Monthly Archives: January 2012

Practice makes perfect


So yesterday Sparrow figured out how to make a “bbbbwah” sound and he’s been very proud of himself over this fact.

It was kind of a dramatic night around here. In the span of an hour Sprout went from a bit congested to listless, throwing up and then Stephen rushed him off to Urgent Care. In that same time period, my refrigerator door stopped shutting completely and Bean started coughing a lot too and she had some stomach problems of her own, but not as severe. Sparrow became irritated because he wanted to be held so he could show off his “bwah” right in my face.

Stephen got back from Urgent Care and Sprout just has a bad virus that just needs to be waited out. He temporarily fixed the fridge, but I need to call a repair man today. Sprout and Bean coughed all night long.

And then Mr. Bwah decides 4:30am is a good time to start practicing his “bwah” sound again. By 5:30am he is pretty angry about the fact that he does not have an audience for this wondrous new trick of his. I walk down the hall pick him up expecting that he’s hungry and, no, he is not interested in that. He just wants to say “bwah… bwah… bwah” right next to my face.

Being a parent is hard. I miss my sleep. And I would like a quarantine bubble from this germ factory I am in.

But being a parent teaches me a lot about who I am. How selfish I am and my (in)capacity to love. How I need to grow. Become more humble. More of a servant. Care for others. Stop thinking about myself and putting myself first all the time.


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Sparrow month 6

Sparrow is at my most favorite age right now. I love six to eight month olds. They are the best. Smiley, curious, still pretty good nappers, giggly, easily entertained, chatty, those kicky happy feet, when they discover their hands or feet and can’t stop looking at them for a couple days, solid food and less nursing, still a little snuggly, etc.

Sparrow loves his siblings and watching them do things. His favorite is when they bring one of their toys or toy sets and start playing right in front of where he is. He loves toys with rings that he can grab onto.

He has four teeth. Vampire fangs on top and two in the middle on the bottom. His top middles are close to coming in. Everything is in his mouth all the time.

Sprout is really warming up to his baby brother. He even has this special high pitched squeaky voice that he reserves just for talking to Sparrow. It’s pretty funny. Bean is still very much in love with babies and “her” little baby Sparrow.

I busted out the sailor outfit this month. I couldn’t find the hat though.

And here are all my guys…

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Instagram Digest 1/14-1/23/12

We love the zoo.

Quesadilla burrito

January Photo A Day Challenge: What I’m reading

January Photo A Day Challenge: Morning

Dance party in the living room with The Beatles and American Girl dolls.

Birthday celebration continues! Sprout’s Fire Chief costume arrived today.


This sort of thing never happened with my $30 American Eagle jeans. Just because it costs more, doesn’t mean it’s better.

Yes, I let my kids have chocolate cake for breakfast. It’s birthday party week!

Kind of a nightmare, a huge container of snaps came crashing down when I was trying to get something out of my closet. Snaps were in all of our shoes, down my shirt, under guitars, and they flew out of the closet and under furniture.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Some things I bought

Toddler lunch

January Photo A Day Challenge: Sweet

January Photo A Day Challenge: Water

Sparrow having a bottle of warm water to aid digestion, this bottle has had a few prior owners.

Snuggles on the couch with my girl. I wasn’t feeling well.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Someone you love

I love this ticklish little baby boy!

Sleepy Mickey

Sometime during the night, Sprout crawled into Bean’s bed and she snuggled right up to him.

In honor of the rain, Bean is reenacting the flood story with her LittlePeople. All of them.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Something old

Teacup from Stephen’s great grandma

January Photo A Day Challenge: Reflection

January Photo A Day Challenge: Your shoes

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Sparrow, my little foodie baby

The longer I parent, I find myself adapting and reworking various parenting practices depending on the situation or kid and what it/they requires.

When I was pregnant with Bean, I was so dogmatic about attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I thought every practice was the holy grail of right parenting. And then several things did not work for our family at all.

And then Sprout came along and I found a whole different kid requiring a whole different way of parenting in some ways.

So slowly over the last 3 1/2 years the dogma has been chipped away at.

Bean is a very sensitive kid in many ways. On everything from her food allergies early on to disciplining her (with her, a certain tone or pitch can put her in tears) to having everything just right to certain textures of foods and spices.

