Monday, December 7, 2009

the end

Hi all. If you're still there. I know, I know. I've been away for months now. And there's so much that has happened! But I'm only here for a mere sentence or two to let you know that my blog bo bee sah will be ending today. Thanks for reading and commenting and just stopping by.

The good news is that I've started a new blog over at Sweet Whimsey. So please hop on over! I'd love to see you there.

Love to you all.
-e

Friday, July 31, 2009

dreaming of two

I had this dream early on in my pregnancy. It was vivid and visceral and simple. I was just laying on my bed with Diego and his little brother. We were all gasping after a fit of laughter and taking a deep breath. I immediately felt this feeling of powerful bear-momma love for my boys. My Boys. And felt it overwhelm me, covering the three of us like a blanket. This was before we knew that the baby would be a boy, but the dream felt right. Half of me knew, from that point on, that we would have another boy. (And for those of you who I haven't told, we are!) This dream has stayed with me, as something I hold on to when I'm thinking about the future with a second baby.

A second baby. Oh My Goodness. So I've been talking with other parents I meet at the park, the store, the street, um....everywhere, and every single parent has said that the second is HARD. And they all look at me and my hopeful gaze and I swear I can hear them thinking, "Oh...poor thing..." Then they gather their millions of bags and babies and run off in a tired whoosh.

I've been worried about how hard it will be with two. I thought having one was hard enough and now we're going to have to deal with another possibly non-sleeping sibling AND a rambunctious toddler to deal with?? How on earth does anyone do that?

I think I would be more freaked out if I didn't have that dream early on. It's like having a little assurance, a vivid memory that hasn't happened yet, that there will be times of pure love and simple rest. Sure it'll be hard. I probably don't know HOW hard it will be, but I love the thought of having a tickling fest with my boys on the bed and then resting together in quiet rest.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

pregnancy fun

Can we talk for a minute about inner baby wiggles? I absolutely LOVE how it feels when the baby moves around and bumps and bangs on my innerds. He's still small, so the bangs are sweet and mostly tiny...(Ok, except right NOW. Yeesh! HI BABY!! What on earth are you doing in there???) A few months ago I was looking at a very pregnant and lovely friend enjoy her inner baby bumps and I just wanted to melt. I missed that feeling so badly. Those shivers and wiggles and slips inside. And now I can feel them and I can't believe how much little little guy moves! What I love even more is now Jim can feel the baby move, too. Since we're not sure about a third, I'm trying to stop and really observe and remember these small movements. And when it's not waking me up in the middle of the night? It's wonderful, heavenly, weird, and really neat.

Another pregnancy perk? I'm nesting and throwing away stuff I haven't even looked at in MONTHS. Possibly years. Oh yeah. Whereas before I had trouble saying good-bye to shoes I haven't worn since college? Now it's good-bye everything that isn't tied down. I have lists, people, LISTS of things I want to do. All very doable. All good for making this more of a home. Which has been my goal all along. I think this will be a very good thing.

Oh my goodness, is everyone pregnant now? When are y'all due???? We're due for baby boy #2 around November 22nd. And the first sick thing that entered my mind when I heard the date? Phew. I can still watch the Twilight sequel before the baby gets here. Horrible. I know.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

off the face of the earth

Hmm....So I have this blog here that I've TOTALLY IGNORED. There are good reasons and, I have to admit, some horribly silly ones, too.

The good reasons? I've been feeling un-bloggy lately. I wanted to take a little break and it ended up being longer than I expected. I've also wanted to refocus and redo the blog and I thought what better way to do that than to give myself a new start? So I'll be saying good-bye to Boobeesah and moving over to Sweet Whimsey in the near future. Give me a few days to warm up to the blog and I'll let you know when the big move is.

The horrible, embarassing reasons? Twilight. I was re-reading the entire Twilight series. Which is a book I really tried to not like. There are a few things that I have conflict with; Bella's almost subservience to Edward and his over-protective tendencies come to mind...but I still absolutely LOVE them. Love them to the point where all I wanted to do was sit and read. Not even sleep was as important. And if you know me and my love of sleep, that's saying something.

