Friday, September 30, 2011

Speechless








via Observando

Happy Friday. Hope your weekend is filled with random, good things.

100 Years of Style

The best eye candy...



via rockstar diaries

Arm Party

I'd like to load my right arm with as many of these as possible. So cool. 
 
 Hand-painted using 100% recycled scrap leather.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

About A Boy

My sister's best friend is a clairvoyant of sorts. A few days after my mom died, she went into her bedroom and said she saw tiny white lights everywhere and especially all around my sisters and I. She knew the genders of all three of my other sister's children before the doctor did, and was also right about Sabine being a girl.

When my sister told her I was pregnant, she said I was having a boy. For some reason, I'm pretty sure she's right. I've no idea why. I just have a feeling. But I don't know. I really wish I did. I want to be one of those witchy-poo/sixth sense people so that I can feel, see or talk to my mom.

Do you believe in that stuff or do you think people/clairvoyants just get lucky and make good guesses?

If I am having a boy, I'm excited. Because he will be a serious momma's boy. And because I'm excited to know what it's like to parent a love a little guy as opposed to a little girl.

But I'm also a little sad. Because little boys grow up and get married and desert their moms for their girlfriends or wives. Besides, what if he marries a rotten egg of a woman? Then, I'll have to be nice to her and love her even if I think she stinks. Little girls often stay close to their mommas. They want their moms in the delivery room when they have a baby--not their mothers-in-law. They want advice, love and help from their own moms because that's what they know. My potential daughter-in-law would want this, too. And as a result, I would have to accept a more peripheral role.

Another upside is that Sabine is such a tiny monster that I think she would absolutely fall in love with a little brother. And also, since we're not all that into pink in this household, we could use much of the same baby stuff that we used for Sabine (pink is fine...just not everything pink...or Pepto Bismol pink...or why can't a baby girl wear blue, too?...I mean, blue rocks...it's my favorite color...why assign gender a color?).

In any case, I've been driving Kadin insane with wondering about boy names. In addition to Luce, I like Emile and Jude. The mister refuses to comment before he knows the sex. He thinks I'm ridiculous. He might be right. Because I could be totally wrong about the boy hunch. It's not like my other hunches have ever been correct. But I like to hunch anyway.

PS: What's not fun is playing ring around the rosy when you're incredibly nauseous. I can't decide if the first few months of pregnancy--better known as Purgatory--are more brutal when you're caring for a two year-old or sitting behind a desk all day. I say that in addition to maternity leave, there should be pregnancy leave because this initial bun-in-the-oven stuff seriously sucks.

PPS: I decided that nighttime Haagen Dazs was the solution to my 24/7 nausea. I ate one of those mini cups and it seriously did the job--I instantly felt better. But this is bad. Very bad. Haagen Dazs is NOT the answer. It can't be. Because that would mean a really fat pregnant ass and I'm not into carrying one of those around. I've enough to deal with.

via Observando

Antoni Gaudi

I found this image on Pinterest and it reminded me of backpacking through Spain with my best friend just after college. When I saw Antoni Gaudi's buildings for the first time, they blew my mind. I loved the fact that an architect imagined such unconventional, dream-like, sinuous creations that were so wildly different from anything I'd ever seen.

via Pinterest

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This Little Light of Mine...

...makes everything shine.


The Great Escape

I need three days straight--alone--in any one of these. With an endless supply of nachos, champagne and creme brulee. Lavender-scented baths, massages, facials, pedicures and a pile of all of the movies I've wanted to see in the past two years would be nice, too.





via Pinterest

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On the Edge

I can't seem to get anything right or finish a task lately.

I'm nauseous and can't think of one food item that I'd like to eat.

Listening to other moms at the park talk about tile, snacks and stroller brands makes me want to blow my brains out it's so boring.

Yesterday was Sabine's last swim lesson. Actually, last Wednesday was Sabine's last swim lesson, but since I can't seem to get anything right, I showed up yesterday. Half way through the class I was humiliated by some grumpy hall monitor-like administrator, who asked my name and told me I hadn't registered for the class. I explained the situation and told her I wouldn't be back. She snarled, ignored my words and repeated that I needed to go register. I had to restrain myself from pushing her into the pool. This was just after my bathing suit bottoms fell off as I jumped out of the pool to prevent Sabine from sticking her finger into an outdoor light socket (she was WET, as she was supposed to be jumping into my arms from the edge of the pool, not exploring how to get electrocuted). My entire white butt was exposed to the Olympic-size pool. Thank god swimming lessons are over.

