Monday, February 22, 2010

To find out or not

Since I have nothing else pressing to do today, I thought I'd share (by request from Meg and Peonies) why/how we decided to keep our baby's gender a surprise.

Wait, I DO have things to do today. I have made myself an entire list of things. Including walk the stairs, go to yoga, go to Mood Fabrics (for no other reason than curiosity and a minor obsession with PR), and make Palak Daal from 101 Cookbooks. See? BUSY.

Okay, so back to babyland.

For us it wasn't really a hard decision, or much of a decision at all. I've always thought I'd wait. As in there wasn't really another option. And Brock was completely on board, even before I found out I was pregnant. There's so much technology involved in the pregnancy and birth process these days we liked the idea of keeping things old school in one small way.

Plus, I imagine there's nothing more amazing that hearing your husband say to you "It's a boy/girl!" when you hear your child's first cry. And I like embracing the mystery that is pregnancy and birth. We know a lot with all of our science, but it's all such an amazing process we can't possibly understand it all.

I know there are many (most in fact) people who need to know. And I think that's totally great and fine for them. Some people are planners, some aren't so much. I'm good with the unknown. We only know 2 other couples our age who chose to wait, which isn't very many. It's nearly the same percentage of people who don't get an epidural in LA, (98% do).

But I disagree with one popular argument, which is "It's a surprise either way". Meaning If you find out at 20 weeks or at birth, you're still as surprised. Um, no. Sorry. Of course you're surprised when the ultrasound tech tells you during your anatomy ultrasound (and it's very tempting to find out, even with strong resolve in the other direction), but it's not nearly the same as waiting to actually meet your baby to find out who he or she is. The first way you have 20 more weeks to mentally prepare for your son or daughter. You will have a dresser full of pink onesies or robot and cowboy pjs and most likely you'll have your name picked out.

If you wait til the end it will be the grandest surprise, 10 months in the making. And you'll have lots of nice orange and aqua and brown things for your baby to wear. PLUS, you'll get to hear everyone's predictions along the way. Which is fun and can be influential in imagining what you're having. EVERYONE tells me we're having a boy because of the way I'm carrying. But actually in these last weeks a few dissenters have emerged. Including the baby oracle at Whole Foods Venice who has apparently guessed every baby correctly for the last year and a half.

Her prediction: it looks like a boy, but it's going to be a girl. And I'm supposed to give birth tomorrow but I might go in tonight.

I'm not sure if I really answered the question of why, but that's my take on the decision. We didn't even consider finding out (minus that split second in the ultrasound room), and I cannot wait to see who's been in there this whole time.

(onesies from a personal fave, Polarn O. Pyret)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Phillip Lim little girls

Anyone happen to see these on Gilt Groupe yesterday? VERY lucky we don't know if we're having a girl or not. I would have been powerless to resist at least one of these little dresses. Even though they are for 5 year olds. Phillip Lim knows.

Also, this reminds me that I have lovely pair of Phillip Lim pants waiting for me in my closet, SHOULD I EVER DECIDE TO GO INTO LABOR AND STOP BEING PREGNANT.

Thanks for all the super nice birthday wishes and encouragement. I know it's only a matter of time. But yesterday there was a woman next to me in yoga who was 9 days over due. What does that do to your head???

More walking today for us...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm due

I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but today is my due date...

AND it also happens to be my birthday. WEIRD, right?

Of all the 365 days in the year to have my official due date fall... baby chose today. Though, I'm pretty sure he/she isn't coming out in the next 16 hours.

Maybe tomorrow? Tomorrow would be good. Or Monday?

Seriously, I have every single item on my to-do list done, even the most boring non-essentials like:

• Reorganize linen closet

• Clean up bag area in kitchen (do you guys have this? the place where all the shopping bags go? mine was a hulking monstrosity)

• Clean out fridge

• Go through filing cabinet and recycle 80% of contents

• Vacuum and clean inside of car

• Go through clothes and donate a large portion to goodwill since I will clearly never where my old clothes again once I'm a mom.


What else? The only thing that got left behind was the honeymoon photo album that I really wanted to get together before the baby. But maybe it will be a good project for in between napping and feeding?

Today I'm going to go walk the stairs in Santa Monica for 6 hours and go to yoga. And then have a spicy birthday dinner? And go into labor?

We'll see.

