Monday, December 19, 2011

scary santa...

this year, patty really wanted to get a picture of beatrice with santa claus.  saturday at the farmers market, a preschool that is on our list of favorites called cottage enrichment, was doing a fundraiser by taking santa pictures.  win-win!  we get to donate to a great preschool, support our community and avoid the mall!  hooray....well, not so much.  beatrice was not having it.  since we hang out at the farmers market, we let her watch a few other kids get their picture taken, so she could see what it was all about...she just watched, wide-eyed as kids eagerly bounded up to santa to tell him their wishes.  there was a set of sisters, maybe five and three, and the three year old was a little scared.  her big sister held her hand and the photographer and her parents made her laugh.  crisis tears...

when it was our turn, we went up to santa and beatrice held on to me for dear life, so we decided to sit with her to see if she was ok with it.  before we even sat down, the photographers played with her for a little bit and got a few smiles out of we thought let's try it!  well, sure enough, she started crying...lots of folks were trying to make her smile, including us {hence the silly, happy faces we are making...}.  but in the end, it was just too much.

usually, beatrice isn't afraid of anything.  in fact, she really doesn't have "stranger danger," and it almost concerns me, as i would like for her to have a healthy weariness of strangers.  she's also been in the presence of yo gabba gabba characters twice and it didn't faze her at we were a little surprised that santa was what scared her...

and although this is one of those holiday traditions we hope our kids enjoy, i want to respect beatrice and not force things on her.  she's her own person and i respect her cues.  did i cross the line with the santa pictures?  did i ignore her cues and disrespect her by trying to get the picture for us and the grandparents?  maybe, yes...

patty has been taking beatrice to a RIE playgroup, and while i don't subscribe to every tenant of that philosophy, i love their emphasis on respecting the child and having patience with them and respecting their learning path. so while we got the picture, maybe this isn't one of my shining parenting moments...and that's ok. live and learn...i know i'm bound to make many mistakes...

but this has definitely got me thinking about the whole notion of santa.  i feel very strongly about not lying to beatrice, but i also really want her to cultivate a sense of wonder, imagination and magic.  and these holiday traditions can do that...obviously, beatrice is too young now to understand the magic of santa... but stories like santa and other fairy tales allow for that.  but if santa is not something she buys into, i want to respect that and allow her to find magic in her own way.

so...will our family celebrate santa?  we'll see, only time will tell...but, honestly, i would really love to avoid the dark side that santa inspires: the consumerism, the frantic feelings and the "gimme" fact, usually over the holidays i tell family and friends to donate to my favorite charity rather than buying me a gift...and every year, we usually donate toys to children's hospital and try to give back in other ways, like making lunches for the homeless on christmas day.  does it have to be either/or?  no, i think we can have fun with santa but also cultivate a sense of helping and giving back, too...

maybe we'll create our own holiday family tradition that is fun and magical and inspires beatrice to donate her time to others and be grateful for what she has...something involving fairies?!

Monday, December 12, 2011

we got the {off}beat...

clearly, beatrice will have music in her life and will be able to keep a beat...but is her family {offbeat} because she has two moms? of course it is...but of course it is perfectly normal too.  we are the new normal...

yes, admittedly, beatrice's beginnings are a little different {offbeat?} than most...and i'm thrilled to have a guest post over at offbeat mama today, where you can read all about it.  thank goodness for offbeat mama, where stories like ours can be heard!  hurrah!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

i love craigslist...

i have literally furnished our entire home with craigslist or flea market i was so excited to find a used wood kitchen for beatrice on craigslist!  it's a $200 kitchen new, but i snagged it from a lovely hippie family in the canyon for only $85...

we are not going crazy with christmas gifts for bea...first of all, she's too young to really get into the whole thing and secondly, and more importantly, i really don't want to make christmas and the holidays so consumer and gift focused for her.  so we are going to get her one nice present for "under the tree" and since it's used, it's even better!  pre-loved from a sweet hippie it's got good vibes to boot!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

recipe {baby nuggets}

beatrice loves feeding herself.  she never really took to purees, even early on.  so i started out with baby led her chunks of food that she can handle and letting her eat it with her hands.  that said, she didn't really "get into solids" until about 10 months or so...and it wasn't really until her first birthday that the solid food eating really took off...

so most food i feed her is finger food, or something that she can pick up.  lots of pasta, steamed veggies, etc.  however, her favorite food is what we call "baby nuggets."  basically, i find any good veggie patty recipe and instead of making patties, i roll into small little balls that are perfect for her small grip...she LOVES them.  {mamas and papas love them too, so it's a nice food for everyone on the go!}

this is her favorite recipe, by far, adapted from my favorite non-dairy, calcium rich collection of recipes called calci-yum!

