Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

We are welcoming 2012 by doing nothing out of the ordinary (even though I have the most perfect gold sequin top that I wanted to wear).  L, D, and I are all getting over a cold- the post holiday germ detox. Oh and because I am extra awesome- I ripped off half of my big toe nail the other night (no, not on purpose).  So we are just healing up over here- at least I am enjoying a glass of wine to make it somewhat "special".  I can already tell 2012 is going to be an exciting year with a lot of change.

image via martha stewart 

Friday, December 23, 2011


I recently learned of a family friends baby who had to have surgery at 8 months- the poor little guy (a twin) kept getting repeated infections with bacteria showing up in his blood.  They tried many rounds of antibiotics and eventually did more investigating to find some abnormalities with his kidneys- one of which wasn't properly connected to the bladder.  He went through a surgery to correct this and is now doing well.  But when I heard this all I could think was how hard, emotional,  scary, and trying that would be for baby, mom, dad, and any loved one.  It made me so grateful that L is and has been healthy- so what if he doesn't sleep well, so what if I had to stop dairy for a while- he is healthy.  The blog world- and the "real" world- is full of families and innocent babies battling some pretty serious stuff- I am so fortunate and lucky to not know what their experiences are truly like.

We are also so fortunate to have the things we have, and the amazing people in our lives- I can be a huge complainer, find a negative in just about anything- but there is no denying that my life, my family's life is good.  In my work I got to hear how difficult many people's baselines could be- and by baseline I mean what they were born into not caused by any behaviors or choices of their own- poverty, abuse of all kinds, addiction, trauma, illness, racism.  Yes some people can strive and overcome such things, but so many never have to- it's something to be grateful for.  I miss working with people who are fighting for something better in their lives- it gives me perspective and it's important work.

D and I just returned from our two nights away from L.  It was nice to get sleep and spend time together like adults, but we were so ready to come home and see L.  In just two days time he has more hair, more energy, says more words, and didn't miss a beat with nursing.  Funny or not- I had my first period (in 26 months!) to deal with on my vacation.  Not exactly how I had envisioned this vacation- but I am glad to know I can nurse and still get pregnant.  I was really starting to think I would be one of those women who had to wean completely.

Decorating with a toddler

We very little decorating this year- actually we have never been big with holiday decorations, but I anticipate as L gets older it will be enjoyable.  This year we ended up putting a small fake tree (from our days living in SF) on the kitchen counter.  It was the only spot that was high enough out of L's reach and still able to be enjoyed.  We then just hung some ornaments from the curtain rods.  We placed some lights and ornaments on the piano and credenza and called it a day.  I wanted to take pictures with a better camera- but time got away with me so here's some phone photos:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A bit about DIY

I have done my fair share of DIY projects (here, here, here, here, here, here just to name a few).  And with the arrival of pinterest there never seems to be a shortage of inspiring projects or cute creations.  But when is it enough and how do you know if it's worth it.  Where am I going with this...?

First off there's the pride sense of accomplishment  in constructing something with your own hands- building from small pieces to create a whole.  There's sometimes monetary savings (with renovations or house stuff- you save BIG!), the ability to tweak things to fit your needs- so basically custom work without the high cost of labor.  And don't forget the perk of smugly saying- "oh that?  Oh I made that."

Lately I have been almost annoyed with the barrage of projects I see on pinterest- not annoyed that they exist, more annoyed that I like them and toy with adding them to my ever growing to do list.  It brings me back to being able to simplify my life, live it in the moment, enjoy more, frustrate less.  So again, when is it enough and how do you know if it's worth it?  For me many projects are just not worth it- to spend the time researching, gathering parts/materials, constructing, revising, and eventually executing the project cost more then the money saved and the pride sense of accomplishment I would feel.

I will add that I'm not naturally a crafty person.  I do enjoy making things and under the right circumstances (a fantasy world where I have free time) crafting can be amazing.  But I do not craft to unwind or find piece-  it's not therapeutic for me.  Usually it has the opposite effect on me- stressing me out.  So for now I will be content with just purchasing a few things I KNOW I could make.