Speaking of butts, I was scolded over the weekend by my neighbor for saying "butt" in front of her children. Really? I think she should butt out of my vocabulary. It could've been a lot worse. Besides, you can only control what your own children say and do, not what the rest of the world says and does.

If you haven't seen the movie Crossing Over, you should. It's the best film I've seen in a long, long time. I promised myself I would not get political on this blog, but I'm going to touch on this ever so heated topic only very briefly: immigration. I know that a lot of American citizens are against illegal immigration. But I am not and here's why: the people who are fleeing their third-world countries or the places they were born are usually risking a lot, including their lives and their families. They are usually trying to escape a world of poverty, oppression, pain and very little opportunity. I want to see these people survive and make it and not suffer. I want them to have a fighting chance. So I'm okay with waiting in a longer line for whatever services if that means that even one immigrant might possibly be able to have even half of what I've been lucky enough to have.

I'm terrified of having twins (which, genetically, is pretty likely to happen). That would seriously kick my butt. 

I'm also terrified that I could miscarry at any moment because: a)It's so early in my pregnancy and I've blabbed it to the whole world, b)I'm old and c)It's not uncommon and none of us are immune to terrible, sad things.

I really need a margarita to take the edge off. Butt that's impossible for the next long, booze-free eight months.

Image via Observando

CRANKYPANTS

The cutest baby pants I've ever seen. And wildly appropriate for tiny monster.




via rock my world

Monday, September 26, 2011

Down by the Sea

We camped in Malibu again this past weekend (photos of our first trip are here). It was cold. And windy. There were many more bugs. A wildebeest-like raccoon somehow figured out how to open our ice chest and ravage two of our meals in the middle of the night. In the loudest, most snarling, maybe-I'll rip-open-their-tent-and-eat-their-faces-off-too kind of way. The cold and restless ocean swallowed my camera (the iPhone survived). And Sabine spilled bubbles on my Blackberry, which is now seriously dysfunctional.

But we saw a handful of bunny rabbits with white cotton tails just outside our tent each morning. We met a flock of seagulls who had an enormous appetite for whole grain Goldfish. We climbed pieces of extra large driftwood and Sycamore trees with sinuous branches. We drew pictures in the sand and I skipped my first rock. Sabine held her first tiny crabs and her first roly poly bugs. And we spent hours watching the wet sand devour our feet before the foam-filled, salty and tireless waves tried to knock us down.

The phone and camera losses are nothing compared to seeing the smile that spread across Sabine's face when she saw those little bunnies for the first time. Or how closely she snuggled with me for the longest while as we sat beside the fire and sang songs. Or what it felt like to lay in that little tent with her one one side of me and him on the other, listening to the wind and the frogs, and realizing that not much else really matters.





I Dream of Kitchens...

...big white ones with lots of light and views of trees. Places where lots of people can sit and stand comfortably, while tiny monsters and dogs play at their feet.




Images via Pink Wallpaper

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Dad and His Daughter

For the longest time, Sabine would sob if I went anywhere without her and refused to leave the house if I wasn't leaving, too. Now, every weekend morning after breakfast, she waits by the front door for her dad to take her somewhere. Anywhere. Just the two of them. She kisses me, says, "bye ma," and waves an elfin wave without looking back. 





Best in Show

 Favorites finds from around the web this week...


The funniest take on what it's like to be part of a mixed race family. Clickety click.

The coolest fall coats--I want every single one of them. Clickety click.

Short boots that won't make you like an elf. Clickety click.

The chunkiest, yummiest knit throw. If only I could knit. Clickety click.

Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches. Clickety click.

Pregnancy portraits that will make you never want to take a pregnancy portrait. (Warning: high creep factor. But it's so bad it's good.) Clickety click.


Happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Growing Pains

In yesterday's post, Who's Your Momma?, I wrote about accepting your parents as being human vs. trying to force them into some kind of perfect parent box.

The part I left out was that I should've done this sooner than I did. And it's one of my biggest regrets.

I was about thirty when my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Her early doctor's office chemotherapy sessions were short and hopeful. At the time, I let my dad do all the caretaking. I was petrified of seeing her in a chemo chair. Somehow it meant the doctor was right and that I could potentially lose her. I wanted no part of that reality.

