Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving: Review In Pictures

Realizing there are no pictures of food.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy 3 months!

Wow, I can't believe it's been 3 months since I first held you, smelled you, heard your cry. You have grown so much, new rolls have developed.....yes I love your baby chub rolls - made from mamas milk!  You also have gained many new skills; giggling, lots more smiles, perfecting the art of bubble making, conversations of beautiful coos, intense eye contact, grabbing/batting at toy - and yes, even a few times you've rolled over!  You love being "fed" your probiotics - I can only imagine how much you will love eating solids.

As much as I love watching you grow...I am also cherishing this time when you still want to be held every moment...

...Happy 3 months little monster!

To see the full set of his 3 month shoot click here.

Pax Photobomb!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We played on the floor...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lovely Locket

Saw this on A Cup of Jo and am in love.  How perfect for carrying a photo of L?  Maybe for Christmas...

View the etsy shop here.

Our Kitchen

Here's some photos of our kitchen remodel.  Practically the WHOLE house was covered in carpet (yes even the bathrooms) when we bought it.  But underneath that carpet was beautiful oak hardwood floors in great condition!  The only room without carpet and without hardwood floors was the kitchen.  It had 2 layers of linoleum on top of the subfloor.  Before we moved in and had the wood floors refinished (they were dry after 50 years of no new poly coatings), we tore out the linoleum and had our floor guy add matching wood for a seamless look - he did a great job.  

The original cabinets were solid wood, but the design of the kitchen wasn't working, the drawers had a strange rounded surface and they didn't slide well, and there was corian everywhere!  Corian covered the counters and walls of the kitchen.  There was also bulkheads above the cabinets - if there is anything I dislike more in a kitchen then a poor layout, it would have to be bulk heads!  So we began looking at ways we could redo the whole kitchen on our budget.  

We settled on Ikea kitchen cabinets, and some of their appliances.  In total for all the cabinets (including pulls, hinges, etc), the dishwasher, the oven/stove, hood, and faucet, it was under $4000!  I had always loved quartz countertops so there wasn't any compromise there.  We got a good deal locally on caesarstone quartz - this was by far the most expensive part of the kitchen, being that it was only one item and cost about $2000.

D and I are very fortunate to have family who know how to remodel.  My uncle came down from Oregon and really made this happen - he is an incredible contractor (also helped us with out master bath and baseboards).  We took out the bulkheads, added some spot lights and under cabinet/in cabinet lighting, and added new outlets (D's uncle is an electrician and without his knowledge I doubt we would have been able to do this).  The majority of the work was completed in less then 1 week (we took time off work to do it).  

I don't have a current picture - it's a huge mess in there right now and L is nursing so an updated shot will have to wait.  We finished it off with cheap white subway tiles from Lowe's, a sink I found for $60 online (I can't remember where, possibly overstock), silver blinds from Ikea, and a pendant light from Ikea. 

So thats the kitchen, I will post an updated shot eventually...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Love

Beautiful photographs...
At Mother's Breast, photographing the beauty and normalcy of breastfeeding.


It's always been my favorite time of year...though at our home it means lots of yard work thanks to a towering oak tree.  L and I helped - we did some gentle sweeping in the babyhawk.

Milestone for me

Well this weekend D and I went out (only about 5 min away, and for a few hours) without L!!!  It was HARD, but I knew I had to start small and do it soon since the 30th we are going to the city without him.  We were down in south bay visiting my mom - it was nice to relax a little and have a change of scenery, and go to the new whole foods.  Yes, I know its nick name is "whole paycheck", but I can't deny that they have great things there.
On Saturday morning I pumped a bottle while D and I talked about possibly seeing a movie by ourselves.  The movie theater near by was in a mall and my moms friend had given me a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory, so we settled on going there for a few drinks then deciding if we could do a movie.  I wasn't about to get food there being dairy free and all, I wish they would make a dairy free cheesecake option - maybe made out of nut butter like the raw vegan desserts from Cafe Gratitude.  I cried when we left L, I cried in the car, and even at the bar...D was very supportive.
Once we got to the Cheesecake Factory I was overwhelmed - I hadn't been to a bar or ordered a drink in what seemed like forever.  I thought back to some drinks I used to like and ordered a gin and tonic - mistake.  I took a few sips, asked for extra lime, then ordered a glass of red wine - much better.  It was very strange at first to be without L, and of course thats almost all we talked about.  But it seemed like we had fleeting moments where it was just the two of us again.  
We decided against the movie, and instead walked around the mall - I bought some makeup at Sephora, D got a new Giants hat.  After a few hours we headed back.  L was asleep in the Babyhawk, my mom was wearing him.  I went over and kissed him, he woke up, I nursed him - I felt complete again.  So there it is, my mommy milestone - going out with D alone, leaving L with one of his grandmas.  Next weekend is going to be wild - 3 grandparents houses for Thanksgiving celebrations in three days.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Why I feel the need to have another place to post on the internet is beyond me...

