Friday, May 31, 2013

Falling Down

First, here's an adorable picture because I know ya'll just come here for the cuteness.

Second, go read this.

Please Don't Help My Kids 

I don't know this woman, but I'm pretty sure I would like our kids to play together.

Sometimes I feel like a monster when I let Claire fall down. Now granted, if I can tell that a fall is going to be a really bad one I step in. Enough bad falls are going to happen even when I'm trying to be careful that I don't need to tempt fate by ignoring the ones I can prevent. The giant red mark on her forehead from this evening and the day old bruise on her cheek are testament to that. I do believe, however, that the pain of falling is teaching Claire to be a better walker, climber, crazy adventure baby, etc. For the last few days I've been letting Claire out of her stroller during our walks. She lasts about ten minutes before she's tuckered out and I make her get back in. During these strolls she falls down sometimes, and when she does I don't lend a hand. Instead I encourage her that falling down is OK and that she should get back up now. Luckily I don't pass too many people in these moments as I'm staring at my baby who is struggling to find her feet again.

While seeing Claire fall down makes me feel bad, seeing her struggle with other tasks just makes me happy (I know I'm a monster and Baby Claire is my victim). I love to watch her little muscles work as she tries over and over to pull herself up onto something new, though when that new thing is the ottoman or the TV stand I'm less amused. I love seeing her work to develop her little muscles just as I love to watch her little face as she tries to figure out how to get around whatever new impediment has come across her path. Even better I love rejoicing and clapping with her when she successfully gets over a new hurdle.

Sure I'm probably not quite as hardcore as this lady. Claire isn't Ender Wiggin after all and I hope that when the dark times in her life come she won't find herself having to face them utterly alone. I do hope though that if and when she finds herself in a tight spot, my choice to let her get frustrated and sometimes fail will give her a stronger character to deal with the situation. Oh snap, I even know a biblical reference to back this up. It's a personal favorite, and I'll just end with that because I certainly can't trump the Big Guy.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mama's Little Helper

Claire loves laundry day. Mostly she spends it jumping onto piles of dirty clothes and wearing underpants like a scarf. Today, however, she decided she had watched for long enough and was ready to lend a hand.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Another blog post this week! What!? This is crazy. Ok so I'm really enjoying finding time to blog and I might be getting the bug again. We'll see how long this lasts, and I'm a little out of practice, but this is pretty exciting.

Anyways, my post today is sort of silly, but I'm experimenting with the idea of nail polish. I've always been a big fan of keeping my toes pretty. This is probably because I think feet are gross, but I also love being barefoot so dolling them up makes them seem fancy instead of yucky. I also like the weekly (ok since baby it's really more bi-weekly) ritual of changing my polish while I sip some wine and take a little time for me. I've never really jumped on the finger nail polish band wagon though. I think my hands look quite nice as is and I'm kind of rough on them so they chip quick. The amount of time it takes to keep the polish looking good was just too big of a time commitment for me.

We'll after getting a gel manicure for my birthday I've decided to give finger nail polish another try. I'm not sticking with gel because one it's too expensive and two it still only lasted a little over a week before chipping. Instead I'm trying out Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant. It has a built in base and top coat so it went on quick and easy and Consumer Reports ranked it #1 in the no chipping category  It claims to last a week which is similar enough to the gel option that I've decided to give it a go.

I'm still not 100% sure I like the way nail polish looks on me, but I'm looking for ways to make myself look more put together without actually being more put together. Honestly if I run out the door and my hair is brushed and my face is clean I'm doing pretty good. I'm hoping adding some polish to my routine might help me fool people. I'll check back in a week and let you know how it went.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Community Baby Shower

I remember years ago when I started this blog, one of the big reasons was to share with my family and friends cool products I found at the store and other cool blog posts I found. I seem to remember I had just started shopping at Trader Joe's and was trying to get my mom interested so I'd call her all the time to share yummy new things I'd bought/made. I didn't really plan on a lot of original content, I just wanted to streamline my conversations of "OMG have you seen or heard about..." So in the spirit of that original intent today's post is just a link to a cool idea I saw on another blog.

