Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 25

Always a sigh of relief whenever I pass the major 24 week mark (If you've ever experienced any variation of a "high risk" pregnancy - I did with Leon, a story for another day -  you know these milestones and the promising statistics each new week entail, like the back of your hand) By 28 weeks though, when things become much more promising I generally start to truly enjoy the tail end of the whole incredible 9 month journey. 

With that awful desert ordeal a couple weeks ago, forcing me into a brief stint on bed rest, I've been fairly cautious about working my way back into our regular activities. We took a little hike (also, a great story for another post)  have gone back to visiting with friends and even venturing out of town here and there. I also ordered the first piece of furniture for the nursery. A pretty mid century dresser to be delivered this week. Hopefully the motivation I need to start clearing out that space now that it's become a kind of storage space for miscellaneous items since it's been vacant the past couple of months. I either need to donate or toss most of it altogether. Meaning lots of work to be done before the fun part of putting together another baby's room begins.

In other news, cravings remain quite generic, as usual. With each of the pregnancies I tend to inherit a serious penchant for chocolate doughnuts, green olives, lime mineral water, and steak. So far I've had my share of each of them. And just might have to hide those boxes of girl scout cookies I took home yesterday. Seems those peanut butter chocolate ones are proving downright impossible to avoid.  
In fact, I had four for breakfast this morning. 

Just a few of the joys of pregnancy. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Two staples I've been clinging to lately.

Indigo Fold Over Festival Clutch by my dear Friend Summer over at Modern Haus Design. I'm so proud of everything she is creating these days. And this clutch is especially good because it's the only pop of color I have going on in my weekly wardrobe picks lately. And, I'm a sucker for any kind of "fold over."Always have been.


Marc Sweatshirt in Charcoal - a very lovely gift I found in my mailbox from Cardigan NYC, just hours after I was complaining to Mike that I had absolutely nothing to wear now that I had outgrown even my boxiest selection of tee shirts and sweaters. I swear I could live in this thing - it's stretched to it's limits now, but I know it will prove a long time favorite post baby, when it fits the way it's probably more intended.


Leon: "That baby MUST like doughnuts. She's been eating a lot of Doughnuts..."

Rex: "How long are you gonna be BIG, Big?"
Leon: "Rex, mommy's only fat because of the baby."

Leon: "I just don't want to talk about Batman, at all, anymore, ok, please!?!"
Rex: "you wanna talk about superman, or the joker?"

Rex: "Leon, remember when we were in mommy's tummy and it was dark and I was holding your hand because you were so scared, and then she pushed us out and we were so happy?!" 
Arlo: "Rex, that never happened. You guys ARE NOT twins." 
Leon: "Be quiet, Arlo."

Leon: "So, how do you feel about probiotics?
Rex: "GOOD"

Arlo: I don't need that much school. Professional skateboarders, they don't go to school that long."

The things they say, in between fists fights and screaming fits that tend to erupt throughout the day, while trying to figure out the world at their level. My favorite are their bedtime discussions  though - three boys in two beds makes for some pretty great insights, I'll tell you that. . .

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Said Shirley Jackson

“Journeys end in lovers meeting; I have spent an all but sleepless night, I have told lies and made a fool of myself, and the very air tastes like wine. I have been frightened half out of my foolish wits, but I have somehow earned this joy; I have been waiting for it for so long.” 

Thrift Picks

The woven Baskets and ceramic coffee mugs, they get me every time...

The wood carved jewelry box, however, caught me a little off guard. Reminds me of one I had back in high school that I loved. Only prettier.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Baby's First

I can still recall the very first thing I bought for each of my babies during my pregnancies. . .

For Arlo, it was a pair of used baby Moccasins and tiny green socks from a second hand store in Portland. 
For Leon, a newborn knit two piece sweater outfit I found oddly enough on a clearanced shelve in Wallmart, for 4$ that he wore home from the hospital. 
And Rex, a bright orange terry cloth floppy chew bunny that we misplaced not long after he was born. 

This time around, it was the tiniest gray/blue vintage sweater I stumbled across randomly on Etsy a couple weeks ago that stole my heart, but realize now, holds no real purpose for a baby due in early Spring. 

I couldn't help myself. 

Be it boy or girl, this little little hooded number now counts as baby's "first."