But hey, it's fun to look at pretty things...


Monday, November 15, 2010

Being a Mother...

This last Saturday I felt something completely new, a mother's pain.  D and I went to get L a passport - not because we have a trip planned but because we wanted to get it out of the way so when we do have a trip to go on we wont have to worry about it.  We even took our own passport photos (you can do that!), but I messed up the head measurements and we needed to get them done at the post office anyways - luckily L was in a good space and it only took a few shots.  I still have to get myself a new passport with my married name - I'm excited about taking the picture myself - this time I will get the measurements right.

We had to do it on a weekend because both D and I needed to be present, or we had to have a notarized statement from D - going on the weekend seemed like less of a hassle.  This simple task of obtaining L's passport turned into an emotional roller-coaster for me.  First, we went to the wrong post office in town.  Fortunately I had also gotten the times for passport acceptance wrong and we had an hour instead of 2 min till they closed.  So we rushed to the other side of town and got in line.  While in line several kind people let us in on a few requirements that if not met would inhibit us from getting our passport - photo copies of our IDs, checks or money orders only.  D was wearing L, so naturally he took L and walked over the ups store for photocopies.  I stayed in line.  Watching D walk away with L hurt!  I couldn't believe that D so naturally come to the conclusion that he could just walk away with L - didn't he need to ponder all the what ifs like me?  What if he gets hungry, what if he needs my comfort, what if I need him? While they were gone another baby in the post office began crying and I frantically looked to see if L was any where near.  When D returned L was peacefully asleep and I was relieved.  But then D suggested (since the line was moving at a snails pace) that he drive home and grab the check book.  I kept thinking to myself, "he can't seriously plan on driving with L alone, going that far away from me!" (it's maybe a 10 min drive)    Without any logic to stand on I didn't protest and once again I watched D walk away with L.  Again I felt fear and anxiety overwhelm me, this was the first time D had taken L any where alone, as well as the first time L had been in a car without me.  I know my anxiety wasn't about D's inability - in fact I trust L with D more then our experienced and loving grandmothers, he is a great dad - it was just the first time I would be really separated from my little man!  Something biological seemed to kick in, all I could think about was L, I almost became tearful - a kind man in line noticed my weariness and seemed to try and reassure me they would be right back and with the check book - as if I was some how concerned we wouldn't be able to get the passport.  To make matters worse, I didn't even have a phone on me - again the what ifs started.  It felt like they were gone forever, the best word to describe the feeling I felt - pain.  It's a pain I hadn't experienced before.  Finally D returned, in perfect time for us to reach the front of the line.  L was peacefully asleep; I asked to hold him, I needed to hold him.

I nursed L in the car after we left the post office and shared my inner dialogue with D - I was crying at this point (typing this post is also moving me to tears).  D apologized (though he didn't need to, but it was sweet).  I don't think D or I really understood what it would do to me to be separated from L...I think I have a glimpse of what going back to work will be like - painful.  This love is so overwhelming - it encompasses all of me. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wonderful Sunday

Spent the day in the East Bay at the Botanical Gardens in Tilden Park, then an early dinner in Berkeley.

L was hungry on the way home so we got off the freeway and ended up stopping near this school parking lot with a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the bay and golden gate bridge.  L was not happy being nursed in the car so we got out and walked a bit while nursing in the sunset....

Love this quote:

Friday, November 12, 2010


I really started reading blogs a few years ago when D and I bought our first home.  We purchased a mid century ranch that needed some love and elbow grease.  We wanted an older home that we could fix up, but maintain the retro/mid century modern style that we both love.  We didn't have a lot of cash so the desire to be DIYers was a good fit.

I thought many times throughout the process of renovating that we should start a blog.  It would have been nice to document the many projects we took on.  I regret not doing so.  But since we did take many pictures along the way there's no reason why I can't post them now.  Sure, it wont be as detailed, but it will be a nice capture of the beginnings of our home.