Eating Richly Even When You're Broke: 2013 Community Baby Shower

Follow the link above and read about an awesome community event this blogger participated in that was just a beautiful mix of human beings demonstrating their love for each other.  OK  that might not have come out quite how I meant it but just read it. This is definitely getting filed under the good idea folder in my brain. Maybe some day I'll actually get around to being more active in my community and could be a part of organizing something similar. We'll see.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Sunday we had our open house, so while Jeff went to Sacramento to play golf with Shane, Baby Claire, Helen, Prince and I all headed to Muir Beach. I feel like beach days always sound better in theory, and then when you get there its kind of windy and not quite what you imagined it would be. I think part of the problem is Claire isn't quite old enough to appreciate the beach for long periods of time. I think beaches with babies are perhaps better enjoyed when you are renting place nearby and can come and go through out the day. To my surprise though Claire's reaction to the ocean was not to be afraid but to run at it and try to catch the waves as they receded  The beach has a little creek running behind it and it widens into a splashing area which Claire sat in for quite a while playing and having a good time. Next time I will definitely wear my swimsuit instead of normal clothes. You can only get so wet and sandy before all you want is a dry pair of clothes and some hot chocolate. Also, how do other moms manage all the sand when it come to babies? Claire ate a lot (which I was cool with) and got a lot, well, everywhere (which I was less than cool with).

Proof that my daughter kept her hat on, and that she loves Auntie Helen.
Towards the end of our day the wind really started to pick up . The result was Claire perfecting her flying nun  impersonation. 
This picture is really more about Prince looking like a good boy.
Once we got home and Claire had rested up, she found a burst of energy and spent a half an hour doing this over and over.

I think there might have been a demon inside the Hooka Room, and Claire was trying to warn me about it. I can only imagine she vanquished him herself because when I went in to check on things I didn't see anyone. I think its time for Claire to get her very own play house.

After so much play Claire needed to refuel and ate her first piece of fruit like a big girl. By the time she was done that pear was just a little ball of the core.

And of course no day would be complete without an injury. She fell and scraped her knee on the concrete so bad she bled and got her first band aide. All in all a very full Sunday.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How to Explain Growing Up (in the least grown up way possible)

I often forget that I'm a grown up. I know, you'd think the baby would tip me off to my adulthood, but no. I have definitely hit the point where I can understand where people are coming from when they say, "but I don't feel [insert age]." When people say that they are visualizing how they saw people their age when they were ten years younger and lacking the slow trek that brought them to their current age and has changed them from the person they used to be. I recently took a look back on my own trek and discovered a very personal change that I have experience several times now. Each time it has happened marks a growth in who I am and who I've made room to love. Allow me to take a moment to talk with you about my zombie preparedness plan.

My zombie preparedness plan has gone through many changes, and I originally wrote this post with a detailed explanation of it's evolution, but then it was really long and I figured none of you wanted to read all that, so here is the nutshell version. I have people whom I love spread across Northern California, should the zombies begin to spawn here I have choices to make about who I would try to get to to form my band of post-apocalyptic survivors. The biggest changes were the people I would round up, and the order I would get them in. I couldn't tell you the exact date when it happened, but at some point a little alarm went off inside me alerting me to the fact that should the end come I needed to find Jeff,even if that meant making risky decisions to search for him. I had gotten nice and comfortable with this notion and for a long time my zombie preparedness plan remained basically the same. Then something crazy happened. We had a baby, and I understood that if it came down to Claire or Jeff's survival I would pick Claire. Ouch.

It's a strange moment when you realize that you would abandon your spouse to save your child. I don't love Jeff any less than I did before Claire was born, in fact, I love him more than ever. I also don't love Claire any more than I love Jeff. I would leave Jeff behind because I believe that when we became parents something primal changed within us that put her safety above our own. We made a little life and it's our job out of love for her, and love for one another, to protect her. I would consider it an act of love for Jeff to leave him behind if it meant saving her because I know that would be the choice he would want me to make for our family. I'm not saying I would shoot him in the leg to distract the zombies from chasing Claire and me, but if a zombie hoard broke into the house and started attacking Jeff, I would grab Claire and run.

