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, patty...here's to many more...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

steady as she grows {eleven months}

ok...so i wasn't able to feature a mama this week...like 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 blah...do do do...ma 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 one...it'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 week....so 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 mamas...next 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 support...so 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 workshop...it 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}