Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oops, I Lied.

Sorry...I need a little more time...still swamped and whirling from holidays. Be back soon!

via Observando

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Short Vacation

I'm taking a couple of days off. Family in town and still whirling from the holidays. Be back tomorrow (Wednesday).

via Observando

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Words

Just a few things before the weekend carries us away...

a) I took Sabine to see Santa this evening. She covered her eyes and repeatedly said, "Go home, mama. Go home." She was traumatized. Terrified. She sobbed, shook, couldn't catch her breath and clung to me like a wet kitten. She never sat on his lap, but I thought about how weird it was that he shouted, "I love you," to her as we walked away. There was something creepy about him and it's creepy to tell a kid you don't even know that you love them. How about "Merry Christmas" instead? And there was certainly no way I was going to sit her on creepy santa's lap. Who knows where that lap has been? I don't want to know.

b) Every night before I put Sabine to bed, we turn off the lights then say goodnight to mama, dada, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandpas and grandmas, including my mom, who has died. It kills me on a regular basis that my mom never got to meet Sabine and that Sabine doesn't get to know the best grandma a little girl could ever have. But tonight as we moved down the line of relatives, before I could say their names, Sabine said, "An gama Becky an ganpa Tom." My heart sank. My mom's favorite time of year was Christmas. I think she's Sabine's very own angel.

c) I was thinking last night as I rushed around to complete last minute errands and after I watched Shrek the Halls with Sabine that I haven't really sat with or had one of my long talks with Kadin. I've been too busy buying and wrapping crap, planning meals and getting our home ready for guests. But it's not about the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes or the right ribbon on a package or if I fold the last load of laundry. It's about laughing, talking, thinking and catching up with the ones I love. In ten years, I'm not going to give a rat's ass about the marshmallows. In ten years, I'm going to be looking back at this time that I'm in right now, thinking about how quickly it went by and wishing that I had more of it. So I'm done focusing on the small, meaningless tasks. And now I'm soaking up as much time with my husband, my tiny monster, my pops, my sisters and my sister-like friends.

Happy happiest holidays to everyone...regardless of what day(s) you celebrate or what you believe in...I hope you enjoy your family and/or friends and this chilly, cozy and hopefully merry season.

via Observando

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Merry, merry.

above images via Momfilter
via Observando

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Sex

Just found out: It's a girl. I'm having a girl. 

A) Apparently I have zero intuition because I was sure it was a boy. 

B) Before we found out, Kadin said he didn't care if it was a boy or a girl. But when I told him it's definitely a baby girl, you woulda thought he'd won the lottery. So sweet.

via Observando

The Christmas Gift That Couldn't Wait

I don't know what it is about umbrellas but Sabine is obsessed with them. So I let her open one of her Christmas gifts way before Christmas. I've never seen her more happy. She uses it every day whether it's raining or not.

Image by Jenna Park via Momfilter

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mean Sabine

She is killing me these days. It takes us an hour and a half to get out the door each morning because she throws a tantrum when I brush her teeth--which has resulted in Kadin holding her down while I try to attack her chompers without her biting me. She throws a second tantrum when I try to do her hair (please let the next one be a boy so I don't have to do two heads of hair each day). When it's time to get dressed, anything I pull out of her drawer, she refuses to wear. She dives head first into her dirty laundry basket and insists on wearing some dirty dress she wore the day before. Another tantrum ensues when I tell her no.

Once I've gotten her dressed, she usually decides to poop. In her diaper even though she's capable of using the toilet. Somehow she escapes and runs away from me each morning as I'm changing her and shit ends up all over some piece of furniture or bed sheets or her clothes.

So I change her carefully negotiated outfit. And then I change it again when she's dumped a cup of yogurt on herself or has insisted on washing her hands by herself which somehow means washing her fully clothed torso in the bathroom sink.

Now, for those of you who are thinking that I should wait to get her dressed until after she eats or takes a dump, I challenge you to pluck her from her crib in the morning, when her the first words out of her mouth are not, "good morning or I love you, mama," but "shirt off!" (Insert another tantrum here if I leave her pajamas on.)

She hates wearing a jacket even though it's freezing outside and she insists on taking anywhere from three to five stuffed animals, a purse and a tea set with her every time we leave the house.

And bath time in the evening? That's a tantrum times seventeen--with every window in the house closed so the neighbors don't mistakenly call CPS. You'd think we were dipping her in hot lava instead of a warm tub filled with bubbles and toys.

Her will and her attitude are wearing me down to the point that I cannot believe I am growing another tiny monster who will perhaps torture me all over again. I actually lay in bed last night not wanting to fall asleep because I knew I was going to have to wake up and be tortured all over again. When she's good, she's delicious. When she's like this, she's completely evil. Dad, if you're reading this, I know what you're thinking: payback or that the Sabine apple does not fall far from the Laura tree. But I wasn't this bad, was I? If so, I'm really, really sorry.