I don't think there is anything uncommon about this revelation. I imagine this is how most parents feel, but when you experience it yourself it's a little unsettling. I also imagine most people don't think of this change in terms of zombies, but I am who I am. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make sure our zombie packs are all ready to go. Stay vigilant.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bay Area Discover Museum

Last week Ruby and I took Baby Claire to the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito. It's a beautiful location right on the bay and the museum is right at the base of the Golden Gate. Ruby ended up being a little late so Claire and I spent a little time admiring the view from the snug warmth of the car.

The museum is broken up over several buildings each one having a different theme. For Claire's age the Tot Spot was the building most suited for her. One room was wetlands themed and had three "ponds" that were basically water beds for the kids to run around on. Two of them had a tunnel running between them (which Claire thought was delicious) and the other was enclosed like a little cave. The other room was dessert themed with a cave tunnel to crawl through, lots of padded areas for them to crawl over and a giant shape sorter. Outside in the Tot Spot there is a raised creek that starts up high with a water fall and then snakes back and forth around until it flows to ground level. They also had an area with tons of wooden xylophones that the kids could play while bubbles drifted around them from a machine.

When we first got there I wasn't horribly impressed, but once I saw the pure joy on Claire's face as she ran madly from place to place I knew that I was wrong. This place was indeed awesome and can't wait to take Jeff there sometime soon.

Ruby made a little friend who brought her a skunk outfit to wear around. She tried to share it with Claire latter, but Claire had very strong feelings against dressing like a skunk.

I could not keep her from tasting the water and eventually figured whatever disease she was going to get from it she already had. I even tried giving her a paci but she just started dipping it in the water too.

These little aprons where just too precious. 
This pretty much sums up the day. Claire running from one thing (the water) to another (the xylophones) so fast that we didn't have time to get her out of her apron and get her shoes back on. 
I swear she was having fun, she just takes her music super serious.

Claire had to get in one last xylophone session before we left. As we passed them she started struggling against me and when I put her down she made a run for it back to the xylophones.

Most of the pictures I tried to take in this room turned out like this. Claire wanted nothing to do with staying still.

Of course, being the Claire that we all know and love, she couldn't go a whole day at a place specifically designed for kids to play safely and not hurt herself. The creek had a little bridge with stairs on it that she managed to fall down and land forehead first on the concrete. Then she managed to find the one rough spot on the stumps that were in the xylophone area and scrape her cheek on it as she bent down to pick up a stick. That's my little lady.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

I don't know if all new moms go through this, but I think the first few Mother's Days seem a little strange. It seems wrong to think of celebrating yourself on that day when (thank God) your own mother is still very much alive and has always been the one that the day is suppose to be about. In addition, there are also the other mom's in the family that are just as special and deserve to be celebrated. I'm hoping that in the next couple of years we find a nice tradition for celebrating that balances these things, but I'm still having fun as we figure it out. I mean come on, how can you not have fun with these little cuties.

Claire enjoyed getting to hang out with her little cousins. Look at that hair. These three definitely look related.

Claire also spent some time trying out future professions. Here she trying doctoring.

Here she tries bestowing her divine blessing. I'm assuming she's practicing being a pastor or something, not god.

Last she tried being a socialite who's too busy texting, yet everyone still wants to be her friend.

 She also learned that no matter how much the boys love you

you got to be your own person and do your own thing.

Hope everyone else had a good Mother's Day either being made to feel special or showing their own moms how special they are! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Miscellaneous Cuteness

On Sunday we were down in Oakland looking at open houses. While Claire found that part of our trip horribly boring and voiced her opinion about it A LOT as we drove between houses, she did love the park trip that followed. Here is some of the cuteness.

First time using a drinking fountain:


Then she tried to pick flowers, and settled for a leaf instead.