I was staying with my parents off and on because I'd just moved back to L.A. from New York (when I wasn't at their place, I was with friends). No matter how hard I try to forget, I continue to remember one morning after I'd spent the night in my childhood bedroom:

I was getting dressed when my mom came out of the bathroom with tears in her eyes because a clump of her hair had fallen out in the tub. She walked into my room with her curly brown hair, crumpled and wet, in her hand. She sat on the edge of the bed and cried. I hugged her, but stayed stiff. I drew from all of the sad cancer movies I'd seen and told her that's what happens with chemo and that it sucks, but it's the thing that's going to make her better. She told me I was right and then began to talk more about how she was feeling. I stood up and moved around the room, trying to change the subject. She was close to admitting fear and sadness (for the most part, each person in my family kept their game face on the entire time my mom was sick, convincing ourselves that she would be the female Lance Armstrong).

But I couldn't listen to her fear or sadness or vulnerability. She was my momma. And mommas are your rock, your shoulder to cry on, your support, your life line. When the world shakes, they make everything okay. I couldn't let her be human like she needed me to because that meant letting her be sick and die. And that felt like letting the very ground beneath me crack up all around my feet and crumble into nothingness, taking me with it.

I did not know how to exist in or imagine a world without her in it.

So that same morning, I continued to move around the room. I packed some things and chit chatted about meaningless thoughts. She asked me what I was doing and where I was going. I told her I was expected at a friend's house. She teared up again and asked me why I wasn't going to stay and take care of her after she'd taken care of me all of those years. At the time, I became angry and reiterated the fact that I had to go. But later, I felt like the biggest asshole coward on the planet because she was absolutely fucking right.

I wish that in those early days of my mom's illness, her pain out-weighed mine; I wish that I let her be a person with cancer instead of my mom. But I didn't. I'd stopped taking full breaths and hearing full sentences and thinking whole thoughts. I was a bundle of raw nerves that had two speeds: flee intermittingly or spiral into sadness. I chose flee intermittingly more often because feeling sadness, again, meant admitting to myself that my mother was going to die.

I left that day and was somewhat gunshy for the next few months.

My mother's disease worsened and eventually, she began to really need me. She needed our whole family. My dad couldn't do it alone. So I spent long, weekly chemo drip-filled nights next to her bed on the floor of Cedars Sinai--she never spent a night alone in that cold, zoo-like hospital. I washed her hair and applied her makeup. I held her hair and plastic tubs for her to vomit in. I went to bed with her and woke up with her and spent as much time with her as I possibly could.

We were closer than we'd ever been. We became friends as much as we were mother and daughter, and we enjoyed our more adult relationship for only nine short months.

I wish that in those nine months, we could've walked together under autumnal trees and breezy, blue skies, talking about how dramatic I once was and how busy she used to be. But that was impossible then because, well, the L.A. skies are a suffocating brownish grey and she was confined to a wheelchair. But I pushed that wheelchair along the beach and watched the waves with her. I pushed it along sidewalks while she picked roses from people's yards. I took her shopping for things she didn't need and talked and laughed with her during regular lunch dates we had together. We ordered food and wine that we never ate or drank because she was feeling too sick. But it didn't matter. Those lunches were significant because I was still able to sit across from her--and I was finally letting her be vulnerable and sick.

My dad says he's thankful that I stepped back at first because it let him be alone with her and give everything that he could. I'm ashamed of my initial chicken response. I will always regret not being her rock in the beginning.

But I'm proud that I was glued to her side for the rest of it. And that I was the one who rode in the ambulance with her to the hospital the night before she died; and the one who rode back home in the hospice van with her when she'd begun to die. And I, with my sisters, held her and lay next to her for almost six hours straight, until she took her very last breath. Those were the hardest, saddest, most painful moments of my life. But I was there. And finally, I wouldn't have been anywhere else.

Image via Observando

Dressing Up S'mores

This is a genius idea for s'mores: use Peeps instead of marshmallows. We're going beach camping this weekend and Sabine is going to lose her mind when we make these! (PS Kadin calls Sabine "Chick-y"--as in a baby chick.)

Image via Steamy Kitchen

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who's Your Momma?

I was the most intense, dramatic and sensitive adolescent; my nickname was "handful." I tortured my poor mother. I felt like she never listened enough. I wanted more one-on-one conversation with her. And it seemed as if she understood nothing. She always seemed so preoccupied with work or my father or one of my other siblings or the world around her.

So I punished her. Before the age of seven, I ran away a lot. Usually I just walked down the street in my nightgown. My mom got so tired of my threatening to leave that she began to respond by packing  a lunch for my travels. Naturally, this pissed me off to epic proportions--so I'd sit on the corner (a block from my house) for a whole hour so she'd worry, sob and come running after me. She never did--since she could see me from the driveway. Eventually, I'd get tired of sitting and would lug my lunch and my suitcase back to the house (oh yeah, I packed a suitcase--a short-distance runaway needs certain things, you know). My mom would merrily open the front door, smile and say, "Welcome home!".

