Thursday, September 20, 2018

some of the things i like

part three

Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars
summer rain
the rosy, warm colors of the desert
california poppies
Rose in bonnets
Bruce's cowboy hat, the one that used to be my baby brothers cowboy hat
the warmth of the sun
watching Nate and Bruce play
seeing my husband happy
my ever growing stack of library books
the curl that is currently hanging down across the middle of Bruce's forehead
seeing the moon through my bedroom window
swimming in the ocean in August
Rose's makeshift crawl
the way Bruce sing-songs his conversations
unexpected hugs from Bruce
nap time
Roses scrunchy, happy face
wearing flannel shirts in the morning
burying my toes in the sand
Bruce's squeaky voice
and broken sentences
granola with fresh berries for breakfast
chunky baby thighs
gummy baby smiles
reading beside a campfire
when Bruce says "nigh-night mister sun!"
the smell of sunscreen
a good night's sleep
freshly squeezed orange juice
watching the sunset
muddy toes
mealtimes on the back patio
creating a home

Friday, September 7, 2018

six tips for traveling with kids


lol jk but seriously -- don't.

Stay home. Hang out in the backyard. Walk to the neighboorhood pool. Do whatever the heck you want but believe me when I say, you will all be much happier staying away from the car.

At least until your kids are old enough to realize that it's OK to fall asleep without crying for 30-45 mins beforehand, and that final hour in the car is not going to be their last.

(Keep in mind that my children are two years old and seven months old and tend to cry whenever the other one does. Maybe it's bonding for them? I don't know. All I know is that none of us enjoy being in the car for more than three hours.)

But, just in case you're crazy like we are and want to share the world with your kids, here are a few tips to help you survive...

01. Pack new toys specifically for the drive.
I wish I could take credit for this tip but I have to be honest and tell you that Nate thought of it first. All on his own, he went to the shed and pulled out a few of our "off rotation" toys to surprise Bruce and Rose with in times of need, and it worked like a charm! I knew I married Nate for a reason :) I only wish that we had thought to pack another bag of toys specifically for the drive home because after playing with them on the drive up to Yosemite and the four days we were there, by the time we got in the car to drive home, the once new toys had become old toys again.

02. Find interesting places to pitstop along your route.
If you're going to be spending eight hours on the road and stopping every two hours to stretch your legs and scream into a pillow, you might as well make those stops more worthwhile than Walmart and Trader Joes. Although we did come out of TJ with cookies, so I'll say that's a win. Maybe next time we drive to Yosemite we'll check out the Agriculture Museum in Tulare! Bruce is very into tractors.
If you're into history, then the History Here app is great for locating interesting places from the past.

03. Bring along your tablet to whip out when all hell starts breaking loose (if you're into that sort of thing).
While in the middle of Bruce's massive tantrum during our drive home from Yosemite, I leaned over to Nate and remarked that this is one of those moments when I wish we had a tablet or Blu-ray player to use to quickly pacify him. Nate responded by saying, "well, maybe not." and we discussed the idea for a while (while Bruce screamed in the back seat) and decided once again that we weren't the kind of people to let electronics be a substitute for personal growth. At least not yet. Check back after our next trip. But if you are, that's great! I envy you and your peaceful travel.

04. Prep the playlist.
I have discovered that there are three essential genres of music to use when traveling with kids:
     1. Disney soundtracks that the kids enjoy singing along to.
     2. Mom and Dad's favorites because #balance and #maintainsanity
     3. Relaxing/classical when it's time to wind down.

05. Keep an open mind.
Realize that not everything is going to go according to plan, and that is ok! Maybe you don't make it all the way to that big park you researched before needing to stop, or perhaps you end up handing out all of the little toy cars you had set aside for times of crisis within the first hour of the drive -- oh well! We're always learning and growing, and chances are your kids are only going to remember the happy parts of your family vacation.

06. Pray they sleep the whole way.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

how to know it's summer

On skin, sweat.

In the afternoon, baths in the kitchen sink.

Between toes, mud.

On the stereo, The Beach Boys.

Overheard, tales of travel.

On sandwiches, avocado.

During the night, stargazing.

After dinner, running barefoot outside.

For bedtime, windows open.

On the calendar, camping trips.

Dripping onto bellies, watermelon juice.

At the park, concerts.

For breakfast, berries.

During the afternoon, visits with Granny.

Tucked behind ears, wildflowers.

After naps, the air-conditioned library.

On clotheslines, swimming suits.

In the freezer, popsicles.