Sprout is very independent and physical and mischievous. Disciplining him requires physical intervention. We have to go to him, make him stop, put him in time out, etc. and a simple “no” or “stop” never seems to have much of an effect.

Their differences also have come out in their eating. Bean has always been very picky and particular about her food. We did the traditional method of baby feeding with her. Around five months when she started watching our every bite at meal times and reaching for our food, I started her on rice cereal and went on to the various puréed foods, then puffs and yogurt melts, etc. Then there was a month where the only food I could get her to eat were yogurt melts, puffs, freeze dried fruit and the chicken and star pasta toddler soup from Earth’s Best. And she’s been just as picky ever since. Getting her to eat and try new foods is still almost always a challenge.

With Sprout I had read a little about baby led weaning where you just feed the baby what you are having once they show an interest in your food without puréed foods or rice cereal. It seemed like the best fit for Mr. Independent. Even though he had teeth, he had a very strong gag reflex and, I now believe, some pretty serious reflux problems. I even tried puréed foods a few times and he would have trouble with those. So it was probably not until around about 10 months old that he actually started eating solid foods.

And Sparrow is just as different from his siblings. Physically, he doesn’t seem as coordinated as I remember his siblings being at this age, especially compared to Sprout. He doesn’t quite sit up very well, he still has very jerky, flailing arm movements like a newborn, he just barely started rolling over, etc. He has started to seem more observant and interested in us and what is going on around him the last few weeks. I honestly didn’t really think he was at all interested in food and wouldn’t be for quite awhile based on these observations, and then he chomped down on one of my sweet potato fries and started sucking food off my fingers.


So with Sparrow I’m doing a bit of traditional meets baby led weaning. He clearly wants and likes our food, but his lack of coordination is not conducive to just throwing chunks of avocado or banana on a tray and letting him pick them up to gnaw on. I mash a lot of soft stuff like that with my fingers and he will grab my hand, open his mouth and put it in.


I am also doing some puréed foods. But not really in the traditional way of just one food at a time or rice cereal. He eats pretty much the same stuff as what we are eating. Of all our kids, Sparrow certainly seems to be the most enthusiastic about food and eating. He gets so excited and giggling during meals sometimes.

One morning we had oatmeal and smoothies. So for Sparrow I took a little cooked oats, raisins and pears and blended that with a little spinach to hide some greens in easily. He loved it.

I made lentil soup the other night with root vegetables and grilled sausage. So I just took a portion out for Sparrow and blended it up in the VitaMix. Another win for our little foodie.

This weekend we went down to Disneyland again. So since I knew I would not have my blender or be able to transport my perishable baby food delicacies, we wound up picking up a few jars at the Whole Foods in Tustin. What other baby gets this excited and happy to eat mashed peas?

His attitude is so great. It makes me look forward to feeding him. Trying new things and eating is so fun for him!

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He’s two!


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Instagram Digest 1/7-1/13/12

Eating is so tiring.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Your sky

Baked rigatoni with squash, caramelized onions, bacon, Parmesan and Fontina.

Bean’s recital costume and supplies to make a mini version for her doll. I hope I can do it!

Kaleidoscopes are fun!

January Photo A Day Challenge: Daily routine

The compromise solution to Sprout coming in our room all night long. Lightening McQueen sleeping bag on an exercise pad at the foot of our bed.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Childhood

Love my little bookworm.

Snuggles on the floor.


January Photo A Day Challenge: Where You Sleep

Butternut squash faces.

Another coffee maker bites the dust.

Sometimes the Santa Ana winds make it impossible to enjoy a picnic at the park and the indoor living room picnic is born.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Close-up

I told the kids they could put whatever they wanted in my foil lid. “No meat, no thank you Mama.”

Pretty little speckled egg.

This better be worth it.

Bean is kind of getting freaked out by all the pins I am putting in her doll to make this costume.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Inside your bag

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We went to the zoo and Bean took some pictures

Wednesday after ballet, I decided to drive the kids up to the zoo and make use of our year long membership we bought on Bean’s birthday. I told the kids ahead of time we would do this and Bean insisted on bringing her little wooden camera.

Me: You don’t need to bring your camera, I will let you take some pictures with my phone if you want.
Bean: No, I want to bring my very own camera to take pictures of all the animals.

She looked like the ultimate little tourist. It was so adorable!














