I think I went on two runs and one hike and my weight spiraled. It's no good. We got a plan for next year though, it's happening whether I like it or not.
FOOD: We ate out quite a bit but mostly it was our local joints. As far as the more upscale restaurants I like to explore we got a few good meals in Colombus and San Francisco and a good new brunch joint in WeHo by church.
Due to the lack of funds and work, we ate in a lot and though I tried a few new recipes, I stuck to our classic staples when trying to feed us and even tried making things I never had before like tortilla chips.
Of course feeding Alice was the most challenging part of meal times since she decided to form an opinion so often it would be a battle of my presenting to her what the rest of the family was eating and her rejection of such presentation.
Then we'd give her some simplified version of a meal and all was well.
FRIENDS (new): Our involvement in a new church led to some new friendships being formed from old friendships which was the case with the Kazarians (Milena's brother, wife, and kids) and the Lucases (Drew & I were in film classes together!). We especially formed a great new nerd friendship with a couple from our small group and fellow Burbankians the Southerns.
FRIENDS (old): Well, not old old right girls? In July the girls all made it to Alice's 1st Birthday and in October Man-D, Michelle, and I gathered our SoCal butts and headed to OH-IO to visit Ambre who's attending grad school in Ohio State.
It was an adults only trip and we had a lot of fun just being together under the same roof for the first time in years. It's amazing how much you can blab on about even after that many years together.
It was an experience in fall I'll tell you that. We bought warm leggings but wore them underneath our real pants 'cause we're real time adults.
Our annual Christmas dinner was held at our alma mater's cafeteria and you know what? It was a lot of fun visiting our old haunts with kids in tow. A happy mixing it up occassion.
FRIENDS (playdates): There was a huge increase in playdates as the need for commiseration rose to the top of the priorities list. I did a lot of one on ones with moms and kids and did museum, zoo, and Disneyland meet-ups all the way up to December 30! The beginning was about comparing notes on baby life and mom struggles but by the end it was mostly about letting the kids tire themselves out and learn to play with each other. Still working on that last part but it's definitely happening. She seems to pay more attention to the existence of other kids now and it's great just being around a mom and not having to apologize for the chasing around of a kid since we're both doing the same thing.
GOODBYES: Matt's grandmother Rosemary passed away in April after a long battle with Alzheimer's. The funeral service and surrounding events with the Fredrichs was such a wonderful and hilarious time that you could feel the influence Rosemary left on her family. Also: we got some serious brownie points when we would introduce Alice with her full name. From Matt: In true fashion, my grandmother Rosemary Ryan Fredrich waited until Easter Sunday to go be with the Lord. She raised four children on her own after my grandfather Louis died in part from wounds suffered in WWII. She was an incredibly strong and hilarious woman who brought joy to all around her, and the reason for my daughter Alice's middle name. We've missed her for many years already due to Alzheimer's, but look forward to the promise the Resurrection brings that we'll be reunited again someday.
HOME: The biggest home project of the year was the master bathroom mini-makeover and the laundry room cabinet install. Though small in rooms they made a big impact in room functionality.
The laundry room cabinets were one those projects I knew the room needed from the minute I walked into it. I still love seeing these things every day, I always smile.
And the biggest home purchase was the new couch and ottoman we got for our Oscars party. Well, the Oscar party inspired the purchase, it was a long time coming. It's been such a happy addition to the living room and surprisingly, makes the room feel a lot bigger, or at least that's what our guests tell us. And it's about 10 times comfier than our last couch, very very happy with it. 
Baby-proofing took on a whole new meaning once Alice got seriously mobile. I tried hard to make the kitchen more Alice proof so we wouldn't have to have the gates up all the time but it's so much easier on us to just have the gates up especially when I'm in there cooking otherwise she's clawing at me to keep holding her while I'm trying to get dinner done. It's a constantly evolving project but we're happy to keep shaping our home to fit our growing girl. 
Another project in the works is the playroom-ization of the office. We moved her little kitchen in there and I'll photograph the place as it stands after I take down the Christmas decorations.
MARRIAGE: Matthew and I celebrated 8 years of marriage with our first overnight away from the baby and a grown-up day at Disneyland and treating ourselves to annual passes.
We had a few date nights but not nearly enough to say we get a grade higher than a C on the quality time report card. We do have a lot of time just the two of us since she goes to bed at a decent hour but we need to improve on the just us outtings in 2016. Maybe even a full weekend away just the two of us! I'd also like to do some sort of marriage tune-up like a marriage retreat, every couple needs a good tune-up now and again don't you think?
MEDIA: We didn't go to the movies a whole lot this year but we watched a whole lot of TV on streaming services and we got cable (which was more cost effective than our internet only plan) so Matt could watch sports. I let all my magazine subscriptions expire and started Moby Dick and we both want to spend more time reading books next year. Alice is really into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and loves playing on the iPad and likes being read to and I'll often find her pulling out books and turning pages herself.

MONEY: This pretty much was the big element that affected a lot of our life. Work for me was really slow and limited us and freed us in a way that only absolute necessity brings. We cut out anything superfluous and spend so much less money now than ever before because we don't have any to spend! I wrote all about it earlier and the plan is still the same for whenever we do actually have money: save save save.

PARTIES: The beginning of the year was tough to get anything done with Alice being so small but starting in May with Mother's Day we started entertaining pretty regularly at our house.
Home parties ranged from smaller gatherings of one other couple for dinner to about 20 deep for our Sandlot movie night.
It was great to balance both hanging with friends with the convenience of being home so Alice could go to sleep and we could keep hanging out.
Every party had a different setup due to the small nature of our house but nobody ever complains.
I guess it helps to keep the booze coming.
Of course the biggest party was Alice's 1st Flamingo Fiesta which went off ridiculously well thanks to the best idea of the year which was to just pay someone else to make food.
PETS: No more kitties. A sad but necessary decision.
SPIRIT: We've been regularly attending a new church and went to a small group for a few weeks which gave us new people to say hello to on a Sunday. We've been really loving the community we've been involved in and the new thoughts on who God is and how great he is. I've been more challenged lately to talk about my faith and how that defines my life. The least I can do is just mention church and presenting it in an tangible way like how dope their warm drink station for the Christmas service was.
TRAVEL: My general theory on travel is that a good year is any year where I got to go on an airplane. And I got to go on one twice! Once for fun and once for work!
People seem to be changing the way talk about travel with social media making travel the ultimate show-it-off prize. Or maybe seems that way to me? Either way, I never take it for granted and am so thankful for any chance I get to pack my favorite blue rolly suitcase and have to take off my shoes while going through a cancer giving device that scans my whole body.
And that my friends, was 2015. It took about four hours to type this thing up on the last day of the year right before I started making chili before people come hang. Seems fitting.

May your 2016 be big on life through joy in the little things.