For squeezing, naked baby thighs.

On our minds, the ocean.

In our hair, sand.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

the freedom of childhood

Summer nights in a leaky pool,
when the air is so hot that the breeze suffocates instead of cools you
and you relish the feeling of the
against your skin.

When the air is so hot that even mama sits in the kiddie pool.

Neither of you is wearing any clothes -- Rose's first time being diaper free outside of the bath.
I envy the freedom of childhood. You haven't yet learned to feel ashamed of your body. No one tells you skin is inappropriate. Your body is the greatest gift you have received and you are using it to the fullest.


In this photo, Bruce is tickling Rose's leg but she's too focused on the water to be affected. These are their personalities to a T.

Bruce, always playing and looking for ways to have fun. Always loving his sister.
Rose, noticing everything from the big dog that just walked by, to the tiny crumb on the palm of her hand and the drop off water running down her arm, and not noticing when her brother is trying to love her just a little too hard.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

unpublished: mannequins

from 2016(RIP Sport Chalet):

Sport Chalet is creating a small (very athletic) army.

for the past week and a half i've been working in the Long Beach Sport Chalet, helping with the merchandising and organizing of their apparel department. one day, after the boxes full of disassembled mannequins arrived, i walked into the back-stock to see this.

slightly creepy.

slightly modern art installment.

either way, i dig it. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

✂ ✂ ✂

 do you ever get so sick of something that you just want it to be gone and you don't care how it happens or even what the end results look like? 

that was me regarding my hair.

for months my hair has been driving me crazy but i've been at a loss as to what to do with it. i love the look of long curly hair but time and again it's proven to be too much for me to manage. luckily, i love the look of short curly hair, too. 

so a few weeks ago, i took a pair of scissors to my hair and snipped off a few inches. well, no one noticed so i soon took off a few more inches. again, nothing. so i took the plunge and went for the big cut--

five inches be gone!

--and i feel like a brand new woman. i feel like i lost five pounds in one day. a literal weight has been taken off of my shoulders.

if you're feeling stagnant -- like life is at a stand still -- just cut five inches off of your hair and you'll be good to go. it's just hair. it'll grow back. 

maybe i'll cut more off next week.

the sun has dawned on a bright new day.

☀ ☀ ☀

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

12 things to put in your child's Easter basket besides candy

for babies
01. TEETHER - the silicone Nuby Teeth-eez teether was Bruce's favorite as a baby! These bunny eared and textured carrot teethers are fun and festive!

02. SWADDLE - Instead of putting fake grass in your baby's basket, try using a small blanket or swaddle instead. Fake grass can be dangerous to babies if it gets in their mouth, so it's best to avoid it if possible. Aden & Anais swaddles have always been my favorite! They have the cutest designs and are so soft. Bruce still sleeps with his! 

03. BONNET - Babies -- boys and girls -- look stinkin' adorable while wearing bonnets, so why pass on an opportunity to buy them another? 

04. EGG SHAKER - I love egg shakers and am a huge fan of encouraging a love of music in children by giving them musical instrument as toys. These textured shakers are super cute.

05. BOARD BOOK - Rose is too young to care much for books but it's never too early to start building a collection. 

06. STUFFED BUNNY - Any stuffed animal would work, but in the spirit of springtime I like to focus on bunnies and cute baby farm animals. This Jellycat woodland bunny is my favorite bunny of all stuffed bunnies.

for toddlers
01. SNACKS - If your toddler is anything like mine, (s)he's obsessed with "'nacks" and "tweats". Some of Bruce's favorites include peanuts or trail mix, raisins, pretzels, goldfish, fruit snacks, fruit & veggie pouches, and graham crackers.

02. TOYS - Think about your child's favorite toy. If it's a barbie maybe give them a new outfit. How about a new truck to add to your son's collection? Maybe they're reaching new developmental milestones and need something new to challenge them. A wooden puzzle, plastic baby farm animals, or maybe a shape sorting cube.

03. ART SUPPLIES - A box of crayons, watercolors, finger paints and a pad of paper are simple but provide limitless entertainment.

04. SEED PACKETS - Springtime and Easter are celebrations of rebirth (flowers blooming, animals being born, Jesus' resurrection) and what better way to teach this to your child than by growing their own plant babies? A little shovel and rake would be cute additions as well.

05. BALLOONS - Does this even need an explanation? Kids love balloons!

06. HARMONICA - Like I said earlier, I love musical instruments for kids, and your little one will get a kick out of making music with their mouth.

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