March 30, 2014

growth spurt

this little lady. my goodness, how did she get to be ten months old already?
london is so rarely a baby these days. she's got eight teeth and a full head a hair, which just makes her look like a toddler. in the last two weeks she has started crawling, waving, clapping, responding to her name, moving from crawling to sitting, and saying "mama" and "dada" with purpose.
i am watching my baby speed away from me, reaching out for the next thing she wants.
she's friendly and joyful and oh so determined to get what she's after.
london loves books, her babydolls, and mostly loves whatever cruz happens to be playing with at the moment. she giggles when we hold her upside down.
it's only in the middle of the night that she feels like my small baby again. after she's nursed, and is laying on me with her arms above her head, i kiss her milky lips, and for a moment i have my newborn back.

March 25, 2014

a lovely little day in: isla vista

my dad came to visit last week. it was a quick trip, but one that we tried to pack full of lots of silliness and fun things.

we had phenomenal weather while he was here, and took advantage of it by spending a lovely little afternoon in isla vista (the college neighborhood behind us). isla vista is like... peter pan and the lost boys. it's populated almost entirely by college students (like, thousands of 18-20 year olds). but there's a lot of great spots for families too, and i think we came up with a pretty great isla vista agenda.

stop number one: freebirds for nachos to split.
are you ready for a life-changing nacho related tip? get ready to thank me: guacamole and barbecue sauce together. uh.may.zing.

stop number two: crushcakes for cupcakes.
i let cruz eat one before his lunch because i'm the mom of the year. 

stop number three: enjoy it all at the dinosaur park!

it was perfect and warm and full of chasing cruz and moving our cupcakes out of london's ever-increasing radius. isla vista is full of little gems, right here in our backyard. and come back soon, dad! we miss you!

March 17, 2014

a twitterature linkup: what i've been reading lately

today i'm linking up with modern mrs darcy's monthly twitterature. these are my short reviews of recent reads.

[fair warning, dear reader. i've done a lot of unsatisfying reading lately. it's about to get ranty.]

the antelope in the living room. hilarious stories of marriage, best read one or two at a time. #silentlylaughingintomypillowatnight

the silent wife. supposedly the new gone girl. interesting in its own right without the comparison, but the story rarely holds tension. #decentchoice

the husband's secret. ugh, no. i didn't like this one. too many stories, too many narrators, not enough depth. #returned

the rosie project. this was a charming story of one man's ultra-logical, evidence-based search for a wife. #lovedit

police. now, i love unreliable narrators and i love murder mysteries, but this latest chapter in jo nesbo's harry hole series had too much of both. #toneitdownanotch

what alice forgot. by the author of the husband's secret and much, much better. this book stayed lighthearted for the most part, which fit the author's tone much more comfortably. #senseofhumor

circle of wives. uuuggghhhh. this is one of the most frustrating books i've read in a long time. amazon recommended it to me because i like thrillers (i do!) and probably because i'm also fascinated by polygamy. how could a person write a boring book about murder and polygamy?? #tooboringtoconsider

can i take a moment to speak to the authors and editors in the room? there's been a recent rash of new books coming out that are told from multiple perspectives. in this list alone there are three, and i just started another one that moves back and forth between narrators. is it because gone girl was so popular? well, gone girl needed two narrators; that's the whole premise of the book. but rarely, rarely does more than one narrator add to your novel. i just can't take it any more. i almost returned my current read as soon as i saw that there were two narrators. instead of three or four half-hearted plot lines, just tell one story really well.

so because it's st. patrick's day and i forgot to wear green, i'll celebrate by rereading one of my favorite irish authors, tana french. girlfriend can tell a story with tension and clear voice. she writes the dublin murder squad series, four books so far. start with in the woods and get ready to stay up all night reading.

what have you been reading recently? clearly i need some good recommendations!

March 10, 2014

one handy nursing trick

when cruz was first born, i often worried about how much milk he was drinking. was his latch good? was he growing? when you're nursing a baby, it's hard to tell! (with london it was a little easier because she gained, like, a pound a week. not an exaggeration)

the books said to count the number of wet diapers. the boards on babycenter said to measure the ounces (what??). but i still wanted to know to cruz was getting enough milk. i think every new mom wants to know! my lactation consultant taught me a cool trick and i thought i'd share it with you, just in case you've ever asked, "is she getting enough milk?"

this trick is especially helpful with newborns who tend to fall asleep while nursing, although it certainly works with older babes too! after their active sucking slows down, lift up your baby's top arm. if there's any resistance, they're still hungry. if the arm flops back down, your baby is done! for london and cruz, this would also kind of wake them back up if they'd fallen asleep.

have you ever heard of this? do you have any handy nursing tricks?

March 3, 2014

from where i stand

it's 5:15pm and from where i stand, it's hard to believe that in less than two hours the house will be quiet and clean. i'm leaning against our tall table in the kitchen, scraping up the last spoonfuls of squash and green beans for london. cruz asks me to turn on some music and soon we're dancing in the kitchen. london giggles and giggles, smearing squash all over her high chair. a client calls and i laughingly try to shush everyone while i answer her question. as soon as i hang up the phone, tovi calls to say that practice went late, but that he's on his way home. "yes!" we cheer.

we're waiting for the rain to come.

i change the song and cruz asks me about the lyrics. he's full of questions these days. "why did they say 'poor and powerless' mommy?" "how can i be your same height?" "why does london eat smashed food?"

london chats and chats to us. "nananananana. mamamamama." i cut up some turkey for cruz and put his strawberries into a special cup, just like he asks.

it's loud, it's chaotic. our evenings are full of sticky palms and messy floors, sing-a-longs and jokes, and somehow, i hope these are the moments they'll remember.
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