I could lie and say I was exhausted from all the baby-growing. Which isn't a complete lie. (I am exhausted. Silly baby growing all huge and wiggly in my womb.) But I blame my obsession with reading for the absence. So here's a question for the day: What's your current secret obsession?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

my 28th birthday, a recap:

good: It was my birthday!

bad: I threw up all over the living room the night before.

good: Jim took the day off to be with me and Diego. Which was wonderful...

bad: Because Diego then threw up all over the breakfast table in the morning.

good: It was the only time he threw up. Yay!

bad: And then Jim had to leave to drive up to LAX (L.A. airport) to pick up a friend.

good: We had a friend visiting for a few days.

bad: Diego had a fever and was incredibly fussy and sad all day long.

good: Jim came home with a chocolate milkshake.

bad: More fever and clingyness all day.

good: Jim made me this delicious chocolate strawberry cake.

bad: I was exhausted all day and worried so much about Diego that I forgot to eat more than a bowl of cheerios.

good: Jim got me this beautiful hummingbird feeder/mobile (pictures when it's all set up) that I absolutely love. It's gorgeous.

good: I got to talk with my Mom and Step Dad in Costa Rica.

good: And my Tia and family in Florida.

good: Jim is a wonderful, caring, fantastic hubby. Sigh. I'm really, really lucky to have him.

good: The day ended. D's much better now, but still has moods of fussy and tired, but I think he's also growing/teething/just wants to. And, seriously, he's such a sweet little guy that even when he's feverish and feeling like poop, he still gives me hugs and laughs when I "pull" shoes from his ears.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

newbie love

I can't wait to hold him or her. The way you can only hold a newborn. The way the newborn fits perfectly in the crook of your arm and settles deep into contented bliss. The way a newborn eats and then looks up at you with a drunken milky smile. Then spits up and is still pretty happy that the world is all of your arms and Daddy's and your faces looking down at them. Lights and fans are just gravy.

I can't wait to see Diego with her or him. I wonder how he will be. I know he's going to be, as he usually is, a great helper to me and sweet with the newbie. Most of the time. Now I know he won't love them ALL the time, but I feel like they can have such a great friendship and sibling-ship (is that even a word?) and it's all still yet to be, and I get to see that grow! I hope I help it grow, too.

When I'm not completely in denial or scared about how this new little one growing in my belly will change us, I'm utterly excited. It's like waiting on a train platform for someone you've never met but you know you will love and who will fill your life and complete your little family is coming. Soon. But for now I'm sitting and waiting. Enjoying this space and place as much as I can before it changes.

There are gray clouds outside, drizzly rain and chill winds. There are birds chirping. We are all resting, napping or typing on computers or playing games. Just resting. And this is nice.

Friday, May 29, 2009

a bookish friday

Diego is reading:

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
On Top of Spaghetti illustrated by Gene Barretta
Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

I am reading:

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (just finished)
The Well of Lost Plots (just started the audio book I have but never listened to)
How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (which I just started last night and am not sure I will continue with or not)

What are you reading/have read/always recommend?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

good mornings

5 a.m. is not my idea of a good beginning. For anything. Except maybe getting up to drive to the airport for a fun trip to...well anywhere. (Top picks today? Madrid, Paris, Vancouver, Seattle, a cabin in a great old green forest) But 5 a.m. to wake up to a crying crabby toddler? Ugh. The biggest problem is that he's as much a morning person as I am. He's almost exactly like me. In the way that we hate the actual Waking Up but once we're up....well, we're up and ready to go. I'm old, though. (hahahaha) Ok. I'm pregnant and TIIIIIIIIRED. There are morning I wake up and feel like I could sleep for a few more weeks. And I feel like crying. And stuffing my head in the pillow and pretending I've suffered a stroke or coma just to get a few more minutes. Sigh.

But. Once we're up...We're UP! And we make breakfast together and laugh together at cracking eggs and eat together and then D signs that he's all done and he runs around playing with the cupboards in the kitchen or the small chalkboard near the table. I love watching him move his small plastic stool around the kitchen just so he can reach the drawer with all the spoons and whisks. And when we're done he pulls his stool over to the dishwasher and helps me put in (the unbreakable) dishes and cups. So it's not all bad. It's nice, actually. Once I get over the whole waking up bit.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

week 13, an update

So far this pregnancy I've:

-been tired
-incredibly tired
-fallen asleep BEFORE D's bedtime, leaving him to jump on my slumbering because, really, is there anything else to do to Mommy? JUMP!
-been pukey
-nauseaus
-resolved to never eat anything that wasn't in liquid form. Because....ew....solid food.
-lost 12 pounds
-wondered if I've completely lost my mind
-TWO kids? No one can survive that!!
-Ok, maybe the few billion people who have done this before me...but still.
-found my appetite again.
-woo!!
-ate 4 waffles, a sandwich, two glasses of milk, some cheddar cheese, a pop tart, and some cookies. And that was AFTER lunch.
-gained 5 pounds in the last week alone.
-felt a little more energetic...cautiously energetic.
-and am back to being completely exhausted today. Could sleep for days. But it's a good kind of tired. A do-able tired.
-am craving pumpkin pie.
-have sent husband out for pumpkin pie.
-officially have a baby bump. It popped out before the appetite turned me into a garbage disposal so it can't be all the food I've devoured. Not all if it, anyhow.
-swear I've felt the baby moving.
-did HEAR the baby moving about when I heard the heartbeat last week. Blooop! And that's exactly what it sounded like.
-hope Jim gets here with that pie soon.
-maybe I'll take a nap while I wait.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

the ZOOOOOOOO

We got a membership to the San Diego Zoo and on a whim the other day I decided that Diego and I would drive down there to spend the day. He was the perfect car napper, slept from the minute we got in the car and woke up the second I put the car in park.