I used to watch Super Nanny and think that the parents who needed her help were ridiculous for needing her help. Now, I think the super nanny obviously does not live with toddlers day in and day out. She's a nanny, not a mom--two very different things. She gets to go home and have a glass of wine amidst dead silence after bossing those families around. She doesn't have to live with this crap on a daily basis. Putting your kid in timeout on a bean bag or a carpet scrap in the living room so they can laugh at you as they get up over and over again, while you spend hours retrieving them and putting them back is my definition of Guantanamo Bay-style torture. I suddenly want to kick super nanny off of her British know-it-all soapbox.

My sister asked me once about whether or not I'm afraid that Sabine will read this blog one day and feel hurt by some of what I say. I thought about deleting certain posts as time goes on, but I also think it's important to be honest. The truth is is that nothing is perfect or perfectly enchanting all the time. I want my readers who don't have children to know this in case they do some day. I want my readers who do have children to not feel bad or guilty or crazy when they feel like locking themselves in a padded room. I want Sabine to know this in case she has children some day, when I will also tell her that all the tantrums paled in comparison to how happy she made me.

If I pretended that motherhood is this romantic, dreamy experience all the time, then I'd have to be locked up or get all Sylvia Plath from the barrel of lies I'd be feeding myself and the world around me.

via Observando

My Style

Looks I love to love and sometimes wear.

via The Pursuit Aesthetic

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Road Trip

I mentioned that we took a weekend trip to the mountains recently. The drive took about an hour and I was the one behind the wheel. The road that carried us all the way up the mountain from the freeway was this vertigo inducing, two-lane tightrope experience that practically gave me a heart attack and some wet pants.

I can remember driving this road in my twenties and not even thinking twice about the fact that the only thing keeping me from plunging down the side of the mountain was a rickety aluminum rail that is only knee high. And every couple of miles you can see places where the rail is bent or dented or completely missing, making you wonder how many cars it never kept on the road.

As I was winding up the road at thirty miles per hour, paralyzed by fear, I couldn't stop looking in the rear view mirror at Sabine asleep in the backseat. And I thought about Kadin beside me, and about myself, too. All three lives were in my hands. If I lost them or they lost me, well, it's the worst "if" I can think of.

So I drove up that mountain, not caring that I was the granny driver holding up way too many cars. When I was twenty and did closer to sixty on that road, I cared what people thought and drove fast so I could be the cool girl. But honestly, I wasn't afraid then. Maybe because when I was twenty I felt like I had a lot less to lose. Or maybe I felt invincible because I hadn't watched someone get seriously hurt, get sick or die. I hadn't suffered loss. It was a story, a movie, not my own reality.

I don't know. I just know that I almost vomited during my last trip on that mountain road. And I couldn't stop thinking about what happened to that speedy, fearless, untouchable woman that I was almost fifteen years ago. For the first time, I noticed she was gone. And I missed her. It's much more difficult, painful, uncomfortable and scary to be fearful and aware. When you grow up, you gain a lot: wisdom, and sometimes, a family of your own. Which means you have that much more to lose. And there's nothing like a steep mountain and a treacherous road with a flimsy rail to remind you of that.

via Observando

Kitchen Confidential

I dream of kitchens...ones with lots of space...lots more than I have now. Maybe I'd like cooking if I had a bigger kitchen. But probably not.

via Pink Wallpaper

via Observando

via Pink Wallpaper

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mean Girls

Kadin told me when we first met that he thought I looked mean. He said there was something he liked about mean girls. He didn't so much mean mean as he meant strong or tough.

I'm not mean. I'm strong (usually) and honest. And if I look mean sometimes, it's because I'm concentrating or lost in my thoughts. So if you're walking past me on the street, don't tell me to smile (I hate that) because I am--on the inside.

via Observando

When I'm Normal... in not pregnant anymore, these looks are practically perfect.

via Pink Wallpaper

via The Pursuit Aesthetic

via Zara

via Zara

Friday, December 16, 2011


The other day Kadin checked one of our bank accounts and discovered that it was lighter than it should be. He asked me about one particularly large and recent debit--a Christmas present for Sabine. At first I didn't know what he was talking about. Then I checked my spending files and figured out that I had accidentally spent from the wrong account, upsetting our financial well being.

It's nothing that can't be remedied, but my mistake definitely caused some chaos, juggling and anxiety.

I felt so terrible about my carelessness that I offered to give Kadin money to put back into the account. A little irritated, he pointed out that all of the money comes from the same place--him--so that if I give him money, it's the same thing as him giving himself money.