Thursday, January 16, 2014


The Last Night at the Viper Room - a must read for anyone who came of age at some point in the nineties. Based on the story behind the whole Phoenix family legend, but peppered with all kinds of other juicy hollywood details of the day - most of which highlight the high times at the famed Viper Room and all it's ragged young stars that helped fuel it. So far it's been a fast and easy read. I should be done this week and ready for my next pick.

This cute list a friend passed along recently. Yet another nod to life in the nineties that made my day because it brought back all kinds of teenage nostalgia. I mean, who could forget being doused in ck ONE, or circling every cheesy tee shirt in that Delia's catalouge. Or Jordan Catalono, or Sassy magazine, or the unfortunate fate of orange Sun-In highlights. The list goes on and on and each one is right on target.

The Wolf of Wall Street. WOW - the most sex, drugs, and four letters words I've ever seen/heard in any film.  I'm sure you've heard about some of it? Leo is incredible, though, as always - his character this time hyped to insane proportions so much that it gave me a jolt of anxiety mid way through where I literally felt like I needed some kind of a quaalude of my own to get me to the end of those three wild hours.

This documentary a friend shared on FB recently about the rise of the 80's cult of Rajneeshpuram who set out to build their own version of a utopian society amidst a massive ranch neslted in Eastern Oregon. Crazy I never knew anything about this until now. It's a great way to spend an hour with your laptop (like I did on bedrest for those few days) if you find the time.

This sage wrap dress.
*Though it appears 'sold out', so the reality of it will likely be lost on a Pinterest style board somewhere...

To share a brand new side venture that I have been obsessing about for nearly four months now. Another creative outlet here in blogland that I am dead set on debuting next month, God willing we can get it together, and up and running without any unexpected set backs. I can't wait to hear some feedback and see what you guys think. I'll keep the details posted here as they become more defined in the next couple of weeks.

The fact that our jeep - a car I've had and enjoyed for a few years now - is no longer suitable for a family of six. One of the major downsides of moving to four kids is that you are forced to move into one of two choices: a big awkward minivan, or a big gas hog of an SUV. Neither of which I know anything about, although the thought of searching for a new car, of the lot, or used, of any kind makes me want to burry my head, turn out the lights and call it day. I, HATE, shopping for new cars. And so does Mike, so it will be interesting to see how it actually comes to happen seeing that we really do need a bigger car, to get us to each of these listed summer destinations.

1. Rex's fourth birthday party in early Feb. - a party, which, per his request, must involve a real life batman in attendance. Oddly enough, I discovered that craigslist is crammed with all kinds of professional superhero party crashers, some of whom happen to own so I suppose I'll be interviewing some of them soon *

2. Out our summer. Already? I know. . .
Other than our regular beach camp dates and a couple small weekend things, I hope to include one long road trip (fingers crossed it's Marfa in August?) and the Grand Canyon, at some point in early June. We planned it a number of times last year and never saw it through. Hopefully this time we're more determined**

These cookies from this website. I can't believe I'm just now hearing about this site, filled with all kinds of tasty recipes with super simple steps and a good number of gluten free options. Leon is loving this discovery, along with everyone else in the house.

Caffieene and as much sugar as I can possibly manage being 6 months pregnant. With the kidney stone scare I've been forced to cut the coffee intake - from one, maybe two cups a day, to one, maybe no cups a day. And the sugar, it had to go too. Though I still indulge in a small bowl of trader joe's mint and chip ice cream here and there because what good is being pregnant if you can't enjoy some ice cream at the end of a long day?

* the things we do for our children 
** I think i've mentioned this particular trip multiple times here. We've got to get to Arizona!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Lost

Suddenly it seems California went and lost it's winter.

There was a brief cold spell that lasted most of December. We bundled up. Lit a fires in the evening, and piled our beds with extra blankets every night. The boys were reminded of the odd fact of actual layers, and socks too. I even bought myself an ugly robe on Clearance at target because it looked so incredibly warm and I was freezing most of mornings.

And just like that, it disappeared.
80 degrees in january. A big golden sun and heat on our bare shoulders for the past week and half. Digging out the sandals and skipping blankets altogether. I for one, am not especially partial to cold weather. But I have to say I was just starting to enjoy it. Especially those fires, and the hot chocolates before bed.