(I cheated and put this picture in from another day at the zoo. I just like the light. Here's D pointing to the pigeons in the tropical aviary. Ignoring all other more colorful birds entirely.)

(Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? Isn't it sad that I think of a that book when I see bears now?)

(Ok, so here we are, looking at some other fluffy and adorable bears and what does Diego go crazy over? There was a duck in his habitat!! Swimming in his pool! HA!)

(D loved the goats. I sat and watched him feed them for a good 20 minutes. I love the children's petting zoo. What? I'm pregnant and wanted to sit.)

(I swear there are a million turtles in there. Just not in this shot. Still, we had a lot of fun at this exhibit. Especially when Diego tried to be all suave and sat down next to a girl, staring at her pretzel and then signed "please?" Hahaha She walked away, hiding her pretzel behind her back.)


And that's the end. Have a lovely Saturday all!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

chopsticks!

video

He loves noodles. Looooooves. And found out the other week that he could eat them really well with chopsticks. I taught him the slurping part. The chopsticks? No idea where he picked that one up. Hehe I just had to share.

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

where oh where is little bunny today?

Places I have found Diego's little bunny
(when I thought the same little bunny was safely in his room):

-In the fridge.
-In a covered sauce pot in the cupboard.
-In Jim's shoe.
-On his bookshelf.
-On the sofa.
-In the car.
-In his stroller.
-In his potty seat (clean, thankfully!).
-In his sand table.
-On the patio.

Diego loves this little bunny. This tiny, 5 or 6 inch tall, light brown bunny that I got for him at Target. It's actually the very first thing I got for him when I found out I was pregnant. I thought I'd buy something tiny and cute. So I did. My only bit of sadness is that he (and I) would DIE if the bunny got lost. Especially now since bunny helps him choose bed time stories and is his constant sleep companion. But I have no way of buying another one since it was a dollar bin buy. And has no tag. And seems impossible to find online. Sigh. So fingers crossed that this little bunny will hide a lot around our house but will never get lost. Can one lo-jack a small stuffed bunny? Just curious.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

happy mother's day

Happy Mother's Day.

To the new moms who are just now holding their baby for the first time and seeing their fingers and tummies and toes.
To the moms who have seen their little ones grow and run away to adulthood. (Seriously, how dare they!)
To the moms battling the lack of sleep, up all night, blood shot and delirious, it gets so much better. Hang in there! You can do it. I know you can.
To the moms giggling in a heap with the kids after a tickle fest.
To the moms crying at kindergarten graduations or high school graduations or college graduations.
To the moms worried all night about all the what ifs.
To the moms feeling isolated and alone (And don't we all feel like that sometimes?) remember to reach out and say hello.
To the moms who have their core group of family and friends, remember to reach out and say hello anyhow.
To the moms I see struggling with cries and tantrums, hold on, this too will pass.
To the moms that have been and the moms that are and the moms that will be.

Have a beautiful day. You deserve it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

BAAABIES!



I laugh every time I watch this commercial. Yeah, it's a little weird. But...so is my humor. :D hehe My favorite character is the crazy lady who goes around putting things under her shirt because she wants BAAABIES!

Which brings me to this:



That black circle in the middle with the two little bits? It's our newest sideways little bean! Yep. I'm pregnant. Pregnant and pukey and nauseaus and tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired. Happy, excited, elated, and freaked out, too. We're almost at 12 weeks, the little bean is a little under the size of a lemon, and we are expecting to meet him or her around Thanksgiving. A turkey baby! Imagine that...Oh my goodness.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

something (not) said

Court over at Kaiya's Laughter Heals wrote about her daughter's language acquisition a few days ago. It's something we had talked about before (chatting on the phone while we ran after the bustling toddlers) and something that has been on my mind and weighing on my shoulders for too long.

Diego isn't talking yet. At least not much verbally that is. He's 19 months old and has 4 (or 5 if you believe MOO is a word) verbal words and, oh, dozens of non-verbal and sign language words he uses regularly. He's understands everything. He can point to every single item in his many books, heck he can even pull the book I ask for off the shelf. He plays pretend with his toy animals and can feed himself with a fork and spoon. He's climbing up and can almost go down stairs without my help (with my heart in my mouth every time!). And I say these things because feel defensive and mother-bear-ish. But I also need to hear these things, to ingest them and let them strengthen my belief in his abilities.

And the belief in my own abilities as a Mom. Because deep down I think that's what really hurts. Feeling like I've somehow, unknowingly, let D down. So I'm going to focus on the positives. Otherwise I start to dwell on all that I could have done "better," "faster," "with flashcards."

