Instafriday 3/30/12

Thursday, March 29, 2012

life rearranged

A decadent dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
bread and butter, hold the bread
sweet and froufy drink with strawberry, raspberry, basil
A night at the opera to see the famed Renee Flemming.  I'm not an opera buff like my sis, but her voice is a spectacular instrument.  Didn't even wear a microphone.

Renee Flemming in concert- magnificent!

 Baby play date with Aime at my fav coffee shop, Portola Coffee Lab.
 I splurged on this candle specifically to light while doing taxes.  I get really stressed out talking to Turbotax's clueless support staff for hours over glitches in the software. I'll never get those hours of my life back.
 BUT they are done, and our refund is the exact amount of my remaining student loan which means: a)  the govt is taking way too much of joe's paycheck each month and we need to fix that.  b) WE'RE DEBT FREEEEEE (except the house, of course). huge moment!  monumental!
 Paleo dinner- crab stuffed portabello mushrooms, butternut squash cooked in bacon, and pear-glazed pork tenderloin.
 The first lily to crack open.
 Sisi enjoying her sweet potato and cheeseburger.  I sometimes get jealous of her lunches, they are so good.

 I don't shy away from color when dressing my little one. The brighter the better! :)


White Mantel and Easter Lilies

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photo by Jasmine Star
My mantel used to display a canvas of the above picture (I used to hold consultations in my home.)  It seemed vain to keep showcasing my work all over the house after I retired, so down they went.  Since then, my mantel has been stark white brick. I just don't know what to do with the space.   I LOVE the family portraits from Siena's 1 year photo shoot, but the bright punchy colors might clash with my dark, ethnic decor.  I didn't think that through when I styled it.  Does that even matter?  I'm not sure.

Until I can make a decision, my boring mantel  will serve as a plain canvas for 3 west elm vases which I plan to keep filled with whatever strikes my fancy that week.

I skipped over the 1.29 bunches of daffodils (tempting!) at Trader Joe's.  These longiform lilies are a much better long-term investment.  I like how they look, all closed up and linear.  According to my calculations,  they'll be at the absolute peak of their beauty on Easter morning, the day Christ rose again from the dead.  Very symbolic, right?

Easter Lilies on the mantel

***Which brings me to a very important point that I am now free to divulge since I'm retired.  Wedding florists DO NOT care if your wedding flowers last after your wedding. I got asked that a lot, and would beat around the bush, not knowing how to say it gently.  But let me be clear- my job is (or was) to make sure the flowers are at the peak of gorgeousness on your wedding day.  A rose at it's peak is deeply saturated and wide open with all it's petals on full display, which means tomorrow it will start to fade.  A little sad, but that's life, and it's what makes flowers so precious in the first place.  So treasure them while you have them!  (Hence the name, The Treasured Petal :)  Can you tell I'm missing the business a little now that all the Springtime flowers are coming out?


Instafriday 3/23/12

Friday, March 23, 2012

life rearranged

These Fridays are just coming way too quickly! Here's my week, in cell phone pics.

She's still obsessed with pushing the stroller. I take her around the neighborhood at least once a day.  I get self-conscious b/c she's small and hidden by the stroller, which means I look like the crazy lady who walks an empty stroller backwards everyday at 3pm.
We're dogsitting (German Shepherd and Rat Terrier)

If it's on netflix, I watch it, no matter how awesomely bad it is.  QUESTION:  Joe and I have been debating, is the show DELIBERATELY awesomely bad?  Were they trying to be cheesy?  I vote no.

Outdoor shopping mall.

Great paleo baby dessert- spoonful of marscapone cheese with frozen wild blueberries stuck in it.

Sisi is the gatekeeper.

 Lots and lots of knee stains.  That's the thing about crawling!

Sometimes we just forego the pants! Here she is, standing like a big girl.

Refreshing springtime drink- Tejava iced tea, splash of lemonade, and mint sprigs from the garden.

How was your week?  And please, weigh in about  the Saved by the Bell issue!  I'm dying to know.


Siena is 14 Months!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

a little pre-photoshoot fuel- kefir, raw egg yolks, and applesauce with cinnamon
As I look at these pics, I can see that her baby-ness is fading more and more.  In real life, she still acts and crawls like a baby so it's harder to notice.

This reminds me of a certain scene in Nacho Libre.  Extra points to the person who knows what I'm talking about!

She's still got the big belly!

She definitely looks a little like me here, although she's still 85% Joe.

I created these gingham bunny  hair clips in honor of Easter.  Wouldn't they be a cute addition to an Easter basket?

Sisi at a glance:
  • starting to show some interest in walking
  • has added "hot", "bye", "hi", and "rock" to her verbal repertoire
  • is starting to throw some real kicking, sprawling, head-banging tantrums.  
  • down to 1 nap a day at about noon
  • 3 milk feeds (1/2 are goat milk, 1/2 are breast milk.  I'm holding on to breastfeeding as long as possible, but am just not producing very much.)
  • obsessed with pushing things.
  • starting to sing along to songs, which is too cute!
Everyone was right, it's really getting fun now! 


Down to 1 Nap

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I think back to the newborn phase, when Sisi was taking 6 20-minute naps a day (and only on my shoulder in her dark nursery). I longed for the day when she would only be napping once.  For me, naps were a burden. Naps were a disappointment.  Sisi was supposed to be napping x times for y minutes, and she was doing neither. 

I have a great sleeper now!  I worked hard at it y'all.  I followed The Dream Baby Guide pretty much to a T, and it worked great for me.  Siena is not perfect, but I am SOOO blessed that she usually goes to sleep without a fuss and sleeps as long as she needs to feel rested (unless she's teething or going through a Wonder Week, then all bets are off.)