{sweet potato mini nuggets}
preheat oven to 350 degrees
makes about 50 nuggets
cookie sheet, lightly oiled
{i bake half the dough and freeze the other half for later}

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped chinese lettuce {i use bok choy, spinach or kale as a substitute if i can't find chinese lettuce}
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced {optional, depending on baby's tolerance, but bea loves it}
2 tsp salt
1/4 dried oregano
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup whole wheat flour {i also use oat flour instead sometimes}
3/4 cup bread crumbs {sometimes i mix in flax or dehydrated kale too}

1.  in a bowl using potato masher or food processor, mash chickpeas to a rough paste.  set aside.

2.  pierce sweet potatoes with a fork; wrap in foil and bake in preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours or until soft.  remove skin and mash together with cooked chickpeas.

3.  in a non-stick skillet with lid, heat oil over medium.  add onion and chinese lettuce {or kale or spinach, whatever you have on hand!}; saute for 3 minutes.  add pepper, garlic, salt and oregano.  cover and cook until vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.  transfer to sweet potato/chickpea mixture, along with rolled oats, wheat germ and flour.  mix until well combined.  let cool.

4.  with slightly wet hands, roll into 1 inch balls, roll in breadcrumb mixture and place on oiled cookie sheet.

5.  bake for about 15-20 minutes.

{photo by patty}

Friday, November 18, 2011

mamas who inspire {heidi cicero}

well, now that i'm back in the work force and ignoring this blog, i thought i'd feature a mama who really inspired me to stay at home with beatrice as long as possible!  i love heidi's story for many reasons:  she's so fun and inspired with her child and really creates a sense of wonder and play...oliver is such a great kid and their family is so much fun...i mean they call themselves the chicken family and do a family dress up day as star wars characters!  how can you not love them...

she also never thought she wanted to have kids, so to see her really take on the mama role with all her heart is so inspiring.  we've had many conversations about how important it is to make time for your kids and what priorities are with a family.  although i've joined the ranks of working mamas for now, i know i'll be a stay at home mama again and heidi's immersion in that role is so inspiring...

heidi and i also spoke about feminism before i posted this...she was nervous about the way she portrays her role as a 1950's housewife...and you know, i think that's feminism too!!  feminism to me is making your own choices and loving your life and your role.  and heidi does that with gusto!

have you always wanted to be a mama?
I never thought I was going to be a mama. I was really happy being crazy auntie Mame in rhinestone caftans, and then I fell so in love with my sisters little girl Lily and we decided we would be crazy not to have a little chicken. 

tell me about your kid(s).
My amazing husband Andy and I have one boy named Olivio Kukui Cicero. We call him Oliver.  It's difficult to explain how incredible he is. He is kind and generous, loving and hysterically funny. Smart and and far more patient than me. I love looking at the world through his creative eyes. He is constantly teaching me to be a better person. Oliver is a super cool kid who can hang with the little ones or hold a stimulating conversation with the grown ups at the party (especially if the topic is Star Wars). The big six year old just walked into the room and he wants me to tell you his favorite color is green and his favorite animal is a rhino and that he is going to be a director. I think the Tim Burton exhibit made a very big impression on him. Once we decided to get preggers it happened super fast. 

what does stay at home mama mean to you?  do you miss your working life?

Does any mama really stay home ?  I am a glorified chauffeur between school, Karate and hangout's with his friends and mine. Sometimes I feel like I'm just as busy now as I was when I was working full time. I have a few clients that I dress and I'm starting a personal styling / costuming service for events, halloween, and theme parties. Because every woman or man deserves to be fabulous even if they're not a celebrity. I think everyone secretly likes to dress up, but not everyone loves to shop or has the time to find the perfect ensemble.   That's where I come in.  I kind of fancy myself a 1950's/60's  housewife, somewhere between Lucy and Laura Petrie (from the Dick van Dyke show). I know
 I will get a lot of flack for admitting this ( my sister in law is the editor for Ms. magazine.)  I can't help it though. I love being a mama and taking care of my family. I'm super happy when I can greet my man in the door way with a cool libation after a hard day at work wearing the perfect pink frock and cha cha heels. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in my own John Waters movie . I also appreciate how lucky I am that I don't have to work so I really like to pull my weight around the house.

what's your favorite thing about being a mama? how is your life different?
 I think my favorite part of being a mama is when Oliver looks up at me with those big brown eyes and says the magic words :" I love you Mama."  It's funny It feels sometimes like my life is the same but nothing is the same.

does alone time exist for you?  how do you take care of yourself?  what inspires you?
 During the school year I have lot's of alone time to do my projects and errands.  I am very inspired by mom's who find the happy balance in life.  My own parents were very supportive when I was a kid, even when I announced at the age of 7 that I wanted to be an actress like my older sisters. They always told me you could make anything happen. I think in order to be a terrific healthy mama today you need to have some projects or outlets that make you as an individual really happy. I think that is so important. We teach our kids to be creative individuals and if they aren't seeing you be one, well you get it.  We decided to go with the motto: "one and done." Although I had a really easy pregnancy , Oliver chose not to sleep regular hours for the first two years of his life. He was like a little cute vampire sleeping during the day and not at night.  So needless to say I was walking around like a zombie. Honestly, I love our decision.  We went from having no kids to having the most beautiful loving boy. You can't beat that! 

do you ever think you will return to the workforce?
Hmm maybe I will go back to acting and star in Oliver's first film.