I did let her take some photos with my phone and she actually did a pretty good job!

In one case she took a better photo than me, in part because her stature creates a different perspective.

Here is my duck picture:

Here is Bean’s:

Here are some of the other photos she took:




Baby flamingo

Eager otters


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Cross stitch iPhone case thank you Pinterest and inlaws

Like most people, I have a ton of stuff that I’ve pinned on Pinterest that I can and want to do, but actually doing it is the major task.

Then Morgan and her friends came up with this genius idea:


My project of choice involved a Christmas present! A couple months ago I saw this cross stitchable iPhone case via Kara of Knitting Lemonade (I think I have followed her blog for forever now) on her Pinterest board. So I repinned it.


Then, even though I had just recently purchased my very cool and protective (and giant) Etch-A-Sketch case, I put it on my Family Wish List. I knew Stephen wouldn’t get it for me because this would be my fourth iPhone case. Stephen’s dad got it though!

The thing is perfection. My traditional and crafty side meets my technological side.

I started it up a few nights ago.


I got halfway across the case with that pattern and ran out of thread. So then I decided to go a different direction. I Googled “owl cross stitch” and found this cute little guy.

Then I could not put him down.

Last night while watching Moneyball, the most boring movie ever. Ever.

Today after nap time I was finished:


I may go back later and add a branch or two, but it’s done and protecting my iPhone for now.

Pinned it, did it. 🙂

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Closet Purge Part 2: My 27 pieces and some dresses

So closet purging is taking longer than I thought. We keep getting sick and tired and babies not sleeping and major life conversations and decisions happening. BUT it turns out the stress induced hives were a virus rash (I know because after most stress going away it was still there and then Sprout got the rash too). Also not fun, but at least I know I am managing my stress better than I thought.

So two nights ago I purged my closet after the kids went to bed, filling up 3 Trader Joe’s bags with stuff that basically just sits in my closet unworn and is mostly junky stuff from Target.

So a little background on my fashion adventures. Back when we lived in Bakersfield, my husband and I were DINKS and I had a walk-in closet that was practically the size of a small bedroom in our current abode. It was mostly filled with my things too. I had two upper and lower racks along one wall, the rack along the back wall and Stephen had the other single rack wall. It was A LOT of clothes.

Well then I got pregnant, quit my job, got really sick and lost 5 sizes worth of weight from being sick. Not only did most of my wardrobe not fit me, it no longer fit my new lifestyle. While great for interviewing chamber of commerce members or politicians, a three piece suit isn’t something you want to burp a baby in, ever.

So once my body kind of leveled out to normal after Bean was born, I bought a bunch of new stuff from Target and American Eagle. And then I had two more babies. The favorite cut straight leg jeans from American Eagle were also designed for exhibitionist teenagers with no butt and not meant for mom-butts that have to bend over all day long picking up children, toys, breaking up fights, getting down on their level, etc.

After Sparrow was born my husband forced me to go shopping and replace most of my wardrobe, most especially my jeans. And he said he didn’t want us to buy crap clothes from Target ever again.

I hate shopping for jeans. I tried on a pair of Joe’s and they weren’t super low rise so I decided they would work. The thing is you can’t really tell if jeans work until you wear them for at least 24 hours. I couldn’t do this though because mine were at the tailor making them right for my short 5’2″ stature because even the petite length was way too long on me. We headed to the Camarillo Outlets and I bought two more pairs from the Joe’s outlet store thinking these were “the” jeans.

Oh they SO are not.

After only a couple hours of wearing them I spend the rest if my day pulling them up. They lose their shape and just fall down. I find belts really uncomfortable so that really isn’t the solution. So I am still wearing them and don’t have much other choice. I can’t go drop another $400 on jeans that I can’t be sure about without a 24 hour run.

That was sort of a tangent, but those three pairs of jeans make up the 26 pieces now left in my wardrobe. I might have to do something about it later this year. Not sure.


On the right side of my closet are some dresses. A few fancy, but mostly not. I am not getting rid of those dresses, but can’t really wear them while breastfeeding so they don’t really count.

So what does count?