Friday, February 19, 2010

When We Were Very Young

One of my very very favorite books from when we were little. My dad used to read these poems to us all the time. Sometimes with faux British accents (especially when reading the part of the King or Queen). My brother and I loved each one of these little gems and as Brock and I have been reading them to baby in bed, I realized that I still love them just as much. Maybe more. They're sort of like old songs whose lyrics you'll never forget.

I didn't remember that this copy was actually my dad's when he was little. I only realized it when I brought it home from my parents' house in September and looked at the publication date. You can see it's been very well loved. I would recommend this little book to anyone looking for sweet sing-songy stories to read to your little ones. I think it helps that Mr. Milne wrote these for his son when he was four.

Here are a few of my favorites to welcome you into the weekend:

The simple illustrations are perfect too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

zebi baby

I almost threw up I was so excited when I saw these at Firefly in Venice over the weekend.


Yet another thing I wasn't sure I really wanted to share until I could purchase my fill... lest they sell out of every last pair of bloomers before I've claimed my own. But alas, I shall wait these final few days to see if I will be buying for a little he or a little she.

Let me show you some better product shots from around the internets:

Their patterns and the fabrics are soooooo nice. And hello matching tees for bloomers and lounge pants! Just the thing for baby vomit and pureed sweet potatoes to adorn.

I'm desperate to have my own collection stashed safely in our dresser. But because I am such an extraordinarily patient person, I will allow myself to wait a few more days. At which point I will deserve a reward. For my waiting skills. I believe they call this "delay of gratification" in certain psych circles.

Here's a final question for you: Which is going to be worse?

Being able to buy gender appropriate clothing for the little one, thus unleashing an uncontrollable buying spree for baby?


Finally after 10 months being able to shop for SELF for clothes that have things like waist bands and other details you take for granted when you're not pregnant?

Tis a toss up. But I've started my scouting either way.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

my official, professional belly shots

By the very talented and super nice Jen Rau. She has so many cool lenses. I was/am jealous.

(We got our rocker! yaaaay)

(Note, that is not retouched. I literally have no belly button. It just sort of flattened out and disappeared. I hope it comes back.)

I nearly didn't have any taken, but then Jen popped up at the last minute. We posted one of her weddings on 100LC, and I then found out that she lives in the LA area and that my sister-in-law has known her for years. Which meant we were like auto-friends once removed. And she happened to be down my way on Friday which just seemed too serendipitous to ignore.

We haven't even seen all of them yet, but there are a few more on Jen's blog that you can see if you'd like.

Anyone in the So. Cal area (or anywhere, for that matter) should definitely contact Jen about shooting your wedding. She's seriously so nice and has such an easy way about her... which is exactly the only thing you want when you're about to get married. PLUS she takes just luuuuurverly photos.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

weekend... in waiting

Okay, not quite yet. I haven't reached the overly anxious state, but I'm starting to wonder when it's going to happen.

This weekend, we enjoyed

Valentine's brunch at Gjelina. Delicious and much less stressful than dinner out.

Little tokens of affection.

More projects... I realized that while using our stroller as a bassinet is both space saving and economical, we don't have a sheet. Which seems important for leaking diapers and things. And Bugaboo, which makes every single accessory on the planet including a coffee cup holder, doesn't make one. So I made a simple pillowcase-style sheet for ours. I'm sure it will work just fine.

And a looong hike in Temescal Canyon (as part of my "let's get labor started sooner than later" program), followed by a trip to the Getty Villa. By then I was mostly interested in the herb garden and lunch.

Though I did get a kick out of a distinguished set of older gentlemen making their way through the Men in Antiquity exhibit.

And now, here I am. Not at the Getty anymore, but you know, waiting. And also trying to enjoy the time I have before everything changes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

pieces of the baby room

Things are finally feeling sort of together in baby room/office. Still a few more bins of my crap that need to be gone through and mostly thrown out or given away... and still waiting on a package that's supposed to come today with FuzziBunz and washable diaper pail liners and things. And I just ordered Flor tiles for a rug. But I'm actually feeling pretty settled in here.

Want to see?

Blocks from our shower.

A few soft friends people have given us.

Birdie tray I found at Ikea for keeping diapering accessories in one place.

Pretty swaddling blankets from Lotta (Thanks Kendy!) and Aden + Anais.

And pretty quilts from Deja and Becky. Thanks girls!

A bit of decor.

Tees from Kate Quinn that just came in the mail. I couldn't resist. They're having a support Haiti, buy a $10 T-shirt sale. And baby tees seem so hard to find. It's onesies onesies everywhere.