Monday, September 26, 2011

and the band played on for diane...

a good friend of patty's lost her battle with breast cancer this weekend.  she was only 31.  and while i didn't know diane very well, this loss seems especially profound...diane was such a sweet and caring soul.  i always looked forward to her posts on facebook, as inevitably there were pictures of her in all her vintage fashion glory.  she ran a magazine about vintage fashion called zelda and also threw fabulous vintage parties called wit's end.  

we saw her last in march, when we were in new york for the hit so hard premiere. she was in amazing spirits and health, and one would never know she was sick...i honestly thought she was in remission and had it "beat."  i'm so grateful we made time to see her while we were in new york as she was a good friend to patty...

my heart goes out to her boyfriend, friends and family...i especially can't imagine what her mother is going through now...experiencing the loss of one's child, whether six or thirty-one...i don't even have the words...

with all the breast cancer awareness and charities, it just seems simply mind boggling that we lose such young and vivacious souls to this disease...

so please send love & light diane's way and cherish your loved ones...

Friday, September 23, 2011

steady as she grows {one year}...a little late!

so this post is about a week late...beatrice turned one year on sept thirteenth...we had a picnic birthday party for her in the park at the silver lake rec center...lots of her little friends came and my aunt, who is a children's librarian read stories & lead us all in rhymes and songs.  we made cute bee puppets as party favors and i made her a bee birthday was a really sweet day!

beatrice is really coming into her own...she is walking, babbling and developing her own preferences. she's picked up a few signs: milk, dog, more and all done. she definitely has a sweet tooth like her mama...those crumbs you see on one of the pictures are from the banana muffin "cupcakes" i made for her party.  she still hasn't had any sugar other than fruit and molasses {iron rich!} those muffins were sweetened with molasses, applesauce and bananas, all of which she loves.  fruit is definitely her favorite...i'm working on making sure she gets the vitamins she needs from her food and making lots of things like small balls out of sweet potatoes with veggies and other goodies inside.  she loves to hold them and eat them herself.  she doesn't like me feeding her, but isn't quite able to feed herself with a spoon or fork, so the little balls she can hold work great.  {i'll post some recipes soon.}

she is fast...she loves running about and exploring!  she's also getting more cuddly and likes to sit in our laps for a book.  but not for long, she's off and running after a few pages usually!  she loves music and has started dancing!  she also loves going to drum and music circles...she loves shoes {yeah, like mother like daughter} and often insists on putting her shoes on when she's playing at home.  her laugh is contagious and she is quick to smile, flashing her two teeth on top and two teeth on the bottom.  she's very social and at play groups rarely looks for mama...she is off and exploring and socializing!

now...the big reason for the delay in posting:  i went back to work.  i while back, i posted about staying home with beatrice and my struggle with that.  again, i chose to stay home with beatrice, and to me feminism is all about choice.  unfortunately, going back to work wasn't entirely by was definitely out of financial necessity.  now, here's to say there aren't many positives to going back to work.  my main concern was beatrice, obviously.  since we try to adhere to the attachment parenting {ap}philosophy, i really thought it was important that her main caregiver was one of her parents.  i know that ap is possible with a working parent, but i felt very strongly about having a parent with her at least until she goes to pre-school.  so we decided to swap: i'm going back to work and patty is staying at home with beatrice.

this was a huge struggle for me.  i mean, i *live* for being a mom.  i love staying home with her, taking her to play dates, cooking for  her, washing her diapers, all of it.  so the thought of going back to work and leaving her for a significant part of the day was heart wrenching.  on top of it, i'm still breastfeeding. obviously, since she's one, it's not her main source of nutrition, but she loves it...and i do, too.  so i'm working out a schedule where i can work from home a few days a week, and on the days i go to the office, patty brings bea out during the day so we can have a mid-day nursing session.  thankfully where a work is a beautiful ranch in the santa monica mountains {even though it's a long drive}, it's a nice place for beatrice to play and frolic among the wildlife...

here's the one thing that made this decision easier: patty wanted to stay home with beatrice and have a chance to bond with her.  only good things can come from that!  she can go to all the parenting classes that i got to go to, she can meet beatrice's play mates, she can learn to wear beatrice on her back and take her on walks, she can bond with beatrice and she can see what being a stay-at-home mom is all about.  a friend said to me: "you are demonstrating to beatrice that your relationship is a true partnership and cooperative family."  i love that idea that because we are both primary care-givers, beatrice will understand the idea of cooperation and partnership.'s still hard...only been a week...and there are definitely going to be hiccups!  but just these few days have taught me to focus on the positive and let go and let things happen the way they are meant to happen...beatrice will be fine...she'll be better than fine, in fact, because she is loved.  we are providing her with consistent and loving care and maximizing the her bond with both her parents.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

happy three year wedding anniversary...

