Sunday, September 30, 2012

design ergo's next baby carrier!

ergobaby is putting on a contest to design their next baby carrier AND i'm guest judging along with two of my very favorite blogger mamas alyson and jamie. the ergo was hands down the best shower gift i received before having elodie. i wore her in it until a little after three years old and will definitely use it with our next little girl (hopefully it will be the contest winner's i'll be sporting!)

read all about the contest here and submit your design here. the contest will end october 7th at midnight pst so fire up your computer and get to work!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

you are wondrous

you were sick this past weekend. i took it as an opportunity to crank up the air conditioning to block out the muggy 100+ degree outside and pretend like it was really, truly fall. we read a ton of books, made soup, did some puzzles, and took long naps together.

some interesting things about you these days. you don't like pockets. whenever i am about to put a dress on you (all you will wear), you ask if it has pockets. you love long sleeves and tights and are counting down the minutes until you can wear them.

you have me cover the legs on your dresser every night with stuffed animals. the dresser legs are scary to you.

we sing "the special song" and winter wonderland every night. the special song is an old church song i grew up with called "walk tall your a daughter," you love it.

you can't get enough of richard scarry books. you will sit and pore over them for ages.

you love to dress like a princess and have dance parties. we play a lot of bob marley and disney songs when papa is out of earshot.

you just finished your swim classes for the season. we are so proud of you. you are so proud of you. swimming underwater with your goggles on. i have loved watching you progress this year.

you were going to be minnie mouse for halloween again but i think you have changed your mind to be a princess since delilah gave you her old costume while we were in seattle.

three and a half is such a great age. the things you tell papa and i make us so happy inside* we always write down things you say and tell each other when  you are asleep. it's easy to forget that you are still so little when you act like such a big girl. you are still my little one and we are here to take care of you.

love, mama

*you say things like this:
swallow a toy so baby can have it.

look at the beautiful world.

you have to be very quiet in the 100 acre wood because you might see a deer or a baby elephant. 

i'm a little joey. you have a pouch. you are kanga and i am roo.

when i'm 4 1/2 i'm gonna have boobies right?

we are sweethearts mama.

in palm springs there's lots of palm trees. you have to live in a hotel when you go to palm springs.

hey you know what? some panda bears are wild.

papa i need up. i don't have anymore energy. papa. actually i have energy for just two fings: climbing and bubbles. 

hey i have an idea. let's make a doghouse. 

she is gonna have such a good nap and when she wakes up she'll realize i'm the mama. 

i love you mr. poppa.

elodie: thank you mama.
me: for what?
elodie: my new bedroom.

mama, i want a jealous cup. (jello)

mama, you know what the baby is saying? you gave me too much coffee. 

what's a feeling mama? tell me. plllleeeeassssse?

it's movie night! maybe the bare necessities (jungle book) but we can pass where they are rawr-ing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

paint, wallpaper, or both?

we have now been in our new home for a little over six weeks and it is coming along swimmingly. we had a bed custom made for elodie and i'm now deciding whether or not to paint or wallpaper her room. 

two options i'm drawn to... 

1. painting the ceiling a soft color and extending the color a bit further down. maybe in a lovely pale pink or salmon? (the pink bug has bit at our house) 

2. i've recently heard that spoonflower is now doing custom wallpaper and i would love to create a pattern for her closet. maybe a repeat of buttons or some cute animal illustrations? so many options my brain is bursting from excitement!! anyone care to weigh in? 

image: 1, 2, 3, 4

Monday, September 24, 2012

get ready for fall

fall is (supposedly) upon us! i've just signed up for another autumn and me class with my sweet friend betsy. elodie has taken classes with her since she was 3 months old and this is the third year we've taken her autumn and me class. last year was so fun, we made mobiles out of leaves, painted pumpkins (which she still remembers and talks about), and made little acorn people amongst other sensory activities and stories. if you are in los angeles, join us for a class. i'd love to meet you!

Friday, September 21, 2012

the emerald city

i've said it before and i'll say it again, seattle holds a very special place in my heart.

elodie and i headed up for my little brother's beautiful wedding and we were able to spend a lot of quality time with family. it is definitely my last trip before baby number two comes on the scene and was a nice break from the california heat wave.

we spent the majority of time outdoors picking blackberries and picnicking by lake washington. elodie loved watching the sea planes, blowing on dandelions, and finding suitable hiking sticks for mama. i did my best to stretch the days out knowing it was my last solo trip for a while with her. i could have stayed longer but am definitely happy to be home to start nesting!!

p.s. two snippets of my brother's wedding vows that really resonate with me right now:

1. love is a gift. be thankful for one another every day.