Pillows on our 30 year old futon my parents have had since 1980. We stole it from the Mammoth house in December. A good substitute for a guest bed for now.

And more draft snakes! Though these are in our bedroom, where baby will be sleeping. I'm so confused about ideal temperature for baby. We sleep with huge down comforter and baby is supposed to sleep with one light blanket? How does that work, exactly? Hoping draft snakes will keep some of the colder air out.

And now friends, we've reached the 1 week mark.

I'm going down to the OC tonight for a girls sleepover to welcome home a friend who's just moved back from New Zealand. Brock is a little nervous about me going into labor while I'm out of town, but I've assured him everything will be fine. Right baby?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

mod alpha prints

For spelling your baby's name? Or just for pretty decor...

Plus she makes all sorts of neat prints for hanging around the house:

JennSki on Etsy.

I love etsy. It is a magical place for the wasting of time and the spending of money.

(note: the above names are not necessarily names on our list.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

more gocco thank yous

Every time I finish a gocco project I wonder if it will be my last. Actually, I know this one won't because I still have a few more bulbs left. But when are the supplies going to disappear altogether? And should I get a Yudu? Does anyone have one? I definitely like that it's non-toxic...

For now, I still have gocco to print things like Thank You cards for our shower:

Pretty simple, but it was all I could muster yesterday at the computer. Now this morning will be spent actually filling them out and addressing them and stamping them.

I love checking things off my list.

Seriously though, would love to hear what people think of Yudu. Please share.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

wolf and willow

Cute name, no?

Melbourne-based esty seller that makes really cute vintage inspired kiddie clothes. For girls. If I do not have a girl I'm afraid I will miss out on much of the magic of etsy kids. Their clothes are just more fun to make. I get it, I get it.

Wolf and Willow on Etsy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

this february weekend

Winter is subtle in California... at least at the southern end. We have cold clear days mixed in with a warm weekend or a massive rainstorm. But things still shift and we enjoy our seasons just the same. This weekend brought

Winter flowers:

I am ever enamored with Magnolias. Our neighborhood is full of the slender pink buds right now. (and Camellias too).

Winter foods:

citrus citrus citruscitruscitrus. I cannot get enough. At least 3 oranges per day must be consumed. And the Cara Caras are in season right now. Run to the farmer's market and find them if you can.

Winter projects:

Or should we say mega nesting? I went on a roman shade kick this weekend and turned mini blinds for 4 windows into roman shades. Tutorial here on Little Green Notebook. SO easy and, no they're not the most polished looking window coverings, but they are sooooooo much better than old mini blinds.

And winter babies:

My dear friend Jessica who I've been on the pregnancy journey with for the last 9+ months had her little girl on Saturday. She was due 3 days before me. I think because we've been so close through this whole process, the arrival of little Yvette (Friday night not here, Saturday morning HERE), so quickly has made the end of the journey feel very real and very unpredictable. And truly like a little poof of magic. I talked to Jessica on Friday night about normal boring household stuff, she wondered if she was ever going to go into real labor (she'd been having random contractions and a number of other "signs" for a week), and we pondered what it would be like to insert a newborn into our lives and our homes. Couldn't imagine it, really. And then an hour later she was in labor. And by noon the next day I had a surprise email from her husband with this photo. Completely amazing.

And now, as it goes... I'm next. Though it could be another 3 or 4 weeks I suppose. Trying to prepare myself for however and whenever this baby wants to come. I realized after seeing little tiny perfect Yvette, that I can plan all I want for my perfect birth but when it comes down to it, I don't care how he or she gets here as long as (s)he's here and healthy and home.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

wintery vegetable soup

One little project I have on the list for the next few weeks is to stockpile dinners in our freezer. You know, for when the baby is here and we're too overwhelmed to even consider what to eat, let alone how to feed ourselves. This was my mom's idea. Such a good mom. So far I have two things... sooo yeah, not going AS WELL as planned. But the intention is there. In theory it works pretty well though. I make something large, we have it for dinner for a few nights and the other half goes in the freezer.

Dinner number two: Wintery Vegetable soup, inspired by the cover of the January Martha. I ended up just throwing in a bunch of things I found at the farmer's market (like chanterelles and baby kale), so inspired is the key word here. But it did turn out pretty delicious and I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Winter vegetable soup

Since this recipe is so light, it's really all about the stock. I would highly recommend making your own since it's so easy and so much more delicious. And the best thing about stock is that you can literally add whatever vegetables and herbs you have on hand to the pot. Provided they're in harmony with the flavor of the soup you're planning to make. I should do a stock post, I love it so.