it's today...and yes, i'm posting at 9:30pm at night, but it's the first time i've been able to sit at the computer for a while!

i can't believe we got married three years ago!  it seems like a lifetime ago {in a good way}!  whether legal or not, i want beatrice to know that her parents are married, that they love and respect each other...and are committed to each other in sickness and health...we take care of ourselves and each other so we can better take care of her...

happy anniversary,'s to many more...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

steady as she grows {eleven months} i wasn't able to feature a mama this i said, mamas are busy!!  i have some lined up, though so don't fret...your mama inspiration is coming!

i haven't done a steady as she grows post in a while...well frankly, because she was growing!  i have a really hard time sitting down at the computer while she is awake and when she's napping, i feel like i have one million other things i need to do like pay bills {er, and check twitter}...

but beatrice turned eleven months on the thirteenth...almost a year!  i can't believe it.  she's walking...she's been really leading up to it for a while, on her eleven month birthday, she just started favoring walking over crawling.  sometimes if she's *really* impatient, she'll crawl because she can get to what she's after so much faster!  she's also super talkative...blah blah do ma ma...all day long.  it's really sweet.

she's beginning to like solids a bit more, after a pretty slow start.  but she still nurses like a champ.  to make sure she gets enough iron, i basically put blackstrap molasses in anything sweet {like her morning oatmeal} and spinach in anything savory {today she had beans & brown rice mixed with pureed spinach}.  speaking of sweet, i still haven't given her any sugar, per se.  she has molasses, like i mentioned, but that has nutritional value as far as i'm concerned...but i'm holding out on the sugar or sweeteners as long as possible.  she loves fruit, and enjoys that {strawberries and plums are her favorite}, but no juice...the juice just seems too sweet without any benefit {like fiber in the whole fruits}...

for her first birthday, i'm thinking i'll just make some banana bread or something similar that i can sweeten with just applesauce or bananas...

we've been going to a fun music class called family song, that's where the first couple of pics were taken...of course while she was sporting her rock'n'roll camp for girls onesie!!  and we also just went to a friend's one year birthday!  many of her friends are starting to turn's so wild!  she's coming up on one so soon...

so we're about to start another amazing weekend...farmer's market and maybe a trip to a farm where our tomatoes come from...any weekend spent with beatrice is sure to be amazing...i'll report back!

happy friday, lovelies!

all i do is tag hippie wedding dresses...

{photo credit: girl on a vine on etsy}

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

if it's ok for sesame street, it's ok for any street...

i came across this in another post about a woman who was ousted from a woman's gym to "spare the children." so frustrating...if anyone should see mamas feeding their babies, it's other children...

how awesome is sesame street? 

Friday, August 12, 2011

mamas who inspire me {jillian lauren}

i was hoping to feature a mama a week, but mamas are well...busy!  although i've asked several mamas to participate, i knew that this might not be a weekly feature!  so i was thrilled to find a reply from my friend jillian lauren.  i've known jillian for a long time, but it wasn't until motherhood that we really got to know each other...jillian was a mama before i was, so i was able to watch her amazing journey unfold before we took our first steps towards having a child...

ever since i was young, i always thought adoption would be my way to motherhood...and although i gave birth to beatrice, i still feel that adoption is a beautiful and amazing gift and it could definitely be a way for us to continue to grow our family.  so jillian's story is especially inspiring to me as an adoptee and an adoptive mother.  jillian is a ridiculously talented woman and wicked smart.  i love that she is brutally honest about motherhood...the ups and downs...that means so much to me.  i am constantly striving for perfection, but in motherhood that's not possible.  what wonderful gifts jillian is able to give her son: love, honesty, humility and compassion.  and what a wonderful motherhood inspiration she is for us...

have you always wanted to be a mama?
Yes! But I definitely went through some dark times in my life when I doubted that I'd ever be able to pull it off. It took me longer than most people for me to really feel like I could properly care for myself. As soon as I had a basic handle on that, I knew I was ready for my family to grow.

how many kids do you have?  tell me about him?
I have one son named Tariku Moon. He's 3 1/2 and he's already gunning for world domination. This kid is a force of nature. I generally end my days weeping with exhaustion. He loves rock music and airplanes and dance parties and anything fast and dangerous. Come to think of it, I could describe his dad with that same sentence...

tell me about your adoption story.
 Scott and I tried to get pregnant for years and it got to a point where I was at a crossroads. I didn't want to continue down the road of fertility treatments and medical intervention. I just couldn't do it to my body anymore. I was adopted as a newborn and adoption has always been something I was interested in doing, so looking into it seemed like the next logical step. I met a woman who had adopted a child from Ethiopia and as soon as I looked at her photo album I just knew on some metaphysical level that my child was there. 