If anyone else if struggling with this, here's a chart I found online that helped put things in perspective. Yes, D is behind on the talking, but he's ahead on so much more. Hope it helps you, too.



(D. looking at me like I'm crazy.)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

red parasol

Diego insisted we go for a walk with my red parasol and just loved every step. It was a warm, sunny day and the parasol was good cover for the little dude. Anyhow. I thought I'd explain the new header. I just loved the way the light was shining through the lace. Hope you do, too.

Happy red parasol day everyone!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

grateful saturdays

We headed over to Scott and Elena's place today for the grand opening of the "Man-tuary" and inside Girl's afternoon/evening fun. Their garage was open and ready for poker and dart-playing fun, complete with radio, comfortable couch and plenty of fried and tasty snacks. We girls headed inside and chatted about babies and pregnancy (since a lot of ladies are pregnant!) and the boys. Really everyone was up and around everywhere, it was nice to watch the boys play and egg each other on and then go back inside to watch the little kids (whose numbers are, wonderfully, growing) learning how to play with each other. (Which was adorable. They even ended up giving each other hugs when they said good-bye. D's been on a huge hugging streak lately, too. He's already so incredibly sweet.)

It's exciting to see Diego play with our growing group of friends, and it's exciting for me to feel our circle of friends and families grow, too. I feel very blessed to see both.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

To D:

You won't remember this day. The light shinning too bright and brilliant through the trees. The cool grass we lay on while we sang The Itsy Bitsty Spider. And you won't remember how you got up and then hugged me, laying on top of me while I kept singing the ABCs and This Old Man, your head on my heart and your heart beating so near. I wish you would, because I will try and remember that feeling forever, of you resting on me and me resting, too, singing in the afternoon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter egg fun

There were the eggs, "hiding" in the bushes and brightly littering the ground. Here was his bucket, since the basket couldn't be found. And there was D, literally pushing the door open and grabbing eggs off the ground like they were calling out to him. Maybe I should have hidden them in a less obvious place. But, seriously, he walked around like he had been collecting Easter eggs for years, gathered them all together and put them all in his basket, signed "All Done" and motioned for us to open the door so we could all go inside. Three minutes, tops. He found one or two M&Ms in one egg and then opened all of them for the others, enjoying every single nibble. I think he enjoyed himself.



Tuesday, April 7, 2009

images of san onofre, or, rather, the sandy boy who played there



Listening to the wind-up radio.



Found the yellow bunny.



Wish I had taken more ocean pics.




Tired. Need nap.



Sliding down a surf board.

We had a beautiful day yesterday. There were babies and toddlers and kids of all ages reveling in the hot sun and rocky beach. Diego and his new friends pulled sea weed and rocks and shells out of the ocean and then tossed them back in, "to feed the fishies." And the rocks were smooth and glittering in the foamy waves, filled with color and hue. We stood and watched the tiny waves, blocked by the cay, and saw not only the gleaming sun sparkle off the water but dozens of dolphins and a pair of seals. We stayed until the sun began to set and we had devoured at least two s'mores and a certain toddler started to spread out on the ground to sleep. We pulled off dusty and damp clothes and shaked off dusty shoes and packed in to the car for the sun set and the ride home through the night.

Friday, April 3, 2009

book binge

book binge


Did you know that April is Book Binge month? I didn't. That is, until I read It's Not All Mary Poppins. As I have way too many books in my To Be Read pile, I've decided to go for it! You should, too. Click on the link above for the rules and such and get to reading, peeps!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I wish I could.....

1. Sleep. For eight to ten blissfully uneventful, uninterrupted hours. Oh, dream within a dream. Sigh.

2. Get over this head cold.

3. Help Diego get over his, too.

4. Learn to meditate. I figure it's good for de-stressing, right?

5. Enjoy all the messiness and joy of the moment. And there has been both and they have been great and horrible. (But, in the end, mostly pretty great.)

6. Sing opera. Ok, if not sing, then maybe just enjoy it more often.

7. Go back to Spain. If only for the foooood. Oh, YUMMM...drool.

8. Be in a small town musical. I liked being in musicals in high school, especially the small roles with only one or two lines. I could still dress up and play pretend, but didn't have to stress about anything else. Fun, fun.

9. Eat something delicious. Thinking about Spain has made me hungry.

What do you wish you could do?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

a letter to sleep

Dear Sleep,

Why did you have to leave? Did I do something wrong? It WAS me, wasn't it?

I can't help it, I miss you. I miss reveling in the hours of sleep I could grab and hold and pull up around me all night long. I miss sleeping during rainy days simply because I was tired with the day and the rain sounded so nice, softly, gently tapping on my windows and padding down the street.