Though today, my complaints were put to rest. I mean, it's hard to beat a day like this. Blue skies and slight breeze at Prado park this afternoon. The kids ran barefoot around the lake - Arlo chased that big mean duck around the playground and then had to rescue Rex from one attack (this duck is notorious for it's aggressive nature. He's BIG, and mean, and not afraid to harass bystanders on a picnic blanket minding their own business) Rex, being Rex, wasn't phased by the ordeal. Though he seems to have changed his view on the species altogether. Understandable.

In other news, I'm happy to report that I've been feeling much better lately. The last of the cold I was battling is finally gone and I've taken to laying down with the boys for a short nap in the afternoon because I've been so exhausted. At this point, it's the only thing helping make it through the rest of the day.

Also, we spent one Monday morning scoping out trees around the state forest property behind our house in hope of staking claims on one to build a big ol' tree house. The one we decided on is perfect. Ample space for platforms, ropes and some tire swings. The forest ranger caught me up there a couple days after, when I brought Arlo by to see it after school. I admitted our general plans - that we thought the tree needed some swings and the area, some clean up and, well, he seemed to agree. Assured us that whatever we do on our "own time" is our business. And even offered some pointers of his own. Good news for us all. I'll be sure and keep the process posted here as it comes along. Though if the weather stays like this, it might be completed sooner than expected. I'm still hoping for a little more rain. And a few more cold mornings that call for that big ugly robe since, sadly, I've become pretty attached to the stupid thing. A sight that deserves no documentation whatsoever, I can promise you that.

In the meantime, I guess we'll all be basking in the summer / winter mix -up. The boys, shedding those jackets they got for Christmas, and wandering the neighborhood shirtless again like they love. Only in bare white skins, far lighter than their regular summer tones.

edit: and enjoying some seasonal earthquakes, it seems?! two good shaker two days in a row now. Guess it time to revise the "family emergency resuce plan" in which we decide who is in charge of which kids, and pray I don't freak out completely and just run around the house like a madwoman screaming to get out of the house, like usual. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Desert Disaster

I had been looking forward to this Sunday outing all week long. A fun day for our family to get out and explore, take some photos of the boys, visit the cacti mart along the strip and meet up with friends for lunch before tagging along on whatever else it was they had in mind. Unfortunately, it was less than an hour before things turned ugly.

We pulled into to Joshua tree mid morning, blue skies and the regular desert wind cutting an otherwise perfectly beautiful day. We walked the flea market, found a couple treasures, had coffee and then met up with Denise and her crew for lunch at Pappy & Harriets. Within in minutes of sitting however, I felt something go wrong. A slight stabbing in the right side of my back that seemed to radiate down my stomach into my lower groin until it finally forced me out of me seat entirely. I walked around the restaurant, tried to shake it off but it only grew worse and more intense as the hour wore on. Finally we decided to leave the group and head even further into the desert where I figured I could rest at a friend's house  nearby, there in 29 palms. (A nap or warm bath is always my first thought remedy) Big mistake. By the time we got there I was immersed in a full blown attack, sweatting from the pain that kept growing. An attack which eventually brought on uncontrollable vomiting from the spasms in my back. I grabbed my things and called for Mike and the boys to get in the car. I knew I needed help. I also had a vague idea of just how far away from any "real" help we actually were.

At 23 weeks I knew there was no chance of survival if the baby was in fact coming. It was all I could figure, even though in the back of my head I knew none of my labors had been this violently painful. I was sure that I was having contractions so I started to talk myself through the worst case scenario. Falling in and out of focus because, at one point, the pain felt like it was going to rip me in half during that 30 mile stretch in search of a hospital. Somewhere along the drive it got to be too much, I called 911 for help and had delusional visions of a helicopter landing in the middle of the highway to help rescue me (immediately) from this God forsaken state I was in. Not the case. The operator told us we were better off driving the remainder of the distance ourselves rather than waiting on an ambulance to reach us.