I did a bunch of research and read everything I could get my hands on and then Scott and I began the adoption process. it took about two years from the time we started to the day we got on a plane to Ethiopia to pick up our son. It was the most frustrating and wonderful and painful and incredible and mind-blowing time of my life. Until now that is. Motherhood blows it out of the water on all those fronts.

how do you balance your work/life load?
That's the million dollar question. I guess I never seem to find a satisfactory balance. There aren't enough hours in the day to be the kind of mom and the kind of artist I want to be. But both parenting and making art are such integral parts of who I am that I'm willing to keep banging my head against the wall trying to find that ever-elusive balance. 

what is your favorite thing about being a mama?  how is your life different?
My favorite thing about being a mama is my son's laugh. I've never had moments of such pure joy as when we're collapsing with laughter together. My other favorite thing about being a mama is how much I surprise myself every day- both in the ways I succeed and in the ways I fail and am forced to try again. 

How is my life different? How is my life not different? Absolutely everything about my life has been transformed by motherhood. Even the things that aren't obvious. The lens through which I look at the world has been profoundly altered. 

does "alone time" exist for you?  how do you take care of yourself?
Alone time does exist for me. I insist on it. Scott is a musician, so when he's out of town it's definitely harder. But usually his one-on-one time with Tariku is in the morning, so I'll use those hours to go exercise- to go for a run or a hike and just let the early morning quiet sink in. I also try to get to the occasional yoga or dance class- not as regularly as I'd like, but I take what I can get and it makes such a difference.

tell me about your job?  how does it affect you as a mother?  and how does motherhood affect your work?
I'm a writer and a performer and I think that in some ways it's a great job to have as a parent and in others it feels practically impossible. I often work from home, so I get to see T during the day- have lunch with him or give him a kiss when he takes a nap. I wouldn't trade it, but it can be hard to work with a toddler screaming for you at the bottom of the stairs. But he's used to it by now and so am I!

When I'm performing it's harder because it impinges on our evening hours together and I feel like that's generally the time when we're most connected. But it only ever happens in short bursts. The up side of being in the arts is that when Scott and I are around, we're around more than most parents with normal jobs. And when I have down time, I make sure to spend almost all of it with him. I have very little social life and that's fine with me. 

who/what inspires you as a mother?
I am inspired by my mom friends and other mom bloggers (like you!) every day. I think that our honesty and openness with each other as moms is such an essential component of feeling connected and staving off the loneliness. I'm particularly inspired these days by other moms who are fighting to make good creative work and to get it out there in the world. 

what other projects do you have besides work & family?
I don't really have any other projects! I've been knitting the same dog sweater for three years. I guess I have waves of being into cooking and gardening, but those things fall by the wayside more often than not. 

tell me about a typical day in your life.
I usually wake before the boys and slip out to run or do a quick early-morning yoga class. Then it's back for breakfast and the morning get-ready routine, which can seem like it takes anywhere from 15 minutes to about 12 hours on a bad day. Then I write from 9-4 and take over with Tariku after nap. We go to the park or ride bikes or jump on the trampoline. Anything to try to wear him out and insure a reasonable bedtime (good luck with that). Then it's dinner, bath, books, bed. We've got a real rock and roll lifestyle around here. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

music mondays {rock and roll camp for girls part ii}

this is so cute & amazing!  i laughed and ok, i got a little teary...

{credit here}

Thursday, August 4, 2011

oh the people you'll meet...

this week is world breastfeeding why do i have a picture of beatrice and patty with yo gabba gabba you might ask?  well, rather than post about the benefits of breastfeeding and how much it has bonded me with beatrice, i'm going to take a lighter approach...since there are numerous beautiful posts about breastfeeding {i'll share some links at the end}, i thought i'd relay my favorite funny breastfeeding story...

a few months back, we volunteered at the pablove valentines day event for kids.  this organization is near and dear to our hearts, so we really wanted to participate.  since beatrice was only five months old, i wore her in my moby wrap and was able to work the silent auction.  at the time, i hadn't quite mastered feeding her while carrying her, so when i needed to breastfeed, i would just pull up a chair or sit on the floor, but it wasn't really comfortable.  our friend jeff, the president and founder of pablove said: "this is a kid's event!  we should have a breastfeeding area for time, we'll set up an area with comfy couches...but in the meantime, would you like to sit in the dressing room on the couch?"  he wasn't trying to "hide" a nursing mother...he was just trying to make me more comfortable...

so back to the dressing room i went...and guess who was getting dressed?!? the characters from yo gabba gabba! now, beatrice doesn't even watch tv, but patty & i are huge fans {well, especially patty!}...when we took care of our friend jorjee's daughter, maude, she really got us hooked!  so, when beatrice does finally watch some tv, i'm sure it will be yo gabba gabba!

now i'm not going to tell you what went on in that dressing room, as i'm sure that would violate some trade secrets!  let's just say it was fun, fun, fun!  but the point i'm really trying to make here is...breastfeeding can take you places, open doors, provide a great topic of conversation, etc...