Remember the good naps? The hours upon hours of sleep, through the night and into the next morning? Don't they mean anything to you? Because...they meant a lot to me.

Please come back. I miss you.

Love,
e

Friday, March 13, 2009

5 senses

This is gratefully taken from secret.genius.

My 5 senses:
(at least today)

taste:



Bun (#69, beef, eggrolls and lemon grass) at Pho the Bowl. That's their name. Pho the Bowl.

sight:
Seeing Diego pat Daddy's head then take his glasses off, only to try to put them on himself. Jim and I helped put them on and he sat there, his chin lifted and grinning, as if dropping his head would make them fall.

sound:
Listening to Shaina and I chatter on and on about her upcoming wedding, the scarcity of good education, and trying to balance everything else.

smell:
The playdough Diego put under my nose to smell. It smells like playdough, of course. It smells good.

feel:
Hugging Jim when he comes home, like I do every single day, no matter how long it takes me to get out from putting D to sleep. It's one of the best parts of my day.

Monday, March 9, 2009

goals for march:

1. Go on a date with Jim
2. Get a baby sitter for Diego
3. Plan my next home improvement.
4. Read more.
5. Internet less.
6. Plan on making something for a soon-to-be born baby friend. :) Yay!

Lots of planning this month! Maybe I'll plan everything in my barely used sketch books. With crayons. Get those creative juices flowing.

What are your plans for March?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

the patio project, an update

This is the year I've decided to make Southern California my home. Not just a place I live (and complain about). (A lot.) (Seriously, a girl can only be asked so many times if she speaks English or if her son is her's before getting snippy.) (But I digress.)

This is the year I am putting down our roots here as a family. One of the ways I wanted to start was by making our patio more usable. Before, the patio was bare, cold, cement gray, damp, and just a place for storage. I had the remnants of a dead tree that I tried to keep last year, a few old boxes, a pinata from Diego's 1st birthday...you get the idea. We wouldn't just sit and enjoy the pleasant weather or listen to the hummingbirds chirping angrily or watch the streaks of sun on the apartments next door. I wanted to have a space we would enjoy, and visiting my family in Florida earlier this year made me yearn for a patio Diego would love, too. He LOVED my Tia's patio. I mean, REALLY. Would have never gone inside if he didn't have to.


(D enjoying the cool bricks and damp greens)


My plan to change this patio into a part of our home was threefold:

1. Go green!
2. Muddy tables
3. Time.

First on my list was to get more plants. Plants that would enjoy the shade, relish in the deep gray hues. At the local garden store we bought a fluffy fern, a tall clivia, a gold dust plant, and some caladium bulbs Diego and I could plant together. I also got a big watering pail and a tiny one just for Diego.


(l-r: clivia, gold dust, fern)


Second! Muddy tables!! I mean a pouring table, or a sand and water table, for Diego. I found a great deal on a barely used table on craigslist and it, too, came to live on our patio.


(splish splash)

Time. It took an actual effort at first to just force myself out onto the patio with Diego, to look at the birds or blow bubbles. Now that we have plants of our own to water and a pouring table to dig and pour into? It's really changed the space.

Now we're on the patio daily. Diego totally loves it. He helps me water the plants every chance he can, and would water them every day if I let him. He is so sweet with the plants, too. Yesterday he even gave the fern a kiss when we were out there saying hello. Oi vey. Now we can sit and enjoy the sunny days, of which there are many, and even the few cloudy days we've been graced with. The space is full of life and love and I feel more at home on there now than ever before. Here's a little tour.


(let's go outside)




(a place to sit and a place to splash)


(our little green friends)


Question of the day:
So how have you made your space more personal this year?

Friday, March 6, 2009

this and that

For a few months now I've been secretly (and not so secretly) worried that Diego would NEVER TALK. I'm sure Moms of two, three, and fifteen year olds are looking at me like I'm crazy since they can't get their kids to shut up. He's just 17 months old, he's learning sign language and English and some Spanish, blah blah blah.
Besides, I know Diego pretty well by now, enough to say that he is a cautious, quiet kind of kid (so far) and was doing quite well with sign language, thank you very much. But being the Mom I am, I worry. I worried about the lack of language, but marveled at how much he knew and understood, and then worried again about why he wouldn't talk. Was I not pushing him enough? We read at least 10 books a day (sometimes again and again and if I have to read Little White Fish one more time I might explode) and I talk constantly. Well, maybe not Constantly. A girl has to pee in peace, you know.
I had all these checkmarks in my head about "what I was doing RIGHT" and how it still wasn't "working." He was happy babbling and pointing and signing away. And I couldn't see that he was fine. He is fine. The last two days he's finally said something besides babbling, Mama or Daddy. This and That. The boy picks the two words he can use for EVERYTHING. Therefore, no other words necessary. He's either the most lazy talker ever or a genius. I think I'll go for verbally efficient.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