In addition to her almost always being distracted, my mother's constant happiness and upbeat nature seemed to purposefully mock or agitate my more brooding one. Our dispositions were on opposite ends of the spectrum, far away from one another. Moody longed for sympathy; happy-go-lucky demanded rose-colored glasses for everyone.

I wanted one-on-one connection and my mother was a busy whirlwind of a woman who had four children, a husband, a job (as a teacher) and a home to manage. She was social and in love with life itself. She visited her mother and her aunts and brothers and sisters regularly. She never missed a niece or nephew's graduation, baby shower or wedding. The children she taught were practically as important to her as her own children. She volunteered and was prominent in our community.

I faulted her for all of this for many years because I wanted more of her attention. In my mind, there wasn't enough of her to go around and I wasn't getting my fair share. But once I became an adult, and especially a mother, I realized that my mother was a human being long before she was my mom. She was a person who loved people and herself. She had an intense need to help others, experience the world and give back to her family, the one she was part of before she was part of us.

I read this statement (from an April blog post) made by President Obama about his mother in the New York Times and I'll never forget it:
"But he did not, he said, hold his mother’s choices against her. Part of being an adult is seeing your parents “as people who have their own strengths, weaknesses, quirks, longings.” He did not believe, he said, that parents served their children well by being unhappy. If his mother had cramped her spirit, it would not have given him a happier childhood. As it was, she gave him the single most important gift a parent can give — “a sense of un­conditional love that was big enough that, with all the surface dis­turbances of our lives, it sustained me, entirely.”
I think part of growing up is discovering that parents are fallible and extraordinary people just like anyone else you know in your lifetime. They cannot be exactly who you want them to be simply because they're your parents. The wish for perfect parents is a child's desire. An adult is able to see parents as idiosyncratic, experienced beings who love with who they are and in the way they know how, rather than in a way that someone imagines, prescribes or demands.

I hope that in their lifetimes, Sabine and this little bun in my oven, can appreciate and forgive all that I have to offer, mistakes and triumphs alike. And once they're grown and have gotten to know and accept me as a human being as much as their parent, I plan on dragging them on endless walks and talking with them for hours under autumnal trees and breezy, blue skies. We'll laugh and hold hands,  remembering all the cliches I resorted to, and all the times they locked themselves in their rooms or pretended to run away.

Image via Observando

Edor, Tiny Pretty

I discovered Edor on A Cup of Jo and am now completely in love with their tiny prettiness.





Images via Edor


Monday, September 19, 2011

When You're Old...

...as in, thirty-nine and pregnant, you...


experience knee pain during the first month vs. the eighth 

you were tired and couldn't stay awake past 10 p.m. before pregnancy

you were already wearing loose fitting clothing

not dying your hair while pregnant is not an option

having your coffee and wine ripped from your middle-aged fingertips is just sad and painful

you know that bigger boobs are overrated and simply in the way--
of everything 

you stopped wearing high heels five years ago

you wake up early before the baby is even born because old people always wake up early

you had heartburn prior to pregnancy

tying your shoes hurt your back before you were pregnant

the maternity bathing suit is the best thing that's ever happened to you


and even though you're nauseous, exhausted, awkward, large, moody, in pain, hugely limited and sleepless, you appreciate every second of the fact that your body is growing a tiny person. because you've seen and experienced enough to know that the healthiest people get sick and sometimes die; that perfectly young people have trouble conceiving or delivering; that finding a solid relationship with someone who will love you back for as long as they can feels impossible until you find it; that even people who love each other to pieces sometimes stop loving each other

i'm a late bloomer. sometimes i wish i was thirty two and doing this. but i'm grateful for every brutal and beautiful second of what i am able to do. because it could be gone, over or changed in a heartbeat.

via Observando

Perfect.

The perfect fall dessert: Pumpkin spice latte cupcakes.

via annies-eats


The perfect side table.

via West Elm


The perfect sitting area.

via thebeautyfile


The perfect storage/space saver.

via Pinterest


The perfect TOMS.

via Pinterest

The perfect snack: Dirty pirate popsicle (Coke, Captain Morgan spiced rum and Kahlua).

via Endless Summer


The perfect way to preserve a vacation.

via Pinterest


The perfect wood floors.

via Pinterest

The perfect breakfast: French toast and bacon cupcakes.

via Life is Better With Cake


The perfect bed pillows.

via rockmyworld via flickr

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