I was really enjoying the 2-nap phase that started around 61/2 months. My day was organized into 3 nice little sections punctuated by glorious 1.5 hour naps.  This phase lasted about 6 months. 

Then around 12 months, I started seeing the signs that she needed to drop down to 1 nap:

  • trouble settling down for one or both naps
  • one nap shortening to 45 minutes
  • sometimes straight up refusing her second nap, only to be exhausted and grumpy by dinner time.
  • bed time being pushed back up to 1.5 hours because her afternoon naps were getting later and later.
  • waking up super early in the morning
  • night wakings where she'd play or cry in her crib for up to an hour.  
The last one was the worst.  I felt like her night sleep was really regressing.  But I tried to keep her on a 2-nap schedule because I don't like change, and I like long luxurious breaks in the middle of the day. Who doesn't?

But here's a tip for all the new or soon-to-be-mamas out there:  don't let nap time steal time away from night sleep.  Night sleep really is the most important and restorative sleep for little ones. It's super important for their development and overall mood, and naps just can't replace it.  So when your babe is telling you he/she doesn't need so much nap time (by showing a few or all of the symptoms above) don't fight it.  You may even want to go cold turkey into the new schedule, like I always do.  Give your baby an extra measure of grace for 5-7 days as her body transitions. She'll be grumpy, tired and disoriented. Then hopefully after that 5-7 days, the new schedule will be the new normal and you can move on with life.  I actually don't recommend flip flopping, letting baby do two naps one day, and 1 nap the other day.  I think this is what most people do, but why mess with their circadian rhythms and prolong this awkward transition time?   If your baby is really ready, just grit your teeth, be totally consistent, and go for it.  And like I said, expect hell for a few days. 

After a month on the new schedule, I really like it!  Yes, the day does seem a lot longer, but we have more freedom to go out and make the most of her  awake time without constantly worrying about naps.  And her night sleep is now PERFECT.  12 hours straight most nights- the textbook number :) We've found that perfect balance of night sleep and nap time, finally. Well, for now, until that changes, as it always does.


My 7 Day Hair Challenge

Monday, March 19, 2012

I've grown tired of rolling my hair into a chignon and clipping it with a dorky plastic hair claw.  I need to broaden my hairstyle horizons. And flipping my part from left to right isn't broad enough.   They say it takes 7 times to create a new habit, so I challenged myself to try a new hairstyle every day for 1 week.  The style had to be easy, comfortable, and practical for a mommy.  Take a look!

***EDIT: apparantly I got extra-extra credit.  That's 9 hairstyles, Kristin!  Duh!  I guess I lost track of the days.

8 quick everyday hairstyles, plus 1 extra credit
Day 1.  super chilly day, so I just went with a knit head wrap.  easy peasy!
Day 2.  sock doughnut bun, ala m loves m
Day 3.  reaped the benefits of the previous day's sock doughnut bun, and just fluffed the curls.
Day 4.  fishtail braid (longer hair would be better for this!)
Day 5. rainy day cheat day with a vintage head scarf (secret- it's actually a headband!  soon-to-be-listed on petal and thorn)
Day 6: messy pony tail with volume a la youtube
Day 7:  top knot with ribbon necklace wrapped around it, and a skinny headband.
Day 8:  super messy bun with hand-beaded twill tape headband (soon-to-be-listed on petal and thorn!)
*:  extra credit- on day 6, I wasn't feeling the ponytail (my bump looked crazy and I was getting a headache) so I decided to try a lace braid tucked into the hair, a la lauren conrad.  perfect hairdo to tuck away those awkward post-partum baby hairs!

Lessons learned:  I needed this challenge.  It took me 5 times to get the sock doughnut bun down. I would have given up on any normal day, but I forced myself to get it right for this blog post.  Now it's my go-to hairstyle and produces the most lovely curls.  I think I'll do a 7 day hair challenge whenever I'm relying too much on my dorky hair claws.


Puppy Themed First Birthday Party!

 Excited to post pics from Siena's first bday party!  I accomplished my goal of keeping it mellow and cheap.  I used the heck out of my Silhouette Cameo, too.  Honestly, I have a lot to learn about hosting a kids' party.  I naively set up the lunch tables in the blazing hot sun, almost ran out of sandwiches, and bought about 10x too much dessert.  But I think I'm being hard on myself- people had a good time!

The wall o' onesies.

I might do this every year.  She wears those shirts all the time!

 Doggy bags :)
 Here's where things got tricky.  Goody bags were the highlight of my childhood, especially when they were filled with candy!  But I just couldn't abandon my paleo-ness.  I had to make them somewhat healthy, which I'm sure was SUCH a bummer for the kids.  I did include chocolate covered raisons (aka "kibble") which was a stretch for me.   Next time, I might forego goody bags and just do one cool gift for each kid, like a book.
fruit leather "rawhide", chocolate raison "kibble", stickers, ball, and popcorn.

 I didn't really know what kinds of activities were appropriate for a 1 year old's party.  I just scattered some beach balls around, sidewalk chalk, and a craft table (which everyone ate at b/c it was in the shade. duh!)

I wanted there to be plenty of food offerings for the paleos and non-paleos.  And I wanted it to be somewhat healthy (once again, probably a bummer for the kids... :(
 We mostly had Boston Terrier heads all over the place, as they went with the color scheme better.  But I made sure Cavaliers made an appearance, too. 

Joe put together a sweet slideshow of pics and vids spanning Sisi's first year.  Everytime I walked by the TV I got teary eyed.

A fire hydrant on the bathroom door :)

I love you, sweet girl!

As I was cleaning up after, I told Joe, "Next year, no party!  Too much work!"  Then two days later, I was planning out next year's party theme. Definitely a labor of love.