But first, here are some blogs that have either helped us figure out how to accomplish these projects, given us inspiration, or just motivation to keep going.

Door Sixteen - Anna is my design crush.  Her blog has been visited religiously since I discovered it a few years ago, and I get visibly upset when it's not updated!

The Brick House - Awesome mid century design inspiration, really gets me motivated to go thrifting or scour craigslist.

Making It Lovely - Nicole's extremely dedicating to her renovations...even tackling projects while 9 months pregnant (we built our deck at the end of my pregnancy).

Young House Love - Sherry and John have a really great blog with a ton of easy to follow how tos.  Now they have a baby so their blog keeps evolving and continues to peak my interests.

Brooklyn Limestone - The renovations on this blog are beautiful and elegant.  I really admire people who buy an old home (ours is 60+ years old, but I'm talking about 100+), and renovate it with an homage to the original style.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Loving this blog...

This blog shows images of breastfeeding, nursing in public, and maternity care.  Around mid century is when formula became more widely used, it's neat to see these images.

Some beautiful...

Some disturbing...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Tonight's Dinner

D worked late tonight so I was on my own for dinner.  L has been really great the last two days.  Great as in cute and amazing as always, but also great as in I can calm his fussing--its been pretty limited to hungry, dirty diaper, hold me.  When I sat down to eat L began to cry in his bouncer--hold me!  So he sat on my lap instead.  I'm not very good at eating one handed while bouncing a baby, though I've gotten increasingly better at doing many things one handed (like typing blog posts!).  Inevitably I dropped food during the meal, but I didn't have to pick up my little food droppings....thank you puppies!

Rude Comments

While out running errands we stopped at Lowes to get some rat traps...yes rat, not mouse.  I was wearing L in the babyhawk, he had been such a great little guy and was napping at the time.  One of the workers came up and ogled over his cuteness saying "he's such a doll baby!" in the universal high pitched I'm admiring a baby tone.  Without a change in her tone she followed that with, "and you're bringing him into this germ infested place, shame on you!"  Then she continued with saying he was cute and walked away, all the while smiling.

This was the first rude comment I had received in regards to L.  I knew it would come, but I didn't expect to be so shocked that I couldn't respond in the way I wanted to.  What I don't get is why she "shamed" me in that tone and while smiling!  Very strange.

Well I'm proud that I feel comfortable and am able to take L out, especially while wearing him....and a big middle finger to those with their judgements!

BTW we did catch a rat in the garage, so the trip to Lowes was worth it.  D handled this project and I never had to see it (those traps are so barbaric), though while writing this post I think I heard another one scurrying around, time to reset the trap...

Monday, November 8, 2010


This song reminds me of our wedding....the original was our first dance song.

Got Milk?

Officially started my milk stash and am super proud of the over 2 oz sitting in my freezer!  My goal is to continue to exclusively breastfeed once returning to work.  This means I will be pumping to build up a supply for daycare.  The hope is that the freezer stash is for emergencies and that each day at work I will be able to pump enough for the next day.....really wishing we got 1 year maternity leave like some other countries.  We are not very supportive of nursing here, and so many women quit because of all the barriers.  Breastfeeding is so simply, but not easy!

Not only is maintaining a supply after returning to work difficult or at least a pain in the a**, but the beginning can be tremendously hard.  Breast pain, engorgement, late supply, low supply, no supply, over supply, foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, baby food allergies or sensitivities, baby wont/can't latch, infections (mastitis, thrush), injuries (cracks, blisters), nursing in public criticism, criticism in general, nursing wear issues....the list goes on.

I was lucky, L latched on right away.  We did skin to skin shortly after his birth, and he found the nipple and knew what to do.  But thats where my luck ended.  I have sensitive skin, L has a strong suck (probably most babies do, but I have justify the pain with his being extraordinarily strong), and my nipples were mangled by the time we left the hospital (despite a good latch).  Because of my birth (traumatic and a topic for another time), my milk took about 5 days to come in (usually it's 2-3 days).  Poor L was getting dehydrated on just the colostrum and lost more then the usual amount of weight.  The pediatrician recommend 1 oz of formula after breastfeeding till my milk came in, his words, "we don't want him to dry out too much".  Fortunately I only had to do it for one day (wish I had just waited), my milk came in the next day.  