3 pairs of jeans, already discussed
1 pair of black slacks
1 black and mustard ruffle skirt
1 khaki distressed skirt
1 teal jersey skirt
1 long brown, mustard and grey linen skirt that I made myself
1 yellow open/lace knit cardi for Spring
1 beige ruffle jersey knit cardi
1 chunky knit grey cropped cardi
1 mustard cable knit wool cardi
1 grey bird and polka dot cropped cardi (still love and is holding up great even though it’s from Target)
1 green striped jersey cardi
1 3/4 sleeve striped tunic shirt (this shirt was part of the not buying junk trip, but it already has a couple of small holes near the button strips on the sides and it kind of pills in the front when I hold kids, it might have to be tossed or replaced later this year, but for now it is still OK)
1 lavender empire cut 3/4 sleeve blouse with ruffles
1 sleeveless white ruffle blouse
1 tank top with a cascading print that I love, also for Spring/Summer
8 t-shirts that all have an interesting detail or two like a print, way they are cut, collar, print, etc so that they aren’t t-shirts in the typical sense, but are super comfy and work for what I do.

=26 pieces

I feel like this is a good amount for me. I need a little more than twenty because of spit ups and spills and messy hands that touch me and so may go through more than one wardrobe change in a single day. I need the occasional nice outfit, but mostly not. But just because I am a mom, I don’t want to look like I am sloppy or unfashionable especially when going around with my always in a button-up shirt husband. So there you have it. Living life more simply this year, I hope, with 26 pieces in my closet!

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Instagram Digest: In Real Life

Last Friday I decided to delete my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“What why?!” my youngest sister said.

I’ve had an ongoing love-hate relationship with social media. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone cold turkey on Facebook. I love that it makes it easy to keep in touch and keep people updated on your life.

But for me, it just becomes too all consuming. A personal public relations machine that requires constant attention. When you start going through your day thinking about it in terms of status updates, you know you have a problem.

I know some people set a timer, delete the app from their phone, etc. and maybe those things would work, but knowing me I would still be thinking about it a lot, my introvert brain needing to process every little thing, thinking about the comment I just needed to leave on that photo or status update, thinking about the thing that someone said, maybe not even actually to me, that hurt or made me angry, thinking about the news article someone posted that fouled principles of journalism ethics or was overly politically charged or gave me another reason to be scared or disenchanted with our country, life, the political system, food, the church, etc.

Really, I have better things to do with my life, don’t you think?

I do.

It’s been a great week. I’ve been able to focus in more on our family without getting distracted by all the chatter. I’ve blogged! I’ve played with our kids! We’ve had two play dates with friends! I’ve called friends, sent text messages and told people directly things I am thinking instead of sharing with the masses or making vague or passive aggressive statements.

Well, anyway, that was a really long intro to say that one of the social media outlets I’ve decided to keep going is my Instagram because I love taking pictures of things with my phone all day long. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much an iPhone only thing so I’ve decided to share a weekly digest of my photos on here for those of you wanting to keep tabs on our lives.

So here goes week one:

Stephen took a gamble on the trash truck not coming last Friday due to the holiday. So guess who hefted the dead tree out to the curb all by herself?

Where there are dead pine trees, there are pine needles. Sprout helped me clean them up though.

Winter harvest.

Happy boy.

Baby doll Ergo!

Basil garlic linguine with shrimp, spinach, caramelized onions and Meyer lemon infused olive oil.

Uncle Eric sharing his guitar.

Bean’s turn.

Panettone and Cars2 make for one very still Sprout.

Technology is crazy! We hooked up the WiFi adapter to our Blu-Ray player, connected it to my Amazon account, “rented” The Help from Amazon Instant Video, I got a receipt in my e-mail and we were watching it two minutes later.

Taking pictures of her babies.

That explains everything. Sparrow is on the verge of getting FOUR new teeth.

I am apparently the only Southern California dweller not loving this January “heat” wave.

So happy to have this back in my fridge!


Long day.

Homemade carnitas burrito bowl with cilantro lime rice and pomegranate guacamole.

Seam ripping the old crib skirt so I can canibalize parts of it and make a boy one.

She would rather sulk than clean her room.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Something I wore

The fact that it is necessary to drink my coffee iced on this January morning does not make me happy. Winter please show yourself!

Nothing brings to light how truly disgusting our tap water is like cleaning out our humidifier.

January Photo A Day Challenge: Makes you smile – Ring Around the Rosie

Check back next week for more photos. 🙂


Filed under Ramblings