my doppleganger

I was having a tough evening, and I think D was, too. We haven't been sleeping well, and D has this last bit of a cold that won't go away, and he may be growing an extra foot or so. Maybe just some teeth. Who knows? But we have both been tired and fussy. We were chilling, and by chilling I mean I was sitting and eating my last few bites of dinner while he ran around grabbing random things off the bookshelves. Like pinecones. And Jim's banjo. He sat in front of me at one point and started pointing to a DVD on the floor (which he had put there) and then pointed to me. And again and again. Like he thought the girl on the cover was me! Which is cute because I look nothing like Mandy Moore. Made my day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Toddlers and Airplanes

These are just a few tips and things I've learned about flying with toddlers. Our trip? One day, two flights, one lay over, one Momma, one toddler, and an enormous bag of Just-In-Case.

What I PACKED:
-diapers, wipes, pad
-extra change of clothes for the toddler
-extra shirt for Mom
-medicine for toddler
-mini magna doodle
-stacking cups
-doll and dog duo
-four board books
-paper and crayons
-three blocks
-talking, electronic, Winnie the Pooh book
-small car
-camera
-Kindle
-wallet
-magazine
-LOTS OF SNACKS

What we actually USED:
-straws to peel open from the Star Bucks I stopped at for the much needed vanilla latte
-cups from the plane beverage service, two empty ones
-the inflight magazine, which D tore into strips and then put into...
-the barf bag
-our neighbors were the BEST entertainment for him.
-the sky train at DFW, (Dallas Ft. Worth Airport) which we rode to get to our terminal
-the snacks were helpful, but with such a long layover we actually had time to get lunch at DFW and he wasn't interested in them on the plane. Go figure.

What I LEARNED:
-I always pack too much.
-Next time I'm not going to pack as many toys.
-Or books.
-Seriously!
-Or if I do, I know now that they're probably not going to be used.

Tips:
-Get the airport early enough to walk through security, pull of all clothing, including the toddler's shoes (because they could be a weapon!! EGADS.), squish the stroller, flatten the enormous carry-on bag, drop at least four toys, and then put in all back on and open on the other side.
-Don't take toys that roll.
-Find a coffee/tea/bevie of your choice, a croissant for the kids, and sit at a window to look at the plane. This was Diego's favorite activity pre-boarding.
-We also made it a point to run around as much as possible to tire him out, with hopes that he would sleep on the flight. It doesn't hurt to show everyone waiting in line that at least you tried. :)
-But if he does cry, and they will, forget about everyone else on the plane. They can deal with a little cry. You just focus on what's important. Remember, you'll never see these people again. Sad and true.
-Besides, every time we fly we've been surrounded by supportive people on their way to see babies or are missing babies of their own. Even the kids around us have been especially helpful in distracting and playing with D, which is trully a blessing.
-Be open to help from strangers.
-Have fun.
-And when it's not fun, when your baby has puked all over you and you have no other clothes to change into and you still have one more flight ahead of you...just keep going. It could always be worse. And by worse I'm thinking of you, Jon and Kate plus 8, and your 5+ hours wait on the tarmac waiting for better weather with all kids tired and exhausted. You guys rock.

Happy flying!

Friday, February 20, 2009

first kisses

Diego had his first kiss at the playground the other day. There he was, enjoying the first rung on the red ladder, sun shining down, when this adorable (cute-cute-cuuuute) little girl with a bob came up and out of no where gave him a hug and a kiss. He was nonplussed. I think that's the word for it. He was surprised, I think, but I didn't see him push her away so he must have enjoyed himself. Especially when she came back to give him yet another hug. On her way back to her Dad she said, quite proud of herself, "I gave him a kiss!" Not knowing that this was his first. The most important! And Diego? Was he swooning? Was he chasing her down to get her name? Haha No. He had already turned back to the ladder, trying to get up on that second rung.

I'm sure we've all had that first and all-too forgetable kiss when we were toddlers. But what about other first kisses? Not going to ask for stories, but it's just nice to remember all the embarassing and wonderful first kisses, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

life as baking

I was in a huge baking mood last week, wanting to get some goodies ready for Valentine's Day, and decided to make marshmallows and a pie of Jim's choice. (He chose Pecan Pie, he IS a Texan boy at heart after all.) The marshmallows were just a whim. So last Friday Diego and I set up a chair along the counter, some bowls, the standing mixer and all of the ingredients and we poured and mixed and whisked and got powdered sugar over EVERYTHING. I think he had fun. And now, when he sees the egg carton in the fridge he points, OOO!, and throws his hand down like he's cracking an egg. Which he now helps me do in the mornings when I make his eggs. That was enough of a mess so I thought I would wait for time alone, while D napped, to make the pie.