What sparked this?  Purchasing new dryer balls.  We don't use dryer sheets- for many reasons, but we started because you simply can't while cloth diapering.  So I made wool felted dryer balls out of yarn.  It took a bit of time, nothing too crazy- and they turned out nicely.  Over time some have been lost, some turned into dog/baby toys and ultimately met their demise.  After actually feeling pain from the static of a recent laundry load- I said enough is enough.  I could have made more, but it wasn't worth it so I bought them instead.  Now I get to feel good about purchasing something handmade from someone who makes their living off of crafting and DIYing- a nice trade off.

Image above is from the shop I used: CleanSypria

Our Present to Us

D and I already have our present booked- yes, a mini much needed vacation.  We are spending two nights away from L (this will be a first, previously we spent 1 night away).  My awesome mom will come to stay with L, which can only mean he may enjoy this vacation more then D and I- she is seriously his favorite person.

It's amazing how different I feel planning time away.  As L gets older, more independent, more comfortable with others, and I guess as I get more secure in him being ok, oh and more burnt out and not even having a real moment/conversation with my husband- it gets easier to let go.

We planned this trip to be before the holidays so we can be a little more unwound by the time they come. We aren't going far away, only 45 min.  This is one of many reasons Northern California is the best place to live- close access to so many great places.  Now if only they could do something about the damn cost...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Slowing Down

This cold has forced me to slow down- I haven't exercised in 8 days, I just came back from my first mom group since mid November, and I'm just trying not to have too many expectations or demands on myself.  I have settled with no thinking/planning my next career move till after the new year.  This means no looking into private practice stuff, no browsing craigslist job ads, no planning/ruminating- just being with the fact that I finished something I began years before- a huge accomplishment that will be there for me in 2012.

Yesterday we attempted taking our own family portraits- potentially for a holiday card.  It didn't turn out as I had hoped- hence the attempted.  Some of them are cute, but not what I was hoping for- and L was so not in the mood.  He is strong willed and that will was not to stay still for photos or smile at the camera.  He was scrambling out of our arms, heading towards steep hills, messing with the tripod, touching the camera lens- it was a lot of work.  Photos used to be easy when he wasn't mobile.  Here's a few from the day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I come on here often to whine about how hard L is- so I am making an effort to come on here and rave about how much better things have been. For the last several days he has had one 2 1/2 to 3 hr nap per day and gone down fairly easily for naps and bed time. He slept amazing last night and if I was feeling well I would say motherhood is easy! L has also been much happier- his cold and ear infection are getting better. I love that he is easy to redirect by enlisting him in a project or task. Obviously simple things like; "help mommy carry this", "go get your baby", "put that in the drawer". I really need to watch that Alfie Kohn DVD about parenting, children's natural altruism, and how not to mess with it.

I am still sick, and while L is getting better I have had a set back. This cold just wont quit- I am surviving on a diet of emergen-C, sudafed, tea, and food of course. I could barely sleep last night because of the sore throat and congestion. Today we have the humidifier going, as well as the kettle steaming up the kitchen- damn dry weather, and I'm on my 3rd cup of tea.

Friday, December 2, 2011

So Important

I can't watch it without tearing up- this is so important.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Holiday Wishlist

Ultimately I really want some time for myself, a weekend away with D, a spa day...but here are the materialistic things...

I really want a slow cooker/Crock Pot.  I've been seeing a ton of great recipes online and with L it's hard to prep dinner.  He is actually best in the morning (and most difficult around dinner time) so I could pop all the ingredients in to be ready in the evening.  I do however not like the idea of getting yet another appliance- but we have been trying it the old fashion way of a dutch oven style pot on the stove and it's hard to control the temp- nor would I want to leave it on if we step out of the house.

Some shoes- I really need to purge my closet of the shoes I can no longer wear since having L (they are either too small or way too uncomfortable- my time in high heels is over).