So my milk was in, things started to improve pain wise, then thrush came.  I had a feeling we would deal with this since I had a lot of the "rick factors" (traumatic birth, nipple injuries, antibiotics (during birth and after), anemia after the birth, taking allergy meds).  To try to prevent this I took probiotics, but it didn't work.  Thrush is pure EVIL, it's not dangerous necessarily, and doesn't bother L.  It does however cause breastfeeding to be excruciating for me.  To make matters worse, it can be very difficult to get rid of, and yes of course ours is difficult to get rid of.  We tried the natural methods, and even some Rx, to no avail.  It's taking a combination of strong Rx and natural stuff to get rid of it....and we are still battling it today, though it's better because of all this info.  I keep saying to D, "having a newborn/breastfeeding/sleep deprivation wouldn't be so hard if it wasn't for this thrush!".  Being in pain almost constantly, and dreading feeding my precious little boy is not fun.  And I have gotten quite a few comments like "just use formula, stop breastfeeding, take a break for a few days".  I am absolutely determined to continue to exclusively breastfeed, and I don't see pain that will get better as a reason to stop.  The best advice that has kept me going, don't quit on a bad day.

L also has a sensitive stomach and we realized that cutting out dairy from my diet helps a lot.  Some babies have a milk protein sensitivity.  This means that when a breast feeding mom eats dairy, the type of protein that gets passed through the breast milk bothers the baby, symptoms can be mild to severe.  L's symptoms were not severe, he was gaining weight nicely, no blood in his poop, no rashes.....but they were bothersome.  We saw improvement pretty quickly once I cut out dairy. 

Now avoiding dairy is much more difficult then one would initially think.  I've come to the conclusion that processed foods are disgusting (but I still indulge in some chex mix and fast food).  Basically there's way too much crap in them that you don't need to make the product. Going dairy free means I can't eat breads/buns/fries/veggies, and so many other things that you wouldn't believe at restaurants/delis/stores.  Why there is milk/whey/butter, etc in all these products doesn't make sense to me, and luckily there are brands that use the simplest recipes.  And I'm still on the look out for a probiotic (for help with the thrush) that wont contain any milk proteins.  It has been nice because we cook a lot more at home, but it is another hassle/barrier in the world of breastfeeding.  

With all the stressors, I still can say I love breastfeeding.  It's a wonderful bonding experience with my son, I love knowing I am giving him the best nutrition/antibodies, I love that 90% of the time nursing solves all of L's fussing, and helps him fall asleep.  

Some resources that I have found invaluable:

Kelly Mom - THE place for breastfeeding info on the web
Dr. Jack Newman's Handouts - Breastfeeding specialist
Dr. Jay Gordon's site - Pediatrician 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Son Is Gay...

I've seen this linked a few places and just felt like I needed to acknowledge it.

Amazon Mom

I'm a big Amazon fan, I do a lot of online shopping and try to find the best deal. Many times the product I want is much cheaper at Amazon, and I can order everything I need in one place--so I only pay shipping once.  

Where else can you buy Grapefruit Seed Extract, a diaper bag, a therapy book, and a mouse trap (maybe a topic for another post) all in one place?  

Amazon now has a feature called Amazon Prime.  It costs $79 a year and you get free 2 day shipping on many products and some other benefits.  Well, I wasn't going to fork over $79 at this point in time, luckily there is another option; Amazon Mom.  Amazon Mom gives you the benefits of Amazon Prime for 3 months, plus extra discounts on products you "subscribe" to (such as reoccurring purchases for diapers and wipes).

From their site:
Amazon Mom is a free program for new and expecting parents featuring exclusive deals on a wide selection of brands and products to help solve all of your family's needs, plus:
  • Exclusively for Amazon Mom members, receive an additional 15% discount on top of the standard 15% discount on select diapers and wipes when you sign up for Subscribe & Save delivery. Subscribe & Save shipping is always free, and you can change your delivery schedule or cancel at any time.
  • Three months of FREE Two-Day shipping with Amazon Prime. For every $25 you spend within a single order in the Baby store, we'll grant you an additional month of Amazon Prime shipping benefits. You can earn up to one year of Amazon Prime shipping benefits from the date you joined Amazon Mom.
Amazon Mom is aimed at helping parents and caretakers--in the pre-natal days through the toddler years--use Amazon to find all the products their family needs, with great prices and fast shipping. If you have older kids, that's not a problem--you can still join Amazon Mom. Just keep in mind that some of the key benefits are specifically aimed at younger children (such as the 30% off diapers promotion).
To sign up, visit the Amazon Mom sign-up page. 

Bath Time Cuteness