one more fun reason to breastfeed your baby:  you never know where it will take you!

here are some great links and organizations that promote breastfeeding:

  • la leche league is a great resource for breastfeeding moms...look up a local chapter for great support meetings!
  • live in the los angeles area?  the pump station has great support groups and classes! the support classes were a lifesaver for me.  they really helped us get our breastfeeding off to a great start.
  • great online community of breastfeeding mamas, check out the leaky boob and like them on facebook.
  • best for babes provides valuable resources and studies about breastfeeding benefits for mama and baby.
  • unfortunately mothering magazine is no more, but their website and forums are a great place for information and support.

do you have a breastfeeding story or resource to share?

{photo by jennifer hamilton}

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

mamas who inspire me {jorjee douglass}

i've been wanting to start a little series about mamas who inspire me...inspiration comes in so many forms, from so many places: mamas i know in "real life," mamas from around the blogosphere, straight mamas, queer mamas, single mamas, married mamas, working mamas, stay at home mamas, work from home mamas, ap mamas, crunchy mamas, adoptive mamas, birth mamas, butch mamas, older mamas, younger mamas...i take some inspiration from across the board...i look to those who have joined the mama club before me for guidance and i wanted to find out more about motherhood from them and share some of these women with you...

first up is one of my best friends....i've known jorjee douglass since the early 90's when we both lived in san francisco, rummaging through thrift stores, going to rock shows, and enjoying the pre-dot-com wild, artsy and free frontier that it was.  now that we have both found ourselves in los angeles, i'm not sure how jorjee even found time to respond to me...she wears so many hats: wife, mama, make-up artist to the stars, a founding member of the citizen's band, singer/songwriter, fashion icon, blogger...but i remember when she told me she was pregnant and how excited i was...she was probably one of my first friends to have a baby and somehow that made it seem more real for me...jorjee, being one of the most creative and fun people i know, is one of those mamas that brings love, light, magic and humor to her family and to everyone she meets.

have you always known you wanted to be a mama?
yes!  i have always known i'd be a mama, but coming from an overly large family of eight, i always thought i would adopt a child.  i used to dream of being adopted and treated like a queen. i never had the urge to have my own until it was almost too late--i was 40!

 {jorjee eight months pregnant performing with the citizen's band}

tell me about your kids.
i have one girl.  she just turned four.  her name is maude mary feathers boddie.  i can't just tell you about her without making this 100 pages long!  she is the smartest lady i know!  i love her and respect her so much, and that's just putting it mildly!  i wish i were her...ha ha, i don't really, but i'm just blown away by her awesomeness daily!

{maude, at two years old,  following in her mamas footsteps painting pretty faces}

how did you find out you were pregnant?
while i was at work.  i lived in new york at the time, but i was on a job in los angeles {payless shoes commercial!} and i could just tell!  it went something like this:  "i think i'm preggers i'm gonna go buy a test at cvs on the way to work" and i did.  when i had a break, i walked across the street and took the test in the public bathroom at peet's coffee.  positive!

since you are a working mama, how do you balance your work/life load?
i don't really balance it...i live like a junkie, i fill myself up as much as i can with my daughter and family when i have time off and don't see that much of my friends, that's my trade off.  but i have great quality time with maude.  when i work the days are 12-14 hours so it gets hard!  i try to arrange for her to come to set after school so we can hang out for at least an hour.

what is your favorite thing about being a mama?
i'm not really doing anything that differently...i think i've always been a mama!

does "alone time" exist for you?  how do you take care of yourself?
i go to a korean spa and soak every few months...i stay up late and watch bad tv or i get up before everyone else in the house.

tell me about your job?  how does it affect you as a mother?
i'm a make-up artist, so my daughter looks pretty all the time!  {laughs!}

who/what inspires you as a mama?
maude inspires me and her future well being.  come to think of it, i'm very inspired by my sister-in-law, liz.  she can do everything and does it in an awesome witchy way.  hello glitter play doh!

what other projects do you have besides work & family?
i am a founding member of the citizen's band, a performance troupe in new york...i also write things...and i've just started a hippie band collective with my husband and your wife called canyon people...we're making honest dirty rock'n'roll for all with a rotating cast of guest star characters!

wanna find out more about jorjee:
make up ghost blog
hello giggles contributor

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

eco friendly wood toys...

of course, before i had beatrice, i had visions that she would only be clothed in pure organic clothing and play with eco friendly safe toys....well, that's not really a reality.  most of her clothes are organic, and most of her toys are eco-friendly and safe...but i've been so fortunate to receive many hand-me-downs {which of course are green since they are being re-used and re-loved!}, but many of those items have been plastic or made with other materials...and guess what, beatrice *loves* plastic toys...what's an eco friendly mama to do?  honestly, let it go...

but, when i do buy her toys, i do try to stick to wood, made in the usa, non-toxic paint and the like...i know i can't protect her from all toxins, but i do the best i can.  so i was really excited to see one of my favorite eco toy makers, wonderworld, on a zulily sale!  i've wanted to get her a cute stacker and a little push toy...our ped isn't thrilled about walkers, but i thought this little push toy she might enjoy...

the sale is only on for a couple more days, but go check it out!