To make a long story short (er) - the first hospital we made it to turned out to be a nightmare in itself. I had to beg for a wheelchair to get to me L & Delivery seeing that I could no longer walk steadily. Then left freezing on an exposed table in that shock of pain while the nurse consistently ignored me and my desperate pleas to please figure out if I was in fact dilating with the now increasingly intense contractions that kept coming. All and all, it came down to three hours of pure agony in that room, with that woman, before being sent homeward with a pain pill and a "you really shouldn't be this far from home" kick out the door. The rest of the ride I don't remember much. We eventually made it to to our local hospital where a fleet of familiar nurses took me in, hovering over me like a bunch of overprotective grandmothers, weilding IVs, heated blankets, socks, medication for the pain, and lots and lots of positive promises aimed at figuring out the source of pain. Once I was assured the baby was fine, and my cervix still closed, I knew I could get through whatever was in store for me the rest of the night. Luckily, with a few tests they were able to determine quite quickly that it was likely the cause of a kidney stone, or possibly even the baby sitting on one kidney too long, causing severe pain and swelling. Either way, all that matters is that it ended well. I spent two days recuperating in that room, gathering strength before moving to my mom's house to rest for the remainder of the week. I slept more in those three days than I have in years. Or so it felt . . .

As of yesterday, I am back at home.
In a clean bed, with a new book, feeling almost like myself again. From here on out I'll be retired to sticking around town. Resting more than I want to and hopefully enjoying the last trimester of this pregnancy by taking it slow. There are plans and trips I had in mind that will have to wait. And the desert, well . . . it will be a long while before that same urge strikes me again. Like anything, it's going to take some time.

Anyway, thanks for listening. I figure we are quick to share all the incredible highlights that pregnancy brings, but tend to shy away from some of the frights it can entail as well. I've known a few with each of my pregnancies, but this one, this one takes the cake.

The beauty of it all is how quickly that pain is forgotten. Once that baby is here that nightmare of a day will seem like only a shadow of itself. Just, like magic.

Or something better. . .


Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year

Hard to believe 2014 is here already. For us, this past year was what we would call a "good" one. We saw success in new business, health in family, as well as watched each of our boys become a bit more secure in each of their spirits. In addition to another major factor - welcoming the promise of another new baby come springtime. All and all, there was not much to complain about. Which is why falling into another year tends to make me a little nervous. I always go in a uneasy because of fresh uncertainties and the threat of possible shortcomings that can so easily taint the momentum behind all these new goals, or resolutions we attach to new begnings. Really what the new year is here to offer. A chance to make things right, our lives richer, our selves improved, our surroundings and experiences altogether, better than they were the year(s) before. When in reality we all know it doesn't always happen. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying, right? A clean slate for self improvement should never be cut short. If it takes a new year to push us that way, so be it.

In way of resolutions. I haven't indefinitely drawn out too many. I sit and reflect the morning after, on what and where I can improve and vow to make a conscious effort to see them through. But for the most part, getting by and making memories with the people I love is what I basically tend to settle on. To embrace the present and not let my worries stick too much to the future . . . or stale regrets in the past. I tell myself I will try to be more organized, more intentional and more dedicated to balancing my time in ways that are more beneficial to both work, and family. Really, the plight right there is big enough. And likely more than I can even manage. But, I'm up for the challenge.

For now, this house will be unwinding most of January. Resting up after a very hectic Christmas. Cleaning house and getting rid of lots. Our energy devoted simply to the regular home obligations we neglected during the holiday season. Tending to the yard, cleaning closets, and, at some point, putting together a new space for another baby (Nurseries, they are always my favorite) Until then we won't be entertaining much like we enjoy. We had a great little new year's eve gathering at our house filled with grips of kids and food and music and laughter. It was loud and joyful and at midnight the kids charged the streets armed with metal pots and pans and wood scraps from the teepees as makeshift noisemakers. Welcoming the new year as loudly as possible. Indeed the sweetest to watch. We were also fortunate  enough to meet one of our online inspirations - from Instagram - whose adventures and road trips we've been following for the past two years. Kevin Russ. He proved just as kind and humble and full of interesting stories about the places he's seen and the people he's met as I had imagined. For the past couple of days he was included amongst our regular chaos - a house filled with friends coming and going. Non stop cooking, cleaning up, more cooking, a couple mountain drives along the backside of the hills near our house, and plenty of good late night conversation. All and all, Kevin in particular was the perfect person to have met on such an occasion. To help spark new desire for goals geared at more regular travels. Even if it means just a few more frequent trips here in our own sunny state. Day trips are the best. In fact we have one planned in Joshua Tree this Sunday. To see the desert in winter like I keep saying I want to. Just one, of a few simple goals I know we're surely down to keep.

To love and light and personal resolutions for better things in the new year,

Photo Cred :Kevin Russ