Nice sunglasses.  I know this is risky with a toddler, but I have been trying to find cheap glasses that I like and have only ended up disappointed and wasting money.  I have about 4 pairs now that are either uncomfortable, permanently blurry (no clue why?!?), don't fit well, or I just plain don't like.  I think it's time to fork over the cash for some I can appreciate....and hope L doesn't destroy them.

Rody for L

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

15 months!

Yep- my little guy is 15 freaking months!  He is growing and challenging me more every day.  This last month has been particularly difficult with all the sickness and the major stressor of my final exam.  Oh, and L showed me what tantrums can REALLY look like- lets just say there can be lots of hitting, screaming, kicking, and not a lot of sleeping or hugging.

I think a lot of L's frustration comes from being so smart (yes I am that kind of mom) and understanding so much more but still not being able to express it or execute it himself.  His vocabulary is growing and he has these new babble sounds that I adore- they are sweet and pluck my heart strings just like his first coos.

Our little guy also speaks broken Slovak- thanks to mama not knowing much and babka only able to teach him when she is around.  But seriously this guy doesn't really know the english words for a few things...and I like it that way.

Woot Woot!

Doing the happy dance while hacking and sniffling...

I passed my final exam- I will be officially licensed before the end of the year!!!!

All while sick, and with a sick baby- I wouldn't have been able to do this without my mom who took over watching him while I rested and crammed the last few days.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving in Pictures

Making Progress

We are officially coming to the end of one of our most trying weeks- D getting over a cold, family gatherings (not a bad thing but certainly stirs things up and uprooted us for the travel), L being sick, L teething something awful, L having the most outrageous tantrums (hopefully due to not feeling well- because I am not prepared for this to be how he is), and me eventually getting sick (and at the worst time...).  I'm just trying to keep my eye on the prize...

BUT, we have made some progress with our finances.

1. Get quotes on car and home insurance Still need to do more searching, because right now it seems we have the cheapest available options
2. Switch to cheaper health insurance plans We cut our insurance cost by 2/3s!!!  Obviously sacrificing coverage and gaining higher deductibles.  But we hardly go to the Dr and even if we because seriously ill it wouldn't cost too much more then paying the full cost of the more inclusive insurance.  Now we are eligible for an HAS and I need to look into that
3. Decrease going out for food (restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, etc) This is happening
4. Make more mindful grocery choices This is also happening
5.  Use what's in the pantry This is also happening
6. Utilize the library (more) Haven't had the opportunity- only reading exam books
7. Obey the budget! Within reason... Struggling with this one
8. Eliminate debt This is also happening
9. Eliminate stuff (garage sale, ebay, craigslist) Still need to do
10. Search for cheapest places to buy products we use regularly- possibly buy in bulk So far have found Trader Joe's to be the best option- I have so much love for that store.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

iphone randoms

I took these off of D's phone.

L and I getting ready to go met a friend in Oaktown, a sad sandwich pickle, earlier this summer L taking full advantage of our busted front sprinkler (now fixed), L hiding in the credenza, goat farming from a shoot D was on.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Inspired by Anna's Fauxdenza- but wanting it to be freestanding, we added legs.  It's still lacking hardware- I am conflicted on what knobs or pulls would work and look best- though I am leaning towards something chunky brass and vintage to offset the streamlined modern look.  But L loves it despite it's incomplete state.  It was created using ikea kitchen cabinets and framed in plywood.  We then finished it with danish oil and poly for the nice walnut color.  The legs are those oh-so-affordable and versatile mid century tapered legs from Ace hardware.  I am having second thoughts about the location and size of the legs- maybe they should be taller, maybe more wide set.  It's a work in progress and fortunately those are easy fixes.  This project did get the wheels turning and boost my confidence that we can create other semi custom pieces....

Thursday, November 17, 2011


First thing in the morning poop blowout, spider in the bathtub, poop on my phone, then pee blowout at the playdate so we had to head home early since I didn't bring enough extras (L managed to need a clean diaper, shirt, pants, and I also needed a clean shirt- had everything but an extra shirt for myself)...

I really am avoiding studying for my exam...oh and I'm also avoiding exercise/running- injuring my shoulder has been a great excuse.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Why is it so hard....