Monday, August 1, 2011

music mondays {rock and roll camp for girls}

this past week, patty has been teaching drums to girls at the rock & roll camp for girls...she is so passionate about this.  it's an amazing program that teaches girls about being in a band...everything from how to play their instrument to how to silk screen their band t-shirts.  music being a fairly male dominated field, i think this is so inspiring!  girls are so often taught be quiet and polite, and rocking out is the opposite!!  girls also often lack the self-esteem necessary to really put themselves out there...and i love what the rock camp is doing...really giving girls the tools necessary and the confidence to play and perform music.  their tagline is "empowering girls through music education."

adult women instructors teach the girls for one week, and then at the end of the week they have a showcase so all the bands can perform.  this year, patty had her friend linda perry come down to perform and give a song writing was really powerful...the girls were blown away!

i didn't get to see the showcase, unfortunately {sleeping baby & rock show don't go so well together!}, but i was there when the show ended and got to see the beaming parents and thrilled kids exit the venue...there were so many smiles and proud moments and kid after kid with their moms came up to patty & the other instructors and told them what an amazing opportunity the camp was for them...

what an fantastic program to support the esteem-building and empowerment of young women!  they also offer adult ladies camps if you are in the los angeles area that help fund scholarships for girls to go to camp.  be sure to like them on facebook and follow them on twitter to find out when the next camp is and how you can help!

{photo credit here}

Monday, July 25, 2011

music mondays...well sort of...

hmmm...will bea follow in patty's footsteps??  this was taken a few weekends ago at a friend's two year birthday party...

Friday, July 22, 2011

recipe {milk enhancing granola bars}

oats...they are great for milk production, at least in my case.  i eat oatmeal every morning and i make these a lot.  i got this recipe from a twitter friend...the original recipe is here and i took my friend's amendments and added/changed a few other things...i swear every time i make and eat these, my milk production goes through the roof...i usually don't leak, but when i eat these, i leak all over the much milk! plus they are *delicious*!  patty always tries to eat them and i tell  her "you're taking milk right out of the baby's mouth when you eat one!"...

whenever i have a friend with a new baby, i make her a batch of these...they are really great to have on hand especially during those first few weeks when mama can barely get up to make herself food!  

i've used dried cherries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and dates as my "flavoring" for the bars, you can use any combo really, but i usually skip the dates... i think this combo works really well and is really good for you too! {this was the combo my friend leonora suggested to me & i think it's the best!}

molasses has iron, which is important and the coconut oil is *key*...a nursing mama should always have coconut oil on hand...i eat some everyday to help with milk production, i usually just spread it on toast for a is great for boosting your immunity to stay healthy!  i also use it to massage on my hands when my eczema flares up. i don't have a photo of the "finished product" as when i made these, they were pretty crumbly and not so pretty...but so, so good!

mix dry ingredients in one bowl:

1-2/3 cups oats

1/3 cup oat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups dried cherries, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut & pumpkin seeds mixture 
{any combo works, but i usually do 1 cup dried cherries, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 pumpkin seeds, but if you have more or less it doesn't really matter, i usually just use up what i have in the pantry...and i love dates, so sometimes i throw those in too!}

mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl:

1/3 cup almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons honey {or maple syrup if vegan}

1 tablespoon water

1/3-2/3 cup agave {i use less as i don't like them as sweet}

preheat oven to 325.  line an 8x8x2 pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides.  lightly grease the parchment paper and pan.

toss the wet ingredients in with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.  spread in the prepared pan, pressing firmly to ensure they are molded to the corners of the pan.  i use another piece of parchment paper to lay on top so i can press down on top of it.

bake the bars for 30-40 minutes, until they are brown around the edges.  cool the bars completely in their pan on a cooling rack.  

once cool, use a serrated knife to cut into squares...i usually am not fussy about this...they can get pretty crumbly especially if you cut them before completely cool.

i store in a glass container in the refrigerator and just graze on them all week!