While making the crust and the filling I couldn't help but feel like the worry of the day was melting away as I stirred in the pecans and eggs and sugar. The vanilla is almost always the last step, and it's always one of my favorites. I love that sweet heady scent. I want to take all of those feelings and use them in the rest of my life. I often feel like I'm too hard on myself, tense and stumbling along life, cursing myself for not knowing exactly what I am doing and going to do. But when I bake, mistakes come and go, I learn from them and go on, mixing and turning over fillings, pie crusts or cookies. There are good scents, good work, and good treats at the end.

And they were delicious. Best pie to date. Not sure what I'm going to do with the remaining marshmallows. You're all welcome to come over for some hot chocolate. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

a poem for the rain

it's raining
on and off
it drips
it slows
the sun sleeps
behind clouds
we sleep
curled together
and warm
and soft
in the gray

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

family, Florida, and how hard it is to come home again



(@ Ft. Lauderdale Beach)


Diego and I went to visit my family in Florida this past week. It was a long, grueling and exhausting trip across the country (sure it was a plane, but two plane flights, one layover, and one bouncy toddler? Oi vey). We were very lucky to be surrounded by lovely people who happened to fall in love with said bouncy toddler and played with him the entire trip there. For some reason Diego loves sitting next to strangers on planes. He'll reach out for them, hold their hands, play games, peek-a-boo, anything and everything that he doesn't really do in any other situation. Odd but wonderful.




Being with family was also fantastic. They fed me rosquitas and empanadas and platanos fritos and arroz chaufa and my mom even made her famous spaghetti with meat sauce. Oh Yum. And it's not just the food. (Really!) We all just had a great time together. I heard stories that I'd never heard before and we all laughed every time we put Diego down to eat. He just kept cracking himself up and laughing for almost no reason, which made us happy. They also have this beautiful patio out back which Diego just loved, so everyone had the chance to help him water the plants.



(pictures above from the Butterfly Garden)

I miss being in a house with lots of people. There's the ever present noise, bustle, aromas and food or coffee being served. There are people watering plants, cooking, or just sitting around watching telenovelas. I grew up in a house filled with people, cousins and Tias and Tios coming and going, eating and talking. I love the quiet, sure, but I miss the noise sometimes.

Coming home was hard. I hate saying good-bye to my Mom, not knowing when I'll see her again. Good-byes to everyone else was also rushed since we were late getting up and out the door. Didn't feel right. The entire plane ride home I kept thinking about how nice it was to have family around, for me and especially for Diego. I kept thinking about how much I haven't enjoyed Orange County. More than that, I hate how lonely and out of place I've felt living here. How people still come up to me and Diego and ask if I speak English and if he's my son. It's been hard for me to find that community I yearn for and I feel like a complete idiot sometimes, falling over myself for friendship with Moms I meet. But I've realized I can't live here and hate it here at the same time.

I need a change in perspective. My goal this year is to really make a home for myself here. Breaking it down to micro-movements with tiny goals each month. This month my goal is to make my little apartment more of a home and less of a place we happen to live in. Starting with the patio. There are big and little plans ahead. So that's what I've learned, I guess. Or something like that.

Friday, January 23, 2009

meal planning change

I've been wanting some change lately. Something about the new year and the need for resolutions always puts me in the mood for change. Healthy change! What I always fail at doing, though, is going beyond reading about what I COULD do and actually do it. Then I found this great post over at Aprovechar and felt like I could really do this. Step Two in the Year of Self-Care is weekly meal planning, and last weekend that's exactly what I did.

My meals this week:
breakfast
lunch
dinner

Mon.-
spinach omlettes
whole wheat quesadillas with baked chicken
halibut with assorted veg

Tues.-
blueberry waffles, fresh blueberries
homemade butternut squash soup
pot roast with mashed potatoes

Wed.-
oatmeal, fruit
veggie pancakes
spinach and mozarella ravioli

Thurs.-
veggie omlette
roasted chicken with veg
homemade veggie pizza

Fri.-
scrambled eggs
chicken and veg quesadilla
leftover ravioli

This isn't everything on our plates, to be sure, there are bits of fruit I just pick and choose from the fridge for almost every lunch and snacks in between. It's just nice to know that I can open the fridge at any given moment and know exactly what I'm going to make, but also know that there are delicious leftovers if I don't feel like making something new. And Diego is totally loving the new food and the new change. This is just the first week, I know that, but it feels really good to be doing something better for us, all three of us. Hopefully we'll see some significant improvements in our budget, diet, lifestyles.

My goal for the next few weeks?
Pick a meal a week from a different culture around the world.
Eat at two to three vegetarian meals a week.
Make more homemade soup. Yum.
Start thinking more about local food. It's something I've been hearing about/reading about and I would love to learn more.