2. always stand besides them, never between them. (in reference to the couple)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

to rome, with love

one of my favorite cities in the world. in my mind, rome is the voluptuous monica bellucci to the delicate princess sister city of florence. everything is old, and grand, and marble.

it is impossible to see this city in one visit. impossible. and some people don't give it enough of a chance to visit twice. a shame.


the food is simple and wonderful. rome is not the culinary capitol of italy but it's simple fare of cacio e pepe, carciofi alla romana, and peppery rucola salads are not to be missed.

some restaurants we loved:

la taverna degli amici on the cutest little piazza.

il gabriello came highly recommended from several people and did not disappoint

ristorante maccheroni off the pantheon was a place we've visited a few times


i could write a tome on roman cafes but i'll narrow it down to our favorite two streets of our last visit. there are loads of cute cafes off via pellegrino and via die coranari (also cute vintage shopping, it's where i got the dress you see above)

have a gran caffe at sant'eustachio for the quintessential roman cafe experience

casa é bottega in centro storico  had simple aperitifs which is part of my favorite italian experience

things to do:

there are many, many more but if i only had four days and was bringing someone who had never visited rome, the following would be on my list.

the vatican museum

galleria borghese (pack a picnic and laze about under the italian pines)

head for the spanish steps trevi fountain (at night), and then san crispino for some very famous gelato

alternatively visit the pantheon, piazza navona, and then campo de' fiori for dinner

the colosseum and roman forum is ambitious for one day but so worth it!

a bike ride along the appian way

this list barely scratches the surface and is comprised of our favorite things from our most recent trip. i can't wait to take elodie one day!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

find some beautiful place to get lost

i'm normally a huge fan of the eastside of los angeles. i love the winding streets, beautiful cactus, and wooded hills over the flatness of the westside. but this heat wave has been unbearable, and up until three days ago, we didn't have air conditioning at our new house. normally i would flee to encinitas where my family lives but there is so much change happening that i didn't want to disrupt elodie's schedule.

hence, some fantastic day trips.

elodie and i headed to the long beach aquarium on a busy saturday. the great thing about the aquarium is that there is just so much to see and do for all ages and it doesn't matter if it's crowded. we packed a picnic and had lunch by the light house, took a 45 minute boat ride to see some sea lions on a dinghy, and then spent the rest of the afternoon looking at all of the amazing fish from all over the world. definitely a great place to spend the day in a heatwave!

on labor day, our friends invited us down to palos verdes for a day of swimming and beach walks. there was zero traffic and we lucked out being able to enjoy this area of los angeles that we rarely visit.

on sunday, elodie and i met our sweet friends over at the santa monica farmer's market for some great food, pony rides, and then a little fun dip in the ocean.

we also love the annenberg beach house for swimming and hikes in point dume (followed by swims at zuma beach in malibu) so that might be coming up in the next few hot weeks here.

so happy to live so close to so many little beach getaways. we are squeezing every last drop out of summer (and will continue to do so through october!)

last photo courtesy of our talented friend cleo murnane. thank you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

31 weeks out to sea

i'm about to enter into my 32nd week of pregnancy and we are as busy as ever trying to get the house (and our lives) in a good spot before baby arrives. she is growing at breakneck speed and i'm having a hard time keeping up with transformation. i'm crying over all things big and small and feeling extra awake to life since hearing of this tragedy in the california wedding photography community.

i've felt my heart physically and emotionally expand and contract several times this week and i truly feel like the love in a family is vast and knows no bounds. a piece of my mama heart is with this family forever, reminding me that we are all so vulnerable on our own, but with the love of each other and whatever it is we believe in, we can do anything. it also reminds me that so many of our daily concerns are just so trivial. how to bring ourselves back to what matters when there is so much competing for the most precious moments of our lives? i've been meditating on this often this week.

every second i've had with elodie since has felt like a dream come true. she has been so sweet, kissing me on the belly, singing "in the tiki room" and "a-b-c's" to her baby sister, talking to her often, and telling me about all of the things she plans on sharing. i am trying not to emphasize "big" sister too much, instead talking about how much i love my own sisters, stories from when i was small, lying in bed all night talking to them, sleeping in the backyard, roller skating.

and to my baby, it is a little under two months until we meet. i wonder about you every day, floating in a peaceful world, in a perfect ocean. it's amazing to feel you kick when you hear your sister or your papa talk to you. you are so active at night which is a little tiring but i'll take it. i know as soon as you are with us i will miss these little flutters inside my body. it's a confusing thing, wanting you to be right where you are but also counting the moments until you come through to join our little family. i know you have so much to share and to teach us. new lessons that we cannot even imagine. mama loves you little one!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ciao! happy birthday to me

today is my birthday. it's so hard to believe all that has happened this past year. we've bought a home, have baby two on the way, and have been around the world and back.

one year ago today michael and i landed in rome, italy. rome is one of my favorite cities on earth and i'm finally going through photos of our lovely time there. the sounds, smells, nature, cobble stone streets, and overwhelming amount of history has led me to return time and time again (this was my sixth trip!) each time i fall deeper in love. i've been limiting my time online lately as i have a lot of things competing for my attention but hope to attach a guide soon. for now, some instagram photos and i'm off to celebrate my birthday!

p.s. my sweet husband gave me an olive tree, a symbol of abundance and peace, for my birthday this year. such a beautiful memory of our travels together and of the life we are continuing to create.

Monday, September 3, 2012

the kissing hand

e starts preschool this week. it's amazing to hear her talk about it and all of the things she imagines she will do there. we have driven her by more than a few times and talk excitedly of this new chapter in her life. at orientation, her new teacher recommended a book called the kissing hand by audrey penn that has quickly become a favorite.

the mama raccoon kisses the palm of her little one's hand and instructs him to put his hand to his cheek when he feels lonely and the kiss will warm him and remind him of his mother's love. it's a sweet little book that we enjoy reading. best of all, elodie has been kissing my palm and saying "elodie loves you, elodie loves you." i have a feeling that i'll be putting my hand to my cheek a lot on her first day of school.