I realized the stupidity of my suggestion before I suggested it but felt bad for being careless. I didn't know what else to say. But then I thought some more and came up with something else, something better than money: "I'll have sex with you two nights in  a row," I said.

Um, let's just say he's not mad anymore. If only everything in life was this easy.

via Observando

Small Style

Whenever I see little girls dressed this impeccably, I wonder how their mothers do it. Sabine would only let me put her in this if it were red or turquoise and much fluffier. But I love it. So French.

via The Pursuit Aesthetic

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lock Out

I'm embarrassed to admit this.

The other day it poured rain all day long. Since everyone in our apartment building fights for the two laundry machines that are available on sunny days, I decided to haul our overflowing heaps of dirty clothes on a free-of-competition rainy day to do some Sisyphean laundry.

Sabine and I were indoor bound because of the rain and the fact that she's potty training. So I was makeup-free and in sweats and she was bottomless, in a pajama top and sporting an impressive afro the size of a small tumbleweed. I succeeded at completing all the tedious laundry steps (stain removal, washing machine deposit, washing machine-to-dryer transfer) sans Sabine. I plopped her in the living room with some toys, a snack and some visual stimulation each time I went to the laundry room, which never took longer than two minutes (it's literally ten feet from our front door). I grabbed my keys and closed the door, which she cannot open, behind me each time I ran out--except for the last time.

My final trip to the laundry room was to retrieve the clean and dry clothing. And of course at this point, the sky and the clouds decided to drench things. I ran from the dryer to our front door, put the bags down and proceeded to turn the knob and push. But it was locked. I checked my pockets for the keys but remembered that I'd decided I didn't need them this time (she'd been fine during every other quick exit). But I did need them. Because Sabine had somehow reached the top lock from the inside, turned it and had dead-bolted the door.

My heart sank into my soggy shoes and started beating a mile a minute. I dropped the laundry bags and ran to the building manager's apartment. He wasn't home. I ran back to our door and the adjacent kitchen window, hoping I hadn't shut it all the way. But I had because it was freezing outside. I thought about the patio door. It was also locked. I looked up at the open second-story bathroom window and wondered where I might find a ladder. But then I thought twice about that idea because a)I'm four and a half months pregnant and b)the second story is exceptionally high for a second story.

Suddenly I could hear Sabine crying through the door and saying, "mama, mama" over and over again. Now my heart was breaking and racing. I tried calming her down. I tried instructing her to get her stool from the bathroom, stand on it and turn the lock in the other direction. Silence. Then more crying.

So I decided to run to the next door apartment building and knock on that manager's door since he'd helped us get inside the last time I locked myself out. He's friendly with one of our neighbors so I often see him around our place. And thankfully, he was home.

After a lot more Sabine panic and fighting with the window, he finally gained access (it's less than comforting to know that it's fairly easy to break into our house). Somehow I heaved my large pregnant ass up, through the small window, into the kitchen sink and onto the floor, where Sabine was waiting for me with crazy hair, no pants and tear-streaked cheeks. I'm pretty sure the helpful but slightly creepy next-door manager unnecessarily touched my butt somewhere along the way. I mean, that ass is pregnant. Who wants to cop a feel of a pregnant ass?

Gross. But I can handle a little creepiness if it means getting me to my behind-a-locked-door child. I had a long talk with Sabine about locking the door. But really, I'm the one who needed the long talk. I am an idiot for not taking my keys. I'm an idiot for not bringing her with me however inconvenient. And I'm an idiot for doing laundry in the pouring rain with a toddler.


Dying to See

The best part about the holidays is movie going. With a little help from some visiting family/babysitters, I can't wait to watch (click the description to access the trailer)...

Pariah, A gay teenager living in Brooklyn by Gotham Breakthrough Director winner Dee Rees. (Received a standing ovation at Sundance.)

Carnage, Roman Polanski’s New York Film Festival  opener.

idea via Daily Candy

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Instead of... writing, emailing, talking on the phone, making lists, gift ordering, cleaning and thinking about everything else and what's to come, I sat with Sabine after nap time today and soaked up as much of her as I could for as long as I could. She lay next to me with her head on my belly and her hand in mine. She crawled up to kiss or hug me every once in awhile. She was watching some animation and I was watching her thinking that moments like these are going to be fewer and shorter as she grows. And then, I will be chasing them. So for now, I'm going to collect, be in and hold onto as many of them as I possibly can.

via Observando

Hungry Like the Wolf

I mean, really. Why do I have to want to eat every single food item I see? It's ridiculous. I need an intervention.

via Observando

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chasing Sleep

We took a weekend trip to Lake Arrowhead this past weekend. Our accommodations presented us with one king-size bed for the the three of us: me, Kadin and Sabine (I hate that their names rhyme but that's another story).