Monday, July 18, 2011

music mondays {sia sings hole} this is a terrible video and the guy singing along is kind of funny, but i had to post a video from the LA premiere of our movie, hit so hard.  after the screening, some amazing & talented friends performed with patty...this is a video of sia covering miss world!  patty & eric are playing with her...linda perry also covered violet!

it was a really fun night and i managed to go, wearing a sleeping beatrice with noise reduction headphones!  i stressed out for weeks about whether i should go or not...and honestly didn't decide for sure that i was going until 15 minutes before the event...beatrice never took the bottle, so i haven't really been away from her for very long.  which, honestly has really not been a problem.  i'm perfectly happy staying at home with her!  we have lots of fun outings during the day, so we're both pretty tired at night.  so i never felt like i was "missing out" on anything...until this event.  since it was the LA premiere of the movie, i really wanted to try to attend...hometown screening an all!  and we also announced that the film was picked up for distribution...and on top of all that, the amazing performance.  so i really felt like i'd like to attend.  

i was really concerned that i was "being a bad mom" by keeping beatrice out so late...i posted on a few of my favorite attachment parenting mom groups and a few of them suggested to just bring her...wear her so i can nurse her to sleep...i also thought about having her sleep in the car with a sitter so i could just run out and nurse her if she woke up, but honestly that seemed crazy to me...i figured bea would much rather just be with me, nursing or asleep in the ergo...

but really it couldn't have worked out better.  she ended up napping from 6-8pm, we left for the movie around 8:30pm and then hung out in patty's dressing room with toys...a few friends who also have kids were there visiting with us.  then she fell asleep in the ergo {while i was nursing her} at about 9:30pm...i then put on her headphones and watched the performance from the side stage backstage.  usually it's not as loud backstage as the speakers are facing the crowd.  she slept through the whole thing!  didn't even flinch...

this was a pretty big event, it takes *a lot* to get me out, so i don't think we'll try it again anytime, let's just say never...but i'm glad i went...and i guess when she's older i can tell her that she was there!  

Friday, July 8, 2011

happy {hot} friday...

since we live in los angeles, i accept the following truths:
1.  there will always be traffic
2.  it will be hot sometimes

but wow, i've been in a lot of traffic and really hot this week!!  because of the heat, we've been going places with pools to cool off {annenberg community beach house, friends' houses in san gabriel valley and in san fernando valley...}, but oh! the traffic we sit in to get there and home!!  but it's worth it...beatrice has had a great time in the pool...her first two pool trips weren't so successful, but by the third one at the annenberg community beach house, she was doing great!  so now i really want to start swimming lessons for her...

so, have a wonderful weekend...and if you are in los angeles, stay cool!

{photo credit: brett gurewitz}

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

bea's garden vintage nursery...

finally after nine months i'm sharing bea's little nursery with you.  i've shared some of my inspiration {here & here}, and i think it came together really well, considering most everything in beatrice's nursery was a hand-me-down...i had to work with what i was given...

 we inherited this dresser from a friend of patty''s beautiful and everytime i open one of the drawers beatrice crawls over like flash lightening and starts to pull all of her clothes out!  we've been collecting little cards that i keep meaning to frame...someday...

both the dresser and the changing table top were hand-me-downs, from two different people, but they work great for our changing station.  i use cloth diapers for beatrice, so i had to get some new shelves to hold them all...all her colorful diaper covers are in the drawers...i'll do a cloth diapering post soon...

 we've been co-sleeping with beatrice, but in the bed in her room.  this room used to be the guest room, so we just kept the bed.  it was easier to co-sleep with her in her own room in the beginning, and now we just stay here....we'll probably move back to our bed soon.  the cute wall decals are fabric...not sweet!

 since we call beatrice "bea," and pronounce it "bee," we've had some really cute bee that's become another theme in her nursery.  how cute is this vintage bee costume from the 50's?  i can't wait until she can wear it...

i painted the walls a super pale pink, but really wanted to bring more color and pattern in...i found these cute buntings on etsy {triangles here and liberty here}.

the beginning of the reading nook...she *loves* the piano, though.  and she loves to pull all the books off the step: actually sitting down and reading them!  we read together everyday, but she's really into eating the books right now {teething baby}...

 beatrice had a mobile over her changing table and for some reason she really got excited by the elephant, so we've started a little elephant collection...{both were handmade gifts}...

the crib was the first "baby" item we inherited...i wasn't thrilled about black, but now i love it.  she's never slept in it though!

 it's really just a resting spot for her toys and cute animals from blabla sheets from plover organic...

 sweet mobile from blabla kids as well.  this mobile was one of my big splurges for the, love, love it...

we inherited the rocker as well...i really wanted to re-cover it, but i didn't really have the i just covered it with some of the many, many blankets that beatrice received.  i don't use it much anymore, so i'm thinking of handing it down to someone else...sweet custom rag doll from warm sugar.  this was one of my favorite purchases.  she made it completely custom for me...i gave her colors and picked socks, etc. and she made the cutest's hard to see but there are even bees are the fabric!  just for bea...

 some details from her dresser and bookshelves...cute wooden teether from little sapling toys...the vintage planters are from a friend...i still need to put plants in them!

and finally, her "uncle" dj lance gave her a sweet picture...she's still never seen yo gabba gabba {no screens until she is two}, but she's met all the characters!  patty & i are big fans and lance is a good friend of beatrice's uncle {her donor}...and remember my original nursery inspiration? well, of course he had to make it into her room...

next up: beatrice's vintage closet!