This is a rather large recipe... good for a week of dinners or a big soup party.

2 T olive oil

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Make sure you wash them well!

1 bunch green garlic (couldn't resist adding this since it's just coming into season), treated the same as the leeks, but cut into smaller pieces

1/2 - 1 lb chanterelle mushrooms, depending on preference. If chanterelles aren't readily available at the farmer's market they can be rather expensive, so you can always leave these out. But they are amazing.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 celery stalks, cut on the bias into 1/2 in thick pieces

3 medium carrots, cubed

1 small fennel bulb, cut into small thin pieces

2 pinches of red pepper flakes

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

6-8 cups homemade vegetable stock (or if you must, store bought)

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (you can throw the peels and seeds and trimmings into your stock pot!)

10 small heirloom potatoes, cut into quarters or bite-size pieces

1 small head of cauliflower broken into bite-size flowerets

1 big bag of baby kale (mine came from the farmer's market so I'm not sure about weight), or a few bunches of greens chopped into big pieces

2 cans chickpeas (I poured in the bean juice too, but you don't have to)

Juice of 1 lemon

A few pieces of lemon rind

chopped fresh mint

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large stock or soup pot. Add leeks, green garlic and garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt, and saute until soft (~5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes more until they are coated and starting to soften. Add carrots, celery, fennel, and red pepper flakes and cook for a few more minutes until a nice aromatic mixture has developed. You might consider adding a bit more sea salt and a few grinds of pepper at this point. Your veggies should taste good on their own.

Add the squash, potatoes, and cauliflower and mix so everything is coated. Then add the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the squash and potatoes are soft enough, about 15 minutes. Dump in the chickpeas and kale and mix until the kale has wilted. Taste and evaluate for liquid. You might need to add a cup or so of water (or more stock) depending on how soupy you'd like it.

Add the fresh lemon juice, the lemon rind and the mint leaves.

And you're done! Serve with a few grates of parmesan cheese and a bit of minced mint.

You could easily make a lighter version of this soup by leaving out the mushrooms, 1 can of chickpeas, and substituting some of the stock for water. But today is rainy so it seems like a good day to go the more hearty route.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

project runway... love

Just catching up on a few episodes of PR. The burlap challenge was soooo good. I love this show. It's like the only reality TV that actually showcases legitimate, inspiring talent.

faves from burlap land:

images from NY Mag

The way she dyed the edges of the flouncy skirt is so neat. And I'm always up for a perfect mini. Will I ever wear one again? That's the big question I have at the moment.

Sometimes it seems like this is normal and that I will have a huge abdomen forever and people will stare at me and it will just be my life. But hopefully I will get a baby instead.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nurture Shock

Has anyone read it? SOOOOOOOOOOO fascinating.

I cannot recommend it enough for parents and soon to be parents. My dad has been hounding me for six months to read it and I'm so glad I finally am. In fact he buys it for everyone who fits into the parents/stb parents category.

It's like Freakanomics for parenting. Which means I find myself nerdily talking about it to anyone who will listen, but I will spare you all and just encourage you to buy yourself a copy now now now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

weekend that blurs into the weeks ahead

Because I officially finished my last day of work (at the office) on Friday. Sooooo exciting. I've got a few more weeks (hopefully) to finish up some lingering freelance projects and then I'm taking a break to learn to be a mommy. Neat.

There are lots of things happening around the house as we frantically prepare for baby. Our diapers have been washed, the rocking chair is on the way, mobile hung... but of course there are still like 37 more things I NEED to have finished. Instead of doing them, this weekend was spent running errands and then doing a really fun project for 100 Layer Cake in Los Olivos. Fun? yes. Last 6 hour day in the car? YES.

It was so incredibly gorgeous though... worth the long day for sure.

Danielle, working her magic on the grey wood deck around the farmhouse.

Amanda's awesome pink nails and golden iPhone case.

And me, 37 weeks. Doesn't my belly look fake? Geez. It doesn't FEEL that huge when I'm carrying it around. Officially full term. So it could be any time then?

(Do no pay attention to my crazy outfit. It was way colder than it looks so I had to ditch the flops for backup Uggs).