What about you guys? Planning on changing your diets this year?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

images of D floating around my head

-Diego goes "hmmm" and puts his finger to his mouth.
-I asked him to get the book with the wishing stars and he got up and pulled it straight out of the bookshelf. Geeeeeeeeenius.
-He fell asleep today with his leg thrown over his stuffed turtle.
-I looked over the kitchen counter and there are Jim and D sitting on the couch together and talking about goodness knows what.
-After an afternoon being shy with Mary, he warms up and reaches up to pull her hand so she can come with us to the kitchen.
-He laughs, throwing his head back and squinting his eyes as tight as he can.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I won an award!

Thanks to Court from Kaiya's Laughter Heals for the Gratitude award. I, however, am sick, sleep deprived and busy coughing up a lung and can't for the life of me figure out how to copy the image onto this blog post. So, instead, I'll use the power of description...oooOOOooooo

Picture a lemonade stand. The kind you hope your kids (or future pretend kids) will decorate and stand next to on the side of your cul-de-sac enticing the neighbors over with freshly made lemonade. It's, obviously, a hot day and the kids are taking turns playing with the sprinkler in the yard and manning the booth. The neighbors think it's adorable. All except Mr. Jorgensen who says he doesn't like kids and complains about all the kids in the neighborhood every chance he can but he's secretly just a sad, old man who wishes his grandkids would visit more often.

Ta DA! And thank you, Court, again!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

home away from home, part 2 of a texas holiday

Monday, December 29th

We drove down the country highway, through fields of green and brown and long horns and windmills, and I swear those lanes are alive, the way they breathe up and slowly down. We were going back to my favorite city on my favorite route, this two-lane highway that goes through the Texas pines and the rolling hills I just love. I couldn't help but compare these open, mellow lanes to the congested traffic you always see in Orange County no matter what time of day. The view here was so much better. It was a beautiful day to go back to our old home. Home. Austin wasn't my first home, but it has been the one I've held dearest to my heart. From the peacocks at Mayfield Park to the journals and Book People and lunch bentos at Banzai, there's something inside of me that will always miss Austin. It was the first city I freely explored and learned about on my own, and will always feel like home. My heart breaks having it so far away.

We got in to downtown on a beautiful day, sunny and gorgeous. We stayed at the Radisson on Town Lake which, as any stay in a hotel fancier than the Motel 8's I grew up with, sure was FANCY! Things NOT bolted down on tables? And sheets that aren't as soft as sandpaper? OOOoooooOOOOOooooo Seriously, though, I'm sure even if you had more experiences with fine outings you would also thing it was a nice hotel.

The next few days were a whirlwind of spontaneous planning between meeting Court and Rachel (my other lovely, beautiful barista buddy)and the myriad of friends that Jim and I have back home. I simply couldn't wait to see Court and her sprite of a daughter, Kaiya. I was worried, though, that Diego and Kaiya would hate each other or spend most of our time together trying to eat and/or beat each other up. Our worries, however, were totally unfounded once they met.

exhibit a.

Look at them holding hands! Isn't that just the cutest thing you've ever seen? We about died. DIED. Now I pass the dying to you, my friends. They pretty much loved each other. Yeah, that's right. They got along spectacularly. Diego didn't mind that Kaiya kept raiding his snacks and he even shared his books with her. It was really a joy to see them not only getting along, but looking for each other around the room. D's still not doing much more than parallel play with most kids his age, but older kids have always brought out the courage in him. He tries new things and does things I've never seen before. And Kaiya is a beautiful, happy kid and I loved spending time with her.

Not only was seeing Kaiya a priority, but seeing Court may have been even more important for me. We've know each other for EONS. We're that old. Actually, I think next year will be 10 years since I poked my head into her dorm room and asked if she wanted to hang out. Back when hanging out meant getting a cup of coffee or going to the park to swing or ignoring homework and playing racing games at the local game place. Sigh. Memmmmmooooorrrriiiiieeess. Ahem. And it was fantastic seeing her again.

So much happened during our few days. We went to the Austin Nature and Science Center, where Diego fell and split his lip on a fake tree and we dug in a huge dinosaur dig and also where we saw coyotes and wolves and the most excited, for Diego, PINE CONES! (He likes them. A lot.)



We got to hang out in Court's fabulous backyard and play with the many toys there. What a great backyard, right? Open and green and with plenty of space to run around or be pushed in a red plastic car.



We even managed to go the Austin Children's Museum on New Year's Eve before heading to the hotel where the babies partied the night away.



These are the babies partying around midnight.



So much and in so little time and it only made it that much harder to leave. My love to all our old and new friends, I missed you the moment I thought about the plane ride back to California. And the way home was horrible, but more about that in the shocking Part 3 of my holiday vacation posts. I miss y'all. Come kidnap me. I think there's some queso at Kerbey calling our names.