In case the co-sleeping thing didn't work, I came prepared by bringing a super soft cushion/roll-up bed for Sabine. I've never understood how other parents co-sleep. I've tried it multiple times. And every time, it ended in Sabine waking up and crying every hour and a half; Kadin tossing and turning and snoring in ways that resemble an earthquake experience; and me getting absolutely zero sleep and wanting to poke my eyes out the next day.

The first night, I set up Sabine's portable bed on the floor next to the king-size bed. She, of course, wanted nothing to do with it and everything to do with our bed. So I happily scooped her up, forgetting who she really is: a solo sleeper since birth. I had romantic notions swimming around in my brain--thoughts of cuddling with her all night long and smelling her sweet baby breath and knowing what it's like to have my two favorite people safely snuggled next to me in one big bed all night long.

But instead, my three peas in a pod experiment resulted in this:

...and Sabine waking up and crying every two hours.

So on that first night at about one in the morning when Sabine was silent and sleeping for a moment, I picked her up and plopped her onto her little bed beside us. Suddenly, Kadin stopped shaking things up, Sabine was shockingly quiet and I went to sleep. We survived the following two nights by letting her fall asleep in our bed and then transferring her to her "special bed."

And even though little Sabine clearly needs her own space, I did get some delicious cuddling in. Each night as she lay with me in our bed to fall asleep, she clutched my neck and and pressed her lips to my cheek. I felt her tiny heartbeat slow down, listened to her sing songs to herself and watched her eyelids grow so heavy that they had no choice but to fall closed. Her skin was buttery soft and her coconut-scented curls tickled my forehead. It was pure heaven. And being able to sleep once she was in her own little bed was just as heavenly.

Something I want...

...but will never have because they're way too expensive: Isabel Marant sneakers. Perfection.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Still in the Dark

Yesterday during my amniocentesis, the little booger in my belly kept moving so that it was impossible to tell whether he/she is a boy or a girl. Argh. Now I have to wait another week, maybe two. I'm terrible at waiting. I can't keep a secret. And when I was little, I'd open and re-wrap presents under the tree long before christmas morning.

via Observando

Once Upon a Time...

...I worked at a design magazine. After too many long days, long nights and writing what felt like the same story over and over again, I decided I needed a vacation. So I took a road trip up the California coast with one of my best friends and his friend from college. We drank too much wine in Santa Barbara. We watched sea lions and played in the ocean at Big Sur. In San Francisco, we ate at The Slanted Door and danced to Prince in the Mission. 

Two years later, my friend's friend and I got married. Then we had a baby. And now instead of working at a magazine, I do this all day (and then some). And it's way cooler.

all images via The Pursuit Aesthetic

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Sabine, 27 months...

It's December and I've hung stockings that you keep trying to put on your feet and wear. (I did explain to you that it was a kind of sock.)

You display a huge grin every time I talk about Santa Claus. But every time you see him, you close your eyes and bury your head in my chest.

Every time you get in the bath, you lay down, make a fish face and pretend you're a mermaid.

When you hear music, you grab my hand and say, "Let's dance, mama," or you spin around by yourself until you lose your balance and fall down.

Now that you know I'm pregnant, you like to lift up my shirt and lay on my bump. You stick your finger in my belly button and say, "Hi, beebee."

You insist on choosing your own clothes each morning and night. This means you wear sundresses when it's freezing cold and tutus to bed.

You hate having your hair or your teeth brushed.

You attempt to use the toilet every two minutes whether or not you have to go just so you can get candy.

When you do go, you run over to me and say, "Proud of you, mama," every single time.

When you need help with something, you say, "Help you, mama."

Your favorite foods are cheese and spinach salad with blue cheese dressing.

When you're frustrated or something is not working the way you want it to, you say, "It's woken." Translation: It's broken.

You prefer to wear no clothes at all and strip as often as you can.

You love spiders and bugs.

Gift Guide: Affordable Luxe

Grand gift ideas at not so grand prices for the friends you love...

J. Crew, $45
J. Crew, $25
J. Crew, $25

Madewell, $35
Madewell, $32
Gap, $29.95

Gap, $39.95
Gap, $34.95
Zara, $59.90
Banana Republic, $29.50

Banana Republic, $65.99

Banana Republic, $39.50

Victoria's Secret, $39.50
Anthropologie, $28
Anthropologie, $16
Anthropologie, $8

...and the best gift of to donate in your loved one's name...
American Cancer Society

Doctors Without Borders

Rescue Gifts


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